Archive for December, 2012

Our possessions belong to God


                And it came to pass, when he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mountain called Olivet, that he sent two of his disciples, saying, “Go into the village opposite you, where as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat.  Loose it and bring here.  And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you loosing it?’ thus you shall say to him, ‘Because the Lord has need of it.’”  So those who were sent went their way and found it just as he had said to them.  But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, “Why are you loosing the colt?”  And they said, “The Lord has need of it.”  And they brought him to Jesus (Luke 19: 29 – 35.)


                The book of Zechariah prophesied that the messiah would arrive humbly; “riding on a donkey.”  Jesus therefore sent out two disciples to procure an animal for his triumphal entry in to Jerusalem.  When the men were confronted by the owners, they did as they were instructed; they responded saying, “The Lord has need of it” (in turn, they were permitted to leave.)  Much has been written about this brief encounter; many commentaries likely highlight the omniscience of God, the wisdom of Christ, and the faithfulness of the disciples (with good reason.)  Yet in the midst of God’s glory, there exists a nameless stranger; a generous man (or woman) who immediately recognized that his (or her) possessions were divine endowments; gifts from God that were to be used to serve the creator whenever He had need of them.

                Every year around the holidays, a Christian organization known as ‘Operation Christmas Child’ begins working with thousands of churches throughout the United States.  Congregational members are instructed to fill shoeboxes full of toys and deliver them to their local pastors.  The boxes are then transported to a warehouse where they are sorted by volunteers, packaged, and shipped to impoverished nations around the world.  Recently, I and a few other Christians volunteered at a nearby processing plant; we sorted through hundreds of boxes; the gifts were beautiful (some givers chose to include pictures of themselves and many had even taken the time to write letters.)  Millions of people across the country were asked by God to give of their resources; millions responded to His call; in turn, many have come to experience the love of Jesus Christ.

                Our possessions are not our own; our time, our money, and our resources all belong to God.  We are simply stewards of what we have been given.  When the Lord calls we must be willing to relinquish control of our goods so that others may know the love of Christ.  Be still, and the Holy Spirit will tell you what and when to give.  Be generous, be faithful, and you will experience the joy of the Lord; and His peace will fill your heart, now, and forevermore.

                “Lord Heavenly Father, give us opportunities to use our resources to further Your Kingdom.  May we be generous; may we be faithful; may we serve others with gladness and singleness of heart; and may we never turn away from those who are in need.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.”  God bless all of you.

Love God’s Messengers


                “He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives Him who sent me.  He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward.  And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man, shall receive a righteous man’s reward.  And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward” (Mathew 10: 40 – 42.)


                In the first century there were no computers or telephones; nor was there any formal postal service.  Therefore, long distance communication was carried out by personal messenger.  Generally, when the individual carrying a message had arrived, they were received warmly and treated with great love and respect (most were provided with food, water, and lodging.)  To disrespect and neglect a messenger was to disrespect and neglect the one who had sent him.

                Many centuries before Jesus Christ arrived, there live a very powerful old testament prophet named Elijah.  Due to the wickedness of King Ahab, Elijah was forced to pronounce a drought upon the nation of Israel.  Eventually, the land became so dry that many began to starve.  During this time, God instructed the prophet to travel to a foreign land (where he was to lodge with a widow and her son.)  Upon arriving he asked the unfortunate woman for some bread.  She replied, saying, “I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son; that we may eat it, and die.”  Elijah replied saying, “Do not fear […] but make a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son for thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the Lord sends rain on the earth.’”  The widow woman did as she was told and God continually filled the bin with flour and the jar with oil (because she had shown love toward God’s messenger, she also received his reward: as others died, the widow and her son remained unharmed.)

                Each member of the body of Christ is a prophet; every priest, pastor, teacher, evangelist, and elder carries an important message from the Lord.  Those who love and care for God’s messengers, love and care for God Himself.  When we support a missionary we receive their blessings.  When we give to the church, we share in their labors, and reap their rewards.  When we serve those who serve God, we serve Jesus Christ.  Get involved at a church and ask how you can be of service; look for opportunities to love those who carry God’s message, and you will know the true riches of His mercy and grace.

                “Lord Heavenly Father we desire to love those whom You have sent.  Provide us with opportunities to receive Your disciples, Your teachers, and Your prophets.  May we draw near to Your messengers, and give to those who faithfully serve You; that we might obtain the blessings You have so graciously bestowed upon them.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, amen.”  God bless all of you. 

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