Friday, October 29, 2021


Jesus said, “As for everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”  (Luke 6:47-49 NIV)

No words ever written or spoken can compare with those of our Lord… Perhaps you’ve lost sight of this.

If you’ve been running low on faith, maybe it’s because you’ve been listening to the wrong people. With talk radio and television blaring 24/7, with a record number of magazines in prints, with thousands of publishers spitting out scores of books a year,… we live under a Niagara-like torrent of verbiage. But how many of those words are truly worthy of your time and attentions? How many are going to impact your life in any meaningful way? Not that many, I’m afraid.         

But one thing is sure: our Lord’s words are packed with power and, given the chance, will make a dramatic difference in your life.  

-- Mark Atteberry in “Free Refill: Coming Back for More of Jesus”


Thursday, October 28, 2021


“Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”  (John 8:12 ESV)

Like most living legends, Julius Erving (Dr. J) is often asked about the greatest highlight of his career. Though Dr. J enjoyed one of the greatest careers in NBA history with over 30,000 points scored, he likes to tell others what went on in his heart.

“At age 29 I realized I was looking good on the outside but was hitting a lot of peaks and valleys on the inside.” He says, “After searching for the meaning of life for over ten years, I found the meaning in Jesus Christ. When I gave my life to Christ, I began to understand my true purpose for being here. It’s not to go through life and experience as many things as you possibly can and then turn to dust and be no more. The purpose of life is to be found through having Christ in your life, and understanding what His plan is and following that plan.”

Surely, God blessed Dr. J in basketball and in the game of life.  

-- Rod Handley, Elliot Johnson, and Gordon Thiessen in “Character Counts for Athletes”



Wednesday, October 27, 2021


“Speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of Him who is the head, that is, Christ. From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”  (Ephesians 4:15-16 NIV)

The Church… is the body of Christ. Every Christian is a member or organ of the body, while Christ Himself is the Head, controlling the body’s activities. Not every organ has the same function, but each is necessary for the maximum health and usefulness of the body. Moreover, the whole body is animated by a common life. This is the Holy Spirit. It is His presence which makes the body one. 

-- John R. W. Stott, as quoted in “Growing Strong in God’s Family: A Course in Personal Discipleship to Strengthen Your Walk with God” 


Tuesday, October 26, 2021


“Then Jesus said to the crowd, ‘If any of you wants to be My follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow Me.’”  (Luke 9:23 NLT)

The operative word is follow. When Jesus said, “Follow Me,” He defined faith. Faith goes deeper than just believing that Jesus is the Christ; the proof of faith is following Him…

If Jesus calls us to follow Him, He must be our leader. So we all should be in some distress when we realize that Jesus has largely disappeared as leader. Yes, we rightly acknowledge Him as Savior of the world, the Lamb that was slain, our resurrected Lord, and our soon-coming King, yet we don’t treat Christ as our leader. We seem to have forgotten His way of teaching, training, and doing works of power. With this oversight, we’ve sterilized His personality, taking all the spice, humor, and straightforwardness from Him. Even more fundamental to following Christ is submitting to His leadership.  

-- Bill Hull in “The Complete Book of Discipleship: On Being and Making Followers of Christ”


Monday, October 25, 2021


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” 


Friday, October 22, 2021


“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”


Thursday, October 21, 2021


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” 


Wednesday, October 20, 2021


“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”


Tuesday, October 19, 2021


“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”


Monday, October 18, 2021


Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”  (John 11:25-16 NKJV)

Eternal life can begin for you and me now. Resurrection can happen for you and me now. New life is available for you and me right now. We don’t have to wait till we physically die to be at home with God.

Now, please don’t misunderstand me. I believe in that “Great Gettin’ Up Morning” off in the future, but I also believe that God can raise us up now -- that God has the power to bring us out of those dark and dismal tombs that imprison us and enslave us and smother the very life out of us…

Do you feel trapped in some desolate and dreary tomb?

If so, I have good news. God has a resurrection for you! He wants to bring you out into the light again. He wants to bring you out of that tomb and give you a new start. And listen! He has the power to do it. He can bring you back to life. 

-- James W. Moore and Bob J. Moore in “Lord, Give Me Patience!... And Give It to Me Right Now!”


Friday, October 15, 2021


“I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me and heard my cry.”  (Psalm 40:1) 

What does it look like to wait with patient trust?

Henri Nouwen gave us a picture of patient trust not long before he died in 1996. Writing about some trapeze artists who became good friends of his, he explained that there is a very special relationship between the flyer and catcher…

As the flyer is swinging high above the crowd, the moment comes when he lets go of the trapeze, when he arcs out into the air. For that moment, which must feel like an eternity, the flyer is suspended in nothingness. It is too late to reach back for the trapeze. There is no going back now. However, it is too soon to be grasped by the one who will catch him. He cannot accelerate the catch. In that moment, his job is to be as still and motionless as he can.

"The flyer must never try to catch the catcher," the trapeze artist told Nouwen. "He must wait in absolute trust. The catcher will catch him. But he must wait. His job is not to flail about in anxiety. In fact, if he does, it could kill him. His job is to be still. To wait. And to wait is the hardest work of all."

You may be in that very vulnerable moment right now -- you have let go of what God has called you to let go of, but can't feel God's other hand catching you yet. Will you wait in absolute trust? Will you be patient? Waiting requires patient trust. 

-- John Ortberg in “If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat”


Thursday, October 14, 2021


Jesus said to His disciples, “Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Me.”  (Matthew 16:24 NIV)

The ancient Jews had a saying that captures the idea of discipleship and transformation. They said that if you find a good rabbi, you should “cover yourself in the dust of his feet and drink in his words thirstily.”

The expression probably draws on a well-known sight for ancient Jews: disciples were known for walking behind their rabbi, following him so closely that they would become covered with the dust kicked up from his sandals. This would have been a powerful image for what should happen in the disciple’s life spiritually. Disciples were expected to follow the rabbi so closely that they would be covered with their master’s whole way of thinking, living and acting.

Thousands of years later, we’re called to do the same. Though we walk on paved roads, not dusty ones, we are still called to be disciples -- to follow our Rabbi, Jesus Christ, so closely that we are covered by the “dust” of His life, that we are changed and made new. These are exactly the kind of disciples that Jesus is looking for. He calls us to imitate Him. 

-- Excerpted from an article entitled "In the Dust of the Rabbi: Living as a Disciple of Jesus” at


Wednesday, October 13, 2021


“[Jesus] personally carried our sins in His body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By His wounds you are healed.”  (1 Peter 2:24 NLT)

Slowly we have drifted away from the biblical truth: “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22). Mankind would like to make the cross a thing of sentiment -- a trinket to be worn around the neck, an ornament on a church steeple or an emblem stamped in gold on our Bibles. A certain romantic interest has gathered around the story of the cross. But it is the suffering and sacrifice of Christ on Calvary that symbolize our utter helplessness to save ourselves. The cross as the supreme symbol of suffering reveals two basic facts that cannot be denied: the depth of man’s depravity and the immensity of God’s love. 

-- Billy Graham in “Who’s in Charge of a World that Suffers?”


Tuesday, October 12, 2021


When Jesus knelt before Peter and prepared to wash his feet, He met with some serious resistance. Peter protested, saying, “No, You will never wash my feet!” It’s impossible to say why he was so adamant. Surely he felt that such a job was beneath Jesus. Or maybe his feet were unusually ugly, dirty, or diseased. Or it might have had something to do with Peter’s pride. Whatever the case, he wanted nothing to do with Jesus’ expression of love and tenderness.

If I’d been in Jesus’ position, I would have thrown my hands into the air and said, “OK, OK… no need to get upset. If you don’t want me to wash your feet, I’ll just skip you and move on.”

But Jesus wasn’t put off by Peter’s resistance. He never is.

This is one of the greatest facts about our Lord. We can avoid, defy, elude, rebuff, resist, or reject Him, but it doesn’t change the way He feels about us. Nor does it diminish His desire to bless us. 

-- Mark Atteberry in “Free Refill: Coming Back for More of Jesus”


Monday, October 11, 2021


“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  (Romans 5:8)

Any time that we are tempted to doubt God’s love for us, we should go back to the Cross. We should reason somewhat in this fashion: If God loved me enough to give His Son to die for me when I was His enemy, surely He loves me enough to care for me now that I am His child. Having loved me to the ultimate extent of the Cross, He cannot possibly fail to love me in times of adversity. Having given such a priceless gift as His Son, surely He will also give all else that is consistent with His glory and my good…

“He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all – how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32) Paul reasoned that if God loved us so much to give us the greatest conceivable gift, then surely He will not withhold any lesser blessing from us… If God’s love was sufficient for my greatest need, my eternal salvation, surely it is sufficient for my lesser needs, the adversities I encounter in this life. 

-- Jerry Bridges in “Trusting God”


Friday, October 8, 2021


In William Shakespeare's play, Romeo and Juliet, there is that famous balcony scene.  As the pair of star-crossed lovers prepares to depart, they say to one another, "Good night.  Good night.  Parting is such sweet sorrow."  The same thing can be said at the death of a Christian.  "Parting is such sweet sorrow."  Sorrowful because we will miss them.  Sorrowful because a part of our life has been taken from us.  But sweet because we are a resurrection people who believe that God's love and power have taken the sting of death away and given us the hope and promise of life eternal. 

-- Rev. Keith Schroerlucke in a sermon entitled "When Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow"


Thursday, October 7, 2021


“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”  (Ephesians 2:10 NLT)

One of the great works of art in the Western world is Michelangelo's Pietà, a marble statue of an anguished Mary holding the crucified Christ. Some years ago a fanatic nationalist rushed upon the masterpiece and began smashing it with a sledgehammer. Although the damage was significant, Vatican artists were able to restore the statue to near-perfect condition.

You were created to be a masterpiece of God. Paul writes, "For we are God's poiēma" -- a word that can mean God's "workmanship," or even God's "work of art." God made you to know oneness with Him and with other human beings. God made you to be co-regent with Him -- to "fill the earth and subdue it," to "have dominion" over creation under His reign and with His help. It is the goodness of God's work in creating us that makes our fallenness so tragic. This is why my disappointment in myself runs so deep.

But God is determined to overcome the defacing of His image in us. His plan is not simply to repair most of our brokenness. He wants to make us new creatures. So the story of the human race is not just one of universal disappointment, but one of inextinguishable hope.

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


Wednesday, October 6, 2021


“You parents -- if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask Him.”  (Matthew 7:9-11 NLT)

Although prayer has been defined as communion with God, aspiration after the highest things, Stopford Brooke, an Irish clergyman who lived from1832 to 1916, was right when he insisted that prayer, in its plainest meaning, is a petition addressed to God.  When Jesus laid the duty of petition upon His disciples, He went on to assert the reasonableness of our asking and God's answering.  Jesus argues along the line of reason that, if an earthly parent does the best in his power for his children, the Almighty, All-Wise, and All-Loving Father, of which human love is only the shadow, will do better still for His great family; and therefore our Master teaches that we ought everywhere to pray, without fear, with hope, and without doubt.

-- Adapted from Horace L. Hastings (1852-1922) in “The Great Christian Doctrines


Tuesday, October 5, 2021


“O God, You are my God; earnestly I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh faints for You, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”  (Psalm 63:1)

Most men and women live lives of quiet desperation. But that's where we come in! It is our happy task to point out that every human desire is nothing less than a desire for God. Every impulse, every longing, every lust, every cry of the heart is but a cry after Him. "Even when men knock on the door of a brothel," Chesterton said, "they are looking for God." We are born for God's love and nothing else will do.

-- David Roper in “Seeing Through”


Monday, October 4, 2021


“So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”  (The Prodigal Son, Luke 15:20 NIV)

Our God is not patiently standing by and waiting for us to offer love; He is actively and vigorously pursuing us… He is the father running down the trail to embrace the prodigal son even before the boy can speak his act of contrition. He is the mad farmer showering a full day's wage on men who hadn't even worked. He is Jesus forgiving the sinful woman even before she spoke her sorrow. He is the king lavishing a banquet on beggars. These are all symbols of a God whose love for us is so active, so strong, that by human standards He would be at least, said to be mad. 

-- Andrew Greeley, quoted by Joni Eareckson Tada in “Glorious Intruder” 


Friday, October 1, 2021


"Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’" (Matthew 25:37-40 NKJV)

Martin of Tours was a Roman soldier and a Christian.  One cold winter day, as he was entering a city, a beggar stopped him and asked for alms.  Martin had no money; but the beggar was blue and shivering with cold, and Martin gave what he had.  He took his soldier's coat, worn and frayed as it was; he cut it in two and gave half of it to the beggar man.  That night he had a dream.  In it he saw the heavenly places and all the angels and Jesus in the midst of them; and Jesus was wearing half of a Roman soldier's cloak.  One of the angels said to Him, "Master why are You wearing that battered old cloak?  Who gave it to You?"  And Jesus answered softly, "My servant Martin gave it to Me."

When we learn the generosity, which without calculation helps [others] in the simplest things, we too will know the joy of helping Jesus Christ Himself. 

-- William Barclay in “The Gospel of Matthew”