But Jesus Died for Me

... But Jesus Died for Me
Author: Kim Sheets, Senior Graphic Designer
Freely Given - Part 1
We live in a world bustling with distractions and hardships; the concept of gratitude is being lost. Gratitude is not just a feeling of thankfulness but a state of being. It is a choice we make in spite of our circumstances. It is the intentional recognition of our blessings, both big and small.

One example of ingratitude from the Bible that comes to mind is found in the Old Testament when the Israelites traveled through the wilderness after being released from slavery in Egypt.
The people became impatient on the way. And the people spoke against God and against Moses, ‘Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.’
— Numbers 21:4b-5

Gratitude is not just a feeling of thankfulness but a state of being. It is a choice we make in spite of our circumstances.

Rather than being grateful for their newfound freedom, the Israelites were disappointed in the wilderness as their new location. They complained first that there was no food and, in the next breath, expressed disdain for the manna God provided to meet their nutritional needs. This group focused only on the circumstances they felt were unsatisfactory rather than choosing to focus on the ways God had blessed them through their deliverance from bondage.

Are we that different from the Israelites? Quite often, we find ourselves in daily routines, in comparison traps, and in striving for greater [you fill in the blank].

When we intentionally cultivate gratitude, our outlook shifts. Challenges become opportunities for growth. Obstacles morph into pathways for resilience. We learn to appreciate the beauty in the mundane and see the grace our Creator extends to us moment by moment.

Let me fabricate a scenario. You are on a job search, apply, and then get interviewed. Excitement ensues, and you pray and ask family and friends to pray along with you. Congratulations! You landed the dream job and are so grateful to God. Months, perhaps years, go by, and you notice the workload you carry is unfair. Coworkers seem to get away with less than you would expect. You become disgruntled, and then, to your shock, that coworker is promoted. All the gratitude you once held for your job is lost, even though outside of your comparisons and opinions, your position and value remain.

I believe it goes back to our heart and seeing through a lens of gratitude. So what happened to the Israelites with their ungrateful attitude?
Then the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people and they bit the people so that many people of Israel died. The Israelites recognized the error of their ways and repented saying, "We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you. Pray to the Lord, that He take away the serpents from us."
— Numbers 21:6-7
God did not take away the serpents but instead made a way for the people to survive. Numbers 21:8 continues, "The Lord said to Moses, ‘Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.’”

Moses obeyed God’s command and the people were saved, having learned the lesson not to be ungrateful for the ways God has provided.

We all struggle with a mindset of gratitude. Some time ago, I read a devotional concerning our attitude when facing times of grumbling or hardship. The writer said to acknowledge your state of ingratitude and then follow it with, ‘...but Jesus died for me.’ The end of the ‘serpent story’ supports this.

The serpent on a pole remains a symbol for us today. Jesus connected His death on the cross with this powerful symbol of rescue from the consequences of sin.
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
— John 3:14-15
Praise God for such a gift of mercy as we learn to live with a daily mindset of gratitude. Are you currently in an ‘opportunity for growth’ situation? If you are struggling to shift your mindset to the positive, remember ‘...but Jesus died for me.’  
Posted in
Tagged with

Recent

Archive

 2023

Categories

Tags

1 Timothy 4:3-4 1 corinthians 13 3 tips Barb Bible Christ centered friendships Christ-centered friendships Christ Control David Deuteronomy 31:8 Elijah Gideon God's Word God's faithfulness God's will God\'s Word God\'s will God\\\'s will God\\\\\\\'s will Gods Word Gods voice Gods will God Good Samaritan Isaiah 41 James 1:22 James 4:14 Jesus is coming Jesus Jonathan Josiah Live at Peace Matthew 26:38-39 Old Testament Paul Philippians 2 Psalms Romans 6:9 Saul Savior Scripture Significant Others Talented Word of God You Say a mother's prayer a mother\'s prayer a mothers prayer abandon abby conner absolute truth acts 1:8 acts 2:42-47 acts adam etris adam adulteror advent alls well that ends well andrew archer andrew angels sing anger anguish anxiety apostles appreciation archer arch are you prepared art of neighboring attributes austin michels austin authorities authority baptism barabbas barb barnhart barnhart be a friend be still be strong and courageous be transformed beauty from ashes becoming fearless believers believe betrayal better neighbors better be brandy gibson brandy bruce lane bruce cancel culture cancel care carols celebrate others christian life christianity christian christmas with the ridge christmas church defined church design church circles clinging to jesus colossians 1:13 community compassion concentric circles conflict connection courage created for community crisis in israel cross crowd cultivate the soil daughter death debt delaney deuteronomy 31:6 devotional devotion disagreement discernment do not fear doers don't panic don\'t panic do early church easter elderly empathy encouragement end times endurance ephesians 3:14-23 ephesians5:21 eternal impact eternal king eternal life eternal security eternity etris exhausted extended family face to face faithful in the small things faithfulness faith family famous last words father fear less series fear less fearless fear foretold forgiveness forgiven forgive forgiving forsaken foundation four tips free from sin freedom freely given free friendships friendship friends friend garden of gethsemane generosity generous get ready getting along gibson gifts give thanks gloria good enough good works gospel government grace and truth grace hill grace grateful gratitude great commission greed grief grieve with others groups haring he has come he will be called heart heaven hell helping hill holy week homecoming hondruas honduras hope huggins ian young ian identity immovable in all things in christ inspired invitation israel jamie huggins jamie jill wargo jill john 8:1-11 john 8:10-11 john josh rhodes josh joy judas judgemental judgement judge katie lemley katie key relationships kim sheets kim kingdom of heaven king kinsman redeemer know the truth la ceiba lane last supper legacy lemley life light of the world light listening live generously living intentionally logos love one another love loyalty luke 10:42 luke 23:34 made new marriage martha matthew 22:37-39 matthew 23:24 matthew 6:3-4 mediator melissa parker melissa mercy michelle lemley michelle trimmer michelle michels mission trip missions money morality neighbor new family new year new o holy night ourselves overcome evil with good parables parable parenting parents parent parker path of life peacemaker peace people of god people perfecter perfector perserverance perseverance persistence philippians 4:6-7 philippians pioneer point of church point possessions power of the past pray like paul prayer life prayer plan prayer pray prepare promises of God provision psalm 139 purpose quality time race read reconciliation recreated redeemed redeemer redemption rejoice relationship with God relationships relationship relative truth religion religious leaders remember response resurrection retaliation return revenge rhodes riches roger sealey roger role model romans 12:12 romans 12:15 romans rules salvation sealey second coming secure seek the truth selfish separation sermon on the mount serve Jesus serve others serve serving others serving set free shame share the gospel share the truth sharing the good news sheep and goats sheets signs sing sin social media sower speaking the truth speak spiritual gifts spiritual leaders spiritual relationships stand firm still strained straining out gnats and swallowing camels strength submit support take time talents tender heart thankfulness thanksgiving thanks the dishonest manager the good samaritan the lost coin the lost sheep the lost son the parables of jesus the persistent widow the plot the point of church the primary purpose of the church the prodigal son the purpose of the church the rich fool the sheep and goats the sower the talents the ten virgins the two foundations the wedding banquet the word of God the word through thick and thin throught thick and thin tim haring tim transformation treasure tribulation triggered trimmer trustworthy truth about people truth is truth matters truthiness truth two foundations two lies and the truth ukraine unbelievers uncertainty unclean victorious victory volunteer wargo wealth wedding feast weep what's the point? what\'s the point? what\\\'s the point? what\\\\\\\'s the point? what\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s the point? whats the point whatsthepoint when we pray who am i who i am who we are work worry wronged you are forgiven young