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June 18 – A Spirit-filled life is always thankful

…giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. – Ephesians 5:20

Scripture reading: Luke 17:11-19

How can one know if the Holy Spirit is truly at work in our lives? Ephesians 5:20 answers that evidence of a Spirit-filled life is one of continual thankfulness to God for all things. Acknowledging God’s sovereignty, His providence, His goodness and faithfulness that He will provide all things necessary for body and soul, in life and in death, the Spirit-filled Christian is always thankful to God from Whom all blessings flow.

And yet, do we always give thanks? Are we perhaps like the nine lepers who were healed by Jesus, but failed to give a word of thanks? They had no desire to worship Him or to give thanks. How can that be? And yet, how often don’t we have to remind our children or even ourselves to say, “please and thank-you.” How much more, ought we who are filled with the Spirit, to always give thanks to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In good times, we can become proud or complacent and neglect to give God thanks. In times of sorrow and suffering, we can be so consumed with our unpleasant circumstances that we fail to see God’s hand working all things to our good (Romans 8:28) and we neglect to give thanks. Being thankful is not dependent on our circumstances, but is a matter of the heart – a Spirit-filled heart. Yes indeed, let us count our blessings one by one and give thanks! Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!

Suggestions for prayer

Pray for a heart filled with the Holy Spirit that we may give thanks always for all things and in all circumstances.

Rev. Henry Van Olst felt called to the ministry at the age of 32 after 12 years of working in the accounting field. He served the Parkland Reformed Church (URC) of Ponoka, Alberta from 1993 to 2005; served in several other churches, and upon retirement in 2020 moved back to Ponoka, Alberta along with his wife Mary, to be closer to their four married children and fifteen grandchildren. Rev. Van Olst remains active in preaching and teaching as the church is currently vacant. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.

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