Monday, August 22, 2011

Grace Realized, Gratitude Expressed

    "O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto Thee for ever" (Psalm 30:12).
     An eternity of unceasing gratitude awaits the hearts of those who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.  More to the point, an eternity of unceasing cause for gratitude awaits us in the presence of the God whose gracious generosity knows no bounds.
     Thanksgiving is the fruit of a determined awareness to realize and affirm that "every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights" (James 1:17).  At present, this sensibility must be cultivated in our hearts and minds because "we see through a glass darkly," and because our spiritual enemies seek to distract us from remembering our complete dependence on God, and more importantly, His complete faithfulness to us.  Thus, David expressed the determination that we should seek to keep fresh in our hearts, and among each other: "I will remember the works of the Lord; surely I will remember Thy wonders of old" (Psalm 77:11).
      Such remembrance will flow naturally in Heaven.  Our sensibilities will be glorified, and there will be no foes to hinder the realization of God's lavish bestowal of goodness upon us.  The sweetness of a perpetually grateful heart will bless ourselves and our Heavenly Father with a perfection of loving relationship wherein both parties know who and what they are to each other.  "This God is our God forever... we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture" (Psalm 48:14; 100:3).
    In our present existence, we will not attain to full realization of God's supply and our need.  Accordingly, even the most grateful believing heart responds only in limited measure.  We can, however, seek a growing consistency of gratitude by seeking a growing awareness in Scripture and in our lives of how much our Lord loves to give, and how continually we receive.  "He giveth to all life and breath and all things" (Acts 17:25).  To whatever degree we presently know and affirm this fundamental truth of our existence, we need to know and affirm it more.  As we grow in such grace realized, we shall also grow in gratitude expressed to the Life of our lives and the Provider of all things.  Mutual blessedness will result in our present existence, promising and foreshadowing a glorious eternity of giving and thanksgiving to come...
"But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus."
(Ephesians 2:4-7). 

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