Thursday, October 30, 2014

WHAT LIFE IS ALL ABOUT

"I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own."  (Philippians 3:8-9)

The No. 1 thing that God has taught me through this career is that baseball is a game, and it is a job. It's not life. It's a nice way to make a living, but it is not supposed to be all-encompassing or all-consuming as I used to think it was. God has shown me what life is all about. It's about knowing Him and having a relationship with Him through His Son Jesus Christ. Life is about family. It's about caring for, understanding, and respecting others. I have learned there is always something you can do to make somebody feel better, even if it is just a comment. The Lord has taught me the beauty of making someone feel better. He is also teaching me how to let go of things I would not let go of before.

-- Ned Yost, Kansas City Royals Manager, in Sports Spectrum


#3538

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

HEAVEN'S PERSPECTIVE

"From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once regarded Christ from a human point of view, we regard Him thus no longer."  (2 Corinthians 5:16)

Part of the joy and challenge of being a Christian is looking past the temporal and seeing the eternal; trying to see things from heaven's perspective.

-- Danny Wuerffel, retired NFL quarterback, in Sports Spectrum


#3537

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

WELL-DEFINED PRAYERS

Jesus is on His way out of Jericho when two blind men hail Him like a taxi:  "Lord, son of David, have mercy on us!"  The disciples see it as a human interruption.  Jesus sees it as a divine appointment.  So He stops and responds with a pointed question:  "What do you want me to do for you?"

Seriously?  Is that question even necessary?  Isn't it obvious what they want?  They're blind.  Yet Jesus forced them to define exactly what they wanted from Him.  Jesus made them verbalize their desire.  He made them spell it out, but it wasn't because Jesus didn't know what they wanted.  He wanted to make sure they knew what they wanted.  And that is where drawing prayer circles begins: knowing what to circle.

What if Jesus were to ask you this very same question:  What do you want me to do for you?  Would you be able to spell out the promises, miracles, and dreams God has put in your heart?  I'm afraid many of us would be dumbfounded.  We have no idea what we want God to do for us.  And the great irony, of course, is that if we can't answer this question, then we're as blind spiritually as these blind men were physically.

So while God is for us, most of us have no idea what we want God to do for us.  And that's why our prayers aren't just boring to us; they are uninspiring to God.  If faith is being sure of what we hope for, then being unsure of what we hope for is the antithesis of faith, isn't it?  Well-developed faith results in well-defined prayers, and well-defined prayers result in a well-lived life.

-- Mark Batterson in The Circle Maker


#3536

Monday, October 27, 2014

THE GIVER OF GIFTS

"But seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."  (Matthew 6:33 NKJV)

For the first two or three years after my conversion, I used to ask for specific things.  Now I ask for God.  Supposing there is a tree full of fruits -- you will have to go and buy or beg the fruits from the owner of the tree.  Every day you would have to go for one or two fruits.  But if you can make the tree your own property, then all the fruits will be your own.  In the same way, if God is your own, then all things in Heaven and on earth will be your own, because He is your Father and is everything to you; otherwise you will have to go and ask like a beggar for certain things.  When they are used up, you will have to ask again.  So ask not for gifts but for the Giver of Gifts: not for life but for the Giver of Life -- then life and the things needed for life will be added unto you.

-- Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889-1929)


#3535

Friday, October 24, 2014

GOD'S LIMITLESS POWER

Think about it. What kind of power is required to speak a universe into existence? What kind of strength must someone possess to scatter stars into infinite space? How explosive do you have to be to ignite the sun or to sustain it's fire? What kind of brute force is required to stack up mountains twenty thousand feet into the air?

Only one force is able to accomplish such a feat: God's power.  Throughout history, when God's people found themselves facing impossible odds, they reminded themselves of God's limitless power. Even Job took comfort by remembering "He stirs up the sea with His power… The thunder of His power who can understand?

Like… Job, we occasionally need a little reminder of what God can do, especially if things aren't going our way. In Psalm 115:3, the psalmist points out that God can do whatever He pleases. That is the essence of what omnipotence is all about. Omnipotent simply means "all-powerful." God never has to ask permission. His unrestrained, indescribable, infinite power and abilities have no parameters.

-- Bill Hybels in The God You're Looking For


#3534