Archive for March, 2012

Even the Little Things

And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.

Matthew 10:42

To me, this might be one of the most encouraging verses in the entire Bible.  Giving someone a cup of cold water is not a big deal.  Water is cheap and readily available.  It doesn’t take a lot of talent, wisdom, riches or ability to hand someone a cup of water.  It is something that just about every person could do at one point or another.  Yet is is said here that, when done with the right motive, the person who performs this menial task “…shall in no wise lose his reward.”

Several years ago, I was delivering phone books on a hot day during the summer.  I went into one small store that I had never bought anything from; the lady could see that I was hot and thirsty, and offered me a glass of water.  I appreciated it so much that I have made it a point to buy something from that store every year since.  That simple kindness shown by a person in that store has now been repayed many times over.  That is just a small earthly example of little things being blessed.  Just imagine how much greater our reward in Heaven will be for all of the “little things” done in the name of Jesus.

Not all of us are going to be great preachers with huge congregations.  Not all of us are spark nationwide revivals.  Not all of us are going to go to a foreign mission field.  But there are things that we can all do.  There are the little things.  And even those little, seemingly insignificant things will have their reward in Heaven.  If that doesn’t encourage you to do something for the Lord, I don’t know what will!

The Multitudes

But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.  Then said he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

Matthew 9: 36-38

Personally, I really don’t like crowds all that much.  When I see a huge throng of people, it usually makes me a little nervous.  When Jesus saw the multitudes, He was “moved with compassion on them…”  I have often thought of this passage when around a large number of people.  I have looked around at the mass of humanity and wondered how many of them know the Lord.  I have wondered how many of them even know what Jesus has done for them.  I have wondered how many of them go to church, or even have a church to go to.

The people of the world are, by and large, without Christ.  They truly are “as sheep having no shepherd.”  They need to know the truth.  They need the Saviour.  This is something that I know I need to work on.  I am naturally a quiet, laid-back person.  I usually don’t talk to very many people.  But I know that I should.  I know that “the harvest truly is plenteous” and I know that “the labourers are few…”

When you think about it, we should all be working in the “Lord’s harvest.”  We should be telling everyone we can find about the good news of the gospel.  When you think about it, there is no “wrong” person with which to talk about Jesus.

What is our attitude toward the “multitudes” today?  Do we ignore them and go on about our business, or do we follow the example of our Lord and have compassion on them?  Jesus told His disciples here to “pray therefore the Lord of the harvest.”  We should be doing the same.

The Golden Rule

Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and prophets.

Matthew 7:12

This verse is famous as being the inspiration for “the golden rule:” do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  The golden rule is a golden rule for a reason.  There is a tremendous amount of wisdom is this verse.

Jesus told the people that this simple statement “is the law and the prophets.”  Think about a world in which this rule was actively followed by everyone.  Just imagine what a wonderful place it would be if people treated other people the way that they wanted to be treated.  Murders, rapes, and thefts would be eliminated.  Greed, deceit, and lying would be gone.  Nobody wants those things for themselves, but for some reason, many are willing to do them to others.  As long as we live in the world and as long as the Devil has his influence, we are never going to see that time, but think of all of society’s ills that could be quickly and easily solved.

Think of how wonderful our own lives would be if we would follow this simple advice.  We would be loving and forgiving and merciful.  We would try to help people in any way that we could.  We would be generous and kind.  Of course, we should be all of those things anyway.  As long as we have the old flesh nature to deal with, we are never going to be perfect and we are never going to follow this golden rule perfectly.  But what a difference it could make, both in our own lives and in the lives of those touched by our lives.

We need to remember this verse every day.  We are not to treat others how we would like to treat them or how they have treated us.  We are to treat them as we would like to be treated.  As always, Jesus Himself is our perfect example.  How are we doing following Him?

The Blind Men Healed

And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou son of David, have mercy on us.  And when he was come into the house, the blind man came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this?  They said unto him, Yea, Lord.  Then touched he their eyes, saying According to your faith be it unto you.  And their eyes were opened…

Matthew 9:27-30a

In this short passage, there are a few valuable lessons that we can learn from these blind men.

First, they followed Jesus.  These men were blind.  Even though they couldn’t see Jesus, they still followed Him and cried after Him.  Even though they had no physical sight, they could fully understand that it was only Jesus Who could help them.  Anyone who is spiritually blind has but one hope: Jesus.  Though blind, these men were following the correct person.

Second, their appeal to Jesus for mercy was correct.  Any time we come to the Lord, we are coming from a position of weakness.  We always need His mercy and His grace.  As Lamentations 3:22 says, “It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.”  The only reason that we are living today is His mercy.  As these blind men, we need to appeal to the Lord for mercy daily.

Third, these blind men had faith.  Jesus asked them if they believed He was able to do what they were asking.  They had faith in Jesus’ ability to heal them.  They weren’t just grasping for straws.  They weren’t just hoping that He could.  They had faith.  Hebrews 11:6 tells us “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”  We cannot please God without faith.  We must believe, just as these blind men.

If we will follow the lessons of these blind men, we will, like them, go away as they did in verse 30: “…And their eyes were opened…”

Beams and Specks

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?  Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?  Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

Matthew 7: 3-5

This is a famous passage dealing with being a hypocrite.  Jesus talks about how we like to see the “mote that is in thy brother’s eye,” and how we also like to avoid seeing “the beam that is in thine own eye.”  Doesn’t that sound like something we would do?  We search for the tiniest flaws in others, but we excuse the biggest problems in our own lives.

According to the dictionary, a “mote” is a “small particle or speck, especially of dust.”  A beam is a beam.  We can see the speck of dust in someone else’s eye, but we cannot see the giant beam sticking out of our own eye.  Of course, the reason for this is simply that we are looking for the speck of dust in everyone else.  The truth is, if we are looking for a flaw in anyone (including ourselves), we are probably going to find something.

I find it interesting that Jesus does tell us to help our brother with the mote that is in his eye.  But we are first told to get the beam out of our own eye.  We can’t help others with their problems until we have fixed our own problems.  We can’t help others live for the Lord unless we are living for the Lord.  That is where the hypocrite part comes in: often, we don’t want to help others with their problems, we simply want to find their problems so that ours don’t look quite as bad.  We do need to be helping others, but we had better make sure that we are in a position to help and not just point out the flaws of others.


Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.  Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Matthew 6:34

How often do we worry about things?  How often do we lose sleep over things we think we can see coming down the road?  How often do spend our time thinking about situations and the about the worst things that can possibly happen?  I don’t think that is how the Father would have us to live.

This verse tells us to “take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.”  Tomorrow is going to come and bring with it what the Lord wants it to bring.  It is going to come, whether we worry about it or not.

When you think about it, worry really is pointless.  Worrying, by its definition, is stressing ourselves over things that haven’t happened yet.  I heard one person say that worrying is paying interest on tomorrow’s problems.  I don’t like paying interest and I don’t like worrying about things that may or may not come to pass.  Just last night, I heard a lady tell about a situation she had to deal with.  She was stressed about it for a long time, but when it finally came, she made it through and said that worrying about it was far worse than the situation.  Isn’t that the way it usually goes?

We as Christians shouldn’t be constantly worrying about tomorrow simply because it shows a lack of faith in our Father.  If we truly believe that the Lord loves us and has everything under control, we are going to trust that He also has whatever situation that we are worrying about under control.

We have not yet been given tomorrow.  We have been given today.  Let us this day that the Lord has given us to live for Him and do what we can with what He has given us.

Heaven Came Down (Hymn)

Heaven Came Down
J.W. Peterson

O what a wonderful, wonderful day – day I will never forget;
After I’d wandered in darkness away, Jesus my Saviour I met.
O what a tender, compassionate friend – He met the need of my heart;
Shadows dispelling, With joy I am telling, He made all the darkness depart.

Heaven came down and glory filled my soul,
When at the cross the Saviour made me whole;
My sins were washed away – And my night was turned to day –
Heaven came down and glory filled my soul!

Born of the Spirit with life from above into God’s fam’ly divine,
Justified fully thru Calvary’s love, O what a standing is mine!
And the transaction so quickly was made when as a sinner I came,
Took of the offer of grace He did proffer – He saved me, O praise His dear name!


Now I’ve a hope that will surely endure after the passing of time;
I have a future in heaven for sure, there in those mansions sublime.
And it’s because of that wonderful day when at the cross I believed;
Riches eternal and blessings supernal from His precious hand I received.


“Justified fully through Calvary’s love, O what a standing is mine!”  I couldn’t have said it better myself.  If Heaven has come down and glory has filled your soul, you can surely sing this hymn!

The Father’s Care, Part 4

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.  Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Matthew 6:25, 33

In this passage of Scripture, we are told to not spend our lives worrying about things like food, drink and clothing.  We are told that the Father knows we need these things and will provide them for us.  But if we aren’t focusing on the things of this world, what should we be focusing on?

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness…”

The kingdom of God would refer to the whole realm of spiritual life.  We enter the kingdom of God by salvation through the finished work of Jesus Christ.  Romans 14:17 tells us “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”  Righteousness, peace, and joy are things that we should be seeking.

The world seeks earthly pleasure (food, drink, etc.).  God’s people seek joy in the Holy Ghost.  God’s people seek righteousness, whether that be the imputed righteousness of Jesus Himself, or whether it be day to day righteous living.  Those are things that the people of God should be seeking.

After telling us what we should be seeking after, verse 33 gives us a wonderful promise: “…all these things shall be added unto you.”  As we seek the Lord, and as we seek His righteousness, peace and joy, He will give us those things we need.  We can focus our lives on earthly things and get a few earthly things.  Or we can focus our lives on Heavenly things and get Heavenly things and have the Father provide for our earthly needs.  What more could we want?

The Father’s Care, Part 3

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.  Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 

Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?  (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek: ) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

Matthew 6:25, 31-32

In this passage about focusing on Heavenly things instead of earthly things, there is an interesting phrase: “For after all these things do the Gentiles seek…”  If you look around at the world today, I would think that the truth of this statement would be obvious.  What do the Gentiles seek today?  Watch a few TV commercials or listen to the radio for a while.  Food, drink and clothing are all things that our society spends a great deal of time seeking.  It is always fascinating to see just how perfectly accurate the words of Jesus are.  He spoke those words two thousand years ago, yet they are still relevant and perfectly descriptive of modern society.

But the point of the passage is that God understands that we need these things.  The Gentiles were not God’s people.  Jesus was speaking to His people here.  God’s people trust in God to meet their needs.  God’s people don’t need to spend their lives scurrying around trying to accumulate every thing under the sun.  God’s people do not need to live in the materialism that infests the world.  But how often do we as Christians live just like the world?

God knows exactly what we need, and He has promised to meet our needs.  It’s time we start looking to Him and resting in His care!

The Father’s Care, Part 2

Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them.  Are ye not much better than they?  Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?  And why take ye thought for raiment?  Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

Matthew 6:26-30

Yesterday, we looked at a couple of verses that instruct us to not be overly concerned about our food and raiment.  Today, we will look at the examples given to us about this.

The first example given are the birds.  They don’t know how to sow a crop or even harvest a crop.  But the Father makes sure that they are fed.  Birds eat quite a few different things, but God provides for each of them and provides them the instinct to know what to eat and where to find it.

The second example we are given is our height.  Jesus asks the question “which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?”  I know of quite a few people who would like to be a little taller.  I am fairly tall, but every time I play basketball, I find that it would be nice to have a couple extra inches.  But it is a ridiculous thought to think that we could make ourselves taller just by thinking about it.  It is also a ridiculous thought to think that we could take care of ourselves better than God could take care of us.

The third example is the simple beauty of the lily.  We worry and fret about our appearance, but God is the One Who clothed the lilies.  With this illustration, He again reminds us that, while He feeds the birds and clothes the lilies, He loves us far more than He loves either of those.

If God can care for mere plants and animals like He does, just think how much He cares for us.  What a great thought!