Monday, November 21, 2005

CrossTies Devotional Article for November 20, 2005

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Eternally Grateful
By Bill Denton

“always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father” (Ephesians 5:20, NASB95)

   Lucy asks Charlie Brown to help with her homework. "I'll be eternally grateful," she promises.
   "Fair enough. I've never had anyone be eternally grateful before," replied Charlie. "Just subtract 4 from 10 to get how many apples the farmer had left."
   Lucy says, "That's it! That's it! I have to be eternally grateful for that? I was robbed! I can't be
   eternally grateful for this, it was too easy!"
   With his blank stare, Charlie replies, "Well whatever you think is fair."
   "How about if I just say 'thanks, bro!'" replied Lucy.
   On his way outside, Charlie meets Linus who asks, "Where've you been, Charlie Brown?"
   "Helping Lucy with her homework."
   Linus asks, "Did she appreciate it?"
   Charlie answers, "At greatly reduced prices."
               Charles Schultz, “Peanuts” cartoon strip.

At any given moment, have you ever felt that you might be ‘eternally grateful’ for something?  Five minutes later, did the thought occur that ‘eternal’ gratitude might be a bit much?  I think we may be more like Lucy than we’d like to admit.

Gratitude seems to be difficult for us.  Sometimes it’s because we get to thinking that people owe us whatever they did, or whatever they gave us.  Maybe it’s because we delude ourselves into thinking we deserve whatever we got, if it’s good and positive, that is.  Whenever those thoughts intrude upon our minds, gratitude is left out.  Sometimes, gratitude is embarrassing.  We don’t like to look needy or helpless, and if we’re too grateful, it might make us look bad.  So we think.  The point is simply that expressing gratitude is tough.

Even salvation gets short-changed in the gratitude department.  “Saved?  Oh, yeah, right.  Uh, sure.  Thanks, Lord!”  No, we might not actually say that, but it’s not far from the content of our thoughts.  I’m convinced, however, that when it comes to actually living forever in heaven, and experiencing all the blessings of salvation, gratitude won’t get left out.

After all, the whole point of eternal life and a home in heaven is that sin and condemnation are dealt with and put away.  It means we’ve been redeemed, sanctified and glorified.  There is fellowship with Jesus and the Father.  There is the company of saved who share in the heavenlies with us.  There is the constant praise of God happening.  You won’t be able to forget or ignore God’s love, mercy and grace for they will be ever-present in an obvious way.

Whatever else happens forever in heaven, of this one thing I’m sure:  we’ll be eternally grateful.  This Thanksgiving Day, put salvation at the top of your list of things to be thankful for.

© Copyright  2005, Dr. Bill DentonAll Rights Reserved.Articles may not be reprinted in any "for profit" publication without further permission by the author. Articles may be freely distributed via e-mail, reprinted in church bulletins or in other non-profit publications without further permission. Please keep this copyright and Web Site information intact with copied articles. Articles are sent originally to subscribers only. You may have received a forwarded or reprinted copy.
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