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The Word For Life.

If we meet and you forget me, you have lost nothing:
but if you meet JESUS CHRIST and forget Him,
you have lost everything.

WITH GOD´S HELP
Posted:Dec 14, 2017 3:29 am
Last Updated:Dec 15, 2017 12:23 am
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Read: Joshua 14.7–15

Bible in a Year: Joel 1–3; Revelation 5

So here I am today, y- old! . . . I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Joshua 14:10–11

As I’ve grown older, I’ve noticed more joint pain, especially when cold weather hits. Some days, I feel less like a conqueror and more like some conquered by the challenges of becoming a senior citizen.

That’s why my hero is an older man named Caleb—the former spy sent by Moses to out out Canaan, the Promised Land (Num. 13–14). After the other spies gave an unfavorable report, Caleb and Joshua were the only spies out of the twelve whom God favored to enter Canaan. Now, in Joshua 14, the time for Caleb to receive his portion of land had come. But there were enemies still to drive out. Not content to retire and leave the battle to the younger generation, Caleb declared, “You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the Lord ing me, I will drive them out just as he said” (Josh. 14:12).

Father, thank You for giving me the strength to get through each day.

“The Lord ing me.” That’s the kind of mindset that kept Caleb battle-ready. He focused on God’s power, not his own, nor on his advanced age. God would him do whatever needed to be d.

Most of us don’t think of taking on anything monumental when we reach a certain age. But we can still do great things for God, no matter how old we are. When Caleb-sized opportunities come our way, we don’t have to shy away from them. With the Lord ing us, we can conquer!
Heavenly Father, thank You for giving me the strength to get through each day. me to do Your will.

I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

1 comment
IT ISN´T ME
Posted:Dec 13, 2017 5:21 am
Last Updated:Dec 15, 2017 12:23 am
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Read: 1 Corinthians 15:1–11

Bible in a Year: Hosea 12–14; Revelation 4

I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. Galatians 2:20

As one of the most celebrated orchestral conductors of the twentieth century, Arturo Toscanini is remembered for his desire to give credit to whom credit is due. In David Ewen’s Dictators of the Baton, the author describes how members of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra rose to their feet and cheered Toscanini at the end of a rehearsal of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. When there was a lull in the ovation, and with tears in his eyes, Arturo’s broken voice could be heard exclaiming as he spoke: “It isn’t me . . . it’s Beethoven! . . . Toscanini is nothing.”

In the apostle Paul’s New Testament letters, he also refused to take credit for his spiritual insight and influence. He knew he was like a spiritual father and mother to many who had put their faith in Christ. He admitted he had worked hard and suffered much to encourage the faith, hope, and love of so many (1 Cor. 15:10). But he could not, in good conscience, accept the applause of those who were inspired by his faith, love, and insight.

Father in heaven, without You we would have nothing.

So for his readers’ sake, and for ours, Paul said, in effect, “It isn’t me, brothers and sisters. It’s Christ . . . Paul is nothing.” We are only messengers of the One who deserves our cheers.
Father in heaven, without You we would have nothing. Without Your grace we would be hopeless. Without the Spirit of Your Son we would be helpless. Please show us how to give You the honor You deserve.

Wise is the person who would rather give honor than receive it.

1 comment
THE CURE FOR ANXIETY
Posted:Dec 12, 2017 1:56 am
Last Updated:Dec 13, 2017 5:21 am
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Read: Philippians 4:1–9

Bible in a Year: Hosea 9–11; Revelation 4

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

We were excited about moving for my husband’s job. But the unknowns and challenges left me feeling anxious. Thoughts of sorting and packing up belongings. Looking for a place to live. My finding a new job too. Making my way around a new city, and getting settled. It was all . . . unsettling. As I thought about my “to-do” list, words written by the apostle Paul echoed in my mind: Don’t worry, but pray
(Phil. 4:6–7.

If anyone could have been anxious about unknowns and challenges, it would have been Paul. He was shipwrecked. He was beaten. He was jailed. In his letter to the Philippian church, he encouraged his friends who also were facing unknowns, telling them, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (v. 6).

Paul’s words encourage me. Life is not without uncertainties—whether they come in the form of a major life transition, family issues, health scares, or financial trouble. What I continue to learn is that God cares. He invites us to let go of our fears of the unknown by giving them to Him. When we do, He, who knows all things, promises that His peace, “which transcends all understanding, will guard” our heart and mind in Christ Jesus (v. 7).
Dear God, what a blessing to know we do not have to be anxious about anything! Remind us that we can come to You and tell You about everything. Thank You for who You are and what You are doing in our lives.

God’s care for me eases my mind.

1 comment
It´s All a Gift!!
Posted:Dec 11, 2017 5:56 am
Last Updated:Dec 15, 2017 12:23 am
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Read: Ephesians 2:1–9

Bible in a Year: Hosea 5–8; Revelation 2

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8

London’s Café Rendezvous has nice lighting, comfortable couches, and the smell of coffee in the air. What it doesn’t have are prices. Originally started as a business by a local church, the café was transformed a year after it started. The managers felt that God was calling them to do something radical—make everything on the menu free. Today you can order a coffee, cake, or sandwich without cost. There isn’t even a donation jar. It’s all a gift.

I asked the manager why they were so generous. “We’re just trying to treat people the way God treats us,” he said. “God gives to us whether we thank him or not. He’s generous to us beyond our imaginations.”

Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life. Rev.22:17

Jesus died to rescue us from our sins and reconcile us with God. He rose from the grave and is alive now. Because of this, every wrong thing we’ve done can be forgiven, and we can have new life today (Eph. 2:1–5). And one of the most amazing things about this is that it is all free. We can’t buy the new life Jesus offers. We can’t even donate toward the cost (vv. 8–9). It’s all a gift.

As the folks at Café Rendezvous serve their cakes and coffees, they give people a glimpse of God’s generosity. You and I are offered eternal life for free because Jesus has paid the bill.
Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life. Revelation 22:17

Eternal life is a free gift ready to be received.

2 Comments
UNEXPECTED GRACE
Posted:Dec 8, 2017 4:42 am
Last Updated:Dec 15, 2017 12:23 am
42 Views
Read: Acts 9:1–19

Bible in a Year: Daniel 8–10; 3 John

In a vision, he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight. Acts 9:12

It was an early Saturday morning in my sophomore year of high school, and I was eager to get to my job at the local bowling lanes. The evening before, I had stayed late to mop the muddy tile floors because the janitor called in sick. I hadn’t bothered to tell the boss about the janitor so I could surprise him. After all, What could go wrong? I thought.

Most people know they’re messed up. Instead of lectures, they need a hope for redemption.

Stepping in the door, I saw inches of standing water, with bowling pins, rolls of toilet paper, and boxes of paper scoresheets bobbing on top. Then I realized what I had done: While doing the floors, I had left a large faucet running overnight! Incredibly, my boss greeted me with a huge hug and a big smile—“for trying,” he said.

Saul was actively punishing and harassing Christians (Acts 9:1–2) when he came face to face with Jesus on the road to Damascus (vv. 3–4). Jesus confronted the soon-to-be-called apostle Paul with his sinful actions. Blinded by the experience, Saul/Paul would need a Christian—Ananias—to restore his sight to him in an act of courage and grace (v. 17).

Both Saul and I received unexpected grace.

Most people know they’re messed up. Instead of lectures, they need a hope for redemption. Stern faces or sharp words can block their view of that hope. Like Ananias, or even my boss, followers of Jesus must become the face of grace in these life-changing encounters with others.

A Christian’s grace-filled actions can smooth someone’s path to the Savior’s presence.


1 comment
FIRST THINGS FIRST
Posted:Dec 7, 2017 4:13 am
Last Updated:Dec 15, 2017 12:23 am
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Read: 1 Timothy 4:12–16

Bible in a Year: Daniel 5–7; 2 John

Watch your life and doctrine closely. 1 Timothy 4:16

When you travel by air, before the flight takes off an airline employee presents a safety briefing, which explains what to do if there is a loss of cabin pressure. Passengers are told that oxygen masks will drop from the compartment above and they are to put one on themselves before helping others. Why? Because before you can help anyone else, you need to be physically alert yourself.

When Paul wrote to Timothy, he stressed the importance of maintaining his own spiritual health before helping and serving others. He reminded Timothy of his many responsibilities as a pastor: There were false teachings to contend with
(1 Tim. 4:1–5) and wrong doctrines to correct (vv. 6–8. But to discharge his duties well, what was most important was to “watch [his] life and doctrine closely [and] persevere in them” (v. 16). He needed to take care of his own relationship with the Lord first before he could attend to others.

Set an example ... in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12

What Paul told Timothy applies to us too. Each day we encounter people who do not know the Lord. When we tank up on our spiritual oxygen first through time in God’s Word, prayer, and the enabling of the Holy Spirit, we keep our relationship right with God. Then we will be spiritually alert to help others.
Lord, open Your Word to me now. Let me breathe in its freshness before I go out to be Your light to the world.

A Christian’s life is the window through which others can see Jesus.

1 comment
TRUSTING GOD EVEN IF.....
Posted:Dec 6, 2017 3:55 pm
Last Updated:Dec 15, 2017 12:23 am
75 Views
Read: Daniel 3:13–25

Bible in a Year: Daniel 3–4; 1 John 5


The God we serve is able to deliver us. Daniel 3:17

Due to an injury that occurred in 1992, I suffer from chronic pain in my upper back, shoulders, and neck. During the most excruciating and disheartening moments, it’s not always easy to trust or praise the Lord. But when my situation feels unbearable, God’s constant presence comforts me. He strengthens me and reassures me of His unchanging goodness, limitless power, and sustaining grace. And when I’m tempted to doubt my Lord, I’m encouraged by the determined faith of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They worshiped God and trusted He was with them, even when their situation seemed hopeless.

When King Nebuchadnezzar threatened to throw them into a blazing furnace if they didn’t turn away from the true God to worship his golden statue (Dan. 3:13–15), these three men displayed courageous and confident faith. They never doubted the Lord was worthy of their worship (v. 17), “even if” He didn’t rescue them from their current predicament (v. 18. And God didn’t leave them alone in their time of need; He joined and protected them in the furnace (vv. 24–25).

The God we serve is able to deliver us. Daniel 3:17

God doesn’t leave us alone either. He remains with us through trials that can feel as destructive as Nebuchadnezzar’s furnace. Even if our suffering doesn’t end on this side of eternity, God is and always will be mighty, trustworthy, and good. We can rely on His constant and loving presence.
Lord, thank You for being with us, no matter what we’re going through.

Faith relies on our Almighty God’s unchanging character, not on our circumstances.

2 Comments
JESUS LOVES MAYSEL!!
Posted:Dec 5, 2017 5:29 am
Last Updated:Dec 7, 2017 4:13 am
75 Views
Read: 1 John 4.7–16

Bible in a Year: Daniel 1–2; 1 John 4

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us. 1 John 4:10

When my sister Maysel was little, she would sing a familiar song in her own way: “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells Maysel.” This irritated me to no end! As one of her older, “wiser” sisters, I knew the words were “me so,” not “Maysel.” Yet she persisted in singing it her way.

Now I think my sister had it right all along. The Bible does indeed tell Maysel, and all of us, that Jesus loves us. Over and over again we read that truth. Take, for example, the writings of the apostle John, “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 21.7, 20). He tells us about God’s love in one of the best-known verses of the Bible: John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Dear Lord, thank You for the assurance that You love us.

John reinforces that message of love in 1 John 4:10: “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” Just as John knew Jesus loved him, we too can have that same assurance: Jesus does love us. The Bible tells us so.
Dear Lord, thank You for the assurance that You love us. We are filled with gratitude that You love us so much that You died for us.

Jesus loves me! This I know.

1 comment
CHRISTMAS AT McPHERSON GARDENS
Posted:Dec 4, 2017 5:36 am
Last Updated:Dec 5, 2017 5:29 am
86 Views
Read: Luke 1:68–75

Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 47–48; 1 John 3

Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them. Luke 1:68

About 230 families and individuals live at MacPherson Gardens, Block 72 in my neighborhood. Each person has his or her own life story. On the tenth floor resides an elderly woman whose children have grown up, gotten married, and moved out. She lives by herself now. Just a few doors away from her is a young couple with two kids—a boy and a girl. And a few floors below lives a young man serving in the army. He has been to church before; maybe he will visit again on Christmas Day. I met these people last Christmas when our church went caroling in the neighborhood to spread Christmas cheer.

Every Christmas—as on the first Christmas—there are many people who do not know that God has entered into our world as a baby whose name is Jesus
(Luke 1:68; 2:21). Or they do not know the significance of that event—it is “good news that will cause great joy for all the people” (2:10). Yes, all people! Regardless of our nationality, culture, gender, or financial status, Jesus came to die for us and offer us complete forgiveness so that we can be reconciled with Him and enjoy His love, joy, peace, and hope. All people, from the woman next door to the colleagues we have lunch with, need to hear this wonderful news!

The good news of Jesus’s birth is a source of joy for all people.

On the first Christmas, the angels were the bearers of this joyous news. Today, God desires to work through us to take the story to others.
Lord, use me to touch the lives of others with the news of Your coming.

The good news of Jesus’s birth is a source of joy for all people.


2 Comments
THE LAST WILL BE FIRST
Posted:Dec 1, 2017 3:02 am
Last Updated:Dec 4, 2017 5:36 am
99 Views
Read: Mark 9:33–37

Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 40–41; 2 Peter 3

Those who humble themselves will be exalted. Matthew 23:12

Recently I was among the last in line to board a large passenger jet with unassigned seating. I located a middle seat beside the wing, but the only spot for my bag was the overhead compartment by the very last row. This meant I had to wait for everyone to leave before I could go back and retrieve it.

I laughed as I settled into my seat and a thought occurred to me that seemed to be from the Lord: “It really won’t hurt you to wait. It will actually do you good.” So I resolved to enjoy the extra time, helping other passengers lower their luggage after we landed and assisting a flight attendant with cleaning. By the time I was able to retrieve my bag, I laughed again when someone thought I worked for the airline.

We serve Him best by serving others.

That day’s experience made me ponder Jesus’s words to His disciples: “Anyone who wants to be first, must be the very last, and the servant of all” (Mark 9:35).

I waited because I had to, but in Jesus’s “upside down” kingdom, there’s a place of honor for those who voluntarily set themselves aside to attend to others’ needs.

Jesus came into our hurried, me-first world not “to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28. We serve Him best by serving others. The lower we bend, the closer we are to Him.
Loving Lord, help me to follow You into the needs of others and serve You there.

Jesus’s kingdom is upside-down.


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