VIDEO Watches and Wallets

Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year. Deuteronomy 14:22, NIV

Walter Knight tells about a woman whose nerves were always on edge. Though she was a Christian, her face always looked strained. One day a friend saw her and noticed a huge change. She seemed at peace, and her face reflected joy. What had made the difference? She replied, “When I first became a Christian, I tithed my income. Now I tithe my time also. I see to it that He has a tenth of my day, my quiet waiting on Him. Truly He has undertaken for my every need, and I praise Him.”

In truth, God owns all our money and all our time, but He allows us to be stewards over it. When we tithe our income faithfully to Him, it pleases Him and extends His Kingdom. As we tithe our time to Him, we’re showing Him that He has first place in our priorities.

When God possesses the first portions of both our watches and our wallets, He undertakes for our every need, and we praise Him.

God entrusts me with his money not to build my Kingdom on earth, but to build his Kingdom in eternity. Randy Alcorn


What Is Biblical Tithing ? – John MacArthur

In God We Put Our Trust

Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. Jeremiah 17:7

The baby wasn’t due for another six weeks, but the doctor had just diagnosed Whitney with cholestasis, a liver condition common in pregnancy. In a whirlwind of emotions, Whitney was taken to the hospital where she received treatment and was told her baby would be induced in twenty-four hours! In another part of the hospital, ventilators and other equipment needed for the onslaught of COVID-19 cases were being put into place. As a result, Whitney was sent home. She made the decision to trust God and His plans, and she delivered a healthy baby a few days later.

When Scripture takes root in us, it transforms the way we react in trying situations. Jeremiah lived in a time when most of society trusted in human alliances, and the worship of idols was prevalent. The prophet contrasts the person who “draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord” (Jeremiah 17:5) with the one who trusts in God. “Blessed is the one . . . whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that . . . does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green” (vv. 7–8).

As believers in Jesus, we’re called to live by faith as we look to Him for solutions. As He provides the strength, we can choose to fear or to trust Him. God says we’re blessed—fully satisfied—when we choose to place our trust in Him.

By:  Regie Keller

Reflect & Pray

When have you felt worried or afraid and then were reminded of God’s promise to bless those who trust Him? How has the realization that you can trust God in all circumstances brought you relief?

Dear God, thank You that I can trust You in all situations and come to You in prayer. You’re right there in the midst of my struggles, and You give me strength.

Our Final Redemption

While life after salvation still has challenges, the Holy Spirit gives believers direction, peace, and joy

Romans 8:12-25

Have you discovered that your expectations do not match the realities of your existence? We sometimes have the mistaken idea that God is going to make life easier after salvation. In some ways, this certainly is true: As believers, we have the Holy Spirit, who transforms us into Christ’s likeness, enabling us to handle struggles with peace, contentment, and even joy. But being a Christian does not spare us from troubles and hardships. (See John 16:33.)

As Paul explains, our present sufferings cannot be compared to the glories we will one day know. So for now, we “groan within ourselves” (Rom. 8:23) while awaiting Christ’s coming kingdom and the redemption of our bodies. When Jesus died on the cross, He paid the price, redeemed us, and brought us into His kingdom. However, we are still in a fallen state—that’s why we continue to struggle with sin. Our full redemption will become reality upon Christ’s return, when our bodies will be resurrected into their glorified state.  

Do you groan within yourself for that day, knowing that the world is not your home—or have you allowed your affections and interests to be dominated by this earthly life?  

The Folly of Humanism

“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.” (Psalm 14:1)

Despite all their pretense of scientific intellectualism, those who deny the existence of a personal Creator God are, in God’s judgment, nothing but fools. The 14th Psalm, the 53rd Psalm, Romans 3, etc., all describe the inner character of all such people—whether they call themselves atheists or humanists or pantheists or whatever. This repeated emphasis indicates how strongly God feels about those who dare to question His reality. It is bad enough to disobey His commandments and to spurn His love; it is utter folly to deny that He even exists!

The Bible describes the awful descent from true creationism into evolutionary pantheistic humanism. “When they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools…Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator” (Romans 1:21-22, 25).

Certain atheists/humanists claim to be moral people, though their criteria of morality are often quite different from those of the Bible. No matter how admirable their humane acts of “righteousness” may seem, however, they are guilty of the sin of unbelief, the greatest sin of all. “Without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is” (Hebrews 11:6). With all the innumerable evidences of God’s reality as seen in the creation and throughout history, and then especially in the Person and work of Jesus Christ, it is utter foolishness to plunge blindly into eternity to meet the God whom they deny. HMM

Song of the Suffering Servant

Second Movement—The Joyful Feast

I will proclaim Your name to my brothers;

I will praise You in the congregation (Psalm 22 v. 22).

After the powerful lament of verses 1-21, the Lord miraculously hears and delivers. Heart-wrenching, soul-searching lament is the basis for the true praise of God.

In the Old Testament economy, this praise and worship was accomplished through prayer, sacrifice, a commemorative feast, and vows of service to God (Lev. 7:16). Joy and happiness were to be kept private. Servants, poor people, and especially Levites were to be invited to the feast (Deut. 12:17-19). The whole congregation was to celebrate what God had done for them.

The Language of Music

Song

The act or art of singing.

The word song can also designate a poetical composition or a short, musical composition of words and music. It also refers to a melody for a lyric, ballad, or poem. The psalmist says, “Your statutes are the theme of my song during my earthly life” (Ps. 119:54).

David threw a party in the Lord’s honor. He got carried away with expressions of thanksgiving and praise (vv. 27-31). He sang a stirring canticle of blessing, and his worship found it’s ultimate focus on God’s eternal kingdom—where the poor will be fed, where nations will bow down before the Lord, and where his righteousness will be proclaimed to people yet to be born.

The secular mind looks at life and says, “Is this all there is?” The believer looks at life and sees a party to look forward to.

Personal Prayer

Lord, may I move today from lament to praise, from darkness to light, and from ordinary business to celestial celebration.

Sand in the Machinery

I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Shouldn’t you also have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?—Matthew 18:32-33

If we are to maintain spiritual freshness, we must determine to forgive everyone who hurts us and refuse to nurse a grudge. Grudges become glooms.

A few years after World War II, a Christian Japanese boy at a public speaking contest announced that his subject would be “The Sacredness of Work.” Some people smiled at his choice, but when they heard his story, their smiles turned to tears. His parents and home were burned to ashes in the atomic bomb explosion at Nagasaki. He was the eldest of three surviving children, and together they knelt in the ashes of their home and prayed to know what to do. One of them said: “I know—we can work.” So they set to work, gathering bits of tin and boards, and soon they had built a little hut in which to live. They could have nursed their grudge and become gloomy; instead they forgave, forgot, and went to work.

No one who wants to maintain spiritual freshness can afford to nurse a grudge. It will poison both spirit and body. As one doctor put it: “Grudges put the whole physical and mental system on a war basis instead of on a peace basis.”

Walter Alvarez, who is both a medical doctor and counselor, says: “I often tell patients they cannot afford to carry grudges or maintain hates. Such things can make them ill and tire them out. I once saw a man kill himself inch by inch, simply by thinking of nothing but hatred for a relative who had sued him. Within a year or two he was dead.” A grudge or a resentment is sand in the machinery of living.

Prayer

O Father, teach me how to get the splinters of resentment out of my soul and also out of my body. Help me to decide that it is the oil of love, not the sand of resentments, that shall go into the machinery of my life day by day. Amen.

Further Study

Eph 4:21-32; Rm 3:14; Heb 12:15

What should not come out of our mouths?

What are we to do?

The Thorn in the Flesh

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Paul wrote of having been “caught up” to the third heaven, and for an indescribable moment was exalted to a rarified realm beyond time and space. There he heard “things that man is not permitted to tell” (2 Corinthians 12:4). He did not wish to boast about his experience. All he could boast about was his own weakness, his own insufficiency and utter dependence upon the Lord.

It is against this astonishing background that Paul speaks of his thorn in the flesh. God permitted the affliction “to keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations” (2 Corinthians 12:7). Whatever it was, the affliction was so severe and disturbing, that on three different occasions the apostle “pleaded with the Lord to take it away” (2 Corinthians 12:8).

As a lad I often wrestled with the meaning of the Lord’s promise that,

“Whatever you ask in my name… I will do it” (John 14:13-14). Does God really answer all our prayers? It appeared that some were overlooked! It was some time before I realized that praying “in the name” of the Lord means praying in tune with His will and purpose. When Paul pleaded with the Lord to remove his affliction, the answer was a positive refusal. “My grace is sufficient for you,” the Lord replied, “for My power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

On one occasion during my service as a World War II military chaplain I came perilously close to becoming a victim of self-pity. My battalion was camped on the edge of a forest. With 22 days of cold rain and submarines busy in the North Atlantic, mail was not getting through. A padre is supposed to help maintain morale, but how can you do that if your own morale is oozing through the bottom of your boots?

At long last mail arrived and there were over 20 letters from my wife Janet. I arranged the letters in order of dates on my rickety homemade desk, told the batman to keep my tent clear of visitors barring emergencies, then settled down to read the mail.

In one letter Janet told me about our six-year old son who got into such a tantrum that she had to order him down to the basement to cool off, where he whooped it up as loudly as he could. Close to bedtime he went to his own room. A few moments later she heard him talking. Tiptoeing to the door which was ajar, she peeped in. Clad in his pajamas, Donald was kneeling by the bed, having a conversation with God. She heard him say, “Dear God, help me not to cry when there’s nothing to cry about, and make me a man!” How well I remember dropping to my knees in that dank, mildewed tent, and offering the very same prayer, word for word.

Clarence D. Wiseman, The Desert Road to Glory