An Attitude of Appreciation

As children, we are often taught to show our appreciation for things given to us, by saying ‘thank you’! As adults, we often try to repay one kindness with another of some sort. But God blesses us each day with gifts of varying types, so how do we show our appreciation to Him? Perhaps today’s Scripture may open our eyes and enlighten our hearts to new ways that demands our praise and our worship. God Almighty is our Provider!

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2021-08-06
WRITTEN AT: Hattiesburg, MS

SCRIPTURE FROM: Luke 7:44-47
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: 44 Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair.45 You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume.
47 “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love….

APPLICATION: Although our Scripture seems longer than normal, it is packed with a challenge from our Savior about what He sees as appreciation from His children. I believe that each week when we meet in church services, we always make sure that we’re dressed properly, we have our Bible with us, and that our favorite preacher will be in the pulpit that day at church. We arrive at church and we carefully examine all the new fashions on display by attendees, and we pay close attention to who will come over and greet us. Most of the time we will participate in the worship songs, if they are appealing to our ears, and we anxiously wait for the preacher’s ‘entertainment’. We are the first out, so we could avoid the traffic in exiting the property, and it also allows us first dibs at the local restaurant. If the pastor requests a visit to our home, it must be cleared in advance to allow us time to make our home presentable. Sounds pretty typical, right? But how well will you handle variances? What if the local drunk barges in while the pastor is visiting? What if a known prostitute walks right up to a front row seat in your sanctuary? Will you need help staying composed? How do you suppose Jesus would handle either of the aforementioned examples? Friends, these are scenarios that we could possibly face any, or every day. Our response will be based on what’s in our heart. If Simon’s heart was overflowing with the love of God, I believe He would have welcomed anyone who came to worship his Lord, or wash His feet, instead of being critical of who the person is, or from what background they may have come from. She’s a sinner, but so was Simon before He found Jesus. Well guess what? That’s exactly the same case with you and I. God sacrificed His only Son for us – even while we were still sinners, so what are we willing to endure? How appreciative should we be to a generous and sacrificial God? My friend, we don’t have time to look around and judge others, we have a full time job getting ourselves ready for the Kingdom and staying in a shape of readiness each and every day. When we call ourselves ‘Christian’ or a ‘follower of Christ’, it means that we vow to live here on earth just like He did. We will obey His commands and follow His example, so that we may look just like Him. Jesus accepted the prostitute just as she was, doesn’t that mean that we should do the same? In other Scriptures, Jesus said that He came to minister to, and save, the broken and the vilest sinner. If we are truly determined to follow His example, then we too must be willing to accept the vilest sinner. When our hearts are humbled to this degree, I believe that we will then live in appreciation of all that our Lord has become to us, and we will then look forward to personal worship to our King, and for His love and appreciation for us as a church. Search deep inside my friend, and reexamine the reasons for seeking God out each day. Recognize His goodness, then you will praise Him in all honesty for His goodness. Allow me to encourage you to especially love those who seek after our Lord, for they are our Brothers and our Sisters!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Jesus lovingly welcomed the prostitute and accepted her gifts of worship. We must be willing to do the same to sinners of all professions. All are equal in the eyes of the One who created them!

PRAYER: Dear Lord, I’m ashamed to say today, but as I look over the roster of my church, I would place certain members at the top, some at the middle and others at the very bottom of my list of ‘great’ members. But I believe that You showed us in our Scripture today that You created all of us, and You love each of us equally. Please help us to be as neutral as You are in loving all Your children, and please help us to welcome sinners into our midst with open arms as we sing praises to the One who created them. Help us to look at our times of worship with one purpose in mind – to glorify our King! I believe that when we concentrate on You, our eyes are distracted from others around us that we tend to criticize and pull down. Please help us to love others like You did, and to be more like You in every way, every day! AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Love In Action

As Paul wrote these words to the church at Rome, I would imagine that he was dealing with a lot of the challenges that church pastors deal with today, where most of a pastor’s heartaches come from the flock not getting along with each other. Paul’s overriding theme in these few verses is that Christians are to love one another in total honesty. Praising the good and abhorring the evil, but none the less, loving one another through it all.

Post Date:-

Monday, 2017-06-12
SCRIPTURE

From:

Romans 12:9-13 (NIV)

Text:

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
OBSERVATION:
As Paul wrote these words to the church at Rome, I would imagine that he was dealing with a lot of the challenges that church pastors deal with today, where most of a pastor’s heartaches come from the flock not getting along with each other. Paul’s overriding theme in these few verses is that Christians are to love one another in total honesty. Praising the good and abhorring the evil, but none the less, loving one another through it all.
APPLICATION:
Jesus set the example for us by loving people everywhere He went. He loved the dreaded tax collectors and even had one of them follow Him as a disciple (Matthew). Jesus was falsely arrested and convicted of no crime at all, yet crucified anyway. While on the cross, in pain and agony, disgraced before an onlooking world, Jesus asked His Father to forgive His persecutors. Is it any wonder that the first order of business that Jesus gave attention to when telling us to be sincere in love, is that we stand firm for our beliefs, and to hate evil. Although, I believe that this was included so early in this discourse, so that we might be reminded that although we may hate the sin, or the evil that results from the actions of some, we must never lose sight of the soul and love them unconditionally. I believe that another reason for the attention to the evil in a person, is that if we don’t let the person know that we hate the sin they are doing, then they could easily feel like we are OK with it, or may even love that sinful aspect of them. Friends, if we cannot be a positive influence to a friend for Jesus, then we should examine ourselves for the true presence of Jesus in our lives. Often our friends may be caught in a trap and invite us over, hoping that we could help them through their problem. Imagine how disappointed they must be when we just accept their sinful act and count it as ‘normal’ or ‘acceptable’ living. The rest of these verses gives us tips to look for in our everyday experiences with loved ones and friends. Think on these things as you prepare to visit someone, and ask God to help you love them unconditionally. After your visit, invite God to help you honestly evaluate your words and actions so that you may work even harder on correcting anything that you may have messed up on. Friends, we serve a perfect God, so as we strive to live like He taught us in this messed up and imperfect world, we run into challenges. Seek His guidance and His strength as you deal with others so that you may be a stepping stone in their quest for salvation, and not a stumbling block.
PRAYER:
Lord Jesus, You loved us enough that You went to the cross on our behalf, even though we were so undeserving of such love. Through Your Holy Spirit, You led us to the cross for Your complete forgiveness and then offered us eternal salvation from our sin. As your children endeavoring to follow in Your example, how can we but love others and understand their struggle with sin? We have been there and done that, and in many cases have the scars to show for it. Please forgive us Lord, and help us to be a forgiving people, willing to love the unloved. May they see Jesus through our actions and in our unconditional love for them, AMEN
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!