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  #341  
Old 08-20-2009, 03:30 AM
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Going on vacation tomorrow so I'll post the next few days in advance.
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"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men"
-Colossians 3:23

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  #342  
Old 08-20-2009, 03:32 AM
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Default Aug. 21

August 21, 2009

Real Rewards

READ: Matthew 5:3-12

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. —Matthew 5:3

I once viewed the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-12 as a kind of sop Jesus threw to the unfortunates: “Well, since you aren’t rich, and your health is bad, and your face is wet with tears, I’ll toss out a few nice phrases to make you feel better.”

Unlike medieval kings who threw coins to the masses, though, Jesus had the advantage of dangling real rewards before His audience. He who came down from heaven knew well that the glories of the kingdom of heaven would easily counterbalance whatever misery we might encounter here on earth.

Among many Christians, an emphasis on future rewards has gone out of fashion. My former pastor Bill Leslie used to observe, “As churches grow wealthier and more successful, they’re less likely to sing ‘This world is not my home, I’m just a passin’ through’ and more likely to intone, ‘This is my Father’s world.’ ”

We dare not discount the value of hope in future rewards. One need only listen to the songs composed by American slaves to realize this consolation of belief. “Swing low, sweet chariot, comin’ for to carry me home.” “Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen, nobody knows but Jesus.”

Over time I have learned to respect, and even long for, the future rewards Jesus has promised. — Philip Yancey

Let me go, for earth’s fond pleasures
Soon will vanish and decay;
But the soul has richer treasures
Shining bright as cloudless day. —Bucks


Dark trials will be rewarded by bright crowns.
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  #343  
Old 08-20-2009, 03:33 AM
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Default Aug. 22

August 22, 2009

Indestructible!

READ: Hebrews 7:11-21

[Christ] has come . . . according to the power of an endless life. —Hebrews 7:16

The space shuttle reenters Earth’s atmosphere at more than 25 times the speed of sound! Friction from wind resistance raises the spacecraft’s outer temperature to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit. To keep the shuttle from burning up, 34,000 separate tiles protect its underbelly. These tiles must be virtually indestructible against high-speed friction.

In this world of death and decay, nothing is truly indestructible. Yet the Bible tells us of an indestructible life. Comparing the Lord Jesus to the works of the law, we are told, “[Christ] has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life” (Heb. 7:16). The Greek word translated “endless” is best rendered “indestructible.”

The Messiah is our Great High Priest whose priestly duties required His own sacrificial death for our sins. His resurrection guarantees eternal redemption for all who repent and believe in Him.

The loss of health, relationships, or finances can make us feel as if our life has been destroyed. But for the believer, nothing could be further from the truth. Through our spiritual union with Christ, we have the promise that we’ll share in His own indestructible life (John 14:19). — Dennis Fisher

Marvelous day, all suffering ended,
Glorious bodies now like to His own;
We will be kings and priests in God’s kingdom,
With glory and honor around the great throne. —Dixon


Nothing can shake those who are secure in God’s hands.
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  #344  
Old 08-20-2009, 03:33 AM
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August 23, 2009

Just Like David

READ: Psalm 51:1-12

I acknowledge my transgressions. —Psalm 51:3

The elderly woman didn’t like the way her pastor prayed each Sunday morning, so she told him. It bothered her that before he preached he would confess to God that he had sinned the week before. “Pastor,” she said, “I don’t like to think my pastor sins.”

We’d like to believe that our spiritual leaders don’t sin, but reality tells us that no Christian is exempt from the burdens of the sinful nature. Paul told the believers at Colosse to “put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature” (Col. 3:5 niv). The problem is that sometimes we don’t do that. We yield to temptation, and we’re left with a mess. But we are not left helpless. We have a pattern to follow for restoration.

That pattern comes from the heart and pen of King David, whose sin demonstrated the sad consequences of succumbing to temptation. Look closely at Psalm 51 as David owned up to his sin. First, he flung himself at God’s feet, pleading for mercy, acknowledging his sin, and trusting in God’s judgment (vv.1-6). Next, he sought cleansing from the One who forgives and wipes the slate clean (vv.7-9). Finally, David asked for restoration with the Holy Spirit’s help (vv.10-12).

Is sin stealing your joy and blocking your fellowship with the Lord? Like David, turn it over to Him. — Dave Branon

Our sinful ways can sap our joy
And isolate us from the Lord;
Confession and repentance, though,
Provide the way to be restored. —Sper


Repentance clears the way for us to walk with God.
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  #345  
Old 08-21-2009, 12:47 AM
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thanks for thinking of us and posting the one's you'll be missing while on vacation. have a wonderful time off!
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  #346  
Old 08-23-2009, 12:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HardCory View Post
Going on vacation tomorrow so I'll post the next few days in advance.
Very thoughtful of you!
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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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  #347  
Old 08-25-2009, 02:46 AM
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Default Aug. 24

August 24, 2009

Tell Your Story

READ: Mark 5:1-20

Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you. —Mark 5:19

An organizational consultant in New York says that his graduate students typically recall only 5 percent of the main ideas in a presentation of graphs and charts, while they generally remember half of the stories told in the same presentation. There is a growing consensus among communication experts about the power of the personal touch in relating an experience. While facts and figures often put listeners to sleep, an illustration from real life can motivate them to action. Author Annette Simmons says, “The missing ingredient in most failed communication is humanity.”

Mark 5:1-20 gives the dramatic account of Jesus setting a violent, self-destructive man free from the powerful demons that possessed him. When the restored man begged to stay with Jesus as He traveled, the Lord told him, “?‘Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.’ And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him; and all marveled” (vv.19-20).

Knowledge and eloquence are often overrated in the process of communicating the good news of Jesus Christ. Never underestimate the power of what God has done for you, and don’t be afraid to tell your story to others. — David C. McCasland

Take control of my words today,
May they tell of Your great love;
And may the story of Your grace
Turn some heart to You above. —Sees


Sharing the gospel is one person telling another good news.
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  #348  
Old 08-25-2009, 02:47 AM
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Default Aug. 25

August 25, 2009

Lament For A Friend

READ: 2 Samuel 1:11,17-27

I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; you have been very pleasant to me. —2 Samuel 1:26

As a pastor, I was often asked to lead funeral services. Typically, the funeral director would give me a 3 x 5 index card with all the particulars about the deceased so I would be informed about him or her. I never got used to that, however. As practical and necessary as it may have been, it seemed a bit trite to take a person’s earthly sojourn and reduce it to an index card. Life is too big for that.

After David received news of Jonathan’s death, he spent time recalling the life of his friend—even writing a lament that others could sing as a way to respect Jonathan (2 Sam. 1:17-27). David recalled his friend’s courage and skill, and he spoke of the grief that caused him to lament deeply. He honored a rich, pleasant, heroic life. For David, it was an intense time of mourning and remembrance.

When we grieve for a loved one, it is vital to recall the cherished details and shared experiences of our lives together. Those memories flood our hearts with far more thoughts than an index card can hold. The day that grief visits our hearts is not a time for short summaries and quick snapshots of our loved one’s life. It is a time to remember deeply, giving God thanks for the details, the stories, and the impact of an entire life. It’s time to pause, reflect, and honor. — Bill Crowder

At journey’s end, take a long look back
At the details of the story;
Take time to review the godly life
Of your loved one now in Glory. —Branon


Precious memories of life can temper the profound sadness of death.
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  #349  
Old 08-26-2009, 03:26 AM
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Default Aug. 26

August 26, 2009

The Importance Of Theology

READ: 1 Kings 11:4-13

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. —2 Corinthians 6:14

When looking for a new car, potential buyers look at more than the exterior styling. They check out the inner workings that make it run smoothly and efficiently.

When choosing a spouse, however, some are not so careful. They discover too late that a beautiful body is camouflaging a defective mind and soul. Men and women both make this mistake, but author Carolyn Custis James was specifically concerned about men when she wrote: “[A] woman’s interest in theology ought to be the first thing to catch a man’s eye. . . . [Her] theology suddenly matters when a man is facing a crisis and she is the only one around to offer encouragement.”

Solomon should have known this. He was, after all, the wisest man who ever lived (1 Kings 3:12; 4:29-34). But Solomon followed his own desires rather than God’s command and married women whose allegiance was not to God (11:1-2). The results were disastrous. Solomon’s wives turned his heart toward other gods (vv.3-4), and God became angry with him (v.9). The kingdom of Israel was eventually divided and defeated (vv.11-13).

Good theology is important for everyone. And it is difficult to make good decisions if our allegiance is to someone who does not know and love God. — Julie Ackerman Link

Thinking It Over
Why is it unwise for a follower of Christ to marry an unbeliever? What advice does Peter give to wives of unbelieving husbands? (see 1 Peter 3:1).


Faulty beliefs about God lead to faulty decisions about people.
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  #350  
Old 08-27-2009, 02:02 AM
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Default Aug. 27

August 27, 2009

Light As A Feather

READ: 2 Samuel 6:12-23

A merry heart does good, like medicine. —Proverbs 17:22

We Christians can sometimes be a joyless lot, preoccupied with maintaining our dignity. That’s an odd attitude, though, since we’re joined to a God who has given us His wonderful gift of joy and laughter.

It’s okay to have fun! Each family expresses it in different ways, of course. I’m thankful that our house has been a house of laughter. Water fights, good-natured (albeit stiff) competition, gentle ribbing, and hilarity came easily to us. Laughter has been a gift of God’s goodness that carried us through some of life’s darkest days. The joy of the Lord has often been our refuge (Neh. 8:10).

When King David brought the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem from the house of Obed-Edom, he danced “with all his might” before the Lord (2 Sam. 6:14). The Hebrew word has the idea of joyful exuberance and is akin to our expression “kick up your heels.” In fact, in verse 16 it says that David was “leaping and whirling.” Michal, David’s wife, felt that his antics were unbecoming to the dignity of a king and reacted with stern severity. David’s response was to announce that he would become even more “undignified” (v.22). His spirit was buoyant and he felt “as light as a feather.”

Take time to laugh! (Eccl. 3:4). — David H. Roper

A merry heart is like a medicine—
It’s soothing for your sadness, gives you joy;
So lift your voice and let your spirit soar—
True happiness is yours without alloy. —Hess


Wholesome laughter has great face value.
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-Colossians 3:23

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