Do we ever consider God's longsuffering (i.e. His patience) toward us? His love ...passion for us?
If your like me? Probably not often enough!
not N-E-A-R-L-Y enough!!
We all take things for granted! Things that He has done for us. And does do for us!
What kinds of things?
Our jobs. The abiltiy to earn money. The clothes on our backs. All of creation around us. The plants that
not only give us food, but also oxygen! The animals here that we have been made "custodian" over:
"Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over
the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that
creeps on the earth.”
(Genesis 1:26 NKJV)
And one of the most important? ...Our Lives!
And all the myriad of blessings that He bestows upon us:
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there
is no variation or shadow of turning."
(James 1:17 NKJV)
We should be very thankful for the things, the people, and all the blessings He gives to us. And some may say, "yes".
But are we? ....Really?
...And if we are? Many of us have some very "strange" ways of showing our gratitiude! Such as not only "not"
thanking Him. But by complaining about what we do have! ....And what we Don't have!!
Why is it when anything is given to us, that we do not appreciate it? Whether its our families, spouses, our jobs, our
health. Our homes, whether we own, or rent (or however God puts a roof over our heads)?
Why are we so selfish that we "expect" these things just belong to us? That we are "owed" them. And many of us seem to
have "entitlement" issues. We think we deserve what we have and ...more!
We are so selfish! Especially with our money! We think such things as, "that's mine, I earned it". So we withold
it. From those in need and from the church!
...And we make excuses such as, "God doesn't need my money". Well...this is true! He is God!! But He uses the money of
His servants. Just as He uses His servants! And so we are not willing to contribute, or we contribute "very little" to God's
kingdom purposes! But we forget who gives us the ability to earn money! God!!
And, if we think about it? In all reality? ALL things really DO belong to Him!
"The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness,
The world and those who dwell therein."
(Psalm 24:1 NKJV)
"For every beast of the forest is Mine,
And the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know all the birds of the mountains,
And the wild beasts of the field are Mine."
(Psalm 50:10-11 NKJV)
But yet this is what we do! We forget!! As often as the "sun comes up and goes down".
And what about the standards He gives us to live by? We ignore them as if they are nothing. We act as if they annoy
us! That they are an, "inconvenience" to us.
And this is probably the "least" thankful we are for anything that He gives us! His word!! But He gives us His standards
to help, encourage and bless us!
"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for
correction, for instruction in righteousness,"
(2 Timothy 3:16 NKJV)
And the worst thing of all? Is when God gives us HIS very BEST and we act as if it is NOTHING!
And what is this? The greatest blessing He gives us? ...Aside from the very breath He gives us? The most important of
all? The one we sometimes deny by the way we live?
...His Son Jesus!!
You see God gives us EVERYTHING we have! But yet we are so ungrateful. So much so that not only do we not thank Him?
But we also sometimes deny Him by the way we live our lives!
Do we not realize that no only does He own the world? But we belong to Him also:
"Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have
from God, and you are not your own?"
(1 Corinthians 6:19 NKJV)
That He paid a high price for us:
"For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s."
(1 Corinthians 6:20 NKJV)
With His own life:
By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our
lives for the brethren.
John 3:16 NKJV)
But yet when it comes time to thank Him? Give Him glory? Serve Him? We take such a "care free" attitude towards Him.
.....We take Him for granted!
And we ignore His standards (commandments, etc.). His best for us!
Whether it is taking His name in vain. Coveting our neighbors good's. Or bearing false witness. Or even adultery (etc.).
Some seem to think, "oh, these rules". But think about it! What are the consequences of sin? Aside from punishments that
can be received from God?
Well, take for instance bearing false witness. Doing so not only is a lie and sin. But also, think about what it can
do to someone. Ruin someone's reputation. Cause them to lose friends, family. Lose a job, or important position. Or even
send someone to jail, or prison. And then you have earned yourself a reputation. Perhaps as liar ...and backbiter?
Or what about adultery? Not only is it a sin against God. But think about this. What else does it do? The damage?
Well, it obviously hurts the victim of it! The spouse!! And cause some awful pains and scars. But also, it hurts any children
that are involved also. And it destroys families! And many times more than one!!
You see God does not impose morals on us to hurt us. He does it to help us! He knows the damage we can do. Not only to
ourselves, but also to others (in our sin)!!
But yet we hardly ever take Him seriously!
And in turn? In the end? We are the ones who hurt ourselves:
"There is a way that seems right to a man,
But its end
is the way of death."
....And How He must cry for us!
We act is if our faith is just something that can be worn like a "T"-shirt. We can take it "off and on" whenever we like.
Whenever it's convenient for us! Dependant on whoever is watching!! Whatever "impression" we want to make!!!
But know this! God sees it all!!
"And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him
to whom we must give account."
(Hebrews 4:13 NKJV)
And often times? Many will think such things as, "well if God cares about me so much? Loves me? He must prove it to me".
But we must look outside themselves and think! ...And come to realize. God HAS already proven His love to us everyday!
Not only did He NOT have to create you. But He also, did not have to clothe you. Nor give you the food you have to eat. ...Nor
the breath in your mouth!
Nor did He have to offer you His only Son:
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish
but have everlasting life."
(John 3:16 NKJV)
That you may live forever with Him!!
Think about scripture. There are many epistles (letters, etc.) written that admonish those who are in sin and error.
To encourage them to do what is right (1 Thess. 2:11). And warning them about how dangerous their sin is.
Such as the church at Corinth (in 1 Corinthians). Paul addreses sexual immorality in chapter 5. Or what about 1 Timothy
chapter 6? Paul warns those who want to be rich. That the "love" of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Or what about
James chapter 2? James warns that, "faith without works is dead". Or what about what John says in 1 John chapter 1? He tells
us that, if someone says, "I love God and hates his brother, he is a liar". And there are many, many things written in
God's word to help us (and to warn us)! And think about this. These were written to believers! Not unbelievers (hint, hint,
But yet many will dismiss what God's word says! They treat is as if is "nothing" to them.
...And How He must cry for us...
You see it all comes down to this.
When are we going to take our faith in Jesus seriously? When are going to be thankful for all He has done for us? When
are we going to live as He has called us to (with His help of course)?
When are we going to stop treating Him like some kind of "recreation club", we belong too? One day we feel like "being
in the club". The next we do not!
Eternity is a SERIOUS business! And we need to be serious about our faith!!
Now, we know that this world is coming to and end.
We do not know when:
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Take
heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is."
(Mark 13:32-33 NKJV)
But we can say safely that as each day passes? We are one day closer!
The question for all of us is this. Do we take Him seriously?
Are we going to be obedient to Him?
"So Samuel said:
“Has the LORD as great delight in
burnt offerings and sacrifices,
As in obeying the voice of the LORD?
to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to heed than the fat of rams."
(1 Samuel 15:22 NKJV)
"Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and
take up his cross daily, and follow Me."
(Luke 9:23 NKJV)
...And think about this one. "Daily"! Not just one, or two days our of the week!! Not when it's convenient for us. ....But
everday! 24 Hours X 7 days a week!!
And will we share the gospel with others as He has called us ALL to do?
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even
to the end of the age.” Amen."
(Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV)
We need to get serious!
You see, Jesus did not come into this world. Be persecuted all His life on this earth. Mistreated by the ones He came
to save. Then to betrayed by a friend. Denied by others. Then die on a cross because it was fun! So that we could, "follow
Him when we find it convenient".
You see it all comes down to this. God gives us life. The breath in our lungs. He gives us the clothes on our backs.
The food in our stomachs. The ability to earn money. The jobs that we have. And even if we lack in any area of any one of
these? It does not mean that He hasn't blessed us in some way!
And He gives us His standards (2 Timothy 3:16). So that all will go well for us!
Well, that's the hope! Except of course we as people are fallible. We will make mistakes. And even in this?
He will forgive us:
"My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate
with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous."
(1 John 2:1 NKJV)
...And yet in all this we tend to take Him for granted and we just, "do our own thing". And we stray from Him. And
we only end up hurting ourselves!
...And how He must cry for us!
You see God loves us so very passionately! But yet? We cannot see past our own selfishness to realize this. He only wants
what is best for us. But yet, we ignore Him!
So the challenge here is this. If you are not taking Him serious?
...Your faith in Him is not serious? Consider these things!
You see God's heart aches for us. He loves us so much and we turn our backs to Him.
And in the end? The only one you will ultimately hurt? ...Is yourself (proverbs 14:12)!
God was serious about His love for us. So much so He gave His only Son that we might live. His Son Jesus.
When are we going to start being serious about Him?
Ask yourself today! How faithful am I to God? Do I listen to His voice? Am I obedient to Him? Am I thankful?
You see we can deny Him by the way we live. And in the end we will only serve to hurt ourselves.
And here is some, "food for thought":
"If we are faithless,
He remains faithful;
He cannot deny Himself."
(2 Timothy 2:13 NKJV)