Proverbs 22:4 “True humility and fear of the Lord lead to riches, honor and long life.”
I am reading a book about a famous actor named Danny Trejo entitled, “Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood”. You may know him from movies like ‘Machete’, ‘Spy Kids’, ‘Con Air’ and many more. This man has an amazing story. There is one that he shares with us I think goes well with this scripture.
Danny talks about how he and a friend had a lawncare business going. He and his friend would make money cutting yards for people in different neighborhoods. In one neighborhood there lived a woman whose yard needed help. Danny knew this woman had fallen on really bad times. One of her son’s died while serving in the military. Another son passed from street violence and her husband committed suicide.
Danny spoke of this woman never coming out of her home. One day Danny and his friend decided to cut her yard and fix it up on their own. Every time they cut yards in that neighborhood, they would cut hers for free. One day, two months later, Danny said they were cutting her yard and they heard the front door open and close. He said that they went around to see what was going on and they found a crystal pitcher of Iced Tea and two crystal glasses. He made a comment in his book about how the tea tasted drinking out of that crystal glass, from a woman that had been through so much. This was the blessing of the blessed. Now comes the trial.
Danny talks in his book about another situation that was birthed from this act of kindness he and his friend did for this woman. A man walked up to them one day. A tall man chewing tobacco approached Danny and said, “Paco, how much you chargin’ that lady to do her yard?” Danny said he was offended by the man calling him that name and he did not respond. The man asked again, “Paco, how much is she paying you?”
Instead of Danny becoming upset and allowing the situation to become racially motivated he responds, “Nothing.” Danny writes, that the man’s face changed after he said this. The man asked Danny and his friend to follow him to his home. They get to the man’s house in front of his garage, and he opens it. To their amazement they see all types of lawn care equipment, most of them new. The man says, “I had a heart attack recently and my wife won’t let me do any work around the house. If you cut my yard, I’ll give you everything in here.”
Because Danny and his friend blessed a widow who had lost everything, they were shown appreciation in the form of cold iced tea on a hot day. And because Danny stayed humble in the face of insult, degradation and oppression, the Lord blessed him with new equipment for his lawn care business from a man he did not know and who did not know him. Danny writes in his book that after that, the man never called him Paco again and they are friends to this day.
We all have the opportunity that Danny Trejo had that day when we face racism, oppression, and humiliation. When we realize that God is bigger than all of that; and He has our gift of reward, riches, and honor in His hand ready to give us when we righteously represent Him. And because He created us with purpose, ‘eternal life’ is in store for all of us. This is the blessing He has promised us.
May God bless and keep you in His peace as you walk in Jesus’ name,
1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” ~CSB
I attended the funeral of a great man this past Monday. We were not biologically related but because he and my parents were so close in friendship, I always called him ‘Uncle’. In my lifetime, I knew him as the ‘coolest’ man I’ve ever known. From my middle school age to me being a grown man, he has always had the best advice. He would let you know when you were wrong but in the calmest, coolest way possible. He never got excited, and he always smiled. He held any ‘man-position’ well in my eyes. Whether it be in the position of father, husband, brother, or friend, he was a master in being a man. Now, that is just my version of him.
Attending the funeral on Monday, I got to see how one man, that allowed God to use him in his life, affected so many people. The turnout of friends and family, in and out of town was amazing. Not to mention the testimonies of how he affected lives. And listening to all the love from his children, it was apparent he did not miss a beat in his spiritual walk. He was a man that had control of his spirituality so much so, that God’s presence in him was seen and felt by others around him.
My ‘Uncle’ is an extraordinary example of how we are all supposed to live. In 1 Corinthians 15, we find that there are changes we can make within ourselves while still living in the sinful flesh that attempts to steer us away from God’s will for our lives. In verse 53 the word says, “For this corruptible body must be clothed with incorruptibility…”
We must live our lives waking up every morning ready to meet the challenge of ‘living right’. Fighting the urges of confrontation with others because the flesh tells us to confront. Fighting the urges of not getting up when we fall, because we think we are at the end, and the struggle has defeated us. We must fight the urges of unforgiveness because the flesh continues to remind us of how we were hurt. This battle is already won when we say, “Lord, I can’t do this by myself. I need your healing to make me stronger.” This is when the flesh must bow down to a Higher Power and we spiritually transform from ‘corruptible’ to ‘incorruptible’. This is how my ‘Uncle’ lived.
From this day on, spiritually move in God’s direction and allow him to help you to get your flesh in check. Hold on to verse 54 in realizing God’s promise of victory when it says, “…When this corruptible body is clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal body is clothed with immortality, then the saying that is written will take place: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
God has shown all of us in my ‘Uncle’, and in people like him, the promise of this victory. Because it is in their journey in Christ that we have witnessed them transform themselves. By allowing God to head their lives, changing their flesh from corruptible to incorruptible. And on Monday, his mortal was laid to rest, While God accepted him into immortality. So let us learn from this great man of God to never quit in doing the Lord’s work. “…be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
May God continue to bless you with his peace, love, and guidance, as you journey in Jesus’ name.
What do we treasure? That is a question we must visit and revisit every day. For instance, I can remember back in my day, we as young men would cherish our first car. We would clean it inside and out. Our rooms might have been dirty, we may have neglected our chores, but our ‘first’ car would be in tip top shape.
Some of us would cherish how we spent our time. Fishing for example. I have some friends that live by at least one day out of the week set aside for just being outdoors by the lake or stream. Rod and line in hand, casting off in the peaceful relaxation of the hunt for life under the water. This time spent would be a treasured act performed on a routine basis.
A lot of us treasure our jobs. The provision of a livelihood for our families is what’s on the forefront of our minds. This allows us to be content with the long hours we work. Long hours away from our wives and husbands. Precious time away missing our son’s football game, or our daughter’s track meet. Time gone from the blessings in our lives because of how the treasure in our hearts is directed.
The world has taught us well how to direct our attention to 'its' purpose. So much so it has derailed our spiritual trains on paths other than the ones God has planned for us. Where is the ‘treasured heart’ for the Word of God? As Christians, let us not forget we are saved by grace. Saved by a sacrificial act of God and Son. We should not take it upon ourselves to wander in this world on our own, attempting to make our way, under our own power.
Instead, we must understand that this journey must be walked under the guise of direction from the Father. And the only way we can do that is to stay in God’s word. That task is easy when the Word is treasured on our hearts. Why wouldn’t we treasure His Word? Knowing that as it says in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work.” ~NLT
It is a treasure to know that we have access to information ‘…inspired by God…” We should embrace criticism from our Father because it “…makes us realize what is wrong in our lives…” When we know, we can correct. To learn from the Almighty what is right and to live in that righteousness. And to know without a doubt that God allows this so that we can be prepared and equipped to do, “…every good work.”
Whether we accept this or not, the Word of God is a treasure. One we should have, and keep ‘first’ in our hearts. Cars will one day shut down. The excitement may cease in the time we spend fishing. And our jobs, well, they can be here one day and gone the next. But God’s love for us will never leave. We owe the Father for giving us a second chance. Treasure Him, treasure His will for our lives and treasure the purpose of His work in us for control of this world.
May the Lord continue to keep you covered in His peace, love, and healing power as you journey in Jesus’ name,
Authors Billy & Yolanda
This is the place where we share our heart through God's Word in faith that will inspire and empower you to live in peace.