I received this devotional this morning and found it to be a blessing. I share it with you in hopes you will be blessed as well.
1 Corinthians 9:24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.
Men of Character
No one runs in a race because they simply needed a different way to spend the day. They run with winning in mind. Winning is a mindset that has to be practiced or it will never be achieved. In training, it is the small wins that help to lead to the big wins. Get a man in a winning mode and it will become part of his game. If a runner does not train to win then distractions will be the winner. The Apostle Paul wants the Christian to get in the race to win, not just to run. To get the prize as a Christian is to become more like Christ and less like you. Anything that distracts you from Him causes you to run a losing race.
– David Raley serves as the Field Representative for Light for the Lost.
(Luke 18.27) Father God, I am encouraged today with the knowledge that what is impossible with men is possible with you. (Num. 23.19) You are not a man that you should lie. You speak and then act. Your promises are fulfilled.
(Jn. 16.33) In this world we will have trouble. But we take heart for we have overcome the world. (1 Jn. 4.4) We have overcome because the one who is in us is greater than the one that is in the world. (Micah 7.8) Do not gloat over us, our enemy. Though we have fallen, we will rise. Though we sit in darkness, the Lord will be our light.
(Rom. 8.18) We consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. (2 Chr. 20.17) We will not have to fight this battle. We will take up our positions, stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give us. (Rom. 8.27) In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. (Phil. 4.13) We can do everything through Him who gives us strength.
(Rom. 8.31) I boldly proclaim that if God is for me, who can be against me? (Mark 9.23) I am aware that everything is possible for him who believes. (1 Sam. 12.16) I will, therefore, stand still and see the great things you are about to do before my eyes.
(James 1.4) I will allow perseverance to finish its work so that I will be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (Josh. 1.9) I will be strong and courageous. I will not be terrified or discouraged for the Lord my God is with me wherever I go. (2 Tim. 2.1) I will be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. (2 Tim. 1.13) I will keep the pattern of sound teaching with faith and love. (Col. 3.2) I set my mind on things above, not on earthly things. (Col. 3.23) Whatever I do, I will work at it with all my heart as working for the Lord, not for men.
(1 Chr. 22.18) O Lord, you have granted us rest on every side. (2 Tim. 4.5) We will keep our head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, and discharge all duties of our ministries. (2 Tim. 4.7) We will continue fighting the good fight; we will finish the race and keep the faith.
(Rom. 8.28) We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His promises. (Phil. 1.6) We are confident that He who began a good work in us will carry in on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Rom. 8.39) Nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Phil. 4.4) Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Good morning and welcome to Friday,
Ephesians 6.18 “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”
Thought of the day: Previous verses in chapter 6 admonish us to “be strong in the Lord & in his mighty power” (v.10). “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes (v. 11). Being strong and well equipped are important, but not more so than being diligent in prayer. It is through prayer that we see mountains move and infirmities healed. Prayer is what puts things into motion; it is what causes change. It is through prayer that we move the heart of the mighty God who is big enough, smart enough and powerful enough to do anything needs to be done. Therefore let me encourage you my dear friend to stay strong, stay equipped, and stay in prayer.
Psalm 19.14 “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and Redeemer.”
Thought of the day: Galatians 5 lists the Fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. I’ve always thought of the Fruit of the Spirit as a term to describe a person living under the influence of the Holy Spirit. These nine qualities are not only to describe our actions; they are to describe our words. Proverbs 12.13 states “the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 18.21 states “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Choose your words carefully because someone is listening. Those of you who remember the song, sing along with me: “O be careful little mouth what you say……”
Psalm 24 “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters. Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. He will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God his Savior. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, O God of Jacob. Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is he, this King of glory? The Lord Almighty – he is the King of glory”
Thought of the day: This orb we live on is an amazing place. Our Father made it. There are splendors on this planet no eye has ever seen. Our Father made them too. According to the book of Genesis, God didn’t just make this earth, He spoke it into existence. Amazing.
He doesn’t have a security detail protecting him from people who might bring him harm. He doesn’t have a personal secretary making appointments for him. If you call him, you are never put on hold. When you talk to him, you never get the idea that he is rushed for time and late for his next appointment. Amazing. There is no one more important, more powerful yet more available. Amazing. He has sent you an invitation for some private time. Think about it: just you and the Father spending time alone. Amazing.
Good morning & welcome to Friday,
Psalm 84.1-3 “How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young – a place near your altar, O Lord Almighty, my King and my God.”
Thought of the day: When in a love relationship, there is a yearning to be in the presence of the one loved. As there is a place for God’s creatures to dwell in his presence, so there is room for God’s children to dwell in His presence. Choose time today be alone with Him. Be still. Be quiet and allow the Holy Spirit commune with you. Bathe in His presence and carry His fragrance through the day.
From KBM, Inc.
Priorities – the Right ones, in the proper order
Another day, and another non-stop report on an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. A terrible tragedy, without doubt. Yet, it seems to me that everyone’s missing something.
At a very different time in my life, I worked in the oil field. Oh, it wasn’t 5,000 feet over the ocean bottom. It was in states like Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Louisiana, and various other places in these United States.
It was hard work; very hard. It was also dirty, and at times, dangerous. When I started out, I was a Roustabout. A Roustabout is a person who works at the Producer’s discretion. If they want you to climb the derrick and stand up there all day in cold or hot weather, you do it. If it’s 120 degrees, you do it. If it’s snowing or sleeting, or raining cats and dogs, you do it. And you always do it without complaining. The key to advancement when you are a Roustabout, is to accept every assignment so quickly that you’re almost on the job before your boss gets it out of his mouth. Believe me; they notice. And, my experience was that they appreciate it and move you up the chain because they know they can count on you to do whatever is necessary, without having to look over your shoulder to make sure it gets done. Later, when I was in management, I looked for those special guys.
I remember all of this very well. But, there is another memory more cogent than that; the day three men died on the drilling location I was working on. I remember their faces as though it happened one minute ago. But, I never knew anything more than their faces. It’s one of the saddest things I can admit.
As I sit here in my office today with a storm raging outside, I’m thinking of some people who were cut from that same pattern. They were on an oil derrick in the Gulf of Mexico about two months ago when an explosion took place. About a dozen of them never made it off the platform alive. In fact, we have no evidence of some of the bodies. I don’t know anything about them. I know about the CEO of BP. I know the relative amount of oil that has gushed into the Gulf, and that there are lots of birds and other critters dead or dying. But, I don’t know anything about the men who lost their lives in the explosion. Really! Nothing!
I also don’t know anything about the wives, parents, children, brothers and sisters, uncles, aunts, grandparents, or anyone else who is grieving perpetually since that awful day. To me, that’s the greatest tragedy in all this. While we ought to care about the amount of oil lost, the environmental impact, and the number of fish and birds lost, our most important cost is in humanity. As a Christian, I wonder if the workers were Christians. I also wonder what plans they left behind. Yes, the greatest tragedy is the loss of lives, and the emptiness of those left behind; little boys and girls without Daddy. Old men and women without their sons. And, young women without the one person in all the world they planned to grow old with. Not possible now.
But, what about you and me? There are people around us who are just like the men who died on that oil derrick. We go about our “everyday” without even a thought about them. We ask how they’re doing without really wanting to know – it’s just conversation, a greeting that means no more than “good morning.” We say “How ya doin’?” almost automatically. I think it’s safe to say that some of them are going through the darkness of the valley of the shadow of death, and I wonder if they feel free to share their troubles with us. Our tendency is to open up to the ones that we know care about us. Are they opening up to you, or me? Have I given them reason to believe that I’d like to know when they need a friend? A better question; have I given them reason to believe that I don’t want to know?
It’s a kind of joke around here. Our son, Jon knows every truck driver. He knows every worker that comes in this building more than once. They just seem to know that he is interested, that he cares – about them. He does – and it shows. It’s a good lesson for me, to be sure. At this writing, he’s 800 miles away, doing my job, and I’m in facility doing his job. And, I’m taking time with everyone who comes into this facility – caring on purpose.
Take a minute and think. The people that have been given to your circle of influence need to know that you notice them, because you care about them. As for me, I’ve committed to being interested on purpose. Because the fact is, nothing in my life is more important than the people around me.
Caring on purpose? Now, that’s a wisdom strategy!
The characteristics of a man that is truly blessed are clear and achievable. Come to morning service this Sunday and let’s talk about them.
Amos 2.10-11 “I brought you up out of Egypt, and led you forty years in the desert to give you the land of the Amorites. I also raised up prophets from among your sons and Nazirites from among your young men. ‘ Is this not true, people of Israel?’ declares the Lord.”
Thought of the day: What a great reminder of the greatness of God. Through Amos, God reminded the people of Israel that He was responsible for delivering them from bondage. He was the one responsible for providing their needs in the 40 years of wandering and waiting in a desert. He was the one who raised up the spiritual leaders for their nation. He was the one. He was the only ONE!
Simply stated, if God has done it before He can do it again. We can look to him for deliverance from any bondage. We can look to him for provision even when our season of waiting and wanting extends from days into weeks or months or even years. We can look to him to raise up spiritual leaders who are armed with faith and a fresh word from the Lord.
I love and respect our country and our government, but they are not the source of my hope. I feel physically strong and capable of doing whatever job comes my way, but I am not the source of my hope. I have many good and faithful friends, but (sorry friends) you are not my source of hope. My hope is in the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
Let me leave you with the words of the Psalmist. “My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge” (Psalm 62.1-2, 5-8)