Saturday, September 30, 2023
Friday, September 29, 2023
Thursday, September 28, 2023
Wednesday, September 27, 2023
"He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less." John 3:30 (NLT)
Social media is everywhere. It seems that almost everyone has an account on a site where they can share what's going on in their lives. Selfies, pictures of the food that is being served, families posing together, babies, home decor and the list goes on. But there is one thing that is most notable about these sites. They provide a place for us to indulge our egos.
I will admit that there have been times when I have posted something and then checked again and again to see who is "liking" or "loving" what I have posted. I had to get over that because if it was something really dear to me, like a picture of my child, then I was upset if I either didn't get a lot of responses or if more people only "liked" rather than "loved." My ego was hurt. Why? Because my purpose in sharing was all about me.
If we stay within ourselves, if we keep our focus inward, then how can we reach out to anyone else? If we are more concerned with all things personal rather than spending our time in concern for what those around us need, then not only will we miss a lot of joy, but we will also be sinning.
Philippians 2:3-4 says, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others."
Our goal, as Christians, is to be like Christ. If we study His life, how often do we see Him more worried about Himself than He is those around Him or those in the crowds that came to hear Him? Granted, He was fully God and fully human and we are only fully human. We aren't perfect as He was perfect, however, through His grace and mercy, if we spend more time learning about Him and walking with Him, then He will begin to change our hearts and teach us how be more like Him.
Simply put, it needs to be more and more about Jesus and less and less about ourselves. Rather than posting attention getting selfies, we can use our social media time to honor our Savior. It is far greater to have His approval than that of man.
There are so many opportunities to show His love. Many people need prayers and encouragement. It costs nothing more than a little bit of time to reach out and be supportive.
This week my challenge is that we all take inventory of how we represent ourselves and the Lord in any of our interactions with others. What is our focus? Are we seeking personal approval or are we pointing the way to the One who loves us more than any person on earth ever will? God bless.
Tuesday, September 26, 2023
Monday, September 25, 2023
Sunday, September 24, 2023
Saturday, September 23, 2023
Friday, September 22, 2023
Thursday, September 21, 2023
Wednesday, September 20, 2023
"If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing." 1 Corinthians 13:2 (MSG)
I enjoy a good mystery. In fact, I almost titled this message, "Who Killed Hank Pittleman" because that is the question in the book I am now reading. But the eternal mysteries, those that we don't have the ability to understand completely, are not of this world but of God, and I don't want to cast any earthly shadow over any of them.
How can the human mind grasp fully that the Lord has no beginning and no end? Everything in our world has a beginning and an end. Even though we say the right words when asked about His existence, we can't really understand it.
And how can three be one? The Trinity consists of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. God in three persons, as the song says. If Jesus is God, then how was God still in heaven while Jesus was on earth? If Jesus is God, then why does Jesus pray to God the Father?
How is He able to be everywhere at once? With the billions of people on the earth, how can He hear us all at the same time?
Mysteries. And there are Bible scholars who can explain it all, up to a point.
According to today's verse, all that knowledge is worthless if we don't have love. And there are many who proclaim to be "Christians" who refuse to reach out to those who are hurting or lonely or hungry.
There are some behind the pulpit who are terrific orators. They can deliver a biblical message that will knock your socks off. And some of those churches grow to unbelievable numbers. However, one on one with some of these preachers will reveal that they actually take no interest in anything except the messages they preach. They rely on assistant pastors to do all the "people" work because they take no interest in what their flock is going through.
And that is the bigger mystery to me. I don't worry about how God created the universes, or how He does any of what He does. It is enough for me that He knows and I have placed my faith in Him and trust Him completely. But I cannot figure out how someone could be filled with the Holy Spirit and not love their fellow human beings. Which makes me wonder if they are truly Christians or not.
This world is in pain. A quick look at the news will reveal that no matter where we go, there are those who are crying out for someone to care. If we are to be like our Savior, if we are to make any difference at all, then we must be willing to reach out with the love He has demonstrated and placed within us. That is our purpose. We bring glory to our Creator when we minister to those who are in need of His touch.
"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine you did for me." Matthew 25:35-40 (NIV)
Tuesday, September 19, 2023
Monday, September 18, 2023
Sunday, September 17, 2023
He that would love life,And see good days,Let him refrain his tongue from evil,And his lips that they speak no guile:And let him turn away from evil, and do good;Let him seek peace, and pursue it.For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous,And his ears unto their supplication:But the face of the Lord is upon them that do evil.