Are you grateful?
Gratitude is one of the most important things we should practice. But not in a liturgical way, but honestly from our hearts. Although in fact we often give thanks to God, since we always say thanks for something in our prayers, it can also be liturgical.
Don't forget that God knows us better than we know ourselves, so even if we can fool ourselves, we certainly can't fool God. This is why many people will be surprised why they are going to damnation instead of having eternal salvation, because they think they are in the grace of God, but in reality they have either fallen out of it, or were never in grace.
That is why it is very important to always examine ourselves, be honest and self-critical. In this way, we do not deceive ourselves, but by looking at ourselves daily in the mirror of the Word, we can be shaped into the image of God.
„Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”
We received many and beautiful gifts from God. It is impossible to mention them all, as there are so many. He created sense organs for us to see, hear, and feel His wonderful works, which He gave us as a gift. Can we give thanks for the air, the sunny weather, the rain, a beautiful flower, a glass of water? He gave us all this as a gift and the list is endless.
„When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas. O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”
In all of this, we can see God's power and creativity, but above all his love, since he has gifted us with all of this. We tend to get used to the good and no longer treat it as special. But this makes us insensitive to God and dissatisfied. It should not be the usual thing when we get up in the morning that there are clothes we can wear.
Gratitude is also one of the ways we can get closer to God. Because God sees whether we appreciate His gifts, whether we recognize His love for us in them.
„Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.”
Very important: Don't forget that we can't get as close to God as we want! We can approach Him as much as He allows us to! When God looks at you, what does He see? An obedient, grateful child? Because then He will certainly let you come close to Himself, and you will see more of His glory, His wonderful works and at the same time: His love.
„Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Author: Antal Farkas