1 Corinthians 4:7 – “For who regards you as superior? And what do you have that you did not receive? But if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?”  NASB

This is not a political post but a devotional and hopefully it will be inspirational.  I had a man tell me a few years ago, “I am a self-made man.”  I responded, “Satisfied with second best, right?”  He was perplexed and became a bit agitated at my question and said, “Everything I have I have produced myself and earned.”  I said, “Still second best.” 

Before he could go over the edge and lose his cool even farther, I quoted the text verse and said, “Truthfully, as James 1:17 declares, “Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow.” I continued my discussion and said, “If you are self-made that is not the best.  If you are God-made that is the best, so which would you prefer?”  After he reflected on that a moment, he said, “God-made.” 

I appreciate ingenuity, creativity, enterprise, and energy in the pursuit of the goals of life.  I appreciate a person that is a doer, not just a talker or hearer.  I appreciate the willingness to dare to fail rather than failing to dare.  However, if I am to be all I can be in life and the Kingdom of God, I must recognize the source of my strength, gifts, talents, and abilities.  It is God! 

God owns everything including you and me.  I love the words of the LORD through Jeremiah the prophet in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.”  The Promises of God are incredible and filled with hope. 

Jesus warned that we could not serve two masters and let me expand that to include self.  If we believe we are who we are solely by our own efforts, we are serving the wrong master and shortchanging ourselves.  The gifts and talents God has bestowed upon us are for service rather than personal benefit.  They do benefit us but that is not their purpose.  Peter said, in 1 Peter 4:10, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”

I love the reminder of Jesus in Luke 6:38, “Give and it (what you give) will be given to you.  Good measure pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap.  For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”  We are to be salt and light in this world.  Therefore, why not brighten up the corner, room, or place we are and impact our world for God and good?  Why not?  Why not?  Why not?  That is not a question but a prayer that from this day forward we realize that who and what we are is the result of His blessings and grace, not our own ability.

It is in Him that we live and move and have being. (Acts 17:28).  It is ‘in Him’, ‘by Him’, and ‘through Him’ that we are able to do what He desires and what is required.  I pray that the peace of God that surpasses human understanding will flood your hearts and fill your minds with His comfort and confidence.

Let your light shine and testify, “I am what I am by the Grace of God!”  God bless you as you enjoy this day in Him!

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