When my husband, Joe, was a little boy, he desperately wanted a big metal fire truck. Because this toy was such a major investment for his parents at the time, they bought him a little plastic fire engine instead, and they told Joe that if he would take very good care of the little truck, they would reward him with the bigger one. My husband still talks about how he tenderly cared for that little truck, and how every night, he placed it carefully on the small bookshelf next to his bed. Joe's parents were so impressed with the way their son took care of that little truck, that they eventually rewarded him with the big metal fire engine that had been his heart's desire.
This story always reminds me of how God often deals with His children. Many times, the Lord will give us something that can be a wonderful blessing to us, but that is not quite what our hearts really desire. Then He will sit back and watch us to see how well we appreciate and care for what He has already given us, hoping that we will position ourselves to receive even greater blessings from Him. Jesus said, "He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much." (Luke 16:10 NASB) God cares about very small acts of obedience, as well as larger ones. Because so many Christians fail to realize how important the minor aspects of their daily lives are in God's sight, they fail to receive many of the major blessings that the Lord has in store for them.
Proverbs 12:27 (NIV) says: "The lazy man does not roast his game, but the diligent man prizes his possessions." The fact is that it takes diligence and hard work to properly care for many of our possessions, especially our homes and vehicles. I can't help being impressed when I see a house or car that's been well-cared for. It tells me that the people who own them really appreciate them, and think they are worth a major investment of their time and effort. Isn't it likely that God feels the same way? We can SAY that we appreciate the possessions that the Lord has blessed us with, but it's not until we SHOW Him and the world by our actions that we will position ourselves for greater blessings. Do you want a nicer home? Then take good care of the one that God has already given you. Would you like a newer car? Then be sure to properly maintain the one you already have. And don't grumble about your present blessings. Complaining only reveals a serious lack of gratitude, and gratitude is something that the Lord values highly, and rewards richly.
We still have the bookshelf that my husband's toy fire truck used to rest upon, and to this day, it is a wonderful reminder of the rewards of "prizing our possessions". May we all demonstrate the kind of obedience, diligence, and gratitude that will enable our Lord to say - "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things"! (Matthew 25:21 NIV)
Prayer: Lord, please forgive me for the times that I took Your blessings for granted. Right now, I give You thanks and praise for all the good things that You have given me. Teach me how to appreciate, maintain, and use my blessings in ways that please You most. Thank You that as I "prize my possessions," You will reward me with a greater level of blessings for Your glory!
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