Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Give Thanks for a Love that Endures

Give Thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever (Psalm 118:1).

Read It: Luke 17:11-19

Washing the dishes is my daughter's daily contribution to our family's "household maintenance." Unfortunately, like many busy teenagers, she sometimes forgets to do the job or lets other activities (like talking on the phone or watching television) get in the way of upholding her responsibility. That means we have to jog her memory a bit to get her to do this chore. After one recent reminder, she protested, "If you just wouldn't say anything, I would do it!" She is becoming more responsible around the house, but the fact is, there are still times when the dishes are piled toward the ceiling and she needs a cue, a little added nudge, to do her work.

We all need reminders sometime. God, in His great mercy, condensed many of His very thoughts into the Bible for us as a life guide. As the perfect, loving Heavenly Father He is, He uses His word to give us, His beloved children, some much needed reminders. He repeats words and phrases throughout Scripture to help us remember some of the things we are prone to forget. I've yet to find an admonition in the Bible that I can share with my daughter, saying, "Do the dishes," but another phrase that is repeated nineteen times in Scripture has gotten my attention lately. Here it is: "Give thanks to the Lord."

I started thinking one day, why does God tell us to give thanks? Why does He have to remind us to thank Him? Reflecting on our family's daily dish washing scenario made me realize: it is because we often forget!

After Jesus healed the ten men who had cried out to Him for healing from leprosy (Read It: Luke 17:11-19 above), only one of them came back to thank Him. Jesus poignantly asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?" Isn't it interesting that Jesus received ten requests for help, yet only one person came back to say "thank you" to Jesus by "praising God in a loud voice." Just like those nine ungrateful lepers, we are all prone to forget to give thanks to God.

God is so good to provide for our every need. He meets our physical needs through things like food, clothing and shelter. He gives us a sense of belonging through our family and friends. He heals broken bodies and wrecked relationships. But in Psalm 118, King David adds an even greater dimension to why God deserves our thanks:

His love endures forever.

That powerful little four-word phrase is found over 40 times in Scripture and it's meaning is mind-boggling. Enduring love does not change according to the behavior of the recipients of that love. Enduring love remains strong and unyielding, even in the face of misfortune. Enduring love holds on through hardship and refuses to give in. That's the magnificent kind of love God has for us. Wow! He deserves our thanks.

Copyright 2003 by Debbie Hannah Skinner. Used with permission.

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