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  #961  
Old 03-30-2011, 01:12 AM
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Default Mar. 30

Serve Him Today

March 30, 2011

Read: 1 Samuel 12:19-25

You have done all this wickedness; yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. —1 Samuel 12:20

Most of us have wanted something so badly that even though we knew it was wrong, we plunged after it anyway. Later we have felt sorrow for our spiritual stubbornness and stupidity. In the aftermath of willfully disobeying God, we may become angry with ourselves, numbed by regret, or resigned to the consequences of our foolish mistake. But there is another choice.

When the people of Israel insisted on having a king despite the warnings of Samuel the prophet (1 Sam. 8:4-9), God allowed them to have their way. But when they realized the tragic results of their choice, they asked for Samuel’s help and prayers (12:19). Samuel told the people, “Do not fear. You have done all this wickedness; yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart” (12:20).

We can’t undo yesterday, but we can act today to influence tomorrow. Samuel promised to pray for them and teach them the right way. He urged them, “Only fear the Lord, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you” (v.24).

God invites us to serve Him today, humbly acknowledging His forgiveness and His faithfulness.

Sins confessed you must forget;
Look not back to yesterday—
Full of failure and regret;
Look ahead and seek God’s way. —D. De Haan

Don’t let yesterday’s failures bankrupt tomorrow’s efforts.
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-Colossians 3:23

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  #962  
Old 03-31-2011, 02:04 AM
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Default Mar. 31

Valid Entry

March 31, 2011

Read: John 14:1-10

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” —John 14:6

On a teaching trip outside the US, my wife and I were denied entry into our country of destination because of visa problems. Although we were under the assumption our visas had been correctly issued by the country we planned to visit, they were deemed invalid. Despite the efforts of several government officials, nothing could be done. We weren’t allowed in. We were placed on the next flight back to the States. No amount of intervention could change the fact that we did not have the proper validation for entrance.

That experience with my visa was inconvenient, but it can’t begin to compare with the ultimate entry rejection. I’m speaking of those who will stand before God without valid entry into heaven. What if they were to present the record of their religious efforts and good deeds? That would not be enough. What if they were to call character references? That wouldn’t work. Only one thing can give anyone entry into heaven. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).

Christ alone, through His death and resurrection, paid the price for our sins. And only He can give us valid entry into the presence of the Father. Have you put your faith in Jesus? Make sure you have a valid entry into heaven.

There aren’t many ways into heaven;
The Bible says there’s only one;
Good works won’t gain anyone entrance;
It’s only through faith in God’s Son. —Sper

Only through Christ can we enter the Father’s presence.
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  #963  
Old 04-01-2011, 02:49 AM
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Default Apr. 1

Feeding Ourselves

April 1, 2011

Read: Hebrews 5:12–6:2

By this time you ought to be teachers. —Hebrews 5:12

The eaglets were hungry, and Mom and Dad seemed to be ignoring them. The oldest of the three decided to solve his hunger problem by gnawing on a twig. Apparently it wasn’t too tasty, because he soon abandoned it.

What intrigued me about this little drama, which was being broadcast by webcam from Norfolk Botanical Garden, was that a big fish lay just behind the eaglets. But they had not yet learned to feed themselves. They still relied on their parents to tear their food in tiny pieces and feed it to them. Within a few weeks, however, the parents will teach the eaglets how to feed themselves—one of their first survival lessons. If the eaglets don’t learn this skill, they will never be able to survive on their own.

The author of Hebrews spoke of a similar problem in the spiritual realm. Certain people in the church were not growing in spiritual maturity. They had not learned to distinguish between good and bad (Heb. 5:14). Like the eaglet, they hadn’t learned the difference between a twig and a fish. They still needed to be fed by someone else when they should have been feeding not only themselves but others as well (v.12).

While receiving spiritual food from preachers and teachers is good, spiritual growth and survival also depend on knowing how to feed ourselves.



You’ve given us Your Spirit, Lord,
To help us grow, mature, and learn,
To teach us from Your written Word,
So truth from error we’ll discern. —Sper





Spiritual growth requires the solid food of God’s Word.
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-Colossians 3:23

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  #964  
Old 04-01-2011, 03:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Venom View Post
Feel free to start one up, guys!
In reading your thing,Philippians 4:13 came to mind"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"
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  #965  
Old 04-02-2011, 03:15 AM
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Default Apr. 2

Known For Compassion

April 2, 2011

Read: Acts 11:19-26

He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord. —Acts 11:24

During Major Gen. Mark Graham’s 2 years as commander of Fort Carson, Colorado, he became known and loved for the way he treated others. One US Army colleague said: “I have never come across another general officer who was so compassionate and so concerned about the well-being of soldiers and their families.” After losing one son to suicide and another who was killed in action, Mark and his wife, Carol, dedicated themselves to helping soldiers and their families cope with service-related stress, depression, and loss.

In the book of Acts, a follower of Christ was well known for his care and concern toward others. His name was Joseph, but in the early church, the apostles called him Barnabas—“son of encouragement.” It was Barnabas who vouched for the newly converted Saul when others doubted the sincerity of his faith (Acts 9:26-27). Later, Barnabas brought Saul from Tarsus to teach the believers in Antioch (11:25-26). And it was Barnabas who wanted to give John Mark a second chance after his failure on a previous missionary journey (15:36-38).

Compassion is an inner feeling resulting in outward action. It should be our daily uniform of service (Col. 3:12). By God’s grace, may we be known for it.

Lord, help us be compassionate
To people in their grief;
Then tell them of the love of Christ,
Who’ll bring their souls relief. —Sper

True compassion is love in action.
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  #966  
Old 04-03-2011, 03:22 AM
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Default Apr. 3

Time For A Checkup

April 3, 2011

Read: 1 Corinthians 11:27-29

Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. —1 Corinthians 11:28

Every year I have a physical—that periodic visit to the doctor’s office where I’m poked and prodded, screened and studied. It is something that can be easy to dread, and even to fear. We aren’t sure what the tests will show or what the doctors will say. Still, we know that we need this evaluation to understand our physical well-being and what is needed as we move forward.

The same is true spiritually in the life of the Christ-follower. We need to pause from time to time and reflect on the condition of our hearts and lives.

One place for an important self-study is at the Lord’s Table. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, some of whom were eating in an unworthy manner: “Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup” (1 Cor. 11:28). In the remembrance of Christ’s death for us, there can be a sobering clarity of thought and understanding, for as we consider the price Jesus paid for us, it is the best time to consider the condition of our heart and our relationships. Then, with honest understanding of our spiritual well-being, we can turn to Him for the grace we need to move forward in His name.

Is it time for your checkup?



Search me, O God, my heart discern;
Try me, my inmost thoughts to learn.
Help me to keep from sin, I pray,
Guarding my mind throughout this day. —Anon.





Self-examination is one test from which no Christian is excused.
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  #967  
Old 04-04-2011, 03:11 AM
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Default Apr. 4

An Attached Fuel Hose

April 4, 2011

Read: 2 Timothy 2:1-7

No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life. —2 Timothy 2:4

Felipe Massa of Brazil should have won the Formula One Grand Prix in Singapore in September 2008. But as he drove off from a refueling stop while in the lead, the fuel hose was still attached. By the time his team removed the hose, he had lost so much time that he finished 13th.

The apostle Paul warned Timothy of another kind of attachment that would cause him defeat—“the affairs of this life” (2 Tim. 2:4). He urged Timothy not to let anything slow him down or distract him from the cause of his Lord and Master.

There are many attractive things in our world that are so easy to get entangled with—hobbies, sports, TV, computer games. These may start off as “refueling” activities, but later they can take up so much of our time and thought that they interfere with the purpose for which God created us: to share the good news of Christ, serve Him with our gifts, and bring glory to Him.

Paul told Timothy why he ought not be entangled with this world’s affairs: So that he could “please Him” (v.4). If your desire is to please the Lord Jesus, you will want to stay untangled from the world. As John reminds us, “The world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:17).



For Further Study
If you have questions about your life’s purpose in this
world, read online Why In The World Am I Here?
at www.discoveryseries.org/q0502





Although we live in this world,
we must declare our allegiance to heaven.
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  #968  
Old 04-05-2011, 02:47 AM
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Default Apr. 5

The Last Jellybean

April 5, 2011

Read: Psalm 34:1-10

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good . . . . Those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing. —Psalm 34:8,10

One afternoon Angela gave her young daughter four jellybeans and let her know that was all the candy she was going to receive.

After practically inhaling the first three candies, Eliana lingered over the final one. She sucked on it, took it out of her mouth, bit into it, sucked on it some more, then gnawed at the outer shell. Knowing that this was her last jellybean, she took a full 45 minutes to ingest the treat completely.

Angela observed her little girl with amusement. It occurred to her that she was watching Eliana learn the value of savoring—enjoying taste and texture and learning to draw out every possible bit of flavor from the pleasurable experience.

When we read, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good” (Ps. 34:8), we can be sure that God wants us to “savor” His presence. He allows us to gain intimate and satisfying knowledge of Him. And when we meditate on His Word, we will draw out a deeper understanding of who He is (Ezek. 3:1-3). As we taste His goodness and love, He will reveal the distinctive flavor of His creativity, sovereignty, holiness, and faithfulness.

Our Father must look on with enjoyment as we learn how to enjoy and savor Him.



Oh, taste the goodness of the Lord
And savor all that He has done;
Draw close and give your praise to Him—
The holy, sovereign, faithful One. —Sper





Our greatest privilege is to enjoy God’s presence.
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-Colossians 3:23

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  #969  
Old 04-06-2011, 03:12 AM
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Default Apr. 6

Spiritual Superstars

April 6, 2011

Read: 1 Corinthians 3:1-15

When one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal? —1 Corinthians 3:4

Superstars abound in today’s culture. Great soccer players can create such excitement that fans have been known to riot in the bleachers. Popular musicians have fans who stand with adoration throughout entire concerts. And Hollywood celebrities hire bodyguards to protect themselves from adoring stalkers.

The first-century Corinthian believers had become divided over their own “spiritual superstars.” Paul viewed such favoritism as a reflection of the sinful nature in a believer’s unyielded heart. “For when one says, ‘I am of Paul,’ and another, ‘I am of Apollos,’ are you not carnal?” he asked (1 Cor. 3:4).

The apostle’s teaching on how we view Christian leaders puts the topic in a biblical perspective that provides mutual appreciation for those who minister: “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase” (v.6). Each person did his part: Paul had planted spiritual seed through evangelism, and Apollos had watered it with his eloquent Bible teaching. But it was God alone who made the seed of spiritual life grow. He alone is the “superstar.”

We should be careful not to put any Christian leader on a pedestal. Instead, let’s appreciate how God is using a variety of spiritual leaders for His honor and His glory.



Lord, give us wisdom. We know it’s good to follow the
example of our godly leaders, but help us not
to think so highly of them that we worship them
instead of You. Amen.





Each person has his place in God’s service,
and only God deserves the glory.
__________________
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-Colossians 3:23

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Last edited by HardCory; 04-07-2011 at 03:27 AM.
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  #970  
Old 04-06-2011, 12:26 PM
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Spiritual Superstars

April 6, 2011

Read 1 Corinthians 3:1-15

Superstars abound in today’s culture. Great soccer players can create such excitement that fans have been known to riot in the bleachers. Popular musicians have fans who stand with adoration throughout entire concerts. And Hollywood celebrities hire bodyguards to protect themselves from adoring stalkers.

The first-century Corinthian believers had become divided over their own “spiritual superstars.” Paul viewed such favoritism as a reflection of the sinful nature in a believer’s unyielded heart. “For when one says, ‘I am of Paul,’ and another, ‘I am of Apollos,’ are you not carnal?” he asked (1 Cor. 3:4).

The apostle’s teaching on how we view Christian leaders puts the topic in a biblical perspective that provides mutual appreciation for those who minister: “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase” (v.6). Each person did his part: Paul had planted spiritual seed through evangelism, and Apollos had watered it with his eloquent Bible teaching. But it was God alone who made the seed of spiritual life grow. He alone is the “superstar.”

We should be careful not to put any Christian leader on a pedestal. Instead, let’s appreciate how God is using a variety of spiritual leaders for His honor and His glory.

Lord, give us wisdom. We know it’s good to follow the
example of our godly leaders, but help us not
to think so highly of them that we worship them
instead of You. Amen.

Each person has his place in God’s service,
and only God deserves the glory.
__________________

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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