Devotional for 4/5/2017

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by Mark Malcolm

22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  
23  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  
24  Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  
25  If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
Galatians 5:22-25 (NASB)

When we hear someone say we need to give, we usually think they mean money. Stewardship wants us to give more. We have a very giving congregation at our church. Those folks gave until it hurt. These are all phrases we have heard (I hope) in church but they are usually reserved for those times when someone is talking about financial contributions made or needed. Why is that? Is money the only thing the children of God have to give? Is money the only thing God expects us to give?

Our talents are also something we can give others. The skills each of us possess are unique to us. As individuals each of us can step into a role that is unique to us and thus fulfill a need that is unique to someone else as well. This unique skill set/need match is something God is quite aware of and many times engineers encounters with individuals specifically because you are who you are and only you can fill a particular need for one of His children. It is for that reason that we, as Christians, need to have a unique heart-position of openness to those seemingly chance encounters. There are no coincidences.

What does that mean there are no coincidences? It means God has stepped in and through His Divine ability to see the really Big Picture, He is putting each of us in a position to at once help someone else and grow ourselves. We, by our works to help others, help ourselves.

Look at the top left hand corner of this sheet at the second line there: Faith as Motivation to Give. Consider your faith for a moment. Verse 24 of our passage this week lists “faithfulness” as a fruit of the spirit. God has given each of us a set of skills through the knowledge we have amassed based on the experiences we have lived through. Some experiences were dangerous, others mundane. All experiences imparted at least one nugget of knowledge to us. When we use that piece of knowledge to make good decisions and learn from those decisions, we transform that knowledge into wisdom. It is this most valuable of commodities, Wisdom, we must covet, seek out, and amass like most valuable treasure.

This treasure we have gathered in is not for ourselves only but others. We must make certain it is not horded to ourselves because while we may not be able to take material possessions with us when we pass on, we will certainly take our wisdom and knowledge with us unless we pass it on to someone younger. How are you ensuring the most important things you know are passed on to the next generation or at least one other person?

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.

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