Editor's Note: 2020 , "It's the Spiritual Gifts for Me!"

Ephesians 2:8-10 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Paul was in jail and in chains when he wrote a letter to the church in Ephesus, encouraging the people to remember who they were in God and to live a life that was worthy of the calling they received. There were some who were Gentiles ( a nation that did not belong to God in the Old Testament), and some who were Israelites (the chosen nation), in Ephesus,  and in his letter; Paul  reminded the people to be grateful for the Spiritual Blessing of their Salvation.  As we near the end of the year 2020, I think about where I was last year and how much He has changed me. God has provided for me materially and financially; but most importantly, I am grateful for the spiritual gifts. Here are the Spiritual Gifts I am grateful for this year:

1. Discernment- The understanding of right versus wrong. "to distinguish mentally; recognize as distinct or different; discriminate" dictionary.com

1 Samuel 25:33 May you be blessed for your good judgment and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands.

2. Change: I am changing every day. Sometimes I wake up and I am like "God, I know this has to be you changing me. My thoughts are changing, my beliefs are changing, my emotions are changing. It's nobody but you God". 

 1 Corinthians 13:11 "When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.

3. Identity Reminders: I am a child of God. Before I would act a certain way in my own flesh, say what I want to say and do what I want to do, but I am learning I cannot for I am not my own. I am a work in progress, and make mistakes sometimes; however, there is not a day God does not remind me that I need to focus and focus on what He want's me to do. This includes a lot of sacrifice.

Romans 8:17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

4. Purpose- My own purpose limits me, but God's purpose for my life exceeds my expectations, grows me, challenges me. I was bought with a price.

 1 Corinthians 6:20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

Though many things are going on in the world and it is a strange time, there is much to be grateful for. Material things are nice, but most importantly God has given us a new life. Everyday is a day to start anew. We are in a time where holidays are just around the corner and many will think of what they do not have, but I encourage you to think about what you do have. From Life, to health, to a sane mind, to new ways of thinking;  there is much to be grateful for.  May we bring in the New Year Grateful.

Be Encouraged,