” Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:23 NIV
Read: Matthew 19: 23-30
One song we hear during the Christmas season on the radio is “A Coat of Many Colors” by Dolly Parton. I understand this is a true story of the coat her mother made from her from scrap fabrics. It tells of her pride in her beautiful new coat. While others may have seen a patchwork of mismatched fabrics, she saw a coat sewn by love fit for royalty.
Our society has taught us to want more and more. Today, Christmas has less and less to do with being thankful for what we have. Dolly got it right.
Do you have memories of leaner times when you were grateful for what you had and complained less about what you did not have? Today may be a time when things are hard and you have to do with a coat that has patches, socks that are darned or a shirt that is frayed.
If your clothes are worn or ragged, praise GOD that you have clothes that needs patches and thankful knowing that some don’t even have a coat. There is always with something more than you have and there are many more who have less than you have.
Let this Christmas season be a time of joy for what you do have…a time that you tell GOD ‘thank you’ for all he has given you.
Today’s prayer: “Thank YOU, FATHER, for all you have given me. Please help me to be humble and understand I have just the right amount of everything. Amen. ”
“Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished, and I tried to force them to blaspheme. I was so obsessed with persecuting them that I even hunted them down in foreign cities.” Acts 26:11 NIV
Read: Acts 25:9-18
There is pride in being a fan of your favorite sports team. You are excited to go to a game and cheer them on or watching them on TV. Yet, some of us go to extremes. Spending thousands of dollars for tickets and apparel, ignoring our responsibilities, painting our faces while dancing in the bleachers can be viewed as a fanatic.
There is a huge difference in being a fan and being a fanatic. The dictionary describes a fanatic as a person with an extreme single minded attitude or an excessive behavior. This is usually akin to sports or politics, but you may know someone who is a religious fanatic. Some can go from fan to fanatic to total obsessed in a blink of an eye.
Before Paul was born again, he was obsessed with tracking down Christians, having them jailed and even murdered. He was a fanatic whose purpose was to destroy the Christian faith. As Saul, he was every Christians worst nightmare.
Then, Saul found JESUS. Blinded and struck to his knees, he went through a transformation and became the leading writer of the New Testament and perhaps the greatest evangelist of all time. He accepted his new position with reverence and was attacked, beaten, outcast, tortured and eventually martyred…all for CHRIST. Paul went from being an obsessed fanatic to being a loving fan of our RISEN SAVIOUR.
Are you a passive Christian or do you love JESUS? You can be a loving fan, a follower, of JESUS. Ask HIM to forgive all the wrongs in your life and be like Paul.
Today’s prayer: “Forgive me, LORD, for being obsessed with the fanatic followings of the temptations and false efforts of this world. Help me be the loving fan as a true, loving follower of YOU. Amen.”
“But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.” Luke 6:48 NIV
Read: Luke 6:46-48
Do you remember the childhood story of the three little pigs? When they left home, each decided to build their individual houses of three different materials.
The first little pig built his house of straw. Straw was plentiful and was easy to work with.
The second little pig decided straw was not strong enough, so he built his house with sticks. Both these houses looked good to the eye.
The third little pig saw the work and materials of his two brothers and decided they had not built their house in respectful ways. The third little pig built his house of brick.
The bad wolf came to the first house and huffed and puffed and blew the house down. He ate the first little pig. Then he went to the house made of sticks. Again, he huffed and puffed, destroyed the second house and ate the second little pig. Coming to the house made of brick, he huffed and puffed but could not blow the house made of brick down.
Did you realize this is more than a fairy tale? This story line was clearly adapted from JESUS’ words! Matthew 7:25 tells us: “The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”
Is your faith built securely on the foundation cornerstone of JESUS? Is your life safe or is it built on sand or made of straw and sticks? Build your spiritual house with bricks to withstand the storms of Satan. Build your faith on the foundation of JESUS. Go to HIM right now. Tell HIM you have accepted HIM as your SAVIOUR. Let JESUS protect you from all the storms of this life.
Today’s prayer: “Thank YOU, JESUS, for protecting me from the storms of this life. YOU are the cornerstone foundation that I have built my faith upon. Amen.”
“Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.”,
Proverbs 30:8-9 NIV
Read: Proverbs 30:1-9
Wealth or the lack of it…seems to be the measurement of what we have in this life. If we have too much wealth or we are dirt poor (or think we are), we run the risks of temptations.
Wealth or the lack of it is a state of mind. What one believes is a level of wealth, another may believe wealth is much more or much less. You may judge others by what they have or don’t seem to have. In either case, we are judging others by worldly standards and not GOD’S loving standard.
GOD supplies and we use and destroy all HE has provided for us. We take for granted HIS loving gifts and abuse the love GOD protects and cares us with.
Our most valued gift is the sacrifice GOD made. HE allowed HIS SON to be tortured, beaten and murdered on that cross for each of us. Do you know JESUS took on all your sins so that you might live? Yet, no about of money could buy your way into heaven. Your gift into Heaven to spend eternity with GOD is paid in full. It does not matter how rich or poor you think you are or are not.
Today’s prayer: “Thank YOU, JESUS for giving YOUR life so that I might live. Help me to understand the riches that await me while I am undeservingly chasing earthly wealth. Amen.”