Tuesday, November 19, 2013

First Credit

Friends of Faith:
Last week I wrote about being blessed, and with Thanksgiving just around the corner, it seemed somewhat natural to write about being thankful…

And then this article about the Illinois tornadoes caught my attention: the headline stated that the reason so few people were killed was that they were in church…..  but then it went on  to give credit to the “connectivity” of cell phones that provided instant messages during the service; to “forecasters” for predicting the path of the storm; and to the “technology” that is used in observing weather.
So the fact that most of the town’s people were attending church, in God’s presence and protected by God became merely a “setting,” a publicity stunt for the newspaper, rather than the heart of the story.

In fact, the media did not even mention God’s name. And when the final credits were given, despite the stories attention grabbing first line, “saved because of church,” NO credit was given to God!
No credit was given to THE GOD who has given us life, originally…THE God who saved our lives, mercifully… or even THE God who we would call on to protect us, eternally.

“One day he got into a boat with his disciples and said to them, “Let us cross to the other side of the lake.” So they set sail, and while they were sailing he fell asleep. A squall blew over the lake, and they were taking in water and were in danger. They came and woke him saying, “Master, master, we are perishing!” He awakened, rebuked the wind and the waves, and they subsided and there was a calm. Then he asked them, “Where is your faith?” But they were filled with awe and amazed and said to one another, “Who then is this, who commands even the winds and the sea, and they obey him?” Lk 8: 22-25
How big is my faith?

And does my faith remind me to give the first credit, where credit is due—to the Creator, to the Protector, to the Commander of life; by the amount of time, the amount of money, and the amount of effort I spend honoring and obeying him, or is God just an afterthought, a nicety, a convenience when I am in need?
Like the media do I have more faith and reliance on man’s technology and connectivity and give the credit to “man” instead of to the person to whom it is really due—to God?

Do I honor God by spending as much of my time in His house as I do honoring celebrities at houses built by man (entertainment venues)?
Do I use as many of my gifts to take care of God’s people (donations to charitable organizations which help widows, orphans, the homeless or the hungry) as I do rewarding  myself (shopping, vacations, entertainment, eating out)?

Do I set my alarm and mark off time on my calendar to celebrate God as I would to wake up for work or to plan for a vacation or to enjoy a night out with friends?
And is my freedom to worship God less important than, just as important, or more important than, the equality and the freedom to work, live, and play with whomever I want?

Heavenly Father, You are the Creator, the Lord, the Master and Majesty of all. You are the one who gave us the power to subdue Your earth (Gen 1: 28). Help us never to abuse the power you have given us. Help me to always remember to give First Credit where it is due by saying Thank You to You. Thank you for all I am, all that I have and all that you have blessed me to do for you. Amen.
Don’t make God an afterthought – give God the honor of the First Credit (thankfulness), the respect of obedience and profit of your first fruit.

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