How can we value someone's determination to a cause? Is it even possible to quantify or qualify how much a person has done for their beliefs? We often look at people like Muslims willing to die for their causes and despite the fact that we might not believe they are right and far from the truth, we admire their commitment until death for what they think is true.
There is something built inside all of us to go beyond the limits set by people before us. We think that records will speak of our dedications, so we work as hard as we can just to make our marks in history. We end up celebrating the work of the people, and we revel in the accomplishments, the effort and the sacrifices they have made in order to affect their generation forever.
The same is true when it comes to proving how much we love somebody, or how much we want to be noticed by someone. This is especially true when my five kids are competing to get my attention. They have become notorious for trying the craziest thing in order to make sure their stunt outdid everybody else, and stand on the summit of fearlessness in order to “impress” me. Surely it makes me proud to see their strengths exploited to show off. But what really touches my heart more than anything is something completely different.
Let’s consider for a moment what the Father thinks of all of this. It is true that many followers or Christ have done the most impressive sacrifice such has selling everything, and gave to the poor. Or; they have denied their body food to prove to God that their love for Him was more expansive than the simple nourishment they needed.
There is something so simple and yet so profound that will leave an everlasting mark on the heart of the Father. Something that men would consider too easy to really have any significance. Yet the Lord does not look at our accomplishments to feel our love for Him. Sacrifice is needed to stand out for sure but what kind?
The Apostle Paul draws a comparison to what really matters to God in the 13th chapter of Corinthians. The exploits listed are commendable and would wow most of us out there. True we tend to respond to sacrifices a person makes for a cause with applause and bewilderment, but what does God see? What does touch Him? Which sacrifice does He delight in?
Psalm 50 helps us decipher God’s heart. After all the sacrifices to impress God, the only thing that really, really matters to Him is THANKFULNESS. Having a thankful heart honors Him the most. Being thankful is the key to touch His heart more than all the things we can do for Him. Yes I said it before, it is simple and easy, but it is simply profound as well. We tend to exert pressure on God to watch us in order for Him to tend to our needs, but the answer is simply being thankful.
Thankfulness connects us back to God. It removes from the equation what we can do and suddenly we are primed to experience what God has for us. Let us all develop a life of thanksgiving and all together let us touch the heart of the Father.
Ps 50:14-15. Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High.
Then call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory.”
Ps 50:23. But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me. If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God.