This devotional was sent to me by my daughter Kelly who recognized it as something important she wanted to share.Even though some of you may have read this before, we believe it’s worth repeating because, one day, it will be very important.
Note:We don’t know who wrote this devotional, so we cannot give proper credit to the author… sorry.
"…we can face Him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world."
One day, a man went to visit a church.He got there early, parked his car, and got out.As he did, another car pulled up and the driver got out and said, "I always park there!You took my place!"
The visitor went inside for Sunday School, found an empty seat and sat down.A young lady from the church approached him and said, "That's my seat!You took my place!"
The visitor was somewhat distressed by this rude welcome, but said nothing.
After Sunday School, the visitor went into the sanctuary and sat down.Another member walked up to him and said, "That's where I always sit! You took my place!"
The visitor was even more troubled by this treatment, but still said nothing.
Later as the congregation was praying for Christ to dwell among them, the visitor stood up, and his appearance began to change.Horrible scars became visible on his hands and on his sandaled feet.
Someone from the congregation noticed him and called out, "What happened to you?"
The visitor replied, as his hat became a crown of thorns, and a tear fell from his eye,"I took your place."
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”(John 3:16 – KJV)
≈ Devotional for Tuesday, April 1, 2008
"When You Don’t Have an Answer"
I heard a very thought-provoking statement from one of my Sunday school colleagues recently.When her Mother didn’t have an answer to some quandary, she “put it on the shelf for the Lord.”
Now, I don’t know about you, but there are times when I didn’t have an answer and I just kept on living life, driving my own bus.And, there are times when I knew to “let go and let God,” but still I continued to drive my own bus.Of course, I also realize that I have a hard time waiting for answers, so what do I do?I DRIVE MY OWN BUS!
As I reexamine my life, I need to put [small and large things] on the shelf for the Lord.I didn’t do very well in driving my own bus.Sometimes, even on a clear day, I’d veer off the road; other times, I couldn’t see ahead because of the dense fog; other times, I was on some road, traveling at a high rate of speed, endangering myself and I’d continue on.(Thank God for praying folks looking down on me…)
Patience is one of those virtues where I need more development.Perhaps that’s why He makes me wait for an answer…to strengthen my resolve and reliance on Him.And, in His time, we know that the answer may be a yes, no or maybe…
Perhaps as I put things on the shelf for the Lord, I need to remember the words of the Psalmist –
"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."
(Psalm 46:10 - NIV)
GospeLines Prayer:Father, I haven’t been as successful as I might have been because I was too busy driving my own bus.You’ve put some obstacles in my way to get my attention and I’m learning to wait on You.
There will probably be other times in life when I won’t have the answer, but I now know the course of action to take…
I only need to “put it on the shelf for the Lord.”
In His Love,
≈ Devotional for Wednesday, April 2, 2008
"Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you." (Philippians 3:13-15)
I am one of those travelers who always takes more than is needed on a trip. Unnecessary baggage is what they call it. For sure, I always take enough with me and usually bring back more unworn clothes than those I wear while away. There must be a name for a person like that... compulsive packer? uncertain traveler? Whatever the name I think I know the motive for it. I am afraid that I will leave something behind which I will need on the journey. Do you know folks like that too?
The apostle Paul had me in mind when he spoke of life's journey. All those things of the past, both good and evil, seem to follow me into tomorrow. The good things I carry tend to make the future seem brighter than it really is, and the bad things I drag along makes me pessimistic about everything. What a lesson to be learned here. To look behind is OK as long as it is only a glance, but the future is uncrowded with the luggage of the past unless I choose to bring it with me. It is a glorious feeling to know that my future need not be influenced by my negative history.
If life is a race, then I want run it without the heavy burden of yesterday. To do that, however, I must be willing to let go of those things in the past which might make me proud, giving me a false sense of spirituality and maturity. Today is a new beginning and the finish line is ahead of me. As I lunge for my goal, my desire should be to allow this moment to stand on its own. Because I acted in a mature fashion yesterday doesn't guarantee I will do the same today unless I continue to exercise and train... i.e., pray and seek the face of God in every situation. Relying upon yesterday's results, whether victories or defeats, will hinder the race I am running now.
GospeLines Prayer:Father, as I stretch for the finish line of today's contest, I ask you to help me stay focused on the moment. Remind me again that my failure of yesterday does not mean I will fail today. And, show me how to keep my eyes on You, not on my good deeds of days past.
A few days ago my wife woke up an hour or so before me.I’m usually a pretty sound sleeper; so, as I lay sleeping, she gently snuggled up close to me.We lay there quietly “spooning” for several minutes.After a time, she moved back to her side, never knowing that I was awake the entire time.
Those few moments were very special to me.Lying close and fitting together like two spoons in a drawer – spooning – is an intimate expression of love.Doing it when the recipient doesn’t know it’s happening is, as they say in the commercial, “priceless.”She was showing that she loved me even though (she thought) I was not aware of her actions.
Has anyone ever shown that they love you without your knowledge?Is that even possible?When someone does or says something out of love, we always know it and acknowledge it… right?
What if someone did or said something out of love and we simply don’t respond?If we continually ignored or spurned their love offerings, do you think they would continue?
Fortunately for us, there is one person Who will continue to offer His love even though we don’t always respond, show our gratitude, or return His love.
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.You are my friends if you do what I command.”(John 15:12-14 – NIV)
Are we doing what He commands?Are we loving each other as He loves us?If so, then we are His friends and we can sleep tonight knowing that we’ll be “spooning” with the Lord…
"…we can face Him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world."
No one but David could have understood more clearly the terror these words can strike into the heart of a person.
What makes a giant-killer? When God impressed the mission upon the heart of David to fight Goliath, don't you sometimes wish he had responded, "Jehovah, are you crazy?" But he didn't. Instead, David spoke words of courage to anyone who would listen to him.
His brothers heard him talking, and maybe out of embarrassment that their little brother was showing them up, asked him sarcastically, "What in the world are you doing here? Go back home to your little flock of sheep and let us handle the big problems." But David was not deterred by their negativity. He kept on talking to anyone who would listen. "Kill the giant. Kill the giant." When King Saul heard about the Shepherd's braggadocios conversation, he sent for David. "You can't fight Goliath. You are only a boy," said the King.
David looked his beloved king square in the eye and said respectfully, "I may look like a shy little shepherd boy to you, but I have killed a lion and a bear with these hands! This uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God."Hallelujah!
Your GospeLines team continues to work for our Lord through this exciting ministry. What God has placed upon our hearts for GospeLines is "Goliath-like" in its challenge!
For that reason, I call upon every member of our GospeLines family to pray for this ministry and ask God to give us a "David-like courage" to continue this work. Join us in praying that Jehovah will strengthen us to stay the course and "Go slay the giant!"