Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Yes Day! part 3

Malachi 3:6-17 Robbing God

6 "I the LORD do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. 7 Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you," says the LORD Almighty. "But you ask, 'How are we to return?' 8 "Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. "But you ask, 'How do we rob you?' "In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit," says the LORD Almighty. 12 "Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land," says the LORD Almighty. 13 "You have said harsh things against me," says the LORD. "Yet you ask, 'What have we said against you?' 14 "You have said, 'It is futile to serve God. What did we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the LORD Almighty? 15 But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly the evildoers prosper, and even those who challenge God escape.' " 16 Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored his name. 17 "They will be mine," says the LORD Almighty, "in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him. 18 And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.

This was the passage that prompted me to follow through with what I felt the Holy Spirit had been calling me to. I promised to share with you how our storehouses were flooded today. You know, to begin with, I'm embarrassed to say that our storehouses are already overflowing. I live in America. I have freedom, if I had no food the welfare system would provide food for me and there are countless organizations around to shelter us if we had no place to live. We have a military that protects us, good health care, and a fair judicial system. I can vote for our leaders! And let's not get into how many freedoms I enjoy. Personally, I have friends and family that love and care for us, eggs every day, chicken we could eat, and fruiting trees and vines. I live in a fertile valley where we could grow almost anything. Currently I live in a huge house where people can come and stay with me. I have healthy children and can teach them at home. But I don't want to fill this post with all these obvious blessings... today God gave us samples of blueberry muffins, free cookies, rolls of bright pink tape to play with, Cheezits crackers, and then a great rest time in the afternoon! Why are these things significant? Because it was the kids who needed to see God's gifts overflowing and most of these gifts were spoken in a love language they could understand: food and fun. The good rest time was just for me, a pause in the midst of a busy day and a huge gift to me. I love when the house is quiet in the afternoon, I can relax and unwind and prepare for the rest of the day. What a gift! As soon as Andrew got home Josiah rattled off the list of blessings God gave us today. He saw God's promise fulfilled in a personally meaningful way. This was also a gift to me.
So I have experienced, in this little baby step of obedience, that it is not futile to serve the Lord and I hope that as God continues to change me the world will look at my life and they will see a distinction and know that it is Him that makes the difference. And, when it is all said and done, what joy I have in knowing that He considers me his treasured possession.

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Lord, lift me above my own narrow horizons, that I might fulfill your true vision for me. - B.J. Hoff