Blessings
 and Burdens

‘Life is not measured by how much
you own.’ Luke 12:15 NLT

In Jules Verne’s novel, The Mysterious Island, five men break out of a prison by hijacking a hot air balloon. (Maybe these days an author would choose Uber Air as the escape vehicle, but this was set in the 19th century.)

Anyway, the escapees quickly sense the wind is taking them over the ocean. They see the horizon receding and realise they’re losing altitude. They have no way of heating the air in the balloon, so they begin to throw some excess weight overboard. Shoes, coats and weapons are reluctantly jettisoned, and they rejoice when the balloon begins to rise. But soon they draw dangerously close to the waves again, so they toss their food over the side.

The balloon begins to descend for a third time, and one man suggests they tie together the ropes connecting the balloon to the basket they’re riding in. They then sit on the ropes and cut away the heavy basket. The very floor they had been standing on falls away, and the balloon rises once again. Suddenly they spot land. With not a minute to spare, they jump into the water and swim to an island. Their lives were spared because they learned what they could live without.

Why did Jesus say, ‘A man’s real life in no way depends upon the number of his possessions’? (Luke 12:15 PHPS) Because what you think will be a blessing can end up being a burden. What you seek today may stress you out tomorrow. Jesus said, ‘Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.’ (Matthew 6:32–33 NLT)

SoulFood: Gen 5:22–24, Heb 11:5, 2 Ki 2:1–12, Acts 1:9–11

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2019

Today’s Readings

Genesis 5:22–24 ()

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22 Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years. 24 Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.

Hebrews 11:5 ()

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By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God.

Hebrews 11:2 ()

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For by it the people of old received their commendation.

1 Kings 2:1–12 ()

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2:1 When David's time to die drew near, he commanded Solomon his son, saying, “I am about to go the way of all the earth. Be strong, and show yourself a man, and keep the charge of the LORD your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments, his rules, and his testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn, that the LORD may establish his word that he spoke concerning me, saying, ‘If your sons pay close attention to their way, to walk before me in faithfulness with all their heart and with all their soul, you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’

“Moreover, you also know what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, how he dealt with the two commanders of the armies of Israel, Abner the son of Ner, and Amasa the son of Jether, whom he killed, avenging in time of peace for blood that had been shed in war, and putting the blood of war on the belt around his waist and on the sandals on his feet. Act therefore according to your wisdom, but do not let his gray head go down to Sheol in peace. But deal loyally with the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be among those who eat at your table, for with such loyalty they met me when I fled from Absalom your brother. And there is also with you Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahurim, who cursed me with a grievous curse on the day when I went to Mahanaim. But when he came down to meet me at the Jordan, I swore to him by the LORD, saying, ‘I will not put you to death with the sword.’ Now therefore do not hold him guiltless, for you are a wise man. You will know what you ought to do to him, and you shall bring his gray head down with blood to Sheol.”

10 Then David slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David. 11 And the time that David reigned over Israel was forty years. He reigned seven years in Hebron and thirty-three years in Jerusalem. 12 So Solomon sat on the throne of David his father, and his kingdom was firmly established.

Acts 1:9–11 ()

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And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

Sun 03 November, 2019


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