Wednesday, January 26, 2011
The Choice - When God Whispers Your Name
Each Wednesday morning, the staff of the Liberty Godparent Foundation organization meets to start our day collectively with devotions. It's amazing to see how we are all encouraged and enriched by this simple act of sharing - and listening - together. This morning's leadership role was assigned to the Office Manager of Family Life Services, Rose Marie Owens, who has faithfully worked with our ministry for 27 years...that is not a typo, she has been here that long! She is an avid reader and holds knowledge that can be found nowhere else in this ministry. We are so thankful for all that she has and continues to pour into our ministry. Rose shared a familiar passage of scripture, Galatians 5:22-23, about the fruit of the spirit and an excerpt from Max Lucado's book, When God Whispers Your Name. Here's a portion of what she shared from the book that was especially meaningful as we begin a day that will be bombarded with demands, deadlines, and difficult decisions.
For the next twelve hours I will be exposed to the day's demands. It is now I must make a choice. Because of Calvary, I'm free to choose. And so I choose.
I choose love...No occasion justifies hatred; no injustice warrants bitterness. I choose love. Today I will love God and what God loves.
I choose joy...I will invite my God to be the God of circumstance. I will refuse the temptation to be cynical - the tool of the lazy thinker. I will refuse to see people as anything less than human beings, created by God. I will refuse to see any problem as anything less than an opportunity to see God.
I choose peace...I will live forgiven. I will forgive so that I may live.
I choose patience...I will overlook the inconveniences of the world. Instead of cursing the one who takes my place, I'll invite him to do so. Rather than complain that the wait is too long, I will thank God for a moment to pray. Instead of clinching by fist at new assignments, I will face them with joy and courage.
I choose kindness...I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone. Kind to the rich, for they are afraid. And kind to the unkind, for such is how God has treated me.
I choose goodness...I will go without a dollar before I take a dishonest one. I will be overlooked before I will boast. I will confess before I will accuse. I choose goodness.
I choose faithfulness...Today I will keep my promises. My debtors will not regret their trust. My associates will not question my word. My wife will not question my love. And my children will never fear that their father will not come home.
I choose gentleness...Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice may it be only in praise. If I clench my fist, may it be only in prayer. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself.
I choose self-control...I am a spiritual being. After this body is dead, my spirit will soar. I refuse to let what will not, rule the eternal. I choose self-control. I will be drunk only by joy. I will be impassioned only by my faith. I will be influenced only by God. I will be taught only by Christ. I choose self-control.
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. To these I commit my day. If I succeed, I will give thanks. If I fail, I will seek his grace. And then, when this day is done, I will place my head on my pillow and rest.