by Pastor Tim Burt
My youngest son Matthew needed glasses when he was pretty young. I remember at times looking over at him and staring in disbelief at how smudged he could let his glasses become and still try and see through them. He was young and just didn't care that much. Renee and I were constantly asking for them so we could clean them. We simply wanted him to be able to see better. They were so smudged and dirty it was amazing he would see anything at all. Thank God he finally got contact lens.
Although this may not be true for you, the majority of people do not show or express much more than token thanks if even that. It’s always been a problem – even to going back to Jesus’ day. Luke 17:12-19 says, "As Jesus was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!" When He saw them, He said, "Go. Show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked Him--and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" Then He said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well."
Do you see that only one came back to thank Jesus? Because his heart was full of thanksgiving he got something more from God. All of them were cleansed of leprosy but to the thankful one Jesus said, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well." He got something more from God. His eyes were open to see who Jesus was. He could see that Jesus was God. That is why he came back praising God and throwing himself at Jesus’ feet. His thanksgiving brought him more than healing. It brought him eternal life. A heart of thanksgiving will open your eyes to more of God and result in more of His blessing in your life!
Sometimes we have so many things we need help from the Lord with that we don't take notice of all the things He is doing or has done in our lives. Unthankfulness keeps us focused inward at self. It smudges the lens of our spiritual eyesight. Noticing and appreciating the things that the Lord does do for us in our lives - having a thankful heart for what He has done clears our vision to see more of Him working in our lives. Seeing the Lord work in our lives builds our faith and helps us to trust Him even more. The result, thankful people get more! It's really a truth. This is why Phil 4:6 tells us, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." God wants us to pray and ask His help in everything but the question is, do we even pay attention to the multitude of things He does in answering our prayers. If we don’t have a continuing attitude of thanksgiving – we’ll miss seeing the many prayers He answers for us! It will even hurt our faith because we don’t think He is working in our lives. We need to wipe those lenses with ongoing and continuous thanksgiving.
When David came to Saul to tell him why he could defeat Goliath (while the rest of the army was terrified,) David told Saul of a previous experience. We can read it in 1 Sam 17:36. "He said, Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. In the next verse he says how he killed the lion and the bear. He says, "The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine." Saul said to David, "Go, and the LORD be with you."
David was the greatest of praisers and thankers. The Psalms are our record of his thanksgivings. Because he was thankful to the Lord, it kept him from pride, helped him see God's hand in all his victories, and gave him great faith for future battles.
God opens our eyes when we walk in a spirit of thankfulness to Him and others. Next time you're in a restaurant and someone is serving you, stop talking and look up at the person and thank them with a purposed smile and expressed gratitude. See how it affects them. See how it affects you. Next time your spouse or child or coworker is serving you, take notice and appreciate it. Think about and appreciate from your heart those that serve you and bring blessing to you. Is there someone you have forgotten to thank? Do it now! Having a spirit of thanksgiving will change your countenance and your heart. It will also improve your spiritual eyesight! Get quiet before the Lord and take notice of the many things He has done for you starting with His gift of Jesus. Let those thoughts help you enter His gates and courts with thanksgiving and praise. Just spend time thanking Him. It will bless you and clean your glasses so that you can see more!
Colossians 3:17 (NIV) "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him"
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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