Be thankful. Be kind. Be loving.

Be thankful. Be kind. Be loving.

Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Isn’t it interesting how all three of these imperatives go hand in hand? Our gratefulness generates kindness, and our kindness demonstrates love. God is the perfect example for us to follow as we strive to work out these traits in our lives. He enriches our moments on this earth with many things and He gives us numerous opportunities to reflect His love to others. Although it may not always be easy, showing gratitude, kindness, and love goes a long way. And it is the only way if we strive to live how God commands.

Being a follower of God does not mean singing hymns on Sunday mornings and saying prayers before mealtime. Being a follower of God means being a child of God. And sometimes that means we don’t get what we want, we just do what we’re told—because we know our Father has our best interests at heart.

When we live our lives according to God’s will, He promises to bless us. He tells us to be thankful no matter the circumstance. To be kind to one another, forgiving others just as He forgives us. He instructs us to love all those we encounter, our enemies included. He encourages thankfulness, kindness, and love with examples of His own actions throughout Scripture. And He promises great reward when we follow through with His commandments.

So we will be grateful even when times are tough, gracious when people are cruel, and generous to those who don’t deserve it. God loved us enough to send His only Son to die on the cross in the greatest example of love the world will ever know. When it is hard to follow the “thankful, kind and loving” guidelines, let’s remember our thankfulness begins at the foot of the cross.

Challenge

Our obedience is the first step in following God’s will for our lives. Read Luke 6:35, Ephesians 4:32 and 1 Peter 4:8. Think of one thing you’re grateful for and tell God how thankful you are. Consider a time when you could have shown kindness but didn’t, and seek His forgiveness in the situation. Pray about being loving and ask God to help you pour out His love on everyone in your life. Strive to live by following our perfect example, Jesus Christ.

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