Thursday, April 25, 2019

AN ETERNAL LOVE RELATIONSHIP

"Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of Jacob’s God. There He will teach us His ways, and we will walk in His paths.”  (Micah 4:2 NLT)

God intends that we follow Him. He expects us to get our directions from Him, and He wants to equip us to do the assignment He gives. If we try to spell out all the details of His will in a planning session, we’ll have a tendency to forget the need for a daily, intimate relationship with God. We may accomplish our objectives but forgo the relationship. It is possible to achieve all our goals and yet be outside God’s will. God created us for an eternal love relationship. Life is our opportunity to experience Him at work in us and in our world.

-- Henry Blackaby, Richard Blackaby and Claude King in “Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God”


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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

LIVING IN THE PRESENT

Read Exodus 16:11-21.

God heard [the Israelites], and responded by promising to provide for them. Those of us who attended Sunday school know the story well -- each morning, flakes of bread (manna) appeared on the ground; in the evening, quail covered the camp. But they couldn’t hoard what they gathered, and they couldn’t store it. Moses instructed the Israelites to gather only what they needed for the day -- no more, no less. Tough to do when you’re thinking about what the kids will eat for breakfast!

Why was limiting what they gathered important to God? Because the Israelites needed to understand what we all need to learn -- that we can sustain a relationship with God only in the present.

Our past is nothing more than the story of how we got to where we are, and dwelling on it causes us to become stagnant and unsatisfied. We can’t find God by worrying or dreaming about the future, either, because that just makes us want to control whatever lies ahead.

Yes, we have concerns and hopes and dreams for the future. But this story tells us that we can live out our relationship with God only in the here and now. God longs for us to trust Him every hour and every minute of today.

-- From the “Men’s Devotional Bible”


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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

GOD VISITED THE EARTH

“For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in [Christ], and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross.”  (Colossians 1:19-20 NIV)

The Gospel has a once-and-for-all quality. It is unique. There is nothing like it in history or in any other world religion…  God visited the earth.

That says it all! God visited the earth in Jesus Christ who lived and died and rose again for our salvation, who ascended to heaven and sent the Holy Spirit to work in the hearts and community of Christian believers. That is the Gospel, the Christ-event, the foundation of our faith. It happened once and need not happen again. All that we Christians believe is based on it.

-- Rev. Dr. A. Leonard Griffith in a sermon entitled "The Faith Entrusted to Us" 


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Monday, April 22, 2019

THE RESURRECTION IS THE GAME-CHANGER

“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”  (Romans 10:9)

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the axis around which our faith revolves.  When Jesus rose from the dead, it radically redefined reality.  When He walked out of the tomb under His own power, the word impossible was removed from our vocabulary.  The resurrection is the history-changer, the game-changer.  But the trick is learning to live as if Jesus was crucified yesterday, rose from the dead today, and is coming back tomorrow!

The resurrection isn’t something we celebrate once a year by donning an Easter bonnet.  It’s something we celebrate every day in every way…  God raises dreams from the dead.  He resurrects dead relationships.  And no matter what part of your personality has died at the hands of sin or suffering or Satan himself, the Grave Robber came to give you your life back!

-- Mark Batterson in “The Grave Robber”


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Saturday, April 20, 2019

THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT THE CROSS

“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”  (John 1:29b ESV)

There was a cross so that, regardless of our behavior, despite our sins, no matter how bad we are, we could have the shining hope of an eternal residence with the Lamb who took it all away.

That’s why there was a cross. Have you stood near the cross? Have you made a choice for the Savior?

There’s something about the cross… it seems to demand a choice. You either step toward it or away from it. It’s the watershed. It’s the Continental Divide. You are either on one side or the other. A choice is demanded. We can do what we want with the cross. We can examine its history. We can study its theology. We can reflect upon its prophecies. Yet the one thing we can’t do is walk away, neutral. No fence sitting is permitted. The cross, in its absurd splendor, doesn’t allow that.

-- Max Lucado in “The Cross: Selected Writings & Images”


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