There are so many things I take for granted in my life. On a day to day basis, I live where I live, eat what I eat, operate a multitude of tools, devices, and gadgets and seldom stop to appreciate the lifestyle I live.
We often do that same thing with what we’ve been given from our Father in the Spirit. We move about our spiritual lives focused more on what we DON’T have rather than on what we DO have – what’s been given to us.
Lent is a wonderful opportunity to prepare ourselves for a renewed infusion of the benefits of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Is it possible to tap into more of that resurrection life? I think so and so did the apostle Paul (Phil. 3:10-14). Here’s one suggestion for doing just that:
I, for one, believe that swapping a “take it for granted” attitude for a thankful heart unlocks deeper “reservoirs” to be filled with this resurrection life. As we move through the Lenten season and look at what He has done for us, let us lift up continuous thanksgiving. Giving thanks, in fact, is an evidence of a Spirit-filled life:
“. . . But be filled with the Spirit . . . Always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father” (Eph. 5:18-20).
Are you Spirit-filled? Then, are you “always giving thanks”?
Years and years ago, my wife Suzanne led a “Good News Club” for the kids in our neighborhood. Chris, a little (at the time) Korean girl, gave her life to Jesus. One day, while riding around with Suzanne, Chris thoughtfully gazed out the window for a few seconds and then said, “You know, we should have been on that cross!” We SHOULD HAVE BEEN.
Give thanks that we weren’t.
Give thanks that Jesus has ushered us into the Father’s presence.
Give thanks that we can come into His presence anytime, anywhere.
Give thanks that we’re the recipients of His love (and, because of this, we can love Him back and love others with His love).
Give thanks that we can now have a new way, a heavenly way, of looking at life.
Give thanks that we’re in His family (that we have fathers and mothers and brothers and sisters in Christ).
Give thanks that we have His word.
Give thanks for the spiritual gifts we have.
Give thanks for the measure of health you have (you are a whole lot “better” than a lot of others).
Give thanks for His provision.
Give that you have a job (or, if you don’t have one and need one, give thanks that you’re GOING TO have a job).
Give thanks that He gives us victory (1 Cor. 15:57; 2 Cor. 2:14).
“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Give thanks to the God of gods, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for His lovingkindness is everlasting. . .
Give thanks to the God of heaven, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.” (Psalm 136:1-3, 26)
A gratitude-fertilized heart is the seedbed of the growth of resurrection life!