Saturday, July 25, 2015

Free Baby Pics!

Do you ever have a hard time finding pictures to share/post with friends saying the exact thing you want to say?

I do too!

That's why I've taken to making my own. And I thought, why not put some of them out there for public consumption. So every once in a while I'll post a picture here that you are free to save, share, and use to your delight.

If you have any specific request/need, please feel free to share that, too. I'm more than willing to see if I can work something up for you, but make no promises.


Friday, July 3, 2015

Sold Out for Jesus

"Jesus said to him, 'If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.'" Matthew 19:21

In Matthew 19 we read the story of a man desiring eternal life. He seems to have lived a righteous life and to have the best of intentions - He seeks Jesus for the answer. However, he ends up walking away from Jesus sorrowful.

If we just look at the verse that gives us Jesus' words that send this man away downtrodden, we might feel as if none of us would have been able to follow Jesus. To give up everything we own? To give away all of our possessions to the poor? Very few throughout history have led this lifestyle. Does that mean that only those few have gained eternal life and stored up treasures in heaven?

No, of course not. Because actions don't save us, faith in Jesus does. So why, then are these the words and requirements Jesus gave this man?

First, Jesus knew his heart. He knew that the man was looking for what he could gain - eternal life - not what he could give. Or how he could serve. Or how he could love.

That's not saying that desiring eternal life is wrong, God places that desire within us, but this man wanted to keep everything he had, his lifestyle he was comfortable with, and still gain eternal life.

I'd also wager that he wanted to gain God's blessings and favor without loving God.

Aren't many of us like this?

Where, is that conclusion drawn from, you might ask. When the man firsts asks Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life, Jesus tells him to keep the commandments. The man asks which ones. Jesus reply covers commandments five through ten - the ones concerning our relationships with others. The man was wiping his brow. Thank goodness he had those covered. However, he knew he still lacked something and questioned Jesus on this point. This is when Jesus answered to give up everything.

Jesus did not ignore the first four commandments, insinuating that they weren't important. No, instead his answer revealed that the man's heart was not towards God. He could not give up everything to follow Jesus because money and possessions had become an idol and his god. It reveals his heart - that he didn't love and worship the Lord God solely in singularly. His devotion was to himself.

God will not ask all of us to give up our possessions, often He allows us to use them for His kingdom, but He will test our hearts. So the question we should walk away from these verses asking ourselves is this:

Am I looking to gain eternal life by what I can do or am I following Jesus with a singleness of mindset and an undivided heart?