I’ve been reading Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts. I’m nowhere near done, because I’m really trying to chew on it and highlight from it. The book has definitely caused me to really go deeper in the area of being thankful on a day to day basis (I thought I already was, but this is a whole new level).
In my quiet time today I read Acts 14:8-18. In it, I read four more reason to be thankful. In this particular passage Paul and Barnabas were preaching boldly in Lystra and Derbe. Paul had noticed a man in the crowd that had been lame since birth and had never walked.Verse 9 He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed 10 and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.
When the crowd saw what they had done, they began to worship Barnabas and Paul, as if they themselves were gods!
Verse 14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: 15 “Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human, like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them. 16 In the past, he let all nations go their own way. 17 Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; He provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” 18 Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them.
There are two lessons I took away this morning from these passages (well, many more, but 2 that I will highlight today).
Lesson #1 Don’t Worship People- For some reason, people still worship people as if they were gods because their gifts are more easily seen than others. Verse 15 “Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human, like you!” Lord help us to not worship people regardless of their popularity, income level, or gifts! Respect and love- but never worship.
Lesson #2 Give Thanks- Paul mentions 4 things that we ought to not only be thankful for, but that ought to be reminders that God himself is with us today: (1) Rain (2) Crops (3) Food to eat and (4) Filling our hearts with joy
Lord, I pray today that You would show us if we’ve put people on a pedestal that only You should be on; if we’ve thought of them as higher than we ought. Forgive us Lord. You alone are made to be worshiped! Thank you that you surround us with daily reminders of Your presence. Now continue to fill our hearts with joy as we worship You and You alone. We give you thanks for all of the beauty that surrounds us each day. Amen