January 31

Exodus 4:1-2 (NIV) 1Moses answered, "What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, 'The LORD did not appear to you'?" 2Then the LORD said to him, "What is that in your hand?" "A staff," he replied.

Moses is still worried about whether he would be accepted and believed. "What if..." We always have our "what ifs". They are usually a description of our fear and our lack of faith in God. What if we just trusted God and obeyed by faith? If we have to voice 'what if' then turn it into a positive 'what if'.

God then pointed Moses to something already in his possession. "What is that in your hand?" What has God already given you? It is a useful instrument or a gift or talent, but when God anoints it for service to Him, it becomes supernatural. It was just a staff to guide sheep, but it will become a rod to guide a nation. It will be an instrument that brings plagues on the enemy. It will be an instrument to part a sea and drown an army. It will be an instrument to strike a rock and bring forth water for a thirsty nation. It is just a staff. But when it is used as God directs, it will be God's own instrument to bring His intervention into the world.

And what is in your hand? What has God gifted you with? It may seem very ordinary, but when it is yielded to God and used at His direction, it can become extraordinary.

Prayer: May the Lord turn all my 'what ifs' into positive ones and the things He has given me into His instruments.

January 31

Matthew 5:6-8 (NIV) 6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

While on the mountain with his disciples, Jesus taught them about the Kingdom of heaven way of seeing things. Most of the Hebrew world had a future hope of bliss in the afterlife, but Jesus said people are filled with goodness right now. What kind of people? The ones who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled. He didn't say they might attain it. No! They will be filled! The Greek sense in this expression is that of continually being satisfied with the righteousness of God. That fullness is used to create an increasing desire, which is in turn satiated with more of the righteousness of God.

The merciful take on the heartaches of those who are suffering. They mourn with those who mourn, feeling their sorrow. That person will reap what they have sown. When they are sorrowful, people will comfort them, sharing their pain.

The pure in heart are those who continually come to God for His cleansing. They see their need and know the solution to it is the wonderfully gracious forgiveness of God. They're continually coming for cleansing, and their desire to increase in holiness is rewarded with an increasing revelation of God.

The perspective of man is that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness might be filled if they do all the right things. Jesus says the desire is the key, not a perfect performance. Man's perspective is to be happy about possessions. Why share some unfortunate person's pain? Jesus tells us we are fulfilled and insure our own comfort when we share other's pain. Man's perspective is the pure in heart are full of head-knowledge. He thinks a lucky revelation has happened upon some unsuspecting person giving him secret wisdom. Kingdom thinking is that the pure heart is rewarded with the revelation of a very personal God.

Consider: Are your thoughts inline with Kingdom thinking?