Meet Jesus: Wisdom At Large …GSJ11

wisemenHaving wisdom in the setting of the disinterested is pensive and tough.

Matthew 7:6: Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

 Broad Applications: Having wisdom in a setting where everyone agrees is simple.  Having wisdom in the presence of enemies may be tense, but can be negotiated.  Having wisdom in the setting of the disinterested is pensive and tough.  Jesus had all.

Here he shares with us precious insight into those going about their business looking for “stuff”.  Our tendency is to assume those around us are for us or against us or neutral.  There is no neutral.  If they are neither for nor against, they are against.  The undecided will destroy the good works of God, when left to their own devices.  Some pearls, some wisdom, and some truths are best left in the bag until in the presence of those who will receive them and value them.  Everything is not meant to be shared.

Greg Goofs: Sally stepped up quickly to greet Jake.  She could feel the tension in the hallway.  Greg was rapidly engaged in encouraging Jake to go with him to class.  Jake was anything but ready to go with Greg and his wife.  Jake’s wife was flustered and ready to go back out the door.  The kids had already seen some friends and scrambled into the kid’s church area with them.  What a scene!

 “What do you mean, you are glad I came here to find Christ?”  Jake was angry, frustrated, and humiliated all at once.  How dare Greg say such a thing in front of his wife?  It felt demeaning.  It felt like he was being accused of avoiding responsibilities.  This was one bad way to launch a Sunday church visit with friends.

  This devotion is #11 of a bigger storyline… Watch the category GSJ Story for miniseries.

ACT!  Share a precious truth God has shown you with someone who loves God.

PRAY!  Father of truth and light, guide me today.  Help me to have the wisdom of Jesus in all my dealings.  Help me to share Your pearls with those that are listening.  There are so many hungry to hear about You.  Teach me discretion and sound wisdom in all I do and share.  Show me the truths that are for all, the truths that are for those close to you, and the truths that need the specific guidance of Your Holy Spirit to share.

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Meet Jesus: Biblical Proportions

“God did not wait for a natural disaster to send His Son.  God did not wait for a natural disaster to feed thousands with miracles.  God did not wait for a natural disaster for Jesus to heal lepers.”

Matthew 6: 1 “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly  

Grace   By the grace of God, we are thankful He is not motivated by the moment.  God did not wait for a natural disaster to send His Son.  God did not wait for a natural disaster to feed thousands with miracles.  God did not wait for a natural disaster for Jesus to heal lepers.  God did not wait for a natural disaster to pull His people out of Egypt.  God did not wait for any disaster to respond.  He waited for prayer.  He waited for people to call His name.  He waited for a people of love to prevail against the normal life we chose to live.

 Readiness   Jesus is just like His Father.  He stays in a state of readiness through private prayer and giving love with substance outside the sight of man’s cameras.  He is attentive to the fact that we live in a world constantly in a state of separation from God’s will and disaster.  There is the disaster of abortion.  There is the disaster of divorce.  There is the disaster of fatherlessness.  There is the disaster of drugs and alcohol.  There is the disaster of crime.  There is the disaster of violence.  There is a constant state of disaster all around us.  Being involved and ready is the habit of His people

Examples  Hudson Taylor was such an example to me.  He wrote little, but there is at least small amounts written about his example by those that were around him.  By serving silently and persistently in China he was able to see a cadre of native ministers established over years.  When human initiated disaster struck and missionaries were killed and banned, he had been used of God to leave a faithful church in place to continue to minister the gospel.  He did not wait for the disaster.  He waited in prayer and preparation and persistence.  Then when disaster hit, the grace and silence and biblical proportion of God intervened in mercy.

Many in the kingdom today are such an example to me.  There are men and women doing the work in hard spots drawing no attention to them.  When such world noticed events as an earthquake happen, they are already on the ground upping their serve.  They were already there. They were already serving.  They were already giving out biblical proportions of silent, ready love and ready to give more.

ACT! Where are you quietly and persistently applying the grace of God to an ongoing disaster?  Are you ready to step up in a moment of explosion in the area if it arrives?

PRAYER FOR YOU!  Father, I pray today for readiness in my friend.  Let peace and blessing overwhelm them in moments of strain that are hard to understand.  I pray that you open their eyes to discern a place and people to touch under a pressure of an ongoing disaster.  Let us be filled with the urgency of private and prayerful intervention.  There is not time to wait until the attention of the world is directed to an ongoing disaster by an act of natural force or human depravity.  Show us.  Move us.  Empower us.  Grace us with strength to be involved now to be used in harder days.

Meet Jesus : The Extra Mile

Matthew 5: 39: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40: And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. 41: And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. 42: Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

 Going the extra mile for others is the essence of long suffering.   Suffering is quiet.  To suffer means to allow.  Long suffering means to allow for a long time.  Jesus defines it even further.  He looks for opportunity to suffer, to allow others to use Him and His resources.  Jesus is absolutely bent on being used by others.  The quest for Him is not about what others ask of Him, but about how He can offer beyond the asking.

 Jack’s Pain: Working with a team that was split on commitment was tough.  Each had valid points.  Each was entrenched in opposite directions.  Long suffering was tested.  The division had been ongoing in the company for six years and then some.  Jack decided to be the walking mat.  Someone had to let others “take advantage” to gain some trust and ground.  It was tough, but over time some of the animosities began to turn into friendships.  He was hopeful to really seem some team progress.  This last meeting had been half the team directing criticisms at his area.  Not much was founded in present reality, but at least they were venting openly instead of behind his back.  There was hope.

ACT!  Who is asking for a piece of you or your time?  What can you do that goes beyond the asking?  Do it.

PRAY!  Holy, Gracious Father, the light and love of Jesus are beyond me.  When I ask, He does more.  When I impose, He expands the request to more.  It seems I cannot put more demand than He can answer.  Help me to suffer-long with others, Father.  Help me to be like Jesus and go the extra mile with a smile.

Worldchangers Care.

pmlogoblueThe world won’t change if you stand and stare. It will only change when you stoop and care. Phil

Psalm 142:3-5 When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who watch over my way.

In the path where I walk people have hidden a snare for me.

Look and see, there is no one at my right hand; no one is concerned for me.

I have no refuge; no one cares for my life.

I cry to you, Lord; I say, “You are my refuge,my portion in the land of the living.”

David was hiding in a cave when he wrote this psalm. Many of us live in caves. Maybe we live there for a week or a month or a lifetime. In the cave, we wonder if any really care. We block off hands that try to reach. All around us are others living in caves. They won’t put out their heads unless they know we care.

God cares. He cares for you. He is safe. He doesn’t lay traps. You don’t have to live in the cave. You can help others out of their cave.

Prayer: Father, the caves of life are dark and damp and fearful. You are full of light and warmth and care. Your care removes our fear. You allow us to see light in the darkest moments. You warm the coldness of despair. You open hope with care. Give us strength to do the same for others.

Meet Jesus: Inherit The Earth Matthew 5:5

What?  Inherit the earth?

“Meekness represents confident power self-controlled.  It does not put others down.  It considers the plight of all.”

Matthew 5: 1: And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: 2: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, ….. 5: Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

 Inherit The Earth: What does it mean to inherit the earth?  The meek get to do it.  We can inherit money.  We can inherit a business.  We can inherit land.  What does it mean to inherit the earth?  Must we wait for someone to die?  What does it mean?

Meek Meek: Jesus was meek among meek.  Moses was declared the meekest man.  Both of these men were bold beyond measure.  Both were powerful with miracles and conflict surrounding them.  Both were directive and unashamed of their message.  Is that meek?  Yes.  Both allowed God to be their defender.  Both protected the dignity of the individual.  Both were full of kindness.  Meekness represents confident power self-controlled.  It does not put others down.  It considers the plight of all.  It demands correct response.  Meekness never puts the person above others in order to achieve a goal.  The meek rightly know who they are and act confidently and considerately to achieve Godly goals with compassion.

In This Life: These meek inherit the earth in this life.  There is no need for the death of anyone to inherit this earth.  When we meet Jesus, we receive great authority and power and call to task.  To move in meekness means to proceed to get our assignment done with all resources supplied.   The earth, the world system, submits to the meek.  The earth will comply for the meek.  Others move out of the way for a person of confidence on a mission.  Many will quickly give resources to them to steward, understanding a good return will be had.  They inherit the earth and all it has to give.

Head Scratcher: Blake scratched his head.  For the sixth time this week, someone called and offered him what he needed to arrange his meeting.  First a caterer called and asked if he had any needs.  They had a few dates open in April and would like to give him a discount to try them out.  The first date was the date of his meeting.  Second, he was at lunch and overhead a person waiting to be seated talking about their business of supplying meeting rooms.  He arranged with them for the date for half of his budget.  Then his sales assistant informed him she was starting a part-time personal printing service from home.  She agreed to help him design all the invitations and handouts in exchange for using the business name as a reference.  This was too easy.  He was confident from day one this was the right thing to do, but it seemed everyone was cheerfully willing to embrace the idea with him and help.

ACT!  Meek?  Do you know your own strength?  Do you know the strength of God that is with you? Are you submissively confident so that others can see?  The next time you approach someone about a decision you want them to make, believe in yourself and God’s ability to bring it to pass.  Then talk to them.  See what happens.

 PRAY!   Father, teach me the truth that it is not by my power or my might, but by Your Spirit that the task is accomplished.  Teach me that You own and the fruitfulness of the earth.  Teach me that You have equipped and accepted me to do what is ahead of me in the day.  Teach me that I don’t have to put myself forward, put others down, or force anything to happen.  Instill in me confident power exhibited with meekness.  Let me see this earth submit to Your will even as the angels in heaven respond to Your commands.  Thank You for being You.

Meet Jesus: Influencer Matthew 4:25

meetjesusinfluencerMatthew 4: 25: And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan

Today’s writers, students, and speakers on influence will tell you to work on your immediate circle of people.  From that, your circle will begin to grow.  Jesus’ circle moved with lightning speed.  In short time people were coming from miles away in every direction.  North, East, South, and West they came.  From outside Israel they came.  From inside Israel they came.  They came by foot mostly.  They crossed rivers.  They came.

Babs really did not know what to think of this day.  She started out at the coffee shop and met a pastor, who wanted to know what she thought about the recent changes in city government.  Then she bumped into a woman from a sister congregation that asked her to tell her friends about an upcoming seminar.  Later, some business associates asked her to join them for a round of golf.  The same day, the waitress at the restaurant just opened up and began to tell her about her needs at home and her stress in her marriage.  All of this seemed too much like a God day.  How interesting that He could give acceptance and influence among so many types of people.

ACT!  What boundary of thought will you cross today to meet Jesus?  Do it!

PRAY!  Father, people are willing to cross any boundary to get to Jesus.  His influence moves quickly when we expose Him and His love and His power.  Help me to show Jesus to my circle of friends today so that others will come.  Help me to just stretch out to those around me so that others will cross boundaries to get to the Jesus I have to offer them.