TODAY'S WORD FOR Friday, July 31, 2020:
The quality or feeling of deep appreciation for kindness or benefits received; feeling thankful.
Because although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
Showing gratitude has become a lost art for many people here in America. Many people do not understand what the word gratitude really means. We meet people who do not seem to be grateful for much in their lives.
What causes this lack of gratitude? Possibly we are spoiled and expect much more than we have, or possibly, it is because of the so called “ME” generation that we live in. We have taken our prosperity for granted. We really do not know how blessed we are nor do we acknowledge the one who is the giver of all that we are blessed with. We think we are entitled to it.
When someone does something kind for you, do you say thank you and by saying thank you show gratitude? It is very rare for us to hear someone say thank you after being helped in some manner.
The lack of gratitude is just part of man’s failure that affects our society. In Romans 1:21, Paul gets right to the root of the problem. The first point Paul makes is that it is not sufficient to just be aware that God exists. We must know God. To know God means to have an intimate relationship with Him that God has made possible by His gift of salvation.
When we know God, Paul tells us that, we are to glorify Him as God. This means that we are to acknowledge His sovereignty, His holiness, and His perfection and give Him the glory in all things. God is good and every good thing that we enjoy in life comes from God. We are not just to acknowledge this fact but we are to give God thanks for it (show Him gratitude). When we do not our thinking becomes “futile and our foolish hearts become darkened.”
We in America have had so much given to us by God but we neglect to show Him the gratitude that He deserves.
Often those who are less fortunate in life are the ones who show the most gratitude.
When we were in Manila, Philippines we visited a large garbage dump. We went there because we were told that more than 100,000 people lived on top of the garbage. These dear people searched through garbage scraps, dumped by the garbage trucks, for food and anything that could be salvaged and they sold what they found and used the money just for items of survival. They live in shacks that look like they will collapse with any wind.
We mentioned the following story in a prior devotional but we want to repeat it now because it really expresses gratitude. We were walking on this dump being led by a missionary that we worked with. We came upon this lean-to shack with an open front and saw a little 10 year old girl sitting by a box, the only thing in the room, and on that box was a Sunday school daily vacation bible school picture booklet.
We were introduced to the little girl and soon we asked about the book. Her eyes lit up and she said that someone a year before had given her that book and she read through the pictures every day. She said that she had never had a gift before and this was the best thing she ever had. Her gratitude moved us to tears.
We recognized the Sunday school book as one of the books we had sent several years prior in a large 40-foot sea container to the missionary who was leading us on this tour to the dump. He did not even know that this young girl had this book. She was still showing her gratitude for what God had given her.
Another example was when we visited one of the churches in Kenya where we sponsored the pastor. The people had very little in earthly possessions. When the offering was taken, we saw the offering box being passed around and it was filling up with fruit, vegetables and even a chicken. These people were showing their gratitude to God for all they had by giving a portion of what little they did have back to Him.
Do you express your gratitude to God for all that He has given you? Do you express gratitude to your spouse, your children, your parents, your family or your friends for who they are? And do not forget when we express our gratitude to God we are acknowledging that He is the one who gives us all that we have and that He is the Lord of all. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father” (James 1:17).
Every day we are providing food boxes (basic food items for a month) and Bibles to children like we talked about above. You can sponsor a food box and get more information by going to our website: www.thehungersolution.org
Our memory verse for this week is found in Philippians 2:4.
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Lord, I acknowledge that You are the giver of every good thing that I have. Thank You for Your mercy and grace in saving me from my sins and giving me the greatest gift of all, eternal life. Thank You for all Your many blessings that You have given me and continue to give me every day.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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