In the Apostle Paul’s “rule of life” for the Colossians, he urges them to “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3: 15-17). Notice his emphases at the end of each encouragement: be thankful, with gratitude, giving thanks.
A grateful heart is a blessed and joyful heart. Gratitude is the source of both. When we are grateful for our salvation, grateful for the grace extended to us so generously from God, grateful for the gift of life, every breath we are privileged to breathe, then our hearts are overflowing with love. A grateful heart is in essence a loving heart. Who among us doesn’t like to hear the words “thank you” or “I’m grateful to God for you” or “how grateful I am for life: whether in suffering, in plenty, or in want.” Yes, a grateful heart is a gift to the one who’s thankful and to all who cross their path.
When you examine your life, even the past 24 hours, for what or whom are you most grateful? This blog is being posted just three days after Ruth’s and my 33rd wedding anniversary. I am profoundly grateful to the Lord for the gift of my precious wife. I am giving voice to my gratitude to both God and directly to her so that the giver of the gift and the gift herself can know of my heart’s true delight. I treasure the gift of Ruth and when she knows of my grateful heart I can see her heart swell; when I deny her of my gratitude I can see her heart shrivel. O Lord, may you continue to ripen within me a grateful heart!
Crafting a personal rule of life includes the awareness of all that God has given to us thus far. When we have a grateful heart we are led into a deeper fellowship with the God of grace, goodness, and generosity. Each time I hear a story of how God has so sweetly developed gratitude in the heart of His followers, my heart grows with thankfulness and joy. Listen for yourself to the testimonies of others – at www.ruleoflife.com – and may your heart blossom with gratitude too. I’m grateful that you took the time to read this blog, dear friend!