E-votional - Grateful
October 5, 2004


“I am grateful to God—whom I worship with a clear conscience, as my ancestors did—when I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. Recalling your tears, I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith,...”

2 Timothy 1:3-5a (NRSV)


The "Greatest" of course was Muhammad Ali, The Great One, Wayne Gretzky. The American Film Institute identified Citizen Kane as the great movie of all time. Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart named top legends among the women and men in the movies. The Bible is the great book of all time. Great is something defined as being more, but there is another grate, that is grateful, being full of thanks and hope that takes us somewhere totally different. Being grateful and full of greatness is really two different things. As Christians we are called to be a grateful people and to do what it is we are called to do and to be who it is we are called to be.

Hear the Good News, in our life and in our faith, we have so many things to be grateful for; Grace, Hope, Love, Strength and Faith. All of these things in our life are gifts of God. In Paul's letter to Timothy, it is clear Paul is grateful to God for Timothy. Because it is through Timothy that he is reminded of something, that something is faith. An old German proverb goes something like this, "Begin to weave and God will provide the thread." How often has man tried to gather all the thread necessary before weaving something only God could complete? It is by faith that Paul has been able to live and serve as the apostle he was called to be. Challenges of faith have long been issues with us, mankind. On the upside, you have Abraham, The Israelites, Joseph, Daniel, even Peter, who’s faith allowed him to walk on water, if just for a moment. On the down side, you Jacob, the Disciples, us. You see, it is a lack of faith that leads people to being afraid of challenges. This usually comes from our own inability to see God’s activity each day in the world. Lack of faith comes from things not turning out as we think or thought it ought to turn out. Lack of faith is best illustrated by a blind man trying to make it from Minute Maid Park in Houston to the Tower Club in Dallas of his own accord, driving my Jeep. Sure we can rely on someone in our ear, but it is our inability to see that gets us in trouble, making life that much more difficult or complicated.

Faith has always been a struggle for us. "The apostles said to the Lord, 'Increase our faith!' The Lord replied, 'If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, "Be uprooted and planted in the sea," and it would obey you. Our faith is something we must cling to, understanding it is a gift from God, more than that, it is something to be grateful for.


   Gracious God, thank You for the Faith You have given me, along with Your Spirit of Power, Love and Self Discipline.  Help me to remain grateful in all I do, keeping me from feeling as though I am the greatest, but rather grateful.  Guide me, strengthen me and increase my faith through the Holy Spirit. Thank You for all You have done and all You continue to do.  In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Grace & Peace

David Banks
Jewett United Methodist Church
PO Box 254
Jewett, TX 75846
(903) 626-4003


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