A Grateful Heart

In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

These days, many people overlook thanksgiving. There are people who believe that good things they receive are well deserved and, therefore, do not feel obliged to thank anyone. Others are so selfish that they just want their welfare no matter who they run over. According to what the Apostle Paul tells us in his First Letter to the Thessalonians, who do such things are violating God’s will.

When I moved to the United States, I was extremely impressed with the celebration of Thanksgiving Day, which is celebrated every year on the fourth Thursday of November. I was impressed to see the solemnity of that day and as people gathered in homes to share a meal and thank God for all the blessings received during the year will soon be over.

I have been very involved with this national holiday of my adopted country. In 2006, for the first time since I moved to the United States, I spent the day outside the country. My wife and I traveled to her native Peru, where we celebrate Thanksgiving with relatives in the same way that takes place in North America. On that day we share with those present on the occasion to celebrate a special day to thank God and motivate them to continue to do so.

However, in recent years, I have seen, unfortunately, it has lost the spirit of the celebration of Thanksgiving in the America. With the emergence of Black Friday, just next day after Thanksgiving, many people are more concerned in taking advantage of special to shop than stop thanking God for all the good they received.

What is happening in the world that people no longer are grateful? In the 24th chapter of Matthew’s Gospel, the Lord gives the signs of the end times. Matthew 24:12 says: And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. Whoever loves is grateful, but the lack of love is expressed with the lack of a grateful heart. Children do not thank their parents for giving life rather they believe their parents only have obligations to them. Spouses not thank each other for acts of service that manifest. And worst of all is that we give thanks to God for anything, because we believe that He is under our service for everything we crave.

When we repeat the Lord’s Prayer we say to God that His will be done. However, we refuse to make the will of God of giving thanks in all circumstances. Thousands of people die every day. Those who woke up healthy have a good reason to thank God for it. Many people in many parts of the world lack a roof or food, we have that, we should thank God every day for food, house and health, among many things we take for granted. Let live it with a grateful heart. God bless you.

Our Reaction When We Are Saved

To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours.

1 Corinthians 1:2

When we receive Jesus in our hearts, many things happen: we are forgiven of all our sins, we are redeemed by His precious blood, we are justified by His grace, and we are sanctified in Him as says the apostle Paul, being sanctified in Christ. We are called to be holy and this is for all Christians, not just for pastors or certain anointed men and women, but for anyone who calls on the name of our Lord.

Many times we fall into temptations and we ignore the holiness, which is a necessary quality to see the face of God and delight in the beauty of His presence. It is unfortunate that today is preached very little about holiness in the churches, and when it done, the issue is not pleasant for most of its listeners. The ears of the parishioners prefer listening topics that satisfy them and give them emotional support, rather than those that confront them.

What does it mean to be holy? Is it possible to be holy at this time so polluted with worldly things? First, if we measure our holiness to the holiness of God, it is obvious that no human being will be able to reach this standard. And not only in this age in which a good thing is called evil and an evil thing is called good, but in any era of human history on Earth. To be holy means to be separated for God, i.e. opt out of the things that the world loves and God hates.

Now we get another question, do we always adhere to the concept of holiness? I do not know how you, who listen to me or read this message you answer this question; but as far as I am concerned, I can say that I did not fulfill one hundred percent, but often do the opposite. That’s why I can say that I don’t come to give you a lesson because I’m doing things correctly. What I come to say is that, because I have failed God in so many times, I acknowledge my mistake and I try to find ways to make amends. I cannot say I’m going to make myself; but I ask my Heavenly Father to help me every day of my life to achieve the goal of holiness.

When we pray for something that is according to the will of God, the prayer will be answered. According to what the Apostle Paul tells us in his first letter to the Corinthians, God calls us to be holy. Therefore, pray for us to achieve holiness is a prayer that goes according to the plans and purposes of God. Then, why we are not holy? I think James 4:3 gives us the answer: You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. It is likely that here is also the answer to our other unanswered prayers. Let us labor therefore, let pray to the Father asking to help us improving ourselves every day to achieve the goal of holiness and God’s purposes are fulfilled in our lives. God bless you.