Monday, November 19, 2012

Giving Cupcakes to God

I was sitting in the living room when my son Scott, who was 4 years-old at the time, came walking up behind me. He said, "Dad, I want to share my cupcake with you."

I'll admit that I felt proud at the moment. Patting myself on the back, I thought, My 4 year-old son is already learning to be a gracious giver. I've taught him well!

When I turned around, he was holding out his cupcake to me. Scott asked, "Do you want to eat the cupcake with me?" He had eaten all the icing off the top and was offering me the bottom half he didn't want!

What Scott did with the cupcake is similar to what we often do with God. After we've bought everything that we want (eat the icing), we'll give him a little offering if anything is left over (the bottom of the cupcake). The prophet Malachi rebuked Israel for doing that very thing. God wanted them to offer the very best of their flocks as sacrifices. Instead, they brought their sickly and diseased animals to the altar--the ones they didn't want and would die anyway. The Lord told them, "I am not pleased with you, nor will I accept an offering from you" (Malachi 1:10).

If our offering means nothing to us, it means nothing to God. We need to start thinking about what exactly we're giving to our Savior. Our loving God deserves to be honored in our worship. He's pleased when we give Him our best with a thankful heart. But He has no use for the bottom half of the cupcake. He's already received enough of those.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Trusting God and Not Government

King David said, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God” (Ps. 20:7).  In those days, people put their trust in their number of horses and chariots.  It’s easy to put our trust in the government instead of God.  David, who was himself a warrior, warns against doing that.  He tells us to place our trust in God and not in the government.

The election returns are in, and God is still on His throne (even though it might not appear that way to you.)  Yes, it grieves me to see our country drift further and further from God.  But it doesn’t surprise me that lost people act, think, and vote like lost people--not just for candidates, but also on moral issues.  While winning an election might or might not change a few things here on earth, winning souls will make a difference for all eternity. His kingdom will outlast the temporary governments of this world.  

So what are you to do now that the election is over? 

1.Share with others how to be saved.  Let them know that Jesus died for them and offers them a new life.

2.Pray for those in authority (1 Tim. 2:1-3). God wouldn’t tell you to pray for your elected officials if it didn't make any difference.  Pray for them to surrender their lives to Jesus Christ and make right decisions.  I believe that when you pray for someone, the Holy Spirit works on that person’s heart and it becomes easier for them to yield to God.

3.Enjoy life!  Jesus came to give you His joy (John 15:11).  Don’t lose your joy because your candidate didn't get elected.  You don't have that much time on earth, so enjoy the journey through life.