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Showing posts from September 30, 2012

A Kiss

All of us have experienced a kiss that was wonderful, refreshing and stimulating. For the most part, the two individuals that are kissing face each other, they look right into each other’s eyes, and they have to be inside what is called the “intimate space” of the other. It is invigorating.
So too is an honest answer. Gaining the heart of another person requires honesty of words as much as it does sympathy and favor for them. All people seek honesty, even if they themselves are devious. It builds trust, dismisses feelings of being deceived. It is gentle on the heart of the hearer and suggests loyalty and love.
How do you answer people? Do you tell them what you think they want to hear or do you tell them the truth? Sometimes the truth can be hard and that makes it more difficult to commit to telling it, but learning how to tell the truth with grace can soften the blow that really needs to take place. Honesty is as sweet as a kiss on the lips and that is something we all really like to re…

Clarity through Christ

What is so special about Christ? Individuals throughout the centuries have discussed who he was. Some have said he was only a man, others have denied his humanness, and then some have accepted him as the second person of the Trinity. But, what makes him so special?
Paul said that he was a great mystery of God in whom is “hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Colossians 2:3b) It is through Christ that we can come to understand the world. When we put Christ in front of us and let him be the lens through which we view the world, we see clearly how the natural world works. We also see how the heart of each person works and we see how God works. He brings all into focus.
Life is fitted together like a puzzle when we view it through Christ. Solutions to all life’s questions are found in him for he is the creator and sustainer of the world, the director of its great drama, the savior of its people and even the savior of nature. He is its true leader and Lord, the fulfiller of its…

Larger Picture

How large is your view of Christ? We see him walking the earth and hanging on the cross but do we see the larger picture of him?
Paul reveals that larger picture in Colossians 1:15-20. Note the words which describe the Son:
“the firstborn” (1:15) noting rank or position rather than birth orderCreator (1:16) “by him all things were created”Eternal (1:17a) “before all things”Cohesion (1:17b) “in him all things hold together”Head (1:18a) “head of the body, the church” Resurrection (1:18b) “the firstborn from among the dead”Reconciler (1:20) “reconcile to himself all things”
Do you see God? Do you look upon the one who died for you in a larger light? Do you comprehend that if he can be all these things and have the power which it takes to be all these things, then he can take care of you today. He can do what you are asking him to do in prayer if it is in line with his direction for you. Stop wondering and start worshiping this One.

Example

Are you at a place where you are ready to encourage others to follow your example? Are you making your words and actions match? This is the challenge for any life.
Paul said the following when speaking to the Philippian Christians, “Whatever you have learned and received or heard from me, or seen in me---put it into practice.” (Philippians 4:9) He was saying, “I have taught you and you have learned, you have written it down and much more than that you have meditated on it to receive it into your heart. Further, you have been with me in all kinds of conversations and heard me speak and seen what I do in the activity of my life. All of this was a testimony of grace, love, confidence, joy, praise, determination, and described by many other words. All of this was to say that I want you to follow my example of how to live the Christian life.”
Okay, that is great for Paul. He could say that because he was a great man. But, you might say, I’m not a great person, I still have struggles and fail…

Rising Again

A wise man has said, “It is not how many times a person falls that is important, it is how many times they get up.”
Solomon has said, “though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity.” (Proverbs 24:16) They, the righteous and the wicked both fall, but why is there such a difference in their responses? The righteous rise again because they know they did nothing wrong. The righteous rise because of confidence in God, knowing that He is gracious and forgiving. The righteous understand that it is in the falling and raising that character and perseverance is being developed. The wicked only see punishment for their evil deeds and are continually tormented by that notion each time they rise, therefore at some point they give in to the idea of final punishment. Job continued to believe that God was in charge of his life. This gave him confidence to persevere and see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. His story is an encouragement …

Perspective

There is a danger in pain for the believer. It can cause us to lose perspective on who we are, what we need and where we are going.
“When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you.” (Psalm 73:21-22) We can become grieved when we are hurt by others or by circumstances. We can ask, “why me” when hard things happen to us. And, we can allow our spirit, our inner person, to become embittered by that hurt. We can begin to think and act like an animal that has no understanding of its Maker or of His love.
This can lead to envy the arrogant and dwell on the seeming prosperity and good fortune of evil and wicked people. It causes us to reflect on all that we have been and done and say, “Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure; in vain have I washed my hands in innocence.” (Psalm 73:13)It is a bad situation when the heart is this sick.
The only antidote is reconnection to God. The psalmist said this was the way his life was going “…

Help the Needy

Judges or leaders have a distinct charge given to them by God. He has put them in positions of power to use that power for the good of those who are suffering. Sadly sometimes judges and leaders use their power for their own ends, defending the unjust or showing partiality to the wicked by taking bribes and allowing their own prejudices to influence their decisions.
There are four actions that God challenges leaders to carry out: “Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless, maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” (Psalm 82:2-3) These cover the gamut from defense to offence in relationship to the down trodden.
We can get caught up in our way of life and be working for all of our own self-interests, too. The clock ticks away and we find ourselves busy from daylight to dark. If everyone was doing this, then who would help the needy?
How could you defend, maintain, rescue or deliver those in need? Some have sponso…