...and everyone who was willing and whose heart moved him came and brought an offering to the Lord ... all who were willing, men and women alike, came and brought jewellery and gold, brooches, ear-rings, rings and ornaments ... Every skilled woman spun with her hands and brought what she had spun ... And all the women who were willing and had the skill spun the goat hair … all the Israelite men and women who were willing brought to the Lord freewill offerings for all the work.
[Exodus 35: 20-29, NIV]
Today we are reproducing a recent word from Ellel Ministries. We had felt to bring a meditation on giving thanks, but this seemed to express it so well, that it seemed the best thing to do was to pass it on ...
So What Is Gratitude?
Well, here I was, challenged to make a study on the subject of gratitude. No verses given. So, where does the Bible tell us about gratitude? We’re told to do it. But what is it?
I’d just been reading Exodus and the above verses came to mind. This is about people giving with incredible generosity toward the materials required for the making of the Tabernacle. And then I thought about something Paul says about giving: ‘Each person should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver’ (2 Corinthians 9:7-11).
So why should I think of generous giving when I am meant to be thinking about gratitude?
I started a different way. When do I feel gratitude? I thought of a time when I had felt really pleased with something I had been given.
Last Christmas I was given a present of a casserole I had wanted very much. My son, Mark, had carefully consulted with me and we went together to the shop to buy it. I was so pleased with it! I washed it, I found it a place to live, I chose a dish I wanted to cook in it. I know I sent a WhatsApp picture to Mark to show him my first cooked dish about to be served up in my new casserole. I wanted to share with him how pleased I was with my new gift. My response and enthusiasm came out of that being pleased with my gift! That’s gratitude. It’s an emotion. It’s not just saying “Thank you”, politely. It’s about expressing my happiness when I receive something.
So now I understand why the first verses that came to mind when I thought about gratitude were the verses talking about generous giving. God loves it when we are so happy with what we have received from Him that we want to give freely in response. He loves us to sing, and to thank Him. But most of all I believe our Father is delighted when our gratitude to Him spills over in generosity of lifestyle to others, and back to our Father.
Prayer: God, I want to express today, in my life, something of the joy I feel deep inside of me for all that I have so richly received from You. Help me to respond by giving generously out of a full heart of gratitude to You. Amen.
Sue Griffiths Sue Griffiths Sue is married to Richard and they enjoy their grown-up children and grandkids. Currently, she and Richard are hosting Explore A for a second time round at Ellel Grange -and loving it because on this course people’s lives change as they find healing and release in God’s kingdom. Sue loves doing creative things with stitching and fabrics, gardening and cooking. And walking in the big wide open spaces of Northumberland where she lives.
“Thank You, Lord” — Don Moen
OSWALD CHAMBERS — RUN TODAYS RACE
Saturday 25th July 2020
When I want to debate about doing what I know to be supremely right I am not in touch with God.
GEORGE and GILL STEWART