Monday, June 21, 2010

What is Your Motive?

When detectives are trying to solve a murder case the first question they ask is, "Who has a motive for doing this?" People typically kill for a reason. Something evil inside their hearts drives them to do the unthinkable. Was it someone who would inherit a fortune? (greed) Was it a person who wanted to keep the victim quiet? (felt threatened) Or was it someone trying to get revenge? (hate) Figure out the motive and you'll narrow down the list of suspects.

We can also pray for the wrong reasons. James 4:2-3, "You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive because you ask with the wrong motives." An X-ray machine can look at a person's heart, but it can't look at the motives in a person's heart. Only God is able to look into our hearts and see why we're asking for something. Prov. 16:2 says, "All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight but the Lord weighs the motives." If we're asking for something selfish or it will hurt us in some way, God in His mercy will deny our requests.

Jesus told us to examine our motives when we give our offerings, fast, and pray (See Matt. 6:1-6, 16-18). We are not to give grudgingly (against our will) or under compulsion (out of guilt if we don't) because God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:7). The Lord is looking past the outward deed of giving to see why we are doing it. On the day of judgment, He will reveal the motives of everything we do (1 Cor. 4:5), so we need to do it right the first time.
What is your motive for the things you do? As you go about your business today, make sure your heart is right first, then follow through with the action.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Faxing Two Things to Heaven

In Acts 10:1-4, an angel appeared to a Roman centurion named Cornelius and said, "Your prayers and alms have ascended as memorial before God." How would you like an angel to appear to you every time you prayed to assure you that your prayer had been heard?

If you fax a message from Los Angeles to New York, it is sent from one side of the country and it's immediately received on the other side of the country. Cornelius "faxed" his prayers and offerings from earth and they were immediately received in heaven. And you can also fax those same two things to the Lord.

1.Your offerings. Always remember that the Lord is on the receiving end of your offerings! Although you can't see it with your natural eyes, in the spiritual realm God is immediately receiving your gift and turning it into "treasure in heaven" (Matt. 6:20). Every Christian who gives cheerfully to the Lord will be rewarded throughout all eternity with something much, much better than anything this world can offer.

2.Your prayers. The Lord is also on the receiving end of your prayers. You are not praying into the air. You are not praying to nothingness. You are talking to a Supreme Being who hears what you are saying. Although your prayers are instantly heard, the answer may not come for a while. God's timing is different than ours, so continue to pray until the answer comes.
Keep on faxing,

Monday, June 7, 2010

Willing & Able

A farmer had two mules. One was named Willing and the other was named Able. Willing was a frail and puny mule. He was willing to work but wasn't able. On the other hand, Able was a big, strong stubborn mule. Although he had the ability to pull the plow, he wasn't willing.

Willing was willing, but not able. And Able was able, but not willing. The farmer never got any work done because he needed mules that were both willing and able.

For us to get our prayers answered we must believe two things. We must believe that He is able to answer our prayers, and we must also believe that He is willing to do it. We just can't believe one or the other. We must believe both.

King Nebuchadnezzar threatened to throw Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into the fiery furnace unless they bowed down to the golden image he had made. In Dan. 3:17 they responded, "Our God who we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king." They believed He was both willing and able.

In Matthew 9:27-28 a couple of blind men asked Jesus to heal them. Jesus asked them, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" Why did He ask that? Because whatever we are asking for, we must believe that God is able to do it. In Matthew 8:2-3 a leper said to Jesus, "Lord, if You are willing you can make me clean." He believed He was able to do it, but wasn't sure if He was willing. Jesus said He was willing, so the leper was healed.
What are you praying for? Do you believe He is able to do it? Do you believe that He is willing?
Keep looking up!