The Bible makes such a big deal about gratitude. God’s Word instructs us to give praise and thanksgiving to God for everything (Eph. 5:20), in all circumstances (1 Thess. 5:18), with all of our hearts (Psalm 9:1), with our words, (Psalm 9:1), with singing and with joy (Psalm 95:1-3).
We’ve forgotten our own history. As a result, we don’t fully understand the present and our role in it.
We love hearing testimonies of how God intervened in an amazing way in someone’s life. A child healed. A financial need solved. A marriage restored. A longing fulfilled.
Yet even as we celebrate with the person telling us the glorious story, there may be a part of us that (if we’re being totally honest here) can be a little distracted; a part of us that, instead of celebrating, might be quietly asking, “But what about my prayers?”
The Bible itself supports the idea that we can’t out-give God. For example, there’s the verse in Luke that says, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38).
Matthew 28 is a clear mandate. Go into all the world…and make disciples! The natural inclination of all of us is to serve and minister in the most comfortable places, usually close to home. But that is not what Jesus commanded in the Bible. He told us to go into all of the world, preach the gospel and disciple people.
If you do the right thing for the wrong reasons, it’s still good, right? Like eating broccoli. If I started eating broccoli every day simply to annoy a controlling neighbor who told me I must never eat broccoli again, wouldn’t my body still benefit? Wouldn’t the folate and vitamins K and C do their jobs, even if my reasons for eating the cruciferous veggie happened to be spite rather than health? In other words, isn’t doing a good thing for …
Around seven in the evening, the doorbell rang. I grabbed a butcher knife from a kitchen drawer and hurried to the front door. Someone rang the doorbell a second time. I slid the knife behind my back, took a deep breath and reached for the knob, my hand shaking. I’d been married a whole month and had just moved with my new husband from a very populated city in Southern California to a house surrounded by cornfields in Indiana. That …