“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” – Colossians 3:15-17
Have you had a heart checkup lately? I’m not talking about the kind of heart checkup you have when you go to the doctor. I’m talking about the kind of heart checkup that Jesus talks about, when he says: “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.” (Luke 6:45) What is flowing out of our hearts and mouths?
November is the time of year when we pause to give thanks. Are our hearts overflowing with gratitude to God for all He has done for us in Jesus Christ? Syndicated columnist Bill Ellis writes: “When the heart is filled with gratitude, there is little room for such things as grudges, unforgiveness, hatred, envy, jealousy or greed and the like. A sense of gratitude does well for both the spiritual heart and the physical heart. Consider that many heart attacks may be precipitated by stress, worry, pressure and anxiety. Let gratitude fill your heart.”
God has been reminding me lately, of the importance of maintaining a grateful heart. When I stop and think about it, when I count my blessings…I have so much for which I can be grateful. I don’t know about you, but I have a tendency to take my blessings for granted and grumble about things that go wrong in my life.
So what will help us develop a grateful heart?
- Recognize all of life as a gift from God…We don’t have to be thankful for all our circumstances, but we can be thankful in the midst of hard circumstances, because God still loves us, God still gave Himself for us, God is still Emmanuel, God with us in the midst of our hard circumstances.
- Spend more time giving thanks for what we have, instead of what’s missing or wrong in our lives…be quick with thanksgiving and slow with complaining.
- Focus on blessings rather than disappointments. It’s a choice we make day by day. Where will we focus our attention? Remember the Old saying: “Two men looked through the bars. One saw mud; the other saw stars.”
Let’s fill our hearts with gratitude so that it’s thanksgiving and praise to God that’s flowing out of our mouths.
Philippians 4:7-8 “Do not be anxious about anything but in everything, by prayer
and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Grace and Peace,