55. Ephesians 5:20

Giving thanks always for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. —Ephesians 5:20

Ephesians5_19-20

When our girls were younger, I enjoyed reading to them every night at bedtime. One of the books we enjoyed was about a little boy named Alexander who struggled through a day in which everything seemed to go wrong for him. Shortly afterward I had a day that started the same way. Midway through the morning, I sat down for my devotions and spontaneously wrote a few lines in my journal: “I woke up late, and Grace was late to school today (again), and the trash cans had to be taken out, and the dog nuzzled his dirty nose against my white overcoat, and the drive-in window at McDonald’s took five times longer than usual, and they poured my coffee out of an old pot, and I just know it’s going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.”

I hadn’t planned on writing those words; they just showed up on the paper. As I read them, I thought of Alexander and burst into laughter. And I had one of the best days I’ve had in a long time. It’s all in our attitude.

Yesterday as I was flying back to Nashville from Tulsa, the weather forecaster in Oklahoma warned us that there would be terrible storms across the Southeast, so I was concerned about my flight. But the pilot pierced the clouds and got us above them. As I looked down on those magnificent, billowing, brilliant clouds, I thought to myself that storms are beautiful from the upper side.

We all have terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days. We all have stormy days. But when we’re filled with the Spirit—when we’ve placed every part and parcel of our lives under the control of Jesus Christ—it affects our attitude. We fly at a higher altitude. We find ourselves always giving thanks to God the Father through our Lord Jesus Christ.

After all, if all things work together for good, as Romans 8:28 promises, why not always give thanks in all things?

Teaching Others about Being Filled with the Holy Spirit from Ephesians 5:18-21

  1. A command. Be filled with the Spirit.
  2. A contrast. Don’t be drunk with wine, but be filled with the Spirit.
  3. A comparison. Being under the influence of the Spirit shares some surprising comparisons with being under the influence of alcohol (see Acts 2:1-15).
  4. A change. How do we know if we’re filled with the Spirit? Certain changes will occur in our lives: singing in our hearts (v. 19), gratitude in our minds (v. 20), and submission in our attitudes (v. 21).

A grateful mind is a great mind; a thinking person is a thankful person.—Anonymous

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