On August 8, 2000, a visitor came to see us. In order to receive my guest I had to make careful preparation by “getting my house in order.” Several weeks prior, I studied the situation to determine just what was needed. Then, on the day mentioned, at 8:45 a.m., the first little hummingbird came into the back yard. With iridescent green coat and yellow band with dark head, he flew fearlessly to the feeder and drank the nectar we had prepared.
Sometimes people tell me they cannot hear God’s voice, or feel His presence. What preparation have you made to receive him? What nectar of your soul is available to Him? Is the receptacle clean from impurities? Getting ready for the Father is a large part of communication with Him. The sad truth is that He is more ready to answer our prayers than we are to act upon his answers; and, he is more apt to commune at the table with us than we are ready to receive Him. May our walk be such that wherever we are, we will be a blessing to our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen and amen.
"Listen to your father, who gave you life, and don’t despise your mother when she is old.Get the truth and never sell it; also get wisdom, discipline, and good judgment.The father of godly children has cause for joy.What a pleasure to have children who are wise."(Proverbs 23:22-24 - NLT)
I am not a golfer; couldn’t play if someone paid me big bucks.I do, however, admire the top golfer in the world, Tiger Woods.
I hadn’t noticed it before, but during a recent tournament, the cameras showed him practicing his driving and putting.I admit I never gave any thought to his need to prepare at the tournaments.
My impression of Tiger is that he’s a natural – God gave him quite a talent.And, he continues to hone his skill to elevate his game.He’s driven, focused and disciplined - the traits one needs to be successful.
When I reflect back on the years since Tiger came on to the scene, I can still picture his father at every tournament.The cameras would pan the gallery to locate Earl Woods. Especially after a win, he and his father would never fail to embrace.Even though we’ve seen pictures of his mother and know how important she is to him, he and his dad were the best of friends.
His dad introduced Tiger to golf at a very young age and taught him the game… all those subtle nuances he needed to become a good golfer; now one of the greatest golfers of all time.Earl, however, was more determined to raise a good son than a great golfer and yet he became the architect and driving force behind Tiger’s phenomenal career.
I’m certain that there were missteps, bad days.In fact, the TV cameras have been there when Tiger’s emotions have gotten the best of him; exposing his disappointment and frustration at a missed putt or an errant shot.But, he pulls himself together and fights his way through the remainder of the tournament.Time and time again, we’ve seen him come from a deficit and triumph; and a few times, we’ve seen him miss the cut.
Tiger knows there will be a next time and he’ll be better prepared.He hasn’t lost sight of the training and lessons his father imparted in life and golf.
GospeLines Prayer:Father, Tiger is but one of your many gifted children.Help us to stay focused in Your word.
We may not be famous by the world’s standards, but You know us well and we have been given gifts too.Help us to remain disciplined to reach the standard You have set for us according to Proverbs 22:6 - Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it.
Thank You for the many blessings You have bestowed in our lives.May we use those gifts to glorify You.
In His Love,
≈ Devotional for Wednesday, October 3, 2007
If I was going to write my epitaph it would have only one word... "Reconciled!" Pity the soul who believes that reconciliation means someone wins and someone loses.No matter the transgression, reconciliation with your friend, your spouse, your neighbor, you, or your God can become a reality.
How? Even if you are not the transgressor, empty yourself of all the pride you have accumulated since birth, and live a life of reconciliation toward that person.That’s right; words are sometimes powerless, whereas, our conciliatory living testimony will heal that which the spoken word will not.
Pray that the Father will lead you to live a reconciled life with everyone in your circle of acquaintances.
GospeLines Prayer:Father, to this end we give our focus and pray that Your sweet Spirit will intervene where our words have failed.This I humbly pray in Your Son’s name, Amen and amen.
Many of God's truths that are under attack today by false religions and by the world. These truths may be unpopular, and people do not like to hear them; but, they are still true.We are taught "that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone - for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth." (1ST Timothy 2:1-4)
Too often the world (and sometimes Christians) is willing to compromise "the truth" (or at least keep it quiet) for fear of causing offense. Personally, I'd rather offend the world than risk offending God by watering down His truth or by keeping it quiet and allowing His children to face judgment without having heard the truth of His Word.
"Don't become partners with those who reject God.How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That's not partnership; that's war!Is light best friends with dark? Does Christ go strolling with the Devil? Do trust and mistrust hold hands?...God himself put it this way: "I'll live in them, move into them; I'll be their God and they'll be my people. So leave the corruption and compromise; leave it for good..." (2nd Corinthians 6:14 - The Message)
The world has blurred the lines between the truth of God and what man finds comforting and acceptable - "feel good" ideology.
Matt Slick, President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry, said in his article, Blurred Lines:
The world wants to blur the lines that separate the absolutes of morality and truth from its lies and compromise. The world wants Christian morality and absolutes removed. It wants moral and truth grey areas to overshadow biblical truth. By contrast, however, the Christian church is supposed to sharpen those lines by preaching, teaching, and standing up for the absolute truths of God's word.
Today, some are choosing to ignore (or "reinterpret") certain scriptures that do not conform to the morality of the times.Misinterpreting, reinterpreting or just plain ignoring God's Word isn't new.Eve knew what God said; but, she allowed the serpent to "reinterpret" the true meaning.The Israelites could see the Cloud of God by day and night - His presence was always before them.But, over and over again, they ignored His Word.
God's people must hold fast against the world's tendency to offer up "Church Lite" - a watered down interpretation of God's Word that placates the world rather that offer the hope of salvation.
Hope and salvation are not found in the doctrines, ideologies or anything written by men.Hope and salvation are found Christ alone and the way to Christ is found in the truth of His infallible and unalterable Word.
"…we can face Him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world."
Dave owns and operates a video lab. After 6 hours of working on one particular computer file, he LOST IT. Poof... it was gone, vanished, deleted. Six hours of painstaking work, putting each excruciating detail in place, was wasted.It couldn’t be retrieved or restored. Not only was he frustrated, the losses actually made him feel sick. One mistake... and it was gone forever.
We have all done things like that in our Christian walk, working diligently to witness to nonbelievers, trying to live a life that honors God, and in the blink of an eye, it happens. We make a bad judgment call, speak a thoughtless word, allow our temper to flare, or, we just lose control. And we blow it. Someone walks away shaking his head, grumbling, “Well, if that is what Christianity is about, I’ll have none, thank you!”
I am sure that the apostle Peter experienced the same feeling. He walked on water for a little bit, and then he sank. He tried to pray, but he fell asleep.He promised he would love Jesus and never deny him, and you know what happened there. We all mess up. And God knows that about us. He knows we will mess up.Just as Jesus forgave Peter and reinstated him to service, God forgives us and restores the repentant Christian to fellowship. His grace, unlike a deleted file, is able to reinstate, recover, retrieve and restore us.
GospeLines Prayer:Father, impress upon me that defeat is never final and that recovery is always possible to a repentant sinner. Until I reach the maturity of perfection, I will need You to reprogram me from time to time. And let me be vigilant to stand against known sins which can easily destroy my testimony. Amen and amen.