“Get Pity or Give Thanks – You Decide!”

Fresh Manna 2008 by Pastor Tim Burt

Rev 3:11 “You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created everything, and it is for your pleasure that they exist and were created.”

Have you ever had a pity party for yourself? Has anyone ever not had one? Have you ever felt underappreciated? Okay, true confessions – although rarely, once in a while, I notice this spirit creeping up in me. I’m sure we’ve all done nice things for people that have gone almost unnoticed or unappreciated. I guess it hurts the most when we’ve really put our heart into what we’ve given or done for someone.

I remember a time as a young family where Renee and I gave one hundred dollars to a couple who were telling us this horrible story of financial devastation in their life. They didn’t have money for the bills, they didn’t have money for groceries, and they didn’t know what they were going to do to feed their children. At that time, Renee and I were so squeaky tight in our finances that we could hardly afford what we needed for groceries. But, we took one hundred dollars – almost our entire food budget for the month (at that time) and gave it to them. We decided we’d trust God by faith for our groceries that month. When we gave it to them, they hardly said thanks. They told us the following week that they took their children out to a restaurant to celebrate and it cost almost the entire amount we gave them. They didn’t appreciate what we had done. They didn’t use it wisely. We felt sad and used. Live and learn. God still met our needs supernaturally that month.

When Renee and I moved into our first house, I asked the Lord to help me afford to get a new snow blower and a lawnmower. He helped me obtain both. He then moved on my heart and told me to take care of neighbors that couldn’t take care of themselves. I have done that ever since – for almost 30 years. It’s not uncommon to never hear a word of thanks when I’ve cleaned up someone’s driveway of snow or done their fall cleanup of leaves. But, I’ve always done it unto the Lord. This is how Renee and I live out our life. Sometimes people appreciate your efforts to help them and sometimes they don’t. Sound familiar?

Luke 17:11-19 “As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, He reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. As He entered a village there, ten lepers stood at a distance, crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” He looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, their leprosy disappeared. One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God, I’m healed!” He fell face down on the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking Him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? Does only this foreigner return to give glory to God?” And Jesus said to the man, “Stand up and go. Your faith has made you well.”

I couldn’t help but think this morning about the multitude of things Jesus had done for me in my life. In some cases I was the one who came back to Him with great thanksgiving. I am sure there are others times I hardly noticed or acknowledged His goodness and kindness in my life.

I’ve am convinced of one thing over the years. Every day God has touched my life with something I can and should be thankful for. Pity parties are stupid because I do what I do unto the Lord and to look for appreciation will always leave me disappointed. I am better off focusing my heart toward the one and truly deserves all praise. I hate it when I let myself get focused on me.

One of the most beautiful pictures painted in the Bible is of a time to come that says it all. It is the picture of Jesus on His throne surrounded by the 24 Old and New Testament saints that led in God’s plan. They have received crowns as their reward but they cast them before Jesus because He was and is the enabler of all our good actions.

Rev. 4:3-4 & 9-11 “The one sitting on the throne was as brilliant as gemstones—jasper and carnelian. And the glow of an emerald circled his throne like a rainbow. Twenty-four thrones surrounded him, and twenty-four elders sat on them. They were all clothed in white and had gold crowns on their heads… Whenever the living beings give glory and honor and thanks to the one sitting on the throne, the one who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down and worship the one who lives forever and ever. And they cast their crowns before the throne and say, “You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created everything, and it is for your pleasure that they exist and were created.”

This is a week that helps stir up attitudes of thankfulness that should preside within us daily. There is no self pity when thanks is directed to whom we should always be thankful to – Jesus our Lord! We can cast our crowns of good works at His feet and instead thank Him.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved

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