Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.—Matthew 1:23
You know what Emmanuel means—“God with us.” But do you know what “God with us” means? Continue reading
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.—Philippians 2:13
One of my favorite words is hustle. I like it because it is an action word, and I like action. If there is a desired outcome, I want to know how to get there from where I’m at, and then I want to get busy on the first step of action.
For some years, this was my approach, not only to projects or assignments, but to the Christian life. I figured if I could discern what changes I needed to make, I could lay out steps of action toward those changes—and then hustle on the steps to become a good Christian.
I think you can see where I’m going with this. There are some areas in which we don’t hustle, we look to God. And Christian growth is one of those areas. Continue reading
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.—Psalm 42:5
Hope is one of the greatest gifts of life. It is faith’s twin sister, and it is courage’s strength.
Christian hope is far more than a Pollyanna outlook; it is confidence in our sovereign God.
I recently read a statement by G.K. Chesterton: “Hope is the power of being cheerful in circumstances that we know to be desperate.” Continue reading
O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.—Psalms 136:1
Of the thirty-four times in Scripture that the exact phrase “give thanks” is used, ten directly reference God’s mercy. Continue reading
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.—Mark 16:15
This week is Missions Conference at our church, so my thoughts are wrapped in what I’m hearing and seeing.
Specifically, I’m thinking on the command of Jesus to share the gospel with the billions of people who haven’t yet heard it once.
And then there’s the lady who lives just several blocks down from my church. She had actually been to my church once and heard the gospel, but she was confused. Very confused. She was also ready to hear God’s Word. Today I had the opportunity to open the Bible and share the sweet story of salvation with her. An hour and a half later, she trusted Christ. Continue reading
Funny thing about the biblical commands to “be strong.” They have nothing to do with our strength. In fact, they only make sense when we realize that our strength is insufficient.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:—Isaiah 40:30
The strongest of us are weak, and the sooner we realize that the better. I love the quote by Charles Spurgeon: “When your own emptiness is painfully forced upon your consciousness, chide yourself that you ever dreamed of being full, except in the Lord.” Continue reading
I have a thousand blessings to rejoice in today: a warm house, food in the refrigerator, a working car, a delightful family, kind friends, opportunities to serve…I even had pie for breakfast. (You always know it’s going to be a good day when you eat pie for breakfast. Always.)
But in all my reasons to rejoice there is none greater than this: “Rejoice in the Lord” (Philippians 4:4). In life, I have many reasons to rejoice. But in Jesus, I have every reason to rejoice.
To be sure, just as easily as I can come up with a list of blessings, I could gather a list of discouragements. If I really set my mind to it, I could make my discouragements list longer than my blessings list. (This is not because I have greater discouragements than blessings, but because a mind set on discouragement easily finds it.) Continue reading
Freely ye have received, freely give.—Matthew 10:8
There are two ways to look at a full week ahead: You can see the appointments, meetings, and responsibilities as demands on your time—people taking your limited resource of time from you.
OR you can see the same appointments, meetings, and responsibilities as an opportunity to give—a chance to use your time as a conduit of the blessings of God.
When Jesus sent His disciples out, He gave them the second paradigm: “Freely ye have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8). Continue reading
Thou art worthy, O Lord…And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy…—Revelation 4:11, 5:9
Why begin a new week with a full schedule of service? Why plunge whole-heartedly into the day? Why give my all to the responsibilities before me?
Because my God is worthy!
He is worthy of my praise, my service, my energy, my love, my time—my all, and then more. And may I do everything as unto Him today. Continue reading
Mondays, for me, have double-sided potential in setting the tone for the week ahead.
My natural tendency is to begin Monday overwhelmingly aware of, and buried under, my full to do list for the rest of the week. You can guess how a week started like this goes…
On the other hand, if I begin Monday with a focused heart on God’s faithfulness and sufficiency, I enter the week with a heart established in His grace.
Obviously, option two is preferred. My strategy for reaching it is to grab a truth from God’s Word that settles my heart and mind on God’s truth at the beginning of the week. Often, I’m already reaching for such a truth on Sunday, ready to pick it up on Monday morning. Continue reading