Monday, October 16, 2017

The Daily Grace - Safely Secured

On a whim, I bought a red foil balloon at the grocery store. The message "I Love You" streamed across the front in billowy script. As I was loading bags into my car, the balloon's string slid through my fingers. I stood there watching it float away, and soon it was nothing more than a tiny red dot - finally, just a memory.

Losing that balloon reminded me of the way love sometimes vanishes frm lives. Children rebel and distance themselves; spouses or loved ones desert; close friends stop calling. I'm so thankful that God's love is steady; it can sustain us when love here on earth drifts away. In fact, it's so reliable that Jesus invites us to abide in His love (John 15:9). He wants us to know it's okay to settle in and get comfortable.

We can always remain in God's tender embrace because "neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come" (Rom. 8:38), or anything else, can ever separate us from His love through Christ. Once we trust Christ as Savior, the guarantee of God's love is ours forever. Have you watched love disappear from your life? Rest in God's affection - His constant care will keep your heart safely secured. Our salvation is secure because God's Word is sure.

Today We Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, let me do my work this day. And, if the darkened hours of despair overcome me, may I not forget the strength that comforted me in the desolation of other times. Let me have courage amid the tempests of the changing years.

Be present with us always. Dwell within our hearts. With thy light and thy Spirit guide our souls, our thoughts, and all our actions, that we may teach thy Word, that thy healing power may be in us and in thy church universal.

Spare me from bitterness and from the sharp passions of unguarded moments. Pour Your love into my heart, that I may love you above all things, and my neighbors as myself. Through Christ our Lord.


Today's Godly Reminder - Ecclesiastes 4:9

"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor."

It’s better to have a partner than go it alone. Two are better than one because they have a more satisfying return for their labor. Share the work, share the wealth. And if one falls down, the other helps. But if there’s no one to help, it's tough!

You are better off to have a friend than to be all alone. Two people are better off than one. It is because then you will get more enjoyment out of what you earn. And, they can help each other succeed.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Daily Grace - Speaking for God

Despite my best efforts to write clearly, sometimes I'm misunderstood. I feel bad about my failure and try to improve my skills. Occasionally, however, readers take words out of context or read into them something that bears no resemblance to the intended meaning. This is frustrating because there's no way to control how people use words once they are published.

This brings to mind a much more serious offense - that of misusing the words of the Lord. The prophets in Jeremiah's day did this. They put their own words into God's mouth by claiming He said things they wanted to be true that God had never said. So the Lord told His people, "Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. . . They speak a vision of their own heart, not from the mouth of the Lord" (Jer. 23:16). Then the Lord warned the people that He would forsake those who pervert His words and cast them from His presence (vv. 36-39).

In contrast, the apostle Paul made a point of saying that he did not handle the Word of God deceitfully (2 Cor. 4:2). He knew the danger of preaching his own ideas rather than God's. All of us need to be careful to use God's Word for His purpose, rather than for our own agenda. We must align ourselves with the Bible and never try to align the Bible to ourselves.

Today We Pray

Dear Lord, keep us faithful to Your Word. Although, at times, we might rephrase. Help us never twist its truths to justify our selfish ways.

I do not want to compromise the truth of the gospel for the sake of peace, but I also ask for the graciousness to demonstrate kindness and tolerance for believers who disagree with me about the non-essentials. I acknowledge that there are some things that are not clear enough in Your revelation for us to understand fully, but these are not the clearly revealed core issues of the faith. In all things, may I be loving and gracious to others.

The God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, the great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, we lift everything up to You. Make me perfect in every good work to do Your will, working in me that which is well pleasing in your sight. Through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.


Today's Godly Reminder - Proverbs 25:11

"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver"

Sometimes we know exactly what needs to be said -- we have the facts down -- but we do not give enough thought to how these things are said. In regard to some issue or controversy, or when it is necessary to speak out against some sin or error, we know exactly what should be said, but we fail in HOW we say it. We preach the truth, but without love. We say what needs to be said, but with such an overbearing arrogance or anger, our listeners cannot hear the message; it is covered up by all the "attitude." 

But the bible tells us that "a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver." This is a beautiful image or picture -- apples of gold, surrounded by or set in silver. A word spoken at the right time is like apples of gold in settings of silver. Timely advice is lovely, like golden apples in a silver basket. It means that the right word at the right time is like a custom-made piece of jewelry. It is precious and appealing. It is pleasing to our ears like a jewelry that is pleasing to our eyes.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Daily Grace - Make It Known

I told my doctor who is an agnostic that he should be glad God created us. Seeing a needle in his hands, I wondered, perhaps I should keep quiet. But I added, "If we are still evolving, then you wouldn't know the exact spots to place those needles". He asked, "Do you really believe in God?" I replied, "Of course. Aren't we intricately made?" I was thankful for this opportunity to begin to witness to my doctor.

Paul charged Timothy to point people to the Savior. "Preach the Word (2 Tim. 4:2) is not addressed only to preachers, however. The word preach means "to make it known". God's people can do this over a cup of coffee or in school with friends. 

We can make known the good news of what God has done for us wherever, whenever, and to anyone who is open and seeking. We can let them know that God loves us and sees our hurts, failures, and weaknesses. Through the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus, God broke the strangehold of sin over us. And to all those who will open their heart to the Savior, He will come to live in them. Let's not be afraid to make known what God has done for us. Sharing the gospel is one person telling another good news.