Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Loving God Through Gratitude

"Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High. Then call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you,and you will give me glory.”
~Psalm 50:14

Welcome if you've found me today through my published devotion: "How to Grow in Love for God"

In that devotion I wrote about the woman who washed, perfumed and kissed Jesus' feet. Her story can be read in Luke chapter 7. In her account, Jesus teaches that those who are forgiven much, tend to love Him more. They are more aware of their sins.

Does this mean we need to go out and do a lot of sinning, so that we can be forgiven much, so that we will love God more? Of course not! It means we need to realize how much we've already been forgiven - and probably will have to be forgiven in the future - and express our gratefulness to Him for that.

I suspect we think that we are thankful people, but in reality we rarely show it or express it. Especially to God. Let me challenge you to do something about that today.

Else, we're currently stuck in a difficult situation, and we assume there isn't much to be grateful for at the moment. Let me encourage you to examine that assumption closely.

Here are 5 ways you can cultivate and show God your gratitude this month.

1) Perhaps the simplest is to spend some time right now remembering your life before you came to know and follow Christ. What was your life like? What was your spirit like? What what your mind and thought processes like? What guilt, habits and sins weighed you down? And how have you changed? What have you been delivered from? What's been transformed? Give thanks to Him for this!

2) February is the month of love, try writing a love letter, or a thank you letter to Jesus this week for enduring the cross for you. And for producing that transformation in your life. It doesn't have to be long or skillfully written - just heartfelt. Tuck it in your Bible in Luke 7 next to this woman's story as a reminder to cultivate gratitude in your heart.

We don't have to relegate our gratefulness to removed sins, the Bible says all good things in our lives have come from God. Everything good. All of it. Even those things you thought you earned yourself, or got by chance. All the big things and the little things God has had a hand in.

3) Try this, try keeping a gratitude record for the rest of this month. Keep it in a notebook, on a legal pad, in a journal, or on some post-it notes on your desk or bedside table. Doesn't matter what you write it in. Each day for the rest of February write down one to three things you are thankful for from that day. Can be anything - just direct your appreciation and gratitude for it God-ward in prayer as you write it. I've challenged myself to end all of my blog posts in 2010 with something I'm grateful for.

The Psalms can be terrific reminders to give God thanks. They rehearse what God has mercifully done for us (Psalms 107 and 136). They challenge us to express gratitude for what we have (Psalm 92:1). And they remind us He is the source of everything we have (Psalm 104).

4) For the rest of February, read a Psalm each morning after you rise (or every night before you go to sleep) and give thanks in prayer for anything that comes to mind as you read. See if you don't experience gratitude expanding your heart towards God

Finally, are you a devotion writer? Have you always wanted to be? You like reading devotions?

5) Check out my previous post here or from my side bar called "Calling all devotion writers," and try your hand at writing a devotion about love - it can be yours towards God or God's towards you - on your blog. Then come back here after Valentine's Day and post a link to it in the devotional carnival that will be up here. Be sure at least to come back next week and read some of the devotions that are posted - hearing others give thanks and recite God's goodness often grows our own gratefulness and faith.

And there you have 5 simple ways to grow your gratitude towards God. Research shows focusing on gratitude can reduce your stress and improve your outlook. I've found it can put your problems, and your God into proper perspective. And help you enjoy life more. The verse from Psalm 50 above shows it somehow gives us direct access to God when we need rescuing ...

So which of these 5 will you try this month?

Thankful that my dad came to love this God he cannot see.


  1. Beautiful inspirational post. God really wants to hear us say to him, "I love you!"

    I am going through the same thing with a friend as you did with your father (Encouragement Today). Thank you for those supportive thoughts as well. God bless you!

    Blessings, Nancy J Locke

  2. I have nothing to repay God for all that He has given me-not good works, prayers, Bible reading. All help cement my relationship with Him. For all he has done, all I can do is say "Thanks." Love the suggestions, the nudge to refocus on God.

  3. Great reminder to focus on being grateful to God. The last few days I have felt very angry, depressed, and confused. I know I'm in a spiritual battle and it gets intense at times. Thanks for helping me set my focus back on God, not on the battle. I am victorious with Jesus as my leader.

  4. Gratitude always opens the heart and brings us out of the pits of self centered anger and discouragement. It always takes me several days of misery to remember and apply this though. thanks for the reminder this morning.

  5. I'd like to write a love letter to Jesus for Valentine's day. I think I'll find some pretty red paper...

    Blessings, Kimber

  6. I came to the blog just to find out if your dad ever did come to love this "God he cannot see"!!! AMEN!!! :-D

  7. I believe that this was beautiful. A simple reminder that we all want to be loved so why not show that love to the ultimate lover God because he first loved us... Please be blessed and thank you for a beautiful blog

  8. Thank you much for your kind comments Nancy, Horse Prairie Chatterer, hollster, Jean, and Kimber!

    Lyvonne, how sweet of you to want to find out about my dad. God has him!

    And Janis, I appreciate your compliment. My blog is about to get even more beautiful - in my opinion - in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for that.

    Be blessed today, my Yahwheh Sisters!

  9. I'm always amazed about how the Lord loves me.Just before I read the devotional for today, Iwas journaling about how so easily skip my time with the Lord. I ended my thoughts by thanking the Lord for His endless love. Then I read the devotion for today. It was exactly what I needed to hear.
    I'm looking forward to reading the devos on Feb 15th. Valentine's day will be very special for me and my family this year because my daughter is getting married.

  10. Hi Hollster

    Your not alone dear girl! The spiritual battle is the hardest and the winning is attainable!!
    Keep focused on Him and getting help, like reading these encouraging articles. " Do not be anxious..." It's true! Love, Me

  11. Thanks for shaaring these ideas-blessings


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