Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

Thank God for Jesus, me and tobie!

Years ago there was a lady in our church whose husband was unsaved. We all agreed that if he would only become a Christian he would be a real asset. He was intelligent and well thought of in the community. What an impact he could have! Then he started coming to church. He nodded his head to being born again. He faithfully sat in the second row. He never smiled, He never served. If he impacted anyone other than to complain, I was unaware of it. In short, we were wrong about his value as a Christian because we based our predictions on his natural, human characteristics. The truth is, none of us has anything that God “needs” or that constitutes us as being more or less valuable to the Lord or His church. We don’t do God any favors by serving Him, no matter how much we would like to think so. We need Him, He doesn’t need us.

The truth is, no one is grateful for being found until he is painfully aware of being lost. One of the real shocks to me when I entered the ministry was the lack of passion and commitment on the part of so many church folks. They liked to sing. They enjoyed inspirational preaching. Most would even give money if they were moved emotionally. But it was just too much to ask to commit to regular service. It took us several years to finally realize that the one who is unaware of the hopelessness of his condition is not particularly grateful for being freed from it. The reality is that we were all equally and hopelessly lost. No matter our talent, our career, or our social position, we were each one individually guilty of the murder of the Son of God. We were each equally in need of His gracious “Father forgive them.” Those who grasp that serve passionately out of a grateful heart. Those who don’t are either lukewarm or they serve for counterfeit motives.

Scripture Reading: Impressive, isn’t it? She was forgiven many, many sins, and so she is very, very grateful. If the forgiveness is minimal, the gratitude is minimal." (Luke 7:47 MSG)

Somebody Said: Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. Melody Beattie

Passion, faithfulness, and grace toward others all spring from gratitude to God for His gift in Christ. Jesus came to rescue you, and you needed it!


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