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A Debt of Gratitude
“Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were a present far too small.
Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.”
Sacred Hymn, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross written by Isaac Watts.
Gratitude requires perspective and insight. A view on our own lives is needed to see all of the help given to us by others in order to make life work. In the pressure of a production and self-serving culture, it is easy to not see all the help being extended to us by others.
Entitlement stems from living life without gratitude. Gratitude is replaced with a spirit of demand. Entitlement cultivates a posture of “being owed” now. Entitlement takes advantage of others.
So, here are some good questions to ask to cultivate gratitude:
- Who has helped you financially in the last 6 months?
- Who has stood with you relationally in a challenging time?
- Who has given you opportunity?
- Who has used their good name and reputation on your behalf?
- Who has been generous with their time in your life this past month?
Have you taken time to appreciate the love and sacrifice of their help? Does the help you receive inform the decisions you are making about relationships, money, and time moving forward?
The same kind of reflection is needed with God. He has done so much for us. Start by thinking about God’s forgiveness, a new beginning, no condemnation for past sin and mistakes, new opportunities, and the chance, through Jesus Christ, to have a restored relationship with God forever.
Continue by considering God’s provision of wisdom, comfort, joy, and truth for us in all situations. The Holy Spirit is our helper right now. God is able to transform the way we think and see this world, so that we live a life of generous compassion and good stewardship.
No wonder the Apostle Paul says: “I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you…” (Romans 12:1 NLT). A life of gratitude, not entitlement. This is true worship.
Encouragement: As we follow God, let there be a growing sense of gratitude for all He is doing for us every day. Out of a debt of gratitude, use our bodies (heart, soul, mind, and strength) to make God known to others. Love people generously. Seek wisdom in decision making. Focus on living and giving to others.
Prayer: Dear Father, Thank You for all You do for us every day. To be before You completely adopted as Your child with no condemnation is incredible. With You I know love and truth. I am accepted for who I am right now. I am challenged to follow You and Your ways more deeply. I do give all of who I am to You, for Your purposes and glory. I will not settle for anything less out of a huge debt of gratitude.
In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
-Ed McDowell, Executive Director
Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center