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Life should be Perfumed with Appreciation
This is a hub of appreciation. Oftentimes, we overlook the small things, yet giving is never a small thing at all on any level when it comes from the heart. When someone gives their life to God, there should be rejoicing that our spirit and soul embraces which realizes that they have been rescued and that they found their way home. Home is back to God! It is only when we realize how far we had to come through paths of the struggles, hardships, and pain, and all that we had to endure before we could know the protection and safety and henceforth know the correction of God towards salvation.
We are admonished in Scripture not to give grudgingly, nor of necessity, but that God loves a cheerful giver. This admonition is not merely applicable in giving monetarily or giving money. It is the attitude of giving; which involves motive, intent, and the desire to give. Jesus is a cheerful giver. He viewed the cross as joy set before Him because it included our salvation. There are all kinds of giving. The first being when we acknowledge that we need a Savior and as a result give our lives to God, knowing that He gave first. We give ourselves for the first time in our lives to God, who can appreciate what that entails. What we give to Him, He in turn uses for and to His glory, or however He sees fit to in accordance with His will, and we accept that as reality.
The pattern for giving has already been established in and through the Creator (Elohim), God the Father, who gave us all things that pertain to life and godliness through our faith in His beloved Son, in whom He is always well pleased. We should find pleasure as well in giving, and we should always live our lives with appreciation and gratitude to God and others, not for what they can give us, but for the heart of giving. A life that changes and afterwards is continuously changing is the result of gaining a renewed mind, as we are being conformed into the image and likeness of Christ. It begins with God the Father giving His Son, and the Son giving his life to save and reconcile us back to God. It is also when I read and think of the Apostle Paul laboring to us in the midst of all that he had to endure, not to be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. I am thankful for his life and how his words have and are changing my mind and life.
I remember being on my way to work one morning. As I arrived to the steps to go down the stairs to board the subway. A woman was giving out tracts. This tract was how I received Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord. I never got the chance to thank this woman personally for deeming it of such importance to give her life to the Lord, and for it to be instrumental in giving me a chance to hear the heart of God as He spoke directly to me from John 3:16. These are precious and defining moments, and this one I can never forget because thankfulness and appreciation won't allow me to.
Where is heart felt appreciation for others that is void of, and excludes finding their faults and failures, but rather their faith? It took their faith to receive Jesus as Savior. We are told that heaven rejoices over one sinner who makes salvation through Jesus Christ their choice. Shouldn't we rejoice as well? This is a pivotal place of appreciation for all that God has done and continuously is doing through the Church to reconcile the world unto Himself. We should be ever thankful that God in His mercy has rescued and saved our souls from eternal damnation; and has given us the promise of the gift of eternal life.
Amazing grace shall always be my song of praise, for it was grace that brought my liberty. I'll never know just why Christ came to love me so, but He looked beyond my faults and saw my need. We look at faults and ignore needs. The needs of others have to do with the bigger picture, so we can't allow their faults to extinguish what Jesus has wrought for them. He is Yeshua, He is salvation. Are we cognizant that it is the same grace that saves us all?
Most of us don't have a problem with appreciating and thanking God daily for all things, and in all things. How about appreciation for others? We should never take anyone for granted. Have you ever experienced being taken for granted or overlooked? How did that make you feel? Ugh!No one is insignificant.
There is an innumerable hosts of people who are not only recorded in the Bible, but all around this universe there are those who go the extra mile with God for the good of others. Perhaps you are one of them or you may deem your giving small, but, I am here to encourage you that when you gave your life to God, it was the biggest and greatest thing you have ever done and will ever do. I thank you for making that decision, and encourage you to keep the faith. Jesus began that good work and He will complete it concerning us all.
The Apostle James posed a good point and it is definitely food for thought:
"But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be" (James 2:8-10). Here he stated that it is possible to bless God and to curse men and women with the same mouth. He goes on to say that these should not be. How do we appreciate the Lord, but have disdain and ill will for others? Ask yourself, am I appreciative of all those who have given their lives to God for His purpose to be fulfill?
Right here, this is a defining moment, one in which we question and examine ourselves for truth. Do I really appreciate the fact that others have given their lives to God? When we are tempted to judge others, we must remember that Jesus shed His blood for them. Or do we even understand what this means? There are those we are overtly grateful that our lives have crossed because we know that if that person hadn't devoted their life to God, and in return shared it with us; we wouldn't be where we are today, and there is a part or aspect of our beings which would have gone unchanged. Never take anyone for granted.
During this week or month, think of one or more persons who you truly believe has been instrumental in your heart, mind, conscience, reasoning, and any change that was inspired by their expression to you personally. If possible, call them up and say thank you for giving your life to the Lord, because you did, I have a life that has been changed, thank you for giving to the Lord, I am so glad that you gave.
The lack of appreciation is one of the most overlooked and subliminal patterns of life. God gave us principles which form patterns for giving on many levels. Money is important, but it is not more important than the life surrendered to God through submission. You can't buy the submission salvation inculcates with silver or gold. It is a heart attitude which encourages the soul to follow suit. Examine your heart, are you taking who you deem insignificant for granted? Only you can answer that.
Ordinary people are capable of extraordinary things when you place what you have in the Master's hand. Just like the little lad who gave Jesus all that he had. Multitudes were fed with the fishes and the loaves of bread. What you have may not seem like much, but when you yield it to the touch of the Master's loving hands, yea, than you understand, how your life will never be the same. Those are words taken from a song entitled, "Ordinary People" by Danielle Hall. My pastor in New York used to say, extraordinary people are those who do ordinary things extraordinarily well. It is the spirit of excellence, the mark of desiring to give your best at all times.
I was watching a movie recently entitled, "Forevermore". This is a true story about Karla Faye Tucker, a Texan, who was in prison for two accounts of murder with a pickax. You may say, oh how awful is that. Nevertheless, it is a story of redemption through the blood of Jesus Christ. Lessons which were learned much too late after a run with of all kinds of drugs, sex, violence and every angle sin could mete out, yet not too late for the Lord Jesus Christ to step into her equation. Sounds farmiliar huh! She was put on death row and sentenced to die by lethal injection and she did. I don't want to give away the contents, I do however recommend the movie. It is a soul searching premise of how Jesus' love transcend boundaries we can never really understand without the Holy Spirit.
Oftentimes, we conveniently forget the losers sin made of us and that we used to be, why? because we have exchanged those garments for victory through our blessed Lord Jesus and His shed blood. Yet, we should never forget where we have been and where we came from or we will forget where we are destined to go. Neither should we forget all the people it takes along this journey and took to help us to change our minds and lives. Appreciation is a must for us to value each other. In the course of this movie, there was a dance and song that she performed, and words are simply beautiful.
The chorus she mimed to the Chaplain, who was gifted with a merciful heart, even for imprisoned murderers. The words of the song expressed a gratitude that touched the depth of my soul unto tears. "Thank you for giving to the Lord, I am a life that's been changed, thank you for giving to the Lord, I'm so glad that you gave. I sobbed uncontrollably. These weren't tears of sorrow though, but thanksgiving, gratitude and appreciation which flooded and filled my heart with joy, and yet all I could do was cry. In the movie tears are referred to as liquid prayers.
Imagine for yourself, that person or persons who has had, or has the greatest impact upon your life, alongside Jesus. What is it that you feel? Gratitude and appreciation which whispers and echoes thanksgiving. Thankfulness we more than always attribute to the Godhead and it is the highest sense of gratitude we can ever feel and express. But, in addition to that, never forfeit by forgetting the value of being thankful to God for others. Every member of the Body of Christ is important and we should appreciate them all no matter how great or small their giving is.
To all those who gave their lives to God for His purpose to be fulfilled, I speak directly to you thank you, we should be thankful. There were prophets, priests, kings, queens, prophetesses, harlots and the lists go on and on of how these individuals were used by God, and we are the better because they said, yes to God,
There are myriads of lives lost for freedom, for which we should live in a grateful state of mind. We have the opening of the Gospel with John the Baptist whose main focus was on repentance because the Kingdom of God was at hand. He was about to pass the baton on to the Savior of the world, knowing that he was merely a forerunner. Have you ever given him any thought? Here is a nugget, Up until the Baptist emerged on the scene, there was no one on one repentance going on towards God in the world? The High Priests performed atonement for the people once a year. Here comes a new wind blowing towards and in the direction of salvation through Jesus Christ. The voice that cried in the wilderness to make straight the way of the Lord. Repentance speaks of new changes you are hoping to experience through a purging and cleansing process, that is still in motion.
My cry is that we will all be healed from the inside out to appreciate everyone who gives their life to God, because there are other lives which will be changed immensely, are changing right at this very moment and shall continue to change. When we appreciate each we are in essence honoring the blood the Honorable Lord Jesus Christ shed for those individuals as well as for ourselves. But, the secret is to always be teachable and appreciate God, ourselves and others, and then we will always lay hold of how valuable the Holy Spirit is through each and every one of us. I may not know you, and you may not know me, nor have I ever met you face to face, but I appreciate you! I appreciate that you made God your refuge and eternal hope. Thank you for giving to the Lord, I so glad that you gave your life to Jesus. May grace and peace walk with you and be your closest and constant companions. The song that inspired this writing is in the video below.
Pray with me:
Heavenly, Holy and Righteous Father, thank You for loving us so completely and exhibiting Your love through Jesus Christ our Savior and Redeemer. Through Christ we have a new hope that goes beyond death and the grave. Thank You for redemption through the blood of Jesus. Thank You for all who believe and accept Your gift of salvation, who in turn give and have given us the counsel, and all that we need and have needed to change into who You have purposed that we become. Thank You for sending us Your Son, we now live a life of continual change, and we are a life that's been changed, thank you for giving us Your Son, I am so glad that You gave. In the name of Jesus Christ. We thank and praise You. Amen