Today:

I am abstinent by the grace of God, one more day at a time.  A day like this doesn’t come around very often.  It’s February 29th – Leap Day!  Are you leaping?  Me either.  Happy 366th day of the year, even though it’s only the 60th.

  

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“The only gift is a portion of thyself.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson as quoted in For Today, p. 360

I’m not a big Emerson fan, so I’ll put this in terms I can get behind.  Jesus Christ, said, “13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. …17 This is my command: Love each other.” (John 15:13, 17)  God said, through Isaiah, that we can honor Him and the holy day He has given us by “not going (our) own way and not doing as (we) please or speaking idle words.”  (Isaiah 58:13)    Denying self and serving others was the whole call of Christ’s ministry: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24, Mark 8:34, Luke 9:23)  Myself is all I have to give, and giving myself for others is all I am called to do.

From Proverbs Chapter 29:

3 A man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father, but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.

Here is an example of spending oneself improperly.  Using others to serve self is a wasting of both.

 

From my reading through the Bible, currently in Ezra 10:

Ezra was confronted with the sin of the Israelites who, upon returning from their exile in Babylon, intermarried with the inhabitants of their land, violating God’s command.  In response to this, each such family was called to meet with the elders, and the wives and children of such marriages were sent away and a guilt offering was sacrificed.  This seems contrary to my limited understanding of the Father to the fatherless, the Defender of widows and orphans, and the Hater of divorce, but I can find no condemnation of this action in Scripture.  Maybe this is an extreme picture, but it clearly demonstrates the importance of putting sin and all the fruits of it out of my life.  What God has made pure is not for me to pervert, tarnish, or contaminate.  While this passage does not condone divorce or family abandonment, it is a physical picture of a spiritual requirement of me.  I am promised to Christ the Bridegroom and, as such, am forbidden from uniting my spirit with anything that would pollute the purity of that marriage.  If part of me is given to sin, I am commanded to cut it off or gouge it out and throw it away.  (Reference Matthew 5:29-30)  This is not figurative speech, but spiritual.  I am not to chop off my physical arms any more than I am to render homeless my wife and children, but I am to be as ruthless with my sin and its power over me as these texts indicate.

God, take away my difficulties… I pray that You now remove every defect!  …that victory may bear witness, and that I may be useful to You and my fellows, and so that I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with You forever in the next. (*)

From The “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 72:

We have been trying to get a new attitude, a new relationship with our Creator, and to discover the obstacles in our path. We have admitted certain defects; we have ascertained in a rough way what the trouble is; we have put our finger on the weak items in our personal inventory. Now these are about to be cast out.

OD@aT:

Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”  (3 John 2)

Your feedback is welcome and appreciated.  Please leave a comment or feel free to email me.  

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