Just watched ‘Saving Private Ryan’. A great movie with lots of action, a great cast, and a story that has to pull at heartstrings. Something really hit me hard at the end of the movie. Tom Hanks, Capt. Miller, whispers to Matt Damon, Private Ryan, “earn this. Earn it.” Then the ending goes on to show Private Ryan as an older gentleman, saluting the grave of Capt. Miller. Hello waterworks. Do we earn the freedom that so many soldiers have sacrificed their lives for? Are we truly grateful for them and what they gave? Do we even think about them? Then an even greater thought comes to mind; We have a Father that gave His ONLY incarnate son to die for our souls. Do we earn that each day? Are we grateful? Do we even think about that? The good thing is that we don’t have to earn it. How awesome of a God do we serve that He doesn’t expect or even want us to ‘earn’ what was given for us. Our lives shouldn’t be lived trying to earn what was given. It should be lived in gratitude of that sacrifice. A gratitude that shows in the smile on your face; a gratitude that shows in your willingness to help strangers; a gratitude that shows in leading by serving; a gratitude that shows in the most mundane activities. Slowly you will find that this life of gratitude has turned into a life worthy of the sacrifice. This shouldn’t be our objective though, for the relationship we will have with our Father is most definitely worth any sacrifice that we can give ourselves. So I urge you brothers and sisters, do not live by merit but by thanks. Thanks be to God, our Father, for the living sacrifice of His son for our souls.