Thankful for what we have
“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.”
How is it we can sometimes take so for granted the glorious riches we have been freely afforded in and through Christ Jesus; our salvation and everlasting life? Let us consider the children of Israel. For forty years God showed Himself strong on their behalf as they traversed the wilderness. But this was a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not steadfast with God. The children of Ephraim turned back in the day of battle. They kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in his law; And forgot his works, and his wonders that he had showed them (Psalm 78:8-11)
God showed them His marvelous works each and every single day. He divided the sea, and caused them to pass through on dry ground. In the daytime he led them with a cloud, and all the night with a light of fire. He broke the rocks open in the wilderness, and brought streams out of the rock. And he rained down manna upon them to eat, and gave them of the corn of heaven. Man did eat angels’ food: he sent them meat to the full (Psalm 78:12-25).
Yet, despite the miraculous provision of God, and despite His caring, protecting and loving hand over His children, they sinned yet more against him by provoking the most High in the wilderness. They tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their own lust. The very children of God spoke against God; they were never satisfied with their salvation and with His leading them to the promised land; they wanted fleshly satisfaction and comfort more than they wanted spiritual and eternal life.
Today, let us not be as those who fell in the wilderness; those who were never satisfied with the provision and leading of the great ‘I Am’; those who continually grieved the heart of God because they honoured God with their lips but their hearts were far from Him (Matthew 15:8); those who turned not to the ways of God in their hearts, but back to Egypt; desiring to be once again enslaved just to fulfill the lust of their flesh, the lust of their eyes and the pride of life.
May we each be greatly encouraged, admonished and comforted by Psalm 95, which says:
1 O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. 3 For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. 6 O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. 7 For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice, 8 Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness: 9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work. 10 Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways: 11 Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.
There remains a rest to the people of God, and that rest is taking up our cross and walking in simple obedience to Christ Jesus, the very Word of God abiding in us and us in Him. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief as did the children of Israel (Hebrews 4:9-11).
So let us be thankful today for our salvation and for the provision, grace and mercy of the hand of God in each one of our lives; who has called us out of darkness into his marvellous light (1 Peter 2:9).
Additional scriptures for reading:
1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
1 John 2:15-17
15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
38 This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us: 39 To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt, 40 Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.
This ODAAT daily devotion written by Gareth Hosking
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