Thursday, September 30, 2010

WAITING TO BE BORN

Dreams are renewable. No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born.

-- Dr. Dale Turner


#2622

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

OUR BIBLICAL REFERENCE

Instinctively people do want to decide and know what is proper and helpful and what is not. But because most of them never bother to read the Bible they have no final terms of reference for their conduct, so that anything goes. The net result has been to create a climate of confusion and chaos in social behavior that leaves people baffled and bewildered.

-- W. Phillip Keller in SERENITY: Finding God Again For The First Time


#2621

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

MAKING YOUR CONTRIBUTION

There is an overall plan of which you are not aware and to which you can only contribute by being who you are, doing your best, seeking your higher truth, and following your heart.

-- Pat Rodegast and Judith Stanton in Emmanuel's Book


#2620

Monday, September 27, 2010

HEAVEN BREAKING THROUGH

All that is sweet, delightful, and amiable in this world, in the serenity of the air, the fineness of the seasons, the joy of light, the melody of sounds, the beauty of colors, the fragrancy of smells, the splendor of precious stones, is nothing but Heaven breaking through the veil of this world.

-- William Law in Rules for Living a Holy Life, as quoted by the Green Bible Devotional by Carla Barnhill


#2619

Friday, September 24, 2010

THE DEPTH OF SCRIPTURE

The Scriptures are shallow enough for a babe to come and drink without fear of drowning and deep enough for theologians to swim in without ever reaching the bottom.

-- St. Jerome

#2618

Thursday, September 23, 2010

COME AND EAT

Leo Buscaglia once said that teaching is like putting out a great buffet. The job of the teacher is to lay out all this delicious food. But, he said, you can't force-feed anyone. They've got to eat for themselves.

The same is true for faith. The same is true for belief. Our job, as Christians, is to simply stand for the truth of Christ the best way we know. And to know this: if someone wants to not believe, there may be absolutely nothing we can do about that. We can't make them believe. But, like a buffet, like scattering seeds, we can invite them to come and eat.

-- Copyright Eric Folkerth 2000. All Rights Reserved. (Used with Permission)


#2617

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

AN APPEAL FOR PRAYER

One of the chief characteristics of Paul's letters is his constant appeal for the prayers of his converts. In Ephesians 6:18, he writes: "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit… for all the saints -- and for me that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel."

Again in Colossians 4:3,4: "Meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of God… that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak."

Christians should pray regularly for their pastors, missionaries and evangelists, that God would throw open doors of opportunity and enable them to preach Christ courageously and clearly.

-- Ronald Dunn in Don't Just Stand There, Pray Something


#2616

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

NO CHANGE NECESSARY

"Whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God above, who created all heaven's lights. Unlike them, He never changes or casts shifting shadows." (James 1:17, NLT)

Now for God to alter or change at all, to be different from Himself, one of three things has to take place:
1) God must go from better to worse, or
2) He must go from worse to better, or
3) He must change from one kind of being to another.

Now that's so plain that anybody can follow it; there's nothing profound about that. (Occasionally somebody will say I preach over their head. All I can say is, they must have their head awfully low!) Isn't it reasonable to assume that if anything changes it has to change from better to worse, from worse to better or from one kind of thing to another?...

Therefore, if God is to change, then God either has to get better or worse or different. But God can't go from better to worse, because God is a Holy God. Because God is eternal holiness, He can never be any less holy than He is now. And of course, He never can be any more holy than He is now, because He is perfect just as He is. There will never be a change in God -- no change is necessary!

-- A.W. Tozor in Tozer on the Almighty God


#2615

Monday, September 20, 2010

HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS

The Apostle Paul gave us divine perspective on human relationships in every dimension of life. He wrote, "Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves." (Philippians 2:3 NRSV) That one verse contains more wisdom than most marriage manuals, family system guides, and employee handbooks combined. If heeded, it could virtually eliminate divorce, estranged families, and employee strife from the catalogue of human experience. It will give you guidance and stability when the storms in a relationship begin to howl.

-- Unknown


#2614

Friday, September 17, 2010

A CHANGED LIFE

The Christian life is not about political ideology, or about condemnation, or about trumping someone else's experience. It is about Jesus, about being His disciple, about falling in love with God, and about having the courage to let that kind of devotion actually change your life.

-- Derek Maul in Get Real: A Spiritual Journey for Men


#2613

Thursday, September 16, 2010

TRUST THE LORD

"It is better to trust the LORD than to put confidence in people. It is better to trust the LORD than to put confidence in princes." (Psalm 118:8-9)

Pilots put confidence in their planes. Commuters place confidence in trains, cars, or buses. Each day we must put our confidence in something or someone. If you are willing to trust a plane or car to get you to your destination, are you willing to trust God to guide you here on earth and to your eternal destination? Do you trust Him more than any other human being? How futile it is to trust anything or anyone more than God.

-- from the Life Application Bible


#2612

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

DEALING WITH ANGER

Unrecognized anger is an enemy to our spiritual sensitivity and to our ethical commitments. It can be a stumbling block to the redemptive process and sabotage the abundant life. This anger can be called demonic because it gives birth to hate instead of to nurturing love. It forsakes grace and pushes for punishment. Instead of working toward reconciliation, it breeds alienation. It short-circuits the gift of forgiveness and promotes vengeance.

-- Andrew D. Lester in Coping With Your Anger


#2611

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

THE COMPASSION OF THE SHEPHERD

"When [Jesus] saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion … because they were as sheep not having a shepherd." (Mt. 9:36)

How does a shepherd see his sheep? The shepherd "cares for the sheep … calls his own sheep by name … knows his sheep … lays down his life for the sheep … gives unto them eternal life." (John 10:3,13-15,28) The shepherd sees each individual sheep. When only ninety-and-nine out of one hundred are within the fold, the shepherd thinks only of that one which is lost, and goes out into the night, searching, until he finds it. Jesus sees every one in a crowd. Every one is important.

Here is the difference between other attempts to help man, and the outlook of Jesus. Socially we may belong to the same service organizations. Politically we may belong to the same party and espouse common views. Economically we may be a part of the same union and agree on improving conditions. Even ecclesiastically we may be herded together into the same denomination. But in every such attempt we count sheep instead of seeing sheep. In numbers we lose the individual. Not so with Jesus.

-- H.S. Vigeveno in Jesus the Revolutionary


#2610

Monday, September 13, 2010

INVERTED CHRISTIANITY

Two thousand years ago Jesus extended an unbelievable invitation: "follow me." And the invitation is still on the table. But let me drill down on this a little bit. I think there are lots of people who think they have accepted the invitation. They think they are following Jesus. But the reality is that they have invited Jesus to follow them. And there is a world of difference!
For the first nineteen years of my life, if I'm being totally honest, I think it was more about Jesus following me. I didn't want to go anywhere without him. But it wasn't about me serving His purposes. It was about Him serving my purposes. I think many Christians have an inverted relationship with Christ. Call it spiritual selfishness. Our relationship with Him is all about us. And then we wonder why we're unfulfilled and bored with our faith.

Are you following Jesus? Or is Jesus following you?

-- Mark Batterson, from his blog Evotional.com


#2609

Friday, September 10, 2010

REMEMBERING 9/11

"What if earth be but the shadow of heaven?"

Sometimes the shock hits not one person but a community, a whole nation even, a shock so great that… it does turn thoughts to God. That happened to the United States on September 11, 2001. As a side effect, an act of monstrous evil exposed the shallowness of an entire society. Professional sports ground to a halt, television comedians went off the air, as did all commercials. In a flash we saw the comparative meaninglessness of much of our lives. That three thousand people could go to work as part of their daily routine and never come home made us all aware of our fragile mortality. Married couples canceled divorce plans; mothers and fathers trimmed work hours to spend more time with their children. We found a new kind of hero: firefighters and police officers who, contra the principles of sociobiology, gave their lives for people they never knew.

Over the next months, the New York Times ran a separate article commemorating every single person who died, not just the famous or the newsworthy, as if each person killed on that day had a life of value and meaning, a life that mattered. And for a time attendance at churches swelled. The shock conveyed good and evil, death and life, meaning and absurdity in such stark terms that we turned for answers to the people – pastors, priests, rabbis – who have always warned us not to build our houses, let alone our skyscrapers, on shifting sand.

-- Philip Yancey in Rumors of Another World


#2608

Thursday, September 9, 2010

OUR PURSUING GOD

Our God is not patiently standing by and waiting for us to offer love; He is actively and vigorously pursuing us… He is the father running down the trail to embrace the prodigal son even before the boy can speak his act of contrition. He is the mad farmer showering a full day's wage on men who hadn't even worked. He is Jesus forgiving the sinful woman even before she spoke her sorrow. He is the king lavishing a banquet on beggars. These are all symbols of a God whose love for us is so active, so strong, that by human standards He would be at least, said to be mad.

-- Andrew Greeley, quoted by Joni Eareckson Tada in Glorious Intruder


#2607

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A STEP OF FAITH

"What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is evidence of things we cannot yet see." (Hebrews 11:1 NLT)

Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.

-- Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.


#2606

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

JESUS MUST DISTURB US

A couple was traveling in Alaska by dogsled. It was 40º below. He walked with the dog team, while she sat comfortably on the sled. He kept an eye on her and noticed her beginning to doze. Suddenly he took hold of the sled, jarred it violently, shook her off, and drove the dogs on. She woke up and called out. He did not stop. She picked herself up, started running, calling all the while. Half a mile later he stopped the sled. She climbed aboard, visibly annoyed, but she didn't say a word. They arrived home. She could not contain herself any longer: "Why did you do that to me?" "Because," he said, "if you had fallen asleep, you would have frozen to death."

You begin to see why Jesus must disturb us. We have grown content with ourselves, satisfied in our thinking, traditional in our practices. He must shake us loose. And if He is the Lord, the Word made flesh, the Light in the midst of our darkness, He must show us reality behind the appearance of things. Our values are so irrelevant. He must establish totally different standards for us.

-- H.S. Vigeveno in Jesus the Revolutionary


#2605