“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
Not for a Million Dollars, by Randall D. Kittle

As a television reporter in India watched a missionary bathe a person with leprosy, he said in repulsion, “I wouldn’t do that if they paid me a million dollars.” But the quiet, dignified reply of the missionary was far more powerful, “I wouldn’t either, sir,” was his only comment as he continued to care for this person whom society had discarded.

What the reporter didn’t understand was that this silent, serving saint wasn’t seeking a big pay check or even a hardy pat-on-the-back. He was merely serving God out of a thankful heart. The realization of the love and forgiveness God had lavished upon him had led this man to reflect that love to others.

This attitude of a thank-filled heart quietly serving God is not limited to the mission field; it is the proper response of all who have been truly touched by the life and love of Jesus Christ. No task will be to low and no act of service to strenuous for us when we have been gripped with gratitude because of God’s great grace. And because of this labor of love, the Good News that has filled our hearts with thanksgiving will go forth to touch the lives of others … and the heart of God.

God Values Thankful Hearts
A thankful heart will touch the heart of God because even though thankfulness is an attribute overlooked and undervalued in America (even in the Church), it is highly esteemed by God. Psalm 69:30–31 tells us that God values thanksgiving far greater than sacrifice. “I will praise God with a song; I will proclaim His greatness by giving Him thanks. This will please the Lord more than offering Him cattle, more than sacrificing a full-grown bull.”

While sacrifice can spring forth from a prideful heart, true thanksgiving always comes from a heart that is humble, for it appreciates what others have done and denies its own place of preeminence. The Lord esteems thankfulness as more precious than sacrifice because it has all the surrender and giving attributes of sacrifice without any of the self-elevating “martyr complex” attached to it.

In fact, according to God’s Word, thanksgiving is the very kind of sacrifice the Lord is truly seeking.
“Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare His works with rejoicing” (Psalm 107:21–22).

Let us ask the Lord to renew our hearts and minds, so that we can present to Him the sacrifice He delights to accept … the sacrifice of living a thank-filled life.
Lord, we repent of seeking after doing sacrificial things for You when You have called us to so much more. Renew our minds with Your Word until what we value becomes the same as what You value. Teach us to treasure thankfulness like You do. We desire this characteristic to adorn our lives, so that we would be altogether beautiful in Your eyes. Amen.

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