Who Wrote it? Reverend Sergei Sosedkin on "The Power of a Grateful Heart"

By Josh DeGroot

October 31, 2016

Have you ever finished reading your daily Today devotion and wondered what inspired the author’s thoughts and reflections? If so, our “Who Wrote It” feature is just for you. Listen to this podcast interview and follow along with the transcript below to learn more about this month’s author and what he hopes you might take away from this series.

Josh DeGroot – Welcome to todaydevotional.com’s Who Wrote It, where we get to know our Today authors better and understand the inspiration behind their writing. Back to God Ministries own Reverend Sergei Sosedkin is joining us today to talk about his vision on Thanksgiving, and we are happy he is on; so, Sergei, thanks for coming on.

Sergei Sosedkin - Thank you.

Josh DeGroot – I think most people would expect a Thanksgiving type of devotional around the American Thanksgiving holiday, but it seems to be more of how can we still be thankful in such difficult times like we are experiencing today? So, why, first and foremost, did you choose this topic?

Sergei Sosedkin – Right; well, it wasn’t so much about the Thanksgiving holiday, as such, but it is more about thanksgiving…the role that it plays in our relations with God and relations with others. I believe thanksgiving and the desire to be thankful to someone or to something is very human, you know; that is what makes us people; that is what makes us human beings. Animals don’t have this desire to be thankful or to be appreciated.

Josh DeGroot – Right; no, you hit it right on the money there. It is not a typical Thanksgiving read, which is what I liked about it. One of my favorite topics is appreciating our bodies, as you say, because you talk about taking care of yourself, which, let’s be honest, people don’t do. They battle anxiety, depression, over-eating, etc., turning them essentially into unhealthy people, as you say. What is the best way, in your opinion, to be healthy with God?

Sergei Sosedkin – To be healthy with God, first of all we have to know God; we have to know him in the person of Jesus Christ and to be assured of his love for us; and then this knowledge naturally brings about our desire to be thankful to him for what he did for us. After that, we can be better followers of him, you know. Without appreciating what he has done for us, what he is doing for us, we cannot go on; and that is, I believe, one of the problems for our contemporary culture; that we are focusing on the negative things and we are forgetting about the positive parts, and we have no time. Oftentimes it is like we are lacking time to say thank you to God, and to say thank you to people who love us, who are around us, and support us.

Josh DeGroot – That is a good point.

Sergei Sosedkin – So in terms of taking care of bodies, I believe, you know…a physical body, in a sense we can compare it to a car that as a teenager we receive from our parents for a short drive. So, in this sense, God gives us our bodies, you know. They might not be perfect, but that is what we have, and just like our earthly father or earthly parents expected us to take good care of this car that was given to us just for a short while, not to wreck it; it is very similar with the physical body that we receive from God, and we are called to take care of it; and it is similar to our soul as well, you know. We have it and we are expected to take good care of it – to nurture it and to live with God in our spiritual life.

Josh DeGroot – I love the car comparison. I first drove a 1989 Aerostar…

Sergei Sosedkin – And you didn’t wreck it, right, hopefully? Yes.

Josh DeGroot – That is exactly right. You talk about finding Jesus at 18, and being on fire with sharing the gospel, but then you were more smart, as you say, about spreading the gospel, and you do it in more of a tactful manner. When you come across great people who just refuse to accept the gospel, do you just say: “I will pray for you and love you regardless;” or is this something that is deeper within you and it kind of eats away at you?

Sergei Sosedkin – The Lord is working in their hearts. Here actually I am reminded of the testimony of my own grandmother, who for many years was the only Christian in my whole extended family.

Josh DeGroot – Right.

Sergei Sosedkin – So she prayed for us and she talked to us about God, and she showed her Christian love to us in her daily interactions with us for many years, you know; well, in my case it was almost, you can say, for 18 years because she played a big role in my life from the very beginning and as I was growing up. So, she never gave up, and I was actually the first Christian in our extended family that I believe in a big part became a Christian because of her prayers; and that is why I am so thankful for her prayer, for her testimony, and she didn’t give up; and then in the end, the Lord used her efforts mightily, and most of my extended family, actually, they became Christians. You know, my parents and my sister and my uncle, and my grandfather, my grandmother’s husband. So, that is how the Lord works; and we can be only thankful to him for that.

Josh DeGroot – You can hear that story in the November Today devotional.

Okay, last thing: Thanksgiving is upon us, or perhaps when you are listening to this, it is already here. If you could challenge our readers and listeners in a new way this Thanksgiving, what would it be?

Sergei Sosedkin – I would be thankful to people who are around us. Did we say thanks, you know, where they are due, because it is very often that we take other people’s love and care for granted…

Josh DeGroot – Sure.

Sergei Sosedkin – And then maybe sometime later…many years later we feel sorry that we didn’t say thank you, because now it is too late. Maybe geographically we are separated, or sometimes death maybe separated us, and now it is too late. So, please do not wait for the time when you feel it is too late to say thank you to God and to say thank you to your neighbor or to your loved one.

Josh DeGroot – Excellent point. Reverend Sergei Sosedkin, the author of November’s Today devotional, thank you so much for coming on.

Sergei Sosedkin – Thank you, Josh.

Josh DeGroot – A great read this month from him. Check it out and be refreshed, refocused, renewed through God’s Word at todaydevotional.com.

About the author — Josh DeGroot

Josh DeGroot is a graduate of Columbia College in Chicago. Josh began as a sound engineer with Back to God Ministries International in July 2008. In addition to the "Who Wrote It?" interviews for Today, Josh works on almost every audio project produced by Back to God in the US. He also writes and produces episodes for our sister ministry, the children's program, Kids Corner. Josh lives in Alsip, IL with his wife. They are expecting their first child.

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