By Pastor Tim Roggow
Zion Lutheran Church 

Thankful and joyful


November 25, 2022

There is an old European story about a traveler who came upon a barn where the devil had stored seeds that he planned to sow in the hearts of people. There were bags of seeds variously marked “Hatred,” “Fear,” “Doubt,” “Despair,” “Unforgiveness,” “Pride,” “Greed,” etc.

The devil appeared and struck up a conversation with the traveler. He gleefully told the traveler how easily the seeds he sowed sprouted in the hearts of men and women. “Are there any hearts in which these seeds will not sprout?” the traveler asked.

A melancholy look appeared on the devil’s face. “These seeds will not sprout in the heart of a thankful and joyful person,” he confessed.

Being thankful and joyful…. At Zion Lutheran we have just finished a series where we focused on “Discovering The Joy of Sharing God’s Blessings.” The inner joy and peace that come from an intimate relationship with Christ will survive any trial and sustain us through all circumstance, even when those seeds of hatred, fear, doubt, despair, unforgiveness, pride, greed, etc. are attempted to be planted in our hearts. 

The joy in this relationship will endure, no matter what comes our way. God has the answers for all our questions, all our needs, and all our doubts and fears in His Word. Through His Son, Jesus, we receive all of the Father’s riches.  What a beautiful thought that is! God chose us before time began to be His children! He adopted us. Because of Jesus, we belong, we matter, we are no longer outcasts, we are members of His family, and we receive Jesus’ everlasting joy! Filled with Jesus’ joy, we are prompted to share God’s blessings.

By God’s grace, joy is part of our lives. Knowing who we are and Whose we are, we are empowered to live lives filled with joy. When we abide in Jesus and live in obedience to Him our joy is made complete. We are made eager to respond to God’s grace to us by using our time, talents, and money in ways that help others and extend His kingdom.  When we use our blessings in joyful obedience to God’s will, we will experience even more joy. 

And so, here we are, the week of Thanksgiving – possibly a time when you are with family and friend (or maybe not).  But this is a time that we can celebrate that joy, that thanksgiving that is planted in our hearts. God will equip us to use our blessings in ways that give Him honor. God fills our hearts with love for Him and His Church, so we are energized to share our blessings with others. May we thank God with great joy of how He has richly blessed us and draws us closer to Him.


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