Thursday, August 01, 2013

August 1, 2013 … A Vessel of Blessing

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 213

Devotional Song: Go to this link  … Please use this link and hear a song sung by the Faith Hill, singing “I Surrender All”, exhorting Christians to surrender all we are and all we have been given to bless others in the Name of Christ.

Highlight Passage of the Day: Proverbs 11: 24-24 [Are we vessels of blessing whom God uses to bless others?] … [NLT] …  
24 It is possible to give freely and become more wealthy, but those who are stingy will lose everything. 25 The generous prosper and are satisfied; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
Contextual Study #1 involving today’s passage found in Proverbs, Chapter 11 Go to this link 

Reference Study involving the teaching of Jesus found in Mark 10: 17-29 Go to this link  

Reference Study involving Jesus’ parable found in Matthew 25: 14-30 Go to this link 

Reference Passage of the Day #1: 2nd Corinthians 9: 6-9 [When we put our check in the offering plate on Sunday, is our heart laughing?] … [NLT] …
6 Remember this — a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. 7 You must each make up your own mind as to how much you should give. Don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure; for God loves the person who gives cheerfully. 8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 9 As the Scriptures say , [Ps. 112: 9] “Godly people give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will never be forgotten.”

My Journal for Today: When that offering plate comes by on Sunday and we’ve decided to give a certain amount, perhaps our tithe and/or an offering for a designated ministry or missionary project, what is the attitude of our heart as that envelope is dropped in the plate? That’s really at the heart (forgive my pun) of Os Hillman’s devotional lesson today.

When our heart is right and our lives are blessed providentially by God time, talents, and treasures which reflect God’s desire for us to be the stewards of His providence, what do we do with those blessings? Do we do what Faith Hill sings in the song to which I’ve linked you today … i.e., “Surrender All?” Or is our heart reluctant as we drop that envelop in the plate at Church on Sunday?

You probably remember the story of that rich young ruler who came to Jesus, wanting to know how he could be ushered into heaven; and Jesus, recognizing the condition of the young man’s heart, told him exactly what Faith Hill sings above … that he must be willing to “surrender all;” … and the wealthy young man turned on his heel and walked away saddened; because he was not willing to part with the treasures God had given him.

The Apostle Paul to the Corinthian believers (and to us by extension) wanted them (us) to get all of the blessings God has for His faithful; and so above, from 2nd Cor. 9: 6-9, we read Paul’s exhortation and teaching about giving; and it’s the condition of the heart which determines how much God can bless us as we manage His providence, and actually, with hilarity, are willing to be a blessing for others with our giving.

 God gives His providence to us so that we, as the children in His family, can manage it and use it to bless others … just as Jesus spoke about in the parable of the talents (found linked above in Matthew 25: 14-30). What God gives us, in time, talents, or treasure, is not ours. It’s all His; … and it’s to be used for HIS glory … not for ours. And therefore, we find our re-gifting for His glory mostly when we become vessels of giving, using His providence in the lives of others, especially those in the church first and then for all in need.

So, we all need to ask ourselves if we’re being such vessels of God’s purpose in the giving of all we have. Are we surrendering all, managing what God has given us in time, talents, and treasure, and then giving it back to others in need in HIS Name with a grateful and joyful heart? I’ll leave this soul-searching question for you as I deal with my own attitude toward giving today.

My Prayer for Today … Lord, I pray that I’m smiling when I put the check in the offering plate on Sunday and then You smile because You know my heart is so grateful for what we can to return to others from Your providence. … Amen

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