Grace and mercy from our Lord Jesus Christ:
As many of you know, one of my daily devotionals is Oswald Chambers. In his devotion for this Tuesday, Oswald wrote that we can not receive the disposition of Christ (regeneration) until we know that we have the need to be changed. This is very much in line with the teaching we received from James in September. I spoke about the written word of God, the Bible, as a mirror with two sides. The first side is the Mirror of Forgiveness. This side of the mirror makes us aware of the need for change, calls us to repentance, and pours out on us the forgiveness we need. The Mirror of Grace is where we see the reflection of what we can be as we are changed into the disposition of Christ, which is holiness. So do not be fearful of seeing yourself as you are before God, for that is the beginning of allowing God to make you anew in Christ – beginning today.
This week I had my heart convicted! It was a question that a colleague asked in a peer group gathering. He asked the question: Have we cheated God this week? It was like a poke in the eye, and into the heart. And the honest answer I think is that at some point this week I have cheated God.
How about you have you cheated God this week?
- Have you refused to give God your worship?
- Have you not given God the time he has given you to be about his mission of bringing others to Christ and into discipleship?
- Have you not given of what God has blessed you with? The money needed of God’s ministry in the local church? The time needed to witness to God’s love to others? The talents and skills to serve God and others?
- Constant prayer, which is to say constant attention to God’s continued presence in the living Christ and the Holy Spirit along with daily reading in the written word of God?
Maybe the other part of this question is how we have cheated our fellow members of the church:
- Allowing others to carry our cross for us
- Allowing others to carry the burden of the financial needs of the church
- Allowing others to carry the burden of the service to others in the church and community
Sometimes the news is hard from God. But I think too when have we steal from God, we are likely stealing from ourselves. For it is in giving that we receive, and for everything that we do not give, we will not receive.