Tag Archives: eternity

Proving we are faithful stewards

Pr. 3:9:  “Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase”

This morning I was also reading Luke 16, about the unjust steward.  A steward is a person in charge of the property of affairs of another.  I believe the Lord has placed us all in charge of His estate here on earth, as we are His hands and feet.  That is why this proverb is so important.

When we honor the Lord with our possessions, with our firstfruits (our tithes) we are honoring and giving back to Him what is really His.  The parable of the unjust steward talks about a steward accused of wasting his master’s goods.  Verses 11 and 12 teach us, “Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon (money), who will commit to your trust the true riches?  And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?”

Instead of wasting the money He entrusts to us, we give back a portion to Him in a demonstration of our understanding that He is the One who provides for all of our needs.  We give evidence that our trust is not in money, but in the One who holds the world in His hands.

We are told that if we are not faithful with money, we will not be trusted with true riches.  I am now reminded of Mt. 6:19-21.

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

If our heart and our trust belong to the Lord, we understand that being faithful stewards of the things He has entrusted to us on this earth will store up for us treasures for eternity.

God will provide for our needs here on earth, if we are faithful with what He gives us.  If we show honor to Him by demonstrating our trust in Him through tithing, then we are demonstrating that we can be trusted with true riches.  What is more complimentary than that?

Let’s be faithful stewards, doing God’s work with the provisions He gives to us.  He will bless and care for us here, and reward us further in heaven.

Thanks, God!

jamie

Who is protecting you?

Pr. 2:8:  “He guards the paths of justice, and preserves the way of His saints.”

Perhaps it is because I am reading through The Hobbit again, but this verse brings to my mind visions of dragons, trolls, goblins, rangers, and elves.

If you have never read the novels by J. R. R. Tolkien, let me introduce you to a character from The Lord of the Rings trilogy, named Aragorn.  He pledges himself to be the protector of a Hobbit (small man) named Frodo Baggins.  He guarded and looked after Frodo along some very dangerous paths.  Even near the end of the story, when Frodo was far from Aragorn’s reach, Aragorn was basing his decisions on what would help Frodo.

As outstanding and mighty as Aragorn is, his strength and protection can never match that of the Lord and Creator of the Universe.  When we walk uprightly, when we make decisions that keep us on paths of righteousness, God guards and protects us.

The Lord has pledged Himself to His children.  He is not only our Protector, but also our Refuge, our Strength, our Deliverer, our Restorer, our Provider.  He loves us so much that He even offered up His own Son to die for OUR sins.  (not His)  He does not desire that any of His children should perish, so protecting and caring for us, He made a way of grace for us to spend eternity in heaven with Him.

Ps. 94:14 tells us that the Lord will not forsake His inheritance.  He is always with us and always on our side.

Ps. 37:23-24 tells us even more:  “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way.  Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand.”

We may fall while on the path (Frodo was stabbed by a poisoned blade under Aragorn’s watch), but the Lord is ever there to reach down, grab us, and pull us to safety.  He continues to protect and care for us.

Do not fear.  Continue to walk on the path of justice and righteousness.  God is ever by your side, guarding and protecting you until the very end.  He longs for us to be together for eternity.  He will do all He can for His children who desire the same.

Under His protection,

jamie

Time to turn

Pr. 1:23:  “Turn at my rebuke; surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you.” 

The beginning of a new year is a great time to make changes.  Wisdom tells us that if we will turn at her rebuke, she will make her words known to us and pour out her spirit upon us.  Those things sounds great to me.  How about you?

Is there something you know you need to change?  Has wisdom or the Holy Spirit been rebuking you?  Now is the time to listen.  The beauty of following God is that He never asks us to do something and then turns and leaves us.  He is always there, offering aid and help.

If we choose to listen to wisdom today; if we choose to listen to the Holy Spirit, we will not be left alone.  Wisdom’s words will be made known to us and the Holy Spirit will guide and direct us.

Today, let’s turn.  The rewards will not only be great here on earth, but far better for eternity.

Here’s to a wise 2015!!

jamie

Keep watching

Pr. 29:1:  “He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck, will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.”

There is a punishment and a destruction that will come that will indeed be without remedy.  This morning, I was reading Luke 12 where Jesus talks about the end coming.  There is a punishment for those who do not choose the Lord as their Master and their Lord.

As this year comes to an end, it is a good time for a reminder that there is an eternal reward, or punishment, that awaits.  Our lives are not about what we see and experience here on this earth, but about the Lord, His will, and eternity with Him.  We cannot harden our necks to this truth, but must stand corrected and ready, waiting on His return.

Jesus tells His disciples, “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

This entire passage reminds me of Christmas evening.  We knew that some of our family was expected to arrive that evening.  When they called and let us know that they were 3 hours from arrival, we left my parents house and our other family and went home to prepare.  We wanted to be home when they arrived, to have our home nice and cozy, and to have food waiting on them upon their arrival.

As we waited excitedly, my kids were watching out the window and asking for updates on the time, hardly able to contain themselves with the anticipation.  Luke 12:37 says, “Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching.”  This reminds me of what we were doing Christmas evening.

The difference is that we knew what time to expect our company.  We do not have that knowledge about the return of Christ.  vs. 45 says, “But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink, and be drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.”

When we lose the anticipation about the Lord’s return and become distracted and caught up by this life, He will come back to find us unready and we will be appointed our portion with the unbelievers.

That is not God’s will for our lives.  Hell was created for satan and his angels, not for us.  (Mt. 25:41)  Heaven is the kingdom prepared for us from the foundation of the world.  (Mt. 25:34)  We are meant to spend eternity in heaven with our Savior and King.

Let us not become so distracted, as we wait, that we lose our anticipation of His coming.  He will return!  He will come back for us.  Let’s keep watching, expecting Him at any moment.  Our blessing awaits.

Eagerly,

jamie

Don’t give in!

Pr. 12:5:  “The thoughts of the righteous are right, but the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.”

Last night, my daughter was instructed to clean her guinea pig’s cage.  When it was time for her to put new bedding in the cage bottom, her little brother went to “help.”  The bedding is in a closet on our back patio and through the screen door I could hear them both yelling, laughing, and just generally making a ruckus.  After the 1 minute warning period had passed, I went outside to check on the progress.

To my horror, I walked in to find bedding strewn about all over the floor of the closet and most of its contents.  Interestingly there was only about a handful of bedding actually in the cage bottom.  Either the bag of bedding had exploded or the cause of ruckus I had heard was now being revealed.  My daughter quickly let me know that it had been her little brother’s idea to toss the bedding about like confetti.

Leave it to God to use something like that to illustrate His word to me.  🙂  Can you infer from this situation, as I did, that the counsels of the wicked are indeed deceitful?  They may sound fun, exciting, intriguing, interesting, possibly ok, or even invigorating, but that is a deception.  While tossing pine shavings about may have seemed stimulating in a moment of madness, the consequences of such a choice are bigger than those kids could have imagined.

Because of the choice they made, they not only have to pick up each and every piece of pine; they also lost several privileges.  Perhaps it was my son’s idea, and he was truly the mastermind behind it all (I don’t doubt it), but my daughter is responsible for the choices she makes as well.  Had she simply done her job and left him to his own mess, she would not have to face the same consequences.  However, she chose not only to condone his actions, but to be deceived by and entrapped in his unwise counsel.  Sadly, she now has to face the same consequences as he.

This is what happens so often.  We get some bad advice.  We may know better, but we lose ourselves in a moment and become deceived by the allure of sin.  Consequently, we will then have to face the same end as the one who lured us in.  Be careful whose advice you’re taking.  If you are righteous, bought with the blood of Jesus, then you must take responsibility for your own actions and choose what you already know to be right.  Through the word of God and the Holy Spirit’s presence within us, we know what is right.  We must not let a moment of deception lead us astray.

There ARE grave consequences to sin and we must remember that our souls are far too important to put into the hands of those deceptions.  Keep doing what you know to be right.  Heaven awaits and we will rejoice for eternity!

Persevere,

jamie

Avoiding the extra pains

Pr. 1:32:  “For the turning away of the simple will slay them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them.”

For the last few weeks, I’ve been getting numerous chiropractic adjustments and massages on my foot, ankle, and leg to get rid of the “tendonitis” I’ve had.  My boot has been off 1 week now, so that’s a definite improvement.  As I was lying on the massage table this morning, trying to breathe through the searing pain, like that of melting, ripping flesh, I was reminded of all the months I’ve gone without getting a regular massage.

I’ve known for quite some time now that my body requires extra care, such as regular massages, consistent chiropractic care, stretching, Epsom salt soaks, etc.  Sometimes I get complacent; however, and let too much time go by before doing what I should.  In doing so, new problems arise in my muscles that wreak havoc.  The result is that I end up enduring a massage that is, like I said above, something that feels like my flesh being seared off the bone.

Thinking about this reminds me of what happens when we turn away from God’s truth or become complacent in our relationship with Him.  We know what we require, what we need to function at our best, what brings us closer to Him, but we grow complacent and let too much time slip by without doing those things we need.

The result of our complacency is that little problems, thoughts, situations, and choices begin to wreak havoc on our spiritual health and destroy us.  Sometimes we don’t even realize it until it’s out of control.  Not only do we bring unnecessary pain on ourselves while we’re here, but when we turn away from the truth, those things we know we need, it eventually leads to death.

Jesus died on the cross to bring us freedom.  In Him, we have freedom right now, and through His death we will have freedom for eternity.  While He was on this earth He told the Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.  And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  John 8:31-32

The searing pain can be avoided.  If we are abiding in His word, the truth will be ever before us and shall set us free from pain and death.  We cannot afford to be complacent.  We must care for our souls on a daily basis.

Take care of you,

jamie

Continuing with God

You’ve heard that pride comes before the fall.  In my reading today I saw more than one example of this.  In Ps. 73, Asaph is confessing how he began envying sinners.  “Pride served as their necklace,” he said.  They were successful, prosperous, glamorous.  He was thinking that if they have it so easy and have such abundance, then surely he had cleansed his heart in vain, giving His life over to God.

Then, however, he went into the sanctuary of God and understood their end.  God’s Word is true, and those who trust in the lusts of the flesh, lusts of the eyes, and the pride of life are trusting in the world and not in the Father.  “This world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”  1 John 2:17.  Surely they will receive their reward.

Likewise, in Pr. 9:13-18 there is a foolish and prideful woman who is so bold in her pride that she sits at the highest place of the city calling out to those who pass, “Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.”  Isn’t this just was sin and lust do?  They are bold, crying out to us that they are pleasant…just as they did to Asaph.

Asaph questioned if it would just be better to give in, act like the world, turn His back on His suffering for Christ.   For every man who gave into the clamorous woman; however, we are told, “he does not know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of hell.”  That is the truth of giving in to sin.  It may seem pleasant, it may sound delightful, it may even promise wonderful things, but the truth is that it leads to hell.

Asaph, upon realizing this same truth, said, “For indeed, those who are far from You shall perish; You have destroyed all those who desert You for harlotry.  But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all Your works.”

Serving and trusting in the Lord means we are submitting our lives to the One about which Asaph said, “You will guide me with Your counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.”  We have a great reward awaiting us.  Lusts and pride of this world tempts us to give in, but we must remember that its end is death.

“My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”  Asaph.  “Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning.  If what you heard abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.  And this is the promise that He has promised us–eternal life.”  1 John 2:24-25

Keep trusting in God,

jamie

What’s the point?

2 Cor. 4:17, 18, 16 (in that order):  “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.  For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.  Therefore we do not lose heart.  Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.”

Day by day we are being renewed.  No matter how our bodies feel.  No matter how our immune system reacts.  No matter our physical, emotional, or mental limitations.  Day by day we are being renewed.  We have a heavenly future ahead of us.  The things on which we place our hope, our faith, and our trust are unseen, and they are eternal.

We have affliction on this earth, but Paul reminds us that it is light affliction, compared to eternal death, and that is but for a moment.  This is NOT our final stop.  Our afflictions are working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.  Vs. 15 says, “For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.”

Our lives are about God.  Our lives are about giving glory to God, growing in our relationships with God, and bringing other’s to the saving knowledge of God.  He is the point of our lives.  Heaven is our true home.  We can trust what vs. 14 says, “He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus.”  This our goal.  This is our hope.  This is the point.

Do not give up now.  We all have affliction, but please remember that it is working for you a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.  Your testimony will be the glory of God that comes from the affliction through which you are now going.  And it may just save lives.

Pr. 1:33 says, “whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil.”  We are secure in God’s arms.  In times of affliction, sometimes we feel like running from His arms is the only option, but it is those times when we need Him the most.  Let’s choose to dwell in the safety and security of His protection.  He is not only the One who created us fearfully and wonderfully; He is the Savior who longs to bring us home to Him again.

Don’t give up!

jamie

Training them

Pr. 22:6:  “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

When I went to church this morning, I tried to type a post about this verse, but my wi-fi on my phone wasn’t working very well.  I am glad it wasn’t.  The Lord changed what I needed to say during my time at church.

My Sunday school class was on my mind when I woke up this morning and this verse made me think of them even more; and of my job as their teacher.  Occasionally I wonder if it matters.  This verse reminds me that it does.  As I minister to these 4th graders each week I am training them in the way they should go.  Like training a vine to grow in the direction you desire, we are all training children to go a certain way.  I have been charged with caring for these certain children and I must take my job very seriously, as it has eternal consequences.

I want the children in my Sunday school class to head towards the Lord, therefore I must train them and guide them towards Him.  To encourage growth I have to prune them to get the unwanted or dead growth from their lives.  (the things of this world that don’t truly matter)  To point them in the right direction I must attach the Word of God upon them to hold them in place.  To encourage that they continue on the right path I must pray with them and for them.  I am also encouraging them to pray for one another as they journey together towards the Lord.

Each Sunday I am giving them all the care and attention I can to ensure healthy growth that ends at the only place that matters—with their Savior, the true Vine.  Today we learned a lesson on patience, played games, shared personal concerns, and then I taught them how to look up scriptures in their Bibles.  These things may not seems glamorous while in the classroom with distracted students; however, they couldn’t be more important.  I am helping to equip people to grow in their spiritual maturity throughout the rest of their lives.  I am trusting that God will do the rest once they leave me, and that truly when they are old they will not depart from the truths they are learning even now.

It’s never to late to train, but your example is the loudest teacher.  Stay strong in the Lord and continue your journey.  God will bring the harvest.  What you are doing matters!

Lord, bless my students today and throughout this week.  Let them hear your voice and feel your touch each week as they grow under my care.  Let them remember the truth of Your Word that we learn each week and help them to continue to apply it to their lives.  Lord, please help me not to grow weary in well-doing but to remember that one day You will reap the harvest of their souls.

Happy Gardening!

jamie