If I was going to write my epitaph it would have only one word... "Reconciled!" Pity the soul who believes that reconciliation means someone wins and someone loses. No matter the transgression, reconciliation with your friend, your spouse, your neighbor, you, or your God can become a reality.
How? Even if you are not the transgressor, empty yourself of all the pride you have accumulated since birth, and live a life of reconciliation toward that person. That’s right; words are sometimes powerless, whereas, our conciliatory living testimony will heal that which the spoken word will not.
Pray that the Father will lead you to live a reconciled life with everyone in your circle of acquaintances.
GospeLines Prayer:Father, to this end we give our focus and pray that Your sweet Spirit will intervene where our words have failed. This I humbly pray in Your Son’s name, Amen and amen.
Dr. A.L. Jordan served as pastor of Memorial Baptist Church in Baytown, TX for more than thirty years. At his retirement party, he was asked the question, “How does a man stay at one church for that long?” “I made it a point never to discuss religion or politics,” he joked.
That’s good advice for everyone. People are more apt to listen to the testimony of the principles of God’s nature and works than they are a persuasive patriotic speech from an overzealous religious fanatic. Changes in government occur when Jesus heals a man’s heart, rather than when we try to change their thoughts and practices.
As far as religion is concerned, I stopped thinking Christianity was a religion years ago. “Devotion to Jesus” is not just another cult, nor is it a denomination or a para-church group. It is a way of life! We must stop believing that we can only worship Jesus once a week in a beautiful building (Do NOT think I am opposed to the local church. That would be a mistake).
Unless we nurture our relationship to God daily, what we do on Sundays will make little difference in the world. The next time we have the opportunity to share with a co-worker or friend, rather than debate the merits of my church or denomination, let us speak to them about Jesus the Redeemer! Amen and amen.
Do you wonder, as I do, why we continue on those man-made collision courses, repeating the same mistakes time and time again? I was thinking about that when I read a little story by Chris Eddy.
“I was making Play-Doh animals with my four-year-old niece, Chris, and her three-year-old brother, Neil. While Chris was clearly molding a crude but recognizable dog, figuring out what Neil was making was a bit more challenging. ‘It’s a cat,’ he told me. ‘But a truck ran over it.’
Sometime later, Chris had made another simple animal shape, but Neil had a rather flat slab of dough on the table in front of him.
‘What happened to this animal?’ I asked.
Neil shrugged and said simply, ‘Same truck.’ “
(READER’S DIGEST, JULY 2001, P. 95)
GospeLines Prayer:Father, deliver me from “same-truck-itis.” Help me to see clearly that life’s mistakes need not be repeated. Lead me by Your strength, not mine... and push me out of the pathway of speeding blunders. Amen and amen.
“Point your kids in the right directionand when they're old they won't be lost.” Proverbs 22:6 (The Message)
Point… The King James Version says “Train your kids…” but I kind of like “Point.”
Point means to indicate the direction in which someone should go; to identify a specific place or position.It’s interesting that “point” can also mean one of the 32 directional indicators marked on a compass (i. e. west, west by north, west-northwest, etc.).
When we use a compass or ask for directions, we’re not bound by the readings on the compass or the directions given.We’re free to go in another direction or to another place.
Even if we’re lost, we’re still under no obligation to follow the directions given.Unfortunately, if we don’t, we’ll probably stay lost.
We’d like to think that if we point our children in the right direction, they will stay on that path as they grow into adulthood.However, like the person asking for directions, they’re free to follow a different path.
Twenty times in the NIV Bible, Jesus says, “Follow Me.”One of the most poignant of those appeals is in John 12:26: “Whoever serves Me must follow Me; and where I am, My servant also will be.My Father will honor the one who serves Me.”
Jesus has pointed the way for us; He’s identified a path and a place that will ensure that we won’t be lost. But, like the situation with the compass or with our children, we’re free to go in another direction… and to another place.
“…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father,but byMe.”
I didn’t grow up on a farm, exactly, but we had chickens, a cow, and an occasional pig or two. The little place we were renting had a barn, a chicken house, and a little feed shack where we stored all the food for the animals. It was one of my favorite places to play because we also kept an old empty barrel on the dirt floor of that little eight by ten building.
One of my favorite pastimes was to turn the barrel on its side, straddle it with my little short chubby legs, and ride it like a horse. Funny thing, though, no matter how long I rode it, I never got beyond the four walls of that little feed shack.
When my friend mentioned the need to make progress in his walk with God, I recalled those barrel rides to nowhere. My question to him was, “Tell me about your quiet time with God?” He seemed almost reluctant to tell me that it was spasmodic and often nonexistent. “You need to trade in your empty barrel for a thoroughbred,” I joked. Then I told him about riding my imaginary horse as a child.
A well-trained horse is a beautiful animal, with rippling muscles and shiny coat. And, a disciplined Christian is the loveliest creature on the face of the earth. It doesn’t take much, but it does require just a little bit of effort on our part to journey with the Lord into the blissful world of spiritual growth.
Saddle up! And begin that wonderful adventure which is anything but make-believe. “When I was a child, I behaved as a child. When I became an adult,
I put away childish things.”
GospeLines Prayer:Father, I want to know what it is like to travel with you down the road of spiritual maturity. I am tired of this feeling of stagnation, and long to feel the exhilaration of growing into spiritual adulthood with You. Take the reins of my life and lead me down the path of discipleship. Amen and amen.