Life Is Not Always Fair


Rain That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:45

Have you ever had something happen and you thought, “That is not fair!” I think we can safely say that, yes, we have all felt that way at some point. I, for one, am guilty of this more than I would like to admit. Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do good things happen to bad people? These are questions I find myself asking over and over again.

God does not always offer an explanation as to why certain things happen. Sometimes God simply tells us to trust Him. We can not see things as God does. We do not understand the things of this world as God does. We have been granted limited understanding, and limited vision of the lives we live.

What are we to do then? How do we respond when a situation arises that we feel is unfair? What do we do when something happens that we do not understand? We trust God. We focus our attention on doing what God’s word tells us, as Christians, to do and we leave the things we do not understand up to God.

In Matthew 6: 25 Jesus tells us: “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?” Jesus is telling us here not to worry. He is telling us to leave the things we do not understand up to Him. He is whispering to us, “Trust Me.”

I believe there is something else we are told to do. In Matthew 6:33 Jesus says:But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

God has called us to trust Him, to put our faith in His plan for our lives, and then to live for Him. God knows that we can not understand everything that happens in this life. We can, however, give those things to Him and seek to glorify God with the lives we live.

Sometimes things happen in this world that we do not understand. The important thing to remember is that God is in control. No matter how crazy life may seem, no matter how unfair a situation may feel, God knows and He has a plan. Let us focus on living our lives as God has commanded us to, and leaving the things we do not understand up to the One who created it all and set it all in motion in the first place.

I pray these words have encouraged you today. I pray that we will remember these verses, and remember to place our faith in God’s plan for our lives. Even if we do not understand it all, we can find comfort in knowing that we serve a God who does.

Are You Giving Your All?


give

“And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.”

Mark 12:43-44

 I love the picture that is painted for us with the Scripture that we are looking at today.

Jesus and His disciples are at the temple. It is busy with people coming and going here and there.

In verse 41 we find Jesus sitting, watching people toss money into the treasury that was set up in the Temple. As He watches person after person toss their money into the box, one in particular catches His attention.

Was it the best dressed?

Was it the richest?

Was it the nicest looking?

No, we read in verse 42 that it was a poor widow.

Out of all the people who came and went, tossing money into the treasury, this one poor widow caught the eye of Jesus. Why? We read in today’s scripture exactly why.

The other people who came and gave were rich, and apparently well off. I get the picture in my mind of well dressed, wealthy people coming by, taking a little change out of their pocket, and tossing it in the box. In my mind, I see them smiling, feeling proud of themselves for what they have given, yet never really thinking about what they are doing, never really giving from their hearts.

On the other hand, I picture the poor widow coming in, probably in tattered clothes, holding her two mites tight in her hand. Humbly, and quietly she tosses her money in the box and goes on about her business.

So what is the difference here? Jesus immediately sees the difference.

You see, we have to remember that Jesus looks beyond our outward appearance and sees our heart. Jesus, as he watched the people give, noticed that the rich people were giving much. This, however, did not catch his attention near as much as the poor widow who gave just a little. He knew that she had given from her heart, that she gave all that she had.

Jesus wants us to be like this.

Now you might be thinking to yourself, “Are you telling me that I can not be rich and well dressed?”

No, that is not what I am saying.

The point I am making this morning is this: God does not care what your clothes look like. He does not care if you have the finest things, the nicest car, the biggest house, or the most friends. God sees your heart. He sees the things that are hidden from other people.

When we give, whether it be millions, or just a few dollars, God wants us to give from our hearts, He wants us to give all we have to Him, and He wants us to trust Him to take care of our needs.

My dad made a statement in church one day as he preached and it has stuck with me. He said, “God does not want your ability, He wants your availability.” God does not want us to give just what we think we can afford. God wants us to give our all to Him, and then trust Him with what we do not have.

I pray today that we will remember this story of the widow and the two mites, how she gave all she had to God, and how she gave  humbly, and with a thankful, trusting heart.

I want to encourage you today. Give everything you have to God. Give with a humble, thankful heart. When you do this, He can then take what you have given, even if just a small amount, and use it for His honor and His glory.

Remember: “God does not want your ability, He wants your availability.”

No Cost Too Great


photo by: Flickr

photo by: Flickr

6″And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper,a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table.But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste?For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor.” 10 But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me.11 For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always.12 For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial.13 Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”

                                     Matthew 26:6-13

How much does this cost? This is a question that we hear a lot these days due to the economy. We oftentimes find ourselves asking it as well, whether it be paying bills, buying groceries, or even taking the kids out to eat.

I believe it is a legitimate concern since we want to be good stewards with the blessings God has bestowed upon us. But what about when it comes to our service for God? Do you ever find yourself asking, “What is serving God going to cost me?”

When this thought first crossed my mind, my immediate response was, “Of course not!” but as I searched my heart further and I was honest with myself I discovered that, yes, I do ask this question more times than I should.

It should not matter what serving God will cost us. We are so important to God that He sent His Son to die on a cruel cross for our sins. We should be willing to give up anything that is needed of us in order to serve God.

As scary as that sounds, I have grown to understand that we can not out-give God. Whether we give of our time or our finances, God is faithful to supply our needs.  Philippians 4:19 says:

“But my God shall supply all your need

according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

The lady in this story was giving to God all that she had. She did not consider the cost. She did what she could to bring honor and glory to God.

As I read this Scripture and have continued to ponder it in my heart, I have discovered some changes that need to take place in my own way of thinking. Possibly you have too.

I pray today if you find yourself concerned with the cost of ministering for Jesus or serving Him, that you will think back to these verses and remember the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. John 3:16 tells us:

by: depositphotos.com

by: depositphotos.com

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,

that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

I have made the commitment this morning to stop focusing on what serving God will cost me. I do not want to be so concerned with the cost of serving God that I miss an opportunity to bless others. I want to share God’s love with those around me no matter what I must give up.

I pray today that you will join me in this commitment. I can promise that you will not be sorry. I am reminded of the Scripture that is found in Matthew 6:19-20

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,

where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.

But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy,

and where thieves do not break in and steal.”

One day all these earthly things will pass away and all that will matter is what we did for God’s glory.

There is a quote that I was recently reminded of as I helped one of my students work on a literature report. It is by Jim Elliot,  a missionary who was killed while ministering to the Auca Indians in Ecuador. Jim said:

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep

to gain that which he cannot lose.”

I pray that these words will find you encouraged and inspired this morning to continue to minster for God’s Glory.