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Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise –
the fruit of lips that confess his name. And do not forget to do good and
to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. ~ Hebrews 13:15, 16

READING: Hebrews 13

I was once asked to speak to a women’s group in another church. I prepared well after making every aspect of the presentation a matter of prayer. Nobody bothered to mention that the ladies were all quite elderly.They grazed from a full buffet and then, well-fed, settled in for my talk. Most of them fell sound asleep! I was devastated. Why had that happened? Hadn’t I heard correctly on what to say and how to present it?

In response, the Lord tenderly brought this passage to mind, commenting: “The sacrifice of good works can be given twice.” The first time we give God this sacrifice by working hard to be as obedient and as prepared as possible. Our sacrifice is the good deed, done well.

Sometimes that’s the end of it.

But if our thoughts return to that good deed, either to dwell pridefully on how well we did, or to second-guess all the mistakes we made, then it’s time to give it to God a second time. I gave that “good deed” to God again when I prayed this prayer:

“Father, I have no idea why You led me to give a talk to a room full of snoring ladies. But I give You that presentation again. Please use it – or don’t use it – however You choose. I leave it with You. Help me to forget about it, one way or the other.”

The safest place to keep those memories is in God’s hands.

Father, Help me to regularly dump the baggage of past ministry and move forward with simple trust in You. Amen.

Dionne Carpenter
Adapted from Trust Training ©2008