After my grandmother died, my mother gave me a diamond ring that had belonged to her. I never knew how much it was worth, and of course, I couldn't wear it. Nevertheless, it became one of my most treasured possessions because it had belonged to my grandmother. It was the only thing I owned that had belonged to her and I would never consider parting with it.
Have you ever stopped to ask yourself, "What is my most treasured possession?" To one, it might be a family heirloom passed down from his or her parents, an album of family photos, or a family pet. To another, it might be a fishing boat, a baseball autographed by a famous player, or a trophy won in a sporting event. We all have something that we consider a precious treasure.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
The season of Lent is a good time for us to search our hearts and assess where our treasures are being stored. Are we storing up the treasures that this world has to offer, or are we storing up treasure in heaven by using the spiritual gifts that God has given us? In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. (Romans 12:6-8 NLT)
To many, Lent is a time when the focus is on giving something up. To give up chocolate, or coffee, or cokes. I think it more appropriate to make it a time that we focus on giving — not giving up. Make it a time to be devoted to loving one another above ourselves. A time to live in harmony with one another. A time to "Give of Your Best to the Master."
Wednesday, December 26, 2018
WILL I ENJOY SUCCESS IN THE NEW YEAR?
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. Isaiah:40:30-31
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. Psalm 20:4
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57
IS THERE REALLY ANYTHING NEW IN THE NEW YEAR?
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18
Just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. Romans 6:4
WHAT DOES GOD HAVE IN STORE FOR ME IN THE NEW YEAR?
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17
WHY SHOULD I EXPECT THE NEW YEAR TO BE ANY BETTER THAN LAST YEAR?
But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me. Micah 7:7
He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true." Revelation 21:5
And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:5
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self . . . to be made new in the attitude of your mind; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24
So, as we look forward to the new year, I leave you with this final thought; the future is not in our hands. Our success in the year ahead is in God's hands.
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21
Monday, November 26, 2018
Answers are provided at the bottom of the page, but I encourage you to carefully read the Biblical accounts to check the accuracy of programs you will be seeing this Christmas season.
1. Joseph was originally from... (Luke 2:3)
E. None of the above
2. What does the Bible say that the innkeeper said to Mary and Joseph? (Luke 2:7)
A. “There is no room in the inn.”
B. “I have a stable you can use.”
C. “Come back later and I should have some vacancies.”
D. None of the above
3. A manger is a...
A. A barn for animals
B. A wooden hay storage bin
C. A feeding trough
D. None of the above
4. Which animals does the Bible say were present at Jesus’ birth?
A. Cows, sheep, goats
B. Cows, donkeys, goats
C. Sheep and goats only
D. The Bible doesn't say
5. Who saw the star in the east?
C. Three kings
D. Both A and C
6. According to the Bible, how did Mary and Joseph get to Bethlehem?
D. Joseph walked, Mary rode a donkey
E. The Bible doesn't say
7. How many angels spoke to the shepherds? (Luke 2:10)
C. A Multitude
D. None of the above
8. What did the angels say/sing? (Luke 2:14)
A. “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given”
C. “Glory to God in the highest, etc.”
D. “Joy the world, the Lord is come”
E. “Glory to the newborn King”
9. In Matthew, what does “wise men” or “Magi” refer to?
A. Men of the educated class
B. Eastern kings
D. Men who studied the stars
10. How many wise men came to see Jesus?
E. We don’t know
11. Where did the wise men find Jesus? (Matthew 2:11)
A. In a manger
B. In a stable
C. In Nazareth
D. In Saudi Arabia
E. In a house
12. When the wise men found Jesus he was... (Matthew 2:9)
A. A babe wrapped in swaddling clothes
B. A young child
C. A boy in the temple
D. A grown man
13. The “star in the east” that the wise men followed... (Matthew 2:9)
A. Stayed in the same place their entire journey
B. Disappeared and reappeared
C. Moved ahead of them and stopped over the place where Jesus was
D. Was just a mirage
14. The wise men stopped in Jerusalem... (Matthew 2:2)
A. To inform Herod about Jesus
B. To find out where Jesus was
C. To ask about the star
D. To buy presents
15. Where in the Bible do we find the Christmas story?
E. A and C
F. B and D
To download a PDF version of this quiz, click here.
Answers: 1. A 2. D 3. C 4. D 5. B 6. E 7. A 8. C 9. D 10. E 11. E 12. B 13. C 14. B 15. E