Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joyfulness of [mind and] heart [in gratitude] for the abundance of all [with which He had blessed you],
Therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the Lord shall send against you, in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and in want of all things; and He will put a yoke of iron upon your neck until He has destroyed you.
Deuteronomy 28: 47-48
Asking ourselves about our own motives in acting, speaking and living can yield an increase in our spiritual joy . In the last several days we’ve talked about aiming toward having our lives express gratitude to God.
We see that God’s best will for us is that we live our lives expressing gratitude for God and the gift of Christ with a joyful mind and heart. Gratitude frees us from iron yokes, destruction and clothes our nakedness.
So it makes sense that we make a daily practice of gratitude.
I was fortunate enough to have a mom that required me from a young age to write thank-you notes for gifts received. Increasingly, we see this practice less frequently.
Typically a good thank-you note acknowledges the nature of the gift itself…thank you for the scarf, book or contribution. It then extols some virtue of the giver, thoughtfulness, love, consideration, kindness, selflessness. Finally, it expresses to the giver how the gift is being used-the scarf is keeping my neck warm during the cold weather- or, I read the book of poems at night before going to sleep- or, the contribution will be used to buy furniture for our new house.
Then, think about how being thankful for gifts you get from someone makes them more prone to give you more gifts in the future, whereas not acknowledging the gift or letting it spoil or go to waste may cut off further gifts. Gratitude or ingratitude perpetuates two different cycles.
So, consider these principles when formulating daily gratitude to God.
“Thank you for your unyielding love for me as expressed through your Son’s sacrifice. You are the source of eternal life, which I do not deserve and cannot earn myself. Because of your gift to me, I will sacrificially serve those you put in my path.”
Here, we not only thank God but name the gift, We extol a quality of God. We express to God how we will use the gift.
Deliberate, daily and disciplined thanksgiving, even in the midst grief or difficulty will produce spiritual joy and freedom.
Share what you are grateful for below and how you’ll use whatever you’ve been given!
All the Best in 2013!