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  #181  
Old 04-06-2009, 01:37 PM
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Thanks HardCory....I'm still reading, I enjoy starting my day with them.
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James 1:16-17 ESV
Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights
With God's help...Mens sana in corpore sano
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  #182  
Old 04-07-2009, 04:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Commander View Post
Thanks HardCory....I'm still reading, I enjoy starting my day with them.
It's encouraging to see how many views this thread gets daily, it's my pleasure to continue this, whatever I can do to get the Word out.
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  #183  
Old 04-07-2009, 04:10 AM
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Default Apr. 7

April 7, 2009

Who’s On My Guest List?

READ: Luke 14:7-14

When you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed. —Luke 14:13-14

I love hosting festive dinners. Sometimes I’ll say: “Tonia, we haven’t had anyone over for dinner in a while. Who do you think we should invite?” We go through our proposed guest list and suggest friends we have never invited or have not invited in a while. And it seems like this list is normally comprised of people who look and sound and live like we do, and who can reciprocate. But if we were to ask Jesus whom we should have over for dinner, He would give us a totally different guest list.

One day a prominent Pharisee invited Jesus into his home, probably for table fellowship, but possibly to watch Him closely so he could trap Him. While there, Jesus healed a man and taught the host a significant lesson: When making out your guest list for a dinner party, you should not be exclusive—inviting friends, relatives, rich neighbors, and those who can pay you back. Instead, you should be inclusive—inviting the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. Although such people would not be able to pay the host back, Jesus assured him that he would be blessed and that God would reward him (Luke 14:12-14).

Just as Jesus loves the less fortunate, He invites us to love them by opening up our hearts and homes. — Marvin Williams

The poor and needy everywhere
Are objects of God’s love and care,
But they will always know despair
Unless His love with them we share. —D. De Haan


Opening our hearts and homes blesses both us and others.
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  #184  
Old 04-08-2009, 04:25 AM
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Default Apr. 8

April 8, 2009

The Other Goat

READ: Leviticus 16:5-22

He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. —1 John 2:2

The Scapegoat, a novel by Daphne du Maurier, is about two men who are amazed at the striking similarity in their appearance. They spend an evening together, but one runs off, stealing the other’s identity and leaving him to step into a life filled with problems. The second man becomes a scapegoat.

The origin of that word comes from a ceremony performed with two goats on the Hebrew Day of Atonement (known today as Yom Kippur). The high priest would sacrifice one goat and symbolically place the sins of the people on the head of the other—the scapegoat—before it was sent into the wilderness carrying away the blame of the sin (Lev. 16:7-10).

But when Jesus came, He became our scapegoat. He offered Himself up “once for all” as a sacrifice to pay for the sins of “the whole world” (1 John 2:2; Heb. 7:27). That first goat had been sacrificed as a sin offering for God’s people and symbolized Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. The other goat was a representation of the completely innocent Jesus accepting and removing our sin and guilt.

None of us is without sin—but the Father laid on Jesus “the iniquity of us all” (Isa. 53:6). God sees followers of His Son as blameless—because Jesus took all the blame we deserve. — Cindy Hess Kasper

Jesus our Savior left heaven above,
Coming to earth as a Servant with love;
Laying aside all His glory, He came,
Giving His life, taking all of our blame. —Hess


Jesus takes our sin and gives us His salvation.
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  #185  
Old 04-09-2009, 03:57 AM
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Default Apr. 9

April 9, 2009

The Honor Of Your Friendship

READ: John 15:9-17

I have called you friends. —John 15:15

During the marriage ceremony of a British couple, the best man remained motionless. Even after vows were exchanged, he didn’t move.

The still figure was a racecar driver who was trying to be in two places at one time. Because of contractual commitments, Andy Priaulx, three-time world touring-car champion, had to break his promise to participate in his friend’s wedding. So he sent a life-size cardboard cutout of himself, as well as a prerecorded speech. The bride said she was moved by his effort to honor their marriage.

Priaulx’s gesture was certainly creative, and we shouldn’t second-guess his actions. But Jesus gave us another standard by which to gauge friendship.

Jesus asked His disciples to show their friendship to Him by loving one another as He had loved them. Then, He raised the bar. In anticipation of His death on the cross, He said, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13).

This depth of friendship isn’t merely about doing the right thing. It’s about sacrifice, and it springs out of a relationship with the One who truly did lay down His life for us.

Are we showing others that we have been loved by Jesus as He is loved by His Father? (v.9). — Mart De Haan

For Further Study
The Bible describes what real love looks like (1 Cor. 13).
Check online for What Is Real Love? at http://www.discoveryseries.org/q0714 to study this passage.


Love is more than a sentiment, it’s putting another’s needs ahead of your own.
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  #186  
Old 04-10-2009, 04:00 AM
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Default Apr. 10

April 10, 2009

Who Crucified Jesus?

READ: Luke 23:33-38

When they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him. —Luke 23:33

When looking at Rembrandt’s painting of The Three Crosses, your attention is drawn first to the cross on which Jesus died. Then as you look at the crowd gathered around the foot of that cross, you are impressed by the various facial expressions and actions of the people involved in the awful crime of crucifying the Son of God. Finally, your eyes drift to the edge of the painting to catch sight of another figure, almost hidden in the shadows. Some art critics say this is a representation of Rembrandt himself, for he recognized that by his sins he helped nail Jesus to the cross.

Someone has said, “It is a simple thing to say that Christ died for the sins of the world. It is quite another thing to say that Christ died for my sins. . . . It is a shocking thought that we can be as indifferent as Pilate, as scheming as Caiaphas, as callous as the soldiers, as ruthless as the mob, or as cowardly as the disciples. It wasn’t just what they did—it was I who nailed Him to the tree. I crucified the Christ of God. I joined the mockery.”

Place yourself in the shadows with Rembrandt. You too are standing there. But then recall what Jesus said as He hung on that cross, “Father, forgive them.” Thank God, that includes you and me. — Henry G. Bosch

Behold the Savior of mankind
Nailed to the shameful tree!
How vast the love that Him inclined
To bleed and die for thee! —Wesley


The cross of Christ reveals the love of God at its best and the sin of the world at its worst.
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  #187  
Old 04-11-2009, 03:46 AM
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Default Apr. 11

April 11, 2009

The Day With No Name

READ: Romans 8:18-25

If we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. —Romans 8:25

In Louisiana, a woman lies buried beneath a grove of 150-year-old oak trees in the cemetery of an Episcopal church. Only one word is carved on her tombstone: “Waiting.”

A friend of mine knows an elderly pastor who delivered a stirring Good Friday sermon titled “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s Comin’.” In a cadence that increases in tempo and volume, his sermon contrasts how the world looked on Friday—when the forces of evil seemed to have triumphed—with how it looked on Sunday. The disciples who lived through both days never doubted God again. They learned that when God seems most absent, He may be closest of all.

The sermon skips one day, though—Saturday—the day with no name. What the disciples lived through in small scale, we now live through on cosmic scale. It’s Saturday on planet earth; will Sunday ever come?

That dark, Golgothan Friday can only be called good because of what happened on Sunday. Easter opened up a crack in a universe winding down toward decay. And someday God will enlarge the miracle of Easter to cosmic scale.

Meanwhile, we wait in hopeful anticipation, living out our days on Saturday, the in-between day with no name.

It’s Saturday. But Sunday’s comin’. — Philip Yancey

Dark was the night—sin warred against us!
Heavy the load of sorrow we bore;
But now we see signs of His coming—
Our hearts glow within us, joy’s cup runneth o’er! —Camp
© Renewal 1941 Norman Camp.


God took the worst deed of history and turned it into the greatest victory.
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  #188  
Old 04-12-2009, 03:53 AM
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Default Apr. 12

April 12, 2009

Much More!

READ: Romans 5:12-21

Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more. —Romans 5:20

A statement I heard at an Easter service stays with me: “More has been gained in the resurrection of Jesus than was lost in the fall.” More gained than lost? Can it be true?

Each day we experience the damage caused by sin entering our world. Greed, injustice, and cruelty all trace their origins back to Adam and Eve’s decision to follow their own path rather than God’s (Gen. 3). The legacy of their disobedience is passed down to every generation. Without God’s intervention, we would be in a hopeless situation. But Jesus overpowered sin through His cross and conquered death through His resurrection.

The victory of Christ is celebrated in Romans 5, often called the “much more” chapter of the New Testament, where Paul contrasts the devastation caused by sin with the restoring power of God’s grace. In every case, grace overpowers the consequences of sin. In a grand conclusion, Paul says: “Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (5:20-21).

No matter how much we have personally lost because of sin, we have gained far more through the resurrection victory of Christ. — David C. McCasland

Sin and despair, like the sea-waves cold,
Threaten the soul with infinite loss;
Grace that is greater—yes, grace untold—
Points to the refuge, the mighty cross. —Johnston
© Renewal 1939 Hope Publishing.


Our sin is great—God’s grace is greater.
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  #189  
Old 04-13-2009, 03:29 AM
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Default Apr. 13

April 13, 2009

It’s Bubbling In My Soul

READ: John 7:33-39

If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. . . . Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. —John 7:37-38

Decades ago, I visited a ministry center in West Africa and saw a little girl climb onto a truck that had a public address system. Smiling, she began to sing over the microphone:

It’s bubbling, it’s bubbling,
it’s bubbling in my soul;
I’m singing and laughing
since Jesus made me whole.
Since Jesus came within,
and cleansed my heart from sin,
It’s bubbling, bubbling, bubbling,
bubbling, bubbling in my soul!

I heard her sing that song only once. But the joy in her voice was so evident and powerful that I remember the lyrics and tune to this day. The parallel in the song between water and spiritual refreshment is a biblical one. During the Feast of Tabernacles, a Levite priest would pour out water as a symbol of God providing water for Israel in the wilderness. During that feast, “Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water’?” (John 7:37-38). Jesus was talking about the Holy Spirit promised to those who would believe in Him (v.39). This thirst-quenching water is a picture of the spiritual satisfaction that only He can provide.

Perhaps you’ve lost that joy you first experienced at salvation. Confess all known sin right now (1 John 1:9). Be filled with God’s Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18), and let Him provide you with a “bubbling in your soul.” — Dennis Fisher



Christ departed so that the Holy Spirit could be imparted.
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  #190  
Old 04-14-2009, 03:38 AM
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Default Apr. 14

April 14, 2009

God Remembers

READ: Genesis 8:1-17

God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the animals that were with him in the ark. —Genesis 8:1

A Chinese festival called Qing Ming is a time to express grief for lost relatives. Customs include grooming gravesites and taking walks with loved ones in the countryside. Legend has it that it began when a youth’s rude and foolish behavior resulted in the death of his mother. So he decided that henceforth he would visit her grave every year to remember what she had done for him. Sadly, it was only after her death that he remembered her.

How differently God deals with us! In Genesis, we read how the flood destroyed the world. Only those who were with Noah in the ark remained alive. But God remembered them (8:1) and sent a wind to dry the waters so that they could leave the ark.

God also remembered Hannah when she prayed for a son (1 Sam. 1:19). He gave her a child, Samuel.

Jesus remembered the dying thief who said, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” Jesus replied, “Today You will be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:42-43).

God remembers us wherever we are. Our concerns are His concerns. Our pain is His pain. Commit your challenges and difficulties to Him. He is the all-seeing God who remembers us as a mother remembers her children, and He waits to meet our needs. — C. P. Hia

There is an Arm that never tires
When human strength gives way;
There is a Love that never fails
When earthly loves decay. —Wallace


To know that God sees us brings both conviction and comfort.
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