Sunday, September 30, 2012


“Trust in your money and down you go! But the godly flourish like leaves in spring” (Proverbs 11:28, NLT).

Anyone who lived through the Great Depression can tell you how quickly money can disappear. Many who’ve more recently invested in the stock market and other such financial ventures can also vouch for how fast cash can vanish. Today plenty of people have seen jobs paying good incomes suddenly dry up or cut back hours. You can’t put your “trust in your money.”

Rick made a pretty fair living doing computer programming for a major business. After dropping a few names and resumes, he landed a far more lucrative job at an even larger corporation. Rick, who was already pretty spend-crazy, immediately cranked up his spending to “match” his new income. A new vehicle, a bunch of new electronic gadgets and an expensive vacation were just a few of his first expenditures.

Less than a year later, Rick got the news that the company had “over-hired” – there were too many employees and not enough money to justify keeping everyone in his department. Being low man on the totem pole, Rick was out of a job with thirty days’ severance pay, a pile of new debts and very little savings.

The fact that you’re making more money is a very foolish reason to spend more money. If you’ve been able to make some extra income or if you’ve been blessed with an increase in salary, sock it away! At least accrue enough to keep yourself out of hot water for six months should anything happen to your income. Apply some of those extra funds as additional payment amounts to any debts you owe so that these can be paid off more quickly.

“The godly flourish like leaves in spring.”
When you put your trust in the Lord, hard times won’t defeat you. When you trust in the Lord, you study His Word, gather wisdom from it and apply it to your financial life as well as all other aspects of your daily living. Be Book-smart during these not-so-stable financial days – His Book is the best guide to learn from.


“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5, NIV).

“Property may be destroyed and money may lose its purchasing power; but character, health, knowledge and good judgment will always be in demand under all conditions.” (Roger Babson)

Saturday, September 29, 2012


If you think making key lime or lemon pie isn't easy, you haven't tried this recipe! Here's everything you need:

9-inch graham cracker pie crust
14-oz. can sweet condensed milk
3 egg yolks, beaten
1/2 cup lemon OR lime juice

Preheat oven to 350. Thoroughly mix milk, eggs yolks & 1/2 cup juice (lemon for lemon pie or lime for key lime). Pour into crust and bake for 15 minutes. NOTE:You can't use the knife trick of sticking one in the center and having it come out clean when the pie's done - it won't work; the pie will still be soft. Just trust the timing and take it out of the oven. Cool; refrigerate; serve as is or with whipped topping. This is truly restaurant quality awesome pie!


“Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow” (Proverbs 13:11, NIV).

Ever heard of a “mystery shopper?” These are people on assignment who are compensated in some way to go into a store, restaurant or other business to inspect and report on aspects such as the condition of the property; courtesy of employees; quality of food; display of merchandise; etc. Mystery shoppers are usually reimbursed a specified amount for meals or minimal purchases or paid a small set fee for performing the “shop,” usually $5 to $20.

Pam (not her real name) received a letter in the mail offering her the “opportunity to become a mystery shopper.” Enclosed with the letter was a very authentic-looking check for over $4,000. The instructions told Pam to sign the check and return it to the mystery shopping firm named in the letter. This, the letter said, would put that much money on account for her to spend doing mystery shops. A list of stores and suggested merchandise were also included.

Pam accepted this company’s “offer,” signing and returning the enclosed check and then receiving a “debit” card to shop with. She spent the entire amount just as the letter had instructed.

And then she got the surprise of her life: a “payment due” notice. Pam had fallen for a scam, signing a “check” that was actually a high-interest loan agreement for the money she’d spent using the “debit” card she’d received. Hoping to get “something for nothing,” Pam had added more debt to her already difficult financial situation.

How often have we heard it said of something that “it sounds too good to be true?” Pam’s experience prompted me to do a TV segment offering information on what’s it’s like to be an actual “secret shopper” or “mystery shopper.” I explained that there were many “get rich quick” schemes claiming to be shopping opportunities, but that none of these high-paying promises were legitimate.

“Dishonest money” causes nothing but trouble. Last time I heard from Pam, the people who scammed her were being investigated and hopefully have since faced criminal charges. Pam is now struggling to pay a loan that she became saddled with by trying to make a fast dollar.

“He who gathers money little by little makes it grow.” When you earn money by honest means, it may not accumulate quickly, but it can “grow” when you manage it wisely. Ask the Lord to help you be the best possible manager of His financial blessings.

“A wise man should have money in his head, but not in his heart.” (Jonathan Swift)

Friday, September 28, 2012


David’s Psalm 15 begins with two questions, both of which David answers in the verses that follow:

“Who may worship in Your sanctuary, Lord? Who may enter Your presence on Your holy hill?” (Psalm 15:1, NLT).

David’s first answer: “Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right, speaking the truth from sincere hearts” (v. 2).

Can anyone lead a “blameless” life? No. But each of us can lived ‘fessed up and seeking to please and honor Jesus.

David then says that those who “May worship in [God’s] sanctuary” and “enter [His] presence” are: “those who refuse to slander others or harm their neighbors or speak evil of their friends” (v. 3).

Many of you probably grew up hearing the same thing I did: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything.” If you, Jan and Melissa are friends and Melissa has no problem low-rating Jan to you, don’t you realize she has no qualms doing likewise to you when she’s talking to Jan? We need not ever think that having a “buddy” to whom we can confide our criticisms of others is a good thing. It isn’t. And if you’re that confidante someone is dumping all their criticisms on, you need to politely tell them that you don’t want to hear negative things about anybody.

David also answers his question with: “those who despise persistent sinners, and honor the faithful followers of the Lord and keep their promises even when it hurts” (v. 4).


Did you catch that word “persistent?” All of us mess up; and when we do, we need love, understanding, support, encouragement and forgiveness. But a person claiming to be a born-again believer in Jesus Christ who is “persistent” in sin is someone you need to steer clear of.

We should mostly definitely “honor the faithful followers of the Lord.” But David doesn’t stop with that statement. He says those who “may worship in [God’s] sanctuary” and “enter [His] presence” are also those who “keep their promises even when it hurts.” Being a Christian isn’t a matter of convenience. Dying on a cross wasn’t convenient for Jesus Christ, and neither should we expect our lives to be ones of convenience. Don’t make excuses for breaking “promises.” Be known as a person whose word can be trusted.

David adds a final group to those he identifies as the ones who “may worship in [God’s] sanctuary” and “enter [His] presence:” “Those who do not charge interest on the money they lend, and who refuse to accept bribes to testify against the innocent. Such people will stand firm forever” (v. 5).

See that word “interest?” It reads as “usury” in some translations – in other words, exorbitant interest. Hopefully none of us “accept bribes,” but how often do we put a price “on the money [we] lend?” Oh, you may not charge actual “interest,” but do you find other ways to hold it over the person who borrows from you? Do you drop subtle or not-so-subtle hints that So-and-So owes you?

If you’re helping, not enabling – two completely different animals – then do so as discreetly as possible. When someone borrows from you, keep it between the two of you and the Lord. And if that person truly needs help and it’s within your means to do so, don’t accept repayment. Be a blessing. Who knows when you may be the one in need?


“A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back when it begins to rain.” (Robert Frost)

Thursday, September 27, 2012


We’re still looking at the parable Jesus relates in Luke 19. The wealthy Man goes away and returns as King, having left His servants the responsibility of caring for His earthly Kingdom until His return. He gives each of the ten servants in the parable – ten representing COMPLETENESS or ALL of His servants – “ten minas” each (see Luke 19:13a), with each servant’s “ten minas” representing the full POTENTIAL of all the gifts, abilities and talents of that servant.

I pointed out the connection to Matthew 16:27 and First Corinthians 3:8:

“For the Son of Man is going to come in His Father's glory with His angels, and then He will reward each person according to what he has done.”

“The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor.”

Your Creator knows exactly what you’re capable of. He knows when you’re serving and living up to your potential and when you’re simply plugging along. The first servant in the Luke 19 parable was living up to his potential – he doubled what the Master entrusted to him. And this servant was the only one in the parable commended with the words, “Well done, My good servant!” (Luke 19:17a).

The second servant didn’t fulfill his potential. Yes, he “turned a profit” for his Master, but had it been the best that servant was capable of, the Lord would have commended him with the same words as the first servant.

But finally, let’s look at the third servant. He tells his Master: “'Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth. I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man” (Luke 19:20-21a).

“His Master replied, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas’” (Luke 19:22a, 24b).

A servant is only useful if he's serving
. Jesus Christ called you to serve. He equipped you to serve. Are you serving Him?

“I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away’” (Luke 19:26; Jesus speaking).

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (NIV).

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


And now we come to the last of the five passages we began quite a while back:

“[The Master] replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away’” (Luke 19:26; Jesus speaking).

Let’s put the verse into context. Jesus has entered Jericho, and a large crowd of people surrounds and follows Him. Zacchaeus, a wealthy man and the chief tax collector for the region (see Luke 19:2), climbs a tree trying to see over the throngs and get a look at Jesus. The Lord looks up into the tree and tells the startled man, “I must stay at your house today” (Luke 19:5). Zacchaeus, overwhelmed by Jesus’ love and acceptance of him, responds by saying:

“Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount” (Luke 19:8).

Zacchaeus met Jesus and his life was immediately and totally changed. No doubt that large crowd had witnessed the entire exchange and was still present when Jesus responded to Zacchaeus: “Today salvation has come to this house” (Luke 19:9a).

Jesus then spoke one of His most recognized statements: “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost” (Luke 19:10).

A tax collector repenting and surrendering his life to Jesus! The people were watching and listening intently as Jesus began to tell them a parable. In it He says that a wealthy Man of royal birth went away to be appointed King and, before leaving, called ten of His servants and gave each “ten minas” (see Luke 19:13a), one mina being about three month’s wages. “'Put this money to work,' He said, 'until I come back” (Luke 19:13b).

Jesus goes on to say that the Man returns as King and calls His servants to give account. One has invested his Master’s money so wisely that he has doubled that with which he was entrusted. The King is pleased: “‘Well done, My good servant!' his Master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities’” (Luke 19:17).

The next servant that appears before the King has increased his Master’s money by five minas. He, too, is commended.

Before we move to the third servant, though, please note that: (1) every one of the servants in this parable are entrusted with the same amount of money; and (2) the amount was almost three years’ wages.

Yet look again at verse 17 – the King calls the ten minas entrusted to the “good servant… a very small matter.” Three years’ wages was pocket change for Him! Yet look at how He rewards that faithful servant: “Take charge of ten cities.”

The Lord Jesus Christ has equipped and entrusted His people to build up His Kingdom. And He has unimaginably generous rewards for those who prove faithful.

What about you? Are you proving yourself faithful?

Tomorrow we’ll see how the third servant handled his Master’s money.

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (NIV).

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


This is the time of year when gardeners are getting to the end of their zucchini crops and looking for ways to put it to good use. This also means lower prices at the grocery store, making this a good economical dish.

Here's what you'll need:

3 zucchini, diced but not peeled
1 medium onion, diced
1 egg
1 c. mayonnaise
1 c. shredded cheese (I prefer extra sharp cheddar)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 c. bread crumbs

Mix all the ingredients together except 1/2 c. cheese & 1/2 c. bread crumbs. Preheat oven to 350. Spray casserole dish with nonstick spray; pour in mixture & spread evenly. Bake 30 minutes or until edges begin to look golden brown. Remove from oven; sprinkle with remaining cheese, then bread crumbs. Bake 10-15 more minutes until crumbs and cheese are lightly browned.


I wanted to back up and add another “consider carefully” statement Jesus made. Some days ago we looked at what Jesus said in Mark 4:25: “Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.” But I failed to touch on Mark 4:24: “‘Consider carefully what you hear,’ He continued. ‘With the measure you use, it will be measured to you – and even more.’”
Yes, I think it’s fair to say that we need to be very careful about judging others because we’re setting up our own lives for the same type of deep scrutiny. But I think “the measure” referred to here can be considered in another couple of ways:

(1) Proverbs 18:24a in the NKJV reads this way: “A man who has friends must himself be friendly.” If some people would expend more energy being “friendly” rather than complaining about their lack of help or friendship, they would be amazed at the amount of people who might be ready to become their friends. We’ve all met people who have nothing good to say about anybody; who’ve been “done wrong” by everybody they want to bring up. Just can’t wait to get away from folks like that, can we? No one wants to be around a constant complainer.

I’ll be the first to admit that I can complain with the best of ‘em. But there’s a price to be paid for that: I have to be just as willing to listen whenever my friends want to dump their problems in my lap. Friendship is a two-way street. We have to “be friendly” to have “friends.” We have to be willing to take the good with the bad. Why? Because “With the measure [we] use, it will be measured” back to us“and even more.”

(2) How much are you willing to give for the sake of the Kingdom? Some years ago a lady from a local church called to invite me speak. “We’re just a poor little church,” the lady told me. Little did she know how much that statement irked me! That lady’s church and your church and my church aren’t buildings – they’re people; believers in Jesus Christ. And whatever corporate body we meet with – a small assembly or a gigantic mega one – we serve the same God. And He ain’t poor! And He doesn’t consider any church small if their heart and their mission are big.

Your vision for your personal ministry and your vision for your church or your Bible class or whatever group it is, is as big as your God. How big is He? How well did He equip you? He gave you Himself! There’s nothing you can’t do that He’s called you to do. But if you “measure” yourself and find little to work with, you’re forgetting about the unending power of the Holy Spirit within you – and only the work done through Him is gonna amount to a hill of beans anyway!

Folks, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to “measure” by the teaspoon. I want to know and trust my Lord as an overflowing Source of blessing – blessing for me and my family, and blessing to complete whatever work He calls me to do.

“A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.” (St. Basil)

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (NIV).

Monday, September 24, 2012


I’m sure you’re “reviewed out” by now, so let me just hit the highlights: Jesus has taught the Parable of the Sower and followed the explanation with three statements:

(1) “No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light” (Luke 8:16).

(2) “There is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open” (Luke 8:17).

(3) “Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him.” (Luke 8:18b)

In this third statement, we see words of Jesus very similar to what’s been recorded in Matthew 13:12 and 25:29; Mark 4:25; and Luke 19:26. But look at what the Lord says at the beginning of Verse 18: “Therefore consider carefully how you listen.” See that word “therefore?” It’s a preposition. Meaning what? That it connects the current statement with the previous one. When you see the word “therefore,” remember it’s THERE FOR a purpose: to connect the previous passage.

So Jesus says to “consider carefully how you listen.” What has He just said? Look back at Verses 16 and 17: (1) If you have the Light, you’ll shine the Light; and (2) nothing you do wrong can be hidden from God; and (3) nothing you do in obedience to Him will go unrewarded.

I believe Jesus says to “consider carefully” because He wants the disciples then and the believers now to understand that there’s no “if” to it – a true believer reaches others for the Kingdom. Some people will wear out a church pew and still never see the Kingdom of Heaven.

“Whoever has will be given more.”
The Lord has given His Holy Spirit to every person who puts his faith in Him. And those who, in gratitude and obedience, use their lives to bring God glory are filled to overflowing. Can you get more of the Holy Spirit than what you received at the moment of your salvation? I’ll let Jesus Himself answer that question: “how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:13b).

“Whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him.” Please don’t play church. Be real. Be real at home. Be real in your workplace. Be real everywhere you go. You don’t have to wonder or doubt whether or not you’re a believer in Jesus Christ – He tells you in word that believers will be recognized “by their fruit” (Matthew 7:16 and 20).

A pine tree can call itself a pear tree all day long, but the resulting fruit – or lack thereof – will be proof of what it really is. You can call yourself a Christian all life long, but it’s your resulting fruit that will prove what you really are. Examine your life. What kind of fruit are you producing?

“There is no justification without sanctification, no forgiveness without renewal of life, no real faith from which the fruits of new obedience do not grow.” (Martin Luther)

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (NIV).

Sunday, September 23, 2012


A quick review of the last couple of days: Jesus had taught the Parable of the Sower and followed the explanation He gave His disciples with three distinct statements, two of which we’ve already looked at: Luke 8:16 and 8:17. In verse 16 the Lord says that “No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light.” We believers are to shine the Light within us to show those who don’t know Jesus: (1) where they are – separated from God; and (2) how to get out of that place – how to receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

He next says that “there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open” (Luke 8:17).

Yesterday I applied two lines of thought to this verse: (1) Even our “secret sins” are known to God and those we don’t confess and ask forgiveness for “will… be… brought out into the open” on the day we stand before the Lord. (2) “The mystery of the Gospel” can’t remain “hidden.” If you know Jesus, His indwelling Holy Spirit compels you to share that Good News with others.

But I think we can also see a third line of thought in Jesus’ Luke 8:17 statement: Don’t ever think that the tiniest thing you do for the Kingdom won’t go rewarded. In Matthew 6, Jesus said to “Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” He goes on to say that when we do perform any act of kindness – He specifically speaks of giving money – that we should do so as discreetly as possible. And then He adds a word about private prayer: “When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father” (v. 6).

In other words, do nothing “to be seen my men” (Matthew 6:5). When I think of these verses, I immediately think of a wonderful man who was a member of our former church. Whenever he was called on to pray, he prayed so quietly that someone standing near him usually had to say “Amen” to let the congregation know that the prayer had ended. One day I was standing near this man when someone turned to him and said, “You’re gonna have to pray louder. We couldn’t hear you.” This humble man looked at that person and softly said, “I wasn’t talking to you.” This man wasn’t trying to impress anyone with some flowery prayer – he was simply talking to his Father.

Twice in Matthew 6 Jesus tells His listeners – when He speaks of giving discreetly in Verse 4 and when He speaks of praying in privacy in Verse 6 – He concludes with the same statement: Do these things without making a public spectacle of yourself and “then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

That kind word you speak to a coworker won’t go unrewarded. That money you give to help feed the homeless at a Christian mission won’t go unrewarded. NOTHING you do in obedience to your Lord Jesus Christ will be unrewarded.

“You see, if you take pains and learn in order to get a reward, the work will seem hard; but when you work... if you love your work, you will find your reward in that.” (Leo Tolstoy)

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Talk about easy! It took me about 15 minutes from gathering up ingredients to having these cookies cooling on wax paper. Nothing like a warm cookie and a tall glass of milk! Here's what you'll need to make these:

2 c. sugar
2 1/2 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 stick margarine
1/2 c. evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. peanut butter
3 c. quick oats

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and cocoa and blend thoroughly. Add margarine and milk and place on low to medium heat. Stir continually. When mixture begins to boil, reduce heat just enough to maintain a low boil; stir for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; mix in vanilla and peanut butter. Add oats and blend thoroughly. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto wax paper. Cookies will set firmly as they cool.


We’re still working our way to Luke 8:18: “Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him” (Luke 8:18; Jesus speaking).

After the Parable of the Sower, Jesus makes three distinct statements in Luke 8:16-18, the first of which we looked at yesterday: “No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light” (Luke 8:16).

I compared His teaching here with His calling believers “the light of the world” in Matthew 5:14. And I used the example of you and a friend having gone for a hike and gotten separated. You – the one with the flashlight – could use that light to not only locate your friend, but to show him where he was and how to get out of that place.

This is precisely what we are to do with “the Light of the World.” The Jesus in us should show lost people: (1) where they are – separated from the One who loves them; and (2) how to get out of where they are – that putting their trust in Jesus Christ will give them the strength to either change their circumstances or live above them.

And now we come to Jesus’ next statement: “For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open” (Luke 8:17).

Just after the religious leaders bring a woman “caught in adultery” (John 8:3) to Jesus, He tells His listeners, “I am the Light of the World” (John 8:12). I think there’s an interesting overlap between what happened in John 8 and Jesus’ statement in Luke 8:17. Remember how the religious leaders who were ready to stone the adulterous woman suddenly backed off and disappeared after the Lord “started to write on the ground with His finger” (John 8:6)? No one knows for certain what Jesus was doing, but many scholars think Jesus was writing the specific sins of the men in that group.

I think we can apply Luke 8:17 in two ways: (1) There is “nothing hidden” from the Lord. Even if you have “secret sins” that other people don’t know about, your Heavenly Father knows and those sins that go unconfessed “will… be… brought out into the open” on the day you stand before the Lord. (2) “The mystery of the Gospel,” as it’s called many times in Scripture – see Ephesians 6:19, for example – cannot remain “hidden.” Not in a believers’ life. Not in any place where the Holy Spirit dwells.

If you know Jesus, you’ll bring “the mystery of the Gospel” “out into the open.” You won’t hide it. You won’t ignore it. And you’ll realize the urgency of telling others.

“All the world would be Christian if they were taught the pure Gospel of Christ!” (Thomas Jefferson)

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (NIV).

Friday, September 21, 2012


Yesterday we started out with Luke 8:18 but backed up to look at the parable Jesus told before making that statement. Let’s look at the verse again and then we’ll cover a couple of other things Jesus said prior to it:

“Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him” (Luke 8:18; Jesus speaking).

Luke records Jesus teaching the Parable of the Sower, concluding in verse 15 that the “good soil” absorbed the Seed of the Word and that this soil represented those “who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”

Remember the definition of “persevere?” “To persist in anything undertaken; maintain a purpose in spite of difficulty, obstacles, or discouragement; continue steadfastly”( A dedicated believer will consistently serve the Lord.

Jesus makes two very interesting statements before Luke 8:18. They are:

“No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light” (Luke 8:16).

“For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open” (Luke 8:17).

Look at verse 16. As we’ve studied before, Jesus calls Himself “the light of the world” in John 8:12 and yet in Matthew 5:14 He calls believers “the light of the world.” Which is correct? Both. Believers are to reflect the Light of the One who lives within them. Which also explains why Jesus goes on in John 9:5 to say, “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” After His resurrection, He sent His Holy Spirit to indwell believers so that they could continue His work of “light[ing]… the world.”

Which brings us back to Luke 8:16. Imagine you and your friend have gone for a hike and become separated. As darkness falls, you hear your friend calling out for help. You have a flashlight in your pocket; what are you gonna do? Stumble along in the dark to help your friend? No. Ignore your friend? No. You’ll use that flashlight to light your way to him and then you’ll use that light to show your friend where he is and how he can get out of there!

“No one lights a lamp and hides it.”
If Jesus Christ lives IN you, He shines OUT from you. Is your Light shining brightly? There’s a lost dark world out there that needs to see it.

We’ll make our way to verse 18 in a day or two.

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (NIV).

Thursday, September 20, 2012


“Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him” (Luke 8:18; Jesus speaking).

In Chapter 8, Luke records that Jesus teaches the Parable of the Sower, explaining to His disciples that “the seed is the word of God” (Luke 8:11).

He clearly states what is meant by the Seed that falls on the pathway, that these are the people “who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved” (Luke 8:12).

He continues, explaining that those with “no root” may hang in with the church crowd for a while, but that “the time of testing” (v. 13) proves that their religion was of the head and not the heart – that they’d never put their faith in “the root of David” (Revelation 5:5).

In Verse 14 Jesus explains about the Seed that was scattered among the thorns. These “thorns” are the believers who stay in diapers, “choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, [so that] they do not mature.”

And then comes Verse 15. Here Jesus talks about the Seed that is sown in good soil. He said these are the kind of believers He wants us to be, those “who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”

What does it mean to “persevere?” Don’t miss this: It’s “to persist in anything undertaken; maintain a purpose in spite of difficulty, obstacles, or discouragement; continue steadfastly”( Jesus didn’t say, “Serve Me and you’ll have it easy.” He didn’t say, “Living for Me and spreading the Good News will make your life problem-free.” No, He said that those who truly love Him will sow the Seed of the Gospel IN SPITE of the difficulties and for one big reason: because He said to.

Jesus has two more interesting statements to add to His talk with the disciples before we get to our starting verse for today. I’ll save all that for tomorrow. For now, let me ask you: Are YOU “produc[ing] a crop?” You betcha. Think about it: what can a “thorn” produce? More “thorns.” “Thorns” hinder the growth of the Kingdom. It takes “good soil” for the Seed to multiply, spreading the Good News of the Kingdom.

“Our lives can become cluttered by many things. Some are obvious, such as material things, the stuff we collect. I really wish I were able to give a lesson on how to prioritize the material things – how to sort them, dispose of some, and put the rest in order – but I'm not qualified... But how well I know that we can surround ourselves with the material things to the extent that we have no time for the spiritual. Look around and you will see all the gadgets and toys and the nice and the fun things that cause us to squander and pay and to wander and play.” (William R. Bradford)

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (NIV).

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


“Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him” (Mark 4:25; Jesus speaking).

Corresponding with Matthew 13, this passage is sandwiched between Mark’s accounts of The Parable of the Sower and Jesus’ explanation of it to His disciples. In Mark 4:14, Jesus identifies Himself as “the farmer.” He goes on to say that His Word, like the seed sown on the pathway, reaches some people and then, “as soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them.”

Is He talking about a person being “saved” and then Satan robbing him of his salvation? Absolutely not! Don’t give Satan so much credit – he’s a created being, and he’s on a very short leash, held in the hand of Almighty God. Just a thought here, but perhaps Jesus was referring to the too, too busy lifestyles of today’s people. We hear the “seed,” the Word, as we breeze in and out of church or flip through the channels or glance at our Bibles; but we never slow down and ABSORB it.

Jesus goes on to explain that there are “Others, like seed sown on rocky places, [who] hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time" (Mark 4:16-17a).

There’s a mouthful in this one! Twice in Revelation alone we see Jesus identified as “the root of David” – see Revelation 5:5 and 22:16. Again, I don’t believe He’s talking about temporary salvation. No, it’s like breaking off a tree limb and sticking it in the ground; without a root, it will die.

So many people get caught up in the emotional aspects of religion TEMPORARILY. But it doesn’t last. Maybe the reason many denominations have gotten away from raising hands, shouting “Hallelujah!” or expressing any other joy in worship is because they’ve seen too many “temporary” believers show all that outward stuff and then “when trouble or persecution comes, … quickly fall away” (Mark 4:17b).

My quiet little maternal grandmother Ann and her equally meek sister Jocie belonged to a Protestant denomination that today is one of the most sedate churches you can walk into. Back in their younger days, these two would “get happy in the Lord” and run the aisles, shouting praises and waving their hands. Today, they’d be asked to leave if they disrupted a service like that.

While I’m all for order and agree with Paul’s statement that “God is not a god of disorder” (I Corinthians 14:33), I still think we have to be careful not to get so upright and uptight that we “quench the Spirit” (I Thessalonians 5:19, KJV).

Which brings us to Mark 4:18-19 where Jesus explains the “seed sown among thorns,” saying that “the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.”

Jesus says that these people may accept the “seed” of faith, but they let “worries…, [the pursuit of] wealth and the desires for other things… choke the word, making it unfruitful.”

Here is the person who accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior and then stays in spiritual diapers, focusing on everything in this world and nothing beyond it. This is a person who is so much like the world that it’s impossible (and not our job anyway) to figure out whether or not he’s truly a believer – he can “talk the talk,” but his walk appears to be sadly lacking.

Thankfully, it’s not up to us to “sort ‘em out” – that’s God’s job. Ours is to love and pray for them.

Jesus ends Mark 4:25 with the same solemn message we see in the Matthew passages: “Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.” If you ain’t got Jesus, you ain’t got nothin’.

“No man can lose what he never had.” (Izaak Walton)

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (NIV).

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


2 eggs
1 c. mayonnaise
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1 box chocolate cake mix

Preheat oven to 350; spray a cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. On medium speed, combine cake mix, eggs and mayo in a large bowl. When well blended, stir in chocolate chips and pecans. Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges are light golden brown.


“For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him” (Matthew 25:29; Jesus speaking).

This statement of Jesus follows two parables in Matthew 25: (1) The Parable of the Ten Virgins; and (2) The Parable of the Talents. In the latter, Jesus tells about a Master who distributes His wealth among His servants before going away on a journey. Note that a “talent” was a huge amount of money:

“To one [servant] he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent…” (Matthew 25:15).

What the Master entrusted to each servant was a different amount. How was the distribution determined? That same verse goes on to tell us that the Master gave to “each according to his ability.”

Here again, even though money is what’s used in the lesson, Jesus isn’t talking merely about money, but about WHATEVER gifts, talents and blessings He has given to a believer. And remember His method of distribution? He gave to “each according to his ability.” “Ability” to what? DON’T MISS THIS: to receive.

What’s required in order to receive anything? A receptacle; something to hold whatever is given. Coffee requires a cup. A meal requires a plate. A car needs a gas tank to hold the gas it needs in order to carry out the function for which it was created.

Aha! Are the light bulbs coming on? Let’s take that gas tank and fill it with water. What’ll happen? The car won’t run. Why? It’s not the fuel it was designed for.

We were designed by God to hold HIM. And yet we fill our lives with other stuff to the point of having no room for the ONE THING we were created to carry within us!

Think about a tiny infant. As that baby grows, he eats more and more. But at the same time, it’s BECAUSE that baby eats that he grows. By the time he’s a teenager, there seems to be no limit to what he can hold! Why? Because he has grown; and in doing so, he’s stretched his capacity to far more than what he started out able to hold.

Please etch this on your hearts and in your spirits, people: WE HAVE AS MUCH OF JESUS AS WE HAVE ROOM FOR. He fills us “according to [our] ability,” meaning according to our capacity for Him. As we grow in Him, He can fill us with more. More what? More of Him, which comes OUT in a stronger prayer life; a deeper study of God’s Word; a greater desire to serve others; and far less selfish attitude and spirit.

“For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance.” Ever seen kudzu? No wonder my daddy called it “mile-a-minute!” You let a sprig of that stuff on your property and it’ll take over in a hurry. Kudzu’s got nothing on Jesus. When you let Jesus into your heart, mind and spirit, He’ll fill you faster than kudzu – if you’ll LET Him. It’s always a choice. You CAN have Jesus in “abundance.” You CAN have an “abundance” of whatever it takes to do whatever He calls you to do. An “abundance” of whatever it takes to make it through whatever He allows you to go through.

“Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.” No false god; no false religion; no worldly stuff is going to make it into heaven. And no one who’s filled with that stuff is going to make it there, either. By the same token, no false god; no false religion; or no worldly wealth is going to sustain a person through life’s troubles. One crisis and the one trusting in any of those things quickly finds that their value is “taken from him.” They’re utterly useless. Only Jesus guarantees “abundance.”

“Be filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 9:17).

Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (NIV).

Monday, September 17, 2012


“Whoever has, to him shall more be given, and he shall have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him” (Matthew 13:12; Jesus speaking).

Yesterday I’d said that Jesus sandwiched this statement in between His “Parable of the Sower” and the explanation that He gave to His disciples. Notice He didn’t give the meaning of the parable to the “large crowds” (Matthew 13:2) that had gathered to hear Him. However, He did tell them, “He who has ears, let him hear” (Matthew 13:9). What did He mean?

To answer that question, we have to look at what He said to His disciples – you’d greatly benefit from reading all of Matthew 13, particularly verses 10-17; and you can do that online at in almost any translation you prefer.

The disciples wanted to know why Jesus taught the assembled crowds in parables. Part of His explanation was a quote from the prophet Isaiah: “This people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them” (Matthew 13:15).

When I was in elementary school, I remember one of my friends asking her older sister a question. Her sister’s reply was: “You’ve got a brain; use it.” Jesus isn’t being as harsh as that older sister, but what He is saying is that IF He is Lord of your life, your SPIRITUAL EARS have been opened, as well as your SPIRITUAL eyes. You CAN hear; you CAN see; and you CAN understand the Word of God. But you must CHOOSE to. And that requires focus and study.

Anybody can draw a crowd if the people believe they’re going to be entertained. A lot of people came to hear what Jesus had to say, but few heard with SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT.

When a person knows Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, he grows in Him; which is why I have grave concern for anyone who can spend years as a “baby” Christian – never growing. Folks, if something never grows, it ain’t alive!

When we ARE alive in Christ Jesus, we, like the seeds in the fertile soil of the Parable of the Sower, receive the Word and it grows within us. And guess what? If we’re that fertile soil, it not only grows IN us, but it bursts forth OUT of us!

Second Peter 3:18a instructs us to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

When we “grow in… grace and knowledge,” we receive more “grace and knowledge,” so that we will “have an abundance” of “grace and knowledge.”

“But whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.”
False religion gives you nothing lasting. It may keep you afloat temporarily, but in the end, it will come to nothing – it will “be taken away” from you. No one can punch your ticket to heaven but Jesus; and when He does, getting to heaven isn’t your one goal. Living for Him and reaching others with His Good News becomes your passion.

“We teach what we know; we reproduce what we are.” (Robert Schmidgall)

Scriptures quoted are from the New International Version (NIV).

Sunday, September 16, 2012


“Whoever has, to him shall more be given, and he shall have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him” (Matthew 13:12; Jesus speaking).

“For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him” (Matthew 25:29; Jesus speaking).

“Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him” (Mark 4:25; Jesus speaking).

“Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him” (Luke 8:18; Jesus speaking).

“[The master] replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away’” (Luke 19:26; Jesus speaking).

Five different passages, with Jesus speaking in each one. Let’s take these one at a time and delve into them, shall we? The first, Matthew 13:12, follows Jesus’ teaching known as “The Parable of the Sower.” In it, seeds are scattered, some being eaten by birds; some falling among thorns; some falling on stony ground; some sprouting, but having shallow roots; and finally some falling “on good soil, where it produced a crop – a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown” (Matthew 13:8).

After Jesus’ Matthew 13:12 statement, He explains the parable, concluding: “But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown” (Matthew 13:25).

Clearly this parable isn’t about money – it’s about growing the Kingdom. The God-seeker, the faithful servant of God takes the Word of God into his heart; receives it and believes it; and then lives it out, sowing the Word as he goes through his daily life. And his faithful witness produces more witnesses, more believers.

It is impossible not to influence other people for the Kingdom of God – you’re simply either a positive or negative influence. Which are YOU?

We’ve yet to look at our “starter” verse, Matthew 13:12. More on that tomorrow.

“The highest form of worship is the worship of unselfish Christian service. The greatest form of praise is the sound of consecrated feet seeking out the lost and helpless.” (Billy Graham)

Saturday, September 15, 2012


“He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income” (Ecclesiastes 5:10, NASB).

When Larry and I got married, we were thrilled that my parents allowed us to have their nine-year-old Chevy and my bedroom suite. Mother also let me have her stacks of Top Value stamp booklets so we could get a coordinated set of bedspread and curtains for our tiny rental house’s single bedroom. The previous renters left a sectional sofa we were able to use, and a card table and pair of folding chairs made up our kitchen set. We felt abundantly blessed.

Larry was the oldest of five kids, four of which were still at home – there was no chance of hands-out from his parents. But could mine have afforded to do more for us? Definitely. Yet I’m so thankful they didn’t. They allowed us to start out pretty much “on our own.”

I share all this to say that Larry and I had to work together to acquire things – like our first home, our first “bought” furniture, etc. We were so proud of and took such good care of that first living room furniture that it became “the furniture that wouldn’t die.” Years and years later, it was sold in pristine condition.

Nowadays we have the tendency to think that we not only NEED it all, but that we DESERVE it all. Advertisers tell us so, and we swallow their babble hook, line and sinker. We’ve gotten so focused on acquiring STUFF that we rarely focus on Jesus, the One who
“satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things” (Psalm 107:9, NIV).

Just think for a minute about focus. The only way to look in two directions at the same time is to cross your eyes. It’s completely unnatural, so when you do, your eyes aren’t working together and neither image you’re seeing is remotely clear.

When you as a believer put your focus on Jesus and truly get a clear image of who He is and what He’s done for you, you’re not going to be obsessed with the things of this world. Sure, you’ll still appreciate nice things, but you won’t be driven by the desire to have them – you’ll be driven by the desire to serve “the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5, NIV).

Wherever you are is your mission field. Your workplace is your mission field, not just the spot where you earn your paycheck. Don’t work simply at accumulating worldly goods; work at sharing Jesus.

“He is rich enough that wants nothing.” (Polish proverb)

Friday, September 14, 2012


Yesterday I’d quoted from First Corinthians 3:8 (NIV) where the Bible says that each believer “will be rewarded according to his own labor.” Not only are there rewards in heaven, but there are rewards here, too. Such as? The more we share Jesus, the more we combat evil. And OUR lack of effort – and that’s YOU and ME and others like us – in expanding the Kingdom deserves a good bit of the credit for the spread of evil in this world.

Are you aware that the first ever Blasphemy Day was celebrated this year on September 30, 2009? Atheists gathered together and “unbaptized” people with hair dryers; and pledged oaths renouncing the existence of God the Father, God the Son and the Holy Spirit, stating, “I am not afraid…” to say these things.

The new schism in the atheist movement should make you want to witness like never before. While the older atheist regimen takes the stand of “Let us believe nothing exists and we’ll let you believe something does;” the new regimen has publicly encouraged the ridicule and even far more frightening attacks against Christianity, stating that Christianity is “dangerous” and “threatening.” And I’m only giving you the tip of the iceberg.

If we aren’t solid in our stand FOR Jesus, there are plenty of people ready to remove our faith from the U.S. and the world. But if Jesus is in our hearts, can they really remove Him? No. But, my dear brothers and sisters, if He’s in our hearts, He’s going to be on our lips. And if He’s on our lips, He’s going to be in our actions. God forbid that we sit back focused on paying the bills, having more play time and acquiring more stuff while the privilege of worshiping our Lord and Savior is taken away from us.

Let’s not wait until we have to meet in clandestine places to talk about Jesus. Let’s not sit back and allow our faith and our God to be blasphemed. What should we do? Attack the atheists with insults? No. We should pray for them. And we should live being Jesus to all around us.

We can’t change the world, but Jesus can. However, His hands are tied when ours won’t do our jobs; because we are the ones who have been
“entrusted with the very words of God” (Romans 3:2, NIV). If we don’t tell, they won’t know; and we won’t make a difference. Let me personalize that: if I don’t tell, they won’t know, and I won’t make a difference. If YOU don’t tell, they won’t know, and YOU won’t make a difference.

“In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don’t.” (Blaise Pascal)

“You are the light of the world” (Jesus speaking, Matthew 5:14, NIV). It’s pretty plain folks: if you’re not Light, you’re shadow.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


1 can cream corn
1 can kernel corn, drained
8 oz. sour cream

2 eggs
1 c. grated extra sharp cheddar cheese (optional)
1 box Jiffy cornbread mix

Preheat oven to 350. Spray oven-safe casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Combine all ingredients (including cheese, if desired) and pour into dish; spread evenly. Bake for about 30 minutes or until top is golden brown.


Yesterday I asked if you had a goal. Then I compared being “goal-less” with a basketball player lobbing basketballs across a court that had no baskets. While our final goal certainly should be heaven, we need to set both short and long-term goals here on earth.

It’s taken me, as my daddy would have said, only “a few shakes of a rabbit’s tail” to get from being young to teetering on the edge of being a senior adult. Life flies by; and the older you get, the faster the years are moving. Why wait until you have one foot in the grave to decide to get your head on straight and start diligently working for Jesus?

Some people have this totally messed-up idea that our one goal needs to be to “get saved” so we can spend eternity in heaven. I got news, folks: eternity’s a long, long time! Plus once we get to heaven, the Bible teaches that “each will be rewarded according to his own labor” (I Corinthians 3:8, NIV).

What will that reward be? A position of work and authority within the Kingdom, based on your diligence to serve Him here. No, works don’t get you INTO heaven – faith in Jesus Christ does. But works determine your REWARD in heaven.

Work isn’t a curse. Work has always been a part of God’s plan for mankind. God worked – read Genesis 1 and 2 – and still does. Second Corinthians 3:18 (NLT) says that, “As the Spirit of the Lord WORKS within us, we become more and more like Him and reflect His glory even more.”

God ain’t lazy. God isn’t without a plan – He IS the Plan. And we’re to be “like Him.” Don’t waste the time you have here on earth. Expend it for Jesus. PLAN to touch others with His love. Make that your ultimate earthly GOAL; and then implement daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and lifetime plans to make it happen.

“Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another.” (John Dewey)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


“Jacob loved Rachel, so he said [to Laban], ‘I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel’”(Genesis 29:18, NASB).

You probably know the story. Jacob falls head over heels for Rachel, works seven years to have her as his wife and then gets tricked into marrying her older sister Leah. What did Jacob do? Give up on the desire of his heart? Not hardly. No, he just kept on working. For seven more years – a total of fourteen – he worked to have Rachel as his wife. Jacob set his heart on a goal and worked to achieve it. And there’s a huge word of truth in that for someone reading this study right this minute.

Do you have a goal? It’s impossible to achieve one if you don’t. Imagine a basketball player lobbing basketballs across a court with no baskets. Imagine a family going off on vacation with no road map, no GPS and no written directions. Such is a life without a goal. You can’t head “there” until you know where “there” is.

Yes, our ultimate goal is heaven; but as long as the Lord has you here, there are goals for you to reach right here and work for you to complete here, too. He has called you to serve Him. Serve Him wholeheartedly and daily. After all, do you want to just get to heaven or do you want to arrive knowing you’ve “fought the good fight?” (II Timothy 4:7, NIV).

It is a paradoxical but profoundly true and important principle of life that the most likely way to reach a goal is to be aiming not at that goal itself but at some more ambitious goal beyond it.” (Arnold Toynbee)

“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14, NIV).

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Baking and fall weather just seem to go together. Fill your home with this wonderful fragrance and your family's tummies with these 5-ingredient tasty treats.

1 box spice cake mix
4 egg whites
1 cup quick-cooking oats (not instant oatmeal)
1/2 c. margarine, melted
1/2 c. raisins

Preheat oven to 350. Spray cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Using an electric mixer, blend on low speed cake mix, egg whites, oats and margarine. Mix in raisins. Drop by slightly mounded teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet, spacing 1-2" apart.

Bake for 7-9 minutes or until very lightly browned. Don't overbake - these cookies will be very soft but will firm up (not harden) as they cool. Yields about 4 dozen cookies.


"May the Lord reward your work, and your wages be full from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge” (Ruth 2:12, NASB).

Have you ever thought about the fact that you’re not working for a paycheck, but for the Lord? How diligent are you in the work you perform – paid or unpaid? Because it’s God who’s going to “reward your work.”

When you take pride in your work, people notice. At my former workplace, we had two different ladies who worked for our environmental services and came in to clean the offices in the evenings. You could always tell when Miss Clara was off because the cleaning quality was off with her. Miss Clara didn’t think of her job as menial; she thought of it as working for the Lord and she gave Him her best. We who worked in the areas she cleaned simply benefited from what she’d done in honor of her Heavenly Father.

If you did your work with that same attitude, would you do a better job? As the Lord looks at your heart and sees the real effort you put into a task, do you think He’d pay
“your wages” in “full” or might He have to cut your pay for poor performance?

There is a payday coming, you know. Jesus Himself said that “He shall reward every man according to his works” (Matthew 16:27, KJV). Are you looking forward to it or dreading it?

“A man's respect for law and order exists in precise relationship to the size of his paycheck.” (Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.)

Sunday, September 9, 2012


“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men” (Colossians 3:23, NASB).

“Yeah, but you don’t know what kind of job I have.” But you have a job, don’t you? Be thankful for it and work it “for the Lord rather than for men.”

Let’s say you’re a full-time homemaker or stay-at-home mom. Not drawing a monetary salary for your work doesn’t mean you’re not working. And not drawing monetary compensation for your work doesn’t mean you’re not obligated to do a good job. After all, since you belong to the Lord, you’re to do it “for the Lord,” right?

What if you’re retired? The fact that you don’t punch a clock any more to draw a paycheck doesn’t mean you’ve earned a license to be lazy. Has He blessed your health? Then get busy and accomplish great things for the Kingdom – time’s a-wastin’! If you live long enough, you’ll likely reach a point where you’re no longer able to do many of the things you could now be doing for God’s glory.

I’ve told you before about my friend Gwen. While she was still in the “prime of life,” she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. It slowed her down, but it didn’t stop her. When she was no longer able to work at her regular workplace, she began visiting people in a nursing home. When she became unable to do that, she started using her time in the chemo chair to write cards of encouragement to others. And when she became pretty much bedridden, she continued to write the cards and make phone calls to let people know she cared about them and was praying for them.

What are you doing for Jesus? How long you reckon you’ll be healthy enough to keep doing it? If today was your last day on your present job or project, would you want to be remembered by the effort you’ve put into it thus far?

“Work while you have the light. You are responsible for the talent that has been entrusted to you.” (Henri-Frédéric Amiel)