Author Archives: Daily Encouragement

“Then Moses said to the Israelites, ‘See, the Lord has chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills — to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic crafts.’  (Exodus 32: 30-33, NIV)

Let’s hear it for the fine arts!

According to today’s scripture, when God commissioned the work for the tent of meeting and all of its furnishings, He chose, inspired, and equipped Bezalel — and others — with the genius, the knowledge, and the skills to make something magnificent.

Without musicians, writers, poets, painters, sculptors, dancers, and designers, our world would be much less beautiful.  May our Father forgive us for minimizing the artistic gifts of our brothers, sisters, and neighbors; and may He help us to celebrate the work of all whose labors make visible the invisible; audible the inaudible; and tangible the intangible.  – Luther

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“Jesus called them together and said,‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.  Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’”  (Matthew 20: 25-28, NIV)

I like the adage: “Unless you’re the lead dog, the view never really changes.”

The problem is that my ambition for leadership almost always conflicts with what Jesus says His disciples’ ambitions ought to be vis-a-vis leadership.  While the common ideas of leadership usually involves the exercise of power, the acquisition of perquisites, and the maintenance of prestige; as a disciple of Jesus, I need always be on guard that I not use religious language to hide these secular objectives.

We cannot argue with the common concepts of leadership and their place in this world.  However, regarding their applicability, we must never forget Jesus’ words: “Not so with you.” – Luther

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“We put our hope in the Lord.  He is our help and our shield.  In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.  Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone.”  (Psalm 33:20-22, NLT)

As a culture, we esteem the privilege of having a wide variety of options from which to choose.  In fact, some members of our society act as if it is a right!

The psalmist in today’s scripture declares his allegiance to only one Lord; only one God; only one Savior.  We do well to narrow our “essential list” as the psalmist did, and make our Lord the subject of our focus.  Who else has been our help and our shield?  Who else loves us with an unyielding love?  – Luther

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