Friday, September 23, 2011

Matthew 20:8–15

"'That evening he told the foreman to call the workers in and pay them, beginning with the last workers first. When those hired at five o'clock were paid, each received a full day's wage. When those hired first came to get their pay, they assumed they would receive more. But they, too, were paid a day's wage. When they received their pay, they protested to the owner, "Those people worked only one hour, and yet you've paid them just as much as you paid us who worked all day in the scorching heat."

       'He answered one of them, "Friend, I haven't been unfair! Didn't you agree to work all day for the usual wage? Take your money and go. I wanted to pay this last worker the same as you. Is it against the law for me to do what I want with my money? Should you be jealous because I am kind to others?"'"


We all know life is not fair. But grace isn't fair either! Grace gives more than is required or expected. The workers hired first were hired under particular conditions to which they agreed. The workers hired last were given grace. God's ways are not ours, not only because he is sometimes mysterious but because he gives so much more than we ever would. God's grace does not conform to our standards but to his love and authority.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Proverbs 10:19

"Too much talk leads to sin.
      Be sensible and keep your mouth shut."
Are you a talker? If so, you might want to ask God to help you turn off the flow. Too much talk does not help you spiritually. It's too easy to say too much or the wrong thing. It keeps you from listening, which leads to understanding. Remember the quip, "God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason." Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Psalm 25:4–5

"Show me the right path, O LORD;
      point out the road for me to follow.
      Lead me by your truth and teach me,
      for you are the God who saves me.
      All day long I put my hope in you."


Here's a prayer we can pray every day of our lives. Every day, every moment, we need God's direction. Every day, every moment, we need God's truth. We need him to save us from our own sin and the sins of others, from outside harm. Every day, every moment, we put our hope in him, for there is no other good place to put our hope.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Psalm 25:1–3

"O LORD, I give my life to you.
      I trust in you, my God!
      Do not let me be disgraced,
      or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat.
      No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced,
      but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others."
One of the reasons it's difficult for us to be open about our faith is a secret fear that we might be disgraced. For instance, what if we say, "I'm trusting God for my financial well-being" and then lose everything? This passage promises that we will never be disgraced for our trust. Believe the promises, and trust! Do it publicly so that God gets the glory.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Matthew 19:27–30

"Then Peter said to him, 'We've given up everything to follow you. What will we get?'
      Jesus replied, 'I assure you that when the world is made new and the Son of Man sits upon his glorious throne, you who have been my followers will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life. But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.'"
Peter asks a natural question. What do we get out of giving up everything to follow Jesus? The answer is, everything: rulership, an extravagant repayment of whatever we gave up, and eternal life! However, we must embrace a new paradigm and new values because God's way is almost entirely the opposite of human ways. In God's economy, you receive only what you give up to him.