One Last Christmas

Last December I heard a song once that I couldn’t forget, One  Last Christmas by Matthew  West. The title really makes one think. What if you knew you only had one last  Christmas? What would you do?

What if this Christmas was your last Christmas to come back to the  Church?

What if this was your last opportunity to tell people you loved them?

What if it was your last Christmas to spend with your Mom or Dad, the last  one with your siblings, spouse or children?

What if this Christmas was your last opportunity to go to church with your  parents?

What if this Christmas was your last opportunity to tell people how much God  loves them?

What if this Christmas was your last opportunity for reconciliation with one  of your children, parents or siblings?

How would this Christmas be different? What would be your priorities? Who  would you see or call? What would you do? What would you say?

So often at holidays we waste time fretting about unimportant things, high  prices, long lines, a perfect house, the perfect meal, decorations, the electric  bill, traffic. We spend so much time preparing for Christmas Day that we’re  exhausted. Rather than being the best we can be, the loving people we want to be  we are negative. We complain and sometimes criticize. That dress is horrible,  what did you do to your hair, you really don’t need a second helping, you’re  already too fat. Why did you buy that? The color is all wrong.

Often at Christmas our concern is directed to what we did or didn’t receive.  We pay more attention to the gifts than we do to the giver and the love behind  the gift. We spend our day playing with the latest gizmo or watching sports.

Do we really want someone’s last memory of us to be of our complaining,  negativity or criticism?

Do we want to let this Christmas pass without trying one last time to model  Christ‘s love, to share God’s love with our family and friends?

Wouldn’t we prefer to leave behind memories of the way we loved others rather  than of our anger, negativity or self centeredness?

How can we be sure this isn’t our last Christmas or the last Christmas with  our parents and other loved ones? We can’t be sure who will be here next year. I  was fortunate to be with my Mom her last Christmas but I didn’t have a clue at  the time.

We need to live this Christmas as if it is our last. We can’t count on next  Christmas to return to the Church or to tell our loved ones how much we love  them. We can’t put off to next year to tell our children and grandchildren how  much God loves them, how much Jesus yearns for them to come back to Him. Now is  the time God has given us. This Christmas is the time we have to do the things  that are most import

Chin Up!

“Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions.” Ephesians 2:4-5

One of my all-time favorite kid’s stories is Charlotte’s Web, starring Charlotte the barnyard spider and Wilbur the pig. The farmer’s daughter, Fern, loved Wilbur and adopted him as her pet—until he was too big for the house and had to move to the barn. Wilbur missed Fern and felt sad about being away from her. Just when he thought things couldn’t get worse, the mother hen came on the scene.

She told Wilbur that her purpose in life was to lay eggs for people to eat, and the cow’s purpose was to give milk for the people to drink. Then came the real stinger: “Hey, Wilbur, do you know what your purpose is? Bacon!”

Needless to say, the hen was not a very encouraging friend!

Thankfully, Wilbur had a true friend. When Charlotte the spider found him wallowing in the muck of despair, she encouraged him with a resounding “Chin up, Wilbur!” She wove beautiful webs over his pen with words that made him feel loved and important. The webs attracted media publicity, and people from all over the area came to marvel at this “special pig.” When it was time for the county fair, Wilbur feared again for his life and asked Charlotte to weave one more web. She knew that she had only one more web to weave and that then she would die. But out of her love for Wilbur, she wove the most spectacular web yet to prove how special he was. The townspeople were so taken with the web that Wilbur’s impending death was no longer an issue.

I love the biblical parallels in this story. The most significant one being that Charlotte gave her life to save Wilbur’s. Not only that—but she made him a special pig!

Most of us can probably identify with Wilbur at some point. All of us face problems in life when we desperately need someone to come along and encourage us—a “chin up” friend. But, at the end of it all, before God we are all losers at heart and deserve to die as the penalty for our sin. Yet God in His grace died to save us from eternal death and condemnation. And, as though that weren’t enough, He makes us children of the King and fills us with hope and confidence regardless of life’s threats. Jesus is a friend for the doomed! We can either mope around our little barnyard of life, or we can get our chin up and believe that our friend Jesus is making something special of our lives.

Next time you’re feeling down in the dumps, rejoice in the fact that you have been rescued from the grave, promised eternal life, and are a child of the King.

Now that’s a “chin up” thought that can keep you going with hope and strength!


  • What is your attitude toward the “Wilburs” you encounter?
  • What is your reaction to the reality of God’s purpose and promise of eternal life?
  • Will others find you wallowing in self-pity or rejoicing in the hope you have in Christ?
  • In what ways can you be a “Charlotte”—bringing the good news of salvation and purpose to someone today?

The Offering of the Natural

It is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman —Galatians 4:22

Paul was not dealing with sin in this chapter of Galatians, but with the relation of the natural to the spiritual. The natural can be turned into the spiritual only through sacrifice. Without this a person will lead a divided life. Why did God demand that the natural must be sacrificed? God did not demand it. It is not God’s perfect will, but His permissive will. God’s perfect will was for the natural to be changed into the spiritual through obedience. Sin is what made it necessary for the natural to be sacrificed.

Abraham had to offer up Ishmael before he offered up Isaac (see Genesis 21:8-14). Some of us are trying to offer up spiritual sacrifices to God before we have sacrificed the natural. The only way we can offer a spiritual sacrifice to God is to “present [our] bodies a living sacrifice . . .” (Romans 12:1). Sanctification means more than being freed from sin. It means the deliberate commitment of myself to the God of my salvation, and being willing to pay whatever it may cost.

If we do not sacrifice the natural to the spiritual, the natural life will resist and defy the life of the Son of God in us and will produce continual turmoil. This is always the result of an undisciplined spiritual nature. We go wrong because we stubbornly refuse to discipline ourselves physically, morally, or mentally. We excuse ourselves by saying, “Well, I wasn’t taught to be disciplined when I was a child.” Then discipline yourself now! If you don’t, you will ruin your entire personal life for God.

God is not actively involved with our natural life as long as we continue to pamper and gratify it. But once we are willing to put it out in the desert and are determined to keep it under control, God will be with it. He will then provide wells and oases and fulfill all His promises for the natural (see Genesis 21:15-19).

Nothing Lasts Forever

When two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream: He was standing by the Nile . . . ”—Genesis 41:1

This Torah portion for this week, Mikeitz, is from Genesis 41:1–44:17 and 1 Kings 3:1–4:1.

This week’s Torah portion is called Mikeitz which means ‘at the end,’ as in “at the end of days” (Daniel 12:13). It gets its name from the first verse of the selection: “When two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream . . .” Joseph had been imprisoned for two years when Pharaoh had some disturbing dreams that no one could interpret. Pharaoh was told about a young man in prison who had the ability to interpret dreams, so Joseph was brought before Pharaoh. Joseph succeeded in interpreting the Egyptian king’s dreams, and as a reward, Joseph’s imprisonment came to an end.

This week’s theme is all about endings. Everything has an end; there is an end to this very day, an end to all of our days, and eventually, an end to all of the days of this world as we know them.

Jewish tradition teaches that King David had a special ring bearing an inscription which he lived by: “This too shall pass.” The great king of Israel — who experienced both the lowest of lows and highest of heights in his multifaceted life – lived and learned this truism about life. Everything that begins will also end – which will lead to a new beginning again.

Knowing this in his heart helped David brave the worst of times and stopped him from getting too comfortable during the good times. It kept him focused on his ultimate end, his death, which would also lead to his most important beginning, his afterlife.

As we read the Torah portion of Mikeitz and we read about the seven good years that Joseph predicts, followed by the seven bad years that will follow, let us remember that good years and bad years come and go. In fact, the Hebrew word for year, ‘shana,’ also means ‘change.’ That’s because our years are always changing, from better to worse to better again. So, like King David, we need to stay above the turbulence of change and remember that nothing in this world lasts forever except God.

Only God is eternal.

Only God is forever.

His Word is timeless and only He can bless us with eternity.

And whether your day today is good or bad, remember that tomorrow can be completely different.

A Prisoner Who Became A Mighty Ruler

Two years later Pharaoh had a dream: as he stood by the river Nile, he saw coming up from the water seven cows, well fed and fat, for they had been feeding in the river grass. Then seven other cows came up after them out of the Nile, poorly fed and thin, and they stood by the other cows on the bank of the Nile. The poorly fed, lean cows ate up the seven well-fed, fat cows. Then Pharaoh awoke.

Afterward he slept and had a second dream and saw seven ears, plump and good, growing up on one stalk. Also seven ears, thin and withered by the east wind, grew up after them. The thin ears swallowed up the seven plump, full ears. Then Pharaoh awoke, and knew that it was only a dream.

In the morning Pharaoh was worried. So he sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt and told them his dreams; but no one could tell him what they meant.

Then the chief butler said to Pharaoh, “I now remember my sins: Pharaoh was very angry with his servants and put me and the chief baker in prison in the house of the captain of the guard. We both had dreams the same night, each with a different meaning. There was also with us a young Hebrew, a servant of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams and he told each of us what our dreams meant. And our dreams came true just as he said they would: I was restored to my office, but the chief baker was hanged.”

Then Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and they quickly brought him out of the dungeon; and he shaved his face, changed his clothes, and came to Pharaoh. Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, and there is no one who can tell what it means. Now I have heard that when you hear a dream, you can tell what it means.” Joseph answered Pharaoh, “Not I; God alone can give Pharaoh a true answer.”

Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream as I stood on the bank of the Nile, I saw seven cows, fat and well fed, which had been feeding in the river grass. There came up after them seven more cows, poorly fed and thin, worse than I ever saw in all the land of Egypt; and the lean and poorly fed cows ate up the first seven fat cows. When they had eaten them up, one could not tell that they had eaten them, for they were still as thin as at the beginning. Then I awoke.

“Again I dreamed and saw seven ears, plump and good, grow up on one stalk; then seven thin ears, withered with the east wind, sprang up after them; and the thin ears swallowed up the seven good ears. I have told the dream to the magicians, but there is no one who can tell me what it means.”

Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Pharaoh’s two dreams mean the same thing; God has made known to Pharaoh what he is about to do. The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good ears are seven years. It is one dream. The seven lean and poorly fed cows that came up after them are seven years, and the seven empty ears withered with the east wind mean seven years of famine. That is why I said to Pharaoh, ‘God has shown to Pharaoh what he is about to do.’ Seven years of great plenty all through the land of Egypt are coming. They shall be followed by seven years of famine, so that all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt. The famine will use up all that the land produces; and plenty will not be known in the land because of that famine which follows, for it will be very severe.

“The dream came twice to Pharaoh to show that the famine will surely come, and that God will soon make the dream come true. Now therefore let Pharaoh pick out a man who is sensible and wise and place him in charge of the land of Egypt. Let Pharaoh act quickly and put overseers over the land and collect one-fifth of all that grows in the land of Egypt in the seven years of plenty. Let them gather all the food of these good years that are coming and store up grain under the authority of Pharaoh, and let them hold it in the cities for food. The food will supply the land during the seven years of famine which shall be in the land of Egypt, so that the people of the land may not die because of the famine.”

The plan pleased Pharaoh and all his people; and he said to his people, “Can we find one like this, a man in whom is the spirit of God?” So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “As God has shown you all this, there is no one so sensible and wise as you. You shall be at the head of my country, and all my people shall be ruled as you command. Only on the throne I will be above you.”

So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have placed you over all the land of Egypt.” And Pharaoh took off his signet-ring from his finger and put it upon Joseph’s finger and clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a golden collar about his neck. He also made him ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, “Attention!” So he placed him over all the land of Egypt. Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your consent no man shall lift up his hand or his foot in all the land of Egypt.” Pharaoh gave him as a wife Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera. And Joseph was thirty years old when he was made the ruler of the land of Egypt.

In the seven years of plenty there were large harvests, and Joseph gathered up all the food of the seven years of plenty, which were in the land of Egypt, and stored the food in the cities, putting in each city the food that grew in the fields about it. Joseph stored up grain as the sand of the sea, in great quantities, until he no longer kept account, because it could not be measured.

When the seven years of plenty in the land of Egypt were over, the seven years of famine began, as Joseph had said. There was famine in all lands, but all through the land of Egypt there was food, for when all the land of Egypt was hungry, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread, and Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph and do what he tells you.” So when the famine was over all the country, Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold food to the Egyptians: but the famine was severe in the land of Egypt. The peoples of all lands came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain, for everywhere the famine was severe.


The Slowness of God

One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day–2Pe 3:8

It is not difficult to understand the mood of those whom the apostle is addressing. He is addressing men who were perplexed by the seeming inactivity of God. When they first entered on their Christian calling, they had been thrilled by certain glorious promises. Christ was to come again, and to come quickly, and they were to share in the triumph of His coming. But now the months had lengthened into years, and life went on unbroken and unchanged, and they looked heavenward and looked in vain for the epiphany of Jesus and His saints. It was to such men that Peter wrote–to men who were disheartened and discouraged. They were ready to cry as Jeremiah cried, “O Lord, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived.” And the task of Peter was to comfort them and to show them the meaning of that apparent slackness and to teach them that there was a purpose big with mercy in that perplexing slowness of the Lord. It was Augustine who said this of God: God is patient because He is eternal. He takes His time because all time is His. There are a thousand years within His day. And that is a lesson we will dwell on now.


Think of the sphere of revelation. Does not that mark of slowness meet us there? The one thing God has never done, is to be in a hurry to reveal Himself. Suppose you were to ask a child this question, How do you think that God will speak to men? Would not the answer be of sudden voices pealing from the silence of the sky? Well as a matter of fact God has spoken to men, for that is just what we mean by revelation, but His speaking has been as different from that as a strain of music from the din of thunder. Not suddenly, in one stupendous moment, has God declared the riches of His grace. That would have been cruelty and not kindness, for men would have been blinded by the glare. It has been here a little, there a little; one syllable today and one tomorrow, until at last these broken syllables blended in the Incarnate Word. By everything they tried and all they suffered, men were taught a little more of God; by the voice of conscience which they could not stifle, by the vision of ideals they could not crush; by all the whisperings of the world without, by all the yearnings of the heart within; by the song of psalmist, the oracle of prophet, the blood of the sacrifice upon the altar. I think of that first promise made in Eden that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head. How long, O Lord! Why tarry the wheels of thy chariot? When shall this promised deliverer appear? And we know what ages had to pass away and what eager faces had to be lifted heavenward ere in the fullness of the time there came the Savior. When He came, a day was as a thousand years–in that one day was blessing for millenniums. But till He came it was the opposite, a thousand years with God were as a day. And men arose and played their part and died, and generation succeeded generation, and all the time, slowly yet unceasingly, God was making ready for Christ Jesus.

The Lore of Jesus

And note that this mark of God is very conspicuous in the life of Jesus. With such a mighty task to do and only three short years to do it in, I do not think that we could have been surprised had we caught the accent of haste in Jesus’ life. But the one thing you never come upon there is haste. There is always urgency, but there is never hurry. You get the impression as you follow Christ that with Him a thousand years are as one day. Think of the third temptation in the desert when the devil took Him up into the mountain. “All these kingdoms will I give thee,” he said, “if thou wilt fall down and worship me.” But the way of the devil was the immediate way, reckless of means so that the end was gained; and the way of Jesus was the long, long way, which He is mystically treading still. All the kingdoms will I give thee now–the devil is always conjuring with now. For one brief moment Jesus Christ was tempted to get at His triumph by the shortest road. But He put it from Him and chose the long slow way that led Him through the garden to the cross, and has led Him through the ages to His victories in a thousand earnest and consecrated servants. There is more than the touch of the hero about that. There is the touch of the divine. God is patient because He is eternal and that is the patience of Jesus. His love was mighty, yet His approach was slow. One day was as a thousand years with Christ, and yet a thousand years were as a day.


The slowness of God, again, is often manifest in regard to the great matter of our duty. Not all in a moment, but rather step by step, does God reveal the pathway of our duty. Think, for example, of the case of Paul when he was on his missionary journey. First he wished to go southward to Galatia, and the Spirit of God forbade him to go there. Then his heart turned northward to Bithynia: would it not be a joy to preach the Gospel there? But once again his will was crossed, and the Spirit of God suffered him not. We understand now why that was so: he was being led to the great hour at Troas. He was traveling to the man of Macedonia and to the summons from the shore of Europe. But the point to note is that Paul did not know that; nor could he tell why doors were being shut: he could only leave it in the hand of God who seeth the end from the beginning. How easy it would have been for God to let Paul know why he was being baffled. But it was not thus that heaven dealt with Paul, and it is not so that heaven deals with us. God leads us forward one step at a time, giving us light and strength for that one step, and only as we take it and are strong does He reveal the pathway of our duty.

The Sphere of Judgement Upon Sin

Sometimes God is very swift in penalty; at other times, inexorably slow. There are sins which instantly condemn a man and make him a social outcast in a day. They cannot be hidden, and, being spread abroad, they shatter the character and blight the home. But if there are sins that go before to judgement, I think there are far more that follow after, and such sins may track a man for years before at long last they track him down. I have never heard that this word has been cancelled: “Be sure your sin will find you out.” You think that because five years are gone, or ten, it is all right; your sin is dead and buried. But with God a thousand years are as a day. He tarries, but he has not forgotten. Seek ye the Lord while He may be found; call ye upon Him while he is near.

Spiritual Lessons

I turn now for a moment or two to some of the spiritual bearings of this slowness, and in the first place, I detect in it what I would call an element of knowledge. It is impossible for one to learn the nature of something that flashes by and then is gone. A man is dazzled by it, and he wonders about it, but of its real nature he is still in ignorance. And so should we be ignorant of God, save as a being of tremendous power, if He flashed upon us and vanished from our sight. You cannot hurry if you are teaching children, especially if they are a little stupid. You must linger and spell the word again and again and be at infinite pains to make things clear. And what are we but little, stupid children spelling our way across God’s lesson book, and needing to have it syllable by syllable if we are ever to make it into sense. Why, think of the children of Israel in the desert. It took them forty years to get to Canaan. And could not God by one almighty act have carried them there in a single hour? Of course He could, for He is God Almighty–He could have brought them there in a moment; but all, what a vast deal they would have lost, but for the slowness of their leadership. It was that which taught them how merciful God was. It was that which taught them that He cared for them. It was that which gave them the manna in their need. It was that which brought the water from the rock. They learned all that just because God was slow and led them by a way that was circuitous and brought them home, not by a hasty march, but by the discipline of forty years. It may be just the same with you, my friend. The long way may be the kindest way. It would be very sweet to get at once all that you crave for in your heart of hearts. But then if you got it you would miss the best–all that God is and wants to be to you–and I think a fuller earth is bought too dear, when it is purchased by an emptier heaven.


Also in the slowness of God I can detect an element of testing. It does not only show us what God is, it helps to show us what we are ourselves. It is true that sudden trial may do that. A single moment may reveal the deeps. There are men who have never known all that was in them till they were suddenly faced by swift temptation. But perhaps the truest test is not the sudden–a man may be worse or better than himself then–the truest test of what we really are lies not in the sudden but the slow. Judge Simon Peter by his one denial, and you place him far down the line of saints. Many a man might have been loyal then who had not a tenth part of Peter’s faith. I want a longer estimate than that; one that takes measurement of usual years, one that has watched the character unfold under the slower discipline of God. A fiery trial may be a bitter thing; a long-continued trial may be a bitterer. To see no end to it, no gleam of blue, that is a harder thing than any paroxysm. There is no sorrow that is so hard to bear as the sorrow that is gnawing every morning. There is no work that is so hard to do as the work that never blossoms into fruit. “Thou shalt remember all the way the Lord hath led thee, to prove thee, and know what was in thy heart.” Not only to know God was Israel led so; God led them that they might know themselves. So you and I are led by devious roads where we are often alone and often weary until at last, thank God, we know ourselves and know our utter need of Jesus Christ.


And then in closing, in God’s slowness is there not often an element of tenderness? “I have yet many things to say unto you, but you cannot bear them now.” You would never dream of telling a little child the story of the disappointments of the world. That would be cruel; it would blight those hopes that set the heart to music in the morning. So God is slow to break upon our vision, and He covers up tomorrow in a cloud and withholds an answer to our prayers, because He knows that we could never bear it. We think He loves us when He speaks to us. He loves us just as much when He is silent. The love of God is never slow to bless but, it is often very slow to speak. So we go forward rescued from despair just because God refuses to be hasty, saved by His slowness from tomorrow’s trial until tomorrow’s sun is in the east.


Which Way?

Asking directions is not my favorite thing to do. I always feel that if I stay at it long enough I’ll eventually find my way. My wife, Martie, on the other hand, is always quick to ask directions and incredulous about my unwillingness to admit that I don’t have a clue about where I’m going. In the end, she is the wiser one. She gets to her destination quickly and without angst while I end up getting lost.

Thinking that we are smart enough to navigate life on our own goes contrary to the warning of Scripture that tells us, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Prov. 16:25). When we are at a fork in the road, we need to stop and consult the ways of the Lord, “for the ways of the Lord are right” (Hos. 14:9).

Life is a directional enterprise. It’s vitally important to know how to successfully direct our lives toward blessed and peaceful relationships, meaningful acts of love and service, a fulfilling experience with God, and a host of other vitally important destinations.

Asking God for directions isn’t just a good idea—it’s critical. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart . . . and He shall direct your paths” (Prov. 3:5-6).

Lord, I surrender my stubborn tendency to do life on my own terms. Teach me that my “want to’s” lead to dead-end streets and that Your wisdom will keep me on the road to all that is good and fruitful. Amen.
Ask God for directions because He knows the way.

Knowing God, Knowing His Inheritance – Part 1 by Mark D. Roberts

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.

Periodically, I get emails proclaiming good news. I have received a glorious inheritance. Someone formerly unknown to me has died and left me zillions of dollars. What great news! But, there’s a catch. If I’m going to receive my fortune, I need to send private information or a substantial amount of money to some person who is also unknown to me. Hmmm. Do you suppose this is some sort of trick? No doubt about it. It is one of those “spamable” Internet schemes, that pretends to offer me a fortune but really wants to steal my fortune, however modest it might be.

In his prayer for the recipients of the letter we know as Ephesians, Paul asks that these people might know God better, in part by knowing “the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people.” Paul wants us to know that we are participants in some astounding inheritance, and he prays to that end. He’s not trying to steal anything from us. Rather, Paul wants us to know what we truly have to look forward to in the future.

And what we can expect is participation in a glorious inheritance. We have already learned about this in Ephesians 1. In verse 14, for example, the Holy Spirit guarantees our inheritance until we come to possess it in the future. But, verse 11 uses the language of inheritance differently, speaking of us as those who have been inherited by God. So, we wonder which use of the inheritance metaphor shows up in Paul’s prayer in verse 18. Paul wants us to know “the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people.” Does this mean “the riches of the glorious inheritance we will receive from God among his holy ones”? Or does it mean “the riches of the glorious inheritance God will receive among his holy ones”?

Our translation (the NIV) seems to prefer the first option. We are to know the riches of the inheritance that will be ours one day when we are with the Lord. To be sure, there is such an inheritance (see 1:11, 5:5; also Rom. 8:17; 1 Cor. 15:50; Gal. 4:7; Col. 1:12, 3:24). In this rendering of the Greek, the second item for which Paul prays is quite a bit like the first, since our future inheritance is part of the hope of our calling.

Tomorrow, I’ll reflect on the possibilities of the second option for understanding inheritance in verse 18. For now, let me encourage you to consider the inheritance that will be yours when you are with the Lord.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: When you think of your future inheritance, what comes to mind? What items? What feelings? What experiences? How might your reflection on your future inheritance impact the way you live today?

PRAYER: Gracious God, thank you that your promises are not like those emails that try to fool me and steal from me. Your promises are true and trustworthy. Among these promises is the statement, often made in Scripture, that I will one day receive a glorious inheritance from you. I will do so because I am one of your beloved children. Thank you for adopting me into your family through Christ.

Help me, Lord, to live today in light of the glory of the future. May the assurance of what lies ahead for me give me energy and motivation to live for your kingdom today in all that I do. Amen.–-part-1