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  #1531  
Old 10-20-2012, 03:32 AM
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Default Oct. 20

Watching And Waiting

October 20, 2012

Read: Isaiah 18:1-5

The LORD said to me, “I will take My rest, and I will look from My dwelling place.” —Isaiah 18:4

In Isaiah 18, it appears that the whole world is set to battle God’s people. Yet what is the response of the Almighty One? “I will take My rest, and I will look from My dwelling place” (v.4). His stillness may appear to have been an acceptance of the conspiracy against them. But it wasn’t. God’s response was His reminder that He acts in His timing—at just the right time according to His will. I think of Jesus waiting 4 days while Lazarus lay in the grave (John 11:39). Was He unaware? Did He not care? Of course He cared! He was waiting for the right time to act and to teach the lessons He wanted to teach. The Bible records God’s “delays,” many of which seem at the time to be inexplicable from our point of view. Yet every delay flows from the depths of His wisdom and love. If nothing else, delay, if we accept it, can produce the quieter virtues—humility, patience, endurance, and persistence—qualities that are often the last to be learned. Are you in distress? Does the Lord seem distant and detached? He is not indifferent to your plight, nor is He unmoved by your pleas. He is waiting while His purposes are achieved. Then, at the right moment, He will intercede. God is never in a hurry, but He is always on time.

Turn not aside, discouraged one; Stir up your gift, pursue your goal; In God’s own time you’ll see Him work; He’ll give you hope and lift your soul. —D. DeHaan

God is worth waiting for; His time is always best.
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  #1532  
Old 10-21-2012, 06:40 PM
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Default Oct. 21

Harvest Day

October 21, 2012

Read: Galatians 6:1-10

Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. —Galatians 6:7

One autumn afternoon I drove past a field where a farmer had parked some massive machinery by the side of the road. A yellow caution sign read: “Harvest in Progress.” As I glanced over at the field, I knew instantly what the farmer had planted several months ago—tiny kernels of corn. I knew this because he was preparing to drive his harvesting equipment through acres of mature cornstalks. While it may seem obvious that planting corn leads to harvesting corn, we sometimes deny the relationship between sowing and reaping in our spiritual lives. The apostle Paul wrote, “Do not be deceived . . . ; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Gal. 6:7). Living to please our flesh yields corruption in the form of wanting what isn’t ours, self-centeredness, and even substance abuse (5:19-21). Walking with the Spirit produces peace, kindness, and self-control (5:22-23). By God’s grace, we can choose to “sow to the Spirit” and reap eternal life (6:8). Suppose Jesus declared today “harvest day” in our lives, and He asked us to gather up the yield of our everyday choices over the past year. What would we have to show Him?

Things of the world often pull at my heart, But, Lord, help me see the end from the start; Open my eyes to where my life’s going, What I will reap from all I’ve been sowing. —K. DeHaan

The seeds we sow today determine the kind of fruit we’ll reap tomorrow.
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  #1533  
Old 10-22-2012, 04:43 AM
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Default Oct. 22

Give Thanks

October 22, 2012

Read: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22

In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. —1 Thessalonians 5:18

In Lansing, Michigan, during the winter, we don’t get many sunny days. But last year God blessed us with one of those beautiful days, and it seemed that almost everyone was thanking God, except me. As I left my office, a man said, “What a wonderful day we’re having. This is a gift from God!” To which I replied, “Yes, but we’re getting snow later this week.” What ingratitude! In his letters, the apostle Paul helped his readers to develop a theology of gratitude. He wrote about thanksgiving more often than any other New Testament author. From the 23 times he used the word, we learn a few lessons about thanksgiving. Thanksgiving was always directed toward God and never toward people. People were gifts from God, and Paul thanked God for their growth, love, and faith (1 Cor. 1:4; 1 Thess. 1:2). Thanksgiving is given through Jesus for everything (Col. 3:15,17). Paul believed followers of Jesus could be thankful for everything because God is sovereign, and He is working things out for the believers’ good (1 Thess. 5:18). May we intentionally be aware of God’s gifts all around us, and respond with gratitude. In response to God’s gifts, it’s natural to say, “Thank You, Lord.”

Lord, for days that are sunny or gray we simply want to say, Thank You! And for the daily grace You give us in Your Son, may we always be faithful to say, Thank You! You are so good to us.

Gratitude is a natural response to God’s grace.
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  #1534  
Old 10-23-2012, 04:22 AM
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Default Oct. 23

Love We Can Trust

October 23, 2012

Read: Lamentations 3:13-26

Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. —Lamentations 3:22

Perhaps the most painful statement a person can hear is, “I don’t love you anymore.” Those words end relationships, break hearts, and shatter dreams. Often, people who have been betrayed guard themselves against future pain by deciding not to trust anyone’s love again. That settled conviction may even include the love of God. The remarkable thing about God’s love for us is His promise that it will never end. The prophet Jeremiah experienced devastating circumstances that left him emotionally depleted (Lam. 3:13-20). His own people rejected his repeated calls to respond to God’s love and follow Him. At a low point, Jeremiah said, “My strength and my hope have perished from the LORD” (v.18). Yet, in his darkest hour Jeremiah considered God’s unfailing love and wrote, “Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. ‘The LORD is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I hope in Him!’” (Lam. 3:22-24). A person may vow to love us forever yet fail to keep that promise, but God’s love remains steadfast and sure. “He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you” (Deut. 31:6). That’s a love we can trust.

O Love that wilt not let me go I rest my weary soul in Thee; I give Thee back the life I owe, That in Thine ocean depths its flow May richer, fuller be. —Matheson

God’s love never fails.
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  #1535  
Old 10-24-2012, 03:54 AM
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Default Oct. 24

Eloquent, Yet Humble

October 24, 2012

Read: Acts 18:24-28

The humble [God] teaches His way. —Psalm 25:9

I admire people who can articulate their beliefs and persuade others with their rhetoric. Some call it “the gift of gab” or “having a way with words.” Others call it “eloquence.” Apollos had that gift. We are told that he was “an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures” (Acts 18:24). But although he taught accurately about Christ, he preached only of the baptism of John which was a baptism of repentance from sin (v.25; 19:4). Apollos knew about Jesus’ teachings but may not have known about His death and resurrection and that the Spirit had now come (Acts 2). His teaching was incomplete because he didn’t know about being filled with the Spirit for daily empowerment. So Priscilla and Aquila, a wife and husband who were friends of Paul, invited Apollos into their home to correct his teaching. Although he was highly educated and knew the Scriptures well, Apollos humbly accepted their instruction. As a result, Apollos was able to continue his ministry, but with newfound understanding. Psalm 25:9 reminds us that God “guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way” (NIV). If we have a spirit of humility, we can be taught by God and be used to touch the lives of others.

More like the Master I would ever be, More of His meekness, more humility; More zeal to labor, more courage to be true, More consecration for work He bids me do. —Gabriel

The place of humility is the place of power.
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  #1536  
Old 10-25-2012, 04:33 AM
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Default Oct. 25

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A Fresh Glimpse Of Glory

October 25, 2012

Read: Psalm 145:1-13

I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on Your wondrous works. —Psalm 145:5

Every summer, thousands of Good Morning America viewers cast their votes to select “The Most Beautiful Place in America.” I was delighted when the winner for 2011 was announced—Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in my home state of Michigan. Admittedly, I didn’t expect the winning location to be in my own backyard. It reminded me of the time my wife, Martie, and I visited Niagara Falls. A man nearby watched our tourist behavior and quipped, “Ain’t nothin’ to it. I see it every day.” How easily we grow accustomed to our surroundings and dulled to things that are familiar—even places and experiences that once brought great delight. Although God’s glory is clearly displayed all around us, sometimes the busyness of everyday life blocks our view. We take for granted His amazing work in our lives. We lose the wonder of the cross. We forget the privilege of being His child. We neglect the pleasure of His presence and miss the beauty of His creation. I love the psalmist’s declaration: “I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on Your wondrous works” (Ps. 145:5). Let’s take time today to meditate on God’s “wondrous works” and get a fresh glimpse of His glory!

For the beauty of each hour Hill and vale and tree and flower, Lord of all, to Thee we raise This our hymn of grateful praise. —Pierpoint

If created things are so utterly lovely, how gloriously beautiful must be He who made them! —Antony of Padua
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  #1537  
Old 10-25-2012, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by HardCory View Post
If created things are so utterly lovely, how gloriously beautiful must be He who made them! —Antony of Padua
That is a great quote.

----

Still reading daily, thanks for posting these HardCory.
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Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights
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  #1538  
Old 10-26-2012, 04:01 AM
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Default Oct. 26

Even Her?

October 26, 2012

Read: Joshua 2:1-14

Was not Rahab the harlot also justified? —James 2:25

Imagine looking through your family tree and finding this description of your ancestor: “A prostitute, she harbored enemies of the government in her house. When she was confronted by the authorities, she lied about it.” What would you do about her? Hide her story from anyone inquiring about your family? Or spotlight and praise her in the legends of your family’s story? Meet Rahab. If what we read about her in Joshua 2 were all we knew, we might lump her in with all of the other renegades and bad examples in the Bible. But her story doesn’t stop there. Matthew 1:5-6 reveals that she was King David’s great-great grandmother—and that she was in the lineage of our Savior, Jesus. And there’s more. Hebrews 11:31 names Rahab as a woman of faith who was saved from the fall of Jericho (see Josh. 6:17). And in James 2:25, her works of rescue were given as evidence of her righteous faith. God’s love is amazing that way. He can take people with a bad reputation, transform their lives, and turn them into examples of His love and forgiveness. If you think you’re too bad to be forgiven or if you know someone else who feels that way, read about Rahab and rejoice. If God can turn her into a beacon of righteousness, there’s hope for all of us.

Redemption’s price our Savior paid When all our sins on Him were laid; He took our guilt, He bore our shame That we may glorify His name. —D. DeHaan

Whether our sins are great or small, Jesus is able to forgive them all.
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  #1539  
Old 10-27-2012, 02:40 PM
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Default Oct. 27

Titanic II

October 27, 2012

Read: Jeremiah 17:5-10

Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the LORD. —Jeremiah 17:5

Mark Wilkinson purchased a 16-foot boat for fishing and recreation. Apparently he was not superstitious, because he christened his boat Titanic II after the ill-fated luxury ship that hit an iceberg and sank in 1912. Titanic II’s maiden voyage out of a harbor in Dorset, England, went well. But when Wilkinson headed back, the boat started taking on water. Soon he was clinging to a rail waiting for rescue. Wilkinson reportedly said, “It’s all a bit embarrassing, and I got pretty fed up with people asking me if I had hit an iceberg.” This was followed by an eyewitness who said, “It wasn’t a very big boat—I think an ice cube could have sunk it!” The story of Titanic II is quite ironic. But it also makes me think of the original Titanic and the danger of misplaced trust. The builders of that ocean liner were absolutely confident that their ship was unsinkable. But how wrong they were! Jeremiah reminds us: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the LORD” (Jer. 17:5). All of us are tempted to seek security in people or things. How often we need to be reminded to forsake these false confidences and turn back to God. Are you putting your trust in something other than Him?

When we put our trust in You, Lord, We’ll be like a tree that’s growing Beside waters that are flowing, Bearing fruit and standing strong. —Sper

Those who put their trust in God will never be disappointed.
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  #1540  
Old 10-28-2012, 02:53 PM
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Default Oct. 28

From A Distance

October 28, 2012

Read: Acts 17:22-31

Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it. —Genesis 28:16

A popular song from years ago titled “From a Distance” envisions a world of harmony and peace. It says, “God is watching us from a distance.” Indeed God is watching us, but not from a distance. He is present, in the room with you, right in front of you, gazing at you with unbounded love in His eyes. I think of the example of Brother Lawrence, who spent long years working in a kitchen washing pots and pans and repairing the sandals of other monks. He wrote: “As often as I could, I placed myself as a worshiper before Him, fixing my mind upon His holy presence.” That is our task as well. But we forget and sometimes need reminders of His presence. I have driven an old handmade nail into the shelf over my desk to remind me that the crucified and resurrected Jesus is always present. Our task is to remember to “set the LORD always before [us]” (Ps. 16:8)—to know that He is with us to “the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20) and that “He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27). Remembering may be as simple as calling to mind that the Lord has promised to be with you all through the day and saying to Him, “Good morning,” or “Thank You,” or “Help!” or “I love You.”

So near, so very near to God—I cannot nearer be; Yet in the person of His Son, I am as near as He. —Paget

No one can come so near that God is not nearer still.
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