Store up in the right place

In Matthew 6:19-34 there is a section titled, “Teaching about money and possessions”. This is part of Jesus’ sermon on the mount. In it Jesus shares four key things about our money and our possessions.

Store your treasures in heaven – verses 19-21 talk about earthly treasures versus heavenly treasures. We see that earthly treasure can be damaged or stolen, but heavenly treasures are safely locked away with God. We need to build “eternal superannuation” by supporting God’s work with our finances.

Let God be your only Master – verse 24 says “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other”. As Christians we need to let God be our sole master, we can’t focus on building wealth and possessions to the detriment of our relationship with God. God must always come first in our hearts and in the way we live.

Don’t worry about daily needs – verses 25-32 looks at our daily needs of life like food and clothing. These things can cause us great worry if we allow them to. However the text tells us that God supplies our needs like He supplies the needs of the animals and birds. It says that we are of far more value to Him that they are (v26). We can trust Him to supply our daily needs because He loves and cares for us deeply.

Seek first the Kingdom – in verse 33 it says, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need”. As Christians our primary focus needs to be on God’s Kingdom and what He wants us to do with our daily lives. God promises that if we seek His Kingdom first and live right, that He will give us everything we need to live both now and into the future.

We can see from this passage that we don’t need to worry about money and possessions. God wants us to focus first and foremost on His Kingdom. When we do that He promises to take care of our daily needs as we trust and follow Him. God loves you and I very deeply and He knows what we need daily to live. He will supply all.

Showing Empathy plan

I have just finished a plan on the YouVersion Bible app called “Showing Empathy”. It reminded me that showing empathy is actually compassion in action.

Here is a snipped from day 5 of the plan…

“If you find yourself truly not grasping how to live empathetically, here are some ways to help adjust your mindset so that you can see the needs in front of you:

  • Pray daily, “God, give me Your eyes to see who’s hurting near me.”
  • When you hear that someone is going through a challenging time, imagine that you’re the one going through that. Your heart will soften, and as it does, find a way to help lessen their burden with a prayer, kind word, or selfless act.
  • Make a regular habit of just listening to people without offering any words. As they talk, seek to understand what’s happened in their past and is currently happening in their present that’s led them to where they are now.”

If you are interested, you can search for it on YouVersion and look for the image above.

Blessings,
Dave

Two verses for two new roles

Next year I am starting two new exciting roles. One in my church and one in our wheatbelt communities. In the later I will be driving about 700km a week.

To keep me company I am going to listen to worship music, podcasts and the Bible. I am also going to keep some Bible verses on the dashboard of my car.

The two I am going to start with are Ephesians 3:20 and Matthew 5:16…

Ephesians 3:20 NLT – Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

Matthew 5:16 NLT – In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

I was already thinking about these two verses and then they came up as verses of the day of two of my Bible apps. Co-incidence or God-incidence?

Next year I am going to let my light shine and imagine big things. I am going to play my part and let God do His. Yes I am nervous but I know God has got me and I have Him.

God Bless,
Dave

Mark a straight path

Proverbs 4:25-27 NLT – Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. [26] Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. [27] Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.

I really like a few things in this wisdom from Proverbs chapter four. If we break it down we see four main ideas.

1. Look straight ahead in a focussed way.

2. Mark out a right path or course to follow.

3. Stay on that path and don’t get sidetracked.

4. Keep your feet from following the path of evil.

The thing I like about this is there a real choice. We are told to intentionally fix our eyes on something and set a path towards it. Then we need to be determined to follow that path and stay on track.

As I read these verses today it made me think about my eyes and my feet. It encouraged me to focus on a godly goal with my eyes, then to walk steadily towards it with my feet.

Prayer

Lord God, help me to focus on a good goal for Your Kingdom. Help me to stay focused and not stray from the path. I pray my feet will not follow evil. Help me to serve You and You alone. Amen.

The right type of wisdom

James 3:17 says, “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere”.

Let’s break down the words from this verse to help us to understand the wisdom that comes from heaven. I have looked the words up in my kids school dictionary.

Pure – pure means not mixed with anything else, clean and free from harmful substances, containing nothing sinful.

Peace-loving – peace is a state of calm and quiet when there is no disturbance, no war.

Considerate – someone who pays attention to the needs and feelings of others.

Submissive – behaving in a quiet and obedient way.

Full of Mercy – showing mercy means showing kindness and forgiveness and do not punish someone as severly as you could.

Full of good fruit – good fruit is the good things for others, especially being kind to them.

Impartial – having a view of something which is fair and un-biased.

Sincere – if you are sincere you say and do things that you really mean, you are honest and genuine.

Having wisdom is about having knowledge and then putting that knowledge in to practice in the right way.

This verse shows that we should use our wisdom in a caring and considerate way that shows shows no favouritism. If we are doing these things, we will know our wisdom is the wisdom that comes from heaven.

Let us show wisdom today.