Friday, November 04, 2016

Our Amazing Indebtedness

CALL TO PRAYER
Repeat and or meditate on this verse until your thoughts are centered on God.
 
Thou, Lord, beyond compare art great,
and highly to be praised;
thy majesty, with boundless height,
above our knowledge raised.
 —Psalm 145:3
Suggested tune: Stracathro (CM)


 
SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY
You have looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? says the Lord of hosts. Because my house lies in ruins, while all of you hurry off to your own houses.
—Haggai 1:9
 
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Churlish souls stint their contributions to the church, and call such saving good economy; little do they dream that they are thus impoverishing themselves. Their excuse is that they must care for their own families, and they forget that to neglect the house of God is the sure way to bring ruin upon their own houses. Our God has a method in providence by which he can succeed our endeavors beyond our expectation, or can defeat our plans to our confusion and dismay; by a turn of his hand he can steer our vessel in a profitable channel, or run it aground in poverty and bankruptcy. It is the teaching of Scripture that the Lord enriches the liberal and leaves the miserly to find out that withholding tendeth to poverty. In a very wide sphere of observation, I have noticed that the most generous Christians of my acquaintance have been always the most happy, and almost invariably the most prosperous. I have seen liberal givers rise to wealth of which they never dreamed; and I have as often seen the mean and ungenerous descend to poverty by the very parsimony by which they thought to rise. People trust good stewards with larger and larger sums, and so it frequently is with the Lord; he gives by cartloads to those who give by bushels. Where wealth is not bestowed the Lord makes the little much by the contentment which the sanctified heart feels in a portion of which the tithe has been dedicated to the Lord. Selfishness looks first at home, but godliness seeks first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, yet in the long run selfishness is loss, and godliness is great gain. It needs faith to act towards our God with an open hand, but surely he deserves it of us; and all that we can do is a very poor acknowledgment of our amazing indebtedness to his goodness.
—Charles Spurgeon (alt.)
 
TODAY'S PRAYER
O gracious God, who generously lavishes our lives with goodness, create in our hearts a deep center of gratitude, a center that grows so strong in its thanksgiving that sharing freely of our treasures becomes the pattern of our existence. Remind us often of how much you cherish us, of how abundantly you have offered gifts to us, especially in the hours of our greatest need. May we always be grateful for your reaching into our lives with surprises of joy, growth and unconditional love...
—Joyce Rupp, Fresh Bread
 
YOUR OWN PRAYERS
Allow the above to help guide your own confession, praise, thanksgiving, and/or petition.

THE LORD'S PRAYER
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
 —Matthew 6:9-13

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