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Turn The World Upside Down

Posted in Daily Devotions

And it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

The only path to true success comes when we daily take up the cross of Jesus Christ. Even a self-centered generation knows that self-denial is the path to success. But listen. There is a catch. Self-denial will not bring us fulfillment if we only live for ourselves. We may say, “I am not doing this for my husband or my wife. I’m not doing this for my children. I am doing it for me.” Fine. That may help you stay on your diet. That may help you keep up your studies. But it will not bring you ultimate fulfillment. Ultimate fulfillment comes only when we say, “I’m doing this for God and God’s people.”

Imagine a person carrying two buckets, one of them filled with oil and one filled with water. Now they are completely filled so that you cannot pour the oil from its bucket into the water bucket because there is no room and besides oil and water don’t mix.

Now imagine that one of these buckets is you and your will and your purpose and your plan for your life and the other is God’s will and plan and purpose for your life. Before you can know God’s will and plan and purpose for your life you’re going to have to empty your bucket to receive what God has to give. Now whom do you trust the most to know where real purpose and joy, satisfaction, and peace lie with you, or with the heart of God?

The key to truly successful living is to deny ourselves in order that God may fill us to overflowing with God’s presence and power. As Paul said in Galatians 2:20, “And it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.” There is the path to real success. If we who are followers of Jesus would learn that one simple truth, we could turn this world upside down.

Dear God, fill me with the saving power of Jesus Christ, as I pick up his cross of salvation everyday. In Jesus name, Amen.

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A Lighted World

Posted in Daily Devotions

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (I Peter 2:9)

There are lights that flood a room and reveals that which is hidden. There are lights that shine as a fixed reminder of eternal truths. There is another kind of light, however. It is the search light of compassion and concern. It is the light that moves out into the darkness to seek the lost. This is the light of the shepherd who leaves the ninety and nine and goes out on the hillside to find the one sheep who is lost. It is the light a woman shines looking for a lost child. It is the light of a loving God who will not let us go. Halford Luccock asked his two granddaughters what they wanted for their birthdays. “Give us a world,” they responded. Soon he deduced that what they were asking for was a globe. So happily granddad went shopping for a nice large globe that would spin and would be an attractive addition to their room. Expectantly, he waited their pleasure o n their birthday as they opened their gift from him. Somehow when the present was opened, however, he sensed they were disappointed. “What is the matter?” he asked. “I thought this is what you wanted.” “Well, yes,” said one of them, “but we were kind of hoping for a lighted world.” Immediately he understood that what they wanted was a globe with a light inside.

“I can fix that,” he said. “Let me take it back and exchange it for a lighted one.” Unfortunately the store where he bought the globe did not sell lighted ones. So he got his money back and set out to find a lighted world rather than a darkened one. Finally, he located a globe with a light in it, bought it and presented it to his granddaughters, who were delighted. Telling a colleague about this, he was asked if he had learned anything from this experience. He said, “Oh, yes. I learned one thing. I learned that a lighted world costs more.”

A lighted world does cost more. It cost God His Son. If we are serious about letting our light shine in today’s world, it will cost us something as well.

God of love, with Jesus as my inspiration, may my light shine brightly in this often dark world. In Jesus name, Amen.

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Who Is #1?

Posted in Daily Devotions

If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. (Luke 9:23)

Former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz once said, “I’ve been on the top and I’ve been on the bottom. At Arkansas my first year, we won the Orange Bowl. Then everybody loved me. “They put me into the Arkansas Hall of Fame and issued a commemorative stamp in my honor. The next year we lost to Texas, and they had to take away the stamp, because people kept spitting on the wrong side of it. Life is full of highs and lows, and for many of us it is hard to be humble. But when we deny our own pleasures and desires, and put God first, then we begin to understand what is really important. Being filled with God’s desires of love and hope.

Jesus tells us today, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” The cross here is a very important symbol. Carrying the cross means we carry a burden of helping others, it means God is important, it means we have hope, it means we have forgiveness, it means we use our financial resources to help others, and it means we want to share God’s love, forgiveness, and hope with our family, our friends, and our co-workers.

When we deny ourselves, we put God first.

Heavenly Father, you gave up so much for me. Now, guide me as I deny my wishes for yours. In Jesus Name, Amen.

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