The view from the mountain (1)
‘..Jesus took…Peter, James and John…up a high mountain…’ Matthew 17:1
Notice three things:
1) Not everybody gets to go up the mountain. Jesus picked the three who went. He didn’t take everybody and He didn’t explain or apologise to those disciples who stayed at ground level. God loves us all equally but He doesn’t give us all the same assignment or experiences with Him. God makes the call, not us, so trust Him; He knows what He’s doing.
2) Those who go up the mountain aren’t necessarily wiser or more spiritual. After seeing Jesus enveloped in the glow of God’s glory, Peter blurted out, ‘Let’s build three tabernacles and stay here.’ (v. 4 para) Peter was sincere, but he was sincerely wrong. Resist the temptation to speak instead of waiting to hear what God has to say, or to build your ministry around an experience you’ve had with God that is designed to equip you personally but not to become the theme and emphasis of your life.
3) God’s plan is to feature Jesus, not you, and it’s a lesson we keep having to learn over and over. ‘While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him”…When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus’ (Matthew 17: 5-8 NIV). The greatest challenge in your life is getting to the place where you focus on ‘no one except Jesus.’ The most important relationship you have is with Him. The only plan that will work out right is the one He gives you. And the power needed to fulfil that plan comes from Him alone.
The joy of giving (1)
‘Every man shall give as he is able…’ Deuteronomy 16:17
There are over 2,000 Scriptures in the Bible on money and giving. Here are two: a) ‘every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord thy God which he hath given thee’ b) ‘…let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly…for God loves a cheerful giver’ (2 Corinthians 9:7 NKJV). Here are two stories on the joy of giving, worth thinking about:
1) Oseola McCarty, eighty-seven, did one thing all her life: laundry. Now she’s famous for it. For decades, she earned fifty cents per load doing laundry for well-to-do families in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, preferring a washboard over a washing machine. Every week she put a little bit in a savings account. When she finally retired she asked her banker how much money she had. ‘$250,000,’ he replied. She was in shock. ‘I had more than I could use,’ she explained. So this shy, never-married laundry woman gave $150,000 to the University of Southern Mississippi to help African American young people attend college. ‘It’s more blessed to give than to receive,’ she told reporters. ‘I’ve tried it.’
2) Don McCullough, President of San Francisco Seminary, says: ‘Scottish Presbyterians established churches in Ghana over 100 years ago. Their worship services still resemble a formal Scottish Presbyterian service. But recently they’ve allowed traditional African expressions into the worship service. Now the people dance at offering time. The music plays, and each individual joyfully dances down the aisle to the offering plate. According to the missionary who told me this, the offering is the only time in the service when people smile. No doubt, God also smiles!’
till next time,
easy does it 🙂