I love when God speaks to me, convicts me of certain truths.
Lately, He and I have been spending time alone as I learn about true gratitude and joy. This is the gratitude and joy that seeps from the heart regardless of circumstances. And He's also been teaching me about sacrificing offerings of thanks; offering thanks to Him out of obedience even when my heart is not feeling very thankful or grateful. And His Word is full of truths that speak directly to my heart...
Psalm 50:23 - He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.
Psalm 117:16-17 - O Lord, truly I am Your servant; I am Your servant, the son of your maidservant; You have freed me from my chains. I will sacrifice a thank offering to You and call on the name of the Lord.
Psalm 100:4 - Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.
1 Chronicles 16:34 - Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.
And as I've been studying gratitude and joy, I've come head on with the fact of how much I am blessed.
And I've felt conflicted over this: why am I so blessed (I have a home, food, clean water, warm beds, etc.) when there are so many people in this world that are dying because they don't have food or access to medical attention, etc.?
And something that God has shown me, impressed upon my heart is that I am not to question His ways, however, I am to do what He has commanded me to do ~ to care for the fatherless, the widows, those in need.
It's not for me to know and understand all the ways of God, however, this is what He's been speaking to my heart ~ He blesses us so that we can pour those blessings out on others.
He does not bless us for the sake of our own comfort or for us to hoard all of those gifts and blessings.
He pours into me, into you, so that we can be filled up and poured out onto others.
So could it be that we have it all wrong? We're not blessed by God because we deserve it? We're not blessed by God because we tithe every Sunday and so it's His obligation to give back to us?
Sure He desires to give us good things. But not for us to hide those good things away, but for us to share them, to bless others with them.
What is man's purpose here on Earth? To glorify God. And what is one way we can glorify God? By taking those things He has given us and using them for His glory. To bless others through the blessings we receive.
Father ~ make me a vessel that is emptied of self so I can be filled with You. Fill me up so that I can pour out onto others. Lord, I know my natural, flesh tendency in wanting to keep these blessings to myself. Father, empty me of that. I pray that I would be a responsible steward of all that You have blessed me with. After all, all that I have is really Yours. You give. You take away. Father, show me how and where to give, what to give, and where You want to use me for Your glory.
Perhaps you and your family are looking for a way to bless others?
Can I tell you a little about what we do here?
We sponsor two children through an organization called World Vision. World Vision goes into poverty-stricken countries and supplies food, medicine, clothing, and supplies to families in need. And through sponsors who commit to a monthly monetary donation of $35, real, individual children and their families receive life-giving, life-sustaining things such as food, education, medicine, and the Gospel.
You can go here to see the children who need sponsors.
This is real, ladies. We have been so blessed by our sponsorships. It's always a joy to receive updated photos of our children and drawings straight from their little hands. And the kids and I always have fun putting together little packages to send to our kids and their families.
And if you can't commit to a monthly donation, World Vision also has opportunities for one-time donations.
Go here to learn more about World Vision and the sponsorship opportunities they offer.
And would you take a moment to view this video? Please know that I do not include this video to invoke feelings of guilt, but rather to inspire you, to inspire myself, to give. This Christian life is not about guilt. It's about conviction and then acting out of that conviction. How can we not give when we're so blessed here in this country?
May you be blessed so that you, in turn, may bless others!