Appreciative vs Unappreciative (14:7 – 14:8)

Appreciative vs Unappreciative

[14:7] Your Lord has decreed: “The more you thank Me, the more I give you.” But if you turn unappreciative, then My retribution is severe.
[14:8] Moses said, “If you disbelieve, along with all the people on earth, GOD is in no need, Praiseworthy.”

How are ways that we can show our thankfulness to God?

By treating what God has given us with respect it shows our appreciation

By using the resources that God has given us to productive uses that please God shows our appreciation

How can we show our appreciation for our faith?  

[34:13] They made for him anything he wanted—niches, statues, deep pools, and heavy cooking pots. O family of David, work (righteousness) to show your appreciation. Only a few of My servants are appreciative.

[2:41] You shall believe in what I have revealed herein, confirming what you have; do not be the first to reject it. Do not trade away My revelations for a cheap price, and observe Me. 

How Will You Measure Your Life – Clayton Christensen – http://www.measureyourlife.com/

“The first step down that path is taken with a small decision. You justify all the small decisions that lead up to the big one and then you get to the big one and it doesn’t seem so enormous anymore. You don’t realize the road you are on until you look up and see you’ve arrived at a destination you would have once considered unthinkable.

I came to understand the potential damage of “just this once” in my own life when I was in England, playing on my university’s varsity basketball team. It was a fantastic experience; I became close friends with everyone on the team. We killed ourselves all season, and our hard work paid off—we made it all the way to the finals of the British equivalent of the NCAA tournament. But then I learned that the championship game was scheduled to be played on a Sunday. This was a problem.

At age sixteen, I had made a personal commitment to God that I would never play ball on Sunday because it is our Sabbath. So I went to the coach before the tournament finals and explained my situation. He was incredulous. “I don’t know what you believe,” he said to me, “but I believe that God will understand.” My teammates were stunned, too. I was the starting center and to make things more difficult, the backup center had dislocated his shoulder in the semifinal game. Every one of the guys on the team came to me and said, “You’ve got to play. Can’t you break the rule, just this one time?”

It was a difficult decision to make. The team would suffer without me. The guys on the team were my best friends. We’d been dreaming about this all year.

I’m a deeply religious man, so I went away to pray about what I should do. As I knelt to pray, I got a very clear feeling that I needed to keep my commitment. So I told the coach that I wasn’t able to play in the championship game.

In so many ways, that was a small decision—involving one of several thousand Sundays in my life. In theory, surely I could have crossed over the line just that one time and then not done it again. But looking back on it, I realize that resisting the temptation of “in this one extenuating circumstance, just this once, it’s okay” has proved to be one of the most important decisions of my life. Why? Because life is just one unending stream of extenuating circumstances. Had I crossed the line that one time, I would have done it over and over and over in the years that followed.

And it turned out that my teammates didn’t need me. They won the game anyway.

If you give in to “just this once,” based on a marginal-cost analysis, you’ll regret where you end up. That’s the lesson I learned: it’s easier to hold to your principles 100 percent of the time than it is to hold to them 98 percent of the time. The boundary—your personal moral line—is powerful, because you don’t cross it; if you have justified doing it once, there’s nothing to stop you doing it again.

Decide what you stand for. And then stand for it all the time” – http://www.measureyourlife.com/

[34:18] We placed between them and the communities that we blessed other oases, and we secured the journey between them: “Travel therein days and nights in complete security.” [34:19] But they (turned unappreciative and) challenged: “Our Lord, we do not care if You increase the distance of our journeys (without any stations).” They thus wronged their own souls. Consequently, we made them history, and scattered them into small communities throughout the land. This should provide lessons for those who are steadfast, appreciative.

If God answers our prayer are we more responsible?

The Feast

[5:112] Recall that the disciples said, “O Jesus, son of Mary, can your Lord send down to us a feast from the sky?” He said, “You should reverence GOD, if you are believers.” [5:113] They said, “We wish to eat from it, and to reassure our hearts, and to know for sure that you have told us the truth. We will serve as witnesses thereof.”

Greater Miracles Bring Greater Responsibility*

[5:114] Said Jesus, the son of Mary, “Our god, our Lord, send down to us a feast from the sky. Let it bring plenty for each and every one of us, and a sign from You. Provide for us; You are the best Provider.” [5:115] GOD said, “I am sending it down. Anyone among you who disbelieves after this, I will punish him as I never punished anyone else.”* 

[16:18] If you count GOD’s blessings, you cannot possibly encompass them. GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.

[17:36] You shall not accept any information, unless you verify it for yourself. I have given you the hearing, the eyesight, and the brain, and you are responsible for using them.

The more we have the more we are responsible for

The Rich Believer is Better than the Poor Believer

[16:75] GOD cites the example of a slave who is owned, and is totally powerless, compared to one whom we blessed with good provisions, from which he gives to charity secretly and publicly. Are they equal? Praise be to GOD, most of them do not know. [16:76] And GOD cites the example of two men: one is dumb, lacks the ability to do anything, is totally dependent on his master—whichever way he directs him, he cannot produce anything good. Is he equal to one who rules with justice, and is guided in the right path?

Is it wrong to implore God for material things?  

Supplication: A Form of Worship*

[40:60] Your Lord says, “Implore Me, and I will respond to you. Surely, those who are too arrogant to worship Me will enter Gehenna, forcibly.”
*40:60 Supplication, imploring God for anything, even material luxuries, is a form of worship. Hence the commandment to implore God whenever we have any need. An atheist will never implore God for anything.

In Midyan

[28:22] As he traveled towards Midyan, he said, “May my Lord guide me in the right path.” [28:23] When he reached Midyan’s water, he found a crowd of people watering, and noticed two women waiting on the side. He said, “What is it that you need?” They said, “We are not able to water, until the crowd disperses, and our father is an old man.” [28:24] He watered for them, then turned to the shade, saying, “My Lord, whatever provision You send to me, I am in dire need for it.” [28:25] Soon, one of the two women approached him, shyly, and said, “My father invites you to pay you for watering for us.” When he met him, and told him his story, he said, “Have no fear. You have been saved from the oppressive people.”

What is the difference between “need” and “want”? How do we know when we need something and when we just want something?

Did Solomon ask for wealth? 

[38:34] We thus put Solomon to the test; we blessed him with vast material wealth, but he steadfastly submitted.* [38:35] He said, “My Lord, forgive me, and grant me a kingship never attained by anyone else. You are the Grantor.” [38:36] We (answered his prayer and) committed the wind at his disposal, pouring rain wherever he wanted. [38:37] And the devils, building and diving. [38:38] Others were placed at his disposal. [38:39] “This is our provision to you; you may give generously, or withhold, without limits.” [38:40] He has deserved an honorable position with us, and a wonderful abode.

[27:36] When the hoopoe returned to Solomon (he told him the news), and he responded (to Sheba’s people): “Are you giving me money? What GOD has given me is far better than what He has given you. You are the ones to rejoice in such gifts.”

Solomon asked for power (kingship) not wealth

Wisdom: A Great Treasure

[2:269] He bestows wisdom upon whomever He chooses, and whoever attains wisdom, has attained a great bounty. Only those who possess intelligence will take heed.

[27:40] The one who possessed knowledge from the book said, “I can bring it to you in the blink of your eye.” When he saw it settled in front of him, he said, “This is a blessing from my Lord, whereby He tests me, to show whether I am appreciative or unappreciative. Whoever is appreciative is appreciative for his own good, and if one turns unappreciative, then my Lord is in no need for him, Most Honorable.”

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