Summary: Everyone needs to feel appreciated. It does not take long before people become discouraged if they are not acknowledged for their fine efforts. Jesus made a habit out of showing appreciation to those who it was due. One day, Jesus commended a tax collec
Everyone needs to feel appreciated. It does not take long before people become discouraged if they are not acknowledged for their fine efforts.
Jesus made a habit out of showing appreciation to those who it was due. One day, Jesus commended a tax collector who humbled himself before God and cried out, "God, have mercy on me, a sinner." Jesus said, "I tell you that this man, rather than the Pharisee, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." (Luke 18:13,14)
The Lord knew how to appreciate people’s attitudes and actions in a way that became exemplary for future generations.
1. Jesus knew how to give credit to whom it was due. One day the Pharisees tried to trap Jesus with His words. They said, "Teacher, we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. . . Tell us the, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar?" The Lord answered, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s." (Matt. 22:21)
Even the sovereign Lord of the universe expressed willingness to fulfill duties to the governing authorities. Be generous in showing respect without sacrificing your principles.
2. Jesus acknowledged the disciples for their valued friendship. The Lord said, "I do not call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I call you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you." (John 15:13,14)
3. Jesus initiated appreciation and good will by urging Zacchaeus to allow Him to stay at his house. The invitation by Jesus was such a public acknowledgement of Christ’s trust in the tax collector that Zacchaeus was thrilled. Eventually, Zacchaeus returned the good will and gave back the money he had taken from others.
4. Jesus gave public thanks to His heavenly Father to urge other people to do the same. John writes, "Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted." (John 6:11)
Application: The Lord consistently acknowledged God as the giver of every good and perfect gift.
5. Jesus encouraged the disciples to show gratitude. Jesus saw many of his disciples turning back because they were no longer willing to follow Him. He turned to Peter and said, "You do not want to leave too, do you?" Simon Peter answered, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God!" (John 6:66-68)
6. Jesus provided opportunities for people to express their public appreciation for the good job done by their spiritual leaders. Public appreciation acts a testimony to deepen people’ s faith.
7. Jesus spent a great deal of private time thanking His heavenly Father. Jesus said, "When you pray, go in to your inner room and pray to your Father in secret and He will reward you." (Matt. 6:6,7)
Application: Solitary thanksgiving to God develops a mind predisposed to gratitude for others.
8. Jesus gave corporate appreciation to the Lord in song. David writes, "I will give thanks to His Heavenly Father because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the Lord most High." (Psa.7:17)
Application: Even as Paul and Silas sang in their prison sell, God did great miracles. (Acts 16:25)
9 Jesus’ life was an offering of thanksgiving to God. Everything that Jesus did boiled down to the fact that He expressed appreciation to the Almighty for every good thing.
10. Jesus showed public appreciation to God for the disciples’ victories. When the seventy-two disciples returned with joy and said, "Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name." He replied, "I praise you, Father, Lord, of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure." (Luke 10:12,21)
Application: When we give thanks to the Lord for the fine work of fellow laborers in the Lord’s vineyard we are achieving maximum appreciation.
Concluding thought: If we are not grateful for what we have we will probably not be thankful for what we wish we had.