Posts Tagged ‘Give thanks with a grateful heart’

Abounding with thanksgiving

November 24, 2016

 

colossians-2-6-7-new

The Verse of the Day for November 24, 2016, Thanksgiving Day, speaks of expressing thanks or showing gratitude to God for what He has given to believers through His son:

Colossians 2:6-7

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.

These same sentiments are expressed in the prayer found in Ephesians 3:16-19 (NLT):

16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

In reflecting on these verses, I thought of an incident that occurred a year ago. Sitting in a waiting room, I observed a young child who was given a coloring book and some crayons. The child smiled and said, “Thank you.” He showed items to his mother, and she asked her son, “Did you say thank you?” The person who gave the gifts responded, “Yes, ma’am. He sure did.”

From the earliest days of childhood we are taught that when someone gives you a gift, our response should be some expression of gratitude, namely to say “Thank you.” And so it is with the Children of God, we are taught not only to express our gratitude to our Heavenly Father with the words that we speak but with way we conduct our lives. Our lives should be abounding with giving thanks to God, not just on the Fourth Thursday in November every year, but our lives should overflow with gratitude to God every day and in every way.

In a previous entry on Thanksgiving Day, I posted some of the following comments:

In any situation, one of the critical factors contributing to our success or failure is “attitude.” Of course, the discussion of attitude comes full circle with this reminder that “attitude begins with gratitude.” J. Rufus Moseley speaks of “an attitude of gratitude and boundless good will.” For believers thanksgiving is a magnificent and joyful “response-ability”; that is, our ability to respond to God’s love and grace. We endeavor to demonstrate our gratitude to God from the fullness of our hearts, overflowing with thanks. More than merely occasionally expressing how grateful we are, we desire to maintain a continual “attitude of gratitude,” which some have called “thanksliving.”

More than merely saying “thank you” to God, more than simply tithing or sharing of our abundance or giving of our time or material goods, thanksliving is a way of life, expressing gratitude to God in everything we say and do. This time of the year, as we approach the final holiday season of the year, our lives should especially abound with thanksgiving to God for “His unspeakable gift.” Without question, “thanksgiving” is the reason for every season.

We show with all our being, “Thank God it’s Sunday through Saturday.” We join with the psalmist in declaring, “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night. (Psalm 92:1, 2) Each day is a celebration of the grace of God through Jesus Christ, in whom we live and move and have our being. The essence of our attitude of endless gratitude is expressed in this poem:

Thanksliving

In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God

in Christ Jesus concerning you.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

What shall we render to the Lord for all

His grace? What can we say to offer praise

Worthy of His glory? How can we call

With all our being upon His name and raise

A new song from the depths of our heart?

We must do more than mouth a platitude–

To express our soul in words is an art;

Yet words cannot express our gratitude.

Our words are empty and without merit.

“Thank you” too soon becomes a hollow phrase.

So we must worship God with our spirit

And must give thanks well for all of our days.

To live is give thanks with tongue and limb;

With each breath, each move, let us live thanks to Him.

The closing phrase of the poem matches the ending of the Verse of the Day with reminders of “abounding in thanksgiving,” as the lyrics of a song appropriate of this season also come to mind: “Give Thanks with a grateful heart.” Don Moen offers this expression of gratitude to God in song:

 

 

 

With a grateful heart

December 26, 2015

1 Thessalonians-5 18 New

This morning, the day after Christmas, I varied my usual routine and instead of reflecting on the Verse of the Day, I turned my thoughts toward expressing my gratitude to God for what was a glorious Christmas Day celebrated with one of my daughters and her husband in their new home outside of Washington, DC. As the morning unfolded, I was overwhelmed with gratitude to God as I listened to a recording of soothing piano music, a compilation of original music entitled “Peace” by Bryan Popin. The overflow of my time of worship was the following:

With a Grateful Heart

Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks to the Holy One
Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son
Don Moen

I reflect with deep gratitude for the best Christmas ever,
And seek a new way to say thank you, something truly clever
To convey just how grateful I am for all that You have done,
But finding the right words said in just the right way can never
Satisfy this vast longing to respond as a faithful son:
You have supplied richly my heart’s desires and met each need,
Yet words are not enough; some concepts defy definition:
I must show You in thought, in word, and deed.
Show and tell, no child’s play but my mission.
Please read between the lines of songs of praise;
These humble attempts reflect so much more,
As I seek to walk in wisdom and to number all my days.
I surrender and linger in Your presence, yielded and still
With a grateful heart, abiding in the center of Your will.

The introductory lyrics come from the classic Don Moen song of worship from which the title is also taken.

Key to the renewed mind

November 24, 2015

Colossians 2--6-7

The Verse of the Day for November 24, 2015 comes from Colossians 2:6-7(NKJV)

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.

This passage reminds us that as we have received Christ Jesus, the Lord, we are to walk in him, which is an aspect of renewing the mind, the process whereby we “put off the old and put on the new.” These lines reflect our prayer to God:

Open our ears to hear the Word that we might do it,

To put on the mind of Christ and learn to renew it.

In reflecting on this topic of vital importance to every believer, the following poem came to mind:

 

The Key to the Renewed Mind

Do not lie to one another, for you have stripped off the old

(unregenerate) self with its evil practices,

 

 And have clothed yourselves with the new [spiritual self],

which is [ever in the process of being] renewed and remolded into

[fuller and more perfect knowledge upon] knowledge after

the image (the likeness) of Him Who created it.

Colossians 3:9-10 (AMP)

 

It has been said that the key to power is the renewed mind

But what is the key to the renewed mind? God help us to see,

For we seek to walk in power and excel and not be left behind,

As we strive to know new levels of deepest intimacy.

With laser precision we must target the old man nature

And put to death those lusts of the flesh that still afflict us all.

Not conformed but transformed as a new creation, we mature,

As we respond in obedience in answer to God’s call.

We put off the old and put on the new, as we change habits

And reckon the old man dead: vile, corrupt, wrapped in sinfl pride.

We strive to dwell in the secret place where the Lord inhabits

The praises of His people; here we desire to abide.

Above all, we put on compassionate love from the start,

Wrapping ourselves in perfect unity, filled with a grateful heart.

The closing phrase of the poem, not only refers to the ending of the Verse of the Day in its reminder of “abounding in thanksgiving,” but the lyrics of a song appropriate of this season also come to mind: “Give Thanks with a grateful heart.” Don Moen offers this expression of gratitude to God in song:

 

 

 

Expressions of a grateful heart

November 24, 2014

Colossians-2-6-7

Colossians 2:6-7 (AMP):

As you have therefore received Christ, [even] Jesus the Lord, [so] walk (regulate your lives and conduct yourselves) in union with and conformity to Him. Have the roots [of your being] firmly and deeply planted [in Him, fixed and founded in Him], being continually built up in Him, becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and abounding and overflowing in it with thanksgiving.

The Verse of the Day for November 24, 2014 reminds believers that as we have received Christ Jesus, the Lord, we are to walk in him. This practice is an aspect of renewing the mind, whereby we put off the old and put on the new.

These lines reflect our prayer to God:

Open our ears to hear the Word that we might do it,

To put on the mind of Christ and learn to renew it.

The following poem refers to

The Key to the Renewed Mind

Do not lie to one another, for you have stripped off the old

(unregenerate) self with its evil practices,

And have clothed yourselves with the new [spiritual self],

which is [ever in the process of being] renewed and remolded into

[fuller and more perfect knowledge upon] knowledge after

the image (the likeness) of Him Who created it.

Colossians 3:9-10 (AMP)

It has been said that the key to power is the renewed mind,

But what is the key to the renewed mind? God please show me,

For I seek to walk in power and excel and not be left behind,

As I strive to know levels of deepest intimacy.

With laser precision I target the old man nature

And put to death and mortify my members once for all.

I respond in obedience in answer to God’s call;

Not conformed, I transform myself, as new man, mature.

In the secret place of the Lord who ever inhabits

The praises of His people, here I desire to abide,

To put off the old man, vile, corrupt, wrapped in sinful pride

And put on the new man, as one changes garments, habits.

Above all I put on compassionate love from the start

And abide in my hiding place, filled with a grateful heart.

The last line of the poem makes a reference to “a grateful heart,” the title of one of the songs on the “List of the Top Ten Plus One Songs of Thanksgiving.” Published on Examiner.com, the list includes a history of each of the songs along with the lyrics. The section on “Grateful Heart” by the Christian rock group, Petra, is reprinted here:

Petra, prominent Christian rock band, has regarded by many as a pioneer of the Christian rock and of the Contemporary Christian music genres. Formed in 1972 in Fort Wayne, Indiana by Bob Hartman, Greg Hough and John DeGroff while they were students of the Christian Training Center, the group grew in prominence, ultimately influencing a number of notable Christian bands. Petra takes its name from the Greek word for “Rock.”

Petra’s distinct sound evolved into a more energetic, driving rock sound in the early 80s. The late 80s and the early 90s were successful periods for the band, when it was considered the best-known, best-selling Christian band. Despite strong opposition from some church circles, Petra grew in popularity.

Among the most recognized compositions of Petra is “Thankful Heart,” a song based on Ephesians 5:20: “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”:

Another song on the Top 10 plus one Thanksgiving Songs also reminds believers to “Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart,” which is excerpted from the article:

As former President of the Integrity Label Group, Don Moen has been responsible for producing and directing hundreds of projects on the company’s Integrity Music, Hosanna! Music, Vertical Music and Integrity Gospel labels. He has composed over 100 songs and led worship across the globe, having more than five million Integrity Music CDs.

When asked about his purpose in life, Moen responded that God has destined him “To be an architect and builder of worship events and products that draw people closer to Jesus and change their lives.”

In 1984, Integrity Music asked Moen to lead worship on one of the first Hosanna! Music albums, Give Thanks. The project became one of Integrity’s most popular recordings ever, and a benchmark for the genre of praise and worship. The title song continues to enjoy widespread popularity, especially during this time of the year:

Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart

Give thanks with a grateful heart
Give thanks unto the Holy One
Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son (repeat)

And now let the weak say, ‘I am strong’
Let the poor say, ‘I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us’ (repeat)

Give thanks

Give Thanks

Don Moen offers this version of this classic song of worship:

As we put on the Lord Jesus Christ, renewing our minds as we walk in love, our souls overflow with gratitude, expressions of a grateful heart.