THE GOD OF HOPE
“No one whose hope is in you (LORD) will ever be put to shame…good and upright is the LORD…all the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful.” (Psalm 25:3,8, 10).
When the doctor said that dreaded “cancer” word, I was sure he was talking about someone else. But he was looking at me and using my name. Once the shock wore off, the reality hit me: that means major surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, cancelling my plans, etc. How can I cope with all that? Read more
THE GOD OF HOPE
BE AN ENCOURAGER
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up…” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
When you need encouragement, where do you go? To a good book? To the Internet? There are many encouraging blogs such as this one. But sometimes you need more than words; you need someone with skin on. Someone who will listen to you, stand by you, pray for you, believe in you. Right?
I found this someone in Mr. Turner, a man in his eighties, who had served God all of his life. I would find his comforting notes in my mailbox. He would call me by telephone to ask how things were going. Sometimes he would say, “If ever you need to talk, come over to our house. Mrs. Turner and I will be happy to see you.”
When I did go to their house, I was received with genuine pleasure and a cup of tea. Mr. Turner would position himself so he could hear me better. Then he would ask, “What’s happening?”
THE WISDOM AND POWER OF GOD PT. 2
In my devotional, “If You Were God,” I said: “If you and I had God’s power we would change many things, but if we had God’s wisdom we wouldn’t change anything!” (1)
When I ended last Sunday’s sermon, I knew I would have my work cut out for me with this morning’s. How our Heavenly Father, One who is perfect in love and infinite in wisdom and power, how He could allow the horrible events that I’ll be speaking about in this sermon is beyond my comprehension. For instance,
Realize your destiny
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” 1 Peter 2:9-10
Once there was an eagle that didn’t act at all like the great, proud bird he was born to be. This was an eagle that lived among chickens in a henhouse and a covered coop. He could be seen every morning scratching the dirt for bits of grain and pecking at the cobs of corn the farmer threw to him and the chickens. The eagle’s eyes were as dull as his feathers. He was one sad bird.
The Cross of Jesus Christ
By John Kuperus
1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5 I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. —1 Corinthians 2:2
The battery of our lawn tractor was not staying charged after each time we used it. It couldn’t hold power. To get the engine started, we had to connect jumper cables from a live battery in our van to the dead battery on the tractor. After a few minutes of charging, we would turn the key of the lawn tractor, and the engine would fire up and come to life.
We humans face a similar challenge because, on our own, we are dead in our sins. The only way our lives can get fired up is by stretching cables back to Christ’s sacrifice for us on the cross, an event that took place two thousand years ago. That past event has power. Paul says, “The message of the cross … is the power of God.”
The problem is that we often try to bypass God’s power by relying on our own strength and intelligence. Paul explains, “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.” It’s alarming to know that God’s power in my life can be disconnected because I am wandering from Christ and trying to rely on my own strength and intelligence.
Paul counteracts human foolishness by saying, “I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”
What role does the message of the cross have in your life? Is it foolishness, or does it have life-giving power?
Lord Jesus, thank you for your gift of life on the cross. Open our hearts to see that life comes from you alone. In your name we pray. Amen
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