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  #481  
Old 12-31-2009, 03:25 AM
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Default Dec. 31

December 31, 2009

Point Of No Return

READ: Deut. 11:7-12

The eyes of the Lord your God are always on [the land], from the beginning of the year to the very end of the year. —Deuteronomy 11:12

Longtime California pastor Ray Stedman once told his congregation: “On New Year’s Eve we realize more than at any other time in our lives that we can never go back in time. . . . We can look back and remember, but we cannot retrace a single moment of the year that is past.”

Stedman then referred to the Israelites as they stood on the edge of a new opportunity. After four decades of desert wanderings by their people, this new generation may have wondered if they had the faith and fortitude to possess the Promised Land.

Their leader, Moses, reminded them that they had seen “every great act of the Lord which He did” (Deut. 11:7) and that their destination was “a land for which the Lord your God cares; the eyes of the Lord your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the very end of the year” (v.12).

On New Year’s Eve, we may fear the future because of events in the past. But we need not remain chained to our old memories because we can move ahead focused on God. Just as the Lord watched over the land and His people, so His eyes will be upon us.

God’s faithful care will extend to every day of the new year. We can count on that promise. — David C. McCasland

God holds the future in His hands
With grace sufficient day by day;
Through good or ill He gently leads,
If we but let Him have His way. —Rohrs

The “what” of our future is determined by the “Who” of eternity.
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  #482  
Old 12-31-2009, 03:07 PM
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Wow, you've been doing this for almost a year!

Thank you so much Cory.
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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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  #483  
Old 01-01-2010, 12:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Commander View Post
Wow, you've been doing this for almost a year!

Thank you so much Cory.
Thanks, still going strong with no signs of letting up, God is keeping me motivated.
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  #484  
Old 01-01-2010, 06:04 AM
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January 1, 2010

Treasure Hunt

READ: Proverbs 2:1-9

If you seek [wisdom] as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will understand the fear of the Lord. —Proverbs 2:4-5

On January 1, 2008, Keith Severin and his 7-year-old son, Adrien, agreed that they would spend at least 15 minutes every day that year searching together for treasure. Carlos Alcalá’s article in the Sacramento Bee described how they went out each day in every kind of weather to see what they could find. A year later their collection of coins, golf balls, recyclable bottles and cans, and various other items had yielded more than $1,000. In the process, they enjoyed many hours of companionship and fun.

If we decided to spend 15 minutes a day searching for treasure in the Bible, what would we find? Solomon wrote: “If you seek [wisdom] as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. . . . Then you will understand righteousness and justice, equity and every good path” (Prov. 2:4-5,9).

Growth won’t happen all at once. But gradually, day by day, we will be changed through reading God’s Word and obeying Him. And think of the privilege and pleasure of spending time with our heavenly Father.

It begins with a willing commitment, continues with exciting discoveries, and leads to the treasure of wisdom and life. — David C. McCasland

Search the Scriptures’ precious store—
As a miner digs for ore;
Search, and you will surely find
Treasures to enrich the mind. —Anon.

Rich treasures of God’s truth are waiting to be discovered.
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  #485  
Old 01-02-2010, 04:55 AM
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January 2, 2010

Always With You

READ: Psalm 25:4-10

Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go. —Genesis 28:15

The highway that winds around the southern shore of Lake Michigan can be treacherous in the winter. One weekend as we were driving back to Grand Rapids from Chicago, a buildup of snow and ice slowed traffic, caused numerous accidents, and almost doubled our drive time. We were relieved as we eased off the expressway onto our final road. It was then that my husband said out loud, “Thanks, Lord. I think I can take it from here.”

Just as he finished saying the words, our car spun around 180 degrees. As we came to a stop, hearts pounding, we could just imagine God saying: “Are you sure?”

Why do we sometimes try to go it alone in life when at every moment we have access to God? He said: “I am with you and will keep you wherever you go” (Gen. 28:15). And He assures us: “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb. 13:5).

Scottish mathematician, theologian, and preacher Thomas Chalmers (1780–1847) wrote: “When I walk by the wayside, He is along with me. When I enter into company, amid all my forgetfulness of Him, He never forgets me. . . . Go where I will, He tends me, and watches me, and cares for me.”

What a comfort to know that God is always with us—we don’t need to go through life alone! — Cindy Hess Kasper

As I travel down life’s pathway,
Jesus keeps me day by day;
And although the road is winding,
Yet, with Him I need not stray. —Bradshaw

God’s presence brings great comfort.
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  #486  
Old 01-03-2010, 04:50 AM
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January 3, 2010

Widening Your Perspective

READ: Matthew 28:16-20

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations. —Matthew 28:19

A missionary and I were invited to lunch with David, a man in his late seventies who generously supported the missionary’s ministry. David was not able to visit the missionary’s country, but as he gave thanks for the food, he prayed with complete ease for the people, places, and situations there. Having prayed regularly for that ministry, he had no trouble mentioning specifics. David had a perspective on missions that extended beyond his own country of Singapore.

Our Lord Jesus commanded us to have a worldwide perspective on missions. When He said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, . . . teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:19-20), He was not asking us to buy an around-the-world ticket to do His bidding. We may not have the opportunity to travel much beyond our own birthplace, but we can be involved with what’s going on in the world without leaving our hometown.

But how? Is there an international student living near you? A family from another country who is trying to cope with life in a new country? Or just a lonely person whom you can cheer up? Sharing Jesus’ love with them is your way of crossing the oceans with the gospel. — C. P. Hia

A Prayer: Lord, widen my world. I want to be a part of the work You are doing. Give me eyes to see as You see, hands to serve others, and a heart to share Your gospel. Amen.

If you look through the eyes of Jesus, you’ll see a needy world.
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  #487  
Old 01-04-2010, 01:10 AM
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Default Jan. 4

January 4, 2010

The Review

READ: 2 Corinthians 5:1-11

We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done. —2 Corinthians 5:10

Imagine going to work one day and being greeted by your boss, who says, “Come by my office at 9:30. I’d like to talk to you about how you’re doing on the job.”

This could be a nervous time for you as you think about what your supervisor might say. You wonder, How does my boss think I’ve been doing? Could there be a promotion with a pay increase? Or could I lose my job? Am I going to hear, “Well done” or “You’re done”?

As important as this kind of meeting is, the Bible speaks of another, far more significant review. After this life is past, we will stand before our Lord. Paul wrote, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:10). We will not enter that future evaluation fearful of losing our salvation, nor will we desire personal benefit or human approval. Instead, we will be eager to hear the Master say, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matt. 25:21).

The challenge before us as followers of Christ is to serve Him with excellence now so that we can hear His words, “Well done” then. Based on the way I am living today, what kind of review will I get when I see the Savior? — Bill Crowder

The day will come when we will stand
Before our Judge, God’s Son;
Have we so lived that He will say,
“Well done, My child, well done”? —Sper

Service done well here on earth will receive a “Well done” in heaven.
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  #488  
Old 01-05-2010, 02:36 AM
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January 5, 2010

Locked In

READ: 2 Timothy 2:1-10

I suffer trouble . . . even to the point of chains; but the Word of God is not chained. —2 Timothy 2:9

Jean-Dominique Bauby’s memoir, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, describes his life after a massive stroke left him with a condition called “Locked-In Syndrome.” Although he was almost completely paralyzed, Bauby was able to write his book by blinking his left eyelid. An aide would recite a coded alphabet, until Bauby blinked to choose the letter of a word he was dictating. The book required about 200,000 blinks to write. Bauby used the only physical ability left him to communicate with others.

In 2 Timothy we read of Paul experiencing a different kind of “locked-in syndrome.” Under house arrest, the apostle learned that his execution might be imminent. With this in view, he told Timothy: “I suffer trouble . . . even to the point of chains; but the Word of God is not chained” (2 Tim. 2:9). In spite of his isolation, Paul welcomed visitors, wrote letters of encouragement, and rejoiced at the spread of God’s Word.

For some of us, circumstances may have isolated us from others. Lying in a hospital bed, serving time in a prison, or being a shut-in can make us feel that we are experiencing our own “locked-in syndrome.” If this is true for you, why not prayerfully reflect on some ways you can still reach out to others. — Dennis Fisher

Give me to serve in humble sphere,
I ask not aught beside!
Content to fill a little place,
If God be glorified. —Anon.

No deed is too small when done for Christ.
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  #489  
Old 01-06-2010, 04:32 AM
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Default Jan. 6

January 6, 2010

Ordinances Of Heaven

READ: Psalm 19:1-7

If I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth, then I will cast away the descendants of Jacob and David. —Jeremiah 33:25-26

Mark your calendar now if you want to see the next celestial convergence of Venus, Jupiter, and the moon. On November 18, 2052, you’ll be able to peer through the evening darkness as those solar system neighbors “gather” in a tiny area of the sky. That remarkable juxtaposition of reflective spheres last sparkled the night sky on December 1, 2008, and it will happen again 4 decades from now.

This predictability, as well as things such as eclipses and the return of Halley’s Comet (July 28, 2061), prove the orderliness of the universe. If no fixed set of laws governed the movement of everything in the universe, such predictions could not be made.

Are these set rules more than random standards? Can we see God’s hand in these celestial certainties? Look at Jeremiah 33:25-26. God has in view the covenantal relationship between Himself and His people, and He uses a scientific fact in the analogy. In effect, God says that His fixed universal laws, “the ordinances of heaven and earth,” have the same certainty as His promises to His covenant people.

God’s laws have governed the universe since its creation—and continue to do so with astounding predictability. So mark your calendar, and be amazed by God’s unchanging control. — Dave Branon

A Prayer: Dear Lord, I marvel at the wonders of Your creation. You are such a great and awesome God who does not change. As I place my life in Your hands, I will trust You to be faithful. Amen.

The wonders of creation reveal God at work.
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  #490  
Old 01-07-2010, 03:15 AM
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Default Jan. 7

January 7, 2010

God Loveth Adverbs

READ: Colossians 3:8-17

But we have the mind of Christ. —1 Corinthians 2:16

The Puritans wisely sought to connect all of life to its source in God, bringing the two worlds together rather than dividing them into sacred and secular. They had a saying, “God loveth adverbs; and careth not how good, but how well.” Adverbs describe verbs—our words of action and activity. The proverb implies that God cares more about the spirit in which we live than the concrete results.

Pleasing God doesn’t mean that we must busy ourselves with a new set of “spiritual” activities. As the Puritans said, whether cleaning house or preaching sermons, shoeing horses or translating the Bible, any human activity may constitute an offering to God.

We spend much time immersed in the mundane. “But we have the mind of Christ,” Paul reminds us (1 Cor. 2:16). That truth is to guide everything we do. Caring for an elderly parent. Cleaning up after a child. Sitting on a porch with a neighbor. Fielding a customer’s complaint. Filling out patient charts at a nurses’ station. Sitting in traffic. Sawing lumber. Reporting tips. Shopping for groceries.

We need faith and the mind of the Lord Jesus to recognize something of lasting value in even our most ordinary tasks. — Philip Yancey

In the common round of duty
Lift thy heart in praise;
For the Lord hath surely promised
Strength for all thy days. —Tovey

The world crowns success; God crowns faithfulness!
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