Monday, February 23, 2009

Blessed to be a Blessing

Matthew 25:14-30

14"Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. 15To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. 17So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. 18But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money.
19"After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.'
21"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'
22"The man with the two talents also came. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.'
23"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'
24"Then the man who had received the one talent came. 'Master,' he said, 'I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.'
26"His master replied, 'You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
28" 'Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. 29For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 30And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

A different look at this parable –

Using the money God gives you for yourself – that’s like putting it in the ground. It is not gaining anything.

Using it to help others – giving to the poor, homeless, etc. is like earning interest in God’s kingdom.

What He has given to us is not ours – it is to be used to benefit the kingdom of God. That will multiply it immensely. We don’t “deserve” to spend money on ourselves. We deserve death for our sins – Jesus has given us life – let’s give that gift of life to others and not keep it for ourselves.

This not only applies to our finances, but our time as well. How can we say we don't have "time" to help others - in the homeless shelter, jails, prisons & where it is needed? Do we think our time is our own also? We need to make sure we share everything we have with those less fortunate and that includes our time as well as our finances. God did not put us on this earth to be "successful" in an earthly sense, but to be "successful" in His Kingdom here on earth. Everything we have has been given to us by Him, we haven't "earned" it and we certainly don't "deserve" it. God gives us things to see how we will use them, either selfishly for ourselves or unselfishly to help others. What do you do with what God has given you?

God said to Moses in Genesis 12:2

"And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing."

We are blessed so we can be a blessing to others, that's the ONLY reason.

We do not want to be like the goats mentioned in Matthew 25:31-46. We need to do unto others as we would to Jesus.

I pray that I will give back to others what God has given me, that I won't think I am worthy enough to keep anything for myself. I want Jesus to say to me, "Well done, good & faithful servant.". Don't you?

God be with you and bless you today.


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Does Life REALLY Suck?

What an interesting 2 weeks I've had. Not really good ones either. I wanted to title this post "Life Sucks" but that isn't very uplifting, is it? Nevertheless, that is how I have been feeling. There were times when I just wanted God to take me home, but He, of course, just ignored that request. Where is my joy? What happened to my optimism, my hope? Well, let's see...

  • I have been focusing on myself mostly - that's not a good thing.
  • I have been "sort of" praying to God, but not really with a repentant heart and spirit.
  • I have "read" my bible, but not really "listened" to what God is saying to me.
  • I have not kept my eyes on Jesus, that's for sure.
  • I have desired things that are NOT what God would want for me, and then have been upset when I haven't gotten them. - GO FIGURE!
  • I have pretty much given up on ever being happy or joyful and have decided that I will just have to "bear" this.
So now what? Do I continue to live like this or should I try to change? Right now, I don't really know, but I DO know this:

Deuteronomy 31:8
"It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed."

So, God is with me even during times like this. That's encouraging to know, but also somewhat embarrassing! So I have been trying to do this on my own, when HE has been there all along, wanting to help. Oops - that was stupid of me, wasn't it?

Ok, what else?

Jeremiah 29:12
"Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you."

Ah - He has PROMISED to hear us when we pray. That's cool!

Romans 8:26
"Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words."

So I need to remember to pray in the Spirit also.

What about reading the bible? I read it every day.

Jeremiah 15:16
"Your words were found, and I ate them,and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name,O LORD, God of hosts."

Lord, help me to be like Jeremiah so that Your words will become a joy to me. Help me to really listen to what You are saying and not imagine what I want You to say. Help me to keep vigilant so I don't desire things that I cannot or should not have. Help me to LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN to You!!

Matthew 26:41
"Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."

Oh yeah, the flesh is SO weak. I pray that God will give me strength.

Psalm 32:11
"Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous,and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!"

Psalm 51:12
"Restore to me the joy of your salvation,and uphold me with a willing spirit."

Oh, I wish I could experience that joy again! It would be so wonderful! I know, Lord that You want this for me. I WILL feel it again, I know. You have promised and You are faithful. Thank you, Lord.

Deuteronomy 7:9
"Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,"

So I guess life really doesn't suck, unless I choose to let it. I think not, don't you?

God be with you and bless you today.