A willing offering

Philippians 2:14-17 (AMP) Do everything without murmuring or questioning [the providence of God], so that you may prove yourselves to be blameless and guileless, innocent and uncontaminated, children of God without blemish in the midst of a [morally] crooked and [spiritually] perverted generation, among whom you are seen as bright lights [beacons shining out clearly] in the world [of darkness],  holding out and offering to everyone the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to rejoice greatly because I did not run [my race] in vain nor labor without result.  But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith [for preaching the message of salvation], still I rejoice and share my joy with you all.

Colossians 3:17 (AMP) Whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus [and in dependence on Him], giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

1 Corinthians 16:14 (AMP) Let everything you do be done in love [motivated and inspired by God’s love for us].

Providence is the protective nature of God, trusting that I have a future. Can we just do everything He tells us in His Word without questioning if He has our best interest in mind? It gets more challenging, we are not promised that it will not be hard. We are anointed for the hard stuff. Paul is telling us to do EVEN IF your life is the offering. The race I run, the labor it brings forth, is not in vain. The sacrifice and service of my faith is for the salvation of others (the real prize)!

When God speaks to you to do something, do not be concerned with why not someone else. I have learned that when He calls you to it, He will equip you for it. When I started speaking, I was not great at it. It was actually very painful to watch. I had to trust that the words He gave me were impactful. My heart motive was not to make a name for myself, but to make Him famous.

I am not waiting on the situation to be right so that I can shine. I have never been into that “it’s my time to shine” when it comes to serving. Why do we need to feel like if we are not elevated then we really are not doing anything. Paul said even if I am being poured out as a drink offering. Pour all of me out Lord. Use everything that you have placed within me.

In the first part of 2 Kings 4, Elisha comes across a widow and her sons. She had a great debt and man she owed the debt to was coming to take her sons and make them bond servants. Elisha asked what she had. She replied only one jar of oil. He instructed her to get all her jars and even borrow from friends and neighbors. As she began to pour out of the single jar into the other, per his instruction, every jar was filled. She poured until the last jar that had been gathered was filled. Then she was instructed to first pay off her debt and then live off of the rest.

What if we applied that same principle to Matthew 6:33? But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also. This is exactly what Paul was telling us in pouring out our lives as a drink offering. The anointing you have needs to be poured out. You are not called to this alone. Notice the widow needed the help of her friends and neighbors. Paul even refers to himself as a bond servant to Christ. Does not mean I have a debt to pay off? No, Christ paid that debt. My hearts desire should want to pour my life out because of His great love sacrifice. However, when I think of my needs first am I really trusting in the providence of God?

Colossians 3:14 (AMP) Beyond all these things put on and wrap yourselves in [unselfish] love, which is the perfect bond of unity [for everything is bound together in agreement when each one seeks the best for others].

I want the best for you. I hope you feel the same way about me. If it takes me pouring myself out to be a drink offering for Him, so be it! Now, do not take me to the extreme. I do believe in rest. If you do not allow Him to pour back into you, then you will be pouring out of self. We cannot grow glory to glory without taking time with the Holy Spirit and the body that He called me to (for equipping). Pouring out has to be healthy. There is a fullness to this Gospel. I pray you dig more into your Word today to find out just how full your life can really be!!

Even Here

Genesis 39:20 (AMP) So Joseph’s master took him and put him in the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were confined; so he was there in the prison.

I love the story of Joseph. There is so much you can glean from someone who overcomes to a story of forgiveness. Today I want to look at how much favor was on Joseph. Joseph had a relationship with God that he did not fret when bad things happened to him. We do not know what faces he made. I am the type of person that if I have a little bit of frustration it shows. I do not have to put any actions to it, my brow furrows.

If you do not know this story, I encourage you to read Genesis 37-50. He is a very important person to the Israelite’s, second to Moses. First he is sold into slavery by his own brothers and now, in the above verse, he is imprisoned for something he did not even do. If anyone had a reason for self pity, it would have been Joseph.

The next verse:  But the Lord was with Joseph and extended loving kindness to him, and gave him favor in the sight of the warden. Even in prison he still had purpose. It was not when he got out of the situation, it was right in the middle of it. It was while he was going through some of the hardest moments of his life favor was still there. These were the steps he had to go through to save a nation.

The Apostle Paul had something similar to say while he was in prison. If you did not know, he wrote most of the letters to other churches while in prison. He had favor there also.

Philippians 1:12 (AMP) Now I want you to know, believers, that what has happened to me [this imprisonment that was meant to stop me] has actually served to advance [the spread of] the good news [regarding salvation].

Philippians 1:14 (AMP) Because of my chains [seeing that I am doing well and that God is accomplishing great things], most of the brothers have renewed confidence in the Lord, and have far more courage to speak the word of God [concerning salvation] without fear [of the consequences, seeing that God can work His good in all circumstances].

Here is my question: Do you think these two men waited until the right circumstances to do anything for God? Did they have to get to a certain place? Paul was waiting to speak to Caesar. He was not the only one he was going to share his faith with. He shared the story of how he received Christ whenever he got the chance. He told of the change that Christ made in his life and how he cannot help but serve Him everywhere he goes.

Joseph as a slave and as a prisoner served. He did it to not get him out of a situation, but to glorify God while he was at any place. Those over him recognized the favor on his life and wanted to be a part of that.

Matthew 5:14-16 (AMP) You are the light of [Christ to] the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and moral excellence, and [recognize and honor and] glorify your Father who is in heaven.

I know life can throw some really tough things at us. If you need to write Matthew 5:14-16 on a mirror, or on your refrigerator door, and say it out loud to your self as often as you see it. Memorize it. So that every time the enemy tries to get you down on your self because of your situation you can tell him ‘even if’ and ‘even here’ “I am the light of Christ”. “I have purpose.” “I am going to continue to glorify my God with whatever I put my hands to.” ” I will continue to talk about his goodness.” “His mercy and goodness follows me wherever I go.”

Do not believe the lie that you are hidden for later use. You were created for now. You are needed now. You have purpose now. People may not recognize it until later, but who are we doing it for anyways. I choose to glorify His name today. I am actively looking for opportunities to tell about His goodness and show them through my good works. How about you?