Month: November 2012
“And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts” (Isa. 6:5).
“It is remarkable to see the prophet identify himself so completely with those whose sins he has been denouncing in the previous chapters. But in the presence of God degrees of sin become irrelevant. It is the holiness of God which reveals to us our true condition, not comparison with others (Webb).”
“Giving thanks is a sacrifice of praise. A sacrifice, by definition, costs us something. What does giving thanks cost us? What do we have to give up in order to be grateful?
- Pride: Sometimes we’re not grateful because we think we deserve something. We feel that we earned it or that it is ours by right. You don’t thank your employer for your paycheck because you earned it. You may be thankful for your job, however, because there are a lot of people just as qualified as you who don’t have jobs. Giving thanks can be a humbling proposition.
- Resentment: There are times when we’re not thankful because we don’t have exactly what we want (or think we want). Someone else has more than we do, or their life seems to be better. And yet, Scripture says that God gives us perfect gifts (James 1:17).
- Priorities: When Jesus healed 10 lepers (Luke 17:11-19), only one of them came back to thank him. Jesus even asked, “Where are the other nine?” The Bible doesn’t give us an answer. Wherever they were and whatever they were doing was more important to them than thanking Jesus. For one, however, giving thanks was the most important thing he could think of. And Jesus told him, “ . . . your faith has made you well.”
There may be other things that keep us from developing thankful hearts—from being grateful people. But these are a good place to start. This year, before you sit down to Thanksgiving dinner and share your list of things you’re thankful for, grab a few minutes alone with God and ask Him to show you what things might be keeping you from being a thankful person.”
–from the Navigators
“For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers” (Rom. 8:29).
It’s easy enough to see that God is in the business of changing his people into the image of his Son. What’s not as readily apparent is the fact that as people are being transformed into likeness of Christ, the church is going to change as well. This is because the church is the people of God. The church is not an institution. It’s people. It’s you and me, and as God transforms our souls–our minds, wills, words, and actions to look more like Jesus, the church as a whole will begin to change. That is to say, the way we as a church think, speak, and act will become more like Jesus. We are being conformed into the image of our Savior. One by one we are changing, and as we change individually, we will also change corporately.