God revealed His love for us when He sent Jesus, His only Son, into the world to live as a human. Jesus revealed His love for the Father and for us by being obedient, even to a cruel death on a cross. We can never attain to that kind of perfect love, but we can allow God to show His love to others through us. We are instructed to love and pray for our enemies and those that persecute us. As humans, we are not capable of such love, we must be willing to allow God to love through us. No matter, what we have to go through, we have the hope and faith that His love will sustain us and we can live victorious lives. Through Jesus Christ, we can be over–comers and conquerors.
Most of us have jobs to go to on a regular basis and a car to drive to work and back home. If we are skilled laborers, we have a tool kit full of the tools we need to perform our job. Simon Peter was a fisherman by trade. He had been blessed with a boat and fishing nets to earn a living. Yet, on this night (and probably several others as well), he had been unsuccessful in netting any fish. But then (how often do the “but thens” come along in our lives, and we choose to ignore them?), Jesus asked to use Simon’s boat for His ministry. When Jesus was through teaching the crowd, He said to Simon: “go out where it is deeper and let down your nets”. Simon complained and objected, but then he let down his nets and caught a superabundance of fish. More than his boat could haul. What can we learn from this miracle? Think about the resources with which God has blessed each of us. Do you have a need in your life in some area? Pray about what resource you have that Jesus could use in His ministry and release that resource totally to Him. Remember the question that God asked Moses? What is that in your hand, Moses? Little or nothing can become much when we release it completely for God’s use. In faith, step out to where it is deeper, let go, and let God..
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Bildad also wrongly assumes that Job has committed some transgression and God is disciplining Job for that sin. But Bildad is correct in the statement that he makes. “But if you pray to God and seek the favor of the Almighty, and if you are pure and live with integrity, He will surely rise up and restore your happy home”. And his statement in verse 7 above turns out to be a prophecy for Job. Job definitely ends up with twice as much as he had in the beginning. If we faithfully persevere in the times of testing, we will be blessed here on earth. The greatest of these blessings is not material possessions or anything that money can buy. It is the peace and the joy that comes from knowing that we are pleasing our heavenly Father. From my own personal experience, I can testify that there is a peace that each of us can access that is different from what the world knows as peace. It is a peace that will guard our hearts and our minds. It is a peace that keeps from thinking those thoughts that satan would use to destroy us. It is a peace that assures us that we are not alone now and we will never be alone. Although the peace you have now may be little, focus on Jesus and you will have abundant peace and joy that is truly unspeakable.
41 “Then the king will say to those on his left, ‘Get away from me! God has cursed you! Go into everlasting fire that was prepared for the devil and his angels! 42 I was hungry, and you gave me nothing to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me nothing to drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you didn’t take me into your homes. I needed clothes, and you didn’t give me anything to wear. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t take care of me.’ 44 “They, too, will ask, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or as a stranger or in need of clothes or sick or in prison and didn’t help you?’ 45 “He will answer them, ‘I can guarantee this truth: Whatever you failed to do for one of my brothers or sisters, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you failed to do for me.’ Matthew 25:41-45 (God’s Word Translation)
I cannot read these verses without being reminded of how little I do for others. True, my resources are very limited, but it is also true that if we have a home in which to live, food for today and tomorrow, and one extra set of clothing, we are richer than 80% of the world’s population.
How much is too much? How little is too little? These are questions we all need to talk to God about and let Him answer those questions for us. I think how we receive those answers from God will go a long way in showing us where our hearts and our treasures lie. What would happen if we really and truthfully depended on God to supply our every need? Could we, would we do it? The apostles did. 7 He called the twelve apostles, sent them out two by two, and gave them authority over evil spirits. 8 He instructed them to take nothing along on the trip except a walking stick. They were not to take any food, a traveling bag, or money in their pockets. 9 They could wear sandals but could not take along a change of clothes. Mark 6: 7-9 (God’s Word Translation)
I am probably going too far with this (something that I usually do when I am researching and meditating on topics), but I sometimes feel conviction when I open my closet door and see clothes hanging there that I haven’t worn this year (and probably not last year, either). And, even though I have a very small refrigerator and pantry, I have food that I could share. Especially this time of year with the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons approaching, as well as the cold weather that is coming. Material things, in and of themselves, are neutral, but our attitudes, thoughts, and our ultimate actions regarding those things are not neutral.