LIMITED BUT USEFUL
Read: Matthew 25:24-28
I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. -
1 Corinthians 2:3
Suzanne Bloch, an immigrant from Germany often played
chamber music with Albert Einstein and other prominent
scientists. She said that Einstein, though an accomplished
violinist, irritated his fellow musicians by not coming in on the
beat. "You see," Bloch explained, "he couldn't count." Einstein
could project revolutionary theories about the cosmos, but he had
difficulty with rhythmic counting. Despite his limitation, he
remained an enthusiastic musician.
Do we sometimes lament our limitations? We all have
abilities, but we are also afflicted with inabilities. We
may be tempted to use our limitations as an excuse for not doing
the things God has enabled us to do. Just because we may not be
gifted to speak in public or to sing in a choir doesn't mean that
we can sit on the spiritual sidelines doing nothing.
When we realize that all of us have limitations, we can move
forward by seeking God's guidance in using our gifts. Surely we
can pray. Surely we can show kindness to others. We can visit the
lonely, the sick, the elderly. We can tell with effective
simplicity what Jesus means to us. Paul said, "Having then gifts
differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use
them" (Rom.12:6). - Vernon Grounds
Lord God, I humbly ask of You, The strength to do Your will; I
give to You my talents now, Your purpose to fulfil. - Cetas
TOO MANY PEOPLE MAKE A MISTAKE BY BURYING THEIR TALENTS
Read: Acts 12:20-24
The people kept shouting, "The voice of a god and not of a man!"
Then immediately an angel of the Lord struck him. - Acts 12:22-23
King Herod, dressed in his royal apparel, delivered an
oration to an audience eager to win his favor. He revelled in
their flattering response. "[This is] the voice of a god and not
of a man!" shouted the crowd (Acts 12:22). Fear and awe of the
one true God should have led him to protest, but he didn't. For
his failure to "give glory to God," he was immediately struck by
an angel of the Lord. He suffered an excruciating death because I
of his lack of reverence for God.
Paul and Barnabas, on the other hand, had such a great
reverence for God that they nearly panicked at the thought of
being worshipped (Acts 14:14-15). Upon seeing the apostle Paul
miraculously heal a man who had been crippled from birth, the
onlookers shouted, "The gods have come down to us in the likeness
of men!" Then they prepared to offer sacrifices to Paul and
Barnabas (vv.11-13). When the apostles heard this, they "tore
their clothes and ran in among the multitude, crying out, .. 'why
are you doing these things?'" (vv.14-15).
In these contrasting biblical accounts, we see a solemn call
to give God reverence in our irreverent world. He is the only one
who is worthy of glory, praise, and honor. He is the only one who
merits our worship. - Herb Vander Lugt
To fear the Lord means giving Him Our reverence, trust, and awe,
Acknowledging His sovereignty, Submitting to His law. - Hess
NOT UNTO US, O LORD, NOT UNTO US, BUT TO YOUR NAME GIVE GLORY.
NO MORE MOWING
Read: Luke 10:38-42
One thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part. - Luke
The mayor of a small town in Kentucky stopped mowing his
lawn in 2005. He has put up a sign on his property that reads:
"There are more important things in life than tall grass, one of
which is his wife's death from cancer. That loss caused him to
reflect on the priorities of life. He enjoys just sitting in the
evenings and observing the wild flowers, squirrels, and birds
that are now coming to his yard. A member of the city council
remarked, "If he likes it like that, it's fine. I kind of feel
like maybe he is right. Maybe there are more important things
than mowing grass."
The mayor gives us some food for thought about priorities.
What we do with our time shows what we feel is important. In our
Bible reading for today, Martha was "distracted with much
serving" (Luke 10:40). Mary, however, took the time to sit "at
Jesus' feet" and listen to His teaching (v.39). Perhaps she
realized that she wouldn't have many more opportunities to learn
Sometimes responsibilities like washing dishes, mowing the
lawn, or working extra hours on a project need to wait so that we
can spend time with the Lord or family or friends. That may be
what's more important. - Anne Cetas
Important as your task may be, The work you must fulfil - Be sure
you keep that human touch, If you would do God's will. -
HELPING SOMEONE IN JESUS' NAME IS YOUR MOST IMPORTANT WORK FOR
WE BOW DOWN
Read: Psalm 95
Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the
Lord our Maker. - Psalm 95:6
The ancient Greeks and Romans rejected kneeling as a part of
their worship. They said that kneeling was unworthy of a free
man, unsuitable for the culture of Greece, and appropriate only
for barbarians. The scholars Plutarch and Theophrastus regarded
kneeling as an expression of superstition. Aristotle called it a
barbaric form of behavior. This belief, however, was never held
by God's people.
In Psalm 95:6, the psalmist indicated that kneeling
expressed a deep reverence for God. In this one verse
he used three different Hebrew words to express what the attitude
and position of the worshipper should be.
First, he used the word "worship," which means to fall
prostrate as a sign of honor to the Lord, with an associated
meaning of allegiance to Him. The second word he used was "bow."
This means to sink down to one's knees, giving respect and
worship to the Lord. The psalmist then used the word "kneel,"
which means to be on one's knees giving praise to God.
According to the psalmist, kneeling in God's presence is a
sign of reverence rather than a barbaric form of behavior. The
important thing, however, is not just our physical position but a
humble posture of the heart. - Marvin Williams
Almighty, matchless, glorious God, Inhabiting eternity, I bow to
You and give You praise, In awe that You can live in me. - Sper
OUR ATTITUDE IN WORSHIP IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE POSITION
OF OUR WORSHIP
TOO SOON TO QUIT
Read: 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us,
and ... run with endurance the race. - Hebrews 12:1
Chris Couch was only 16 years old when be first qualified to
play golf at its highest level on the PGA Tour. He was quickly
declared the next golfing prodigy and a surefire success for
years to come,
Life, however, turned out to be more of a grind. Chris did
not enjoy a sprint to success but endured a marathon that would
take 16 years and 3 different stints on "mini-tours." Tempted to
quit, Couch persevered and finally, at age 32, became a Tour
winner for the first time when he captured the New Orleans Open
in a thrilling finish. His persistence had paid off, but it had
not been easy,
In his book "A Long Obedience in the Same Direction," Bible
teacher Eugene Peterson reminds us that the Christian life has
much more in common with a marathon than with a 100-meter dash.
Peterson says we are called to persevere in "the long run,
something that makes life worth living,"
With the grace and strength of Christ, we too can "run with
endurance" this race of life (Heb.12:1). And, with our Lord's
example to help and encourage as, we can, like the apostle Paul,
run to win the prize of "an imperishable crown" (I Cor.9:25).
It's always too soon to quit. - Bill Crowder
O for a faith that will not shrink, Though pressed by every foe,
That will not tremble on the brink Of any earthly woe. - Bathurst
RUN THE RACE WITH ETERNITY IN VIEW
Read: Joshua 22:10-34
It is a witness between us that the Lord is God. - Joshua 22:34
Jane Austen's novel "Pride and Prejudice" is the story of an
upper-middle-class Englishwoman named Lizzy Bennet who is pursued
by Mr.Darcy, a brooding and complex man of great wealth. Lizzy's
first impression of Mr.Darcy was that he was arrogant,
introverted, and self-serving. So when he declares his love for
her, she rejects him. Later, when she learns of his many secret
acts of kindness for others, Lizzy admits that she had been wrong
about Mr.Darcy and agrees to marry him.
Joshua 22 records another instance of flawed first
impressions. The tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh had built an
altar near the Jordan. When the other tribes learned about this,
they were enraged (vv.9-12) because God had commanded that He
alone be worshipped and that sacrifices be performed only in the
tabernacle (Ex.20:3; Lev.17:8-9). They saw the building of this
altar as an act of apostasy. Fortunately, Phinehas the priest led
a delegation to find out why they had built the altar (Josh.
22:13-33). They were told that it was a memorial of unity for all
the tribes under the one God of Israel (v.34).
Often our first impressions can be wrong. Open
communication, however, can correct misunderstandings that are
created by our own pride and prejudice. - Dennis Fisher
Don't judge too quickly what you see; Treat lightly first
impression; Misunderstandings multiply Without communication. -
FIRST IMPRESSIONS LEAD TO WRONG CONCLUSIONS.
Read: Psalm 63:1-8
Love the Lord your God ... walk in all His ways ... keep His
commandments. - Joshua 22:5
As a former high school teacher and occasional college
instructor, I had this recurring thought: How terrible it would
be to stand up in front of a classroom of students and have no
one pay attention - to talk and have no one listen, to give
instructions and have the students ignore them.
None of us enjoys being ignored. If we're in a conversation
with a friend it hurts to have our words disregarded. If we're in
a store looking for help, it's irritating to be ignored by the
clerks. When struggling with a problem, it's painful when no one
offers to help.
Imagine, then, how it must grieve God when we ignore Him.
Think of how His heart of love must break when, despite the fact
that He dwells within us through the Holy Spirit, we act as if
He's not there. Or consider how He must feel when His guidelines
contained in the Book He gave us are ignored.
Let's be careful not to ignore God. In ways large and small,
let's keep Him in our thoughts moment by moment. We do that by
reading the inspired writings He has given us; by spending time
in prayer and listening for His still, small voice; by thinking
about His presence; by serving others in His name. May we be able
to say with the psalmist, "My soul follows close behind You"
(63:8). - Dave Branon
We can't ignore God's only Son, He is the Lord, the Holy One; He
is the source of life and grace, The One who died and took our
place. - Fitzhugh
HE IS A FOOL WHO IGNORES GOD.