Friday, July 20, 2018

A TRUST FROM GOD

“The world and all that is in it belongs to the Lord; the earth and all who live on it are His.”  (Psalm 24:1 TEV)

Life on earth is a trust. This is [one of the] metaphors for life we find in the Bible. Our time, energy, intelligence, opportunities, relationships, and resources are all gifts that God has entrusted to our care and management. We are stewards, or managers, of whatever God gives us. This concept of stewardship begins with the recognition that God is the owner of everything and everyone on earth.

We never really own anything during our brief stay on earth. God just loans it to us while we’re here. It was God’s property before you arrived, and God will loan it to someone else after you die. You just get to enjoy it for a while.

-- Rick Warren in “What on Earth Am I Here For?”


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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

THE ‘A’ OF TRUE JOY

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”  (Hebrews 13:8 NIV)

There’s a delightful story told about Lloyd Douglas, author of “The Robe.” He enjoyed visiting a little, old, violin teacher in a shabby, small, walk-up room he proudly called his studio.

Douglas liked to drop in on him because he had the kind of lovely wisdom about life that refreshed him. One morning, Douglas stopped by to see the old man. “Well, what’s the good news today?” he asked. Putting down his violin, he stepped  over to a tuning fork suspended from a silk cord. He struck it with a smart blow with a padded mallet. That, my friend, is ‘A.’ It was ‘A’ all day yesterday. It will be ‘A’ all day tomorrow, next week, and for a thousand years.”

That story tunes our minds to the ‘A’ of true joy. Like Christ, who is its only source, joy is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. It is artesian, never changes, and is consistent irrespective of people or circumstances. At the same time, joy is not a quality we can find by searching or earn by effort. It comes from something -- really Someone else.

--  Lloyd J. Ogilvie in “If God Cares, Why Do I Still Have Problems?”


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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

A CONTAGIOUS WORLD

Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.”  (John 13:34-35 NIV).

In a contagious world, we learn to keep our distance. If we get too close to those who are suffering, we might get infected by their pain. It may not be convenient or comfortable. But only when you get close enough to catch their hurt will they be close enough to catch your love.

-- John Ortberg in “Love Beyond Reason: Moving God's Love from Your Head to Your Heart”


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Monday, July 16, 2018

OUR FAITHFUL COMPANION

“Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Me.’”  (Matthew 16:24 NIV)

Reality is hard, it’s messy, it takes us unawares, and it happens to be precisely where we live. The point of this pilgrim path is to be a disciple, a follower of Jesus, right in the middle of routine stuff -- good, bad, and ugly.

Jesus didn’t promise to make anything easy, but He does promise to be our faithful companion along the way.

-- Derek Maul in “The Unmaking of a Part-Time Christian”


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Friday, July 13, 2018

THINKING OF OTHERS

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,…”  (Philippians 2:3-5 NRSV)

Thoughtfulness is the beginning of great sanctity.  If you learn this art of being thoughtful, you will become more and more Christ-like, for His heart was meek and He always thought of others.  Our vocation, to be beautiful, must be full of thought for others.

-- Mother Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997)


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