Tag Archives: daily inspiration

Pray for Peace

Every year on New Years Eve I invite you join me in praying for world peace.

We pray to change ourselves so that we may become instruments for peace.

We visualize a peaceful world which works for all.

We see peace.

We become peace and the world is changed.

 

To Follow Jesus…

Copyright 2017 by R.A. Robbins

“Those who aren’t following Jesus aren’t his followers. Its that simple. Followers follow, and those who don’t follow aren’t followers. To follow Jesus means to follow Jesus into a society where justice rules, where love shapes everything. To follow Jesus means to take up his dream and work for it..”  — Scot McKnight

For more information on Scot McKnight see:  https://www.theopedia.com/scot-mcknight

Dig a Little Deeper:  How do you take up the dream of Jesus and work for it?

Peace in the Storm

“Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” 26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. 27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” — Matthew 8: 23-27 23  The Bible, NIV, Accessed through Bible Gateway.com

In this story we see those four little words Jesus said often during his time on Earth.  “You of little faith.” I can hear the exasperation in his voice as I read them.

I learned a lesson about trusting God in the middle of a storm in August when a major storm hit our community.  I awoke in the middle of the night to the sound of trees falling all around me and headed toward Bob’s study where he was working.  When I got to the living room the lights went out and I could hear the ominous low growl of thunder and see the flashes of lightning.  I could also tell the wind was blowing very hard still hearing trees crashing down.

It was at that point that I had my 30 second panic, screaming and crying, sure it was tornado and that we would die.  Bob finally made his way to where I was in the dark and guided me to the couch where we sat with our arms around each other and the cat on our laps riding out the storm.  As a sense of calm came over me I started singing, “blessed quietness, holy quietness…” I remember how Jesus had rebuked the storm and told our storm to “cut it out.” It finally ended and we learned it was likely not a tornado but straight line winds of 120 mph.  Although the area around us looked like a war zone we had no real damage.

If we trust in God storms will be calmed.  So when those physical storms rage around us or internal storms rage within us let us take a few deep breaths and remember the words of Jesus to his disciples, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?”

Dig a Little Deeper:  How have you experienced calm in the storm?

The Rich and the Kingdom of God

Today we are looking at the story of Jesus and “the rich young ruler” from the Gospel according to Matthew.

16 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”

17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”

18 “Which ones?” he inquired.

Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,’[c] and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’[d]

20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”

21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”

26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

27 Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?”

28 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife[e] or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.  —Matthew 19:16-30 NIV  accessed from BibleGateway.com

This is another one of those teachings of Jesus no one wants to hear.  After all we all want to be materially rich, don’t we? Some churches even teach that God wants you to be rich.  Not achieving material wealth may even be seen as a sign of spiritual “failure.”

But what did Jesus have to say about material riches?  He said that it is very difficult to follow him and to enter the Kingdom of God because you have to give up everything.  Not only material wealth and possessions but also earthly relationships and responsibilities. Why? Because these things not only distract us from our relationship and dependence on God, they may even replace it.  When this happens all those other things become our god to be not only sought after but worshiped.

Verse 30 is the clincher in this whole teaching.  “But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.”  Those who work to claw their way to the top may find that in the end they have nothing spiritually. Likewise those who are poor in the eyes of the world may have amassed great spiritual riches.

This is an area where I believe many churches have been led astray and have led their followers astray.  Throughout the gospels we see Jesus’ disdain of the rich.  Jesus did not teach the “gospel of wealth.”

Dig a Little Deeper:  Following Jesus is costly.  It may require you to give up your money, your possessions, your job, even relationships.  Are you ready to do this?