Matthew

Don’t Worry, There is a Bridge

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Think of all the different kinds of “daily bread” that can be here today and gone tomorrow: money, house, cars, possessions, jobs, health, and more.  In fact, every tangible thing in our life is something we have no ultimate control over.  And those are the things Jesus said we should never spend time and energy worrying about-which makes perfect sense.  Why worry about those things over which we have no control?

The one thing that cannot be taken away is the only thing we need going forward into the future: our faith and the intangible values (perseverance, hope, and the like) that arise from our faith.  The apostle Paul confirmed the necessity of faith:  “Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2).  We are stewards (slaves) of the God who has bought us for Himself.  Our provision is His “worry”, not ours.  He has promised to meet the needs of those who love Him.

Don’t worry about tomorrow, Jesus said.  Trust your heavenly Father with the faith you can never lose. 

“Worry over poverty is as fatal to spiritual fruitfulness as is gloating over wealth.”  A. W. Pink

Commentary from Turning Points devotional by David Jeremiah, May 12, 2017.

This song has a country/blues/gospel sound and may not be your taste, and is not necessarily my own, but I appreciate the words, which relate to this post, are meaningful, and I hope helpful 🙂

God On The Mountain, Gaither VEVO, featuring Lynda Randle.

Made Perfect in Weakness

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In reading in the Bible in 2 Corinthians chapter 12 about something that tormented Paul, we see that although God did not remove Paul’s physical affliction, He promised to demonstrate His power in Paul.  The fact that God’s power shows up in weak people should give us courage.  When we are strong in abilities or resources, we are tempted to do God’s work on our own, and that leads to pride.

We must rely on God for our effectiveness rather than our own energy, effort, or talent.  Our weakness not only helps develop Christian character, it also deepens our worship; in admitting our weakness, we affirm God’s strength.  When we are weak, and when we allow God to fill us with his power, then we are stronger that we could ever be on our own.  We must depend on God-only His power makes us effective for Him and does work that has lasting value.  We must daily be mindful that God is our source for every need.

Give us this day

our daily bread.

Matthew 6:11

Commentary from The One Year NIV Devotional New Testament, May 14. Tyndale House Publishers (2003).

The Cold

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As Christians, we have the opportunity every day to pay it forward to those who are lost in this world by giving them a glimpse of Christ through our kindness.  We were each given a gift when Jesus hung on the cross and died for our sins; and every time we demonstrate His love to someone, we not only bless them, we also bless our Lord and Savior.

Let us eagerly search for ways to bless those that God places in our path with the ultimate aim of glorifying our Heavenly Father.

“All the blessings we enjoy are Divine deposits, committed to our trust on this condition, that they should be dispensed for the benefit of our neighbors.”  John Calvin

Portions of commentary from David Jeremiah’s Pathways Devotional, November 18.

Wait Actively

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Mother to teen: “I’ll be back in an hour and then we’ll go shopping for your shoes.  While I’m gone I’d like you to clean your room, put your dirty clothes in the wash, and take Ruff outside for his walk.  Okay?”  Between the lines of those instructions is this:  “Don’t sit around and watch T.V. while you’re waiting for me.”  There is a difference between passive and active waiting.

And that applies to life as a follower of Jesus as well.  We are people waiting-waiting for “the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).  But Titus didn’t just write about the return of Christ, he also wrote about what we are to do while we wait:  “Denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age” (Titus 2:12). 

In other words, we are to wait actively, not passively.  Instead of being passive about loving Christ’s return and active about loving the world, we are to be passive about loving the world and active about loving Christ’s return.  What does active waiting look like?  Love, service, witness, worship, good works, and obedience.  

Portions of commentary from David Jeremiah’s Turning Points Devotional, November 23, 2017.

One Day Only

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Didn’t Jesus serve others on Sundays only?  

The Lord is very clear that works cannot save us-in fact, He compares our good deeds to filthy rags (Isa. 64:6).  On the other hand, God’s grace is not a license to be lazy; Christians are called upon to serve the Lord every day.

From the outside, it is usually impossible to distinguish between works and service in someone else’s life.  But God knows the motivation of every heart.  He is pleased by the things we do to show Him our love and to express appreciation for His countless blessings.  Such actions bring glory to His name.

Keep in mind that serving God in order to earn His favor or ensure that He continues His blessing in your life amounts to thwarting grace.  You can do nothing to deserve the Lord’s kindness!  He pours it upon believers freely, so the only thing you can “do” is receive it.

On the other hand, we may be one of those who has learned to be a passive observer par excellence.  In my opinion, sitting in our chairs every night just being a viewer of things has sort of conditioned most of us to become that way, and is really the new normal, don’t you think?

There is actually A LOT of work to do, and it likely won’t come and find you.

“Christians should move on to spiritual maturity.  We must feast on the meat of God’s Word and put into practice the lessons we have learned.  It is the only way to grow up.”  Haddon W. Robinson (emphasis mine)

Portions of commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch devotional, January 4, 2017.