The Upper Room Devotion for Thursday, April 20, 2023, was written by Nelson Nwosu of Anambra, Nigeria.
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. 16 I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, 17 and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. 18 I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:14-19 NRSV
6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
Colossians 2:6-7 NRSV
GROWING IN GRATITUDE
In the book of Colossians, Paul poured out his heart as he urged Christians to build their lives on Jesus. “Be rooted and built up in him,” Paul wrote. Any tree that is firm and solid has roots extended down into the ground, and its deep roots prevent the tree from being knocked over. As believers, we are like these trees. We can root ourselves in the truth of God’s word, which keeps us from being moved or shaken – no matter how turbulent the circumstance.
Rooted in Christ, our faith can withstand thoughts and emotions that try to stir up turmoil inside us. As a result, our hearts will begin to overflow with gratitude. A thankful heart is victorious. It resists fear and creates a contagious atmosphere of joyful hope and peace around us. So, the next time negativity tries to rush in and pour out of our mouths, we can stop it with a word of thankfulness. Gratitude can neutralize toxic thoughts, fill our hearts and minds with the powerful force of faith, and positively affect everyone around us.
What and who are you grateful for? Nelson’s reflection reminds us of the mind altering, heart mending, soul stirring power of gratitude. I encourage you to take a moment and re-read Nelsons reflection, challenging yourself to allow a spirit of gratitude to “neutralize toxic thought, filling your heart and mind with the power of faith.”
Dear God, help us stay rooted in your love, grounded in your word, and ever growing in gratitude and grace. Amen.