Daily In The Word – Feb. 9th – Your Gifts and How to Use Them

Date: 9 Feb 2018 Comments:0

Well my reading for today did not take as long as I thought. That means you get the joy of seeing the second set of thoughts from my readings. Anyone who knows me well and has known me longer than a few weeks will tell you that I tend to be doing lots of things, all the time. I work multiple jobs to support my family, I teach English classes, I try to help people in many ways (such as teaching a few people how to skate at my son’s birthday party last night) and it brings me great joy. Why would someone who has so much going on feel so happy? Well, that’s because I feel that God has gifted me with a few skills: the ability to teach, a desire to learn, sound judgement, an analytical mind, a love for children and really just people in general. In the various things I do with my time, I am constantly using those talents to serve those around me. If I have a skill that can be used for the betterment of others, I try my best to do so because I feel that is how God would like me to be. According to the parable of the Three Servants, this is a very true statement. As you recall, the parable goes that a man gave one servant 5 bags of silver, one 3 bags and one a single bag. He left on a long journey and came back. The one who had 5 bags delighted his master by showing 5 more bags he’d earned. The one with three also pleased his master by showing him three additional bags he’d earned. Then… the last one, he didn’t use his silver, he just buried it and the master had him thrown out. It ends with the ultimate closure: “Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. ” (Matthew 25:28-29, NLT). In this case, the servants who doubled their money were loved more by their master and the one who did nothing was scorned. Now, I have used this parable to teach my daughter the importance of being trusted even with small things. Pastors have used this to teach us about money. However, I am going to approach it like this… if God has given you any kind of talent (any bags of silver), do your best to use whatever he has given you to grow his kingdom more. I have found that when I use these gifts naturally, God blesses me with even more.

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Daily In The Word – Feb. 8th – On Wisdom

Date: 9 Feb 2018 Comments:0

I am running a day behind on my readings, too much going on during yesterday’s meetings. So I am going to give you my first thoughts from yesterday’s reading and hopefully my thoughts from today’s reading a little later. The topic is wisdom. It’s often easy for our modern language to confuse the topics of wisdom and intelligence. These two things are not mutually inclusive. It is easy for someone to be intelligent… meaning they have a lot of information and can actively accept, process and reintegrate it into their life. Likewise, there are many people who are quite wise in that they have lived life and have learned many lessons about how to deal with the ebb and flow of life as a whole. Can someone be very intelligent and also wise? Certainly! Can someone be very wise and not very intelligent? Sure… I have many ancestors who, though they may not be able to explain Physics or Linguistics, have much knowledge to share with those around them. The best equipped people, of course, are those who can carry equal amounts of wisdom and intelligence in a graceful way. The wisest ones have much to be excited about according to the bible as the Proverbs state in this little section about Wisdom: “I love all who love me. Those who search will surely find me. I have riches and honor, as well as enduring wealth and justice. My gifts are better than gold, even the purest gold, my wages better than sterling silver!” (Proverbs 8:17-19, NLT). It’s important to understand context here. Though one could easily say “oh! The Bible must be talking about having the Holy Spirit in their lives” While it’s no doubt that having the Holy Spirit is critical to our lives, this particular tidbit is simply talking about having wisdom in life. May we all search after wisdom so as to enjoy it’s blessings!

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Daily In The Word – Feb. 7th

Date: 9 Feb 2018 Comments:0

Here are some thoughts from today’s reading. I hear people all over the place trying to ‘predict the end times’ or trying to look at the events happening in our world and try to link them with some kind of biblical eschatology. I don’t think less of them for this, but my thought is always that the moment someone thinks they know when the end will come, they will be proven wrong. We are not supposed to know when God is coming… wouldn’t that defeat the purpose of Jesus coming to offer everyone the chance for grace before the end? If we all knew Jesus would come back on a certain day, sure, people would likely try to go into atonement mode ASAP, but would they be trying to do better because of their love for Jesus? Or because they fear death and don’t want to die the final death? I think it would be much more the latter. Be careful when people tell you that ‘the end times are coming’ because the scripture tells us why that is not the case: Then if anyone tells you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah,’ or ‘There he is,’ don’t believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones.” (Matthew 24:23-24, NLT). Instead of trying to plan for the end times and get right with God then… we should all be focusing on doing the right thing now so that we do not fear the end.

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Daily In The Word – Feb. 6th

Date: 9 Feb 2018 Comments:0

Here are my thoughts from today’s reading. It’s obvious by reading the Gospels that Jesus had no patience with the stubbornness of the Pharisees. Furthermore, the Pharisees obviously did not like Jesus. The final stages of Jesus’ life before crucifixion were spent battling with Pharisees. However, when I look at how I sometimes act as a Christian, and how I see others act, there are not as many distinctions as I would like between the two. Many Christians feel that engaging in modern Pharisee like behavior shows they are holy and better but they are basically trying to ‘earn salvation’ through their actions. But God’s word makes it clear that offering the ‘appearance’ of holy, does not make one holy. “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and self-indulgence! You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too.” (Matthew 23:25-26, NLT). This also links back to my previous post about how Jesus’ work in our hearts when he takes over will change who we are. Therefore, let God do what he must to clean your heart so that you are clean on the inside and out.

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Daily In The Word – Feb. 5th

Date: 9 Feb 2018 Comments:0

Now for my final reading to catch up. I have talked openly about the great wife that God has given me in my wife. If you ever read things I say about her on FB, I always talk about how god could not have picked someone better for me. So what does this have to do with my reading? It’s simple. I made a number of bad choices for the sake of my relationship with my wife when I was younger. Despite giving her a million reasons why she should leave me when we were younger, she didn‘t leave. Now I strive to give her all the attention that my wife deserves. That is in line with the Scripture: “Drink water from your own well— share your love only with your wife.” (Proverbs 5:15, NLT) Love is such a taboo word in modern society. If I share my love with only my wife, that means that I do not seek after other women to fill that space in my life, I give that time to my wife so we can be fulfilled together. Marriage is not 50/50, it is 100/100. But don’t expect your wife to give you 100 if you only give her 35!

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Daily In The Word – Feb. 4th

Date: 9 Feb 2018 Comments:0

Okay, I told you I would be playing ‘catch up’ on my readings. Here are my thoughts from yesterday’s reading. When someone says that they are a Christian, this comes with many expectations, not just expectations from God but from other Christians as well. We are all accountable to each other to show that our lives our changed. But what does that look like? I think Jesus’ words when asked about the most important commandment clear that up: “Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:37-39, NLT). If we truly love God with all our heart and we also love our neighbor as ourselves, the rest of God’s commandments (not murdering, not being lustful, etc.) flow rather naturally. But we may spend our whole lives trying to fully handle these two commands.

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Daily In The Word – Feb. 3rd

Date: 9 Feb 2018 Comments:0

I am a bit behind on my daily bible study so I’m sorry but you’ll get to experience a few thoughts today instead of one. The first one is about waiting. I hate to wait on things and the longer I wait, the more anxious I become. However, this is not the way God wants us to be. In fact, in the time that Moses was bringing the people out of Egypt, they got tired of waiting for Moses to talk to God (I repeat, he was talking TO GOD, come on Israel!) so they got impatient and asked Aaron to make a golden calf. “When the people saw how long it was taking Moses to come back down the mountain, they gathered around Aaron. “Come on,” they said, “make us some gods who can lead us. We don’t know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 32:1, NLT). When Aaron made the calf and they worshiped it, Moses had 3,000 people killed and God brought a plague upon the people. I think the key here is that God does things in his time and only his time. If we stress about how long it takes, we can bring terrible things upon ourselves by saying “If God’s not going to give me this or that, I’ll just do it myself.” I don’t expect God would bring a plague on your family because of this, but you could poison yourself into an unfulfilled life by not waiting on God.

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Daily in the Word – Feb. 2nd

Date: 9 Feb 2018 Comments:0

The other day, I was explaining to my daughter why she had to be careful who she was friends with. I used the old adage that anyone who lays down with dogs will wake up with fleas. Of course, I explained that I didn’t mean her friends were dogs, but that she could get their bad habits. Today I found something from my reading that fits as well but from the opposite direction. “So follow the way of good people, and keep to the paths of the righteous.” Proverbs‬ ‭2:20‬ ‭HCSB‬‬

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Daily in the Word – February 1st

Date: 9 Feb 2018 Comments:0

Here is my thought from my reading today. Many people say that they are not sure when/if they want to accept Christ because they think they aren’t ready or have to be ‘better’ before they can accept him. However, if God made our bodies his temple, he will cleanse it just like he did in Jerusalem when he made his triumphant entry: “Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out all the people buying and selling animals for sacrifice. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves. He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves!” (Matthew 21:12-13, NLT). That is to say that once you take the Holy Spirit into your heart, you better believe that the first thing that will happen is that you will be cleansed. I will say, however, that this doesn’t always feel good but it ends up being worth it in the end.

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Daily in the Word From January 31st

Date: 9 Feb 2018 Comments:0

I try to brag about my wife often because I truly feel blessed that she is the one God has chosen to place in my life. My reading today reminds me of the great gift that I have been given. I think she is truly an example of the virtuous wife: “Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. Her husband can trust her,and she will greatly enrich his life.” (Proverbs 31:10-11). Thank you wife for enriching my life every day!

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