You and a friend or your family are trying to decide what to eat. Does it matter? You need to decide what to wear. Does it matter? You need to decide where to go to school. Does it matter? You need to decide where to apply for a job. Does it matter? You need to pick a job. Does it matter? How you will live your life. Does it matter? How you will raise your kids. Does it matter? What’s most important in life. Does it matter? Can other tell what really matters to you? Are you living a life that shows them what really matters? Are there parts of your character that really matter? Does it matter how you think? Does it matter how you speak? Does it matter how you act? Does it matter what you value? Does it matter what you believe?
When you consider the decisions you need to make in a day, how many of them matter? How many of them really matter?
Do you know what really matters to God?
Devotional, Psalm 44:1-12, Luke 13:31-35, Luke 14:1-14, Deuteronomy 15, Deuteronomy 16:1-20
1. Trust … Psalm 44:1-12
1We have heard it with our ears, O God; our ancestors have told us what you did in their days, in days long ago. 2With your hand you drove out the nations and planted our ancestors; you crushed the peoples and made our ancestors flourish. 3It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them. 4You are my King and my God, who decrees victories for Jacob. 5Through you we push back our enemies; through your name we trample our foes. 6I put no trust in my bow, my sword does not bring me victory; 7but you give us victory over our enemies, you put our adversaries to shame. 8In God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise your name forever. 9But now you have rejected and humbled us; you no longer go out with our armies. 10You made us retreat before the enemy, and our adversaries have plundered us. 11You gave us up to be devoured like sheep and have scattered us among the nations. 12You sold your people for a pittance, gaining nothing from their sale. — from Psalm 44
2. Courage … Luke 13:31-14:2
31At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.”
32He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ 33In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!
34 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. 35Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” –from Luke 13
1One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched. 2There in front of him was a man suffering from abnormal swelling of his body. –from Luke 14
3. Compassion … Luke 13:34, 14:3-4
34 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. –from Luke 13
3Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?” 4But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him on his way. –from Luke 14
Today’s devotional shared this story to emphasize the compassion of a hen…
The story is told of a fire in Yellowstone National Park. When a forest ranger went to assess the damage, he discovered a bird that was lying dead, black and carbonized, at the bottom of a tree. It was a rather unnerving sight so he pushed the bird over with a stick. Suddenly, three little chicks scurried out from under the wing of the dead mother. Because the mother had been willing to die out of compassion for her chicks, the chicks under her wing had lived. So too with Jesus, our mother hen – he died to protect us. –from Day 101: Bible In One Year 2017
4. Humility … Luke 14:7-11
1One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched. 2There in front of him was a man suffering from abnormal swelling of his body. 3Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?” 4But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him on his way.
5Then he asked them, “If one of you has a child or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull it out?” 6And they had nothing to say.
7When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: 8“When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. 9If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. 11For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
–from Luke 14
5. Poverty … Luke 14:12-14
12Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” –from Luke 14
4However, there need be no poor people among you, for in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, –from Deuteronomy 15
11There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land. –from Deuteronomy 15
11The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. –from Matthew 26
6. Generosity … Deuteronomy 15:1-14
The Year for Canceling Debts
1At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts. 2This is how it is to be done: Every creditor shall cancel any loan they have made to a fellow Israelite. They shall not require payment from anyone among their own people, because the Lord’s time for canceling debts has been proclaimed. 3You may require payment from a foreigner, but you must cancel any debt your fellow Israelite owes you. 4However, there need be no poor people among you, for in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, 5if only you fully obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today. 6For the Lord your God will bless you as he has promised, and you will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. You will rule over many nations but none will rule over you.
7If anyone is poor among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them. 8Rather, be openhanded and freely lend them whatever they need. 9Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought: “The seventh year, the year for canceling debts, is near,” so that you do not show ill will toward the needy among your fellow Israelites and give them nothing. They may then appeal to the Lord against you, and you will be found guilty of sin. 10Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. 11There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.
14Supply them liberally from your flock, your threshing floor and your winepress. Give to them as the Lord your God has blessed you.
–from Deuteronomy 15
7. Remembrance … Deuteronomy 15:12-16:
12If any of your people—Hebrew men or women—sell themselves to you and serve you six years, in the seventh year you must let them go free. 13And when you release them, do not send them away empty-handed. 14Supply them liberally from your flock, your threshing floor and your winepress. Give to them as the Lord your God has blessed you. 15Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you. That is why I give you this command today.
16But if your servant says to you, “I do not want to leave you,” because he loves you and your family and is well off with you, 17then take an awl and push it through his earlobe into the door, and he will become your servant for life. Do the same for your female servant.
18Do not consider it a hardship to set your servant free, because their service to you these six years has been worth twice as much as that of a hired hand. And the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do.
The Firstborn Animals
19Set apart for the Lord your God every firstborn male of your herds and flocks. Do not put the firstborn of your cows to work, and do not shear the firstborn of your sheep. 20Each year you and your family are to eat them in the presence of the Lord your God at the place he will choose. 21If an animal has a defect, is lame or blind, or has any serious flaw, you must not sacrifice it to the Lord your God. 22You are to eat it in your own towns. Both the ceremonially unclean and the clean may eat it, as if it were gazelle or deer. 23But you must not eat the blood; pour it out on the ground like water.
–from Deuteronomy 15
1Observe the month of Aviv and celebrate the Passover of the Lord your God, because in the month of Aviv he brought you out of Egypt by night. 2Sacrifice as the Passover to the Lord your God an animal from your flock or herd at the place the Lord will choose as a dwelling for his Name. 3Do not eat it with bread made with yeast, but for seven days eat unleavened bread, the bread of affliction, because you left Egypt in haste—so that all the days of your life you may remember the time of your departure from Egypt. 4Let no yeast be found in your possession in all your land for seven days. Do not let any of the meat you sacrifice on the evening of the first day remain until morning.
5You must not sacrifice the Passover in any town the Lord your God gives you 6except in the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name. There you must sacrifice the Passover in the evening, when the sun goes down, on the anniversary6 Or down, at the time of day of your departure from Egypt. 7Roast it and eat it at the place the Lord your God will choose. Then in the morning return to your tents. 8For six days eat unleavened bread and on the seventh day hold an assembly to the Lord your God and do no work.
The Festival of Weeks
9Count off seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain. 10Then celebrate the Festival of Weeks to the Lord your God by giving a freewill offering in proportion to the blessings the Lord your God has given you. 11And rejoice before the Lord your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name—you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, the Levites in your towns, and the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows living among you. 12Remember that you were slaves in Egypt, and follow carefully these decrees.
The Festival of Tabernacles
13Celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles for seven days after you have gathered the produce of your threshing floor and your winepress. 14Be joyful at your festival—you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levites, the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns. 15For seven days celebrate the festival to the Lord your God at the place the Lord will choose. For the Lord your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete.
16Three times a year all your men must appear before the Lord your God at the place he will choose: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks and the Festival of Tabernacles. No one should appear before the Lord empty-handed: 17Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the Lord your God has blessed you.
–from Deuteronomy 16
8. Justice … Deuteronomy 16:18-20
18Appoint judges and officials for each of your tribes in every town the Lord your God is giving you, and they shall judge the people fairly. 19Do not pervert justice or show partiality. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the innocent. 20Follow justice and justice alone, so that you may live and possess the land the Lord your God is giving you. –from Deuteronomy 16