Read: Luke 17:11-19
One of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a
loud voice glorified God. - Lukle 17:15
A few years ago, an unkempt, poorly adjusted youth named Tim
(not his teal name) was converted to Christ in an evangelistic
crusade. A few days later, still unkempt but bathed in the love
of Christ, he was sent to my home so that I could help him find a
good church. And so it was that he began attending mine.
Though Tim needed and received much loving help in personal
grooming and basic social graces, one characteristic has remained
unchanged, his untamed love for his Savior.
One Sunday after church Tim rushed to my side, looking somewhat
perplexed. He lamented, "Why me? I keep asking myself, why me?"
Oh, no, I thought, he's become another complaining Christian.
Then with arms outstretched, he went on to say, "Out of all the
people in the world who are greater and smarter than I am, why
did God choose me?" With that he joyfully clapped his hands.
Over the years I've heard many Christians, including myself,
ask "Why me?" during tough times. But Tim is the first one I've
heard ask that question when talking about God's blessings. Many
were converted the same night as Tim, but I wonder how many among
them have humbly asked, "Why me?" May we ask it often. - Joanie
I know not why God's wondrous grace To me He path made known; Nor
why, unworthy, Christ in love Redeemed me for His own. - Whittle
GRATITUDE SHOULD BE A CONTINUOUS ATTITUDE, NOT AN OCCASIONAL
A KIND WORD
Read: Proverbs 15:1-7,23-28
A wholesome tongue is a tree of life. - Proverbs 15:4
A newspaper obituary caught my eye with this statement:
"Setvices for affable fix-it man are today." Instead of focusing
on one of the movers and shakers of society, the article told the
story of a 79-year-old appliance repairman who was known for his
integrity, character, and unquenchable happiness.
The president of the company for which the man had worked said,
"Half of his job was to go to people's houses and fix the
appliances, and the other half was to fix the people. We had a
lot of people with problems who requested him by name. He was
very jovial, very friendly, and always had a kind word."
No matter what our job, perhaps the most important work we
do is helping and encouraging people, especially by what we say.
The book of Proverbs speaks often of the tongue's power to
hurt or to heal. For example: "A wholesome tongue is a tree of
life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit .... A man has joy
by the answer of his mouth, and a word spoken in due season, how
good it is!" (Proverbs 15:4,23).
We will represent Christ today. What an honor it would be if
we were known as happy people who have a smile and a kind word
for everyone. - David McCasland
A careless word may kindle strife, A cruel word may wreck a life;
A timely word may lessen stress, A loving word may heal and
bless. - Anon.
KIND WORDS ARE ALWAYS THE RIGHT KIND.
HIS SACRIFICE - AND OURS
Read: Hebrews 9:23-28
In these days when so many people are insisting on their
personal rights, the biblical concept of selfsacrifice may seem
old-fashioned and ludicrous. Oh, they may give for what they can
get back, but they think it's I foolish to give only to help
someone else without hope of return.
In the past, however, many have given sacrificially.
Canadian author William D. Matheson, in My Grandfather's War,
tells of a veteran who walked through the streets of his hometown
with an empty sleeve. When a passerby commented on the loss of
his arm, the veteran replied, "I didn't lose it. I gave it."
That describes what Jesus did for us. He didn't lose His
life on the cross. He gave it. As today's verse says, He "gave
Himself for our sins:" He paid the penalty so that all who
believe on Him would experience forgiveness of sin and have
eternal life. In fulfillment of the Old Testament picture of the
sacrifice of the lamb, He yielded His life for us.
Following Christ's example, we are to give ourselves
unselfishly to His service and help others. That makes sense,
though it may seem absurd to many. Our sacrifices will glorify
the Lord and make an impact for Christ on our selfish world. -
By Christ the sinless Lamb of God The precious blood was shed,
When He fulfilled God's holy Word And suffered in our stead. -
CHRIST'S SACRIFICE OF HIMSELF FOR US MOTIVATES US TO SACRIFICE
OURSELVES FOR OTHERS.
THOSE LITTLE TEMPTATIONS
Read: Daniel 1
Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself
with ... the king's delicacies. - Daniel 1:8
Many Christians are serious about guarding against the "big"
sins like sexual immorality, but they aren't as careful about
"lesser" evils. Byron Chapell, a respected Christian leader, made
this mistake but was sensitive enough to recognize it and take
steps to correct it.
While a seminary student on a summet construction job,
Chapell accepted a special favor from his supervisor. He did a
little painting and repair work on the man's hunting lodge, he
could spend the rest of the day fishing, swimming, and relaxing
at full company pay. He was enjoying his first evening in the
cabin when the phone rang. It was his father. "What are you doing
collecting company pay for private work?" he asked pointedly.
Byron felt convicted. Even though he needed the money and
knew he might be fired if he backed out, he left the cabin at
once and told his supervisor he couldn't continue the
The prophet Daniel and his three friends were asked to eat
food that according to their religious faith was ceremonially
unclean. It was just a little thing, but they had decided to be
obedient to God in everything.
How we handle little temptations is the true test of our
character. Help us, Lord, to resist them. - Herb Vander
Lust Just one little sin, What harm can it do?
But give it free reign And soon there are two. D. De Haan
EVEN PEOPLE WHO CAN STAND UP TO BIG TEMPTATIONS CAN GET TRIPPED
UP BY LITTLE ONES.
THE FATHER KNOWS
Read: Psalm 103:1-14
He knows our frame; He remebers that we are dust. - Psalm 103:4
In an employee chapel service at RBC Ministries, Joseph
Bower spoke on Psalm 103:14. He emphasized that since God "knows
our frame" and "remembers that we are dust," He never allows more
to come into our lives than we are able to bear. To illustrate
this verse, Pastor Bower related a personal experience he had
while working with his son. A man of unusual height, brawn, and
muscle, Bower was active in the construction of church buildings
in addition to his pastoral work. Because of his great strength,
he found it easy to forget the comparative weakness of others.
One day, wanting to move a large steel beam that weighed
about 300 pounds, he called to his son, "Grab the other end, and
we'll move it over!" His son, smaller than his dad, exerted all
his strength to lift the girder, but he ended up in the hospital
with a strained back. Bower had forgotten his son's inability to
handle as much weight as he.
It's comforting to know that our heavenly Father isn't like
a forgetful earthly father. God "knows our frame; He remembers
that we are dust." He knows exactly what we can take. Our Father
will never allow us to be loaded down with more than we can bear.
We can count on it! - Richard De Haan
Mindful of our human frailty Is the God in whom we trust; He
whose arm is strong and mighty Still remembers we are dust! -
WITH GOD BEHIND YOU, YOU CAN FACE WHATEVER IS AHEAD OF YOU.
FASTER THAN A FAX
Read: Daniel 9:1-6,20-23
It shall come to pass before they call, I will answer. - Isaiah
The installation of the first telegraph lines in the
Shetland Islands off the coast of Scotland prompted unusual
responses by some people. For example, as one man stood looking
at the wires being mounted on the high poles, a businessman said
to him, "What a wonderful thing this new invention is! When it is
finished, we will be able to send a message 200 miles or more and
get an answer within an hour!"
The other man seemed unimpressed. "There's nothing very
great about that," he answered. "There isn't? Do you know of
anything that is better or faster?" asked the businessman.
The man, thinking of Isaiah 65, replied, "Did you ever hear
of getting an answer before the message is sent?" The man looked
dumbfounded, thinking it was just a strange, meaningless comment.
Little did he realize the biblical truth behind that reply.
God reads our bearts and always knows our needs. Often, even
while we are speaking, the desired blessing is on the way.
Daniel was still praying when Gabriel flew swiftly from
God's throne with the answer (Daniel 9:20-23).
Yes, prayer is faster than any modem means of communication.
Let's use it often! - Henry Bosch
Even while we're asking, God's power and love can bless; To
praying souls He often grants More than they can express. - Anon
PRAYER IS THE CHRISTIAN'S OPEN LINE TO HEAVEN.
HE DIED FOR ME
Read: Romans 5:1-11
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. - Romans 5:8
During the American Civil War, a famer in New York was
drafted for the Union army. His wife had died and he was the sole
support of his young children. But then an unmarried man in the
town who had no dependents came to his home and offered to go to
war in his place.
For the sake of his children, the farmer accepted the offer.
The generous friend marched off to battle, and in the first
engagement he was shot and killed.
When the farmer heard what had happened, he went to the
scene of the battle and brought back the body. He buried his
friend in the village churchyard, and had these words engraved
on the headstone
HE DIED FOR ME.
That is a touching story. But the truth of the gospel is
that Jesus gave His life for us while we were His enemies (Romans
5:8-10). The implications are staggering. If Christ died for us
while we were enemies, how much more will the living Christ do
for us now that He has made us His friends! We can be sure that
not only will He preserve us from God's wrath against sin (v.9),
but He will give us everything we need (8:32)- in this life and.
the next. It's wonderful to be able to say, "He died for me:" -
To Jesus I will daily give - My love and grateful praise;
Because He gave His life for me, I'll thank Him all my days. -
JESUS TOOK OUR PLACE AND GAVE US HIS PEACE.