Yesterday, we shared principles 1 and 2 from Jesus Pure and Simple. Today, we bring you a third principle for growing closer to God.
3. Immerse Yourself in Gratefulness
The last time I got away was for four days. The theme that God spoke to me about was gratefulness. I was still involved in ministry, but I realized I wasn’t grateful anymore. That’s when my joy quotient starts to go south and motives get skewed. When that happens, we are destined to slowly go blind. It is only as we renew our hearts of gratefulness that our eyesight is restored. If you lose gratefulness, you can still have a good job, friends, a house, fine children, and a supportive wife. But if you are no longer expressing gratefulness, you’ll go blind to God’s workings and blessings. When you’re grateful, God will do everything He can to give you more. The psalmist knew this well. He proclaims,
Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise! (Psalm 100: 4).
Why? He continues: For the Lord is good (v. 5).
Lose your sense of gratefulness and eventually everything you have erodes.
I remember one afternoon when my son Aaron was seven years old. He ambled up the driveway with a friend in tow. I was working on my car when I noticed the chain on his friend’s bicycle dragging. “Dad,” Aaron said, “my friend’s bike doesn’t work anymore.” I saw the problem immediately— his friend’s bicycle chain had fallen off the back sprocket— and I knew it was an easy fix. But my mischievous nature wanted to play with them a bit. “Fix it? Wow,” I said thoughtfully. “Looks really bad. Usually when these things happen, we’ve just got to throw the bike away.” “But, Dad,” Aaron said. “It’s not that old of a bike. And he’s my friend!” “Well,” I said, scratching my head. “It looks like the flux capacitor’s shot and the spiral separator is dislocated from the reactive generator.” The blank stares of innocence told me that my drama was working.
“But because you two look like good kids, I’m going to do everything I can do to fix this.” I’ll never forget it. Aaron turned to his friend and said, “Watch this! My dad can do anything!” I was so tickled by his response and proud to be his dad. After that kind of a grateful response, I didn’t only want to fix the chain. I fancied the thought of pinstriping his bike and decking it out with a new radio, basket, and headlights. And maybe even affixing some playing cards to the spokes until it sounded like a Harley Ultra Glide with open pipes! Our heavenly Father is the same way when we express our grateful hearts for what He’s done.
This post is adapted from Pastor Wayne Cordeiro’s book, Jesus Pure and Simple.
Do you have questions about this month’s topic? Join us Friday for Mentoring Leaders Live, as Pastor Wayne shares from his experience and takes on audience questions.