IN YOUR HEAD
Read: Galatians 12:6-9
I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called
you in the grace of Christ, to a different Gospel. - Galatians
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 y ou 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
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.
Read: Hebrews 11:1-6
With faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to
God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those
who diligently seek Him. - Hebrews 11:6
National Geographic News survey in 2006 reported that many
young Americans are geographically illiterate. According to the
survey, 63 percent of Americans aged 18-24 failed to correctly
locate Iraq on a map of the Middle East. The results for US
Geography are even more dismal. Half - could not find New York
State on the map, a third could not find Louisiana, and 48
percent could not locate the state of Mississippi.
Understanding geography is helpful in daily life, but
"God-ography" (finding God) is infinitely more crucial - for now
and for eternity.
In Hebrews 11:6 we are told that to find God and please Him,
we first have to believe that He exists. How can we prove that
God exists? Finding God is a matter of faith - confidence in Him
and commitment to Him. This confidence and commitment should
remain strong even though the objects of our faith are unseen.
The writer of Hebrews and the apostle John agree that ultimately
the way to find the Lord and please Him is by believing in His
Son Jesus (Heb.11:6; John 14:6).
Finding God is solely a work of God. Those who seek Him will
find Him because God will give them a heart to recognize Him as
Lord (Jer.29:13-14). - Marvin Williams
I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew He moved my soul to seek
Him, as He sought me; It was not I who found, O Savior true; No,
I was found of Thee. Anon.
TO FIND GOD WE MUST BE WILLING TO SEEK HIM.
URGE TO JUMP
If you hear something ... saying, "Corrupt men have gone out from
among you and enticed the inhabitants," ... then you shall
inquire, search out, and ask deiligently. - Deut. 13:12-14
In April 2006, a stuntman tried to jump from the top of the
Empire State Building. At the last minute, authorities restrained
him and charged him with reckless endangerment. After a judge had
looked carefully at all the facts, he dismissed the charges,
noting that the accused had taken steps to ensure the safety of
others. With a parachute strapped to his back, Jeb Corliss had
safely made 3,000 previous jumps, including leaps from the
1,483-foot Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur and the Eiffel Tower.
As extreme as Corliss' sport is, it is safer than the kind of
leap that almost took place in Joshua 22. Israel had just engaged
in a 7-year conquest of Canaan. Suddenly, an alarming rumor
raised the possibility of civil war. Word spread that the
families who settled east of the Jordan River had built an
idolatrous altar (v.10).
A national catastrophe was averted that day, only because
someone took time to investigate the facts and listen to both
sides of the issue (vv.16-29). A terrible, costly
misunderstanding was avoided. The wisdom of God was honored
(v.31). Our loving Lord taught His people that the cost of
listening is not nearly as great as the cost of jumping to wrong
conclusions. - Mart De Haan
Lest judgment should be based on wrong conclusion, Distinguish
right from vain and carnal pleading; The world is rife with error
and confusion; Rely alone on God's Spirit's leading. - Motion
JUMPING TO WRONG CONCLUSIONS IS ONE OF THE GREATEST OF ALL
Read: Genesis 1:1-13
In the beginni9ng God created the heavens and the earth. -
Nothing. Absolutely nothing. No light. No sky. No land. It's
incomprehensible to our finite thinking - the barren nothingness
that existed before Genesis 1:1.
Then suddenly, through the work of the Almighty, God
supplanted nothingness with "the heavens and the earth." The
divine hand reached through the void and produced a place, a
world, a universe. Through the magnificent convergence of the
workings of the Godhead - with the Son enacting the will of the
Father as the Agent of creation, and the Holy Spirit as the
hovering Presence - nothing became something. History began its
long march toward today.
The first verse of Genesis provides us with sufficient
concepts to contemplate for a lifetime. That introductory
statement speaks of enough glory, enough majesty, enough awe to
leave us speechless before God. Just as today we would have no
life, no breath, no existence without His sustaining action,
neither would we have the cosmos without His mighty act at the
moment of creation.
In awe we wonder what went on before "the beginning." With
breathless praise we marvel at the words "God created the heavens
and the earth." We read - and we stand in adoration. "Nothing"
has never been so fascinating! - Dave Branon
I sing the mighty power of God That made the mountains rise, That
spread the flowing seas abroad And built the lofty skies. - Watts
NATURE IS BUT A NAME FOR AN EFFECT WHOSE CAUSE IS GOD.
A NEW CAREER
Read: Matthew 4:18-22
Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed
Him. - Matthew 4:22
For some guys, the annual fishing trip is the highlight of
their calendar. They stay in cozy cabins and spend long days
fishing just for the fun of it. You can be sure it wasn't that
way for the disciples. They weren't on vacation when they met
Jesus. Fishing was their career.
Our careers often demand much of our time and attention. But
Jesus has an interesting way of interrupting our
business-as-usual agenda. In fact, He invites us to join His
Notice the sequence of His statement to the fishermen:
"Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men" (Matt.4:19).
We are tempted to think that we should make something of our
lives and at the same time follow Jesus. Wrong! He calls us first
to follow Him, and then He makes something of our lives. He leads
us to prioritize so that we see the needs of people and their
eternity as the goal of all our endeavors.
And while God may not require you to give up your career,
following Him will guarantee that you will never see your career
in the same way again. Where you "fish" is not important. But if
you follow, you must fish.
What are you waiting for? Drop your nets, follow Him, and
let Him make something of your life. - Joe Stowell
"Take up your cross," the Savior said, "If you would My disciple
be; Take up your cross with willing heart And humbly follow after
Me." - Everest
DROP YOUR NETS AND FOLLOW JESUS.
Read: Galatians 5:16-26
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness. - Galatians 5:22
What's on your to-do list today? Cleaning out an overstuffed
closet? Calculating a financial report at work? Paying your
We all have things we need to get done today, whether we've
written them down or not. They're important for us to accomplish.
While a to-do list is helpful, another type of list is even more
valuable: a "to be" list. Albert Einstein said, "Try not to
become a man of success but rather to become a man of value."
The apostle Paul encouraged the Galatian believers, and now
tells us, to be concerned with our character. He said that if
we're controlled by the Holy Spirit, God will produce in us the
characteristics of "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" (5:22-23).
As you look at those character traits, which are you needing
most in your life? More patience with a co-worker or a child? A
little more gentleness and kindness toward a neighbor? As you
draw near to God, He will enable you to be the person He wants
you to be.
Perhaps at the top of your to-do list today you could put:
Spend time praying and reading God's Word. That would be a good
start in helping with your "to be" list. - Anne Cetas
The hidden person of the heart Must take priority Because our
inner character Determines who we'll be. - Seer
IT'S NOT WHAT YOU DO BUT WHO YOU ARE THAT'S THE MOST IMPORTANT.
Read: Ruth 1:8-17
Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. - Ruth 1:16
On May 31, 1889, a massive rainstorm filled Lake Conemaugh
in Pennsylvania until its dam finally gave way. A wall of water
40 feet high traveling at 40 mph rushed down the valley toward
the town of Johnstown. The torrent picked up buildings, animals,
and human beings and sent them crashing down the spillway. When
the lake had emptied itself, debris covered 30 acres, and 2,209
people were dead. At first, stunned by the loss of property and
loved ones, survivors felt hopeless. But later, community leaders
gave speeches about how local industry and homes could be
rebuilt. This acted like a healing balm, and the survivors
energetically got to work. Johnstown was rebuilt and today is a
thriving town with a population of approximately 28,000.
The Bible tells us that when Naomi despaired over the loss
of her husband and sons, her daughter-in-law Ruth refused to
leave her. Instead, Ruth focused on God, her relationships, and
the future. God rewarded her faith by providing for them and
making Ruth an ancestor of Jesus Christ (Matt.1:5-16).
After a tragic loss, we should look at the resources and
relationships that remain and trust God to use them. This can
inspire the hope of rebuilding a new life. - Dennis Fisher
Beyond the losses of this life That cause us to despair New hope
is born within our heart Because our God is there. D. De Haan
NO ONE IS HOPELESS WHOSE HOPE IS IN GOD.
To be continued