Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Daily Grace - God Has Time For You



Historian Cassius Dio recorded a revealing event from the life of Hadrian, the Roman Emperor from AD 117-138: "Once, when a woman made a request of [Hadrian] as he passed by on a journey, he at first said to her, 'I haven't time', but afterwards, when she cried out, 'Cease, then, being emperor', he turned about and granted her a hearing". 

How often we say or hear, "Not now, I'm busy" or "I'm sorry, but I just don't have time". Yet, our Heavenly Father, the Master and Creator of everything, always has time for us. The psalmist wrote: "The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry. . . The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles" (Ps. 34:15-17). 

God is not like the emperor or a busy executive who tries to avoid interruption. Instead, the Father's joy is to listen and respond to His children. "The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit" (Ps. 34:18). Hadrian's afterthought was, "I must take time for my subjects". God's first thought is, "I always have time for those who come to Me". Whenever we need to talk, the Lord is ready to listen. God is never too busy to listen to His children.


Today We Pray



Dear Lord, who decreed that we should take one day of rest, one special day in remembrance of You, today I celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is the moment of His glorious victory over death. I add my voice to countless millions of others in thanks, in praise, and in awe of Your sacrifice for us.

Help me, dear Lord, to dedicate these few moments to You completely. You have taught us that we may dwell with You, even while we are caught in this difficult world, and I pray to dwell with You fully now. Guard me against wandering of mind and the intrusion of mundane thought, so that I may be fully present with you, through the power of Your Holy Spirit.

And in the coming week, I pray that my mind may constantly turn to You, so that I may always remember you when I am tempted to anger, to selfishness, to lust for power and the vanities of this world, or any of the myriad temptations that might assail me in the course of life. May I follow the example of good men of old, and may God comfort and help me and all who believe in Him, both in this world and in the world which is to come. In the name of Christ and through faith in Him, I pray.


Amen

Today's Godly Reminder - Philippians 1:21





"For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain."

When we say we live for Christ, we are living in His Name. He will be our source of joy and our reason to live. And, when we say to die is gain, it is even better because we will be with Him in eternity. We will gain even more because of eternity.

To die is gain means the gain of the glory of eternity. There would be an advantage in dying above that of living. Don't fear death. Be ready and excited to face Him 'coz you will be with Him for eternity.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Daily Grace - God's Devotion



In 1826, the British author Thomas Carlyle married Jane Welsh, who also was an accomplished writer. She dedicated herself to his success and served him wholeheartedly. Because of a stomach ailment and a nervous disorder, he had a rather ornery temperament. So she made special meals for him and tried to keep the house as quiet as possible so he could do his writing.

Thomas didn't often recognize Jane's helpful spirit nor did he spend much time with her. However, he wrote this about her to his mother: "I may say in my heart that she. . . loves me with a devotedness which is a mystery to me how I have ever deserved. She. . . looks with such soft cheerfulness into my gloomy countenance, that new hope passed into me every time I met her eye".


We too have Someone who loves us with a devotedness that is a mystery how we as sinners ever deserved it! He is God the Father, "who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all" (Rom. 8:32). His love is wide, long, deep and high and exceeds our knowledge (Eph. 3:18-19). Understanding and appreciating God's love is so vital hat Paul prayed for the Ephesians to be "rooted and grounded" in it (Eph. 3:17). May that be our experience as well. There is no greater joy than to know God loves you.

Today We Pray



Dear Jesus, in fear of You and in the hope of mercy, I worship you. Lead me in Your righteousness. Make Your way straight before my face. 

Let me find in You a sense that I am loved. And may my heart not grow cold and cluttered by anger and wounds from the past so that others can see Your reflection in me. In You, all things are possible. 

Let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; let them shout for joy, because you defend them; those who love Your name, grant them mercy and joy. And evermore let Your word spread throughout the world, and make me Your servant in this task. In Christ's name, I pray.


Amen

Today's Godly Reminder - Galatians 2:20



"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me."


Being crucified with Christ means in Him, we have shared His crucifixion. It is not by physical crucifixion, but spiritual. It is being one with Christ, which means Christ is living in our bodies and hearts. Our ego is no longer central. When we are crucified with Christ by faith in Him, we are to completely surrender every selfish desire and ambition to the perfect will of God. Self-promotion and self-pleasing desires are the greatest obstacle between man and salvation because it is the nature of man to want to please himself, and this self-recognition is a building block for sin. All sin erupts from the desire to please self, and this is what must be crucified with Christ in surrender to the will of God before salvation can bear fruit.

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Daily Grace - Do No Harm


The principle of "doing no harm" extends to our relationships with others in everyday life. In fact, benevolence is central to New Testament teaching about loving others. In reflecting on the law of God, Paul sees that love is the intent behind many biblical commands: "Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law" (Rom. 13:10)

Each day as we follow Jesus Christ our Savior, we are faced with choices that will affect the lives of others. When we choose a course of action, we should ask ourselves, "Does this reflect Christ's concern for others, or am I only concerned for myself?" Such a sensitivity demonstrates the love of Christ that seeks to heal the broken and help those in need. Caring for the burdens of others helps us to forget about our own.

Love never hurts anybody and it will never hurt. Love doesn't have to hurt. God is the author of love and He will never hurt us. Love does no harm.

Today We Pray




Dear Lord, I admit that it is easy to be consumed with my own wants and needs. Thank You that You showed us how to be concerned for others, too. Help me to follow Your example in caring for others.

Direct my thoughts, words and work. Wash away my sins in the immaculate blood of the lamb, and purge my heart by thy Holy Spirit, from the dross of my natural corruption. So that, I may with more freedom of mind and liberty of will serve thee, the ever lasting God, in righteousness and holiness this day, and all the days of my life.

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip us with every good thing that we may do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight; through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.

Amen

Today's Godly Reminder - Romans 13:10


Love doesn't have to hurt. It never goes wrong. It never fails. It never hurts anyone.

If we love unselfishly, we are fulfilling God's Word. Since God is the Author of Love, it makes Him happy if we love others unselfishly. Be filled with His love so that you can love others, too. You cannot truly love others if you don't truly love the Lord, because He is alone the source of love.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Daily Grace - Guilty of Plenty




A man was filling out a job application when he came to the question "Have you ever been arrested?" He wrote, "No". The next question, intended for people who had answered "Yes" to the previous question, was "Why?" The applicant answered it anyway: "I never got caught". He evidently knew he was guilty of plenty!

So was the apostle Paul. He knew he had personally done wrong and sinned against God. He wrote, "I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man" (1 Tim. 1:13). He even called himself the "chief" of sinners (v. 15).

We too were once separated from the Lord because of our sin and were considered His enemies (Rom. 5:10; Col. 1:21). But when we confessed our sin and acknowledged our need for His forgiveness, He cleansed us and made us new. Those of us who have known the Lord for many years may have the tendency to forget what we've been rescued from and forgive of. Sharing about our past and current failures and giving praise to God for forgiveness will help us not to come across as "holier-than-thou" to people who don't yet know the Lord. The truth is, we've all been guilty of plenty, and God deserves the glory for His mercy toward us. Grace is everything for those who deserve nothing.

Today We Pray




Dear God, be present with me always. Dwell within my heart. With thy light and thy Spirit guide my soul, my thoughts, and all my actions, that I may teach thy Word, that thy healing power may be in me and in all the saints of thy church universal.

Too often I think I am the one in control of my life. Help me to see that I am powerless over so much.
I ask for the grace to be able to hand over my life to You and experience the joy of that freedom.

Now the God of patience and consolation grant to me, and to all who pray in the name of Christ, to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That we may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. I join those praying with me today in thanking you for our lives, and we pray that You continue to sustain us each day. From Your heavenly place accept our prayers and our praise.

Amen

Today's Godly Reminder - 1 Timothy 1:14



"And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus."

His amazing, unmerited favor and blessing is overflowing. It is joined together with the faith and love which are realized in Christ Jesus. Grace mixed with faith and love will be poured over us and into us. This is all because of Jesus.

Christ Jesus our Lord was very kind to us. He has greatly blessed our lives with faith and love just like His own. Oh, how generous and gracious our Lord was! He filled us with the faith and love that come from Christ Jesus.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Daily Grace - Wisdom from Above


How to have that wisdom from above? And, what is that wisdom from above that they are talking about? Wisdom from above has its origins with God, not man. Its character is heavenly and not earthly. It is God's gift and must be received from Him. There is no real surprise that true Christians seek their wisdom from above and not from man. 

People in our lives may sometimes suggest we do what seems most gratifying or practical in the moment. But, there is a difference between worldly and spiritual wisdom (1 Cor. 2:6-7). Wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy (James 3:17). When others are urging us to take a certain course of action, we can invite God to influence our response. One is truly wise who gains his wisdom from above.

 Jesus Christ is our wisdom. The Word of God is our wisdom. It is only from the scriptures that we can become wise unto salvation. This wisdom can be accentuated through believing prayer. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him (James 1:5)

Source: Our Daily Bread and bible.ca

Today We Pray




Dear God, I adore You as my true God, with God the Father and God the Son. I adore You and unite myself to the adoration You receive from the angels and saints. I give You my heart and I offer my ardent thanksgiving for all the grace which You never cease to bestow on me.

Fill my spirit, and the spirit of all the people of Your universal church, with faith and hope; for a new day has dawned, and the way to life stands open in our Saviour Jesus Christ. I confess that I have sinned against your Holy Word. I pray that You will now fulfill in me and in every contrite heart the promise of redeeming grace; forgiving all our sins, and cleansing us from an evil conscience.

Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, I pray that you direct my way unto you, and make me and all of us to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you; to the end that we may establish our hearts unblameable in holiness before you, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

Amen

Today's Godly Reminder - James 3:17


Receive God's wisdom today. God is not selfish to give you wisdom that comes from Him. In fact, He is the one who initiated to give us wisdom when we need it. He promised that if any of us need wisdom, we should ask God and it will be given to us. God is generous and won’t correct us for asking (James 1:5).

The wisdom that comes from God is first pure, morally and spiritually undefiled. Then, peace-loving, courteous and considerate. It is also gentle, reasonable and willing to listen. It is full of compassion and good fruits. It is unwavering, without self-righteous hypocrisy and self-serving guile. Ask and receive that wisdom today.

Friday, June 23, 2017

The Daily Grace - A Powerful Word



The psalmist said of the Word of God, "Your precepts . . . have give me life" (Ps. 119:93). His Word is "powerful . . . and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Heb. 4:12). God's Word shows us our sin and its consequences: "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23); "the wages of sin is death" (6:23). It tells us of God's love and salvation: "God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, . . . made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)" (Eph. 2:4-5). And, it gives wisdom for daily living: "Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path" (Ps. 119:105).

The Bible stands like a rock undaunted. It's strength is so strong amidst the raging storms of time. Its pages burn with the truth eternal. And, they glow with a light sublime.


Many books inform, but only one transforms - the Bible. This is how powerful the Bible is. Although, it's only a printed paper that is hard bounded or soft bounded, or can be downloaded as apps in our cellphones, don't underestimate its power. It can change the world. It can change our lives, too. Don't forget to read Your Bible everyday, and You will grow and make a difference in this world.

Today We Pray


Dear God, please give me the patience to make it through this busy day with all the hustle, demands and distractions of modern life. Let me find the quiet time to hear Your voice and feel Your calming presence. Thank You, loving Father, for blessing me with the beautiful privilege and opportunity of prayer.

We ask for hope and perseverance to continue reaching out to others. Give me a desire to grow spiritually. I want to honor You with my life and experience the joy of the Spirit’s work inside of me.

I pray that You may lift up the light of Your countenance upon me, and give me peace; in my going out and in my coming in; in my sitting down and my rising up; in my work and in my play; in my joy and in my sorrow, in my laughter and in my tears; until that day comes which is without dawn and without dark. I ask this in Your son's Name.


Amen

Today's Godly Reminder - 2 Corinthians 9:7



"Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."

Let each one give thoughtfully and with purpose, just as he has decided in his heart. This is not grudgingly or under compulsion. God loves a cheerful giver and delights in the one whose heart is in his gift. God loves it when the giver delights in the giving. Each of you must make up your own mind about how much to give. But don’t feel sorry that you must give and don’t feel that you are forced to give. God loves people who love to give.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Daily Grace - Restored by the Master




Over the centuries, many attempts have been made to restore damaged and time-worn masterpieces of art. While some of these efforts have skillfully preserved the original work of artists, others have actually damaged many works of genius, including ancient Greek statues and at least two paintings by da Vinci.

In Paul's letter to the Christians at Colosse, he described a restoration process that is impossible in the world of art. It's a restoration of God's people. Paul wrote, "You have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him" (Col. 3:9-10). This is no attempt at renovating the work of a deceased artist. It is a spiritual renewal from the living God who created us and gave us new life in His Son, Jesus Christ. His forgiveness brightens the colors of our lives while His grace sharpens the lines of His purpose for us.

The canvas of our lives is in the skilled hands of our Lord who knows who and what He designed us to be. No matter how sin-damaged and dirty we may be, there is hope for renewal and restoration. The Master Artist is alive and at work within us. Jesus specializes in restoration.

Today We Pray




Dear God, flood me with Your spirit. Let the beauty and love of Christ pour through me. Renew me, empower me, purify me this day to your Great Commission.

Set free, O Lord, the souls of Your servants from all restlessness and anxiety. Give us that peace and power which flow from You alone. Shield us from all perplexity and distress, that upheld by Your strength and secured on the rock of Your faithfulness, we may abide in You now and evermore.

May God the Father bless us. May Christ take care of us, the Holy Ghost enlighten us all the days of our life. The Lord be our defender and keeper of body and soul, both now and for ever, to the ages of ages.

Amen

Today's Godly Reminder - Colossians 3:10


 Each of you is now a new person. You are becoming more and more like your Creator. And, you will understand him better. It is because He is in you. He is in your heart, soul and mind.

You are a brand new you! Put on your new self. You have been clothed new by God spiritually. You are continually renewed in true knowledge in the image of Him who created the new self.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Daily Grace - No One Remembered!



In a commentary on Ecclesiastes 9:15, Martin Luther cites the story of Themistocles, the soldier and statesman who commanded the Athenian squadron. Through his strategy, he won the Battle of Salamis, drove the Persian army from Greek soil, and saved his city. A few years later, he fell out of favor, was ostracized by his countrymen, and was banished from Athens. Thus, Luther concludes, "Themistocles did much good for his city, but received much ingratitude".

The crowd, for some reason, seems to ignore or quickly forget the good that the poor and humble man accomplishes through his wisdom. No matter. "Wisdom is [still] better than strength" even if "the poor man's wisdom is despised" (Ecc. 9:16). It's better to be a quiet, honest sage who, though forgotten, leaves much good behind, than a swaggering, strident fool who, though many applaud him, destroys much good" (Ecc. 9:18).


Accordingly, what matters in the end is not the recognition and gratitude we receive for the work we've done, but the souls of those gentle folk in whom we've sown the seeds of righteousness. Put another way: "Wisdom is justified by all her children" (Luke 7:35). Whom have you influenced through your wise and godly wisdom? A wise person sets his earthly goals on heavenly gains.

Today We Pray



Dear Heavenly Father, I am learning to understand what your Word says, yet so often I simply hear it or read it and think about applying it, but get no further. I want to do it and intend to do it Lord, but it is gone from my mind so easily. I am deceiving myself if I simply hear it and do not make it a part of my life.

Please help me today to take one truth and apply it to my circumstances. Oh blessed Holy Spirit, nudge me, remind me throughout my day, again and again, for I know I will find freedom in obedience to your Word. I pray, show me what I need to focus on, right now and wherever the day might take me.

Now, I ask to be called as a witness to your love by the love I extend to others; a precursor of your justice by my unfailing commitment to what is right and good; a lamp set on a hill, reflecting the light of Christ in my forgiveness, mercy and compassion; and a harvester of souls through my humble and dedicated servanthood. In Jesus' name, I pray.

Amen

Today's Godly Reminder - 1 Timothy 1:16


No matter how worse we are, He is merciful to forgive us in all of our sins. Through this, it shows an example of the endless patience of Christ Jesus. Yes, He is a patient God, too. He did this so that others would put their faith in Christ and have eternal life. Receive that eternal life by accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. Receive the good news today!

The Daily Grace - Forgotten Memories




Recently, a friend from my youth emailed me a picture of our junior high track team. The grainy black-and-white snapshot showed a vaguely familiar group of teens with our two coaches. I was instantly swept back in time to happy memories of running the mile and the half-mile in track meets. Yet even as I enjoyed remembering those days, I found myself thinking about how easily I had forgotten them and moved on to other things.

As we make our way on the journey of life, it is easy to forget places, people, and events that have been important to us along the way. Time passes, yesterday fades, and we become obsessed with the concerns of the moment. When this happens, we can also forget just how good God has been to us. Perhaps that is why David remembered as he wrote, "Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits" (Ps. 103:1-2).

Never is this remembrance more needed than when the heartaches of life crowd in on us. When we are feeling overwhelmed and forgotten, it's important to recall all that He has done for us. In remembering, we find the encouragement to trust Him in the present and for the future. Remembering God's faithfulness in the past strengthens us for the future.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Today We Pray




Dear Lord, may Your spirit guide me to seek Your Loving presence more and more. For it is there I find rest and refreshment from this busy world. I ask for the grace to let go of my own concerns and be open to what God is asking of me, to let myself be guided and formed by my loving Creator.

Do not leave me without a portion of the blessed eternity. Grant also that I may follow Thy Holy example, that I may submit to the authorities placed over me. Grant me the clean soul, the simplicity of heart that makes us worthy of Thy love.

Almighty God, who does freely pardon all who repent and turn to Him, now fulfill in my contrite heart the promise of redeeming grace; forgiving all my sins, and cleansing me from an evil conscience; through the perfect sacrifice of Christ Jesus our Lord. Grant me this day to lay up my treasure in heaven, and give me all confidence that the judgments of the world are fleeting vanity; but your judgments are eternal. And turn my heart to your will at every moment, I pray.

Amen

Today's Godly Reminder - Psalm 103:2


Bless the Lord at all times. Affectionately, praise His Name. Let us not forget the good things that He has done in our lives. Our God is a sovereign God. He is always gracious to extend to us the blessings that comes from His hands. Receive that blessing always. It's not just one or two, but you will be blessed a thousand folds. Acknowledge the Lord always. Let His Name be known to the nations. Let the people know the good things that He has done so that many people will come to Him and inherit His Kingdom.

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Daily Grace - An Imaginary Threat



Last spring, the window to one of the rooms in our house was repeatedly attacked by a robin. The bird would perch at the base of the window, ruffle its feathers, chirp loudly, and then fly headfirst into the glass. I did some research and learned that robins are territorial. While nestling, they drive out any competing robins. This bird apparently saw its reflection in our window and thought it was another robin. The threat was not real; it was only an illusion.

In the Old Testament, we see an instance when Jacob imagined a threat that wasn't really there. Years earlier, Jacob had stolen his brother Esau's blessing by their father. Now, after many years of separation, they were going to meet again. Jacob thought Esau would harm him, so he sent gifts ahead as a peace offering of sorts. Then, when he saw Esau approaching with 400 men, Jacob panicked. Yet what Jacob though was an attack force turned out to be a welcoming committee. "Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept" (Gen. 33:4).

In interpersonal relationships, we sometimes misinterpret a situation. We must ask the Lord for discernment so we don't miss a friendship because of an imaginary threat. Don't be afraid of a presumed enemy, but rust in the Lord to make a new friend.

Today We Pray



Dear Jesus, grant me Your grace, that it may be with me and labor with me and dwell within me, this day and all the days of my short life. Give me grace always to desire and seek what is most acceptable to You; whatever is most pleasing in Your sight, let me do that. Let my will always follow Yours; let Your will be mine.

Reform me into a spiritual perfection impossible for the world, which might be gained only by Your grace. And, help me to live in accord with it. Save me, Christ, I pray, out of love; for unworthy I might be, yet I love You dearly.

I am one of Your people, the sheep of Your flock. I pray for You to heal those who are wounded, touch those who are in pain, clean those who are soiled, warm those who are cold. Help me to know the Father's love through Jesus the shepherd, and through the Spirit.


Amen

Today's Godly Reminder - Philippians 4:2


"...be of the same mind in the Lord."

This verse is originally a statement of Paul to Euodia and Syntyche. It is a plead for harmony. Paul wanted them to live in peace and be united in their works, and to stop arguing with each other. It is because they belong to the Lord.

All of us should agree with each other, especially to the Lord. Live in harmony in the Lord. Being in the same mind of Christ means having a Christ-like attitude. Since we are Christians, let us be like Christ. Walk in His image and shine the light!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Daily Grace - What is Secure?




During the worldwide financial crisis of 2008, a widow lost a third of her income when her bank stocks no longer paid dividends after her trusted bank failed. The Wall Street Journal quoted her tearful response as an example of the feelings of many people who were similarly affected: "You just think, 'This can't be happening'. What is secure anymore?"

Tragedy and hard times always jolt our thinking. Our best plans and hopes can be shattered by events beyond our control. We are reminded that there is only one source of true security in a changing world. With new appreciation, we consider Paul's words: "Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life" (1 Tim. 6:17-19).

When our resources diminish, we can grow richer in good works, generosity, and sharing with others. If financial stability returns, we can hold more loosely what we are given, trusting solely in God. We are secure in Him alone. In uncertain times, our security is in God alone. The Lord will always provide.

Today We Pray


Dear Lord, give me a thankful sense of the Blessings in which I live, of the many comforts of my lot; that I may not deserve to lose them by Discontent or Indifference. Be gracious to my Necessities, and guard me, and all I love, from Evil this day. May the sick and afflicted, be now, and ever thy care; and heartily do I pray for the safety of all that travel by Land or by Sea, for the comfort & protection of the Orphan and Widow and that thy pity may be shewn upon all Captives and Prisoners.

Above all other blessings Oh! God, for myself, and my fellow-creatures, I implore Thee to quicken our sense of thy Mercy in the redemption of the World, of the Value of that Holy Religion in which we have been brought up, that we may not, by our own neglect, throw away the salvation thou hast given us, nor be Christians only in name. Hear me Almighty God, for His sake who has redeemed me, and taught me thus to pray.

May the God the Father bless us. May Christ take care of us, the Holy Ghost enlighten us all the days of our life. The Lord be our defender and keeper of body and soul, both now and for ever, to the ages of ages.


Amen

Today's Godly Reminder - 1 Timothy 6:17


This verse is not only applicable to the rich people of this world, but for ALL of us. This is about stewardship. This is about how to take care of God's entrusted possessions to us in this world. We should not be conceited and arrogant, nor to set our hope on the uncertainty of riches.

Instead, we must focus on God, who richly and ceaselessly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. He is a Jehovah Jireh, the great provider. He provides everything in this world for our enjoyment. He is the reason why we have earthly possessions. Don't be obsessed with riches or money. Go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage. Do good, be rich in helping others instead and be extravagantly generous. 

The Daily Grace - Thanks, Dad




In the US, more long distance calls are made on Mother's Day than any other day. But on Father's Day, the most collect calls are made. It seems that children still depend on their fathers to provide, even when they are far away from home. Fathers are needed and wanted for much more than financial help. While 1 Thessalonians 2:10-12 is primarily directed toward church leaders, Paul talks about how their role is similar to a father's. He states: "You know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children".

Exhorted is "to call near". It is easy for fathers to think that all that's required of them is to bring home a paycheck. But children need their close encouragement. The word comforted is "to console". Nothing is more valuable to a child than the time given by a father to listen and talk. Without constant relating, relationships turn cold. Charged is "to affirm". Fathers challenge their children by affirming the truth of God's Word as they live it out in front of them. And even in failings, they affirm what is right through the asking of forgiveness. How thankful we can be for fathers who help their children "walk worthy of God" (v. 12). Good fathers reflect the heavenly Father.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Today We Pray




Dear Lord,  majestic is Your name! From the rising of the sun to its setting your name is to be praised. Hear us in the name of Your Son, for He has promised that where two or three of us are gathered in Your name, He would be with us and our prayer would be heard.

We're thankful for our fathers, Lord. They're special gifts from You. Help us to show we honor them by what we say and do.

Direct our way unto You. Make us to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you; to the end we may establish our hearts unblameable in holiness before you, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

Amen

Today's Godly Reminder - Ephesians 6:4


This verse is not just focused only to fathers, but also to the mothers, as well. Since the father is the head of the family, it is emphasized to them. But the point is to not provoke your children to anger. Do not exasperate them to the point of resentment with demands that are trivial or unreasonable or humiliating or abusive. Nor, by showing favoritism or indifference to any of them. But instead, bring them up tenderly, with lovingkindness in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Then, the Lord will bless your family and your children will produce good fruit as they grow up.

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Daily Grace - Why Suffer?




Jesus taught that the world seen from God's viewpoint is tilted in favor of the oppressed. This teaching emerges in the Sermon on the Mount and other statements of Jesus: the first will be last (Matt. 19:130; Mark 10:31; Luke 13:30), and he who humbles himself will be exalted (Luke 14:11; 18:14). But why would God single out the oppressed for special attention? 1. Suffering helps us realize our urgent need for redemption; 2. Suffering helps us experience our dependence on God and our interdependence with one another; 3. Suffering helps us distinguish between necessities and luxuries; 4. Suffering helps us respond to the call of the gospel because we may have become so desperate that we cry out to God.

The poor, the hungry, the mourners, and those who suffer are blessed (Matt. 5:3-6) because their lack of self-sufficiency is obvious to them every day. They must turn somewhere for strength. People who are rich, successful and beautiful may go through life relying on their natural gifts. But people who are needy, dependent and dissatisfied with life are more likely to welcome God's free gift of love.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit". Why? Because "theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 5:3). The weaker we feel, the harder we lean on God.


Today We Pray




Dear God, fill me with Your Holy Spirit that I have You in mind with my every thought and act. Lead me to take that first step every day to open my Bible, and to fold my hands and close my eyes. Let me put You first and realize that the pressures of the world are illusory: but Your Word is forever.

May Your spirit guide me to seek Your Loving presence more and more. For it is there I find rest and refreshment from this busy world. Grant that I may always desire to spend time in Your presence.

Seek me out, and bring me home to Your fold again. Deal favorably with me according to Your good pleasure, until I may dwell in Your house all the days of my life. And, praise You forever and ever with them that are there.

Amen

Today's Godly Reminder - Matthew 5:3



"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven"

The poor in spirit are to be blessed. Those who are poor in spirit are those who devoid spiritual arrogance and those who regard themselves as insignificant. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Daily Grace - The Speck




It was just a speck, a tiny foreign object flying through the air on a windy day while I was cutting the grass. Somehow that speck made its way into my left eye. For the next few hours, that little speck caused quite a bit of irritation. I tried washing it out and thought everything that I could do. But finally, we went to a Med Center, where the medical personnel on duty couldn't get it out either. Only after applying some ointment and waiting several more annoying hours did I get relief from the speck.

This tiny, nagging irritant made me think anew about Jesus' teaching in Matthew 7 about criticizing others. My first thought was to be impressed with the practicality of Jesus' illustration. Using the effective literary tool of hyperbole, or exaggeration, He explained for His listeners how foolish it is for a person to criticize someone without seeing that he or she is also guilty of error. If you can find someone else's little speck while ignoring the hunk of wood in your own eye, something's wrong. 

It should be unthinkable to ignore our own faults while pointing out someone else's. An attitude of self-righteousness has no place in the Christian life. That should be plain to see. Inspect your own life before you look for specks in others.

Today We Pray




Dear Lord, teach me to pray aright. Purify me from all taint of flesh and spirit. Bless this day which You give to me.

Help me not to get caught up in pointing out the "little" sins in others' lives, while ignoring my own glaring sin. I'm thankful that with repentance comes forgiveness. By the power of Your blessing enable me, throughout this day, to speak and act to Your glory with a pure spirit, with humility, patience, love, gentleness, peace, courage and wisdom.

Walk with me, dear Lord, so that I may not be alone as I face this day, but always in Your presence. Your joy is a lighthouse in a world often dark with sin, and I pray that I may reflect the light of Your truth, to inspire others as I have been inspired. In the name of Christ, bless me this day, and all whom I may meet.

Amen

Today's Godly Reminder - Luke 6:41



"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?"

This verse is a reminder not to judge quickly. It teaches that the accurate measurement of the magnitude of our own failings should precede our detection of our brother’s. Christ assumes the commonness of the opposite practice by asking ‘why’ it is so. And we have all to admit that the assumption is correct. The keenness of men’s criticism of their neighbour’s faults is in inverse proportion to their familiarity with their own.  

Our actions are our self-revelations. The words are not to be pressed, as if they taught the entire goodness of one class of men, so that all their acts were products of their good character, nor the unmingled evil of another, so that no good of any kind or in any degree is in them or comes from them. They must be read as embodying a general truth which is not as yet fully exemplified in any character or conduct.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Daily Grace - A Beautiful Melody




In the spring of 2009, Susan Boyle took the stage of Britain's Got Talent. Compared to the other contestants, she was plain-looking. No one expected much when she raised the microphone to her lips. But then she began to sing. Spellbound, the judges were clearly taken with the beauty and power of the voice that filled the auditorium as the audience stood to their feet cheering with delight. All were surprised that such a rivetingly beautiful song came from such an unlikely source.

All of us can be unlikely sources when it comes to the beauty of Jesus flowing out of us. But that is how He planned it. Common folk like you and me take turns on the stage of life in front of the world's skeptical audience so that our friends, family and all who fill the arena of our lives will see and hear the love and grace of Jesus Christ emerging from our lives. I love Peter's reminder that we are "a people for His own possession, that [we] may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called [us] out of darkness into His marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9). You might think you're an unlikely source, but when you allow the Lord to flow through you, the watching world will stand up and take notice. The beauty of Jesus may come from the most unlikely sources.