Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. —Colossians 3:15
We show gratitude by respecting those God has put over us. Said Paul: "Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other" (1 Thess. 5:13). Moreover, "Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith" (Heb. 13:7).
Thanking God is manifested by doing good works such as helping when it is needed. The King James Version refers to the gift of "helps" or, in the New International Version, "those who are able to help others" (1 Cor. 12:28). This can include such things as visiting the sick, the widow, those in prison, or the helpless (James 1:27). It includes feeding the poor (James 2:6, 14) or giving someone a ride to church. It may mean doing things in your church that nobody wants to do: cleaning up, helping with flowers, whatever needs to be done, or whatever makes your pastor's job easier and so that 20 percent of the people won't be doing nearly all the work.
For what are you grateful? If you cannot think of things to show how thankful you are, take the time to make a "praise" list!
Here are some suggestions to begin with: (1) for salvation: God sending His Son to die on a cross; (2) that He gave you faith; (3) your church—that person who had a hand in leading you to Christ; (4) your minister whose preaching and pastoring feeds your soul; (5) your job—your income; (6) your health; (7) the Bible; (8) what God is doing for you today and what He did for you yesterday. When you begin to count your blessings, you will see that the list is endless! For there is no end to the list by which we can demonstrate our gratitude to God.
Excerpted from Just Say Thanks! (Charisma House, 2005).
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