Archive for the ‘Today’s Walk in the Word’ Category

Are You Ready?

Sep
2018
03

You don’t know the day
your Lord will come.
  —Matthew 24:42

In Matthew 25:1–13, Jesus told a story about ten bridesmaids. He said five of them were wise because they were prepared for the arrival of the bridegroom to begin the wedding banquet and five of them were foolish because they weren’t.

It’s really that simple, you know: you are ready for the Lord’s return, or you’re not—which was the point of his story.

“Always be ready,” he said, “because you don’t know the day your Lord will come.” Only two things are stated as certain: 1) “You don’t know the day your Lord will come,” and 2) He “will come at a time you don’t expect him” (Mt 24:42, 44).

The only way to be sure you will be ready is to always be ready.

“Unprepared!” is an appalling ending.

He gives us the victory
through our Lord Jesus Christ.
   —1 Corinthians 15:57

[Continued: Day 5]

  1. Who is more important: the one sitting at the table or the one serving?
  2. How is it that you seek praise from one another and not seek the praise that comes from God?
  3. Do you realize what I have done for you?
  4. Have I not chosen you?
  5. Would you really die for me?
  6. Do you love me?

Don’t quit. Begin again.

Think the same way that Christ Jesus thought.
                             —Philippians 2:5

[Continued: Day 4]

  1. Why are you so frightened?
  2. Why are you upset? Why do doubts invade your mind?
  3. Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear?
  4. Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me?
  5. Why do you call me “Lord, Lord,” and don’t do what I tell you?
  6. Where is your faith?

You must water the flowers you want to grow.

[To be continued]

Look only to Jesus, the One who began
our faith and who makes it perfect.
—Hebrews 12:2

[Continued: Day 3]

  1. What profit is there if you gain the whole world—and lose eternal life?
  2. What could you ever trade your soul for?
  3. If you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?
  4. If I have told you about things that happen on earth and you don’t believe, how will you believe if I tell you about things of heaven?
  5. Do you not yet understand?
  6. Why are you thinking such things?

You start breathing at one end of life and stop at the other.
What you do in between defines who you are.

[To be continued]

Honor Christ and let him
be the Lord of your life.
—1 Peter 3:15

[Continued: Day 2]

  1. What do you want me to do for you?
  2. Do you really believe that I can do this?
  3. Why did you doubt me?
  4. Don’t you remember?
  5. If even the smallest things are beyond your control, why are you anxious about the rest?
  6. Who do you say that I am?

When you say, “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening,”
he will say, “Speak, servant, your Lord is listening.”

[To be continued]

Jesus’ teachings were often clothed as questions. Of his many questions, I’ve chosen thirty for your reflection. I am posting them without citing the scripture references so you will confront them personally—let them meet you where you are right now. The questions are his; the answers are yours.

For the next five days we will take a bite out of this apple; six questions per day.

Questions Jesus Asks (1)

He sent his one and only Son into the world
so that we could have life through him.
—1 John 4:9

[Day 1]

  1. Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
  2. Doesn’t life consist of more than food and clothing?
  3. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?
  4. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else?
  5. Why are you harboring evil thoughts?
  6. Is your heart hardened?

This new day can bring new beginnings.

[To be continued]

Encourage one another and
build each other up.
—1 Thessalonians 5:11

If you go about today’s business with open eyes, you’ll spot a kid who is sad, a mom who is weary, or an acquaintance who is lonely: the overlooked, the ignored. When you reach out to them, you’re ministering to Jesus. He said when you meet the need of “someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me” (Mt. 25:40).

Don’t spend all your time today doing what you like to do. Do something you don’t want to do. Call that long-winded person you don’t want to talk to. Make a hospital visit, when you’d prefer to be playing golf. Pop in on a grumbler whose negative attitude drives you bananas.

“Nothing you do for [Jesus] is a waste of time or effort” (1 Cor 15:58).

Encourage someone today.
It will make their day—and yours.

Open to All

Aug
2018
23

The curtain of the temple was
torn in two from top to bottom.
     —Matthew 27:51

The curtain covering the entrance to the Most Holy Place in the temple, as described by Alfred Edersheim in The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, was sixty feet high, thirty feet wide, and the thickness of the palm of the hand [about four inches].

That curtain blocked access to God. Only the high priest could enter the Most Holy Place, and he only once a year.

The moment Jesus died the curtain “was torn in two from top to bottom.”

When God tore the curtain, the ministry of the Jewish high priest ended, and the ministry of Jesus, the divine high priest began: he entered the Most Holy Place in heaven and opened it to all (Heb 10:19–20).

Instead of being kept out, we are now invited in.

No longer is the Most Holy Place off-limits.

You sent me aid again and
again when I was in need.
    —Philippians 4:16

Does the name Margaret Nixon McEathron ring a bell? How about Marilyn Monroe, Deborah Kerr, Natalie Wood, Sophia Loren, Janet Leigh, Audrey Hepburn?

It was Margaret Nixon McEathron’s voice that dubbed Marilyn Monroe’s high notes in “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and that Deborah Kerr lip-synced in The King and I, and Natalie Wood in West Side Story. The singing of Sophia Loren, Janet Leigh, and Audrey Hepburn was also ghosted by the uncredited Margaret Nixon McEathron—a.k.a. Marni Nixon.

The church would have a very small footprint were it not for unknown supporters.

Three publications landed in my mailbox today that listed donor names. I recognized very few, but those organizations wouldn’t exist without these unknowns.

You may not be high profile, but don’t underestimate your value. You’re doing a lot of good.

You don’t have to have a big name
to make a big difference.

While we were still sinners,
Christ died for us.
—Romans 5:8

A church in Southampton, England, hands out a Welcome Card saying: “If you are a saint, sinner, loser, winner . . .” —and continues with other terms, such as liar, hypocrite, alcoholic, divorced, cheater, success, rejected, pierced, or just a misfit—“you are welcome here.”

Many churches could post a message saying: “Only the good, righteous, and clean are welcome here.”

Paul jotted this assessment of us all: “Christ died for the ungodly . . . God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (Rom 5:6, 8).

Which reminds me of a sign I saw on a church property yesterday: “Imperfect people welcome here. You’ll be in good company.”

Refusing to extend grace is a disgrace.