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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. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fool.  Romans 1:21-22

Relationship is an interesting thing. The more one puts into it, the more they get out of it. First of all, we need to define ‘relationship.’ In a relationship, both parties benefit from being together. If only one person’s needs are being met it’s not a relationship. It’s an arrangement.

It’s sad to say, but many marriages never get to the ‘relationship’ stage. As a result one person feels like they give and give and give with nothing in return. Eventually the stress is too much and divorce (either emotional or physical) happens.

The same is true in our spiritual lives with God. Many people believe in God or a god of some sort. But knowing God or about God and being in relationship with God are completely different. Compare it to a physical love relationship.

What does a perfect love relationship look like to you? Don’t you think constantly about the other person? You go to work. You go about the mundane tasks of life. You hang with friends, deliver the kids to soccer practice and fold the laundry. But in the back of your mind there is always that thought of the person you love.

The same is true in our spiritual lives. The God of the universe earnestly desires a passionate love relationship with you. But relationship with God, like any relationship is a two-way street. Our Father God has given everything for us, even his only Son, Jesus. What does he want in return? Our love. Love shown through obedience to the things we know we should do. Love that is shown through avoiding the things we know are wrong.

When love is given and not returned we call it being ungrateful. When we are ungrateful to God for his blessings it makes our hearts insensitive to his desire to draw us to himself. We show ingratitude by compartmentalizing our lives. God is good on Sundays. God is looked to in the face of adversity or severe trial. As one pundit remarked, “When a jetliner is going down, there are no atheists on board!”

The longer we live lives that are ungrateful to God, the more our hearts grow insensitive to God and his leading. Will God still bless us? Sometimes, but those blessings may not satisfy. We can receive outward blessing and still harbor inner turmoil. Turmoil that we seek to fill with other gods like financial security, new ‘relationships’, social action, or religion.

Your Father God in heaven is real. He earnestly desires to have a relationship, not an arrangement with you. Part of that process is showing him living gratitude in your thoughts, words and actions.

PRAYER: Father God. I don’t want to be one of those who never shows my gratitude for all you’ve done for me. Forgive me for following my own way and expecting your blessing when I’m really being ungrateful.  Empower me with your Spirit to enter into a passionate love relationship with you. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

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