Friday, February 11, 2011

Don't Act Like An Ass

In Matthew 21, we see the story of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey colt. As he rode into town, the people threw down palm branches and shouted praises.

A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
Matthew 21:8,9

Imagine if the donkey had any level of intellect to understand what was going on. Here he is riding through town with people shouting praises. Would he have thought the praises were for him? After all, he was the one doing all the work. Jesus was simply riding. The donkey was the one walking and carrying Jesus. The palm branches were thrown on the ground. Would he have thought they were protecting his steps? Honoring him? It's crazy to even imagine it, isn't it?

Yet, how often do we do the same thing? Maybe we're volunteering at church; singing for the praise team or choir, going on a mission, donating to a food pantry, or writing a devotion. When people offer praise, do we think they're praising us? We're the ones that did the work, aren't we?

Or, isn't it more that we are just doing what Jesus asked us to do, like the donkey. Jesus is the one that should be receiving the honor and glory. Not us. The donkey simply had the honor of carrying the Messiah, and while it was an honor for the donkey to do so, the Messiah was the ONLY one who deserved the praises.

So the next time you do something at church or as a mission, and someone tells you "Great job," remember who is holding the reins. Don't be confused. It is an honor to do work for Jesus, but we aren't the ones who deserve the honor. Don't act like the donkey.

All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, "Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass." Matthew 21:4,5 KJV

Chatty Kelly

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Choose Joy

Habakkuk 3:17, 18 -- Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. (NIV)

Given our current economy, it is easy to be unhappy. In a recent Bible study I learned that anything that can rob your joy (the joy of the Lord) can be an idol. You see it isn't any great tragedy that I let steal my joy, but daily irritations.

Join me at Titus 2 in Action, where we'll talk about choosing joy.

Titus 2 in Action

Chatty Kelly

Monday, February 7, 2011

Satisfaction, Rolling Stones

"I can't get no satisfaction,
I can't get no satisfaction.
'Cause I try and I try and I try and I try.
I can't get no, I can't get no."
Satisfaction, Rolling Stones, 1965

I've discovered a delicious, sweet, and low calorie treat! It is Jello-O Rice pudding in Creme Brulee flavor. And it is mmm-mmm-good. It is sugar free and only 70 calories. I've been enjoying it each night as my evening dessert. It is completely satisfying.

The other night I sat out my pudding, and then proceeded to make each of my girls an ice cream cone. I took a lick off of the ice cream cone before I gave it to my daughter. It was sweet, creamy and so delicious. I then sat down to my "delicious, sweet pudding." Suddenly it didn't taste sweet at all. It was no longer the sweet, creamy treat I'd enjoyed all week. I was like Mic Jagger, unable to get any satisfaction...from my pudding!

Our lives are often like that. We're going along, happy and satisfied. And then we get a "taste" of what our neighbor has. Then we are no longer content. This can happen in an instant. We can drive home in our brand new 2008 vehicle, only to find out that our neighbor's 2008 came with the "Limited Package." Suddenly, joy can be stolen.

Maybe cars aren't your thing. If you're a mom, perhaps its the honor student or football hero next door that makes you and your mothering feel inferior. If you're married, maybe its the romantic trips "her" husband takes her on. It can be something as small and insignificant as another woman's beautiful french manicure that makes you & your natural stubby nails feel "less than." Suddenly you're singing, "I can't get no satisfaction!"

Paul (the Apostle) said he had learned the secret of being content. He learned to focus on whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8) Maybe I need to change my focus. From what I don't have to what I do. Then Paul says the God of Peace will be with me.

So, if you try, and you try, and you try, and you try - and still haven't found satisfaction, try God. He is the only thing that will ever truly satisfy.

Hebrews 13:5 -- Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

Chatty Kelly