“Now He that ministers seed to the sower both minister bread for your food and multiply your seed sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness—being enriched in everything to all bountifulness, which causes through us thanksgiving to God, for the administration of this service not only supplies the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God.”

II Corinthians 9:10-12

Job said it well: “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb and naked shall I return thither. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the Name of the Lord” (1:21).
When we stop and think about it, it’s clear that we have nothing that we did not receive. A newborn baby emerges from his/her mother’s womb with nothing but a birthday suit.
No wardrobe, no house, no car, no bank account, no insurance, no job, no nothing.

Why, then, do so many pride themselves on being a “self-made man or woman?”
Today’s Manna reminds us from Whom our blessings come. And, it is this remembrance that should move us to perpetual gratitude for His abounding Grace.

A farmer may harvest a bumper crop. Like the farmer in Lk. 12:16-21, he may “tear down his barns and build bigger ones” (v.18). Such is good stewardship and conservation; however, if the response to such blessings is self-congratulation that says “Soul, you have much goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry” (v.19), we should not be surprised that God’s assessment will be the same: “Such a person is a fool” (v.20).

Why is that?
Simply because he “laid up treasure for himself and was not rich toward God” (v.21).
Or, another way to put it, “He prided himself on his farming ability. . .his wisdom in conservation. . .his wise investments for the future. . .but didn’t acknowledge from Whence/ Whom his blessings came.”

And, so it is in life.
When we leave God out of the equation, we begin believing that everything revolves around us. We pride ourselves on our prowess. We pat ourselves on our back because of our wise planning. We begin saying “Today or tomorrow I’ll go into such a city, continue there a year, buy and sell and get gain—forgetting that we don’t know what will happen tomorrow and that our lives are as a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away” (James 4:13-14; Prov. 27:1).

Much better to say “If the Lord wills, I’ll do this or that” (James 4:15).
And, much better to remember that only God can make a seed. . .design it to germinate, sprout and grow. . .place nutrients in the soil to nourish the plant. . .and send the sunshine and the rain in just the right combination to produce a harvest. That’s why we should always remember we’re “co-laborers together with God” (I Cor. 3:9) and created to be “consecrated conduits,” not reservoirs. He knows our needs and has promised to supply them (Phil. 4:19); therefore, let us live today in humble gratitude, allowing Him to use us as He sees fit.

August 22, 2011