“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” (NIV)
I found this excellent explanation of why I am always happier with my life when I am doing everything in the spirit of gratitude for everything in my life and decided I would like to share it with you all. It was written by the noted American Philosopher Paul K. Moser of Loyola University in Chicago (click here to see original website, and click here to check out a few of his wonderful books.):
(the following is an excerpt of a piece written by Paul K. Moser)
The Maker of heaven and earth has, out of merciful love, embarked on a rescue operation toward us, His enemies. We have rebelled against God in ways that leave us in bondage to selfishness, idols, and death. God, however, has not responded in kind. Instead, He has sent Jesus, His Son, to befriend us, His enemies. In the life and death of Jesus, God offers forgiveness and reconciliation to all people, and proves His love for all people. How are we to respond to this Good News of amazing mercy toward us? How are we to enter in to the friendship offered?
We must be grateful to God if we are to enter in to loving friendship with Him. In particular, we must be grateful, above all else, to God for His merciful love in Jesus. Such a response of gratitude is the gateway to trust, hope, and spiritual healing in God, our Rescuer. We should think of gratitude as a central ingredient in Jesus’s love commands. In particular, we should understand those commands as prescribing gratitude as follows:
The most important commandment requires this: Be thankful for the Lord your God and His Son Jesus with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second commandment requires this: Be as thankful for your neighbor as you are for yourself. There is no commandment greater than these. (cf. Mk. 12:28-31)
When our gratitude conforms to these two commandments, we are attuned to the living God. Our gratitude will then bear lasting fruit, even the fruit of God’s Spirit (see Gal. 5:22-23), in how we are and live. We will then have lasting joy, come what may. Such gratitude cannot be self-made by humans. It comes as a gift from the living God, who alone can empower us, through His Spirit, to put love and thanks toward Him first in our lives.
Ingratitude, as the refusal to be grateful to God, is spiritual sickness and rebellion against God. Such ingratitude rests on the arrogant presumption that a human is in a position to judge the perfectly loving God to be unworthy of gratitude. It exalts human standards for what is worthy of gratitude above God’s standards. Something is very wrong with this picture: the selfish creature is presuming to find fault with the perfectly loving Creator. Ingratitude toward God is perhaps the most fatal human sickness. It motivates idolatry (see Romans 1:21-23), and leaves a person joyless, frustrated, and angry. In the end, the ungrateful life is not worth living.
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The key to my success has always been gratitude. I believe the events of my life have proven to me that if you work hard, always maintain gratitude for everything in your life and always seek to be of service to others, then you will be justly rewarded and can look back content in knowing that you lived the right way. I am thankful. I am happy.
…recently came across this picture again, but this time found the obvious hope, joy, and optimism in my son’s eyes to be overwhelming. I am a very lucky man. Thank God.
Filed under: Tennessee | Tagged: 25 December 2007, 5 months old, baby boy, beautiful baby, bright future, first Christmas, God, gratitude, happiness, hope, I love you daddy, joy, let's play, life, looking forward to my future daddy, merry Christmas, optimism, Thank God, this is fun, what next? | Leave a comment »