Friday, May 25, 2012

He's God the Whole World in His Hands

In troubling times like today, we may be tempted to think that God isn't paying attention. However, He is very much in control of what goes on in the world.

It's easy to focus on our financial problems, sickness, or troubled relationships, but be encouraged. We have a lot to be thankful for. Let's think about all our blessings. They are gifts from God and He has a plan for how we should use them.

I like to remember His plan for good stewardship with three S's:

We are good stewards when we serve God with our first fruits. That means the first part of every day, spending time talking with Him and reading His word. He gave each of us talents and abilities and we should consider how we can use them to serve God and others. All our money is a gift from God too and we please Him when we give at least the first 10% back to Him to spread the good news of the gospel and help other people around the world.

A good steward also saves 10% of the money he receives. This comes in handy when things break down and need to be replaced.

Check this out. We have 80% of our income to spend on paying bills, buying food, gas and clothes. You many not have bills yet, but as you grow older, they come in the mailbox for things that run your household.

Think About It
Do you receive an allowance? Begin now to be a good steward by using the three S's. It gets harder the longer you delay. If you receive a $10 allowance, serve God by offering $1 back to Him and savie $1. You'll still have $8 to spend.

Pray About It
Lord Jesus, help us to be good stewards of all the blessings you give us. Help us to share our time, talents and abilities to inspire people to love you. Amen.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Parable of Talents - Matt. 25:14-30

Before a man went away on a long journey he entrusted his possessions to people who worked for him. To one he gave five talents. To another two talents and another one talent.

Do you know what a talent is? During the time of Jesus, it was seventy five pounds of gold. That would be about fifteen years' pay for a soldier. Does that give you the big picture?

The first servant put his five talents to work and earned five more. The second earned two more. The last one buried his talent in the ground. When the man returned from his trip the ten and four talents impressed him and he said to the first two servants, "Well done, good and faithful servants."

Then the man turned to the third servant who said to him, "I know all about you. You're a difficult man, reaping where you haven't sown and gathering where you haven't scattered seed. I was afraid, so I buried your talent in the ground. Look, here is your talent."

This made the man furious! "You evil, lazy servant! So you know all about me? Why then didn't you at least put my money on deposit in a bank so it would earn interest?"

The Master of the three servants invited the first two to share in his joy and put them in charge of many things, but he took away the talent from the lazy servant and gave it to the one with ten talents. Then he threw him out of his presence and that's a terrible place of darkness and crying and grinding teeth. (Based on Matthew 25:14-30).

Think About It
As with all the parables Jesus told, there is an underlying truth in the story. The man who went on a journey is God and we are His servants. He gives each of us time, talents, abilities, and money. How would you feel if you gave someone a gift and they threw it away or failed to put it to use? Me too. I would feel hurt. That's how God feels when we don't use the gifts He gives us. We owe Him all we have because He gave all He had, His only Son, for us so we could live with Him forever. However, He is happy with our first fruits, whether it is time, talent, abilities or money. Write down the gifts God gave you. Then write down how you will use them this week to serve God and others

Pray About It
Father God, You are our Treasure. We thank you for all the ways you bless us. Help us to learn to be faithful with small things so you will trust us with big things. Amen.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

You Are God's Treasure

Have you wondered what the Kingdom of Heaven is like? Jesus said, "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls.  When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it" (Matthew 13: 44-46).

Did you know you are the precious treasure to God? He gave His one and only Son for you. Jesus died on the cross for your sins so you could live with God forever. That's a long, long time. Without Jesus, the result of our sin would be our death. But Jesus took our place. Then He rose from the grave victorious over sin, death and the devil. We can live with confidence, knowing the God of Creation loves and cares for us.

Think About It
Since you are God's treasure, is He your treasure? He gave up everything, the life of His Son. Will you give Him your life too?

Pray About It
Thank you, Lord Jesus, taking my sins away so I can live for you. Help me to trust you more and live for you. Amen.