Whatever Is Pure
God Invites Us to Join In His Spending Spree
Budgeting is a good thing, don't get me wrong. Although I now live on a fixed disability income, it was not a huge adjustment as I learned early on in my missionary years that I do not have an infinite stream of ready funds in my bank account. God has always supplied my needs but as a wise Papa he has not always indulged me with my every want. I have learned to set aside money each month for yearly expenditures, such as mobility equipment maintenance and repair, medical costs not covered by my plan, eye glasses, etc. At certain times of the year, it is tempting to dip into this fund. After all, the money is in the bank! Why not take a little holiday? Why not get that software package that would make my life a lot easier? The simple answer is, I would not be a wise steward over the funds God has trusted in me. I often remind myself that transitory wants and whims of my everyday life have to give way to the mundane necessities.
Fortunately, I can lavishly and extravagantly spend the currency of the Kingdom of God with no thought of my funds running dry and with no worry about becoming a spiritual spendthrift*. Some days, God actually encourages me to spend much more of this currency than I want to spend. He reminds me he will always give me more than enough, for his currency is the currency of love. With such an abundant and ever present stream of resources, I have no need to set aside this precious commodity in a safety deposit box. There is no need for a rainy day fund when it comes to His love. God invites me to toss aside any worries that if I invest my love into those people who I know are transitory in my life today, I won't have enough for those who might have a great need for his love tomorrow. I have discovered this truth: the more I pour out his love unconditionally and without reservation, the more God increases my capacity to love.
The Pages Of Our Lives
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise, but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
With every sunrise we are presented a fresh, blank page in our life’s journal. The Lord is a God of new beginnings, and He gives us the freedom to fill each page with whatever we choose.
Because of the demands of modern life, with the breakneck hustle and bustle of daily existence, we often don’t even skim over our journal entries at the end of the day—or week, or year. If we could review the pages of our lives up until today, would we be pleased? Is God pleased? Would we find abundant living?
Instead, let’s allow the Lord to lead us, inspire us, push and prod us to leave behind pages that are branded with words, deeds and prayers that influence lives for His kingdom. What else is relevant? What else will have any lasting purpose or meaning? Only God’s Word and eternal souls will remain. No matter what our age, it’s never too late to begin a life with a legacy of eternal value.
We would come back to Thee, confessing that we are
Dear Lord, please forgive us for the smallness of our thoughts
If Churches Were Like Walmart
Ken Marler wrote an article a few years ago entitled, "IF CHURCHES WERE LIKE WAL-MART." That got my attention, because I’m not a big fan of Wal-Mart, but it is a wonderful article.
Marler tells the story of his 94 years old grandfather. His grandfather lives in It, Mississippi, off Interstate 55. Really, "It" Mississippi. Every Thursday his grandfather would drive 20 miles to the Wal-Mart. Why? Because Thursday is senior adult day at Wal-Mart. He gets his coffee for free on that day. Ken asked his grandfather why he would make a 40-mile round trip for a free cup of coffee – it seemed a bit ridiculous in the big scheme of things.
His Grandfather’s answer was telling. He said, "Yeah, I like the free coffee, and I like the way the girls there hug on me." One Thursday he showed up for his free coffee and the clerks had found out it was his birthday. When he entered the door there was a cake and balloons, candles and ice cream – even a newspaper photographer. Wal-Mart knows Ken Marler’s grandfather’s name. They know his birthday. They care about him. They treat him like family.
But, here’s the interesting thing. Grandpa Marler doesn’t attend church. His grandmother never misses, but grandpa hasn’t been in years. Why? Because his church is largely irrelevant; he gets at Wal-Mart what he does not get at church. At church he gets a sermon and a few songs. He gets a little guilt and a list of things he ought to be doing with his life. But at Wal-Mart he gets hugs. He gets connection with others. He gets community, a sense of belonging.
In short – he gets what both Paul McCartney and the Apostle Paul said was most important: All we need is love. "Look at them – how they love one another; this is how the world will know you are Christ’s disciples."
Living and dying, choices to make;
© 2010 Lisa Garrett