You will receive this devotional on Black Friday — the biggest shopping day of the year in the U.S. I googled Black Friday and this is what came up: “Black Friday is the name given to the shopping day after Thanksgiving. It was originally called Black Friday because the volume of shoppers created traffic accidents and sometimes even violence …’’ How very sad that Christmas — the celebration of Jesus’ birthday, would result in a day known for traffic accidents, violence and for many over-spending on gifts, right on the heels of a day of giving thanks for our families, friends, and many blessings.

Yesterday, on Thanksgiving, we were grateful as a nation and individuals. Right? For some of us yes, but many either don’t feel that they have anything to be thankful for, or just take their blessings for granted and don’t acknowledge that our heavenly father gives us everything. (James 1:17) Whether we perceive we have a little or a lot — everything we have, our very life is from God. Often, we take for granted the rain that falls, the sun that comes up every morning, the refreshing winds that blow, and even that we woke up to see another day. But these things and so much more come directly from our loving Creator. We don’t earn them, and we don’t deserve them. (Philippians 4:19) God differentiates between our needs and our wants because He knows that where our treasure is our heart is also. (Matthew 6:21) Gratitude can change your life because it makes you appreciate what you have rather than what you don’t have. Medical research has shown that grateful people have less depression and stress, lower blood pressure, more energy, and greater optimism. Daily gratitude realigns us to the Giver and increases His activity in our lives.

Psalm 100:4 commands us to, Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. We thank God not just for the stuff that fills our storage spaces, or even meeting our daily needs, but more importantly we are to be thankful for him and praise him for who he is.

We are blessed to live in this land where we can freely worship God. Today people will frantically search for the best deals, but Jesus is the real deal of a lifetime! He paid the ultimate price for our sins, so that we can live in a close relationship with our heav- enly father for all eternity.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the free and best gift of all! You! Amen

Deb Hill
Executive Administrative Assistant

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