Saturday, April 21, 2018

The Daily Grace - Acts of Kindness

I was traveling with some men when we spotted a family stranded alongside the road. My friends immediately pulled over to help. They got the car running, talked with the father and mother of the family, and gave them some money for gasoline. When the mother thanked them over and over, they replied, "We're glad to help out, and we do it in Jesus' name". As we drove away, I thought how natural it was for these friends to help people in need and acknowledge the Lord as the source of their generosity.

Peter and John exhibited that same joyful generosity when they healed a lame man who was begging outside the temple in Jerusalem (Acts 3:1-10). This led to their arrest and appearance before the authorities who asked, "By what power or by what name have you done this?" Peter replied, "If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man. . . let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole" (Acts 4:7-10).

Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22). It is a powerful context in which to genuinely speak to others about the Lord. One act of kindness may teach more about the love of God than many sermons. Practice and spread kindness everywhere you go!

Today We Pray

Dear Lord, open my eyes as I turn to Your word. I long to know You, to understand life, and to be changed. Examine me, Lord, by the floodlight of Your truth.

Let me be always aware of the important things in life. Let me care for those around me. Let me seek Your presence in all I meet.

Help me to love with both words and deeds. Help me to reach out to others and meet their needs. Lord, burden my heart for those lost in sin, with mercy and love that flows from within.


Today's Godly Reminder - Galatians 5:22-23

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This is what will happen if we live in God's way. He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.

Let us practice these fruits of the spirit. These are the nine christian virtues in our life, too. Having these characteristics, we are also portraying His character to the world. This is the result of His presence within us.

Friday, April 20, 2018

The Daily Grace - Thanking the Lord

January, according to many US calendars, is National Thank You Month. This, of course, is easily transferable everywhere, so perhaps it should be Global Thank You Month. In order to make the best use of this celebration of gratitude, let's begin by seeing what Scripture says about thankfulness. Once place to start is Psalm 136, which begins and ends with the words, "Oh give thanks" (vv. 1, 26). Again and again in this chapter, we are reminded of a single, overriding reason to bestow our gratitude on our great God: "His mercy endures forever". We could spend the whole month learning about gratitude from Psalm 136.

The psalmist reminds us of God's "great wonders" (v. 4). He tells us of God's creative work brought on by His wisdom (v. 5). He moves on to rehearse the great exodus of His people (vv. 10-22). As we think through these pictures of creation and deliverance found in Psalm 136, we can easily find something to thank God for every day of this Thank You Month.

What better way to start off a new year than to concentrate on conveying gratitude to our Lord! "Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever" (v. 1). When you think of all that's good, give thanks to God.

Today We Pray

Dear God, thank You for the work my hand may find this day. May I find gladness in all its toil and difficulty, its pleasure and success, and even in its failure and sorrow. I would look always away from myself, and behold the glory and the need of the world, that I may have the will and the strength to bring the gift of gladness to others.

I pray to You, in the name of your infinite compassion, to sanctify my thoughts and endeavors this day. Help me not to begin to act without a pure intention or continue it without your blessing. And grant that, having the eyes of my mind opened to behold things invisible and unseen, I may in heart be inspired by your wisdom, and in work be upheld by your strength, and in the end be accepted by you as your faithful servant.

All through this day, O Lord, by the power of your quickening Spirit, let me touch the lives of others for good, whether through the word I speak, the prayer I speak, or the life I live. Let me have the will and the strength to bring the gift of gladness to others. Let me stand to bear the burden and heat of the day and offer you my work, as well as I may accomplish it, in your praise.


Today's Godly Reminder - James 1:26

"Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless."

If someone claims that he is religious, the one who scrupulously observant of the rituals of his faith, but does not control his tongue and deludes his own heart, this person’s religion is worthless, futile and barren. Anyone who sets himself up as “religious” by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.

Be the salt and light everywhere you go. Always have that good Christ-like character in your hearts and minds. You carry the light, so shine the light in the darkness. Be a good role model of Christ wherever you will go.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Daily Grace - Come to the Lord

Just As I Am is one of the powerful hymn that are sang in the churches these days. It goes like this: "Just as I am, without one plea. But that Thy blood was shed for me. And that Thou bidd'st me come to Thee. O Lamb of God, I come!".

Years before writing this song, Charlotte Elliot, the author of this song, asked a minister how she might find the Lord. He told her, "Just come to Him as you are." She did, and later during a discouraging time of illness, she wrote this hymn about the day she came to Christ and He forgave her sin. In His Word, the Lord encourages us to seek Him: "Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near" (Isaiah 55:6). He calls to our hearts: "Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters ... Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live".

Because of Jesus' death and resurrection, we can come to Him right now and will one day go into eternity to be with Him forever. Just as I am ... I come! Let Him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let Him take the water of life freely (Rev. 22:17).