Those of us who are parents know what it is like to teach gratitude to our children. ‘Say, thank you!’ we charge repeatedly. Our hope is that the repeated exhortations will pay off and they will automatically and respectfully remember to thank any person who shows them some kindness. While we may be able to effectively deal with their outward behavior, we cannot, without divine power, change their hearts. That is, we cannot make them grateful. When God saves a person and fills them with His Holy Spirit one of the sure signs that He has done so is that they will give thanks always and for all things to the Father through the Lord Jesus (Eph. 5:20). Some time ago my wife and I came across this statement by Alexander Mclaren which has had a profound effect upon our home. He said, “Seek to cultivate a buoyant, joyous sense of the crowded kindnesses of God in your daily life.” To help with this my wife created the poster shown above which hangs in a prominent place in our home. Through the months various members of the family have written down the things, people, and places that stir gratitude in our hearts toward God. In the center of the poster are those things which are unchanging and eternal, on the outside are the things that are of this age. Of all the things that you will do this week, few will be repeated in eternity. But every time you are thankful to God you are engaging in a heavenly and eternal work. If you do not create your own poster to hang in your home (and if you make one, make it big–there is much for which ought to render thanks), at least create one in your heart!
November 26, 2013
Always And For All Things