Author Archive for Shawn Cornett


Which Will It Be?

Devotion. Allegiance. Dedication. To whom or what does your heart belong? Who or what is number one in your life? We can be devoted to different people or different things in our lives. Who or what do you love most? Jesus said it comes down to two choices. He said this in Matthew 6:24 (NIV):
No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
Jesus says that one thing will be your master, but it cannot be both. It is either God or money. Do you want to know a good test for your devotion? Examine two things in your life: your calendar and your bank account. What do you spend your time and your money on? What do you worry about more: pleasing God or making money? Money is necessary, yes. Is it the only necessity in your life? Do you love God more than money? Do you see money as a tool to serve and please God or do you see it as the goal of life? You cannot have it both ways. So which will it be? Who or what will be number one in your heart? Is it God or is it money? Eternity is hanging in the balance.


Perfect Vision

In a sermon from North Point Church in Atlanta, Georgia, Pastor Andy Stanley said that the greatest threat to your soul isn’t the devil. It’s money. The apostle Paul told the young preacher Timothy that the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Jesus said that what we treasure reveals where our hearts are. He illustrated this in Matthew 6:22-23 (NIV) when He said:

“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

Love for money and possessions blinds us to the things of God. When we love the things of this world more than we love the things of God, we are incapable of seeing what matters most. We lose perspective on the most important things in life. We work more hours and miss out on family moments. We spend ourselves into crippling debt and lose sleep over it. We stress ourselves out to the point of irritability and we are hard to be around. Money isn’t the answer to our problems. Loving money will darken your heart and soul. Let God’s light shine into your heart and see what you’ve been missing.


Where Is Your Heart?

What do you value most? The stuff and things of this world or the things of God’s Kingdom? What our hearts treasure the most is where you will find them. Jesus said in Matthew 6:21 (NIV):

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

He had just said to not store up treasures on earth because they are merely temporary. Rather, we are to store up treasures in Heaven because they are eternal. Instead of hoarding earthly things, we need to be giving them up for the sake of others. Every earthly blessing we receive can be used to make someone else’s life better. How much money have I wasted on clothing? Do I really need that many pairs of jeans? Do I honestly need more than five or six outfits? How could that money have gone to spreading the love of God instead of making myself look good? Is my heart in my jeans drawer? Why do we think we need all of these things when there are people who don’t have basic necessities all around us? Let’s stop loving things and start loving God by loving people.


Heavenly Treasures

What possessions do you have that you just cannot live without? Maybe it is your house or your car or your phone. You just think, “I couldn’t live without my…” This is why we lock our houses, our cars and set passwords on our phones. What if someone were to break in and steal something from your house? What if someone stole your car or your phone? Our lives would come crashing down around us. Well, at least for a while. These treasures of earth are only temporary and Jesus talked about them in Matthew 6:19-20 (NIV) when He said:

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

When we hoard our earthly wealth and treasures, we lose our heavenly perspective. We need to remember that the things of earth don’t last. The treasures we store up in Heaven by sacrificing for others and for God last forever. Don’t get so enamored with the things of earth that you lose sight of heavenly treasures.


Secret Fasting

There is a temptation that goes along with spiritual disciplines and religious activities. We want to let everyone know that we’re doing it. We sometimes want to impress people with our Christianity. We want to make a show of our religion. Jesus says that we need to resist that temptation and go about our lives normally. He said in Matthew 6:17-18 (NIV):

But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Instead of making it appear obvious that we are fasting, we need to do it secretly. Our religious acts should not be about impressing people. They should be for the purpose of drawing us closer to our Heavenly Father. Whether it is prayer, giving or fasting, we need to check our motivations regularly. If we fall into the temptation of boasting and bragging, there is only a shallow reward of the applause and admiration of people. If we keep it between just God and our ourselves, He will reward us with a deeper fellowship with Him and that is the best reward of all.


The Discipline Of Fasting

We are obsessed with food in our country. Many, many Americans do not struggle to put food on the table each day. There are many who do, but many more do not. We have pantries that are full of food and some even have multiple refrigerators or freezers that are full of even more food. We eat and eat and eat and do not think twice about not eating. Yet Jesus says that there is a time when we should not eat. We should be fasting for spiritual purposes. Jesus said this in Matthew 6:16 (NIV):

“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.”

He does not say, “If you fast…” Jesus says, “When you fast…” Fasting is a spiritual discipline where we deny ourselves something, often it is food, for a period of time in order to get closer to God and to rely on His strength and power. It teaches us to overcome temptations and struggles with sin. It should be done deliberately and without fanfare. The admiration of others is not the reward. Getting closer to God and His power is the reward we receive.


The Forgiving Equation

At the tail end of The Lord’s Prayer, Jesus brings up a tough teaching. It may just be the hardest thing He asks us to do. In the actual prayer itself, Jesus says that we need to ask God to forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors. He then continues in the prayer. After the prayer is completed, He clarifies His position on forgiveness. He says this in Matthew 6:14-15 (NIV):

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Why?!? Why does He have to say that? Why can’t He just let us gloss over the forgiveness part in the prayer? It is because we are not to receive forgiveness and keep it to ourselves. It is because we are to be conduits of forgiveness. Forgiveness doesn’t just flow to us. Rather, forgiveness flows through us. God has forgiven all of our sins through Jesus. Every sinful thought, word and deed. No matter how evil or wicked, God punished Jesus for it and forgave us from it. How could we just say thanks for the grace and walk away unchanged? Forgiveness changes everything, especially when we learn to forgive those who sin against us.

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