Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Devotional - Kingdom Recycling

Good morning my friends. Please forgive my babblings this morning. It was a bit of a rough night so I am a bit slow of mind this morning. Nonetheless, the Word of God awaits us. This morning we move on to 2 Corinthians 1.

Paul believed, as should we all, that nothing is ever wasted in the Kingdom or in our lives. It also means that nothing is a dead end. Nothing is ever meant to fade away. What we receive we are suppose to pass on to others. Because we have received forgiveness we are to freely forgive others, thus passing it on. Because we have received love we are to love others. What we receive we are to pass on. God is the originator of the "pass it forward" idea.

This leads us to also understand that whatever we experience has a purpose, not only for us but for those others in our lives and who we encounter every day. Are you having financial difficulty? Seek the Father's help and direction and from this you will gain insight to share with others. Have you faced heartache? Seek God's healing and as he provides you will be able to provide to others:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. vs. 3-4

Excuse the expression but Paul took great comfort in this truth because he was no stranger to hardship and suffering. It is much easier to face hardship when it is benefiting someone else as opposed to when it is for your own benefit. How incredible to realize that we gain from these moments and what we gain we pass on to others. How much easier is it for God to pour his comfort through a vessel that understands suffering and comfort?

I have no idea what you are going through but does it help to know that it is part of your training? Does it help to know that you are being prepared for service? Does it help to know that nothing will go to waste, that it will all be used in the Father's plan? In order to be able to accept this truth you have to learn one other thing; you can only rely on the Father for all things.

We all say that we rely on God but we don't really. You only realize how much you rely on something or someone when it is taken away from you; your bank account, your job, your house, your car, your spouse. Listen to these words:

Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many. vs. 9-11

We can't even rely on ourselves. It is only when we are totally dependent on the Father for everything physically, mentally and spiritually that we can appreciate what he is doing for us through the circumstances of life. In this case Paul even saw God using people's prayers for him. As God responded to these prayers people's faith would increase as they gave praise to the Father for the answered prayer. In order for there to be prayer there had to be difficult hardships and trials. Paul was glad for it because the result was spiritual growth for others.

This is obviously a very mature perspective on life and our spiritual walk. Not everyone can yet accept this perspective and will sometimes complain against God, not understanding what is taking place. But you know, you understand, so you can help others to be patient in these things and give God the time to reveal his purpose to them. To God be the glory for all things he is doing for our benefit.

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