Precious Jesus

"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Gratitude

"In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1Thess. 5:18. There are many other Scriptures that speak directly to our 'giving of thanks' to our Lord, but few are so clear-cut. The command is simple, but so neglected. Have we become so complacent in our day to day lives, so in a rush to get to work, take care of the family, etc. that we forget to offer God thanks for His Kindness? Sadly, we must all confess our guilt. It's so easy to fall into the trap (the "snare of the devil") and so hard to see where we are in it, until our Gracious Lord brings it to the forefront of our mind. It is the Christian, the genuine believer, who will become heart broken at the revelation of his neglect; the worldling will just toddle along in his presumptive state making demands on others and maybe the god of his imagination to "bless" him.

We love to say that we have been 'blessed of God" but when was the last time you offered Him thanks for these blessings, not in a general, hurried fashion, but naming the specific things that are considered a blessing. Your spouse, kids, family (pets?), car, job, house/apartment, the food you eat and the clothes you wear. The list should be quite long and growing. Yet all of us have fallen into the presumptive rut provided for us by the world. But it doesn't stop there because the verse says "In everything give thanks" and there is the rub for most people. They see no value in giving thanks to God for the trials, the pain (mental, physical, emotional), the losses, the heartaches. It's not easy to say "thank you, Lord" for such things, but in doing so it keeps away the alternative: complaining. Not only that, but the giving of thanks in all things leads to His peace and the knowledge (comfort) that our God really is in control, even when we do not understand the "why" of certain events.

Going beyond the things of this life, when was the last time you thanked the Lord Jesus for the salvation you now enjoy? Were not all your sins wiped away, washed in His blood and forgiven? Do we take this for granted also and forget to offer Him the thanks due Him for the sacrifice He made to secure our adoption? May it never be so!!! Have we forgotten the pit we were in when He found us, the chains that held us in our sins? Has you memory become so clouded that you've forgotten the Kindness and Love of the Savior as He lead you to Himself? May it never be so!!! Has the joy of knowing that you are saved somehow waned away? Perhaps a little gratitude would be in order. Ingratitude is the cataract of the heart, we no longer see straight, confusion sets in, bewilderment takes hold, and we so easily loose our way. May the Lord, the Holy Spirit, with all His customary Kindness and Gentleness deal with our hearts in this matter of neglected gratitude and turn us back to the Lord Jesus with grateful hearts that strive to never again fall prey to whiles of the wicked one.

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