A Good Living OR a Good Life

Today’s reading is Luke 21.

Most of us spend our lives trying to earn a good living. However, Jesus highlights the widow who hardly has any living at all as the epitome of all His teaching. In Luke 12:15, Jesus pointed out that life does not consist of possessions. In Luke 19:18-23, the one we call the rich, young ruler had a good living, but he walked away from true life. Here, a poor widow shows that she was focused on real life. She was willing to sacrifice her life so she could have real life. The point, of course, is not that simply being poor qualifies anyone for the kingdom. Neither is the point that being wealthy excludes anyone from the kingdom. However, we do learn that the idea that material goods are not the indicator of God’s approval. If God blesses you with a good living, that’s cool. Use it to glorify Him and serve your brothers and sisters. But don’t waste your years chasing a good living, invest your time pursing a good life. And through Jesus Christ find what is life indeed.

Tomorrow’s reading is Luke 21.

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In the Footsteps of Jesus

Today’s reading is Revelation 11.

One of the biggest objections to the gospel when it was first preached was folks disbelieving that the Messiah would suffer and die before His coronation. The apostles and early Christians had to walk people through the Old Testament, showing all of God’s anointed ones did that: Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, even Israel as a nation. One of the biggest objections today is disbelieving the followers of Jesus will suffer before our victory. But that is exactly the picture of the two witnesses. They are the friends of Jesus who testify to Him and seemingly they should be unstoppable. Surely they will never suffer. Surely they will never die. And yet, that is exactly what happens. They are killed and their enemies rejoice. But after three and a half days, they are resurrected and taken to glory. Does that remind you of anyone? Of course. It reminds us of Jesus. Let us not be surprised when we walk in the footsteps of Jesus, it is the path the Lord’s anointed have always walked. But it always ends in victory. Praise the Lord!

Tomorrow’s reading is Revelation 12.

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The Two Commandments

Today’s reading is Matthew 22.

Have you ever wondered how we are to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind in response to Jesus’s greatest command, but then still have room in our heart, soul, and mind to love our neighbor based on His second command? Because these two commands are really included in one another. I don’t love God completely if I don’t love the ones He created in His image. Further, I don’t love my neighbors, if I don’t love the One who created them. The truth is I cannot keep one of these commandments while dismissing the other. They are a package deal. In other words, let us never think because we worship God in the proper way, we can treat people however we want. But neither let us thinkĀ  because we treat people impeccably, we can worship God however we want. Rather, let us love God and His people the way He asks. His love works.

Tomorrow’s reading is Matthew 22.

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Choosing Obedience

Today’s reading is Matthew 21.

Obviously, Jesus is not telling us when we read God’s Word we are allowed to tell Him “No.” His point, however, is even if we have told Him, “No,” it is not too late for us. We can still choose obedience. This is reminiscent of Ezekiel’s teaching that if we turn from our disobedience, repenting and choosing to live for God, our disobedience will be forgotten. However, if we act like we are obedient, teach obedience, and claim obedience but actually go our own way, we are not following our Father. Let us not go to church and claim obedience while ignoring God throughout the week. Perhaps you have been ignoring God and following sin, don’t let that stop you from turning to Jesus today and doing God’s will now.

Tomorrow’s reading is Matthew 22.

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The Widow’s Offering

Today’s reading is Luke 21.

If you are like me, you read about the widow contributing all she had to live on and start to get freaked out. “Am I supposed to put all my money in the collection plate each week? What will I live on? How will I feed my kids?” When we go in that direction, we miss Jesus’s point. The point is not that we must contribute all the money we have, the point is what we have is enough. Whether the question is one of money, other resources, opportunities, abilities, giftedness, we may never be able to do what others are doing, but God doesn’t expect us to. He simply expects us to use what He has given us for His glory and what He has given us is enough. So, get busy.

Tomorrow’s reading is Luke 22.

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