1 Corinthians 16:13-14
"Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quilt you like men, be strong.
Let all your things be done with love."
This poem by Amy Carmichael:
"Give me the love that leads the way,
The faith that nothing can dismay,
The hope no disappointments tire,
The passion that will burn like fire,
Let me not sink to be a clod:
Make me Thy fuel flame of God."
May it be true of you and me that "Christ is all, and in all." - Colossians 3:11
God has been showing me more and more that my life is not worth living unless it is being lived as a sacrifice to Him. He has been showing me more of the depths of His love, His sacrifice. And, if God so loved me, what can I give, but my all.
Another thing, I have been reading through the books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles these past few weeks and I have been pondering what David said after he had numbered the people, God punished him by sending the plague, and then showed mercy and stopped the destroying angel when it reached Jerusalem. David went out to build an alter and sacrifice a thanksgiving offering to God at the place where the angel stopped. The man who owned the spot was going to give it to David along with the wood needed and the animals for the sacrifice. David insisted on buying it saying, "neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the Lord my God of that which doth cost me nothing."
The idea of an offering costing me something. I was challenged to take a step up, do not offer God what is easy...if it is easy, do I really mean it? is it really for Him? or is it, in reality, actually for me?
Thinking more, when I deeply love someone I delight in expending a great cost, whether it be in time, energy, money, etc., in order to give them an extraordinary gift that shows my love, my gratefulness for them....ought it not to be the same with God, my dearest Love? I want my offering to Him to cost me something because I love Him, so much!
At the same time, "the spirit truly is willing, but the flesh is week." So I watch and pray. He who sees the heart, knows the desires, thoughts, and intents of man. The LORD is my helper!
So I have been thinking, what can I offer God that costs me something?
It is not far away, that I cannot reach it. It is near me, in my mouth, mind, and heart. It costs me to say no to pleasant daydreams as I gaze up at the sky and instead to spend that time in prayer. It costs me to smile, to speak a loving word when I would rather remain silent because I am feeling out of sorts. It costs me, even, to say no to sweet treats and staying up late - because I know that it is not the wisest choice. It costs me to always greet the person in front of me - whether they acknowledge me or not....to simply be the fragrance of Christ. Yet, does it really cost me? In this selfish moment, yes. But, when I look back from next year, or in five years even, I will see it as it is - just a light affliction, but for a moment, that has given me an exceeding, eternal weight in glory! And I feel that, as I get into the habit of offerings by saying "no" to self and "yes" to Jesus, I will not even see the cost anymore, all I will know is the sweet fellowship of walking every step with Him.