Matthew 6:24-34New King James Version (NKJV)You Cannot Serve God and Riches
24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
Do Not Worry
25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
A slight breeze, but a whisper, a soft caress, a cooling hand.
The Infinite. Present and Eternal. There is no need to speak. No chaos or turbulence boiling and churning for You are here. My Breath. My All Sufficient One. Outside of time yet all things consist and hold together by Your decree. There is nothing hidden from You. All things are laid bare before Your eyes. There is nothing hidden that will not be exposed. You know the motives and intents of the heart. You know my heart. To do Your will, O Lord, is my bread. Speak for Your servant is listening.
Can you embrace your pain? Yes you can. God heals the wounded soul and calms the storm inside. “The very pit, the very dry hole that you are in, becomes a well as the Holy Spirit fills you up with the truth and presence of God.”
“If you have got a really high calling on your life, you have to go down low. It’s just part of the deal. And the depths that you allow God to take you will tell you how far God can bring you up into a place of prominence. You don’t let God take you into the depths; he can’t take you into the heights.”
“You can’t come into the fullness of God unless you go through brokenness.”
“You are either going to wait for God or you are going to promote yourself. You have to move from distress through development in God’s time. Development is where God is rebuilding our character and he is producing a true servant with a capacity for sacrifice.”
“People destroy with their character what they have built with their gift unless transformation has occurred.”
How do we handle stress? Life is not easy. Even when things seem to go well there are many things that steal our peace: events in the news locally and worldwide, illness, the loss of a loved one, financial reverses. A certain amount of stress is normal, even healthy, because it sharpens our minds and presses us to greater achievement but if we feel unable to make changes and the circumstances become our preoccupation we may find the clouds of anxiety, fear, depression, anger always hang over our minds and hearts and threaten our peace. Here’s some great words from Billy Graham that I find true in my own life.
I bless you and yours this morning in the great and powerful Name which is above and greater than any other Name. In the Name of Jesus I bless you this day with freedom. In the Name of Jesus I bless you with extraordinary peace. In the Name of Jesus I bless you with joy beyond words and beyond all other experiences. In the Name of Jesus I bring you health.
Taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who puts his trust in Him! Have a blessed day!
Dwight is a dear friend recently diagnosed with cancer. I want to gift him with words and reminders of things that are precious to him–things that fill his heart with peace and joy and hope. Dwight and his wife, Jan are avid fly fishermen. I googled images of fly fishing and was captured by this early morning one shrouded in mountain fog. The picture did not have the amber tones my camera picked up and I added a verse to it on power point but decided to attach it to the back of my canvas in a card instead at the suggestion of my daughter. What do you think?
It’s been a long, hard journey for Dwight. He’s had chemo, radiation, a feeding tube and near death hospitalized for aspiration. It’s been a privilege to participate in Dwight’s recovery and, as a nurse, facilitate his rehab efforts. Now he is on the other side, praise God! Dwight’s PET scan showed no evidence of cancer in his entire body! Next stop: feeding tube out! Woohoo!!!
So, about the painting, the neatest and sweetest pay I could ever receive was when Dwight said he would visualize my painting every time he was in the radiation tube receiving treatment. It brought him peace and encouragement. Thank you Jesus!
Dwight had the painting framed and displays it in his living room on a cool easel. Here it is!
http://bible.com/1/rom11.33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
Throughout the book of Eccleciastes written by King Solomon, the wisest man on earth historically, whom God blessed beyond imagination with wealth and power and influence the Preacher, himself, says everything is vanity or useless. There is nothing new under the sun. In this book Solomon talks from experience for his resources and ability to experiment with ways to find happiness were inexhaustible. He becomes cynical and dismal for, apart from God in the search for happiness, life does have no meaning. But throughout this classroom with Solomon the Preacher he peppers a little light that being content and working hard and remembering God is the solution to discontent and unhappiness. “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth while the evil days come not or the years draw nigh when you say you have no pleasure in them.” While you are still able — mind and body functioning well–look up above the circumstances that grip your heart and throw you into confusion and despair.
My daughter bought me a small wall hanging that said “I bought you a kite so you would look up.”
I guess she was trying to tell me something. Sometimes, for some more often than others, we need to be reminded to look up. We hate to hurt and not have answers but sometimes pain forces us to stop and consider our direction and choices in life and to cause us to reach out to God for help. In Jeremiah 33:3 God says call unto me and I will show you great and mighty things. In Jeremiah 29:11 God says “I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans for your welfare and not calamity.” Jesus said in John 10:10 He came to bring us abundant life. God wants us to thrive.
Its winter on the mountain. The view is better now that there are less leaves in the way. The lake level is a lot lower and foot traffic is down to just me and my husband. It is a time to bundle in warmer clothes.
It is a quiet time. It is a time to listen. Undistracted, my mind mind wanders and I am vulnerable to that still small voice of the Holy Spirit. Speak Lord for Your servant is listening. Am I the tree waiting to bud? Am I the lake needing a flood? You bring the seasons and make all things beautiful in their time. Thank You. Thank you.
What does it take to find inner rock solid joy , purpose, peace? Mother Teresa knew her purpose. To serve. To serve Jesus. Jesus said “whatever you do to the least of these my brothers you are doing it to me.”. Mother Teresa lived in every moment rescuing Jesus: tending His wounds, feeding, listening to and providing shelter to the One she owed everything. Every small act of love was never tedius or an imposition. It was a joy. An act of worship.