What I think...

"Produce fruit in keeping with repentance." Matthew 3:8 (NIV)
Yesterday I posted the verse above and asked what you thought about it. I received several well thought out responses.  I love it when people share their take on a particular scripture because I think you get a well rounded picture that way.

Now, I'll share what I think about when I read this verse.

Have you ever told your children not to do something only to have them do exactly what you told them not to do? When you confront them, they shrug and say, "Sorry, I forgot."  They might even seem genuinely sorry, but before too long, they're doing the same thing again.

Or may you've told them to do a certain thing only to check later and find that they didn't do it. You might receive the very same response when you ask them about it..."Sorry, I forgot."

How many times does this happen before you begin to doubt their sincerity?

The verse above reminds me of this very situation. God doesn't want us to keep saying we're sorry, only to continue in our disobedience.  If we are truly sorry - if we are truly repentant, our behavior will change.  We will begin doing the things He asks us to do on a consistent basis and we will refrain from doing those things He tells us not to do - again, on a consistent basis.

That's what it means to bear fruit in keeping with repentance.  We need to let our behavior reflect our belief. I've said it before and I'll say it again...God's word means nothing if we do not allow it to change our behavior.

What are some good ways we can apply this verse to our daily lives?  How will you apply it?

(Copyright© 2011 Jan Christiansen. All rights reserved.)

What do you think?

"Produce fruit in keeping with repentance." Matthew 3:8 (NIV)

While reading my Bible this morning, the verse above popped out at me.  Several thought concerning it's meaning and how I could apply it to my life jumped into my head, but as I was organizing my thoughts to write today's devotional, based on this verse, another thought came to mind.

Now, whether it was the Lord or me, I do not know, but the thought was...instead of always telling others what you think, why don't you ask them what they think?''

So, that's just what I'm doing today. I'm asking you to leave a comment and tell me what you think about this verse. What does it mean to you?  Will reading this verse change you in any way? If so, how?

I'm excited about reading your comments. I think God is going to use you to teach me something today!

(Copyright© 2011 Jan Christiansen. All rights reserved.)

It's all temporary - or is it?

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NIV)

When life gets hard, when I'm struggling, I remind myself that everything in this life is temporary. When dealing with long-term health issues starts to get me down, I shrug my shoulders and say, "It's all temporary," because in Heaven, I won't be sick.

When financial hardships threaten to pull us under, I remind myself, it's all temporary, because in Heaven, there will be no bills.

When getting older makes me think I will never achieve my dreams, I remind myself that any measure of "success" I can achieve here on earth is all temporary and will mean nothing once I'm in Heaven.

It's all tempor......

Photo courtesy  melodi2,
Oh wait!  There is one thing here on earth that ISN'T temporary - our relationships with others. The way we treat one another has long-term, even eternal affect.. If we are kind and caring, showing the love of Jesus to those around us, it could lead them to seek God, and in so doing, lead them to salvation through Jesus Christ.  Conversely, if we treat people poorly, if we are uncaring when they are struggling, unavailable when they need us most, if we don't show them the way to Jesus, that has eternal effects, too.  They may think that Christianity is a farce, because of the ill manners of the believers they've encountered. They may turn away from God because of the way He was misrepresented by Christians.

So, I guess the best thing to do is to invest whatever time we have left on earth in PEOPLE, for they are the only things that are NOT temporary.  Everyone is immortal. Everyone will live one place or another.

As for me, I want to influence as many people as possible to take that next step toward a relationship with God.

Father, I know that my behavior toward others has an eternal and permanent affect on their spiritual lives. I pray that I will always treat others with love and that I will always represent You in such a way that they are drawn into a relationship with your Son. Grant that my life will increase the population of Heaven and decrease the population of Hell.

(Copyright© 2011 Jan Christiansen. All rights reserved.)

Our Faithful Provider

"And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." Philippians4:19 (NIV)

"And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others." 2 Corinthians 9:8 (NLT)

Today is payday! 

That used to be the day when we thought about how much fun we could have with the extra money left over after paying the bills. Now? Not so much!

Now, I wonder how we are going to pay the left over bills after the money is gone.  Notice, I said wonder, not worry, because I've learned that God does indeed supply all our needs.  We live rather frugally, being careful not to waste money on things we don't need and not to run up bills we can't pay, but in this economy, our basic expenses have continued to rise, while our income has not.  It makes for a very interesting experiment in dollar stretching, but no matter how far we stretch the dollars we have, when we write it all out in black and white, we don't make enough to pay the bills...still, the bills get paid.  Isn't that amazing?

I believe that we live under the blessings of God because we have always been faithful in obedience with our giving. God says to bring him the tithe (10%) and offerings (anything above the 10%) and then promises that He will meet our needs...and He does!

It's always a joy to see that we can trust God to provide food for the table, gas for our cars, a roof over our head and clothes on our back.

Do we have lots of extras? No, but - our God supplies all of our needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus!

Thank you, Father, that your Word is true and they we need not worry about our needs, knowing that you are faithful to keep your Word. Help us to be a blessing to others as you bless us. Amen

(Copyright© 2011 Jan Christiansen. All rights reserved.)