The Gift Drift

Jon Burgess


“Your fame soon spread throughout the world because of your beauty. I dressed you in my splendor and perfected your beauty, says the Sovereign LORD. “But you thought your fame and beauty were your own. So you gave yourself as a prostitute to every man who came along. Your beauty was theirs for the asking.” ‭‭Ezekiel‬ ‭16:14-15‬ ‭NLT‬‬


The picture God paints of Israel is painful to behold. The Groom who gave her Bride everything only to have his loved spurned as she pursues many other lovers is heart breaking. It's the story of Israel over and over again to run away with what she's been given. It's my story too if I'm not careful to watch my heart.


How quickly I drift when I receive the gift. I will seek God with all that I've got to contend for a miracle. Yet, when the miracle takes place do I keep seeking His face? To take the blessings of God and use them for my own benefit is something I'm prone to do. To use the purposes of God to gain the praises of man is a massive temptation. "Great sermon Pastor Jon". Why, thank you for noticing! Wait a minute! Did I write that scripture I taught out of? Did I make the mouth I spoke out of? Did I change a single life from the inside out? Nope! This is not my stage, it's God's. If He has given me the honor of standing on it, let it be to bring people to Him, not myself. God is the only reason I have anything worth saying. People aren't coming to hear me, they are coming to hear God! James 1:17 reminds me that "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." God doesn't change. His heart to bless me and be with me doesn't change. Does my heart change when I receive the blessing? In this American celebrity culture am I letting my heart slip into believing my own press? How sad would I be if I bought a beautiful dress for my wife and then she put it on and went on a date with some other man? God gives to me because He loves me and wants to be with me? The emphasis is not on the gift, but on The Giver. My identity must continue to flow from my relationship with God and not what I'm getting from God. Otherwise, the gifts become an idol and my heart will grow distant from my God.


May I turn every gift back to praise oh God! As I walked around the property here at New Hope this morning with the prayer team we thanked you for 21 years of faithfulness. As I thanked You for the gift of this property and the new building I heard Your voice say very clearly: "A gift is something you receive not something earn. How will you use what I'm about to give you?" I won't take it and run away. I'll take it and run with You. I wont hold it up as if this is something I accomplished. I'll hold loosely to what You give and tightly to You! Let Your gift of a new facility bring many souls to know Your Salvation and bring glory to Your Name! Let my heart not drift to the gift, but be fixed on The Giver and the Lover Of My Soul!

Devotions for September 01

Ezekiel 15,16
Psalms 70
Revelation 6

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