Choosing Gratitude 6

Romans 11:36
For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever, Amen.

“See if like Robertson McQuilkin you find your heart for God renewed by what he called ‘the reflex action of thanksgiving. My love flamed up from the dying embers, and my spirit soared. I discovered that ingratitude impoverishes–but that a heavy heart lifts on the wings of praise.'” pg. 178

30 days of thanksgiving:

51. Opposition to the Gospel, for it demonstrates that the truth is not of this world

52. Opposition to believers’ proclamation of truth, for though the world disapproves, God approves

53. Disbelief, demonstrating that the truth is not determined by how many believe it, but by Who declares it

54. Sufficient atonement to cover the sins of all who will turn to Christ alone

55. The protection of the Lord around His children

56. The lifting up out of despair that the Lord affects in the lives of His children

57. The listening and hearing ear of the Lord – His attention to our cries

58. The Lord’s sustaining power demonstrated vividly as we accomplish tasks beyond our strength

59. Sleep – ordained by God to replenish our energy for living the lives He has ordained for us

60. Courage – a gift from God for facing the circumstances He brings us into

(These came to mind as I read Psalm 3 today.)

Choosing Gratitude 5

Ephesians 5:15-17

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Question: How should this verse be lived out practically, in light of the preceding verses that speak of the change from darkness to light that God affected in our lives and in light of the following verses that speak of giving thanks to God for all things?

30 days of thanksgiving:

41. Laundry washing machine

42. Laundry dryer

43. Plenty of clothing

44. The Lord’s sovereign guidance, often through circumstances

45. Nancy Leigh DeMoss’s ministry

46. The opportunity every summer to spend time with people from all over the world

47. CreativeLIVE classroom where I can learn more about photography

48. My dad’s enthusiastic picture-taking when I was young

49. Men who study God’s Word to expound it well

50. Elders who keep close watch on the flock of God

Choosing Gratitude 4

Personalization of Psalm 103:1-5:

O my soul, speak well of the Lord. Exalt Him. Magnify Him. Give Him the place of honor He deserves. All that is within me, pay Him respect. Cherish Him with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength. Let no part of my life rob Him of glory. May all that is within me proclaim that He is holy!

O my soul, do not forget all that the Lord has done. Remember the many undeserved mercies He freely showers upon me. Remember the many times He helped through some hardship. Remember the many provisions He has bestowed upon me. Never have I suffered want. Never have I needed what He has not provided.

30 days of thanksgiving:

31. Dew in the morning

32. Hydrangeas

33. Times at the ocean

34. The little children whose parents ask me to spend time with them

35. Last summer, wherein God gave me the strength to complete my undergraduate studies

36. Special times at the Japanese Park

37. Capable dentists

38. Hearing that gunshot/s in our street (vivid reminder that my God protects)

39. Seeing those burning tires in the streets (vivid reminder that my God protects)

40. Dear homeschooling comrades many years ago in a faraway land

Choosing Gratitude 3

30 days of thanksgiving:

21. Opportunity to work at a Christian ministry every week

22. Opportunity to work at a Christian bookstore every week

23. The ability to drive

24. The ability to read

25. The ability to think

26. Coffee

27. Tea

28. A powerful laptop

29. A powerful camera

30. Picture editing software

Choosing Gratitude 2

30 days of thanksgiving:

11. God’s grace, which I don’t just not deserve, but the opposite of which I do deserve.

12. A caring church family

13. Sunshine

14. Summertime warmth

15. A backyard perfect for tanning walks

16. Kindle books to read while walking

17. A friend’s wedding coming up in a month

18. Shelves to maintain order

19. A working oven to experiment with recipes for baked treats

20. Bilingualism

Choosing Gratitude 1

It really shouldn’t be so hard to spend time with the Lover of my soul, but it is. Perhaps it is meant to be so that I will realize it is only by His enabling that I will want Him more than my pitiful momentary pleasures.

Recently, I added Nancy Leigh DeMoss’s book Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy to my library. In the back of the book, it contains a 30-day devotional series. I’m doing it for the next 30 days, and plan to blog short meditations daily to keep on track with this much-needed study.

So, here goes:

—–

Poem from the front of the book:

Gratefulnesse

Thou that has given so much to me, Give me one thing more–a grateful heart….

…I cry, and cry again;

And in no quiet canst Thou be,

Till I a thankful heart obtain

Of Thee.

Not thankful when it pleases me,

As if Thy blessings had spare days;

But such a heart, whose pulse may be

Thy praise.

George Herbert (1593-1633)

—–

Colossians 3:12-17

Verse 17: “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

It seems that thankfulness is largely shown by how I spend my time. If I truly am grateful to the Lord for His mercy to me, and I realize that He could have thrown me in the pit of hell long ago, I will have no greater desire to please Him with the time He has allotted me here on earth. I am fully and only His because He has purchased me at such a great price. I owe Him my all. Lord, remind of this because I forget all the time!

30 days of thanksgiving:

1. Mercy of my God

2. God’s keeping of me when I repeatedly go my own way

3. Truth-proclaiming songs

4. Exhortation by other believers to remember the goodness of our God

5. Diverse styles of worship to the glory of a creative Creator

6. People all around me who demonstrate unconditional love

7. Opportunities to explore God’s wonderful creation

8. Parents who help me walk in the way God has planned out for me

9. Brothers who spend time with me despite my many faults

10. The time God has ordained for me on this earth to give back to Him