Friday, August 29, 2014


The humblest and the most unseen activity in the world can be the true worship of God.  Work and worship literally become one.  Our chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him for ever; and we carry out that function when we do what God sent us into the world to do.  Work well done rises like a hymn of praise to God.  This means that the doctor on her rounds, the scientist in his laboratory, the teacher in her classroom, the musician at his music, the artist at her canvas, the retail associate at his counter, the typist at her computer, the mechanic in his shop, the stay-at-home mom or dad in the kitchen -- all who are doing the work of the world as it should be done are joining in a great act of worship.

-- adapted from William Barclay in The Revelation of John, vol. 1


Thursday, August 28, 2014


What if God really is at work in every moment, in every place?  What if your job is just to jump into the river?  What if your job is to figure out, from one moment to the next, how to stay in the flow?  How to keep yourself aware and submitted to God’s Spirit so that rivers of living water flow through your belly, through the core of your being?

The apostle Paul gives a simple command, which in a sense is all we need to do: “Do not quench the Spirit.”  The Spirit is already at work in you.  Jesus says if you have come to Him, if you are a follower of His, the Spirit is there.  He is bigger than you; He is stronger than you; He is more patient with your failures and your gaps and your inadequacies and your pretending than you are.  He is committed to helping you 24/7/365.  So Paul says, in a sense, your only job is not getting in His way.  Just don’t  quench the Spirit.

-- John Ortberg in The Me I Want to Be


Wednesday, August 27, 2014


"You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger;…" (James 1:19)

Seek first to understand, then to be understood. Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.

-- Stephen R. Covey


Tuesday, August 26, 2014


The first service that one owes to others in the fellowship consists in listening to them. Just as love of God begins with listening to [God's] Word, so the beginning of love for the [community of believers] is learning to listen to them... Many people are looking for an ear that will listen. They do not find it among [some] Christians, because these Christians are talking where they should be listening. But [the one] who can no longer listen to his brother [and sister] will soon be no longer listening to God either; they will be doing nothing but prattle in the presence of God too.

-- Dietrich Bonhoeffer, by Geffrey B. Kelly in Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works


Monday, August 25, 2014


"In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:16 NRSV)

God wants us to be His lights in the world. The best lights we can be. With God as the power source, we're to shine in whatever capacity we can. It may be a bright radiance, a warm glow, a piercing reflection, or a steady beam. Different individuals with diverse personalities, strengths, and weaknesses will display God's light with varying intensities. But it's genuine light, all the same, and this darkened world can never have too much. Let it shine!

-- Joni Eareckson Tada in Glorious Intruder


Friday, August 22, 2014


God's love has a piercing quality, a persevering element, an assertive and searching aspect.  God yearns for us, woos us, reaches for us.  God's grace has the generative power to pardon, transform, redeem, and perfect, and it pushes and pursues.  God's love is not something sitting on a shelf that we reach for, but a truth at the heart of life that reaches for us.  God's grace interrupts with a compelling, propelling, motivating, and mobilizing quality.  It has the power, if we let it, to break open our hearts, get inside of us, change us, and then work its way through us to others.

-- Robert Schnase in Five Practices of Fruitful Living


Thursday, August 21, 2014


It goes without saying that Christianity has a perception problem.  At the heart of the problem is the simple fact that Christians are more known for what we’re against than what we’re for.  But the real problem isn’t perception.  We as Christians are often quick to point out what’s wrong with our culture.  And we certainly need the moral courage to stand up for what’s right in the face of what’s wrong.  I live [in Washington, D.C.] in the bastion of political correctness, where it is wrong to say that something is wrong.  And that’s wrong.  If we have to choose between political correctness and biblical correctness, we must choose biblical correctness every time.  But before confronting what’s wrong with our culture, we need to be humble enough, honest enough, and courageous enough to repent of what’s wrong with us.

-- Mark Batterson in PRIMAL: A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity


Wednesday, August 20, 2014


"When this perishable body puts on imperishability, and this mortal body puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will be fulfilled:
'Death has been swallowed up in victory.'
'Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?'
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 15:54-57 NRSV)

No one who is fit to live need fear to die.  Poor, timorous, faithless souls that we are!  How we shall smile at our vain alarms, when the worst has happened!  To us here, death is the most terrible word we know.  But when we have tasted its reality, it will mean to us birth, deliverance, a new creation of ourselves.  It will be what health is to the sick man.  It will be what home is to the exile.  It will be what the loved one given back is to the bereaved.  As we draw near to it, a great solemn gladness should fill our hearts.  It is God’s great morning lighting up the sky.

-- George Springs Merriam (1843-1914) in A Living Faith [1876]


Tuesday, August 19, 2014


God is full of surprises. Mere superficial pressures never determine life's outcome… If you are intimately linked with the living God of the universe, you don't need to worry about what the crowd is doing -- or even what the king is doing. The same God who created the world is able to carry you through and to work out every situation of your life, no matter how impossible it may seem.

-- Ray Stedman in Adventuring Through the Bible


Monday, August 18, 2014


"For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, 'Abba! Father!' it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God,…" (Romans 8:14-16)

As I get older, I find that I am becoming more like my father. People say that I look more like my father. I find myself saying things that sound just like what my father said to me when I was a child. I find myself adopting some of the attitudes and values of my father. Like father, like son.

The power of family links to influence us in subtle and obvious ways is strong. The influence can be positive or negative. Some traits or genes we would prefer not to inherit, like a temper or a predisposition to diabetes. I might like to inherit my parent’s patience or a gift for music.

Paul suggests that we have a spiritual father since becoming a Christian. We have been adopted by God, grafted into a new family tree. When we cry out to God, using the intimate and familiar phrase “Abba,” the same salutation Jesus used, it is as if our very souls know that we are God’s children. That’s the proof! Our souls know at the deepest level to whom we belong.

-- R. Scott Sullender in The Upper Room Disciplines 2012: A Book of Daily Devotions. Copyright (c) 2011 by Upper Room Books. All rights reserved. Used by permission.


Friday, August 15, 2014


Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.” (Mark 10:27)

Child of God, learn a family secret. God specializes in things we think are totally impossible.

-- Charles Swindoll


Thursday, August 14, 2014


One night in a church service a young woman felt the tug of God at her heart. She responded to God's call and accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior. The young woman had a very rough past, involving alcohol, drugs, and prostitution. But, the change in her was evident. As time went on she became a faithful member of the church. She eventually became involved in the ministry, teaching young children. It was not very long until this faithful young woman had caught the eye and heart of the pastor's son. The relationship grew and they began to make wedding plans. This is when the problems began.

You see, about one half of the church did not think that a woman with a past such as hers was suitable for a pastor's son. The church began to argue and fight about the matter. So they decided to have a meeting. As the people made their arguments and tensions increased, the meeting was getting completely out of hand.  The young woman became very upset about all the things being brought up about her past. As she began to cry the pastor's son stood to speak. He could not bear the pain it was causing his wife-to-be. He began to speak and his statement was this: " My fiancée's past is not what is on trial here. What you are questioning is the ability of the blood of Jesus to wash away sin. Today you have put the blood of Jesus on trial. So, does it wash away sin or not?" The whole church began to weep as they realized that they had been slandering the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Too often, even as Christians, we bring up the past and use it as a weapon against our brothers and sisters. Forgiveness is a very foundational part of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. If the blood of Jesus does not cleanse the other person completely then it cannot cleanse us completely. If that is the case, then we are all in a lot of trouble.

What can wash away my sins, nothing but the blood of Jesus... end of case!!!

-- Author Unknown


Wednesday, August 13, 2014


“Now therefore fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord… Choose this day whom you will serve,… But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”  (Joshua 24:14-15)

In St. Louis, Missouri, there is a railroad switchyard.  One particular switch there begins with just the thinnest piece of steel to direct a train away from one main track to another.  If you were to follow those two tracks, however, you would find that one ends in San Francisco and the other ends in New York, two very different destinations, all because of one tiny switch in a switchyard in the middle of the country!

Here is where God's Word comes in, it directs us to a very different destination than this world offers, but we can't stay on the right track unless we make the choice to switch the track from this world to eternity.  What's your destination?

-- Quoted by Dr. Anthony E. Loveless in And Who Will Follow


Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Remember, God created two perfect children and raised them in a perfect environment, yet both of them rebelled against the will of God.  But if God had to do it all over again, I believe God would do the same thing.  Why?  Because if and when we do decide to do God's will, and if and when we do choose to love God with all of our hearts and souls and minds (Matthew 22:37), our Creator experiences a joy that infinitely abounds.

At those times when you regret that your children have wills of their own and the power to rebel, consider that without free will they could never really love you.  That's what God wants to teach us.  Don't despair!  Remember, as that Great American philosopher Yogi Berra once said, "It ain't over 'till it's over!"  Even when we think all is lost, it really isn't.

-- Tony Campolo in Following Jesus Without Embarrassing God


Monday, August 11, 2014


"Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind but now I see."  (Amazing Grace)

I am not what I ought to be.  I am not what I want to be.  I am not what I hope to be.  But still, I am not what I used to be.  And by the grace of God, I am what I am.

-- John Newton (1725-1807)


Friday, August 8, 2014


The simplest illustration I've come across to articulate what sets Christianity apart from other religions is called "Do versus Done."  I tell people who are on the Earning-Grace Plan that "religion is spelled D-O.  At the end of the day, it's all about whether you do enough right things to earn God's favor.  To get in God's good graces, the thinking goes, you have to do this and do that and strive and sacrifice and clean up your act and make all sorts of promises."

"But Christianity, on the other hand," I say to people, "is spelled D-O-N-E.  The Bible says that what Christ did on the cross is enough.  He did what you could never do -- He uniquely satisfied God's requirement for a perfect sacrifice to take care of our past, present, and future sin -- and if you receive what He accomplished, then not only will you be 'in God's good graces,' but your life will be made brand new.  Because of what Christ did on the cross, your sins can be forgiven and you can find favor in God's eyes right here, right now."

-- Bill Hybels in Just Walk Across the Room


Thursday, August 7, 2014


"Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe… We proclaim Christ crucified,… Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God's foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God's weakness is stronger than human strength." (1 Corinthians 1:20b-25 NRSV)

Scripture nowhere condemns the acquisition of knowledge. It is the wisdom of this world, not its knowledge, that is foolishness with God...  The history of philosophy is a story of contradictory, discarded hypotheses...  Many of them have failed to avail themselves of that which would unravel every knot and solve every problem, namely, the revelation of God in Christ as given in the Holy Scriptures.

-- Harry A. Ironside


Wednesday, August 6, 2014


Jesus said, "I leave you peace; My peace I give you… So don't let your hearts be troubled or afraid." (John 14:27)

We serve the God who designed the universe and set our world in motion.  But those hands that hung the stars in the heavens also wiped away the tears of the widow and the leper.  And they will wipe away your tears as well.

-- Max Lucado