Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Owned by GOD

"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it." (Malachi 3:10)

In the beginning GOD created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

The LORD merely spoke, and the heavens were created. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born. (Psalm 33:6)

Let everyone in the world fear the LORD, and let everyone stand in awe of Him. For when He spoke, the world began! It appeared at His command. (Psalm 33:8-9)

So GOD created man in His own image, in the image of GOD He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:27)

It makes sense that since i'm the created, i am the Creator's very own -- to do with me however He wants. Since i owe everything to my Creator -- every breath i take, the skills and talents He gifted with this body, the opportunities and environments He orchestrated for my physical well being and development, the family and friends and people He put in this Life 101 to impact me so that i may learn what He wants me to learn -- it's perfectly clear to me that He owns me... all of me.

i'm grateful that the GOD of the Heavens owns me. And because of GOD's abundant grace, i was given the priceless privilege of the gift of salvation through CHRIST JESUS. i owe my freedom and new life to my Beloved Redeemer. i have peace and joy which no worldly chaos can overwhelm. i enjoy the contentment and confidence that GOD, Creator of the heavens and earth, is at peace with me for i've trusted in His Son for my redemption. i have been given a new identity as child of GOD, an eternal home in Heaven and everlasting love In CHRIST... all these ultimate gifts which can't be given a price tag.

So what else can i do but surrender everything to JESUS? He gave me abundant life, He saved me from destruction, He made me a new creature, and He enables me to do all He has called me to do -- through the supernatural almighty power of the abiding Holy SPIRIT of GOD -- my Helper, my Counselor, my Constant Companion.

GOD already gives me everything i need to sustain and nourish me during this earthly pilgrimage, and yet He offers a promise i just can't refuse! He asks me to test Him even -- to trust Him by giving Him the first fruits of my labor -- and He "will throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that i will not have room enough for it."

i didn't claim this promise when i first got saved in 2003, even though i diligently gave GOD the first fruits of every dollar i earned or received. i wasn't yet a cheerful giver -- i tithed out of obligation, not from a joyful heart. These days, though i don't have a 9-to-5 job, i continue to tithe -- this time with a cheerful heart. What a wonderful difference to give out of my deepening love for CHRIST and overwhelming indebtedness and reverence that i feel for Him for all that He has done and given.

And GOD blesses me indeed! In CHRIST, i am continually blessed with His abundant grace -- greater faith and trust, peace, joy, contentment, health, cleansing forgiveness, emotional healing, loving family and good friends, genuine church family, acceptance, growth in the knowledge of His Word, simpler lifestyle, material needs met -- and the most important blessing of all: deeper intimate fellowship with Him.

It's true -- i canNOT outgive GOD!

(The t-shirt art above was meaningless until SPIRIT worked it out -- the design was just my usual meandering kind of "paint-it-as-it-comes" style of painting. Not until i was given the Bible verse about GOD's abundance did it make sense to me.)

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