ALABASTER JARS

Life in Abundance


Leave a comment

Seek Ways to Share

For the poor will never cease to be in the land: therefore I command you, saying, “You shall freely open your hand to your brother, to your needy and poor in your land.” Deuteronomy 15:11

The holiday season is all about giving. We love to give to strangers, loved ones, and organizations, but how easy it is to become embittered when gift recipients imply that the gifts were owed or somehow due. One morning, as I read through Deuteronomy, I was mentally discussing a family need with the Lord. The need pertained to an extended family member, and I knew that my gift of time was expected and that no gratitude would be given. I had just concluded my rhetoric with God by deciding that the task was not a good fit for me, when I stumbled upon Deuteronomy 15:11.

I was awestruck. Why would the Promised Land always have the poor? Surely God could have managed the abundance in the land to accommodate everyone’s needs. I then realized that God always provides a way for us to express our thanksgiving to Him. We need opportunities to share our time, money, and talents with others so that we receive a blessing. It is not for us to worry about rather recipients expect gifts or if they are genuinely appreciative. The adage it is better to give than to receive is certainly true. Giving help us to have hearts overflowing with gratitude towards God for the gifts that he so freely bestows upon us. How great and mighty is our loving Savior! He has a mechanism in place to keep us from becoming ungrateful. I encourage you to seek ways to share God’s blessings with others. I know that you truly will be blessed!

by Tonya Mechling

Advertisements


Leave a comment

The Camaraderie of a Team

Now these are the heads of the mighty men whom David had, who gave him strong support…according to the word of the Lord concerning Israel. 1 Chronicles 11:10

The Camaraderie of a Team

The mighty men had an impressive repertoire of skills. They were a fierce and powerful lot with a reputation for getting the job done. First Chronicles eleven presents beguiling tales of bravery and massive force. What support these men provided for David! God knew that David was going to go through some rough years and He surrounded him with a team.

Although I do not play team sports, I too have team camaraderie. God has blessed me with wonderful friends. I think back to the difficult times in my life. Every single occasion includes an encouraging friend. These friends provided meaningful support when I needed it the most. I hope that I have offered them the same support.

The friendships we develop here on earth are significant. God wants us to have rapport with others. As believers, we are on His team. Instead of swords and arrows, we wield love and encouragement. Take stock of your team today and share Jesus with your comrades.

By: Tonya Mechling


Leave a comment

Bottled Tears

You have taken account of my wanderings; put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book? Psalm 56:8

Bottled Tears

It had been a long toiling week. We had finally finished packing the last of my grandparents’ belongings. I took a few moments to catch my breath. My eyes lingered as I walked through each empty room. I had so many memories. Grandma had passed away a few months prior, and Grandpa was living in an assisted living facility. It was hard to be in the house without them. I found myself walking towards the old piano in the parlor. I had spent many hours playing and singing hymns with my Grandma. With memories pouring in, I solemnly sat at the dusty piano and began playing the familiar hymns. Tears began to stream down my face. I poured my heart out to God.  I remembered my grandmother’s life. I cherished our memories. A floodgate of tears and emotions swept through me.

We each have moments in life when we surrender all and cry out to God. Psalm 56:8 speaks to such occasions. When I read the words of David I am comforted. Jesus truly is aware of the hardships we experience here on earth. He has captured every tear and every sorrow with His outstretched arms. There is nothing too great or too small for His notice. When heartaches and unquenchable sorrows fill your soul, envision Jesus carefully gathering your tears and putting them in His bottle.

By: Tonya Mechling


Leave a comment

Life in the Fast Lane

“As for me, I shall behold Your face in righteousness: I will be satisfied with Your likeness when I awake.” Psalm 17:15

We all do it from time to time. Intentions become mislaid and life gets busy with stuff. As I write, I pause to reflect upon my use of each day. I have mentally conjured up a t-chart. One side reads FOR ME, and the other side reads FOR GOD. Since I am not working right now, one would surely expect to see God’s side brimming with activity. Worship, church activities, and the occasional helping of others all made the list; sadly, though, they use a small space on the t-chart. The other side, however, is overflowing with selfish endeavors.

As I read David’s prayer in Psalm 17, I was drawn into God’s presence. While fleeing from Saul, David went through many ordeals. The perils around him forced him to live minute by minute. Despite all of the danger and strife, he was able to keep his focus on God during this time.

I want to lift up the same prayer as David. My life will still be inundated with stuff, but I want everything that I do, say, and breathe to be about becoming like Him. Moment by moment, I want to reflect Jesus in all that I do.

By: Tonya Mechling


Leave a comment

Drawn Into His Arms

by Tonya Mechling

…and in the wilderness where you saw how the Lord your God carried you, just as a man carries his son, in all the way which you have walked until you came to this place. Deuteronomy 1:31

There it was, tucked carefully in the first chapter. I had read Deuteronomy many times, but somehow I had always missed this beautiful gem. I discovered the promise one morning as I was laying all of my burdens at Jesus’ feet. I was going through a career change, and my purpose in life was unclear. As I was crying out to God, He answered me with this special gift.

The Israelites had been through so much. Their forty-year journey through the wilderness mirrors our expedition through life. We thirst and hunger for God’s protection and guidance. We face uncertainties and hardships, but God leads us just as He led the Israelites. As I pondered the image of a father cradling his son, I was comforted with the reminder that God carries me in His arms. Dear friends, take courage and know that God is lifting you up and drawing you to His bosom at this very moment. Nothing you face today is too difficult for Him!



Leave a comment

A New Year Challenge

It began as an ordinary appeal. The pastor had just concluded his testimony when he announced, “Stand if you will commit to leading one person to Christ this year!” Unlike many other appeals, the pastor added a caveat to his request. He proclaimed, “Only stand if you really mean it and will take action.” Without hesitation, I stood.

This week, while pondering how I was going to fulfill my commitment, I read Deuteronomy 32:2. The words let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants tugged at my heart. God had sent me an exact blueprint for leading others to Christ! In order to fulfill my commitment, I need to move beyond my customary approach to witnessing. My methods of generic friendliness and broad testimony are not what God is looking for.

God is calling people to stand for Him. He wants our lives to bubble over with His light. It should be apparent to everyone that Jesus lives in us! Rain is dynamic and dew encompasses all. If we follow His promptings, our words and teachings will be exactly what each person needs.

Dear God, I want to lead someone to you this year. Use me today. Help my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew on each person.

by Tonya Mechling