Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Look Ye Saints"1 (Lyrics)
1 Timothy 6:17b – God richly gives us everything to enjoy. (NCV)
This past summer, I went on my first cruise. My daughter's family and I had planned a "last hurrah" sort of family trip before their two busy, active teenagers would soon be heading off to college and unknown parts of the world. One leg of this exciting European trip was a Mediterranean cruise.
A cruise is not simply a way of getting from Point A to Point B. Had that been the case, I could have stayed in my cabin the entire time, stepping ashore along with everyone else when we reached our final destination. The point of a cruise, however, is the experience, not just the journey. Among my delights on this cruise were enjoying afternoon teas on the ship, savouring lunch at a lovely shaded patio restaurant in Corfu (the birthplace of Prince Philip of England), seeing the dazzling white buildings trimmed in blue (like the Greek flag) on the island of Mykonos, and on and on. The thing to note is that these delights were at my disposal whether I availed myself of them or not.
Our Christian life, which is also a journey, is much, much more than getting from Point A (earth) to Point B (heaven). We could feasibly fill our days with nothing but spiritual activities such as praying, reading our Bible, attending church, and being involved in a multitude of Christian pursuits. We could keep our noses to the grindstone and fill our lives with things related only to pious living.
Or … in addition to these commendable and worthy things, we could also freely enjoy along the way the many blessings that God has given for His children's enrichment: art, music, nature, friendships, family, learning, and a wide array of other things which nourish and delight the soul. We need not be spartan or miserly to be holy.
These wonders all around us refresh our hearts and minds and draw us closer to God as we marvel at all the magnificent things that He has created and provided for us. But these God-given blessings are not ours for the hoarding. As we receive God's abundant gifts, so are we to share them with others around us.
Luke 6:38 – Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. (NIV)
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, thank You for all the beauty and wonder that You have created in our world. Please open our eyes, all our senses, and our hearts to these wonders all around us, and cause us to be grateful for the pleasures that You have intended for us to enjoy. In our thankfulness for Your gracious gifts, may we be willing to abundantly share them with others around us. Amen.