Archive for the 'The Abundant Life' Category

And Be Thankful!

Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

Today’s scripture: Deuteronomy 8:7-18 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Tom Chittenden):

This September will mark six years since we experienced the 9/11 tragedy — and our government would have us believe that the long war against terrorism is far from over. While terrorism and those who commit it will always be assigned the title “enemy”, there is another, more personal war being waged by the Accuser — and the destruction it produces is called complacency. If you have not already done so, please, stop and read today’s scripture text.

God knew the Israelites were going to be very well off in Canaan. He knew they were going to prosper because He had made a promise to them. But God also knew His children much better than they knew themselves. He knew they would become self-satisfied and unconcerned, and would continue doing whatever made them happy (regardless of the consequences). Sound at all familiar?

What happens if we get complacent about our marriage or any committed relationship — someone will be unhappy and they may even leave. If we get complacent about our children, it is likely they will become involved in behaviors that could ruin their lives. Students that get complacent about their classes will end up failing or barely passing, having little or nothing to show for time spent.

Police officers and firefighters who get complacent are killed or kill someone else. Teachers who become complacent in holding their students to their highest potential allow them to suffer later on. Pastors, Lay Leaders and Churches oftentimes slip into complacency when everyone is content. Christians end up “doing” Church rather than “being” the Church.

God told the Israelites, “Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the Lord your God and disobey Him.” Today, I don’t believe it’s so much a matter of “forgetting God” as much as it is taking God for granted, and being complacent about what God asks of us.

The father of all lies, Satan, Prince of Darkness, the oldest terrorist known to humanity is stubborn, persistent and hates the child of God. He attacks us not by telling us there is no God, but rather that He is a loving God who forgives everything, so go on and do whatever you want to do. He is devious and this Terrorist goads us into being complacent as we become content in this land of plenty, becoming “takers” rather than “givers”. Remember this: There are always consequences to greed and ingratitude — always!

Thought for the day: Generous living begins with a conscious commitment to living a life of constant gratitude. You can never really keep what you are unwilling to give away. This applies to our resources of time, money and spiritual gifts.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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