Jean Chrétien, the Prime Minister of Canada, was visiting a senior citizen home one day.He approached one of the elderly residents and asked her if she knew who he was.She replied, "No I don't dear, but if you go up to the front desk, they will tell you who you are"
Christians occasionally forget, and become guilty of living a life which discredits our name, bringing shame to our Savior.It is a high honor to be the namesake of the Living God.No one needs to tell you who you are; you only need to go to the precious Word of God to be reminded.
We are His beloved
We are His adopted children and joint heirs with Jesus Christ
We are His sheep and He knows our names
We are His Temple
We are the stewards of His Creation
We are His Workmanship
We are the heirs of Heaven
We are His Chosen ones
We are created in His image
We are evangelists and missionaries to the nations
GospeLines Prayer:O Lord, my prayer is for those who are still trying to "find themselves," through sorcery, drugs, alcoholism, sex, and a myriad of ungodly means which only adds to their confusion.Turn their eyes toward the heavens and their hearts toward the Son.In their futile search for the meaning of life, may they find the richer meaning of eternal life through Jesus, our Lord and our Redeemer.Amen and amen.
Many Gospel songs are rooted in the struggles, joys, triumphs and sorrows of slaves or former slaves.God knows they endured numerous hardships and trials, but He delivered them because of a faith that surpassed all circumstances.Our Gospel choir recently sang a song that touches my soul - The Storm is Passing Over (a verse follows).
The Storm is Passing Over
(Words & Music: Charles A. Tindley, 1905) **
Have courage my soul and let us journey on
Though the night is dark and I am far from home
Thanks be to God the morning light appears
The storm is passing over,
The storm is passing over,
The storm is passing over, Hallelu!
I can’t possibly contemplate Tindley’s inspiration for this particular composition.But, I do know that all of us have experienced a storm or two in our lifetimes.Some of us may be in the midst of one as you read this devotional.
I am happy to proclaim that storms don’t last always!
God allows certain storms in our life to get our attention.While things are raging and being tossed hither and yon, it is often hard to imagine that God is still in charge.
I admit that I sometimes become discouraged and disillusioned, but He ministers to me through His Angels - by providing the weather-resistant gear I need - His protection.His Word is as true today as it was yesterday and as it will be tomorrow.
When I think of severe storms, I remember growing up in the Midwest, where tornadoes were prevalent.When we were told to seek shelter, we went to our basement, armed with flashlights, a transistor radio, blankets and pillows and whatever else my parents thought we’d need to wait it out.We had faith that our basement would protect us from anything raging above ground.We would stay there until the “all clear” was given and then return to our normal routines.
But some storms aren’t like that.While it would be easy to hunker down in some hidden place to wait out the storm, God is ever present and lifts us up above it and grasps us firmly in His arms.He is as His word says in Isaiah 54:10-12 (New American Standard Bible)
"For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, but My loving-kindness will not be removed from you, and My covenant of peace will not be shaken," says the Lord who has compassion on you.
"O afflicted one, storm-tossed, and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in antimony, and your foundations I will lay in sapphires.
Moreover, I will make your battlements of rubies, and your gates of crystal, and your entire wall of precious stones.”
GospeLines Prayer:Father, I am your vessel even though my life is a bit rocky from time-to-time.I have experienced some motion sickness, but storms don't last always!You have allowed me to learn the lessons as I’ve gone through the various storms, in ways that I don’t always comprehend.
But, I rejoice that You are my fiercest protector, my Rock and You support me as I hold on for dear life.
May I remember the words that say it all – “God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.”
Thank You for those storms Lord.
In His Love,
≈ Devotional for Wednesday, February 20, 2008
“How Far Will You Go?”
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates - A license plate with nothing but the number "1" on it went for a record $14 million at a charity auction Saturday.
Saeed Khouri, a member of a wealthy Abu Dhabi family, wouldn't say how many automobiles he owned or which of them might carry the record-breaking single-digit plate.
"I bought it because it's the best number," said Khouri, whose family made its fortune in real estate. "I bought it because I want to be the best in the world."
(Yahoo News, Sat Feb 16, 10:51 PM ET)
How far will you go?When James and John asked for a privileged position in paradise, Jesus wisely said, “It is not mine to give.” (See Mark 10; Matthew 20)Their selfish expectations caused a rift among the ten disciples, who became indignant with James and John for even asking!
How far will you go?
Kathy was a beautiful girl who had just transferred to a new high school.Her greatest desire was to be the first sophomore to become a cheerleader on the varsity squad, and she had a chance to make it.She was friendly, cute, athletic and very smart.Her competition, a junior, was very popular with the players and would do anything to make the squad.When Kathy learned from the captain of the team what she would have to do to win, she readily agreed although it was contrary to all her Christian values.
When Jerome’s mom passed away at age 79, he was faced with the dilemma of what to do with Dad.Leaving him in the same house 75 miles away was not an option.So he either had to agree that Dad would go live with his estranged brother or let him move in with him.But Jerome had an extravagant lifestyle which he enjoyed, and moving Dad in with him would mean fewer trips and parties.So he agreed that his dad would live with his brother in another state.All went well until he learned that Dad had a considerable amount of money which he generously shared with his new family for necessary repairs and expenses.Jerome filed legal action against his brother and moved Dad back with him.
Pastor Maureen leads a church in a well-to-do suburb of a large western city.The form of church government allows her wide latitude for putting her own selections in positions of church leadership.Like many churches, they are struggling financially and she is concerned that the offerings are not consistent and begins to wonder about it.When she was questioned by one of the wealthy members regarding a nominee she had recommended for the church board, Pastor Maureen defended her selection by stating that the person in question had served in many places of servant leadership and she thought it was time to include him on the board.“But his financial giving is meager,” came the quick response.“If you would select people for the board who actually support the church, it will increase the offerings.”From that moment, Pastor Maureen began checking the personal giving habits of the congregation before making recommendations for the board.
Chris dropped out of college his senior year to take a great position in a local corporation.He was promoted steadily and reached middle management in a very short time, a rarity in that company for someone without a college degree.Even though he was imminently qualified, he continued looking over his shoulder, concerned that someone under him with better credentials might one day try to take his place.When he was given a new division, he had the opportunity to promote one of his own employees to the position of supervisor, just one step beneath his own pay level.Two people were seeking the promotion:Mark was steady, dependable and capable of doing the job.But Andrew was just a step ahead of Mark, plus he had a college degree.Either one could do the job and do it well.Fearing that he may one day be in competition with the person he promoted, Chris decided to promote Mark because he did NOT have a degree.
How far will you go to be number one?My mother taught me about integrity.She used a popular phase, “Don’t sell your soul to the devil.”Of all the people I know, Christians should NOT need to be warned about that!There are consequences for every sin whether it is committed by a believer or an unbeliever.Unconfessed sin is just hanging out there.God can’t do anything with it until it is “agreed” upon by the offending party.
I love going to church!Maybe it’s because I find it easier to be a Christian when I’m there than when I’m not. I do admit that singing about a closer walk with Jesus is a far cry from practicing it in school, relationships and business.If we can only do our theology at church then we need to take a step back and see if our beliefs are broken in some perverted way.Religion which doesn’t work in the marketplace is not worth much.It only encourages the Christian to behave just as selfishly as everyone else, and that leads to ethical anarchy.
You don’t need a license plate with a big “1” plastered on it to actually be Number One!My only competition is me.If I am satisfied that my walk with God is consistently growing and if I am practicing my Golden Rule faith everyday, I can find something better to do with 14 million dollars than to purchase a vanity plate for my 1995 Geo Tracker.
How strong is your faith?Thankfully, that's not a question we're asked every day.But if you were, how would you answer?How would you know?
I recently heard from a dear friend whose spouse is fighting cancer.They're hanging in there... kind of on eggshells waiting to find out what's going to happen next.Are the tumors responding to the chemo?What damage will the chemo cause?For now, all they can do is pray… pray hard.
I'd like to share a few of their words.They didn't intend this to be a statement of their faith; it was just a shared feeling from their hearts.Nonetheless, it is one of the most powerful statements of faith I have ever read.
"The hardest part of the Lord's Prayer is, '...Thy will be done.'Which is why I pray often 'Lord, help me accept Thy will for us, whatever it may be.'I don't like it, but I absolutely have to trust in it.What would be the point otherwise?To me, faith is not about 'wishing' for outcomes that I would prefer... it is believing that whatever the outcome, God knows what is going on.Do I feel angry sometimes?You bet.Am I afraid and do I sometimes have doubts?Absolutely.But I continue to have faith, '... for He hath given His angels charge over thee...' (Psalm 91:11)It is only through acceptance of our Lord's will that we can ever find peace."
How strong is our faith…?It's as strong as the tests of our faith.Jesus said, "Love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22:39).He didn't say, "Only when your neighbor is nice."He also said, "If you love Me, you will obey what I command" (John 14:15).He did not say, "Only if it's convenient or politically correct."
Jesus knows that we are tested.He knows that sometimes we feel angry, are afraid and have doubts.He also knows that sometimes we are tempted to give in to those demons. That is why He said, "I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." (Matthew 28:20 - KJV).
Therefore, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." (James 1:2-4 - NIV)
Here is the real question. Is our faith strong enough to stand in bad times as well as the good times? Jesus said that in the last days "the loveof many will grow cold." (Matthew 24:12 - NLT) But we also know that,"The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love." (Galatians 5:6 - NIV)
When the cost of faithfulness sky-rockets in those last days, will our faith stand firm till the end?Will we still love each other or will our lack of faith cause us to "grow cold"? “At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other.” (Matthew 24:10 - NIV) God help us all to be ready for that dreadful day of reckoning.
"…we can face Him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world."
Count the letters."Diet" is not a good word!We know well the meaning of that trite expression, "We are what we consume."Not much changes in nutritional laws from one generation to the next, and spiritual laws are just as eternal.
Christians are not lacking in desire to grow closer to God.There is a genuine love in the Church for growing in the wisdom and knowledge of the Lord.The problem is one of malnutrition.It isn't that we are dining so much on the trash of the world as much as we are neglecting the one thing that feeds us and makes us healthy Christians, FEASTING UPON THE BIBLE, GOD'S HOLY WORD.Begin reading the Bible today, for only five minutes.Discover an old truth in a new way, or some precious new thing which the Father has been yearning to share but you have not listened.Open your Bible and your heart to the fulfilling, nutritious scripture and see what you have been missing!
GospeLines Prayer:Father, I am hungry, not because there is no food, but because I have not come to the table.Make the aroma of your feast so enticing that I will never forsake your daily bread again. Amen and amen.