This devotional is one day of a 365 days devotional book entitled Living Hope for the End of Days that explores Revelation, the final book of God's Word; and is available at http://www.dtbm.org/
Give All to God
(Revelation 18; 2 Corinthians 8:5)
As the end of days approaches, you can find hope as you give your all to God!
SUNDAY: Giving God Your All
“… What do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?” (1 Corinthians 4:7, Emphasis added).
Last week, we learned that Revelation 18 spelled out the end of the political and economic system of our world. In one brief chapter all the ages of man’s greed comes to a halt. That chapter is about God disrupting everyday life. It defines the judgment of God upon a society which worships the creation—technology, pleasures, comforts, and all other allurements of this world—instead of the Creator.
God wants us to give Him everything, which starts by first giving ourselves to the Lord (2 Corinthians 8:5). If Christians aren’t careful to remain alert to the deceptions of the devil, they, too, can become ensnared with a love for this world and all that is in it—often without realizing that they have been taken captive.
Becoming gradually attached to the world can happen to anyone (1 Corinthians 10:12). Have you ever heard the frog story? It is simply this: If you place a frog into boiling water, it immediately senses the danger and will hop back out. However, if you place that same frog into tepid water, and then slowly turn up the heat, the frog is deceived into thinking everything is fine—until it is too late! Satan works his wiles in the same manner, so we must remain alert in order to escape being ensnared in his “worldliness trap.”
So, before moving on to Revelation 19, we will do a three-week “Life Stewardship Series” on how to conquer worldliness. We will learn how to give our all to God; how to give to God what is His in this life; and how to live contentedly and victoriously for Christ, which is our Great Physician's antidote for worldliness. It all starts with discerning whether you are a pilgrim sojourning here for a short time—or an earth dweller with roots.
Have you read John Bunyan’s (1628-1688) classic book entitled Pilgrim's Progress? (If you haven’t, I hope you will.) He wrote from an English prison cell to which he was condemned for unlicensed preaching of the gospel. This is how he interpreted the words of Christ and Paul: “Whatever good thing you do for Him, if done according to the Word, is laid up for you as treasure in chests and coffers, to be brought out to be rewarded before both men and angels, to your eternal comfort.”
If you are a pilgrim in the biblical sense, you have the opportunity to send ahead building materials for the home you are going to live in. God’s children are not going to be walking in the clouds wearing halos and strumming our harps all the time. We are actually going to have a place where we eat, and most likely to which we can invite people. Jesus said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions …” (John 14:2a). That means rooms in a great house. We will have an address some day, and we are going to go live there eternally. Isn’t that fantastic?
But there is one catch. God says that there are only two types of building materials: wood, hay, and stubble—or gold, silver, and precious stones. I believe that for all eternity the evidence of our stewardship on this planet will be displayed by the place in which we dwell in our Father’s house. That is why God is going to have to wipe away all the tears when we get there, for some of us have been sending wood, hay, and stubble that will turn to soot and ashes! But that need not be your case; learn from what these godly saints sent ahead.
· John Wesley: "I value all things only by the price they shall gain in eternity."
· David Livingstone: “I place no value on anything I possess except in relation to the
· Martin Luther: “I have held many things in my hands and I have lost them all. But whatever I have placed in God's hands, that I still possess.”
God's kingdom was the reference point for these men. They viewed everything in light of the kingdom. They were compelled to live as they did because they treasured the right things.
To which world are you attached? Do you have the pilgrim mentality that recognizes that this world is not your real home—or are you clinging to this old world for the duration of your life? I believe that God will show you the truth as you move through the next few weeks of lessons. And you will be blessed because of it!
My Prayer for You This Week: Father, I pray that Your Spirit will touch our hearts with the reality that You own the universe and are sitting at the finish line. May we live this life acknowledging that You own “me and mine.” I pray that we would hold our unclenched hands toward You and say, “All I am, and all I have, I give to You.” Father, I pray that You who inhabit our thoughts and hear our words before they are on our tongues would have heard from Your people the most transforming word we could give You from our salvation onward—“We relinquish the care of all that we are and have so that we can be free to live and walk by faith as Your servants.” Lord, we want to be good stewards; help us to invest time in Your Word getting our marching orders. Help us to spend time talking to You to find out how You want us to manage our time, treasures, and talents. Help us to desire to do things that draw us to You, oh Christ, in whose name we pray, Amen.
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