Tuesday, January 1, 2013

"Shopping Carts - Revisited"

     You may recall several messages in the last few years regarding the returning of shopping carts to their proper parking lot receptacles as an act of devotion to the Lord (thanks yet again, Nancy!).  The truth considered involves our blessed privilege of honoring God in the most commonplace and everyday realities of life.  "Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God" (I Corinthians 10:31).

    A dear friend wrote yesterday to express her desire to follow Nancy's example.  However, her experience injects an interesting twist into the matter.  Brandy is the mother of three young children.  We can all imagine scenarios in grocery store parking lots wherein returning shopping carts to their receptacles might leave her sons and daughter in a dangerous, unprotected situation.  In that case, Brandy's practical worship might well lead her to not return her cart to the receptacle in order to fulfill her first responsibility of care for her children.  She's wise enough and smart enough to know this, and honors the Lord no less by acting in accordance with the Lord's specific leading for her life.

    Many paths of worship and devotion present clearly defined, precisely directed ways of obedience.  Others, however, call us to trust our Heavenly Father for His personal presence and guidance.  He promises to lead us as we look to Him - "Trust in the Lord with all thy heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding."  Moreover, He fulfills His promise - "In all thy ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths" (Proverbs 3:5-6).  Our Lord is nearer than our next breath, and rather than sitting on a throne in our hearts, His Spirit actively moves upon and within us - "I will dwell in them and walk in them" (II Corinthians 6:16).  Thus, we can expect God's illumination to shine upon the particular paths to which He calls us in His personal way for our lives.  "The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day" (Proverbs 4:18). 

    Nancy and Brandy unite to reveal the Lord's truth to us in an especially blessed and blended expression of His love, and our response of faith and devotion.  Both share the same Spirit-inspired passion to glorify the Lord Jesus.  Both do so in the context of His personal purposes for their lives.  Thereby we are blessed with two vivid aspects of God's truth, and thereby the Holy Spirit encourages us to seek our own opportunities to love our Lord in the light of our Lord.  Thank you, ladies, and I will think of both of you with a smile of thanksgiving in those parking lots, with those shopping carts.

"And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment, that ye may approve things are excellent, that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ."
(Philippians 1:9-10)

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