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Live In The Truth

Posted in Daily Devotions

Jesus said to them, “Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” (Mark 12:17)

On a can of room freshener there appeared these words: “Bring the clean, natural freshness of a country meadow indoors. Freshens the air in your home with a clean, back-to-nature scent–as refreshing as the summer grass and fragrant flowers of a country meadow.” Following were these words: “WARNING: Inhaling the contents can be harmful or fatal.” Just a reminder: that which smells sweet is not necessarily healthy. That which is popular is not necessarily true.

If you were to assess the situation in Jesus’ day, wouldn’t you say that Caesar had all the glory and Jesus had all the pain? Caesar had power, prominence, palaces. Jesus had no place to lay his head. Caesar could pass laws that would drastically affect the lives of men and women throughout his empire. Jesus could but tell stories and hope his listeners understood. With a wave of his hand Caesar could have a person put to death. Jesus died at the hands of the state. Yes, Caesar had the glory, and Jesus had the pain. But wait. That’s not the end of the story. Caesar is in the grave. Jesus has been resurrected. Yes, Caesar was popular, but Jesus brought the truth. May we live in that truth!

God of all things, may I live in the truth of my Savior, Jesus Christ. In Jesus Name, Amen.

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Genuine Humility

Posted in Daily Devotions

I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. (Matthew 8:8)

The centurion was man of great humility. Jesus was persuaded by the testimony of the elders and went with them. When he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him saying, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof . . . .” Can you believe this? Here is a Roman solider a man of wealth, power, and authority and he is saying to an itinerant Jewish teacher, “I am not worthy to have you come under my roof . . . .” He was a man of great humility.

Is there any quality more appealing in a woman or man than genuine humility? This is not the same as low self-esteem that causes others to walk all over us. Certainly the centurion was no doormat. But he recognized Jesus’ power and he was humbled.

For some reason, one of my favorite stories is about a bald man who decided with his wife one night to go out to dinner and have a baby sitter to take care of their two little children.

While they were gone, the baby sitter got interested in a television program and wasn’t watching the children very carefully. The little boy got into his father’s electric shaver and shaved a big landing strip right down the middle of his head.

When his father came home, he was furious. He said, “Son! I told you never to play with my shaver. Now you are going to get a spanking!” Dad was just about to give his son a spanking when his son looked up at him and said, “Wait until you see sister!” Dad was horrified.

He went into the next room and there was their little four-year-old daughter with her hair shaved off. By this time dad was really furious. He grabbed up his son and said, “Now you are really going to get it.”

Just as he lifted his hand his son looked up at him with tears in his eyes and said, “But Daddy! WE WERE JUST TRYING TO LOOK LIKE YOU!” I’m sure that little boy didn’t get any punishment that night.

A good person of God is humble.

Heavenly Father, through your humility you became my savior. May I also be humble for God’s glory.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

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Quality Time

Posted in Daily Devotions

Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs. (Matthew 19:14)

This is the season of the children: paternal children, step-children, grandchildren, and children of friends.

Based on the tradition of children having the lowest position in the community during Jesus time, Jesus made an important statement when he said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.”

There is a story about a little boy who came to his dad and said, “I wanna horsey ride!”

The dad who was stirring paint said, “I’m too busy.”

The little boy said, “You know, Dad, it won’t be long before I’m all grown up. One day you’ll wake up and wonder how all the years slipped by. You’ll look back and say, “Where has the time gone? My boy is so big. It’s hard to remember when he was small enough that I could give him horsey rides…” But those days will be lost forever.”

The next thing you know the little boy is on Dad’s back as they gallop toward a fence.

Dad says, I think I’ve worked through my potential guilt now.”

The little boy says, “Oh no you haven’t. Jump the fence!”

The best way we can show respect for our children is to spend time with them. Jesus did!

God of all, may I demonstrate my love for my children by giving them some of my quality time.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

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What Is Your Hope

Posted in Daily Devotions

As all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ.(1 Corinthians 15:22)

What is your hope today? Upon what are you planning and building your life? In 1 Corinthians 15:22, Paul states: “As all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ.” In I Timothy 6:17, which speaks to the heart of many people here in America, Paul writes: “Instruct those who are rich in this world that they do not fix their hope on the uncertainly of riches, but on God who richly supplies all our needs in Christ Jesus.”

We have a choice. We can put our hope in the things of this uncertain world, or we can put our full hope in Jesus Christ who supplies all of our needs.

There is a church in Chester, PA which had a large cross on top of the facility but, unfortunately, all the lights had burned out. The church members decided not to fix it. So one day, the pastor paid for an electrician to come after hours to get the cross fixed and working again. The pastor wanted the people of Chester who drove by to see that the cross was the real hope of the world.

Is your cross lighted today? Do the people you live and work with know the cross that shines through you? Or, are your light bulbs all burned out?

Dear God, help me to allow the cross of Jesus to shine through me.  In Jesus Name,Amen.

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You Wanna Start Something?

Posted in Daily Devotions

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8)

We have a greater burden as God’s people than anyone else on earth. We must always lift up a higher standard of living and loving.

In one of Garfield’s cartoons he is shown resting droopy-eyed in his bed thinking to himself: “One of my pet peeves is people who never finish what they start.” As he cracks a knowing smile, he says, “I do not happen to be one of those people.” The last frame shows him under the bed covers saying, “My philosophy is, ‘Never start anything.’”

“Never start anything” cannot be our philosophy as God’s people. We must care about our world because God cares. We must care about people because God cares. We must care about those in need because God cares. God cared enough about us to send our Savior, Jesus Christ. We must care too. We must care enough to make our brotherhood and community stronger. What is God calling you to do? Are you being called to help tutor a child struggling in with his or her education? Are you being called to reach out to someone in pain? Are you being called to organize a neighborhood watch program or cleanup day? If you and I don’t do it, who will? God is counting on you and me. We also can count on God to give us the resources we need to accomplish His will.

God of all things, you can count on me!  In Jesus Name, Amen.

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Our Deepest Need

Posted in Daily Devotions

Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. (Matthew 5:17)

Paul had spent much of his life trying to save himself through strict adherence to the Law. But somehow, this was not enough. It never is.

Robert Ingersoll was a famous agnostic. He enjoyed arguing, particularly with Christian clergymen. One day Ingersoll was conversing with Charles Horace Talmage, one of the great preachers of the day, about Connecticut’s blue laws – laws forbidding certain activities on Sunday.

“Would you like to live in a community, Mr. Talmage,” Ingersoll asked, “where not one cigar could be smoked and not one drop of liquor could be drunk?”

“Certainly,” said Talmage, “that would be a social heaven.”

“And you would like to live,” Ingersoll continued, “where no one could play on the Sabbath day and where everyone had to go to church?”

“Yes, sir,” Talmage declared, “that would suit me. It would be paradise to live in a community where everyone was compelled to go to church on Sunday, where no one could drink a drop . . . and where the law would make every person good . . . “

“And you think such a person would be a good Christian?” Ingersoll asked, “A better man than I am?”

“Why, of course,” Talmage responded.

“Then,” said Mr. Ingersoll, “I advise you to go to the penitentiary. At Sing Sing there is a community of fifteen hundred men and women governed in precisely that manner. They are all good by law.”

Talmage learned a lesson that day. Being good simply because it is required has no saving power. That was a discovery that Paul also made – keeping the Law by itself would never fulfill his deepest need. Of course, Paul tried to keep the law, but he knew that true salvation comes from faith in Jesus Christ.

Heavenly Father, thank you for saving my soul, so that I may know of God’s incredible love. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

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Our Talents

Posted in Daily Devotions

A man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. (Matthew 25:14-15)

Once there was a wealthy landowner, or “master” as he is called, who was about to go away on a long trip. Since he was going away for such a long time he decided to put his loyal staff in charge of everything he owned. Before he left he presented one of the servants with the unbelievable sum of five talents. To another servant he gave two talents and to the third servant he gave one talent. The servants weren’t given any instructions on what to do with the talents or when exactly the landowner would return.

A talent was a tremendous sum of money. It represented the earnings of twenty or more years. The servant who was given five talents held in his possession lifetime earnings of five people. The servant who was given two talents had the earnings of two people. Even the servant who was given only one talent had an enormous sum of money.

Immediately after the master left on his trip the first two servants went to work. The one with the five talents and the one with two talents soon had doubled the money of their master. The third servant who was given one talent, however, “went off at once and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.” At an unexpected time the master returned and called in his three servants to give an account of how each used the talents entrusted to him.

What kind of account will we give to our master on how we have used our talents?

Heavenly Father, forgive me for not using my talents wisely. Help me to give freely of what you have given to me.  In Jesus Name,Amen.

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