By: Donna Rudolph
As I sit here today, I think about how ungrateful I am. I’m so ashamed of the way I act sometimes. You’ve heard of the half full/half empty analogy I’m sure. Well, lately I’ve been a half empty kind of person. It happens when I get my mind off things that are important.
My first thought is putting others first. If you put others first, you have less time to dwell on yourself. I know first hand that dwelling on oneself just makes us ungrateful for what we have. Getting our eyes off what we don’t have, or what we want, takes away from the selfish element that so frequently creeps in before we know it.
So, what do you think is important? At the top of my list is relationships. Especially my relationship with Jesus Christ. When we put Christ first, all other things seem to fall into place. What is the song?
“Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”
Look full in His wonderful Face.
And the things of Earth will go strangely dim,
in the light of His glory and grace.
— Helen Howarth Lemmel
This should be engraved on my forehead so every time I look in the mirror, I remember. So many of the old hymns have so many truths and words to live by. I would that I could be closer and closer to Christ in this life. The trouble is, many people tend to gravitate toward the here and now. If you just think about it, what is this mere, 70+ years (if we are granted that) compared to eternity?
Shouldn’t we be doing things that count for the long haul instead of the present? “Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys” Luke 12:33. (NIV)
These are the words to live by. I know, it’s hard to not think about the daily struggles and needs we have. But you must remember that God knows what we need before we ask. He knows we are frail and weak.
You may be thinking, what are the treasures I can put in Heaven? Crowns to lay at the feet of Jesus! Have you ever heard of that? Not too long ago I did a study on all the crowns and rewards I could earn here in this life to lay at the feet of Jesus.
Wouldn’t it make sense for us to immediately offer back to Christ every bit of glory we receive, understanding that such a gift is nothing compared with His great gift of salvation and His absolute worthiness of all praise? God has given us things to do, that’s why you are still here on this Earth! You are not just here to take up space or to wait around until it’s your “time”. We should be busy about the things that God has set aside for us to do.
- “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? …” James 2:14-26 (KJV)
- “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the workof the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” I Corinthians 15:58 (KJV)
- “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto goodworks, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
Ephesians 2:10 (KJV)
We are promised the following Crowns:
- Imperishable Crown I Corinthians 9:24-25
- Crown of righteousness II Timothy 4:8
- Crown of Life James 1:12 & Revelation 2:10
- Crown of rejoicing I Thessalonians 2:19
- Crown of glory 1 Peter 5:4
- Your crown Revelation 3:11
Not only crowns, but also rewards:
- A great reward in heaven Matthew 5:12
- A reward for work that survives a refining fire I Corinthians 3:14
- A repayment for work Revelation 22:12
How great is it going to be when we can proudly give our crowns and rewards to Jesus Christ who gave us the greatest gift of Salvation? But the most important fact of this is showing our love for Christ and being Christ to others. When we are Christ to others, and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us, we are showing His love and doing the work that He has set aside for us to do! It seems to me, it’s a win-win!!