Thankfulness that Flows From the Heart
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Christian gratitude begins at the Cross. We were God’s enemies, we despised his call on our lives and his claim on our hearts. The Holy Spirit reached out to us: he convicted, he wooed, he drew, he convinced us of the Father’s love for us. We melted under his influence recognizing that there was nothing in us that deserved saving.
By God’s grace, we saw Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross as our just punishment for ignoring, violating, and despising God’s commands. We were astonished by Christ’s sacrifice: gratitude overwhelmed us as we saw God’s grace acting to deliver us from our self-imposed darkness. In turn, we met the resurrected Christ, he not only forgave us, but renewed, restored, and healed us. Astonished gratitude was our only response then and continues our heart’s cry now.
When we learn to read the story of Jesus and see it as the story of the love of God, doing for us what we could not do for ourselves–that insight produces, again and again, a sense of astonished gratitude which is very near the heart of authentic Christian experience.