B Moments, happiness

Pray for the Happiness of Those Who Harm You

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Luke 6:35 (NLT)

Transcription:

Today, I am thinking about when God asks you to do the really difficult.

Recently I was reading in the gospel of Luke when I stumbled upon these words: “Pray for the happiness of those who curse you.” I was immediately drawn to the word “happiness.”

If a person intentionally hurts me, I can pray for their healing because as the saying goes, hurt people end up hurting other people. So, I can pray for their emotional healing and well-being.

Yet in this passage, Jesus takes it a step further. He says to pray for their happiness. This is what prompted me to conclude that sometimes God can ask us to do the really difficult.

To be honest, there have been times when I’ve been in a great season where I send others love whether they like me or not. Then there have been those times when my season was one of being in the desert, where God was pruning me and preparing me. This meant my ability to tolerate any additional pain seemed to be limited.

I’m praying each day for my own happiness and for the happiness of those who love me and support me through my season. Yet praying for the happiness of someone causing me harm? This is a different concept entirely, but Jesus teaches us that this is what it means to act as children of the Most High.

Whose happiness do you need to pray for today? As you think about that, remember these words from Jesus: “Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High.” Luke 6:35 (NLT)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, pray for their happiness.

B Moments, good works

Your Good Works Are Accruing with God

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Luke 6:38 (ESV)

Today, as I am on the road, I am thinking about how your good works are accruing with God.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word “accrue” as something that accumulates over time. As we wrap up our series about Joseph, his life is a perfect example of how our good works are always accruing with God. Even though Joseph ended up in some pretty dark and unjust places, his good works never stopped accruing with God.

One example of this was when Joseph interpreted the cupbearer’s dream. In turn, the cupbearer was supposed to help Joseph get out of prison. But he soon forgot all about Joseph. It wasn’t until two years later that the cupbearer remembered Joseph and referred him to the king. During this two-year period, there was no sign that Joseph would be released from prison.

It is during this period of inactivity that we may think our good works are not being considered. In the natural realm, it just looks like two more years in prison for Joseph. But in God’s realm, Joseph’s good works were steadily accruing, even when it seemed like nothing was happening.

Here is the key. When the day comes for your good works to be reconciled against God’s ledger, His blessings will far exceed your expectations. Joseph just asked to be released from prison. Yet God’s plan was not only to have him released, but to make him governor, to reunite him with his family, and to give him a loving wife and children.

Let us be inspired today by these words: “…give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over…” Luke 6:38 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, know that your good works are accruing.

B Moments, meek

The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Psalm 28:7 (ESV)

Transcription:

Today, I am thinking about how the meek shall inherit the earth.

I have read Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount several times before and always thought I understood the meaning of the word meek. I associated the word meek with being weak, passive, or even submissive.

However, as I was reading from a study Bible, I learned a deeper meaning of the word meek. The explanation reads, “The meek are seen as gentle. They do not assert themselves over others in order to advance their own agendas and in their own strength.”

Here’s the key. The meek will inherit the earth because they trust in God to direct the outcome of events.

When I turn to the Scriptures and attempt to put a face to the word meek, I think about Daniel. Daniel was an administrator in the king’s court and had recently been promoted.

However, there were those who were jealous of Daniel’s success and plotted to have him removed. They knew that Daniel prayed to God daily, so they convinced the king to enforce a decree that said that no one was to petition any god or man for the next thirty days.

Daniel did not make a public outcry about the decree. Instead, he continued to worship God daily and trusted that God would direct the outcome of events.

As we know, David was thrown into the lion’s den for his actions, yet he came out unharmed as God sealed the lion’s mouth shut.

Is there an opportunity for you to demonstrate meekness in your life? If so consider these words: “The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him, my heart trusts, and I am helped.” Psalm 28:7 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, embrace meekness.

B Moments, wheat

Living and Working Among the Wheat and Weeds

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Matthew 5:46 (ESV)

Transcription:

Today, I am thinking about showing others mercy when it’s most difficult.

Recently, we talked about the importance of showing mercy. Yet this may be easier to do when the person is a total stranger or when they share many of your beliefs. It becomes much more challenging when you disagree with the person on almost everything.

However, God still expects us to show mercy—no matter what the person believes or whether they are a neighbor, colleague, or from your past. Therefore, we must remember what Jesus teaches us from his parable about the wheat and the weeds.

In the story, a farmer planted good seed in his field, but during the night, an enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat. As the wheat grew, the weeds grew too, right alongside the wheat.

While the first inclination of the servants was to pull up the weeds, they had to consider that in doing so, they would harm the wheat. Jesus’ point was that in life, the wheat and the weeds are intended to grow together until God separates them.

I know this can be challenging, particularly in the backdrop of our country being more divided than ever. But we must always go back and lean on His word.

Who in your life seems to be the weed today? Their actions and even their presence may not feel so good to you at times, but that is when we should show them mercy.

As you think about that, remember these words: “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?” Matthew 5:46 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, show mercy to those different to you.

B Moments, precious

Consider Our Precious Little Ones

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Matthew 25:44-45 (NLT)

Today, I am thinking about our precious little ones.

I have been very moved by the recent images at the United States-Mexico border of children being separated from their families, crying and begging from cages for their parents’ return. These images that are flooding our airways have prompted me to remind us of how Christ sees children.

As we know from the Scriptures, it was common for parents to bring their children to Christ for healing. In Mark 10, parents were bringing their children to Jesus when his disciples rebuked them and told them not to bother Jesus.

When Jesus heard this, he was very displeased with his disciples. He said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Mark 10:14 (NIV)

Then, Jesus took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them, and blessed each child one by one.

Sometime thereafter, the disciples were arguing about who would be the greatest in God’s kingdom. Jesus brought a child to stand among them and said, “whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:4 (NIV)

It is clear that Christ valued children. In fact, he even wanted his adult children to emulate their humble, innocent faith. So while every country must be governed by its laws, I’m certain there is another solution to this issue without traumatizing our precious little ones.

Let us remember these words: “‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger…and not help you?’ [Jesus responds], ‘…when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’” Matthew 25:44-45 (NLT)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, let’s see our precious children as Christ sees them.

B Moments, mercy

Show Others the Mercy God Shows You

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Psalm 139:23-24 (NLT)

Today, I am thinking about the importance of being merciful.

We are now wrapping up our series on Jesus’ sermon on the mount, and I am reflecting on Matthew 5:7. In this passage, Jesus tells us that God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

When we turn to the Bible, instead of looking at someone who was successful at showing mercy, let’s look at someone who struggled in that area. This was certainly the case for Jonah.

God instructed Jonah to preach a revival in the town of Nineveh. However, Jonah didn’t want to preach to the people who lived there because he thought they were too unworthy to hear God’s word, much less be saved by it.

Initially, Jonah ignored God’s request, but he eventually went to Nineveh and preached a powerful revival. It was so powerful, in fact, that it turned 120,000 souls to God. In turn, God showed mercy to these sinners.

The lesson that Jonah had to learn, and that we occasionally need to remind ourselves of, is that we all need to be shown mercy. Therefore, it is also our job to be merciful toward others.

There may be times when we feel as though God is not on our side because He is showing others mercy. The key is that we have to keep our hearts clean while God extends mercy to the other side.

As you think about your relationship with mercy, hold onto these words: “Search me, O God, and know my heart…Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” Psalm 139:23-24 (NLT)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, be merciful to others as God will be merciful to you.

B Moments, intentions

Do What’s Right Despite Others’ Reactions

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Jeremiah 17:10 (ESV)

Today, I am thinking about when people misunderstand your intentions.

Recently, we talked about doing what’s right even when it’s unpopular. We used David’s life as an example as he chose to care for the heir of another monarch when it was a common practice to kill the heirs of other monarchs. David was his own man, so he did what he knew to be right in his heart.

Yet sometimes we can proceed with the best intentions and still have our intentions misunderstood. This is exactly what happened to David.  When King Nahash died, his son Hanun became king. David said he would always be loyal to the son because his father had always been loyal to him. Therefore, David sent some ambassadors to express his sympathy to Hanun about his father’s death.

However, when David’s ambassadors arrived in the land, Hanun’s advisors told him that the men were not there to honor him but instead to spy on the city so they could ultimately conquer it. Hanun listened to his advisors and shaved off half of each man’s beard and cut off their robes before sending them back to David in shame. They clearly misunderstood David’s intention.

The key here though, is to not deviate from doing what you know is right, even when your intentions are misunderstood. Always remember there is one who will know your heart completely and never misread your intentions. Let us cling to these words: “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” Jeremiah 17:10 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, do what’s right.

B Moments, unpopular

Do What You Know Is Right

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Matthew 25:40 (ESV)

Today, I am thinking about doing what’s right even when it’s unpopular.

This is what David did when he was king. While David is recognized as a successful commander-in-chief who steadily grew Israel’s territory, he is also known for his compassionate heart.

One day, David decided to inquire about King Saul’s surviving family members. If you recall, Saul and David had a very tumultuous relationship. Saul became jealous of David when he realized that God had chosen David to replace him as king. Saul even tried to kill David on several occasions.

Yet being the kind hearted person he was, David still wanted to know what he could do for any of Saul’s surviving relatives. He learned that Saul’s grandson Mephibosheth was still alive and crippled. So, David invited him to live with him in the palace.

During these times, kings were seldom concerned with the disabled or the disadvantaged. It was also common to kill the heirs of former monarchs. David knew all of this, but he still chose to do what he felt was the right thing to do—despite the outside criticism.

Sometimes we may feel like we’re in the minority when we choose to do what’s right for another, especially when those closest to us do not understand our intentions. This may be true if you’re going out of your way to help a person who will never be able to repay you.

The key is, doing what’s right doesn’t have to be popular with them, only with Him. As you think about that, remember what Christ teaches us in these words: “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me” Matthew 25:40 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, do what’s right and forget the public praise.

B Moments, snap judgments

Avoid Making Snap Judgments

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Romans 12:2 (ESV)

Today, I am thinking about snap judgments.

In this series, we’re focusing on how Jesus was being prepared for Calvary. While the leading priests were planning how to capture Jesus, Jesus was in the home of Simon, a man who had leprosy.

During supper that evening, a woman came in with a beautiful jar of perfume and poured it over Jesus’ head. The Scriptures say the disciples were indignant when they saw this. They quickly assessed that it was a waste of money because she could have sold the perfume for a fortune and given the money to the poor.

However, Jesus surprised them. He asked them why they would berate her for doing such a good thing for him. She had poured the perfume on him to prepare his body for burial.

In other words, the disciples were guilty of making a snap judgment about this woman. They hadn’t known that the woman was exactly where she was supposed to be and doing exactly what she was supposed to do. She was meant to be at that supper to prepare Jesus’ body for burial. Therefore, she was there for God’s purpose.

What situation in your life are you making a snap judgment about? Remember that it is there to prepare you, to strengthen you, and to give you constancy. It is there for God’s purpose.

Release your snap judgments and cling to these words: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, give up those snap judgments.

B Moments, ego

Favor Your Spirit Rather Than Your Ego

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Proverbs 22:4 (ESV)

Today, I am thinking about the importance of responding to situations through our spirit versus our ego.

In this series, we’ve been talking about those things that draw us into a deeper communion with God. The first way we discussed was by choosing our spirit over the desires of our flesh.

The second thing we talked about was moving on from those environments where we are no longer learning and being challenged. Challenging ourselves ensures we lean on God for strength and direction.

Finally, as we wrap this series up, another way to go deeper is to respond in spirit and not in ego. Christ was the perfect example of how to do this.

Recall that after Jesus fed the 5,000, there were some who showed up the very next day to be fed by Christ again. When Jesus came in contact with them, he told them that they were only there because of what he could do for them, not because of who he was.

However, they began to chant at him, demanding that he become their king. They chanted this at Jesus with clenched fists, passionate down to the last person.

Yet Jesus responded that their chanting was not the way to appeal to him. They were attempting to persuade him using force, and he wouldn’t be swayed by that. He even dismissed their idea of him becoming their king.

Jesus teaches us that when things in the natural realm are playing into our ego, we must reach for those things in the spiritual realm. When we do this, we are able to be in deeper communion with God.

The words that I use to guide myself are: “The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.” Proverbs 22:4 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, respond in spirit rather than in ego.