Spiritual Vitamin: Gratitude

~~An Attitude of Gratitude for this Thanksgiving Day

Doctors say the healthiest emotion you can have is gratitude.  We call it an attitude of gratitude.  In fact the more you work on this attitude of being grateful, the healthier you’ll be.  That’s what doctors tell us.  But there’s an enemy that keeps us from being grateful for what we do have.  It’s guilt.  Guilt and gratitude do not go together in the same body.  It’s hard for me to feel grateful when I feel guilty.  It doesn’t matter what culture you live in, where you’re from, who you are, what your background is.  All of us have experienced guilt at different times in our lives. So, in order to have an attitude of gratitude, we must first remove the attitude of guilt. But how can we do that? Well, God has already taken care of that problem, and He explains how He accomplished that in His Word, the Bible.

John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through Him.”  That’s God’s antidote to guilt. 

This is the most famous verse in the Bible.  Many of you already know this verse. But here’s something that maybe you didn’t know. In the New International Version there are 27 words in John 3:16.  The middle word, the fourteenth word, is the word “Son.”  The first half of the verse is all about God.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten…” Son is right in the middle.  The second half of the verse is all about man: “That whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  That in itself is a picture.  God is on one side, man is on the other side.  And Jesus Christ is between them to bring them together.  Why?  To get rid of your guilt by bringing you to forgiveness. And to bring you to an attitude of gratitude. God didn’t come into the world to condemn the world [to make you feel guilty] God came to save you.  It says that God so loved the world.  What does that mean “so loved?”  That’s grace, the cause of forgiveness.  God so loved the world.

So, as we celebrate this day of thanksgiving in 2013, let’s remember the reason why we can be thankful. “For God so loved you that He sent His one and only Son….”  That alone will give you an attitude of gratitude.

 

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