Filled with Gratitude

By the grace of God, I have been granted another year of life. Looking back, I consider my first eighteen years a “waste” mainly because I did not honor Christ as Lord.

The last five years have been challenging in so many ways, but the hand of God has never been more evident in my life.

About three years ago, I started doing something different on my birthday. Instead of celebrating me, I celebrated God by setting some time aside to give Him all the praise and worship that is due to His name!

On my birthday, I celebrate the gift of life and reflect on my God-given purpose. In a way, it’s a time to refocus mentally and recharge spiritually. I take some time off to be alone with the Lord, my loving Creator, and connect with Him through prayer and solitude.

Why do I do this? It is simple: to reflect on life and give thanks to God. It is kind of like a spiritual check-in with my heavenly Father.

Here am I Lord. Thank you for another year of life. I have tasted and seen your goodness. Thank you for everything. I renew my commitment to you. I dedicate this new year to you and put it in your hands. May your will be done in my life. Help me to number my days and live in light of eternity and serve you with excellence, integrity, and passion. May you be the center of it all this year. In Jesus name, amen.

You see, my life belongs to Jesus and Jesus alone. He graciously chose to create me and put me on this earth with a glorious purpose—to glorify Him and spread His fame across the nations. That mission is what keeps me going even through life’s most difficult circumstances.

Living for the glory of God—striving to pursue and honor and treasure and value and praise Him above all things—has become my heart’s desire and my ultimate aim in life.

Living for the glory of God has become, indeed, a motto I try to live by everyday. (If you know me, I hope that this stands out to you as one of my core values). I feel like it is part of my DNA or something. It is just the way I am wired—I was created by Him and for Him. And I have resolved to live for His glory.

As I look back, I am filled with gratitude for the love, mercy, grace, favor, and provision of the Lord these last few years. I am forever indebted to Him!

All that I am, and all that I have accomplished thus far in life would not be possible without the grace of God.

I am thankful for my family, in particular, my beloved parents and wonderful sisters. Thanks for putting up with me all these years. You are all a gift from God!

I am also thankful for all the friends, colleagues, classmates, teachers, pastors, leaders, mentors, co-workers, classmates, and middle school and high school students, that I have the great honor and privilege of knowing and serving.

There is no doubt that God has used each and every single one of you, in some way, to impact, influence, and/or shape me into the man that I am today.

Thank you all for the birthday wishes. I highly value and appreciate you all!

For His glory,

Jonnathan Menendez

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