Practice Gratitude

Dear friends,

Sunday we continue our walk through some of the wisdom literature of the Bible, drawing from both the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament, in our series Timeless Wisdom. We also begin our annual stewardship campaign on Sunday and the theme both for the campaign and in our series is Gratitude.

Among the many aspects of life for which I give thanks are the people and ministries of our church. Along with obedience and a desire to do good, we give out of a sense of gratitude for all we have received.

In the ninety-second Psalm we find these poetic words of profound gratitude:

It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
to sing praises to your name, Most High;
to proclaim your loyal love in the morning,
your faithfulness at nighttime
with the ten-stringed harp,
with the melody of the lyre
because you’ve made me happy, Lord,
by your acts.
I sing with joy because of your handiwork.

“It is good,” says the psalmist, “to give thanks to the Lord.”

The New Testament letter of Philippians picks up on this same theme and points toward a way of thinking, a way of being, and a way of living:

Be glad in the Lord always! Again I say, be glad! Let your gentleness show in your treatment of all people. The Lord is near. Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus. From now on, brothers and sisters, if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise.

As we prepare for worship on Sunday, I invite you to read and think about these words of wisdom. What do these words mean for the way we approach life? What do these words mean in the way we view our circumstances? Do we approach our living and our giving out of a perspective of scarcity or abundance? Do our thoughts turn to the positive or to the negative? Do we live in gratitude and live, serve and give out of gratitude for what we have received?

I look forward to worshipping with you on Sunday.

Grace and Peace,

Dr. Tim Bruster
Senior Pastor


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