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Posts Tagged ‘obedience’

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is here again, and it’s even harder to believe how little I’ve written this year.  Both were brought to mind when I heard “The Little Drummer Boy” playing on the radio the other day.

 

The first brings cheerful thoughts, lights, food, family and of course the music.

 

The second makes me cringe just a little.

 

God has given each of spiritual gifts and talents to use for His purpose, honor and glory.

 

For several months I haven’t been doing what He has called me to do.  Some of it has to do with fear, doubt and perhaps a loss of joy in it.  But as the little drummer boy he gave his best to the king in the manger, I should be a steward with what He have given me

 

I also realized that perhaps I have relied on my own ideas of how to use them and not taken into account that yes there has been disobedience but there has also been obedience. Once a month I send an e-mail out to a group of ladies to encourage them in their walk as well as those who are in my Bible study group.

 

For me the the little drummer boy song reminded me of the gifts, talents, and skills the Lord has given me. My job is to be obedient in using them for His honor and glory.  By doing so in essence I am laying them at His feet, giving them back to Him as a gift of appreciation.

 

It doesn’t matter how big or small they are. The question that needs to be asked is “Are we obeying the Gift giver by using them for Him?

 

My middle daughter Emily has a talent for photography.  Last year was frustrating for her. She got passed over for award after award to fellow students who were at a lower level.

 

I asked her “Would you prefer all the medals and trophies the world could offer or would you rather hear ‘Well done my good and faithful servant. You have used the talent I have given you for My purposes and honor.’ ?”

 

This year she won top in show, and her picture is hanging at a museum in St. Petersburg, Florida.  What was the picture of?  My sister’s funeral.  The caption expressed sadness, but that it was a celebration of life.  Individuals who read it may ask how can death be a celebration? A seed may have been planted that will cause them to seek God.

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When we’re obedient – we’ll also be held accountable – in using what He’s given us, He’ll in turn use it in ways we never knew could imagine.

 

Are you using the gifts and talents God has given you?

 

Just as the little drummer boy gave all he had, give God your “Finest gift”. Don’t neglect them no matter how unimportant or insignificant you think they are.  Rely on Him to give you competence to use them so that He will receive the honor and glory.

 

If you’re not His child you can give your finest gift, your heart.  No matter what you’ve done, or what you think can and cannot offer Him, give Him yourself.  There’s nothing more He would love this Christmas than to adopt you as one of His own.  (See the tab “Invitation” at the top of the page)

 

Matthew 2:1-12; Matthew 25:14-27; Luke 21:1-4

Have a Merry Christmas and Wonderful New Year

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“My strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV 1984) If you have gone to church for any length of time, you have probably heard this statement at least once, maybe more.  Recently, my understanding of this verse grew.

I had just finished a book project entitled The Father’s Study last year.  It was a set of forty parables about the relationship between the Heavenly Father and His child.   My thought was, now I can work on this other project The Rose of Calaria a Christian fantasy/suspense novel.  This was the second time I started writing this novel.

Three years prior, I had deleted the whole manuscript, based on the leading of the Holy Spirit.  Now I thought it was okay to start once again, since the Father’s Study was complete.  For seven months I worked on it and wrote about ten chapters,  However, there was a problem.   I wanted God’s blessing as I wrote it.

The more I wrote the more the Holy Spirit nudged me to stop.  I wouldn’t listen.  The prodding was so strong, but my disobedience bordered on and then turned into rebellion. My quiet times were hindered, and I would push the Bible and the study workbook away.

I argued with God about it for a few days.  “Why can’t I write this?”  The answer He impressed on my heart was that it not only interfered with our relationship but it interfered with what He had for me.  It became an idol.

When I finally gave up the story, a desire to take the The Father’s Study in a new direction welled up within me.  Immediately I responded, “I can’t do that.  I don’t have a theology degree, so who would listen?”

Then as if I the light bulb over my head turned on, this thought came to mind, “Precisely.  You can’t, but I can through you.  You can write the fantasy piece but those were your ideas, thoughts, and desires – not mine.  If I allow you to write it, you would definitely take the glory. However if you do what I ask, you can do it because I will give you the ability to do it.”

Isn’t that an awesome thought?  How many times do we not do what God asks us to, because it means getting out of our comfort zones, or beyond our talents? Or better yet doing something we have no skill in.

He wants us to rely on Him.  Take Gideon, for example.  The angel of the Lord came to him and told him he would defeat the Midian army.  He addressed Gideon as a “mighty warrior”.  Gideon was a farmer – not a soldier.  However, through him, God was glorified.

What about the novel?  I wiped it out completely – hard copies and all.  Although, taking that step was difficult, I had peace.

How about you?  Is there something God has called you to do, and you have not obeyed due to insecurity?  Oh loved one, take the risk and step out of the comfort zone you have set up.  Let God show Himself to you and work through you.  You will be amazed and even surprised at the results.

 

“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having

 all sufficiency in all things at all times you may abound in every good work.”

2 Corinthians 9:8 (ESV)

 

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Most mornings I am out in front of the elementary school my youngest daughter attends.  I have volunteered to stop parents from dropping their child off on the street because they don’t want to take time to go through the car line.  I do it because children’s safety is at stake.

There is a problem.  On mornings I can’t do it for one reason or another, I go through the car line. When I come out, there are parents dropping their children off where I usually stand.  When I’m there they don’t even try it.  It’s the same parents every time.

I think to myself, “It’s one thing to make a mistake but it’s quite another to be blatant about it.  And then the parents wonder why their child disobeys when they aren’t in the room.”

Walking into Bible Study one day a thought occurred to me.  Is that the way my Heavenly Father sees it when I deliberately disobey Him?  Times when He has told me not be angry, yet I blow my stack? Or He wants me to do something, yet I don’t do it?  Does he get angry or frustrated, like I do with these parents?

I’m sure He is disappointed. The thing of it is, He doesn’t let me stay in the disobedience.  He uses His Holy Spirit to convict  and pursue me until I confess and change direction. By the way, it’s always done with love, not condemnation.

The pursuit is evidence that I am His.  These parents may not be in a relationship with Him or have hardened their hearts to His discipline.

The parents are showing their children it’s ok to break the rules and do what you want if no one is there to stop to you.  Am I any better?

I have gone over the speed limit, with my daughters in the car, especially when we’re running late.  Then suddenly, I catch a glimpse of a patrol car sitting in a parking lot. I hit the breaks to slow down, hoping it was in time.

It’s the same way with spending time in God’s word and talking with Him.  If I’m not living out how He wants me to, laid out in scripture, it’s meaningless.  My daughters will see no difference and not bother.

James says, “In the same way faith by itself if it is not accompanied by action is dead.”  (James 2: 26) If we are not living out our faith, those around us will not see a difference and our example, especially to our children  is worthless at best and at its worst is damaging.  I need to be practicing my faith whether or not people see it.  Reality is there is someone watching twenty-four seven and that is our Heavenly Father.

Have you seen others who blatantly break the rules?  How does it make you feel?  Are there areas in your life that you are setting bad examples for your children, those at work, or even those in the neighborhood?

Ask God to change it, and then be patient as He changes you from the inside out.

“Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another.  Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.”

Romans 14:13

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