Reading: Ephesians 1:11-23
In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.
I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
Have you ever gotten praise for something, and your reaction was, “Oh, it was no big deal”? Have you been taken aback when someone is so appreciative, and you didn’t think you did anything that was that heroic?
I get that sense when I read Paul’s words: “I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers.” If Paul sent me a letter and said that, I probably would say, “Oh, shucks…”
When I was in college, my campus pastor was very good at always giving verbal gratitude for anything we did in service to the church. At first, I thought, “Oh, shucks… it was nothing” but came to really appreciate the words of affirmation and thanks. So much so that I try to do the same thing because it meant so much to me.
Take time to give those short words of praise, thanksgiving, and gratitude. It could change someone’s day!
God, we give you gratitude for all the blessings you give to us each day. We are grateful, too, for those who shower us with words of thanks.