The Dead will Hear

“Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live…do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice…” - John 5:25, 28

 When Jesus came face to face with death He merely spoke a word and the dead responded and came alive, for He is the resurrection and the life. When He stood at the grave of Lazarus He said “Lazarus come forth” and he came out bound with grave clothes after being dead for four days. He said to the little girl who had died “arise” and she blinked her eyes and came back to life.

The people, naturally, were amazed and glorified God. He stopped a funeral procession on their way to bury the son of a widow and raised him back to life. The dead heard His voice and came back to life.

Jesus said all the dead would respond to His voice at a given hour. Paul, the apostle, said that the hour is coming when Jesus will return with “the shout of the archangel and the trumpet of God and the dead in Christ will arise first and we, who are alive, will be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air”. His voice will be heard by all the dead when He says “come forth.”   

There is an order established for the resurrection from the dead. First it will be those in Christ who are born again, and then later everyone, who has died outside of Christ, They will all appear before Him to be judged according to their deeds done in the flesh while here on earth.  

Those who are in Christ will not appear at this great judgement but will appear before Him, to be judged and rewarded, prior to the final reckoning of those not saved.

Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for Your faithfulness, goodness and mercy and for Your blessing that is new every morning. Help me continually to be very sensitive to Your voice and to live in obedience to Your will.

The Thirst-quencher

“Whosoever drinks of this water will thirst again. But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” – John 4:13, 14.

A German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer observed something in the 1800’s that was to become a common affliction of the rich in the celebrity-crazed world we now live in. He wrote, “Wealth is like seawater; the more we drink, the thirstier we become; and the same is true of fame.”

Jesus, of course, recognized this unquenchable thirst that man has when he spoke to the Samaritan woman at the well. The woman thought that Jesus was just talking about ordinary water from the well. Yes, it would quench a natural, physical thirst, but Jesus used it as a powerful spiritual analogy.

Many believe that fame and fortune will bring everlasting satisfaction. But as so many have found all the money, cars, planes and yachts still don’t bring the peace of mind that people desire.

People bury themselves in their work, hoping that “job contentment” will bring the contentment they long for. But somehow it eludes them.

The fact is that inside all human beings is a spiritual “switch”. The wave of new religions and so-called alternative life styles are all part of humanities quest to find happiness and complete fulfillment. The happiness may last for a while, but eventually it wears off and the search for satisfaction and contentment starts again.

Jesus offers the solution. Drink of the spiritual waters of the new birth and the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the spiritual switch flips on.

Materialism blinds many people and often stifles the growth of Christians. Allow the word of God to saturate your life. The promise of Jesus is that with the quickening of the Holy Spirit it will become “a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

Dear Father I thank You for the authority of Your word to guide me and to strengthen me to meet every challenge that I may have to face this day.

 

Look and Live

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life”. - John 3:14-15

Jesus relates the incident in the life of the people of Israel when many were dying of snake-bites. A plague of venomous snakes had invaded the camp. Moses asked God for a solution to this deadly invasion of snakes. God instructed him to make a snake from brass and lift it up on a pole in the midst of the people, and whoever merely looked at that brass serpent would be healed. This was their salvation from the plague.

Jesus predicts that He, like the brass serpent, will be lifted up and whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. The serpent is a symbol of a curse, for it was the devil in the form of a serpent who first beguiled man to sin and brought mankind, the earth, its vegetation and the animal kingdom under a curse.  

Humanity is under the curse of sin, sickness, disease, poverty and spiritual death. Jesus, on the cross, became a curse for all who are under the curse that whoever believes in Him may be free from the curse.

You cannot look to religion, a particular church or individual, for salvation from the consequences of sin – the bite of the devil. There is only one solution, “look and live”- look to Jesus, He is the way, the truth and the life. His death, on the cross, paid the full price for our deliverance for body, soul and spirit.

In the days of Moses a simple look saved a person from physical death. A look at Jesus on the cross and believing in Him saves you eternally. Never take your eyes off Jesus nor focus your attention on circumstances, people or things that will distract you from serving Him.

Dear heavenly Father, thank You for Your provision of love by Jesus being lifted up on the cross for my salvation. I truly believe with all my heart that He is my Saviour and He guides me in my daily walk.

Born Again

“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God…do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’”. - John 3:3, 7

Nicodemus, a Pharisee, who was a prominent leader among the religious Jews, came to Jesus late at night and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, we know you’re a teacher from God, because if you were not, then you could not perform the miracles that you do if God was not with you.

Jesus then gave him a private theology lesson on the way salvation would be appropriated by people.

He explained that you cannot see the kingdom of God, or enter it, unless you are born again. In fact, it is imperative.  You may ask, “Why must I be born again?” Naturally thinking, the question is, how? “Can I enter a second time into my mother’s womb and be born again?”  What is this new birth? How does it happen?

To explain Jesus referred to the action of the wind upon the trees. You can see the effect of the wind, you can feel the effect, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes and “so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

There is this mysterious, miraculous, operation of the Holy Spirit upon an individual who truly repents and believes on the Lord Jesus Christ. He is born again miraculously through the power of the Holy Spirit. A newly created person takes shape within, which is formed by something you can’t see or touch – the Spirit.  Your spirit becomes a living spirit. There is a new nature, the nature of Christ which is imparted to you by the Holy Spirit.

Because of Adam’s sin in the beginning, mankind, as a whole, received a sinful nature. When you are born again you receive the nature of Christ. There is a change of life-style when Jesus comes into your life and you are born again.

Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for making the new birth possible by Your obedience to die for me. I believe, with all my heart that you are Lord. I renounce the devil and all his works and submit to You. Create in me Your spirit that I may live according to Your will and that the Word of God will be my guide

The Promise

“Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” - Luke. 24:49

  Before Jesus finally ascended to the Father and to heaven He said He would send something of great importance to His followers. This Promise is the Holy Spirit. He is not an impersonal force or power but a Divine Person with all the attributes of God. He is the One who convicts and draws us to Jesus, making us conscious of our need to become a child of God.

He is the One who changes us and makes us understand who God is when we become born again. This change of heart and direction is brought about by the power of the Holy Spirit.

In becoming this new creation you receive eternal life and you are justified before God. When you receive the Promise of the Father you receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the creator so when you accept Jesus into your life “He” the Person of the Holy Spirit will come and live within your body permanently. 

The disciples, in obedience to the Lord Jesus, went to Jerusalem, prayed and worshipped God for a period of ten days.

Then on the day of Pentecost while they were praying in an upper room there was a sound of a rushing wind and the Promise of the Father came in the form of tongues of fire upon each one, and they all began to speak in languages that they had never learned before. This was the evidence that the Holy Spirit had come, not only upon them, but had come to reside within them.

When you accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, pray that the Holy Spirit will come upon you and within you, so that you can resist the devil. Secondly, that He may be our teacher, guide and comforter. Thirdly, that we may be empowered to be a testimony and fourthly, that Jesus and the Father may be real in our spirits.

Have you received the Holy Spirit since you became a believer?

Dear heavenly Father, thank You for Your promises. Thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit. I yield to the Holy Spirit and His influence in my life today, in Jesus name.

Jesus is Alive

“Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your heart? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Handle me, and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.” - Luke 24:38

The disciples of the Lord Jesus were frightened by the appearance of Jesus after His death. He had risen from the dead and they thought that it was a spirit that now appeared to them and felt troubled and in doubt. Jesus shows them His hands and His feet that bore the marks and imprints of the nails, which were used to impale Him, to the cross. “See” He says, it is I, a spirit does not have flesh and bones as I have.

Why be in doubt about the resurrection of the Lord Jesus? Upon this fact the entire structure of Christianity either stands or falls. This is the corner stone of the Christian faith. Take the resurrection of Jesus away and there is no hope beyond the grave. Christianity is but another pointless philosophy, preachers are false and deceivers.  

Jesus came back from the dead and we shall all be raised from the dead, but everyone in their own order. In Adam, the first man, all die, but in Christ, all live.

Because He lives, we who have been born again shall also live and our bodies will be the same as Jesus. We shall have immortal, incorruptible bodies and we shall be like Him and live with Him throughout eternity. We shall always be reminded of His sacrifice on Calvary by the prints of the nails in His hands and His feet.

Dear heavenly Father, I do believe that you rose from the dead and once again I am reminded of the wonderful fact of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and because You live I shall live forever.  Thank you today for this glorious assurance.

A Thief in Paradise

 

“Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” - Luke 23:43

Jesus was crucified and put to death, with two criminals on each side of Him. One of them joined the mocking crowd in his ridicule by saying to Jesus, “If you are the Christ bring yourself down from the cross and save us also”.

The other thief, however, saw something more in Jesus than just being a fellow thief or criminal who had been sentenced to death. He looked beyond the blood-soaked body, the matted hair and swollen face. Although crowned with a crown of thorns he saw a king, and asked, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom.”

Just a simple prayer brought immediate forgiveness and assurance to the thief.  Paradise was the place where all the saints of the Old Testament went upon death. Jesus referred to it as a place of comfort where they would be in Abraham’s bosom.

When Jesus died He first descended and then ascended far above principalities, powers and rulers of darkness. He went to Paradise with the thief upon death and He took those who were there out of captivity and with them ascended to where Paradise is now located in the third heaven.

Paul, the apostle, says in II Corinthians 12 that he was taken to Paradise in the third heaven and saw and heard things that were indescribable. Paradise or heaven as we call it now, heaven, is located above the atmospheric heavens, the stellar heaven. The third heaven, where no astronomer has ever probed, is where the throne of God is, and all those who have been cleansed and redeemed through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, and myriads of angels.

Jesus said to the thief “today” not someday. The moment of death ushers you into the portals of heaven – if you have received Jesus.  If you have not done so yet don’t put it off another moment.

Dear heavenly Father, I know without You I am lost, but in and through the Lord Jesus I can be saved, forgiven and have eternal life. I receive Your forgiveness and cleansing through the blood of the Lord Jesus. Help me today to be a living witness to the love of God. 

The Best Insurance

“Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” - Luke 21:36

Jesus prophesied and predicted that the time preceding His coming again would be a time of awful calamities. Paul, the Apostle, wrote, “Perilous times would come.” Many other prophecies warn of wars, rumours of wars, nation fighting against nation, earthquakes, plagues, with signs in the heavens.

Watching the television news and reading the newspapers, we realize that these are happening around us already. Jesus is urging us to keep our attention on Him.

In uncertain times we need to be watchful and prayerful. Yes, we have our daily tasks, looking after families, holding down a job and handling the unexpected things that happen, but in all of this keep Jesus first in your heart and mind.  

God says, in Psalm 91, “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.’ Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from, the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers and under His wings you shall take refuge.”

 “His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night nor of the arrow that flies by day. Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High your dwelling place. No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling. For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways in their hands. They shall bear you up lest you dash your foot against a stone…”

Now, that is an insurance policy that no earthly broker could ever offer you!

Dear heavenly Father, thank You for the promises in Your Word.  Help me to intimately abide in You and know the safety and security of Your daily presence to comfort, care and protect me and my loved ones, in Jesus name.

Your House Guest

“Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.”

– Luke 19:5

Imagine if you met the Lord Jesus in the street and He asked to come home with you to your house. Would you be comfortable if Jesus sat in your lounge and started to read your magazines? Would you have to hide some things from Him?

How would you speak to your spouse? How would you respond to your children? Would your behavior be the same?

Sometimes we live our lives as though the Lord does not see everything that goes on in our homes, in our private lives, in the office, or when we are on holiday.

Become more God conscious and you will be surprised how some of your behavior will change. Just imagine Jesus at your side when you are about to shout at your children. Would Jesus handle the matter by losing His cool?

Our behavior is so important in the home when we have young children. They are easily impressed and if parents fail to be the light that they should be it can become a stumbling block to the children.

You don’t have to be perfect because none of us are, but be real. When you do slip up and say or do something that is “unchristian” confess it and explain to the children that your reaction was not right. That kind of role model will bear much more fruit than putting on a hypocritical mask.

Dear Father, thank You for being in my life. Help me to live in Your presence, knowing that You walk with me each day of my life. Thank You for being my guide and my protector.

A Good Steward

“Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house, or parents, or brothers, or wife, or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who shall not receive, many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life.” - Luke 18:29-30

The importance of the kingdom of God cannot be overstated. We are to seek first the kingdom of God and its righteousness, and life’s necessities will be added to us. We are not encouraged to seek things first and then the Kingdom of God.

This kingdom has a place above material things, such as houses and land. It has an emotional attraction, which, in our lives, should be above, deeper and closer, than our affections for our loved ones.

That may sound hard at first. Our family, as important as they are to us, should not be held so tightly that they have priority above the kingdom of God.

In being willing to leave all that is near and dear to us in this life for the sake of the kingdom of God will result in receiving much more, both in this life, and also in the age to come.

We tend to hold tightly to material things, but if we saw ourselves rather as stewards of material things, then we would not allow them to take a hold over us. A steward is someone entrusted to look after another’s possessions. That’s the way we should see ourselves in regard to the material blessings that we receive. They all belong to God.

The kingdom of God is too important to allow our securities, such as houses or family ties to push it out of focus into an inferior position.  We do not lose by placing the kingdom of God first - we gain much, much more.

Dear heavenly Father, thank You for the joy and privilege of being in Your kingdom and serving You, in Jesus name.

Mission Impossible

“The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”

-  Luke 18:27

We know that there is nothing that is impossible to God. He can do anything He chooses to do. He is the creator and upholder of all things by and through His word.  His abilities and resources are unlimited.

Humanity, on the other hand, is limited in natural abilities and resources. Nevertheless, when we consider what can be achieved by man it is amazing.

People could never have believed that one day men would walk on the moon and that huge jet planes would fly thousands of people across the earth each day. The wheel was once considered the peak of all inventions and must still rank somewhere in the top list, but the greatest modern invention is the electronic chip.

This brilliant invention has enabled man to build mini computers and a host of electronic devices that were impossible 50 years ago. The advances in the electronics field have been breathtaking.

We have cell phones that are as powerful as a computer that used to fill a room a few decades ago.

Finding a cure for cancer or AIDS is still impossible for medical science. But it is not impossible with God.   When Israel faced the Red sea they were in despair. But God made a way. When the disciples didn’t know what to do with five loaves and a couple of fish, Jesus multiplied them to feed a few thousand hungry people.

Man stands limited in certain situations and concludes that his predicament is impossible.

But no believer should ever conclude that about their situation, no matter how bad because we serve a God of the impossible.

Dear heavenly Father, thank You for Your love, grace and faithfulness. I surrender myself, and my will to Your word. Help my unbelief and let my faith increase as I submit to the authority of Your word. I believe that nothing is impossible today, in Jesus name.

 

Don’t be Two-Faced

“But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments.” - Matthew 23:5

The word from Jesus today is one of warning against hypocrisy.   The example set by religious leaders of His day was one to be seen and heard by others. Their works were done to draw attention to themselves and to show off their so-called piety to others. Their religious practices were extreme and exaggerated, all with the purpose of exalting themselves. It was a boastful attitude of self-righteousness; “look at me, look how good and righteous I am, I am fulfilling all the requirements of the law”. It was all an attempt to show off to others how good they were.  

Listen to Jesus today and take note of the fact that He looks at the heart “for as a man thinks in his heart so is he”. Make sure that what you do is not just to be seen by others and to receive the praises of others. Are you a man pleaser or a God pleaser? Why am I doing what I do? Is it merely to draw attention to myself and does it show how religious I am or does it bring praise to the Lord Jesus Christ? Just professing Christianity is not enough to merit eternal life and a place in heaven.

There must be a change of heart that will show itself in a life style that exemplifies the power of the Lord Jesus Christ. “For if any man is in Christ he is a new creature, old things have passed away and all things have become new.” 

 Dear Father in heaven hallowed be Your name, may Your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. May Your life of purity and holiness be seen in me today and may my works show forth Your love and goodness, in Jesus’ Name.

Are You Thankful?

“Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner?”

- Luke 17:17-18

Jesus is surprised when a man who had been suffering with the dreaded disease of leprosy came and prostrated himself before Him expressing his thankfulness.

He had been part of a group of ten who suffered from an awful disease, who had been sent to the priest to be declared healed and allowed to return to living normally in society. 

Only one out of the ten returned to Jesus to give Him thanks for his miraculous recovery and he was a Samaritan. The Bible declares that he glorified God “with a loud voice.”

When giving God praise, we are so often timid, reserved and quiet, feeling that this is being reverent. In Psalm 33:1, God says, “Rejoice in the Lord O you righteous. For praise from the upright is beautiful.” Further, in Psalm 145:23 says, “Every day I will bless You and I will praise Your name forever and ever. Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable.” God requires everything that has breath to praise Him.

There is much that you can praise God for today. Give Him thanks for all His many benefits. Think for a moment of all that He has done for you and all that He means to you.

King Hezekiah, when sick and about to die said, “Death cannot praise you. Those who go down to the pit cannot hope for your truth. The living shall praise you as I do this day”. Because he took time to give God thanks his life was extended for a further 15 years. Let us take time today to give Him praise - this is the day the Lord has made - I will be glad and rejoice in it.

Dear heavenly Father, thank You for Your word today, for all You mean to me and everything that flows from Your great heart of love. I rejoice in your goodness and the gift of salvation.

Mustard Seed Faith

“If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” - Luke 17:6

On a number of occasions while visiting Israel, we have been shown mustard seeds. The size of a mustard seed is extremely small when viewed in the palm of your hand. But like all seeds, when planted in the ground, it will begin to grow into a tree.  

There is life locked up in that mustard seed and when placed in the right environment it begins to grow. It is not the smallness of the seed that produces great results but it is the life that is locked up in the seed.

The Bible tells us that faith, without corresponding actions, is dead. Faith to be effective must be alive and active.

There are measures of faith, when you are born again you receive the nature of Christ within you and a measure of faith. We need to exercise this faith until it grows from ‘little faith’ to ‘great faith’.

When you read the great exploits of faith, as recorded in the Bible, you cannot but help notice that there was an instruction from God, which was believed, and then acted upon. Faith, that is alive, believes implicitly that you can have what you say.

God spoke and the universe came into existence. In demonstrating this living faith Jesus spoke to the raging storm saying, “Peace be still”, and there was a great calm. He spoke to the demon possessed and they were delivered. He spoke to the dead and they became alive again. He spoke to the sick and the infirm and they were healed. He spoke to a barren fig tree and it withered and died. 

Employ mustard seed faith today, by firmly believing in your heart, and saying with your mouth what you believe. You will have what you say! 

Dear heavenly Father, like Your love, let faith be shed abroad in my heart. Today, with Your help, I will demonstrate loving, active faith, in Jesus name.

Believe Now

“I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him [Lazarus] to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.” Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’” - Luke 16:27-31

When we read this story further one is struck by the arrogance of the rich man, despite the fact that he is suffering the torments of hell. During his life on earth he had been used to being served hand and foot by servants and has the audacity to treat father Abraham like a servant. First he asks Abraham to bring him water and then asks that the poor beggar be sent back to testify to his family. His character does not seem to have changed at all except that he shows concern for his brothers.

People must understand today that the unbelieving person will not be convinced, even if someone returned from the dead. Jesus was raised from the dead, with many infallible proofs, yet millions of people do not believe it.

The infallible word of almighty God is our anchor and our security.  Our faith and trust is in His word. We should know God’s word from cover to cover because it cannot fail in what it says it will do in our lives and heart.

His Word tells us where we come from, why we are here and where we are going to? God never sends anyone to hell but the choice is left to us. One of the most precious gifts that God gave us is the freedom of choice. We have a free will. We can choose to love and serve God or we can turn our backs on Him.

So having made the right choice to follow Jesus your next desire should be to win your family and friends to Him so that they, too, will share heavens joy with you.

Dear Father, thank You for providing eternal life through the Lord Jesus and the cleansing power of His blood. Help me today to share my faith with others.

 

The Great Escape

“And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off and Lazarus in his bosom. Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’” - Luke 16:23, 24.

Jesus tells how both the poor beggar died and was carried by angels to a place of comfort and the rich man died and went to a place of torment.

Jesus makes it very clear that life goes on after death. The rich man did not go to the place of torment because of his riches but because his life was so taken up with materialism that is meaningless. He never bothered about the things of God and had no relationship with Him.

He died and was buried but he could still see, because he saw Abraham and Lazarus. Further, he could speak and was conscious of where he was and the torment that he was suffering. It was all very real. He had passed from an earthly life into eternity.

Yes! Hell is a real place, and not the figment of someone’s imagination. Being a spirit being and living in a human body we express ourselves through the body.

At death the believer, like Lazarus, is carried by angels into the presence of the Lord - that was why Paul, the apostle, says, “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord”. For the unbeliever, according to Jesus, to be absent from the body is to be separated from the Lord and in torment.

The choice for your eternal destination is made now while you are still alive on this earth. There is no second chance after death.

But the good news, which is the gospel, is that God has made a way of escape for everyone and anyone who will accept Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. That’s why he died on the cross so that we would never have to suffer in hell for our sins. He paid that debt to set us free.

Dear Father in heaven, You are merciful and gracious, not willing that any should perish but that all may come to the knowledge of the truth.   You have provided a way through the Lord Jesus and His precious blood so that I can be reconciled and have fellowship with You for eternity.

The Appointment

“So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried.” - Luke 16:22

Jesus reminds us that death has no respect for who we are. We all have an appointment with death. It is an inescapable event that comes to each one of us.

A certain man tried to escape the stark reality of death by trying to get away from everything that reminded him of it. He never went near a cemetery, avoided a hearse driving in the road, would never read obituaries in the newspaper or speak about anything related to death.

So he went to live on a lonely island, believing this would avoid the reality of death. One morning while walking on the beautiful, sundrenched beach he came across a dead fish washed up by the tide. The next day he decided to walk on a hill above the beach, but as he rounded a tree he came across a dead bird. The next morning he decided to walk across a nearby meadow. Half way across he came across a dead squirrel.

He could not escape this reality in life. While we live there is death all around us. You cannot hide from it or run from it.

But when you know Jesus as your Lord and Saviour there should be no fear in death.   He said, “Because I live you shall live also.” He further declared that He is the resurrection and the life. If you believe in Him you will never die but have eternal life.

We should value every day before that final curtain call comes. But it is not a fearful day because we will then enter the reality of eternal life with God.

We will be able to say like the apostle Paul, “Death where is your victory?” We only have one life to live and cannot reverse time. Live today, and every day, but always remember one day we will stand before God to give account of the deeds done in the flesh.

Dear heavenly Father, thank You for yet another day in which I can praise You and serve You. Help me today to redeem the time available and to number my days with wisdom and faith, in Jesus name.

Do we care?

“There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.” - Luke 16:19-21

Jesus draws a comparison between two men – the one who was rich and had everything. In today’s world he would be the kind of rich business executive in a designer suit who arrives at the best restaurant each day in his luxury car and wines and dines only on the best food.

The other man was poor, wretched, hungry, homeless and covered with sores. His only source of comfort, were the dogs that licked his sores. Unfortunately, this sight is not unfamiliar in our cities these days where beggars are encountered on almost every street corner.

This poor beggar is placed at the gate of the rich man’s mansion by those who hoped that the rich man would care enough as he went in and out and would show a little compassion by giving the poor beggar a little food and care.

But why care? He is only a beggar. Nobody wanted him as a friend. He had offered no worth or value to anyone. He was just unlucky and that was his station in life.

Jesus is showing how unsympathetic certain people are. And even when they have money are too stingy to give any away.

We as individuals cannot feed all the hungry people in the world or even in the city, village or neighbourhood, but we can help someone who is at our gate. Someone, somehow divinely may come across our path in our daily lives. It is obvious. God placed them on that path. And we need to respond with love, compassion and practical help.  

Must the animal kingdom show more concern than we? Jesus said, “The dogs licked the poor beggar’s sores,” bringing him a little comfort. How heartless of us when there is someone who needs the basic requirements in life and we, despite having the resources, ignore the desperate need.

Dear heavenly Father, help me today to fulfil Your royal law and go out of my way to help someone in need, in Jesus name.

Single-minded Servants

“No servant 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.”

- Luke 16:13

Jesus today emphasizes the fact that our service and commitment as servants must be single minded and focused. The world, with all its allurements, attractions and pleasures, desires our attention. God says love not the world or the things in the world. “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world.”

Material things are transient - they pass away in time. Money is a necessity in life and many sacrifice at its altar. The possession of mammon, or money, gives a feeling of security and power. If you are blessed and your finances increase we are not to set our hearts on it. We should not serve money, but money should serve us.

Because of the importance of money in life we must refuse to allow it to get a hold on us. We must be masters of our finances and not the other way around.

Mammon and God must take their proper place in our lives. Jesus says, you will either love the one, or despise, the other - you cannot serve two masters at the same time. 

Who, or what, is the master of your life today? What is captivating your devotion today? Consider the time and energy you put into making money in comparison to time and energy put into service and devotion to the King of Kings.

Dear Father God I thank You today for the opportunity You have given me to serve You. I choose today to put You and Your kingdom first and foremost in my life. I devote myself to You and Your kingdom today.

Faithful

“He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?” - Luke 16:10-12

When you put your trust in someone who is unfaithful you will be disappointed because of disintegration and failure. An unfaithful person is like a broken tooth or a foot out of joint. It would be difficult to eat with a broken tooth and extremely difficult to walk with a foot out of joint.   It stands to reason that being unfaithful in small things one will be unfaithful in bigger things.

Our faithfulness in handling money, no matter how small the amount, will also demonstrate how we will handle large sums of money. When we are faithful in paying the tithe that belongs to God, and in our giving of finances into the kingdom of God our faithfulness is rewarded by true riches. These riches are spiritual.   Our faithfulness, in regard to money and its care, will result in God giving us spiritual gifts.

If God cannot trust us when money is at our disposal, how can He trust us with His true riches? Being faithful, dependable and reliable is important in our spiritual growth and fellowship with God.

Wherever we are placed and whatever we do in the kingdom of God we should strive to be faithful. At the end of life’s journey, which we all must come to, how wonderful it will be to hear God say, “Enter into the joy of the Lord, thou good and faithful servant”. 

Dear heavenly Father, today, once again, with Your help I commit myself to serve You with all the faithfulness of my heart, in Jesus name.