Day 304

Today’s Reading – Matthew 19 and Mark 10

CamelNeedle-250x300.jpg
It’s easier for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter God’s kingdom.” 

They were shocked even more and said to each other, “Then who can be saved?” 

Jesus looked at them carefully and said, “It’s impossible with human beings, but not with God. All things are possible for God.” 

Mark 10:25-27 CEB

We are so limited in our thinking from God’s perspective.

For every negative thought we have God has a positive answer if we would look:

You say: “It’s impossible”
God says: All things are possible (Luke 18:27)

You say: “I’m too tired”
God says: I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28-30)

You say: “Nobody really loves me”
God says: I love you (John 3:16)

You say: “I can’t go on”
God says: My grace is sufficient (II Corinthians 12:9)

You say: “I can’t figure things out”
God says: I will direct your steps (Proverbs 3:5-6)

You say: “I can’t do it”
God says: You can do all things (Philippians 4:13)

You say: “I can’t forgive myself”
God says: I FORGIVE YOU (I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1)

You say: “I can’t manage”
God says: I will supply all your needs (Philippians 4:19)

You say: “I’m afraid”
God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear (II Timothy 1:7)

You say: “I’m always worried and frustrated”
God says: Cast all your cares on ME (I Peter 5:7)

You say: “I don’t have enough faith”
God says: I’ve given everyone a measure of faith (Romans 12:3)

You say: “I’m not smart enough”
God says: I give you wisdom (I Corinthians 1:30)

You say: “I feel all alone”
God says: I will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews13:5)

Have you threaded any needles with camels lately?

Day 303

Today’s Reading – Luke 18


Pharisees asked Jesus when God’s kingdom was coming. He replied, “God’s kingdom isn’t coming with signs that are easily noticed. Nor will people say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ Don’t you see? God’s kingdom is already among you.”   Luke 17:20-21 CEB

Ever been to Disneyland?

It really is hard to have a bad day there. Everyone seems so nice and helpful and everything is clean and in its place. When you leave, you long for things to be like that.

I think that too often we get caught up in what the Kingdom of God will be like in the future. We impatiently wait for everything to be made right.

And yet, Jesus says the Kingdom of is already here. We just miss it.

You don’t have to wait until Heaven to do the right thing . . . as a matter of fact, I don’t think you can.

What are you waiting for?

The Kingdom of God is here and you are a part of it. Get to it . . .

Day 302

Today’s Reading – John 11


The fountain display at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas is truly spectacular, but then again everything in Las Vegas is designed to be spectacular.

That is in part what draws people there. Las Vegas is more than gambling and casinos.

Las Vegas is everything to the extreme – shows, performers, neon signs, food, hotels, and fountains.

Our appetite for the spectacular is what makes today’s passage so unique.

        Jesus began to cry. John 11:35 CEB

There is part of me that wants Jesus to put on a show.

How easy it would have been – How spectacular it would have been – how awesome!

But no, Jesus instead mourns at the human loss and then without fireworks or a spectacular show raises Lazarus from the dead.

Good News that the spectacular can be accomplished simply.

I am a simple man and I find comfort that God understands me and can use me (in the simplest ways) to accomplish His work.

Keep it simple – God is spectacular enough.

Day 301

Today’s Reading – Luke 16-17


The master commended the dishonest manager because he acted cleverly.

Luke 16:8 CEB

Bill Murray in Caddyshack delivers the line, “So I got that going for me.”

Along those lines, I recently received this promising e-mail:

Recently, my doctor told me that I have cancer problem. (cancer of the lever and i have partial stroke before) So i don’t know now for how long i am going to be here in this earth.Having known my condition I decided to donate this the little fund (3.7 Million Dollars)which i have to a Church or individual that will utilize this money the way I will instruct. I want little fund to be use for orphanages, widows, propagating the word of God and to endeavor that the house of God is maintained. 
So, I go that going for me.

The sad thing is good, God-loving people fall prey to these and other scams daily! Apparently we aren’t shrewd enough to recognize a scam when it comes our way. Likewise we aren’t real good and recognizing good practices when they come our way either.

I love the story Jesus tells in the passage today because it comes with one of those lines that catches you off guard.

Did, Jesus really commend someone for their shrewd (albeit underhanded) business practice? The answer is YES!

Why?

I think it was to remove the fear of doing business the ‘normal’ way as a follower of Christ.

For too long now, the church has acted with fear with regards to anything that comes along that resembles the world’s business practices. The problem is there are some really good practices the church could learn from.

A few years ago the United Methodist Church asked all churches to set goals and implement a S.M.A.R.T. action plan. This is a process that is being used throughout the business sector to reinvigorate corporations and help them achieve their goals.

The problem is we have church leaders and pastors that are approaching this with fear and dread as if to say that business practices are invading the church!

I say until we (the church) develop practices for achieving our goals that are worthy of being duplicated by the business sector, let’s take their best practices and shrewdly make them our own.

I think God would approve and I know the church will be better off in the years to come because we acted shrewdly in setting and achieving our goals.

Day 300

Today’s Reading – Luke 14-15

Coins-741466

“Or what woman, if she owns ten silver coins and loses one of them, won’t light a lamp and sweep the house, searching her home carefully until she finds it? When she finds it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Celebrate with me because I’ve found my lost coin.’

Luke 15:8-9 CEB

Our church is wrapping up a series on stewardship and tithing and couldn’t help but ‘see’ a unique picture of tithing in this parable about the Kingdom of God.

One coin is missing out of ten – that is 10% – a tithe.

When it is missing there is alarm! This missing coin is of value.

When it is found there is a celebration. The found coin is worth celebrating.

Jesus didn’t teach we should tithe – that might be a shock to some!

Jesus taught that are giving should be cheerful, generous, and sacrificial.

Our giving should be noticed by us as if something was missing!

Our giving should be worth celebrating!

If others learned of your giving, would there be cause to celebrate?

Day 299

Today’s Reading – Luke 12-13

3851909609_b7f23dc442.jpg

Again Jesus said, “To what can I compare God’s kingdom? 
It’s like yeast, which a woman took 
and hid in a bushel of wheat flour 
until the yeast had worked its way through the whole.” 
Luke 13:20-21 CEB

Faith is to permeate our whole life.

John Wesley started a movement based on the premise that if you have faith your life should be a living example of that faith.

Faith leads to acts of faith. Faith leads to good works.

Faith should create a change in you that others will notice!

Got faith?

Day 298

Today’s Reading – Luke 10
Nevertheless, don’t rejoice because the spirits submit to you.  Rejoice instead that your names are written in heaven. 

Luke 10:20 CEB

It is so easy to get caught up in our  accomplishments or those of others.

We watch athletes win games and we hear them say, “I want to thank God . . .”

Here is Jesus reminding the disciples after they have done great and mighty things . . .

Don’t forget what is truly worth giving thanks for . . . Your Salvation.
As our minds wander towards our plans for Thanksgiving, be mindful to give thanks and rejoice in the salvation you have in Christ.
This is far greater than anything else you might be thankful for.