Do you appreciate God enough? Even if you tend to generally be a thankful person, do you ever sit down and actually consider how much good God gives you–moreover, that everything He gives you may ultimately be for your good?
“Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:16-17 KJV)
I think one of the reasons “…every mouth…[will] be stopped, and all the world…[will] become guilty before God” (Romans 3:19 KJV) someday is because all will finally realize that none have any excuse. If they have not yet, they will finally see that pretty much everything God has given them–that He has allowed to come into their lives–was actually for their good to lead them to salvation.
It is not necessarily true that everything works together for good in the lives of those who refuse Christ, because the Bible makes no such claim. The verse people frequently think of says only that, “…we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 KJV)
Yet, because God is good, loving, and patient–far more than we deserve–He frequently showers His love and goodness on all: “…He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:45 KJV) He does this because He, “…is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (II Peter 3:9)
I have gotten into the habit of watching Househunters and Househunters International on Netflix. I love seeing the homes–especially the more impressive ones–and could probably watch these shows far longer than I should. Yet, as pretty as some of those residences and as interesting the places some of them are located in are, I wouldn’t want to trade homes with any of them. Not only am I exactly where I’m supposed to be, but God has also already given us so much!
Take technology, for example. Besides Netflix (via which I can now watch an entire season at one sitting, if I am so inclined), most people these days have the power of a really amazing computer in the palm of their hands–the iPhone, or some variant thereof; I am writing this devotion on mine. I no longer use a paper Bible for reference but search for the verses on the Bible Gateway site and then find it on my Bible app and cut and paste it into my text. I search for an appropriate photo online and can instantaneously publish when I’m done. All on this tiny handheld apparatus! Only thirty years ago the original desktops–the ugly, clunky, off-white ones in several pieces–were the newest gadget better off households were buying. Mobile phones were so expensive that the only person I initially knew who had one was my employer–and it was huge by today’s standards! Our daughter recently took the SAT Japanese Subject Test with Listening, which requires students to bring their own portable CD player, but it was surprisingly difficult to find one because people typically listen to music on their smartphones now. And this is just the technology God has blessed us with! What about every other area of our lives?
Regardless of the particular family situation we were born into, here in the United States most of us have an opportunity to obtain some kind of an education. It is reasonably certain that none of us are genuinely starving, and most of our homes have warmth in the winter and coolness in the summer to make our existence more pleasant. We have the company of friends and relatives to enjoy, and access to reading material, whether from a traditional library, a Barnes and Noble, or Kindle. I personally still can’t get over the fact that I can buy a book online on my iPad and have it instantly on that device!
Our bodies, granted, are in various stages of growth or decline, but even those of us who have problems can genuinely say that we’re still alive and breathing and have, at the very least, one more moment to turn away from sin and glorify God!
Of course, the biggest blessing God has given us is the hope of forgiveness because of Jesus–yet ironically, most people seem to appreciate this least. Perhaps they don’t believe the Bible message, or don’t realize how much they really need the forgiveness Christ provides. Yet for those who do, He is the Pearl of great price who is to be gotten at any cost, the most precious of all of God’s blessings!
So, do you appreciate God enough? Do you reflect sufficiently on everything He has given and continues to give you, to direct you to Himself? Think on Him today, recognizing the fact that your very existence and everything in it, is because of Him!
“For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:36)
Thank You for everything You bring into our lives to draw us to Yourself–for every good and perfect gift. To You be glory forever! Amen!