One of the first quotes Nancy Leigh DeMoss has in the book, Choosing Gratitude, Your Journey to Joy is ascribed to a British pastor, John Henry Jowett. It threw me for a loop already on the 23rd page.
“Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road.”
Just think on this for a moment: Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along…
If we’re not operating from a place of thanksgiving, then all the Fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control – are difficult to experience and put into action.
Pause for a moment – really think about it…
- how effective is your ability to love your spouse, your children, your parents and everyone around you… if you can’t be thankful for anything about him/her?
- how much joy can you be filled with, if there’s nothing around you that you appreciate?
- how can you hold onto peace without being thankful for Jesus’ sacrifice?
You get the idea.
In the book, Nancy Leigh Moss highlights & expands on 8 reasons to choose gratitude:
- Gratitude is a matter of obedience to God.
- Gratitude draws us close to God.
- Gratitude is a sure path to peace.
- Gratitude is a gauge of the heart.
- Gratitude is the will of God.
- Gratitude is an evidence of being filled with the spirit.
- Gratitude reflects Jesus’ heart.
- Gratitude gets us ready for heaven.
I feel this is one of the best gratitude, thankfulness books I’ve read, with many practical applications. The author encourages us to foster an attitude of gratitude.
Some of the action items in the devotional are:
- recording spiritual blessings – not just “things”
- list those people who have blessed your life in some way – the person who introduced you to Jesus, teachers, friends, leaders – and write them a note to tell them how their actions blessed you
- ask God if there are any ways you’ve become blinded to His grace
- be aware of how you are modeling thankfulness – when was the last time you told your children/grandchildren that you’re thankful God has put them in your lives?
- be aware of your whining… how has this affected your mindset and relationships?
The author, Nancy Leigh Moss, challenges the readers to make a change.
Not an attitudinal change – but rather a “gratitudinal” change!
An attitude of gratitude and thankfulness… now, what would that improve in your life? What will we all change to bring this into our lives?
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