TAKING THINGS FOR GRANTED
What does it mean to “take something, or someone, for granted?”
One definition is as follows, “fail to properly appreciate (someone or something), especially as a result of overfamiliarity. i.e. the comforts that people take for granted. “ Another, secondary definition is “to assume that something is true without questioning it.” Finally, a third definition is “to never think about something because you believe it will always be available or stay exactly the same.”
I think we will all have to admit that we take a lot of things for granted. Note some of these things. . .
Do we take our family for granted? Do we live with them day in and out and not consider how important they are to us? Are we so busy trying to make a living that we don’t spend enough time with family, or assume they will always be there? If there is one thing we must consider, it is that none of us have the promise of tomorrow. James 4:13-17 teaches us, “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” We could lose our loved ones without any warning. Sometimes we know that a loved one is sick and has been fighting cancer or something else for so long that we are aware, and perhaps prepared (if that can really be possible). Sometimes we have lived together so long that we believe things will always be the way they are – but life doesn’t happen that way.
Do we take our health for granted? Again, most of us have been blessed with good health, and we go from day-to-day planning to do many things. But things can happen over the day that will change your life from this point forward. We can be involved in an automobile accident; we can have a heart attack or go to the doctor and hear the dreaded “C” word. Who gives us our health? Who has blessed us with doctors, nurses, and prescription drugs to help us get better from whatever ails us? And while we complain about the cost, at least we have access to what we need to get better!
Do we take God’s church for granted? The church means so much to the Lord. He planned it before the foundation of the world. He gave his Son to purchase the church, which he did with his life’s blood (Acts 20:28). He wants his people to work together to share the message of the cross. The church should be the place where we can share our burdens; where we can confess sin and be encouraged to cease sin and live as the Lord would have us to. We need one another, and God has given us the church here for us to “provoke one another to love and good works.” (Hebrews 10:24). Let us make sure that we don’t take one another for granted, but do what we can to build, encourage, and help one another to become what God knows we can be! Do we take God’s sacrifice of His Son for granted? I have met some “Christians” who actually said, “Well, I will go ahead and commit this sin anyway, and ask for God’s forgiveness later.” The Hebrew writer warns against such an attitude in Hebrews 10:24-29, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?
The writer in Hebrews challenges the church to “stir one another up,” “Encourage one another,” and then give the warning of what will happen if we do not obey the Lord. Worse punishment! I cannot begin to imagine why anyone would even dare to come before God having done this and think all is well. And consider what this passage does to the idea of “once saved always saved.”
Thankfulness will help us to stop and consider how blessed are. We may not live in a mansion here on earth (but compared to what the average person lived in as the Bible was written – we are all living in mansions.) When we consider blessings of family, of forgiveness from our sins, and the church that should be encouraging to one another!
Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift!
 (Source — https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/take-for-granted)
THE IMAGE OF GOD
In Genesis 1:26-27 we read “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” It is instructive to us to realize that we are made in God’s image! He wanted one part of his creation – indeed the “acme” (“the point at which someone or something is best, perfect, or most successful”) of his creation, to be like him! He wanted one part of his creation to think and act as God does. He put man in charge of creation. But when man sinned, creation was ruined and we have had to bear the consequences of it today.
Continuing our look in Scripture at this idea, we see passages that emphasize that Jesus, God in the flesh (John 1:1-3), is also made in the image of God. Notice these . . .
2 Corinthians 4:3-5 “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image (icon, likeness) of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.” Satan, as he did in the Garden of Eden, has done his best to blind the minds of unbelievers, so they will not be saved. Further, we must consider that if we do not focus on Jesus, we fail to see that we are made in the image of God, and how much God loves us!
Philippians 2:5-8 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form (Greek word morphe – the “shape”) of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Colossians 1:15-20 He is the image (icon) of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
Hebrews 1:1-4 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
Beloved, we are called to be like Jesus, who is the image of God. Our lives must reflect God in us! We must walk, talk, think, act and be like Jesus for the world to see. Many will not pick up a Bible to read it; others will make a Jesus in their image (just like them, liking and hating the same things they like or hate). We cannot make him into our image; we must be made in HIS IMAGE!
Do people see Jesus in us? We may be the only way anyone will see Jesus!