November 30, 2022

A Heart for America

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! Luke 13:34

Many times I feel this way about America.  I cry out to God and ask: “Please hold on to us!”  I consider that He feels the same way about America that He did Jerusalem in today’s passage.  Jesus actually laments over Jerusalem because God sent them many messengers to help them to get back on track and to show them the way back to God’s blessed/planned place.  Through the generations, the sent ones were rejected, beaten and murdered.

Thankfully, today, Jesus has already come to rescue us and has made a provision on an individual level.  We can personally walk with Him and even when it looks like those in power are rejecting His blessed path, there are still multitudes of believers praying for and loving the people of America. 

Just as it was in the Old Testament, we are now the “prophets”, and we are the messengers that God is sending into our towns, country and world.  Christians are the ones carrying the message of the good news of salvation from the enemy’s oppression.  God’s children are the ones empowered by His Spirit to pray and lead those around us out of the pit of destruction.  We are the ones for this generation to proclaim the love of God for all people.  Not just some and not just the “good” ones. God loves all people and wants them all to come to the knowledge of salvation through a right relationship with Him.

Now comes the realization that He is counting on His people to bring them in.  He has constructed a plan for us to reach those who are searching and even those who are not.  The power of the Holy Spirit to change a life is greater today than ever because the days we have left to reach them are shorter than ever.

Today I want to encourage you to pour out your heart before God for America!  Just as Jesus prayed for Jerusalem, pray for God’s Spirit to move on the heart of America.  Don’t be the one who looks at what is wrong and point the finger at whose fault it is.  Instead, ask God to show you how you can be a part of the answer He has already prepared for the mess.  He stills takes what the enemy meant for evil and turns it for good and He still turns things around every day.  Don’t look at the world and American with the attitude that there is nothing that can be done about it.  Pray about it!  Make a commitment to pray each day for God’s hand to move in this world.  We are the force that God has placed here to make an impact with our lives, our prayers and His salvation message.

Today’s scripture reading: Luke 13:34-35

34 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing! 

35 See! Your house is left to you desolate; and assuredly, I say to you, you shall not see Me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ”

November 29. 2022

The narrow gate?

“Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. Luke 13:24

Life? What does it truly mean to live a good life?  What was God’s idea of a good life when He created people?  Is it to work hard to accumulate things?  Is it being entertained at every free minute?  Is it having a family, working until you are 65 and retiring to live out the rest of your life in comfort and leisure? Well, none of these things are bad, and there certainly are worse ways to live out your days, but today’s text gives us some hints on God’s idea of living life to the fullest.

Jesus said “Enter by the narrow gate.  It goes on to say the narrow gate is difficult but leads to life.  So why is the narrow gate difficult?  Well, first of all, if you picture an actual gate that is narrow, you could imagine that it would require you to unload anything that wasn’t actually part of you to get through it.  You would have to put down things that were heavy and burdensome.  In today’s world, you would have to enter on foot, not driving a vehicle through or bringing any of your possessions.  Mostly, it is taking a path that is purposeful and planned out by the Creator Himself.  Most people would follow the path of least resistance.  It can seem easier to coast or drift through life without purposefully pointing your life in a direction of intentionality.  Some would even purpose to pursue the things of this world that are fleeting and temporary but will dissolve away when they are done here.

I see this as a spiritual gate.  Living your life growing your spirit person, that is what gets through the narrow gate.  You can imagine in a spiritual sense of laying down your cares and burdens and trusting in the God of the universe to get you through.  Notice that He is only interested in a relationship with you, not the things of this world.  Of course, it is wise to properly maintain your physical body, but this is not what actually goes through the narrow gate.  To truly live this life to the fullest, an individual must have a personal relationship and fellowship with the Father of love.  The wide gate is for the masses which many can fit through all at once.  Those headed toward this gate give no consideration to a personal relationship with the God of creation, only trying to get to “mine” first. 

Today I would encourage you to take a look at which gate you are heading toward.  Are you seeking out the precious personal time to fellowship and commune with your heavenly Father?  Or are you with the masses trying to secure what is best for me and mine.  Have you stored up for yourself treasures in this world, or do you place your treasure and resources in His kingdom where it cannot be eaten away by rust and moths?  Decide today that you are going to start making eternal investments by helping others and using your resources to promote God’s agenda.  Then spend time each day purposing to press into Him through the narrow gate of relationship and being an example of His love everywhere you go.

Today’s scripture reading: Luke 13:18-33

18 Then He said, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? 

19 It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and put in his garden; and it grew and became a large tree, and the birds of the air nested in its branches.”

20 And again He said, “To what shall I liken the kingdom of God? 

21 It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.”

22 And He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. 

23 Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?” And He said to them, 

24 “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 

25 When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you, where you are from,’ 

26 then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ 

27 But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’ 

28 There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out. 

29 They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the kingdom of God. 

30 And indeed there are last who will be first, and there are first who will be last.”

31 On that very day some Pharisees came, saying to Him, “Get out and depart from here, for Herod wants to kill You.”

32 And He said to them, “Go, tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.’ 

33 Nevertheless I must journey today, tomorrow, and the day following; for it cannot be that a prophet should perish outside of Jerusalem.

November 28, 2022

Loosed

But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.” Luke 13:12

Today’s reading is about a woman who was bent over and could not stand up straight.  I cannot even imagine what this looked like, much less how it felt.  As soon as Jesus saw her, He called to her and loosed her from a spirit that had been holding her in this position for eighteen years.  He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God.

The passage does not identify this condition as a disease or illness, infirmity simply means a weakness.  Whether her weakness was in her back or her bone structure, it just doesn’t matter.  The point is that whatever was weak was made strong when Jesus touched her life.

We all have infirmities in life.  Weaknesses that can hold us back from completing the mission we have been assigned to accomplish.  Whether physical, emotional or spiritual, these frailties can bind us up to the point of being ineffective.

The answer is to get into His presence.  Set aside quiet time to press into His goodness and strengthen the weak areas of your life.  He has a solution to whatever is hindering your ability to make an impact, but it is up to each person to individually “come to Him.”

Today I want to encourage you to answer His call to you. Start by surrendering all that you are and have to Him.  Put up your hands and cry out for help in any area of your life that is weak and holding back His plan and purpose for you.  Be loosed from the chains of sin and the oppression of the enemy to bind you up and paralyze you by saturating yourself in the love of God and be loosed today.  Let Him strengthen all the weak areas of your life and when you do, you will hear Him say: “Child of God, you are loosed from your infirmities.” When this happens, remember to take the time to glorify God for all that He has brought you through!

Today’s scripture reading: Luke 13:10-17

10 Now He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. 

11 And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. 

12 But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.” 

13 And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.

14 But the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath; and he said to the crowd, “There are six days on which men ought to work; therefore come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day.”

15 The Lord then answered him and said, “Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it? 

16 So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound—think of it—for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?” 

17 And when He said these things, all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him.

November 26, 2022

It’s not too Late

But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. Luke 13:8

I’ve made many mistakes in my lifetime, you probably have too.  I know they are not the same, we all make our own bad choices.  No matter what you or I have done, there is still hope.  As long as we have breath in our lungs, it is not too late to get it right.

Jesus talks about this in a parable in today’s reading.  He said there was a tree in a vineyard that was not producing so the owner of the vineyard wanted to cut it down. When he told the keeper of the land to cut the tree down, his response was to give the tree another chance and give it some special care and attention.  The keeper was granted his request.  There is no outcome to this story, so I believe the significance is in the keeper’s response.

If I equate the fig tree in this passage to be person, it would seem that they were someone who was not bearing fruit in God’s kingdom.  That means that they were living life for their own purposes and gain rather than God’s.  I would even say that this person may not have been a child of God or have any consideration of a purpose beyond their own livelihood.  The owner of the vineyard of course represents God and the keeper is who God has entrusted the care of this unfruitful persons life to.  The keeper recognizes his influence in the unfruitful one’s destiny, so he tends to the needs and deficiencies of that individual.  In a spiritual comparison, the keeper would be the one praying for and encouraging that person in their walk with God the Father.  The keeper stays with the tree to make sure it is growing and then producing even after it is able to stand on its own.

This brings me to my next question.  Are there lives of people that have been assigned to me in this life and in the world?  Certainly, those closest to me and my children and grandchildren?  However, the focus of this passage is on having another chance to get it right and praying for and tending to the needs of those who have not gotten there yet. In my own experience, I didn’t know my life was assigned to another, but I do know that at minimum my parents and family were praying for me.  I know that they were the ones who would ask God for another chance for me.  I am so thankful!  Now the question is, who am I to be praying for and who has been assigned to me?

As in this parable, it was not too late for the fig tree, and it is not too late for you.  You can turn back to Him today and He will lead you in the path of your planned destination.  On that path will be the people and lives that He planned for you to impact and pray for to change their fruitfulness.

Today I want to encourage you to consider who you are in this parable.  Are you the unfruitful tree that needs to get back on track?  Or are you the keeper who is responsible for some that are unfruitful in this season?  Either way, there are some next steps for you to take:  First, turn your life over and surrender all to the will of your Father in heaven.  He has a good plan and you will be much better off the sooner you get there.  Next, find out those who have been assigned to you and begin praying for them.  Ask for wisdom and discernment on how to proceed effectively and begin to cultivate the ground around them with God’s love and kindness.  Jesus is interceding for us all at God’s right hand, but it is up to us to bring those to Him that need interceded for.

Today’s scripture reading: Luke 13:6-9

6 He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. 

7 Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’ 

8 But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. 

9 And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.’ ”

November 25, 2022

Repent or Perish

I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” Luke 13:5

Sometimes bad things happen in the world.  Accidents and even people intentionally hurting others.  It is sad, but not new.  Bad things have been happening in the world since sin entered in.  Many have asked why?  Why do bad things happen and sometimes to “good” people?

In today’s reading, Jesus was talking to a group of people who were asking this question, but they thought they knew the answer?  They figured since something bad happened to them, they must have been bad people.  Sounds a little superstitious, but Jesus said “no!”  That is not the reason.  He said that bad things happen in the world and can happen to anyone unless they repent and turn to Him.

I would remind you at this point about Jesus saying, “do not fear those who can kill the body but not the soul.”  The truth is we probably all know some Christian who have passed suddenly, even tragically, but that doesn’t mean they were worse sinners than us all.  Their body may be dead in this world, but they live on in eternity with their loving heavenly Father, Glory to God!

Here is my solution to conquering this fear and question of: could it happen to me or my loved ones?  First of all, do as Jesus said and repent!  Turn your life over to Him!  You are for sure in better, safer hands when you are trusting Jesus!  It doesn’t mean you will never have another problem and it doesn’t mean that you will never suffer lose, but what it does mean is He will get you through it all and protect along the way. 

Secondly, press in!  Press into your relationship with God your Father.  Psalms 91 tells us to dwell in the secret place of the most High and live your life in His shadow of protection.  Get into that secret place each day and listen and learn the direction and the protected places to live in.  You may not have a perfect life, but it will be so much better than it is without Him.

Today I want to encourage you to not be afraid!  Trust in Him to keep you safe and keep you protected.  Just like you trusted Him for your salvation, you can ask and believe He will protect and watch over you and your family.  He wants to guide you to His perfect path of righteousness, but it is up to you to follow that leading.  If you have never invited Him into your life, do that today and then make yourself a secret place to be with Him each day.  No matter how bad the world gets around you, He is stronger, and He is more dependable.  He will get you through any circumstance that comes your way as you trust in Him.

Pray this prayer today: God in heaven, I know I’m a sinner and I need a Savior.  I want to turn away from my sinful life to the life You have planned for me.  Please forgive my sins, cleanse me from my past, and make me new today.  I know Your Son, Jesus died for me.  I believe in my heart that You raised Him from the dead.  At this very moment, I accept, confess, and proclaim Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior . . . to be Lord of my life from this day forward.  I now have a right relationship with God my Father through this salvation in Jesus. I thank You for giving me Your Holy Spirit to guide me and to empower me to accomplish the things You have planned for my life in Jesus’ name, Amen

Today’s Scripture reading: Luke 13:1-5

1 There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 

2 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? 

3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. 

4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? 

5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”

Happy Thanksgiving!

Agree with your adversary

When you go with your adversary to the magistrate, make every effort along the way to settle with him, lest he drag you to the judge, the judge deliver you to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison.  Luke 12:58

We live in an extremely angry world.  People everywhere are ready to tell you what they are irritated and even angry about.  Whether it is the government, their job and even home life, most people are unhappy about their surroundings and want everyone around them to know about it.  They look for the problem in every circumstance of life, never considering that there is a positive side to the issue.

Today’s verse is about settling or coming to agreement with your adversary before you go to a judge.  In fact if you continue to read through the passage, it sounds like no matter what the circumstances were, you will not find justice in the courts.  This is not a popular message, and no one wants to hear that the right thing to do is to find a place of agreement in every conflict.  This is not to say that you agree with every complaint, but the passage does say that if you end up in court, the judge has no personal stake in the argument, and he will hand you over to be thrown in prison.

This is extreme, I know, but I can relate to this because I was once in a predicament where I was in a court battle.  If was ugly and there is no being nice in that situation.  Going through the court system will bring the worst out in anyone.  I felt defenseless because I was not willing to be ruthless and callous through the process.  As I prayed and committed the hearings to the LORD, I knew in my spirit that He was telling me to get this argument out of the courts and settle peacefully.  I did, but it felt like I was giving up.  I didn’t feel like I was being treated fairly, but at least I was the one who made the decision to settle which put the control in my hands.  I had no idea of the long-term benefits that would come from that decision.  All I could see in the moment was that I was giving up my rights and letting the other party off the hook.  Now years later, I am so thankful that I listened to God’s direction.  What could have been drawn out for years and hurt many innocent people along the way, was cut short with no lasting repercussions.  God took care of me and my rights after I surrendered them and got rid of the pride and anger that I was holding on to. 

Now when I read this scripture, it makes perfect sense to me.  When I agree with my adversary quickly and settle things in a peaceful way, it not only honors God, but it also gives Him an entrance into the situation to work things out for good, every time.

Today I want to encourage you to put anger far from you.  Surrender all your hurts and offenses over to your loving Father.  He will take care of you as you give Him entrance into all the conflict you in life. If you do find yourself in a situation that escalates to the magistrate, ask the Holy Spirit to lead you to the peaceful resolution. He will and even if it doesn’t make sense at the time, it will be the best solution for the future.

Today’s scripture reading: Luke 12:57-59

57 “Yes, and why, even of yourselves, do you not judge what is right? 

58 When you go with your adversary to the magistrate, make every effort along the way to settle with him, lest he drag you to the judge, the judge deliver you to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. 

59 I tell you, you shall not depart from there till you have paid the very last mite.”

November 23, 2022

Discern the time

Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time? Luke 12: 56

This is exciting stuff!  We are seeing the ending of days here on earth.  Oh, I know we have heard this for years, so many predictions and guesses of when Jesus will return to get His people.  However, this time it’s different.  It’s not about someone calculating a date or writing a book about “now is the time”.  It’s about discerning the time.  I’m not suggesting that we try to figure out what day Jesus will come, but I am saying that He wants us to be watching and ready.  Not with fear and anxiety, but with anticipation and a sense of urgency to finish our assignment.

Jesus told the “religious” people of His day that they were hypocrites because they were not paying attention to the prophecies in scripture about His birth and ministry.  In today’s verse, He said that they knew how to look at the outward circumstances to predict the weather, but they were unable to recognize their Messiah by what the scriptures had said about Him and what had been fulfilled up to that point.  All of the Jewish people knew that the Messiah was coming, so the signs surrounding His birth and ministry should have been more obvious to them.  However, they had gotten distracted by putting on the appearance of being “spiritual” instead of actually paying attention to the important things of God.

With all the crisis and turmoil in the world today, it is clear that the predictions Jesus made are happening all around us.  The temptation is out there to take on the fear that the world is experiencing, but that’s not our part of the plan.  We are living in the most prophetic times of all history and God chose each one of us to be on the earth for such a time as this to fulfill our assignment and ministry.   With all these distresses come the opportunity to reach those who are afraid and do not know what is going on.  The outside world can only see that the world is falling apart. No matter how hard people try to fix things, clearly, there is only one solution!  We can share the words of Jesus that these things would happen and that He has made provision for all through His Salvation!

Jesus wants us to know that the time is getting close.  Just how close?  It just doesn’t matter.  What does matter is that we are ready, watching, and helping with the harvest of people that are coming into the kingdom in these last days.  People are pouring in all over the world, and it is our job to pray for the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers, and to be laborers to help bring in this great end time crop of souls.  “Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”  Matthew 9:37-38

Today I want to encourage you to get excited, get motivated, and get ready because your redemption and salvation is drawing near!  We may not know the day He will come, but we do know that the day is closer than it ever has been before!  Jesus is coming soon!  Begin to pray for His return and also ask Him what you can do to reach those within your sphere of influence.  Let’s make sure we have completed, down to the last detail, every task He has assigned us to do!  Then when we finally stand in His presence, He will say, “Well done!”

Today’s scripture reading: Luke 12:49-56

49 “I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 

50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished! 

51 Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. 

52 For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. 

53 Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

54 Then He also said to the multitudes, “Whenever you see a cloud rising out of the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming’; and so it is. 

55 And when you see the south wind blow, you say, ‘There will be hot weather’; and there is. 

56 Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time?

November 22, 2022

Watch and Pray

Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Luke 12:37

This passage is a little disturbing to me, but mostly exciting.  It says that the Master (Jesus) could come back at anytime.  Then it goes on to say: don’t let Him catch you sleeping.  Not that I sleep in a lot, but there are occasions when I do get up later than usual.  It makes me consider, what are my priorities?

Today’s reading instructs us to be ready at any time, all the time for our Master to return.  If I think about how that would look, I of course, would be on my best behavior all the time, ready to be taken away with Him, but also ready for inspections and my life’s activities and responsibilities put in order.  Though it is a part of kingdom living to steward our time and property well, there are those times that my guard is down.

The passage commands us to pay attention by watching and praying. Yes, we see the things happening in the world today and hear how the evil seems to be growing, but that is not for us to focus on.  We are to watch and pray for His return and see that we keep our own “house” in order.  If we knew that He was coming back today, what would we be doing?  If we knew it was a week or a month from today?  I know for me; I would be making sure that His work and His plans were being done each day so that I would be ready when He did arrive.

That is how we watch and pray.  Watch that we are keeping God’s kingdom and righteousness first and number one priority and pray for the grace to lead others to watch and pray also.  Rescuing the lost and making His agenda our agenda.

Today I want to encourage you to watch and pray.  Watch, so that you are not caught off guard and unprepared when He comes.  Watch by seeking His plans first each day.  He wants to lead you in that perfect path of righteousness, but you must start out by fully trusting and following His lead each day.  Second, take time to pray.  Not just a quick “Good morning God, watch over me and protect throughout the day” prayer, but an earnest surrender to His plan for the day, kind of prayer.  Determine to accomplish down to the last detail your entire missions before He comes to take us all home.

Today’s scripture reading: Luke 12:35-48

35 “Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; 

36 and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. 

37 Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. 

38 And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. 

39 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 

40 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

41 Then Peter said to Him, “Lord, do You speak this parable only to us, or to all people?

42 And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? 

43 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 

44 Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has. 

45 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, 

46 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. 

47 And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 

48 But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.

November 21, 2022

Invest in your future

Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Luke 12:33-34

This passage was one of those elusive scriptures to me because I never considered that I had a “treasure”.  Treasure to me always seemed like something in a fairy tale or pirate story.  Silly right?  Finally, I realized that my treasure is what I value most.  When I began to think about what was valuable on earth like material things, as opposed to things valuable in heaven such as people and the good we do for others here in this world, then I started to get it.  That’s when I began to recognize how important it is to invest in my future . . . my eternal future.  But how?

Let’s examine the verses a little closer.  It says that your heart will follow where you put your treasure. So once again it is a step of faith. The first act is to intentionally lay up your “treasure” in heavenly things.  So first of all, determine what your treasure is.  The passage is talking some about your financial treasure because it refers to “things”, but it is not limited there.  Your treasure is where you put your time and energy also, which are even more valuable than your money because they are not replaceable.  Put your money, time, resources and efforts into the things of the Kingdom of God and before long that will be what you are most interested in and love. AKA where your heart is.   You will notice your heart following your “treasure”.  You will become increasingly interested in growing your heavenly account each day.

Revelation 14:13 says “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.” It is very interesting that though we cannot be saved or get into heaven by “good works” or by obeying a set of rules, this passage would indicate that good works are still important and will actually follow you into eternity.  That is, work that is done for the kingdom of heaven here on earth.  We’ve all heard the saying “you can’t take it with you”. Well according to God’s Word, there is something you can take with you, other people and good things done for them in the name of Jesus.

Today I encourage you to start investing in eternity and look for others you can bless and pray for.  Reach out and ask God to lead you to those good works that He planned for you before you were born.  Then begin to walk in them.  Instead of checking the stock market or your bank account each day to see how your investments are doing, start checking your heavenly account and adding to it daily.  Soon those will be the only investments you are interested in looking at because you heart will follow the action you physically put behind your faith.

Today’s scripture reading: Luke 12:29-34

29 “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. 

30 For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. 

31 But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.

32 “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 

33 Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys. 

34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

November 20, 2022

Don’t Worry

Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. 23Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing.  Luke 12:22-23

Don’t worry?  Is this even possible?  In the world we live in today, how can we not worry?  Worry about keeping our job? Worry about our children growing up in godless society? Worry about contracting an illness or disease?  Certainly, God understands that things are a little stressful in day to day living right now?

Well, according to this passage, and this is Jesus speaking, we should not be worried about life.  In fact, this isn’t even a suggestion, it is a direct order.  He said don’t worry about if there will be food on the table of if I will have clothes to wear.  The reason is because life is so much more than eating and the latest fashions.  He goes on to say that God takes care of the birds and the flowers so how much more valuable are we to God than these?

Then Jesus asked if you can add to or change anything by worrying. He said that is what the godless nations of the world worry about.  Then, He gives us the key to success in life to having those needs and desires met. It is:  Seek first, that is before anything else, God’s kingdom and His righteousness in Christ Jesus.  As you do that, then all of the above things will be added to you.  That is a extremely awesome promise!!

Making God’s kingdom growth and progress should be our top priority everyday. Each morning when you get up, instead of asking “How can I make my life better and add to my domain?” We should be asking “What can I do to expand God’s kingdom and righteousness in the world?” This is our purpose in the place that we live in and this is God’s plan for our lives and the reason He gives us breath.

Today I want to encourage you not to worry about the things you need.  Instead, start the day off seeking God’s kingdom plan and receive His righteousness to accomplish it.  As you begin to line your life up with God’s agenda, all the other things will be added to you and fall into place.

Today’s scripture reading: Luke 12:22-31

22 Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. 

23 Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. 

24 Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? 

25 And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 

26 If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest? 

27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 

28 If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?

29 “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. 

30 For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. 

31 But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.