BE A STAR
Read: Matthew 2:1-12
Those who turn many to righteousness shall shine like the stars
forever and ever. - Daniel 12:3
Many today seek stardom by trying to get into the media
spotlight. But a young Jewish captive achieved "stardom" in a
When Daniel and his friends were taken captive by a ruthless
invading nation, it was unlikely that they would be heard from
again. But the godly young men soon distinguished themselves as
intelligent and trustworthy. When the king had a dream that his
wise men could not repeat nor interpret, he condemned them to
death. After a night of prayer with his friends, Daniel received
from God the content of the dream and its interpretation. As a
result, the king promoted Daniel to be his chief advises (see
If the story ended there, it would be remarkable enough. But
some scholars believe that Daniel's influence in Babylon made
people aware of messianic prophecies about a Savior who would be
born in Bethlehem. Daniel's teaching may have been the reason
that 500 years later wise men from the East followed a star to a
remote and unfamiliar part of the world to find an infant King,
worship Him, and return to their country with the good news of
God's incredible journey to earth (Matt.2:1-12).
By turning others to righteousness, we, like Daniel, can
become a star that will shine forever. - Julie Ackerman Link
Make me a blessing, make me a blessing! Out of my life may Jesus
shine; Make me a blessing, O Savior, I pray, Make me a blessing
to someone today. - Wilson
YOU CAN ATTRACT PEOPLE TO JESUS WHEN YOU HAVE HIS LIGHT IN YOUR
Read: Psalm 33:1-9
The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. - Psalm 33:5
The maple trees in my front yard are the last to lose their
leaves in the autumn. So, on a frigid November day, I was
grumbling to myself as I raked and bagged the last of my leaves.
Then a cheery voice said, "Good morning!" The woman who reads our
gas meter had walked up unnoticed. I asked "And how are you on
this blustery, morning?"
"I'm richly blessed," she said with - a smile. After a quick
attitude adjustment, I replied, "So am I. Isn't God wonderful?"
"He sure is," she answered. "Are you a believer in Jesus too?"
"Yes, I am," I responded "and He has filled my life with
That brief exchange not only brightened my mood, it reminded
me that we who believe in Christ are blessed beyond measure.
After this sister in Christ left, the sky didn't seem to be as
dark, the wind lost some of its chill; the leaf raking became
less toilsome. The Lord had used a fellow believer to turn my
attention to Him to see His goodness (Ps.33:5).
Christians are part of a community. Let's encourage one
another. We never know when a fellow pilgrim may need a reminder
of the goodness of God. - Dave Egner
If you are ready to share God's great love. Follow His Spirit and
give Him your all; Numberless blessings are waiting for you, As
you respond and obey Jesus' call. - Hess
FAITH IN GOD'S GOODNESS PUTS A SONG IN YOUR HEART AND PRAISE ON
GRIEF IS MESSY
Read: 1 Thes.4:13-18
I do not want you to be ignorant brethren, concerning those who
have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. -
1 Thessalonians 4:13
On November 14, 1970, a plane crash took the lives of most
of the Marshall University football team, the coaching staff, and
many community leaders of Huntington, West Virginia. Seventy-five
lives were lost in the crash, which devastated the university and
the community. Two of the people who lost loved ones were Paul
Griffen and Annie Cantrell. Their stories intertwined because
Griffen's son, Chris, was Annie's fiance. When Chris died, their
lives were plunged into a year of pain that seemed unbearable.
Why? Because, as Paul told Annie in the film portraying this
tragedy, "Grief is messy:"
He was right, grief is messy. All of us grieve at one time
or another including those of us who are Christ-followers. For
the believer, however, there is something beyond the tears, pain,
and loss. There is hope.
Writing to a church family who had seen loved ones taken in
death, Paul acknowledged the reality of grief. But he challenged
them not to "sorrow, as others who have no hope" (I Thess. 4:13).
Loss and death are part of fife, but believers can face
them, knowing that Christians never say goodbye for the last
time. We can comfort one another (v.18) with the hope of the
resurrection and a future reunion. - Bill Crowder
BECAUSE CHRIST LIVES, DEATH IS NOT TRAGEDY BUT TRIUMPH.
If you have not seen the movie "We Are Marshall" please rent it,
it's terrific, let it speak to your heart - Keith Hunt
PAY IT BACKWARD
Read: Luke 6:27-36
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.
Read: Pslam 24
He is the King of glory. Selah. - Psalm 24:10
King David proclaimed: "The Lord of hosts, He is the King of
glory" (Ps.24:10). The word "Selah" was later added to the end of
this psalm and many others. Some believe it refers to an
instrumental interlude because the psalms were often set to
music. Biblical scholars also suggest other possible meanings,
including "silence," "pause," "interruption," "accentuate,"
"exalt," or "end."
Reflecting on these words can help us to take a "Selah
moment" to pause and worship God during the day.
Be silent and listen to the voice of God (Ps.46:10).
Pause from a hectic schedule to be refreshed in spirit (Ps.
42:1-2). Interrupt the day to do a spiritual inventory and be
Accentuate the joy of God's provision through thanksgiving
Exalt the name of God for answered prayer in spite of
End the day by reflecting on the Lord's faithfulness (Ps.
David's reflection on God included a Selah moment. Following
his example will help us worship our God throughout the day.
- Dennis Fisher
From your heart give God your praise For His blessings all your
days; Lift your voice to God above, God of mercy, God of love. -
NO DAY IS COMPLETE WITHOUT WORSHIP.
Read: 1 Peter 3:8-17
It is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer fro doing good
than for doing evil. - 1 Peter 3:17
Joseph (not his real name) was the model of a trusted
military officer, rising in his nation's army to the rank of
colonel in the special forces. With this came great opportunity,
both for goad and bad.
Deployed into a region racked with drug trafficking, Joseph
was intent on bringing justice to that plagued area. He and his
troops began dealing with the criminals to protect the people.
Some of his superiors, who were corrupt and took bribes from the
drug runners, ordered him to turn his head to let them move their
drugs. He repeatedly refused until he was finally arrested and
imprisoned for 8 years for doing good.
Sadly, we live in a world where at times doing good brings
suffering. This was true for Joseph; In payment for serving his
people was just imprisonment.
The apostle Peter, having also been jailed for doing good,
understood that kind of heartache. He gave us this perspective:
"It is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good
than for doing evir" (I Peter 3:17).
As Joseph shared the stories of what God taught him in
prison; I learned that the justice of God is not hampered by the
evil of men. Doing good is still pleasing in in His sight - even
when we're mistreated by the world for it. - Bill Crowder
From the example of Jesus, Who went about doing good,
We are to honor our Savior By helping wherever He would. - Bill
THE JOY OF DOING GOOD MAY BE THE ONLY REWARD WE RECEIVE - BUT
IT'S WORTH IT!
When you read the Old Testament you will notice over and over
again, how God gives instructions to remember the poor, the
widow, the orphan, the less fortunate. Jesus told the rich young
man that if he wanted to be perfect he was to give all of his
riches to the poor and then serve Jesus. He could not do it, for
he had great wealth. Jesus does not call many to sell all and
follow Him in missionary work. But I want you to learn that Jesus
had GREAT compassion for the poor and less fortunate. Will YOU
There are MANY works of charity, that are true works of serving
and giving to the poor and to those who need our riches that most
of us in the Western world, have.
There is "World Vision" - helping to serve children with a better
life and education.
There is the "Right To Play" - a work that simply helps children
"play" i.e. giving a soccer ball to them etc.
There is "Gems of Hope" - a work that helps WOMEN start a small
business - they give a loan of money, which they must pay back,
as the business grows. Most of you have probably never heard of
Did you know that LEPROSY is still a terrible curse in some parts
of the world. There is a charity that helps people be healed of
There are many very worthwhile charities that you can support, to
bring a little happiness and a helping hand to the less fortunate
in the world.
In a small or large way, according to your means, according to
what God has given you, the Eternal Holy One, expects you to DO
GOOD to others - Keith Hunt.
GOD'S SURPRISING ANSWER
Read: Isaiah 42:1-9
Oh, that You would rend the heavens! That You would come down! -
"Rend the heavens!" and "come down!" pleaded the prophet
Isaiah. Make Your name known by making the mountains shake and
the nations tremble, he advised the Lord (Isa.64:1-3).
Isaiah wanted God to behave as He had in the past. Recalling
the Scripture about God's visit with Moses on Mt.Sinai, Isaiah
longed for a repeat performance.
But God had already told Isaiah that He would be doing
something new. "Behold, the former things have come to pass, and
new things I declare; before they spring forth I tell you of
The "something new" was Jesus! God did indeed come down. But
not in Isaiah's lifetime. And not in the dramatic fashion he
longed for. "He will not cry out, nor raise His voice, nor cause
His voice to be heard in the street" (42:2). He came in the
unassuming form of an infant.
Many of us can remember a situation when God was amazingly
timely in His response to our need. Like lsaiah we want Gad to do
the same thing again. But perhaps He has something else in mind.
As you celebrate God's humble descent to earth, be aware that He
came to change our hearts, not just our circumstances. - Julie
God's answer wasn't detected When Jesus came to earth, For no one
had expected A Child of lowly birth. - D.De Haan
GOD'S ANSWER TO OUR PRAYERS MAY EXCEED OUR EXPECTATIONS.