(11.23.21– (A Thankful Heart!) -Ephesians 2: 8-10)
My friend, may I ask you a question? Did you ever receive a gift so exciting you just couldn’t contain your joy? Perhaps it even left you speechless?
My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day.
I'm M. Clifford Brunner.
Did you ever receive a gift so exciting you just couldn’t contain your joy? Perhaps it even left you speechless? Many Christmases ago I decided to build my son a barn in which he could put all of his tractor and farm implement toys that he had collected. It was to be a barn unlike any barn he'd ever seen; detailed right down to the grooved floor and the pulleys on the beams. Finally, Christmas Eve came and we snuck it into Dan's room. When he saw it he literally exploded in excitement. He ran around the barn touching it, examining every detail. As the night wore on and Danny finally began to calm down a bit, his little heart began to displace some of that enthusiasm with thankfulness. He couldn't thank me enough and felt that he just had to do something to merit such a valuable gift. I asked him to pick up the Christmas wrappings and he did so with gusto. He had reached a level of gratitude where something just had to give, so he did.
Daniel had a hard time controlling his gratitude. It welled up in him because of the joy that underlay it. Like a perpetual spring, the thankfulness just had to run out somewhere, and so it did. This kind of gratitude compels action, even risk.
Here's a story: In the Bible there's a little known but story of how the people of Jabesh, filled with a deep sense of gratitude, put their thankfulness into action because they just couldn’t help themselves. Saul, king of Israel, had led his army against the Philistines and met with defeat. Now, alone on Mount Gilboa, he fell on his sword and took his own life. He and his warrior sons were dead and the Philistines took their bodies away as battle spoils. Some years earlier the people of Jabesh, a little town on Israel’s eastern frontier, had sent a message to Saul, king of Israel. They were being threatened by the Ammonites and were not powerful enough to stand against them. Saul heard their pleas, defeated the Ammonites and restored the city to the people of Jabesh. They vowed they would never forget. As word of Saul's defeat arrived in Jabesh, the city went into great mourning. At risk of great danger and vastly outnumbered by their Philistine foes, the people of Jabesh put together a small force of men and, the Bible tells us, "all their valiant men journeyed through the night" and took the bodies of Saul and his sons back to Jabesh, where they buried them. (1 Samuel 31: 12-13)
The men of Jabesh had no choice. They had to act because of the deep sense of gratitude they felt toward Saul. They were compelled to act, even at the risk of their own lives. They saw no choice; their thankfulness ran that deep. Like Danny, as he reacted to his "big gift," and the men of Jabesh, who had to do something because of the debt they owed, we just can't help ourselves either. The gift of salvation in Christ is too great for words alone. Give thanks!
We pray. Heavenly Father, we are so grateful for the generosity and grace others have shown us in our lives. Sometimes we just can’t thank them enough and are filled with emotions and the urge to just do something, anything for them to thank them. Thank you for friends and family like this who love us and give of themselves to us. Forgive us Lord when we forget however that the greatest gift, one beyond words or ability to show our thankfulness, is Your love. There is no mercy, no grace or love greater than that which You have shown us in Jesus Christ. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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<email@example.com> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.