As an American, I am fortunate to live in one of the richest countries ever. I believe this is in large part due to the blessing God bestowed upon our founders that they honored God while they worked hard and smart.
Here remains opportunity for calculated risk takers. Oh she is far from perfect but the USA still remains a great place. Our money still says, “In God we trust”.
Yet, we have backslidden in many ways.
With that said, this verse wasn’t written to Americans per se. This verse is a personal one from a personal God. The increase doesn’t necessarily mean financial increase yet increase is increase. Coming from God, bigger is better. God loves His people and is a good provider.
God is a God of provision and abundance as many scriptures and Biblical stories testify too. Yet, God is also on of testing and reliance. God rewards givers; givers gain. Sometimes that gain can be measured sooner than later but either way, God expects an increase (Doubt that, read the Parable of the Talents).
When we give in Jesus’s name, its even more special and has eternal ramifications. You know, the place where moth and rust does not spoil nor where thieves loot your spoils.
With the above said, Jesus came to give us a life of abundance (John 10:10). The question is an abundance of what? Money, fame, fortune, power, etc?
Maybe. Maybe not. All that could be a ploy from our enemy.
What I believe He gave us most valuable is….Himself, access to God. He is the true gift of abundance, He is ever increasing. In Him, we live and move and have our ever increase!
This is what a believer can expect by seeking God via being attentive to His ways, with a reverent fear, as the writer tells us earlier in this chapter. What a beautiful promise!
God Himself inhabits these attributes or better said; these attributes are of God. I can’t help think about how attune our Labrador retriever is to us. I think there is something to learn from her in this regard. She is always eager to serve, seeking companionship, seems happy be with us and patiently yet steadfastly watching for us to arrive. She watches and guards us and we do the same in return.
come, watch, guard.
Good God, I am eager to see you work and move. Help me to remove any hinderances. I want to seek you with all my heart, soul, mind and strength…being Your #1 commandment.
Tilt to the sun Distance from the sun With a certain amount of atmosphere With a certain amount of gravity While pinning a certain speed With certain temperature of the sun With the other planets in their certain spots With the atoms spinning yet certainly not colliding randomly
and so forth and so on are so many thing connected, dependent, and certainly intertwined that only and amazing Designer could create…and certainly sustain;
All everyday miracles!
How awesome is our God and this same God wants to know you and I personally
The God who created the whole universe from absolutely nothing other than His spoken word
Yeah, He knows everything thing about me and you and everyone past, present and future.
This God wants us to know Him, He desires a relationship with you and me.
Not only that, He desires that we partner with Him to share the Good News, to be His ambassador and spokesperson. His friend and servant.
The great fall in the garden infected us all with the worst virus of them all: SIN. Christ’s infusion of His sinless blood 🩸 up on that old rugged cross made the way. He didn’t just make the cure, He IS the cure. He IS the way. That is what baptism is all about. Down with the old and up with the new.
We believers are reborn spiritually and some fine day, our bodies will catch-up. Until then, let’s glorify God as are IN the world, but not OF it. Let’s stradle it gracefully with the help of the Spirit.
People tend to mostly celebrate their physical birth. That’s fine and dandy. Like we celebrate Christmas as Christ’s birth. Let’s also celebrate our second birth as we do Easter aka Resurrection day.
When we place our faith and believe that Jesus died for our sins and vow to follow, live and love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength which includes repentance of our sin, we are indeed born again. We can’t possibly do this in our own; the Spirit of God leads us. Thank God the Spirit is most willing despite our weak and obstinate flesh.
Pray and you will find the way.
The power is in the Word, the Holy Bible. Let’s read it like your life depends upon it…because it does. If you think it’s odd or weird, the problem isn’t it but you. That I know because I know unequivocally: 100 percent because I lived it.
I was not as a homosexual but as all humans, I was born a sinner. It wasn’t my fault because I was born that way but it was my issue because of Jesus; my opportunity to be restored.
I was selfish, and thought about my needs and wants without regard of others. I was a thief, as I have stolen. I was a lustful, as I committed sexual acts outside of a God ordained marriage covenant. I was disrespectful, as I used the Lord’s name in vain. I was dirty, I as cussed. I was a liar, as I mispoke truth and deceived others. I was a cheat, as I took advantage of situations without intetgrity. I was not a good son, as I disobeyed my father and mother numerous times. I was mean and a jerk, as I intentionally hurt and mocked people. I was a racist, as I discriminated against people because of their ethnicity. I was a lot of other bad things
And I also missed many opportunities to do what as good and right (sins of omission) and squandered many years.
Then one day, that all changed. I was born again! B2D1 (If we are Born Twice, we will only Die Once (physically not spiritually). See John 3:1-16.
Christ’s righteousnesses became mine. That’s called imputation. Positionally, as God see me, He now sees me through Jesus, kind of like looking through a kaleidoscope. This is possible for you too 😉
Yet, I am still covered in flesh. Wonderfully made by God yet marred by sin. I, and you too, are a beautiful mess of sorts. But, as a born again Christian, I know have powers I did not posses previously. I will always be battling sin until that glorious day when my flesh suit is exchanged for a glorious new body suit without the stain of sin, without its pain and limitations…and new glorious supernatural, superhuman body! This I know for the Bible tells me so.
So for the time being, I am not sinless. Yet with God’s help, I sin less and less. I can win battles now! I previously was not only was helpless to win but often was even unware that war existed.
We all need reborn.
The great fall in the garden infected us all with the worst virus of them all: SIN. Christ infusion of His sinless blood 🩸 up on that old rugged cross made the way.
He didn’t just make the cure, He IS the cure. He IS the way.
That is what baptism is all about. Down with the old and up with the new. We are reborn spiritually and some fine day, our bodies will catch-up.
Until then, let’s glorify God as are IN the world, but not OF it. Let’s stradle it gracefully with the help of the Spirit.
Is this not the ultimate display of kindness, love in action?
PS… I just love all the little things God’s enables. For example, when I went to grab this verse, which I know by heart but want to make sure it’s perfect, my Bible was already open to it.
PSS… It’s a beautiful fall day here in Indiana. As the sun rises on this Sunday morning with wind rustling through the this seasons glorious fall foliage, you can feel God’s love and can’t but help see a glimpse of His glory.
PSSS…Yet, all is not perfect. Life is hard, the trees are slowly dropping their majestic leaves, winter is coming, dark is earlier…yet God is good and Spring is around the corner!
God is both kind in love and severe in justice. He can do that because He is God of all. He is omniscient, we of course are not.
Paul knows very well and shares his inspired insight here on how we are to live in love. What an amazing dichotomy the Christian life is.
In our flesh, this command is impossible but in the Spirit, all possible. It starts with striving to have a full perspective of the situation – from God’s, the other person’s and yourself.
We are called not to ‘judge’ a person’s motivations, their salvation, their issues, their manifest but we are called to ‘discern’. They are similar but different. What we are always called to do is LOVE. Sometimes love is soft as a rose pedal and sometimes hard as a granite but it always looks out for God’s and the other person’s best interest and kind and peaceful as possible.
Isn’t this an amazing story? These stories truly make the Bible interesting. There is so much we can glean from this passage.
4 Key Principles the Centurion Practices
He cares about others which is loving. The centurion is concerned about his servant, his team member. I get the feel he is true leader in every sense of the word. He has compasion and doesn’t appear pompous whatsoever.
He takes initiative. He sought out Jesus. The passage says, “a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him”.
Don’t confuse meekness with weakness. It is humility under authority. He realizes the Lord’s power and position even under the cloak of humanity when he said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. but only say the word, and my servant will be healed.” He learned from the chain of command authority and its power. He knew whom he was talking too!
He is full of faith. He didn’t just talk about it. He embodied faith. It so wonderful that Jesus marvelled at his faith and understanding.
God may not respond the same way to our request. We may not have centurion authority but we can. We likely will not be face to face with Jesus on this side of Heaven. Yet, Christ left and the Spirit came so we all would have more access to God, as Jesus Himself said such.
Regardless of every outcome, we will indeed all be made a new and receive glorious resurrection bodies and shall recline at Christ’s table with the patriarchs…if we believe in Him with faith as tiny as a mustard seed.
Lord, separate from You, I can do little earthly works and nothing eternal. Help me learn and do like this Centurion. Help me muster up a seed of faithfulness to overcome all that is in my way.
The Temptation of Jesus (Matthew 4:1–11; Mark 1:12–13)
1Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,a 2where for forty days He was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He was hungry.
3The devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”
4But Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’
5Then the devil led Him up to a high place and showed Him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6“I will give You authority over all these kingdoms and all their glory,” he said. “For it has been relinquished to me, and I can give it to anyone I wish. 7So if You worship me, it will all be Yours.”
8But Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.’ “
9Then the devil led Him to Jerusalem and set Him on the pinnacle of the temple. “If You are the Son of God,” he said, “throw Yourself down from here. 10For it is written:
‘He will command His angels concerning You to guard You carefully; 11and they will lift You up in their hands, so that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’d” 12But Jesus answered, “It also says, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ “
13When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time.
Do you see how Jesus used the Word of God as His sword to rebuke the devil?
That’s how we should fight. Not with our little might but with the awesome power of God’s Word with authority as we are empowered by the Spirit; dressed and ready for battle when it comes our way (see Ephesians 6).
When we can, we should flee if not properly equipped or not our time but sometimes we can run and not hide. Sometimes we must stand.
If we aren’t a threat because we are living a defeated life, walking in the same direction as Satan; always hiding in our luke warm houses and churches, distracted and ignorant of the spiritual battle we are in a world of vagueness and good for nothing.
Let’s take hold and fight the good fight under our Captain’s lead.
Know this formula: B1D2 (Born Once Die Twice is eternal doom) or B2D1 (Born Twice Die Once this is eternal wonder)
The Good News is magnified just a bit later in 3:16
John 3:16 For God So Loved the World “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
So if you are reading this, why not now? Why don’t you give up your old self, cast it down, place you life by faith upon Jesus and you will sure go up and live in love forever. That’s God’s promise – YOU ARE LOVED.