FRANK’S DESK – 10/28/10


Every day you get a gift. God handed it to you the moment you were conceived. It’s called your life. And no matter how well your day goes or what your physical, mental or emotional condition might be, life is a precious gift–one you need to thank God for.

What Does God Say?
Genesis 2:7 describes that first life-breathing gift: “The LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature”(ESV).

In Job 33:4, Elihu says,

“The Spirit of God has made me,
and the breath of the Almighty gives me life” (ESV).

And “in his hand is the life of every living thing
and the breath of all mankind” (Job 12:10, ESV).

Isaiah talks about the Lord God as the One “who gives breath to the people on it [the earth] and spirit to those who walk in it” (Isaiah 42:5, ESV).

It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? God gives you life–the air you breathe, the energy you burn, the muscles and thought, skills, emotions, personality and soul–all come from Him.

In Ecclesiastes, the Preacher (King Solomon) records a long and thoughtful search for meaning and purpose in life. In the end, he comes down to a few simple truths: daily food, good work and obedience to God. “Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth” (Ecclesiastes 12:1, ESV), and to “fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13, ESV).

This type of “remember” is more than not forgetting something; it’s a conscious choice to recall and reflect on something (specifically God) with gratitude, worship, honor and respect. It translates into how you live, not just what you say.

Ecclesiastes focuses on life–what makes it meaningful or pointless, pleasant or unhappy. See what these verses say about the basic elements of a good life.

Ecclesiastes 2:24-26
Ecclesiastes 3:11-13
Ecclesiastes 5:18-20
Ecclesiastes 8:15

What activities do these verses talk about?
What attitudes keep cropping up?
What is/are God’s gifts according to these verses?
What are some ways you can translate these things into your view of daily life?

When the alarm goes off too early, when your body doesn’t work like it used to or your job drags you down, it’s easy to forget that life is a gift from God. When you view your activities and routine as meaningless, difficult or without any joy, maybe it’s like that because you’ve forgotten to be thankful. God calls us to be thankful. First Thessalonians 5:18: “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”(ESV)

Take a few moments to list some of the gifts you receive every day that you have life. Make it as basic as you want; maybe start with just two or three things. Then write God a thank-you note for those. Over the next week, take a moment to read your note out loud to Him (in prayer, if you like), adding to it whenever something else catches your attention. Making that conscious choice to be thankful for the basics of life can change your perspective.

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