Thanksgiving. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you read or hear that word? Is it a day, a family meal, or perhaps a specific menu of foods? Is it an attitude that comes and goes based on how you feel? Or is it a way of life which flows from you regardless of your circumstances? These devotions I will be sharing this month were originally written throughout November 2019 and then edited/updated during the summer of 2020 for a 31 day devotional journal, “The Heart of Thanksgiving: Living a Life of Thankfulness”. I will be re-sharing them here this month to encourage each of us to pursue a greater spirit of thankfulness in all we do.
Here is day seven with an important reminder that living with a heart of thanksgiving should cause us to be thankful for God’s calling.
Thankful for God’s Calling
“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service.”
1 Timothy 1:12 (NIV)
As I continue this series of posts, I am thankful for a God who has called, empowered, and equipped me to live in service to Him. In a world, and even a Christian culture, that thinks they hold the keys to who is considered qualified, I thank God that He qualifies all who respond to His calling regardless of what others may say. That doesn’t mean I’m qualified for everything, but I am qualified for the service He wants to do through me.
I am thankful that God considers me faithful even when I stumble because He knows my heart’s desire to be faithful. When I consider the work that I’m aware of that God has done through me, the best of it has been things that I didn’t think much of but I did them because I knew He had set them before me. Throughout my entire life, but particularly in the past five years with the writing ministry, I can clearly see how God has continually blessed a faithfulness in the seemingly small things with an expansion into more — more responsibility, more writing, more books, more effectiveness, and more obedience.
I am thankful that God sees me as a collection of possibilities because He sees what He has created. Even when the world sees nothing because they are focused on the holes left by what is missing, God views me as His beloved child as He looks at all that is present by His design. I suppose one of the lessons out of this is to be careful how we judge and view others. Our words based on what we think is missing in another person can easily harm and damage that person who may very well be exactly as God has created and intended them to be. I am thankful that even when those harmful words are hurled at us, God does not believe them and instead calls us to reject the lies and listen more intently to Him.
How do you serve God and His people? Is it always easy? Why? How has God gifted you? How do you discover that? Are you currently using those gifts to bring glory to God? In what way? Do you feel the people around you encourage, or discourage, you to use the gifts God has given you? Why? Have you ever quit using your gifts, or at least felt like quitting? Why? What would help you to restart, or keep you going, during those times? How can being thankful for God’s strengthening in your life help you to be faithful in His calling? How can you encourage others to be faithful in the using of God’s gifting in their life?
As I thank God for considering me faithful and calling me into His service, I pray that you and I would also thank God for one another and for the works of service He has called each of us to.