I came to Him because I did not know which way to turn. I remained with Him because there is no other way I wish to turn. I came to Him longing for something I did not have. I remain with Him because I have something I will not trade. I came to Him as a stranger. I remain with Him in the most intimate of friendships. I came to Him unsure about the future. I remain with Him certain about my destiny. I came amid the thunderous cries of a culture that has 330 million deities. I remain with Him knowing that truth cannot be all-inclusive. -Ravi Zacharias
Hey parents of tweens/teens. I’ve been sending these online daily devos to Norah (12 y/o). They’re short, go right to her phone, and from what I’ve seen so far, they’re pretty solid. Nothing too deep, but definitely points them to God’s Word and is encouraging. So far, I think they’re fitting for anyone, but are geared toward 6th-12th grade, for sure. Anyway, I thought it might be a helpful resource for parents. I’m always looking for ways to put the Word in front of my kids. Here’s the link!
“He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose” -Jim Elliot
The Bible is full of examples of people leaving behind an old life and finding new life in Christ. Check out these accounts from Scripture:
…walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea…he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”Immediately they left their nets and followed him. – Matthew 4:18-20
So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people,”Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did.” – John 4:28-29
he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother…and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. – Matthew 4:21-22
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found…Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. – Matthew 13:44
As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth…(Jesus) spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam.” So he went and washed and came back seeing. – John 9:1-7
And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” – Luke 19:8
Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked. – John 5:8-9
Once we begin to see Jesus for who he really is, giving up our old life isn’t a chore, it’s just a reasonable response (Romans 12:1).
Have you experienced what is outlined in these references? Have you given up your old life and found new life in Him? What are you living for? Eternal things or temporal things? What occupies the majority of your thought space? Do you have pleasant, reverent, admiring, joyful thoughts about God, that are founded in his Word? Are you more troubled by circumstances that aren’t aligned with God or that inconvenience you? Are you more consumed with things that you cannot keep or with eternal things that you cannot lose?
Check out these lyrics from an old hymn:
All to Jesus I surrender
Humbly at His feet I bow
Worldly pleasures all forsaken
Take me Jesus take me now
I surrender all
I surrender all
All to Thee my blessed Saviour
I surrender all…
Could you say that? Could you say “I surrender all.” You’ll never regret it if you do. He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.
Lots of folks in public education are headed back to work today and throughout this week. Let’s lift them up in prayer!
Father in Heaven, thank you for these faithful people and the important vocation you’ve called them too. Thank you God that each and every one of them have been fearfully and wonderfully made in your image. Thank you for their heart for kids, God.
Lord as they begin this school year, with all its new unique challenges, we pray that you’d be with them. Watch over their health and guard their hearts. We pray that they have an extra measure of grit and grace for the task at hand. Let them have a sense of your peace and purpose in what they do. Please grant them your wisdom and discernment, God.
Lord Jesus, you’re the only perfect servant who’s ever lived. Thank you for the cross, for forgiving us, for loving us when we didn’t deserve it. We pray that our educators would look to you and find their identity in you and be nurtured by you. Help them to love our kids out of the overflow of grace and love you’ve shown them and continue to show them.
We love you, Lord. Keep all of us close to you. In Jesus name we pray, amen.
I’m really looking forward to sharing tomorrow’s sermon on growth in Christ. Earlier this week, as I prayed about what God desires for us, I found myself with my eyes closed, seeing the faces of my church family and friends. I began to think about the different heartaches and pains that people are going through or have gone through, the different and very REAL challenges we all have right now and individually in our roles as parents, husbands, wives, sons and daughters, friends, employees and so on. Most of us have some area in our life that needs to change, an area with room for GROWTH. I’m convinced that all of the growth we need, the true change that we desire, is found in/begins in/is carried along in an abiding — hour by hour trusting and obeying — relationship with Jesus Christ. And I don’t mean things that we think of as “religious”—that thinking is part of the problem. We have put different aspects of our life into categories that God never intended us to. Jesus said I am the way the truth and the life, not a part of our life or just a helping hand when we need him. He is THE LIFE. God is the author of all of life. Our union with Christ brings us into fellowship with Christ. The closer we get to Jesus, the more we ABIDE in Him, the more are like him, the more full (John 10:10) our life becomes.
Tomorrow we’ll look at John 15:1-8 and discuss 3 ways to ABIDE. If you can, join in person or online, for worship and the Word, Grace Bible Fellowship – Gunter TX 10:45am.
Football practice. That’s what you might say if you just drove by. But it’s more than that. It’s life lessons being taught and learned. It’s coach to player and player to player mentoring. It’s iron sharpening iron. It’s building a bond and brotherhood. It’s hard work that’ll payoff down the road. It’s putting god-given talent and ability to use in a myriad of ways. It’s finding out what you’re made of and what you can do when you’re pushed. It’s also realizing what you can’t do without the contribution of others. It’s serious business. But it’s also smiles, laughing, inside jokes, cutting up and enjoying being around each other. It’s a team of friends that become a family. Football practice.
“Love is a commitment that will be tested in the most vulnerable areas of spirituality, a commitment that will force you to make some very difficult choices. It is a commitment that demands that you deal with your lust, your greed, your pride, your power, your desire to control, your temper, your patience, and every area of temptation that the Bible clearly talks about. It demands the quality of commitment that Jesus demonstrates in His relationship to us.” – Ravi Zacharias
We love because he first loved us. – 1 John 4:19
Six Biblical Guidelines For Loving One Another Amid Our Differences: (HT/adapted from John Piper)
- Avoid gossiping.
- Identify evidences of God’s gifts in each other and speak them to each other and about each other.
- Speak criticism directly to each other if we feel the need to speak to others about it.
- Look for, and assume, the best motive in the other’s viewpoint, especially when we disagree.
- Think often of the magnificent things we hold in common.
- Be more amazed that we are forgiven than that we are right. And in that way, let’s shape our relationships by the gospel.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” -Jesus, John 13:34-35
For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. – 2 Corinthians 10:3-4
A couple of different ways to live:
Frank Sinatra sang…
For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself then he has naught
To say the things he truly feels
And not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows
And did it my way
Yes, it was my way
The Apostle Paul said…
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. – Gal 2:20
The world, our flesh, and the devil says live for yourself. Do it your way.
Jesus says deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me. (Matthew 16:24)