“To be grateful is to recognize the love of God in everything He has given us — and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him.” – Thomas Merton (Thoughts on Solitude)
“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” Psalm 118:1 (NKJV)
It is good to give God thanks. A grateful heart is one that appreciates the love and sacrifice of Christ. And since each new day is a gift, we shouldn’t be caught wasting our time on meaningless pursuits. How then are you using today to thank and glorify God?
Because Jesus willingly took our sins upon the cross, we are able to approach God as His adopted children. Eternal life is our sweet reward. But while we are on earth, we should use our time wisely.
I believe earthly lessons, and the wisdom gained from them, will be carried with us into heaven. Earth is our Prep School, so I encourage you to learn as much as you can about God. Reading the Bible increases knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. Scripture should also inspire and motivate you into action and service. Jesus was all about service and timely action.
When thankfulness for God’s grace is apparent, He is able to turn our heart of stone into one that is pliable and usable for service. Hearts full of bitterness and anger are often caught up and distracted by supposed injustices. These hearts spend their time voicing stories of how they have been wronged, rather than proclaiming the ways God has provided.
Someone who sees the goodness in a person, rather than focusing on their faults, are following in the steps of Jesus. Prostitutes, Tax Collectors, and Thieves all had sins apparent to Christ. But with unconditional love guiding our Lord, He chooses to see the good and not just the sin. Jesus never excused transgressions, but He understood that repentance started with love and acceptance.
With each new moment of the day there is new grace to be found. We do not have to wait for the sun to set or rise to receive new and abundant grace and mercy. The grace of God is never ending and limitless. This fact alone should make our hearts sing with thanks.
God has given us everything we need to run our race with love and mercy. We are well equipped. Within each believer the Holy Spirit lives, serving as our guide and counselor. Is this not another reason to thank God daily?
Surely there have been many occasions in your life that give witness to His divine intervention and grace. Are these not worthy to share with those around you? They provide material and opportunities to give God the glory and praise He deserves.
With ALL of your heart, not just part of your heart, thank God and praise Him for His immeasurable love and grace. Look at each new day as a new beginning, and an opportunity to show Him how grateful you are for all He has done for you. Recognize that the trials in your life have been orchestrated out of love and for a reason. They are meant to refine and transform you. Oh, praise the Lord for each new day, and each new challenge, and each new person He sends our way.
MEDITATE ON THESE WORDS OF WISDOM
“I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders. I will be glad and exult in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High. When my enemies turn back, they stumble and perish before You. For You have maintained my just cause; You have sat on the throne judging righteously.” Psalm 9:1-4 (NAS)
“For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.” 1 Timothy 4:4-5 (NKJV)
“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
“Thankfulness is the ‘chief exercise of godliness’ in which we ought to engage during the whole of our life. ‘Gratitude is the heart … of the Christian life.’” -Unknown