What is your purpose in life?Why do you exist?Do you live from day to day, survive from paycheck to paycheck without any real vision for what God wants you to do or be?
The apostle Paul knew his purpose:"We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me."
But, Paul was a preacher, an apostle.What about you?The truth is, God has a special purpose for your life.It may be different from the one you are pursuing now.If you have never known God's purpose for your life, or if you have been playing games and gotten off track with God, then let me suggest you go before Him in prayer, confess your lack of purpose, and ask Him to begin to shape in you an understanding of His eternal and earthly purposes for your life.You may need guidance with this project.If so, find a spiritual mentor to assist you.Or, if you would like additional information, drop me an email and I will suggest helps for your spiritual pilgrimage.
GospeLines Prayer:Father, give us a hand with this task of finding Your way through life.Show us that You have a purpose for each one of us, and that my purpose may not fit the one who reads this now.Let us know what you want us to be.Amen and amen.
This evening I was on the internet searching for something and ran across a most unusual story.While the title of the article is somewhat misleading – A bum you can trust – honest! - it has garnered attention from other news outlets as well. One of the local Houston affiliates just featured it on their newscast.
A homeless man, Jay Valentine, was outside of a restaurant in SoHo and asked a woman for some change.Merrie Harris, an advertising executive, told him she didn’t have any and instead, gave him her American Express card.
Those who witnessed this scene seriously doubted he would return her card, but Merrie never seemed to register concern.A short time later, he returned her card after making a few purchases amounting to about $25.While he bought some personal toiletry items, water and cigarettes, Jay said he never considered betraying her trust."I wasn't tempted at all," said the 32-year-old Brooklyn native. "She trusted me, and I didn't want to violate that trust. I would never do that."
Jay has been homeless for a couple of years, recently sleeping in an internet café and only had a couple of dollars on him when he approached the exec.Most people in the restaurant probably thought he’d run off with the credit card and were very surprised when he didn’t.
"It sets a good example that people in need -- like I am or worse -- can and should be trusted," Jay said.
Most of us are reluctant to give the homeless our change and probably would never contemplate such an act of “generosity, trust and honesty.”(Some of us may give to charitable organizations that provide services to these individuals…)
Prayer:Father, many of us don’t hear Your word according toHebrews 13:1-3.We often feel that people are in those situations through their own lack of initiative or some other circumstance that has no real legitimacy.
Would we help a stranger, albeit a homeless one?Do we realize that without Your grace, we could be in the same predicament?Would anyone stop to lend us a hand, spare change or credit card?
Lord, help us open our eyes to see the Angels you have put in our midst.Most importantly, help us to be one of those Angels and to trust our fellow man; any one of whom may just be down on his luck.
Father, show us how to be more compassionate and caring. Remind us that every homeless person isn’t a bum; that’s a bum rap.
In His Love,
≈ Devotional for Wednesday, August 18, 2010
A medicinal advertisement for Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome says, “It’s hard to say ‘welcome home’ when I can’t remember your face.”
The time will come when we will approach our heavenly home, and to those who have trusted God for salvation He will welcome with open arms because he recognizes His own.
To others He may say, “I can’t remember your face.”Heaven is a place where there is no sadness, no tears, and no remorse.
Yet I suffer in this life because I know that loved ones of my own will stand as a stranger before the Father’s throne.What could be more tragic than to know your child, your parents, your best friend, or maybe your spouse won’t receive that wonderful reward in heaven?
How far are you willing to go to assure that those you love will be recognized when they face their day of judgment?The best time to act is NOW.Tomorrow may be too late.
GospeLines Prayer:“Father, what more can I do to help them believe?Is it I that blocks their path to knowing you?If I could, I would take their place in eternal punishment because I love them so much; but You have already done that and still they will not believe.Show me how I can lead them to know you, Lord Jesus!Make me an instrument of your redeeming love and compel them to repent and follow You.”Amen and amen.
Imagine you were going through an old trunk that had been left to you by a great-great grandparent; and, in that aged dusty trunk, you found a painting that turned out to be an unknown work by Pablo Picasso.Would you hoard it away for yourself; or, would you freely share it with the world?
Imagine you’re a research scientists working in a laboratory when you stumble across a chemical compound that cures all forms of cancer.Would you rush to announce this wonderful discovery to the world; or, would you be more concerned with getting the proper credit for this great discovery and the rich rewards it would bring?
What do we do with precious things?Do we share them freely with all who would benefit; or, do we keep them to ourselves for personal, financial or political reasons?
Perhaps we keep some things to ourselves out of fear that sharing might offend or that it might be politically or socially incorrect.What if keeping the thing or the information to ourselves would cause harm to others?What if sharing could save lives, relieve suffering or bring peace and joy to those with whom it was shared?Would you still keep it to yourselves?
You have something precious that can save all with whom it is shared.It can heal; it can bring joy, it can relieve suffering; but, it can also convict and condemn.You have the Word of God - the Good News of the Gospel.The Word can convict and condemn; the Word openly identifies sin and boldly states that there is only one way to the Father.Will that keep you from sharing?
Jesus said, “If anyone is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels." (Mark 8:38 - NIV)
If you really did find an unknown work by Pablo Picasso or a new drug that would cure cancer, would you be calling all your family and friends to tell them of this great miracle?My friends, you do have a great work in your hands; a great “medicine” that can heal all the ills of mankind.You have the Word of God.
Will you freely share it with the world?Will you share it completely; or, will you attempt to “hide” parts of God’s word so as not to offend or be “politically incorrect”?
“No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed.Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light.For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.” (Luke 8:15-17 - NIV)
Let us all stand up for our Lord and lift up His Holy Word, because the Son of Man is coming soon and the only salvation for the world is the Living water of His Word.
≈ Devotional for Friday, August 20, 2010
"Who Packs Your Parachute?"
Charles Plumb, a US Naval Academy graduate, was a jet pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent 6 years in a communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal and now lectures on lessons learned from that experience.
One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, "You're Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!" "How in the world did you know that?" asked Plumb. "I packed your parachute," the man replied.
Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man pumped his hand and said, "I guess it worked!" Plumb assured him, "It sure did. If your chute hadn't worked, I wouldn't be here today." Plumb couldn't sleep that night, thinking about that man. Plumb says, "I kept wondering what he might have looked like in a Navy uniform: a white hat, a bib in the back, and bell-bottom trousers. I wonder how many times I might have seen him and not even said, "Good morning, How are you?" or anything because, you see, I was a fighter pilot and he was just a sailor. Plumb thought of the many hours the sailor had spent on a long wooden table in the bowels of the ship, carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute, holding in his hands each time the fate of someone he didn't even know.
Now, Plumb asks his audience, "Who's packing your parachute?" Everyone has someone who provides what they need to make it through the day. Plumb also points out that he needed many kinds of parachutes when his plane was shot down over enemy territory--he needed his physical parachute, his mental parachute, his emotional parachute, and his spiritual parachute. He called on all these supports before reaching safety. Sometimes in the daily challenges that life gives us, we miss what is really important. We may fail to say hello, please, or thank you, congratulate someone on something wonderful that has happened to them, give a compliment, or just do something nice for no reason.
GospeLines Prayer:"Father, I give thanks for those nameless saints who have packed my parachute all these years.And I beg forgiveness for the times I knew them, yet did not know them.May their reward be great in heaven for their anonymous ministries, and may their praise be increased the rest of their days on this earth."Amen and amen