I read Jesus’ words on giving again this morning. It is a timely reminder to give and not make a big fuss about it. I think they speak for themselves and don’t need any teaching or commentary…
“Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. (Matthew 6:1-4 NLT)
If you need hope today read the closing few chapters of the Bible. It talks about the new heavens and the new earth.
It also talks of a place with no suffering, no pain, no more death. It talks about streets paved with gold and being in God’s presence for all eternity.
If you are lacking hope or the stresses and struggles of this life and mounting up. Please take some time to read or re-read Revelation 21:1-27 and Revelation 22:1-21.
You will find that God wins, Satan is defeated and you spend eternity with God.
I have been thinking about gardening a lot lately. This is because I have been growing some vegies and replanting our front garden.
As I have been researching gardening and growing vegies I have been convinced that a lot of the success is about getting the soil conditions right.
Some gardens I have seen have been carefully tended and the soil built up for 20 to 30 years. Things grow easily, there is less disease or pests and good crops usually follows.
As I have been thinking about this my thoughts have often turned to church and getting the church “soil” right too.
Churches that have a good soil are the ones that are full of good nutrients from the Bible. They are aerated by lots of prayer. And they are personally tended by the Loving Gardener.
Having good soil conditions make a big difference to both gardening and running a healthy church.
As I type I am reminded of Jesus talking about the seeds landing in good soil. When they do land in good soil they produced a bumper crop (Matthew 13:23).
Let us all work towards getting the right “soil” conditions in our churches so we can produce bumper spiritual harvests too.
We were reading 1 Samuel 16:1-13 just now. This is where God tells Samuel to go to Jesse and anoint one of his sons as King.
In verse two Samuel says, “How can I do that? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me.” The Lord responds, “Take a heifer with you…and say that you have come to make a sacrifice to the LORD.”
I had never noticed this before in the text. God gave him a “cover story” so as not to raise suspicion from the locals or risk the jealousy or wrath of Saul.
Samuel did not have to lie or risk death as God gave him another reason for being there.
It reminds me of Christian Missionaries who go overseas to closed countries to share the Gospel while they work as a teacher or aid worker. They have another reason for being there too.
It is interesting how you can read a text many times and then one time God shows you something completely different to what you have seen before!