Jan 14

Genesis 27
Psalm 14
Matthew 16-17


Rachael said...

The fish with coins in it reminds me of that saying that God helps those that help themselves but even more so, it reminds me that God has a sense of humor. 'Hey, we need money.' 'Okay, go fishing and there will be a fish filled with cash.' 'WHAT?'
The fact that the disciples were worried once again about having enough food at first seems so silly to me after all the mass-feedings they'd witnessed... Then I realize that every time I worry, it's always about the same stuff that God's protected me from or helped me through so many countless times before. I'm just as foolish whenever I worry.

KillerB said...

I was raised by very financially-minded parents. From my very first high school job in a gift shop of an Oklahoma City science museum, I was taught not to spend my entire paycheck, but to "save some for a rainy day as well." I live beneath my means, I save, I buy things on sale, I'm mindful of retirement, I tithe 10% of my income and I work hard to earn my living.

Through my daily readings thus far, I'm realizing that there is a disconnect for me when I say that I believe that God provides for me. I live in LA now where I see homeless people every day and I can't help thinking that it's ME earning my daily bread-- otherwise, wouldn't I be on the streets like these homeless folks?

Also, I get bitter when I have bad days at work because the money I'm earning feels like such a burden. Something I HAVE to keep doing, an endless cycle of working and earning...

I think it's true that God helps those who help themselves, he's not a magic wand that pops up once a month when rent is due, but the more I read the more I grasp that God is still my provider, not me.

I may have a job, but no matter how much I save, my entire savings could be wiped out tomorrow. It's through God's grace that I have a job at all, and the money that I'm earning is HIS, not mine. (Epiphany!) Maybe he's trusting me with his funds because he knows I'll be smart with them.

Strangely, that makes my burden lighter when I think about heading into the office again tomorrow morning. Makes a difference when I'm working for God as opposed to working for money.

This past Sunday, when I dropped my check into the collection basket, I understood that it wasn't a charity check that I was donating to my church, but rather an acknowledgment that this money is God's that he let me hang on to for a little bit, and that he is the one in control of my daily bread.

It also made me smile to know that like the 5 loaves and 2 fish feeding 5,000 and still leaving an abundance of 7 baskets full of "leftovers," God will use my little check to his glory.

Jon said...

As soon as I read about Jacob and Esau, I immediately thought about my own lack of patience. Jacob had already been promised Esau's birthright (which is in itself a sermon on Esau's impatience), but Jacob wasn't patient enough. I can't even count the number of times my own lack of patience has led me to try to 'fix' the situation to my favor.

Now the other side of it is that Jacob wouldn't have tricked Isaac without the prodding of Rebekah. Even though he knew it was wrong, he allowed his mother to talk him into tricking his father, for something he knew was already promised.

How many times have each of us been convinced to do things we knew were wrong. Not only did Jacob have to leave his family, but he feared for his life. What good is a birthright or blessing if you can't even enjoy it?

For many of us, God has promised things that we think are impossible, and we either give up on the situation, or we try to cheat our way to the top. If God has promised it, then it will happen. We have to do our part to make ourselves available, but we don't have lie, cheat, or steal to get there.

The Beckster said...

"For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?"

Our souls are everything. I looked at my 1 year old son today and thought, if having a child doesn't make you believe in God, I don't know what does. I look at my baby and think, look at this! This baby, this little angel - what a gift! How did he come to be? This little person, with his soul and his heart - and all of only one years old! What a blessing. A person was made out of love, out of a love - a soul was created. So beyond my power as a person, I carried this baby and gave birth to him, but I surely did not create him. God did. And I am so thankful.

Laura said...

"I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

Laura said...

Beckster, you completely described what I feel about my son and what I felt when I was pregnant with him. It was a humbling, God-filled experience that I've never quite been able to describe with words.

Candace said...

This passage in Matthew really jumped out at me

"Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me, you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men."

Wow, such a powerful response to something that at first glance appears so innocent. Peter doesn't want Jesus to be gone, but he is so unaware of the ultimate plan God has for us.

I so often talk with friends and family who may or may not have God's best interest in mind. I pray that the Lord gives me discernment in these situations to know that I will not have a stumbling block in my way.

I love to please people and often I believe I may compromise some of my standards to make them happy. I don't want this to be me. I want to stand for Jesus in all I do and rebuke those who are causing me to stumble. I can always have people in my lives, but I pray for wisdom to know who to follow and who to lead so that I have "in mind the things of God" and not "the things of men"

autumn said...

Beckster and Candace you hit the nail on the head for me. I am blessed so much by your comments.