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5-4-18 The First 15

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The Weekly Overview
Grace is a gift most of us don’t know how to receive. We’ve been so inundated with the earthly systems of give and get, work and earn that Grace is a concept few ever fully grasp. Yet it’s grace alone that has the power to transform lives. It’s grace alone that has the power to bring freedom to the captives. It’s by grace alone that we are saved. There could be no better use of our time than consistently and passionately pursuing a greater revelation God’s grace.
The Scripture
“As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.”
-  1 Timothy 6:17
The Worship Experience
Artist: Urban Rescue
Song: Provider
The Devotional
We are the children of a Heavenly Father who richly provides everything we need to live, love, and work according to the perfect plans he has for us. Matthew 6:26 beautifully illustrates God’s promise of provision. Jesus says, “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” The earth clearly demonstrates God’s ability to provide for his creation. He gives rain to the grass of the field and trees of the forest. Then as quickly as the clouds come, he rolls them away to bring life-giving sunshine to all of creation. And Jesus’ statement in Matthew 6 makes it clear: we are of far more value to God than any other part of creation. We are of such value to God that he sent his only son Jesus to pay the highest price of an unjust death that we might be able to live an abundant and new life through him.

God provides for us both spiritually and physically because of the abundant grace he has for us. 1 Timothy 6:17 says, “As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.” It’s his grace that drives him to richly bless us even though we deserve nothing. His grace drives him to give us every good gift—not our own works. And because of God’s grace, we can place our hope in him for complete provision with full assurance that his promises will come to pass.

1 Timothy 6:17 clearly illustrates a separation between putting our hope in God and putting hope in ourselves or the world. Too often we miss the fact that everything we have was given to us by the grace of God. And in doing so we allow the belief that we’ve earned what we’ve received to creep into our hearts, resulting in a feeling of entitlement rather than thanksgiving.

Entitlement is a disease that’s spread decay and death too far throughout the body of Christ. It kills any area in which it is allowed to enter by leading us to a life of pride and selfishness rather than hope and joy. It enslaves us to ourselves, as if we somehow deserve possession, status, power, friendship, or authority. When we don’t see everything we’ve received as a gift by God’s grace, we live our lives constantly toiling and striving to earn what our heavenly Father has already promised to give us. And when we have failures or problems, we alone carry the burden of need rather than looking to our faithful heavenly Father as our provider.

This life is not about what we have, but relationship with the God who has provided for us. If God has blessed you abundantly in the area of provision, I pray that you use every single possession as another opportunity to give thanks to the God who provided it for you in his grace. Every talent, skill, and dollar you possess was given to you because you are the child of a Father who loves you more deeply than you will ever know. All of us have been richly blessed by a God who faithfully provides for us. May we all walk in the freedom that comes as we live with the hope of God as our sole provider. May we see everything God uses to provide for us as a wonderful gift given to us by our heavenly Father. And may we serve and love God alone as we live our lives free from the slavery of pursuing the world.
The Prayer
1. Meditate on God’s provision. Allow Scripture to transform your belief about who or what is providing for you.

“As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.” 1 Timothy 6:17

“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” Matthew 6:26

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

2. Now reflect on your own heart. What do you feel enslaved to today? What job, person, or opportunity do you feel has become your master? Where do you feel the pain of entitlement rather than the freedom of a grace-filled perspective?

3. Confess to God any job, person, or opportunity you’ve been serving above him. Give over to him any way in which you’ve been living for your own gain rather than relationship with him. As you confess to God, allow his Spirit to break the chains that have been enslaving you to the world and its principles.
The world constantly attempts to enslave us. It tries to convince us that we need what it has and that it will satisfy our needs. But God’s word and our experience clearly show that the world apart from God only brings pain and dissatisfaction. Proverbs 23:4-5 commands us, “Do not toil to acquire wealth; be discerning enough to desist. When your eyes light on it, it is gone, for suddenly it sprouts wings, flying like an eagle toward heaven.” Satisfaction in the world comes and goes as quickly as an eagle flies across our view. May you find the peace and joy that comes from living your life in total freedom from the world. And may you experience rejuvenated hope and joy that can only come from serving God as your sole Lord and provider.
Extended Reading: Matthew 6

Craig DenisonCRAIG DENISON is the author and founder of First15, a daily devotional guiding tens of thousands of believers into a fresh experience with God's presence every day. He writes, speaks, and he and his wife, Rachel, lead worship to help believers establish a more tangible, meaningful connection with God.


This post first appeared on ARE WE LIVING IN THE END TIMES, please read the originial post: here

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5-4-18 The First 15

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