I was driving home from a service and I was overwhelmed as I pondered a story that was shared by one of the speakers. This individual had stood in faith when his hope was totally gone and had prayed and paid a tremendous price for the twenty-year old ministry at which I was working.
I also thought about how so many individuals have stood in faith and had prayed and paid a tremendous price for the eighty-year old congregation that Cathy and I are a part of.
I realized for the first time how much a sense of entitlement had crept into some areas of my life. I had felt that I had a right to work and make money and even to say how I felt about things; after all I am an American.
I thought about how free at times I have felt that I had a right to speak out about the Christian Church; after all I am a Christian.
And yet, as I allowed the Holy Spirit to speak to my heart, I realized how much a sense of entitlement has become the lens from which we view life. We are called to be grateful for all that HE has provided for us; not only the physical things but the spiritual things as well. After all, it was He who paid the ultimate price for our salvation; not us! As it is written:
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
“For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him." (Romans 5:7-9)
This year, as we step out into the new wonderments and opportunities, throw off the thought that we are entitled to anything. Let us instead be filled with a sense of gratefulness for how much and how often it is well with our body, mind, and souls.
Let this be the year that we focus on His entitlement to our very lives. Let this be the year where our praise is louder than our complaints. Let this be the year that we respond as Mary did when faced with the opportunity to carry the Christ-child;
“Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)
New King James Version (NKJV) The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.