As we enter into the holiday season, it’s impossible to ignore the idea of giving. I don’t mean the kind of extravagance suggested by jewelry store and car maker commercials we’re so inundated with at this time of year. I mean that very basic, pine cone ornament, loom-knitted pot holder, hand-knit scarf, from the heart kind of giving. Thoughtful, not-because-I-have-to-but-because-my-heart-is-overwhelmed-with-love-for-you kind of giving. Do you feel it? It’s the kind of nostalgic, down-home, sugary sweet giving endeared by nanas and moms alike that cannot be achieved with a small blue box or car keys.
Now, imagine that same feeling multiplied times, infinity. You can’t, right? But if you could imagine… That’s how God feels about us! And the way you want to give to those you love? Multiply that times infinity too. That’s the extravagance with which God wants to give you.
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Ephesians 2:8
This gift of grace, according to the Moody Handbook of Theology, may be defined as the unmerited or undeserving favor of God to those who are under condemnation. This is a gift undeserved, to provide “an act of kindness beyond what is due or usual” (dictionary.com) to everyone. This is the greatest gift, given in sacrifice of His only son’s life for our eternal life. We cannot match this gift. We cannot expect to ever repay this gift. And yet this gift is freely given.
And then something happened
- the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
Grace changes us, from the inside out. For me, one of the biggest changes I noticed once I received grace, was that gratitude overtook me. You know the way a child squeals and hops up and down on Christmas morning after receiving that perfect gift? Like that. But more.
This gift of grace, should change us.
[bctt tweet=”And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. Colossians 3:17″]
That’s not to say that grace suddenly, like a magic wand, causes gratitude to takeover our lives. Sometimes life can knock us around and cause us to forget this gratitude. It’s a choice. But a choice made simpler just knowing we are no longer alone. That a sovereign God has our back. We are still fallible, definitely not perfect. Now we are forever forgiven and promised eternal life. For that, we continually give thanks.
[bctt tweet=”Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34″]
In deed and word
Gratitude is something that is shown practically, in deed and word. It is giving thanks to God for ever thing He’s blessed us with, but also showing gratitude by extending grace and blessings. I have often found in difficult times that it’s helpful to journal my gratitude… lest we forget. For the air I breath… for the ups and downs… for the privilege of being called His.
While our hearts seem to naturally turn to giving and gratitude during the holiday season, this attitude should also guide us throughout the year. Let’s try to hold on to those feelings beyond New Year’s. I’m not suggesting a resolution, our resolve fades so fast, but a renewing of our hearts. A return to grace and gratitude.
Let it begin with me. Thank you! I am glad you’re here.