Thursday, February 25, 2021

RELYING ON GOD’S LOVE

"And so we know and rely on the love God has for us." (1 John 4:16, NIV)

When it comes right down to it, this is the bottom line, the bedrock foundation for our faith, and the explanation of the peace we have about the present and the future. Knowing and relying on God's love for us is our duty and our joy in all circumstances, and it's the best and only answer to any situation we run up against. It allows us to look beyond the circumstances to see (or simply trust in) God's hand working in our lives...

Know God's love. Rely on it. That's all He asks us to do.

-- Laura Hepker, Christianity Online


#5042

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

SPIRITUAL POVERTY

“Jesus answered them and said, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.’”  (John 6:26-27)

There’s no end to the stuff that can be conceived. We go into debt to buy more and more of it. So why do we still feel empty? Your garage, your basement, and your storage unit may all be packed, and still you feel empty. It’s a little like eating a big meal. You feel full at first, but it’s not going to last. You’ll always need the next meal, the next purchase, the next jolt of brief fullness.

We’re trying to fill the cavity of the soul with things that won’t fit. Mother Teresa once said, “The spiritual poverty of the Western world is much greater than the physical poverty of our people in Calcutta. You in the West have millions of people who suffer such terrible loneliness and emptiness… These people are not hungry in the physical sense, but they are in another way. They know they need something more than money, yet they don’t know what it is. What they are missing really is a living relationship with God.” (from “Life in the Spirit: Reflections, Meditations, Prayers”) 

-- Kyle Idleman in “The End of Me: Where Real Life in the Upside-Down Ways of Jesus Begins”


#5041

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

ALWAYS BE PREPARED

“But in your hearts revere Christ as LORD. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,…”  (1 Peter 3:15 NIV)

The Bible says in 1 Peter 3:15 that all Christians should be prepared to explain why they believe what they believe -- and to do so… with gentleness and respect.

In a world where the media often trumpets claims by skeptics, best-selling books hawk atheism, and many university professors seem bent on destroying the beliefs of young Christians, it’s increasingly important for all of us to be able to articulate the reason why our faith makes sense.  

-- Lee Strobel, in the Foreword to “On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision” by William Lane Craig


#5040

Monday, February 22, 2021

STARVING FOR CHRIST

“Those who accepted Peter’s message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” (Acts 2:41-42)

People by the thousands became Christians because they saw Simon Peter's commitment to the church.  Peter was devoted to the church, and with good reason.  There is no institution in the world that serves people better than the church does.  There is no institution in the world that helps families more than the church does.  There is no institution in the world that redeems lives like the church.  There is no institution in the world that teaches love like the church.  There is no institution in the world that lifts God up and inspires righteousness like the church does.  There is no institution in the world that cultivates goodness like the church does.

But even more than that, the church has Jesus Christ!  The world is starving to death for Jesus Christ, and we have Him.  We are here to share Jesus Christ with a needy world, and everything we do is for that purpose… so that we can share the love of Christ; so that we can tell people about Him.

--  James W. Moore in “When You're a Christian, the Whole World is from Missouri"


#5039

Friday, February 19, 2021

CONSIDER THE LILIES

“Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing… Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.’”  (Luke 12:22,23,27 NRSV)

As we go through life, each of us is taking a notebook of memories, whether we put our notes on paper, or only on the pages of our mind. As we write, it is important that we note down some little things each day for that time when those notes may be our highest joy. So note the day the lilacs bloomed, the day your little son picked a dandelion for you, the day the bluebirds found the house you made for them. In this age of bigness, the big things will crush us if we forget the words of Christ who said to consider the lilies of the field, and do not worry.

-- Unknown, from a church bulletin


#5038