28th November 2011
Job 23:10 “test me and I shall come forth as pure gold”
Philippians 4:19 “My God shall supply all your needs”
Many think this verse means we can simply ask God for anything and it will come our way. If you look at the verse in its correct setting you will discover it is tied to a condition. Paul is commending the Christians for their faithfulness in meeting others needs and their willingness to go without themselves in order that others are helped by their giving, he says in effect ‘God will never allow you to go without when you give sacrificially.’ Each new week brings its own challenges and sometimes the cost seems too much, we love our comfort zone and shrink back. We can either ignore it and bury our heads in the sand or accept the challenge and see something quite remarkable happen. Maybe you are being challenged on your financial giving either to your church or someone in need is on your heart and you are unsure of whether you can afford to give to them.
A while ago I was challenged in a missionary meeting as to whether I gave a single coin or a ten pound note. The ten pound note was earmarked for my food expenses at work later than week. As the plate drew nearer I had to make a quick decision. I put the ten pound note on the plate. I can honestly say in that manner of giving I have never looked back or have to question if I did the right thing or not. God has always given to me far far more than I have ever given to Him. He promises to open the windows of heaven and pour out such blessings we can never have enough space for.
This week it may not be money God is testing you over. It may be the use of your God given gifts, your time, or your hospitality. Notice I have used the word your…. Is anything our very own? Have we not given over our lives to Jesus Christ ? If He is Lord of our Lives which is His correct place in our lives then everything we have is His and we are required to be obedient to Him and give our very selves willingly to Him as He provides God given opportunities to please Him as He continues to please us in the giving of His very life for us.
God does test us regularly over what we profess with our mouths to be. What would Jesus do? If you have read the book “In His steps” by Charles Sheldon there are several excellent examples of those who did walk under the Lordship of Christ and suffered gladly for Jesus and followed Christ unashamedly and counted not their own lives but followed “in Jesus steps.”
The five martyrs in 1956 including Jim Elliott and Nate Saint are true heroes of mine who lost their lives but not the battle for the souls they were seeking to win in the Ecuadorian jungle. Many in that tribe of head hunters were gloriously saved but at the cost of five young men and their widows who followed the example of Christ and gave their very lives in the service of others. They were tested and came forth as fine gold. What is God challenging you over this week? May God help you take the right path.
(Prayer with Joy)
Dear loving Heavenly Father,
We are such weak vessels and at times feel so vulnerable to the temptations in this life and sometimes feel we would rather settle for a lesser Christian life and experience and stay in our own little private comfort zone. We do not like to be challenged and would rather be a ‘stay at home Christian’ and have a quiet life free from anxiety. We would rather someone else ‘went to Africa’ and served you there. We would rather someone else answered the call to be ‘a missionary in London or a minister in Soho’.
We may be called to wash others feet but would rather they wash ours. Forgive us for our withdrawal, please give us courage and a fresh sight of Jesus as both our Saviour and example. He set his face like a flint towards Calvary, His view was on the cross and its victory over sin, death and the devil. Some have suggested He stumbled in Gethsemene… when He prayed “If it be your will let his cup pass from me” but then he regained his composure and strength from angels above enabled Him to continue and say “Nevertheless your will, my Father be done.”
“Take up your cross and follow Me” Jesus said ” Help me Lord, Your will be done.”
In Jesus precious name
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