Friday, April 30, 2010


Our thirst for God will be satisfied. Once we have become aware of this yearning, once this passionate need and longing has opened up within us, we can hear a stream off in the distance gurgling toward us. We bend every effort to find that stream. However strong or persistent our efforts, though, they are insignificant compared with the mighty rush of water coming to meet us. Though we may try to slake our thirst elsewhere, the Living Water will find our parched mouths.

It will not be our small dippers that finally bring the water to our tongues. Rather, it will be the desire of the Water itself to meet our need, the love of the One whom we have struggled to learn to love, that will overcome our last resistance and pour delicious satisfaction on our aching lips.

-- David Rensberger from "Thirsty for God" in Weavings, July/August 2000, published by The Upper Room, Nashville, TN. Used with permission.


Thursday, April 29, 2010


The timing of God is often a mystery to us, and even sometimes a frustration. But we must not give up. We must not try to arrange our own solutions…

Don't give up today, and don't give in to the voices of unbelief and impatience. Remember these words from a beautiful song I have enjoyed so much over the years:
Keep believing in what you know is true;
Keep believing - - you know the Lord will see you through.
When troubles rise in your life, and you don't know what to do,
You'll be fine if you just keep believing.

-- Jim Cymbala in Fresh Faith


Wednesday, April 28, 2010


God deals with each one of us as individuals, where we are. He has given us the talents we have. God is not a dilettante game-player, who gives us one set of talents and then somehow makes us justify our spiritual lives by calling us to give them up. Each person is an individual. Either the whole [person] is redeemed by Christ or none of [that person]!

-- Franky Schaeffer in Addicted to Mediocrity


Tuesday, April 27, 2010


God's economy is all about turning our hardship into help for someone else… Paul puts it this way in 2 Corinthians 1:3-5… "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the Lord of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows."

There you have it. Overflowing comfort. When we're going through a hard time, God gives us more than enough to cope, so we'll have something leftover to share with someone else, thus giving us a purpose even in our hardship. This is so important because one of the tendencies when things go bad is to think that our life is suddenly pointless and wasted. We find it hard to wrestle anything good out of the bad things that happen to us. But the good is always there, and if we can't see it, it's because we aren't tuned into God's economy. We are just looking at the situation from one point of view, and it happens to be the most depressing one…

So are you going through it right now? Are you asking God, "Why?" and not getting any answers? Well, at its most basic level, the unique set of circumstances that set you up for this are such that they will qualify you to help someone else in a similar situation. So if that someone should say to you, "You can't possibly know what I'm going through," you will be able to say, "Oh yeah? Let me tell you my story and show you how God met me." It keeps circling around like that. That's part of God's economy.

-- John Fischer in The Purpose Driven Life Daily Devotional


Monday, April 26, 2010


True community is where I can know and be known, love and be loved, serve and be served, celebrate and be celebrated, need and be needed.

-- adapted from Bill Hybels

Friday, April 16, 2010


Jesus said, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:19-20)

I have but one passion -- it is He, it is He alone. The world is the field and the field is the world; and henceforth that country shall be my home where I can be most used in winning souls for Christ.

-- Count Nicholas Ludwig von Zinzendorf (1700-1760)


Thursday, April 15, 2010


Grieve not, nor speak of me with tears,
but laugh and talk of me
as if I were beside you there.

-- Isla Paschal Richardson


Wednesday, April 14, 2010


The Church seems to have lost heart somewhat, has allowed the old assurance and enthusiasm to cool below the temperature at which big things get done, is always whimpering and complaining about something, has developed a foolish trick of gathering into corners in discouraged groups and bleating disconsolately that God seems to be strangely little in our day, the very mood that so maddened the Hebrew prophets that they itched to lay violent hands upon their countrymen, and literally shake it out of them. We Church people have become so prone to loud and abusive self-depreciation that the thing amounts to a disease... and though these doleful spirits are not altogether serious, the world is listening, and takes us, not unnaturally, at our own dismal and unflattering valuation.

-- A. J. Gossip in The Galilean Accent [1926]


Tuesday, April 13, 2010


God wants us to be merciful with ourselves. And besides, our sorrows are not our own. He takes them on Himself, into His heart.

-- George Bernanos in The Diary of a Country Priest


Monday, April 12, 2010


One day a small opening appeared on a cocoon; a man sat and watched for the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could go no further.

So the man decided to help the butterfly, he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If God allowed us to go through our life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. We could never fly.

-- Unknown


Friday, April 9, 2010


God wants to have a relationship with you that is unlike His relationship with any other being in all creation. In the book of Revelation, John writes that one day we will each receive form God a name that remains a secret between Him and us throughout eternity. C. L. Lewis writes, "What shall we take this secrecy to mean? Surely, that each of the redeemed shall forever know and praise some one aspect of the Divine beauty better than any other creature can. Why else were individuals created, but that God, loving all infinitely, should love each differently?…If all experienced God in the same way and returned Him an identical worship, the song of the Church triumphant would have no symphony, it would be like an orchestra in which all the instruments played the same note."

My grandmother said it better, I think. When anyone asked her which of her six children she loved the most, she said love for your children doesn't work that way. She said it's as if when each child is born, another little room gets added to your heart. And no one else occupies that room. It doesn't have to be bigger or better than any other room. It's just theirs.

"In my Father's house are many rooms," Jesus said. One of them was added on when you became His child. That one is yours, and no one else can ever occupy it. It is secret to you and Him. It's your own private Sistine Chapel. It is furnished by every moment of intimacy and wonder and togetherness shared by you and your Father.

In the whole divine journey, no one else can walk your pathway. In the whole cosmic choir, no one else can sing your song.

-- John Ortberg in God Is Closer Than You Think


Thursday, April 8, 2010


It is natural for children to trust their parents, even though parents sometimes fail to keep their promises. Our heavenly Father, however, never makes promises He won't keep. Nevertheless, His plan may take more time than we expect. Rather than acting like impatient children as we wait for God's will to unfold, we should place our confidence in God's goodness and wisdom. Yet even the most patient children will groan in anticipation when what they are waiting for is wonderful.

-- Life Application Bible Commentary on Romans


Wednesday, April 7, 2010


"Christ died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died and was raised for them… So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!" (2 Corinthians 5:15, 17 NRSV)

The greatest witness to the Resurrection is the changed lives of people, the emergence of a dynamic community of faith.

-- Dwight W. Vogel & Linda J. Vogel in Syncopated Grace


Tuesday, April 6, 2010


In 1993 pro golfer Paul Azinger won the PGA championship. He had it made, sitting on the top of his profession, when suddenly he was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 33. He wrote, “A genuine feeling of fear came over me. I could die from cancer. Then another reality hit me even harder. I’m going to die eventually anyway, whether from cancer or something else. It’s just a question of when. Everything I had accomplished in golf became meaningless to me. All I wanted to do was live.” He is not alone. All people want to live but at one point or another are confronted by the fear of death. And as our days grow shorter this fear intensifies. Death is the enemy of us all. But thank God for Jesus who in dying destroyed our death and in rising restored our life.

Azinger recovered from his chemotherapy and returned to the PGA tour. But that bout with cancer changed his life. He wrote, “I have made a lot of money since I have been on tour, and I have won a lot of tournaments, but happiness is always temporary. The only way you will ever have true contentment is in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I’m not saying that nothing ever bothers me and I don’t have problems, but I feel like I have found the answer to the six-foot hole.” Azinger found hope in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. Where is your hope? Azinger put it in these terms. "We are not in the land of the living, going to the land of the dying. We are in the land of the dying, going to the land of the living."

-- Paul Azinger quotes from "Sports Spectrum"



I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears Him and does what is right is acceptable to Him. You know the message He sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ -- He is Lord of all. That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. We are witnesses to all that He did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put Him to death by hanging Him on a tree; but God raised Him on the third day and allowed Him to appear, not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with Him after He rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that He is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about Him that everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name.

-- The Apostle Peter in Acts 10:34-43 (NRSV)


Friday, April 2, 2010


It's Friday... Jesus was nailed dead on a cross.
But Sunday's coming.

It's Friday... His mother Mary was crying her eyes out cause her baby Jesus was dead.
But Sunday's coming.

It's Friday... The disciples were running in every direction like sheep without a shepherd.
But Sunday's coming.

It's Friday... Pilate was strutting around washing his hands cause he thought he had all the power and the victory.
But Sunday's coming.

It's Friday... People were saying, "As things have been, so they shall always be. You can't change anything in this world."
But Sunday's coming.

It's Friday... Satan was doing a jig saying, "I control the world."
But Sunday's coming.

It's Friday... The temple veil was ripped from top to bottom, the earth shook, the rocks split, and tombs were opened. The centurion screamed in fear, "Truly He was the Son of God!"
But Sunday's coming.

It's Sunday... The angel, like dazzling lightning, rolled the stone away, exclaiming, "He is not here! HE IS RISEN!"

-- Adapted from Tony Campolo's "It's Friday... but Sunday's Coming"

To view a video of "It's Friday... but Sunday's Coming" using an expanded text and clips from the movie "Passion of the Christ" click


Thursday, April 1, 2010


The Passover is meant to be a festive and celebratory time, filled with joy as participants remember that those who were slaves were now set free, at last becoming one people, the people of God. If indeed the Last Supper began with such a tone, it changed during the course of the evening. Even beyond Jesus' foreknowledge of events, there was great apprehension in the room. Everyone was conscious of the heightened tension between Jesus and the religious leaders. They all wondered what was going to happen to Jesus -- and to them. Would there be repercussions from His action in the Temple? Might He finally proclaim Himself Messiah?

Jesus cut through the uncertainty with a statement so electric it still echoes across the centuries. "One of you," He said, looking at them in the sudden stillness of the Seder celebration, "will betray Me." (Mark 14:18)

He knew which one it was, but He did not say. "Surely, not I?" the disciples asked. (Mark 14:19) "It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the bowl with Me" (Mark 14:20, Jesus said, probably referring to the bowl of charoset before them.

The story of betrayal winds its way through the rest of the Gospel accounts of the final twenty-four hours of Jesus' life. Before the night was through, Judas would betray Jesus; Peter would deny Him; and the disciples would desert Him, leaving Jesus utterly alone as He faced trial at the hands of His enemies.

The echoes of Jesus' prediction and of the acts of betrayal by those closest to Him are still discomfiting. In our own age,… we realize that such betrayals are commonplace. Jesus might well have said, "All of you will betray Me"; and with that realization, we must look finally at ourselves.

-- Adam Hamilton in 24 Hours That Changed the World