Digging in Deeper: Mark 12:43-44

“Summoning his disciples, he said to them ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. For they all gave out of their surplus, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had – all she had to live on.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever received a gift that was truly a generous one? There’s just something about that experience that feels good. You feel honored. You may be a little ashamed or embarrassed by the generosity, but your gratitude is enormous. You immediately rate the character of the giver as high. On the other hand, have you ever received a gift you knew was not in the least bit generous? The feelings then are almost the exact opposite. You may take whatever it is, but you’re really not very grateful for it at all. The other person just did it because he had to or somehow felt obligated to do it. That’s not a gift you’re ever going to be very happy receiving. Well, as much as you feel that way, God does even more. This odd little closing episode from Mark 12 gives us a really powerful picture of this truth. Let’s take a look.

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Invest in Tomorrow

All this month we have been talking about what it looks like to have a fresh start that means something more than it usually does. We’ve been talking about how to make our fresh starts something more than accomplishing the same old things with the same old efforts. The secret here when it comes to our relationship with Jesus is the spiritual disciplines. Each week in this journey we have talked about a different practice that will create space in our lives for the Holy Spirit to do His good work in us. This last part will be no exception. All of these efforts have been aimed in the direction of our living more fully the abundant life Jesus came to bring us. How do we live this abundant life? This last discipline is the key. Read on to find out what it is.

Invest in Tomorrow

One of my favorite cartoons growing up was Duck Tails. It was just one of those genre-defining shows that was beloved by a whole generation of kids. And that’s not just me speaking as a fan. The show was nominated for a Daytime Emmy award four different times including Best Children’s Animated Program twice. It was popular enough that it got a modern remake a few years ago. Of course, this wasn’t anywhere as good as the original—but not many things ever are.

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Morning Musing: Malachi 3:10

“‘Bring the full tenth into the storehouse so that there may be food in my house. Test me in this way,’ says the Lord of Armies. ‘See if I will not open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing for you without measure.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

One of the things we see people being instructed not to do several times in various places in the Scriptures is to test God. We are not to hinge our devotion or obedience to Him on his doing something we want Him to do. He is not at our beck and call. He is God and we are not. In light of this, seeing Him actually command the people to test Him on something here should cause us to sit up and take notice. Well, sit up, and let’s take notice.

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Morning Musing: Malachi 3:7-8

“‘Since the days of your ancestors, you have turned from my statutes; you have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,’ says the Lord of Armies. Yet you ask, ‘How can we return?’ ‘Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing me!’ ‘How do we rob you?’ you ask. By not making the payments of the tenth and the contributions.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Our boys fight all the time. They are brothers, so that is somewhat to be expected. It’s hard to say what the primary cause of their fights is, but if I was to offer one suggestion it would be that most of their fights come when one has taken something the other claims is his. It’s hard to be relationally right with someone you feel has taken something from you unjustly. That goes with three brothers and it goes with God too.

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Morning Musing: 2 Samuel 9:1

“And David said, “Is there still anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?””  (ESV – Read the chapter) ‬‬

It is episodes like this one that garnered David the title “man after God’s own heart.” What David does here is perfectly in line with the way God operates toward us. We would do well to follow in his footsteps, if not in detail, then at least in intent. Read the rest…