I really can’t believe that we’re into September already! While I’m still believing for a last burst of summer weather, I know it’s the gateway month to another season. I’ve always loved the changing of the seasons. Each one brings something unique and worthy to be celebrated; a prompt to thankfulness for all of God’s blessings!
I think that thankfulness is a bi-product of sensing God’s presence in everything: the trials as well as the celebrations. The apostle Paul is overwhelmed by the impact that the gospel is having on the young church at Ephesus: he declares, ‘Ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.’ (Ephesians 1:15,16) Paul’s thankfulness for others is wonderfully Christ-like; it is loving and generous. He sees the Ephesian church, and isn’t afraid to express his delight. I can only imagine how encouraged and empowered that body of believers felt when they received Paul’s words!
Expressing our thankfulness for others is not a sense of weakness, but a sign of security and strength in Christ. Paul goes on a little later to bring teaching and correction, and I’m convinced that a backdrop of thankfulness enhanced this particular early church’s ability to receive. I encourage us all to be ‘actively thankful’ with our words and actions, both in church and out, and of course in our praise, worship and adoration of our God, who continues to bless us in so many ways!