“Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.” (Luke 6:30)
It is easy to become paralyzed by the scam artists, the fraudster and the false beggars. Soon enough we won’t give to anyone for fear of being ripped of or swindled. Jesus had a novel approach. Let it go and just give.
I met a great Salvation Army man and asked him about this. His response was sure use some discernment, but he would rather give to ten and be ripped off by nine, if it meant the genuine case was ministered to. What a refreshing view in a cynical world, and very much in line with Jesus suggestion, or was it an instruction?
Look for the opportunity to share Jesus’ love at work today. There will be at least one.
Quick Prayer. “Fill me with grace, to give and not judge.” Amen
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (Joh 3:16)
This is what it is all about. The core of what we believe. But familiarity often breeds contempt. Take a moment to read with fresh eyes the familiar words, with such a poignant meaning. Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice, and the expression of an incomprehensible love that is so wide, so deep, and so complete, that we cannot begin to understand its total, absolute, and monumental enormity.
It is for all history, the perfect expression of perfect love. The enormity of the sacrifice cannot be understood by mortal man nor the consequences of rejecting this indescribable gift.
Others need to know what we have heard and experienced. Let the love of others overcome the fear of opening up and letting them know.
Quick Prayer. “Thank you Jesus, for the ultimate sacrifice.” Amen
“But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.” (1 Chronicles 29:14)
God gives us excess to be able to give. He is the ultimate giver, He gave His Son. All we have is His, lets hold on to it knowing that He may have uses for it elsewhere, and be faithful as stewards of all He has given us.
Just as he is generous, so He calls us to reflect His nature. As we spend time with Him and are obedient to His word and promptings we begin to be shaped and moulded by His character.
We ought to be known for our generosity just as He is. We are merely a reflection of His nature and character as we are transformed into His image.
Quick Prayer. “Help me to hold on loosely to all that is yours anyway.” Amen
“Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours.” (1 Chronicles 29:11)
Take a moment to ponder the infinite splendor of our great creator, maker of the universe, master of the infinite detail in all around us. His glory is indeed revealed in the sunrise, the sky, the sea and the beautiful order of nature. Take a moment to wait in awe of your Creator, who knew you, and loved you, even before you were knit together in your mothers womb.
This is the God we serve, this is the God who says “no weapon formed against you will prosper”, this is the God who says “I will provide.”
Is any problem you are facing too great, that He cannot fix it? Is there any problem too small, He is not interested in it? No!
Nothing is impossible for God, and He is for you, not against you. Rest in Him, trust in Him, commit yourself afresh to Him.
Quick Prayer. “Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours.” Amen
“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors.” (1 Pet 1:18)
We were bought with an incredible price. The blood of Jesus is the most precious commodity in all time and in all eternity. With the spilling of that blood, we were redeemed from eternal banishment, and that sacrifice ushered us into the presence of God, free from sin and death.
How much does God value you if He would not spare His only Son to secure your salvation? You were so precious to Him that He redeemed you to Himself not with mere gold or silver but with the most precious substance in the universe.
It was a massive price to pay, but it reflects the love God has for you.
Quick Prayer: Thank You for the sacrifice You made for me, Jesus. Amen.
“The poor are shunned even by their neighbors, but the rich have many friends.” (Pro 14:20)
Friends are a good thing. I am a social being, and I enjoy others’ company and meeting with friends. But are we selective in our friendships? Do we exclude the less fortunate or those who have some social stigma?
Alternatively, do we pursue friendships with people who are of influence or standing so we can gain some respect? We may even do so without realizing our true motivations.
Jesus was called a sinner because He associated with the wrong kind of people. He is our example, and we would do well to emulate Him even if we receive the same tarnished reputation.
Quick Prayer: Give me wisdom in friendships. Amen.
“Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. ‘It is written,’ he said to them, ‘“My house will be called a house of prayer,” but you are making it “a den of robbers.”’” (Mat 21:12–13)
Gentle Jesus, meek and mild. We have a tainted view of Jesus handed down and watered down by generations of religion. It is reflected in the imagery we use of a pale, clean, somewhat feminine portrayal of Jesus.
He was a Jewish carpenter, rugged and masculine. He also got angry yet did not sin. In this Scripture, He threw many people out of the temple, and I am sure they didn’t want to go and did not go quietly.
There is a place for anger and strong action—in particular here when He was jealous and zealous for His House.
Quick Prayer: Thank You that there is a righteous anger and that it applied to protecting Your house. Amen.
“But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” (Luk 6:35)
I do struggle with God’s logic sometimes. Here again we are called to walk in a way that on the surface is just plain crazy. Why would you do good to your enemies? Lending to someone who hates you just lacks plain common sense.
Yet it is God who says this is the best and wisest way, so who are we to argue with our Creator? He works on the heart of man in strange and mysterious ways. When we walk in forgiveness and mercy, we see God’s hand at work in our own lives. When we do things His way, we are freed from the dark places in our own souls.
God treats the Godly and ungodly with kindness, and so should we.
Quick Prayer: Keep me crazy, Jesus. Amen.