Thanks and Giving
Zoë Elmore

“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” Luke 12:48b (NIV)

Okay, I’ll admit I’m no spring chicken, but I’m still full of life; so I decided that I would spend this year doing 51 things I’ve never done before (yes, that’s one thing for every birthday I’ve had). I wanted to do things I’ve always talked about doing, but somehow just never got around to doing.

It’s been fun to use the good china & crystal everyday, as well as the nice towels. I light my favorite candle each evening when I get home from work and I even drove a Jet Ski in the Atlantic Ocean while dolphins raced beside me. I’ve checked off many things from my list this year but there are still things to do before the year is done. Not to give the impression that I’ve only been doing things for myself this year, I also have a few items on my list that will allow me to “give back” to our community. For instance, I’ve always wanted to make dinner for the firemen at our local fire station.

When a neighbor’s home recently caught fire I was so impressed with the firemen who put out the fire and the care they gave to the gentleman living in the home who needed some minor medical attention. After the hoses were rolled up and the ladders stowed I spoke to the shift captain and volunteered to cook dinner for the men of the fire station. He replied “Thank you ma'am, people are always dropping off cookies; but no one has ever volunteered to feed all thirty-one of us.”

Thirty-one hungry firemen, oh my goodness! What have I gotten myself into? Oh well... numbers aside I said I wanted to do this and do it I will. I think a Thanksgiving dinner would be an appropriate way to say thanks and one way to give back to the men and women who serve my community.

As Thanksgiving approaches and thoughts turn to the food and the whirlwind of details associated with that holiday, I’m reminded that my blessings are too numerous to count or even measure. So this year as the turkey roasts and the marshmallows melt on top of the yams I will rejoice in this new Thanksgiving tradition. I indeed have been given so very much and now I want to find ways to give thanks to those who give of themselves everyday. I hope my list of fifty-one things to do will inspire you to find a way to give thanks to those who serve your community. I can’t think of a better time of year to do just that.

Dear Lord, You continue to lavish your blessings upon me and I am grateful. Help me to find ways to give thanks to those who serve and protect my community. Bless them and their families with Your grace and protection. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Homespun Gifts from the Heart by Karen Ehman

Sponsor a child in need through Compassion International

Do you know Him?

Application Steps:
Make a list of the blessings you have received this year.

When you see a fireman or policeman, do like my husband Tom does; go over and say “Thank you for your service to our community.”

Finds ways to involve your small group, Sunday School class or neighborhood in giving thanks to your community.

What are you doing to give thanks?

How can you encourage your family to become active in giving thanks?

Power Verses:
Acts 20:35b, “Remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” (NIV)

Proverbs 28:20, “A faithful man will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.” (NIV)

Romans 10:12, “For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile--the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, “(NIV)

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this devotional. It gave me some good ideas on how to give back. It is so easy to keep on taking without giving back. I am thanking the Lord for our policemen and firemen today. They don't get the appreciation they deserve, I'm sure.

Blogger Marybeth Whalen said...

Thanks Zoe for this perspective-- you helped me to think beyond my own little world today, and that is a good thing.
I am feeling blessed that my Baklava instructor is such a godly woman, and an inspirational one to boot! Ü

Blogger Cris said...

So many reasons to give thanks... and I appreciate so much your devotionals, these are my morning wake up calls!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Lord for Zoe and her willingness to serve her local community as well as the community of women who seek to draw closer to you through our devotions. May you bless and keep her. Amen


Blogger OMB said...

Yes, there are so many ways to give to others. I'll bet those firemen were so touched.
I agree with marybeth, thanks for letting me see beyond my little world.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a way to start the morning! I would like to use your idea and cook a meal for my fire dept. as well since cooking is something I do well. If you can't cook, enlist your friends who can and you help. This spreads the joy even further. Thank you for the good words

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is one of the best devotions I read here. Thank you for sharing this devotion. You gave me an idea what would be the best theme I am searching for in our December issue newsletter in our small church. =)

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