Monday, November 12, 2012

The Knowledge of His Will

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.”Colossians 1:9 NIV1984

Today has been a sloppy snowy day here in the Pacific North West. You can see the photo I took of the wet land behind our house. It was a kind of dark photo because we kind of major in grey skies at this time of the year. So I intensified the blues just for fun. 
I've felt better today and we had a friend and her daughter over for lunch. It was fun to visit and to play a board game with her six year old daughter. My boys are so big at this point that we don't play games as often as we once did when they were younger. So it was a nice kind of snowy day. I started my morning by giving a ride to a friend who normally walks up a long hill to the bus stop. He called to see if I could give him a ride today because he has not yet gotten snow boots. He was sweet and bought me a latte and a cookie. Its been one of those days full of little things for other people. Nothing major just little acts of kindness.

Its easy for me to think the everyday ordinary stuff is inconsequential. It seems like lately that God has me focusing on doing ordinary well. Can I be happy and focus on the Lord while doing the dishes or little things for my family. He's helping me to see that I don't have to be so driven that I can relax and embrace ordinary and in so doing I am no less special to Him. I am every bit as loved and accepted on ordinary days as I am on the days when I think I am doing something special. Maybe that not a hard thing for you - I'm a bit of an over achiever. I want to make every day and every moment count. I have been a bit on the driven side. I keep busy, I like busy. The Lord has said to slow down and in doing that I am realizing that I don't have to be so driven. There is no secret, locked up past that I am trying to avoid or out run. So my big hurdle has been to be at peace with not being constantly  busy. To not feel that I am of less value in my own eyes and in the eyes of the Lord if I'm not accomplishing something. 

So I have been praying that the Lord would help me to understand His will and plan. He's not letting me see very far ahead at the moment. There are times when I have more of a sense of my purpose and where I'm heading and what I'm supposed to be working on. It seems that at present the plan is simply to do today well. Nothing grand and glorious - just live today quietly and simply. I think sometimes I can be so busy doing things for my church or being busy helping others that when I have just my immediate family and close friends to love and minister too I feel like it doesn't count - like I'm doing nothing. As I have been talking to day with the Lord - He seems to be saying it does count. 

I was reminded of the story of the man who walked along the beach and would pick up the starfish that had gotten stranded by the tide and toss them back in the ocean. Someone asked him why he bothered when there were so many and no way that he could save them all. He replied that it mattered to the ones that he was able to help. 

You may not feel you are contributing in any great way to God's kingdom work. You may feel the little things you are doing for your friends and family don't really matter or go un-noticed. Or that kind word to a stranger or the person you were able to help while doing your job was nothing special. It may not seem like much, but each and every act of kindness is makes a difference to your starfish that you were able to help in some small way today. How it will all stack up in the light of eternity we may never know. I do know that it is the kindness of the Lord that leads us to repentance. In some ways it is like we are doing those things for Jesus. Take a peek at Matthew 25 to see what I mean.  

Matthew 25:34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

So today I am gaining a better understanding of His will. Its not some great and lofty thing I may do someday. His will for me today is pretty simple - glorify Him with my life on this ordinary day. If the people around me are Jesus in disguise, am I treating each of them as if the King himself were filling their shoes? 

Prayer: I pray that God would fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.”Colossians 1:9. I pray that He would help you to see Him in the ordinary everyday stuff of your life. That you would pour out your love to Him in the little things you do for the people whose lives you touch today. I pray that you would be able to show His kindness and love to your most immediate family and to your friends. I pray that you would live today well, for the glory of God especially if it is just another ordinary day.  

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