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The Hidden Gemstone

Day 13

Daniel Kolenda

A farmer in North Carolina lived on a beautiful farm that his family owned for many decades. Eventually, the farmer died, and after being in the family for more than two hundred years, the property was sold to one of the neighbours. As the new owner of the farm was walking in the field, he saw a large, unusual-looking rock just barely sticking out of the dirt. He picked it up and began to examine it. He could immediately tell that this was no ordinary rock but some type of gemstone. He took it home, washed it, and brought it to a jewellery store in the town where he lived. The jeweller confirmed what the owner already suspected; the old stone that had been in that field for thousands of years was a large, uncut emerald that has since proved to be worth several million dollars! Think about this, that gemstone was in the field all along just waiting for someone to come along and “discover” it. Undoubtedly the emerald had been seen thousands of times before, but it was overlooked because it appeared to be nothing more than an ordinary rock. How often we overlook treasures because of preconceived expectations and personal biases. As you are seeking God’s will for your life, may God give you the grace today to see what you’ve never noticed before, what may have been there all along just waiting for you to discover it.

What are you Living for?

Day 1 • Daniel Kolenda

On the wall of the south choir aisle of Westminster Abbey hangs a memorial stone to John and Charles Wesley that says, “God buries His workmen, but carries on His work.” (A fitting tribute for men whose lives had been so thoroughly dedicated to the Kingdom of God). Before he died, Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:6, “I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.” Paul saw his life as expendable for the sake of the gospel. With his mortal and finite life he’d helped to propel God’s everlasting kingdom forward. That knowledge brought Paul complete satisfaction.” The reality is that we’re all expending our lives. All of us are being poured out for something. Yet so many give so little thought to what they are actually living for. Let me ask you, my friend, what are you living for? What will make your life count? What are you propelling forward with your time, energy, finances, and passion? Jesus said in Mark 8:35, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.” If you really want your life to count, there is only one way to make that happen: you have to throw it away. You have to throw your life away into the service of the One who gave you your life in the first place. This is Daniel Kolenda encouraging you to live before you die.

What God wants

Day 2 • Daniel Kolenda

Leonard Ravenhill once asked the question, “Is what you’re living for worth Christ dying for?” My friend, we were not saved so that we could be polished, decorative knick knacks sitting on God’s shelf filling space in heaven for eternity. We have been saved for a purpose, and the fulfilment of that purpose is the only acceptable reaction we can have to the great gift of salvation. In light of these things what then should we do? “When Saul, who later became the apostle Paul, met the Lord on the road to Damascus in Acts 9:6, this was his question: “Lord, what do You want me to do?” The question is not, “What do I want to do with my life?” but, “Lord, what do You want me to do with my life?" Whether your journey takes you to the mission field or medical school, whether you become a construction worker, businessman, chef, or pastor, discovering God’s will for your life is not a matter of determining what you want but what He wants. It is a spiritual quest of utmost significance, and the Holy Spirit must lead it. For that reason I invite you to pray the following prayer for guidance and direction with me: Heavenly Father, I present myself to You today as a living sacrifice. Because You gave Your Son for me, I give myself to You fully. I lay my dreams and desires at Your feet and ask that Your will would be done in my life. In Jesus’ name, amen. This is Daniel Kolenda encouraging you to live before you die.

Saved to Serve

Day 3 • Daniel Kolenda

In the twenty-first chapter of John, after Jesus had risen from the dead, He found that Peter had gone back to his old occupation—fishing. After cooking breakfast for Peter, Jesus pointed to one of the fish and asked this question, “‘Simon [Peter] son of John, do you truly love me more than these?’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ he said, ‘you know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Feed my lambs’” (John 21:15, NIV). Notice that Jesus didn’t say, “Peter, do you love My lambs?” Then, “Feed My lambs.” Rather Jesus asked, “Peter, do you love Me?” Peter’s ministry to the sheep was to be motivated primarily by his love for Christ, not his love for the lambs. Some people have a heart that is filled with compassion for a particular people group, cause or need in the world. These are often God-given burdens that can be great motivators. But there is an ambition that should be greater than all others, including the desire to help people and to make a difference in the world. The real question is this “Do you love Jesus?” Our love for Christ must be the ambition that reigns supreme over all others. It will purify every motive and attract the blessing and favour of God. Our love for Him will cause His love to flow through us to a lost and dying world. My friend, examine your life and your work today and hear the words of the master asking you as he asked Peter, “do you love me more than these?” This is Daniel Kolenda encouraging you to live before you die.