In memory. For what will you be remembered?
A woman came to Jesus and poured some very expensive perfume on his head. Some watching rebuked her – because it was worth a year’s wages.
But Jesus commended her for this act of devotion. “…wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”
Here is a timeless challenge – be remembered for your life of devotion to Jesus.
Some may criticize you – suggesting you might spend your time and resources in more fruitful ways. But…all that is passing away – while your devotion will be long remembered.
Let your devotion to Jesus be the theme of your life. And at the end…it will be that for which you will be remembered.
Souls for sale. And…Satan is the bidder.
Jesus said: “…what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?”
It’s the language of the marketplace.
Sadly…many have put their souls up for sale in the auction place. Satan offers pleasure…money…prestige…and anything else that can clinch the deal.
For example…Satan put a bid on for Joseph’s soul. He used Potiphar’s wife. But…Joseph resisted her advances…and ran for his life.
Satan put in a high bid…but Joseph turned it down.
Just look around. You will see thousands who have sold their souls for the cheap offers of Satan.
So…determine now that your soul is not for sale.
Instead…sell out to Christ. His offer is eternal life.
Waiting for Jesus to come. This is the occupation of every follower of Jesus.
Imagine a busy father who left his young son at a safe and supervised place…telling him to stay there until he returned. Unexpectedly…the father was detained until later in the day.
When he returned…the son had remained in the same place where the father had left him.
What is the lesson in this imaginative story?
Simply this – until Jesus comes we must stay close to the cross.
You are always safe in this place. It is the place of pardon…fellowship…and communion with the Savior.
Sadly…some wander off…and become partners with the world.
So…stand firm until Jesus comes.
An inverted blessing. This is when people try to bless themselves rather than God and others.
Moses spoke of those who “…invoke a blessing on themselves, thinking, ‘I will be safe even though I persist in going my own way…’”
When people say that they are morally upright and do not need God – they are doing just what Moses warned the people of his day to avoid.
The judgment on such practices is severe: “…his wrath for zeal will burn against them.”
This is always the question — will you go your way…or will you choose God’s way?
Let the blessing you offer be God-centered…not self-centered.
That’s blessing God and others…in the right direction.
Stewards of the past. That is the challenge for succeeding generations of God’s people.
“Forget not.” Those words…in various forms…recur throughout Scripture.
The miracles of the exodus…the victorious entry into Canaan…the advent of Christ …and the birth of the church.
This is a past to be honored.
The church today must face this challenge.
That includes the preservation of the Scriptures — the devotion of the early church fathers — the selfless service of the reformers—and the heart of revivalists.
This…people of God must never forget.
Also worship literature and forms…the clear proclamation of God’s Word…a devotion to prayer – this is the past that must be valued.
Sometimes…the temptation is to sweep away the past – and with that comes great loss.
Forget not – that’s the heart of those who steward the past.
Sorrows. Do they serve any purpose?
Yes. They keep all of us from getting too attached to this world.
John the Apostle says: “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.”
Sorrow helps break affections for the world.
God does not delight in sorrows. But… when they come as a part of life…He uses them.
God desires that we enjoy His blessings. But…He does not want His people to get so attached to this world that there is no anticipation for eternal life.
Remember…you are a stranger here.
Your real home is in heaven.
The abundant life. That is the promise for every follower of Jesus.
Jesus said: “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
Bu…what are the qualities of that abundance?
Peace with God. That is…the joyful awareness that every barrier between you and God has been removed by the death of Jesus.
Companionship. That is…the joy of knowing Jesus in a personal way. He is an abiding Presence. You are privileged to live in continual fellowship through prayer and worship.
Provision. That is…the joy of knowing that your needs will be met by God.
Hope. That is…the joy of knowing that after this life is over…you will enter God’s eternal presence.
This is the right understanding of the prosperity gospel.
Eden restored. Could that be a partial description of heaven?
God was present with man – walking in the garden in the cool of the day.
Man’s mental capacities were released – Adam was able to name every living creature.
The environment was perfect — the created order was flawless.
It may be that a restored Eden is a partial picture of what heaven will be like.
However…the reality of heaven will supersede by far any understanding that mortal man could have.
The challenge now is to be prepared. And…the way is to accept Jesus as both Savior and Lord.
One day – heaven will be a reality.
Out of the ashes. But…what will then emerge?
That’s always the question.
Erupting volcanos are destructive…but create new islands. Forest fires destroy…but give birth to new life. Stars die…but others are formed.
Dreams collapse…but new visions are birthed. Tragedy strikes…but then comes new possibilities. Ambitions fail…but new ideas emerge.
Out of the ashes – what will it be?
This is the message of the cross. For the fearful and distraught disciples…it was all ashes. Jesus was dead – and His departure was marked by shame and disgrace.
But…on the third day the ashes turned to life. And the hope of the world rose in triumphant glory.
Let the ashes of your life give birth to something amazing and glorious.
Erasing the definitions. You think you have life figured out. Then comes the call of Jesus…and the definitions are erased.
The disciples understood fishing. They were comfortable in the vocation of their fathers. Then Jesus called them to follow Him.
The definitions were erased.
Moses had enjoyed eighty years of predictability and familiarity. Then came the burning bush.
The definitions were erased.
Saul of Tarsus was a Pharisee of Pharisees. He had life all figured out. Then came the Damascus Road.
The definitions were erased.
And…the same can happen to you. You are at ease. Life is familiar…predictable…and comfortable.
Then comes the call of Jesus…and life feels scrambled and confused.
But…when Jesus erases the definitions…you will find great joy in following His plan.