GRATITUDE

My walk in the garden….

teresa

GRATITUDE

Am I grateful?  Does gratitude ooze out of my pores?  Can you see it all over me before I even say one word?  Does my life reflect it?  Do I ever seem defeated, fretful, or complaining?  I know the answer to this last question is a resounding YES!

What is the matter with me?  A visit to the spiritual doctor would quickly diagnose me with a case of spiritual deafness.  I obviously didn’t hear Paul when he said in Romans 6:4-6,

My old sinful self was crucified, dead and buried!  It was done away with (v.6).

GONE!  FREED FROM SIN!

If I was able to hear, really and  truly comprehend, all the way to my core what he is saying, wouldn’t I be living out my gratitude with each new breath I’ve been granted by the grace of God?

I have been given LIFE?  Today, I have been given another day on earth to LIVE to God in Christ Jesus.  Will I live it today as someone brought back to life from the dead?  I am so beloved that Jesus died for me!  Shouldn’t that radically change my response to Him?   Part of the reason that my life may not have reflected this miracle in the past is because really these were just great, mind boggling words that I believed but not really…deep down.  Maybe it’s partly because I wasn’t even born when this miracle happened, so perhaps I doubt how it could really apply to me?  This is one of those revelations that most people probably get right away and I thought I did too, but my life and actions often times were not very reassuring.

In Acts 2:28 we’re reminded that David said,

“You have made known to me the ways of life.  You will make me full of gladness with your presence.” 

Gladness…with your….presence!

  Acts 2:38?  Repent and be baptized in the name of Christ Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Verse 43:  Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe and many signs and wonders were taking place. 

Kept feeling awe”….wow!  They remained in a state of awe which shouldn’t be surprising.  Maybe what’s more surprising is that I don’t always.  God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  The same awe-inspiring God in Acts gave me the same awe-inspiring gift of the powerful Holy Spirit when I accepted Christ as my Savior.

What’s the difference, what was their focus?  Verse 42 says they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.  It seems they were very determined in their desire to follow Christ in community and it was their daily focus.  Today, we live in a fast paced world where other things can take our focus off God if we don’t make a purposeful effort to give Him our attention before anything else.   Perhaps if our focus goes beyond today, we actually run ahead of God and that’s when fear and doubt creep in.  I don’t have the answer, but Acts 2:46 says they went day by day, daily in the temple, and verse 45: doing good (sharing with anyone who might have need), and verse 47:  Praising God.  I don’t think we can underestimate the power of praising God!

I think we get a glimpse of the fellowship described in Acts and the power of the Holy Spirit every Tuesday morning when we come together for the ladies Bible study at Bannockburn.  The fellowship, the teaching, and the passion of the women for Christ fill me to the brim with gratitude and a sense of awe and gladness to be in God’s presence in such a tangible way because He’s in each one of us.  When we come together I just get giddy!  I love it and want every day to be Tuesday.

Acts 1:8 says, You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.

We have received the promised gift of the Holy Spirit.  He’s in each one of us who have accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior, and we are promised power.   I want that!  I want to live that way every moment of every day!  I know you do to and that’s why we’ve been brought together to study about the Holy Spirit.

I’m loving this Forgotten God study about living by the power of the Holy Spirit, the same power that raised Christ from the dead, and the same power that caused 3000 people to get baptized in one day!  The same power that Jesus said could move mountains.  Hallelujah!

Let me ask a favor of everyone, seriously.  If you hear me grumbling, or complaining or fretting, would you please bless me by putting your hand up to my ear and asking me if I’ve had my hearing checked lately?

Grateful for one more day, and grateful for your sisterhood,

Sandy

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