“She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21CSB
Jesus came to save us from our sins, we have something to be intentionally grateful for today. Gratitude takes mindfulness, it takes intentionality, it is a choice. We can choose to be grateful for what we have or we can choose to focus on what we don’t have, the choice is ours.
One thing we all have is Jesus. A way to the Father, a way to connect with Him, grow closer to Him, love Him. When I think of Jesus, as I’ve gotten to know Jesus through the scriptures, He inspires me. I want to be like Him. I want to be so full of love and compassion, it overflows from me to everyone around me. I want to know, when someone comes to me hurting how I can help them heal. I want to love people unconditionally, no matter what their beliefs are, no matter what color their skin is, no matter what. I want to be more like Jesus ever day that I live, and less like me.
All of us have heard John’s words many times, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NIV). Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines world as “The universe; the whole system of created globes or vast bodies of matter.” In other words, everyone. No one is exempt from God’s love, no matter what our personal opinions are.
I have people in my life that I struggle to love. I have been known to think, “Are you sure God they are part of the world?” The answer is always yes. We are all God’s creatures, created by Him for His purposes. If loving everyone was easy, we would never grow. If you think of love as a muscle, you have to exercise it to grow it. When we love people who challenge us, we’re working out our love muscle.
Remembering Jesus helps me get started with my work out. When I remember He came to “save His people from their sins” AND I’m one of those people always helps me be grateful (Matthew 1:21b). I’m grateful He loves me, the huge sinner I am. Some of you know the truth to that statement better than others. We are all sinners, our sins may be different, but we are all sinners. Only Jesus is perfect. In Him we have something to be intentionally grateful for today. As you seek solitude today, allowing God to reframe your thoughts, be intentionally grateful for what Jesus has done for us.
Today I’m finding rest by being intentionally grateful. How can you find rest today?