Tuesday, April 28, 2009
"There is no exercise better for the heart
than reaching down and lifting people up."
- John Andrew Holmes
…..make every effort to add to your faith goodness;
and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control;
and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, Godliness;
and to Godliness, brotherly kindness;
and to brotherly kindness, love.
2 Peter 1:5-7
Know how to give without hesitation,
how to lose without regret,
how to acquire without meanness."
~ George Sand
But the fruit of the Spirit is
love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness and self-control.
Against such things there is no law.
Monday, April 27, 2009
As the sun makes ice melt,
kindness causes misunderstanding,
mistrust, and hostility to evaporate."
~ Albert Schweitzer
He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Peace in the Storm
Years ago, a farmer owned land along the Atlantic seacoast. He constantly advertised for hired hands. Most people were reluctant to work on farms along the Atlantic. They dreaded the awful storms that raged across the Atlantic, wreaking havoc on the buildings and crops. As the farmer interviewed applicants for the job, he received a steady stream of refusals.
Finally, a short, thin man, well past middle age, approached the farmer. "Are you a good farm hand?" the farmer asked him."Well, I can sleep when the wind blows," answered the little man.
Although puzzled by this answer, the farmer, desperate for help, hired him. The little man worked well around the farm, busy from dawn to dusk, and the farmer felt satisfied with the man's work. Then one night the wind howled loudly in from offshore. Jumping out of bed, the farmer grabbed a lantern and rushed to the hired hand's sleeping quarters. He shook the little man and yelled, "Get up! A storm is coming! Tie things down before they blow away!" The little man rolled over in bed and said firmly, "No sir. I told you, I can sleep when the wind blows."
Enraged by the response, the farmer was tempted to fire him on the spot. Instead, he hurried outside to prepare for the storm. To his amazement, he discovered that all of the haystacks had been covered with tarpaulins. The cows were in the barn, the chickens were in the coops, and the doors were barred. The shutters were tightly secured. Everything was tied down. Nothing could blow away. The farmer then understood what his hired hand meant, so he returned to his bed to also sleep while the wind blew.
When you're prepared, spiritually, mentally, and physically, you have nothing to fear.
Can you sleep when the wind blows through your life? The hired hand in the story was able to sleep because he had secured the farm against the storm.
We secure ourselves against the storms of life by grounding ourselves in the Word of God. We don't need to understand, we just need to hold His hand to have peace in the middle of storms.
Luke 8:22-25 Now on one of those days Jesus and His disciples got into a boat, and He said to them, "Let us go over to the other side of the lake." So they launched out.
But as they were sailing along He fell asleep;
and a fierce gale of wind descended on the lake,
and they began to be swamped and to be in danger.
They came to Jesus and woke Him up, saying,
"Master, Master, we are perishing!"
And He got up and rebuked the wind and the surging waves,
and they stopped, and it became calm.
And He said to them, "Where is your faith?"
They were fearful and amazed, saying to one another,
"Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him?"
Friday, April 24, 2009
it is expressed in the choices one makes.
In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves.
The process never ends until we die.
And, the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.
- Eleanor Roosevelt
Let me hear Your loving-kindness in the morning;
For I trust in You;
Teach me the way in which I should walk;
For to You I lift up my soul.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.
For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.
Before a butterfly can emerge out of it's chrysalis it has to go through a lot of struggling.
Each time it lunges out to escape, acids are being removed from its wings.
If someone were to come along and break the chrysalis open for it
then the butterfly would die from those acids.
In essence the struggle is necessary for the butterfly to survive.
Then in the stillness, when the struggle is over,
the butterfly can come out and share its beauty with the world.
We as humans are not any different.
There are times that we need to struggle,
to rid ourselves of the acids that make up sadness, fear, and anger.
It is only at this time when we are exhausted and still,
that we begin to hear God whisper to us.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
You are who you are and what you are because
of what has gone into your mind.
You can change who you are and
what you are by changing what goes into your mind.
- Zig Ziglar
Make me know Your ways, O LORD;
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
For You I wait all the day.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
No man is free who is not master of himself...
Is freedom anything else than
the power of living as we choose?
"Now, therefore, fear the LORD
and serve Him in sincerity and truth;
and put away the gods which your fathers served …..
and serve the LORD.
If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD,
choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: …..
but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."
Monday, April 20, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Are like yesterday when it passes by,
Or as a watch in the night.
So teach us to number our days,
That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90:4, 12
You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that
it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present.
-- Jan Glidewell
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
if we give Him all the pieces."
- J. Sidlow Baxter
O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Our future in Christ is secure. Nothing can shake the promise of resurrection to God's faithful people. Resurrection is a certainty - more sure than anything else we can have in this life. Our resurrections will also be a time of great reward when we will receive a new and immortal life - a life that has none of the problems and pains of the life we now live. Resurrection is an incredible hope.
It is because of the certainty and the awesomeness of the resurrection, that Paul says this at the end of the chapter: "Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." (1 Corinthians 15 v 58)
Take a look at your own life. Do we stand firm in our faith?
Do we always give ourselves fully to the work of the Lord? If either of those answers are "no," then it follows that either our faith in God's promises is lacking, or that we do not fully understand the implications of the resurrection.
This life is not worth the time and energy we give it. Let's focus on God's promises and the resurrection and always give ourselves fully to the work of the Lord.
Robert Prins, Thinky Things
"O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy 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.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable,
always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
1 Corinthians 15:55-58
Sunday, April 12, 2009
But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
1 Corinthians 15:20
Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
And that he was buried, and he rose again the third day...
After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once;
of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep…
I Corinthians 15:1-6
Even after his resurrection, Jesus still taught about the Kingdom of God. Jesus showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. (Acts 1:3)
Many people saw the living Jesus after His resurrection from the dead. - He was seen by them for 40 days before His ascension.
Friday, April 10, 2009
After these things Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus,
but a secret one for fear of the Jews,
asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus;
and Pilate granted permission. So he came and took away His body.
Nicodemus, who had first come to Him by night, also came,
bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight.
So they took the body of Jesus and
bound it in linen wrappings with the spices,
as is the burial custom of the Jews.
Our fear of the opinions of the world can hold us back from being the type of disciple that Christ would have us be. And the more power and esteem we hold in this world, the harder it is to let it go.
Our inability to let go of this world to follow Christ really reflects a lack in our faith. But it is important that we understand that we are not alone. We can ask our Heavenly Father and he will give abundantly to us. He will give us opportunity to strengthen our faith and grow in Him and in His Son. Yes, growth comes with growing pains, but also with great joy.
Here these two disciples who could not stand forward previously, now find the courage to defile themselves publically for Jesus. Their actions would not be hidden for they would be unclean and unable to participate in the Passover rituals of that day because they had touched a dead body.
They also make sure that Christ's body is not dishonored and thrown in the rubbish heap outside the city, but rather given a proper burial. They treated him as they would a beloved family member for now they had publically declared themselves to be of the family of Christ.
God had taken a little mustard seed of faith and caused it to produce fruit. He can do the same with us.
Thursday, April 09, 2009
Now it was the day of preparation for the Passover;
it was about the sixth hour.
And he said to the Jews, "Behold, your King!"
So they cried out,
"Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!"
Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your King?"
The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar."
These Jews indeed spoke the truth. They did not accept Jesus as the Messiah.
Yet, even more stark than that, they did not even acknowledge God as their King.
They proclaimed to be subjects to the kingdom of man only...
selling out not only their sent Messiah, but ultimately their God also.
Where is our allegiance? Do we deny Christ our King in our daily lives?
Do we fully acknowledge that no authority is given over us unless our Father has allowed it?
Let us all pray that the Lord may grant that Jesus return soon
to establish the only kingdom of justice and righteousness...
His kingdom on Earth.
Adapted from Daily Meditation
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body."
Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them,
saying, "Drink from it, all of you.
This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on
until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom."
"WHAT the disciples could not know is that even while he encompassed them in this simple memorial,
his eyes were lifted beyond them down the years that were to be;
towards disciples gathered in caves with Roman soldiers dogging their steps;
towards men and women dying in the mountains with his Name upon their lips;
towards a faithful remnant struggling to keep the faith in a closing age of folly and darkness.
He saw countless disciples down the years and over the world,
humble disciples who lived and died unknown.
He saw them living out their little lives with their hopes and their fears,
their struggles and their failures, their prayers and their victories.
He came quietly to them with his invitation,
"With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer."
And in humble earnestness had come their answer,
"With desire we desire to meet at thy table, Lord."
And so obediently they came, they remembered, they loved,
they went back to their tasks inspired by his presence, resolved to struggle on.
Eventually they died, faithful to the end,
not having received the promise but having seen it afar off."
Melva Purkis - A Life of Jesus
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
God did it with nails.
Now before the feast of the Passover,
when Jesus knew that his hour had come .....
having loved his own who were in the world,
he loved them to the end.
Monday, April 06, 2009
But they [Jewish priests] were insistent, with loud voices asking that He be crucified.
And their voices began to prevail.
And Pilate pronounced sentence that their demand be granted.
Three times Pilate came before the crowds and insisted that Jesus was an innocent man. Pilate was the man who had the power of life and death. The Jews had delivered Jesus to Pilate so that he could be sentenced to death. It was not lawful for the Jews to crucify anyone - it had to be done by the Romans. So they brought Jesus to Pilate for the final sentencing.
The Jews had already had their trials and had decreed Jesus guilty of blasphemy, but Pilate, having examined Jesus, found no fault in him. Each time he declared the innocence of Jesus he was shouted down by the crowd calling for the crucifixion of Jesus and the release of Barabbas.
It was the shouting of the crowd that won out. "But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed." (Luke 23 v 23)
Sometimes we can find ourselves in the same sort of situation as Pilate. We know what is right and we know what we should do, but the pressure around us to do the wrong thing is great and we cave in. Whose fault is that?
"So Pilate decided to grant their demand." (v 24) In the end it was Pilate's decision that Jesus should be crucified. He could have chosen life and put up with the consequences, but instead he chose to do what was wrong.
When we are pressured like this we also have a choice. Both right and wrong have consequences. We cannot blame our decision on anyone else. So let's always do what we can to choose what is right and to follow that through in our actions.
Robert Prins, Thinky Things
Friday, April 03, 2009
and all his works are done in truth.
He loves righteousness and judgment:
the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.
There are two sides to every story. This holds true as I look upon the world that we live in. In the light of the current world events, many have developed a grim perspective of our society and our world. Many times the news media presents current events in such a way that there will seem to be no hope.
David reminds us in verse 5 of Psalm 34
that the earth is FULL of the goodness of the Lord.
Although the news media may show us the dark side of the story,
there is another side of the story. God is still in control.
He provides wonderful rays of hope
in every sunset and through every rainbow.
Yes, there are two sides to every story.
Which side do you choose to believe?
May God bless your day with hope.
(Adapted From Daily Psalm)
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
there are only people who have
grown hopeless about them.
- Clare Boothe Luce
I have set the LORD always before me;
Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will rest in hope.
Use words like hope,
belief, faith, victory."
- Norman Vincent Peale
Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him,
On those who hope in His mercy,
Let Your mercy, O LORD, be upon us,
Just as we hope in You.