A Great Question to Promote Humility and Thankfulness

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The Corinthian church had some pride issues. Many were “puffed up” and arrogant, even looking down on Paul who had delivered the gospel to them. Paul gave them a great reminder to help them stay humble. It’s a good one for us. As Paul asked the Corinthians a question, we can ask ourselves the same question. Here’s what he asked:

What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it? 1 CO 4:7

What do you have that you did not receive?

Think about it. All we have – every single thing – is ultimately a gift from God. We didn’t earn it, we didn’t deserve it; God just blessed us with it.

You may say, “I have worked hard for all I have. I worked my way through college, paid for my own tuition, studied hard, and when I got a job I worked harder than anyone else to advance in my company. That’s how I have these things. I earned them.”

Oh yeah? I think you may be forgetting just a few small things. Like the fact that God placed you in this country where a good education is possible. God gave you your intelligence. If you were raised in a stable family it’s because God put you there. Your diligence is a gift from God. God’s blessing makes opportunities for businesses and individuals to make money. Your sound mind, your intelligence, your talents, your health, your education, your job, your income, your house, your car – you name it – if you have it, it is because you have received it.

And what about spiritual things? How is it that you know the gospel? Because somebody else told you. How do you know anything about God? Because you received it from somebody else. Why do you even have a Bible? Because others wrote down God’s word, preserved it, copied it, developed printing presses, published it, and eventually it wound up in your hands – as a gift. All our spiritual knowledge – anything and everything we know about God – all a gift. Our salvation, our adoption as sons, our spiritual gifts, our joy, our confidence, our hope, our experience of God’s love – ALL undeserved gifts and blessings from God.

What do you have that you did not receive? Answer: Nothing. All we have – every spiritual gift and every material blessing – we have received as undeserved blessings from God. This should humble us. This should make us exceedingly thankful. We should breathe thanksgiving to our heavenly Father all day long.

What do you have that you did not receive?

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Mark Altrogge
Mark Altrogge is the original triple threat: singer, songwriter, pastor. He has been the senior pastor of Sovereign Grace Church of Indiana, PA for over 25 years, and is the author of many well known worship songs such as “I Stand In Awe”, and “In The Presence”. When not pastoring or writing songs, Mark can be found consuming vast quantities of coffee. Unfortunately, Mark is not particularly gifted in the area of athletics.

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