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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Crumb of Bread

Matthew 15:21-28 relates the story of the woman from Canaan who was begging Jesus to help her daughter who was severely demon possessed. Jesus' response seems a bit harsh, since He basically said I came to save the Jews. But she cried out again and worshipped Him. Again, Jesus replied that it wouldn't be good to take the children's bread and toss it to the little dogs.

She just didn't back down. She told Jesus that even little dogs get to eat the crumbs under the master's table. Then Jesus told her that she had great faith! And her daughter was healed.

Her faith excelled! Even though it seemed Jesus was going to reject her. She just didn't give up. All she wanted was a "crumb." Just a little. She knew she wasn't in Jesus' inner Jewish circle, but she had a need!

I love that idea of a crumb. Very tiny. A crumb of bread from the table of God is better than a loaf of bread in the hands of satan. How many times do we think our need is too small to bother God? Or too big for a miracle? What I see in the story is that the woman was not assured of an answer to her request, yet she worshipped Him. (verse 25) She agreed with Jesus that she didn't deserve the best, but yet if she could just have a crumb of His power displayed to heal her daughter, she knew it would be enough.

In my life, there has been those times I was so busy looking for the "big" that I missed the "crumb" that God provided. The woman saw the value of the crumb to feed little dogs. I believe that she knew if Jesus blessed a crumb, a miracle would happen. And it did!!

What I consider a crumb may be God's miracle for me today. Look for crumbs and worship God…believe in Him without wavering or doubting. Don't put your faith in the crumb, but into the Lord of the crumb.

God bless you




Wednesday, October 16, 2013

But I Want It!

I have been reading through the book of 1 Samuel. The Bible is so special because every time I read it, I see something that I wonder how I could have missed it. Or yet, I have read it before, noticed it, but then I see it in a new light. That is what happened when I read chapter 8. This relates the story of the children of Israel demanding a king "like other nations have a king." This demand is found in verse 5, 19, and 20.

They wanted it so badly that God told Samuel to give them a king, that they are not rejecting him but the Lord. My question was, "Does God still give us our beggarly requests because our prayers just will not take no for an answer?" I believe God does allow us to go in our selfish ways, but we will suffer for it. Then just like the children of Israel, when life gets tough, we come back to God asking "Why?"

So we are not any different than people in history. Our selfish desires take over. Look at the reason they wanted a king. They wanted to be like other nations. How often do we buy things, not because we need them, but because our friend has one. Or we want to be like our friends, or like the rest of our family. I have heard statements such as, "I will have "that" one way or other." Another one, "I will go "there" and its not negotiable." No different than Israel...they couldn't see beyond their selfish desires.

And the children of Israel did suffer immensely at the hand of kings. But does it need to be this way? Yes, suffering will come if we demand to have things our way instead of God's way. So wondering what the answer is to our dilemma, I remembered the Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths." Verse 7a "be not wise in your own eyes.."

With all this is contentment. Contentment is learned. Being thankful with what you have. I was reading an article the other day which was talking about the "yet-praises" (Widow's Might) that no matter what the situation, we can yet praise Him. And we CAN!

Why are you in despair, O my soul?
And why have you become disturbed within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.
-Psalm 42:11

God bless you

Friday, October 4, 2013

Freely Give? Give What?

This week, I have been reminded of the verse in Matthew 10:8...."freely you have received, freely give." Jesus was giving the disciples instructions on what to do and how to act when they go out to other villages to preach the Word. This was one of the things they were to do.

This week's theme verse for me is Ephesians 1:4-6....again, the last part of the verse "...to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves."

As I read verses 4-6, I see several things God has given us. He chose us, adopted us, gives us His pleasure, grace...now with those few things I believe I'm quite wealthy. As I see it, there is not one thing here that our government can give to me. I just insert this sentence because I hear a lot of complaints about the government. Things the government can give me, they can take away. But those things that God gives me, no one can take away! God promises so much, He gives so much, and no one can take it away. I find great comfort in that.

But back to the verse freely you have received, freely give. What am I to give then? As I was reflecting on that this morning, God began to show me things He has given me and what I can give.

Love:  I can love someone, but what if they don't love me back? Or actually what if they hate me? Not only that, I really don't want to get involved in someone else's life. I'm really busy and if I love them, they may think I want to be a friend. You know, a friend that wants to do things, and I really don't have time for that.  Love, freely give!! 

Forgiveness: How often do I ask for forgiveness and God forgives. Do I really need to forgive others? I mean really, they have hurt me so often and continue to do it. What about the one who borrowed money and refuses to pay me back? The one who lies about me, and now my reputation is on the fence? And I'm to forgive? Really? The list goes on...you have your own list. Forgive, freely give!

Encourage: A friend is so discouraged and depressed, oh well she deserves it. She is always complaining and talking of her woes. She got herself in the mess she's in, so let her find her own way out. Let me think, oh yes, I remember when I was really discouraged and God sent someone my way that had just the words that brought a ray of sunshine on my otherwise gloomy day. Encourage, freely give!

Kindness: A neighbor has car problems, but I have a schedule to keep. I never see them helping me. They will find someone that can help them. A mother has little ones, and needs a minute to run errands. Oh no, not me. Watching those kids, they are rug rats. She can take them along.  Kindness, freely give.

So now I have started the list...you may continue. I am sure you have a few things you can add to the list. The thought is that we are provoked to good works, honoring our Lord. 

He freely gave everything to me and you. Pass His love on to others.
God bless you.