Basketball star LeBron James pledged to give $42 million in 4-year scholarships to 1100 students. He believes his gift will make a huge difference, not only in the lives of the underserved students but in the entire community. He says he’s doing this to show his gratitude to the community because of what the community has meant to him. Gratitude can be a huge motivator for giving back. Years ago, gratitude moved Hannah to dedicate her son to God. For years, she was childless and it grieved her deeply, so she prayed that God would give her a boy. In praying, she told God if He gave her a son, she would dedicate him to serve God all his life. God answered her prayer and she kept her word. We read this in 1 Samuel 1 as she dedicated her son Samuel, she said to Eli the priest, “I am the very woman who stood here several years ago praying to the Lord. I asked the Lord to give me this boy, and he has granted my request. Now I am giving him to the Lord, and he will belong to the Lord his whole life.” Today, when we consider God’s many blessings to us, including the incomparable gifts of His Son and eternal life, gratitude should move us to give back to Him our entire lives.

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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