Saturday, July 30, 2011

Living Letters

"You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts."
2 Corinthians 3:2-3

The faith of the church in Corinth was Paul's letter of recommendation. But Paul was only a tool. The real Author of the Corinthians' faith was Christ. The Spirit of the living God had transformed them. Their faith was written on their hearts and could be read by all. Christ is still writing letters today. The heart of the person who is open to Him, who is willing to give Him her heart as a tablet, will become a beautiful living letter of faith. And all who read that living letter will find something different. Something appealing, that transcends culture and trends. Something that is eternal. Christ wants to write His letter on your heart. Are you willing to let Him?

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Constant One

"The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness."
Lamentations 3:22-23

This morning we walked through the Endo Valley picnic area in Rocky Mountain National Park.  We marveled at how much the landscape around the stream had changed from last year, due to the increased amount of water. Our surroundings may change, but God never will. He is eternally the same. Always compassionate. His love never ends. His kindness never wears thin. Every night He tucks us into bed. Every morning He greets us with His presence. God is forever faithful. He is the Constant One.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Assembly Required

"and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near."
Hebrews 10:24-25

Today I passed a church with a sign outside that read, "What goes on here, leaves here." What a great quote! Jesus never intended for Christians to gather in His name as a kind of social club. Keeping what they have learned and experienced to themselves in elite membership. Nor did He want His children to neglect getting together for worship. The purpose of the Church is to spread the good news of the gospel of Christ and makes disciples, to encourage one another in the faith,  to care for and love one another, and to worship, study and pray together. For the Christian, assembly is required.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Joy of the Master

"Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master."
Matthew 25:21 

These are the words every follower of Christ should long to hear from Him. Affirmation from our Lord that we invested the gifts and talents He gave us to advance His kingdom. I have to admit that the temptation to satisfy my own desires with what I have received from Christ is great. And so this scripture is an important reminder to me that the Lord is the owner of what I have, not me. If I use my gifts for my own gain, then I will miss the joy of my master. What is this joy? Ray Steadman said, "In the book of Hebrews it is said of Jesus, 'who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God' (Hebrews 12:2). It is the joy of accomplishment the joy of achieving the results for which blood, sweat, and tears have been shed; the shouting joy of having satisfied the heart of God. It is an eternal joy, not passing in a moment as do our times of exultation, but remaining fresh and glorious forever." 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Glory to God

"Not to us, O LORD, not to us, But to Your name give glory 
Because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth."
Psalm 115:1

The blessings we receive from the Lord are to His glory. When we share with others -- especially those who don't have a relationship with Christ -- the things He does for us, we reveal to them how loving our God is, how kind He is. When we remain silent, God is denied His rightful place of honor. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Standing Tall

"See those people polishing their chariots, and those others grooming their horses? But we're making garlands for God our God. The chariots will rust, those horses pull up lame—and we'll be on our feet, standing tall."
Psalm 20:7 (The Message)

The stock market is down, Congress and the President can't agree on a budget, jobless rates are increasing while home values are decreasing. Today's economic news is enough to make me want to find a hole, crawl in and pull the ground over me. But then I turn to God's word and find the truth of the matter. My trust is not to be in money, or which administration is in power. The Dow Jones and the value of my home don't determine my joy. My trust is in the Lord and my relationship with Him is my happiness. No matter where the economy goes, my God goes before me. He is with me. He loves me, and my future is secure in His hands.  I'm making a garland for my God. If the world collapses around me, I'll still be on my feet, standing tall with Him.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

What's Taking So Long?

"Now when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people assembled about Aaron and said to him, “Come, make us a god who will go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” 
Exodus 32:1

Before we get too critical of the Hebrews and their unwillingness to wait on the Lord, we should think back to our own impatience. How many times have we forged ahead with our own notions and solutions to problems because we thought God was taking too long to answer our prayers? God's timing is perfect, but it's not always to our liking. The next time you wonder what's taking God so long, remember 2 Peter 3:8: "But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day." 
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