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The Power of Thanksgiving

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“I don’t sense urgency in our preaching anymore,” said John. “Does no one care that the earth is quickly coming to judgment?” Spoken several years ago while he was a missionary in training, John’s words still ring in my ears.

More than ever, I feel the demise of the world around me. I keenly feel the need to share Jesus with others and to live a more Christ-like life. True to His character, God speaks truth into my life using whatever method He needs. Lately He’s been sending a barrage of voices to bring the power of thanksgiving into my life.

It began when my daughter started a blessing journal and shared with me the difference it was making in her life. Simple things—gifts God had given her during the day, things like Daddy’s infectious chuckle, apple butter on whole-wheat toast, savory lentils, golden sunbeams radiating through a misty vineyard. She reminded me of the beauty of focusing on blessings rather than dwelling on negatives.

Then a friend posted beautiful prayers for her husband on Facebook, one for each day of the month. When I asked her about them, she sent me to a webpage listing the prayers and a 31-day challenge: “Say nothing negative about your husband or to your husband. Instead, say things you admire or appreciate about your husband to him and to others.”

Among many other parts to the tapestry of thanksgiving God was weaving in my heart, the last one I’ll mention was a quote He placed in my path that couples a thankful heart with an urgent desire to work for the salvation of the lost:

“We must rise to a higher and still higher spirituality. We must cease all complaining, and cultivate the giving of thanks. We must work for the salvation of perishing souls.

We must lay hold of the supreme Power, and close our ears to complaint and faultfinding. Crush this inclination, and empty the soul temple of evil-thinking. Let not one unhappy thought remain within. Souls are perishing in their sins. Work to the glory of God” (Letter 372, December 4, 1906, to Elder O. A. Olsen and Dr. D. H. Kress, working in Australia. This Day with God. p. 347).

We have a planet to reach, and, praise the Lord, we have each other to lean on! We don’t have much longer until Judgment Day. John Lello now waits for His Lord. How thankful I am for his life! How thankful I am that we still have time to share Jesus with the billions who haven’t yet heard of His free gift.

How thankful I am for YOU, partners in reaching the unreached in this generation!

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