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  • 07 Apr 2019
    What Makes Christianity Different? By Billy Graham   •   April 7 Share22K+ Tweet Home Daily Devotion What Makes Christianity Different? He is not here, but is risen.—Luke 24:6 Something distinguishes Christianity from all the religions of the world. Not only does it carry the truth of the redemption, by the death of our Savior for our sins on the cross, but it carries the fact that Christ rose again. Only the Christian faith claims that its Leader died and rose again and is alive at this moment. Many gravestones carry the inscription, “Here lies . . . ,” but on Christ’s tomb are emblazoned the words, “He is not here.” Christianity has no shrines to visit, no dusty remains to venerate, no tombs at which to worship. Many good men have lived, and still live, in the memory of those who knew them, but there is only one Man who conquered death—Jesus Christ—and He will live forever. Listen to Billy Graham explain the resurrection in one minute. Prayer for the day The account of Your resurrection never ceases to bring me joy, Lord Jesus.
    14348 Posted by Don Safford
  • 09 Aug 2017
    From A Jane Austen Devotional APPEARING RELIGIOUS Mr. Collins was not a sensible man, and the deficiency of nature had been but little assisted by education or society; the greatest part of his life having been spent under the guidance of an illiterate and miserly father; and though he belonged to one of the universities, he had merely kept the necessary terms, without forming at it any useful acquaintance. The subjection in which his father had brought him up had given him originally great humility of manner, but it was now a good deal counteracted by the self-conceit of a weak head, living in retirement, and the consequential feelings of early and unexpected prosperity. A fortunate chance had recommended him to Lady Catherine de Bourgh when the living of Hunsford was vacant; and the respect which he felt for her high rank and his veneration for her as his patroness, mingling with a very good opinion of himself, of his authority as a clergyman, and his rights as a rector, made him altogether a mixture of pride and obsequiousness, self-importance and humility. Having now a good house and very sufficient income, he intended to marry; and in seeking a reconciliation with the Longbourn family he had a wife in view, as he meant to choose one of the daughters, if he found them as handsome and amiable as they were represented by common report. This was his plan of amends—of atonement—for inheriting their father’s estate; and he thought it an excellent one, full of eligibility and suitableness, and excessively generous and disinterested on his own part. -From Pride and Prejudice For Mr. Collins, the primary job of a rector is to say what he thinks everyone around him wants to hear. He is conceited, consumed by his image, and intent on impressing others—most of all his patroness, the Lady Catherine de Bourgh. But worst of all, he completely lacks the ability or desire to shepherd his congregants toward godliness. Does this kind of religious hypocrisy sound familiar? It should. Mr. Collins’s attitude is nearly identical to that of the New Testament Pharisees, who also adhered to a strict moral code but were mostly concerned with religious performance— both theirs and others’. It is quite telling that the Greek word used in Luke’s gospel for hypocrisy was a way to describe an actor’s performance in a play. Similarly, religious hypocrites like Mr. Collins and the Pharisees approach their duties as actors approach a script: motivated by a burning need for approval, they are obsessed with appearing religious. This explains why the Pharisees were so dumbfounded by Jesus, who “came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). The simplicity—the very others-centeredness—of Jesus’ message does not fit their standard, and they feel threatened. As with anyone who chooses religion over following Jesus, their obsession with performance lets them avoid their own brokenness. They completely miss the point of close relationship with Christ. Don’t be like Mr. Collins or the Pharisees, who needed people to respect them more than they wanted to please God. Make the test of your heart-decisions be whether God approves, regardless of what others might say. “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” --Galatians 1:10 NIV
    433 Posted by Don Safford
  • 04 Aug 2017
    No Complaining I Do you know people who are just cheerful, upbeat, and cooperative all the time?  Or at least all the time you encounter them?   It could be a coworker, checkout person at the grocery store, the UPS or FedEx person, or a relative.  Though sometimes you may wonder how they can be so upbeat all the time, isn't it nice to interact with that person?   Paul tells the Christians at Philippi, in Philippians 2:14-15 to have this demeanor, saying, "Do everything without complaining and arguing,  so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people."   Complaining is essentially telling others about our problems, and having some indirect expectation that someone else is responsible to solve them for us.  God tells us we will have challenges, to make us stronger and better, and he will help us overcome them.  When we complain, we are displaying our dis-belief in God's promises and his power.   As Paul says, we should be striving to live clean innocent lives, and be that cheerful, upbeat, cooperative person that others wonder about.   Dear Lord,  You know we are weak and struggle to follow your guidance in our lives.  Help us improve.  Help us believe your promises of support, guidance and protection, so we will live confident, cheerful lives and be the shining lights in this world that you intend us to be.  In Jesus' name we pray.  Amen
    420 Posted by Don Safford
  • 09 Aug 2017
    The Source of Jealousy Galatians 5:17-21 Most likely, you have been caught off guard by a wave of jealousy at some point in your life. Was it a spiritual attack? Did the Enemy make you covetous? Was someone or something working to make you resentful? The answer—which may surprise you— is no. Jealousy actually springs from within us, even though we might try to deflect the blame. For example, we may say, "Well, they just shouldn't have that. They don't deserve it, so I'm perfectly justified in feeling this way." Do you see what is actually going on here? We are not only feeling envious of someone, but we're also saying that our jealousy is the other person's fault! That's simply not true. We are each 100 percent responsible for our own feelings of envy. Jealousy is a product of the flesh. In the Bible, it is listed among such sins as idolatry, immorality, drunkenness, and sorcery—sins which stand against our holy God and are described as "earthly, natural, demonic" (Gal. 5:17-21; James 3:15). Envious feelings can lead to unhealthy comparison of one's own success to someone else's. That pattern can grow into a competition to out-perform others—and may result in full-blown fear and resentment. What a horrible way to live! Though jealousy is a common emotion, it has no place in a believer's life. So each of us should try to look objectively at our heart motives. Are you plagued with an attitude of jealousy today? Lay your honest feelings out before the Lord, and ask Him to cleanse you of this sinful attitude. For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.
    375 Posted by Don Safford
43 views May 13, 2019
You are important

Monday, May 13, 2019

You Are Important!

 
 

 

1 CORINTHIANS 12:22,27 NKJ 22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.

There are NO unnecessary parts in the Body of Christ.

The devil wants you to think your part does not matter, so you will slack off.

But your part IS important. Your prayers are important. Your giving is important. Your witness to others is important.

It is easy to believe a famous person who ministers to thousands is vital in God's plan. But we need to be reminded that every member of the Body of Christ is needed -- including you!

Don't condemn yourself because you aren't doing a job that puts you in the spotlight. Don't worry that no one knows what you are doing. God knows.

Someone witnessed to Billy Graham. Someone prayed for Oral Roberts to be healed of tuberculosis. Do you know their names? God does. What if they hadn't been faithful and obedient to do their part?

What if the person who brought you the Gospel hadn't been obedient?

So, when you are tempted to be discouraged and think what you do doesn't matter -- resist those thoughts!

No one but God may see what you are doing, but it is significant.

Have confidence in God. He knows what He is doing. God placed you where you are. God has a plan and a job for you to do there. Be faithful and do it. When it is time for you to do something else, God will arrange it and lead you out.

Don't try to be somebody else. Just be faithful and obey God where you are.

Too many Christians think preachers are supposed to do all the work in the Body of Christ. Preachers may be likened to a mouth. A mouth is important. But a mouth is not more important than our hidden, internal organs. We don't see the liver and kidneys working. However, you could live without a mouth capable of speech, but not without functioning kidneys or liver.

1 CORINTHIANS 12:22 NLT 22 In fact, some of the parts that seem weakest and least important are really the most necessary.

A body may exist without some of its parts functioning, but it cannot accomplish as much as it would otherwise.

Do your part! God thinks it's meaningful. Don't let the devil convince you otherwise.

Maybe all you can do is pray, but that is most important.

Obey God and be faithful where you are. You are needed or God would not have placed you there.

SAY THIS: God says I am necessary and important.



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