NEWS ROOM MIX-UP
READ: 1 Kings 22:1-8
Please inquire for the words of the Lord today. - 1 Kings 22:5
A Congolese man went the BBC's News 24 for a job interview.
But a time-conscious producer mistook the man for a scheduled
guest authority. He led the baffled but compliant applicant into
the newsroom studio and fitted him with a microphone.
When the "on air' signal was given, the interviewer missed the
look of panic on the man's face, and the flustered job-seeker
awkwardly bluffed his way through the questions. When the mistake
itself became news, the network apologized for the error.
That hapless man wasn't pretending to be an authority--he
was mistaken for one. In contrast, Ahab, the king of Israel,
chose to ignore the truth by seeking answers from false prophets
who were posing as religious authorities. Ahab didn't want to
inquire of the Lord through the godly prophet Micaiah "because he
does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil" (l Kings 22:8).
The king had an aversion to the truth.
Sometimes we would rather hear the comfort of a lie than
words of truth. But we need to get our counsel from advisers who
believe that "all Scripture ... is profitable for doctrine, for
reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (2
Tim.3:16). We can't afford to let our desires cause us to
exchange God's truth for a lie. - Mart R. Haan
When sin entices and allures Its lies must be ignored; -
BETTER TO HEAR THE TRUTH THAN A SOFT LIE.
A FIRE TO BE KINDLED
Read: Luke 24:13-32
Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked with us on the
road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us? - Luke 24:32
In Acts 17, Paul went to Mars Hill to declare the truth of
the. Many listeners gathered there were not spiritual seekers.
Luke, who wrote the book of Acts, records that they spent their
days simply wanting to discuss the latest new ideas, with little
interest in acting on what they learned (v.21). Too much
information can he dangerous. All the ideas can blur together and
become incoherent, leaving us unchanged by what we know.
Centuries ago, the historian Plutarch warned of the danger
of living on a purely informational level. He wisely said, "The
mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled."
The Christ-followers on the road to Emmaus would have agreed
(Luke 24). As they grieved the death of Jesus, the risen Christ
Himself joined them but hid His identity. He began instructing
them on the ancient prophecies of those events found throughout
the Old Testament. Later that day, Christ revealed Himself to
them and then departed.
After Jesus departure, they marvelled at what they had
heard. The things He taught were not sterile facts but a fire
that kindled their hearts with devotion for Him. May we likewise
trust the Shepherd of our souls to kindle our hearts as we grow
in His Word. - Bill Crowder
As we walk along the road of life, We can sense that Jesus is
there too; As we read His Word and hear His voice We will find He
kindles fire anew. - Hess
YOU CANNOT START A FIRE IN ANOTHER'S HEART TILL IT IS BURNING IN
Read: 2 Samuel 12:1-3
Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. - Galatians 6:7
Orbiting our planet at speeds more than 4.5 miles per second
is a growing collection of space junk. Nuts, bolts, and other
discarded debris from space flights are presenting a real hazard
to future spacecraft. Their sheer speed makes the tiniest object
strike with the impact of a bullet. During one of the shuttle
missions, a speck of paint created a pit a quarter inch wide in a
window of the craft.
One study revealed that there are 110,000 objects larger
than one centimeter in orbit. Their combined weight is 4 million
pounds! To avoid a space junk disaster, the US Space Command
monitors orbiting debris for NASA.
Sinful choices create their own kind of junk--unintended
consequences. When Achan stole and hid forbidden booty, it cost
him his life (Josh.7). After King David committed adultery and
murder, family discord followed (2 Sam.15-18).
Do you have any "junk" in your life? Sin's consequences have
a way of accumulating. When we confess our sins to God, He
promises to forgive and cleanse as (1 John 1:9). For those we
have hurt, we can seek ways of righting wrongs through
restitution (Luke 19:1-8). The God of grace will give us wisdom
in dealing with bad decisions from our past and help us to make
good ones in the future. - Dennis Fisher
What shame can overwhelm the soul Because we've chosen paths of
sin! But if we humbly call on God, He'll grant anew His peace
within. - D. De Haan
THE LAW OF SOWING AND REAPING HAS NEVER BEEN REPEALED.
Read: Matthew 4:1-11
I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God
in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 3:4
Ardent baseball fans will remember Kirby Puckett, who died
suddenly in 2006. He had led the Minnesota Twins to championship
victories in 1987 and 1991. Even though he was offered larger
contracts by other teams, he stayed with the Twins for his entire
career. When Puckett was diagnosed with glaucoma in 1996, his
career ended abruptly.
During Puckett's induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in
2001, he recalled the difficulties he had faced when growing up.
His passion to become a professional baseball player was subject
to temptation many times. Thug dealers and gang members
repeatedly invited him to join in their destructive lifestyle.
But whenever temptation enticed him, Kirby remembered that he had
a higher calling - baseball.
Though we are urged to "walk worthy of the calling with
which [we] were called" (Eph.4:1), we live in a world where we
face distracting enticements. Maybe we're offered a job that pays
well but requires that we compromise biblical principles. Our
calling is always to do God's will.
When we are confronted with a temptation to stray from God's
way for our life, we must remember that we have a higher calling
as servants of Jesus. - Vernon Grounds
When the powers of darkness come in like a flood, The battle
belongs to the Lord! He's raised up a standard, the power of His
blood, The battle belongs to the Lard! - Owen-Collins
TO CONQUER SIN, NIP IT IN THE BUD OF TEMPTATION.
Read: John 11:21-35
Jesus wept. - John 11:35
A friend whose young daughter was killed in a car accident
in May 2005 told me: "I cried easily before Natalie's accident.
Now I am always crying. Sometimes the tears just slip out."
Anyone who has suffered such intense personal tragedy
understands what she is talking about.
Is there anything wrong with crying? Or do we have biblical
evidence to suggest that it's okay to cry? Jesus gives us the
answer. Lazarus, a close friend of His, had died. When Jesus
arrived at the home of Lazarus' sisters, they were surrounded by
friends who had come to console them. Jesus saw Mary and Martha
and their friends mourning, and He too was overcome. Sorrowing
with them, "Jesus wept" (John 11:35).
Sadness, tears, and mourning are familiar territory for
everyone on this earth--even for Jesus. His tears tell us that
it's okay if tears "just slip out." And they remind us that the
reason tears of sorrow will be extinct in eternity is that "there
shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no
more pain" (Rev.21:4).
When God wipes out the effects of sin, He will wipe out the
need for tears - one more reason to look forward to eternity. -
God shall wipe away all tears; There's no death, no pain, nor
fears, And they count not time by years, For there is no night
there. - Clements
HEAVEN ON EARTH - NO PAIN, NO NIGHT, NO DEATH, NO TEARS.
NO LONGER YOUNG
Read: Psalm 37:23-31
The Lord loves justice, and does not forsake His saints, they are
preserved forever. - Psalm 37:28
Recently, as I left a shop, I overheard the man who had
served me whisper in disappointment, "He called me `uncle,' when
he's definitely older than I am." Since childhood, my Chinese
culture has taught me it is polite to say, "Thank you, Uncle!"
for help received.
This gesture has served me well, but now I have to think
twice before using it. Taking a good look in the minor, my eyes
confirm that I am no longer the person my mind remembers.
Being young has many advantages, but with age comes the joy
of reflecting on God's faithfulness. David reminds us in Psalm
37: "I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the
righteous forsaken" (v.25).
Now that I'm in my fifties, I reflect and wonder how I ever
could have thought that God had forsaken me. Yes, He has
permitted me to face what seemed like insurmountable
difficulties, but now I know it was only to shape me. God has
always preserved me, and when I stumble I know it is "the LORD
[who] upholds me with His hand" (v.24).
We are growing older all the time, but we can also grow more
thankful for God's many mercies. Above all, we are grateful that
He puts the love of His law in our hearts and keeps our steps
from sliding (v.31). - Abert Lee
God's faithfulness we've known throughout the years, His oneness
with us in our joys and tears; So many times the Lord has helped
us through, Has answered prayer and given strength anew. - P Hess
AS THE YEARS ADD UP, GOD'S FAITHFULNESS MULTIPLES.
Read: Genesis 2:1-3
God ... rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had
done. - Genesis 2:2
We live in an action-oriented world, and it seems that
simplifying our lives has never been more complicated! Doesn't it
seem that there's always work to do and no time for rest? Answer
the following questions as honestly as you can to determine if
you need to rest:
Do I feel stressed when functioning in my normal day-to-day
activities? Is it difficult to find joy? Do I get the kind of
rest my body needs? Do I wake up tired?
In creation, God established a patter of work and rest,
which is a model for believers. For 6 days God worked to bring
order to our world. But on the seventh day, after He had finished
all His creative activity, He rested. God demonstrated that rest
is appropriate and right. Jesus showed us the importance of rest
when He sat wearily beside a well after a long walk (John 4:6)
and when He slept in the back of a boat with His head on a pillow
(Mark 4:38). He also rested when He and His disciples got away
from the crowds (Mark 6:31-32).
If the Lord rested from the work of creation and from His
earthly ministry, we need to rest from our work as well. Our
times of rest refresh us for times of service. Schedule some
"slow down" time this week. - Marvin Williams
If our body, soul, and spirit Are to function at their best
Time is needed for renewal - Time for leisure, time far rest. -
ALL WORK AND NO PLAY WILL TAKE THE JOY OF LIFE AWAY.