Friday, November 20, 2015

What's Your Treasure

Matthew 6:19-21

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Usually we just pass by this verse and say some cliché thing like, "Oh it's all about the heart." It's such a great thing to think, but often times that's all we really do. We just think about it. Do we mean what we say? Or do we just say it? Does it really mean that our hearts is connected to Jesus and the will of our Father that we use our treasures for His kingdom? Are we really okay with not splurging money on ourselves? I'm not saying we shouldn't take care of our needs, but seriously, do we really need so much stuff? Here God is saying, what is your treasure? What are you doing with the resources I have brought you? Really everything is His, so are we using the resources for treasures here or treasures that are for His purposes and to bring glory to His kingdom. We are very selfish creatures, and self preservation and self satisfaction is built into ourselves that the very thought of giving and sharing is not even on the radar. It is a tough thing to take this heart. It is deliberate and precise way of doing things is that forces us to forego our nature focus in upon His kingdom. It's not easy.

So what's the solution? We can easily say, "Well just do stuff for God?" Yes that is true, in fact that is what I first wrote, and the last thing we really need is a "don't do that" speech. So, how can I do this. A wise pastor once told me that to "Connect everything to a soul." What you do with your money, connect it to a soul. Are people being impacted by what you are doing? Is this brining people into the kingdom? Is this helping someone? So yes, when your heart is for God's kingdom, and he desires that all come to Him, and that we make disciples, this can apply. We use the treasure He has given to connect to a soul for His glory. We must ask ourselves, "How can I bring Him glory?" This is not an easy task. Here where I live, using resources to build up riches here is not only accepted but in may ways encouraged. Storing things in heaven is more important then storing things on earth. Oh what a challenge this is. Material possessions, fame and fortune can really grip our heart and just hold us hostage. But if we attach everything to a soul, then the treasure will be well worth it.

Lord this is not an easy thing to do, and a tough thing to comprehend. But Lord I pray that you will help us who pray this, seek you and store our treasures in Your kingdom.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

We all have a part to play....

1 Corinthians 12:27

"Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it."

We all have a part to play in this great body of Christ. We all have something to contribute. The Kingdom is so large that we all need to take part in it for the body to grow. We all also don't need to be ashamed of what we do. Though it may seem lesser to some, it is not a diminished job in the eyes of the Lord. In the Lord there are jobs that we may not find as not important. But to Him it is very importnant. In fact we all need to do our assignment from God. It is all so important. We will not be effective without each other. In Him playing our part is vital to everything.

This is kind of encouraging to me. Though what I feel like I do right now is worthless in my eyes, and not what I really wanted to do in life, but this verse gives me the encouragement to keep going. To keep the fight and keep the faith which is not an easy thing. Especially when I feel like we are fighting an uphill climb and you feel as if your skills are not worthy of greatness, or when you do things and get no recognition, or even encouragement. When everyone else gets the credit, and you get the end of nothing, in reality God is smiling. Know and keep courage that you are very important to the Body. If I continue in following the will of the Lord, no matter big or small an assignment, I will be a faithful servant.

Thank you Lord for today's encouragement that we all contribute to the Kingdom.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Driven by Emotion

Mark 14:10-11

Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them. They were delighted to hear this and promised to give him money. So he watched for an opportunity to hand him over.

Now prior to this verse we see Jesus being anointed with oil by a poor woman. Some people became indignant and were upset. Judas was the one who lead that. Not sure if he really started it, but he was the keeper of the money, and there are many references saying he was not being a faithful steward of his position. With that in mind, when he saw this act, he decided it was good idea to betray Jesus. He was so upset over the situation that he let his emotions take over and then bam, he is lead to betray Jesus. It seems that he let his emotions over the situation get the best of him and it lead him to some really bad decisions.

I can say, hey no big deal, but really, emotions can get the best of you. The NY Mets just lost the MLB World Series. One commentator said that the manager did not stick to the game plan, but went with his emotions, and it cost them the game. Not sure how true that is, but what I do know that it is easily possible to get caught up in a situation and your emotions take control. It can happen to anyone. I know in my life I can't tell you how many times I have screwed things up because I listened to my emotions. Emotions can block a good decision made in the past, and persuade me to change my mind. However, in most situations, my emotions are not correct. The solution is really that I need to be under the influence of the Holy Spirit. When you are under the influence of the Holy Spirit, your decision making is really clear. But that is tough, because emotions can make a made up situation feel very real, and can really distort what is true and what is false. Therefore it is no wonder that Paul says to "Put on the helmet of salvation." it is to guard your heart and mind. By doing that spiritual act, you allow God to guide you and therefore He is guiding and leading. The hardest thing for me is putting this in action. Often times I am easily pulled by my emotions. I am not always the best at this. Most of the time, I am really bad at it. But I am learning.

Thank you God for reminding me that if Your Spirit is guiding my emotions, then I won't make stupid decisions.