Restoration through justice

Restoration through justice

God is always fair and just

Have you observed God’s restoration?

I will give you back what you lost to the stripping locusts.

Joel 2:25
Since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s judgment. For since we were restored to friendship with God by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be delivered from eternal punishment in this life.
Romans 5:9-10

Restoration through judgment

Heb. 11:1
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

joy

Obeying God brings great joy

How much do you trust your heavenly Father?

If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, who will never leave you.… Those who obey my commandments are the ones who love them. And because they love me, my Father will love them, and I will love them. And I will reveal myself to each one of them.

Matthew 21:28-32

An expression of trust

“Behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.”
Matthew 27:51

Parents set up rules for their children: Clean up your room, don’t go anywhere with a stranger; be home by 11 p.m. The purpose, of course, is for the children’s benefit and protection; loving parents are not trying to make their children miserable by given them rules to follow. And parents hope that their children will understand rules as expressions of love and concern; they hope their children’s obedience will be motivated more by love than by fear of punishment. Our obedience to Christ should likewise be an expression of our trust in his care for us.

Adapted from TouchPoint Bible with devotional commentary by Ron Beers and Gilbert Beers, Tyndale House Publishers (1996), p 934


It is better to go to Troas with God, than anywhere else without Him.
G CAMPBELL MORGANYou have not really learned a commandment until you have obeyed it.… Nothing clarifies doctrine like doing. Each new thing learned becomes a millstone if we don’t make it a milestone.
VANCE HAVNER

The Lord of all creation has ordained that he would do his work through us. Our seeing the Spirit’s guidance and obeying what he wants us to do and say is the way he works to bless the world.
LLOYD OGILVIE

 

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

Future Worries?

Give your worries to God, for he cares for you

Worry About the Future

Let heaven fill your thoughts. Do not think only about things down here on earth.

Colossians 3:2

Worry is the interest paid on trouble before it falls due.

Author unknown

It is not work that kills men; it is worry. Worry is rust upon the blade.

Henry Ward Beecher

Lessons of a circuit rider

When Abraham Lincoln was on his way to Washington to be inaugurated, he spent some time in New York with Horace Greeley and told him an anecdote that was meant to be an answer to the question everybody was asking him: Are we really going to have civil war?

In his circuit-riding days, Lincoln and his companions, riding to the next session of court, had crossed many rivers. But the Fox River was still ahead of them; and they said one to another, “If these streams give us so much trouble, how shall we get over the Fox River?”

When darkness fell, they stopped for the night at a log tavern, where they fell in with the Methodist presiding elder of the district, who rode through the country in all kinds of weather and knew all about the Fox River. They gathered around him and asked him about the present state of the river. “Oh, yes,” replied the circuit rider, “I know all the Fox River. I have crossed it often and understand it well. But I have one fixed rule with regard to the Fox River — I never cross it till I reach it.”

From 1001 Great Stories and Quotes by R. Kent Hughes (Tyndale) pp 430-31

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House.

 

His Peace!!

God will give you peace!

Who or what controls your life?

“When the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us:…peace.”

Galatians 5:22

 

Calm in the storm

The world is not terribly impressed with Christian T-shirts, billboards, and bumper stickers. In fact, truth be told, many unbelievers are turned off by these impersonal attempts at witnessing. However, the world is stunned when it sees a Christian overflowing with peace despite a personal crisis. “Her life is falling apart, but she isn’t. How is that possible?” “If I were in his shoes, I’d be a nervous wreck, but he is so calm. Why?”

The peace that the Holy Spirit produces within us is supernatural tranquility of soul. Storms can be raging all about us, but within us is the calm assurance that God has already saved us from our worst predicament — sin and death. Would he rescue us for the world to come only to turn around and abandon us in this world? Of course not!

The Spirit-filled Christian is peaceful because he or she knows the perfect love that drives away fear (1 John 4:18). Ask God to give you his peace in the midst of the storms you are experiencing.

Praying God’s Promise:
I want to be marked by your peace, Lord. I need it so that I don’t worry myself silly. More than that, I need it for your glory — so that others might see the wonderful comfort and assurance that is available only in you. Teach me how to rest in the knowledge that you are in control.

From Praying God’s Promises in Tough Times by Len Wood (Tyndale) pp 154-55

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

God’s Mercy

God is merciful

Have You Received God’s Mercy?

Praise the Lord, I tell myself; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, I tell myself, and never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives my sins and heals all my diseases. He ransoms me from death and surrounds me with love and tender mercies.

Psalm 103:1-4

Having chosen [his people], he called them to come to him. And he gave them right standing with himself, and he promised them his glory.

Romans 8:30

Pardoned

The essential act of mercy was to pardon; and pardon in its very essence involves the recognition of guilt and ill-desert in the recipient. If crime is only a disease which needs cure, not sin which deserves punishment, it cannot be pardoned. How can you pardon a man for having a gumboil or a club foot? But the Humanitarian theory wants simply to abolish Justice and substitute Mercy for it. This means that you start being “kind” to people before you have considered their rights, and then force upon them supposed kindnesses which no one but you will recognize as kindnesses and which the recipient will feel as abominable cruelties. You have overshot the mark. Mercy, detached from Justice, grows unmerciful. That is the important paradox. As there are plants which will flourish only in mountain soil, so it appears that Mercy will flower only when it grows in the crannies of the rock of Justice: transplanted to the marshlands of mere Humanitarianism, it becomes a man-eating weed, all the more dangerous because it is still called by the same name as the mountain variety.
C. S. LEWIS in God in the Dock

Quoted in The Quotable Lewis edited by Wayne Martindale and Jerry Root (Tyndale House) p 426


Not what thou art, nor what thou hast been, doth God regard with his merciful eyes, but what thou wouldst be.
JULIAN OF NORWICH

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

Intimate Relationship with God

Our prayers bring us into God’s presence

What can I learn from Nehemiah?

When I heard [how things were going in Jerusalem], I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven. Then I said, “O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and obey his commands, listen to my prayer! Look down and see me praying night and day for your people Israel.

Nehemiah 1:4-6

The king asked, “Well, how can I help you?”
With a prayer to the God of heaven, I replied, “If it please Your majesty and if you are pleased with me, send me to Judah to rebuild the city when my ancestors are buried.”

Nehemiah 2:4-5

Nehemiah’s example

With little time to think, Nehemiah prayed to God. Eight times in this book we read that he offered a spontaneous prayer. Nehemiah prayed at any time, even while talking with others. He knew that God is always present, always in charge, always listening, and always ready to answer.

Nehemiah could confidently pray to God throughout the day because he had established an intimate relationship with him during times of extended prayer. If we want to be confident about our brief prayers, we need to take time to cultivate a strong relationship with God through times of in-depth prayer.

From the TouchPoint Bible (Tyndale House) p 422

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

God has conquered all our enemies

God has conquered all our enemies

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Are you wearing the full armor of God?

Be strong with the Lord’s mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all the strategies and tricks of the Devil. For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms.

Use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that you will be fully prepared. In every battle you will need faith as your shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed at you by Satan. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all Christians everywhere.

Ephesians 6:10-18

About This Week’s Promise

This is perhaps the Bible’s most comprehensive teaching about the resources believers have to overcome evil. Spiritual forces lurk behind many of our conflicts. Therefore, you should not attack the people manipulated by evil but focus directly on the evil itself. Rely on truth, faith, the power of your testimony, the wisdom of God’s word, and the power of prayer. When these are mobilized, evil succumbs, God wins, and you win.

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

Lies will be exposed

Lies will be exposed

James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

What’s wrong with a little plagiarism?

“I hate and abhor all falsehood, but I love your law.”   Psalm 119:163 

Kidnapping of the Brainchild

“In an essay for Time magazine, Lance Morrow writes about “kidnapping the brainchild”:

book critic for a newspaper plagiarized an old essay of mine. Someone sent the thing to me. There on the page, under another man’s name, my words had taken up a new life — clause upon clause, whole paragraphs transplanted. My phrases ambled along dressed in the same meanings.…It argued and whistled and waved to friends. It acted very much at home. My sentences had gone over into a parallel universe, which was another writer’s work.…The thoughts were mine, all right. But they were tricked up as another man’s inner life, a stranger’s…

The Commandments warn against stealing, against bearing false witness, against coveting. Plagiarius is kidnapper in Latin. The plagiarist snatches the writer’s brainchildren, pieces of his soul…

The only charming plagiarism belongs to the young. Schoolchildren shovel information out of an encyclopedia. Gradually they complicate the burglary, taking two or three reference books instead of one. The mind (still on the wrong side of the law) then deviously begins to intermingle passages, reshuffle sentences, disguise raw chunks from the Britannica, find synonyms, reshape information until it becomes something like the student’s own. A writer, as Saul Bellow has said, “is a reader moved to emulation.” Knowledge transforms theft. An autonomous mind emerges from the sloughed skin of the plagiarist.”

Lance Morrow, “Kidnapping the Brainchild,”, Time, 3 December 1990, 126. Quoted in 1001 Great Stories and Quotes by R. Kent Hughes (Tyndale) p 133

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

Overcoming discouragement

Overcoming discouragement brings great blessing

How do you remind yourself of God’s leading in the past?

Joshua said to the people, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: …I took your ancestor Abraham from the land beyond the Euphrates and led him to the land of Canaan. I gave him many descendents through his son Isaac.… Then I sent Moses and Aaron, and I brought terrible plagues on Egypt; and afterward I brought you out as a free people.… With your very own eyes you saw what I did.… Finally, I brought you into the land of the Amorites on the east side of the Jordan. They fought against you, but I gave you victory over them, and you took possession of their land.… When you crossed the Jordan River and came to Jericho, the men of Jericho fought against you. There were also many others who fought you. … It was not your swords or bows that brought you victory. I gave you land you had not worked for, and I gave you cities you did not build—the cities in which you are now living. I gave you vineyards and olive groves for food, though you did not plant them.

Joshua 24:2-13

Joshua’s story of hope

Joshua reminded a discouraged people of all the times God had provided for them and demonstrated his goodness. Reviewing past blessings can encourage us to continue to serve God faithfully. Keep records—through a journal or a scrapbook—of the love God has shown for you. When you need encouragement, review what God has already done, revisiting the mementos of his work in your life. And read the Bible in order to refresh your knowledge of the many blessings God has given his people throughout history.

adapted from TouchPoint Bible with devotional commentary by Ron Beers and Gilbert Beers, Tyndale House Publishers (1996), p 208

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

Have you seen leaders unable to overcome “drag coefficient”?

Have you seen leaders unable to overcome “drag coefficient”?

Return unto the Lord thy God

O God, have mercy on me. The enemy troops press in on me. My foes attack me all day long. My slanderers hound me constantly, and many are boldly attacking me.

Psalm 56:1-2 NLT

Without wise leadership, a nation fails; with many counselors, there is safety.

Proverbs 11:14 NLT

The drag on leadership

Leaders have grand vision, and great visions are reached overnight.… Leadership by nature pushes against a high drag coefficient. Drag is the resistance air gives to the body of airplanes or automobiles as they move through air.… The drag on leadership is so great that it threatens to bring leaders to a grinding halt unless they have an extraordinary level of God-inspired perseverance.

Leadership is more about perseverance than about speed. Psalm 132:1 says, “Lord, remember David and all that he suffered.” David was one of the greatest — and most successful — leaders in Israel’s history, yet his life was marked by continual, extreme hardship.

For example, after the prophet Samuel anointed David as the next king of Israel, King Saul repeatedly attempted to kill David. David had to wander in the desert and in foreign lands for years as a fugitive with several hundred outcasts. David was the anointed leader of Israel, but he endured a lifetime of hardships as Israel’s shepherd.

So don’t be surprised by the drag coefficient of leadership. With God’s help, you can endure it and overcome.
CRAIG BRIAN LARSON

adapted from Leadership Devotions compiled by the editors of Christianity Today International, Tyndale House Publishers (2001), pp 170-71


Being a general calls for different talents from being a soldier.
TITUS LIVY

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House