The Dishonest Manager

Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful. 1 Corinthians 4:2 (NLT) Every employer desires faithful employees—workers committed to enhancing a business’s reputation and success. God also desires such workers in His kingdom. How can we know if we’re meeting His expectations? To help us understand what God expects, Jesus told a parable about …

The Yeast

This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:9-10 Once, when my husband and I visited his sister and her husband, we were awakened to the wonderful aroma coming from their new bread-making machine. We’d anticipated the smell …

The Two Debtors

Jesus said, “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown Me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” Luke 7:47 NLT Simon, a Pharisee, invited Jesus to dinner. As they ate, a woman “who had lived a sinful life” entered the room (Luke 7:36). Weeping, she knelt before …

The Mustard Seed

Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches. Matthew 13:32 When Jesus began His ministry, He said, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). Although He didn’t establish the kingdom in its …

The Hard-Working Servant

When you have done everything you were told to do, [you] should say, “We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.” Luke 17:10  Do you ever think God expects too much of you? In Luke 17:1-4, Jesus presented two hard-to-swallow teachings. First, He warned the disciples about causing others to stumble (vv. 1-2). Second, He instructed them to …

The Lost Sheep

“I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down,” declares the Sovereign LORD. “I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.” Ezekiel 34:15-16 (NIV 2011). Jesus told the parable …

The Unmerciful Servant

The king said, “I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?” Matthew 18:32-33 “I’ve had it with you. Enough is enough!” Have you said something similar recently? Other people can drain our patience—particularly when they repeat an offense. In Matthew 18:15-35, …

The Ten Virgins

At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. … The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. Matthew 25:1, 3-4 Jewish weddings in the time of Jesus …

The Persistent Widow

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. Luke 18:1 “I’m tired of praying about it.” My frustration spilled out in those six words. Yes, the statement wobbled on the border between whining and honesty, but I sat among friends in the women’s small-group Bible study. No one would …

The Builder and the King

And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. Matthew 19:29 ESV In 1973 at a farm in Pennsylvania, 15,000 people gathered to hear Christian speakers and music. However, as years went by, many who had attended the …