November 10

Proverbs 11:24-25 (NIV) 24One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. 25A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.

This is very similar to Jesus' expression about the one who tries to save their life and ends up losing it. The one who loses his life finds it. It is the upside down world of the Kingdom of God. I once met a man who thought the Lord told him that he would one day be rich. I reminded him that he had true wealth already in his knowledge of the Lord and gifts of the Spirit. That is true wealth! He has a family that loves and respects him. What a wealthy man indeed! He freely gave of that spiritual wealth, and if you asked for the little finances he had, he would share that with you as well. The wealthiest man I knew lived completely upon the hand of God. He trusted God would provide his every need as he ministered to dying people in a hospital of a foreign land. God always met his need. These men gave freely and they gained even more.

On the other hand, I know some extremely wealthy people who begrudge giving any amount. They live in the poverty of their own spirit. They have never learned that it is more blessed to give than to receive. They never experienced the wonder that you cannot out give God. That is a sad thing, for they will give an account to God for hoarding their abundance.

God invests in us spiritual and physical wealth so that we can be His hands of mercy and grace in the world. If we stand at the judgment and declare that we buried it because we knew we would have to account for it all, He will say to us what he said to the unfaithful steward. "Wicked and slothful servant!" God help us to realize this Kingdom principle.

Meditation: To give is to be blessed and to increase, but to hoard in fear is to wither and die.

November 10

Hebrews 2:14,17-18 (NIV) 14Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil–

17For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. 18Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

It is important for us to understand that Jesus was all man. That does not change the fact that He was all God, but in every way He was made like us. He was one of us. He had flesh and blood. He had Mary's lineage. He was tempted. He had to endure just like we have to endure.

When Adam lost the dominion of earth to the devil in the Garden, God promised the offspring of the woman would one day crush that devil's head, his authority. That offspring had to be flesh and blood to take back what flesh and blood gave up. He is the Second Adam in that He took back what the first Adam lost. The sin of the first Adam brought death to all. The Second Adam came and provided life to all, by destroying him who held the power of death.

As a man enduring all the temptations and sufferings that we face, He can give the perfect counsel. He faced the same things and yet came through in sinless victory. What better priest could we hope for? All others have failed like us. How can we be sure of the answers they give us? But Jesus became the merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, giving us God's direction and presenting our requests to God. As He intercedes, He can convey our feelings and difficulties in complete harmony with how we mean them, because He has been where we are. That is why He is the one person that can help you in whatever your need is. He is the One that can perfectly understand your heart and present it to God with mercy and faithfulness. He made it possible through the atonement that He provided in His flesh and blood body.

Consider: When you pray, understand that He knows exactly how you feel.