Saturday, August 6, 2011

No Excuses

"If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;"
1 John 1:6

If we truly have a relationship with Christ, then we will hate sin. This doesn't mean we won't sin. As long as we're here on earth it's for certain we will. But when we do, we should feel disappointment in ourselves and a desire to talk to God about it; to confess our sin and ask for His forgiveness. Such honesty is pleasing to God and He is more than willing to forgive us (1 John 1:9).  Corrie Ten Boom said, "The blood of Jesus never cleansed an excuse." 

Friday, August 5, 2011

He Must Increase

"He must increase, but I must decrease."
John 3:30

John the Baptist had prepared the way for Jesus the Messiah. Before Jesus came, John had quite a following. But after the Lord appeared on the scene and John baptized Him, the people turned their attention away from John to Jesus. When confronted about the circumstances that diminished his ministry -- a ministry he had given his whole life for and would soon die for -- John responded that his "joy has been made full" (v. 29). He understood that his service was for the glorification of the Lord and not for Himself. John was willing -- joyfully willing -- to decrease in stature for the exaltation of Christ. Jesus "must increase, but I must decrease." What a wonderful example John is for us. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Faithful Wounds

"Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy."
Proverbs 27:6

It takes courage to confront someone who's behaving in a way that is contrary to God's word, but if we love them we will prayerfully and lovingly correct them. I'm thankful for the friends who have spoken truth into my life, even though their words may have initially wounded my spirit. The flattering words of an enemy may make us feel good about ourselves, but they do nothing to improve our character. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What's in Your Hand?

"The LORD said to him, “What is that in your hand?”
Exodus 4:2

When the Lord called Moses from the burning bush to return to Egypt and free His people, Moses questioned how the Egyptians and Hebrews would receive him. The Lord responded, "What is that in your hand?" All Moses held was a staff. But a common staff committed to God became a tool for miracles that freed the entire Jewish nation. "An elderly widow, restricted in her activities, was eager to serve Christ. After praying about this, she realized that she could bring blessing to others by playing the piano. The next day she placed this small ad in the Oakland Tribune: 'Pianist will play hymns by phone daily for those who are sick and despondent—the service is free.' The notice included the number to dial. When people called, she would ask, 'What hymn would you like to hear?' Within a few months her playing had brought cheer to several hundred people. Many of them freely poured out their hearts to her, and she was able to help and encourage them." (Source Unknown.) The simplest things committed to the Almighty can perform wonders. What's in your hand?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Lasting Peace

"Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen."
Hebrews 13:20-21

Our God is a God of peace. He doesn't want enmity between Himself and man. That's why He gave His Son, Jesus Christ, as an atonement for our sin. On the cross Jesus shed His blood, accomplishing what was necessary to reconcile God to man. And God the Father showed His approval of His Son's work by resurrecting Him from the dead. If we have accepted Christ's sacrifice for our sins, then we are no longer "sheep that have gone astray" (Isaiah 53:6). We have a Great Shepherd who cares for us and will give us all we need to do His will. Doing His will is not a burden. It is a wonderful privilege. To Jesus Christ belongs the glory. For in Him we have lasting peace with God. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Make It a Good Day

"So teach us to number our days, 
That we may present to You a heart of wisdom."
Psalm 90:12

Once a young woman came to me sobbing. Her father, from whom she was estranged, had died suddenly. She grieved because she had not taken the opportunity afforded to her to mend the rift between them. It was too late. None of us know how or when our life will come to a close. God keeps that information to Himself. But if we are wise, we will acknowledge the brevity of our life and purpose not to waste the days we have been given. Don't put off until tomorrow the good you can do today.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

From Everlasting to Everlasting

"Before the mountains were born 
Or You gave birth to the earth and the world, 
Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God."
Psalm 90:2

The eternality of God is absolutely essential to our trusting Him. For if God were not eternal, if He ever ceased to exist, then we would not have a God we could depend on. At any time He could disappear, and all His promises would disappear with Him. Praise God that He has revealed to us that He is  from everlasting to everlasting. He has no beginning. He has no end. He is the First and the Last. The Alpha and the Omega. The Everlasting Father.  Breathe in this marvelous truth and rejoice! 
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