Gratitude Day 4

My gratitude grows when I realize that God doesn't require me to work for His love!

Religion has spent far too much time telling us that we are required to work for our salvation. We have to give more, serve more, act better, smile more and manufacture the picture of wholeness. But, God knows that we are not able to keep up a game like that. And, so His plan and His love are not based on any work or action we produce!

I love this quote:

"Repentance, not proper behavior or even holiness, is the doorway to grace. And the opposite of sin is grace, not virtue." -- Philip Yancey

God knew that we needed grace, not religion, in order to find wholeness through Him? And that grace is the basis for the gratitude we are working to increase this Holiday season.

Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing. Ephesians 2:8-9 MSG

Take a few minutes and thank God for His grace in your life!

Gratitude Day 3

Want to increase your gratitude? Focus on forgetting! 

That's not an easy thing for us to do. We remember things very easily! And, forgetting the past, especially the painful past, can feel almost impossible. In fact, we tend to measure the worth of ourselves and others based on their past. Far too often our successes and failures define us. The problem is, there are two days where everything is impossible to control, Yesterday and Tomorrow. Let's simply start with yesterday! And let God's way of thinking begin to shape our gratitude. 

God does not keep a record of yesterday! That is a HUGE statement to realize. If God does not keep a record of yesterday, then why do we? I think it is crucial to keep our eyes on today and what GOd has in store for us. God does not let our past determine our future. That is a HUGE relief for me.... I wonder if it is for you too? 

Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Isaiah 43:18-19 MSG

Take time to thank God for the reality that He is not planning your future from what has happened in the past. Thank God that He is a gracious God who wants the best for you and me!