In Luke 19, beginning at verse 11 through 27, it tells of a nobleman who was going to be away for a while and called a few of his servants to him and gave them each a pound to use while he was gone. Upon returning, several had multiplied his pound where one had buried it and the nobleman was incensed at that one. What that brought to mind for me were the opportunities I am given to pray and grow spiritually and when that happens, my blessings multiply. Then, I am reminded that the one that buried his opportunity happens when I give in to fear and doubt and resistant to God’s help. Lessons always become blessings when understood! We are never separated from God and His blessings.
This morning I am working and praying with Psalm 139: 23-24, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” As I read this scripture, I realize I am asking God to reveal to me any offensive trait I may display so I needn’t get upset when He does just that. I need to be aware of something before I can release it. Gratefully and humbly, I recognize that is exactly what spiritual growth is and I welcome it.
Many years ago, there was a popular song with the title as that above. The melody was also beautiful and a few years back the original performer was in a nearby town and sang this song and we went to see her. For days after, I would sing this around the house. Some of the words were “From a distance, God is watching us”. Suddenly, one day I just stopped after saying those few words and corrected it! We are not separated from God! He is always right here with us. In Psalms 46:10 it reads, “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” No where does it say He is far from us. That Truth is so comforting to me.
As this season of gift-giving begins, my prayer is to only give gifts from the heart. So often, this is the time filled with stress and anxiety if we are not careful. This year I choose to understand more about the Love God has for me and all His children and this is the real gift worth giving. In 1 Peter 1:22 it reads, “Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart.” This also includes ones who may not appear to love me in return. I choose growth in grace.
Today, it is time to release our desire to cherish old hurts, unhappiness or grief and replace them with our true identity, which is the reflection of God made in His image and likeness. We need not rehearse nor entertain old slights but replace them with loving thoughts! The more we reject negativity, the more positive our life becomes!
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
This is celebrating Thanksgiving and can be done year long!