Treasures on earth: Matthew 6.19

“Do not accumulate for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and devouring insect destroy and where thieves break in and steal.”

Matthew 6.19

The faith is nothing if not sensible. In the sermon on the mount, Jesus pointed out the craziness of accumulating material goods, since they are subject to corruption and loss.

What is the sensible course of action of the disciple in relation to material goods? How should they be used? What should be our attitude toward them? What should I accumulate?

#votd #Matthew #materialism

Salvation belongs to the Lord: Psalm 3.8

“Salvation belongs to the LORD; your blessing be on your people! Selah.”

Psalm 3.8

Fleeing from his rebellious son Absalom, King David still believes that God will save him. He has his promise. Circumstances say otherwise, but faith sees beyond them.

What situations threaten my faith in God’s promise of salvation? How to strengthen my faith in God for difficult moments that will come?

#votd #Psalms #salvation

I do not belong: John 17.16

“They do not belong to the world just as I do not belong to the world.”

John 17.16

In his prayer to the Father, Jesus mentions this truth as the basis for much of his petition. Our Lord came to this world, but was not a part of it. The world sought independence from God; Jesus sought to do his will.

As the Lord’s people, how does not belonging to the world, but to God, define our motives, thoughts and actions? What makes us different?

#votd #John #discipleship

First and greatest: Matthew 22.38

“This is the first and greatest commandment.”

Matthew 22.38

The old covenant passed away, but the truth of love for God with all one’s being remains. While no commandment ought to be neglected, some things are more important than others, because they are broader, deeper, and more meaningful to the whole.

Do I like “sound doctrine” more than “sincere love”? Is my fear greater than my loving devotion to God? Is love for him my over-reaching priority?

#votd #love #Matthew #commandment

Lord! Let us in! Matthew 25.10-12

“Then the door was shut. Later, the other virgins came too, saying, ‘Lord, lord! Let us in!’ 12 But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I do not know you!'”

Matthew 25.10-12

Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins registers the Lord’s sad refusal to let in the unprepared. No one should expect entry into God’s kingdom who has not prepared himself before the hour comes.

Will God change his requirements for heaven? No! Must I believe and obey his commands today? Absolutely! What do I lack to be prepared for eternity?

#votd #Matthew #preparation

Because in everything: 2 Corinthians 7.16

“I rejoice because in everything I am fully confident in you.”

2 Corinthians 7.16

As problems were being resolved in Corinth, Paul expressed strong confidence in the saints to set things in order. This was a cause of great joy to him.

Expectations often determine or influence outcome. Is my confidence, first of all, in the power of God to work in my life and in the life of others, even when problems arise?

#votd #2-Corinthians #joy

Whoever speaks

“Whoever speaks, let it be with God’s words.”

1 Peter 4.11 a

Saints live in the shadow of the end, v. 7. Love and hospitality must continue to be central, vv. 8-9. End times requires judicious use of gifts, v. 10. Only God’s words save, so they must be spoken, rather than man’s, for his glory, v. 12.

Do I know the Bible well enough to speak God’s words? Do I seek opportunity to insert his words into conversations? Do I initiate moments for speaking his words?

#votd #1Peter #speaking

He assisted greatly those who believed: Acts 18.27-28

“When [Apollos] arrived, he assisted greatly those who had believed by grace, for he refuted the Jews vigorously in public debate, demonstrating from the scriptures that the Christ was Jesus.”

Acts 18.27-28

In Achaia Apollos defended the gospel among the Jews. This greatly helped the saints, because he aided them in their mission and strengthened their faith. “For” identifies his preaching as the means of his assistance.

Evangelism benefits the whole church. It is central to her identity and edifies all in every way. The best one can do for the church is to teach others how to be saved.

#votd #Acts #evangelism

Success: Psalm 37.23

“The Lord grants success to the one whose behavior he finds commendable.”

Psalm 37.23

This acrostic wisdom psalm proclaims the blessing of the righteous, in the face of apparent contrary evidence. No one should envy the wicked. The Lord will give success to his people.

God gives success according to his definition, in his time. He also defines commendable behavior. The righteous trust his promise, await his judgment, refuse to believe what they see in the present.

#votd #Psalms #success

Finally, all of you

“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.”

1 Peter 3.8 ESV

The first step to avoid returning evil with evil is to develop a loving relationship in the family of faith. Peter cites five qualities in chiastic form, with brotherly love as the central element.

Am I motivated by the best intentions? Do I speak loving words? Do kindness and tenderness mark my interactions? Is my goal to understand and appreciate my brother?

#votd #1-Peter #love

Recognize people like this: 1 Corinthians 16.18

“For they refreshed my spirit and yours. So then, recognize people like this.”

1 Corinthians 16.18

Paul refers to three brothers sent by the Corinthian church to help and encourage Paul. The Corinthians wanted to associate with whom they considered big names. Paul wanted them to see that those who were involved in God’s mission were worthy of recognition.

Who is doing God’s work that deserves recognition among us? What can I do to refresh the spirits of the saints who do God’s work?

#votd #1-Corinthians #mission

Experience joy: John 17.13

“But now I am coming to you, and I am saying these things in the world, so they may experience my joy completed in themselves.”

John 17.13

Jesus prayed to his Father before his betrayal. He looked forward to returning to the Father. He also desired to fulfill his mission of revealing the Father’s will to mankind. He knew it was the source of true joy.

Do I desire, like Jesus, to go to the Father? Do I desire to hear Jesus’ words? Do I desire the full joy that lasts? Do I know how to receive it?

#votd #John #prayer #joy

They covered their ears: Acts 7.57

“But they covered their ears, shouting out with a loud voice, and rushed at him with one intent.”

Acts 7.57

The Jews refused to hear Stephen’s sermon which exposed their sins and challenged them to repent. They drowned him out with their shouting and stopped him by stoning him.

What the Jews did literally, covering their ears, we sometimes do figuratively. The command to hear urges us to welcome the word of God. Willingness to listen is the important first step to salvation.

#votd #hearing #Acts

Sins I am unaware of: Psalm 19.12

“Who can know all his errors? Please do not punish me for sins I am unaware of.”

Psalm 19.12

Only God is omniscient. We cannot know ourselves thoroughly. We need his guidance and insight, vv. 7-11. It is important to be aware of what we are unaware of.

Our limited knowledge of ourselves calls for humility. The Christian can be sure that as he walks in the light, the blood of Christ cleanses from all sin.

#votd #Psalms #sin

About the things that pertain to God

“So I boast in Christ Jesus about the things that pertain to God.”

Romans 15.22

Paul’s boasting did not center in his accomplishments, but in what God has wrought in Christ and “what Christ has accomplished” v. 23. Nor did he take credit for the work of others.

Boasting in Christ amounts to praise for what God has done. It requires divesting oneself of all self-importance. It recognizes that all is done “in the power of the Spirit of God” v. 24.

#votd #boasting #Romans