Friday, February 27, 2015


"Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." (Colossians 3:17)

What does it mean to do something "in the name of Jesus"? Generally speaking, in the Bible a person's name has to do with his or her character. So doing something in Jesus' name means to do it in His character. It means doing it as Jesus Himself would do it if He were in your place.

-- John Ortberg in The Life You've Always Wanted


Friday, February 20, 2015


"This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus,…" (1 Timothy 2:3-5 NRSV

Repeatedly in Scripture, God calls people to repent, turn to Him, choose the path of life, and do the right thing. These calls seem to indicate that we are not mere puppets, but that human beings, by the grace of God, have the ability to choose good or evil, faith or unbelief.

[In the 1700's John] Wesley spent his life traveling by horseback, in his later years by carriage, to nearly every town and village across England and at times into Ireland, Scotland, and Wales offering Christ to sinners. During the many years when he was rejected by his colleagues and not permitted to preach in their churches, he would go to the center of town where often there stood a "market cross," and from its steps he would preach to the crowds. He preached atop gravestones, including his own father's, and on hilltops and anywhere else he could draw a crowd and be heard.  He was beaten, harassed, and at times pummeled with eggs, rotten vegetables, and even rocks. He did this for decades. Why? Because he believed that God "desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."

-- Adam Hamilton in Revival: Faith as Wesley Lived It


Thursday, February 19, 2015


The whole purpose of a devotional life is to grow into what Christ wants us to be.  This means to be so much into Him, and to have Him so much into us, that we are transformed into the likeness of Christ.

-- Tony Campolo in Following Jesus Without Embarrassing God


Wednesday, February 18, 2015


True honor comes as the result of being honorable… "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you," is the first of the Ten Commandments with a promise. The children are challenged to honor parents unconditionally, but a close observation reveals that parents are expected to live by the other nine commandments. If they do, they are indeed worthy of such honor. The challenge for contemporary parents is that we will so live our lives that we will be worthy of our children's honor and thus our children will find it easy to honor us.

-- Gary Chapman in Five Signs of a Functional Family


Tuesday, February 17, 2015


"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23)

The pardon that God offers is an equal opportunity offer. God makes this offer to spectacular sinners, boring sinners, nasty sinners, proper sinners, secret sinners, educated sinners, uneducated sinners, religious sinners, and atheistic sinners. The truth is, God delights in offering His pardon.

-- Bill Hybels in The God You're Looking For


Monday, February 16, 2015


It is hard to keep our eyes open to the things of heaven while attending to the things of earth, and vice versa. How do we sort through these competing claims?

There are days I long to escape the mundane, days I want to flee from dealing with dishes, with laundry, with phone calls, with taxes, with errands, with paperwork, with institutions, with broken systems, with all that tries my patience and wears me out. Yet at the same time I recognize that even at their most maddening, these recurring activities help ground me, keep me from tilting off the planet, root me in this world where God lives. Where God hides. Where God waits for me to look for the holy not beyond my daily life but in the very midst and sometimes mess of it.


May you give your devotion to the things of heaven.
May you give your attention to the things of earth.
May they find a place of meeting in you.

-- Jan Richardson in In the Sanctuary of Women


Friday, February 13, 2015


"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." -- John 3:16 NIV

Love is a gift God gives to us in infinite measure so that our hearts can enjoy an endless supply. Let's tap into it. Let's lavish it on others. Let's fill our words and define our actions with it, and as we do, our hearts will reap God's abundance. He'll always give more than we can fathom and more than we can possibly give away. And though it appears to be packaged in heart-shaped boxes and glass vases as we celebrate Valentine's Day, love will always find its purest expression through words and deeds  --  as our heavenly Father exemplified through His gift of Jesus Christ. He loved us completely and expressed it openly. We'll discover extraordinary blessings on the path of His example.  Let's openly share the gift of His Son with others unconditionally.

-- Unknown


Thursday, February 12, 2015


That the Almighty does make use of human agencies and directly intervenes in human affairs is one of the plainest statements in the Bible.  I have had so many evidences of His direction, so many instances when I have been controlled by some other power than my own will, that I cannot doubt that this power comes from above.

-- Abraham Lincoln


Wednesday, February 11, 2015


Worship is not only an event of gathering but also of sending. All that we do in daily life culminates in worship. Likewise, all that we do in worship prepares us for life in the world, a life which glorifies God in serving others.

-- Paul Escamilla in Weavings Magazine, published by The Upper Room, Nashville, TN.   Used with permission.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015


If one of us were to be ushered into the presence of one of the great spirits of our century… we should be glad for a little time in the portico to collect ourselves, to adjust not our clothing, but our spirits, for meeting this one whose reputation we cherish...

If this time of recollection is precious preceding a visit to a human being, how much more suitable and necessary it is before coming into the presence of God.

-- Douglas V. Steere in Dimensions of Prayer


Friday, February 6, 2015


Jesus is present in His church.  When people take His presence there seriously, God moves.  John Woolman was a Quaker who felt a strong call by God to work for the abolition of slavery a century before the Civil War.  However, he also believed this call needed to be affirmed by his community of faith, many of whom owned slaves.  For two years they struggled and wrestled together.  In the end they all agreed that God was present in this call, and they said they would support him in his work.  As a result of his commitment to God's presence in the church, the Quakers became the first Christian denomination in the New World to take a stand against slavery.

-- John Ortberg in God Is Closer Than You Think


Thursday, February 5, 2015


The faith of the church passed down to us by the fathers and mothers of the faith is spiritual medicine, meant to cure the 'sin-sick soul' that characterizes the human condition. We have a diagnosis of our illness (sin), a remedy for this illness (the atoning work of Jesus Christ), and a means of application (the power and work of the Holy Spirit). The beliefs that the church has handed on to us, such as the Trinity, the incarnation, the power of sin, the atoning work of Christ, and the resurrection of the body, are simply sensitive instruments and effective prescriptions in God’s medical kit, just as the Eucharist, baptism and the Bible are. When we engage one another with these canonical means of grace, we are acting as the nurses in God’s hospital, going about the work of our divine physician.

-- Drs. David Watson and William J. Abraham


Wednesday, February 4, 2015


When Christ came into my life, I came about like a well-handled ship.

-- Robert Louis Stevenson


Tuesday, February 3, 2015


For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, "Do not fear; I will help you."  (Isaiah 41:13 NIV)

Think back to that first time you remember holding hands with someone you love. It felt wonderful from the bottom of your toes to the top of your head. God wants to hold your hand. What is stopping you from letting go of fear and taking hold of God's hand? God is Almighty and powerful. He can roar and He does demand obedience; however, please do not miss the offer to know Him on a feeling level. God is still reaching out with open arms and it is up to us to embrace Him and accept the invitation. Don't spend another moment in the dark, alone or full of fear. Let it go and let God hold your hand.

-- Pastor Gary Stone


Monday, February 2, 2015


On Sunday, August 16, 1987, Northwest Airlines flight 225 crashed just after taking off from the Detroit airport. One hundred fifty-five people were killed. One survived: a 4-year-old from Tempe, Arizona, named Cecelia.

News accounts say when rescuers found Cecelia they did not believe she had been on the plane. Investigators first assumed Cecelia had been a passenger in one of the cars on the highway onto which the airliner crashed. But when the passenger register for the flight was checked, there was Cecelia's name.

Cecelia survived because, as the plane was falling, Cecelia's mother, Paula Chican, unbuckled her own seat belt, got down on her knees in front of her daughter, wrapped her arms and body around Cecelia, and then would not let her go.

Nothing could separate that child from her parent's love -- not tragedy or disaster, not the fall or the flames that followed, not height nor depth, not life nor death. Such is the love of our Savior for us. He left heaven, lowered Himself to us, and covered us with the sacrifice of His own body to save us.

-- Bryan Chapell in The Grip of Grace