“What are you willing to pour out for Christ?” March 15

 

What are you willing to pour out for the cause of Christ?

Mark 14 records the story of the woman with the alabaster jar. She poured out it’s valuable contents to honor Christ. What are you and I willing to pour out for the cause of Christ?

 

Today’s Readings:
Numbers 27 & 28
Psalm 34.8-14
Proverbs 11.29
Mark 14.1-26

 

What are you willing to pour out for Christ?

 

Mark 14.1-26:

Your Alabaster Jar

 

Verses 3-9 relate the story of the woman with the alabaster jar:

3 And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He [Jesus] sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head. 4 But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted? 5 For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they criticized her sharply. 6 But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. 7 For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. 8 She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. 9 Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”

John 12.3 tells us this was Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus. This costly oil was, probably, worth nearly a year’s salary. She poured it out showing her love and devotion for her Lord.

Others were given the opportunity to pour out for Christ. One that comes to mind is the rich young ruler, but he walked away when Jesus asked him to sell all that he had and give to the poor (Mk. 10.17-21).

What about me? What about you? What are we willing to give back to God? Are we willing to use our gifts and talents to further the kingdom of God? Do we give faithfully of our finances? What about our time? Do we give God an hour or two a week, but no more?  Continue reading

“Could you be left behind?” July 19

 

left behind

Two people will be working together. One will disappear and the other will be left behind.  Men and women will be eating and sleeping and going about their business. Some will be gone in an instant and others left behind. How about you? Would you go or could you be left behind?

 

Today’s Readings:
2 Chronicles 34-36
Psalm 86.1-5
Proverbs 21.13-14
Acts 21.1-17

 

Could you be left behind?

 

2 Chronicles 34-36:

Mercy … but Then Judgment

 

In chapter 34 Josiah had become king at the ripe old age of 8, but what a king he was! Verse 3 says that he began to seek the Lord in the eighth year of his reign. He would have been just 16 years old. By the age of 20 he was putting a stop to idolatry. Next he began clearing out the temple and getting ready to reinstate the proper temple worship. In the process Hilkiah the priest found the Book of the Law of the Lord.

Several things struck me about all of this. First, the Word of God was not being taught. People were just doing whatever seemed right to them. The second thing was Josiah’s response to the Word when it was read to him. He tore his clothes, a statement of intense mourning and repentance. He was repenting, not just for himself, but for the nation as a whole, because he realized just how far they had departed from the truth. He understood that they were under God’s judgment because of it.

So he sent Hilkiah and a group of men to meet with a prophetess named Huldah to seek further direction from the Lord. She reassured him that God had seen his righteous response to all of this and his willingness to humble himself and obey. So while judgment was coming, He would grant the nation a reprieve. In fact, it wouldn’t happen in Josiah’s lifetime. But after his death and by the close of 2 Chronicles, Jerusalem would be destroyed and the remaining people carried off to Babylon where they would remain in captivity for 70 years.

 

God is Withholding His Judgment Today

 

Today, much like in Josiah’s time, God is withholding His final judgment from the earth because of the presence of His faithful people, the Church! But one day …  Continue reading

March 15 “According to our gifts”

God gives each of us a unique combination of gifts and abilities and in the sovereignty of His will He calls us to fulfill His plans and purposes.

gifts & abilities

Today’s Readings:
Numbers 27 & 28
Psalm 34.8-14
Proverbs 11.29
Mark 14.1-26

Numbers 27 & 28:

According to our gifts

Moses was at the end of his life and he was still concerned about the people. Chapter 27.16-17, “Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation, who may go out before them and go in before them, who may lead them out and bring them in, that the congregation of the LORD may not be like sheep which have no shepherd.”

But God had already prepared another leader. He would not lead in quite the same way and he would not have that “face to face” relationship with God that Moses had, but he would be used by God in a mighty way, to bring the people into the Promised Land.

That should encourage all of us that though we may be gifted differently from someone else, God uses all of us for His plans and purposes. Continue reading

February 12 “More Than Enough”

What would happen if God’s people freely gave of all the gifts and abilities He has so graciously provided? Would there once again be more than enough, or even, too much as there was in Moses’ time?

Today’s Readings:
Exodus 35 & 36
Psalm 22.1-8
Proverbs 8.6-11
Matthew 26.26-50

Exodus 35 & Exodus 36:

All who had willing hearts

Several things in these two chapters caught my attention. First in chapter 35:

22 They came, both men and women, as many as had a willing heart, and brought earrings and nose rings, rings and necklaces, all jewelry of gold, that is, every man who made an offering of gold to the LORD. 23 And every man, with whom was found blue, purple, and scarlet thread, fine linen, goats’ hair, red skins of rams, and badger skins, brought them. 24 Everyone who offered an offering of silver or bronze brought the LORD’s offering. And everyone with whom was found acacia wood for any work of the service, brought it. 25 All the women who were gifted artisans spun yarn with their hands, and brought what they had spun, of blue, purple, and scarlet, and fine linen. 26 And all the women whose hearts stirred with wisdom spun yarn of goats’ hair. 27 The rulers brought onyx stones, and the stones to be set in the ephod and in the breastplate, 28 and spices and oil for the light, for the anointing oil, and for the sweet incense. 29 The children of Israel brought a freewill offering to the LORD, all the men and women whose hearts were willing to bring material for all kinds of work which the LORD, by the hand of Moses, had commanded to be done. Continue reading