Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Choosing Gratitude

Quiet time.  Devotions. Time with God.  A very important and special part of the day.

What do you use in your devotions?  Do you have a favorite book that you go back to all the time?  Is there a special book in the Bible that you love to study?

The girls of Altogether Seperate will be writing reviews on books that we are currently reading in our devotions.  Will it be a book of the Bible we are studying or a devotional that we use using or a book that we are reading through during our devotional time?  Well, that will depend on the authoress for that blog post =)

I chose to do a review on a book that I am reading through during my devotional time.  This book was truly a God-send as I had been looking for books on gratitude, but had yet to find one that I was sure would be doctrinally sound.  I've been casually looking for the past couple months at different ones and then I came across a giveaway of the book "Choosing Gratitude" by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.   I've read a few of her books/devotionals and really enjoyed them so I thought I would enter just for fun as there were several entries.  Well, it was the one God wanted me to be reading, as I ended up winning the book!!  I've only gotten into it a few chapters, but it has been so convicting and yet encouraging as well - after all, it is a book on gratitude, which brings to mind things to be thankful for.

So, here is the review:

Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy
By Nancy Leigh DeMoss

    Gratitude is not a distinctive Christian character quality.  Although we live in a culture that is rampant with ingratitude, you will find that amongst most families, the words "thank you" are among the first words learned by a young child.  It is not uncommon to hear an unsaved person express the words "thank you" when they find a parking space in an overflowing parking lot, or when a family member comes out of surgery successfully.

However, when these people say "thank you" the "you" means nothing to them.  To us Christians, that little word "You" should mean everything.  When each of us realized our need of a Savior and asked the Lord into our hearts, our lives radically changed.  No longer are we bound by the chains of our sins, living for ourselves (or in reality, serving Satan), living without a purpose and headed for an eternity in hell without our Lord.  That gift of Salvation we accepted did not bring a life of ease without pain, suffering and trials, but rather, it brought the God of the universe, who loves us more than we can imagine, right to our side to guide and help us through each step along the way.  It brought purpose to our life and assurance that our future would not be spent in hell, but rather in heaven with our Lord for eternity!!

The gift of Salvation is free for all who would receive it.  However, someone had to pay for it and that is where our gratitude starts.  Remembering who sacrificed EVERYTHING for you and me.

Here are some excerpts from the book:

"Undeniable guilt, plus undeserved grace, should equal unbridled gratitude."

"Being humbly thankful to God for our salvation - the most undeserved transaction in our personal history - is the starting point for the purest form of gratitude: God-ward, Christ-centered gratitude.  True gratitude, Christian gratitude, doesn't exist in a vacum; it has an object."

And that is what this book is about.  Choosing Christian gratitude.

"Where does gratitude rank on your list of Christian virtues?
In an arsenal that's supposed to include things like mountain-moving faith, radical obedience, patient long-suffering, and second-mile self denial, for many, gratitude feels like an optional add-on."

"The issue of gratitude is far more significant than its lightweight reputation would suggest......Try, for example, to sustain persevering faith - without gratitude - and your faith will eventually forget the whole point of its faithfulness, hardening into a practice of religion that's hollow and ineffective.
Try being a person who exudes and exhibits Christian love - without gratitude - and over time your love will crash hard on the sharp rocks of disappointment and disillusionment.
Try being a person who sacrificially gives of yourself - without the offering being accompanied by gratitude - and you'll find every ounce of joy drained by a martyr complex......gratitude has a big job to do in us and in our hearts.  And it is one of the chief ways that God infuses joy and resilience into the daily struggle of life."

There is no limit to the amount of grace, love, forgiveness etc. that God gives us. 

"Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.  Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; your judgements are like the great deep" Psalm 36:5-6
"His grace super-abounding from the far reaches of His dominion, filling the depths of our needy lives."

"The beauty of Christian gratitude is that one little act of thanks  - giving on our part - when directed toward or inspired by its rightful Recipient - can abound and rebound from one end of the kingdom to the other, not only blessing God, not only benefiting us, but even lodging itself in places and in people where God's love might never have been received any other way."

"Gratitude is a lifestyle.  A hard-fought, grace infused, biblical lifestyle."

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I've only gotten into the first few chapters, but there is so much to chew on in those first few!

I enthusiastically recommend this book!  It's pages are filled with life-changing material on how to draw from the limitless amount of grace God has given us and use it to share with others in our gratitude.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, this sounds like a wonderful devotional! A lot of these concepts hit home for me when I was reading Ann Voskamp's "One Thousand Gifts." Since then I've kept an eye out for scriptures which mention giving thanks, and it is astronomical how many there are! Some of the most famous verses in the Bible key in on gratitude.

    It's so hard to be grateful when things don't go my way, or when life seems so empty and mundane, or when I'm writing yet another essay on American literature...but God calls us to give thanks for EVERYTHING, and I don't think that there are any exceptions.

    Thank you for this great review!


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