Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Make It An Offering

Daily Gratitude Year 5- Day 130: Today, I am grateful any work can be done to God's glory. 

"A dairy maid can milk cows to the glory of God." - Martin Luther

I have done work people find awe inspiring. I have walked beans and wiped the bottoms of the young and the old. My work car has been a Porsche... and an old pick-up truck. And, many things in between. 

I have been strong. And I have been unable to dress myself without assistance due to partial paralysis. 

This season is just a season, be it a glorious adventure or a trial. Our God never changes. His desire is that we make every season... every day... an offering. 

I have fallen deeply in love with Nehemiah's first few chapters. God put it on Nehemiah's heart the mission of rebuilding the Jerusalem wall. The city had little to no protection and the remnant of Judah was suffering. 

And they said to me, “The remnant there in the province who had survived the exile is in great trouble and shame. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are destroyed by fire.” Nehemiah 1:3

Nehemiah was a confidant to King Artaxerxes of Persia. In today's language, he was "Secret Service". He protected the king. He was "the cupbearer". Before King Artaxerxes would drink wine from any cup, Nehemiah would drink first. If the wine didn't cause Nehemiah to fall ill or dead, the king was safe to drink. Poison was the weapon of the day. He put his life on the line intentionally, every day for a king he had committed to protect. A king who was not really his king, but time and good character had elevated many of the Jewish people in exile to places of respect. Cupbearer to the King was impressive. Dangerous, but impressive. 

Nehemiah ate and drank from a king's table. Still, he served the king of his heart, above all else. He did the best he could for Artaxerxes every day with a joyful heart. So much so, that after God pressed the call to rebuild the Jerusalem wall heavy on his heart, he could not ignore it. It changed his countenance. The always happy, good natured, spirited Nehemiah was troubled.  King Artaxerxes noticed.

I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence. And the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, seeing you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of the heart.” Nehemiah 2:1-2

The king hated seeing the distress on this person who offered him the gift of a joyful heart every day... in the most dangerous of service. Nehemiah laid down his life for the king, before every meal... with dedication and without deceit. 

"Now I was cupbearer to the king." -Nehemiah 1:11

The position was important. It held honor... though risky. People knew him and called him by name. Some were jealous. Nehemiah had to wrestle with what was more important. His job or His God?

Nehemiah 1:4-11 is a place you can read his prayer he prayed before he went to the king. He fasted, prayed and laid it at the Lord's feet and let God have his way. He made his life and service an offering. 

When asked by Artaxerxes what troubled him so much it would change his demeanor... the king became troubled by Nehemiah's troubles and solved the problem. He said, "Go Nehemiah. Build that wall. I will provide what you need." Nehemiah got more than he asked for, but he also went from "cupbearer" to "project manager" for a construction project. 

Doesn't seem like a promotion, does it?  

But, when we do any job to God's glory, it becomes an offering. 

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies, as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. -Romans 12:1

Any job done to honor and worship him is a job well done. Work hard today.  When we work to the Lord's glory, no job is too humble and no office unattainable. We simply have to make our hearts available like Nehemiah did. Then we have to get comfortable with the unknown when he takes the lead. 

It is all good when it is lead by His hand. 

Today, I am grateful any work can be done to God's glory. 

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