Sunday, February 20, 2011

For such a small dog, Max certainly has the temperament of an alpha. Just today, he and I engaged in a battle of wills that left me wondering just who the owner was.

I’m ashamed to admit I have fostered a rather bad habit in Max. He’s become so accustomed to getting ‘people’ food that the moment my family and I finish eating, he runs to his bowl in anticipation of scraps. Well, today I wasn’t as quick to leave the table as I usually am, and Max sat at my feet growling.

“What?” I said, glancing down at him. He cocked his head at me, waiting. “Just a minute, Max,” I said and went back to talking.

He growled again, louder.

“Max, just a minute.” I let my tone sharpen, thinking with just a word of reprimand, he would quiet down. Instead, he barked at me, ran to his bowl, and turned to stare at me.

“Good grief,” my husband said. “He sure is getting pushy.”

“So he is,” I said, mumbling as I got up to get him something to eat. And that’s when it occurred to me. As a child of God, I’ve grown to expect His blessings. What was once received with thanksgiving has now become the norm. Worse still, I growl and grouse when His blessings don’t come as quickly as I expect. Instead of waiting on God, I push my way forward, then run to Him for help when my impatience gets me into trouble.

Lord, help me to remember that it is You who is in control. Don’t allow me to become so self-absorbed that I forget that it is You who reigns from on high. May I always remember to give You thanks for all the wondrous gifts You bestow, and may my attitude always be one of praise.

Malachi 3:10-18 (New International Version, ©2010)

10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the LORD Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the LORD Almighty.

Israel Speaks Arrogantly Against God

13 “You have spoken arrogantly against me,” says the LORD. “Yet you ask, ‘What have we said against you?’

14 “You have said, ‘It is futile to serve God. What do we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the LORD Almighty? 15 But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly evildoers prosper, and even when they put God to the test, they get away with it.’”

The Faithful Remnant

16 Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored his name.

17 “On the day when I act,” says the LORD Almighty, “they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him. 18 And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.


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