I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, hears my words, and acts on them. That one is like a man building a house, who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock; when a flood arose, the river burst against that house but could not shake it, because it had been well built. Some time ago I was told that our thoughts are not necessarily original. If we have a wonderfully great idea it doesn’t mean that no one else has thought of it. Those who succeed are those who act while the rest of us are still just thinking about it. Gracious God, let us not be idle with the gifts you have given us. Together let us act to build on the foundation of your love for us that we may fulfill your purpose in our lives to the glory of your Name. Let us march on ’til victory is won.
You knew, did you, that I was a harsh man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow? Luke 19:11-27 I’ve always found the parable of the ten pounds a bit odd. The nobleman that no one likes is actually quite generous with his money and his trust in ten of his slaves, with the expectation that they will do right by the gift. One of them however is simply afraid and chooses to do nothing. He ultimately ends up paying a heavy price for what he believes to know about the nobleman based on what the other citizens of the country have said against the nobleman. So many times I have hindered myself with fear because of what I thought I knew based on what someone else believed. Many people speak against God when in fact he has been quite generous with the gift of his son Jesus Christ, redemption, salvation, forgiveness, everlasting love and the Gospel. These are the things we ultimately have to remember when other people are in our ear telling us what is contrary to the truth. Regardless of what other people may say, God has given each of us a gift that we can use for his glory. Even in fear he encourages us to be faithful; to love not hate, wish well and not begrudge, build up and not tear down.
…by the grace of God I am what I am. 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 I really love this statement by Paul. Some of the people of Corinth may not have liked who he was or what he’d done, but he makes it very clear that his message wasn’t about him anymore. It’s about God’s decision to use Paul’s gifts so that others may seek God. Previously, Paul’s heart was in the right place, but his head (thinking) was someplace else. Many of us fall into this category in some or all areas of our life. Who but God understands this about us even when we don’t see this about ourselves? While Paul attributes his past experience and current ministry to one “untimely born”, he realizes his journey is exactly where God always intended it to be. Perhaps by his own description of his life he wishes his path could have been different, but he has accepted the fact that he is what he is today, because of that path. In fact his yesterdays and his todays go together – because except for the “dead”, today doesn’t come without yesterday. Today in this world the conflict of heart and mind isn’t unusual. But even to the “untimely born”, God will bring the heart and mind in to one place for the glory of his name and every day we are given is an opportunity to follow the Lord. Thus as believers, like Paul, minding what we were yesterday, should with praise encourage the question; “What are we today?”
Happy are those
who do not follow the advice of the wicked,… but their delight is in the law of the Lord,