Devotional for 9/4/2017

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by Mark Malcolm

Verse 

Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth.  

Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing.  

Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.  

Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.  

For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations.  

Psalm 100:1-5 (NASB) 

Devotion 

How did giving the undeserved gift make you feel? If you didn’t give that gift you should. Yes, I am intentionally trying to make you feel bad about having not given that gift because the feeling after having done so is illustrative of the point of the verse for today. It is also illustrative of the heart position we should strive for at all times when we go about giving.

Give the gift today if you haven’t already done so. If you have done so and enjoyed that feeling in your heart, there is excellent news. This is a drug that can be repeated over and over again. That feeling you felt the first time, you can have it again; and each and every time you give you can have that feeling.

Recognize that some people are not used to giving. That’s okay, everyone has to learn. You are to be applauded for being willing to try and to learn, just don’t give up. This skill is something that grows with use over time as long as you keep at it. Find a small act of giving you can perform regularly and resolve to do so…regularly.

It will become easier. Often times we start out with rules-keeping. Through the discipline of keeping the “rule” we learn from experience. That experience grows into understanding as we internalize the knowledge gained through the experience. Once we understand it our choices become wise ones because they are based on that understanding gained. It is at this point that the giving will become more natural, relaxed, and the joyful shouting “…with gladness…” settles in.

For others, this act of giving comes as naturally as breathing. For these people the caution is to not let it become something so mundane as to be unremarkable at all. Giving with a glad heart is emulating God Himself. This is the goal we all should strive for, but some put this demeanor on as easily as a shirt or blouse before leaving the house. Be cautioned not to let it become an act of self. This is the caution the psalmist gives us in verse three above where we are to remember “…it is He who made us and not we ourselves…” God is the author of our abundance. It is He who enabled it and He who directed it to us through our experiences, skills, or other means. He did this in His loving kindness to bless both us and others. If we can keep that thought central in our hearts as we go about our giving there will be no lack of joy, peace, hope, or love in our world for ourselves or others.

Bio from my web site :

Smiling Mark IIMark Malcolm is a child of God, husband, father, project manager, technical writer, gamer, fiction writer, Marine (’87-’91), has practiced Shao Lin Kung Fu and Tai Chi, been published in magazines and newspapers (editorial anyway), and seen the Southern Cross.

The goals he has currently are to more accurately identify the path God has for him to walk, continue to provide for his family, establish a solid web presence, build a career writing novels through both traditional and independent publishing, and learn to better relate to the people around him.

http://www.firstchevalier.com/about-the-cavalier/

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