[Be] built up in Him and established in your faith … and overflowing with gratitude.
–Colossians 2:7

One way we can develop an attitude of thanksgiving in our hearts is to begin and end every day by expressing gratitude to God.

Let me make this suggestion: before your feet hit the ground out of bed, take a minute and thank God for His blessings. “God, thank You for my job. Thank You, God, for good health. Thank You, God, for my family.” If you will spend the first minute of your day giving thanks to God, then it will color your attitude for the rest of the day in a positive way.

In the same way, before you go to bed at night, make expressing gratitude to God for what He has done for you that day the last thing you do before you drift off to sleep: “God, thank You for helping me make this decision. Thank You for putting this person in my life today.” Review with God the things you are grateful for, and you will drift off to sleep praising God.

If you want to develop the habit of giving praise to God, I encourage you to demonstrate your gratitude to God in practical ways. In Colossians 2:7, Paul said our lives ought to be “overflowing with gratitude.” That word “overflowing” refers to a river that spills over its banks and splashes people on the side. We ought to be so grateful that our gratitude splashes out of our lives onto everyone who gets near us.

Here are some practical things you could do to express your gratitude: Maybe you receive an unexpected material gain. Why not do something practical to express your gratitude to God? In the Old Testament, the Israelites gave what they called a “thank offering” to God. If God has blessed you financially, then why not give an extra gift to God’s work to express your gratitude?

Is there somebody in your life who has invested in you spiritually or vocationally? Instead of just expressing your gratitude to God for that person, why not send them an email or pick up the phone and say, “I hate to think where my life would be if it were not for you”?

Are you grateful for your church? Why not express your gratitude to somebody in the church who has invested time and energy in teaching you the Word of God or has helped meet a need in your life? Practically express that gratitude to that person.

What about your family? Are you grateful for your children, for your spouse, for your parents? Take a moment to list three or four things you most appreciate about your family and share them with your family tonight. Learning how to practically demonstrate gratitude goes a long way in making gratitude a consistent part of our lives.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Count Blessings, Not Sheep” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2012.

Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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