Great Things?

November 7, 2021
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Listen while you read: "No Not One"1 (Lyrics)

Jeremiah 45:5 – And do you seek great things for yourself? … But I will give you your life as a prize of war in all places to which you may go. (ESV)

I was slow in getting out of bed, shuffling my feet towards the kettle. I had a headache. With the kettle warming up, my youngest daughter demanded that I make her a packed lunch for her to consume. I was not at my best, and I was left wanting more from the world and God, not realizing that simply getting by is a blessing and a privilege from God that we take for granted.

Earlier, I had read Jeremiah 45, a short chapter, not a bundle of laughs. In my stupor, it seemed to say, "You expect to be lifted up, when the world is going down the drain? Surely My love and safe-keeping are good enough!"

I do not need more, but there is always more to want. Contending with God's love within me is the voice of worldliness and selfish greed — a voice to be silenced, a mantra of my youth: more is better.

The journey of discipleship is not always a source of amusement, nor has all the materialistic stuff that I have creamed off the top of life been helpful to my relational journey with God. It is a learning process. Acclaim and the want of possessions can be distractions and corrosive to the love of God in me. Somewhere, in the back of my mind, I hear a "surely-not-I" whining. Yep, can I have some more, please?

So, God has taken me on a long journey, spiritually and physically, since He called me into ministry. No one was more surprised than I to be a follower of Jesus. Be careful for what you ask! It has been a time of discipline, involving ups and downs, grace, and provision, where I learnt first-hand the faithfulness and patience of God, and saw the impossible happen — a life where God has watched over me and answered prayers according to His purposes.

When I started out on the journey and I agreed to serve and follow Jesus, I was wide-eyed and apparently blissfully unappreciative of God's genuine love for me/us and His power to change lives. We are all called — amazing!

There is an irreconcilable contention between the world and God's kingdom. As far as the world is concerned, I am now old, retired, and potentially to be a burden. As far as the kingdom of God is concerned, I am accepted, loved, reborn, mentally and spiritually restored, and precious in His sight. In return, I am mostly at peace with God. This is a joy that the world cannot give, and it is truly enough, even in hard times.

Despite the appalling happenings of being in this world, know for sure that you are heard, valued, and loved!

Prayer: Lord, thank You for being our shield and defender when we are blissfully unaware of the war that rages around us. Thank You for being there when we see the war and call out to You in need. Thank You for Your great love, because we know that we are in safe hands. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Rod Marshall <roderickhenrymarshall@gmail.com>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen, Rod. Keep on keeping on.


    Thank you, Rod. This is a good message to lift hearts in difficult times.


    Thanks for counting your blessings today, Rod, and for sharing them with us as we journey together in Our Heavenly Father’s World.


    Greetings Rod,
    Thank you for this very mindful devotional. Yes, there are days when we feel down and wonder what the Lord really has in store for us, but in His time and in His way he has the best of plans for us. His love and guidance are ever surrounding us and He really deserves our grateful reverence at all times. Blessings for your thoughtful writings.


    Merci Rod,
    This sentence was just read, “There is an irreconcilable contention between the world and God’s kingdom.” Much to meditate upon in this carefully constructed devotional. ‘Contention’ as opposed to ‘tension’? “A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of things he possesses.” …
    (Ontario)


    Hello Rod,
    Our daughters and I are on a short trip to California.
    It is Sunday and I find myself missing worship in Texas. But as we know God’s presence defines physical location; so, I have read your devotional that offers GREAT food for thought and prayer.
    Thank you.


    Thank you once again Mr. Marshall for a very thoughtful and timely message of encouragement to all those calling upon The Lord for answers. My friends and I feel very much as you, we are both humbled by the abundance and at the same time we all keep asking for more. We see the powers and principalities working harder and faster than we have ever seen in our lifespans (my friends and I are in our seventieth years). You have put words to our thoughts in a very apt and humble way I am sending your message to my friends. God Bless You and yours,
    (On., Canada)


    Good morning, Rod,
    This statement is one that is true but hard to reconcile with in our younger years. “There is an irreconcilable contention between the world and God’s kingdom. As far as the world is concerned, I am now old, retired, and potentially to be a burden. As far as the kingdom of God is concerned, I am accepted, loved, reborn, mentally, and spiritually restored, and precious in His sight. In return, I am mostly at peace with God. This is a joy that the world cannot give, and it is truly enough, even in hard times.” I think this wisdom comes over a long period of time as we listen to the Lord and try to respond. We don’t always remember right away as something happens, but we do wake up and smell the roses in a few minutes. JOY in our hearts is amazing as a Christian because it occurs even in the toughest of times.
    Thanks for sharing with honesty and conviction. May you always feel the JOY.


    Amen, Rod! Thanks for sharing. Blessings.


    Rod, as I read more of your devotionals, I sense mostly the kingdom of God version of Rod Marshall. The world little values all the treasures God packs into God’s children.
    Trusting that you provided a delicious and nutritious lunch for your daughter.


    Hello Rod.
    Thank you for sharing these words of love and reassurance. It’s all too easy, isn’t it, to hear the world’s (the enemy’s) summation of our worth, rather than first reflecting, as you point out here, on how God feels about us. “Blessed assurance!”
    Peace and grace.


    Wow! Rod, as always, you have spoken straight into my tears and fears. I know that you are younger than my 78 years, but yesterday at church, I was expressing to two young women that I was suddenly feeling ‘old’ and afraid … mostly afraid of being disregarded by the young; invisible to the young; no longer much a part of anything apart from my responsibility to an older husband – except that now I’m so much more aware of the privilege of ‘knowing God’, and the knowledge that I seem to have spent most of my life loving Him and loving life, and blissfully taking it all for granted. Now I’m asking Him to train me to be a much better praying servant for Him. I am FINALLY aware of the power of prayer, and His faithfulness, and the importance of ‘spending’ my time for Him efficiently in prayer. Thank you for posting your thoughts. You are an amazingly insightful servant of the Lord!!! You have been a huge blessing to me for many years now and I am so grateful. God bless.

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