In this achievement-oriented world, it’s easy to get caught up in the accomplishment, in the doing of the good thing. I have to admit, I sometimes come to the end of the day and recount all the good things I did for Him. I sometimes equate the sacrifice of time and money and giftings as evidence of my stand with Christ. It’s a fragile stand.
Yes, God expects us to use our talents in writing and speaking and drama to glorify Him and lift up His Great Name. But if we’re doing it out of a disobedient heart, it’s all in vain.
Saul fought the Amalekites and won, just as God had commanded, but he didn’t do it in the way God commanded. Instead of wiping out the Amalekites and all they owned, he decided to bring the best of the herd back as a sacrificial offering to God. He also brought back Agag the King.
In 1 Samuel 15:22 Samuel tells Saul:
â€śDoes the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice…”
All our quality, hard-earned, and often sacrificial, deeds–our compelling fiction, our powerful devotions, our heartfelt non-fiction, our scripts and music and plays–are worthless if we’re sacrificing in our own way.
Instead of being an act of sacrifice, it’s an act of disobedience.
What has called you to do? What has He called me to do? Are we obedient in our efforts to sacrifice our time and sleep and money and talents?
We must remember, obedience is better than sacrifice.
I pray God’s blessing on the work of your hands and your hearts,
During the Christmas season, it has become my Christian Writer’s Den tradition to post this beautiful video and the life-giving words it proclaims. I’ve done it now for several years, and each time I hear it, I still get chills and my eyes fill with tears.
When Jesus was born, everything was changed.
I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch the beautiful images from the film, The Nativity, and listen to the words of this powerful song sung by Faith Hill.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2:11-14 (KJV)
During this blessed Christmas season, Iâ€™m especially thankful a Baby changed everything for me. And He wants to change everything for you, too.
I was lost but now I’m found! Hallelujah!
Christmas blessings as we celebrate the Gift and the Giver,
Today is Good Friday. In my earlier days of following Christ, I often wondered how the day could possibly be called good. After all, Jesus suffered unimaginable pain and torture as He died on the cross. What could be good about that?
Later, as I began to mature in my relationship with Christ, I reasoned the day was considered good because without Jesusâ€™ death and ultimate resurrection, we couldnâ€™t go to heaven. All thatâ€™s true, and I believe it even more at this stage of my life.
As I got older, I wanted to know more. Where and when did the term begin? So I searched and found a bunch of commentaries on the origin of Good Friday. They were helpful and full of information.
But today I read the prophesy of Jesus in Isaiahâ€¦and the goodness of Good Friday became even more clear.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.Â Isaiah 53:5-6
â€¦ultimately died and rose again
But as I read and meditated on the words, a deeper appreciation for the good of Good Friday jumped from the page:
â€¦He was pierced for our transgressions
â€¦He was crushed for our iniquities
â€¦The punishmentthat brought us peace was on Him
â€¦By His wounds we are healed
â€¦The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
Isaiahâ€™s words pierced my own heart and I embraced anew the foundational truth of grace:
He suffered it
We caused it
He paid it
We are free
And that is the good of Good Friday.
I hope you’ll grab your tissue and watch “The Bridge” an excerpt from the short film, Most, written by Bobby Garabedian and William Zabka. A modern day parable of the love of our Father. A powerful picture of sacrifice. You can visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/mostthemovie. I’ve got to get the full DVD. Watch this and you’ll see why!
I pray Godâ€™s richest blessings as you celebrate Good Friday today.
Most of us here are writers and speakers. It’s not only what we do, but it also cuts to the core of who we are. We often say we write or speak because we have to, that we feel God has given us the ability to communicate so we can share Him, the cure for a lost and dying world.
This past Sunday morning, my friend and writing sister, Edie Melson, posted her compelling poem, A Divine Obsession, in which she states a repeated refrain, “I write because I must.” And to that I say, “Amen, sister!” I read Edie’s beautiful post Sunday morning, took comfort in the truth of her words and God’s blessing on me as a writer, and headed to out the door to worship.
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