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Count. . . 1, 2, 3 . . . your blessings

November 19, 2007

Pastor Robert Hellmann, St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church, Montrose

OK. I’ve counted . . . 31, 32, 33 . . . my . . . 57, 58, 59 . . . blessings. Now what?

Check your heart to see if you have any thanks-killers living there.

Are you infected with a thanks-killer called but-itis?

I’ve got a car, but it’s just an old clunker and not a new one like my neighbor has. I’ve got a job, but I don’t make nearly as much as my brother-in-law. I do okay in school, but I’m not the captain of the team like Jackie, or a big brain like Joe.

Are you infected with a thanks-killer called envy?

How come my worthless neighbor has such a nice house? I deserve to have a bigger and better house than a dishonest jerk like him.

Are you infected with a thanks-killer called discontent (aka if-only-itis)?

If only I had more money, a bigger tv, an easier life, then I would be content and satisfied.

Are you infected with a thanks-killer called self-pity?

I could really be somebody, but I never get any breaks. Everything always goes against me. When is my luck going to change? Woe is me.

Are you infected with self-thanks-itis, the worst thanks-killer of all?

Look how I have gotten ahead in life. I have done it all myself. I deserve all the thanks myself. I’m the best. I don’t need God.

Scan your list of blessings once again. Now, replace those thanks-killers with in-spite-ofs.

Look at how God has blessed me with so many good things . . . in spite of my sins of envy, discontent, pride, complaining, unthankfulness, and self-pity.

We do not deserve anything good from God because we are unthankful sinners before him. Yet God blesses us with good things because he is good and merciful, not because we have earned or deserve it.

When you go to church on Thanksgiving to worship, and later sit down to your Thanksgiving dinner, remember that without God, you would have nothing.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17

God gives us our life, family, and abilities. He gives us the food we eat, the clothes in the closet, the furniture in the house, the cars in the garage. He gives us friends, jobs, a wonderful country in which to live.

And best of all, God gives us our Savior, Jesus Christ. Through his suffering and death on the cross, He freely gives us the forgiveness of all our sins and the gift of eternal life.

Through faith in Jesus, we are the children of God and heirs of eternal life. We have the assurance that he is with us every moment of our life to protect us and guide us.

This Thanksgiving, and every day of your life, join with the psalm-writer in saying, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Psalm 118:29