Friday, April 29, 2016

COMING TO THE END OF OURSELVES


It's engrained in our culture that we're supposed to take care of business on our own, without seeking assistance. Maybe that's why one of the most beloved of all Bible verses isn't actually in the Bible. Yes, it's this chestnut: "God helps those who help themselves." Just about everyone knows that one. People quote it, they love it, they try to live it, but it never crosses their minds that it can't be found in the Scripture.

Maybe God forgot to put it in? I don't think so. A better explanation is that God actually helps those who can't help themselves. God helps those who stop in the midst of crisis and ask someone to assist them. When we're helpless and we know it, we're open to receive the transforming help He wants to give us. When we come to the end of ourselves, we find Him there waiting to give us what we have been so desperate for all along.

-- Kyle Idleman in The End of Me


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Thursday, April 28, 2016

GUIDE ME BY YOUR SPIRIT


My life is in your hands, God.  Use me to point someone toward You today -- I promise to cooperate in any way I can.  If you want me to say a word for You today, I'll do that.  If you want me to keep quiet but demonstrate love and servanthood, by Your Spirit's power I will.  I'm fully available to You today, so guide me by Your Spirit.

-- Bill Hybels in Just Walk Across the Room


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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

FIXING OUR EYES ON JESUS


"And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith."  (Hebrews 12:1b-2a NIV)

A father wanted to give his daughter something to do and there was a picture of the world on a sheet of paper. He tore it into smaller pieces and told her to see if she could put the pieces back together correctly, kind of like she would work a puzzle. The little girl agreed. Five minutes later, she showed her father the pieces put back together perfectly. He was amazed. When he asked her how she had done the task so quickly, she said, “Oh, on the back was a picture of Jesus and I figured if I got Him right, the world would fall into place.” Our worlds are in chaos because we aren’t focused on Jesus.

-- Tony Evans


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Monday, April 25, 2016

THE RESURRECTION CHANGES EVERYTHING


If you were pressed to find one image that encapsulates Christianity, most people would probably think of the cross. The cross is central to almost every church sanctuary in America, and we have adopted it as the center of our faith.

And yet, while the cross is certainly a central theme in the story of how God saves us, it is one aspect of a greater story.

Yes, Jesus died for our sins. But even more than that, He lived -- that we might live with Him. And Christ’s resurrection is the inaugural event of the new creation. Paul even goes so far as to say in 1 Corinthians 15:17, “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.”

So if the resurrection is the real crux of our faith, what does it mean to live in light of the resurrection?

In his book Surprised by Hope, N.T. Wright notes, “The point of the resurrection ... is that the present bodily life is not valueless just because it will die ... What you do with your body in the present matters because God has a great future in store for it. What you do in the present -- by painting, preaching, singing, sewing, praying, teaching, building hospitals, digging wells, campaigning for justice, writing poems, caring for the needy, loving your neighbor as yourself -- will last into God's future.”

In other words, the resurrection changes everything. The Kingdom of God is here and yet it is coming. God has chosen His resurrection people to be change agents in their culture; to proclaim this coming Kingdom through how they live, relate and work.

-- Chris Johnson, from an article in RelevantMagazine.com entitled "How the Resurrection Changes Everything"


#3869

Friday, April 22, 2016

A GOOD CREATION


"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."  (Genesis 1:1)

The universe is full of beautiful and amazing sights. From the galaxies revealed by the Hubble Space Telescope to amazing forms of microscopic life, from the beauty of the prairies at sunset to the majesty of snow-covered mountains, from the magnificence of lions and elephants to the soft gentleness of a puppy dog -- the world as we know it is a good creation.

One of the strongest philosophical arguments for the existence of God is called the argument of design -- that such an amazing universe with all its complexity, beauty, and intricacy must have been planned by a supreme being.

-- U.M. Bishop Scott J. Jones in The Wesleyan Way: A Faith That Matters


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