Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Beneath The Cross Of Jesus"1 (Lyrics)
Matthew 25:15 – To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, to another one talent, each according to his ability. (NIV)
2 Peter 1:3 – His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. (NIV)
Imagine your neighbour popping over every morning to beg for a scrap of bread. Meanwhile, you know that she has a stash of food supplies in her basement, because you donated it to her. In fact, you've given her a generous supply of everything she could ever need. Yet she hides it all in bins—never opened, never examined, never used. You grieve as you watch your neighbour remain undernourished and unproductive—needlessly.
This woman represents Christians who cannot see that their cupboards are fully stocked by God Himself. I'm not merely referring to His promises of temporal provisions, or of spiritual gifts for ministry. I'm speaking of provisions that transform us from the inside, such as God's joy, grace, and, above all, the power of His Spirit.
Do we continually ask God for the very things that we already possess? Such prayers do not arise from trustful faith, but out of unbelief and anxious fretting.
I am talking about a grave sin, one which we must not take lightly. Jesus didn't! After all, our rich inheritance cost Him His life, and our failure to embrace it, through Him, has severe consequences, not unlike the servant in Jesus' parable whose talent was confiscated because he buried it rather than investing it. Likewise, if we don't invest our God-given blessings, we risk losing them altogether. Each of us must deliberately invest them in and through our lives so that we can become mature, fruitful, godly, Christ-like people.
The apostle Paul wrote, "We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us." (2 Corinthians 4:7 NIV)
Do we believe that? If we truly are God's children, we possess a rich inheritance in Christ. Our job is to learn what we have available to us in Christ. It's not all just for heaven; it's for this present life, to help us live effectively in this fallen world. To reject God's provisions is to refuse to walk in the light and instead, to hide it under a bushel.
Regrettably, I myself fail to fully apprehend the wonderful blessings of Him "who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ." (Ephesians 1:3 NIV) And so, in this Lenten season, I invite you to join me in a two-fold journey of repentance: 1) to unpack and examine our rich inheritance in Christ; and 2) to use it more effectively in our daily lives. As an example, we will intentionally become more forgiving because we know that in Christ we have received undeserved forgiveness.
Prayer: Lord, work in our lives until we want nothing more than to grasp Your blessings in Christ—as revealed through Word and Spirit—that we may be filled to the measure of the fullness of God, that Your kingdom may come, and that Your name may be hallowed through our lives. Amen.
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Great illustration. Thank you so much. Very powerful!
Thank you Diane for this timely word and challenge for us.
Bless you for this wise counsel, I needed this reminder.
Thank you Diane for such a thought provoking devotional. I always find your devotionals give me much to think about. God Bless.
Thank you, Diane, for your message today. I find it both challenging and inspiring. May you have a joyous Easter. Halleluia, He’s alive!
So true Diane. When we recognize our identity as saints, we’ll begin to live like them – but only through God’s resurrection power in us.
Thank you so very much Diane, for your devotional this morning!
I truly needed that message and will pray, believing to be answered when praying in particular for two dear friends with serious health problems.
Thank you Diane for such a beautiful reminder to all of us!
You’ve certainly challenged us at this glorious Easter time. What a great Bible Study this would make and its application with God’s grace and power to live it out!
May God continue to bless you as you live for Him.
Thanks for your FULL devotional.
It led me to Think and pray:
May we use what is given to us by God.
May we recognize the fruits of the Spirit, incorporate them personally in our lives, and pass them on.
May we appreciate our rich heritage bought for us by Jesus who gave his life for us.
And may we share our blessings in such a way that they will be passed on and on in His way.
May we forgive in the total way Jesus forgave us.
Thank you Diane. What powerful words. A challenge to me. Blessings.
Thanks, Diane for this wonderful challenge.
Dear Diane; Thank you for a most comfortable and interesting study and prayer.
May God continue to bless you and your ministry.