Gratitude

Description

The salvation we freely receive from our Father should lead to overflowing gratitude, spilling over to bless others.

One of the biggest hindrances in life is when we compare ourselves to others. When we focus on keeping up with the Joneses, measuring ourselves against our colleagues, and impressing our peers, we have no compassion for others. When we focus on what we don’t have, God can’t use what we do have.

That’s why the idea of adoption is so important. Jesus has made us God’s children, not his slaves. “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith…” (Gal. 3:26). And the essence of being a child is that you are loved unconditionally.

That is the essence of the good news of the Gospel - that we are now children of the King. We are God’s most treasured possession, in the same way that any parent loves his or her children above all else.

Now when God looks at us, he doesn’t see our shortcomings. He doesn’t see our failures and our sins. He only sees his beloved children. That is the great blessing of God’s love and forgiveness.

Filled with the love of God, we can now love the world has he loves the world. We can see what God sees, care about what God cares about, and treasure what he treasures.

1 John reads, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.” (1 John 4:7-8) Our ability to demonstrate Jesus’ love for this world is directly related to our understanding of God’s love for us.

You see, if love comes from God and we freely receive it, shouldn’t our hearts pour out the same love to those around us in overflowing gratitude?

When asked what was the greatest commandment, Jesus said it was to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Then he said something interesting. Jesus said that the second greatest commandment was like the first. We should love our neighbors as ourselves. Loving God and loving our neighbors are similar kinds of love.

Our neighbors not only include those in our communities, schools, workplaces, and churches, but also the poor, the sick, and the hurting.

Can you imagine if God only offered salvation to those who were already perfect? We’d all be in pretty bad shape. But we aren’t competing for God’s love; we are his children. So we share this love with our neighbors—all of our neighbors. Through this outward display of our inner gratitude, others will get to experience the compassion of our God.

Discussion Points:

  • Can you think of a recent time in your life when you freely extended compassion to someone else in need?
  • Can you think of a time when you missed showing compassion to someone else because you were focused on your own concerns?
  • It’s easy to love those who love us in return, but harder to offer selfless compassion towards those who don’t. Take some time today reflecting on how broken and ugly we were before our loving God saved us.

 

 

 

 

 

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