GET IN THE GAME
Read: Colossians 1:24-29
To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which
works in me mightily. - Colossians 1:29
I love going to Chicago's Wrigley Field for a baseball game
- sitting in the stands, downing a great hot dog, and cheering
the Cubs on to victory!
Unfortunately, Christianity has become a lot like
professional sports. As a friend of mine has observed, there are
nine guys on the baseball field doing all the work and thousands
in the stands just watching. And as you probably know, that's not
God's game plan for His people. He wants us to climb out of the
stands, get out on the field, and join the team.
If you are wondering what good I you can do on the field,
wonder no more. What about your financial resources? Jesus can
take your "silver and gold" and use it to accomplish great things
for His glory.
But more than just getting out your checkbook, you have
gifts you can contribute. God has given each of us spiritual
gifts that can help advance His kingdom. Whether it's teaching,
encouraging, serving, showing hospitality, or extending mercy,
each ability can yield great dividends. Let's follow the example
of Paul, who tirelessly served on God's field for the joy of
being used by Him (Col.1:28-29).
Believe me, it's far more rewarding to be on the field than to
sit in the stands. - Joe Stowell
Start where you an in serving the Lord, Claim His sure promise
and trust in His Word; God simply asks you to do what you can,
He'll use your efforts, to further His plan.- Anon.
DON'T MAKE A CEMETERY OF YOUR LIFE BY BURYING YOUR TALENTS.
A LITTLE CONCERN
Read: Psalm 91:9-16
I will never leave you nor forsake you. - Hebrews 13:5
I know I'm not supposed to worry, but I'm a little concerned
about something. Perhaps it's because of a new situation in out
family. As I look around, I can't help but have a bit of
anxiety. You see, my wife and I recently found out that we were
going to be grandparents. This led me to think about the kind of
world our grandchild will grow up in.
When he or she graduates from high school, it will be 2024.
Will college cost $100,000 a year by then? If there's any oil
left will gas cost $25 a gallon? Will morals and ethics be
outmoded? And will the church still be making an impact?
The future can be a scary place. The unknown can be
overwhelming, especially when the known has so many struggles.
That's why we need to trust in what God has promised.
No matter what situation our grandchildren will face, they
can depend on God's promise of help - regardless of what trouble
the world will be in. God said, "I will never leave you nor
forsake you" (Heb.13:5). And Jesus said, "I am with you always,
even to the end of the age" (Matt.28:20).
Those are great promises to depend on when we start to worry
about the future, whether it's ours or the next generaticn's. -
Concern for future cares and problems, Will only bring us pain
and sorrow; The Lard has told us not to worry, About the troubles
of tomorrow - Sper
WE MAY NOT KNOW WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS, BUT WE CAN TRUST THE ONE
WHO HOLDS THE FUTURE.
Read: 1 Corinthians 4:9-17
Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. - 1 Corinthians 11:1
Andrew Marton recalls the first time he met his future
brother-in-law Peter Jennings, who was a top foreign news
correspondent in 1977. He said he was so nervous that he acted
like "a jittery fan in the presence of a joumalistic hero whose
personal wattage could light up Manhattan."
Andrew looked up to Peter and tried to emulate him. He
became a journalist too and approached his assignments the way
Peter did - "he dove in and worked harder than everybody else."
Andrew tried to walk like Peter, to dress like him, and to
have the same "aura."
We all tend to follow the patterns of others. The
Corinthians did too. But they shifted their focus away from
Christ and on to individual leaders. Rather than emulating the
Christ-ke qualities of these leaders, they let their allegiances
lead to various divisions and contentions in the church (1 Cor.
1:10.13). The apostle Paul recognized their error, so he sent
Timothy to remind them of his teachings and the importance of
walking in obedience to the Lord (4:16-17).
We are to imitate Christ (1 Peter 1:15-16). It can also be
helpful to have mentors who imitate Him. Those who walk in step
with Christ provide a model for us to emulate. But our ultimate
example is Jesus Himself. - Anne Cetas
To follow in the steps of those, Whose eyes are on the Lord,
Will help to keep us strong and true, And faithful to His Word.
IMITATE THOSE WHO OMITATE CHRIST.
WITH ALL MY ART
Read: Exodus 35:30-35
[The Lord] has filled him with the Spirit of God ... to design
artistic works. - Exodus 35:31-32
Why plant flowers? You can't eat them," said my
father-in-law after witnessing my spring ritual of filling pots
with fragrant and colorful treasures from the garden store. Jay's
dad is an engineer - a practical sort of person. He can make
anything work, but making it beautiful is not a priority. He
values function over form, usefulness over aesthetics.
God created us with different gifts. Engineers who work for
the glory of God design machines that make life easier. The Lord
also created artists, who make life more pleasant by creating
beautiful things for the glory of God and the enjoyment of
When we think of art in worship, we usually think of music.
But other art forms have long had a role in glorifying God. The
calling of Bezalel demonstrates God's regard for fine art (Ex.
35:30-35). God commissioned him to beautify the first official
place of worship: the tabernacle. God's purpose for the arts,
says Gene Edward Veith, is "to glorify God and to manifest
When artistic talent is enlivened by the Spirit of God, it
becomes an act of worship that then can become a witness to point
people to Christ. God has greatly enriched our lives with beauty.
And we in turn express out gratitude by displaying His glory in
our art. - Julie Ackerman Link
Father, may our work - whatever it may be, draw the kind of
attention that causes others to praise and worship You. Amen.
DO ALL THINGS FOR THE GLORY OF GOD.
SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS
Read: Psalm 119:65-72
It is good for me, that iI have been afflicted, that I may learn
Your statutes. - Psalm 119:71
During the Depression era in the 1930s, Little Orphan Annie
was a popular comic strip and radio program. Years later, it was
the basis for the musical comedy Annie. The opening scene shows
Annie in an orphanage where the girls are forced to clean and
scrub in the middle of the night. Expressing their feelings of
helplessmess, they sing: "It's the hard-knock life for us. No one
cares for you a smidge when you're in an orphanage. It's the
When we talk about "the school of hard knocks," we're
referring to the difficult experiences in life that have
instructed us. Although it's part of human nature to avoid pain,
the believer can learn from painful circumstances.
The psalmist wisely said, "It is good for me that I have
been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes" (119:91). His
particular heartache was the slander of his good name (vv.69-70).
Yet even in this, the psalmist realized that his circumstances
could teach him to value the Word of God.
What problem are you facing today? Hand it over to the Lord
in prayer. Then meditate on Scripture and thank God for the life
lessons you are about to learn. The Lord of heaven and earth is
sovereign - even over "the school of hard knocks." - Dennis
God is still on the throne, He never forsaketh His own; His
promise is true, He will not forget you, God is still on the
throne. - Suffield
OUR AFFLICTIONS ARE NOT DESIGNED TO BREAK US BUT TO BRING US TO
A LETTER FROM DAD
Read: 2 Timothy 1:1-10
Stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of
my hands. - 2 Timothy 1:6
A few months before my father died of cancer, he wrote me a
I letter in which be said: "I never think of you that I don't
offer up a short prayer for you and your success. I know you. I
know what's behind you, And I am pretty sure that I understand
your goals, the kind of writing you hope to do, and the message
you wish to convey. Stay in there and pitch, and may the Lord
bless you. I am just so I proud and thankful that the Lord let
me be your father."
That letter is one of my dad's greatest gifts to me.
The New Testament contains two letters from Paul to Timothy, a
young man he mentored and considered his "true son in the faith"
(1 Tim.1:2) and his "beloved son" (2 Tim.1:2). The second letter
begins with Paul's deeply personal words assuring Timothy of his
love and faithful prayers (vv.2-3). Paul affirmed Timothy's
spiritual heritage (v.5) and his God-given gifts and calling
(w.6-7). Then he encouraged him to live boldly for the gospel of
Dads, you can give great encouragement to your children by
writing them a letter of love and affirmation. It may be the
greatest gift you can give them. Why not sit down and write it
from your heart today? - David McCasland
God gives us children for a time, To nurture and to love, To give
them our encouragement, With wisdom from above, - Sper
THE GREATEST GIFT A FATHER CAN GIVE HIS CHILDREN IS HIMSELF.
USE IT WISELY
Read: Genesis 2:7-15
The earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness. - Psalm 24:1
God gave us an incredible gift - the beautiful world in
which we live. Naturally, though, as we share this planet with so
many others, we run the risk of seeing its beauty diminished and
its resources depleted.
While we have every right to use the resources God placed in
and on the earth, we also need to recognize our responsibility to
respect the earth as His and to preserve its resources for future
In genesis, the Lord told Adam (and by extention all of us)
to "tend and keep" the earth (2:15). Because we don't know when
Jesus will return, it would not be responsible stewardship to
leave our children and grandchildren without the resources that
God provided for them as well.
We might think our individual efforts to preserve God's
world aren't valuable. But we can all work together to do our
part. Buying and consuming less, simplifying, repairing instead
of replacing, reusing, and recycling are all good stewardship
One way we can testify of our love for God and to express
our gratitude for what He has done is by tending and keeping the
earth and all that it offers. Until the Lord returns, let's use
our world wisely. - Dave Branon
The natural world that God has made, Is given to us and must be
shared, May generations yet to come, Be thankful that we cared.
GOD CREATED THE WORLD AND PLACED IT IN OUR CARE.