"Now learn this parable from the fig tree: As soon as its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near.In the same way, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near—at the door!I assure you: This generation will certainly not pass away until all these things take place.Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.”
This is a very well rounded parable.In this parable, Christ warns us to keep an eye out for the signs that the age is ending.He tells us that, just as the fig tree tendering and sprouting signifies the arrival of summer, the signs given throughout the Bible will signal Christ’s return! One of our main points of this parable is to remain alert for His coming!As He warns: This generation will certainly not pass away until all these things take place.
Our other main point is a comforting reassurance: that Christ’s words will never pass away!Our God is eternal, as are His promises and His truths!Amen!
“He who has an ear should listen!”
GospeLines Prayer: “Father, open our eyes to Your truths.Help us to be alert and see the signs of the return of Your Son, Christ Jesus.And thank You that His words will never pass away, and that You are eternal. In Your name, Amen.”
Amen and Amen!
≈ Devotional for Wednesday, June 1, 2011
“A Boy’s Dying Wish”
Eleven year old Brenden Foster said he wanted to make a difference before his time came. Three years after his diagnosis he lost the battle to Leukemia on November 21, 2008; but not before leaving a legacy that will never be forgotten.
His dying wish was to help the homeless by sharing food and water with them. “I was coming home from one of my clinic appointments and I saw this big thing full of homeless people and then I thought, I should just get them something.” And the nation responded by donating tens of thousands of dollars and tons of food on Brenden’s behalf.
His darkest hour was his brightest light.
What would be your dying wish if your doctor said, as he did to Brenden, “You have only two weeks to live!”
Many might wish for an expensive vacation around the world, or an opportunity to visit a famous person. A child might dream about going to a fire station and sounding the siren. I would hope my last wish would not be a frivolous one.
My prayer is that in my final hour my heart would turn to my family, my friends… those whom I know that are still starving to death because they have not tasted of The Bread of Life, nor drank from the Cup of Living Water. The greatest gift I can offer to anyone is a morsel from the Lord’s Table of Bountiful Blessing.
Give someone that priceless treasure of Everlasting Life!
GospeLines Prayer:Father, many times, you have spread Your table before me and I have partaken without sharing it with others. My desire is that You will give me a moment in time when I will not only be able to share, but that they will receive, as well. Please, Lord, these are the people I love dearest of all. Help me make a way for them to find You before it is too late. Amen and amen
Scripture does not tell us why a man was traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho, only that he was attacked by robbers (Luke 10:30-35).Perhaps he was unwisely traveling alone or by night; and, in doing so, he may have made himself a target of the robbers.Perhaps he carried valuables that were not well concealed; or, conceivably, his journey may have been known to the robbers who then lay in wait for him along the road.We are not told the details; but, it is nonetheless possible that some of the blame for this man’s predicament was his own.
Isn’t that what we do when someone is hurt?We immediately seek to place the blame.Perhaps we need to know who is to blame so we won’t give aid to someone who is guilty of causing the hurt (especially if the guilty party is the person who is hurting).Then we gather up all of our righteous indignation and proudly proclaim, “They brought it upon themselves!” or the ever famous, “They made their bed so they’ll have to lay in it!”
Jesus didn’t tell us why the man was robbed; and, He didn’t explain why a priest or a Levite would deliberately pass by without offering help.One can’t help but wonder if the priest and the Levite did not feel obligated to help because they thought the man deserved to be robbed and beaten - they may have felt that the man’s own actions caused his plight and therefore he deserved no assistance.Jesus was silent on these points.He only identified the man as “my neighbor.”
Then comes the Samaritan.Perhaps the Samaritan also thought the man’s own actions caused his plight.Again, we are not told his thoughts.We are only told that he took pity on him, went to him, bandaged his wounds and took care of him.We are also told that this stranger’s concern went so far as to take on an open-ended (financial) commitment for the man’s welfare.
Did the man recover?We are not told.Jesus’ only comment after telling the story was to, “Go and do likewise.”In Jesus’ story, the “likewise” was referring to the pity, the unconditional help.
If judgment (blame) is necessary, that’s the Lord’s business.We are given two commandments on which all else stands: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” and “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:30-31).If we can follow these commands and ignore the Bait of Satan * (taking offense at the actions of others and seeking to place blame), we can be living examples to all our “neighbors” of Paul’s words in 1st Corinthians 13:13, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.But the greatest of these is love.”
Be made new in the attitude of your minds and have the same attitude, purpose and humble mind that was in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 4:22-24; Philippians 2:4-7)
* The Bait of Satan, John Bevere, Charisma House, 2004
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates - A license plate with nothing but the number "1" on it went for a record $14 million at a charity auction Saturday.
Saeed Khouri, a member of a wealthy Abu Dhabi family, wouldn't say how many automobiles he owned or which of them might carry the record-breaking single-digit plate.
"I bought it because it's the best number," said Khouri, whose family made its fortune in real estate. "I bought it because I want to be the best in the world."
(Yahoo News, Sat Feb 16, 2008 10:51 PM ET)
How far will you go? When James and John asked for a privileged position in paradise, Jesus wisely said, “It is not mine to give.” (See Mark 10; Matthew 20) Their selfish expectations caused a rift among the ten disciples, who became indignant with James and John for even asking!
How far will you go?
Kathy was a beautiful girl who had just transferred to a new high school. Her greatest desire was to be the first sophomore to become a cheerleader on the varsity squad, and she had a chance to make it. She was friendly, cute, athletic and very smart. Her competition, a junior, was very popular with the players and would do anything to make the squad. When Kathy learned from the captain of the team what she would have to do to win, she readily agreed although it was contrary to all her Christian values.
When Jerome’s mom passed away at age 79, he was faced with the dilemma of what to do with Dad. Leaving him in the same house 75 miles away was not an option. So he either had to agree that Dad would go live with his estranged brother or let him move in with him. But Jerome had an extravagant lifestyle which he enjoyed, and moving Dad in with him would mean fewer trips and parties. So he agreed that his dad would live with his brother in another state. All went well until he learned that Dad had a considerable amount of money which he generously shared with his new family for necessary repairs and expenses. Jerome filed legal action against his brother and moved Dad back with him.
Pastor Maureen leads a church in a well-to-do suburb of a large western city. The form of church government allows her wide latitude for putting her own selections in positions of church leadership. Like many churches, they are struggling financially and she is concerned that the offerings are not consistent and begins to wonder about it. When she was questioned by one of the wealthy members regarding a nominee she had recommended for the church board, Pastor Maureen defended her selection by stating that the person in question had served in many places of servant leadership and she thought it was time to include him on the board. “But his financial giving is meager,” came the quick response. “If you would select people for the board who actually support the church, it will increase the offerings.” From that moment, Pastor Maureen began checking the personal giving habits of the congregation before making recommendations for the board.
Chris dropped out of college his senior year to take a great position in a local corporation. He was promoted steadily and reached middle management in a very short time, a rarity in that company for someone without a college degree. Even though he was imminently qualified, he continued looking over his shoulder, concerned that someone under him with better credentials might one day try to take his place. When he was given a new division, he had the opportunity to promote one of his own employees to the position of supervisor, just one step beneath his own pay level. Two people were seeking the promotion: Mark was steady, dependable and capable of doing the job. But Andrew was just a step ahead of Mark, plus he had a college degree. Either one could do the job and do it well. Fearing that he may one day be in competition with the person he promoted, Chris decided to promote Mark because he did NOT have a degree.
How far will you go to be number one? My mother taught me about integrity. She used a popular phase, “Don’t sell your soul to the devil.” Of all the people I know, Christians should NOT need to be warned about that! There are consequences for every sin whether it is committed by a believer or an unbeliever. Unconfessed sin is just hanging out there. God can’t do anything with it until it is “agreed” upon by the offending party.
I love going to church! Maybe it’s because I find it easier to be a Christian when I’m there than when I’m not. I do admit that singing about a closer walk with Jesus is a far cry from practicing it in school, relationships and business. If we can only do our theology at church then we need to take a step back and see if our beliefs are broken in some perverted way. Religion which doesn’t work in the marketplace is not worth much. It only encourages the Christian to behave just as selfishly as everyone else, and that leads to ethical anarchy.
You don’t need a license plate with a big “1” plastered on it to actually be Number One! My only competition is me. If I am satisfied that my walk with God is consistently growing and if I am practicing my Golden Rule faith every day, I can find something better to do with 14 million dollars than to purchase a vanity plate for my 2006 compact pickup truck.