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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Friday, December 26, 2014
Please don’t get mad at the messenger. I thought today’s story in The Upper Room is ironic because yesterday was Christmas and some received a lot of presents! However, Julia Denton’s (Virginia) story titled “ONLY TEMPORARY,” made me think of the material things we have and the worry associated with those material things.
Here is a portion of Julia’s story:
“Ephemeral, inanimate belongings make up such a large part of daily life. Increasing numbers of us, it seems, have a hard time letting go of them. When we are faced with the agonizing need to dispose of a few cherished preschool drawings or sports trophies, it helps to remember that absolutely none of our material possessions will last forever.
“Often it is not the items themselves but what they represent that I prize. As I learn to relinquish my grip on material things in favor of the intangible values they represent, I find the blessings of God’s presence each day. Though bittersweet, letting go of things offers the grace of deepened wisdom as we learn to move forward in life, relying only on God’s eternal presence.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Material possessions will pass away, but God’s love and truth will endure.
Prayer: Dear God, help us to let go of temporary things and focus on what will last – the truth you offer us in Jesus. Amen.
Prayer Focus: THOSE TRYING TO SIMPLIFY THEIR LIVES
To read the entire story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
Storing treasures in heaven is not limited to tithing but is accomplished by all acts of obedience to God. There is a sense in which giving our money to God’s work is like investing in heaven. But we should seek to please God not only in our giving but also in fulfilling God’s purposes in all we do.
Spiritual vision is our capacity to see clearly what God wants us to do and to see the world from his point of view. But this spiritual insight can be easily clouded. Self-serving desires, interests, and goals block that vision. Serving God is the best way to restore it. A “pure” eye is one that is fixed on God.
Jesus contrasted heavenly values with earthly values when he explained that our first loyalty should be to those things that do not fade, cannot be stolen or used up, and never wear out. We should not be fascinated with our possessions, lest they possess us. This means we may have to do some cutting back if our possessions are becoming too important to us. Jesus is calling for a decision that allows us to live contentedly with whatever we have because we have chosen what is eternal and lasting.
Because of the ill effects of worry, Jesus tells us not to worry about those needs that God promises to supply. Worry may (1) damage your health, (2) disrupt our productivity, (3) negatively affect the way you treat others, and (4) reduce your ability to trust in God. How many ill effects of worry are you experiencing? Here is the difference between worry and genuine concern—worry immobilizes, but concern moves you to action. (NLT)
Matthew 6:19-33 – [Jesus said] “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where they can be eaten by moths and get rusty, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where they will never become moth-eaten or rusty and where they will be safe from thieves. Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be.
“Your eye is a lamp for your body. A pure eye lets sunshine into your soul. But an evil eye shuts out the light and plunges you into darkness. If the light you think you have is really darkness, how deep that darkness will be!
“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
“So I tell you, don’t worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food, drink, and clothes. Doesn’t life consist of more than food and clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are. Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not.
“And why worry about your clothes? Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won’t he more surely care for you? You have so little faith!
“So don’t worry about having enough food or drink or clothing. Why be like the pagans who are so deeply concerned about these things? Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.”
For more Helpful Inspirational Material:
SPIRITUAL VISION: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/spiritual-vision/
VALUE, VALUABLE: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/value-valuable/
SERVICE, SERVING: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/service-serving/
PROMISES, PROMISE: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/promises-promise/
ATTITUDE, ATTITUDES: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/attitude-attitudes/
May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-a-g/ ; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-h-n/ ; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-o-u/; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-v-z/