Thought of the Day November 8, 2017 God above all

By 9:48 AM

The call to grow in the full life as a disciple requires the self not to be before God:

Lk 14:26. One of the hardest things to bring to the cross is myself and all I inaccurately consider to be essential for me to be me. What is it in my life that Jesus is calling me to die to? Anything and everything which does not allow him to be the center of my life; anything and everything in which I cannot fully trust God to provide; anything and everything which I must grab for myself.

These can be listed as desire for possessions, desire for position and privilege, desire for praise and recognition.

We are called to realize that our self identity is not depended on others but on the Other, not on things but on God alone, not on power or prestige but on relationship with God, not on who we know but who we are in the eyes of God. We are called to find our self-sufficiency not in possessions nor in other human beings nor in ourselves alone, but in God who can and will provide all that is necessary for us. Paul shared his own understanding of this in his Letter to the Philippians: "For whatever situation I find myself in I have learned to be self-sufficient. I am experienced in being brought low, yet I know what it is to have an abundance. I have learned how to cope with every circumstance--how to eat well or go hungry, to be well provided for or do without. In him who is the source of my strength I have strength for everything" (Phil 4:11-13).

When material possessions are desired as ends for our happiness, then the Lord, in his loving mercy, may strip us of those possessions or grace us to see what these possessions are doing to us. The attitude that the Lord calls us to have is one of stewardship not ownership over possessions; one of detachment not one of attachment. "How blest are the poor in spirit: the reign of God is theirs" (Mt 5:3). Job early on in his trials expressed the attitude of heart and the surrender to the Lord when he said: "Naked I came forth from my mother's womb, and naked shall I go back again. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord" (Job 1:21).

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