Monthly Archives: November 2014

What Did You Give Thanks For This Past Week?

I hope that with this past week being Thanksgiving, that everyone took a moment to be thankful for the many blessing they have in their lives.  I hope that it is not just a once a year event, but a daily practice that we all have where we thank God for the things in our lives.  Perhaps you made a list, maybe you uttered a prayer of thanks.  You might have even gone around the dinner table and everyone shared one thing you were thankful for.

If you did, I’m sure they were some pretty good things, but we are challenged by the words of I Thessalonians 5:18 to, “…give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

That’s hard to do, isn’t it?  I mean, sometimes in life we have some really bad days.  But what we need to do is see the bright side of things.  We have so much to be thankful for, but we don’t thank God because we focus on the wrong things.  For example, I don’t think that any of the things I am about to mention made your list of things to be thankful for.  I have shared this once before, but here are some things to be thankful for, that we may not look at as a blessing:

I am Thankful for the taxes I pay ….because it means I’m employed.

I am Thankful for the clothes that fit a little too snug ….because it means I have enough to eat.

I am Thankful for a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning, and gutters that need fixing ….because it means I have a home.

I am Thankful for the spot I find at the far end of the parking lot ….because it means I am capable of walking.

I am Thankful for all the complaining I hear about our government ….because it means we have freedom of speech.

I am Thankful for the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours ….because it means that I’m still alive.

I am Thankful for the lady behind me in church who sings off key ….because it means that I can hear.

And finally, I am Thankful for the Old Rugged Cross… because it means my faith is in Jesus Christ.

Now many times we look at some of those things and we’re not so thankful for them, are we?  We look at that list, and we sort of see the negative side of each of those.  But if we stop and think of what we still have, we will understand that we have some great things we should be thankful for.

In Christ,

Josh

How’s Your Eyesight?

So if the kingdom of Heaven is so valuable, why doesn’t everybody do everything they can to be a part of it?  I think it’s because value is often in the eye of the beholder.  What has value and what doesn’t is really up to personal interpretation.  What some people think are valuable have no value at all to others.

Take for instance, the way my parents heated their house.  My mom and dad use to heat our house with wood.  Every fall they would go out and cut wood.  By the time winter would roll around, there was a huge pile on wood stored on the back porch.  Now to someone who heats their house with electric or gas, that pile of wood may not carry too much value.  But for our family, it meant having a warm winter.  Without it, we would be cold, but with it, it was warm and cozy.

Value is often in the eye of the beholder.  In Matthew Jesus tells the story of the different kinds of soil.  And I always feel sorry for the people that are compared to the path.  To me, they just don’t seem to get it.  Perhaps they don’t understand, or maybe, just maybe they don’t see value in God’s word.  Remember, value is often in the eye of the beholder.

Anyway, shortly after Jesus tells that story about different kinds of soils, He told a couple stories in about people that found a treasure of great value to them.  And realizing the value, they go and sell everything they have, just to get this one treasure.  Listen to how Jesus tells the story, He’s a much better story teller than me.

Matthew 13:44-46, “The kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in a field.  When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.  Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls.  When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”

In this story, it’s interesting, because one man wasn’t even looking for this treasure, but when he stumbled across it, he realized just how valuable it was.  He then sells everything he has, and he buys that field.  The other man, he is a merchant looking for fine pearls.  So he is actually seeking the treasure.  And we are told that when he finds one of great value, he too goes and sells all he has so that he can buy this one thing that is of value to him.

Now, the man who found the hidden treasure, and the merchant that found that pearl, those guys realized the great value in what they had found.  Do you?  Can you see the value?  How is your eyesight?

In Christ,

Josh