One well-respected commentator says that a Christian has no right to leave property and possessions to an unsaved child. Does that idea produce tension in your mind ang heart? Consider a couple of questions. How serious we are in the belief that God owns all we have? Do we actually believe that God is the giver of all we have? Finally, how much do we want that with which we have been entrusted to be under God’s direction, even when we leave it to others?
Which is the more important question – Did I lose my job today, or how is it going with the gospel? Is a member of my family in the hospital, or how is it going with the gospel? Is my teenager causing trouble at home, or how is it going with the gospel? Did I make the team, or how is it going with the gospel? Paul found joy in the midst of his difficulty because he had no agenda other than the exaltation of Jesus Christ in and through his life whether by life or by death. This is radical stuff. Proceed with caution.
When listing the things that give you joy or that you do with joy or that you just can’t wait to do, does prayer make the list? If we can learn to pray with joy, the days of being begged or guilted into praying will be over. So, the question of the day is this: How do I find joy in praying? Paul, a man who found joy in prayer, answers that question.
Abraham taught his servant to bathe every action in prayer. There is no doubt that fervent supplication for divine leadership marked each step of his journey. He probably began each day with prayer and ended each day with prayer. As he prayed, however, he kept traveling. He did not use prayer as an excuse for idleness. He prayed and worked at the same time. Prayer does not make work unnecessary, but prayer is essential if one’s work is to be effective. What was this servant’s work? He searched for the right woman who would be a wife to Abraham’s son, Isaac. Which girl would be Isaac’s girl, and why? The answer awaits.
Fame may sometimes come instantly; wealth on rare occasions comes instantly, but real success is not instant. Those who rise upon waves of instant success can fall just as suddenly upon dismal sands of failure. Proverbs 28:19 can put you in a position to achieve long-term success, from getting out of the starting blocks to grasping the possibilities of a new and exciting tomorrow.
A famous Canadian preacher wrote: Words fail when we try to articulate in theology and worship our deepest feelings about the awesome, transcendent majesty of Almighty God. Is it possible that a God like that could have been in Bethlehem’s manger? In stark reality, are we to believe that God was there in that ancient place in some special and unique way? Shockingly, Jesus came into His own world in complete obscurity, in fact, with such obscurity that we are compelled to ask: Where does God fit in, and does it really make sense to fit such an obscure figure into our own lives?