Monday, October 25, 2021

WE MATTER TO GOD

Jesus said God is like a shepherd who leaves ninety-nine sheep inside the fence to hunt frantically for one stray; like a father who can't stop thinking about his rebellious ingrate of a son though he has another who is respectful and obedient; like a rich host who opens the doors of the banquet hall to a menagerie of bag-ladies and bums.  God loves people not as a race or species, but rather just as you and I love them; one at a time.  We matter to God.  In a rare moment when he pulled back the curtain between seen and unseen worlds, Jesus said that angels rejoice when a single sinner repents.  A solitary act on this speck of a planet reverberates throughout the cosmos. 

-- Philip Yancey in “The Bible Jesus Read” 


#5209

Friday, October 22, 2021

FINE, UPLIFTING AND GOOD

“Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.”  (Proverbs 3:7 ESV)

You have but to look at our culture to realize that it’s perishing. We have broken with our traditional and spiritual past and find ourselves stumbling and lurching into a new dark age of uncertain and bewildered character. There is a growing sense that nothing is true and everything is permitted. “The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men.” (Psalm 12:8)

Evil, morbid influences lead us into ever-deepening confusion -- a clutter of distortions, half-truths, bald-faced lies and an addled notion of tolerance that demands we accept everyone’s version of truth. There is no final standard; everything varies according to the weather.

G. K. Chesterton once observed that morality, like art, consists of drawing a line. Now no one knows where to draw the lines! Once there were boundaries and absolutes. Now, traditional concepts of right and wrong have warped so radically and thoroughly that no one knows what is fine, uplifting and good.

The Apostle Paul wrote, “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NRSV) 

-- Adapted from David Roper in “A Beacon in the Darkness: Reflecting God’s Light in Today’s World”


#5208

Thursday, October 21, 2021

LOSING SOMEONE WE LOVE

Our culture wants to put the Band-Aide of heaven on the hurt of losing someone we love.  Sometimes it seems like the people around us think that because we know the one we love is in heaven, we shouldn't be sad.  But they don't understand how far away heaven feels, and how long the future seems as we see before us the years we have to spend on this earth before we see the one we love again. 

-- Nancy Guthrie in “Holding on to Hope” 


#5207

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

DEEDS DONE IN SECRET

“He who walks uprightly walks securely; but he who takes a crooked way shall be found out and punished.”  (Proverbs 10:9 AMP)

Scripture says to shun even the “appearance” of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22). There’s a reason for this. If you always walk circumspectly, never giving anyone cause to question your motives, you’ll never have to retrace your steps or explain yourself. But those deeds done in secret will always come to the light of day. So make it a practice to live your life as though you were living on a stage before the whole world. 

-- From “God’s Little Book of Proverbs: Timeless Wisdom for Daily Living”


#5206

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

LIFE’S PURPOSE

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  (Jeremiah 29:11)

This may be the best news you’ll hear all day: God has a wonderful purpose for your life!

Jesus described that purpose when He said, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit -- fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in My name. This is My command: Love each other.”  (John 15:16-17)

God has chosen you to bear fruit. And that fruit is in your Holy Spirit-given character, which is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23). It’s simply the character of Jesus coming out through you. It’s your service as you lead others to faith in Jesus Christ, as you help them grow into maturity so they’ll also bear fruit.

Your life has eternal significance. Don’t miss out on God’s plans for your future. 

-- Anne Graham Lotz in “Fixing My Eyes on Jesus”


#5205