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Posts : 97
Join date : 2007-12-09

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PostSubject: Devotionals   Devotionals Icon_minitimeThu Dec 13, 2007 5:16 pm

December 13, 2007
Pay It Backward
If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? —Luke 6:33

Would you pay the bill for the people in the car behind you at a fast-food drive-thru—even if you didn’t know them?

That was the challenge given by a local Christian radio station to change their community. It was called “The Drive-Thru Difference.” The goal was to do a Christlike act of kindness for people who didn’t expect it and to leave a note saying you did it because of your love for Christ.

Why do this? Why spend money for someone else’s food—especially someone we don’t know and who may be hostile to the faith? Why give without any hope of return? It sounds countercultural, but the idea has strong biblical basis.

Notice what Jesus said as He addressed a large crowd: “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you?” (Luke 6:32-33). Clearly, Jesus wants us to do good to people who can in no way pay us back.

Whether we’re paying someone’s bill at Taco Bell or dropping change into the Salvation Army kettle, our concern should be selfless giving—whether we get credit for it or not. In Jesus’ name, who can you bless today? —Dave Branon

Be a servant of the Lord
And do not look for a reward;
Not for glory or for fame,
Just give freely in His name. —Roworth

The motive of giving reveals the character of the giver more than the gift itself.
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Posts : 97
Join date : 2007-12-09

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PostSubject: Devotionals   Devotionals Icon_minitimeFri Dec 14, 2007 8:51 pm

December 14, 2007
The Facts Of Life
Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” —Luke 1:38

It seems that most of our struggles revolve around wanting something we don’t have or having something we don’t want. Our deepest longings and our greatest challenges are deeply rooted in trying to see the hand of God in these two facts of life. This is where Luke’s account of the birth of Jesus begins.

The aging Elizabeth longed for a baby. For the young and engaged Mary, however, pregnancy should have been a disgrace. But when both learned they would have a child, they accepted the news with faith in the God whose timing is perfect and for whom nothing is impossible (Luke 1:24-25,37-38).

As we read the Christmas story, we may be struck by the real-life context of the people whose names have become so familiar. Even while Zechariah and Elizabeth suffered their culture’s stigma of childlessness, they were described as “righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord” (v.6). And the angel told Mary she had found favor with God (v.30).

Their example shows us the value of a trusting heart that accepts the mysterious ways of God and the presence of His mighty hand, no matter how perplexing our circumstances may be.
—David C. McCasland

Though you cannot see the outcome,
Trust the Lord—He knows what’s best;
Be assured He sees your trial,
And He’s with you in your test. —Hess

For the Christian, testing cannot be separated from trusting.
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Posts : 11
Join date : 2008-10-28

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PostSubject: Re: Devotionals   Devotionals Icon_minitimeTue Oct 28, 2008 1:30 pm

October 28, 2008
In Your Head
I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel. —Galatians 1:6

I love the prayer that begins, “God be in my head.” When I first heard it, admittedly I thought it sounded a little weird. But then I got to thinking how unfortunate it is if in our efforts to get closer to Jesus we focus on our emotional experience of Him and check our brains at the door. Without His truth ringing in our heads, we’re bound to get off track.

Just look at the early Christians. False teachers filled their heads with misinformation, saying that salvation and spiritual growth could be attained only through keeping the requirements of the law. When Paul heard of it, he was astonished at how quickly they had gotten off track: “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ” (Gal. 1:6).

It’s not just false teachers who lead us astray. Our world is full of twisted thinking like, “If it feels good, do it,” or “The one with the most toys wins.” Let’s face it, you and I can’t afford to check our brains at the door. In fact, intimacy with Jesus begins with getting to know Him, and it’s the facts about Him that make us want to get close to Him.

So, strange as it may sound, if you want to stay on track with Jesus, start each day by asking Him to be in your head! — Joe Stowell

God be in my head, and in my understanding;
God be in my eyes, and in my looking;
God be in my mouth, and in my speaking;
God be in my heart, and in my thinking. —Sarum Primer

To stay on track, let God guide your thinking.
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