No Devotional Today!We’re celebrating the Labor Day Holiday.
Labor Day is a United States holiday observed on the first Monday in September. The holiday originated in 1882 as the Central Labor Union (of New York City) sought to create "a day off for the working citizens".
My God bless each and every “working citizen” of the world…
≈ Devotional for Tuesday, September 2, 2008
"A Touch of Faith"
Innocently nestled in the sixth chapter of Mark's gospel, verse 56, are these unforgettable words: "...And as many as touched Him were made well."
First, healing is not selective. Jesus does not sort out the easy diseases or respond only to the desirable people. He cannot be criticized for sexual, racial, age, or religious bias.
Second, some show of faith is required on the part of those who are sick. God does not force healing upon us nor does He reward those who play games. We must be determined.
Third, the result of faithful touching is freedom from the disease and wholeness from the fragmented life we had lived previously. Jesus is more ready to receive our touch than we are willing to reach out by faith and receive His blessing.
GospeLines Prayer:"Father, I reach out to you in my broken state, and beseech you to accept my touch of faith. Heal me of everything that hinders my daily walk with you." Amen and amen.
Dr. Dimitri Kanevsky noticed how useful conversation was on long trips for keeping drivers alert. With a colleague at I.B.M. he invented a software sidekick that would relieve the loneliness of long-distance solo drivers, operating from the dashboard of the car. Nicknamed the Artificial Passenger, it was designed to initiate conversations, tell corny jokes, play word games, change radio stations and otherwise entertain the driver. It could even learn the driver's preferences and speech cadences to recognize slurring that may indicate fatigue. At that point it will issue a warning that the driver stop at the nearest motel. The use of a small camera could detect signs of drowsiness like an eyelid closing, which would trigger emergency measures like automatically opening a window or even squirting a jet of water at the driver.
(Source: The New York Times, 12/27/01)
Living a Christian life is a lot like having a "Spiritual Passenger" with us all the time. If we live by biblical teachings, our "Passenger" will open a window of knowledge when we need a fresh word from the Lord. If we need a sudden refresher from heaven, we might get a "squirt" of the filling of the Holy Spirit. God has given us so many reasons to be obedient to Him! Spiritual failure most often occurs when we turn the "Spiritual Passenger" switch to the off position. Sometimes it may seem that God isn't riding with us, when in fact, we have temporarily disengaged our relationship with Him by our own disobedient behavior.
GospeLines Prayer:Father, forgive me for blaming You for absenteeism during my times of need, when I egotistically pushed You aside in favor of my own abilities. Keep me alert, O Lord, and remind me when I am about to fall asleep. Encourage me when I fail. Sustain me when I am about to yield to temptation. Amen and amen.
My Father-in-law was not a very pleasant companion at our family dinner last Sunday.He’s a BIG Arizona Diamondbacks fan and they had just lost to the Huston Astros.His mood during dinner made it perfectly clear that he wasn’t ashamed to show his feelings for his favorite baseball team.
Why are people so willing to cheer on their team even when they lose?Os Guinness(1) once wrote, “The shame is not that people have doubts but that they are ashamed of them.”
In a conversation with Danielle DuRant(2), Guinness once said, “…Americans, for example, don’t admit they doubt.It is un-American to doubt… Since doubt is so unpopular, nobody admits it.”
It’s one thing to doubt your sports team; but, what if you doubt God?If you have doubts (about God, Jesus and the teachings of the Bible) can you still be a Christian?
Yes!Faith conquers doubt!If you can have faith in a baseball team in spite of a losing record; you can have faith in God who displays His handiwork all around you, who has promised to always be with you (Matthew 28:20; John 14:16).
Some of the most wonderful and liberating words of Scripture are recorded by Mark in the 9th chapter, versus 23 and 24.Jesus said, “Everything is possible for him who believes.”The father of the boy in this story immediately exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"
He had doubts; but, Christ healed his son because everything is possible for him who believes.Jesus did not say “Everything is possible for him who believes and has no doubts.”
Will your team lose?Maybe…Will your faith in God stand up to your doubts?It’s your choice.Sometimes it’s a choice we must make without all the information; but, for those who believe, God promises: “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” (1st Corinthians 13:12 – NIV)
Today we have faith – then we will have knowledge and no doubt.In the mean time, chose to let your faith trump your doubts: “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me.” (John 14:1 – KJV)
“…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.”
Winston Churchill stood to address the victorious British army following a strategic battle. Known for his inspirational brevity, he was no disappointment in this speech to his battle-weary soldiers. "This isn't the end. It isn't the beginning of the end. But perhaps it is the end of the beginning!"
Much of life places us at similar crossroads. Experiencing a spiritual victory, or a loss, does not end the race. We are involved in a life-long journey which enables us to treat each event as a new beginning. Use your defeats and your victories as opportunities to begin again... again!
GospeLines Prayer:Well, Lord, here I am again… again. It feels as though we just had this talk yesterday, but here we go again… again. I am weary, Father. I’m tired of this dance, two steps forward and three backward! It isn’t a new partner I seek; please, just fix me so that I can get it right a little more often. Enable me to know the difference between victory in a skirmish and winning the war, and help me to be faithful till the end. Amen and amen… again!