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<< Encouragement for Today

Encouragement for Today - June 6, 2006

  • 2006 Jun 06
  • COMMENTS

 

Encouragement for Today

 

“Casting Your Crowns”

Micca Monda Campbell, Director of Outreach, Proverbs 31 Ministries Speaker Team Member

 

Key Verse:
Revelation 4:10, “The twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne”( NKJ).

 

Devotion:

“Hey, mom!  Would you like to hear a joke? Why did the dog sit under the shade tree?” Parker asked with a smirk across his face as I prepared dinner. “I don’t know? Why?” I asked, playing along.

 

Without hesitation, Parker delivered the punch line. “He didn’t want to be a hot-dog!”

 

Our laughter was interrupted when Peyton came storming into the kitchen appalled. “How dare you take credit for my joke!” she shouted at her brother with both hands on her hips. Recognizing her tone and posture, Parker knew he had no choice but to fess up.

 

“Gosh, Peyton.  I only told mom,” he replied, red-faced and pleading for mercy.

 

“Well, okay. But just remember.  That’s my joke!” she said as graciously as a big sister could.

 

I often wonder how God feels when we take credit for what is rightfully His. It’s only because of God’s grace that we are who we are and have what we have. We should never forget that it was the Father’s extraordinary love that called us out of darkness into the light so that we may know Him and His fellowship. God alone opened our eyes so that we could see the necessity of our salvation. It was the Lord, our Provider, who imparted to us the Holy Spirit so that we would have everything we need to live a life of godliness.

 

While God needs no one to accomplish His purposes, He continues to show us His love by giving each of us spiritual gifts so that we can experience true joy as we serve Him and others.

 

God graciously allows us to be co-labors with Him, and yet He does it all. In the Master’s hand we are only tools for accomplishing His kingdom purposes. It is the Lord who independently gives us new life and equips us to do good works. Yet, there are times when we steal God’s glory.

 

We steal His glory when we receive credit for a job well done, while failing to acknowledge Him. We steal God’s glory when we proclaim the success of our achievements, while knowing apart from Him anything we do is insignificant. At times it is easy to keep the credit for ourselves instead of offering it back to the One to whom it belongs.

 

I’m reminded of the Israelites as they traveled the desert. They were desperately dependant on God for all their needs. Throughout their journey the Lord graciously provided for them. Their clothes and shoes never wore out, and He even fed them bread from heaven.

 

The Israelites were instructed by God to gather only enough bread to eat for that day. However, instead of trusting God to provide their daily bread, some of them gathered extra. The next morning they found that the bread, their blessing from heaven, had rotted and was unfit to eat. Our blessings are like that, too. If we hoard them for ourselves, they will only rot and account for nothing.

 

Another way we allow decay is by forgetting to acknowledge and rejoice with the Father when He delivers us from hardships. Praise should cascade from our lips over the One who not only gives us our gifts and blessings but who also provides our victories. When we offer Him praise with a grateful heart, He’ll continue to pour victories through us as we acknowledge the Victor.

 

Regrettably, when it comes to receiving God’s medal, we often accept an earthly prize in place of a heavenly reward. When we seek the praise of others for what appears to be our triumph, the Bible says we have already received our trophy. Yet, there is coming a day when Christ shall return bringing heavenly rewards with Him for the good works we’ve done. If we have already received our bonus from men, then we won’t obtain His. Wouldn’t you rather acquire God’s reward than anything man can offer? I know that I would! Besides, I can only imagine that when we see our Lord’s face, our only desire will be to bow down before the One who sits on the throne. With praise on our lips and gratitude in our hearts, we will cast our crowns before Him, for Christ alone is worthy of all our adoration.

 

My Prayer for Today:

Lord, I praise You for allowing me to be a co-laborer with You. Forgive me for the times that I steal Your glory. I know that apart from You I’m nothing and that every good gift comes from You. In everything I do may You receive all the glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Application Steps:

Take time today to bless God for all His good gifts, and give Him back the blessings that are truly His.

 

Reflections Points:

In what ways do you sometimes steal God’s glory?

 

How often do you thank Him for every gift, opportunity and blessing in your life?

 

Do you seek the praise of men more often than you seek the praise of God? Why?

 

How do you know that you are serving to please the Lord?

 

What in your life gives evidence that you may be working to please people?

 

Power Verses:

Isaiah 42:8, “I am the Lord, that is my name; and my glory I will not give to another. Nor my praise to carved images.” (NKJ)

 

Exodus 15:11,”Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?” ( NKJ)

 

Psalm 86:12, “I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and I will glorify your name forever more.” (NLJ)

 

Revelation 4:11, “You are worth O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for you created all things, and by your will they exist and were created.” (NKJ)

 

2 Corinthians 9:13, “Through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men.” (NKJ)

 

Additional Resources:

 

The P31 Woman, our monthly magazine

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/woman.htm

 

Out of the Mouths of Babes, by Wendy Pope

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_mouthBabes.htm

 

Eternity, ETC Corner Aug. 2005

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/etcAug05.htm

 

 

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