Friday, July 13, 2007

Doing the Impossible

Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:26)

God’s expectations of us are very high. In fact, on our own, they are unattainable. I know when I read the Bible I sometimes get discouraged that I’m not living up to God’s standards.

The key to faithful living is not focusing so much on our own efforts as on God’s work within us. It is also important to take things one step at a time, to do the little things rather than try to accomplish great things.

St. Francis has some good advice for living faithfully -

"Start by doing what's necessary, then what's possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible."

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Love to Worship

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! (1 John 3:1)

True worship begins with an overwhelming sense of God’s love. When we recognize that God loves us so much that, through Christ, He would adopt us into His family - that is when we are inspired to love in return. It is out of this love that worship flows.

Henry Ward Beecher once wrote -

"I never knew how to worship until I knew how to love."

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Power of Scripture

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

The Bible is much more than an old book with good stories. It’s more than just a laundry list of do’s and don’ts. The Bible - the whole Bible - is given to us by God to be our guide for life and faith.
When we read the Bible with faithful hearts and minds, our lives are reshaped by the Holy Spirit. We become more like what God wants us to be. This means that before we read God’s Word, we should be ready to let go of the parts of our lives that are not pleasing to God.
Mark Twain, not known to be a devout Christian himself, nevertheless recognized the power of Scripture when he said -

"It ain't those parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand."

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Gospel Power

Stephen has preached a powerful sermon to a crowd gathered in Jerusalem. How do the people respond?

When they heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. (Acts 7:54)

The people become so incensed by his words that they stone him. Yet, his willingness to boldly proclaim the Gospel led to the expansive growth of the Church that continues on today.

When we speak the truth (even when it is in love), there will be people (sometimes many) who don't want to hear it. Some people just can't handle the truth. If we are honest with ourselves, there are times when we don't want to face the truth about something we've said or done.

But the truth, threatening as it can be, is something we desperately need to hear.

Oswald Chambers once wrote -

"The preaching of the gospel awakens an intense resentment because it must reveal that I am unholy; but it also awakens an intense craving."

Monday, July 9, 2007


But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, "Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.’" He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it. (John 12:4-6)

"It is a general popular error to imagine that the loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for its welfare." (Edmund Burke)

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Losses and Gains

Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. (Luke 17:33)

Jim Eliot was a missionary driven to take the Gospel to unreached peoples in a dangerous land. Many tried to discourage him, but he was undeterred. His life was meant to be given up for God. He wrote -

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."