Is it some rite of passage for teenagers that they expect a car when they reach sixteen or seventeen years of age?With careful negotiation and clever parenting, we have put off the inevitable until now, but Jon is a senior in high school, and it’s time.Besides, that’s what dad’s do.Thankfully, the rage for guys at his school is not the newest and most expensive vehicle, but a big old ugly truck with potential.Hence, I searched the ads until I found it… "1985 Chevy Blazer, good work truck, 305 V8, $3500 or OBO."
When I called the owner I had to ask about "OBO."It means "or best offer."We met with him, checked out the truck, and gave him our best offer, which was less than the value he had placed on his truck.Tomorrow we learn if it was higher than the offer of the other person who wants it as much as we do. This will be a long night for Jon and me.
When you and I were conceived in the mind of God, He looked across eternity and determined our value.With precious love and resolute intent He made His best offer.Our souls cost Him His only Son.Sometimes I want to say to God, "You made a mistake!I’m not worth that much."Surely He couldn’t have known that I would fail Him as often as I have.How could He have paid so much for someone like me?I often marvel at His incredible passion for His children, so deep and complete that He has never forsaken me.
I could have paid what the guy was asking for his truck but I didn’t.I made what I thought was a fair offer and now I stand a chance of losing the deal. God could have paid less for us than He did, but He didn’t want to take the risk of losing us.So He paid it all, everything He had.What a noble price to pay for sinful humanity!
GospeLines Prayer:O King of kings, You could have paid a high cash price for me, because you are the owner of everything.Your riches are beyond my comprehension!But in Your wisdom, You offered something money cannot buy.I will never be able to repay the debt I owe for your ultimate sacrifice. Thank You, Father, for giving Jesus as a bounty for my sins.I love you.Amen and amen.
Once upon a time in a land far away, Cinderella met her Prince Charming, fell in love with the promise to live happily ever after.
Fairy tales make great stories don’t they? Reality is often another matter. The likelihood of a Prince riding to the rescue on a white horse is as improbable as living a perfect life.
Depending on our age, most of us come with baggage and histories as we enter each relationship. We believe we made the right choice despite the signs that the story may not end the way we envision.
Several questions come to mind –
Did we bring God in the picture when we were courting?
Have we seen Him since the wedding?
Do we pray together at times other than the dinner table, if then?
When the going gets tough, some of us choose to find an escape route – often times turning to drugs, drink, or some other diversion; always looking outward rather than at the person in the mirror.
But, alas, God can bring us that peace and fulfillment that we desire. We need nothing else!
GospeLines Prayer: Father, often times we think it is easier to hide from You and ourselves. We look to others to complete us – when we need only look to You. We thank You for Your wisdom according to:
Proverbs 28:11-13 (Amplified Bible)
11The rich man is wise in his own eyes and conceit, but the poor man who has understanding will find him out.
12When the [uncompromisingly] righteous triumph, there is great glory and celebration; but when the wicked rise [to power], men hide themselves.
13He who covers his transgressions will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes his sins will obtain mercy.
We have a bird feeding ritual at our house. My dog, Duke, liked that the bird feeding station was only 20 feet from our back door.The birds eat heartily, and Duke watches from the window as they clutter his backyard, sometimes as many as 50 at a time.
On that morning, there was a full chorus of birds in the tree, on the ground and perched on the feeder.Duke waited patiently for me to open the door.With a bound and a bark he greeted the winged predators.
In unison, the birds scurried to safety as the black four-legged creature cleared his territory of the "unwelcome" guests.All that was left were feathers and scattered bird-seed, except for one lone sparrow, perched in the small oak tree, seemingly unimpressed by Duke's boisterous antics.It seemed as if that one bird looked danger in the face and stared it down. Soon, there were others who joined him, chirping their song of defiance as Duke watched helplessly.
Sometimes, that's all it takes, just one Christian who will courageously take a stand.Others are sure to join you.Stand firm on the Word of God, for you are not alone.Oh, it may seem that way at first, but your Christian friends are ready to follow a leader who will be bold in their witness.It will surprise you what God can do with you if you let Him.In the absence of leadership, the testimony of others may never be heard.Allow God to use your boldness and faith to do a good work in the marketplace, in the streets, at school, in the office and at home.Amen and amen.
I recently heard someone say, "If there's one more layoff in this company, I think I'll scream!"
The economy isn't looking very good.Things that used to be guaranteed are no longer assured.Many experts predict that times will get much worse before they begin to get better - if they ever get better.
We hear of wars and rumors of wars; we see how the mighty have fallen.How can we be at peace?
Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble.But take heart!I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
Because Jesus returned to the Father, He has given us another Counselor - the Spirit of truth - to be with us forever.The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But we know Him, for He lives in us. (John 14:16-17)
The Counselor will teach us all things and will remind us of everything Jesus said (John 14:26) including His words in John 14:12-14.
"I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing.He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.You may ask Me for anything in My name, and I will do it."
Remember, Jesus said we would have trouble in this world but to take heart because He has overcome the world.He then said that because the Holy Spirit is here to help us, we can do what He did.In other words, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can also overcome the world!
That's why Jesus could also say, "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you.I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:27)
Lay-offs, economic woes, wars and rumors of wars may come; but, the child of God can be at peace because like the woman with the issue of blood, Jesus says to us, "…your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering." (Mark 5:34)
GospeLines Prayer:Holy Father, we stand righteous before you because of the blood of Your Son, our Savior, Jesus; and, we give You thanks and praise for the peace Your grace and mercy bestows on the hearts of Your children.We thank You Father for sending the Holy Spirit, our Counselor and Comforter to remind us of the words and teaching of our Lord Jesus.We praise you for freeing our hearts from the trouble and suffering of this world and replacing it with Your joy and peace.Grant us continued strength in our spirit, increased faith in our souls and comfort in our minds and bodies as we continue to worship and trust You.
May all of God's people say, "Amen!"
“…we can face Him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.”
Behind the building at my workplace, there is a parking area and a drive used by delivery trucks.Yesterday, it was used for a staging area by the local police department to prepare for a drug bust.The sting activity was to take place in the large parking lot in front of the building which covers several acres.It isn't something you see everyday, so I watched excitedly as the officers put on their bulletproof vests, loaded the several pistols each carried, placed extra ammunition around their waists, strapped their weapons to their bodies, and carefully rehearsed their strategy before engaging in the mission.
Their preparation for battle was thorough and meticulous.It was evident that every detail of the operation had been practiced many times before.
As I watched this scene, it reminded me of something the apostle Paul wrote to Ephesus about the daily warfare in which Christians are engaged:
"...put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace... take up the shield of faith... take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God... with this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints."(Eph. 6:11-18)Amen and amen.