Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Harvest of Sowing

A charitable couple giving money to a poor monk.
A charitable couple giving money to a poor monk. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord,
and He will reward them for what they have done.

Proverbs 19:17
New International Version (NIV)

          Poverty does not always have something to do with money or assets.  When we think about giving to "the poor", we often picture handing coins to some destitute street person with a scrawled sign asking for money.   Or we might think about giving money to help a charitable organization that takes care of the needy.   These are fine ways to help and we should be encouraged to help those who are in need of resources.

          Some of us might be a bit strapped for funds ourselves to the point that there seems little we can do to help the poor with monetary giving.   Keep in mind that needs are not always addressed by giving money.  Volunteering to help others is an excellent way to lend to the Lord.    Sometimes just hanging out with a person who is lonely, suffering, or sad can be as good as gold to that person.

          Your time and your talent are God's gifts to you.  They are meant to be used to help others.  When you become a person who gives freely to others, you will find yourself blessed in return.   Don't think that if you have financial abundance that just dishing out big checks is all you need to do.  Sure, keep on giving away the money if you have it to give, but don't forget your other assets that God has blessed you with.

         And if you don't have the money to spare, you surely have something that you can share with others.  Be a light in the darkness.   Start with the simple things--a smile, a kind word, or a helping hand.  See what happens.    Receiving a smile in return for the one you've given is a good feeling.    Someone out there needs your love and encouragement.

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
Luke 6:38
New International Version (NIV)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Where Can I Find the Truth?

Worship before the Throne of God
Worship before the Throne of God (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.
Psalm 24:8
King James Version (KJV)

       We live in a violent often frightening world.  There are many humans who are evil and propagate ideas and beliefs that cause great harm.  Sometimes it can be difficult to tell who is right and who is wrong.   This is especially true when claims are made as a judgement coming from God.   

       God surely can speak to us in many ways, but we should be discerning when someone pronounces a message they say that has been given to them directly from God.   This has been the ruse of many of the false prophets throughout history.

        When a person or group declares that they have the authority from their God or their scripture to cut off heads and murder people then those who have made that declaration are to be questioned in their belief system.   A so-called god who commands its followers to persecute and kill others is a small weak god who cannot fend for itself--in actuality a false god who does not speak but dwells in the delusions of its adherents.

        Fortunately the One True God who showed us mercy and provided us grace through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ is a big God who will take care of himself.  God allows earthly governments and armies to have power in their seasons, but the ultimate judgment will be directed by God himself.

         The pure logic, sense, and beauty of the book Christians know as the Holy Bible makes it very clear to those with eyes to see, ears to hear, and the wisdom of understanding the story of us, the God-created human race.  In this book the truth can be found.    Anything that disputes what is to be found in these pages speaks of deceit and lies.  

You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth.
Romans 2:1-2
New International Version (NIV)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

What's the Big Hurry?

Prague, Běchovice, memorial to a running race.
Prague, Běchovice, memorial to a running race. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!

Psalm 27:14
New King James Version (NKJV)

         An impatient person can be prone to doing foolish things. They want what they want when they want it and will sometimes make bad decisions rather than keep waiting for something to happen.  These bad decisions can lead to dangerous outcomes.

          The driver anxious to get somewhere might jump the red light or exceed the speed limit in order to get where they are going more quickly.   The consequences can be unexpectedly bad and sometimes even fatal.  The itchiness to move at one's own pace can be a terrible decision if approached haphazardly without thinking clearly.

       God's timing is not the same as ours.   Sometimes we have to wait for the Lord's schedule and not pursue our own desires.   Waiting is rarely easy or pleasant, but when we have to wait then we should accept the situation as it is.   

        Let God have His way and He will give you what you need to deal with your impatience.  There is possibly a good reason for your having to wait.   Slow down and look around you.   When you move impatiently through life you will miss out on the details that make life more interesting and valuable.

        See the good in everything.  Even when you have to wait longer than you had hoped.

 Rejoice in hope, be patient in
tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Romans 12:12
English Standard Version (ESV)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The One Majestic Ruler of All

Multiwavelength X-ray image of the remnant of ...
Multiwavelength X-ray image of the remnant of Kepler's Supernova, SN 1604. (Chandra X-ray Observatory) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Psalm 8:9

New International Version (NIV)

       There is no earthly power that comes close to our Sovereign God.   To place our complete trust and faith in some monarch, president, caliph, pope, or any other leader of world or religious affairs is foolish.  Humans are below God as is all of the creation of the Almighty Creator.  Worshipping temporal entities or even the elements that have existed for eons makes no sense when considered from the aspect of spiritual logic.

        There is one God, one Creator, and one Holy of all Holies.   If you are worshipping anyone or anything else then you are worshipping passing fancy and meaningless exultation.   Who do you hold on high?   Will that "god" be around tomorrow?   A million years from now?   Has that "god" answered any of your prayers?   Comforted you in your times of greatest need?

         Consult the Holy Bible with your mind and heart open.   You can find answers.   And if the One Holy Lord God is with you then you will find answers.  This is the greatest logic for those who have found true wisdom.

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

Jude 1:24-25

King James Version (KJV)

Sunday, August 3, 2014

A Direct Line to God

The iconic image of the Hand of God giving lif...
The iconic image of the Hand of God giving life to Adam, used since the series' inception. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them, 
    human beings that you care for them?

Psalm 8:3-4

New International Version (NIV)

       God is big.  When we think of God, we think in terms of infinite, eternal, and omnipotent.   With all of the billions and billions of people who now live and who have ever lived, why should God even notice you or I?   Because He is God.   God cares about each of us.

        When you  feel lost and alone, remember--God is there for you.  Yes, you specifically.  You are important.   God may be a big God, but we each are big in His eyes.  When no one else seems to care about you then remember that God does.   You are never alone.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

1 Peter 5:6-7

New International Version (NIV)