I felt aggrieved. I was accused of robbing God. How ridiculous. I’m a member of His group, didn’t I accept Jesus as my Lord and Saviour? Surely His grace covers me. How is it possible anyway for me or anyone else to rob God? What could I possibly steal from Him for He is ever vigilant? I plead innocent of the charges. Then I heard the list of ‘items’ it was claimed I had pilfered from the Almighty God whom I claimed as my Heavenly Father!
Stolen: The Father’s right to worship.
It was proven that I had placed other things as worthy of attention and priority in place of worshipping the Father. Bed was more comfortable, sport more enjoyable, picnics less threatening. Sure, I had excuses. Some of the church folk got on my nerves, the weather was unkind, and the preacher – oh dear!
Did I miss joining with like-minded people around the Communion table? Perhaps, sometimes! Did I understand that Jesus wanted me to do this out of love for Him? Well yes, but He knows I’m grateful for His saving of me, surely that counts!
Stolen: The Father’s honour.
It was stated I had devalued the Father’s name before the angels and those within my circle of influence. How could that be, I’m a decent person. Was it due to the fact that His word and commands were not read or followed? Sure I prayed, sometimes, usually when I needed something. There were times when people raised their eyes about my language or attitude, so what, I’m only human!
Stolen: The Father’s resources.
It was revealed the Father had invested in me certain gifts and privileges. Apparently they were covered in the dust of neglect. The Holy Spirit was saddened by this as it ‘choked’ His influence in and through me. I was asked when was the last time I had exercised my privilege as a Steward of God’s grace. That stumped me. My lips had been silent about my family and friends needing Jesus. My wallet had been closed so the ministry of the local church and the wider missions of the Church struggled. Also, it was mentioned, my mind was in lockdown in helping resolve some urgent hassles between disagreeing parties.
Stolen: The Father’s desire to bless.
It was shown the Father was ‘handcuffed’ by my neglect and theft so He couldn’t bless me as He desired. I was living my life my way and The Father had no opportunity to enrich my life with His joy, with his rewards for faithfulness and the pleasure of working with me in service. From my earlier days I remembered the verse about laying up in Heaven treasure and realised my ‘vault’ was bare.
There I stood embarrassed and condemned. I had nothing to say, it was all too true.
If I had entered the Lord’s presence at that moment I would have been accepted I know – that’s how great His grace is! But I would have nothing to present to Him as an expression of gratitude for saving me or of working with Him in service.
At that point I awoke. Sweat was heavy on my forehead. It was a new day. For me it would be the day of the big ‘R’. Repentance, renewal and restoration into righteousness plus reverencing my Redeemer and thereby honouring the (my) Heavenly Father.
©Ray Hawkins 23.6.2016.
Reference. Malachi 3:8-9. Matthew 6:20. 1 Corinthians 3:12-15. 1 Corinthians 11:23-26. Ephesians 4:30.1 Corinthians 4:1-5.