The Apostle Paul could be writing these Scriptures to us today…Dear friends, stand firm and let nothing move you. For it is only by the Lord’s help that we can choose faith over fear, peace over panic, and worship over worry. Paul goes on to exhort us to look beyond ourselves and serve others. For just because we’re facing difficult times doesn’t mean what God has called us to do is now exempt, futile, or pointless in His eyes. Quite the opposite! Earlier in this Chapter, Paul writes that we are God’s fellow workers, (I Corinthians 3:9) and nothing we do in His Name will ever be insignificant, unimportant, or unworthy of the calling. Be the hands and feet of Jesus to a lost and dying world today and make a difference!
This verse starts out with the words, “I will tell of the kindnesses of the Lord”. The Hebrew word for “tell” here has two definitions – the first being to remember or reflect upon, the second being to declare or proclaim. When we stop and reflect upon just how much the Lord has done for us…how many good things He has provided…how merciful and kind He has been towards us – how can we not want to share with others this love? Ephesians 2:4 tells us, “But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.” It is only by that unwarranted, unmerited love of God you are the person you are today through Him.
A plaque I saw the other day took me back and really had me thinking…it read, “What if you woke up tomorrow with only the things you had thanked God for the day before?” Pretty sobering, right? I know we try to thank the Lord for what we have (especially around the table on Thanksgiving)…but what about thanking Him for things you no longer have. This could mean thanking God for delivering you from feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and depression that had once ruled your life. Or this could mean thanking Him for complete recovery from illness, injury, or surgery that had plagued you this year. As the Scripture says, let’s be overflowing with thankfulness in all things…the things we have, and the things we don’t.
Next to the Resurrection, the feeding of the 5,000, is the only story found in all four Gospels. Even though they all come from a little different perspective, the miracle was the same, and important enough to be recorded numerous times. On the disciples part, they’ve been traveling with Jesus and witnessing countless miracles, but when Jesus challenged them to feed the throng of people milling around, they froze. With a total lack of faith and vision they told Him, “We have only five loaves and two fish. We can’t start to feed this many people!” But Jesus then takes matters into His own hands, gives thanks for what they already have, and multiplies it. So what important lesson did the disciples learn that was significant enough to be recorded in all four Gospels? Jesus took what they already had and increased it a 1000 times over. He didn’t focus on their lack, but rather on how it could be multiplied and used for His glory. When God calls you to something, He’ll use what you already have…and as you move forward in faith and trust in Him, it will be multiplied.
Do you see your glass as half empty, or half full? Rather than focus and dwell on the have nots…concentrate on what the Lord has already accomplished in your life. Thank Him for what He’s brought you through as you expectantly wait for Him. Linger in the miraculous happenings of your life story with the Lord as you anticipate what He’ll do next. As one of the faithful, your glass will never again be half empty…for the Lord’s love will fill it to overflowing.
The Eucharist…Holy Communion…the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper – these verses are used often to explain and give enlightenment to this sacred act. But sadly, the receiving of Communion is often rushed or so common place that the Believer isn’t allowed the time to truly dwell on what the elements they hold in their hands mean. Communion is a reminder of who Jesus is and what He has done for us. It’s a chance to ponder where we’d be without Him. The next time you take Communion…look at the bread and cup carefully…reflect on His goodness and mercy…meditate on what He’s done for you…and declare your thanks.