Saturday, October 22, 2011

Don't Open the Door

"and do not give the devil an opportunity."
Ephesians 4:27

A father read the story of Adam and Eve to his four year-old son. Afterward, he asked the boy what the story meant to him. "Not to play with snakes," his son replied. We may laugh at the boy's answer, but there's a lot of wisdom in it. When we nurture initial thoughts that are contrary to God's word, it's like opening the door when the devil knocks and inviting him to come in and play. But if we immediately take those same thoughts "captive to the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5), we are refusing to open the door, and the devil will flee (James 4:7). 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Serving Without Pay

"But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
Luke 14:13-14

While dining at the home of a prominent Pharisee, Jesus observed that the guests were jockeying for the best seats around the table. The Pharisee had invited people like himself, status seekers and self promoters. Christ rebuked him for his self-centeredness, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, otherwise they may also invite you in return and that will be your repayment." (Luke 14:12). The Pharisee had given, in order to receive an earthly reward. The heavenly reward Jesus spoke of is not our salvation, for scripture says we are saved by God's grace, not by how many good deeds we do. The reward is a blessing believers will receive from the Lord when He establishes His kingdom on earth at the resurrection. We look forward to that day, but even now there is great joy in serving others who are less fortunate; those who can't repay us.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

This Day

"Give us this day our daily bread."
Matthew 6:11

Jesus taught His disciples to ask the Father for their daily bread. God wants us to depend upon Him day-to-day and trust Him to provide what we need. He faithfully provided daily manna for the Israelites in the wilderness. He faithfully sent the ravens to bring daily bread and meat to Elijah during his exile. And during the drought in Zarephath, God faithfully filled the widow's bowl with flour and her jar with oil daily, until the rains came. Whatever our need is this day, God will provide. No more, no less. He is faithful and He will do it. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Show the Love

"Better is a dish of vegetables where love is, than a fattened ox served with hatred."
Proverbs 15:17

Our homes can be filled with beautiful treasures, but if love is missing from its rooms we are living in poverty. Money may make our wallets fatter, but true wealth is the love of family and friends. Every day we have a choice of how we will treat one another. Today let's purpose to serve our families, friends and co-workers with love. And then let's do it again tomorrow. And the next day. If we continue that trend, our homes will show that love lives there and God will be glorified.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sparing Nothing

"He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?"
Romans 8:32

If we are tempted to think God is withholding some good thing from us, all we need do is consider that He has already given us the most prized possession He has. His Son. And He did so when we were far from Him, living out of His will, without a thought for Him. Enemies of the cross of Christ. Out of His love, God has already met our greatest need -- the need for a Savior. It is only logical, then, that He will also given us all the lesser things we need. In the words of Ray Steadman, "If someone thinks enough of you to give you a costly, brilliant, beautiful, flawless diamond, do you think he will object when you ask him for the box that goes with it?" 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Watch and Pray

"Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving;"
Colossians 4:2

Our God, who is forever watching the nations, wants us to be watchful, too. Watchful of the work that He is doing. And then to pray that His plan and purpose will be accomplished. We do this with an attitude of thanksgiving for what He has already done and what He will do. "Watchful praying takes effort. It is an aggressive sort of prayer life, recognizing that life is lived out in the midst of a battleground. Watching and praying is a lifestyle focusing on seeing the kingdom of Christ advance and knowing that our prayers are a vital part of what God is doing on planet earth." -- Dave Butts

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Every Knee Will Bow

"For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
Philippians 2:9-11

A time is coming when Jesus will be properly recognized by everyone. At HIs return, the name "Jesus" will be proclaimed and all will confess that He is Lord, and all will bow down to Him. Some will do so with great joy, and others in deep grief. The joyful will finally see the Lord of their salvation and receive their eternal reward. The grieving will see the Lord they rejected all their life and weep at their judgment. "How will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?" (Hebrew 2:3). "Today if you hear HIs voice, do not harden your heart" (Hebrew 3:7). "Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved" (Romans 10:13). “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:16).
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