Thursday, August 17, 2017

THE SELFISH SERVANT


In Matthew 18:31-33, we read: “So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’”

“After the master forgave the servant his debt of millions of dollars, he didn't forgive his fellow servant a few dollars? That’s selfish.”

“Ah, Timmy. That’s one of the problems of the ages. When we watch someone else, we see clearly.”

“Johnny’s calling me. We’re playing with my model airplanes.”

An hour later, “I’m leaving. You’re selfish.” Grandfather walked onto the back porch. “What’s going on?”

“Johnny went home.”

“I can see that. Why?” He sat on the back steps.

“Johnny called me selfish. But I need the money I loaned him to buy another plane.”

“How much did you pay for those?” He pointed to the six planes lined up on the dirt runway.

Timmy dipped his head, mumbled. “Nothing. You bought them for me.”

“Come sit by me, son.” Timmy swiped the tears welling in his eyes.

“Am I selfish like the servant we read about?”

“All of us are born into this world selfish.”

“You, too, Grandfather?” He nodded, grinned at Timmy’s look of surprise.

“We all need a savior, Timmy. So God sent His Son, the Lord Jesus, to pay for our sins.”

Timmy picked up his favorite plane. “Will you go with me to see Johnny?”  Grandfather smiled.

“Let’s go.”

Kingdom Thinking.  I came into this world, fists clinched--selfish. When I realized The Lord Jesus came into the world to save me from my selfish sinful ways, I gave my life to Him. He promises never to leave nor forsake me. He loves me with an everlasting love. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come?


Thursday, August 10, 2017

THE BROWN BUNDLE MYSTERY

In John 6:8-9, we read: “One of the disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, ‘There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?’”

The Brown Bundle Mystery,” Timmy read the title, snuggled under the covers. “Sounds exciting.” Grandfather put on his glasses and began to read.

“‘Mother,' Jacob entered the house. 'I’ve heard a great crowd has gathered to hear the Teacher. May I go? I’ve done my chores.'

“‘Alone?'

“‘Rueben’s waiting for me by the gate.'

“'Not so fast, son. Here’s lunch. Five barley loaves and two fish. At least you won’t starve. Share with Rueben,' she said, handing him a brown bundle.

“'Thanks, Mother. We’d better hurry. Don’t want to miss something exciting.' Arriving, Jacob said.

“‘That’s what I call a crowd. Let’s get close to the hillside where the Teacher sits. We’ll hear better there.'

"It was late afternoon. 'Jacob, my stomach’s growling. Where is the lunch?'

“'You brought food? Good.’ A fisherman stood behind Jacob. 'Come. The Teacher needs you. By the way, I’m Andrew.' The boys ran to keep up.

“The Teacher smiled as Jacob put his brown bundle into His outstretched hand. He lifted His voice, gave thanks and began to distribute the food to His disciples and the disciples to those sitting down, as much as they wanted. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number.”

“Wait, Grandfather. The Teacher fed five thousand with five loaves and two fish? Big loaves?”

“No. About the size of dinner rolls. But when we give what we hold in our hands to the Teacher, He uses it and multiples it for the good of others. Little is much when blessed by the Lord, even a brown bundle.”

Kingdom Thinking. When I keep my hands fisted, I miss out. But open, the things in my hands become gifts to Him. He multiples them for my good and His glory. He promises to love me with an everlasting love. He’ll never leave nor forsake me. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come?












Thursday, August 3, 2017

A STANDING INVITATION


In Matthew 11:28, we read: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

“Here you are, sir.” The lady at the grocery checkout handed Grandfather his receipt. “Have a good day.”

“Thank you, Melissa. And remember, you have a standing invitation.”

“What’s a ‘standing invitation,’ Grandfather?”

“Well, Timmy, Johnny has a standing invitation at our house.”

“Oh. Because he’s always welcome?” Before Grandfather could answer, Timmy asked. "Is something wrong with that guy? He looks sad.” A young man sat on the steps out of the way of traffic.

“Are you okay, son?” The young man mumbled a response. “Sorry, couldn’t hear what you said.”

“I’m fine.”

“Hey. Don’t talk that way to my Grandfather.” Timmy stood close. Before he could say more, Grandfather handed him his bag of groceries, stepped down, sat on the step by the young man. “Grandfather?” Patting the place next to him, he motioned Timmy to sit.

“What ya think you’re doing, old man? I don’t need your help.”

“I want to hear your story. You do have one?” The young man’s chin rested on his chest.

“Why should ya care? Nobody else does.”

“I care because Someone cares for me. Now, it’s your turn.” Tears welled in the young man’s eyes. “Are you hungry? Okay. Come home with us. I can fill your belly and I know Someone who can fill your heart.”

Kingdom Thinking. I was once that person who sat on the steps, desperate, hungry for the truth. Then the Lord Jesus came, sat by me, offered rest. He replaced my ill-fitting yoke of sin, bitterness, selfishness, and anger, with his shining yoke of love. A yoke that is forever mine. He promises His yoke is easy; His burden is light. Won’t you come? You have a standing invitation.






Thursday, July 27, 2017

A BOY AND HIS DOG - SEALED BY LOVE

In Ephesians 1:13-14, we read: “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”

“I heard the words ‘were sealed,’ but I don’t understand them.” Timmy tilted his head.

“I know. I see the question mark on your face.” Grandfather stared out the window. “Remember when we bought your puppy?”

“Uh huh. I got to hold Harley but we couldn’t bring him home. He still needed his mother.”

“Right. But we paid for him, trusted Mr. Jones to take care of him. He promised he would call us when Harley was ready to come home.” Grandfather quirked his left eyebrow. “How did you know which puppy was Harley? There were others.”

“Because I chose him. See the way his hair stands up on top of his head? None of the others were like him.” Grandfather chuckled.

“So you’re telling me Harley's special? You can pick him out of a litter of Boykin Spaniels?” Timmy grinned.

“I know he is mine.” Timmy picked up the pup. “I love him and he loves me.”

“Even when he chewed your baseball bat? And your new shoes? And when you have to feed him, be responsible for him?” Timmy held Harley close.

Smiling, Grandfather said, “Indeed he does love you and you love him. And that’s the way the Lord Jesus loves you. You fit in His arms.”

“The way Harley fits in my arms, Grandfather?”

Grandfather hugged Timmy--and Harley. “When we put our trust in the Lord Jesus and believe in Him, we’re sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. He’s our guarantee of our inheritance to come. We’re sealed by His love. We belong to Him.

“Did you hear that, Harley? We’re sealed by love.” Harley licked Timmy’s face.

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus paid for my inheritance and sealed me with His Holy Spirit. He Loves me with an everlasting love. He promises never to leave nor forsake me. He offers the same to you. Won’t you accept Him? He loves you.









Thursday, July 20, 2017

AMAZING!!!

In Romans 2: 8-9, we read: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is he gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

“Timmy,” Grandfather called. “How about lend me a hand.”

Timmy hopped off the tire swing. “Okay. What do you want me to do?”

Grandfather pointed to the six-foot log on the garden path. “I want to weigh the bottom wire of the fence with it. That’ll keep out the critters.”

Timmy tried to lift his end without Grandfather’s help. “Oof. It’s too heavy. Can we cut it in half? That’ll make it easier to carry.”

“Nope. This’ll work and take less time. No shortcuts. Let’s do this. On the count of three.”

“One, two, three.” Timmy counted. He lifted his end.

"There. That should do the trick.” Grandfather stepped back to check the fence. “The pegs against the log will keep it secure.”

“I thought it would be heavy,” Timmy said.

“Why would you think that?”

“I tried to lift it. I couldn’t budge it.”

Grandfather thought a minute. “When we try to do things without our Heavenly Father’s help, they’ll be too heavy every time. I’ll let you in on a secret. I carried the heavy part of the log.”

“Wait. Then what part did I carry?” Timmy tilted his head. “You really didn’t need me, did you?”

“I needed you because I love you. I let you carry one end of the log while I carried the weight of it--in the middle. The Lord Jesus carries the weight of the cross providing us the gift of salvation. Nothing we can do to help the Lord save us. He’s done it all.

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus died on the cross for me. He promises never to leave nor forsake me. He loves me with an everlasting love. He offers the same to you. His amazing Love. Won’t you come?

Thursday, July 13, 2017

COME

In Matthew 11:28-30, we read: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you shall fine rest for your souls.”


“Help. I’m falling.”

“Timmy. Look at me.”

Grandfather stretched his hand towards Timmy. “Easy. A little bit farther. Don’t look down.”

Timmy’s foot pushed against the log as he lounged for his grandfather. The log slipped, splashed into the water-filled ditch. But Grandfather caught Timmy in his arms, hugged him tight. Timmy looked over his shoulder, saw the log twisting and rolling in the current.

“I thought the log would be safe.” He looked at Grandfather. “I was scared.” Grandfather smiled.

“You’re safe now. Did that walk on the log prove something?”

“I wanted to see if I could do it.” He shivered. "It didn’t look bad from the other side but halfway out, I...”

“Maybe the Lord wants you to learn from this. Remember our verse this morning?” Timmy nodded.

“The ‘Come’ verse?”

“That’s the one. Our Lord Jesus is always there. Sometimes we think He’s there because we call Him. But He’s there because He loves us. He knows we like to think we’re strong and able to do...”

“Like me? When I thought I could walk across the ditch by myself?”

“Exactly. But He’s aways there. All you need to do is call on Him.”

Kingdom Thinking. Instead of Kingdom Thinking, many times I "world think." So I must choose to rest in the Lord Jesus, believe His promises--He’ll never leave nor forsake me and He loves me with an everlasting love. He waits for you to come to Him. Please come. Today.






Thursday, July 6, 2017

NO LONGER A SLAVE

In Galatians 4:6-7 we read: "And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”

“Grandfather, what’s an heir?” Timmy lowered the book in his hands.

Grandfather laid his paper on the footstool. “Well, an heir is one that inherits.” Timmy's forehead wrinkled. “Unless you’re referring to someone that pretends--puts on aires, or to the air we breathe?”

A giggling Timmy said. “You’re funny. I’m not talking about the stuff we breath or...”

Grandfather sobered. “All joking aside, becoming an heir is serious business. The responsibilities,  land, riches or debts, have now come into his possession. Taxes must be paid, transfer of titles--legal matters must be settled.” Timmy cocked his head.

“Once we become heirs, we take control of the inheritance. What happened in your book?”

“The young boy was separated from his father when their carriage overturned. Someone snatched him. Made him his slave. This happened a long time ago,” he explained. “For years he didn’t know who he really was. One day, he saw an older gentleman attacked by thieves, came to his rescue.

“The grateful man invited him to his home to reward him. He looked at the young man, asked him to look at a painting.

“‘That looks like me,' the slave said. ‘But I’ve never dressed like the man in the portrait.'

 “'That’s a portrait of me when I was your age. Who is your father?'

“‘I never knew my father. I’ve been a slave all my life.’

“'And my son was kidnapped at a young age. He has a birthmark on his forehead at his hairline.'
He smoothed back the young man’s hair. He gasped, then his eyes filled. 'Welcome home, son.’ And they lived happily ever after.” Grandfather smiled.

Kingdom Thinking. For years, I lived as a slave. Then The Lord Jesus came, paid my debts, set me free. Now I say, “Abba, Father!” An heir of God through Jesus Christ. He promises never to leave nor forsake me. He loves me with an everlasting love. He extends this invitation to you. Please come.















Tuesday, July 4, 2017

A GREAT FOURTH OF JULY


        We arrived in San Jose, Costa Rica, in January. Language school--studying a new language, new culture, new friends--could be overwhelming. Sometimes it would be nice to hear English spoken as first language.

        Then on July 4, we were invited to the United States Embassy in San Jose. As I stood there, a little jolt zipped through me--the joy similar to that of Frances Scott Keys when he saw the flag was still there? Old Glory flew proudly in the July breeze.

        Standing on a little piece of the United States felt--well, almost like home. Hot dogs, hamburgers, and all the trimmings were served. A glorious day to remember.

        When I accepted the invitation to be a part of the family of God, I felt a teensy bit of what Eternity will be like--with loved ones and friends. But all that fades in comparison to the Glory of the Lord Jesus and His Love for me. A most glorious day to look forward to. Because He lives and loves me, I, too, share the invitation with you! Celebrate!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

SAFE

In Nahum 1:7, we read: “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him.”

“Thanks for letting me camp with Timmy, Mr. Knight.” Sam dropped his sleeping bag on the porch.

Grandfather chuckled. "Timmy couldn’t wait to get started this morning. He’s out there now.”

Grandfather watched the boys work. They built a fire pit, circled it with stones, cleaned the area for their sleeping bags, and stacked wood for the fire. Grandfather glanced at the kitchen bulletin board.

A typed sheet of paper--Safety Rules for Camping--was thumb-tacked to the board.
      No. 1. Be prepared. Listed under it were the utensils and supplies needed.
      No. 2. Be safe. Never leave the campfire unattended, watch for changes in weather, etc.
      No. 3  Expect the unexpected. Have extra batteries for flashlights, safety kit...
      No. 4  Don’t panic!

In the late afternoon, Grandfather called. “Ready for dinner?”

Timmy and Sam helped carry the food to the campsite. Hot dogs with the trimmings, baked beans, and marshmallows to roast.

“Wow. This looks good.” Later, the food consumed, they held their long skewers over the fire, toasting the last of the marshmallows.

“Uh-oh,” Timmy’s marshmallow blazed. He jerked it from the coals. It flipped, landed on the kindling. The sticky mess stuck, the wood flamed.

Grandfather dumped his water on the wood, separated it, covered the smoldering embers with dirt. "Rule No. 4. Don’t panic.”

“It happened so fast, I forgot the rule.” Timmy hiccuped. “ I’m glad you were here.”

“I am, too, Timmy. You need to know who's your stronghold. No matter if it’s an accident like a flying flaming marshmallow or a roaring fire set to destroy you. We can trust in the Lord.”

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus is my stronghold in my day of trouble. He promises never to leave nor forsake me. He loves me with an everlasting love. He will be your stronghold, too. Won’t you come to Him?



Thursday, June 22, 2017

TERROR IN THE NIGHT

In Zephaniah 3:17, we read: “The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”

“Grandfather.” Timmy tugged on Grandfather’s pajama sleeve. “Something awful is outside my window.”

“What?” Grandfather slung his legs over his bed, grabbed his robe. “Did you see it?” Timmy shook his head.

“Listen,” Timmy stopped, grabbed Grandfather’s hand as a spooky harsh trill pierced the silence. “What is it, Grandfather? I thought it was a bad dream but when I woke up, I heard it again.”

“Hand me your flashlight, Timmy.” He walked to the window in Timmy’s room, stood quietly.

When the mysterious noise sounded, Grandfather flashed his light into the night. Perched on a tree limb sat an Eastern Screech Owl.

“Cute little fellow, isn’t he?” Grandfather put his arm around his grandson. “He won’t hurt you. He’s perched on this limb near the streetlight waiting for his supper.” Just then, the owl swooped down, picked up a rodent, flew away.

“Wow. He didn’t make a sound when he flew. But he sure can make a racket when he talks!”

Grandfather chuckled. “That little owl jerked you from a deep sleep, Timmy. Our enemy does that many times in our life. When that happens, run to the Lord. He is The Mighty One. He rejoices when you come to Him. He will quiet your fear with His Love--”

“Like you did, Grandfather? With your light, the screech owl was kind of cute, not scary.”

Grandfather smiled, put his arm around Timmy. “Right. Now how about a cup of hot chocolate before  we head back to bed?” Timmy nodded, headed for the kitchen.

Kingdom Thinking. No matter what is happening in my life, I have to remember I am not alone. The Lord has promised never to leave nor forsake me. He loves me with an everlasting love. His love  brings quiet to my heart. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come to Him?


Thursday, June 15, 2017

IDENTIFY THE ENEMY

In Genesis 3:1, we read: “Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast in the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, ‘Has God indeed said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?’”


“Stop, Timmy. Don’t move.” Grandfather crept up to the pile of pine straw against an old log on the path, inspected the snake coiled there. Red, black, and yellow bands. He looked closer, sighed with relief.

“You can move, son. It's a Scarlet King snake, not a Coral snake. It’s not poisonous.”

“Are you sure? How can you tell one from the other?” He cast a worried look Grandfather’s way.

“An old poem helps. ‘Red on yellow can kill a fellow, red on black is safe for Jack.”

“Grandfather, what if I can’t remember the poem? I-I froze. I stared at the snake and he stared at me.”

Grandfather chuckled. “One thing for sure. You need to be able to identify the enemy. Three snakes in our area are banded with similar colors--the Scarlet King snake, the Scarlet snake and the Coral snake. Only the Coral snake is poisonous.”

“It. It really sc-ared me,” Timmy hiccuped.

“Good. We need to fear the enemy. His bite is deadly. But, not if you receive antivenom.” Timmy’s forehead furrowed. “Antivenom is made from the venom of the snake. Antibodies develop. If a venomous snake bites us, the antivenom neutralizes the poison.”

“The venom doesn’t kill us?” Grandfather shook his head.

“Not if we take the antivenom.” Grandfather tilted his head. “The Lord Jesus took the bite of death for us, Timmy. He chose to have the antivenom created in His body by dying on the cross so when we come to Him with the bite of death, His blood gives us life. He is the only One with the antivenom.”

Kingdom Thinking. I stand amazed the Lord Jesus took the bite of death for me. So by Him, the antivenom is available to anyone who receives it. He loves me with an everlasting love. He promises never to leave me nor forsake me. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come and receive Him?










Thursday, June 8, 2017

HOLD YOUR BREATH!

In 1 John 5:14-15, we read: “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hear us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”


“Grandfather.” A hoarse voice jerked him out of a sound sleep. Awake, he realized the barking raspy cough came from Timmy’s room. Croup. Grandfather turned on the hot water in the shower,  hurried to Timmy’s bedside.

Timmy sat up in his bed, head against his bed pillows, the cough increasing in intensity. “Your medicine, son. Open wide.” Grandfather spooned in the pink liquid between coughing spasms. “Let’s get you into the bathroom--let the steam soothe your throat.”

As the medicine and the steam treatment took effect, Timmy looked at Grandfather, his eyes shimmering with tears. He swiped at them with his pajama sleeve. “Dinner’s out for tomorrow? I wanted to see my cousins.” He hiccuped.

“One thing I know, without a doubt. The Lord answers prayer.”  He gathered Timmy in his arms. As he prayed for this precious grandson, he relaxed, fell asleep, breathing easily. Grandfather laid his head on the pillows, tucked the covers around him.

“Thank you, Heavenly Father.”

The next morning after breakfast, Timmy announced. “I’m ready.” He zipped his jacket. “Come on, Grandfather. Let’s be first to arrive.” Grandfather smiled, grabbed his coat and truck keys.

The late November weather, ushered in a promise of rain, ominous clouds swirling. The wind tugged at Grandfather’s hat. “Timmy,” he said, snapped his mouth shut. I’m sorry, Lord, for almost voicing negative thoughts. 

“Yes, Grandfather.” Timmy fastened his seat belt.

“You’re looking mighty fine this morning. Feeling well?”

“Yessir.” He drew in a deep breath. “Don’t have to hold my breath today.”

Kingdom Thinking. I have confidence in Him, the Lord Jesus, because He promises never to leave nor forsake me. He loves me with an everlasting love. I don’t have to hold my breath or wonder if He cares. He wants you to have confidence in Him. Won’t you come?



Thursday, June 1, 2017

A LITTLE CHILD LEADS


In Matthew 19:13-14, we read, “Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.’”


The flight landed at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia, ahead of schedule. Timmy watched the passengers deplane. The stewardess stopped by Grandfather’s seat.

“Your flight won’t be called for another thirty minutes, sufficient time for the two of you to enjoy a snack. You’ll get to stretch your legs, too.”

“Thank you,” Grandfather said. “How about a snack, Timmy?” His grin affirmed the great idea.

A few minutes later, they stood on the concourse. “There, across the way. Let’s head over, get a bite in that small restaurant.”

Timmy scooted into a booth for two. “What would you like?” Grandfather said.

“Give him a beer,” a gravely voice called out.

“I’d like a Sprite and a hot dog, please, with catsup,” Timmy said, ignoring the voice. Grandfather nodded, gave their orders. At the pick-up line, he retrieved their food, then spread it on the table.

“Can I have the blessing?” Timmy asked.

“Of course.” Grandfather bowed his head.

“The Lord is good to me and so I praise the Lord. For giving me the things I need. The sun and the rain and the apple seed. The Lord is good to me. Amen,” Timmy sang. He lifted his head, a pleased expression on his face.

In the deafening silence, Grandfather looked around. At the bar, heads bowed with hats off. “Hmm. Takes a little child, with a loud voice, to bring quiet to this place.”

Kingdom Thinking.  Many times I’ve tried to prove the Lord lives. But actions speak louder than words. The Lord Jesus promises He will never leave nor forsake me when people yell or try to discourage me. He loves me with an everlasting love. He says, “Come to Me.” The invitation includes you. Won’t you come?








Thursday, May 25, 2017

THE HEIR



In Galatians 4:l-2, we read: “Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father.”


“But, I’ll be careful with your coin collection.” He glanced at his grandfather. "You said it will be mine someday.”

“You’re right, Timmy. It will be yours but not today.”

A dipped head, a frown. “I don’t see why not.” Timmy stomped outside to the back porch.

“Hmm.” Grandfather put the coin box away, selected another box similar in size and shape, substituted it for the original. He closed the cabinet door, went into the kitchen.

“Want to go with me, Timmy?” He called. "I have grapes to deliver.”

“No Sir. I’ll wait for you here.” Timmy watched Grandfather go next door, then slipped into the study. I want hurt the coins. I’ll be careful and Grandfather will never know. He lifted the box from the cabinet, carried it up to his room, closed the door.

“Wow. He picked up one coin at the time, admiring it, lining it up on his bed. He turned the last coin over to check the flip side. It slipped from his fingers, rolled across the floor. “Whew, that was close.” He picked it up.

“Timmy?” Grandfather stood at the door. Timmy gasped, dropped the coin. It fell against the wall, slipped behind the baseboard.

“I’m sorry, Grandfather.” Tears pooled in his eyes. “Please forgive me.”

“Of course I forgive you. I love you, son. These coins, an early birthday gift today, will have to wait.”

Timmy nodded. "But you still love me?” Timmy hugged Grandfather, looked up at him. “I can wait.”

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus promises never to leave nor forsake me. He knows I need guidance and when I'm ready to accept responsibility. He loves me with an everlasting love. He loves you, too. Won’t you come to Him?









Thursday, May 18, 2017

THE TUTOR


In Galatians 3:24-25, we read: “Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.”

“Understand?” Grandfather asked. Timmy shook his head, a puzzled look on his face.

“Our family lived in the country,” Grandfather said. “The nearest school, twenty miles away, made attending impossible. Father worked from sunup to sundown and Mother was ill at the time.”

“Wow, Grandfather. So how did you learn?”

“One evening, Father answered the door. 'Jim Andrews. You’re a sight for sore eyes. Come in.’ They were roommates at The College of Charleston.

“‘I heard you might need my help,’ Mr. Jim said.  ‘Especially with these rascals.' He ruffled my hair, then my brothers. He agreed to be our tutor.”

“Did you like him? What did he make you do?” Grandfather held up his hand.

“Mr. Jim instructed us from books but, he taught us to love nature and respect it.  He kept a tight reign on us to protect us. Especially after Michael wandered off after being told to wait for him on the back porch.

“Michael,” we called. “No answer. Everybody searched for my six year-old brother. Inside the house and outside. We were scared.  As I ran down the path to the river, I head a voice. ‘He-ooo.’ Michael’s special call. I found him standing in a small stream. grinning.

"‘Look at me. I’m fishing,’ he grinned.

“His grin disappeared when Mr. Jim ran, grabbed him. Several yards away, an alligator swam towards them. Mr. Jim put him down on the path, swatted his bottom all the way home.” Grandfather chuckled, Timmy laughed.

“Did Mr. Jim stay with you a long time?”

Grandfather nodded. “For a year, then he helped to build a school near us where he taught. That story of Michael reminds me of the tutor in Galatians. The law, our tutor, brings us to the Lord Jesus. The law protects us...”

“Like Mr. Jim did.” Grandfather nodded.

“But when we give our lives to Christ, the Lord justifies us, lives in us and through us. That doesn’t mean the law is useless, but our tutor has done his job.”

Kingdom Thinking. Even now, I have to remind myself the law brought me to the Lord Jesus. Now He teaches me all things. He promises never to leave nor forsake me. He loves me with an everlasting love. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come to Him by faith?








Thursday, May 11, 2017

AWWW, LITTLE ONE


In Matthew 18:12-14, we read: “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go the mountains to seek the one that is straying? And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that do not go astray.”

“Grandfather, I can’t find Beau. Can you help me?”

“When did you see him last? He’s only two months old. Probably asleep somewhere. Did you look in his bed in the kitchen?”

“Yessir. I called him and called him. Do you think someone took him? Or maybe he’s hurt or--”

“Don’t panic, Timmy. We’ll find him. Surely a three month old Boykin Spaniel can’t escape.”

“But he’s so small, Grandfather. He ate a good breakfast...”

“I’ll say. If he eats that much every day we’ll call him, Roly Poly.”Grandfather chuckled as they walked into Timmy’s room.


“Why are your clothes on the floor? I thought you put them in the clothes hamper.” Timmy dipped his head.

“I’m sorry. I forgot...but I’ll do it right now.” He lifted his dirty jeans. Curled up, fast asleep, lay a brown ball of fur. “Beau.” The puppy raised his head, blinked, and stretched. Timmy lifted him, held him close.

“Oh, Beau. You’re safe.” Grandfather watched as Timmy plopped down in the pile of clothes, hugging his puppy.

“You show me lessons every day,” Grandfather said. Timmy cocked his head. “Jesus told about one sheep that wandered away. The shepherd left the other ninety-nine to look for his lost sheep and when he found him, he rejoiced. He brought his sheep home on his shoulders.

“Now you know a little of how the Lord feels when one of His lambs is found.” Timmy nodded, hugged Beau close, murmuring to him. Buddy licked him in the face.

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus seeks you.  He’ll pick you up in His arms and bring you to safety. He loves you with an everlasting love. He’ll never leave nor forsake you. Won’t you come?






Thursday, May 4, 2017

SHINE LIGHT, SHINE


in Luke 11:33, we read: “No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light.”


“The storm knocked out our electricity, Grandfather. Do you have the candles?”

“They’re in the drawer in the kitchen. I’ll get them.” A flash of lightning illuminated his way.

 A scratch of the match and a candle flamed. “Put this candle in the candlestick for me.”

“Yessir,” Timmy grabbed the candle. It sputtered, went out.

“No problem.” Grandfather lit another, handed it to Timmy. “Carefull. Not so fast this time.

“Tell you what, Timmy. Let’s put these candles under a flower pot.”

“But Grandfather, if we hide them, we’ll be in the dark.” He shivered. “I’d rather have light.”

“Bright fellow.” He chuckled. "Light gives us life, Timmy. It also gives us hope. In the early days of Israel, the lamp burned during the night. The clay lamp, filled with olive oil gave light, chased away the darkness.The light also let folks know the family was home.”

“Like the night light in my room?” Timmy said. Grandfather nodded. “I feel safe with it on.”

“The most important light is the Lord Jesus, Timmy. When you asked Him into your life, He brought light because He is Light. His light shines through you.”

Timmy frowned. “All the time? When I do bad things?”

Grandfather smiled. “Sometimes, you close the blinds and don’t let the light shine through but He’ll never leave. He’s a Gentleman and will never force you to do something against your will.”

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus, the Light of the world, offers His love to you. He promises never to leave nor forsake you. Would you like to walk in the Light? He offers it to you so you can let His Light shine through you.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

WHAT? NO CONDEMNATION?


In Romans 8:1-2, we read: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ has made me free from the law of sin and death.


“Thanks for helping me cut the sugarcane, Timmy. We’ll sample it when we get back from the grocery store. Wait for me in the kitchen while I get my wallet and keys.”

“Yes, Grandfather.” Timmy listened to Grandfather’s steps on the stairs fade as he went to his room. The sugarcane glistened in the sunlight on the kitchen table. His mouth watered, thinking of the juicy sweetness. No one’ll know if I cut a tiny piece.


“How hard can this be?” He held the cane in a vertical position. His tongue poked out the side of his mouth as he sliced the sheath with the kitchen knife. “Piece of cake.” He rotated the cane to slice the next section, lost his grip. The knife sliced the tip of his thumb.

Realization and pain collided. Blood spurted.

“Grandfather. Help me. I’m so sorry,” he yelled. Tears streaked his face. “My thumb. My thumb. Stick it back on.”

 Grandfather wrapped the thumb. “Hold this tight.” He grabbed his car keys. "I’ll get you to the Emergency Room.”
“That should do it,” Doctor Black said, as he snipped the tape, covered the bandage. “Keep your hand elevated to help with the throbbing. Here's a prescription for pain.” He handed it to Grandfather.

Back at home, Timmy asked. “Are you mad with me, Grandfather? I disobeyed you. Will you punish me?” His voice choked on his tears. "Do you still love me?”

“Nothing can stop my love for you, Timmy. I’m sorry you didn’t obey but I don’t need to punish you. You’ve punished yourself.” He was quiet a minute. “God’s love is like this.” Timmy looked at him. “When we give our life to Jesus, all of our sins are nailed to the cross. From that time on, He is in the process of cleaning us up. You cut your finger but you couldn’t fix it, right?” Timmy nodded. “Dr. Black did.”

“I’m never going to disobey again, Grandfather. And you know what?” Chuckling, Grandfather shook his head. “I’m going to love you forever!”

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus promises never to leave nor forsake us. He loves us with an everlasting love...a love with no condemnation. Would you like that kind of love? He offers it to you.



Thursday, April 20, 2017

THE DIFFICULTY OF TRUSTING


In Isaiah 26:3, we read: “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.”


“Grandfather, how can you sit and read in this storm?” Grandfather put his book down. Lighting flashed. The lights flickered, brightened. Thunder rumbled, rattling the windows.

“Timmy. Look at this. He opened his Bible. A picture of a mother bird on her nest. Lightning slashed the sky, rain pelted the leaves around her. Head tucked under her wing, she slept.

“Why do you think she can sleep through the storm?”


“Her nest doesn’t look safe.” Timmy examined the picture. “I don’t understand,” he said.

“It’s all about trust. She trusts her nest is secure and she’ll be able to protect her chicks.”

“But Grandfather, how if the nest falls?”

“She trusts it won’t.”

“But how if lightning strikes the tree? How if...?” Grandfather held up his hand.

“Trusting is difficult. Impossible, really.” Timmy stared at Grandfather. “Unless you realize the ‘love factor,’” Grandfather said.

“The ‘love factor?’” Timmy tilted is head.

“Before you could swim, you’d climb to the top of the slide in the deep end of the swimming pool. ‘Come to me, Timmy, I’ll catch you,’ I’d yell. You’d slide down and with you in my arms, we’d go under and come up laughing. Remember?”

“I knew you would catch me, Grandfather.” Grandfather nodded.

 “You trusted me. Our Lord’s more trustworthy than I am. He’ll catch you, son. Trust Him.”

Kingdom Thinking. When I have trouble trusting my Lord, I remember what He says in His word. He promises never to leave nor forsake me. He loves me with an everlasting love. He catches me. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come to Him? He’ll catch you in His Arms.





Thursday, April 13, 2017

FINISHED!

In John 19:30, we read: “So when Jesus received the sour wine, He said, ‘It is finished!’ And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.”


“Grandfather, you look like the man in the painting.” He pointed to the portrait over the mantel.


Grandfather nodded. “So I’ve been told. But this painting is of my great grandfather. See the different style of clothes? I’m happy I didn’t have to wear that stiff collar. Must have been awful.” Grandfather chuckled.

“Your hair and eyes are like his. But you don’t have a beard.”

“We know the painting is of my great grandfather, but who is the artist?”

“Does it matter?” Timmy asked.

“Yes. How if the artist didn’t like my great grandfather and changed the shape of his nose or the color of his eyes?” Grandfather raised his left eyebrow.

“I’ll get my magnifying glass.” Timmy stood on a stool, checked. “No signature.”

Grandfather removed the portrait. Great grandfather’s name, date of birth, and date of death were neatly written.  Michael Joseph Blackwell, b 13 April 1839, d  27 October 1897.

“How will we know for sure?” Timmy said.

“Family records. We’ll check them. Also we can check the census records.”

“The Lord Jesus did the same for us, Timmy. He said, ‘It is finished.’ He completed the work, our life picture, necessary for us to be in His family. He did it all. For me. For you. His signature? His nail scarred hands. Will be forever so we’ll know He paid the price.

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus went to the cross for me. He paid for my sins with His shed blood. He did the same for you. He loves you and promises never to leave nor forsake you. Won’t you come to Him?






Thursday, April 6, 2017

A NEW PERSON


In 2 Corinthians 5:17, we read: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”


“Listen to this, Timmy.” Grandfather held the letter. “Your Aunt Marilyn is coming for a visit. She wants us to get to know the twins, Letty and Betty.”

“When are they coming?”

“Day after tomorrow.” Grandfather put the letter aside, stood. “We’ve got a lot to do. Need to go to the grocery story--and,” he looked around at the living room. “Better get this place cleaned up, too.”

“Wonder what they’re like. Will I get to play with them? How old are they?”

Palm up, Grandfather said, “Whoa. They’re six months old. I’m sure you’ll get to play with them.”

Finally, Aunt Marilyn arrived with Letty and Betty. As they helped  unload the car, Timmy asked. “Why do you need so much stuff, Aunt Marilyn?” She smiled.

“I never know what they’ll need so I bring everything.” She turned to Timmy. “I need your help, Timmy. You’re like their big brother. You make sure they don’t get into trouble or get hurt.”

Timmy nodded. “Sounds easy. They’re babies.” That evening, Timmy leaned against the sofa. “I didn’t know the twins could get into so much trouble. They have a lot of energy.” He sighed.

“They need protection and guidance, Timmy.” Grandfather said. “Like we do when we come to the Lord Jesus. In Christ, we are a new creation--a newborn in the Lord.  And like the twins, we need guidance and protection. We get into a lot of trouble if left to ourselves.

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus provides us with friends, mentors, but especially His Word. He promises never to leave nor forsake us. He loves us with an everlasting love. He offers the same to you. Won’t you come?

Thursday, March 30, 2017

FORGIVE HIM? AGAIN?


In Matthew 18:21-22, we read: “Then Peter came to Him and said, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.’”

“I’m not playing with Sam again, Grandfather.” Timmy stomped into the kitchen, dropped his catcher’s mitt on the chair.

Grandfather turned from the sink. “Want to tell me about it?”

“First, he said I was a lousy catcher. Second, he said...”

“Sam's always wrong?” Timmy’s chin tipped up. He nodded.

“Hard to be in the wrong all the time.”

“Grandfather, he took my bike without asking.” Grandfather nodded. “And Mrs Simpson blamed me for riding through her flowers when he did it with my bike. And...”

“I know. Now. Decide. Fume, fuss, or take action.”

“Action,” Timmy pumped his fist in the air.

Eyebrows raised, Timmy watched Grandfather turn, place the plunger over the drain in the kitchen sink. “Have to push really hard to get a vacuum.” He released the plunger.

“Yuck,” Timmy stepped back. “That stuff’s awful.”

Grandfather chuckled. “Looks like some kind of monster, doesn’t it? A time or two more will open the drain.” At last, with the spigot wide open, water swirled down the drain.

“We’re like this drain, Timmy. We ask forgiveness so the Lord Jesus can wash us clean. That keeps us from holding on to things that can clog our line...our prayer line to the Lord. If we don’t forgive, we end up like this clogged sink--pretty yucky.”

“Grandfather, will you make an extra peanut butter sandwich for Sam? I’ll be right back.” Grandfather nodded, smiled.

Kingdom Thinking.  I’ve learned that stuff in my life can hinder my relationship with the Lord Jesus. He promises never to leave nor forsake me. He loves me with an everlasting love. He does the cleaning when I can’t. Won’t you come to Him? He loves you.






















Thursday, March 23, 2017

THE GARDENER




In Romans 8:1-2, we read: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”


“Timmy, I need your help.”

“Where are you, Grandfather? I hear you but I can’t see you.”

“Over here. Behind the camellias.” Grandfather chuckled. He stood up, lifted his pruners.

“We need to remove these vines or they'll choke the camellias.”

“They look okay to me.”

“That’s the problem, Timmy. These camellias look strong and healthy but if not tended, they’ll be covered with the vines.” He pointed to a smilax vine that innocently hung to the camellia, held the vine for Timmy to inspect.

 “These tiny tentacles grab on. As the camellia grows, they tighten and damage the plant. The beautiful plants can’t tend themselves. They depend on me.”

“What do you want me to do, Grandfather?

“You clip the vines. I’ll dig the vine’s roots.” Grandfather paused. “Sort of like us.” Timmy’s head swiveled. “Do you think the camellia’s condemned because the vine attaches itself to it?”

“No. It’s not the camellia’s fault, is it?”

Grandfather shook his head. “When The Lord transplants us into His garden, He's the caretaker. He cuts away the sin in our lives. But we have to be His. We have to agree we need a caretaker and depend on Him. Then He makes us free from the law of sin and death with the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus.

Kingdom Thinking. Once I lived in a garden out of control. Then the Lord Jesus came. He invited me to live in His garden. I agreed. He tenderly transplanted me, tending me, clipping away the tendrils that choked and blinded me. He promises never to leave nor forsake me. He loves me. Would you like to live in His garden? The gate is open. Won’t you come in?















Thursday, March 16, 2017

HOLD FAST



In Hebrews 10:23, we read: “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.”


“Timmy, I need your help with this.”

“With what, Grandfather?”

“I have to stake this young tree. See here? It’s bending and needs support.”

Timmy walked over to the tree. “Why’s it bent?”

“Could be many things. Large shrubs crowding it, taking the light. Or maybe a storm crippled it. Whatever the cause, it needs support to grow straight and tall.”

“I’ll hold the stake while you tie the guy wire, Grandfather.”

“Thank you. There. That’ll hold it for a while. We’ll check from time to time to make sure the tree gets the right amount of support.”

“It’ll grow straight and tall?”

“If it gets the right support and nourishment, it’ll do fine. Like you, Timmy.”

“Me?” Timmy’s voice squeaked surprise.

Grandfather nodded. “You’re a special little tree that the Lord gave to me. I help you to learn and choose the right way. Storms come in our lives. Some big, some not so big. We may lose someone we love or maybe choose the wrong way. But if we hold on to Jesus who is our Hope, He’s our stake. He doesn’t move and He is faithful.”

“How about the guy wire?”

“The guy wire is like the Holy Spirit that holds us. Wouldn’t do much good for the stake to have no connection to the tree, would it?” Timmy shook his head.

Kingdom Thinking. I have a tendency to bend or turn away from the Lord. Not intentionally. But the Lord Jesus in His loving way, tells me to hold fast to Him. He promises never to leave nor forsake me and He loves me with an everlasting love. He offers the same to you. Won’t you choose Him?





Thursday, March 9, 2017

THE ROSE



In Isaiah 35:1, we read: “The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, Even with joy and singing.”


“A Cherokee Rose. On the side of the road.”

“You’re right, Cing. Your grandmother'll love it. It grows wild in the South Carolina Lowcountry. Beautiful, isn’t it?” Grandfather dug a small root of the rose. A gift for Grandmother.

“Ouch! It’s beautiful but these briars hurt.”

Grandfather chuckled. “Careful. Even with these gloves, I feel them.”

Back at home, Grandfather selected a spot beside the garden shed, an oak tree nearby. “Let’s get this rose planted. Hold it steady.”

“Will it bloom soon?”

“Hope so. We’ll tend it, give it plenty of TLC.”

Years passed. Healthy leaves. No blooms. Until a hurricane hit the lowcountry. Several trees fell due to the high winds. Still the rose clung to the oak tree by the shed.


The following spring, Cing called. “Grandfather, come quick. You’re not going to believe this.”

She ran ahead of Grandfather to the garden shed. “Look.”

On the edge of the garden shed, entwined in the oak limbs, the Cherokee Rose bloomed.

“Beautiful. Let’s get your grandmother.”

“Amazing beauty.” Grandfather looked at the space created from some of the downed trees. “Now enough sun shines through to nourish it properly.”

Kingdom Thinking. When storms come, I look at the damage and clean-up. But at times, the storms bring changes that let the light shine in. Changes that allow me to see the Lord Jesus loves me with an everlasting love. He promises never to leave nor forsake me. Especially in the storms of life. He promises the same to you. Won’t you come to Him? He loves you.









Thursday, March 2, 2017

TREES


In Luke 6:43-44, we read: ”For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush.”


"Why do you want this one, Grandfather?"

"This tag lets me know this is a Pink Lady Apple tree."

“But this one is larger. It’ll grow faster.” Timmy pointed.

“If you read the tag, Timmy, you'll see that's a pear tree. They look similar now but they'll have different fruit. Would you rather eat a Pink Lady or a pear?"

"Pink Lady. And Gram make pies with them, too. How long before apples will grow on this one?"

"At few years. But they'll be worth waiting for." Grandfather turned to Timmy. "Kind of like people."

“What do you mean, Grandfather?"


"You'd never expect to find pears on this apple tree, would you?"

"No way." Timmy chuckled.

"But we expect people who don't know Jesus to act like they know Him. Like hoping for apples to grow on a pear tree. Or they may be young Christians, not bearing fruit yet.“

“Like our new apple tree? Has to grow first?”

“Exactly,” Grandfather said.

Kingdom Thinking. Too many times in my life I’ve expected someone to act a certain way because that’s the comfortable way for me. One thing I do know--the Lord Jesus plants the orchard of life and He is able to do marvelous things in His orchard. He, not men, knows exactly what I need to turn to Him. Sometimes, brambles and thorns.

 The Lord Jesus loves me with an everlasting love. He promises never to leave nor forsake me. He offers the same to you. Won't you come to Him? He is waiting.











Thursday, February 16, 2017

TWO KINDS OF EYES

In Matthew 9:28-30a, we read: “And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, ‘Do you believe that I am able to do this?’ They said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord.’ Then He touched their eyes, saying, ‘According to your faith let it be to you.’ And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, saying, ‘See that no one knows it.’”

“Grandfather, did the Lord Jesus really touch them? And they could see?”

“He did.”

"But, Grandfather. If they were blind, how did they know the Lord passed by them?”

"Maybe they realized they needed new eyes." Timmy tilted his head.

“Why didn't He give them new eyes? He knew they needed them. I don't understand."

"Remember the morning you knotted up the cord to your kite?" Timmy nodded. "I watched and the more you tried, the more tangled--let's just say it was a mess." Grandfather chuckled. Timmy nodded.

"Finally I asked you for help. And. And you said, ‘Do you really want my help?'"

"That's right. You had to want my help and believe I could untangle the cord. Then you gave it to me, showed your faith in me.

“The Lord Jesus wants us to trust Him, to believe in Him. When the blind men said they believed, He touched their eyes, said, 'According to your faith let it be to you.' And you know what?" Timmy shook his head.

"They eyes were opened. They could see. Can you imagine? Blind one minute and seeing the next. Then He warned them to tell no one about this."

"Why?"

“Our Lord loves us and wants us to come to Him, not for what we can get from Him,” Grandfather’s uplifted palm stopped Timmy’s question. "But that our faith in Him can grow. He wants us to love Him and share His Love."

Kingdom Thinking. My eyes although open couldn’t see the important things in life. Then the Lord Jesus came. He touched me and allowed me to see that He loves even me and He promises never to leave nor forsake me. He offers the same to you. “According to your faith, let it be to you.” Won’t you come to Him?






Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A VALENTINE WISH FOR YOU

THE BOX OF VALENTINE CANDY

In 2 Timothy1:6-7, we read: “Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

“Teacher, there’s a man at the door.” She saw him standing there, grinning like a Cheshire cat through the glass in the door.

As she headed for the door, face flushed with embarrassment, he held up a large heart-shaped box of candy, a fancy red rose perched on top.

The eighth-grade science class took his cue, clapping, laughing as they sing-songed: “Teacher has a boy friend.” She managed to open the door, invite him in, and introduce him to the class. The class quieted, enthralled with one of his escapades of near death while flying his F-86 fighter jet.

My life-box of Valentine candy contains all shapes and sizes, mostly “oops.” (“Oops”—imperfect pieces of candy or discards at the candy factory but taste good.) The Lord Jesus gave me the heart-shaped box to store my oops and to share them to His Glory.

Many times, I have been stirred up for wrong. Anger, fear, disappointment. The “what if’s” that bring indecision and heartache. But our Lord Jesus reminds me through the Apostle Paul I need to stir up the gift God has given me. The gift of power and of love and of a sound mind. Godly gifts that enable me to trust in the Lord Jesus and not in myself.


Kingdom Thinking. You can receive the spirit of power and of love and a sound mind no matter the number of oops in your life box of candy. Admit your need for a Savior, and ask the Lord Jesus to come into your life. He loves you and will never leave you. Won’t you come?

Thursday, February 9, 2017

YOUNG AND RICH

In Luke18:1818-20A, 22-23, we read: “Now a certain ruler asked Him, saying, ‘Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ So Jesus said to him, ‘You know the commandments. And he said, ‘All these things I have kept from my youth.’” 
‘I’ve heard this story before, Grandfather. Read me an exciting one--like David and his mighty men.” He looked at Grandfather. “Okay, I’ll listen.” Timmy sat on the stool by Grandfather’s chair, chin propped on his hand.
“A young man came to Jesus, asked how to inherit eternal life. The Lord Jesus looked at him, said, 'You know the commandments.'

“'I’ve kept all those since I was young,' the young man said.” Timmy sat straight, cocked his head.

“'Sell everything you have, give it to the poor, and follow me.’ And you know what?” Timmy shook his head. “He left. He couldn’t do it for he was very rich.”

“He was selfish.”

“No more than you or me, Timmy.”

“If I had a lot of money, I’d give to the Lord.”

“How much money do you have, Timmy?”

“Not much. Uh, I spent it on a new baseball bat.”

“No problem. Give away your new bat."

“Oh, no, Grandfather, it’s my favorite.” Timmy looked at Grandfather. “Money was the young man’s favorite?” Grandfather smiled, nodded.

“It’s wrong to be rich or have toys?”

“No, Timmy. But we must be careful our love for things isn't more powerful than our love for the Lord. He gives us all things--to be shared with others. Then we're truly rich.”

Kingdom Thinking. The Lord Jesus knows my heart and loves me anyway. He knows the things I value and put before Him and He's in the process of showing me what’s important in the Kingdom. He wants to do the same for you. He loves you and will never leave you. Won’t you come to Him?