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I came very close to not sending anything out this morning. I am sure the dominant push behind the thought was my extreme 'vacation mode' mindset. But I also know that someday I will stop writing this short weekly article offering you spiritual encouragement. The reasons for cessation could be many. I will leave that thought there for the moment.

My mind instead is hearing Jesus say,"Who the is the faithful and sensible manager? Blessed is that servant whom the master finds doing his job when he comes. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, even more will be expected." (Luke 12.42-43, 48) And I think about how much I have been given!

My "given much" mindset starts with time. I am already in the 66th year of my life on earth. This summer I heard a speaker suggest we prepare to shift from 78 to 120 ... because people are living longer. I know people in very good health who are planning 90th and 100th birthday gatherings for themselves. Each year has how many days, and how many hours? And what did Jesus say?

And time is just one, little commodity. What about experiences, education, and employmemt? What about family, friends, and finances? What about spiritual gifts and talents? The list goes on and on and on ... We all have been given much, in many different ways.

"Who the is the faithful and sensible manager? Blessed is that servant whom the master finds doing his job when he comes." (Luke 12.42) As I re-read these words of Jesus, I start to think of how many times I fall on the other side of "almost." Where I "almost" did the right thing, but didn't ... where the opportunity was there, but I walked away ... or ignored it ... or did not even notice it! While it is a myth to say that we only use 10% of our brain, it is no myth that, rather than being faithful and sensible, my life's record is filled with failures, falling, and faithlessness. And that every "almost" in my life illustrates a lack of love within me.

However, what is not lacking, is the grace and mercy that God has for me, and for us all. There is no such thing as "almost" from him in this regard. "In Christ we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he richly poured out on us with all wisdom and understanding." (Ephesians 1.7-8) While we have all been 'given much' in time, talents, treasures, and opportunities, we have been 'given much more' in grace, mercy, and forgiveness in Christ.

So today, instead of dwelling on the "almosts" of my past, I will say "Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavens in Christ." (Ephesians 1.3) ... and with that I will enjoy the day ... pray that I do more than just see the opportunities before me ... and believe that this will bring at least a little encouragement to someone.

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