A Heart of Thanksgiving; A Heart of Worship

I apologize to my regular readers for my dearth in blogging in recent days.  It seems that as the Christmas season approaches each year, I become mired in neck-deep details surrounding seasonal performances.  Of course, then, there is my “regular” life too, which consists of helping my pastor shepherd a congregation full of needs.  Oh, and there’s that family stuff too… 😉

Due to the recent conversations here and elsewhere in the blogosphere, I have begun writing an article on the whole secular/sacred dichotomy.  It has been good to think through this area again and I look forward to sharing my thoughts and mulling over them with you!

This morning, SharperIron re-posted one of my articles on thankfulness.  If you haven’t had a chance to read it before, you can find it by clicking here.  Hopefully, it will be an encouragement to you.

I wanted to just jot a brief note here to share what I am thankful for today.

I thank God for His great grace and mercy to me, a sinner, and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for my sins on the cross.

I thank God for the gift of family.  I do not deserve the wife God allowed me to marry.  The five beautiful children He has blessed us with are a constant stream of joy and accountability to me as their spiritual leader and loving father.

I thank God for wonderful parents who have consistently served as an example to me of what Christianity can and should be.

I thank God for the precious privilege of giving my life each day in the work of the local church.

I thank God for the opportunity to live in one of the most spectacular places on earth, where every day I am confronted by the majesty of creation.

I thank God for friends, all over the world, with whom I share a spiritual brotherhood.  In relation to that, I thank God for tools like the Internet that allows me to connect so often with so many of these dear friends.

I thank God for His sharpening in my own life, for keeping me dependent on Him and compelling me to keep my eyes on heavenly prizes, rather than earthly pleasures.

I thank God for the privilege I have to be a pastor to so many children in my church.  To see them exercise their faith and trust in God is a mighty delight to my soul.  To watch them obey in the waters of baptism moves me to tears.  To see them devour the Word of God gives me hope for the future of God’s Church.

I thank God for the privilege I have to work with musicians in my church.  It is no small feat to coordinate the varying abilities of these fine people in rendering worship from our spirits and mouths which is true and beautiful.  I take little credit for this task.  We all work hard and God is good.  I realize there are many, many churches that have very few musicians of any ability.  I am blessed and I am thankful.

For those of us who choose to follow Christ, thanksgiving is, or should be, a daily and constant exercise, not just a once-a-year ritual.  However, I am thankful to God for the great freedom we have in our country to worship publicly and evangelize the lost.  Such freedom is not the norm in our world and is diminishing rapidly in so many places around the globe.  I thank my God for those who worship and evangelize despite persecution, torture and and the real threat of martyrdom.

Finally, I thank God for His Word.  Without it, I am in darkness though I often convince myself that I can see quite clearly on my own.  My heart is deceitful.  His Word pierces and patches me.  It shows me my great spiritual deficiencies.  It reveals God’s greatness.  It draws me back when I stray.  It increases my fervor for Christ and for service and for worship.  It confronts my pride and encourages me in times of despair.  Thank You for this precious Book, Lord!  Through it, I first saw You.  Through it, I first saw myself.  Through it, I received faith to place in Jesus Christ so that I could receive forgiveness for my sins and find assurance of Heaven and adoption into Your family.

And, my fellow bloggers, I thank God every time I remember you too and the way you sharpen me!  Thanks!

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4 responses to this post.

  1. […] McCrorie on Bowing Down has a wonderful piece called “A Heart of Thanksgiving; A Heart of Worship” running through those things for […]

    Reply

  2. Great encouragement and refinement Brian. Bradford’s proclamation really challenged me years ago. So for about 20 years our church has had a worship/thanksgiving service on Thanksgiving morning. The response at first amazed me; I discovered that people want to give thanks and they really appreciate an opportunity for corporate thanksgiving to get the day of Thanksgiving off to a great beginning. The tradition at Lighthouse Bible continues.

    Roger

    Reply

  3. I’m thankful for servants of God like you, Brian!

    God bless and happy Thanksgiving.

    By the way …. Looks like Mike Huckabee is gaining in Iowa.

    Reply

  4. Hope you all are having a wonderful Thanksgiving! I’m thankful for you all!!!

    Reply

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