Father, thank You for yesterday’s many blessings. I had a wonderful day with Karen. Thank you for watching over us and getting us safely home.
James 5:1-6 (<<click here)
After reading this passage and readying myself to write, two characters popped in my head – Scrooge and Fezziwig. These two beloved personalities from Charles Dickens’, A Christmas Carol, for me, flesh out what the scripture is saying.
Lord, in and of itself, there is nothing inherently wrong with money or wealth. As with many things in life it has a lot to do with balance. And we cannot lose sight of Your commands. If we love You with the entirety of our being and we love others as ourselves, there will be balance.
I don’t believe Fezziwig was exorbitantly wealthy but he surely was a man of some means. He was wise in his use of his wealth but he was not self-absorbed. His love for others is evident. He controlled his wealth but his wealth did not control him.
Paul writes in 1 Timothy 6:10, “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” Money is not evil; the love of money is where trouble can begin. Our attitude toward money is the problem, not the money itself.
Lord, help me to be wise in my use of the many blessings You have given me. May I be able to provide for myself and my family – may our needs be met. But may I also be generous with others as You have been generous with me. May my love for You and others be the driving force in all I do. Amen.
Oct 2nd, Sun, 5:47 am
Good morning, Father! I’m ready to hear what You have to say. Help me to take it all in and to live it out, too!
Titus 3:12-15 (<<click here)
Paul’s letter to Titus concludes with some transitional instruction – a pastoral change with a call for Titus to winter with Paul. Also, Paul asks for the Crete’s to help Apollos and Zenas in their travels for ministry. And in that regard he writes, “Our people must learn to do good by meeting the urgent need of others; then they will not be unproductive.” v14
Lord, when we are called to share it can be a challenge – it goes against our self-preservation mentality. If I have two apples and I give you one apple… that leaves me with just one apple. Things we own, including money, are at times, difficult to part with…but for that matter so is our time. In fact sometimes it is easier to throw money at a need than to invest time into it. Quite often time is a much more valuable commodity.
Jesus, when You came to live amongst us – You sacrificed everything. We had nothing in comparison but You came to give us Your all. You held nothing back.
For the most part we are not asked to give everything we cherish away. (Though a devout follower realizes all we own – all we are – is from Your bounteous hand.) But how many times when we are asked to give we respond like a toddler whose toy is given to another.
Lord, help me to be wise in my giving. May I give to those who are truly in need. May I do so with the utmost of love and compassion. May I not be hesitant, on occasion, to give until it hurts. May I be Your hands and Your heart to a world in need – not just material need but sometimes I need to give time and a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on.
Feb 7th, Sun, 6:28 am
Father, my mind is already rolling this morning and I need to bring it to a stop. The things of this world are nothing compared to what You have for me. I’m sorry for trekking off. Help me to give my full attention to You.
Titus 3:3 (<<click here)
It really makes no sense, Lord, that much of humanity is all about doing what we want when we want. “Ain’t gonna be nobody tellin’ me what to do!” But in reality we are all enslaved to something. We may say we are “free” to choose but all we are really doing is choosing what Master to serve. Will it be money? Or power? Or sex? Or alcohol? Or acceptance? Or religion? Yes…we may choose but what we choose ultimately puts our lives- our minds – in bondage.
Paul says it is like it is, “Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures.” We don’t want to admit it but we have way less freedom than we think we do. Each of us is controlled by something. And most of those things are not easily set aside.
Lord, I know that what Paul writes next provides the answer to this dilemma but I want to stop here and acknowledge that I am no exception. There are things to which I have been enslaved in my past. And to this day those things call out to me, enticing me, with empty promises. I want to address it more fully later but I must speak of it now as well! Lord, without You, I am helpless – I would yield to those things in a heartbeat. Help me to stay close by Your side. Continue to help me to shoot down those thoughts before they even come close to bearing fruit. All the praise for victory goes to You!
Feb 2nd, Tues, 6:30 am