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by Margaret D. Mitchell
Week of August 5, 2018

“Give ear and come to Me; hear Me, that your soul may live.  I will make an everlasting covenant with you, My faithful love promised to David.”  Isaiah 55:3      
       Good news brings life. And God longs for us to receive His good news. There is so much that He wants to give us. But are we willing to listen? Do we hearken when He speaks to our hearts to sit with Him and partake of the life He offers?

       Relationship demands intimacy and priority. If we are not spending the time with God that He longs to have with us, we are robbing the Kingdom and robbing those He has called us to serve because we cannot give out that which we do not have. We will end up giving and receiving our meager portion, not God’s greater serving. 

       In my years of working as a flight attendant, I learned how to function safely in a cabin decompression. I was taught to first don an oxygen mask and then assist others, just like in the airplane safety videos. The reason for helping myself first is because, in a serious decompression at high altitudes, I may only have seconds to function before loosing consciousness. If I did not breathe in the oxygen supplied from the source above my head, I would not have the ability to help anyone else because life would begin to drain out of me.   

       This life-sustaining priority is often the opposite of how we think in the world or how we think as women in caring for others. Too often, we serve everyone else and accept the little bit of time and energy that remains. Sometimes, we even give God the leftovers.  We think we’re being unselfish by putting the needs of others before our own, but the truth is that we’re putting people and daily responsibilities before God. We end up running on empty because we’re not taking the time to sit and sup with the Lord. 

       In an aircraft decompression, the time between a person’s full ability to function and their inability to function is called the “time of useful consciousness.” This raises the question, “How useful are we in daily life?” Are we filled up with the richness of God's presence, or are we depleted? It may help to be reminded that our lives were bought with a price. Therefore, this resource of time God gave us is not our own. It may also help to remember that Christ did only what The Father called Him to do. What things are we doing that God didn’t call us to do? What tasks are draining life out of us?  

       Isaiah 55:2 asks, “Why spend money [resources] on what is not bread [life], and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.”  

       God’s first and greatest commandment is to love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength (Mk. 12:30). “All” does not mean a meager portion. And His second greatest commandment is to love our neighbors as ourselves (Mk. 12:31).   

       Are we honoring God’s priorities by partaking of the bread of life (Him) first so that we can give a rich love to others? Or do we need to spend more time at His table?

       The key is a shift in priorities. God is available to supply all our needs. May we spend some of the time He graciously gives us to examine our hearts so that we can give life to others.

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And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.
Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

1 John 4:16
Margaret D. Mitchell

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