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Summary: Do you want to know about the character of a person? Ask yourself, who do they love and appreciate? Who do they talk about and spend money or time on? Jesus gave us eternal life, appreciation goes to Him first!

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Appreciation: For Jesus and Others Who Honor God! 1-3-16 Kelly Durant

John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. Proverbs 21:21 He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.

2. Do you want to know about the character of a person? Ask yourself, who do they love and appreciate? Who do they talk about and spend money or time on? Are they the vain type of person that idolizes mere men or women in high places of power? Ask, who are their favorite performers, movie stars, or rich and famous ones they look up too? Or do they (or you) speak of what God is doing in their lives or in the lives of others having their pleasure in those who inspire by praising their good deeds? Who we honor says everything about us!

Basically, to appreciate is to reciprocate love! Appreciation is a reaction, something was done for you, and now you seek to return a favor or gesture to reveal your thankfulness. Often you and I cannot return the same value of what was given but to do or want to do something for others and God reveals an honorable heart. Friends are often those whom we appreciate most by often do not get a chance to thank them. Appreciation can be shown in different ways but you must be a support to the person. It also may include being an imitator, admirer, or follower. Appreciating them by sharing with them something of value like giving them a gift is a good thing. Time spent with someone may also reveal that you appreciate their presence and value them as a person. But often people do nothing and they do not even say, “Thank You!”.

Since the year is ending, it is time for an inventory; it is time to do an assessment, who and what do you appreciate in life? Like the old rock song that repeated over and over, “Who do you love?” we need to ask ourselves does our love for someone translate into showing them a meaningful appreciation?

3. Let’s start with priorities, how do you show appreciation to Jesus for His love to you by dying on the cross to give you eternal life? The verse of today are Jesus words, He gives us eternal life and the blessed assurance that no “man” can ever take it away. Eternal life? How amazing! How incredible! Jesus had appreciation for His followers so much so that He granted them ( from the present and the future) life after this life in a perfect utopian heavenly world!

How can you or I ever thank Jesus enough for saving our soul? Eternal life in heaven is something that no amount of money can buy and there is no way to earn it! Eternal life has been the obsession of all cultures since mankind’s inception and is usually the basis for all religions, disciplines, and sacrifices throughout time. Before Jesus, the Hebrews, the Hindus, the Egyptians and all humanity sought ways to gain eternal life and earn position by purification and respect by following Godly standards (laws) which would carry over in the next life. But mankind’s attempts at being worthy and clean are never enough to gain a purified soul acceptable enough for a Holy God who is the embodiment of pure holiness and love.

So how do you and I show appreciation for eternal life? Are you taking it serious how much God loves you? What can you give back to God? I wrote a song inspired by the words of others about 30 years ago and here is a part of it just for a quick reflection:

The gift of God, is eternal life, but it cost Jesus His, to give it to you,

And it will probably cost you yours, to live it too

You are no fool to give a life you cannot keep

To gain a love you’ll never lose

4. For the gift of eternal life people will do anything! Some religions teach you must earn it by being selfless, sacrificial, ritualistic, and generous to their church, or even live separated from society. Some religions also teach that you must kill others who are unfaithful to God (what they think God wants as described by false prophets) so people will also even commit murder and violence. Until when will radicalism dominate submitting people to misrepresented idea of god?! Violence and the murder of the unfaithful brings no justice to any God or to anyone. It is the system of satan and only serves to satisfy man’s lust for power, wealth by robbery, sexual domination being the total opposite of what we know our God of mercy, compassion, and love to be!

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