We all have times in our life where we go through the motions and don’t pay much attention to what’s going on around us. In this sermon, Greg reminds us to look and be thankful for the things in our lives.
Many people just live in this world paying attention to the world around them. But Kingdom people are supposed to keep their eyes open to what God is doing and what the enemy is doing. This is an important distinction between Christians and non-Christians. We are to be moved by the supernatural events that happen around us all the time.
There is an assumption in the Bible that God is always busy working in this world. Ever since Adam and Eve, God has been active to bring about as much redemption, blessing, and Kingdom as possible. This is still true today. God is active in every moment in everyone’s life. God is trying to bring good into this world and is constantly fighting against evil in this world.
This means that God was always present at every nanosecond in your life. However much evil was there, there would have been more if God had not been there. We all have nightmares. God is always at work trying to redeem your nightmares, to turn every situation into something better.
The New Testament tells us to be watchful and thankful. It says it so much that it implies this is a difficult thing to do, and it is. Being watchful and thankful requires discipline. If we’re not vigilant, our faith which was once vibrant can just become a set of beliefs.
This is similar to a marriage where the spouses don’t pay attention to each other. They essentially become roommates with benefits, and they no longer remember why they were married. To keep a good marriage, we need to become more aware of why we love our spouses. We need to be watchful and thankful of their lives. There will certainly be bad things in our life and relationships, but when we’re looking for the things to be thankful about, it can lead us back to why we first fell in love.
Our relationship with God works the same way. God is always present and he is constantly calling us back to our original joy and love we used to have with him. In the play “Our Town”, a woman is able to go back to her 12th birthday, and she realizes that people don’t realize what they have in the moments that they live. We never notice the miracles around us everyday. This woman says at the end of her birthday that people on Earth just don’t get it. To be more watchful and thankful, we can start with three things.
First, pay attention to your soul. If you don’t readjust your life, your soul will make known that you’re not a good fit right now. Like hand me down shoes that don’t fit, you won’t feel comfortable with what you’re doing. Instead of ignoring that feeling, we should look at it and ask the questions of why it’s there. When you find a painful thing, offer it up to God, and see how God works on it to bring good.
Second, pay attention to new developments. Pay attention to when new things capture your attention. It could be a concern or it could be a sign of something you’re supposed to work on, but pay attention to what grabs your attention and why. It’s often an indicator of something going on in your life when you are drawn to something new.
Third, apply this to all of our relationships. It’s not just about God; we should take no relationship for granted. Make sure none of our relationships are in a rut, and we should be intentional and disciplined in watching and thanking our other relationships in our life. God wants us to have the same harmony with each other that we have with him.
All of us have moments in our lives when we don’t feel like we first did when we found Jesus. We have been in a rut too long to know what that love feels like. Being watchful and thankful can lead us to revitalizing our relationship with God and others. But it’s a discipline that needs to be worked on every day.
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