Successful business people understand the importance of measuring their return on investment. Before investing time, finances and other resources in any endeavour, they work out a business plan that will predict how much profit there should be in the project. Romans12 tells us that God has placed within the body of Christ those who are gifted administrators. In the midst of teaching about his return and the establishment of his kingdom, Jesus tells a parable that every Holy Spirit gifted administrator would understand.Read More
We have not finished with Simeon. As he blessed the young family he also, under the inspiration of the Spirit, added words that introduce the first ominous hint into Luke’s story. Jesus is the promised Messiah, yes, but the light of his truth introduces a foreshadowing of conflict. Mary will suffer, beyond anything we can imagine, as she watched her own dearly loved son, crucified. The blessing comes with unspeakable pain.Read More freedom, service, suffering
How can priests be dishonest and refuse to obey the Lord? It’s a total oxymoron! Priests were God’s representatives to the people. They had been chosen by God for this position. There were very strict rules of behaviour and duties. Yet Eli’s sons brazenly disobey and disrespect God in public. Even the people who were offering sacrifices knew the “rules” of sacrifice and offering to the Lord (v 16).
Eli’s sons showed no respect for the sacrifices the people offered.Read More disobedience, service
If this life is the final offer, then my quest should be to experience it all and not hold back. I should take from others anything I find useful, and taste all that tempts my palate. If this world is a house where there is no master, no one can stop me from laying claim to the position.
Sadly not a single one of us has the grace required of a true master. When we take on the role we are more likely to mistreat others, be reckless with the land and slide into gluttony of all sorts.Read More faithfulness, future time, responsibility, service
This passage can be a challenging one for those of us who struggle with issues of self-esteem and self-worth. I just came from talking to a close friend whose life is crumbling. She has never felt like she was good enough. She has never truly believed that she was loveable to anyone – especially God. So she’s tempted to skip over teachings like this, because to her they read like yet another rebuke.
But I don’t think that’s what Jesus was going for here.Read More entitlement, faith, service, sin, work
I’m the king of the castle and you’re the dirty rascal. Sound familiar? Looking for status and power? The disciples are. Jesus flips the disciples’ thinking with, “Forget the power play. Serve others. Later, there’s a kingdom where you will sit at the banquet table with me, like kings. But for now, do everything you can to help someone. Don’t think you are better than others. You stood by me all this time – surely you get the picture: serve others. If I served them, you serve them.”Read More humility, restoration, service
No one is his own master. We were born to serve, and serve we do, whether we admit it or not. We sacrifice most of our lives at tasks not of our own choosing, struggling with boredom and exhaustion to pay for shelter, groceries, light and heat. Every adult learns that this is not a choice.
What remains a choice is how we serve, and in who’s name.Read More labour, master, service
The consequences of Solomon’s idolatry came to pass just as God had declared through the prophet Ahijah. Rehoboam thought that he was the only one who decided on the path to take, but it was not so. Verse 15 explicitly tells who had established his plan: “…for it was a turn of events from the Lord…” We can learn a few lessons from this.Read More leadership, luxury, service
How you would feel? He kneels before you and draws the clay basin near. Strong hands loosen your sandals. He lifts your grimy, smelly foot to the side and brushes the grit from between your toes. Debris from the long walk today falls away. He lowers your foot into the cool water.
You inhale and exhale with pleasure and unexpected relief.Read More footwashing, forgiveness, humility, service