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LIVE OR DIE?

2 Timothy 4:6-8. “You take over. I’m about to die, my life an offering on God’s altar. This is the only race worth running. I’ve run hard right to the finish, believed all the way. All that’s left now is the shouting—God’s applause! Depend on it, he’s an honest judge. He’ll do right not only by me, but by everyone eager for his coming.”

There was no doubt in Paul’s mind as to where he was headed and why. Paul knew what Christ expected of him, he knew he had done his very best to achieve that and he also knew that God was faithful to fulfill His promises towards him. It’s sounds simple and straightforward doesn’t it? So to our minds it must not be true.

We seem so terrified of dying as Christians. Always holed up somewhere praying against the spirit of untimely death. I’m not sure what that is exactly, but I do know that it is appointed unto man to die once (Hebrews 9:27) and that death for a Christian should be a joyous event (Philippians 1:21)

Perhaps our fear is not so much dying as what happens next. That is determined by what we do now.

Think About This

Are you going to heaven or hell should you die this minute?

Prayer

Dear Lord, It is hard to do but please show me how to live a life that pleases You. No matter when You call me I want to respond with a smile on my face, excited to meet You. In Jesus name I pray. Amen

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SAFE!

John 10:25-30. “Jesus answered, “I told you, but you don’t believe. Everything I have done has been authorized by my Father, actions that speak louder than words. You don’t believe because you’re not my sheep. My sheep recognize my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them real and eternal life. They are protected from the Destroyer for good. No one can steal them from out of my hand. The Father who put them under my care is so much greater than the Destroyer and Thief. No one could ever get them away from him. I and the Father are one heart and mind.””

The first picture that came to mind as I read this morning’s passage was of a baseball umpire, arms stretched open in the signal for safe. I found it comforting that God would be watching my every move ready to call it the second I was covered and so eager to do that He would stretch His arms out. I also found amusing the look of frustration that pops up on the opposing teams face when a players is declared safe. And I don’t know the first thing about baseball!

Think About This

How does today’s passage make you feel?

Prayer

Dear Lord, Thanks for loving me this way. It’s a special feeling and I can’t wait for others to feel that way too. Amen

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FALSE ADVERTISING

Proverbs 15:16. “A simple life in the Fear-of- GOD is better than a rich life with a ton of headaches.”

Sometimes picking the right option isn’t as simple as we think it ought to be. A Christ-filled life in the slow lane or a death race on the Highway to Hell? There is something about speed……

Think About This

Is what is advertised what is being purchased?

Prayer

Dear Lord, Please help me see the real value of my choices. In Jesus name I pray. Amen

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SLEEP LIKE A BABY

Psalm 4:7-8. “Why is everyone hungry for more? “More, more,” they say. “More, more.” I have God’s more-than-enough, More joy in one ordinary day Than they get in all their shopping sprees. At day’s end I’m ready for sound sleep, For you, GOD, have put my life back together.”

What ever lies ahead of you this week you can actually dare to take in your stride because God has control of your life. The tough spots would feel like gliding over an ice rink, if your life is in God’s hands.

For me though the best thing is sound sleep at the end of the day. Anxiety keeps a person up; tossing and turning in a constant state of worry. You never need be anxious again; just give control of your life over to God and trust that He can handle it.

Think About This

O what Peace we often forfeit,

O what needless pain we bear

All because we do not carry

Everything to God in prayer

Prayer

Dear Lord, if You could put the world together by Your Word alone then You certainly do have the whole world in Your hands. Please help me remember that whenever I’m tempted to fret. In Jesus name I pray. Amen

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WHAT IS DIFFERENT?

Luke 19:8. “Zacchaeus just stood there, a little stunned. He stammered apologetically, “Master, I give away half my income to the poor—and if I’m caught cheating, I pay four times the damages.””

Repentance, restitution, restoration. These aren’t just abstract concepts. These are the evidence of a visitation from Christ. We all know what it is we’re doing that we shouldn’t, but it’s only after an encounter with Jesus that we desire to do anything about it. We could react like the young leader who was morally up right (Mark 10:17-25) and hold on to the things we consider precious. Or we could be like Zacchaeus and allow the love of Christ take a hold of us and flow through us. Might not seem like it but it is a difficult choice to make and requires grace to follow through.

Think About This

How can people tell I’ve met Jesus?

Prayer

Dear Lord, May I focus my energies this Lenten period on showing off the Christ inside. In Jesus name I pray. Amen

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CHANGE YOUR TUNE

Luke 1:46-49. “And Mary said, I’m bursting with God-news; I’m dancing the song of my Savior God. God took one good look at me, and look what happened— I’m the most fortunate woman on earth! What God has done for me will never be forgotten, the God whose very name is holy, set apart from all others.”

The start of a new journey is always exciting and full of promise. When women find out they’re to have a baby they practically glow with the anticipation. Mary was no different, even regarding the unusual circumstances of the conception of her child. It wasn’t that she was unaware of her child’s mission, it’s just that Mary chose to treasure the moments she had with him rather than to dread the end.

People spend days and hours at the beginning of Lent trying to figure out what to give up for the season. Thus they enter into 40 days of drudgery and a poor, unattractive service to God. Rather think of the Lenten period as an opportunity to get closer to God and build a tighter intimacy with Him. An exciting new journey that will birth fruits of joy, love, Peace and all the Holy Spirit has to offer. That should give you a different song to sing or at least change your Lenten tune.

Think About This

What is your approach to the things of God – duty or desire?

Prayer

Dear Lord, I’m excited to spend time with You. I look forward to early hours of just the two of us, to be able to discover hidden truths in Your word, thrilled that You’ve chosen me to share Your love with all I meet. This will be our best time together yet! I bless Your magnificent name, Amen