Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thankful Thursday, Take 137

"...gratitude that is pleasing to God is not first a delight in the benefits God gives (though that will be part of it). True gratitude must be rooted in something else that comes first--namely a delight in the beauty and excellency of God's character.

"...You would not be honored if I thanked you often for your gifts to me but had no deep and spontaneous regard for you as a person. You would feel insulted, no matter how much I thanked you for your gifts. If your character and personality do not attract me or give me joy in being around you, then you will just feel used, like a tool or a machine to produce the things I really love.

"So it is with God. If we are not captured by his personality and character, displayed in his saving work, then all our declarations of thanksgiving are like the gratitude of a wife to a husband for the money she gets from him to use in her affair with another man."

--John Piper, God is the Gospel (p. 136-137)

Seeking to corral this so-often-adulterous heart, I step back from the gifts this week and thank God for...
  • His Spirit--not a gift for the prophets alone, for only some special category of pastors and holy people--but for ALL His children!
  • breathing life into me when I was nothing but a pile of dry, dead bones
  • keeping His promises
  • giving His Spirit not just to the men, but to His daughters as well
  • Jesus, whom my sins pierced, and whose death gave me life
  • mercies new every morning (and throughout the afternoon and evening, too)
  • His "Never-Stopping, Never-Giving-Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love"
  • knowing that that love doesn't depend on my performance
  • the privilege of calling Him "Father"
  • His sovereign, wise control over all things
  • reconciling me to Himself so that I could know a joy incomprehensible, incomparable: eternity with the One my soul was created to delight in and enjoy, the One who can satisfy me like none of His good gifts ever can

"May He grant us to delight in him for who he is, so that all our gratitude for his gifts will be the echo of our joy in the excellency of the Giver!" (Piper, p. 138)


Danielle said...

I LOVE the description of God's love from the Jesus Storybook!

Rebecca said...

"knowing that that love does not depend on my performance"