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Faith Focus: How do we express gratitude?

Residents at Buckner Westminster Place, a continuing care senior living community in Longview, Texas, recently penned and sent letters to military personnel. They wanted service men and women to know people are thinking of them and are grateful for their service.

The messages came from the heart: "You can feel what you write," Ellen Brinson told the Longview News-Journal.

Many of the apostle Paul’s letters are included in the Bible. He writes them to believers in different locations for a variety of reasons. But inspired by God, he always wrote from the heart. In the words of Ellen Brinson, we can feel what he writes:

“I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way – in all your speaking and in all your knowledge – because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you.” – 1 Corinthians 1:4-6

When we are moved by gratitude – toward others or toward God – we are compelled to express that emotion. In response to God, we respond through prayer and worship. In response to others, we often call it encouragement or fellowship.

Expressing thankfulness takes time, energy and thought. By writing to various churches, Paul reminded them he cared about them and prayed for them. By worshipping God, we are taking time to praise him for who he is and what he’s done in our lives.

How we spend our time, energy and thoughts reflects what is important to us. This week, what will people notice is important to us?

Deeper reflection:
• How do you express gratitude to God?
• What attributes of God are you thankful for?

Next steps:
• Take some time today to thank God for who he is and all he’s done.
• Write God a letter expressing how you feel about him. Save the letter and pull it out the next time you’re feeling down, confused or lost. Let it remind you all God has done.

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