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  #321  
Old 08-03-2009, 02:56 AM
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August 3, 2009

Being Glad

READ: Psalm 30

This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. —Psalm 118:24

One of my favorite childhood books was Pollyanna, the story of the optimistic young girl who always found something to be glad about—even when bad things happened.

I was reminded recently of that literary friend when my real-life friend fell and broke her arm while riding her bicycle. Marianne told me how thankful she was that she was able to ride all the way back home and how grateful she was that she wouldn’t need to have surgery. It was her left arm (she’s right-handed), she said, so she would still be able to work. And wasn’t it great, she marveled, that she has good bones, so her arm should heal fine! And wasn’t it wonderful that it hadn’t been any worse!

Whew! Marianne is an example of someone who has learned to rejoice in spite of trouble. She has a confidence that God will care for her—no matter what.

Suffering eventually touches us all. And in times of difficulty, thankfulness is usually not our first response. But I think God looks at us with pleasure when we find reasons to be thankful (1 Thess. 5:16-18). As we realistically look for the good despite our bad circumstances, we can be grateful that God is holding us close. It is when we trust in His goodness that we find gladness. — Cindy Hess Kasper

Under His wings, what a refuge in sorrow!
How the heart yearningly turns to His rest!
Often when earth has no balm for my healing,
There I find comfort, and there I am blessed. —Cushing


Thankfulness finds something good in every circumstance.
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  #322  
Old 08-03-2009, 05:44 AM
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good work, please keep it up i'm enjoying it

thank you for all the hard work you put into this daily!
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  #323  
Old 08-04-2009, 02:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinx5000 View Post
good work, please keep it up i'm enjoying it

thank you for all the hard work you put into this daily!
You bet, glad I can help.
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  #324  
Old 08-04-2009, 03:49 AM
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August 4, 2009

Our Moral Compass

READ: 2 Chronicles 7:1-14

If My people . . . turn from their wicked ways, then I will . . . forgive their sin and heal their land. —2 Chronicles 7:14

When Abraham Lincoln was introduced to author Harriet Beecher Stowe, he reportedly said that she was “the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war.”

Although President Lincoln’s comment wasn’t entirely serious, Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin was instrumental in abolishing slavery in the US. Its graphic depiction of racism and the injustice of slavery helped lead to the start of civil war. Ultimately, Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation declared that all slaves “shall be free.” Thus, Stowe’s novel helped to change a nation’s moral compass.

Centuries earlier, King Solomon was told about what would change the moral compass of God’s people Israel. It was to start with humility and confession. The Lord told Solomon: “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chron. 7:14).

As a Christian community, we should first take an inventory of our own personal lives. As we humbly seek God in prayer and repentance of sin, changes begin in our lives. God may then use us to change a nation’s moral compass. — Dennis Fisher

Revive us again,
Fill each heart with Thy love;
May each soul be rekindled
With fire from above. —Mackay


Nothing is politically right which is morally wrong. —Lincoln
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  #325  
Old 08-05-2009, 01:17 AM
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August 5, 2009

Matters Of The Heart

READ: Matthew 13:10-15

The hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed. —Matthew 13:15

At the beginning of a spiritual retreat, our speaker Matt Heard asked, “How’s your heart?” It stunned me, because I tend to focus on believing with my mind and working with my hands. In the activity of thinking and serving, my heart is pushed to the side. As we were led through the Bible’s repeated emphasis on this crucial center of our lives, I began to grasp his premise that belief and service are, more than anything else, matters of the heart.

When Jesus told a story to illustrate how people receive and respond to His teaching (Matt. 13:1-9), His disciples asked, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” (v.10). In reply, Jesus quoted the prophet Isaiah: “For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them” (v.15; Isa. 6:10).

How dangerously easy it is to neglect our hearts. If we become callous, we find no joy in living or serving; and life seems hollow. But when our hearts are tender toward God, understanding and gratefulness flow through us to others.

So, how’s your heart? — David C. McCasland

Our service for the Lord becomes
A duty that is hollow
If we neglect our heart for God
And Him we do not follow. —Sper


We can become so busy doing good that we lose our heart for God.
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  #326  
Old 08-06-2009, 01:21 AM
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August 6, 2009

Breath Mint, Anyone?

READ: Galatians 6:1-5

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. —Galatians 6:2

A new Web site helps you tell a co-worker what you’re afraid to say in person. Comments like: “A breath mint would be beneficial today” or “Your cell phone ringer is very loud today” or “Your perfume/cologne is very strong on a regular basis.” You confront issues anonymously by having the Web site send an e-mail message for you.

It’s understandable that we’re cautious in talking to others about something that bothers us. But when it comes to confronting fellow believers about their sin, that’s serious. We might wish we could do it anonymously, yet we have to do it face to face.

Galatians 6:1-5 offers some guidelines for confronting a fellow Christian who is living a sinful lifestyle. The first requirement is that we’re close to the Lord ourselves, and that we don’t exalt ourselves as superior to the one who is sinning. Then we are to look at the situation as restoring the person, not bringing condemnation. We’re to have “a spirit of gentleness,” all the while keeping in mind that we too may be tempted. Jesus also gave instructions that can help us with issues of sin against us personally (Matt. 7:1-5; 18:15-20).

With God’s enablement we can courageously and sensitively confront and restore others. — Anne Cetas

Lord, give us courage to confront
Believers who have strayed,
And then with gentleness restore
By coming to their aid. —Sper


To help people get back on the right path, walk with them and show them the way.
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  #327  
Old 08-07-2009, 04:23 AM
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August 7, 2009

Subtle Wisdom

READ: Mark 8:34-38

If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. —John 12:26

When I was in college, my co-worker Bud, a fork-truck driver, often enriched my life with his pithy wisdom. We were eating lunch one day, sitting on the back of his fork truck, when I announced that I was transferring to another school.

“Why?” he asked.

“All my friends are transferring,” I answered.

Bud chewed his sandwich for a moment and then replied quietly and with subtle irony, “I guess that’s one way to pick a school.”

His words struck me with rare force. Of course, I thought. But is this the only way to choose a school? Will I follow my friends for the rest of my days, or will I follow Jesus? Will I seek His face and His will and go where He wants me to go?

Twenty-five times in the New Testament, Jesus said to His disciples, “Follow Me.” In Mark 8:34, He said, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” No matter what others do or what direction their lives may take, we must do what He asks us to do.

The words of an old song come to mind: “My Lord knows the way through the wilderness; all I have to do is follow!” — David H. Roper

As I walk along life’s pathway,
Though the way I cannot see,
I shall follow in Christ’s footsteps,
For He has a plan for me. —Thiesen


To find your way through life, follow Jesus.
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  #328  
Old 08-08-2009, 04:44 AM
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August 8, 2009

Granville Sharp

READ: James 1:19-27

Be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. —James 1:22

When I was a Bible college student, a name occasionally mentioned in Greek class was that of Granville Sharp. He was a renowned Greek scholar (1735–1813) whose studies resulted in principles of biblical interpretation that continue to guide our understanding of the original language of the New Testament.

To study the Scriptures and learn the powerful truths they contain is a noble exercise but, no matter how deeply we study, it is not enough. James challenged us to understand this when he wrote: “But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was” (James 1:22-24).

Granville Sharp understood this and put his faith into practice. In addition to being a biblical scholar, he also fought to eradicate slavery in England. Sharp said, “A toleration of slavery is, in effect, a toleration of inhumanity.” His biblical understanding of the worth of a human soul and the justice of a holy God compelled him to act on his beliefs.

We can benefit from Sharp’s passion for the Word—and for living out the truth that Word contains. — Bill Crowder

It is God’s will that we should read
His Word from day to day,
Not just for knowledge, but much more—
To love Him and obey. —Hess


We don’t really know the Bible unless we obey the Bible.
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  #329  
Old 08-09-2009, 12:52 AM
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August 9, 2009

Yeah, But . . .

READ: 2 Timothy 4:1-8

They will turn their ears away from the truth. —2 Timothy 4:4

Grading university papers is full of surprises. Sometimes, one of my students will successfully handle a subject and display good writing style, and I feel as if my instruction was worthwhile.

Other surprises aren’t so pleasant. Like the paper in which a student wrote, “The Bible says, ‘Thou shalt not ____.’?” He filled in the blank with the activity he was writing about—even though Scripture does not contain such a verse. I thought his biggest problem was not knowing Scripture, until he concluded, “Although the Bible says this is wrong, I don’t see why, so I think it’s okay.”

It’s dangerous and the worst kind of arrogance to think we know more about an issue than God does. Scripture predicted this kind of thinking. Paul said in 2 Timothy 4: “They will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires . . . they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth” (vv.3-4). This points to people who set aside the inspired Word of God (3:16) in order to accept teaching they think is “okay.”

When the Bible clearly spells out a principle, we honor

God by obeying Him. For believers, there’s no room for “Yeah, but . . .” responses to Scripture. — Dave Branon

God who formed worlds by the power of His Word
Speaks through the Scriptures His truth to be heard;
And if we read with the will to obey,
He by His Spirit will show us His way. —D. De Haan


The Bible: Read it, believe it, obey it!
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  #330  
Old 08-10-2009, 02:25 AM
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August 10, 2009

The Heart Of The Gospel

READ: 2 Corinthians 4:1-6

We all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed. —2 Corinthians 3:18

When E. Stanley Jones, well-known missionary to India, had the opportunity to meet with Mahatma Gandhi, he asked a searching question of India’s revered leader: “How can Christianity make a stronger impact on your country?” Gandhi very thoughtfully replied that three things would be required.

First, Christians must begin to live more like Jesus. Second, the Christian faith should be presented without any adulteration. Third, Christians should emphasize love, which is at the heart of the gospel.

These insightful suggestions are the key to effective evangelism around the world. As messengers of God’s love, we are to be human mirrors who reflect without distortion a growing likeness to our Lord; we are not to walk in “craftiness” (2 Cor. 4:2). If our lives reflect an image that is spiritually blurred, the truth of saving grace may not be clearly communicated (vv.3-5). We are also to share the biblical essentials of our faith clearly. We must not handle the Word of God “deceitfully” (v.2). And our lives are to be marked by love for God and others (1 John 5:1-2).

Let’s be sure that we reflect a clear image of Jesus’ likeness, the truth of God, and love. — Vernon C. Grounds

Called to be salt and light in this world,
Called to preserve and to shine,
Called to reflect the glory of God—
Oh, what a calling is mine! —Fitzhugh


The primary reason for living in this world is to reflect the likeness of Christ.
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