The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “trust” as: assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something. Given this definition, the problem that each person faces is this – who/what can be trusted in this sin-broken world?
History has demonstrated, repeatedly, that much of what men have said and done could not be trusted. Over time, what governments have promised they have either failed to deliver or, have just the opposite. The story is the same for many businesses. These failures in trust is truly the story of sinful men trying to survive in a sin-broken world.
If man cannot be trusted, then who or what can be. The answer is God; He has always been trustworthy. Scripture contains example after example of the promises of God being fulfilled over time. Where the track record of man has shown one broken promise after another, Scripture has shown that God’s track record just the opposite. Samuel wrote: As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. (2 Samuel 22)
Trust in man – be wary; trust in God – be at ease.
Scripture: Proverbs 3:5; 11:28
What does it mean to love?
God has much to say about the answer to this question in Scripture. For instance, He tells His children that they are to love Him with all their minds and hearts. He goes on to say that not only are they to love Him, they are also to love their neighbor, i.e. one another. He is not finished, however, for He tells husbands that they are to love their wives and conversely, that wives are to love their husbands and their children. He even tells them that they are to love their enemies!
We are told to love but again, what does it mean to love? How would we recognize the act of love?
We are able to recognize it because He first showed it to us when He loved us. He broke into man’s world and gave His only begotten Son, all that He had to give, as the final sacrifice for the satisfaction of the grief that out sins caused Him. Because He did this, husbands are able to place the wellbeing of their wives and children above their own. We are able to forgive the offense of a neighbor, treating that neighbor as if the offense never occurred.
The examples of love are all around you if you will but take the time to look for them.
Scripture: Proverbs 10:12
That Blankety-Blank Driver
Anyone who has driven an automobile more than three feet knows the frustration of dealing with other drivers. Most drivers are just attempting to do the same thing as the rest of us – get safely from point A to point B. some, however, are not so fine; either going too fast or too slow and causing problems.
These few can indeed be frustrating! So much so that we’ve been known to use some pretty salty language in giving them a piece of our mind as we vent our frustration.
What if that other driver were God in disguise? Would we react in the same manner? Perhaps, just perhaps, God is using that person to suggest a change that we need to make. Do we need to adjust our “speed” or gain better control over our emotions and language? Is He suggesting that we need to re-prioritize what is truly important? Perhaps we need to re-examine how we treat our brothers and/or sisters.
Scripture: 2 Thessalonians 3:5
Hugged Your Family Today?
Did you hug your children before you left for work today? How about telling your spouse that you love him, or her? If you don’t have children or are not married, did you tell a friend how much you value their friendship?
If you didn’t, you missed a wonderful opportunity to strengthen your relationships with them. Perhaps you were just too busy or something else had your attention. Yes, this happens to all of us at one time or another. However, can we ever justify being too busy or too distracted to focus for a few moments on a loved one? Just maybe your day would have been better if you had taken the time to tell someone how much you love them.
It’s a good thing that God is never too busy or too preoccupied to tell you how much He loves you. Even when you don’t think that you deserve it you do, for His love is unconditional!
Give it a try this week and see what happens; you might be surprised.
Scripture: John 3:16
This Year, Whose Time?
Who will control your actions this year – the world, you or God?
On the surface the question seems trivial but it’s not. We do well when we operate according to God’s plan for us but not so well when we allow ourselves and/or the dictates of the world to control our actions and how we spend our time.
The issue here is two-fold. The first is discernment. We have to know His will for us and we do this by asking for it in prayer. The second is patience as we wait for Him to unfold that will.
So, how did you do last year? Was it a year of seemingly constant struggle? If so, then why not try a different approach? Try making God a part of your plans and see what happens.
How Large Is Your Plate?
A question that each person must constantly ask is: how large is my “plate” not in terms of that amount of food that the dinner plate can hold but in terms of how I can use my time and talents.
It’s not uncommon to take on too much in the way of commitments. After all its just a little request, and I can tough it out for a while. We tend to forget at times that we need to prioritized our resources in order to remain healthy.
If we don’t, or are unwilling to do so, then something has to give way. All-to-often its relationships with family, loved ones, and God. We allow one, or more, of our relationships to suffer thinking that we can go back later and repair the damage; but do we?
The solution is a simple one – reduce the size of your plate. Prioritize what needs to be there and be selective as to what can, or should, be added. Allow nothing on that will result in something more important to be pushed off.
Need help in doing this? Go to God in prayer.
Scripture: Exodus 20:1-17 (noting the order in which He presents His commandments.
We live in a world in which technology is as much a part of the fabric of living as breathing. We’ve come a long way from the technology days of David’s sling that slew Goliath.
This technology by itself is neutral – neither good nor evil. It just exists, ready to be put to use. While God doesn’t speak to its existence, He does speak to how it is to be used – for good or evil.
It can be used in either realm – benefit or harm, good or evil. The computers that are the heart of the diagnostic tools available to your physician are certainly well within the realm of benefit. Those same computers, however, can be used for evil, doing harm and causing us to step away from God.
The point here is that this technology, no matter how powerful it is or will become, is only a tool. Therefore, the question is not the technology but the intent of the one who uses it. Do I use it to glorify Him or the world?
Scripture: Matthew 25:31-46
Life’s Only Constant
The only constant in life is change, or so a very wise man once said. At first-blush you might think that he was just being funny, but history teaches us that he was spot-on with his observation. The world of today is no longer the same world as it was even a few short years ago.
There is one aspect of life, however, where his observation is not spot-on. In amongst the changes in our lives, there is one facet of life that has not changed – God’s word and His love for His children.
Our understanding of right and wrong, good and bad, acceptable and unacceptable may have shifted over time, but His word and His love for His children has not!
His love for each one of us is the same now as it’s always been: at times soft and comforting and at others, hard and demanding. Yet, in all of His dealings with us, this foundation has never changed.
Scripture: 1 John 4:19
There’s nothing more quieting than to just sit and look out over the lushness of God’s creation. It’s good to just get away and think. And, no matter what the season, if you’re patient God will unfold before you all of the majesty of His creation.
If you’re very quiet you might even hear the birds begin to serenade you with their song. Notice that they go about their business without a single sign of worry or concern, for God has provided all that they need.
Why is it that unlike these birds, we spend so much time worrying about what we can’t control when everything that we need is close at hand. God takes care of the least of His creatures so doesn’t it stand to reason that He will take care of you as well.
Scripture: Matt. 6:25-34