In 1947, Brooklyn Dodger manager Branch Rickey hired the first African American baseball player, Jackie Robinson. Robinson was so grateful he had broken the racial segregation barrier that after retiring from baseball in 1956, he spent the rest of his life urging baseball teams to sign African Americans. Before he died, 150 Black players were in the major leagues. People show gratitude by their actions. God explained to Moses how his people should show gratitude for his blessings to them. We read in Deuteronomy 26 that upon entering the Promised Land, they were to take some of their very first crops and bring them to the priest. In worship, they were to express gratitude to God—for delivering them from Egyptian slavery and giving them the land they were living in. Then to further show their gratitude, every third year they were to bring a special tithe of their crops and animals to support the Levites who served and taught them God’s word. This same tithe supported foreigners, orphans, and widows—disadvantaged people. Still today, those who are truly grateful take time to worship God who blesses them. They also give freely to help the less fortunate.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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