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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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THANKING GOD

Someone has noted that the worst possible moment for an atheist is when he feels grateful and has no one to thank. An even worse moment comes when those who claim faith in a loving, kind, and benevolent God feel they have nothing to thank God for and repeatedly fail to give Him thanks. God has blessed us in ways too numerous to count. Psalm 68:19 reminds us, "Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits, "The God of our salvation!" We all benefit from God's goodness to us on a daily basis. From food on the table to faith in the heart to forgiveness of our sins, God has poured blessing after blessing after blessing upon us! Bill Vaughn humorously noted, "We hope that, when the insects take over the world, they will remember with gratitude how we took them along on all our picnics." Every day we live we feast on the finest God has to give, if not physically at least spiritually.God wants us to be grateful people. Ephesians 5: 20 contains one of those pointed spiritual truths that takes little ink to write and little breath to say, but which requires a life-time of effort to master! That verse says, "Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." I could easily handle it if the Bible told me to give thanks when I felt thankful, or when I had all the health and money and friends I wanted. But give thanks always? This verse reminds me that gratitude is not simply a matter of what I have in my house or in my hand - it is a matter of what I have in my heart. There is always something to thank God for. Familiar lines teach a truth we cannot escape but often ignore:

Thank God for dirty dishes, they have a tale to tell;
While other folks go hungry, we've eaten mighty well.
With home and health and happiness, I shouldn't want to fuss,
By the stack of evidence, God's been very good to us.

Samuel Johnson said, "Gratitude is a fruit of great cultivation. You do not find it among gross people." But you will certainly find it among God's people. "In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." (1 Thessalonians 5: 18). What are you thanking God for today?

by Dan Gulley
Smithville Church of Christ