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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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WE OUGHT TO THANK GOD

Someone astutely observed that discontent is the price we pay for not being thankful for what we have. We can become so intensely focused and feverishly active in trying to have what we want that we forget how to want what we have and thus be thankful for it. Psalm 68:19 reminds us we have reason to thank God everyday"Blessed be the ord, who daily loads us with benefits, the God of our salvation!" Hundreds of years before Jesus ascended Golgotha to mount the cross, die in our stead, and carry our sins far, far away, the author of Psalm 68:19 could think of a load of reasons to thank God daily. No wonder the New Testament repeatedly directs Christians who live on this side of the cross to go to the altar of gratitude and offer up our heartfelt thanksgiving and praise to God for His unbounded goodness and grace. A sample of verses yields these directions concerning thanksgiving:

    •Ephesians 5:20 -- "Give thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
    •Hebrews 13:15 -- "Therefore by Him (Jesus) let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.
    •Philippians 4:6 -- "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God."

In view of all these divine directives, we surely ought to thank God!  I like the story about the lady who pulled up to the drive-in window at the bank. The teller inside the window, facing the hot afternoon sun, had pulled down the large window shade. He could see customers but it was impossible for them to see him. The lady pulled up to the window and pushed the button and the drawer moved out to meet her. She put in her deposit and the drawer withdrew. A few moments later the drawer came out again with her deposit slip and the money she-had requested. She looked at the window but was unable to see anyone inside. Then she said, "I suppose you're totally automated, but I just feel I ought to say `thank you' anyway." We cannot see with physical eyes the benevolent and loving God who so richly and constantly blesses us with so much. But if we take time to count our blessings, surely we are compelled to shout with the apostle Paul, "Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift" (2 Corinthians 9:15). God's Son is a gift too wonderful for words but we ought to thank God anyway!

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ