Thursday, March 13, 2014

365 Days with God - Day 83: Gratefulness

I'm giving myself a challenge. Read the Bible each day for a whole year, following the ESV Study Guide 1-year plan. Each day, I will post whatever God has revealed to me in His Word, and how it is changing me. A friend of mine once said that nothing has changed her life as much as reading the bible each day - and I'm excited for how this will change me. Join me on an adventure into the heart of God - and day by day, we can learn more about who He is and what that means to us!

- Andy Catts

Day 83, March 13, 2014
Readings: Psalm 83, Exodus 27;20, Exodus 28:1-43, Nehemiah 9, 1 Corinthians 1:18-31

Think about everything you own. All your possessions. Right down to your body, your mind. Did you do anything for them? Did you create the raw materials that your possessions are made out of? Did you educate the minds that invented them?

Of course not. You may have worked for things that you possess - but the possibility of possessing them, the knowledge to create, the body you are in, the mind that is yours - you did nothing for that. All of it was given to you.

And what have you done with what you've been given? Has the sum of your deeds added up to be worth the gifts you have? Could it ever be? Can we ever "earn" our mind? Our body? Our relationships?

Even when they had made for themselves a golden calf and said, 'This is your God who brought you up out of Egypt,' and had committed great blasphemies, you in your great mercies did not forsake them in the wilderness. The pillar of cloud to lead them in the way did not depart from them by day, nor the pillar of fire by night to light for them the way by which they should go. You gave your good Spirit to instruct them and did not withhold your manna from their mouth and gave them water for their thirst. Forty years you sustained them in the wilderness, and they lacked nothing. Their clothes did not wear our and their feet did not swell. (Nehemiah 9:18-21)

And they captured fortified cities and a rich land, and took possession of houses full of all good things, cisterns already hewn, vineyards, olive orchards and fruit trees in abundance. So they ate and were filled and became fat and delighted themselves in your great abundance. (Nehemiah 9:25)

Now, therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love, let not all the hardship seem little to you that has come upon us, upon our kings, our princes, our priests, our prophets, our fathers, and all your people, since the time of the kings of Assyria until this day. Yet you have been righteous in all that has come upon us, for you have dealt faithfully and we have acted wickedly. (Nehemiah 9:32-33)

How do you perceive all that you have? Is it yours? Or is it God's? Do you honor Him with what He's given you? Do you acknowledge His good things, His good works, His provision in your life? All too often I want to look at the things I have and claim them as mine. Things that I think I worked for, sacrificed for, paid for.

But God has worked more, paid more, sacrificed more than I can ever or even could possibly imagine. He is faithful, diligent and righteous. He has kept his promises. Every one. I can't make that claim. Everything I have isn't mine. But when I hoard my things, when I am ungrateful, when I don't honor God, I am being selfish with something that's not mine. I am claiming something that I don't have a right to claim.

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