Tuesday, February 28th
Devotional written by Pastor Brian Field, Mission Pastor
RECEIVE WHAT IS GOOD IN THE WORLD
To read today: James 1:17
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
While we no longer live in the Garden of Eden, God’s creation still holds so much beauty and provision for our lives. Louis Armstrong’s version of “What a Wonderful World” should be playing in your head right now, filling you with all the warm fuzzies. God has given us so much to enjoy and take delight. While evil is prevalent in our world, God does not want us to be looking for a devil behind every bush or reject His common grace when it comes to the good things.
In and of themselves, food, technology, and medicine can be good, necessary, and beneficial for our lives. Who of you would turn down spaghetti and meatballs on a rainy winter night? Not me. What the Enemy wants to do is turn good things into ultimate things and, in so doing, create idols in your life.
C.S. Lewis said it well:
The longer I looked into it, the more I came to suspect that I was perceiving a universal law… The woman who makes a dog the centre of her life loses, in the end, not only her human usefulness and dignity but even the proper pleasure of dog-keeping. The man who makes alcohol his chief good loses not only his job but his palate and all power of enjoying the earlier (and only pleasurable) levels of intoxication. It is a glorious thing to feel for a moment or two that the whole meaning of the universe is summed up in one woman — glorious so long as other duties and pleasures keep tearing you away from her. But clear the decks and so arrange your life (it is sometimes feasible) that you will have nothing to do but contemplate her, and what happens. Of course, this law has been discovered before, but it will stand re-discovery. It may be stated as follows: every preference of a small good to a great, or partial good to a total good, involves the loss of the small or partial good for which the sacrifice is made.
Reflection: God wants us to enjoy and delight in the wondrous beauty of His creation. Are you able to enjoy the good things God has given without making them Ultimate things? Do you need to reorder your life to keep things in proper alignment so that you can truly enjoy the blessings God has given you?