Are you grateful?

Psalm 145:15-16 “The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season.  You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing.”

Do you realize how dependent you are on God for the most basic necessities of life?  If you eat anything today, it is only because God provided it for you.  If you drank anything, it came from the hand of God.  So, have you thanked Him? Day after day, meal after meal, each and every time we eat or drink, whether we acknowledge it or not, whether we are thankful for it or not, whether we give God any thought regarding it or not, it is always and only a gift of God’s grace.  Regardless of whether you are a committed Christian who loves Jesus Christ, or an atheist who claims that God does not exist, your needs and my needs are always and only provided by the invisible but omnipresent God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  No wonder the Bible tells us that “whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).  No wonder the Bible tells us to “give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:18), for thankfulness should be the most natural attitude in all the world when you think about it. 

I think of the picture of a baby bird in a nest with its mouth always open.  What a picture of dependence, as without mother bird to supply every bit of food, the baby bird would die in short order.  It is sobering to realize that we are no less dependent.  So, think about how many opportunities we have to be thankful.  Think of how often we get the opportunity to be grateful. Every time we open our mouth to take in nourishment – it’s just one more time to give thanks.  But do we?  Isn’t it our natural inclination to seldom think about such things – to go on in life often giving no thought to God’s gracious gifts? Worse than that, how easy it is to be discontent, to want more and more, to be greedy, and to covet what God has given others regardless of how much He’s given us

One day each of us will stand before this great gift-giving God. One day we will give an account for what we’ve done with what He’s given us. One day it will be revealed whether we were thankful and grateful and whether that gratitude spilled over in our own gift-giving to others in need.  Regrettably, there will be some, perhaps many, who will stand before Him that day who will be like that wicked and slothful servant that Jesus spoke about in Matthew 25.  It was that man who took God’s gifts to Him and never gave thanks to Him, never put them to use, and kept it all for himself.  Listen to the excuse Jesus tells us such people will give Him in the end: “Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground (Matthew 25:24-25).”  Imagine calling the King of Kings and Good Shepherd that has supplied all our needs for a lifetime “hard” and in effect, “stingy,” like this man did!  That’s the attitude, unfortunately, of the ungrateful who have never really known Him.  It’s the attitude of one who lives life as if the God who made it all and provides everything for everyone doesn’t even exist.

May God help us to be continually grateful for the innumerable gifts He pours into our lives, for as God’s Word so wonderfully says “From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another” (John 1:16).

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