A Heart of Gratitude – Day Fourteen

A Heart of Gratitude - Day FourteenThis is the last post in the series based off of the printable, two-week study journal, A Heart of Gratitude. This journal is available for free to the subscribers of Called and Created. It features a daily scripture about giving thanks and praising our God, a thought-provoking question or statement, with room to record both a response and your thoughts on the day’s verse, as well as room to write out a prayer, and list something you’re thankful for. At the end is a page on which you can keep a longer running list of all of the things for which you are thankful.

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Enjoy post 14 in the A Heart of Gratitude series!

“‘ . . . blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. . .’” Revelation 7:12, NASB

We have a God who is most deserving of our highest thanks and praise. In Him reside immeasurable might, power, goodness, and love. In fact, He Himself is love (1 John 4:8). He has compassion on those who fear Him as a father would have on their child
(Psalm 103:13). To the heavens reach His love. To the skies stretch His faithfulness (Psalm 36:5). His affection for us is everlasting (Jeremiah 33:3).

None can fathom the greatness of our God (Psalm 145:3). There is no one like Him. None can compare with Him. He created both the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1).  By His very words everything around us was formed. He is the great King over all the earth (Psalm 47:2), and yet He cares for each one of us personally. The One who made us is interested in every detail of our lives. Nothing that concerns us is too trivial to interest Him.

Out of His exceeding goodness towards us, we worship Him. His love prompts in us a response of the highest praise and thanksgiving. His unfailing kindness to us encourages within us a sense of deep gratitude towards the Giver of every good and perfect gift
(James 1:17). Let’s give thanks to the One who holds the whole world in His hands, yet cares for each of us so!

How have you experienced God’s love and goodness in your life? To share, comment below. Give thanks to Him for His unceasing kindness!

Listen to this song, and take some time to glorify our wonderful Heavenly Father!

“Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.”

May each of you have a very Happy Thanksgiving, and enjoy spending time with those you care about!

happy thanksgiving

A Heart of Gratitude – Day Thirteen

A Heart of Gratitude - Day Thirteen“Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving” Colossians 4:2, NASB

Our God is a loving Heavenly Father, who desires good for our lives. He has made available to us many wonderful gifts, which He wants us to receive. Rather than becoming ensnared by the feeling that we aren’t deserving of His blessings, and thus failing to accept them, God wishes for us to know that we having been justified by the blood of Jesus (Romans 5:8), and are therefore qualified in His eyes to receive all of the good things He has for us. His blessings aren’t awards of merit for good behavior. They are free gifts of His abounding grace, which we need only reach out and claim as our own.

God wants to meet each and every need that we may have, even to the accomplishing of things that we may have written off as mere impossibilities. After all, what’s impossible with us, as humans, is completely possible with our mighty God (Luke 18:27! He possesses not only the ability, but also the willingness to bring about needed change in any situation we may be dealing with.  Let’s not allow the thought that God either can’t or won’t attend to our situation rob us of our breakthrough. Instead, let’s trust in both His willingness, and His ability to save in every way.

We have such a wonderful God, who is both willing and able to meet our every need, and freely gives us many good gifts! What is our attitude when we pray to Him? Do we remember to take the time to stop and thank Him for all that He does us? Do we give Him thanks in advance for His promised provision in our areas of lack? Or do we often forget to do so? Let’s approach our Heavenly Father in prayer with an attitude of thanksgiving, expressive of our gratitude for His continuous unmerited favor towards each of us!

What is one way that you have seen God’s unmerited favor at work in your life? To share, comment below.

Give thanks to God for all of His goodness to you as you listen to this song!

“Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.”

A Heart of Gratitude – Day Twelve

A Heart of Gratitude - Day Twelve“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.” Colossians 3:15, NASB

Colossians 3:15 bids us to be thankful. There are many things in each of our lives for which we can give thanks. God provides us with many blessings on a daily basis. At times, however, we tend to over look some of them.

Our Heavenly Father blesses us in many more ways than we often realize. Some of the ways in which He provides for us may seem, to our minds, such everyday occurrences that we end up taking them for granted. We’ll never know the full extent of the greater dangers, as well as the more trifling vexations, that our Heavenly Father’s loving care shields us from. These, added to the more obvious ways in which His provision can be seen, give us ample reason to give thanks to our Father in heaven.

The biggest and greatest gift that God has given each one of us is the gift of His Son, who gave His life for us. He died for us while we were, as yet, sinners (Romans 5:8). He made a way for us to be reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:19). We have received the gift of right standing with the King of Kings, not because of anything that we have done, but because of what His Son did for us at the cross. This in and of itself is more than enough reason to praise our wonderful God!

Do you ever have a hard time being thankful? Perhaps you’re going through troubling circumstances, and no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to find anything for which to be grateful. If you are going through tough times, you can give thanks to God that He has provided the miracle – big or small – that you are in need of. Nothing is impossible with Him (Luke 1:37). He has good plans for you – plans not for your harm, but to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). He is completely capable of doing far more than we could ever ask or think (Ephesians 3:29). Look to Him and receive your answer today!

We each have many reasons to be thankful, and express our gratitude to our Heavenly Father. He cares for us in countless ways, some of which we don’t even recongnize.  He gave His one and only Son for us, as the greatest possible proof of His love. Even in the midst of difficult circumstances, we can give thanks to Him, confident that He is both willing and able to make a way for us when may seem that there is none.With so many causes for gratitude on our part, let’s cultivate a spirit of thankfulness, and be on the look out for things for which to thank our wonderful God!

What is something that you can thank the Lord for right now? Comment below to share. Take a moment to express your thanks to our Father in Heaven!

“Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.”

A Heart of Gratitude – Day Eleven

A Heart of Gratitude - Day Eleven“Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the
Lord, so walk in Him, having
been firmly rooted and now
being built up in Him and established in your faith,
just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.” Colossians 2:6-7, NASB

When receiving Jesus as our Savior, we take the first and most important step down a path that leads to a whole new way of life. Just as we have accepted Christ, so are we to live in Him. As we grow in our walk with Him, we will begin to comprehend to a greater extent the magnitude of all that He has done for us. Our increased knowledge of what He accomplished on our behalf will kindle in us a fervent sense of gratitude, and overwhelming thankfulness to the One who gave His only Son to save us.

What’s the meaning of Christ’s finished work at the cross? What did it accomplish for us? How does His great sacrifice affect our lives today? In answer to such questions, it’s sometimes easy for us to spout off phrases we’ve heard tossed around in Christian culture, but do we really understand what these phrases mean? How often do we simply open the Bible for ourselves, asking – as the apostle Paul did for those at the church in Ephesus – to be given a spirit of wisdom and revelation, that we may come to know God better (Ephesians 1:17)?

God wants to reveal Himself to us more and more each day. He desires for us to move beyond religion, and engage in a personal relationship with Him. He wants to reveal to us His abundant grace, and the gift of righteousness that He has given us, through which we can reign in life (Romans 5:17). He wishes us to understand that we have been made right with Him through faith in His Son (Romans 3:24) – that we are new creations in Christ
(2 Corinthians 5:17). He wants to make known to us the greatest exchange in all of history – how at the cross, Jesus took our sins upon Himself, and gave us His place of righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). He wants to show us that because of Jesus’ sacrifice for us, we have now entered the new covenant of His grace, under which He no longer remembers our sins (Hebrews 8:12). God desires to reveal to us all of these truths concerning Christ’s finished work, and many, many more.

As we grow in Christ, and begin to comprehend to a fuller extent all that He has accomplished for us, we will experience an increase of gratitude towards the One who loves us so. We will give thanks to Him for all that He’s done for us, and His wonderful grace and mercy to us. We will overflow with thankfulness towards the King, who is most worthy of our highest praise!

What has God been revealing to you concerning all that His Son has accomplished for you? Comment below to share what God has been showing you!

“Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.” 

A Heart of Gratitude – Day Ten

a heart of gratitude - day ten“Be anxious for nothing, but
in everything by prayer and
supplication with thanksgiving
let your requests be made
known to God.”
Philippians 4:6, NASB

Are you anxious about anything? Do worries cloud your mind? Are you facing troubling circumstances? Instead of trying to figure things out on your own, come to God, and receive from Him all that you need. Rather than continuing on full of anxiety, make your needs known to your Heavenly Father, who cares for you deeply. There’s not a detail of your life that fails to interest Him. He knows all your ways (Psalm 139:3). He perceives each word you will say before it ever leaves your lips (Psalm 139:4). He numbers even the hairs on your head (Matthew 10:30)! If He tends to the birds of the air
(Matthew 6:26) and the flowers of the field (Matthew 6:28-30), will He not also take care of you, His dearly loved child?

What do we gain by worrying? Can we add even one hour to our life by doing so
(Matthew 6:27)? Does it not make much more sense to approach God’s throne of grace, and receive help from our Him in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16)? God, who created all that we see, who spoke all life into being, and who formed you and I, is more than able to tend to any concern we may have. Our answers found are in Him. There is nothing He can’t do. What’s impossible to us, as humans, is completely possible to our mighty God (Luke 18:27)! He has performed many wonders in the past, and will continue to supply our every need (Philippians 4:19).

Instead of remaining trapped in feelings of anxiety, cast your cares upon God, with the confidence that He will sustain you (Psalm 55:22). Present your requests to Him, giving thanks for His promised provision in your current situation. Remember the ways in which He has met your needs in the past, and be encouraged to place your trust in Him as you go forward. Express your gratitude to God for His loving care – past, present, and future.

How have you seen God meet your needs in circumstances that were of concern to you in the past? To how share He’s provided for you, comment below.

True friends are always there for us, offering help when we need it. Our Heavenly Father is the best friend we could ever have! Listen to this song, and be encouraged to carry everything, including situations over which you feel anxious, to God in prayer!

“Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.”

A Heart of Gratitude – Day Nine

a heart of gratitude - day nine“For all things are for your
sakes, so that the grace
which is spreading to more
and more people may cause
the giving of thanks to abound
to the glory of God.”
2 Corinthians 4:15, NASB

This is the time of year associated with counting our blessings, and thankfulness for all of the good things in our lives. In this season of being grateful, what is it that causes our thanks to abound? What possesses the ability to kindle in us a response of gratitude? What holds the power to instigate an overflow of thanksgiving?

According to 2 Corinthians 4:15, it is God’s amazing grace that causes the giving of thanks to abound to His glory. When we recognize all that God has done for us – all that He’s freely given – it will ignite in us a blaze of gratitude towards Him. His unmerited favor rests on each of our lives – based not on our own actions, but those of the Savior on our behalf. We all have sinned, and fall far short of God’s glorious standard on a daily basis
(Romans 3:23). No matter how hard we try, we never can be good enough to deserve the blessings of God. Knowing this, and loving us beyond measure, God sent His only Son to die for us, bearing the punishment that we deserved. Now, He offers salvation to us as a free gift. We are saved by His abundant grace, through faith in what His Son did for us at the cross (Ephesians 2:8). Made right in God’s eyes, we have been qualified to receive all that our Heavenly Father has for us, held out to us free for the taking.

Our God is so very good! He is both compassionate and gracious, abounding in love (Psalm 103:8) He does not treat us as our wrongdoings merit, nor repay us according to our failures (Psalm 103:10). Rather, He forgives ALL of our sins (Psalm 103:3), not counting them against us (2 Corinthians 5:19). In fact, He remembers them no more (Hebrews 8:12)! He receives us as His children (1 John 3:1), and freely gives us many good things. Surely these are ample proofs of His wonderful grace!

What does this grace accomplish in our lives? When truly understood, it prompts within us a sense of abounding gratitude, and an overflowing thankfulness to our wonderful King, which others can see and recognize. They will observe the difference He’s made in our lives, how real He is to us, and be drawn towards Him. It all starts, however, with a comprehension of the incredible, surpassing grace of our loving Heavenly Father. If you want to foster a greater sense of gratitude within your heart this Thanksgiving season, begin meditating on this grace. (For a list of scriptures that speak to the subject, see the post God’s Wonderful Grace.)

Listen to this song, and ask God to give you a greater revelation of His grace than ever before!

“Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.” 

A Heart of Gratitude – Day Eight

A Heart of Gratitude - Day Eight“I shall give thanks to You, for
You have answered me, and
You have become my salvation.”
Psalm 118:21, NASB

Do you believe, when you pray, that God hears and answers you? Or does it feel, when you talk to Him, more like He’s far off and unresponsive? When you are in need, do you come to Him for provision, or do you try to work things out on your own first?

Jeremiah 33:3 informs us that when we call to God, He will answer us. Psalm 34:15 declares that the Lord’s eyes are on those who are righteous. To their cry, His ears are attentive. If you have received Jesus, then this Scripture applies to you, for you have been made the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21)! In Matthew 6:8, Jesus assures us that God knows what we need, even before we ask Him. Further on, in Matthew 7:11, He states that God will give what is good to the one who asks.

The idea that God is distant, and unfeeling towards what you have to say, is a lie that the enemy would love for you to believe. He knows that, according to James 5:16, the prayer of one who is righteous – who is in right standing with God – is both powerful and effective. The righteous person this verse speaks of is you! You have been made right with God through faith in His Son (Romans 3:24). You have been justified by the blood of Jesus (Romans 5:9). Know that your prayers avail much (James 5:16)! Present your requests to God, in full confidence of His love for you, and desire to provide for your every need. Give thanks to Him for the ways in which He has answered you in the past, and is working in your life in the present. Rejoice in the fact that our God is the Hearer and Answerer of prayer!

What have you been believing God for lately? To share, comment below. Take a moment to thank God for listening to you when you speak to Him, and for the answers He provides!

“Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.”

A Heart of Gratitude – Day Seven

A Heart of Gratitude - Day Seven“Let them give thanks to the Lord
for His lovingkindness, and for His wonders to the sons of men!” Psalm 107:8, NASB

Because of His great love for us,
God wants us to walk in all of the blessings He has for us – to accept each and every one of His good gifts (James 1:17). He provides them out of the vast affection with which He regards us, His children. He has done, and will continue to do, wonderful deeds in each of our lives – as long as we will allow Him to do so.

The first great gift God has given each of us is the gift of His Son, who became sin for us, that we might be made right with God (2 Corinthians 5:21). Along with Him, He freely gives us all things (Romans 8:32). He offers us healing (Isaiah 53:5), forgiveness
(Psalm 103:12), peace (John 14:17), joy (Psalm 30:11), prosperity (3 John 1:2), and many more wonderful gifts – all free for the taking!

Ephesians 3:20 informs us that God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ever ask, or even think. When Jesus – the exact representation of God
(Hebrews 1:3) – was on this earth, He went about doing good, and healing all whom the devil oppressed (Acts 10:38). He was anointed to proclaim good news to those who were poor, freedom to captives, the recovery of sight to those were blind, release from darkness to prisoners, to and declare the year of the favor of God (Luke 4:18-20). He remains the same always – yesterday, today, and forevermore (Hebrews 13:8). The same Savior who so willingly cleansed a leper in Matthew 8:3, is both willing and able to manifest His saving power in any area of your life in which you may be in need of it today.

Each of us has our own story of the wonderful deeds God has performed in our life – a personal testimony to His love and goodness. Think of all that God has already done for you, and all that He continues to do on a daily basis. Remember the ways in which He has worked on your behalf in the past, and thank Him for them. The wonders God accomplishes in each of our lives truly are a cause for thanksgiving!

What’s something God has done in your life lately that you would like to thank Him for?Comment below to share!

“Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.”

A Heart of Gratitude – Day Six

A Heart of Gratitude - day six“Oh give thanks to the Lord,
for He is good, for His
lovingkindness is everlasting.”
Psalm 107:1, NASB

Our God is a loving Heavenly Father. His affection for us is everlasting (Jeremiah 31:3). He lavishes His love upon us, in calling us His children
(1 John 3:1). Nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:38-39).

We’ve heard all our lives that God loves us, but how can be sure that’s true? What proof do we have? Romans 5:8 informs us of how that love was demonstrated to us – Christ died for us, while we were still sinners. Verse 10 goes on to say that while we were yet God’s enemies, through the Jesus’ death at the cross, we were reconciled to Him. When we were still dead – caught in our transgressions and sins – we were made alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:5). It was because of His great love for us that God did this (Ephesians 2:4). Knowing these truths, how can we ever doubt the love of our Heavenly Father?

Our God is a good God. He wants to see us live an abundant life (John 10:10), walking in all of the blessings He’s provided for us. In fact, In Psalm 103:2, we are bidden not to forget all of His benefits, some of which the next few verses in the chapter go on to list. Jesus’ work at the cross has made us righteous in God’s eyes – fully qualified to receive all of His good and perfect gifts (James 1:17). This isn’t because of anything that we have done, but rather what was done for us over 2,000 years ago.

Our God is a loving Heavenly Daddy, who desires good for us. His provision can be seen in each of our lives in many ways on a daily basis. His love and goodness are yet two more reasons to give thanks to Him!

How has the Lord been demonstrating His love, and His goodness to you lately? Comment below to share how He has been working in your life!

“Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.” 

A Heart of Gratitude – Day Five

A Heart of Gratitude - Day Five“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.” Psalm 100:4, NASB

Enter God’s gates. Come into His courts. Draw near to Him. Freely approach your Heavenly Father. What a privilege it is to be able to engage in relationship with the Most Holy One!

Under the Old Covenant of the law, few could approach the presence of God. Only the high priest could enter the Holy of Holies – the innermost part of first the tabernacle, and then the temple – and that only when specified by God. A thick veil surrounded it,standing between mankind and His presence. When the Lord appeared to people in the Old Testament, He was continually showing His back, for no one could see His face and live (Exodus 33:20). This wall of separation between man and God can be seen throughout the Bible, up until the time of Jesus. Why did it exist? It was there for one simple reason: God is holy. Man, in and of themselves, are not. God is completely perfect. Man, by virtue of their own deeds, are tainted by wrongdoing and failure. Try as they might to keep God’s standards of right living, they could never reach a place of perfection. Even their righteous deeds were as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).

How was this state of estrangement ever to be done away with? How could these differences be overcome? Were things ever to change?

Out of His love for us, God made a way. He brought about a wonderful plan of redemption. He sent His only Son – God in the flesh – to come to this earth, take our wrongdoing upon Himself, and receive the punishment we deserved. Christ took our place of sin, that we might receive His place of right standing before God (2 Corinthians 5:21).

What Christ has done for us enables God, while just, to be also the Justifier of all who place their faith in His Son (Romans 3:26). Because our transgressions were condemned once in the body of Jesus, God will never again bring them up against us. We are in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), and we have been declared righteous in the eyes of our Heavenly Father!

When Jesus died for us, the temple veil – which had separated mankind from God’s tangible presence on this earth for hundreds of years – tore in two (Matthew 27:51). The wall of estrangement has been broken down. We have been reconciled to God
(2 Corinthians 5:18). Now, we can come boldly to the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:12). Through Christ, we can approach God with freedom and confidence, fully assured of His incomprehensible love for us (Ephesians 3:12).

This ability to engage in relationship with God – to draw near to Him – surely is a cause for thanks! The price Jesus paid at the cross, which allows us to do so, most definitely merits our highest gratitude. Through His finished work, we have been given the right to call God our Heavenly Father, and to come to Him as children would their dearly loved Daddy.
Possessing such a privilege, no wonder we are told to enter His gates with thanksgiving! Let’s come into His courts, full of praise to the One who gave His Son for us, that we might be saved!

Do you approach God freely, with the confidence that comes from knowing that you have been justified by the blood of Christ (Romans 5:9)? Or do you do so with hesitancy, full of a consciousness of your own wrong-doing? Listen to this song about the exchange that took place at the cross, and let God’s grace set you free from all condemnation!

“Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.”