Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 20, 2015
Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them. But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord. Jonah 2:8-9
My gratitude gets me to God in grateful praise. It’s my worshipful heart that wanders into the land of thankfulness and settles my soul on the homestead of the Lord’s wonder. My imagination expands into creative thinking when I am thankful to Jesus for His everlasting salvation. His Spirit shows me possibilities that ungratefulness cannot comprehend. God’s guarantee of gratitude is Himself. Gratitude leads me to the Lord. The end goal of my thankful soul is the Shepherd of my soul. Gratitude helps me trust God’s goodness. It inspires me to do good with God.
Jonah struggled to have a grateful heart toward God. He did not want to leave his comfort zone and disturb the comfort of Nineveh’s naysayers. Thus, the Lord took Jonah through a gauntlet of adversity to develop within him a heart of gratitude to God. In his darkest moment he released his worthless idols of fear and selfishness and embraced grateful praise and sacrifice to the Almighty. Once Jonah acknowledged the Lord as his salvation, he was delivered into the light. He made good on his vow to do good. His gratitude intersected with God’s grace.
“All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God” (2 Corinthians 4:15).
Do you direct your gratitude to God first? For example, when thanking someone—make it a habit to first thank the Lord for them. A wife or husband might say to their spouse, “I thank God for bringing you into my life.” A friend might acknowledge another friend as a gift from the Lord. Thank your heavenly Father first and He is sure to get the glory of your gratitude. Gratitude praises God for what it has and trusts God for what it doesn’t have. Yes, energy explodes where appreciation is evident. Gratitude is guaranteed to give life to the giver.
Almighty God is the author of our salvation. He is the Creator of our complex creation. Thus, we are grateful for the big things in life: God, family, freedom, friends and health. We are simultaneously grateful for the little things in life: a sunrise, a sunset, rest, a good meal, a smile and the coo of an infant. Gratitude is hopeful, helpful, gracious, generous and worshipful. Right now let’s bow our heads and thank the Lord for our abundant life in Christ. Gratitude never gets over the fact that it does not have to pay God back. It is a guarantee that draws us closer to Jesus.
“And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, keep my focus on You, the gift giver—not on the gift.
Post/Tweet this today: Gratitude praises God for what it has and trusts God for what it doesn’t have. #gratitude #wisdomhunters
Additional Resource: 4 minute music video- Sara Groves: Twice as Good
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