“Thou that hast given so much to me,
Give one thing more–a grateful heart:
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if thy blessings had spare days,
But such a heart whose Pulse may be
Archive for Thankfulness
Sometimes when life gets hard, here we forget that the same gospel that rescued us is the gospel that makes living for God’s glory possible.
We were once under the curse of sin, and headed for destruction. But God intervened, rescued us and is now restoring us to look like his son and our Saviour, Jesus Christ and to make us useful for His kingdom.
Sin had done a number on us. We chose it, loved it and were under its curse. Our sin separated us from God. And we sought it. Knowingly.
Romans 1 tells us that we all start out with a knowledge of God. Then we digress. We become unthankful, unwise– though we think we are enlightened– and we become fools.
“For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever.”
We dreamed up a God of our own liking. Something that would fit what we wanted. This is different for every person. Some worship the earth, rocks, idols made of wood, money, etc. Whatever you are pursuing in your life wholeheartedly is your god.
And the scary thing is that God lets us make our own choice.
Pretty miserable place to be…
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us” intervened.
Jesus came to save us because we could not save ourselves.
No amount of good works, church attendance, feeding the poor, helping the homeless is going to help. Why? Because God makes the rules, and He said that grace is what saves us. Through faith in Jesus Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.
Jesus said , “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.”
“He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
If God made all things, he has the final say. Period.
You may think this post unloving, but it is actually the epitome of love.
Imagine a friend who was dying of cancer, and she really believed that by sucking on a rock, she would be healed. Would you hem and haw and say “She really believesthat what she is doing is right. Who am I to say that chemotherapy is the way to go?”
No, that would be absurd. That would be living a fantasy. No matter how earnestly she believed that sucking a rock would help her, she would be wrong. And you could at least tell her about chemotherapy and hope she listened. The point is, you would warn someone you cared about if you believed that they were believing a lie.
It is the same with the gospel. It is a free gift. It is because of the amazing grace of God. It is ours because he loved us. That is just the way God is. But it is your choice. You can accept it or reject it. But, realize that your choices have eternal consequences.
Once you have trusted your soul to Christ for safekeeping, he will enable you to live for him. The same grace that saves you is available to help you to live each day for His glory. If your life is a mess of sin and despair, look to him for grace. “God is able to make all grace abound toward you, so that you ALWAYS having all sufficiency can abound to every good work.”
I have been meditating on contentment for a few weeks. Scripture tells us that godliness coupled with contentment is great gain, or worth so much. I have been so blessed to know other sisters in Christ that have less than I do, but have hearts of gratitude and contentment more so than I could ever imagine. They have a secret that I am fighting to get. Contentment.
I struggle with contentment as most of us probably do. But the thing that struck me lately is that I cannot be godly and discontent. Discontentment is unhappiness with what the Lord has provided. It is Satan’s age-old lie to me that I need more, I deserve more, I must.have. more. Satan wants us to believe that we don’t have enough. That God is withholding something from us. He gave that line to Eve, and he gives it to me.
But God tells me something totally different. He says that He will never withhold any good thing from me. He supplies all of my NEEDS.( REALITY SLAP: A Pottery Barn home is not a need. An Audi is not a need. Talbot’s clothing is not a need. You get what I am saying. Americans live in the top 97th percentile of wealth in the whole world- 97 of 100 people in the world live poorer than I do. , but there is always one thing more that I want when the catalogs pour into my mailbox. Just throw them away! I digress. )
I was talking with another woman in ministry this past week about contentment. We discussed how easy it is to be discontent when we feel like our “wants” are good, right things (family time, unity in ministry, loving spouse.) It is easy to become self-righteous in our desire for good things. Our desires are okay, but when our desire for those good things morph into demands, look out. You are clenching your fist at God and saying “I need this, and you are withholding it. And I will fight to get it, “ instead of letting God teach you and perfect you through an obvious trial. Assess the situation and choose to count the trial as ” joy.” (James 1 ) God is working. He is in control.
If you are purposing to be content, even in the “bad things”, we are journeying together. Let’s purpose to be satisfied in Christ alone and knowing Him.
Some quotes on contentment to feed your soul:
I Tim. 6:8 “But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.”
Discontent is a sin that is its own punishment and makes men torment themselves; it makes the spirit sad, the body sick, and all the enjoyments sour; it is the heaviness of the heart and the rottenness of the bones. It is a sin that is its own parent. It arises not from the condition, but from the mind. As we find Paul contented in a prison, so Ahab discontent in a palace.Matthew Henry
“Contentment is possible only as we cultivate and maintain that attitude of accepting everything which enters our lives as coming from the Hand of Him who is too wise to err, and too loving to cause one of His children a needless tear.”
- A.W. Pink
For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Colossians 3: 15 “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed your were called in one body. And be thankful.”
A thankful heart is peaceful and content. In it, Christ is ruling and Christ is enough. Thankfulness flows and peace abounds when Christ is the final goal.
I feel especially blessed this week as I count my blessings. Everything in life is sifted through the loving hands of God to me. And I am told to give thanks. So I am counting.
My sister Bethy had a newborn baby, Leah Mae.
I got to hold and cuddle little Leah and whisper into her newborn ears the truth that God loves her.
Lunch out with my mother at Panera Bread. Love her!
Late night movies with my teenage daughters. Who doesn’t love a good BBC drama?
Lunch out with a friend, which included laughter and encouraging each other to follow hard after God and nothing else.
Flower delivery for Valentine’s Day. Red tulips and puprle iris…plus a mushy note.
A Valentine’s Day Dinner with Peter…and our five children.
Progress made on math concepts with Hope. Counting change is sooo hard!
Snow melting and weather warming. The girls were able to swing!
There are so many more…if I choose to see.
I am so overwhelmed with thankfulness right now. The girls had friends over for the night, and my 15 and 17 year old went to work anticipating all of the fun things they could do with their cousin. They decided that they would throw a Christmas party, even though it is still October. They strung up lights, wrapped their bedroom door festively, planned for hot cocoa with candy canes and chose Christmas music. It makes my heart glad that they are happy with what we have here in the house and are still able to have a good time doing wholesome things.
The oldest three girls and I read a chapter from a devotional by Elizabeth George for teen girls. The chapter was on serving others in love. I couldn’t help but think of my girls who did so much to make a pleasant night for all of us.
We all sat and decorated gingerbread houses, took pictures and enjoyed our premature Christmas activities.
I am savoring every moment of my children’s childhood. It is all too fleeting and I am constantly aware of that. I can still remember the first time we decorated gingerbread houses with Rebekah so long ago.
If you have young children, flash ahead in your mind ten years. How old will they be? What will they be doing?
Now, hug them tight and go to work putting your all into being the kind of mother you ought to be. Mother to the glory of God. Do it with all that you have in you. It is tiring sometimes, but so is every other kind of work. Just do it. And in the end you will have no regrets.
Do not be a distracted mother. Or worse, a mother who lets her kids know that they are a bother. Befriend your child. Win their heart. In ten years, you’ll wish you could go back for just one more day and push that child on the swing or roll a ball with him. You’ll wish for one afternoon to sit and read a book or have a cup of hot chocolate and conversation. You’ll wish you had another day to teach him God’s word and encourage them to trust Christ.
Do it now today. God has given you today, but we have no guarantee for tomorrow.
What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~Martin Luther