Tuesday, June 18, 2013

LACED WITH GRACE...half full or half empty?

Today I shared the following devotion with the readers of LACED WITH GRACE, hope you find your cup full to the brim today...

It is the age old question… "Is the glass half full or half empty?”

What’s the answer? Really, it is all just your perspective. I guess I would have to ask, “Do you like a full cup or a half empty one? Depending upon what is inside the cup, your preference may change.
The Bible refers to having fullness to show the depth of joy we as Believers can experience. However many of us settle for the half full cup versus the full cup.

When I think of how full my spiritual cup needs to be I can’t help think about the Folgers coffee commercial… “Good to the last drop.” Reminds me of the little boy I once had in my preschool class. During snack time, I was passing out a couple of crackers for each student to have. After two times around the table with offering each one 2 crackers, little Paul got down from his chair and went over to the play area, he returned with a plastic glass from the play kitchen area. The next time I went around the table with another cracker, Paul held up his playtime glass and said, “fill it up!”
If only we, as Christians, could have that mentality of little Paul. Holding up our spiritual glass,  asking not to have it emptied but to fill it up, to the brim. Joy, as Jesus explains in Matthew, is not to be viewed as “half empty” but may it be “full”. And not just full, but “good to the last drop!”

Matthew 15:9-11 (KJV), “As the Father hath loved me, so I have loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”
Many of us would gladly settle for half a cup, but Jesus urges us to desire that full cup of joy. He wants us to love Him wholeheartedly! He wants us to trust Him enough to obey Him.

When we choose to disobey Him, we are choosing half a cup of joy because our love is not wholehearted. We’re holding back, unsure of whether or not He will fulfill His promises. Rather than trusting in His Word, we choose our own ways, only to find out that we were wrong.
Keeping our cup full will come from obedience. As we learn to obey Him, trust Him and even test Him, our cup will remain full, never running dry.

How is your cup of joy looking today? Is it half full or half empty? I trust you will strive to keep it full to the top, overflowing with His love, His joy and His peace. For It is good to the last drop.

Friday, June 7, 2013

LACED WITH GRACE...Are we just material girls in a material world?

I have shared the following devo with the readers of LACE WITH GRACE today. If you haven't checked out this site before, we offer daily devotions by a team of awesome and spirit-led ladies!

We are living in a world today that saturates our mind with having money and possessions. Just look at what society screams at us … "our worth is based upon what we have and how much.”

This pressure is felt all the way from elderly down to the young. Teens are now spending more than ever before, unreal amount of money every year on music, video games, movies and clothes. Our attitude about having and having more only escalates from this point on into adulthood where we then have a need to have bigger houses, faster cars and fatter bank accounts.

Not to give attention to a very worldly singer but singer Madonna , a few years ago, really said it the way it is …”I’m just a material girl who lives in a material world!”

Could that be true of America? That we have just become materialists?

I read an account of two different women who clearly had issues when it came to money. The first, Imelda Marcos, married to the President of the Philippines had access to the national treasury of billions to finance her shopping sprees. It is said that she had a collection of 3000 pair of shoes, 1500 purses and 1200 designer gowns that she only wore one time.

The second woman, was Hetty Green. She rarely bathed and her underclothes would fall to pieces before she would buy another. Her children did not use hot water to bath and for food, she bought barrels of biscuits to live off of for months.

Reading about these two women caused me to think about what exactly was a “materialist”? Most of you reading this will probably agree that the first lady was clearly a materialist, but I would dare say that BOTH of these women were. One spent too much, while the other spent too little. But, the rest of the story is thatwhile Hetty Green seemed to be poor, in reality, it is reported that she made 7 million dollars a year! She apparently was obsessed with the all mighty dollar, not too far off from Imelda Marcos.

Many people think that HAVING money is the problem. Having it is not what makes us a “material world”, it is what we do or, rather, don’t do, with it that causes problems.

So you see, money is never the problem. But, it is our attitude about money. If we give more money for frivolous things than we do in the offering plate, we may need an attitude check.

Jesus challenged His disciples to leave EVERYTHING to follow Him. Today, it would be difficult for us to give up our Smart phones, our laptops and our satellite dishes. After all, many of us cannot even give an hour to pray or fast a meal, let alone fast a week. So, I wonder, while we live in such a materialistic world, what, if anything, would we be willing to leave behind as we pick up the cross to follow Him?

We may live in a “material world”, but we have the ability to choose to NOT be “material girls.”
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” –Matthew 6:24
Whom (or what) will you serve?