I am a reader. Reading is one of the joys and pleasures of my life; has been since I learned my ABC’s and will be until the day I die. Sometimes I read things that stop me in my tracks and rock my world. That happened to me today. Most days, I read an article […]
Mt. 27:25: “And all the people answered and said, ‘His blood be on us and on our children.'”
This is what the people said to Pilate when he washed his hands before them saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person [Jesus]. You see to it.”
Pilate could find no fault in Jesus because there was none. The people took the fault upon themselves, but what struck me this morning was that they not only took the fault upon themselves, but they put it upon their children, as well. Wow! That’s some kind of serious burden and legacy to place upon your own children.
Back in Ps. 78, Asaph writes, “I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old, which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, telling to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and His strength and His wonderful works that He has done.” (vs. 2-4)
What happened between the time he wrote this and the time that Jesus was standing before the people and Pilate? Well, just because one father decides to tell his kids about the Lord doesn’t mean they all do. We know that. That is why people did not recognize the Messiah when He came. He was standing right in front of them, and instead of worshiping and honoring them, they took their blood upon themselves and their own children, crucifying Him.
We have the same responsibility today that Asaph had all those years ago, and it doesn’t matter if we are a parent or not. Jesus is going to come back one day for His bride. We must not hide the parables and the truth about our loving Savior and Messiah from the generations around us. We need to tell the praises of the Lord. He is worthy! We need to talk about His strength and His wonderful works that He has done. He is mighty!
We can leave a wonderful legacy to the world around us. A legacy of eternal life and reward. There is still time to help those around us recognize the Messiah and give Him honor. Get involved in sharing the gospel one way or another. Don’t let someone meet their Messiah unprepared because you weren’t willing to open your mouth. Let’s follow Asaph’s example and leave the legacy of hope they’ve been granted through grace.
Thank You, Jesus Christ, for our salvation through Your death and resurrection! Thank You for Your grace, mercy, and forgiveness through the cross! We praise You, and You alone, our King of Kings and Lord of Lords! Amen.
Pr. 20:7: “The righteous man walks in his integrity; his children are blessed after him.” (Now that’s a legacy worth leaving!)
Tomorrow is another new year. I’m not one for making resolutions, but certainly a new year does deserve some pause for thought.
Enter my neighbor’s chickens. Yes, chickens. Today, I saw that there were 5 of them under my bird feeder scratching and eating all the bird seed they could find. I was a little frustrated at first because this neighbor’s animals seem to be in our yard a lot, but the more I thought about the fact that they just wanted some food, the less frustrated I became.
And then I realized that they’re just like all of us. Ha! All of us want to be fed. We are all searching for sustenance. Not just physical sustenance, but spiritual, as well. When we can’t find it where we live, we go off to the neighbor’s in search. We scratch and dig and look until we find something.
As followers of Jesus Christ, the Lord has given us so much. This new year, we must keep in mind that there are people around us that are hungry. They are searching for what they have not yet found. Instead of being frustrated or annoyed when they come to us looking for answer or asking questions, we need to make sure we have a loving, generous heart that is ready and willing to share with them from our abundance.
Not everyone has what we have or knows what we know. They are hungry. We have the Bread of Life. We must be willing to share. We have no right to be frustrated or greedy with what we’ve been given. Salvation is for all who believe, not just the ones we believe are deserving.
Everyone’s ministry is going to look different. As we go into this new year, let’s remember that our time to share this Bread of Life is not over. We are still here to do the will of our Father. How will your sharing look? Will it be a blog? Will you minster to a co-worker, family member, friend, or student. Will you teach a class at church or preach from the pulpit. Maybe you will teach at the nursing home or lead a devotion for a small group. Perhaps your ministry will look different still. Could this even be your year for a mission trip? The main thing is that we are open to the Lord’s leading and that we are wiling to share.
Ready to share alongside you in 2018!
“Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.'” John 4:34
I was reading about courage this morning: Courage being the act of doing what you are afraid to do.
It occurred to me that I most often hear people (including myself) express fear about doing God’s work. People aren’t as hesitant to go back to school, move to a new state for work, go skydiving, or start a new business as they are to begin a new ministry, teach Sunday school, sing on the praise team, or speak from the pulpit. Forget moving to another country to minister in missions…that is almost incomprehensible.
Why in the world are we more afraid to do the work of the One who is our Provider than to do ordinary things? Why are we more willing to commit to the PTA than to helping in the nursery at church just once a quarter?
Is it possible that we are feeding on the wrong things? Jesus’ food was to do the will of the One who sent Him, and we have been sent by that same God.
When the Lord lays some new work on our heart, here are some helpful things we will need to have been feeding on:
- God has commissioned all of his followers to, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Mt. 28:19) This is our job.
- God will supply all our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Ph. 4:19)
- God has already sent pastors and teachers to equip us for the work of the ministry (Eph. 4:11-12) We are ready.
- We’re invited to come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Heb. 4:16) We are not alone.
- And finally, if we our obedient and choose to give in to God’s leading, trusting that He will take care of our needs, we can be certain He will meet them as He said because Heb. 5:18 reminds us that, “It is impossible for God to lie.”
Karl Bath said, “Courage is fear that has said it’s prayers.” I can’t think of a better way for us to take on our fears.
If the Lord lays a work on our hearts, it’s ok to be afraid. Moses was afraid. Joshua was afraid. Gideon was afraid, too. However, we need to take our fears to God’s throne of grace and receive the help He has waiting there for us.
Don’t we know that the One who created the heavens and the earth, owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and holds this world in His hand…that same One can certainly help us teach a class, preach a sermon, sing a song, minister to the sick, or any other thing He has asked us to do?
He has given us His Word so that we will be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Tim. 3:17) If we are feeding on the right things, then we have all we need.
Let’s get to work!
“The lazy man says, ‘There is a lion in the road! A fierce lion is in the street!'” Pr. 26:13
I don’t really think we’re all lazy, but certainly we can make situations look larger than life quite often. We have fear. We have unbelief in the face of uncertainty. We forget that is truly God that takes care of us.
I had the privilege to spend time this past weekend with some full-time missionaries from 3 different countries. You know what I noticed? They’re just ordinary people.
One lady simply saw a need and God touched her so strongly that she obeyed. She could have been too afraid, and done nothing, but she knew it was up to her to do something.
Do you think she had all the answers? Definitely not. Did she have a full understanding of the depths of time, money, and commitment that would be needed to do the work? Absolutely not!
The task she undertook could rightly be called monumental. She absolutely did not have the resources to do it, nor did she understand how drastically her life would change as a result of deciding to do something about this need.
Mark 5:36 stands out in my mind, “Do not be afraid; only believe.”
She didn’t enter that situation as a seasoned, full-time missionary. She did not have the answers. She did not have the resources. She likely did not even have the time. Yet, she chose to obey the touch of the Lord on her heart; and to believe in the One who supplies our every need.
Can’t we all do the same? It terrifies me to imagine myself running an orphanage, and being the sole guardian for 57 kids at a time. I would doubt my ability to care for a community that was counting on me to be their source of food. I would feel afraid to go into a tribal village, facing people who practice religions of rage and violence.
However, we aren’t the ones who have to have the resources, answers, and abilities. God provides those things. God simply needs us to obey, and to do His work, believing that He will provide what we need.
Most of us won’t be facing those situations that I just described. However, speaking to our co-worker about the Lord can feel just as scary. Sharing God’s love to the cashier who looks like she’s just about to give up, can leave us doubting our abilities.
Perhaps, the Lord asks us to volunteer at a soup kitchen, or build a house for someone in need. Guess what? He will equip us.
We are all called to simply obey God’s will in our lives. We don’t have to be a full-time missionary to do His work. We are all just ordinary people, children of God, who long to be His hands and feet in our world.
If we obey His call, He will equip us for every good work.
This morning I was reading the book of Amos. I was reminded that we cannot just pick and choose which parts of God’s Word we read. It is all important.
It is normal and helpful to choose verses that help us through the day, such as “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” or “My God shall supply all your needs through His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”
Mt. 6 reminds us not to worry. John reveals to us the power of Jesus and the power that brings to our lives.
These verses are wonderful and help us survive and cope here on Earth. While we are waiting on the Lord, we cling to the hope we find in His Word. I am so grateful that we have access to the Word of God.
What a blessing that He gave us such access to Him!
Reading Amos; however, reminds us that this life is about more than just being comfortable. Life is about more than surviving.
Amos reminds us that while we are comfortable, other around us are lost and dying. People are literally without God and headed for destruction. When we read outside of our “comfort verses,” we are reminded to grieve for the lost, which will spur us to action. We are reminded that this life isn’t a game. There is a mission for us in this life.
Yes, I believe God’s promises to prosper us and give us life more abundantly, but I don’t believe those things supersede His desire that all His children come to Him. I don’t believe He sent His Son to die on the cross simply for our comfort.
He wants us to be saved, and to live eternally with Him. But not just us…also those around us.
Amos, and other prophets remind us that this life will not always be. The Word of God is a gift we have, that cannot be taken for granted. Life is not only about eating, drinking, and being merry, but also about eternity.
Christ’s return will come. Not everyone will be known by Him on that day. Does that grieve your heart? If it doesn’t, I encourage you to turn to Amos. I encourage you to ask the Lord to remind you of His heart.
It is easy for the worries of the day to blind us and cause us to forget the larger picture. God’s Word is there to remind us to grieve and to act. We can spread the verses of hope with those who come to believe.
Pr. 18:16: “A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men.”
While we wait on the Lord’s return we have work to do. We can never forget that ultimately, the work we are called to do is to spread the message of Jesus Christ. God is depending on us to point others to Him.
I was reading the parable of the talents in Mathew 25 this morning. It reminded me that God has entrusted us with resources that He expects us to use to multiply the kingdom. He did not give us resources and salvation so that we can sit comfortably in our happy place and keep it all to ourselves. He expects us to put those resources to work.
That work will look different in a lot of lives. We have all been given different resources so that we can reach a wide range of people. Some will be preachers and pastors. Some will be missionaries in a foreign land. Others will minister to people in prison. Levites will lead the way with music ministry, bringing others into the presence of the Lord.
Others, however, may look more like a mother talking to her children about the Lord day after day, reminding them of God’s love and provision. Some will hand out food in their community, or spread God’s love to those around them by simple actions of kindness or charity. I have watched my own mother approach a cash register to simply purchase a shirt, and before we walked away, both she and the cashier were in tears, hugging and praising God. It could look like that.
Perhaps it’s a Sunday school teacher, faithfully teaching Sunday after Sunday, feeding adults or children with the Word of God. It could be a nursery worker, caring lovingly for a helpless baby while it’s parents are being ministered to. Sometimes it’s a miraculous offering of forgiveness that can only be explained as a gift from God. It could even be a financial giving of resources.
God expects us to use our resources for His kingdom. In the parable of the talents, the man who had given the talents to his servants returned to find out what had been done with them. There was 1 servant who had buried and hid his talent until the master returned. The master was disappointed that the servant had not done anything with it.
One day, Jesus will return. He will look to see how we have used our resources for His kingdom, and He will expect to see some sort of return. We cannot hide our resources or His love away. Others are counting on us. And our work will please the Master.