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Living My Best Life Day 15

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Scriptures:Haggai 1:6,7,9b You eat, but do not have enough; You drink, but you are not filled with drink; You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; And he who earns wages, earns wages to put into a bag with holes.  Consider your ways… Why? Because of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies yourself with your own house.

Psalm 145:13-16 The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does. The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.  The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time.
You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.

Devotional: Back in 1965, The Rolling Stones released a song calledI Can’t Get No Satisfaction.  It’s a song that has endured as a classic rock song as Mick Jagger sings, “I can’t get no satisfaction, I can’t get no satisfaction. But I’ve tried, and I’ve tried, and I’ve tried and I’ve tried – I can’t get no satisfaction, no, no, no.” Complex lyrics, huh?

But these lyrics well describe many of us today. We live in the richest country, have more conveniences than ever at our fingertips, yet we never seem to be satisfied. We can drink, yet still thirst; eat, but still be hungry; have our lives filled with “stuff”, but void of joy. 

In the Haggai passage, the people of God were experiencing the same.  And God sent the prophet to warn them. “Consider your ways” he says.  Their insatiable state was due to their neglect of the things of God and the over attention to their own comfort.  It is, as the prophet says, like having a bag with holes. In the bag mentality there is never enough.  

Psalm 145 reminds us that when we look to God, humble ourselves before Him, and look to Him for our provision, our deepest desires will be satisfied.  What a blessed assurance.

Somebody please tell Mick.  

Reflect:

  • Do you ever struggle with a bag with holes mentality? That is, there’s just never enough and you can’t get no satisfaction?
  • When you consider your ways, do you give more attention to your own comfort, or to the things of God?
  • In this series, we’ve been talking about the upside-down Kingdom of God.Whoever wants to be great must be a servant, the first will be last, etc. This also applies to our generosity and level of satisfaction.  The secret to satisfaction is not more, but less; not getting but giving.  How can you begin to change your focus in those areas where you struggle with the bag mentality?

Living My Best Life Day 14

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Scripture: Luke 1:26-55    In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.  The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.  You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month.  For no word from God will ever fail.” “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

 Mary’s song: And Mary said: ‘My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.  From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name.  His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.  He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.’

Devotional: After the angel announces to Mary that she, a virgin would bear the Son of God, she travels to see her relative Elizabeth. Upon hearing Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth prophesies a blessing upon the mother of the Lord and commends her faithful obedience to her calling. Then Mary puts forth one of the most beautiful songs recorded in all of Scripture.

In this song, also known as the Magnificat, Mary acknowledges her humble state as a servant of the Most High God.  No doubt this was, in part, one of the reasons she was chosen for the great honor of bearing the long-awaited Messiah. However, this honor would also come with great pain and suffering.  For she would have to see her beloved son rejected by men and subjected to the most horrific torture and death imaginable.  And she watched.  Every. Moment.

Your calling as a faithful servant of the Most High will frankly, be a difficult calling.  There will be times you will have to endure great pain and suffering, just as Mary did.  Just as did every one of Jesus’s first disciples.  It is doubtful that you will suffer to the point of death as each of them did, but you will suffer. 

 Knowing and understanding God’s eternal Kingdom perspective is essential to your life as a follower of Jesus Christ.  In following Him you know “in this world you will have trouble”. But you can take heart, knowing He has overcome the world. (John 16:33)

Reflect:

  • How does looking at God’s Kingdom perspective help you in your quest to be faithful in service to Him?
  • When you think about the sacrifices that you must make in order to be God’s faithful servant, what can you most hold on to in order that you have the courage and will to do so?
  • How do God’s promises encourage you to faithful service?

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