Giving away your blessings?

At 5 am today, I awakened to a flood of concerns: my Mom’s health, wondering how best to lead the church I pastor, some major problems that are plaguing some of my congregants, the failure of a contractor do to a good job on a project at the church, etc. The temptation was to let anxiety take over, to seek some quick fixes, to complain, or to run! Does that ever happen to you?

Jonah, the run-away prophet, heard God’s call to preach to the city of Nineveh. He refused to go and tell them to repent from their evil ways. He didn’t think they were worth salvation. God belonged to the children of Abraham exclusively, so he thought. Besides that, he was worried about the future of his country if the Assyrians were not destroyed since that empire was growing in strength on the northern borders of Israel. Jonah shut God out and bought a ticket on a boat to far away Tarshish. You remember the story! God sent a storm and the prophet ended up tossed into the ocean, where a big fish swallowed him. He recounts, “When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you.” (Jonah 2:7, NIV) But it is the next line that arrests my attention: “Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.” (Jonah 2:8, NIV) In choosing to serve Self, Jonah gave away his blessings and found himself in desperate straits!

Are you ‘clinging to worthless idols?’
Do not make the mistake of thinking only in terms of little god figurines. Idols come in many forms! Are you trying to solve life’s riddles with self-help books? Are you seeking meaning and purpose in things that are destined to perish like money, sex, or power? Are you substituting your own wisdom for God’s true wisdom? Then, you, like Jonah, are giving away God’s grace!

Early this day, I gave my concerns to my Father. I asked for His insight, for courage to wrestle with the challenges of this day. He met me with peace! I will still go to work today, still have to confront the challenges, but not alone, nor without divine resources.

Here is a word from the Word. Thank the Lord for the promise and take the grace that is your heritage as His child.
“Don’t chase after ghost-gods. There’s nothing to them. They can’t help you. They’re nothing but ghost-gods!


God, simply because of who he is, is not going to walk off and leave his people. God took delight in making you into his very own people.” (1 Samuel 12:21-22, The Message)

_________________

In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song!
This Cornerstone, this solid Ground;
Firm, through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the pow’r of Christ in me!
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand.
Till he returns or calls me home,
Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand!

In Christ Alone
Townsend © King’s Way – Thank You

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