Things don't always turn out right.Sometimes we may even question whether God really knows more than we do about this life when we stand in the middle of our chaos.
Most of our disappointment comes because our expectations have gone unmet.There is a cure for that.Change our expectations, be patient, don't panic, and remember that God is in control."It ain't over till it's over."
GospeLines Prayer:"I pray that the God who gives you hope will fill you with much joy and peace while you trust in him.Then your hope will overflow by the power of the Holy Spirit."(Romans 15:13).Amen and amen.
This Is Your Life, broadcast from 1952 to 1961, was a popular television series from the 1950s. The format of the show was based on a simple principle - guests were ‘surprised’ with a presentation of their past life in the form of a narrative read by host Ralph Edwards and recollections by relatives and friends.Featured were entertainment personalities and "ordinary" people who had contributed in some way to their communities. Edwards always insisted that the theme of "Love thy neighbor" was clear no matter who was the subject of a particular program. The host was often quoted as saying that the lives under examination must represent something "constructive," must have been "given a lift 'above and beyond the call of duty' and… in turn, he or she has passed on the help to another."
Have you gone ‘above and beyond the call of duty’ in your life?Have you helped another along your path?Have you done something ‘constructive’ and positive with the talent God has given you?Or, are you wasting it on the world’s model of success?
Do you realize that one day we will be standing before God?Ralph Edwards will not be the host when we have to account for our past.If God asked your friends, coworkers, acquaintances and family members for their recollections of you, how would you fare?Most of us would be surprised and many of us, ashamed.
We have had numerous opportunities to walk the paths of righteousness, but have turned away.We have had other opportunities to repent for our misdeeds, but have neglected to do so.We have had chances to turn our lives around, but have continued down the slippery slope.
God continues to offer us hope and a hand to lift us out of that hole we’ve dug ourselves into.Hear His word in –
Jude 1:20-22 (The Message)
20-21But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the center of God's love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the unending life, the real life!
22-23Go easy on those who hesitate in the faith. Go after those who take the wrong way. Be tender with sinners, but not soft on sin. The sin itself stinks to high heaven.
GospeLines Prayer:Father, I would not want to appear on the TV version of This is Your Life, because I’m ashamed to admit I have committed transgressions, but I do apologize for my actions. I have not always done Your will.I have broken Your law.I have rebelled against Your love and have not always loved my neighbors.
Please, Lord, continue to love me despite myself.Help me to become the person You say I am.I want to experience the real life, the one that only You can provide through Your mercy.
Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy.
In His Love,
≈ Devotional for Wednesday: July 11, 2007
“Then Jesus called the crowd to him, along with his followers.He said, ‘If people want to follow me, they must give up the things they want.They must be willing even to give up their lives to follow me.Those who want to save their lives will give up true life.But those who give up their lives for me and for the Good News will have true life.’ “ (Mark 8:34-35)
The crowd stands there, jeering and deriding us to conform and find acceptance.Jesus looks through the blood and sweat stinging his eyes and calls us to be followers of the cross.One says follow me and I will give you pleasure.God says I will give you everlasting life.The crowd offers immediate satisfaction.Jesus promises suffering.Live it up and be happy cries the crowd.Endure the pain of commitment and LIVE our Lord pleads.
GospeLines Prayer:“Thank You, Father, for giving me the choice of eternal life.If my life is to be one of suffering in order to find true happiness, I would rather die a thousand deaths than to miss one moment with you in eternity!”Amen and amen.
Flip Wilson was a very popular American comedian in the early 70's whose routine included playing many different male and female characters.One of his most famous characters was Geraldine.That character may not be remembered by many; but, her immortal line "The Devil made me do it" will always be remembered.
When God asked Adam about his actions, he said, "The woman you put here with me - she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it." (Genesis 3:12)When God asked Eve about her actions, she said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." (Genesis 3:13)Since Adam and Eve, people continue to blame others for their actions.Of course, just like Geraldine, Christians know that all those "others" encouraging us think, say and do evil things are really getting their direction from the Devil; so, "The Devil made me do it" is frequently an appropriate statement.
The Devil may provoke people do many things; but, what about all those people who think, say and do things because, according to them, "God told me to do it"?Before you answer, ask yourself a question: If you thought you heard the voice of God, how would you make sure it was really Him?
"Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God… Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is…" (1st John 4:1; Romans 12:2)
The word test here means to study - to accept a thing as genuine only after careful examination.How can we do that when someone tells us that they have "Heard from the Lord"?
Paul said, "I believe everything that agrees with the Law and that is written in the Prophets." (Acts 24:14)The Bereans were said to be of more noble character than the Thessalonians because, even though they received Paul's message with great eagerness, they studied the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true - they tested to see if he was really hearing the voice of the Lord. (Acts 17:11)
The Thessalonians were told how to move to the character of the Bereans and that same method will work for us today."Test everything.Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil." (1st Thessalonians 5:21-22)When someone says "God told me to…", apply the test of scripture."Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." (Hebrews 13:8)Be assured that He won't tell you anything that He won't tell me… or that He didn't include in the Bible.That's your test.
“…we can face Him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.”
Some people never see beyond this world.There was a conversation between an ambitious young man and an older man who knew about life.The young man said, "I will learn my trade.""And then?" said the older man."I will set up in my own business.""And then?""I will make my fortune.""And then?"
"I suppose I will grow old and retire and live on my money.""And then?""Well, I suppose I will die.""And then?" came the final stabbing question.The person who never remembers that there is another world is in for a big shock.
In The Parable of the Rich Fool, Jesus speaks to those who have an abundance of material possessions and those who have few of this world's goods.To both groups He declares that we should not get too caught up in how much we accumulate on earth.As the Spanish proverb puts it, "There are no pockets in shrouds."Our measure for success and happiness is not money.Jesus' concern is that our possessions do not possess us, but that we manage our possessions in ways that will honor Him.
GospeLines Prayer:Father, through my spiritual poverty, let me find Your kingdom; when I am sad, reward me with your comfort; keep me meek and humble, though my inheritance will be much; if I am hungry, fill me up.Even though I join the ranks of the persecuted, I rejoice, because you have promised me heavenly riches which this earth cannot measure. Amen and amen.