Live Life Like You Are Thankful!
Heavenly Father, you told us to seek you and your kingdom first and your righteousness and everything we need would be added to us. Remind me to stay dependent on you, leaning on you for all my needs so that I, in turn, can work on your great commission to reach the world for you!
Read: I Corinthians 4:7-8, NIV
7 “For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?
8 Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! You have begun to reign—and that without us! How I wish that you really had begun to reign so that we also might reign with you!”
When I read today’s verses, I am reminded of the story of the Prodigal Son. The Prodigal Son lived in the vilest way possible, doing everything to satisfy his flesh and be in rebellion to his earthly father. When he came to his end, he realized that he deserved nothing short of punishment for his sins. His head hung low and he carried himself with great shame and embarrassment back to his father’s house. Expecting to be met with scolding, scorn and judgement, he was met with great surprise when his father, instead, ran out to meet him! His father did not run out to embrace him because of all the sins he had committed and felt sorry for him. His father saw a son who had come to the end of his means and ability and was ready to surrender; a son who felt conviction for how he had hurt his father and who was ashamed of what he had become. His father poured out great mercy on him for realizing the short-comings of his own abilities and bad choices. He welcomed him back and gave him right standing again in his family.
Meanwhile, we see the older son and his jealous nature erupt when he witnesses the love his father showers on his wayward brother. You see, the older son felt righteous in and of himself. He felt his abilities and his accomplishments should gain him great rewards with his father. In fact, we sense a son who doesn’t share the same attributes as his father. The son felt ‘justified’ and ‘right’ because of his own abilities and how he lived. But he did not possess the love and mercy his father showed. How sad the elder son’s outburst must have sounded to his father. He had hoped his older son also would have rejoiced in the younger brother coming back and having the family restored, instead he was filled with jealousy and dissention. The Bible says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God.” (Romans 3:23 NIV). We all deserved death, even the “good son,” but Christ stood in our place at the cross giving us eternal life, “For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23 NIV). For all of us, who have been redeemed by God’s grace,0 came to Him humbly and in need of mercy. God loves us all, and as much as we have been given and received His mercy, we need to help others who do not know him to experience this same mercy! “But God demonstrates his own love to us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8 NIV)
People who are thankful are typically those who enjoy life, have positive energy, and are people others want to be around. When you have an attitude of thankfulness and are openly sharing with your family, friends and acquaintances about being thankful…it becomes contagious! My father-in-law was like this when he was alive. He constantly witnessed to others about Christ, just because he was so vocal and exuberant about all the great things that God had done in his life on a daily basis! “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16 NIV). Don’t hide your light under a bushel, but let it shine!!
Dear Lord, make me a more thankful follower of you this day! I am so thankful for all your love and mercy, for dying for me on the cross at Calvary, and paying the price for my sin. “Lord, I need you, oh, I need you; Every hour I need you; My one defense, my righteousness, Oh God, how I need you!!”