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IN TOUCH WITH GOD    by Edward Heppenstall

Good Success NOVEMBER 23


Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God. 2 Cor. 9:11.

The key words in this verse—enriched, bountifulness, thanksgiving unto God—constitute one of the basic moods of the Christian spirit. The possessor of a vibrant, buoyant, grateful faith does not need to be pressured into telling about it. A living experience with Christ invariably becomes articulate in one way or another. Gratitude to God is natural for the true Christian.

At the heart of our gratitude is the fact that God loves us to the point of giving His Son to live and die for us. For the most part selfish people are not grateful. Preoccupation with oneself leaves nothing to thank other people for. Doctors tell us that cancer kills more people than almost any other disease. But selfishness is far more fatal. Christ fills the heart with gratitude and sweetness. But selfishness sours the life, freezes the better qualities that make for mental and physical health.

Christ sweetens the life by giving us a new perspective and a new sense of meaning. He releases in our hearts and minds the joy of His own presence. A glad gratitude is a good test of mental and spiritual health. The religion of some people is depressing. However, to be a true Christian is to be like a bird taken out of its cage and let loose to fly through the air. It means to have a life freed from the prison house of sin and guilt.

In training children and young people it is important to love them into obedience without malign feelings and rejection for their failures. It is possible to be disagreeable in our efforts to bring them into line. One can be so rigid in his religion that there is little or no attractiveness about the way he lives. The quality of our life is the ultimate thing. Unlovely lives may believe intellectually the right doctrines. Christ came to make us lovable Christians.

When Jesus walked the earth, little children ran to Him. Sinners were invited to righteousness by His presence. The unclean were purified by His love and acceptance. The Christian spirit is to be like that. Then it can only increase the happiness and gratitude in other people.

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