But God Makes it Grow- Lent 28, 2021

There are times when competition—which can be a fantastic growing, stretching, and motivational activity—takes a troubling turn.  Comparing and contrasting, striving and stirring can get to the point bringing the self into such myopic focus that it loses all sense or feeling, leaving compassion in the dust.  It ceases being a matter of winning and becomes winning at all costs. 

When we’ve adopted the latter–the rule-breaking, self-worshiping, humanity-destroying attitude–it resembles greed and we’ve done competition a total disservice.

One of the things I liked most when my children played sports was the encouragement after the game for the winning team and the losing team to shake hands.  It communicated that it wasn’t personal, it was just on the day, one team won because they played better.  Next time, there would be another chance. 

The world’s solution is to deny winning and losing, declaring everyone to receive the same trophy. That’s not God’s solution at all. We celebrate each other. The Body of Christ isn’t supposed to be a competition among brothers and sisters.  We’re all on the same team: Jesus’.  And God wants us to step back from the singular focus on self and see the wider view.  Each man or woman does a part, but any growth belongs to God alone.

1 Corinthians 3:6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.  7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.

It is nothing short of hubris—
amplified pride
—to take personal credit for something only God can do.

Lord Jesus, please help us to keep a humble perspective on the work that You have us do. May it never consume us or drive us to take credit for that which only You can accomplish. Help us to marvel at Your grace. You don’t need us to be Your copilot, yet by Your mercy, and for Your joy, You give us work to do to further Your Kingdom and to grow Your Church. We ask Lord that You would keep us pure, free from greed, free from pride, and that we would always acknowledge the work You alone can do.  Amen.

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If you’re already signed up on my Home Page sidebar to receive posts, you’ll get the 2021 Lent Devotionals automatically. Or you can “Like” Seminary Gal on Facebook and they’ll be delivered to your Facebook news feed. If you haven’t signed up, today is a great day to do so. Advent and Lenten devotionals remain among my most popular offerings. You don’t want to miss this encounter with God to prepare your heart for Easter! Understanding that prior years’ devotionals continue to minister, you may want to have access to a full series ahead of time:

  • Lent 2013 looked at The Letter to the Romans: Paul’s Masterpiece to reclaim foundations of our Christian heritage and began February 13, 2013.
  •  A very special and ever popular offering was Lent 2014’s Be Still and Know that I AM God  which can be obtained through the archives beginning in March 2014. 
  • Lent 2015 began on February 18, 2015 with a series entitled With Christ in the Upper Room: Final Preparations.  We explored what is often called “The Upper Room Discourse” found in John chapters 13-17
  • ReKindle, the Lent 2016 series, began on February 10, 2016 and encouraged us to rekindle our spiritual lives.
  • Light: There’s Nothing Like It was the 2017 Lent series and explored this metaphor often used to portray Christ.  It is archived beginning March 1, 2017.
  • Lent 2018, we explored the questions of Pi and Chi (the Greek letter beginning the word Christos, which means Christ, Messiah, the Anointed One). We asked and answered the questions “Why?” from the movie Life of Pi as we discovered the uniqueness of Jesus Christ in a world of many faiths.
  • Lent 2019 gave us a deeper window into Easter “More to the Easter Story” since we miss so much when we rely only on a superficial understanding of the work of Christ. These devotionals are archived beginning March 6, 2019.
  • Our Lent 2020 devotional series offered prayer points surrounding “Be Thou My Vision” and were aimed at helping us to see God for who He is. The full set of devotionals are archived beginning February 26, 2020.

Categories Articles and Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on March 20, 2021

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