Matthew 7:24-29 – What Does Your Future Look Like?

Read Matthew 7:24-29

Jesus concludes his Sermon on the Mount with these words of wisdom. The people were amazed. We should be amazed, even if we’ve heard this time and again. The messages and truth that Jesus has shared with us over the last two chapters in Matthew’s gospel are golden. Jesus puts in a nutshell what his obedient followers should do. He’s made it clear.

Our future is up to us. Will we listen to Jesus and have a firm foundation on which to build our lives? Or will we return to life as we knew it, going through the motions, scraping by, not paying much attention to what Jesus has set out for us? The Holy Spirit is stirring inside us, will we pay attention?

Continue reading “Matthew 7:24-29 – What Does Your Future Look Like?”

Hebrews 5:11-14 – Growing Up

Read Hebrews 5:11-14

How long have you been a Christian, that is a Christ follower who believes and trusts in Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Maybe you always remember being a Christian, maybe you’re just beginning to experience  Jesus’ life-saving grace. We are all walking along in our faith journey at different points with experiences to share. We are growing up in our faith daily by spending time with God, reading his word, seeking his will for our life.

The original readers of this text were brand new Christians, Jewish Christians, who had so much to learn. They knew how to be Jews, but their whole world changed when they claimed Jesus as their Messiah. Many had probably been left behind by their family members who remained true to Jewish belief that the Messiah had not yet come. Imagine the turmoil inside them. It makes sense they would need the counsel of other Christians further along in the journey and understanding to come alongside them. Continue reading “Hebrews 5:11-14 – Growing Up”

Ephesians 1:15-23 – Spiritually Wise

Read Ephesians 1:15-23

I just love this passage. First of all, the prayer is a prayer I have for each of you, and particularly for each of my children and grandchildren. In this fast-paced, crazy world, the importance of a relationship with God can often get overlooked. I’m as guilty as the next guy. There were times in my life when Sundays couldn’t come fast enough, and the time in between, well, was full of things that kept my eyes focused on other things. Now I see the importance of a relationship with God, and I certainly want spiritual wisdom to grow in my knowledge of God.

For years, I put off my quiet time instead of making it a priority. Now that I am making it a priority, my life feels so much more complete. I feel more confident, more focused, more peaceful. I started this routine before I was retired. I challenged myself to start journaling my reflections. I did that personally with God. He prompted me to share with others. He knew we could use this to reach busy folks. He longs for a relationship with you. Continue reading “Ephesians 1:15-23 – Spiritually Wise”

Luke 2:41-52 – Who’s Teaching Who?

Read Luke 2:41-52

So many thoughts run through my head as I read this passage.

  • How frantic Mary and Joseph must have been. Have you ever lost your child, even for a moment in a store while shopping? Remember that feeling?
  • Did Jesus or the religious leaders ever take a break and sleep during the 3+ days Jesus was “missing.”
  • How could they not know what Jesus meant, had they forgotten he was the “Son of God?”
  • If the religious leaders were all amazed at his answers at age 12, what happened to them when at age 30 they wanted to kill Jesus?

Did you have another revelation or thought when you read this passage? Perhaps there is something missing in your life that you want to find? I suppose the mother in me really resonates with the first one and can’t imagine the anguish Mary felt. Continue reading “Luke 2:41-52 – Who’s Teaching Who?”

James 3:13-18 – Where Does Your Wisdom Come From?

Read James 3:13-18

You may have heard the Book of James referred to as the New Testament Proverbs. Certainly it is not just a set of ideas and thoughts but rather a congruent teaching designed mainly for the teachers of the day, but certainly applicable to all. It speaks to us today even louder than ever.

Today we talk about wisdom. Two kinds of wisdom.  Wisdom that is of the world, that is demonic and evil, and the other, good kind, that is from God. So many people are concerned today with social justice and political correctness. At what cost? There seems to be such a sway away from what the Bible teaches. Bible scholars are aghast at the trends we see taking over society and how words of the Bible are twisted to fit people’s evil desires.

James was seeing the same thing and wanted to get things straightened out. He was starting with the teachers, I suppose hoping he could get an army of educators on the right page. He wanted to end selfish ambition and return people to God.

God’s word brings peace to those who listen. God’s wisdom is full of grace and gentleness, both great attributes for people in dealing with others. The “other” wisdom will bring division and jealousy because it is not considerate and giving, only self serving and full of disorder.

So what do we do about it today? How can we change the direction people think and follow?

Have you heard of the starfish story? It’s where they find so many starfish washed up on the beach waiting to die because they are separated from their lifesource–the water. One by one, a young person begins taking the starfish back to the water. When asked what they were doing, how could they possibly begin to save them all. The reply came, “I made a difference for this one.”

That’s what James was trying to do and what we should be trying to do as well. For those lost in their evil thoughts and motives, we need to bring light and truth. With gentleness and grace we need to be the example of true wisdom and let everything that comes from our mouth be helpful and full of God’s love.

Verse 13 says, “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.”

Let’s pray. Father God, I am saddened by this world’s lack of focus on you and your truth. Godly wisdom is what I seek. I want to be so full of you and your wisdom that people can’t help but see and notice my gentleness, my grace, my peace and my sincerity. I want to be a full reflection of you. Let my words and deeds be the example needed to set your people free from the bondage of evil desires. Work in their hearts to feel the uncomfortable separation from you. Make their yearning for a relationship stronger than ever so that they will be open to looking for you in places they haven’t looked before. May the sermon of my life speak louder than my words ever could. In Jesus’ name. Amen.