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Topic: Rejoicing (11/22/04)
TITLE: Rejoicing: A Beautiful Experience
By Delores McCarter
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In the controversy of success and material gain, I used to believe that living a life without material wealth was the only true way to honor God. On one hand, I was quiet about my talents and gifts to avoid appearing prideful. On the other hand, God’s Word emphasized the importance of using the talents and gifts that He has blessed us with. I asked God for direction and things finally clicked into place for me.
I discovered that God has already taken care of the past. He wants us to utilize our past to be thankful for the blessings that He has given us, but not to dwell on our past mistakes. God has a great future planned for us. He wants us to utilize those talents He has blessed us with in order to help other people’s future. He has things set in place for us to reap a mighty harvest. The pivotal point in our life is here today – our present. God grants us the opportunity to recognize and utilize our gifts, if we choose to do so. He wants us to be successful, but the success would be for His glory and not our fame. If we are fortunate to reap financial prosperity through our talents and gifts, it would be a great fringe benefit, and not the main objective. It is so important for us to find out what God’s purpose is for our lives and how to use our talents and gifts to fulfill His purpose. When we figure those two things out, there is a great reason to rejoice!
We also need to eliminate distractions (financial problems, wrong decisions), so we can be in a better position to help others. God does not want us bogged down with a lot of personal problems. He realizes that we do encounter problems in life, but He wants us to overcome them so that we can be a more effective witness to others. He wants our light to shine, but for His glory.
When we open ourselves to God and let him move within us, we cannot help but rejoice. Rejoicing in an exceeding joy that builds up within us in such abundance that it overflows on the outside. People rejoice in many ways. We shout, sing praises, cry tears of joy, hug one another and, we even dance. God directs us with his Word and guides us with His Holy Spirit. God does not want us to hide our joy or keep our faith a secret. In Matthew 5:14, Jesus spoke to the multitudes and encouraged them to let their light shine out into the world. “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
We don’t need to rely on the things of the world to get that abundant joy. We no longer have to wait for Ed McMahon to knock on our door carrying a large cardboard check in order for us to feel the reason to rejoice. We can rejoice now in knowing that God has taken care of our past. He has already granted us with the tools to utilize our present in order for us to effect our future as well as the future of many others. God loves each and every one of us so much that he sent his son to die for our sins. The real rejoicing comes when we help others find that light and let it shine for the world to see.
(The scripture passage is from the New King James version.)