Lesson 21—I Acknowledge What God Has Done for Me
I try to be a good person. Really, I do. And most days I’m pretty good. Not evil anyway. But certainly not good enough to earn my way into perfect heaven.
I admit trying to please God. Hoping for brownie points even though I know He doesn’t give them out or count them towards my salvation. But I love God. Of course, I want to do His perfect will. I want to be obedient to His leading. I want to live a life that honors Him. But no matter how hard I try, I still can’t earn my way into perfect heaven. I simply have to acknowledge what God has done for me. Because He loves me that much.
Sometimes we are overwhelmed at what God has done for us. Other times we take things for granted. God keeps on giving. Do we acknowledge what He has done for us? Do we share with others what He has done for us?
When his time of service was completed, he returned home. After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people” (Luke 1:23-25).
Earlier we saw that having a child was the way God took away a woman’s disgrace in ancient society. Picture Elizabeth finding out that she was going to have a baby. At her age! Imagine Elizabeth running next door to tell her neighbor Hadassah the news. Rushing off to the market to buy herbs for a romantic dinner with Zechariah. Telling everyone she met about what God had done for her. Giving Him the glory; the credit. Acknowledging Him first in telling of the miracle He had performed.
Elizabeth didn’t claim she was a hot mama or that her husband was stud-ly. Rather, she exuberantly acknowledged the miracle was God’s doing and that He had taken away her disgrace and brought her favor.
In our early days as new Christians, we are overwhelmed at what God has done for us. God has saved us from hell. God has saved us from His righteous justice. We get to go to Heaven when we die. We get to live forever with Him.
Then sometimes a period of acquiescence hits our walk of faith. We take things for granted. I’m going to Heaven because Jesus died for me. OK. But that was His plan. He did it for everyone. He’s God, so of course, He did. We fail to take the time to meditate on the expansiveness of it:
I’m going to heaven because Jesus—as divine God residing in Heaven with His Father and the Holy Spirit—surrounded by angels praising Him continuously—in the most wonderful place ever imagined and created—left that paradise. He was born as a lowly baby, unable to even speak until his human body matured. He endured anger and scorn from people who claimed to love Him. He withstood the trials of physical life here among sinful humans. He was persecuted and tortured, was humiliated and hung on a tree, nailed there to die a slow and painful death by suffocation.
When we meditate on the expansiveness of what Jesus did, we are renewed in our gratitude and in our understanding: we are completely unworthy of what Jesus did for us; the sacrifices He made here on earth and by leaving heaven in the first place. We are so unworthy of the price He paid. We are unworthy even of the presence of the Holy Spirit living in us, leading us, protecting us, teaching us, comforting us, being our friend and constant companion.
We are unworthy.
We also then remember what God has given us in our earthly lives. These bodies, our health, provision of finances, food, clothing, housing. Freedoms, knowledge and an ability to learn. Spiritual leaders. Family, friends, circumstances, abilities.
And forgiveness. Second and 32nd chances. God’s Peace. Comfort. Courage. Mercy and grace. An example of how to live; Scripture to teach us about God’s character.
God is the God who keeps on giving. Do we acknowledge what He has done for us? Do we remember? Do we express our gratitude at the deepest level of our soul because our words themselves are incapable of expressing our acknowledgment of what He has done?
Do we acknowledge what God has done in our lives? Do we share God with people we come in contact with? Are we a witness to His goodness? Are we a light shining for Him? Are we a light shining the way to Him?
If Elizabeth were here she would say this was her story. She clearly recognized and acknowledged what God had done for her. And she gave Him all the glory.
Who are we to God? When we acknowledge what God has done for us with gratitude and thanksgiving, and when we share that knowledge with others, we understand how God might see His women of faith. We can respond:
I am like Elizabeth.
For Thought and Discussion
- Jot down some of the things that God has done for mankind.
- Jot down some of the things God has done for you personally or for people you know.
- How can you acknowledge what God has done for you to Him and to others today? Make a list including who, what, when, where, why and how.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, our human minds can’t completely understand all that you have done for us. But we acknowledge that what we know about is overwhelming. Thank you so much for saving us and protecting us from the Evil One. Help us share what you’ve done with others today. Amen.