First Things First

Since the beginning of November, God has been bringing the story of two fish and five loaves ( John 6) around and around. From  different perspectives and places, He just keeps teaching and revealing. And the bottom line: give thanks and believe.

Don’t look at the circumstances: 5,000 people needing to be fed (15,000 if you count women and children). Don’t look at what you’ve got in your hand: two fish and five loaves.  Look at Who you are with. The Son of the Most High God.

And what does He do? He looks to heaven and gives thanks for what God is about to do. Then as calmly as can be, the disciples began distributing. And they just kept on distributing. There were 12 baskets of leftovers. Not 12 cups. Twelve baskets.  This is after everyone has had their fill. There was no Black Friday stampeding here. Everyone had enough and there were leftovers even.

Who is this God, who is this Jesus, who is this Spirit that can impact our natural world with their supernatural power? The same God that is with you today.

Don’t look at the crowds or  your meager offering. Look to heaven, give thanks and then do what He has told you to do. He is faithful.

Here are some pearls from Abiding Glory on Sunday about gratitude that God has been expanding for me.

1) “Kingdom protocol is first “God, thank you” then please.” “ Jesus always thanked God first before He asked anything. We are instructed to “enter his courts with thanksgiving” then we proceed to the inner courts for petitions. This is a weighty concept but will change your faith life and your prayer life.

2) “Gratitude is never invisible or silent.” I love this. It is not enough to be thankful, you must express it. To God, to others. We often expect God and other people to “know” we are grateful.  But both you and the other person are blessed when you tell them, show them you are thankful. Already this week, I have been very conscious about expressing my thanks to Him and those who bless me.

3) “Gratitude sustains joy and blessing. Without it, you soon begin to take your blessing for granted. Ouch. This one hits way too close to home. Everything we have is a gift from God. EVERYTHING.  Be sure to sit in a posture of thanks rather than “I deserve this.”

4) “Gratitude begins where my sense of entitlement ends.”  It is hard to be thankful and be demanding at the same time. We are consumed in our country, and the Church, with our rights, our privileges. When “you owe me” turns into “I am so blessed,” things shift in our soul.

5) “Grateful people can find a blessing, enlarge a blessing or create a blessing in almost any circumstance.” I don’t know about you, but I want this to be my life motto.  Because the opposite affect scares me to death: Negative people can miss a blessing, minimize a blessing and destroy a blessing in almost any circumstance.

Let us be the people who remember the goodness of our God. Look to Him. Give thanks. Live in His blessing.


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