Summary: Appreciating how god we have it in Christ.
Life Is So Good
I was reading an article in a magazine about a man named George Dawson. You may have heard about him. In 1998 he enrolled in a class to learn how to read and write, he was 98 years old. Four years later he published the story of his life. He was the grandson of slaves, born in a log cabin, labored at menial jobs and endured racism throughout his life. But what was profound in his story was the philosophy that he carried with him from his father. His father’s philosophy was that no matter what, Life is so good.
This morning I want to share with you the fact that life is so good. Our outlook on life often depends on what we’re dealing with, our attitudes, and our circumstances. Last week I mentioned how it affects how we respond to a gift that’s presented to us, how it hinders our praise. This week I want to explore this a little deeper.
Your views on life will be evident in everything you do. Have you ever had the opportunity to interact with someone who was a pessimist? No matter what was going on in his life or around him, he could find something negative. Pretty soon, if you hang out with him long enough he will vex your spirit or you too will start seeing things through his glasses. All of us wear sunglasses to protect our eyes from the harmful rays of the sun. They provide a shade over everything that we see. They change how we see the world around us when the sun is bright.
Now take this over to our lives. Each of us wears emotional and spiritual sunglasses that change how we see and respond to things around us. These glasses, or filters, control how we see things, how we process situations and how we respond to them. 1 Cor. 13:12 says “For now we see in a mirror dimly but then face to face; now I know in part but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.” Concentrate on the first sentence – we see in a mirror dimly and the fact that we know in part. We see the Lord and that we don’t have it all or can’t see it all right now but one day we will. Now how does this relate to our spiritual walk? When you don’t have all of the information, or you can’t see clearly – your decision-making ability is impaired because you are making decisions with limited information. James wrote that we should be doers of the word. He stated that those who are not doers of the word are like the man who looks at his face in a mirror “for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.” (Vs. 24) The word of God replaces our sunglasses so that we see clearly. When we’re able to see clearly, our responses to the world around us changes. Remember last week when I mentioned that we have been given a gift but, due to our circumstances, sometimes we’re not able to enjoy the gift? That’s because of the glasses that we wear. Just as our sunglasses block the harmful rays of the sun, our spiritual and emotional glasses can sometime block out our understanding of what God is doing and therefore we are not able to appreciate it.
This morning God wants you to know that you are blessed and Life is so good. Turn to your neighbor, smile at them and say, “Life is so good!” Didn’t that feel good? Now that you’re in the right frame of mind, I can proceed with the message – which was just the introduction. I want to share with you why our lives are so good – it’s not because of us, but because of who we serve and the gifts that he has given to us. Sometimes we must change our filters in order to appreciate what we’re getting and what we have. I need for you to have an appreciation for how gifts are selected. This will help you understand the care and thought that God put into the gifts that He has given each of us. So we will start at the beginning. If I am not able to complete this message today, I will pick it up next week with where I leave off today.
I. Steps For Giving Gifts And Receiving Gifts
• The first thing you do is seek to know the person you are getting the gift for. It’s very hard to buy a gift for someone you don’t know. By spending time with a person, you get to know them, their likes, dislikes and their needs. You have an understanding of who they are and what piques their interest. You know what they’re most likely to appreciate so you try to find something that will be unique to them. Sometimes this may be a difficult thing to do, especially for that person who has everything. Sometimes those gifts are purchased from the store, sometimes you may make them in your house, but whatever it is, the gift should be something that the person for whom it is given will find value in it.