March 16, 2012

March 16: Losing everything

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By Emily Trapp, a senior music and communication double major from Canby, Ore.
SCRIPTURE: John 3:14-21 (NRSV)
Scroll down for complete Scripture.
DEVOTIONAL:

Reading is something I never seem to have enough time for, but that I do enjoy. However, unlike many of my friends who have cried while reading books, I had never been overtaken by such strong emotion because of the written word or felt that connected to any text before in my life.

But last month, I experienced this phenomenon while reading the first three chapters of Job as a part of my commitment to reading the Bible in one year. Job was introduced as this righteous, amazing man who lived his life so richly for God and nobody else. He had it all: money, children, land, everything. Job was so great, in fact, that God promised Satan that he could take any of Job’s riches away and that he would remain one of his greatest servants. Truth be told, Job endured his family being killed, his riches being taken and his health shaken. Everything was stripped from him … just like that.

It makes me wonder: how would I react if I was Job in today’s world? Would I ever reach understanding as to why God took everything from me? Would I cling to God or run from God? I find myself often forgetting about how we are commanded to give in ways that Jesus gave for us to those around us – even our enemies.

I challenge you to think about this: what would you give up to show your love for God if you had the chance?

SCRIPTURE: John 3:14-21 (NRSV)
14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. 16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. 17 “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. 20 For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. 21 But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.”

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Comments (6)

  1. Very challenging, Emily! I’d like to believe that after all Christ has done for me, I’d be faithful even as Job was. I think we get to practice and increase our faith in how we respond to the ‘little’ losses of life. Thanks for sharing!

    Ruth March 16, 2012 |
  2. Emily, You provide a new slant to the age old tradition of “giving something up” for Lent, which in my past usually was more about the disciplined life and less about a sign of my love for God. Thank you for words well spoken.

    Jim Brenneman, GC President March 16, 2012 |
  3. Thanks Emily, a great reminder…

    Amy Murray March 16, 2012 |
  4. Your comments reinforce that it is not “money, children, land, everything” that is important in God’s sight. But we can have love, kindness, and other spiritual possessions, as many in the world have.

    Flo March 16, 2012 |
  5. Thanks, Emily, for sharing your challenging and moving experience, as well as your commendable goal. Abundant blessings upon you. Member at Berkey Avenue Mennonite Fellowship

    Wilma Shank March 16, 2012 |
  6. This devotional reminds me of something I think God may be tugging on my heart to do. That is, to follow a call similar to Jesus’s call to the official in Luke 18 – to give up everything I have so that I may be more able to give to those who are truly in need. It’s something that I have long resisted, but I think God is making it easier for me by assuring me of the reward it will bring -the “spiritual possessions,” as Flo mentioned above. Thank you, Emily, for prompting me to think about this.

    Elizabeth S.O. March 18, 2012 |