October 11, 2011 Devotion Sharing (1 Chronicles 29)

From Gracepoint Berkeley Church member

Praise be to you, O LORD…
The God who is true, in whom there is no falsehood.

You bring hope to a hopeless world that is deceived, discouraged and defeated by its lies and false promises.

You pluck people out of our endless cycles of striving or our delusional bubbles and bring us into reality and provide strength and hope to live in the real world with the hope of heaven.

You provide real purpose for our lives because the gospel is true and good and full of hope.

You are the giver of all talent and abilities so that we can give generously to bring honor to your name.

You give our church the calling to engage in so many different kinds of good works that there is never a shortage of good work to be done.

But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.

But who are we that we should be able to serve and have such opportunities to impact so many lives? We were all lost, damaged, broken people who did not know right from wrong, who did only what we pleased. But you have given us youth, health, talent, creativity and many people who are willing to give their evenings after work, every night of the week if need be. This is an incredible level of commitment and willingness. We give because you are worthy of our entire being. May all our younger ones give their time, talents and resources willingly and wholeheartedly. I am so thankful for their commitment and attitudes to give to me, to us the authority to speak into their lives. But all of this is only because of you. Please help us to always give with willingness.

From Gracepoint Berkeley Church member

Praise be to you, O LORD…

Yours is the wonderful plan to reconcile sinners like me back to you.  Yours is the compassion and mercy, looking upon my need and rescuing me from my sin even when I was hostile to you, when I did not know what was good for me.

Yours is the wonderful plan to involve me in your great work.  I am full of sins.  Yet you call me to represent you to the rest of the world that does not know who You are.  You call me to be your hands, your feet, your voice.  You know my sins get in the way all the time, you know I am full of folly, you know that I stumble every step of the way.  Yet, you choose to work through me, and I am amazed that I get to take part in your work.  I would have never imagined that at this point in my life I would be ministering to the elderly in nursing homes.  I could not have come to this point even if I tried.  You have given me work that renews me each week.  As I see the residents, I am reminded that the only thing that we truly need is salvation.  I am reminded that I have been given health, time, the ability to think, speak, and that I need to use these for proclaiming the gospel.

But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.

Who am I?  I am thoroughly self-centered, I am petty.  I am broken in many ways.  Yet, you rescued me and let me experience your generosity.  You’ve provided for all of my physical needs.  You have surrounded me with people who are committed to you – people who take your words seriously, who give themselves endlessly without asking for recognition, who are willing to give themselves in any way that will accomplish what you desire.  They inspire me, push me, work alongside me, helping me to be faithful to you.

Who are we that as a church we get to minister to so many different groups of people, from children to middle school and high school, to college students, grad student, to visiting scholars, to the elderly?  Who are we that we get to introduce Christianity to people from different parts of the world because they come to where we are?

I have no noble thoughts or desires, I do not know how to live a fruitful or meaningful life, but you have filled my life with meaningful work throughout each week.  You nourish me through the discipleship time, you give me a chance to connect with you through devotion time and prayer meeting, and through ministry, you give me opportunities to be a blessing to others, to build them up so that together as your people we can declare clearly to the world that there is God who is waiting to receive them back and love them.  You have generously provided me so many teachings and training over the years, and through ministry, you give me opportunities to be delivered from my self-focused ways, and to learn to do what is good for others.  What a blessed life!

 

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