Overflowing gratefulness

“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 NIV

A year ago I had such a sorry grasp of what love is.  I am learning. And thank God, for God! He is teaching me sweet tender things. He has handled me mercifully and poured out his grace. Love causes such gratefulness.

“Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.” Psalm 136:26 NIV

God’s love – never changing, never failing, always rescuing and providing, comforting, correcting, guiding – LOVE! God is LOVE. And my heart swells with such thanks giving!

I set out to study thankfulness – as I grow and change I just thank Him so much and praise Him for all that He has done, all that He will do and all that He has said “no” to (I trust His ways).  And as I read verse like this next one, I get so excited and full of gratitude, even though it is not a verse about being thankful:
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 2:4-5 NIV
First of all I always get excited when GRACE is involved, and quite frankly, when is it NOT involved?!? Hallelujah!  Second His GREAT LOVE FOR US and RICH IN MERCY!!! How can these words be read without your heart feeling all sorts of gratitude?

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” 1 Chronicles 16:34 NIV

Thank you God!!! THANK YOU JESUS!!!! Are you feeling it?!  I know we don’t walk by feelings but by faith – but it’s such a great feeling to be loved and such a great feeling to thank Him who loves us!!! Let’s just enjoy thanking Him and praising him.

“I will extol [praise, exalt, admire, worship, appreciate] the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. Psalm 34:1 NIV

Oh how I love you, Father God, Abba, Daddy, and thank you for all that you have done for me!!!

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” 1 John 3:1 NIV

Who cares who knows me – My Daddy knows me, and I know my Daddy!!! Thank you for loving me!!

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV
Wait, what??? All circumstances??? You mean even with the pandemic going on? Even with the struggles we face? Even when things are not going my way? Even when I am under attack?

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. Psalm 28:7 NIV

Yes – even in the rough times, praise Him!!! He wants to be our everything – strength, shield, protector, provider, everything! We just need to surrender to Him, let God be our God and praise Him for it!

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” Psalm 100:4 NIV

Entering gates and courts? This refers to the gates and court of the temple – it is the derivative of the structure of kings’ palaces, and kings holding court. When we come before Him we should have a spirit of thankfulness and praise. Come before him? Yes, like when we go to Him in prayer – a prayer time set apart for him, even though we pray, praise and give thanks without ceasing. Trust me, it makes sense and it does work! I am a living testament to that!

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” Colossians 4:2 NIV

“Watchful” there is that word again – see those posts on watch and pray (look in my previous posts).  If it’s not in those posts, let me add – watch and pray with a thankful heart.
But how could we not be overflowing with appreciation and thankfulness when HE, the creator, the all-powerful, the most influential, King of kings and Lord of lords loves us??

“The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” Jeremiah 31:3 NIV

Oh Jeremiah – He may have appeared in the past but He is alive and present today with the same message: everlasting Love and unfailing kindness.  This is what I signed up for! Praise the Lord!!

“Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Psalm 106:1NIV

I wonder how many times and how many ways it is written in the Bible – His love and our thanks giving and praise.  It’s all mixed in together, like how grace keeps showing itself mixed in with every study I do.

“But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.” Psalm 86:15 NIV

And there it is again – grace! “Gracious” means full of grace! Praise the Lord!

“All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.” 2 Corinthians 1:15 NIV
Right here folks!!! This is it!!! All for our benefit – grace – reaching people – overflowing gratitude!  GLORY!!!

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39 NIV
And let finish with a thought provoking verse (or two).  He loves us and He makes you and me into MORE than conquerors. More. This thought is so much bigger than I think I can wrap my small mind around. Nothing can separate us from the Love of God – “nor anything in all creation”. Everything is created – therefore there is nothing that can stop the love of God! This is so much to think about. How great his love is! I stand in awe or as the kids these days say: mind blown. Think about it for a little while and see how much gratitude bubbles up inside you!!!  

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe” Hebrews 12:28 NIV

Glory to God in the highest!!! Amen!

Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

~Grace be with you ~
~Thank you for reading ~ Be healthy and blessed ~
~ Pray for our nation ~ Pray Psalm 91 ~

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