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November 2023 Monthly Message

Nov 30 2023 November 2023 Monthly Message

How do we make gratitude a lifestyle? Now that Thanksgiving is over, how do we make gratitude the way we live our every-day lives, day in and day out?

I find that the people who are grateful as a lifestyle have a whole different quality about them. For me, I’ve noticed my attitude of gratitude makes a difference not only in how I feel and think, but how I treat people and go about my life.

Psalm 103:1-5 shares multiple reasons for making gratitude a way of life. We can be grateful for the Lord’s:

  • Forgiveness
  • Healing
  • Redemption
  • Steadfast love and mercy

And last but not least, satisfaction in life. Verse 5 says, Who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

Well, that sounds amazing! As I approach a new decade of life in a few months, I’ve been thinking about this verse – and I definitely want renewed vigor and energy in my life as I get older!

I know a lot of people who are younger, but they appear older. I’m not talking about looks…what I mean is these “older” folks don’t have much enthusiasm or pep in their step. There’s not much liveliness about them. Why is that? I think it’s because they don’t have something that’s making them come ALIVE every day of their life!

So, it begs the question: What’s giving you life these days?

I love what the Amplified Bible has to say about vitality in Psalm 92:14, “[Growing in grace] they will still thrive and bear fruit and prosper in old age; They will flourish and be vital and fresh [rich in trust and love and contentment].”

Do you want spiritual vitality? Then set about to grow in your faith on the other 6 days of the week… not just Sunday!

  • If you’re young, you need to remember Psalm 103:5. You might forget these benefits or think that you’ll never grow old.
  • If you’re older, you need to remember Psalm 103:5. You will be greatly encouraged to remember these benefits and know you can have strength and spiritual vitality as you grow older.

One of my favorite writers, Brennan Manning says that Grateful people are a delight to be around and their spirit is catching. It is simply not possible to be simultaneously great and resentful.”

Listen, I don’t want to be a grumpy old man. As I grow older, I want to be a grateful old man and full of spiritual vitality.

Jesus tells us to be thankful (Colossians 3:15; 1 Thessalonians 5:18) and so I will! I’m going to focus on these simple words: Thank you. I’m thankful for all the benefits God has given us in Psalm 103:1-5. I’m thankful he gives us new opportunities in our old age to be vital and fresh and continue to bear fruit.

The Roman philosopher, Ciro, wrote, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of the virtues, but the parent of all others.” I agree. I believe all the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control) are connected by gratitude… Gratitude for who God is and what He has done for us.

Having an attitude of gratitude is a life changer. But you can’t just determine to be grateful on your own. You need God’s help! Turn over your life to Jesus and say, “Jesus help me to be faithful, and help me to be a thankful person.”

We have to ask the Lord to give us renewed strength: whether we’re young, middle aged, or older. Life is only worth living if we know Him, are living out His purposes in our lives and making an impact on the lives of other people for Jesus Christ.


DISCIPLE MAKING HIGHLIGHTS

Over 70+ people were equipped and encouraged in the multiplication process of disciple making at the Disciple Making Summit at Dallas Theological Seminary on November 4th. Thank You, Lord!!

I am now scheduling Disciple Making Summits for 2024! Have you talked to your pastor about hosting one at your church? If not, send this document to him to start the conversation. Let’s keep multiplying disciple makers, together!!

THE GATHERING OF MEN

There were over 200+ men at the final Gathering of Men for 2023. This series held a lot of hard topics and conversations that we must face as followers of Christ living in a broken world. While not everything went according to plan, Punky unexpectedly stepping in for John led to a message that seemed to be exactly what everyone needed. Thank God for consistently showing up, despite the circumstances!

If you weren’t able to come to this series, you can listen (or re-listen!) to the talks on The Gathering of Men podcast or send them to a friend!

HOW CAN WE PRAY FOR YOU?

Punky and I consider it a great privilege to pray for you — specifically, for a need or burden you might have, or to celebrate what God is doing in your life. This is one way we can stay connected to do you and do life together. Just reply to this email and let us know how to pray — and we will.

Warmly in Him,

John Tolson