The Butler Family

The Butler Family
We call it, "The Simple Life".

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Active Gratitude

   It is my prayer that you are thankful for God’s blessings in your life as you read this article. I say this not as a means of greeting, but of genuine good will towards each of you. While it may seem strange for me to explain my opening statement, I believe my purpose will become clear by the end of my words for us today.
   It has long been expressed that Christians should have an “attitude of gratitude”. This is most certainly true, especially given the fact of our Savior, Jesus Christ laying down His life for us. However, it is also true of our gracious God granting each new day to us. I believe sometimes this “new day” idea gets a little lost in the events of each day and before we even realize it, the day has ended and we are left to wait or perhaps hope for another day. The illustration of the way we “spend” our time in the aspect of it being a currency that we cannot regain or increase is a sobering reality of our time on this earth. Granted, this is not always a happy way of thinking, but it is an honest way of remembering the importance of every day. As you read this your life is represented in your thoughts about my comments which reflect the years of knowledge and learning that you have experienced. Think about the “life lessons” that you have learned. Think about the things that you have vowed, “never again” and the well- meaning promises made that just never quite became reality. What I am trying to say is that we truly cannot get back the days behind us and unless we begin to be intentional about the days ahead we will simply default to our normal, daily actions that have marked so many of our days that have already passed. I think it is time we ask ourselves if we are okay with this way of living. I think it is time we ask ourselves if God is okay with this way of living.
   I believe it is safe to say that the way we choose to spend our days reflects the degree of gratitude we truly have for them. I wonder if God senses our declared gratitude from each day He gives us. I wonder if He sees our proclaimed excitement of living for Him. I wonder if He swells with godly excitement over our praise of Him before others, especially those whom He desires to have a relationship with. Or perhaps you, like me, have been guilty of sometimes living through a day in such a way that suggests the greatest accomplishment will be to get through it. If you relate to days like that, please allow me to challenge your thinking and pose this question: Did God really give me this day just to get through it?”. This is the question that haunts me when I am convicted of spending a day with such a mindset.
   I think such complacent thoughts about life from the people of God are the tools of our enemy on an unsuspecting mind. Dr. Charles Stanley has stated that every morning before his feet touch the bedroom floor he is in prayer thanking God for the day and praying against spiritual attacks. I believe Dr. Stanley is onto something. I personally find strength in knowing that God holds my future for each day and His word assures me that He will not leave me or forsake me. So then, I need not grow weary in the tasks of the day so long as I set my mind, my heart and my strength upon His promise and His purpose as I seek to live for His glory while introducing as many other people as I can to Jesus. Let’s not let a day slip past without spending it in gratitude for and expectation of God’s purpose.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” -Galatians 6:9