Sunday, September 18, 2022

Luke 16:1-13

Jesus told a story to his apprentices, "Once upon a time a certain wealthy tycoon caught wind of the fact that his live-in estate manager was abusing the company credit card -- big time. 2 So he summoned the manager to his office, read him the riot act, and told him they were doing an audit on the account.

3 “The manager could read the writing on the wall and fell into a deep funk. 'I'm too old to do manual labor and I can't afford to take an entry-level position. Besides, who'd hire me?' he mused. 4 But suddenly he got an idea that involved ingratiating several customers so they'd feel obligated to house and care for him once he was fired.

5 “One by one, the manager sent for the people who owed his boss money. To the first he said, ‘Remind me of how much you owe.’ 6 The man replied, ‘$900,000.’ The unscrupulous manager told him, ‘This is your lucky day. The boss needs to add some tax write-offs so I've decided to reduce your debt to $450,000.'  7 Then the manager said to another, ‘How much do you owe?’ He replied, ‘$100,000.’ The manager fed him a similar story and wrote off $20,000 of this man's debt.’

8 “Now, you're probably thinking that the boss was infuriated when he found out about the shenanigans of his crooked manager -- but he was surprisingly amused by his resourcefulness.

"So," said Jesus, "isn't it interesting that the worldly people are more motivated and resourceful as they milk their relationships than are the people who are agents of the light. 9 Listen up, you should be developing and leveraging relationships so that once everything you have in life is gone you'll find a warm welcome into eternal homes.

10 “Note the principle of continuity. The person who can be trusted with small matters can be trusted with more responsibility. Likewise, the person who cuts small corners and is untrustworthy in the little things will end up doing the same if he's ever given charge over more. 11 IOW, if you are untrustworthy in the way that you deal with the wealth that belongs to the world, who'll trust you with the riches that really matter? 12 If you've been untrustworthy with someone else’s property don't expect them to give you property of your own. 

13 Likewise, a domestic servant can realistically only serve one household and boss. If you try otherwise you'll be constantly comparing them and end up loathing one while you love the other. Your loyalties will be divided and you'll be committed to one while you're detached from the other. You simply can't serve God while you're a slave to building your financial portfolio.”

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Psalm 1:1-6

 A very discerning person is truly happy because he doesn’t listen to the free advice offered by vile and wicked people. Likewise he doesn’t keep company with those who major in sin or allow the jaded cynics to influence him. 2 Instead, these men and women are so in love with GOD’s instructions that they spend their days and nights chewing on scripture. 

3 In this way they are like trees that have been planted next to a stream of water -- evergreen trees which are reliably fruitful. Success is theirs in all that they do. 

4 Such is certainly NOT true for the wicked! These people are like lifeless dry dust blown in the wind. 5 And that’s why these reprobates won’t have a leg to stand on when they’re hauled into court to face justice on the day of judgement. The same goes for sinners when they try to be seated in the congregation of decent people. There won’t be any place for them to sit!

6 The Lord is intimately involved with right-living people as they make their way through life. But the wicked traveler will find the pathway charcterized by wreckage and destruction of their own doing.



Monday, August 22, 2022

Luke 13:10-17

One Sabbath day, as Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, he noticed a woman in attendance who was bent over and unable to stand up straight. She had been disabled by a spirit for eighteen long years. 12 When he saw her, Jesus summoned her to stand by him and when she did he said to her, “Ma’am, you’re free from your condition.” 13 He then placed his hands on her and immediately she straightened up and started praising God.

14 The synagogue leader was infuriated because Jesus had healed the woman on the Sabbath.

“There are six days during which work is permitted.” he ranted. “Come for healing on those days -- but NOT on the Sabbath!”

15 The Lord replied, “You charlatans! Every Sabbath morning each of you unties your livestock, which you lead from the stall out to get a drink of water. 16 But then you see it as sinful when on a Sabbath day I untie a woman (a daughter of Abraham -- no less!) bound by Satan for eighteen long years and set her free from her captivity!” 17 When Jesus said these things, all his opponents were put to shame. In contrast, the entire crowd was in party mode because of all the wonderful things he was doing.

Friday, June 3, 2022

Psalm 50:23

The people who honor me are those whose worship is infused with thankfulness -- those who follow along the pathway of salvation that I reveal.

Colossians 2:7

Sink your roots deeply into Christ. Allow him to become the foundation of your life. If you do that, the truth-infused faith in which you are being instructed will become established and your life will overflow with thankfulness.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Romans 5:1

Through the faithfulness of our Lord Jesus Christ, we have been declared "righteous" and peaceful relations with God have been restored.

Monday, March 28, 2022

JOHN 3:7-8

Nicodemus, you shouldn't be so surprised when I say that you need to start life all over again. This time you need a heavenly birth. God's Spirit is like the wind, blowing uncontrollably this way and then that. You can hear the wind howling but you don't know where it is coming from or where it is going to. Like the wind, you can't nail down and explain the life-giving activity of the Spirit.