Monday, January 31, 2011
Pigeons and worrying
I think everyone has an animal that they can’t stand. Some look at cockroaches and get so mad, while others take out fierce vengeance on ants. Personally, I can’t stand pigeons. They are disgusting creatures and are like aerial vermin. They find a place and nest for an eternity. Well I mean they might die off but their off spring will keep the nest going and going and going. The worst part is they poop all in the same area. I work at a church and we USED to have pigeons; it was very hectic. They would make huge piles of poop and there was only one guy that would clean it up…. Me. It was a pain. I would have to get a bucket of water and get a brush to scrape off the hard feces off the pavement. The water would turn all green and white and it just looked nasty and then I would need to wash off that area. One day, someone got fed up with them (don’t worry it was not me) and made them disappear. There were a lot of them like 16 and overnight someone took care of my pooping problem.
Anyway, there is a point to the pigeons. In Mathew 6:26 a verse states “Look at the birds in the sky! They don’t plant or harvest. They don’t even store grain in barns. Yet your Father in heaven takes care of them. Aren’t you worth more than birds?” I know everyone has heard about not worrying, but some people just need to be reminded and encouraged. I’m personally glad that God does not treat me like that “someone” treated the pigeons at my church. No, he takes care of the birds every day and he promises me the same thing. He promises you that also. We have so much more value than a pigeon, yet God still takes care of them. If he does that, how much more will he take care of you? There is only one thing that God tells us to really focus on and that is to “…put God’s work first and do what he wants, Then other things will be yours as well” (vs. 33)
The readers (though not a lot of readers) of this little daily bread may have tons to worry about. Some might have huge tests while others have huge ministry concerns. Whatever the case may be we should not worry. What is the point to worrying? Seriously ask yourself that. That same chapter has another awesome verse: “Can worry make you live longer?” (vs. 27). That is an extremely short verse yet it is really true. There is no real point to worrying; it only brings and medication. Anyway, I hope this encouraged you to not worry. I leave you with the last verse of the chapter which is self-explanatory: “Don’t worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself. You have enough to worry about today.”
Monday, January 10, 2011
I wonder something about the reader while they are viewing this devotional. If you are reading this in the morning is there something that you did yesterday that you regret? If you are reading this at night, how was your day earlier? Did you happen to lie to someone about certain truths or maybe you fell into the trap of laziness. I know a lot of people, like me, fall into the latter.
“You bunch of snakes! Who warned you to run from the coming judgment? Do something to show that you have really given up your sins. And don’t start telling yourselves that you belong to Abraham…an ax is ready to cut down the trees at their roots. Any tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire” (3:7-10)
This is a heavy verse from John the Baptist. He is talking to the religious leaders of his day who were getting baptized by him. He called them snakes, which if compared to today would be like cussing someone out. Why did he do this? The answer is that baptism represented repentance and he charged the religious leaders that they needed to start actually proving that they have given up their sins. In other words, they need to stop doing them. See the religious leaders clinged to the title of Children of Abraham. I guess they thought that this was enough. Hmmmm what do you think?
What if I was to tell you the same thing? What if I was to call you out and cuss at you telling you to truly repent? There is no doubt that we all do wrong; however, do you truly repent for it? In my times of laziness where I forget about spending time with God or I even ignore him, I will tell him that I am sorry but I will still continue to do it. If a compulsive liar told you that he was sorry for lying yet continued to do it, would you believe him? If an ax murderer said that he was sorry for killing people and yet he kept killing, would you believe him? The answer is no. We ask God for forgiveness but a lot of the times we don’t turn from our wrongs. Why is that? In my opinion, we are not running from judgment like the religious leaders, we are running from the conviction that our sins bring. We go to God to feel better and then we continue to do the something repeatedly. Some of us cling on to the title of being a Christian thinking that this title saves us. Like it gives us a free pass to do whatever. Well I hate to break it to those people that the title Christian has no power of saving. It's the faith in Jesus that saves us.
I just wanted to challenge you to really repent when you ask for forgiveness. It’s not easy; quite the contrary, it is quite hard. We will most likely fall again and again, but it is the effort that makes a difference. God wants to see us fight to become more like him. He wants us to strive to be better people. He wants us to bear that good fruit. If we don’t, then we are in danger of being cut down. I don’t know what that means but it doesn’t sound good. I just want to encourage you to really repent. God loves you regardless of what you do. Don’t you want to return that love, or do you just want to use him?