Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Give Up Or Go On?

Little Margie was having a difficult time learning to skate. It seemed as though the skates her father gave her far exceeded the strength and coordination of her legs and muscles. A neighbor watched her fall down and get up, then fall down and get up again. He was amazed at her tenacity and determination. Finally, he said to her, “Why don’t you give up?”

“Because,” she said with tears in her eyes, “my father didn’t give me these skates to give up with but to go on with.”

How like our Heavenly Father. He does not “give” gifts to us to cause us to fall, but to help us “go” with Him and grow into the likeness of His Son, our Savior. We speak often about Paul’s “affliction” - not ever knowing what it was or the problems it may have caused him personally. But we do know that he said, “So I am glad to boast about my weaknesses...for when I am weak, then I can become strong.”

The great lesson for us to learn from Paul is that if and when we are willing to admit our weakness, God will fill us with His power and strength. There is always the temptation for us to try to “do it on our own.” It is a natural thing to do. But that is not how God created us. God created us with needs and deficiencies so we would need to depend on Him for everything.

Prayer: Father, give us a willingness to recognize our need for You, and that in You, with You, and through You, we can overcome any weakness that may defeat us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today: 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

A Word That Is Not In God's Word!

Carl Sandburg was a great American author who won several Pulitzer Prizes for his poetry. Near the end of his life he was asked, “What’s the ugliest word in the English language?”

Without hesitation, he answered, “Exclusive!”

While it is included in the world’s dictionaries, it is not found in God’s Word. “Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord,” said Paul, will be saved!” And anyone includes everyone.

How wonderful it is to know that the God of love and the love of God is not exclusive. No matter who we are or what we have done, He loves us. No matter where we have been or whom we have traveled with, He loves us. No matter how dirty we get or how often we have disappointed Him, He loves us. He loves us when we are at our best and when we are at our worst. Anyone at any time can call on the Lord Jesus Christ, and He will hear and help!

But Paul follows his statement about God’s gracious invitation with the question: “How can they believe in Him and receive Him if they have never heard about Him?” With this critical question, he places a great responsibility on every Christian: We are accountable to God to take the Good News of God’s message of salvation to those who are unsaved. Unless we accept this challenge from Paul, and the Lord Himself, those whom we know that are lost and condemned will never find Christ as their Savior. We must do for others what others have done for us.

Prayer: Father, we are so grateful that someone took Paul at his word and shared Your message of salvation with us. Give us the courage to do the same. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today: Romans 10:13-14 Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Out Of Service

Recently, while waiting for a bus to take me to an airport parking lot, bus after bus passed by the “waiting zone” without stopping or even pausing. Tired and exhausted, I was puzzled and frustrated until I noticed that they had signs in their windows that read OUT OF SERVICE!

There I stood waiting and wondering, part of a crowd but still alone, left in the exhaust and noise of empty buses. I waited for quite some time until one came to take me to my vehicle.

While waiting I thought of those standing around me. No doubt they, too, were anxious to get to their destination. Perhaps they had been on a long, lonely journey and were discouraged with the results of their efforts. Maybe they were fearful of what might be awaiting them, knowing that a loved one was sick and in pain. And, of course, some were filled with joy and the expectations of a happy homecoming to a welcoming family or friends.

As I waited with them, I was reminded of all the people that God brings into my life, who like me, are on life’s journey. Everyone faces the same issues at one time or another: good days and bad ones, successes and failures, sickness and health, life and death. Unfortunately, many whom we see every day face their problems alone because no one is willing to provide help or hope. Like the buses, we neglect to recognize their needs; we are “OUT OF SERVICE.”

Jesus said, “Look around you! Vast fields are ready right now for the harvest.”

Prayer: Help us, Father, to willingly serve You by serving others. Open our eyes to see the needs of others, open our ears to hear their cries, and share Your love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today: John 4:34-38 But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest.