22 May Pastor’s Paragraph for May 24, 2020
Pastor's Paragraph for May 24, 2020
MAY 24, 2020
Last Sunday, I focused the message around gratitude. I shared a story regarding a colleague of mine from Messiah College, who keeps a gratitude journal. I indicated this is not something I have done, but would consider doing. Well, later in the day last Sunday, I began my gratitude journal. As I started, I realized I would need to create some defined lanes for listings, for I could sit all day and write down the things for which I am thankful. I have committed to five-seven listing per day. Now, after only three days in, I have found great joy in writing out my gratitude notes.
In her devotional text On the Highroad of Surrender, Francis J. Roberts writes, thanksgiving and praise transform. I agree. She says, “Praise exercises the heart toward gratitude (I find the reverse is true as well) and gratitude nurtures contentment, and you may know with certainty that no fruit ever appears on the tree of discontent.”
Gratitude is the secret (Phil. 4:12) to contentment. I find gratitude is essential for soul fitness. Gratitude directs and redirects our thoughts to the Father, who is our Provider and true Sustainer!
The world and the pleasures of this world offer shallow and limited satisfaction. Even the grandeur of creation itself, although definitely pleasing, is not truly sustaining. The psalmist writes, “I lift my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from?” Admittedly, the hills can be magnificent. From the back porch of our family farm, we gaze upon the beauty of the hills and mountains of Fulton County. No building can be seen looking across the hills, not even in the distance. As truly beautiful as they are, they do not sustain, as the psalmist continues, “My help comes from the Lord, the One who made, the mountains, the hills, and the breath taking views, heaven and earth.” (Ps. 121:1-2)
God is our Provider, our Healer, our Redeemer, our Sustainer, and as King David wrote in Psalm 25, the source of our hope. Let us take the Apostle Paul’s counsel seriously, “Rejoice always, pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (I Thessalonians 5:16-18) May gratitude abound!
Rev. Dr. Stephen Gallaher
Associate Teaching Minister