By Alex Anderson
I have this incredibly wealthy friend. Well, he’s wealthy by my standards anyhow. If I had to guess, his net worth is somewhere north of say, a hundred million dollars. He’s also very giving. One of the kindest people you’ll every meet. And he has, at times, been very generous to me.
Which, by the way, gave me a life puzzle to solve. How do I say “thank you” or show my heartfelt appreciation to someone with a whole lot more wealth than me? What could I possibly buy or do for him that he could not buy himself or does not already own? You see my problem…right?
What I came up with was another question. What was important and meaningful to him? And how could I express my love and appreciation in those ways?
You know where I’m going with this, don’t you? We God-loving Christ followers have the same problem with God. How do you show God how much you sincerely love him in ways that are meaningful to Him? After all, He created and owns the very air you and I are breathing right now. So what could we possibly do to show Him how thankful we are for our health, our friends and the wonderful privilege of living in the United States of America?
I do believe that God enjoys it when we spend time in prayer alone with Him. I think His heart is moved with joy when we get together at church and worship and praise Him. I’m sure reading the Bible delights Him. After all, He is the author and it is the world’s all-time best seller. But is there anything else we can do to speak His love language? I’m thinking about something really dear to His heart.
I believe there is. Here’s my answer.
Since we know God loves us, it would make lots of sense that He would love others. That gives you and I our way of showing Him heartfelt and authentic love and appreciation for all He’s done for us.
Now don’t misunderstand. God is not expecting us to pay Him back for what He did through sending Jesus to die on the cross and restore us knuckleheads back into relationship with Him. Nope, that would be about as effective as pouring your cup of Starbuck’s coffee in the Gulf of Mexico thinking you were going to change the tide level. Not quite enough.
What we do know is that God has a soft spot for others, just like He does for us, and there are ways of “loving others” on His behalf that are very important to Him.
In Matthew 25 (NLT) we read…
31 “But when the Son of Man[a] comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.
36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’
Take advantage of this inside scoop on how to do something for the God of the universe in a meaningful and personal way.
This Thanksgiving, be the “hands and heart of Jesus” to someone else, would you?
To your spiritual health,
Pastor Alex Anderson
Author, Dangerous Prayers