October 23-29

Bad Managers Can’t Give

Matthew 25:14-30
“Again it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them.  To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability.  Then he went on his journey.  The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more.  So also, the one with the two talents gained two more.  But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.  After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them.  The man who had received the five talents brought the other five.  ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents.  See I have gained five more.’  His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant!  You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.  Come and share your master’s happiness!’  The man with the two talents also came, ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’  His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant!  You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.  Come and share your master’s happiness!’ Then the man who had received the one talent came.  ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed.  So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground.  See, here is what belongs to you.’  His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant!  So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed?  Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.  Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents.  For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance.  Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.  And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”

Saturday, October 22

Deuteronomy 8:18
But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.

God loves us.  How does God prove that?  God has made an everlasting covenant to be our God through the love and grace of Jesus Christ.  How does God show us his love?  Primarily God shows us his love through Christ’s forgiveness represented in the cross and his gift of eternal life represented through Christ’s resurrection.  However, God also proves his love for us and stands by his covenant by giving us the ability to provide for ourselves.  God shows us his love by blessing us with what we need.  Everything we have comes from the Lord.

How do you recognize that all that you have comes from God?

Friday, October 21

Deuteronomy 8:17
You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.”

This verse from Deuteronomy represents one of the most dangerous things that can happen in our lives.  Thinking that what we have is a result of our own efforts.  Read these words from Psalm 24:1-6

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.  Who may ascend the hill of the Lord?  Who may stand in his holy place?  He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false.  He will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God his Savior.  Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, O God of Jacob.

The proper attitude before God is to always keep our heart humble and thankful before the Lord.  When we give into pride and claim credit for whatever we have accomplished then we have placed ourselves before the Lord and we are idolizing ourselves.  When we are humble before the Lord that is when we can truly be blessed.

Thursday, October 20

Deuteronomy 8:15-16
He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions.  He brought you water out of hard rock.  He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you.

We ask ourselves, “If God owns everything and all blessings come from him then why does he allow us to have difficult times periodically?”  The reason why is that God wants to prove that whatever you have to face you can overcome if you depend on God’s strength and presence to get you through.  As we are taught to depend on God in the good times and in the bad times then we are taught that it is not our strength that is important.  What is important is God’s strength in us.  If we learn dependence upon God then it will always go well for us.  Why?  Because God becomes our ultimate blessing.

Wednesday, October 19

Deuteronomy 8:12-15
Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

Plenty is the enemy of a strong relationship with God.  When we have nothing it is easy to depend on God because we have no other choice.  When we have plenty it is easy to forget God and begin to think that what we have is a result of what we have done.  We must always remind ourselves of this truth:  Everything we have, no matter how little or how large, comes from the hands of the Lord.

If we dare to become proud of what we have and who we are then from that point on there is no room for God because we are too full of ourselves.  We need humility that leads us to our knees in thanksgiving for the blessings of God.

Ask yourself this:  What has won out in your life, humility or pride?  The level of thankfulness in your heart will give you your answer.

Tuesday, October 18

Deuteronomy 8:11
Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day.

It is a very dangerous thing to allow ourselves to begin to think that what we have is a result of what we have done.  God owns everything (including each of us) and everything that we have is a gift and blessing from God.  If we forget that it all comes from God then we will begin to pat ourselves on the back and congratulate ourselves for all that we have done and all that we have.

Every day we should get on our knees and thank the Lord for all we have received. 

When was the last time you took time to be truly thankful to the Lord for your many blessings?

Monday, October 17

Deuteronomy 8:10
When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.

Who do you credit for the blessings you possess?  Is it the government?  Is it the person who makes the money?  Is it yourself?  Bottom line is this: We would have nothing if it were not for the blessings of God.  Even our ability to work and earn money is a blessing from God.

Whenever we take stock of our blessings we should do as the verse from Deuteronomy instructs us.  We should praise the Lord for all that he has done for us. 

Next time you think about any blessing you have take time to thank the one who is responsible: The Lord God Almighty.