March 28

Deuteronomy 7:7-8 (NIV) 7The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

Why does the LORD set His love on certain ones? In the case of Israel, we see that He simply chose to love them, and it was in keeping with the oath He made to their forefathers. That oath began with the man of faith, Abraham. Our relationship with God can affect future generations that follow us.

God chose to love the world. He set His love upon the world because of what Jesus did. The result of Jesus' life of faith is the same type, but it is the ultimate fulfillment of the shadow in Abraham. We, too, were delivered from the land of slavery, slavery to our old nature. We, too, are delivered from the master of this world, Satan. He no longer has a claim to our lives. He has no right to our souls. God made a promise to crush the head of Satan so that we could be redeemed and out from under the power of the enemy.

This verse applies to us today. God has set His affection on you and chosen you. Thank Jesus for making that possible. Live in the knowledge of the truth that God has set His affection on you because of Jesus' life of faith and death in your place.

Consider: You are delivered from the power of the enemy. Don't let him tell you anything else. You are loved, and you are free!

March 28

Matthew 25:26, 28-29 (NIV) 26"His master replied, 'You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed?

28"'Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. 29For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.

Jesus told His disciples several parables to prepare them for His departure. The parable of the talents is one of the most memorable. The word "talent" is a measure of silver or gold. We often confuse it with the common word for man's gifting or ability. That may be one of the things Jesus was referring to. Each man was given a different amount according to his ability. This is where the word we use for talent comes in. The master gave those with financial smarts more money to invest. Then he left on a journey.

The more talented men doubled their master's money, but the man who was given the least, buried it and gave the master back what was given to him. The master used the man's own words to condemn him. The indictment is wickedness and laziness. The servant was wicked because the master had trusted him to do something. Just investing it at a bank would have at least done something. He is lazy because he made no effort to increase what the master gave him. What he had was taken away and given to the man that had the most.

What is it that we have to invest? I don't think Jesus is referring only to natural ability, but also that which He has given us of Himself. He invests in us the one thing that is really of value, His Spirit. The more we function at the leading of the Spirit, the more fruitful we are. The Spirit in us bears fruit when we let Him lead us. The more we allow Him to lead, the more of our life is filled with His presence. The man who did nothing is all too common in our Christian world. We will be indicted as wicked and lazy if we bury the Spirit within us and do nothing to see His increasing possession of our lives.

Consider: If you want an increase of the Spirit in your life, let Him have His way in your life today.