How many times are things turned upside down? Pride can do that. Pride makes us think we are better than we are. The Pharisee in Jesus story was full of pride. The tax collector was a humble, repentant sinner. He is the one who left forgiven. God’s love and forgiveness turns things right side up.
Persistent prayer is a mark of faith. God doesn’t promise to give us everything we want, but He does promise to hear and answer our prayers. So we should never give up praying. Prayers keep us connected to God and open our lives to Him.
Just as people were going about their lives as they routinely did at the time of Noah, so people will go about their business as usual before Christ returns. Many people will not be looking for or expecting Jesus to return, but He is coming back at the set time. No one knows when that will happen. But we do know that when Jesus returns it will be a day of judgment for those who rejected Him and a day of celebration for those who believe and put their trust in Him.
Jesus will return some day. True. People will be able to predict His return. False. Jesus had to die on the cross to pay for the sins of the world first. True. Only a few people will see Jesus or know where He is when he returns. False. Jesus return will be visible for all to see, like lightning in the night sky. True. Are you getting ready for the Lord’s return?
God’s Kingdom is not visible to the naked eye now. But God’s Kingdom is already here in the presence of the Holy Spirit and in the lives of God’s people. The Kingdom is coming in full view with the return of Jesus. But no person knows when that will happen.The best way to prepare for the coming Kingdom is to live as part of God’s Kingdom now.
Ten men asked Jesus to heal them of leprosy. Ten were healed. Ten were given a new life. Only one came back to thank Jesus and to praise God. Only 10%! 90% didn’t return to give thanks. Jesus has healed us of sin, guilt and shame. He has given us a new life. Are you a 10% person or a 90% person? How often do we forget to give thanks to God?
A servant serves. The boss gives instructions. God tells us how to live. Our “job” is to do it. Life is not all about us. We are not the Creator or the center of the universe. God not only tells us how to live and gives us the abilities to do the job, He also forgives us when we fail and helps us try again.
When the Disciples asked Jesus to increase their faith, He said a little faith can do great things. The power of faith is the power of God. Faith tips into God’s unlimited power.
God is in the Forgiveness Business. Jesus came to forgive sinners. Jesus tells us to forgive others as He forgives us. So we as Christians are also in the forgiveness business. It is not an option. Forgiveness is letting go of the offense and letting God work in the life of the offender. We may not forget what happened. Unless the person changes we may not be able to trust them right away. But we can forgive, let go of the past and move forward. Forgiveness frees the forgiver.
Temptations are a reality of life. We are all flawed people living in a world corrupted by sin. So we’re going to be tempted. But Jesus says don’t be the source of temptations. And don’t cause a little one to sin. Just DON’T do it!