Sheldon Livesay

Sheldon Livesay

This coming week is Thanksgiving. The little song usually pops in my mind this time of year with part of the wording- “Count your many blessings, name them one by one. Count your many blessings, see what God has done.”

Our church rolled out a long sheet of kraft paper over a table at the altar area Sunday inviting people to actually come and write down some things they are majorly thankful for.

I’ve been to church when I was little and scoffed at people who gave testimony they were thankful for waking up that morning or for the air they breathed. As I get older, I’ve asked forgiveness for not understanding that God revealed to some of these old saints that loved Him, how much we can thank Him for things everyone else overlooks.

Now years later, I am more and more conscious of the genius of our Heavenly Father and Creator and the vast makeup of this universe He created. Things so small no man fully understands the minute particles making up the electron, proton, or neutron of an atom or the vastness of the universe, how far it reaches or the stars it contains, yet scripture says, God has named them all.

We are the only creature that can appreciate. We are the only creature apparently that sees in color. God has lavished His creation for all of us to appreciate and Thanksgiving is a day we can express our appreciation back to God for all of it.

Not only did He create nature for us, but He frequently intervenes in our lives in answer to prayer.

In recent years, I’ve had a bout with cancer and a near fatal heart attack. Even doctors were amazed that I survived those events and how can I even think about them without bringing tears to my eyes in gratefulness.

I often break down when I see the goodness of our community through Of One Accord Ministry, reaching out to help others. I am so grateful for the many friendships and partnerships we have acquired over these last 34 years.

But have you ever thought about this God that gives and gives and gives to us? What can we give Him that is meaningful?

Jesus was being tricked in Matthew 22 by being asked what is the greatest commandment. Jesus answer was from the heart of God. It was given to Moses in Deuteronomy 6:5 stating, God desires us to love Him with ALL our heart, soul and mind. We learned God loved us, no matter who we are or what we’ve done, before the foundation of the earth.

I believe the primary reason God made us creatures with a free will is because He gives us the choice of whether we will respond to the LOVE He gives us. Love isn’t real unless you can choose to respond.

What then is the biggest thing you can do for God? Respond to His love and love Him back. Part of expressing our love is to express our THANKFULNESS, not just at Thanksgiving, but every day of the year.

Sheldon Livesay is the director of the Of One Accord ministry based in Rogersville. You can contact him at 423-921-8044.