To Whom the Thanks Belong

One day as he saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down. His disciples gathered around him, and he began to teach them.             Matthew 5:1-2 (NLT)

Jesus went out to the people. He met His disciples on mountains, on the road, in their homes, and all points in between. He did not expect them to come to Him inside a church. Here in this passage today is arguably Jesus’ greatest teaching and He is doing it on the side of a mountain, not in a building made by man. He is in His sanctuary because the “anointed place” is wherever He is.

I am spending a lot of time this week in thanksgiving because I am remembering that it was about this time 12 years ago that God laid it on my heart to start writing down some of the devotions that He was speaking to me. Three other co-workers and I tried to meet in the morning before office hours to pray and bring God into our day first. We were under a great deal of stress in our jobs and we knew that starting the day with God was the way to start the day! Not very long after that I left that job but decided that I was being given an opportunity to lift those whom I had left behind by sending them a devotion every morning. It began with about 15 people and grew by word of mouth until today – I truly have no idea how many hundreds of people join together in the morning to spend some time with God. It is God who has been faithfully meeting every morning with a good word to share!

Some mornings I have started to write and it just doesn’t come together and then I know that word was for me and not to share. Once in a while (like Wednesday) God will take me back to something He said a year or so ago that I need to hear again and consider again. It’s fun to look back on devotions from 8 or 10 years ago and see how God has faithfully and patiently been growing me up!

If we will take 10 minutes and turn off our phones and go to a quiet place, we will find Jesus there waiting to meet with us every time. Before long, 10 minutes won’t be enough. Time with Him is a time of restoration and refreshing. It is a time to lay down burdens that were never mine to carry. They are the burdens who have no answers in my limited mind and abilities. Giving them to Jesus is placing them in hands that know great pain and great power. Giving them to Jesus is giving that which is precious to me to the One who loves greater and more tenderly than I do.

So if you have received a devotion that blessed you or some time in the future receive a devotion that touches your heart – changing you – healing you – bringing you up and encouraging you – give thanks that Jesus is faithful and knows your needs and sent you that word from His heart. God isn’t constrained by my imperfect transcribing. He reaches out and takes your hand, His child, and leads you into that place prepared just for you and Him. His love is never divided among His children but multiplied among His children. Take time and give thanks because Jesus is faithful!

On My Knees by Michael Ochs & David & Nicole Mullen, sung by Nicole C. Mullen

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