Some people never see beyond this world.There was a conversation between an ambitious young man and an older man who knew about life.The young man said, "I will learn my trade.""And then?" asked the older man.
"I will set up my own business."
"I will make my fortune."
"I suppose I will grow old and retire and live on my money."
"Well, I suppose I will die."
"And then?" came the final stabbing question.
The person who never remembers that there is another world is in for a big shock.
In “The Parable of the Rich Fool,” Jesus speaks to those who have an abundance of material possessions and those who have few of this world's goods.To both groups He declares that we should not get too caught up in how much we accumulate on earth.As the Spanish proverb puts it, "There are no pockets in shrouds."Our measure for success and happiness is not money.Jesus' concern is that our possessions do not possess us, but that we manage our possessions in ways that will honor Him.
GospeLines Prayer:Father, through my spiritual poverty, let me find Your kingdom; when I am sad, reward me with your comfort; keep me meek and humble, though my inheritance will be much; if I am hungry, fill me up.Even though I join the ranks of the persecuted, I rejoice, because you have promised me heavenly riches which this earth cannot measure. Amen and amen.
“Life imitates art far more than art imitates life.”
Life is What You Make It
Imagine your life being a blank canvas and with the stroke of a brush here or there, you realize your dreams.Then, imagine a freak accident and your dreams are shattered.
Meet Robert Rehma 55-year-old quadriplegic, paralyzed from the neck down after tripping over a violin case in 2005.Robert is a budding artist, making the most of his talent without a normal paintbrush.Instead, his wheelchair is the tool he uses to roll over a large white canvas taped to the floor with small pools of paint poured into the corners.
"As I am painting, I am doing it blindly," said Rehm.
Rehm was directing a play and fell off the stage 5-feet into the orchestra pit and severed his spinal cord.At TIRR Memorial Hermann, the former theater arts teacher took up painting, becoming an inspiration to not only the patients, but the doctors and nurses too.“Art has helped Rehm adapt to his circumstance.”
"He is such a testimony to the human spirit, he is painting, he is talking, he is giving lectures to other patients. He really has been an incredible human being," said Dr. Jeffrey Berliner a Spinal Cord Injury Specialist.
Once Rehm sees his painting hung on the wall, he knows what has worked and in those moments his physical limitations disappear.
Rehm reminds us, "Just concentrate on those things you can do. There are certain things you can't do well, you just have to let those go and concentrate on being a can do person."
What are we doing with the canvas God has given us?Are we blessing others or only visualizing ourselves?Do we reach beyond our particular circumstances to see the world in God’s glory and fullness?Or, is it pretty stark and Jesus is nowhere to be found?
Are we can-do people demonstrating God’s love, sharing the gifts He has bestowed?Are we painting a God-centered life for others to see Christ through and in us?
Prayer:Father, what a compelling story that touched me.We’ve painted our canvas and some of us wouldn’t be too proud.But, oh You are a forgiving God and have made us whole and cleaned us up from the inside out.
We need You Father to help us create a new picture; not the same ole stuff we’ve done and seen over our lifetimes.Give us the tools necessary to paint the world with the love of Christ.
That’s the canvas for me.
In His Love,
≈ Devotional for Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Generic Bumper Sticker
The bumper of the car in front of me proudly displayed the words, "Generic Bumper Sticker."
I have seen more offensive words on a bumper. I have had them threaten me, rebuke me, suggest where I could go, and coerce me to honk at them.
Usually these little strips of paper are announcements about the individual sporting them on their vehicles, which let me know something about that person and their passions.They also tell me whether I should wave or avoid them!
Not this one.It didn't say a word about anything and gave me no clue about the driver of that car.
Generic:"relating to a whole group; not protected by trademark registration."
Maybe we have allowed ourselves to become “generic Christians,” not passionate about anything, unwilling to announce our beliefs to others, and so much like the status quo that what we think doesn't offend anyone anymore because we relate to a whole world of people who are no different than we are.
If that is true, then we "are not protected by the trademark registration" of the Holy Spirit.In the Bible the very root of the word “HOLY” means different. Think about it.
GospeLines Prayer:"Father, I want to be different but I am afraid.What will my friends think of me?Lord, give me courage to be unique in my walk with You even if it sometimes means rubbing someone the wrong way."Amen and amen.
You won’t have to search the Internet very long to find many references to “prophesies” supposedly given to people by God.I do not say “supposedly” to disparage any and all modern-day prophesies.Peter made it clear in Acts 2:13-21 that “In the last days… your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.”So, it is (Scripturally) possible that some prophesies we hear about today are really messages from God.
However, the test of truth for any prophesy is its adherence to the Word of God.If you hear something that is supposedly prophesy, be a Berean and“examine the Scriptures to see if what you hear is true.” (Acts 17:10-12)
One supposed prophesy was spoken in 1968 by a Christian woman in her nineties from the region of Valdres in Norway.According to the account, the text below is a portion of what she “prophesied.”
"A lukewarmness without parallel will take hold of the Christians, a falling away from true, living Christianity.Christians will not be open for penetrating preaching. They will not, like in earlier times, want to hear of sin and grace, law and gospel, repentance and restoration.There will come a substitute instead: prosperity (happiness) Christianity.”
Whether if you believe in modern-day prophesy or not; and, without even questioning whether these words were really given to this woman by God, we can know that two things from these words are true:
We are told to go into all the world and preach the Gospel (Mark 16:15); but, we are also warned about preaching a different Gospel or a different Jesus (2nd Corinthians 11:3-5; Galatians 1:7-9).So, what is the Gospel of Jesus?Is it prosperity?Is it happiness (or sadness)?Just like with prophesies, to answer that question we have to once again be “Bereans” and turn to Scripture for our answer.
Let Paul’s own words remind you of the Gospel you received and on which you have taken your stand.By this Gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the Word.What you received (that pure and true Gospel) is what is most important.Christ died for your sins.He was buried, raised on the third day, and afterwards, He appeared to Peter, the twelve and more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time.No matter who you heard it from, this is the Gospel… it is what you believe and what has set you apart. (1st Corinthians 15:1-11; Acts 26:18 - NLT)
The Gospel is Jesus - He alone is the way, the truth, and the life.No one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6).
However, Jesus didn’t promise happiness or prosperity in this world.He gives us peace, but not peace as the world gives (John 14:26-28).Our peace and joy is in Him, not in the world.In the world, we will have trouble; but, we can take heart because Jesus has overcome the world. (John 16:32-33).Our peace, our happiness, our salvation, comes from our belief in and acceptance of Jesus the Christ as our Lord and Savior.His free gift to us is redemption and eternal live with Him.
No matter what you call it, the only true “Christianity” is the kind that builds up treasures in heaven.There can be no “lukewarm” Christianity.There can be no substitute for the real Gospel - the real and true Jesus.Our treasures are stored in Him and our hearts are fixed on heaven (Matthew 6:19-21).
True prophesy or not, Christians all over the world must return to “penetrating preaching.”We must speak of sin and grace, law and gospel, repentance and restoration.There is no substitute for Jesus.
Everyone who has been in church knows the answer to this Bible question: "Who denied Jesus three times during His mock trial and pending crucifixion?"
The answer, of course, is Peter.
No disciple has ever been treated as unjustly by preachers and commentaries.We always want to stress Peter's failure and shame and fail to recall the rest of the story.
Where were the other disciples during Jesus' hour of need?
Except for Peter and John, they had all fled the scene.Peter was there because he was courageous.
True, he failed, not because he was a coward but because he was brave.Peter the Failure was not the real Peter.
The real Peter was there because he loved Jesus so much that he couldn’t be anyplace else; the real Peter could not leave Jesus alone in this hour of need.It was the real Peter who drew his sword to protect his Lord.
He loves us not for our failures but for what we have it in us to become.He sees who we really are, even when we are defeated.