Spare change can change your life…

Luke 12 NKJV

13Then one from the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”14But He said to him, “Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?” 15And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of £covetousness [greed], for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”16Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. 17And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ 18So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. 19And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ 20But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’21“So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

 Your life can be as rich and sweet and full of joy as any millionaire’s, or even more so.  And a millionaire’s life can be as bankrupt as anyone in bankruptcy, or even more so.  Jesus said our life is not determined by what we own.  Money can solve some problems, but it can bring even more of its own, (like the desire for more money).  I was never so greedy as when I had more money (and depended on money).  I’ve never felt more free to give than when I didn’t have a job (and depended on God to provide).

Have you ever noticed that some people are strong and some are weak?  Some rich and some poor?  Some are blind and some can see?  Some are brilliant and some struggle?  Some are healthy and some are sick?  The early followers’ of Jesus had a solution to these problems.  The strong helped the weak.  The rich helped the poor.  The blind were healed or helped by those that could see.  Those who could think well helped those who couldn’t.  The healthy healed or helped those who were sick.

God didn’t give the Rich Man in the parable plentiful crops so that he could “take [his] ease; eat, drink and be merry” for many years.  I believe when God gives me more than I need it is to serve with it, not to indulge myself with it.  I find more fun in meeting someone else’s need in the name of Jesus, than in buying myself something that I don’t need.

For about the price of a coffee, roughly $1.33 a day, you can change the life of a child by sponsoring them through

Hope for Children part of World Hope International at:
http://www.worldhope.org/page.aspx?pid=511

or Compassion International at:
http://www.compassion.com/

You will give them education, nutrition, and medical care.  And the opportunity to meet Jesus.

And giving that $1.33 a day just might change your life as much as your child’s.

Jesus tells us to be "Meek" not Weak!

My son and I were watching an old 1950s era episode of “Denise the Menace”.  Denise’s Mom said to his Dad, “If you’re too meek and mild to stand up for what is right, I will”.  The Bible called Jesus’ mother Mary, “meek and mild”.  I always assumed by the way it was used with the word “mild” that meek meant weak.  Then I heard somewhere that the word “meek” meant “great strength under control”.  To find out what “meek” really means I looked in: online dictionaries, Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias and Googled “What is the Biblical definition of meek?”

Some online dictionaries define “meek” as “weak” using its current common use as the definition.  W. L. Walker in The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia says that: “[‘Meekness’] presupposes humility, flows from it, and finds expression in moderation.”  However the most help I received was from Mr. Grady Scott and his explanation of Matthew 5:5 found at the following URL:

http://www.christianlibrary.org/authors/Grady_Scott/matt5-5.htm

Mr. Scott describes Moses as standing up to the most powerful man on earth at that time (Pharaoh Ramses) and yet describing himself as the most meek of men.  Jesus controlled nature (stilled the wind and waves), demons (cast them out of their victims) and the elements (turned water into wine) and yet describes Himself as “meek and lowly of heart”.

Mr Scott describes the origin of the word “meek”:

An understanding of the root definition of meek in the original language and how it was used will help us in understanding what Jesus meant.
 1. Greek word praus
   a. Used to describe a soothing medicine.
   b. Used by sailors to describe a gentle breeze.
   c. Used by farmers to describe a broken colt.
 2. What do all these definitions have in common? They all describe great power under control.

So “meek” does not mean “weak”, rather it means having your strength under control.  When someone wrongs you, you don’t lose your temper.  You don’t seek revenge.  You do what Jesus did and entrust all things to your Father in Heaven and do exactly what He says to do.  To those who don’t know Jesus that may appear to be weak – forgiveness, grace, longsuffering, putting others ahead of yourself – can be misinterpreted by the masses.  But to the person whom you forgive, give undeserved favor, endure without retaliation, and put before yourself, you convey the unmistakable love of Jesus.

“Perception is Reality.” – Lee Atwater – “Is Mr. Atwater’s statement a Perception or Reality?” – Jim McNaughton

According to perception, Jesus was a failure.  He was tortured, mocked, beaten, and spat upon.  His followers ran.  One of His friends had turned Him over to His enemies.  His only defense was to validate the charge against Him.  One of those closest to Him, denied that he ever knew Him, in order not to experience His fate.  The thousands that had heard Him preach and experienced His miracles didn’t show up.

He was buried and His own disciples didn’t expect Him to rise from the dead as He had claimed He would.  Guards posted at His tomb said His disciples stole His body.  No reputable government official ever saw Him after that.  It was over.  It was finished.  It was done.

Yet the reality is that Jesus won the ultimate victory for all time!  He conquered death when He was raised from the dead.  His followers stopped running and, once filled with His Spirit, risked their lives boldly proclaiming that He was alive, that only He was King, and forgiveness of sins is found only in Him.

His message of God’s unconditional love for everyone has never stopped growing.  Though many have tried to stop Jesus and His love, they have all met with or will meet with, ultimate failure.

Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away”.

And so, in the end, Jesus words, the words of the Bible, are the only Reality.