Many years ago as a Bible school student I remember David Ingles coming to minister. In a godly display of great generosity, he gifted every student with a cassette tape of his highly anointed music. We were 1800+ strong back then.
Weeks later the dean of the school stood before us and sadly announced to us that only one student had returned thanks for the gift. We had taken brother Ingles music ministry for granted, and as students, probably felt an entitlement to this gift. After all, most of us were just believing God for rent and groceries while paying our way through school.
This kind of insensitivity is common in the body of Christ. For example, I myself have sown many of my books into people’s lives, and all I asked in return was for them to kindly post a review on Amazon, if the book proved to be a blessing. So few do it. In fact, I’m sure most don’t even read the book. I understand. I am a reader and can say the same. I realize that even books must be read in the will of God, so that time is not wasted or mis prioritized.
The point is about insensitivity and lack of gratitude. How many times in a given day do we bypass situations and people that the Lord calls our attention to, but in our busyness, we overlook, time and time again. That’s why I like scanning my day, my conversations, my opportunities to be a blessing, etc. I do this frequently to evaluate my conduct and cultivate sensitivity in my life. It’s pretty telling the times I fail or fall short.
OUR CLOSEST RELATIONSHIPS
The area we tend to fall short in the most is our closest relationships, because again, the tendency is to take them for granted. When is the last time you gave thanks for all your spouse does and is to you, outside of special occasions like birthdays and holidays? My wife handles all our ministry and personal finances to keep me free to write and minister and oversee all our travels and ministry affairs. Yesterday she was so tired from a busy day of doing some of that. At the end of the night I thanked her for all she does to keep me un-entangled from those practical things that tend to weigh me down.
When is the last time you gave thanks to your pastor or shepherd and all they do to feed and oversee the flock, and deal with the 1001 things that come across their radar every day? It’s not as easy as it looks.
What about your spiritual father or mentor in the faith that has poured into you for years and stands as an impeccable example of truth, faithfulness, and longevity, and what it means to be a gift God gave unto men (Eph. 4:11)?
I just received a text yesterday out of the blue from a brother expressing appreciation for me and our leadership. It made my day. This kind of honor and encouragement goes a long way to lightening people’s loads. Even though what we all do is unto the Lord first, the Scriptures do speak much of love, honor, and how we are to treat one another.
What about giving honor to the least esteemed and visible parts of the body of Christ that usually go unnoticed? Instead of the pastor and leadership getting the reserved parking spaces, how about they get them?
AS IN HEAVEN SO ON EARTH
Since my recent bout with a life-threatening illness, I’m telling you I am a lot more sensitive to people. Each day I try to encourage someone in their battle. When we get to heaven it’s a big deal how we treated one another on the earth. We will all give account. Love and honor is the highest language in heaven. This love and honor is what we should practice before we get there. There is much sorrow and regret for those who fell short in this regard.
I think a lot about heaven and eternity. I laugh and weep a lot more. I dance in my kitchen when I hear the beautiful songs of Zion. Anointed music touches me more deeply. I give thanks more freely to people who have blessed me in some way. At times I am intoxicated with this heavenly-something that moves consistently in me. It’s the Holy Ghost.
Beloved, let us love one another and forgive those who have somehow wronged us. Go seek out someone who is hurting and going through a battle, and encourage them. He who waters this way is watered also. The family in heaven smiles upon such deeds of love, for they are watching.
Today may you hear those cheers from the heavenly grandstands as we near the final stretch of this glorious race.
I love you.