Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I am thankful that God is so patient with me. While there are thousands of things that I could mention, I am humbled so much by the fact He gave me enough years of life to realize how important it is to be thankful. It's not an accident that thankfulness permeates the Word of God as much or more than any other concept! Just check out a concordance and see how often thanks, thankful, thankfulness, thanksgiving, and gratitude appear in the Bible! It's amazing that we miss how central it is to spiritual growth! Since I have been thinking so much about it the last few years, and hopefully growing in it too, I've been looking for things as I read the Bible that will remind me about how much I have to be thankful for. Of course, the Word is full of statements about God's love, grace, and mercy. Because of Jesus, nothing in this world looks as good as joining Him in Heaven. I love all the passages about "one another" stuff too! I get excited reading about what the Spirit does even though I'll never understand the how and when. But I read a very special verse in John's third epistle that I've read scores of times, but I've never let it speak for me. When I did, it said it all. "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." (vs.4) Isn't that awesome? There is nothing that thrills me more than to know that our physical children and their godly spouses all love God and are actively building deeper relationships with Him. And it's wonderful to know that our grandchildren, both born and hoped for, will be raised knowing and loving our Father. And I also have to add to that group the many spiritual children through the years that we have helped to find God and know Him better. God has allowed us to impact a lot of lives over the last thirty-plus years and we are thankful for each one. Still, I can think of six "kids" and four grand-kids in particular, who give me the greatest joy because I know they "are walking in the truth." That's especially exciting when you remember that "truth" is Jesus (John 14:6), not some persons idea of "doctrinal correctness." I really like John's declaration of joy and I especial like his clear sense of priorities. I can't wait to tell him "thanks" in person.


Sherry said...

We will always be THANKFUL for learning at your feet for 8 years. We were challenged and charged. We grew and gained. We came to know and understand God and His Son better..and to continue to strive to do both and seek their presence in ALL we do. Thru good times and especially bad, we have learned to TRY to remember the great blessings we have and be THANKUL not worriful. Thanks...and God bless--The Haughts

MaryAnn Green said...

Once again...the tears come. What a precious picture..but an even more precious message. I am HONORED to know 4 of those sweet "children" well and love them deeply!!!
Oh, how blessed they are to have you as father and grandfather!

Mamaw said...

Mike, my dear son-in-law,
You addressed two of my favorite things -- the blessing of family and gratitude. I am glad you see growth in yourself in both those areas; just wait until you are 75 or 80 years. Yes, that part gets even better.

Love you,