Do you know the word of God? Is it hidden in your heart?
God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
In Japan, food products are immaculately prepared and packaged. Not only must they taste good but they must look good too. Often I wonder if I am purchasing the food or the packaging! Because of the Japanese emphasis on good quality, products with slight defects are often discarded. However, in recent years wakeari products have gained popularity. Wakeari means “there is a reason” in Japanese. These products are not thrown away but are sold at a cheap price “for a reason”—for example, a crack in a rice cracker.
My friend who lives in Japan tells me that wakeari is also a catchphrase for people who are obviously less than perfect.
Jesus loves all people—including the wakeari who society casts aside. When a woman who had lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at a Pharisee’s house, she went there and knelt behind Jesus at His feet, weeping (Luke 7:37–38). The Pharisee labeled her “a sinner” (v. 39), but Jesus accepted her. He spoke gently to her, assuring her that her sins were forgiven (v. 48).
Jesus loves imperfect, wakeari people—which includes you and me. And the greatest demonstration of His love for us is that “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). As recipients of His love, may we be conduits of His love to the flawed people around us so they too may know that they can receive God’s love despite their imperfections.
I know I’m not perfect, Lord, so help me not to be hypocritical and pretend I have it all together. Open my heart to others in acceptance and love so that they might know Jesus’s concern for them.
Broken people are made whole by God’s love.
Before we knew Jesus Christ, our life was full of godlessness and wickedness—we had self-seeking ways and stubborn, unrepentant hearts (Rom. 1:18; Rom. 2:5, Rom. 2:8). Like our strife-filled world, we clamored for peace and tried to find it, but our efforts failed.
When we came to faith in the Savior, all of that changed. We were rescued from the dominion of darkness and brought into Christ’s kingdom (Col. 1:13). Every one of our sins—past, present, and future—was forgiven. Divine justice was satisfied by Christ’s sacrifice, and God’s wrath upon us was removed. We became a new creation, washed clean by Jesus’ blood (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Now that sin’s power over us has been broken, we can become members of God’s family rather than His enemies (Rom. 5:10). He sent His Holy Spirit to be our personal guide in this new life, helping each of us experience Christ’s peace (Rom. 8:6). We also can look forward to an eternity spent in heaven, where righteousness, tranquility, and joy abound (Rom. 14:17).
The story of the Prodigal Son’s return is a picture of our reconciliation with the Lord (Luke 15:11-32). The young man had chosen to leave his father, living instead to please himself. Repentant, the son eventually returned home; his father joyfully greeted and forgave him, and there was harmony between them. God has done all this for us.
Our unity with the heavenly Father came at a great price—the sacrifice of His only Son. Christ gave His life for us so that we could be reconciled to God (Col. 1:20). Christian lives are to testify that Jesus is the source of our peace. Does your life communicate this message?
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” (Ephesians 3:20)
Despite man’s arrogant pride, he is utterly unable to save himself or to make himself acceptable to God. Neither is he able to keep himself saved nor, above all, is he able to defeat sin and conquer death.
But God is able! The word “able” (Greek dunamai) is closely related to the word for “power” (Greek dunamis), both speaking of God’s spiritual dynamics. He is all-powerful, His ability is without limit, and His power “works in us”!
Therefore, “he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him” (Hebrews 7:25). Because the gospel of Christ is the “power of God unto salvation” (Romans 1:16), God “is of power to stablish you according to my gospel” (Romans 16:25).
Even when great troubles and sorrows and temptations come, He is able. “For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted” (Hebrews 2:18). He “is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy” (Jude 1:24).
In fact, He is able to meet every need of our lives and even to use us in His service. “God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8).
Finally, “he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (2 Timothy 1:12). That day will surely come, but then He will give us bodies of glory, for “he is able even to subdue all things unto himself” (Philippians 3:21). HMM
2 Kings 4:1-14
2 Kings 4:1
This was the hard custom of the age, that a man’s sons should serve his creditor till his debts were discharged, even though their father was dead. How thickly did sorrows crowd upon this poor woman; her husband was dead, her estate hampered with debts, and her children were to be taken from her to serve another.
2 Kings 4:2
Whatever she had she was bound to give it up to pay the debts.
2 Kings 4:2
Her poverty was great indeed, and yet she was a prophet’s wife: the people were too fond of their idols to give much to the Lord’s servants.
2 Kings 4:3-6
In the same way the grace of God will fill up all our emptiness if we have but faith in him. When we can receive no more, the blessing will stay; not because the Lord has come to an end of his power, but because we are not able to contain more. “According to your faith be it unto you,” great faith shall have great supplies. If we are stinted, the fault lies wholly with ourselves.
2 Kings 4:7
She must pay her debts first, and then the remainder would be hers: she had no right to any of the oil till the creditors were satisfied. It was no sin for her to bear her husband’s debts when she had no means of paying, but the moment it was in her power to meet the claim, she was bound to do so. It would be well if all Christian people remembered this. We are bidden to owe no man anything, and yet debts are shamefully common.
2 Kings 4:8-11
Elisha had relieved a poor woman, and now he is entertained by a rich woman; providence compensates the merciful. It was a great honour to the Shunammite to be allowed to entertain the Lord’s servant, and she shewed her true piety by doing this spontaneously, and providing for the good man all necessaries, and above all a quiet room to himself, where he would be undisturbed by the business of the house.
2 Kings 4:13
She was contented with her lot, and wished for no royal favour.
2 Kings 4:14
Thus it was suggested to the prophet that the birth of a child would fill the house with joy, and the Lord granted the generous woman her desire. Those who serve the Lord and are kind to his people shall meet with a large return. May our house ever be open to the ministers of Christ, for their Lord’s sake.
2 Peter 3:11
One day I was standing at the foot of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt with my wife and sons. We had spent that entire week floating down the Nile River, touring all the sites of ancient Egypt, many of which were more than 4,000 years old. We were amazed at how well the condition of these ancient locations had been preserved. Finally we stood at the foot of the ancient, massive Great Pyramid of Giza. It, too, was in marvelous condition, considering that it had been standing there for so many thousands of years. It was very evident that the Great Pyramid had been built solidly so it would stand as an eternal remembrance to the Egyptian king who built it.
As I stood there with my family, I told my sons, “This pyramid has stood here for thousands of years, but a day is coming in the future when it will be completely dissolved. When the final Day of the Lord comes, the Bible tells us that everything that exists on the earth will melt with fervent heat, and the earth and all its works will be burned up. Boys, that means a day is coming when none of these monuments will exist any longer. Everything built by man will vanish, including these monuments that have stood the test of time for thousands of years. The only thing that will last is what people have done for Jesus Christ.”
The scripture I referred to as I talked to my sons was Second Peter 3:10. This verse says that when the Day of the Lord comes, “… the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”
According to Peter, when the Day of the Lord comes at the very end of the age, everything we presently see and know will be changed. Even the heavens as we currently know them will pass away. The words “pass away” are from the Greek word parerchomai, which pictures something that is temporary and will soon be passing away. Peter says that the present heavens will pass away with a “great noise.” The words “great noise” are from the Greek word hroidzedon. This word describes a sound so loud that it is nearly deafening to those who hear it. It further carries the idea of a tremendous hissing, sizzling, cracking sound that rushes all about or a noise so thunderous that no one can escape it.
When these events transpire, the heavens and all “the elements” shall melt with a fervent heat. The word “elements” is the Greek word stoicheion, and it refers to everything that exists— from the heavenly bodies in the sky overhead to the mountains, the earth, the buildings constructed by man, and even the smallest atomic particles. Absolutely nothing will survive the transforming, purifying fire that will melt everything.
The word “melt” in this verse is from the Greek word luo, which normally means to loose. But in this case, it pictures the dissolving of matter and the complete dissolution of the earth’s elements.
This melting of the elements will occur because of a “fervent heat” that will be manifested on the Day of the Lord. The words “fervent heat” come from the Greek word kausoomai, which depicts a fire so intense that nothing escapes its blaze. It was used by medical writers to convey the idea of a fever that consumed a victim. This is an intense, raging, blazing, blistering, burning fire that consumes and hence purges everything it touches. Absolutely nothing will survive this fire when Jesus purifies this present world and creates a new heaven and a new earth.
I spoke these words to my sons because I wanted them to know that the only thing to survive this life will be what we do for Jesus Christ. We tend to think that our houses, buildings, and the things we construct in life will live forever. But the truth is, even the structures that are built to survive through the ages of time will eventually pass away. Since only that which is done for eternity will outlast this world, we can see why Peter asked the question, “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness?” (2 Peter 3:11).
A day is coming when all the material possessions you own and hold to be dear will be “dissolved.” The word “dissolved” is from the Greek word luo, which is the same word mentioned above in Second Peter 3:10 to describe the complete dissolution of everything that presently exists. By using this word, Peter alerts us to the fact that nothing we presently own will last forever. In light of this truth, how should we view our material possessions, and how should we prioritize our lives?
Too often we devote the bulk of our time to our homes, gardens, cars, businesses, or other worldly affairs. Although we must give attention to the basic things that are necessary to life, we make a huge mistake if we focus on these temporal matters while neglecting the eternal spiritual issues that will pass from this life into the next. Only what is done for the Lord will last. Everything else will be left behind in a world that will one day be consumed with a fervent heat. Since everything will be dissolved, as Peter tells us, doesn’t it make sense that we invest in our spiritual futures as well as in our present lives?
How should this knowledge affect the way you live? Peter asked, “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be…?” In other words, since the heavens and the earth and everything in them are temporary and will one day pass away, what should have your greatest attention and devotion?
Unsaved men in today’s world live for the present. Often they do great philanthropic works because they want their names to be remembered in future generations. Their desire is to have people revere them, place their names on buildings, name streets after them, and so forth.
However, every building that bears a person’s name will one day evaporate. The pyramids that have stood before us for centuries will one day be gone. Those who live only for the present or to impress men will be the greatest losers of all, for everything they have lived for will burn up and pass away, never to be remembered again. On the other hand, those who live for eternity, walk by faith, and obey what the Word of God tells them to do will make a name for themselves that will be remembered in Heaven for all of eternity. These are the biggest winners in life!
The message I conveyed to my sons that day in front of the pyramids is the same message I want to impress upon you today: Take the time to consider your priorities in life. Are you investing in eternity, or are you consumed with natural things that won’t survive that consuming fire, which will one day melt everything that exists? Since what you do for Jesus is the only thing that will survive, don’t you think it would be wise to prayerfully consider your life to see if you are investing as much in eternity as you are investing in the present?
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, please help me to live soberly and to invest not only in the present, but also in the eternity that is to come. I don’t want to be among those who lived only for the present and therefore suffered loss because they forgot to invest in Heaven. Teach me how to manage and increase the material possessions You have given me so that I can use them to increase my wealth in Heaven. I am grateful for the things I own, but I am more thankful for the souls who are in Heaven because I used my resources to invest in eternity. Help me to use my life wisely and to live as I ought to live in light of eternity.
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I confess that I am living for eternity. Although I thank God for all the possessions He has given me, I realize that all of these are temporary blessings. The greatest investment I can make is in my spiritual future, so in addition to managing the physical blessings God has given me, I am a wise investor in my eternal destiny. I spend the bulk of my time, my money, my talents, and my energies on things that will further God’s Kingdom and outlast this world!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- In light of what you have read today, what changes do you need to make in your schedule and priorities in order to invest in things that will outlast this life?
- Do you spend more time focusing on temporal matters that don’t count for eternity, or do you spend a healthy amount of your time, money, talents, and energies on doing what God’s Word tells you to do?
- If Jesus were to speak to you directly today, do you think He would tell you that you are living primarily for today, or that you are also investing wisely in your eternal future?
“Proclaim the message,
Press it home on all occasions,
Convenient or inconvenient;
With all the patience that the work of teaching requires.” (2 Timothy 4:2, 3 neb)
So wrote Paul to Timothy.
The ideal conditions for sharing the faith or plucking the fruit will rarely be there:
“Whoever watches the clouds will not plant; Whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.” (Ecclesiastes 11:4)
“JUST DO IT!”
“Sow your seed in the morning and at evening let not your hands be idle,
For you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that,
Or whether both will do equally well.” (Ecclesiastes 11:6)
God has sovereignly placed you in the midst of lost people who desperately need to hear the message of Christ’s love.
From you. Today.