Saturday, October 31, 2009
“Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable-if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise-dwell on these things.” Philippians 4:8 HCSB
“Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.” Frank Outlaw*
An impure thought came to the worship leader’s mind. He allows himself to think about it for a few minutes. Over the next few days, he allows himself to dwell on it a little more each day. One day, when his wife is away, he goes online and looks at unwholesome pictures. He feels bad and vows to never do it again, but the next week he does the same thing. After a few months, he begins secretly buying ungodly magazines and videos. After a couple of years, watching isn’t enough. He never meant for it to go this far.
The most grievous sins are often conceived in the mind with no intention of follow through.
Lord, help me to honor You in my thoughts.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
“Who knows, perhaps you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this.” Esther 4:14b HCSB
“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.” Charles Swindoll*
Queen Esther was in an impossible situation. If she didn’t approach the king, the Jewish people would be massacred. If she did approach the king, she could be killed for entering his presence without being summoned. As she struggled with her decision, she received a message from her cousin Mordecai which said, “Perhaps God has placed you where you are for moments like these.” Esther approached the king, was spared by him, and the Jewish people were allowed to defend themselves against sure annihilation.
Have you ever felt like Queen Esther? Disaster is seemingly hitting you from all sides and you feel like screaming, “Lord, why do I have to be here?” During these times, it’s important to remember that God loves you immensely and really does have great plans for your life. Perhaps, He has placed you where you are for unique opportunities disguised as impossible scenarios.
Lord, help me see the challenges that come my way as unique opportunities to serve You.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
“Above all, keep your love for one another at full strength, since love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8 HCSB
“Love one another and you will be happy. It’s as simple and as difficult as that.” Michael Leunig*
I once heard longtime Houston inner-city missionary Mildred McWhorter tell about how a little girl was pestering her one day when she was trying to get some work done. As Mildred was working, the little girl would pop up and say, “Mrs. Mildred, I love you.” Frustrated with the child, Mildred responded, “I love you, too. But I’ll love you tomorrow.” After seeing hurt in the child’s eyes, she realized that she needed to love her at full strength. She put down her work, pulled the child into her arms and said, “Oh, Honey. I love you too.”
Have you ever noticed how it’s very easy to get irritated with other people, especially when you’re trying to work on a project? Especially in those times, it’s important for us to remember that we are to keep our love for one another at the highest priority.
Lord, help us always to keep our love for one another at full strength.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
I raise my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2 HCSB
When thro’ the woods and forest glades I wander, And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees; When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur, And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze: Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee; How great Thou art, how great Thou art! Stuart K. Hine*
Recently, I was visiting with an older woman who lived in the mountains. While in her home, I noticed a beautiful wooden plaque which stated, “I will raise mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help.” Next to it was a second plaque which was much more simple and rough in appearance which stated, “My help comes from the Lord!” Curious, I asked her about the two plaques.
“A young lady made the first one for me,” she replied. “Isn’t it beautiful? Unfortunately, it is incomplete. My help doesn’t come from the mountains, but from the Lord, who made the mountains.”
Lord, our help comes from You and You alone.
*How Great Thou Art, stanza 2