A place for weary people to be encouraged. I believe in God's everlasting and redemptive love. He has changed my life, brought healing where I needed it and hope when I had lost mine.
I hope you truly have a nice day.
You are stronger than you think.
Friday, November 22, 2013
Thankfulness that Counts
Thanksgiving - Part 2 Thankfulness that
Photo by Thomas Wieland
What Mary of Bethany did was unprecedented in the story
found in John 12:1-7. She was lavish in her expression of
adoration to Jesus. It was a party for Jesus. Her brother, Lazarus, was at
the table with Jesus. Sister Martha, was serving. Mary enters with a
bottle of precious nard, an expensive perfume—worth a year’s wages. She pours
it on Jesus’ feet then wipes his feet with her hair. Why? Why would she do
something so unusual, bizarre--embarrassing? At an earlier time we have seen Mary sitting
at the feet of Jesus in rapt attention, absorbing His truths. Why indeed? What is it that has captured her attention? The truth is, Mary
understands the better thing. Her understanding of the beauty of Christ’s words
and the deeper truth contained therein, have prompted to her to give lavishly
out of her thankful heart. She desires to bless Jesus in a way that expresses what is in her heart. She gives because she has received.
THANKS + GIVING = THANKSGIVING
We do strange things
sometimes.When we are authentic in our spiritual life, we believe in a bigger God—we live close
to the Source. When has your thankful heart given way to expression? When have
you shared Christ’s love? When have you been the recipient of someone’s
expression of Christ’s love which came out as a blessing freely bestowed on you? It can make a huge difference.
Have you ever seen God
work a miracle and then multiply the blessing?I have. Some of the miracles
have been in my own life. Things I couldn’t do or was unable to change, special needs, and personal requests, then my
gracious God came in and caused the miracle to happen. When things like that
happen, we are not just thankful for our salvation and our healing, the positive result, in our gratitude we become
willing to give—and God gets the glory. Every time someone gives us a truth in
a bite-sized chunk of meat, when they share and we internalize the truth, it has
the capability to reproduce in another conversation at a later time, providing
meaningful content that helps someone--a multiplied miracle.
It is our personal
responsibility to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and to keep sensitive to the
Source, Jesus Christ.Some of the most authentic humble people make the
biggest noise when they use their small voice. Their voice is amplified when
God moves it into the mainstream—the global community. Mother Teresa was this
way. She spoke what God gave to her even when her popularity and world-audience
clambered her way with praise. It didn't turn her away from her focus. She lived out her love for her Savior. Mother Teresa simply was the hands and feet of Jesus to
the down and out in the streets of Calcutta,
India ... and
to the world. God used her as his megaphone to a world that had lost its way,
the faithful who had forgotten to live the Christ-way, and as an example of one who followed the truths found in
the Beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount.
Christ is the answer.
In Him is found hope, healing, forgiveness and truth. As His followers, Christians should live in ways that are servant-oriented. To be the hands and feet
of Jesus, to be authentic in the community around you, Christ-followers must open their eyes
to the need. Then ask God for the opportunities. It will amaze how it plays out. What should we be known for? Are we known for our pessimism, criticism, our negative
outlook and critical spirit? Are we known for our kindness, caring,
helpfulness and our positive outlook? This matters. Running down people doesn’t
help them—and it exposes pride and arrogance of spirit. Any of us could be the
user, abuser, street person, or other ... and some of us have been. God’s grace
is for all the world. Authenticity
means loving comes first.
What can we do to
become authentic?If you are stingy with your money, start giving it away.
If you are stingy with you time, start volunteering.If you tear people down with your words,
start building them up. Meet problems head-on. Meet self-focus head-on. Change
what needs to be changed. God wants us to do this through His spirit. In Him,
we will be able to become new and changed, authentic and real, true followers
of Christ Jesus. We will give out of our thankfulness to the One who is Real.
The solution isn’t
simple.The words aren’t light-weight. Being authentic doesn’t mean
problems disappear. We may find a wall we can’t scale, a forest too dense to
walk through, a river too swift to navigate. There will be times that God seems impossible to reach or the problems beyond what we are able to handle. That is why we need community. It may take some extra help, a
caring friend, a gratitude journal, a counselor with wise counsel, a pastor
with a servant’s heart, or something unique to your situation to find your
way. Sometimes we must seek help to get through the trial.
Give thanks for the
gifts you already have, even the small gestures of love and kindness.Enjoy
the beauties of nature. Look at the smiles of the children. Read a scripture.
Read Christ’s prayer in John 17. Give thanks. Out of your (spiritual) abundance, give something away to someone else. If it’s just a smile, it
will still bless someone and lighten their load for a brief moment’s pause. Before you fall asleep, count ten blessings found in the day just finished. Don't quit counting until you have ten, even the small quiet gifts are significant ... a kind word ... laughter ... a tasty meal ... a phone call ... a warm thought ... a song on the radio ... a good morning greeting ...