Sunday, July 28, 2013

Honesty Pleases God

He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. (Luke 16:10)
  • Honesty is speaking and acting out the truth even when it might not benefit you.

  • Honesty is important because it shows our character, who we really are.

  • If you are honest, people know that they can trust you, you can build up trust.

  • But lies, even small ones, will start to chip away at the trust, at your character. Like a big tree getting chipped at with an axe, eventually it falls and it takes a long time to build it back up.

  • Honesty is not always easy to live out.

  • But it is important to always strive to be honest and do the right thing so that we can build trustworthy characters.

  • Being honest in small things indicates how dependable we will be in doing big things.

  • We should be honest in all areas of our lives.

  • Our honesty gives God the glory.

Monday, July 22, 2013

God Alone is Our Plenty

Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. (1 Timothy 6:17)

  • Decisions about the way we spend our money can be difficult to make.

  • But God hasn’t left us without help. He tells us to honor Him with our possessions. He tells us that we cannot serve both God and money. He tells us to beware of covetousness. He tells us to be ready to give, and willing to share. God wants us to use money wisely.

  • Money is a big issue. But God can show us how to use it to bring Him honor.

  • Oh Lord, sometimes money and finances are overwhelming. It is hard to know what decisions to make. So please lead us, and give the wisdom to use our finances in a way that pleases You.

  • We must not let gold become our god. We must look beyond the gold. We must look further to our God. We must have unlimited trust in our God. Don't trust in vast or tainted wealth. God alone is our gold, our plenty.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Find Hope in Hopelessness

Now the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys. (Job 42:12)

  • In Scripture, we read about some apparently hopeless situations. One example is that of a wealthy man named Job whom God described as having integrity. Disaster struck and Job lost everything important to him. In misery, he said, “My days are spent without hope”.

  • What appeared to Job and his friends as evidence that God had turned against him was just the opposite. God was so confident of Job’s integrity that He trusted him in this battle with Satan. Later, Job’s hope and life were renewed. His fortunes and family were finally restored to him. Job's relationship with God was renewed by his repentance, and enriched and strengthened by God's self-revelation to him.

  • With God, there is no such thing as hopelessness. No matter how bleak the landscape of life may look, God can transform it into a glorious garden of color and fragrance.

  • Dear God, we pray for faith anew, for greater trust in all we do, for hope that never knows defeat, and for victory at Your mercy seat.

  • With God, there is hope even in the most hopeless situation.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Reading the End of the Story

He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. (Revelation 21:7)

  • Reading the final book of the Bible, the book of Revelation, can be an encouragement and comfort for Christians. Christians are the overcomers, both now and for eternity.

  • As the apostle John talks about the revealing of the new heaven and the new earth in Revelation, he describes what the final victory will look like for those who have received Jesus as Savior. At that time, we will see the end of death, tears, sorrow, and pain. And the Lord will declare: “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son”. God will dwell with us, and He will make all things new. We will have complete happiness with God for eternity.

  • When the trials of today seem more daunting than our strength, let us read the end of the story when we will be in God’s presence forever! For hope today, always remember to read the end of the story, our eternity with God.

  • Often, we are told not to read the end of the story before we are done with the book. But God in His mercy gives us the ending of His story now so that no matter how bad it gets in the middle, we know it is going to finish gloriously! In the final chapter, all wrongs are made right and every tear is wiped away.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Life is Bitter Sweet

He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. (Psalm 121:3)

  • Life is not always sweet; it is bitter at times.

  • Life is not a straight line leading from one blessing to the next and then finally to heaven; it is a winding and troubled road.

  • And God is plotting the course and managing the troubles, both for our good and for the glory of Jesus Christ.

  • God rules over all things by His providence. And He is fully alert. He will secure the journey of His people with providential care. He will continue to help, preserve, and walk with His people.

  • Life is a winding road with unknown perils and troubles. But we can be certain of God’s providence, security, and care. God has our course plotted and He is watching over our every step. Life‘s troubles may be unknown. But we can be certain of God’s providence.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

God Looks At The Heart

But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7)

  • How people look on the outside is not an indicator of what is in their hearts.

  • God’s focus is on the inner life of people. He looks far below the surface of someone’s appearance. God knows the hearts of those who appear to be righteous, but are full of hypocrisy on the inside.

  • Samuel mistakenly looked favorably upon the handsome Eliab, the eldest son of Jesse and an older brother of David. He thought he would be anointed as the next king. But Eliab was not the choice of the God of Israel.

  • David was chosen as king of Israel, replacing Saul, because he was a man after God's own heart. His heart was right with God and God knew He could trust David. And that is what God desires for us to do as well.

  • God looks at the heart, not outward appearances. We spend so much time in our lives trying to make our outward appearances look good and lose the understanding that God does not even look at out outward appearance but our heart.

  • Physical appearances, status, good jobs and sophistication alone cannot be a standard for a good man. God looks at the heart and a pure heart pleases God. God shall bless the man who has a pure heart by opening his eyes and he shall see God and Heaven's Glory.

  • It does not matter who you are, what you look like, God looks at the heart and wants people with a strong love of Him and His ministry rather than someone putting an effort to show off to the people of the world.

  • When God looked at David, he didn't see moral perfection. He saw a heart that would love God and would seek to obey God. He saw a heart that was teachable, a heart capable of repentance and faith.

  • God looks at the heart, and King David was a man after God’s own heart.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

God's Creative Work

O LORD, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions. (Psalm 104:24)
  • Among God’s creatures, the butterfly is one of the most stunningly beautiful!
  • Its gentle flight, colorful wings, and amazing migratory patterns are traits that make the butterfly a masterpiece of the natural world.
  • This flying insect, while supplying us with visual enjoyment, also supplies us with amazing examples of the marvels of God’s creative work.
  • For instance, the majestic monarch butterfly can travel 3,000 miles on its migration to Central America, only to end up at the same tree its parents or even grandparents landed on a generation or two earlier. It does this guided by a brain the size of a pinhead.
  • Or consider the monarch’s metamorphosis. After the caterpillar builds a chrysalis around itself, it releases a chemical that turns its insides to mush, no perceptible parts. Somehow from this emerges the brain, internal parts, head, legs, and wings of a butterfly.
  • One butterfly expert said, “The creation of the body of a caterpillar into the body and wings of a butterfly is, without doubt, one of the wonders of life on earth.” Another expert feels that this metamorphosis is “rightly regarded as a miracle.”
  • How manifold are God’s works! and the butterfly is but one of them.
  • We stand amazed, God, at the awesome creation You allow us to enjoy. From distant galaxies to beautiful butterflies, You have given us a world that speaks loudly of Your love for us. Thank You, Lord, for creation.
  •  Creation’s design points to the Master Designer.