Mercy Road Daily Prayer & Bible Reading ~ Friday, March 23, 2012

~ Read Exodus 25-26

What do I have to offer, Lord? What can I possibly give to you, that you don't already have? It's not as though you lack anything; as if I have something you need. I am mortal. You are God. I am finite, and you are infinite. You are all powerful, all knowing, and all present. You are sovereign, perfect, and holy. All things belong to you. Everything in creation, is in your care. What do I have to offer you, since everything that is mine is yours already?

I know I should give you my time, gracious God, for the time that I have is a gift from you. What's more, I should give you my talents and skills, since they too come from you, to be used for your glory, in the time you have given to me. And of course, I should give you my treasures and wealth, since both result from the work that I do, with the talents you've given, in the time that I have. Most importantly, Lord, I should give you my life, and hold nothing back, since that's what you deserve: My everything.

However, I confess, Lord, that sometimes, I do hold back from you. I don't always give you my best, when it comes to my time, talents and treasures. Instead of giving you the time that I should, I give you whatever I have "leftover," after doing the things that I prefer. Instead of using my talents for your glory, I use them to achieve my own goals first, and improve my standard of living and comfort. Instead of giving you my treasures and wealth, I use them to buy things I really don't need, though I often try to say that I do. Truth be told, Father God, I do a pretty bad job of giving you my life, but an excellent job justifying my actions, by telling myself that I work hard, and deserve a little extra portion now and then, even if it cuts into what I rightfully should be offering you.

It's quite selfish of me; I know; and it scares me a bit when I consider what it says about me. After all, if I am willing to hold back from you, the one who forgave me, and saves me from sin, how much more will I hold back from those I claim to love? If I skimp on the time, talents and treasures, I offer you, even though you redeemed me, how much more, am will I skimp on those who require more of me than you do? How much more, will I hold back from my family, my neighbors, my co-workers, and friends? After all, they've never done what you did for me. They didn't die for my sin. So, if I'm willing to be that selfish with you, despite all that you've done for me, how much more selfish will I be toward them?

Though I never really thought about it like this before, the way I treat you, God, and respond to your blessings, the extent I demonstrate my love, is a good indicator of the way I will treat and respond to those in my life who I claim to love. So help me, Lord, to be a better parent, spouse, sibling, and child, co-worker, classmate, neighbor, and friend. Help me to be the best follower and lover of Jesus that I can.

In his name, I pray. Amen!