Near the end of a truly rousing, inspirational sermon, the Biblical prophet Samuel tells his congregation:
Only fear the Lord, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you. 1 Samuel 12:24
This has now become one of my favorite scriptures. Why? because it explicitly links our faithful obedience to God and our work in His service, to gratitude for all of the infinite blessings that have first been poured out on us.
I actually think that the “thankfulness-leads-to-devotion” relationship is pretty rarely articulated in the scriptures. The next best one that I can think of comes from the New Testament:
We love him, because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19
It’s good to be reminded of this. God has shown us great love, and always will. Obedient discipleship is the least we can do in return; indeed, is precisely the one thing that He does ask of us:
And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,
To keep the commandments of the Lord, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good? Deuteronomy 10:12-13