Gratitude and Grace

Hello! Let me ask you a few questions today  . . . Are you normally a thankful person?  Is your mentality most often that of half-full or half-empty? Being somewhat of an introvert, give too easily at times to melancholy, reflection, and introspection, still, all things considered, I’ve always looked at myself as being a fairly positive person. I believe I tend to be thankful for the many graces God has given me. Until . . . Well, that is until life happens. And, it happens daily doesn’t it?  I’ll explain. The past two days I’ve been a bit under the weather, apparently catching some sort of virus. I’m on the mend today, but being a bit sick got me thinking. About . . .

How I unconsciously assume health each day.

       How much of a whiner I am.

       How marvelous the human body is.

       How I think I deserve grace.

Let’s talk about that last one. Grace, as you are probably aware, means “gift”. It is a gift. As a gift, it’s free. We can’t do anything to earn grace. It is given to us from our Good and Gracious God. Yet when things like a little viral infection hits, complaints take over, as I can’t believe this is happening to me. I don’t deserve to be sick. Have time to be sick. What happened to my healthy body that is always there?  Wow, think about these things! I guess grace is a bit more on my radar lately, mostly because I am preaching through Galatians, a book thick with grace. Like the ancient  Galatians, I believe it is hard for you and I to stay in grace. They were  “so quickly deserting him who called them in the grace of Christ . . .” (1:6). Naturally, we like to think that we can get God into some sort of “debtor” relationship with us. If I do such and such, behave so and so, don’t do this, do that, the good outweighs the bad, well . . . He owes me, something, right?!!!   I don’t doubt that none of us actually say it this way, or think this way consciously, but when little things like viral infections hit, we show our cards by our complaints. Enough of that! Let me simply encourage you today to drink in deeply the grace of God found in Jesus Christ. Do you know Him? Do you know that He loves you? I heard someone say the other day, that technically, we can’t be so wide in our comments of God’s love. The person said that to be “accurate”, we’d have to say that God loves the elect. Well, I don’t know who the elect are. There are some days I wonder if I’m among their number! What I do know is this: God so loved the world (John 3:16) that He gave His One and Only Son, that whosoever believed in Him, would not perish, but have eternal life. That seems pretty wide to me. Don’t worry about whether or not you are counted among His “elect”! Only God knows that number. What you can count on is this . . . That if  you turn to Him today, in big and small ways, (and most of our daily turnings are small), He will love you. He will shower grace upon you. The fact that you are reading this now is a small expression of His grace.

Thank You Lord God, for . . .

       The sunshine (you can see it today!)

       For my family

       For the family of God

       For good food

      This cup of coffee . . . .

      For this Day.