Bad Investments

Luke 21

When I read Luke 21, I get a little scared.  It starts with the destruction of the Temple.  Jesus is telling us that God’s very house will be destroyed.  When it does, we will be tempted to follow others that are not God.   We could easily be led astray.   There will also be wars, natural disasters and persecution.  Jesus makes it personal.  He tells us that we, as believers, will be beaten and tried with some being put to death.  This action is not caused by strangers or even the government. It is our own parents, brothers, relatives and friends.   Entire cities will be destroyed and overtaken.

The events found in this chapter are truly horrifying, with one exception.  Did you notice the first paragraph about the widow?  How did it land here?   It is out-of-place, isn’t it?  I thought so, until I got a closer look.  Read it again and note that the widow kept nothing back for herself.  She gave everything she had, because that is not where she found value.  Consider it this way.  She invested everything she had.  Why?  Was she foolish?  No.  She gave everything because she did not hold value in herself, her own comfort, or her own well-being.  Instead, she invested everything she had for the Kingdom.  She only though of others’ comfort and well-being.  She invested it so that God’s kingdom could be full.

It is worth considering our investments vs the widows.  I realize now that my fear when reading chapter 21 is a result of the investments I am making.  You see, if I am investing in my business or my possessions or even my family, Jesus is quick to show me that my investment will not pay off.  This is what gives me anxiety.  Thankfully, I have an opportunity to make it right.  Today, I choose to invest in God’s kingdom.  I can do it with my pennies and dollars as well as my talents and abilities. Will you?

To Him Be The Glory

Today’s reading is Matthew 6:1-4 and Psalm 67.

The title of these verses in Matthew is “Giving to the Needy” in my Bible. The Bible tells us in many occasions we are called to help those in need.

“Give justice to the week and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and destitute. Rescue the week and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”  

Psalm 82:3-4

“if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday soon.”

Isaiah 58:10

“Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”

Matthew 25:40

However, I feel like the title should really read, “Whose Glory Are You Really Seeking?” Pastor J.K. Jones always says something to the effect that, “There is a God shaped hole in all of hearts.” When God fills that hole and we develop a relationship with Jesus, our hardened heart softens, and we become more like Him. Why did Jesus do what He did during His life on Earth and ultimately suffer the ultimate pain and affliction of the cross when He didn’t have to? He did it to show the love our Father in Heaven has for be the reflection of His light in the world and to glorify Him. These verses in Mathew 6:1-4 clearly tell us to do the same. Every single one of us was put on this Earth to glorify Him. Many of us have read The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman which are touch, service, gifts, quality time, and words of affirmation. I believe words of affirmation are near the top for most of us. Who doesn’t like it when someone tells them “good job?” In fact, much research has shown many men in prison will admit they still yearn today to hear words they unfortunately never heard their dad say, “I love you , and I’m proud of you.” I’ll be transparent in that I like it when someone says to me “Good post today..” when writing for Bible Journal. This is my human, self-serving, and sin filled natural emotional reaction.  I then stop, think, and respond by borrowing the words of I heard author Jon Gordon say at the Christian Fellowship Breakfast for Northwestern Mutual a few years back, “God is the author. I just hold the pen.” This puts me in check, and reminds me I’m striving to live a life where truly everything I do is for His be the reflection of the Father’s light like Jesus.

When we fully comprehend the love Jesus showed on the cross and the love the Father showed by sending Him to do so when He didn’t have to, and we develop a relationship with Him…our hearts will soften and we will give to the needy and do everything in our life for His glory rather than ours. This will in turn, draw others to Him through seeing His love in us. The God shaped hole in their heart will be filled, and they will in turn, do the same for others who will see the same. Then, we will be living out The Great Commission Jesus gave us in his last words in Matthew 28:19, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

To Him be the Glory…

Washing Feet

Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. – James 5:9

Last week I got to reflect Jesus’s interaction with Peter when Peter was learning what it meant to get his feet washed and to wash others feet. Washing feet appears to be connected with forgiveness of sins. It seems to concentrate not on the judicial forgiveness, connected with salvation, but rather a regular sort of maintenance to ensure a right relationship with God while we sojourn here on earth. Put another way, we were washed head to toe and adopted into Christ’s family. We were saved. (John 13:10) Yet still, though we are saved, we accumulate dirt on our feet and need to have our feet washed by Christ if we want to commune with Him (John 13:8).  

I have heard this communion with Christ likened to a son who estranged his father. Perhaps he did something that his father could have no part in. This however does not mean the father disowns the child. The child retains his sonship. Yet the child needs to come to the father and make things right if the two are to reconnect on an intimate level. In my estimation several things need to happen in order for this communion to remain, in order for us to remain in Him and He in us.

  1. The child needs to recognize that they have accumulated dirt on their feet
  2. The child needs to desire clean feet
  3. The child needs to admit they can not avoid dirty feet on their own
  4. The child needs to let go of trying to wash their own feet
  5. The child needs to believe that the Father can clean their feet
  6. The child needs to run to the Father and let the Him clean their feet
  7. The key thing…

One last thing that seems to be essential in this process is the washing of others feet (John 13:12-15). The forgiving of others. The grace we’ve freely received and we are called to freely give. God has given us everything, but not to hoard, rather to share and make friends of others (Luke 16:9). If you are feeling distant from God, I have come to believe this a key question to reflect on:

whose feet should you be washing?


Today’s reading: 1 Chronicles 18; James 5; Jonah 2; Luke 7

Suggestions for prayer: Ask God to help you understand the truth about your feet and the truth about how to wash others feet. Ask God to make you a merry, hysterical feet washer of others.  

For further study: Listen to these sermons on forgiveness and understanding communion with God from Jesus’ sermon on the Mount:

The Cheerful Giver

Today’s Readings2 Samuel 16; 2 Corinthians 9; Ezekiel 23; Psalms 70–71

The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.  2 Cor. 9:6

Great point, so why is it so hard some days to remember this point written by Paul? Why do I hesitate when it comes to my time, finances, love, listening, or wisdom? I want to piggy back of the authentic heartfelt words from Jillian yesterday called By His Poverty.  This too is something that challenges me and my family. My best answer is to look to His word. God’s word continues with:

Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you my abound in every good work.

When my heart is truly committed that is when the cheerful giver emerges in my words, actions, and time.  I would say much of my past life and still selfish current moments can leave me thinking that I can’t commit fully to something.  My only answer is lack of faith, full of fear, and believing I won’t have enough left for myself.  The truth is, God will provide all we need at all times. Amen. This faith and confidence changes your outlook of life. When I have this mindset my heart has decided to trust with all I have in God.  I pray you walk into this day, week, and life with a heart focused on cheerful giving.

For myself there are many factors that can help me make excuses as to why I’m not a cheerful giver at all times.  But I know these are excuses and that the Lord knows us, and he knows our hearts. Psalm 139:1 So, no matter your story beginnings, obstacles, hope, and future God is with you, he goes before you, and will provide anything that we need according to His will!  The part where I have struggled is when I’m doing things for My will. I can often struggle with the idea of Needs vs. Wants and whether they are His or Mine.

One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Proverbs 11:24

Having a strong faith of God’s plan for my life needs to include my finances, time, words, wisdom, and actions.  As I write this you should be encouraged to know  the opportunities you will have today to give cheerfully whether that be financially or a listening ear or just love on someone.  In any scenario God will know your heart.  That the giving concept not only looks at our financial giving but our time.  In the time we give to people we give love, we listen, we can give empathy, we can encourage.

Dear Lord,  Continue to build a faith in us that portrays our faith completely in you.  That in our sharing we do it with a love that exemplifies Jesus.Teach me that all we have to offer all day long is done for others because that is what you ask us. Help us not grow weary in doing good.

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.  Galatians 6:9



Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor!

Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor!
    The Lord rescues them when they are in trouble.
The Lord protects them
    and keeps them alive.
He gives them prosperity in the land
    and rescues them from their enemies.
The Lord nurses them when they are sick
    and restores them to health. (Psalm 41:1-3)

Numbers 6; Psalms 40–41; Song of Solomon 4; Hebrews 4


Take a look at this sweet young lady. Her name is Ruth-Naelle and we have the privilege of being her sponsor family through Haitian Christian Ministries. My wife Amy stared at Ruth-Naelle’s picture numerous times Sunday saying “I love her! I’ve gotta get back there right away!!!” Amy was experiencing the true joy in being kind to the poor. I wish you could hear Amy say “I love her”… her voice rings; it softly raises and lowers as though she is singing a song.

This example is just one of an infinite number of reasons the following verse continues to prove true:

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

God’s word is alive. It speaks to us in our daily lives, we just need to listen to it and allow His will to take over our will. The joy of being kind to the poor from Psalm 41:1 and this experience are God’s word coming to life. We get to experience that joy not because of what “we did”, but because God the ultimate giver, gave first. He gave his son Jesus Christ so that we can be saved. He gave us his word through the Bible. He gives us resources to steward appropriately. He gives us sound preaching, wisdom, churches, friends, and family to guide us along our path. This joy comes from God; to him, and only him be the glory.

My mom commented on Amy’s related Facebook post saying “She’s a blessed girl”… while true Ruth-Naelle is blessed, we too are surely blessed and you can be as well.

For only $30 a month, children sponsored through Haitian Christian Ministries receive a nationally recognized Christian education, uniforms, a daily hot meal and vitamins, access to the medical clinic, mentoring through the Pillatre Christian Church and above all else… hope. (from the HCM web site)


Haitian Christian Ministries is a real organization sponsoring real humans with real needs in Haiti; one of the world’s poorest countries. Amy visited Haiti in 2015 and had the opportunity to visit with many of these wonderful children and young adults in person. It’s legitimate, check it out.

Amy with our first sponsored Child, Osky. We love him too!

For more information on Haitian Christian Ministries, please go to