Throne or Wooden Bench?

Jesus Warns Everyone Who Wants to Follow Him To Do This First

The Hungarians call European no-frills airlines “wooden bench” airlines.

In the last decade, many U.S. airlines have also become "wooden bench," and luggage costs have drastically increased.

When we fly, we start our journey by packing carefully. We want to avoid the costly penalties for overweight suitcases. 

We “count the cost.”

In Luke 14:28-33, Jesus warns seekers to count the cost before starting their journey with Him. And He concludes by saying that anyone who does not give up everything cannot be His disciple. 

Jesus gives us redemption, renewal and eternal life, but He asks for our lives in return. We come out way ahead in that exchange, but we still must count the cost before making the commitment.

Sometimes those of us who've already followed Jesus need to ask if we’re living up to our end of the bargain. Does Christ have the throne in our lives or only a wooden bench? 
You also might enjoy Why Following Christ Will Never Make Us Popular

Jesus Warns Everyone Who Wants to Follow Him To Do This First

"Antique" Thoughts About Treasure

"Antique" Thoughts About Treasure

I love antique shops. Walking through them can be a real "treasure hunt." 

They bring so many questions to mind:

Who once owned this item?

What adventures, sorrows, joys, tragedies, and miracles did the owner experience during his lifetime on earth?

What would this person from another century tell me about life and death and treasure if he could speak?

Did he place the wrong "price tags" on areas of his life?

Is he now safe at home with Jesus enjoying true treasure?

Yes, I love antique shops...they are full of history and mystery and good questions. 

They give me opportunity to ponder the true meaning of "treasure." 

How many earthly treasures have I overpriced? How many heavenly treasures have I forfeited?

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21

Do I remember that I brought nothing into the world and can take nothing out of it (1 Timothy 6:7)?

Am I focused on being rich in good deeds and generously sharing the earthly treasures God has given me (1 Timothy 6:17-19)?

It's good for me to ponder these questions. How about you?

"Antique" Thoughts About Treasure

Seasoned With Salt

2 Essential Elements of Christian conversation found in Colossians 4:6

Colossians 4:6 is a one-sentence guide to Christian speech.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

Christ brought the comfort of grace and the "salt" of truth (John 1:17). That's why our words should be gracious, wholesome, and kind (Ephesians 4:29) and sprinkled with "salty" truth. 

"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot." Matthew 5:13

How do we add the salt?

When we’re given opportunity (Colossians 4:5), we let people know that we pray, seek God, read our Bibles, do what's honest, speak up for the unborn, hate immorality, and love people enough to share Christ with them. 

We’re compelled by Christ's love to share both His grace and His truth (2 Corinthians 5:11-21).
For more 1-minute devotions on Christian speech, check these out:
6 Christian Rules of Speech
Name-Calling is for Losers
Discuss, Debate, Discredit
Don't Bother Me With the Facts
Ad Hominem Disagreement

2 Essential Elements of Christian conversation found in Colossians 4:6

8 Ways to Be the Light of Christ in a Dark World

8 Ways to Be the Light of Christ in a Dark World

In Sunday school we sang “This little light of mine,” based on Scriptural commands to shine like lights in our dark world, glorifying God with good deeds (Matthew 5:16), and living clean, innocent lives (Philippians 2:15).

As a child, I thought being light simply meant being good and treating everyone nicely. But Ephesians 5:8-20 gives us a fuller definition of our role as lights:

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth).”

1. Finding out what pleases the Lord (v.10).

2. Avoiding and exposing evil (v.11).

See Being Light and Salt in a Sexually Immoral Culture.

3. Refusing to talk about evil things (v.12).*

4. Being careful how we live (v. 15).

5. Taking advantage of opportunities God gives us (v. 16).

6. Being self-controlled (v.18).

7. Constantly reminding each other of God’s Word in conversations and worship (v.19).

8. Being continually thankful (v.20).
See also This Little Light of Mine

* This doesn’t mean that we refuse to talk about the evil going on in our world – Scripture does that. It means we don’t romanticize, approve, condone, enjoy, joke about or entertain ourselves with evil. We don’t cuss or use unwholesome speech (Ephesians 4:29).
See The F-Word and We Must Not Amuse Ourselves with Things that Sadden God's Heart.

8 Ways to Be the Light of Christ in a Dark World

Fear of Death and Fear of Dying

Fear of Death, Fear of Dying, The Christian Perspective

According to studies, sixty-eight percent of Americans fear death.

However, no matter how healthy our lifestyle, our bodies are going to age and die. 

By age sixty, we'll lose some of our sense of taste, our eyes won't work as efficiently, our skin will wrinkle into permanent laugh lines or frown lines. We'll lose energy and may even lose our hair.

We can slow down this aging process, but we can’t stop it.

I admit I am not looking forward to dying (i.e. the pain of death), but I'm not fearing death. 

For Christians, dreading death is like dreading an all-expense-paid vacation in paradise where we’ll operate at full capacity in perfect harmony with our Lord.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day … we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
You might also enjoy these 1-minute devotions:
Three Times Dead
5 Theories of Life After Death

Fear of Death, Fear of Dying, The Christian Perspective

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