Charles Stanley –Our Treasure

 

Matthew 6:19-21

The way we regard our treasure is a personal disclosure of who we are. The issue is: Where is our heart?

No matter how we acquire our belongings—by working, investing, saving, or receiving gifts—the correct perspective about money and property is that the Lord owns it all. We are simply the managers. If we harbor wrong attitudes like insisting, “My treasure is mine,” we may actually find that what we own is much less satisfying than we expected it would be.

Here’s a better perspective on possessions and financial increase: See these things as a means of meeting the needs of others and a way to serve God and further His kingdom (Eph. 4:28; Mal. 3:10). When we give to the needy or to kingdom work, we are immediately transferring our treasure from earth to heaven.

The Lord’s tangible blessings can also be properly used to help us reach God-given goals that are set through prayer. For example, if the Lord has blessed you financially and has made it clear that He wants you to use your musical talent to serve Him, then it could be suitable to purchase a helpful instrument or accessory. When we are walking in God’s will and bringing our requests to Him, even the longings of our heart become good ways to spend our treasure, because our preferences are aligned with God’s desires for us.

Always consider the eternal value of your pursuits. The bottom line is that you should trust God with every ounce of your time, talent, and treasure.

Bible in One Year: Numbers 8-10

 

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Our Daily Bread — I Know Everything

Read: Psalm 139:1–18

Bible in a Year: Leviticus 11–12; Matthew 26:1–25

You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.—Psalm 139:3

Our son and daughter-in-law had an emergency. Our grandson Cameron was suffering from pneumonia and bronchitis and needed to go to the hospital. They asked if we could pick up their five-year-old son, Nathan, from school and take him home. Marlene and I were glad to do so.

When Nathan got in the car, Marlene asked, “Are you surprised that we came to get you today?” He responded, “No!” When we asked why not, he replied, “Because I know everything!”

A five-year-old can claim to know everything, but those of us who are a bit older know better. We often have more questions than answers. We wonder about the whys, whens, and hows of life—often forgetting that though we do not know everything, we know the God who does.

Psalm 139:1 and 3 speak of our all-knowing God’s all-encompassing, intimate understanding of us. David says, “You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. . . . You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.” How comforting to know God loves us perfectly, is fully aware of what we will face today, and He knows how best to help us in every circumstance of life.

Our knowledge will always be limited, but knowing God is what matters most. We can trust Him. —Bill Crowder

Thank You, Lord, that You know everything about me and what I need.

Knowing God is what matters most.

INSIGHT: God knows who we are (Ps. 139:1-6), who we are becoming (vv. 7-12), and how we got where we are (vv. 13-18). Consider praying Psalm 139:1 as both a confession and an invitation. Take comfort in the fact that God knows and loves you, and invite Him to take you to places of greater intimacy with Him. Dennis Moles

 

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Joyce Meyer – Don’t Miss the Miracle

And she had a sister named Mary, who seated herself at the Lord’s feet and was listening to His teaching. —Luke 10:39

You will not enjoy the present moment and the gifts it contains if you don’t have a balanced attitude toward work. Luke 10:38-42 tells the story of Jesus’ visit to the home of two sisters, Mary and Martha. Martha was overly occupied and too busy (see Luke 10:40). But Mary sat down at Jesus’ feet and listened to what He had to say.

Jesus said Mary made the better choice. Jesus did not tell Martha not to work, but He did tell her not to be frustrated or have a bad attitude while she worked. Jesus wants you to work hard, but He also wants you to be wise enough to realize when you should stop all activity and not miss the miracle of the moment.

Power Thought: I have balance in my life. I enjoy my work, and I know when to stop and enjoy other things.

From the book the book Power Thoughts Devotional by Joyce Meyer.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Wait and He Will Help

“Don’t be impatient. Wait for the Lord, and He will come and save you! Be brave, stouthearted and courageous. Yes, wait and He will help you” (Psalm 27:14).

Our surveys of hundreds of thousands of Christians throughout the world indicate that most Christians do not witness because of their fear. Even Timothy seems to have had the same problem.

His father in the faith, the apostle Paul, reminded him, as recorded in 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (KJV). That is the reason our Lord promised, in Acts 1:8, “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost has come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses” (KJV).

The Holy Spirit is the only one who can enable us to overcome fear. So, as we claim the promises of God and appropriate the fullness and power of His Holy Spirit, we can know that courage.

A Japanese schoolboy once showed his courage in a way that puts many of us to shame.

“He belonged to a school in Nagasaki containing 150 boys, and he was the only Christian among them all. He brought his lunch to school, as he lived at a distance, and he dared to fold his hands and ask a blessing every day before he ate.

He had some enemies among the boys who went to the master of the school and accused him of ‘doing something in the way of magic’ The master thereupon called the lad before the school and asked him what he had been doing.

“The little fellow spoke up bravely, explaining that he was a Christian, and that he had been thanking God and asking Him to bless the food. At once the master burst into tears, putting his head down on the desk.

“‘My boy,’ he said, ‘I too am a Christian; but I was afraid to tell anyone. Now, with God’s help I will try to live as a Christian ought to live.’ ”

Bible Reading: Isaiah 40:27-31

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Today I shall, through the enabling of the Holy Spirit, be brave, stouthearted and courageous as I go forth to tell others about the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

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Wisdom Hunters – Love is not envious 

It does not envy    1 Corinthians 13:4

Love is not envious. It celebrates the good fortune of others and smiles when someone succeeds because love is an envy eraser. It can’t wait for someone else to reach their goals and get the attention and accolades, for it is emotionally secure and mature. Love does not depend on the “desire to get” for contentment, because its contentment rests with Christ. It is content knowing that God “rains on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45). God’s grace and blessing cannot be figured out or bottled in a formula, for He withholds or gives His blessing at His discretion. Love understands this and is not envious of those who are lavishly blessed by the Lord.

Christ, of course, has established principles that, if obeyed, lead to blessing (Psalm 119:1-2). If you obey your parents, you will be blessed by their wisdom, experience, and love. If you follow the laws of the land, you will be free from serving a prison term or paying fines. God’s truth can be applied and benefited from by both believers and unbelievers. His ways work; so don’t get worked up when the wicked succeed. Success in life is an option for anyone who implements the principles embedded in God’s Word.

Therefore, choose to ignore envy and its dead-end road that results in comparison and disappointment. Envy attracts the immature, the insecure, the greedy, and the faithless. Comparison with people is an incubator for envy. Instead, reserve your comparisons for the character of Christ and be comfortable with yourself. Your personality, your looks and your gifts are from God, so be who God created. Love is content to be God’s unique creation. Envy looks at the stuff of others and salivates for the same. Envy wants to get, while love wants to give. It wants a woman’s smooth skin, a man’s car, or wealth’s options. Love overcomes these sometimes surreal and selfish desires by finding contentment in Christ. Therefore, go to Jesus, your Savior, for security, love, and affection. Seek the affirmation of Almighty God in place of the acquisition of stuff.

Continue reading Wisdom Hunters – Love is not envious 

Kids 4 Truth International – God Hates Sin

“These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” (Proverbs 6:16-19)

What are some things that you hate? Brussels sprouts? Folding laundry? Cleaning your bedroom? We all have things we don’t like to see or do, but did you know that the Bible says that there are certain things God hates?

God hates sin. Proverbs 6 says that God hates a proud look. Whenever you look at someone in a way that shows you think you are better than he is, you are giving a proud look. God also hates a lying tongue. Have you ever told a lie or misled someone? God hates that type of sin. God despises it when we plan wicked things in our minds. Have you ever done that? God hates it when His children are quick to run to mischief. God also hates it when we say or do things that cause our friends to fight. Have you ever started an argument between friends? God hates that.

God doesn’t hate people, but He hates the sins they commit. Unfortunately, sometimes we think the sins we commit “aren’t that bad.” You might think, “I’m not so bad. It’s not like I murdered anyone!” But did you notice that Proverbs 6:16-9 puts the sins of a lying tongue and a proud look in the same list with the sin of murder? In God’s eyes, all sin is serious.

Are you committing sins that God hates? Have you been thinking that it’s “no big deal?” Now that you understand how God thinks about those sins, confess them to the Lord and ask Him to keep you from committing sin.

All sin is a big deal to God.

My Response:

» Are there sins that I need to confess to the Lord and take more seriously in the future?

 

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Streams in the Desert for Kids – Determined

 

Luke 18:1

David Livingstone was one of the greatest missionary doctors who ever lived. But when he was struggling on his expeditions, he didn’t look so great. His exploration of the River Zambezi was a failure—the river could not be navigated. He kept trying to find a way until the British government ordered him home. After that, no one wanted to give him more money to return for more explorations.

After a while, he somehow found the money to return to Africa. Once he got there, no one heard from him for six years. Many thought he was dead, but he was not. Although he was seriously ill, he was determined to stay in Africa until his mission was complete. He stubbornly continued to explore. Finally, he died and his friends carried his body a thousand miles to the coast so that he could be returned to England and honored with a proper burial.

At the time he died, many people thought Livingstone’s whole life was a failure. But now, many years later, we know he traveled 29,000 miles in Africa, and that he made important geographical discoveries for Great Britain, such as Victoria Falls and four important lakes. He explored Central Africa so missionaries could go there. He was honored by African chiefs. He spoke out against slavery. And others who knew him were inspired to build schools to educate African children. Much good has come of his life.

One of the things Livingstone said was, “I determined never to stop until I had come to the end and achieved my purpose.” That means he decided he would never give up, and it explains a lot about who he was. It also helps us understand that we must not give up praying for whatever it is we want and need from God.

Dear Lord, First help me know what I should pray for, and then make me determined never to stop praying and talking with you. Amen.