Offering Ourselves (September 3, 2012)

…Opening To…

Give yourself fully to God. He will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in His love than in your own weakness. (Mother Theresa)

…Listening In…

Every good gift, every perfect gift, comes from above. These gifts come down from the Father, the creator of the heavenly lights, in whose character there is no change at all. He chose to give us birth by his true word, and here is the result: we are like the first crop from the harvest of everything he created. (James 1:17-18; context)

…Filling Up…

Welcome back for the third season of devotiONEighty. It’s been a good run so far, and with God’s help, we’ll make it another school year. If you have a moment, tell a friend to head over the and subscribe so he or she can start getting devo180 everyday too. Then you’ll have something else to talk about once Jersey Shore finishes its run.

This week we are going to talk about giving ourselves to God. We’ll start big and then go progressively smaller because I think, in some ways, it’s way easier for us to give our entire selves to God than it is to give each moment to God. So we’ll start big. In the quotation above from the letter of James, the writer says that we are “like the first crop from the harvest of everything [God] created.” James takes this image of the first fruits that the ancient Israelites gave to God and says that we (you and me) are that first crop. The offering of first fruits was an exercise in devotion and trust because, when you gave your first bit of crops to God, you had no idea if anything else was going to grow.

So it is with us followers of Jesus, who give ourselves to him. To be a first fruit means to give ourselves to God before we give ourselves to anything else. This is pretty hard because chances are we have already given ourselves to other, lesser things: the desire for money or security, the drive to be popular or successful, the pursuit of stuff.

The good news is that God is always ready to accept our offering of ourselves, whether we are first fruits or ninth fruits. God doesn’t seem to mind how late to the game we come, just so long as we want to play. But in the grand scheme of things, I think it’s rather easy to give ourselves to God. What’s hard is living as if we have done so. But that’s a topic for tomorrow.

…Praying For…

Dear God, thank you for accepting my offering, no matter when in my journey I have given it to you. Help me to continue to offer myself to you, not just one time, but everyday of my life. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, hopeful that I will have the desire and grace to give myself to you.

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