Thursday, November 8, 2018

“Thanksliving” Part 4 - Gratitude, Faith, and Faithfulness

(Friends: during the next few weeks, as we approach the observance of thanksgiving in the United States, many (perhaps all) of the messages will address the theme of thanksgiving and gratitude.  Thanks, Glen)


Part 4 - Gratitude, Faith, and Faithfulness

  No attitude of the heart should be more cultivated by born again believers than thanksgiving.  Indeed, genuine and consistent gratitude reveals that we understand who God is, who we are, and how creation functions in both Divine provision and creaturely dependence.  Such awareness leads to the faith and faithfulness of life in the Spirit and Truth of the Lord Jesus Christ.  

    "Thou openest Thine hand and satisfieth the desire of every living thing… Lead me in Thy truth" (Psalm 145:16; 25:5).

   Life seems to be very earthly and human.  It is.  However, life is actually far more Divine, that is, the entirety of a universe beyond our ability to measure exists by the originating and sustaining determination of God.

    "All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made" (John 1:3).
   "By Him all things consist… upholding all things by the Word of His power" (Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:3).

    Such truth reveals that every creature relies on the Maker and Sustainer of all things.  For living, breathing things, this means that every respiration is the direct gift of the Spirit of God (interestingly, the Hebrew word for "spirit" -ruwach - can also be translated as "breath").  Thus, the most basic function of physical existence and survival - breathing - reveals the utter dependency of creatures and the perpetual provision of the Creator.  Little wonder that the Psalms conclude with the declaration, "Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord!" (Psalm 150:6).

   The more we realize that "He giveth to all life and breath and all things," the more we will be filled with awed appreciation and the desire to express our hearts in grateful acknowledgment of the great Giver (Acts 17:25).  We do not become more thankful by seeking to become more thankful.  We rather seek to better know God and understand His Truth.  Such growth in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus opens the valves of our heart for a flood of gratitude to fill us, and then to flow from us to our Heavenly Father.  "He that believeth on Me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water" (John 7:38).  Every breath we breathe comes to us as the direct gift of God.  All others things follow suit.  Thus, life is Divine for "every living thing", whether the Truth is known or not.  For the born believer, such knowledge illuminates our hearts, and then infuses our spirits with the grateful attitude that leads to greater devotion to faith, obedience, and the desire to honor, please, and obey God.  No more important atmosphere of the heart exists in our walk with the Lord, and our life lived through Him for His glory.

"Offer unto God thanksgiving, and pay thy vows unto the most High."
(Psalm 50:14)

Weekly Memory Verse
   And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks unto God and the Father by Him.
(Colossians 3:17)


No comments: