31 Days with the Savior: Everything

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Gentle Reader,

Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.'” – Mark 12:42-44 (NKJV)

Jesus turns everything on it’s head. Again.

Surely those who are “important,” those who can give the most, are the greatest in His eyes. Surely He values the wealthy and the powerful above “regular” people.

He doesn’t.

Don’t misunderstand. Jesus doesn’t turn people away from Himself because they happen to be rich or in a position of influence. He doesn’t turn people away who happen to be poor “nobodies,” either. Anyone can come to Him. But position and the amount in our bank accounts make no difference to God. He sees our hearts. He sees what truly matters.

Jesus wants all that we have, whatever we have. No, we don’t have to go out, sell everything and live on the streets, but we do need to rely on Him. That’s what He asks of us. That’s why He praises this widow and her two little pennies. She gave because she wanted to. She put her whole life into it. That kind of thing makes the Savior smile.

Grace and peace along the way.

For all entries in the Jesus: 31 Days with the Savior series, go here.

31 Days with the Savior: Arise

Gentle Reader,

“Little girl, I say to you, arise.” – Mark 5:41b (NKJV)

Wherever He goes, Jesus brings life. He breathes it into our very souls.

I wonder how many of us walk as though we are zombies today. How many of us are just trying to survive?

What if Jesus offers something more?

Grace and peace along the way.

For all entries in the Jesus: 31 Days with the Savior series, go here.

31 Days with the Savior: Revealed

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Gentle Reader,

Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’

Jesus answered, ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.'” – John 9:1-3 (NKJV)

I know I’ve referenced this passage more than once on this blog. I can’t help it. This is one of my favorite moments with Jesus. He speaks so many volumes about illness and suffering in one sentence.

Yes, there are things that we do to ourselves that cause us to get sick. That’s why Paul’s words are important: “‘All things are lawful for me,’ but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful for me,’ but I will not be enslaved by anything” (1 Corinthians 6:12). We shouldn’t over- or under-eat. We shouldn’t drink excessively. We shouldn’t smoke. We shouldn’t do drugs. We shouldn’t be couch-potatoes. We shouldn’t be controlled by anything other than the Spirit.

Here’s the deal, though: A whole lot of illnesses, physical and mental, just happen. Same thing with deformities. Neither my parents nor I did anything to cause me to be born with partial blindness. It just happened. Part of living in a broken world. I didn’t do anything to cause the problems in my liver. They just happened.

Those who suffer have two options: get bitter or get better. It’s easy to get bitter. It’s easy to spit in God’s face and refuse to see Him at work. But how much greater is it to get better? No, we’re not talking literally, because that doesn’t always happen. Yet illness and suffering can shape us into better people. We can learn to see God. We can allow Him to reveal Himself in, around and through us.

Grace and peace along the way.

For all entries in the Jesus: 31 Days with the Savior series, go here.