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What Really Counts in Life

What Really Counts in Life

The owner of a large estate has an especially good harvest. His bins were too small so he decided to build bigger, larger ones. He thought that he could enjoy life and wouldn’t have to worry anymore. How wrong he was! God told him: “You fool, you will die today. What is then left of your riches?” Everyone who gathers riches on earth but stands in front of God empty handed will encounter this. 

Then he said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.’

Luke 12:15

Jesus told this analogy as he was asked for advice in an inheritance matter. He portrays to his listeners how little material things count compared to the everlasting ones. What’s important on earth is totally different in God’s eyes. Therefore it is worthwhile to invest in everlasting values. 

What fills your “hands” when you encounter God?

Scripture of the Week: Luke 12:13-21 (original version of the analogy)

Forgiveness Does Not Know Any Limits

Forgiveness Does Not Know Any Limits

The man was heavily in debt. He bowed before the king and begged to have his debt forgiven. The king felt pity. Just after the man was released from debt, he went to his employee who was owing him a small sum. The debtor begged for patience until he could pay his debt. The merciless man had him sent to prison. When the king heard about it, he got angry and had the merciless debtor arrested and tortured until he had paid his debt. 

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

Mathew 18:21.22

Jesus told his disciples this analogy since they were fighting over how many times one should forgive. Jesus compared sin with money. Every day, we hurt each other with words and acts. We are guilty towards each other and need forgiveness. 

Jesus gave his life to pay for our sin. He therefore demands that we forgive those who treat us unfairly. 

How difficult is it for you to forgive your “enemies”? 

Scripture of the Week: Matthew 18:21-35 (original version of the analogy)

Rescuer Stuck in a Crevasse

Rescuer Stuck in a Crevasse

Alfons was one of the most seasoned, year-round mountain guides. The rescue team went out to rescue a skier out of a crevasse. Alfons was let down on a rope and in the light of his headlights he was able to identify the skier. He squeezed himself towards the injured and wanted to grab him by his arm. Suddenly, Alfons lost his balance and got stuck in the crevasse head first himself. The walkie talkie slipped under his chin. He wasn’t able to move his arms anymore, it took his breath. Was that his end? He thought about his wife and his six sons. When he got weaker and thought he would die, he started to pray. God do something! Alfons regained his breath and new strength! After that, he rescued the skier. (source: Focus Matterhorn)

My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.

Job 42:5

This story reminds us of Jeus who gave his life for the world. He stretches out his saving hand to you. Are you willing to be pulled out of the crevasse of sin? 

Scripture of the Week: John 4:6-30 and 39-42

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The Prayer that God Listens To

The Prayer that God Listens To

Jesus talks about a tax collector and a pharisee who enter the temple. The pharisee accounted for all his good deeds when talking to God. At the end he said: “Thank you, that I am not like other people… or like the tax collector back there.” The tax collector who stayed near the entrance prayed very differently as he asked God for forgiveness. He knew that he was a sinner.

We are really good in portraying ourselves to God in bright colors and in disposing others who are lesser in our eyes. Such pride inhibits an honest relationship with God. The truthful tax collector was sorry for his sin and found forgiveness in God!

“God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

Luke 18:13

 Conclusion: Jesus condemns self righteous listeners who look down on others. He wants to teach them that pride obstructs the way to heaven. If we encounter God honestly, we will talk about our sin. We ask for forgiveness and receive it. To reflect is crucial for the relationship with God!

Scripture of the Week: Luke 19:9-14 (the original text of the analogy)

What is Truth? 

What is Truth? 

Jesus is to be sentenced to death. Despite false witnesses, the Roman procurator Ponsions Pilate could not find any guilt in him and asked: “What is truth?” However, he didn’t take the time to hear Jesus’ response but hurried to the raving crowd who yelled “Crucify him!”. Pilate bent under the pressure of the Jews. He washed his hands in righteousness and had Jesus arrested. Subsequently, Jesus was dressed in a crown of thorns and a crimson color coat, he was ridiculed, spat at, mocked, castigated and crucified. 

‘You are a king, then!’ said Pilate. Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.’

John 18:37

Pilate was close to Jesus and still missed “the truth”. How many people are experiencing the same thing? Jesus is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). Truth is not an opinion, or point of view, it is a person! Jesus is the Son of God!

Do you want to entrust your life to Jesus?

Scripture of the Week: John 18:35-19:42