Friday, April 19, 2013
"When Jesus promised to give us abundant life, He wasn't talking about wealth. If that were the case, He wouldn't have died for us; He could have just written each of us a check."
Enough by Will Davis Jr.
Hebrews 13: 5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
Could we also insert in the above verse: "Keep your lives free from the love of stuff."?
When do we have enough. Enough for retirement. Enough electronic equipment. Enough clothes. Enough cars. Enough space. Jesus, who left glory to be born in a barn, who left His heavenly mansion to travel from city to city with no home to call His own, who as Creator of the universe hung on the cross and died with absolutely nothing, never once worried about His future or whether He had "enough".
Jesus considered "enough" to be what He had today and that is the way He teaches us to think also. Consider the way He taught us to pray: "Give us today our daily bread." One day at a time- provision for today. Be content with that.
Why can we be content with today? Because in our "today" is Jesus. We have enough because what I need today is Jesus. We need to cling to His promise "Never will I leave you."
Our God takes care of the tomorrows. If you are worrying about tomorrow you are in sin. When God tells you to be anxious about nothing (Philippians 4:6, 7) and you are anxious, you are disobeying God, and need to ask for His forgiveness.
Let's simplify our lives of too much stuff and get down to the serious business of joy.
"The Bible actually says you'll be richer if you scale back what you have. It says your life will be fuller. You'll have less stress, more time for things that matter...more joy." Enough by Will Davis Jr.
Thursday, April 4, 2013
"If interruptions annoy me, and private cares make me impatient; if I shadow the souls about me because I myself am shadowed, then I know nothing of Calvary love." Amy Carmichael, missionary to India
"Look, you and I both belong to God. I, too, was formed from clay." Job 33:6
"What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator. Does a clay pot argue with its maker? Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, 'Stop, you're doing it wrong!' Does the pot exclaim, 'How clumsy can you be?'" Isaiah 45:9
"And yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand." Isaiah 64:8
"But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over. ...O Israel, can I not do to you as this potter has done to his clay? As the clay is in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand." Jeremiah 18: 4, 6
"We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves." 2 Cor 4:7
We are fragile clay jars. We have all been created by God with certain strengths and weaknesses, so that, whether in success or failure, we will turn to God to praise Him for what we accomplished or to seek forgiveness and grace for what we did not accomplish.
Sometimes as a clay pot I get kind of pinchy. When I forget about Christ I get pinched in. My definition of a pinched-in person is one who folds up in itself, but still has the ability to strike others. I pinch others with sarcasm, criticism, or anger.
For instance, one morning I went to my husband with what I thought was a valid criticism. I walked in and was greeted with a beautiful smile. It did not matter, I delivered my angry pinch anyway, and I watched his smile fade away. Another time I was irritated with him for being a few minutes late, so I spued several verbal pinches. Later that day the Lord spoke through His word that my angry bitter spirit was the crime. God did not care about the time, he cared about my ugly pinched in heart.
I am a clay pot criticizing another clay pot which God has made. And God has made all of you clay pots and sovereignly put you into my life, not so I can teach you a lesson about tardiness, or organizational skills, or tattoos, or hair style, or cleanliness, or music styles, or who's in and who's out, or who's too fast or who's too slow, or who's too soft or who's too loud. God has put you sovereignly in my life to teach me how to love, how to be patient, how to be kind, how to be forgiving.
God has put me in your life so you can learn how to love, how to be patient, how to be kind, how to be forgiving. I need to be forgiven and you need to be forgiven.
"What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator. Does a clay pot argue with its maker? Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, 'Stop, you're doing it wrong!' Does the pot exclaim, 'How clumsy can you be?' " Isaiah 45:9
When we feel critical of one another are we in essence criticizing God? "Oh, God, why did you make him that way? Change him or her, God, so it will be easier to live with him or her. Stop, God, you are doing it wrong. I know how it should go."
I pray that when we feel our pinchiness wanting to take over we will remember the great treasure that each of us have dwelling in our frail clay pots. "We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves." 2 Cor 4:7
The light of Jesus shining among us. How wonderful! Lord give us eyes to see the beauty in those around us. Lord, give us a tongue to speak a gracious word. Lord, convict us when we do it wrong and give us humility to go to You and to one another to make confession. Help us Lord to recognize pride and help us Lord to rebuke it for Your great name's sake.