Back in 2003 after having spent the year before reading Sarah Ban Breathnach's book "Simple Abundance" I took her suggestion to heart and wrote my own daily devotional. Each day I took a line or two from one of the various spiritual authors from the last three centuries I was reading and wrote my own thoughts on the subject. I then looked for a scripture that illustrated the truth that had been revealed to me. What follows is the result.

"Our greatest bondage is to have our own way; our greatest freedom is to let God have His way." Warren Wiersbe

Thursday, November 17, 2011

November 17

“If you serve the Lord out of duty or habit, but not out of joy and gratitude, you will feel like a martyr.  You will envy those who are experiencing joy in the Lord while you feel weighed down by the work you are doing.  This is not the abundant life your Father has planned for you.”  H. Blackaby, Experiencing God Day-by-Day, 10/27

Anytime we hear ourselves whisper inside our heads “What about me?” the martyr alarm should go off!  For me, what happens instead is that after posing that question I make myself miserable trying to answer it.  The answer never makes me feel better.  When I get to the point of deciding it’s no fun being a martyr, rather than find the right solution, I fool around with blaming others for forcing me into martyrdom!  This is NOT the abundant life our Father planned for us!  So, what is the right solution?  Of course, it would be best if we never played the martyr role, but if we find ourselves there what should we do?  There is only one answer, but it may take several steps to get there depending on our particular circumstances.  We may need to pray, to give thanks, to praise, to confess, but all these things merely lead to the real solution—the one-answer-fits-all solution--and that is to humble ourselves before God so we can walk in His grace.  Often time it is the one who seemingly is obedient that needs to hear this message--like the prodigal son’s brother.  Because he had served his father out of duty and not joy he fell into the trap of pride.  This is not the abundant life our Father has planned for us.

“And [the father] said to [the brother], ‘Son you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours’.”  Luke 15:31

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