“I am glad about the coming of Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus, for what was lacking on your part they supplied. For they refreshed my spirit and yours. Therefore acknowledge such men.” (1 Cor. 16:17-18)

“Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing. And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves.” (1 Thess. 5:11-13)

This morning I opened my email to find 2 wonderful notes thanking us for the work we do in Africa, and that made me think how wonderful the smile that emerged upon my face was to my faith. It was like a breath of fresh air! I could almost hear God say, “I want you to have a smile on your faith!” The Apostle Paul tells us that it doesn’t have to be complicated; we should appreciate the labor of others – tell them… and esteem them very highly in love.

Appreciation is like oxygen for the soul!

How would you describe someone who knowingly withheld oxygen from someone? Then why do we find it so hard to express our appreciation to people who add value to our lives? And by the way, if there’s no one in your life that you appreciate… that says more about you than the people around you.

Emotional Leprosy:

Beware that you do not become an emotional leper or self absorbed, “lone ranger”. Remember the malady of the leper was that they would lose their ability to feel. It is possible to become so obsessed with your success that you stop noticing others around you. Your ministry is not yours and never will be. And can I tell you the truth – God wants it back so it can increase!

Jesus said, “I am the vine and you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (Jn. 15:5). Do we truly understand that we can do nothing in terms of lasting fruit without Him? And second; have we come to terms with the concept that the word “branches” is plural? Jesus wants us to abide in Him as a people in loving fellowship with each other!

Being Grateful:

At its core, appreciation is rooted in gratitude. A selfish, self-centered, and self-obsesses person has no capacity to be grateful. What people do for us must never be overlooked or expected, as the other person’s job or duty. Recognizing the achievements of others begins when we esteem them more highly than ourselves (Phil. 2:3). Let’s notice the riches of other people and stop letting our desire for personal gain or success rule our heart. Its a grateful heart that unlocks the pleasure of fellowship! Tell someone that you are proud of them, today… tell them you see their effort and that you appreciate them for who they are in your life.

And you know what? You might find a smile awakening in their… faith!

The following note was written by my oldest daughter – JoHanna Bateman.

“That moment when you finally clean out your purse and you find a note (you forgot to read) from a girl in youth group. And you just sit there staring at it, reading it over and over and crying your eyeballs out. Realizing that just simply praying for someone and being their friend, can change their life and impact them forever. I never thought simply asking someone how they’re doing every Wednesday could impact their life so much. It helps us believe in a God we have never seen. How beautiful it is, when the love of Christ is shown through people. Is that not what I was made for? To reflect the glorious face of Jesus?”

Two things I encourage you to do today:
1. Ask people how they’re doing… and care about the answer.
2. Clean out your purse. You might find a long lost note that will awaken a smile.

I’m so proud of you, sweetheart!

One Response to “Appreciation”

  • John:

    Praise God Pastor Ron, I have done the assignment you told me and I have gone through the Web site , a bout the home , I have printed and I have read it and it have blessed me and make me grow in Christ this teachings is more powerful .
    Thank you Sir.
    Yours Pastor John Kotin.

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