I’m grateful for my friend Mike. Yes, he’s as lost as lost can be. And I’m praying earnestly for him to come to know Christ. But thinking about him has got me thinking about me. Well, not about me so much as about the many blessings I enjoy as a believer which my friend Mike does not yet enjoy.
Another blessing of which I’m becoming aware is that of a heart full of gratitude toward God for all He has done for me. And I’m pretty sure that Mike — and my other unsaved friends —
33. THEY DON’T HAVE A HEARTFELT, GOD-DIRECTED THANKFULNESS!
I’m not saying my unsaved friends aren’t thankful people. But how much of their thanksgiving is directed toward the Lord? Apart from giving thanks at dinner, do they praise Him for life, for His mercy, for the gift of salvation? Not yet, as far as I can tell.
We live in an unthankful, entitled culture that demands its rights and expects only good things in life. But the believer is told: “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (I Thes. 5:18).
A lack of thankfulness is one characteristic of the lost person, according to Romans 1. In Paul’s diatribe against fallen man, he writes, “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.” (v. 21) 2 Timothy 3:2 says, “People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy . . .” Jesus advises His followers: “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” (Lk. 6:35)
So, how do I pray for my unsaved friend? I demonstrate by my life that I am grateful for all God’s blessings to me. And I strategically pray for my lost friend that he would recognize his thankless natural state and turn to the Lord in gratitude for salvation. (to be continued)