We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.
1 Thessalonians 1:2-6
Every time I read this passage, a melody pops into my head. I went to Bryan College and sang in the choir every year. I have sung so many choral pieces in my lifetime it is amazing that I remember any of them. There was one, however, called, “I Thank My God” that is a choral adaptation of some of these verses. We would sing this beautiful, flowing song near the end of our concerts as a tangible way to say “Thank You!” to the church for allowing us to come.
There is something about those first few words of this passage that get me every time. It is not natural for gratitude to be my response when I think of most people. There are only a select few individuals that make me praise the Lord in thanksgiving whenever they cross my mind.
Can your family agree on anyone that makes you collectively respond with gratitude? Is there anyone in your church that elicits that response from your hearts? If so, you need to tell them. It doesn’t have to be a big deal. Just tag them, send them a link to this blog, or copy and paste the verse above. It doesn’t matter how, it just matters that they know you are thankful to God for them.
One such person in my life was my pastor, John Stone, who passed away a few years ago. Even now, when I think of him, my heart is filled with gratitude. Stone truly discipled and trained me. He pushed me to dive deep into my relationship with Christ and kept pushing even when it was difficult.
I am glad that I had opportunities to thank him in person before the Lord took him home. Don’t let your opportunity to thank someone pass you by. Take the time to txt, call, email, or tag at least one person who needs to know how much God has used them in your life.