Archive for July, 2014

I need to give more loans to God.

Perhaps you do, too.

If you help the poor, you are lending to the Lord— and He will repay you!” (Proverbs 19:17 NLT)

Find someone today who needs a financial or time-investment gift and lend to the Lord.

The returns on your investment will be out of this world.

As always, I love you

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We all encounter times when we’re not feeling joyful.

Or at least it seems that way.

But is joy really something that we “feel?”

Happiness is something that we feel. It is emotion-based.

But joy is not based on emotions.

It is based on reason.

It is based on evidence.

It is based on the future, while happiness is based on the present.

It is based on promises, not circumstances.

You see, the homeless and jobless person who finds a wallet with $20 cash is happy for the find because food will soon be in his or her stomach.

But joy for the next day and the days after that? That’s a tougher shopping list.

The Christian suffering a terrible physical injury and subsequent loss of work income isn’t swept up in emotional happiness but can be filled with joy in knowing that God will provide enough to keep living and has an unfathomably rich eternity waiting for him or her.

Whatever hassles you’re facing just now might be stealing your feelings of happiness.

But they can never seize your joy.

Joy can only be forfeited.

It is a gift that remains ours as long as our spiritual arms are wrapped around the One who, for the joy set before Him, endured the cross.

I’m talking about Jesus.

Here’s the passage that triggered these words this morning. I pray that they help you to live out this day with a greater sense of joy:

“Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight. Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of sin.” (Romans 4:7-8)

Because Jesus willingly suffered for us, we’re offered deliverance from the penalty we’re due because of our sins. No matter how tough life circumstances become, we’re still ahead of the game eternally.

And that’s a joy-producing thought.

As always, I love you

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It stinks when you’ve tried your best at a sport or hobby and you realize that you’re not good enough to succeed in the way you desire.

I’d like to hop up on a surfboard like a pro if I had such an opportunity.

But the couple of times I’ve tried it in rough waves, I’ve been reminded that I lack the ability to instantly learn the process, something I’ve been able to do with several other sports.

And I’d like to be able to smash a screaming topspin across the tennis net with consistency, but back when Lori and I were playing tennis every week, such aspirations typically resulted in points for her as the ball dove into the net or sailed over the backline. Ugh!

The fact is that some things in life are very hard to master and we very well might never become fully competent in the endeavor.

In some respects, I’m just not good enough.

There is one arena of my life where I always come up the loser. That is the arena of perfect living.

I fail.

I miss the mark.

I sin.

I don’t aspire to do so. But it happens.

I might be exhausted mentally and emotionally and thoughtlessly use words not intended to wound, yet doing so.

I might be insulted by another and, instead of simply letting it slide and displaying Christlike grace, I default to worldly wittiness and fight fire with fire.

I might not rush quickly enough to the verbal defense of another when a third party starts bashing him or her verbally.

I might think more about getting an unsaved person into a church chair to boost our worship service than about getting him or her into the Kingdom of God to boost heaven’s eternal worship service.

We all fall short. We all, like sheep, have gone astray.

The Apostle Paul reminds us of this in Romans 3:20:

“For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.”

Let’s never forget that we’re sinners in need of a Savior.

Thank God that we have a path to heaven walked and purchased by Jesus Christ.

Thank God that He WAS good enough to provide the sinless blood needed to pay the price of our NOT being good enough.

And thank God that we’ve been given breath to do our best at leading the good life that demonstrates and explains the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ.

We’re surrounded by people who aren’t good enough. Let’s start telling them about the One who is.

As always, I love you

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Like father, like son.

King David was wise.

His son, King Solomon, was even wiser.

Both knew that their wisdom flowed from the wisest of all, Jehovah.

Here are glimpses of that divinely gifted wisdom from each:

From David:

“For the righteous Lord loves justice. The virtuous will see his face.” (Psalm 11:7)

From Solomon:

“Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.” (Proverbs 19:11)

Be virtuous at all times to always have confidence of seeing God in heaven.

Don’t let anger rule you but instead be an ambassador of grace.

These are great lessons that can only help us to become more like Jesus.

And that’s always the wisest path.

As always, I love you

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It was a wonderful time.

But quite exhausting.

I’m talking about our road trip to see family and friends in three different states.

Check out my Facebook posts and you’ll see what I mean.

I’m way behind in sleep.

But I’d gladly make the same trip again in return for stockpiling good memories with loved ones.

Many of you have the same philosophy when it comes to road trips.

Of course, I’ll be playing catch-up for several days and time is short on this Monday. But I still want to let you know I’m back at it with the Morning Devotion, despite this being more of the Afternoon Devotion variety.

I want to share one portion of a passage from today’s reading in the One-Year Bible Online.

“People who cherish understanding will prosper.” (Proverbs 19:8)

You and I want to prosper.

Financially. Spiritually. Emotionally. Physically.

Having the right understanding of finances, of faith, of the heart and of the flesh will carry us to better lives in each of those areas.

Life won’t be perfect on this side of heaven. But it will be better than it might be otherwise if we’ll pray for wisdom and strive for more learning.

I’ve got to do a better job of reading and praying about finances, faith, the heart and the flesh.

I’m very glad that God promises that greater prosperity awaits me as I do so.

As always, I love you

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Experiencing a hope-filled, blessing-filled life is as easy at 1-2-3.

As in Psalm 1:2-3…

But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night.

“They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season.

“Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.”

A life that never withers?

And prospers in all I do?

Why wouldn’t I want that?

Why wouldn’t I meditate on the Bible day and night?

There’s a harvest of fruit out there waiting for you, year after year.

I pray that you’ll meditate your way into an abundant life. Reading from the One Year Bible Online will help you to do that.

After all, isn’t that the promise of 2 Corinthians 9:8?

“And God is able to make all grace abound to you so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”

Please memorize and meditate on this 1-2-3 promise from Psalm 1.

And make an effort to share it with somebody you know who would love to experience a more fruitful life.

As always, I love you

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How will you praise the Lord today?

Here’s some cues from Psalm 150:

Praise the Lord!

Praise God in his sanctuary;
 praise him in his mighty heaven!

Praise him for his mighty works;
 praise his unequaled greatness!

Praise him with a blast of the ram’s horn;
 praise him with the lyre and harp!

Praise him with the tambourine and dancing;
 praise him with strings and flutes!

Praise him with a clash of cymbals;
 praise him with loud clanging cymbals.

Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord!

Praise the Lord!

Listen to some Christian music today and sing along if you can.

God will absolutely love it!

As always, I love you


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