JESUS made a difference with His one life. You can see that all through the story of Scripture, but that can also be found in my life and many others. How about yours?
His birth was a miracle. Have you taken the trip through the Bible and through prophecy about Jesus? It takes you through the places where Jesus was, was born and lived. All of those things were told in the Bible before Jesus came to earth and about the things that happened in His life. I am amazed by the faith of Mary and Joseph. They went the 2nd mile and even further. The Bible tells us how they dealt with what they were told and given. Big faith led to big happenings. The same happens today!
Are we shining our light for Him? We must live wide-eyed for Him
Luke 11:33-36 (the Message) --- "No one lights a lamp, then hides it in a drawer. they're going. Your eye is a lamp, lighting up your whole body. If you live wide-eyed in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. Keep your eyes open, your lamp burning, so you don't get musty and murky. Keep your life as well-lighted as your best-lighted room."
Jesus was always talking to the Pharisees and rocking their boats, so to speak. As I close today's devotion, I give you the fact that Jesus was born and died homeless. He lived a pure life. Further, Jesus taught and demanded that of others. Here are some verses that filled my thinking and fueled my faith the last few weeks.
Luke 11:41-52 (the Message) --- Turn both your pockets and your hearts inside out and give generously to the poor; then your lives will be clean, not just your dishes and your hands.
42"I've had it with you! You're hopeless, you Pharisees! Frauds! You keep meticulous account books, tithing on every nickel and dime you get, but manage to find loopholes for getting around basic matters of justice and God's love. Careful bookkeeping is commendable, but the basics are required.
43-44"You're hopeless, you Pharisees! Frauds! You love sitting at the head table at church dinners, love preening yourselves in the radiance of public flattery. Frauds! You're just like unmarked graves: People walk over that nice, grassy surface, never suspecting the rot and corruption that is six feet under."
45One of the religion scholars spoke up: "Teacher, do you realize that in saying these things you're insulting us?"
46He said, "Yes, and I can be even more explicit. You're hopeless, you religion scholars! You load people down with rules and regulations, nearly breaking their backs, but never lift even a finger to help.
47-51"You're hopeless! You build tombs for the prophets your ancestors killed. The tombs you build are monuments to your murdering ancestors more than to the murdered prophets. That accounts for God's Wisdom saying, 'I will send them prophets and apostles, but they'll kill them and run them off.' What it means is that every drop of righteous blood ever spilled from the time earth began until now, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was struck down between altar and sanctuary, is on your heads. Yes, it's on the bill of this generation and this generation will pay.
52"You're hopeless, you religion scholars! You took the key of knowledge, but instead of unlocking doors, you locked them. You won't go in yourself, and won't let anyone else in either."
Powerful, powerful truth as we take an honest look at our lives!
Luke 12:15 (nlt) --- Then he said, "Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own."
Here is Jesus' paint for you and for me!
Luke 12:29-34 (the Message) --- What I'm trying to do here is get you to relax, not be so preoccupied with getting so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Don't be afraid of missing out. You're my dearest friends! The Father wants to give you the very kingdom itself.
33-34"Be generous. Give to the poor. Get yourselves a bank that can't go bankrupt, a bank in heaven far from bankrobbers, safe from embezzlers, a bank you can bank on. It's obvious, isn't it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.
Luke 12:48 (the Message) --- Great gifts mean great responsibilities; greater gifts, greater responsibilities!
We have been blessed. We have great gifts. Answer this: How is my ONE LIFE making a difference?