It's fascinating how God introduced himself to the human race. He is totally non-defensive and non-explanatory. He simply opens his Word, the Bible, with the simple but profound statement saying, "In the beginning God...." That is, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
Oswald Chambers said, "God who made the birds never made bird cages. It's men who make bird cages [and put people in them] and after a while we become cramped and can do nothing but chirp and stand on one leg."
Dear God, I thank you that you love me with an everlasting love no matter what. Help me to know and experience your divine love, forgiveness, and acceptance and communicate these to every life I touch. Help me, too, to discover and fulfill my God-given life purpose. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
Remember that opportunity comes to those who prepare themselves and are ready for it when it appears! They know that it comes to pass-not to pause. As basketball coach, Bobby Knight, stated, "The will to succeed is important, but what's more important is the will to prepare."
"If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit."1
In his book, Mind Your Own Business, Murray Raphel shares the following story. "Years ago, in Russia, a czar came upon a lonely sentry standing at attention in a secluded corner of the palace garden. 'What are you guarding,' asked the czar. 'I don't know. The captain ordered me to this post,' the sentry replied.
Sometimes we unconsciously choose to become ineffective, irrelevant, or even die rather than change. It happens with individuals, marriages, businesses, organizations, and unfortunately with some churches. Even the "church" people of Christ's day who were looking for and expecting the promised Messiah didn't accept him when he came because he didn't come the way they expected him to come, nor did he do what they wanted or expected him to do (that is, overthrow the oppressing Roman rule). Consequ
"Jesus answered, 'Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.'"1
"Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong."1
"Back in 1911 a stuntman named Bobby Leach went over Niagara Falls in a specially designed steel drum-and lived to tell about it.
"The unofficial creed in the American homeland war on terrorism, Paul Gunther writes, is this: 'Be vigilant, be watchful, be prepared.' Be vigilant in matters of security, whether at an airport, a government institution or in the back sorting room of your office. Be watchful for signs of terrorism: a back-pack left unattended, a strange request for chemicals at a fertilizer plant, a white powder in the mail or unusual behavior by a neighbor down the street. Be prepared to call the police or FB
"What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead. Men of God in days of old were famous for their faith."1
As it has been said, "If you want to hit home runs you've got to be willing to strike out." Top batters in baseball have all struck out many times. And most people who have succeeded in life have also struck out many times.
For example, Walt Disney
"Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves."1
It has been said that you can tell a truly great person by the way he or she treats ordinary people.
"To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some."1
"British statesman and financier Cecil Rhodes, whose fortune was used to endow the world-famous Rhodes Scholarships, was a stickler for correct dress-but apparently not at the expense of someone else's feelings.
One mid-morning last week Joy and I had a most puzzling experience. We were standing in my office at home when, suddenly-and seemingly out of nowhere-was this very loud, clear-as-crystal trumpet blast. It was "Reveille," the well-known military bugle call: "You've got to get up; you've got to get up; you've got to get up in the morning!"
"Prepare to meet your God, O Israel!"1
Some time back I was treated to a wonderful seven-day Caribbean Cruise. Joy and I were really looking forward to this break. We were to visit three ports in Mexico and visit some very interesting historic places. We flew to Florida where the ship was berthed and were ready to board when I ran into a problem-a big problem. I, being a Permanent Resident of the U.S., had my Australian passport with me but forgot my Green Card (my U.S. Permanent Resident ide
"The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?"1
Lest we forget. Today we are graphically reminded how, on September 11, 2001, the world was shocked beyond belief when Muslim fanatical terrorists attacked the U.S.A. bringing down the two World Trade Towers and crashing into the Pentagon-and some 3,000 innocent victims were killed by these fanatical religious terrorists.
"Long to grow up into the fullness of your salvation."1
A reader writes, "I've been receiving Daily Encounter devotions for a number of years and very much appreciate their practical application of the gospel and Christian message. I was discussing with a friend the reverse question from a recent Daily Encounter-not whether God is codependent but whether we are codependent on God. Can you please address this issue?"
"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path."1
Ideas can come from the strangest places. Creative genius comes to people who are open to new ideas and seeing different ways of doing things.
"When I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind."1
In speaking about the meaning and purpose of life, one insightful writer said, "It is not about writing great books, amassing great wealth, achieving great power. It is about loving and being loved. It is about savoring the beauty of moments that don't last, the sunsets, the leaves turning color, the rare moments of true human communication."
"For though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again."1
Failure is never final for the person who gets up one more time than s/he stumbles, falls, or gets knocked down. The crucial thing, whenever we fail or fall, is that, with God's help and the support of loving friends, we get up, go on, and learn from the experience.
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."5
Yesterday we had noted that the Gospel is a message about God and, second, it is a message about sin.
Third, the gospel is a message about Jesus Christ. God is not only a God of absolute holiness, but also a God of perfect justice. Because of this, all sin has to be judged, the just sentence of which is spiritual and eternal death, which is not the cessation of one's existence but eternal separa
"There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers."1