Monday, July 13, 2020

As Big As We Make It!

Herb had been dating Liz for about a year. He was deeply in love with her and finally decided that he would ask her to marry him. So, he went to a jewelry store and used all of his hard-earned savings to purchase an engagement ring for her. Unfortunately, the rings were more expensive than he imagined, and he had little money to spend and had to settle for one with a small diamond.

One evening he took her to dinner, and after they ordered their meal, with a shy, trembling voice, he asked, “Liz, will you marry me?”

“Oh yes, of course, I will,” said Liz.

With tears in his eyes, he presented the ring to her and said, “Liz, I’m sorry, so sorry that the diamond is not as big as I wanted it to be or as large as my love.”

“Oh my,” said Liz, “that doesn’t matter. The diamond is as big as we make it!”

How very true! Value is always in the eye of the beholder, isn’t it?

We often substitute “things” for thoughtfulness or gifts with goodness. We even confuse large with lovely or big with beauty. Often we substitute spending time with someone by offering them a present instead of ourselves.

When we give something to someone, especially to God, the cost of the item is not, in the final analysis, what matters most. What matters most is our attitude and reason for giving.

Prayer:  May we realize, Lord, that giving reflects the sincerity of our heart, not the size of the gift. May we also show our love by what we do as well as what we give. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today: Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting for those who belong to the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly. Colossians 3:14-25 

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Victory At Sea!

Lord Nelson was England’s most famous naval officer. He was highly esteemed for his inspirational leadership and brilliant grasp of naval strategies and unconventional tactics. His supreme knowledge of warfare at sea enabled him to win many significant victories for England. In fact, in one battle, with only 27 small vessels, he destroyed 33 large battleships of Napoleon.

However, despite his brilliant career as a naval officer, he suffered from seasickness all of his life. Yet, he refused to allow this illness to become an excuse from what he believed he was called to do.

There is an essential lesson in the life of Lord Nelson for each of us to learn. All of us can find excuses not to do something whenever we want to. We can all “talk” ourselves into a headache or turn a small task into an overwhelming, mountain-sized, life-threatening project. We can always choose - if we want – to find a way out of doing what is right or what God calls us to do.

Imagine standing before our Lord someday, and He asks: “Do you remember when I asked you to teach remedial reading?” And the answer was, “I’m to busy to help those who can’t read!” Or: “Can you explain why you didn’t have time to help with Sunday School...sing in the choir...volunteer to work at the homeless shelter...feed the poor...go camping with the youth...contribute more...?” Excuses are Satan’s most used “gifts” to keep us from serving God! 

Prayer:  Help us, Heavenly Father, to serve You as You deserve. May we not look for excuses to refuse Your call. May we look for opportunities to serve You consistently. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today: Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Romans 12:11

Saturday, July 11, 2020

The Rewards Of Honesty

One of the traits that made Harry S. Truman a great president was his honesty. In fact, it was more important to him than the presidency.

During the presidential campaign against Thomas Dewey, his staff notified him that his campaign funds were running low. When one of his supporters was presented with this information, he approached Truman and said, “I’ll give you what you need if, when you become president, you will use your office to get policies that will benefit me.”

“Give your money or keep it,” said Truman, “but I’m not making any deals.”

His response electrified his staff, and they began to work harder than ever. As a result, the money coming into his election committee increased dramatically, and Truman went on to win the election.

We read in Proverbs that, “The Lord hates cheating, but He delights in honesty.” That advice is about as straight forward as it gets. And, there is no way to get around it.

Honesty is easy to verify: We are either honest, or we are not honest. We either tell the truth, or we deceive others. There are no “degrees” in honesty. We can’t be 99% honest and 1% dishonest or somewhere in between. It’s 100% or nothing.

Honesty is necessary for a Christian’s integrity.

Prayer:  It is so easy, Lord, to compromise the truth when we want to fulfill some worldly desire. Cleanse us from deceit and fill our minds and mouths with the truth. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today: The Lord hates cheating, but He delights in honesty. Proverbs 11:1