Tuesday, October 27, 2020

The "R's" And The "A's"

We all know of the significance of the “Three R’s” - Reading, ‘Riting and ‘Rithmatic. They are the foundation for lifelong learning. 

But there is also the importance of the “Three A’s” for lifelong success. They are “Ability, Attitude, and Ambition.” Without recognizing their importance and value, people can “stay stuck” and live mediocre and unproductive lives. 

“Ability” comes from the gifts that God has given to each of us. It includes the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual potential that He implants in the hearts of those who surrender their lives to Him. It can be seen in the skills and talents He gives to each of us. But, they are not gifts to lie dormant. We are obligated to develop them and use them in service to Him. 

“Ambition” is the desire to apply the “abilities” that God gives us. It can be seen in the lives of those who are eager to serve and honor Him in their daily activities. Those who truly love Him will always be actively involved in looking for new and different ways to use their “abilities” for Him. 

“Attitude” is our disposition toward life. It has to do with how we see God’s world, what is going on around us, and what we can do about it. Some look around and say, “I can and will do something about ‘this or that’ with the ‘abilities’ He has given me. I am going to serve Him daily!” Others say, “It’s beyond me. Why try?” Which are you? The choice is yours. 

Prayer:  Help each of us, Father, to accept life’s opportunities, and with them, the obligation to be faithful to You with all the gifts You have given us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

Scripture For Today:  The man who receives much will have to give much. If much is given to a man to take care of, men will expect to get more from him. Luke 12:48

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Monday, October 26, 2020

Not Impossible For God!

Mr. Williams always took great care to encourage his students. Each day he would challenge them to do and be their best. 

One Monday morning he decided to begin the week asking each student to share their goals in life. 

“Matt,” he asked the sad looking student in the front row, “what do you want to be when you grow up?”  

“Possible,” came the forlorn reply.  

“What do you mean, ‘possible’, Matt?” he wondered. 

“Well,” he said in a hopeless voice, “my Dad’s always saying to me, ‘Son, you are impossible.’ So, someday I want to know what it’s like to be possible, I guess.” 

Jesus on many occasions dispelled the “myth of the impossible.” On one occasion He said, “Nothing will be impossible for you.” On another, He promised, “With men this is impossible, but not with God. All things are possible.” One another occasion He said, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.” 

Paul said, “I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.” And he did! He was a warrior who became the ultimate witness. He was the one who approved the stoning of Stephen, yet he became one of God’s most famous saints. He was the one who demonstrated to us that freedom comes from surrender – by exchanging our pursuits for God’s and our plans to the plan that God has for us. He is the one who first proclaimed that forgiveness and eternal life are available to anyone who believes! 

Prayer:  Help us, Heavenly Father, to look beyond what we are to what we can become if we make ourselves available to Your transforming power. Help us to “do it!” In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

Scripture For Today: I can do all things because Christ gives me the strength. Philippians 4:13 

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Sunday, October 25, 2020

The Value Of Commitment

There once was a jockey who lost his first race and felt humiliated. But he did not give up. In fact, he lost his next 250 races before he enjoyed his first victory. His name? Eddie Arcaro and he became one of the most famous jockeys of his day. 

There once was a baseball player who struck out 1,330 times. But he is not remembered for striking out. He is remembered for being one of the greatest home run hitters of all time. His name? Babe Ruth, a true legend in the history of “the game.” 

There once was a man who failed 99 times while doing the same experiment before it turned out right. But he is not remembered for his failures. Thomas Edison is remembered for being one of the world’s greatest inventors. He is credited with 1,093 patents and his famous “trial and error” or “Edisonian Approach” to research: work until “you get the results you are seeking.” 

Failure need not be fatal. It can be an essential part of our learning process and lead us to ultimately discover the plan that God has in store for each of us. 

There was a man who abandoned his Lord. He often spoke without thinking, was brash and impulsive, turned his back on Jesus at His trial, and denied Him three times. Yet, he became the recognized leader among the disciples, was one of the “inner three,” a remarkable preacher and writer, and became one of the greatest voices of the Gospel Message. His name? Peter!  

Prayer:  We are grateful, Lord, that You will not give up on us as long as we stay close to You and seek Your will for our lives. May we always do our best for You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

Scripture For Today: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not trust in your own understanding. Agree with Him in all your ways, and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:1-6 

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Saturday, October 24, 2020

Should It Be Faith Or Feelings?

Two best friends were walking home from church. It was a time for laughing and shoulder-nudging. Tim’s Mom looked on approvingly as they enjoyed each other’s company. 

Suddenly, Tim caught Alex off-guard - looking in the wrong direction. To his left was a huge mud-puddle. Into the mud went Alex after a two-handed push from Tim.  

“Why in the world did you do that, Tim?” asked his mother. 

“Well,” came his reply after a moment’s thought, “the devil tricked me!” 

“How?” she wondered. After all, they were walking home from church. 

“Well,” Tim said after thinking for a moment, “when the devil told me to do it, it felt so good I thought it was the Lord talking to me.” 

Scripture, Paul reminds us, is not only inspired by God but was given to us to teach us “what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right!” No small challenge! 

Feelings come and go, but they are not facts that we can safely build our lives upon. There are times when our feelings encourage us to do what is right and avoid doing what is wrong. But, unfortunately, there are many times when our feelings and emotions are distorted by temptations and will lead us in the wrong direction. That’s why God gave us clearly defined directions to follow in our relationships with others. We can find them in His Word if we look.  

Prayer:  Give us faith Lord that is strong enough to take You at Your Word and follow You every day of our lives. May we accept and follow Your guidance. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

Scripture For Today: All the Holy Writings are God-given and are made alive by Him. Man is helped when he is taught God’s Word. It shows what is wrong. It changes the way of a man’s life. It shows him how to be right with God. 2 Timothy 3:16 

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Friday, October 23, 2020

How A Child Spells Love

Children have a unique way of spelling love. And it only includes one letter from the word, love. Children spell love: T-I-M-E! They hunger for our companionship more than any other gift we can give them. No amount of toys, pets, gifts, or devices can take the place of parents. Time shared with a child is an opportunity to make a difference in eternity - if the time is God-honoring. 

Not long ago, while visiting with an executive, we were discussing the importance of helping children become who God would have them to be. Suddenly, he interrupted our conversation and called his secretary on the intercom. “I’ve decided to spend more time with my children. See how you can fit them into my schedule,” he shouted. 

The writer of Proverbs saw it quite differently. He very clearly stated that we are obligated to “Train up a child in the way he or she should go,” and in keeping with the child’s unique gifts. If parents do this, the child will not depart from the teachings of God. Parents are responsible to God to recognize the potential God places in their children and the future that He has “locked-up” within each child. When parents fail to do this, they disobey God. 

Parents - and Christian leaders – have an incredible opportunity and are obligated to God to “train” children to fulfill the plans He has for them. We dare not disappoint either. 

Prayer:  We often cringe, Father, from what we see in the lives of children who do not know You - yet do little to help them. Help us to train them correctly. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

Scripture For Today: Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6  

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