When was the last time you thanked the Lord for your salvation? For a long time I was guilty of taking God’s salvation for granted. I behaved as if it was God’s responsibility to send His Son to die for me! However in the past many years, the Lord has impressed upon me the need to be grateful, not just once in a blue moon, but regularly. I realized that if I did not do this with some intentionality, I would quickly forget and become negligent of this very important Christian duty called GRATITUDE.
God is teaching me to give thanks daily for His work of grace in my life. For a start, every Sunday, when we celebrate the Holy Communion, God is teaching me to affirm my faith in Him and to give thanks to Him. One specific way that I thank Him is for choosing me as His beloved daughter and for lavishing His love upon me. I am not worthy of His mercy or grace but He chose to show mercy and grace through the demonstration of His extravagant love. As I partake of the bread and the wine, I am grateful to the Lord Jesus for taking my punishment on the cross and for showing me such grace that defies my human understanding.
I regularly echo the words of John Newton, “Amazing Grace … that saved a wretch like me” and the words of Andre Crouch:
“How can I say thanks
for the things you have done for me,
Things so undeserved,
yet you give to prove your love for me,
The voices of a million angels
could not express my gratitude,
All that I am, and ever hope to be,
I owe it all to Thee.”
As I reflect on the Lord’s Table every Sunday, I am also reminded that this act of Holy Communion will cease when the Lord Jesus returns to claim His Bride – you and I, His redeemed people! Then we will no longer need any more reminders because we will be with the Bridegroom forever, and we will celebrate the grand wedding feast with Him! But between now and that Day, we are called to live as His “royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to Him” and to always “declare the praises of him who called us out of darkness into His wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9)
Another exercise I am intentionally learning to do every night before I go to bed, is to thank Him and at the same time declare my love for Him. This may seem a bit odd at first, but it is such a delight to be able to tell the Lord how much I love Him and wish to thank Him for all that He has done, and is doing in my life!
When was the last time you praised God for His extravagant love, mercy and grace upon your life? Take time today to tell Him how grateful you are for His stupendous gift of salvation and for adopting you as His beloved sons and daughters!
Let this become a habit whereby you demonstrate your gratitude as a daily routine, without any promptings or prodding!
By Dr Violet James, Associate Pastoral Staff (YCKC Bulletin 16&17 July 2016)