Wednesday, November 30, 2016


I'm aware that I say I want to serve God, but the reality is I'm just willing to try it if it fits in after I've attempted to take care of my other needs and desires. Sigh. I can't find time to serve or figure out what to do because I try to fit it into the leftover time. 

Perhaps I need to tithe my time: 24 hours in a day; 16 hours awake; 1.6 hours serving God. (Or: 168 hours in a week; 112 awake; 11.2 hours per week serving others for God. 

These ideas came into focus this morning as I was thinking about turning the page from November to December, after I read my First 15 devotional by Craig Denison.  

The emphasis was on partnering with God for His purposes. In the guided prayer portion, the Scripture for meditation was John 21:15.

"When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, 'Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?' He said to him, 'Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.' He said to him, 'Feed my lambs.'" John 21:15 

Next was a call to "assess whether Jesus is truly your greatest love." "If he isn't — if you wouldn't follow him anywhere — take time to surrender anything you've placed above him."  

(As I stated above, I am aware that I place my comfort and desires ahead of serving God by serving others. I also tend to put what I think my husband would prefer ahead of acting on nudges from God. Awareness is a step I've taken before. Am I yet willing and able to surrender? God help me!)

Next: "Ask (God) what He would have you do and where He would have you do it. Be faithful to respond in obedience and trust today."

"Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him." John 14:21

When I turn the page to a new month, I often think of it as a chance to start fresh. Maybe I can finally do this different. Typically, only a bit of change occurs. Slow progress; far from perfection. 

But another reading from today reinforced my resolve. It tied this call to action to the Advent theme, a time of preparation to celebrate God's gift of His son to save His people from their sins. 

This is from the Advent devotional by Janet Denison (Craig's mother), writing about Jesus as the "firstfruits" (1 Corinthians 15:20):

"Whom would God ask you to joyfully serve this Christmas? Should you encourage (others) to serve as well? There is a lot we can do to brighten someone's holiday. ... 

"Jesus was given the title 'firstfruits' to remind us that we will live eternally, but firstfruits had another meaning as well. The firstfruits of the harvest was the portion given to God as an offering. Will you begin the Advent season with a plan to bring a portion of your time and blessing to someone as the firstfruits of your gift offering?"

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