Rebuke Into Resolution – 2012 In Review

“Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it. “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” Says the Lord of hosts; “And all nations will call you blessed, For you will be a delightful land,” Says the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 3:8-12 NKJV)

For those The Lord loves, He rebukes, indeed. And even when we are rebuked, we definitely have reasons to give God the glory.

I’ve spent this year witnessing God’s sustaining grace. I saw how hopelessly inadequate I am in all things, and I saw how dynamic our life in this world can get – one day we can see how gracious people are, and another time we see how manipulative, how opportunistic, how cruel we can get.

What’s that saying? ‘Familiarity breeds contempt’… Well, I’ve been quite contemptuous… In ministry, and in giving to others. I’ve been serving, but my heart was far away from The Lord. I’ve been giving, but not out of a heart that depends on The Lord. And right now, that one area in the Bible that I observed we’ve been so fond of quoting when it comes to exhorting regarding tithing… It hit me like a ton of bricks.

I wouldn’t dare rob God, but I’ve denied Him of my attention and my heart… Lord, forgive me!

I’ve shown passion and zeal to serve you… For the pleasure of those around me, and not for Your glory… Lord, Lord, forgive me!

…..

I have made You too small in my eyes
O Lord, forgive me;
I have believed in a lie
That You were unable to help me.
But now, O Lord, I see my wrong
Heal my heart and show Yourself strong;
And in my eyes and with my song
O Lord, be magnified
O Lord, be magnified.
CHORUS:

Be magnified, O Lord
You are highly exalted;
And there is nothing You can’t do
O Lord, my eyes are on You.
Be magnified,
O Lord, be magnified.

Be magnified, O Lord
You are highly exalted;
And there is nothing You can’t do
O Lord, my eyes are on You.
Be magnified,
O Lord, be magnified.

I have leaned on the wisdom of men
O Lord, forgive me;
And I have responded to them
Instead of Your light and Your mercy.
But now, O Lord, I see my wrong
Heal my heart and show Yourself strong;
And in my eyes with my song
O Lord, be magnified…
O Lord, be magnified!

—-

Now that’s another thing to be thankful to God for: rebukes. Living with the earthly father I had was full of rebukes. Unfortunately I chose to react by taking what rebukes he had personally, and again I became contemptuous – no, actually over sensitive to every statement with the littlest trace of rebuke, calling it an attack to my person, defiance to my integrity. Looking back, I had quite a substantial role in the rift my father and I had. It’s nothing to be proud of… If I am to boast, it is definitely of the grace of God through it all.

And that seems to be my first resolution for 2013 – to get a grip and to take everything with a grain of salt. I know if I control myself by my own strength I probably wouldn’t make it through January; no, more than this being a resolution to keep myself from a certain habit or attitude, I resolve to immerse myself more in the Word of God and in His presence, so that indeed, I would not sin against Him. I want to grow in stature, in favor with God and man, as Christ did.

Should have had that as a priority so long ago… And now that I’m nearing the big three-O I just thank God that it’s never too late to come running back to Him and to seek Him more and more.

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