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What God has given
What I've given: Part 1
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When we stop to think of all the things God has given, it really is unbelievable. His generosity toward man is immeasurable.
Notice the words of Paul as he spoke from Mars Hill, “Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, to the unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring” (Acts 17:22b-28). Paul plainly paints a picture of God’s generosity to mankind.
It is really a shame that many people only think of God at the holiday season. The spirit of giving to others, helping others and worshipping God should be an yearlong event. Christ has told us what day is to be celebrated – that being the first day of every week when God’s children are to gather for worship. Christmastime, and Easter, will find more people “going to church” than any other time during the year.
This preoccupation with the birthday of Christ reminds me of when the Israelites trusted more in the ark than they did God. They found out that this was a big mistake. “And when the people were come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, Wherefore hath the Lord smitten us to day before the Philistines? Let us fetch the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of Shiloh unto us, that, when it cometh among us, it may save us out of the hand of our enemies. So the people sent to Shiloh, that they might bring from thence the ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts, which dwelleth between the cherubims: and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God” (1 Sam. 4:3, 4).
They soon learned that the power was not in the ark, but in God. “And the Philistines fought, and Israel was smitten, and they fled every man into his tent: and there was a very great slaughter; for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen. And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain” (1 Sam. 4:10, 11).
We need to obey God, and worship him when and how he has instructed – not just when we think it should be done.

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