Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Fruits and Purses

Last night I experienced the joy of having a few of my favorite young adults gather in my home.  It does one's heart good to spend time with people who have hearts after God at a young age.

We spent some time looking at the "fruit of the spirit."  No matter what a person's age or experience, if we are willing to be open; to ask questions and share thoughts, we can always learn from one another.  Last night was evidence of that fact.

Once conclusion we came to was that the fruit of the spirit is love.  All the rest of the fruits spring from and are motivated by the first, love.  You cannot begin anywhere else.  For example, where would the joy spring from if love wasn't present first?

This walk begins with a realization that Papa loves us very deeply.  Then we respond in kind.  In First John we read, "We love Him because He first loved us."
Everything flows from love, His love.  And that love, according to Paul in First Corinthians, the thirteenth chapter, "hopes all things."  Hope is a confident expectation in God.  Hope knows an answer is coming.

Papa spoke to my heart in love, as our group spoke together last night.  He continued the message this morning.
Of what am I certain?  Only one thing.  I am certain that He loves me.  This One, who loves me, is in control.  Yes, no matter what things look like at any given time - He is still in control.

The LORD and I have been taking a look at the subject of giving.
In a few months our financial situation will, most likely, be changing.  It appears that there will be less to go around.  In preparation for the changes I have taken a close look at our budget.
It was an eye opener!  How can food cost so much??

At the dinner table the other night one of our sons was reminiscing over the great variety of food that was being delivered to us in first few months after Ray's accident.  Everyone made their favorite dishes and a lot of them become our favorites!
This was greatly appreciated and definitely made a dent in last year's expenditures.  Thank you, one and all!

Honestly, I am not concerned about putting food on our table.  Hey, a little more pasta never hurts! 
Sitting with Jesus and reflecting on the grace of giving I realized what does bother me.
If our income is less, then our giving will be less.  :(
However, it isn't as noble as it sounds.

A comment that Mindy jokingly makes on occasion gets to the bottom of what is bothering me.  She's been heard to say, "I do what I want!"  This is usually said right before she does what she really doesn't want to do!

You see, this lady, also, likes to do what she wants.  Hopefully, often it is something that Papa wants, but not necessarily!
A question came to my spirit, "Do you think that you will be unable to give all that I, the LORD, desire you to give?"
"Whose will do you seek to do?"

He is in control.  That thought moved from my head to my heart.
His grace is the reason I need not worry or fret.

His grace is why I will seek to practice the kind of giving that Jesus spoke about in the twelfth chapter of Luke, verses thirty-two through thirty-four.
I had wondered over what He had said.  "Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves purses which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near, nor moth destroys.  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
Purses that do not wear out?  All I can think is that these purses are not required to carry too much.
It would be easy to store away our treasures for a rainy day.  It is much more satistying to share our treasures with those who are experiencing a rainy day right now or those who are helping them.

This walk of faith only works when our eyes are on the One who is worthy of our trust.  He has a good plan.  His goal for each of us is to make us just like Jesus.  What could be better?   Only He can work such a miracle!

This year I am reading through "My Utmost for His Highest," by Oswald Chambers.  The reading this morning was thought provoking.  It rang true to me.  I am dependent upon the Spirit of God to give me the power and strength to follow in faith.  I dare not rely upon the changes in me, even though He did the changing.  My eyes must be on Him, anything and everything else will fail me.

So Papa I look to You to bear Your fruit in me and, by the way, my purse is all Yours!

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