Thursday, April 30, 2009

April 30, 2009

Here's a question for you this morning, "Would you rather impress Jesus or bless Him?"

Those are two very different ways of thinking about faith. That occurred to me as I was reading in Luke 21. You are probably familiar with this story:

As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins."I tell you the truth," he said, "this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on." Luke 21:1-4

Imagine going to church one Sunday and there is Jesus standing next to the offering plate. How would that impact your giving pattern?

While this isn't my main point this morning, it is obvious that Jesus pays attention to what we give.

More to the point, Jesus knows why we give.

He watched as a wealthy member paraded past the offering plate and with great ceremony he pulled out his wad, peeled off some large bills and dropped them into the plate. I can imagine that after depositing that final bill he shoots a glance over to Jesus and nods.

Then the next guy in line has to step up and dig a little deeper. So it went all morning. One after another they step up trying to impress Jesus with their generosity, each trying to outdo the other. So it goes all morning.

Jesus isn't impressed.

As He turns to leave, Jesus catches movement out of the corner of His eye. Turning back he sees an elderly little lady slip out of the crowd, quickly deposit a couple of coins and try to fade back into the crowd. But Jesus won't allow that. He calls His disciples, "Whoa! Did you see that? That is impressive! All these other people have been trying to impress us by giving out of their abundance, but this dear lady emptied her bank account!"

Jesus was impressed - and blessed.

As I read that story for the bazillionth time, that is how it challenged me. What is my faith walk all about? Am I trying to impress Jesus or do I live to bless Him?

Sometimes I don't like the answer. Sometimes I serve Him with my leftovers instead of my all.

How about you?

I promise that today I will live to bless Jesus and not try to impress Him. Want to join me?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

April 29, 2009

I am reading through the Bible this year. Today I am in I Kings 6 and 7 in the Old Testament and Luke 20 in the New Testament. You may want to consider finding a Bible reading schedule and read through the Bible in a year.
This portion of I Kings finds Solomon supervising the building of the Temple of God. In so doing, he is fulfilling the dream that his father, David wasn't able to realize. He employed thousands of craftmen, spared no expense, cut no corners, followed God's blueprint to the most intricate detail because he was building a temple to the Most High God. The building project lasted seven years, but when it was completed it was the pride of all Israel because it was the place where their God would dwell. Now they had a place to go and meet with their God. How wonderful! This was one of the highest moments in the history of God's Chosen People.
As wonderful as this accomplishment was for God's people then, it is even more exciting for God's people now! Check this out!
"Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple." I Cor. 3:16-17
Solomon built a magnificent place where God's people could go to meet with God! But you are even MORE blessed! According to the verses you just read, you don't have to go to a Temple to meet with God - HE COMES TO MEET WITH YOU! You are His temple!
As God promised Solomon:
"The word of the LORD came to Solomon: "As for this temple you are building, if you follow my decrees, carry out my regulations and keep all my commands and obey them, I will fulfill through you the promise I gave to David your father." I Kings 6:11-12
God promises to dwell with you as long as you live in obedience to Him. What a promise! What a privilege!
How would you do life today if you knew God was dwelling in you as His temple?
Will you let that truth control your thoughts and guide your actions today!