Sunday, May 19, 2013
lovely and generous lives
I loved the devotion for May 16 by Oswald Chambers this week: The Habit of Recognizing God's Provision. "....you may be partakers of the divine nature..." 2 Peter 1:4 We are made "partakers of the divine nature," receiving and sharing God's own nature through His promises. Then we have to work that divine nature into our human nature by developing godly habits. The first habit to develop is the habit of recognizing God's provision for us. We say, however, "Oh, I can't afford it." One of the worst lies is wrapped up in that statement. We talk as if our heavenly Father has cut us off without a penny! We think it is a sign of true humility to say at the end of the day, "Well, I just barely got by today, but it was a severe struggle." And yet all of Almighty God is ours in the Lord Jesus! And He will reach to the last grain of sand and the remotest star to bless us if we will only obey Him. Does it really matter that our circumstances are difficult? Why shouldn't they be! If we give way to self-pity and indulge in the luxury of misery, we remove God's riches from our lives and hinder others from entering into His provision. No sin is worse than the sin of self-pity, because it removes God from the throne of our lives, replacing Him with our own self-interests. It causes us to open our mouths only to complain, and we simply become spiritual sponges--always absorbing, never giving, and never being satisfied. And there is nothing lovely or generous about our lives. Before God becomes satisfied with us, He will take everything of our so-called wealth, until we learn that He is our Source; as the psalmist said, "All my springs are in You" (Psalm 87:7). If the majesty, grace, and power of God are not being exhibited in us, God holds us responsible. "God is agle to make all grace abound toward you, that you...may have an abundance...." (2 Corinthians 9:8)--then learn to lavish the grace of God on others, generously giving of yourself. Be marked and identified with God's nature, and His blessing will flow through you all the time. I think I love this devotion so much, because it sums up the desire of my heart. I want to be 'marked and identified with God's nature, so that His blessing will flow through me all the time!' Don't you? How do we do this? I believe that we begin with finding God as our Source. Our Source of joy. Our Source of Hope. Our Source of Peace. Our Source of Life. It just sounds right, doesn't it? He is our Source. He is our everything! He is the Spring that fills us up. He is the strength that gets us through. He is the Great I Am! When we find all that we need in Him, we have all that we need to give to others. He fills us to overflowing, and then we are ready and able to give and flow into others (out of the abundance that God has given to us!). I love this, because I think it is a wonderful picture of how God wants us to operate in our homes and in the body of Christ. He wants us to come to Him, and then be ready to share with others what He has shared with us! Isn't that just like Him? To give us something good, and give us enough so that we can share it? I think of the feeding of the 5,000. The loaves of bread and fish. The miracle of 'more than enough.' I think that is the offer He extends to us every day. Come, and Be filled. Then, Share. Simple enough. And Beautiful. It is a reflection of Him. His fullness, his goodness, his grace. More than enough! It is good to look at where we are and what we have to give. It's good to evaluate and see, "Are the majesty, grace, and power of God exhibited in me?" If it is our goal to please Him, we will desire to be like Him....And desire that when people look at us, they would see His majesty, grace and power in our lives! What a high and splended calling. Yes, my utmost for His highest.