Christian

The $64,000 Question

“Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:8 NIV

On July 6, I published a post titled “Where is Your Treasure?” It is based on Jesus’ words,

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6: 19-21 NIV

Emma posed this question, “Any advice for someone who needs to be able to support themselves financially and yet, also needs to be careful about how much time is spent on working towards (worldly) success?”

That’s the $64,000 question, isn’t it? Let’s examine God’s Word to find the answer.

The Pharisees asked Jesus’s disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” (Matthew 9:11) Jesus answered,

“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.  But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Matthew 9:12-13 NIV

Jesus is quoting Hosea 6:6 which explains the meaning of the verse a little more.

“I want you to show love,
    not offer sacrifices.
I want you to know me
    more than I want burnt offerings.” Hosea 6:6 NLT

I think Jesus is teaching that we can’t live by a set of rules to be checked off. To please God, we must know God, and allow God to change us into the likeness of Christ. Later, the Apostle Paul writes,

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 NIV

We please God when we seek to be like Him through prayer, Bible study , and obedience.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men . . . It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:17 NIV

That tells me that I should do my job with all my heart, as if I was working for the Lord. If we are honest, conscientious, hard-working, and kind to those we work with, it is a testimony to others. Jesus said,

“. . . let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 NIV

“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is . . . giving, then give generously” Romans 12:6-8 NIV

My Thoughts

I believe the answer to Emma’s question is different for every person. Based on my study, here are some thoughts for you to consider as you study God’s Word.

  • We all have responsibilities, some more that others. Some have a family to provide for, others do not. I certainly don’t think the Lord calls everyone to live in poverty. Some are given the ministry of giving. How could they give if they didn’t have resources?
  • We need to be aware of what our spending says about us. If I wear $1,000 sneakers while those around me have holes in their shoes, then something’s not right. I must continually ask God to purify my heart. On the other hand, if I dress similarly to other people I work with, well that seems appropriate.
  • If my job keeps me so busy that I don’t attend church and don’t have time to read my Bible, something needs to change because I am not being obedient to what God has said in His Word.
  • If I make a lot of money, but I am a generous giver, helping those in need and seeking God’s will in giving, well that seems right to me. If I make a lot of money and spend it all on lavish gifts for myself, I need to start reading my Bible!

Prayer

Father, Help me to be more like Jesus. Give me a hunger for your Holy Word and teach me to pray. Create a pure heart in me that I might be pleasing in your sight. I want to know you and walk in love with those around me. Give me a heart like David, a man after your own heart. Then I will know how to walk in your ways and bring honor and glory to your precious name. Amen

Thank you for letting me share my thoughts with you, today. Your thoughts and comments are welcomed and appreciated.

With Love, 

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This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

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Christian

BITTERNESS: This Heart Condition Is Worse Than You Think

I was eavesdropping on a conversation recently (couldn’t help it – I was at the hair salon!) Anyway, one lady was complaining about her husband and another woman. The stylist listened attentively and threw in an occassional “Ohhh!” or “No!!” The complaining lady was really angry (and I could see why!)

I couldn’t stop thinking about what I overheard because it related to the subject of today’s post. When we’ve been deeply hurt and can’t forgive, it will lead to bitterness of heart.

The problem with bitterness is that, even though your anger and resentment may be justified, it will destroy you. Stephen Diamond, Ph.D.,  describes bitterness as “a chronic and pervasive state of smoldering resentment,” and deservedly regards it as “one of the most destructive and toxic of human emotions.”

He says, ” if we repeatedly ruminate over how we’ve been victimized, our “nursing” our wrongs may eventually come to define some essential part of who we are. Take hold of our very personality. And so we’ll end up becoming victims not so much of anyone else but, principally, of ourselves.”

Hebrews 12:15 says, “See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”

Since a root is the hidden part of a plant or tree, we can think of a bitter root as being the hidden source of bitterness. What is the seed from which that bitter root sprouts in our heart? It’s that tiny speck of unforgiveness, that tiny speck of indignation that we allow to remain in our hearts. It’s that tiny speck of resentment that we justify in our mind.

Let’s call this tree Bitterness. The function of it’s roots are the same as other roots. Roots can keep a tree in place for hundreds of years and nothing can move it . Winds and storms won’t dislodge it!

Secondly, the roots nourish the tree to make sure it keeps growing stronger and stronger.

And lastly, roots can cause trouble when they grow where they aren’t wanted – like when they invade water pipes or sewer systems.

Is it any wonder that God used the analogy of roots when warning us about bitterness? But where He gives a warning, he provides an answer.

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 NIV

“You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 2:1 NIV

As we humbly come to Him, seeking His way and His will, God will provide the grace to forgive and let go. Many times, the injustice we must forgive cannot be forgiven in our own strength, but God’s grace is sufficient. (2 Corinthians 12:9) And what is the opposite of bitterness? Contentment, Happiness, Sweetness! That is God’s plan for you.

“Grace be with you all.” (2 Timothy 4:22 NIV)

With Love, 

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This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

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Christian

Think You Can’t Hang On?

Is your heart breaking? Are you in deep despair? Is depression crushing you? Even when you think you can’t hang on, God will hang on to you. No matter what life is throwing at you, no matter how weak your faith might be right now, God will hold you fast.

How do I know? I know because He has done this for me. It has been over 60 years since I asked Jesus to be my Savior. Through many trials, through many sorrows, through all my many failings, He never let me go.

He never said, “That’s it! I’m done with her. She’s gone too far now. Enough is enough!”

When I doubted, He held me fast. When I rebelled, He held me fast. When I went astray, He held me fast. When I was in deep despair, He held me fast. When my heart was broken, He held me fast. This is why I love Him and why I praise Him unashamedly.

It is when I acknowledged my own shortcomings, vulnerabilities, and weaknesses that I grasped the depth of His great love and forgiveness and understood just how much I really need Him.

If you are searching for love, forgiveness, and mercy, come to Jesus. His love surpasses all understanding. He loves you, yes you.

Scripture for Meditation

“If I settle on the far side of the sea, even there … Your right hand will hold me fast.” (Psalm 139:10)

“Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39)

“You are not your own;  you were bought at a price.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

“I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:16-19)

With Love, 

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This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

1st Photo by Donald Giannatti on Unsplash

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Christian

Daily Scripture, 6/4/19

“This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.  So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Hebrews 4:15-16 NLT

With Love, 

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This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

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Christian

Daily Scripture, 5/24/19

“O Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness . . . put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.” Psalm 130:2-4, 7

With Love, 

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This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

realchristianwomen.blog 

Christian

Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself

Are you ever too hard on yourself? When confronted with our failures or weaknesses, we can feel like we’re not good enough, not measuring up. I struggle with this sometimes, especially when I have been too harsh with my middle school students. Why can’t I be more patient?

When we’re too hard on ourselves, we get discouraged and feel like giving up. Nothing could make Satan happier! Remember: Satan is “the accuser of the brethren.” and “a liar” (Revelation 12:10, John 8:44) But the promise of God is this:

“there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1 NIV

Sunday in church, I was feeling discouraged. We sang the song His Mercy is More. As we sang, the Holy Spirit comforted my soul like only He can. The lyrics say, “Our sins they are many. His mercy is more.”

I felt the love of God embrace me. God is not a hard taskmaster. He is loving, merciful, and kind. No matter how many times we mess up, He still loves us more than we will ever understand. Let the Holy Spirit, our Comforter, speak to your heart through God’s Word.

Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning;” Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV

His mercy and love are greater than all our failures, mess-ups, and shortcomings.

“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.” 1 John 4:16 NIV

The Apostle Paul wrote, “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power …… to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge.” Ephesians 3:17-19 NIV   

Though the mountains be shaken
    and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
    nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
    says the Lord, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10

You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you. Psalm 86:5 NIV

This is our God. If you need His encouragement today, I urge you to listen to and sing, this beautiful song. I pray that it will comfort you as much as it comforted me. God’s love is reaching out to us every day.

Lord, may we have a deeper revelation of your love.

With Love, 

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This is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

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Christian

I Teach Kids, God Teaches Me

Some people just don’t deserve what you did for them! They’re so ungrateful!

Today, I gave a science test at the Junior High School. I thought the kids would do really well because I had worked hard to prepare them. I created a Jeopardy Game for them to play for review (which wasn’t free, by the way). And I spent considerable time thinking of a better way to explain the concepts. You could say I gave it my all, above and beyond! I knew they would do well.

Only they didn’t!

Some of them were bubbling in random answers without reading the question! (Are you kidding me?!) 

Others were looking out the window and thinking about something else. (What’s wrong with these kids?!)

I knew that most of them had not studied and didn’t care if they passed or not. By the time I gave the test to 4 different classes, each set of grades worse than the class before, I was angry and frustrated. (Why should I work harder than they do? I’m tired of this! I don’t care anymore! They can all fail for all I care!! I’m done!)

On the drive home, I mumbled, “Lord help me to have a better attitude.” (and not with a lot of passion).

Right away He reminded me of how patient He was with me when I didn’t care what He had done for me.

What can I say to that? He died for me, and I went about living like I didn’t know it, only I did know it. Yes, there was a time when I did this. When I was at my worst, I’m sure He had angels watching over me to keep me alive until I came to my senses. He was patient with me. He never stopped loving me. And He certainly never said, “I’m done with her!”

After today, I better understand His love, forgiveness, and mercy. He never said, “I don’t care anymore.” He just kept loving me, interceding for me, and calling my name. For this I am eternally grateful.

Let us follow His example, showing His love to those He puts in our path each day.

Scriptures

“David said to Gad, “I am in deep distress. Let us fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is great; but do not let me fall into human hands.” 2 Samuel 24:14

“He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.” Titus 3:5

“But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him…” Psalm 103:17 KJV

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 NIV

“Who is like the Lord our God, the One who sits enthroned on high? He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap” Psalm 113:5,7 NIV

“He remembered us in our low estate. His love endures forever.”Psalm 136:23 NIV

“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” 1 John 4:16 NIV

“The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.” Psalm 145:9

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” Jesus

With Love, 

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This is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

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