Welcome to Day 3 of the Gratitude Challenge! This one gets a bit spiritual, so you’ve been warned. On this day, I move the focus away from my direct family, but I don’t stray too far. I consider God part of my family, or rather I’m part of his family, as he has adopted me. The process was far easier than I thought it would be way back in the 80’s. I assumed I’d have to jump through some hoops to make it into heaven—that I’d have to be a really good person and do lots of good works, but he made it clear in the Bible that I didn’t have to. I just had to accept the gift of salvation Jesus offered through his sacrifice on the cross, and love him as my Lord.
Of course if you love your father, you desire to serve and obey him, and so good works is not a requirement, but rather something I do because I love him. Of course living for him isn’t easy, but then neither is the alternative, though it may seem otherwise without close inspection.
There are so many misconceptions about who God is, and how he feels about us (all of us). But I know I’m not perfect, of course. I make mistakes too, so I’m not trying to give anyone a hard time who may have thought something bad or made some harsh statements about him, not taking the time to get to know him better to understand what he’s all about.
If you want a close relationship with your spouse or a friend, you have to spend lots of time with them—invest in them. Without doing that, it’s easy to misunderstand someone, and get the wrong impressions. Anyway, I figured God was worth at least one day of the Challenge! So here goes—three things I’m grateful for today!
- God the Father: Not sure how he pulls off three distinct, co-equal, eternal persons all in one, immeasurably powerful, unbelievably patient and amazingly loving being, but nothing is impossible with God! Thanks to his grace, I am saved though faith in Jesus and have him with me 24/7 though the Holy Spirit living in me. Do I fully understand how that’s possible? Nope, but he’s a lot smarter than I am, so that’s understandable. Does it really matter that I don’t have all the answers? Nope! God knows what he’s doing. I’m just glad that he cares so much for me and desires a personal relationship with me. I’m grateful for your grace, Lord. Despite my faults, you never stop loving me! Thanks for putting up with me, Lord!
- God the Son, Jesus Christ: God in the flesh. John 14:9 “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” Jesus is called “the Word” in John 1 and according to that chapter, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Thanks for making it so clear, God! It goes on to say in John 1:14: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” He clothed himself in a frail, fleshly body, lived his whole life without sinning or worrying about his own needs, sacrificed himself to rescue us from our own sins and returned on the third day just as he said he would, to bring eternal life to all that accept him as their savior. He paid the price so we don’t have to. Yeah, God’s that awesome!
- God the Holy Spirit: He dwells in the hearts of those who accept Jesus as their savior—those who devote themselves to him. He is our advocate (John 14:26), he guides us (John 16:13), regenerates/comforts and renews us (Titus 3:5) and reveals God’s will to us (1 Cor 2). He desires to bless us as we live in obedience to him! He never leaves us, nor forsakes us. Talk about a patient, loving, tolerant god, wow!
Ok, so God is really only one being, but I am grateful for all three persons—for the system of order that he’s set up (he is a god of order, setting up the days of the week, and the basic system of government and marriage for our benefit). His commandments weren’t to put a stranglehold on us, but to show us that we need him—that we can’t make it on our own. As a god of wisdom, common sense, logic, love and order, he doesn’t expect us to know everything, do everything, but has created positions and systems so that things get done and we don’t have to tackle it all ourselves or struggle as much through this rollercoaster life. I think God deserves at least one day all to himself, wouldn’t you agree?
That’s all for Day 3. Hope to see you in a week! Take care!!!