S79P4 – Notes on gratitude: our joy at kingdom expansion

2 Thes. 2:13-14

But we should and are obligated always to give thanks to God for you, believers beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and by your faith in the truth. It was to this end that He called you through our gospel, the good news of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, so that you may obtain and share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

There are two angels who led me to Jesus Christ, and I will never forget how happy they were when I agreed to accompany them to church. That was only the first step, but their joy was palpable.  About two weeks later I got saved, and breaking the news about my salvation was another cause for celebration.  I guess I had not understood completely what it meant for me to become a Christian, because I did not think anyone should be making such a big deal out of it.  It was great that I had found Jesus and begun studying the truth, but I seemed to be the only one who was not super elated about it.  Only years later would I come to know their joy at seeing one of God’s chosen children come home.

I know now that what I thought was their excitement for me was really their gratitude toward God for the change He brought about in me.  Yes, they were happy to see that I had passed from death to life.  Yes, they were happy to help me go through the sanctification process and learn how to be victorious over sin.  Yes, they were happy to share their spiritual knowledge and wisdom with me.  Above all this, however, they were grateful to God for saving me.  It was his mercy and grace which opened the door for that to happen.  It was He who chose me before the foundations of the earth were laid.  Now that I have led others to him as they led me, I know what it is to be grateful to God for saving even one more soul.

When we think about how precious salvation has been for us, we should desire for others to taste of the Spirit just the same.  It might seem like a no-brainer for me to thank God for saving me, but I cannot forget to praise him for everyone else He has called to his kingdom.  It certainly should give me cause to praise him when I see others pass from death to life.  This is especially the case when God has allowed me to minister to someone and have a hand in that transformation.  I cannot tell Jesus it is time for his return because I am saved and good to go.  I should want one more day for God to save even one more person, and I should be grateful to him for it.  Father, stir in us true gratitude for the many saints You add to your kingdom daily, those we know now and those we will not come to know until that day.