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We come to the end of our series Building Blocks of Gratitude with the sermon Genuine Grace.  We need a revival of grace in our lives and hearts, especially as we come to Thanksgiving Day. Unfortunately, there is a prevailing sense of entitlement that makes us believe that we deserve more. Unfortunately, there is a focus on materialism that robs us of thinking that we have enough. Unfortunately, there is a deeply rooted cult of celebrity that makes us believe that we cannot be enough. All of these things conspire to give us an attitude of anger or despair. What about our relationship with God? God wants the best for our lives, yet it is clear that we are broken and we are not enough to live up to what God desires. Where is the hope? The power of grace fills all of scripture. Yes, we are broken but God’s grace can redeem and restore us. We turn to 2 Corinthians 8:1-9.  Paul is writing to the Corinthians to encourage them to fulfill their commitment to share in an offering to support God’s people in Jerusalem who were going through a famine. He shares with the Corinthians the example of the Macedonian Christians who were in enduring some desperate difficulties, but grace gave them such joy that they exceeded everyone’s expectations in their giving. They were a lesson to the Apostle Paul in the power of genuine grace.  It led these believers to a joyful hope that their lives were more than they could imagine because of what God had done for them. This is the hope we need for this Thanksgiving, but how do we find it?  These words were to the Corinthians, but through the Holy Spirit they give us a compelling path to this hope in 2021!  As you read 2 Corinthians 8:1-9 we pray that grace in God’s complete and underserved love, will fill your heart to overflowing!  2 Corinthians 8:1 And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. 5 And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. 6 So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. 7 But since you excel in everything– in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you– see that you also excel in this grace of giving. 8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:1-9 NIV)