- 2019Nov 15
Holiness by multiplication
Thought- We throw the pebbles of faith, God takes care of the ripples.
Scripture- “Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” – Matthew 13:8
Insight: Have you ever stopped trying to do something because you felt you weren’t equipped to handle the task? I certainly have. I often think of big ideas of how to introduce Jesus to a waiting and hurting World, to end suffering, eradicate homelessness, stop political discord and media fueled negativity and division and then I realize these problems are just too big to solve and I stop short of doing something to just get started. I make the big mistake of thinking I have to do it in my strength and power instead of relying on Jesus. So, in that sense I am right to feel helpless! Sometimes it all seems so desperate.
But I am learning as I grow older that I don’t need to try to do everything, or big things, but I just need to do something. Some small step of faith that can spread out as Jesus touches it. In Matthew 13, in the parable of the sower, Jesus talks about how through the power of the scriptures and our ability to read it and understand it, a random act of kindness can be multiplied to create a huge return 100, 60 and 30 times what was sown. An act of kindness can so touch a person’s life that it may just change the trajectory of not only their life, but of many others around them. A simple kind word that lifts someone’s spirits, a small sacrifice that takes from an area of abundance in my life to assist an area of lack in someone else’s. A word of hope today for someone so they can fight for their tomorrow. These small acts are like us throwing a pebble into a still pond. God handles the ripple effects that can spread out and reach the distant shores. God is a multiplier of kindness. When we offer a small token of faith or sacrifice, He often multiplies and spreads its effects many times over.
I have noticed recently just how infectious a positive word or attitude can be when interacting with others I may not even know. I sense a deep fear and desperation permeating many of the people I come into contact with lately. They appear to be in a media induced fog, overloaded with fear and are desperate for a different view point and a positive outlook. We can at least offer that in Christ Jesus! We take the first step of faith and kindness, however small, and He can do the rest and multiply our small act of kindness and faith into something bigger than we ever imagined.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us to overcome our own fears and limitations and to just take tiny steps of faith, no matter how feeble they seem, trusting you to handle the ripples. We ask for your multiplication on our small steps of faith to a hurting world that is desperate to know you. We pray In Jesus name, amen!
- 2019Nov 14
Thought- “I tried carrying the weight of the world, but I only had two hands.” – Lyrics from the song “Wake me up when it’s all over,” by Avicii
Scripture– “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.”
Insight: Have you ever tried to micro-manage your life so intensely that it left you physically and mentally drained? I sure have and boy is that a hard way to live. We get into little prideful ruts at times where we think we are in control of “our” little world, if not the bigger world all around us. We can act like we have it all figured it out, but eventually that fallacy comes crashing down and we have to let go and admit we have no control at all.
It is actually a good thing when you knowingly and excitedly cede control of your life back to the One who actually has been in control the whole time- God. King David repeatedly brought his own fears, worries and shortcomings before the Lord and then praised God and told Him how much HE TRUSTS IN Him. That is the key, we must fully trust in the Lord! It can be hard when we can’t see the results of our trust in many situations as quickly as we would like to, but when we acknowledge that we do in fact trust God, it helps us to loosen our mirage of being in control. It shifts our focus from us, which leads to anxiety and fear, to Him which results in more peace and contentment. So, scream out to Him and let Him know that you trust Him. You will feel so much better when you do.
Prayer: Father God, we trust in you because you are worthy of our trust and all of our praise. You alone are in control, we are not, and that is a very good thing indeed. We pray this in Jesus mighty name, amen!
- 2019Nov 01
Thought- Gratitude is the attitude that lifts your life’s altitude.
Scripture- “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.”- Colossians 3:16
Insight: Being grateful for all God has done for you is a pleasant response and brings joy to God in heaven. King David understood how to continually express all his feelings to God, as if in a continuous, intimate, relational dialogue that never waned throughout his life which included expressing great joy and thanks for all God had done for him. In Psalm 100:4-5 David inspires us to: “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Also, in Psalm 147:7 when he says, “Sing to the Lord with grateful praise; make music to our God on the harp.”
So, what has God done for you? Instead of focusing on all that you feel you are lacking or blaming God for why your life isn’t the way you should be, choose to be grateful in your heart towards him and see how your mood elevates. Not just with God, but in relationship or dialogue with anyone, when we are grateful, we attract people to us and when we are filled with ingratitude, we repel people away from us. People like to be around grateful people because they are generally happy people. They are contented people. There’s a peace about them, even in the midst of difficulties. They realize that what they have is enough, they lack nothing. They are not focused on having what they want but are happy wanting what they have. Their gratitude is an attitude that leads to a higher latitude in their life because it makes them attractive to others. Being grateful is also contagious. Start spreading the gratitude around and see how others around you change and hop on board the gratitude train with you. It is like a gravitational pull coming down right from Heaven.
Prayer: Father God, thanks for all you have done for us, we are truly grateful. Because you Son died the death that our sin deserved, we are set free. That alone should be cause for a non-stop heart of gratitude. It is amazing to even consider that you could love us that much. Amen!