January 10: I Earned This

January 10: I Earned This

Picture of Chris Rowekamp

Chris Rowekamp

A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven.”
—John 3:27 ESV

It is not uncommon to hear someone say, or even think ourselves: “I earned this.” 

The Bible commends hard work (see Prov. 12:24, Col 3:23, 1 Thes. 4:11) but it is dangerous to think that the fruit of our labors is solely the result of our own efforts or merit. 

Everything that exists belongs to God (Deut. 10:14), and even the ability to work is a gift from him (Deut. 8:18).

You’re probably nodding your head in agreement with me as you read this.

It’s not a difficult concept to understand. But it is incredibly hard to live out, especially when we face the loss of something we worked for.

The life of John the Baptist is a great example of this.

In John’s case, he was confronting the loss of his following which he had built throughout his ministry in the wilderness of Judea. Jesus was now on the scene, and “all (were) going to him” (Jn. 3:26 ESV).

Amazingly, John was not upset about this turn of events. He understood that God had given him his influence and his following, and if the Lord saw fit to lead those people to Jesus, who was he to fight him?

Here’s the point:

Joy and generosity in the face of loss can only come from an understanding that everything belongs to God and all that we have is a gift from him.

Here is a short prayer to carry with you today:

Breathe in: God, it’s all yours.
Breathe out: Take what you want.

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