December 31, 2014

You’re Named in God’s Will (2)

“The word…which can…give you an inheritance.” Ac 20:32 NIV Someone’s last will and testament lets you know what you have inherited. In the Old Testament the benefits were rich, but the conditions proved too restrictive. So God gave us a New Testament. But instead of laws that are virtually impossible to keep, this “testament” is based on grace: favor you don’t deserve, can’t earn, and don’t have to work for because it’s given freely. And when you discover you are personally named in this “testament,” reading the Bible becomes a real source of joy. You start asking, “What’s in God’s […]
December 30, 2014

Roll with the Punches!

“I am ready for anything.” Php 4:13 PHPS There’s a spiritual disease you need to be inoculated against—hardening of the attitudes. It’s a disease that makes you think your opinion is the only right one. And as long as life cooperates with you, you’re fine. But when it doesn’t, you charge ahead from one brick wall into another, bruised and bloodied, until you quit in frustration. Then you start blaming others, life, the Devil, or God. Your faith may be well-intentioned, but faith without flexibility is just failure looming! Experienced kayakers know how to perform the “Eskimo roll.” It’s a […]
December 29, 2014

You’re Named in God’s Will (1)

“The word…which can…give you an inheritance.” Ac 20:32 NIV Linda Knox was in her eighties when she died of malnutrition in her Chicago apartment. Apparently she’d lost her sight, and her mind had failed. Among her belongings they found $171,000 in uncashed checks, $189,000 in works of art, $400,000 in jewels, and $52,000 in antiques. In all, she had an estate worth $822,000—yet she died alone in poverty. And what’s worse, she’d drawn up a will leaving these things to friends and family members. But she never filed it with the courts and it was never executed, so her beneficiaries […]
December 28, 2014

Accepting Others

“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you.”Ro 15:7 NIV Sometimes people don’t make it easy to accept them. They can be cranky, selfish, critical, irritating, dismissive, aggressive, and pompous. Sometimes you want to give them a piece of your mind; give them what they deserve—anything but acceptance. The command, “accept one another,” is inconvenient. And if Paul had stopped there we might dodge the directive by saying he obviously meant good, reasonable, acceptable people. Alas, he goes on, “just as Christ accepted you.” Were you good, reasonable, and acceptable? No, but He accepted you—flaws and all—and He still […]
December 27, 2014

God Can Lift You Up (2)

“All things are possible to him who believes.” Mk 9:23 NKJV In order to access power, you have to go to the outlet and plug in to the source of it. That’s what happens when you pray in faith; you plug in to God’s power. Picture a boat trapped in mud and stuck on the bottom. If you can get it to the dock, you can repair it and send it back out to sea. The trouble is, you can’t move it. So what’s the answer? Bring in high-powered tugboats, connect steel cables to the sunken craft, and wait for […]
December 26, 2014

God Can Lift You Up (1)

“He will lift you up.” Jas 4:10 NKJV The Bible says, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” It works this way: when you try to exalt yourself God brings you down, but when you humble yourself in His sight He lifts you up. He does it because you’re His child and He loves you. You may feel like a nobody right now, but in God’s eyes you’re a somebody. Who but God could reach behind a hedge, find a Gypsy Smith and use him to win multitudes to Christ? Who but God […]
December 25, 2014

Accepting Yourself

“Predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son.” Ro 8:29 NIV Studies show that many of us don’t like ourselves. A poll of college students confirmed that over 50 percent suffered from low self-esteem, with the majority citing their looks as the source of their unhappiness. “My nose is too long. My eyes are too small. I’m too fat here—too thin there. I’m too short—too tall. I’ve got freckles.” And the beauty industry is more than willing to darken it, lighten it, accentuate it, lift it, tuck it, and cover it up in an attempt to sell us […]
December 24, 2014

Accepted by God!

“He made us accepted in the Beloved.” Eph 1:6 NKJV There’s no pain worse than rejection and no pleasure greater than acceptance, which helps explain the length some people go to in order to avoid rejection and earn acceptance. But the good news is, with God you’re already accepted. J. B. Phillips translates Ephesians 1:6 like this: “He…has made us welcome in the everlasting love he bears towards the son.” And that’s not limited to those who appear worthy because of their good deeds and a flawless moral record; it’s for every believing child of God, lock, stock, and barrel! […]