Saturday, September 3, 2011

Comfort Food

"Your words were found and I ate them, 
And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart;"
Jeremiah 15:16

At a Gideon convention D. J. De Pree of Zeeland, Michigan said of God's word, “We must read it (1 Tim. 4:13); eat it -- that is, take it into our very being (Job 23:12; Jer. 15:16); bathe in it for spiritual cleansing (John 15:3); look into it as a mirror to see our true self (James 1:23-25); meditate on it (Psalm 1:2; 1 Tim. 4:15); memorize it (Deut. 11:18; Psalm 119:11); study it (2 Tim. 2:15; Heb. 5:12-14); teach it to others (Deut. 11:19; Col 3:16) ; talk about it (Josh. 1:8); and sow its seeds of truth in the field of the world (Matt. 13:3-9; Luke 8:11).

Blessed are those who feast upon the word of God. Who find joy in it and for whom it becomes the delight of their hearts. For them it is pure comfort food.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Gentle Savior

"A bruised reed He will not break 
And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish;"
Isaiah 42:3

When Isaiah prophesied of the Messiah, He showed Him as a Gentle Savior. Throughout His ministry on earth, Jesus proved Himself to be compassionate and eager to answer the call of the hurting. He hasn't changed.  When we come to Him in a weakened state, He doesn't crush us. He tenderly restores us. When our light has dimmed, He doesn't pinch it out. He lovingly fans the flame. Our Lord is tender, loving, compassionate and willing to answer us when we call out to Him for help. Life bruises us and dims our light. We need Jesus the Gentle Savior to restore us.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Peace with God

"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God."
Romans 5:1-2

Have you ever thought about the phrase "make peace with God"? It's often asked of someone who is close to death, as in "John, have you made peace with God?" The person asking the question wants to know that the other person is ready to stand before God without fear. This passage from Romans is our instruction for "making peace with God". First, we must be introduced to God through His Son Jesus Christ, and this happens through faith in Christ. The moment we do this, God knows us as belonging to Him. Christ introduces us and God accepts us into His family. Now we stand before God in grace. His grace -- His unmerited favor. We did nothing to deserve it, nor do we do anything to keep it. It's God's to give and once we have received it, we cannot lose it. We stand continually in grace. This is what it means to have peace with God. To stand before Him without fear. In this we have joyful confidence. Our hope is in God and He receives all the glory. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

You Follow Me!

So Peter seeing him said to Jesus, “Lord, and what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!”
John 21:21-22

Perhaps one of the more difficult realities to accept in the Christian life is how the Lord deals differently with each Christian. In His sovereignty, He decides which spiritual gifts we will receive, the length of our days and how we will serve Him. Like Peter, we may compare our situation to that of another of God's children and ask, "Lord, what about him?" Or maybe our question is, "Lord, what about me? Why don't I have what she has?" As long as we keep our eyes focused on others, instead of Christ, we will miss what He has prepared for us. Not only that, but we will completely overlook the blessings we already have. The Lord says, "Don't worry about what I'm doing with others. You follow me!"

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Season Before Serving

"Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person."
Colossians 4:5-6

The gospel message is a feast for the soul. Christ has entrusted each Christian with this feast, and He will bring opportunities for us to this share it with others. Every time we invite unbelievers to the table in the wisdom and grace of the Lord -- whether through our speech or actions -- they will "taste and see that the Lord is good" (Psalm 34:8). God is not bland, He is exciting. And so is the Christian life. It is seasoned with wonderful things. We have a relationship with the Living God. He lives in us. His Spirit teaches and guides us. We have His promise of eternal life, and His help while we are still on this earth. All this and so much more. These truths must be generously sprinkled in our lives, so that the testimony we serve -- whether spoken or shown -- is filled with flavor.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Righteousness Will Prevail

"But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells."
2 Peter 3:13

I remember watching Saturday morning TV shows with my brother; The Long Ranger being one of our favorites. In each episode, there were good guys and bad guys. The good guys -- like the Lone Ranger -- wore white hats, the bad guys wore black. No matter how much the bad guys seemed to be winning, in the end the Lone Ranger had them behind bars. Righteousness always prevailed. We live in a time when the bad guys seem to be winning, but in the end they lose. Christ will return and set up His kingdom. The old heavens and earth will pass away. A new earth and heavens will be established. Righteousness --integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness, correctness of thinking feeling, and acting -- will dwell there. This is the hope to which all those who love God and hate evil cling. God has promised it. It will happen.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Try This At Home

"All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;" 
(2 Timothy 3:16). 

Warning. If you open the Bible and humbly ask the Holy Spirit to teach you, you will be transformed. The inspired words of God will penetrate your heart and mind. They'll convict you and show you where you are wrong. You will exhibit more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. This will have a profound affect on your relationship with God, and others. In fact, your friends and family may comment on how much they like the new you. Kind of exciting, don't you think?

"If your creed and Scripture do not agree, cut your creed to pieces, but make it agree with this book. If there be anything in the church to which you belong which is contrary to the inspired word, leave that church. To the law and to the testimony here is the infallible chart of faith, follow it closely, and if you do, you need have no fear of coming short, for this book cannot lead you astray." -- Charles Spurgeon 
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