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David's Devotional

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  • rijan@aol.com
    Encore from 10-18-1998 Passages about Delight My prayer on this day is for us to take time to just delight in the Lord and His word. Here are some verses on
    Message 1 of 10 , Jun 1, 2004
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      Encore from 10-18-1998
      Passages about Delight

      My prayer on this day is for us to take time to just delight in the Lord and
      His word. Here are some verses on delight from the New King James Version,
      that I pray help you find some delight today and rejoice in our Lord. God Bless,
      David.

      DELIGHT IN - SUNE-DOMAI (sunhvdomai, (4913), (4913)), lit., to rejoice with
      (anyone), to delight in (a thing) with (others), signifies to delight with
      oneself inwardly in a thing. Vine, W. E., Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old and
      New Testament Words, (Grand Rapids, MI: Fleming H. Revell) 1981.

      Job 22:26 For then you will have your delight in the Almighty, and lift up
      your face to God.

      Job 33:26 He shall pray to God, and He will delight in him; He shall see His
      face with joy, for He restores to man His righteousness.

      Psalms 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he
      meditates day and night.

      Psalms 37:4 Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the
      desires of your heart.

      Psalms 37:11 But the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight
      themselves in the abundance of peace.

      Psalms 40:8 I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my
      heart.

      Psalms 94:19 In the multitude of my anxieties within me, your comforts
      delight my soul.

      Psalms 119:16 I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your
      word.

      Psalms 119:47 And I will delight myself in Your commandments, which I love.

      Psalms 119:92 Unless Your law had been my delight, I would then have perished
      in my affliction.

      Psalms 119:174 I long for Your salvation, O LORD, And Your law is my delight.


      Proverbs 8:30 Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman; and I was daily
      His delight. Rejoicing always before Him

      Proverbs 29:17 Correct your son, and he will give you rest. Yes, he will give
      delight to your soul.

      Isaiah 58:14 Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD; and I will cause
      you to ride on the high hills of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of
      Jacob your father. The mouth of the LORD has spoken.

      Comments or questions?
      Write david@...



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • rijan@aol.com
      David is out of town. He expects to send a new devotional soon. In the meantime, I trust God will use this repeated one to bless you. ... The Hard-to-Love
      Message 2 of 10 , Oct 12, 2004
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        David is out of town. He expects to send a new devotional soon. In the
        meantime, I trust God will use this repeated one to bless you.
        -----------------

        The Hard-to-Love

        Encore from 10-17-1997


        Luke 6:32 (NCV) If you love only the people who love you, what praise should
        you get? Even sinners love the people who love them.

        Love, ah… it's easy for us to love each other. We are brothers and sisters in
        Christ. It's easy to love members of your family, of your church, and it's
        easy to love friends. But how about the hard-to-love?

        What about the person that has wronged you? The person who has talked bad
        about you, spread gossip, rumors? The person that did you wrong in a business
        deal, at school or at a social function? How about that person you truly despise?
        We all have them, don't we? Or am I the only one? ; )

        Jesus is saying, "Hey Christians, even the pagans love those who love them.
        How are you going to show MY Love?" Notice how the love of Christ turns the
        "world's" value system upside-down. The world says, "hate your enemies;" Jesus
        says love your enemies. But how do we do it?

        Ready for the answer? Hang on to your hats! Pray. Yes, prayer. Simple answer
        yes, but a powerful solution. Pray for that person who has wronged you. Now
        don't go and pray like I used to pray, "Lord get back at that person. Lord, make
        them pay for what they did to me, or Lord, give me a chance to blow him out!"

        You really don't think God wants us to pray to change God, do you? Prayer
        doesn't change God; it changes us. In my opinion, God uses prayer for two
        reasons. One -- to allow us to participate in His plan and two -- to change us. Pray
        fervently and earnestly for someone that is hard for you to love, and God will
        change your heart toward that person. God will show you what He Himself sees
        in that person.

        How will the world know us Christ-Followers? They will know us by our love
        that flows from our love of Jesus Christ.

        John 13:34-35 (NCV) I give you a new command: Love each other. You must love
        each other as I have loved you. All people will know that you are my followers
        if you love each other.

        Well… tough stuff, but we need to do it, folks -- and we can do it -- armed
        with His love.

        Dear Lord, we praise you and thank you for all you do for us. Father, help us
        to love the hard to love; help us to see them through the perfect eyes of
        Jesus. Lord, forgive us for not loving others as You command us to do. Forgive us
        for falling short of Your mark. Restore us Lord, fill us up with Your Spirit
        and Your love, so that through us Your love will flow to others. In Christ's
        precious name, Amen.

        Comments or questions?
        Write david@...


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Janice Lee
        Devotional -  A Deadly Pattern Originally published 9-23-98 Genesis 3:1-6 (NLT) Now the serpent was the shrewdest of all the creatures the LORD God had made.
        Message 3 of 10 , Jul 16, 2010
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          Devotional -  A Deadly Pattern
          Originally published 9-23-98
          Genesis 3:1-6 (NLT) Now the serpent was the shrewdest of all the creatures the LORD God had made. "Really?" he asked the woman. "Did God really say you must not eat any of the fruit in the garden?" 2 "Of course we may eat it," the woman told him. 3 "It's only the fruit from the tree at the center of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God says we must not eat it or even touch it, or we will die." 4 "You won't die!" the serpent hissed. 5 "God knows that your eyes will be opened when you eat it. You will become just like God, knowing everything, both good and evil." 6 The woman was convinced. The fruit looked so fresh and delicious, and it would make her so wise! So she ate some of the fruit. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her. Then he ate it, too.
          I have gotten caught up in this President Clinton matter for the past several weeks, not from a political standpoint, but rather a view from a human behavior angle. It is rare, (thank goodness), that we are able to look inside another person's life and see a sin unfolding. My looking into President Clinton's action is to learn from his mistakes, but the more I look, the more I see myself and the more I see all of us.
          None of us can outsmart the Evil One. He has been around much longer, seen it all, done it all, and has perfected ways to lead each of us into sin. Of course, we do have power over the Evil One, through Jesus Christ. The Evil One uses the same tactics over and over. Let's look at them, and then try to see what we can do to lessen their impact in our lives.
          Here is the pattern:

          Doubt
          Deception
          Desire
          Decision
          Death
          Notice the Evil One casting a doubt to Eve in verse one; this doubt causes Eve to take a little away from God's Word, and to add a little. Notice how her answer differs from the warning God gave back in Chapter 2.
          Genesis 2:16-17 But the LORD God gave him this warning: "You may freely eat any fruit in the garden 17 except fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat of its fruit, you will surely die."
          She leaves out the good part, God saying you can "freely" eat, and then she adds that they must not even touch the tree. The Evil One then delivers the deception. "You will not die." He knew full well that Eve would die both spiritually and physically, if she ate the fruit. He is the Father of Lies. It does not bother him to lie. He thrives on lies.
          Now Eve passes from doubt and deception and enters the next phase, desire. It's hard to turn back, once we reach the desire stage. Eve now must make the decision, do I turn back from the fruit, or do I give in to the temptation? You can substitute any temptation with the fruit. The key to winning victories over temptations is to do all you can do to avoid the desire stage. I will come back to this in a few paragraphs. Hang in here with me.
          Once the decision is made to give into the temptation, then the sin is born, and the sin results in spiritual death or simply separation from God.
          Genesis 3:9 The LORD God called to Adam, "Where are you?"
          Ever notice when you are mired in the muck of some sin, or struggling with not repeating the same sins over and over, that you just want to be apart from God? You don't want to read your Bible, because it will tell you what God wants and it is the opposite of what Satan wants to give us. You don't want to pray, for fear of hearing God's quiet voice telling you the truth about your decisions and choices. You may think, “I certainly don't want to be around a bunch of Christians either, one may be Biblical enough to tell me my choices are leading to sins.”
          So, what do we do? Well, we know the pattern. When you start feeling some doubts about whether your action is right or wrong, that should throw up a red flag. Step back, think about it and pray about it. God is not the author of confusion and doubts; the Evil One is. If we allow the doubts to fester, he has the foothold to deceive us. The simple key folks, is to start early in the process. If you struggle with pornography, stay away from the bookstores and websites. You cannot outwit Satan. Once he creates a doubt in your mind about whether you should go in, or click that link, the bait hooks you, and it is doggone hard at that point, to break loose. You don't walk into a bar to become an alcoholic, you don't say "I do" so that you can get divorced, you don't do blank to become blank. You fill in the blanks. None of us intend to fall into the traps set before us.
          I hear you now "Ok, great David, another practical little tidbit - but get real, it's not that simple." I hear you loudly and clearly; it is not simple, but it can work. Keep a notebook or journal with your victories over temptation, big or small. Pretty soon, your little victories turn into bigger victories, and though none of us will be perfect until we reach Heaven, hopefully you can see yourself becoming increasingly aware of where the doubts and deceptions are coming from, and you can run from them.
           
          Lord, help us to recognize the doubts and deceptions. Give us the strength and wisdom that only YOU can provide. Your power and Your strength always will prevail over the Evil One. Thank you for our victory through Your Son Jesus. In His Name, Amen.
           
          To be continued.
           
          If you would like to respond to David, you may write him at david@....
           




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        • Janice Lee
          Devotional - Lost Your Glove? Originally Published 04-28-99-04-28   Ecclesiastes 2:24-26 (NIV) A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find
          Message 4 of 10 , Aug 6, 2010
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            Devotional - Lost Your Glove?
            Originally Published 04-28-99-04-28  
            Ecclesiastes 2:24-26 (NIV) A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner, he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth, to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
            Lately nothing has been more fun to me than practicing baseball with my seven-year-old son, Bobby, after work. We practice catching, throwing and batting. It energizes me just thinking about going home and playing. A few nights ago, I dreamed that Bobby and I were going out in the yard to play, but we could not find our baseball gloves. We frantically searched the yard and house, high and low, for them. The dream ended with us frustrated and disappointed.
             
            Have you lost your glove? What is your "happy factor?" Honestly ask yourself this question: On a scale of 1-10, where do you rank your happiness in life? I don't know what has happened to our society, but somewhere along the way we became a group of unhappy people. I used to think, "if I have just a faster computer, better programs and better technology, then I can get my work done faster and have more time for fun stuff." You know what happened? I get more work done faster, but people just want more of it, and they wanest it back faster. It's a never-ending cycle.
             
            Perhaps your happy factor is low due to trying to get that new car, that new house, that new something that Madison Avenue has led us to believe will make us all happy. Or even worse, maybe we are just trying to make more money so we can buy things that we don't need, to impress people that don't even care. Are you so wrapped up in your work, that you have forgotten who you really are? Have you forgotten the real you, the fun you, the happy you?
             
            Solomon, when he wrote today's verse, got it right. He figured it out. Anything done apart from God, anything done apart from bringing glory to God, anything done not to please God but only to please us, is meaningless. It's chasing after the wind. You come up empty-handed and empty hearted. Just like when you run the rat race, win or lose, you are still a rat. Worst of all, you lose your effectiveness as a mother, father, wife, husband, brother, sister, etc. You lose your effectiveness as a Christ-follower. You lose the ability to show others that life in Christ brings joy. Lost your glove?

             
            Father, help some of us to regain the happiness we find in You. Help some us to find that happiness for the first time. Help us to fix our eyes on You. Help us to regain our identity as Your children, and to not lose that identity to our work or circumstances. We pray this in Christ's name. Amen.
             
            If you wish to respond to the author of this devotional, you may write him at david@....




            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Janice Lee
            Why Pray? Originally Published 10-25-2000   Recently I was asked, If God is all-knowing, all-powerful and has everything planned out, why pray? It is a
            Message 5 of 10 , Aug 13, 2010
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              Why Pray? Originally Published 10-25-2000
               
              Recently I was asked, "If God is all-knowing, all-powerful and has everything planned out, why pray?" It is a common question and an excellent one. I have found in the Bible four reasons for prayer, and today I am going to lay them out for you to examine and think through. You may know additional reasons; if so, I would love to hear them.
               
              The first and most obvious reason to pray is God's command that we do so. Prayer is an act of obedience, on our part, toward God.
              Matthew 26:41 (NIV) Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.
              Matthew 6:6 (NIV) But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
              Notice how Jesus did not say "if you pray" or "when you feel like praying." He expects us to pray.
               
              Secondly, God knows everything, yet His general will allows for flexibility in our involvement in carrying out His work. For example, while He may have chosen me to play a role in leading someone to Christ, He allows me to make the choice of accepting or turning down the opportunity. If I choose not to, then I lose the blessing of being a part of God's plan, but this person will still be saved. Someone else will be part of the process, in my place. God wants us to be participants in His plans, not just observers.
              Ephesians 1:3-5 (LB) How we praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every blessing in Heaven because we belong to Christ. Long ago, even before he made the world, God chose us to be his very own through what Christ would do for us; he decided then to make us holy in his eyes, without a single fault-we who stand before him covered with his love. His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by sending Jesus Christ to die for us. And he did this because he wanted to!
              Even before the beginning of time, God started dealing with us. What an awesome fact to grasp! He has a plan for His children, and we can be a part of it, via our prayers.
               
              Thirdly, prayer is an act of submission, on our part, to God. We are not submissive by nature. Many men that I speak with have trouble getting down on their knees and praying to God, because they don't feel in control, or they somehow believe it is unmanly. But submission to God is a key to the Christian life, and to fulfilling His perfect plans for us.
              Luke 22:42 (NIV) "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done."
              Jesus' prayer in Luke is the greatest prayer of submission ever. When we can truly start praying, "Lord Your will be done, not mine," then we can become a part of His plans. Submission is not weakness; in actuality, it takes great strength and faith.
               
              Finally, prayer is about our communion and fellowship with God. Through prayer, we grow closer to Him, and become more concerned about seeking His will than receiving our answers.
              1 John 1:3-4 (NIV) We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.
              Acts 2:42 (NIV) They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

              Father-Help us to pray, and to be submissive to Your will. Forgive us when we throw up our hands and say that it is no use to pray, because You have everything planned out. Help us to be participants in Your plan, and not just observers -- so that we may have full fellowship with You through Your Son Jesus. In His name. Amen
               
              If you would like to respond to the author of this devotional, David, you may write him at david@....




              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • cfdevcfpray
              24/7 Christians Originally published 01-17-2000 Luke 3:7-8 (LB) Here is a sample of John s preaching to the crowds that came for baptism: You brood of snakes!
              Message 6 of 10 , Jan 4, 2011
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                24/7 Christians
                Originally published 01-17-2000
                Luke 3:7-8 (LB) Here is a sample of John's preaching to the crowds that came for baptism: "You brood of snakes! You are trying to escape Hell without truly turning to God! That is why you want to be baptized! First, go and prove by the way you live that you really have repented."

                Mahatma Gandhi was once asked "what is the greatest hindrance to Christianity in India?" He replied, "other Christians." Gandhi was referring to the hypocrisy that the non-believers were seeing in the inconsistent behavior of the Christians around them. The more I speak with people who will have nothing to do with Christianity, the more I hear the words, "Why should I believe? You Christians are no different than us."

                Some of my own experiences with Christians in a local church left me bitter, disillusioned and confused. The same people who were teaching on Sunday morning, the same people that were shaking hands and talking a good game, were the ones who were lying, cheating and doing unethical business deals on Monday.

                In the Luke passage above, John's harsh words for the people of his time could equally be applied to some "church" people today. Some see church as a necessary place to go to on Sunday. It is something to check off the to-do list, or a way to make the boss happy, and perhaps a place to acquire new clients. But come Monday, all the church stuff goes in the desk drawer.

                A few years ago, a new believer was attending my Bible Study. He shocked me one morning after the study, by telling me that he was witnessing to his buddies at a bar every night and telling them about the Bible study. I asked him how it was going. He replied, "well, my friends don't see the difference between the old me and the new me. I still drink every night in the bar, but I am reading the Bible and telling them how 'cool' Jesus is."

                1 John 1:6 (LB) So if we say we are his friends but go on living in spiritual darkness and sin, we are lying.

                James 1:22 (NIV) Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

                James is saying, "don't just be hearers of the Word; do it!" John's verse says we are liars if we go on living in our old ways. I told my friend to either stop going to the bar, or maybe it would be better if he just did not try to witness to people until he started actually following Christ himself. My friend was doing more harm to the cause of Christ by coming to church, than he would if he were to sleep in in on Sundays.

                When we put on the uniform for Christ, people watch us. Christians are by no means perfect, but we can strive to be better each day. We can strive to live in a way that gives people incentive to say or think, "I want what you have. Your life seems better -- your actions are different, and I like what I see. Tell me why you are different."
                If you are in a management position, are you using Biblical values to determine how you treat your employees? As an employee, are you a clock-watcher, just doing enough to get by - or are you doing your work for your Ultimate Boss -- God? Teachers and students, are you displaying Christlike characteristics at school? If you are a student, are you complaining about assignments and doing just what you have to, to "get by" -- or are you giving it your best, eager to learn? And at home, are you reflecting Christ in your behavior? As Lee Haines has said, "if God's character is to be understood in terms of my life, what does my child think of God?"

                Join me today in trying to be more like Christ in every area of our lives. Let's strive to be 24/7 (24 hours/7 days per week) Christians, not just 1/1 (1 hour/1 day per week) Christians.
                ________________________________________
                Father, search our hearts, and show us where we are lacking. Help us to resist the temptations that come our way, and to grow up each day to be more like You. In Christ's name, Amen.

                If you would like to respond to the author, you may write him at david@....
              • cfdevcfpray
                By What I Do Originally Published 02-02-2005 James 2:14-18 (NIV) What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith
                Message 7 of 10 , Feb 8, 2011
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                  By What I Do
                  Originally Published 02-02-2005

                  James 2:14-18 (NIV) What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has
                  no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and
                  daily food. 16 If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well
                  fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same
                  way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18 But someone will
                  say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I
                  will show you my faith by what I do.

                  Our daughter recently returned from a month in London. She was there doing a
                  "study abroad course". It was a wonderful experience for her. They visited not only
                  Christian cathedrals, but also Hindu and Buddhist temples. These experiences always make
                  a parent a little nervous about the influence they could have on his child.
                  I was very proud of my daughter when she said to me, "the other religions seem to
                  have to work to gain favor from their God. Don't we just have to believe in Christ?"

                  It is a great observation on her part - and a discerning question. Christianity is the
                  only religion that does not require us to rely on our own selves, in order to be saved.
                  Instead, we rely on the power of Christ to save us; we rely on faith in Christ only. For
                  it is by faith that we are saved, not our works.
                  Now you might say, "great David, I have faith and faith alone, then God and I are on
                  good terms, and I go to Heaven." Some will even take the faith piece and use it as a
                  license to go on and live life as they please. It makes faith into a "fire"
                  insurance policy against an eternity apart from God.

                  But James said it all in verse 17 above. Faith without works is dead. So we have to
                  understand that we are not doing works to earning favor, in order to gain acceptance from
                  God. Rather, we do works out of our gratitude for what Christ did for us on the cross.
                  See the difference? Other religions believe their works earn gratitude from their God.
                  Christians do works out of our gratitude to God.

                  So finally, as I thought about this conversation and read the above passage, I asked
                  myself: Can people around you see your faith through your works? Or do they only see a
                  dead faith?

                  I challenge you to ask yourselves the same question.
                  Father, thank you so much for what you have done for us. Thank you for being a loving
                  God. Help us to be more grateful for all you have done for us. Help us express our
                  gratitude in a way that may impact those around us. In Christ's name. Amen.
                • cfdevcfpray
                  24/7 Christians Originally published 1-17-2001 Luke 3:7-8 (LB) Here is a sample of John s preaching to the crowds that came for baptism: You brood of snakes!
                  Message 8 of 10 , Feb 22, 2011
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                    24/7 Christians
                    Originally published 1-17-2001
                    Luke 3:7-8 (LB) Here is a sample of John's preaching to the crowds that came for baptism: "You brood of snakes! You are trying to escape hell without truly turning to God! That is why you want to be baptized! First go and prove by the way you live that you really have repented."
                    Mahatma Gandhi was once asked "what is the greatest hindrance to Christianity in India?" He replied, "other Christians." Gandhi was referring to the hypocrisy that the non-believers were seeing in the inconsistent behavior of the Christians around them. The more I speak with people who will have nothing to do with Christianity, the more I hear the words, "Why should I believe? You Christians are no different than us."

                    Some of my own experiences with Christians in a local church left me bitter, disillusioned and confused. The same people who were teaching on Sunday morning, the same people that were shaking hands and talking a good game, were the ones who were lying, cheating and doing unethical business deals on Monday.

                    In the Luke passage above, John's harsh words for the people of his time could equally be applied to "church" people today. Some see church as a necessary place to go to on Sunday. It is something to check off the to-do list or a way to make the boss happy and perhaps a place to acquire new clients. But come Monday, all the church stuff goes in the desk drawer.

                    A few years ago, a new believer was attending my Bible Study. He shocked me one morning after the study, by telling me that he was witnessing to his buddies at a bar every night and telling them about the Bible study. I asked him how it was going. He replied, "well, my friends don't see the difference between the old me and the new me. I still drink every night in the bar, but I am reading the Bible and telling them how 'cool' Jesus is."

                    1 John 1:6 (LB) So if we say we are his friends, but go on living in spiritual darkness and sin, we are lying.

                    James 1:22 (NIV) Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

                    James is saying, "don't just be hearers of the Word; do it!" John's verse says we are liars, if we go on living in our old ways. I told my friend to either stop going to the bar, or maybe it would be better if he just did not try to witness to people until he started actually following Christ, himself. My friend was doing more harm to the cause of Christ, by coming to church, than he would if he were to sleep in in on Sundays.

                    When we put on the uniform for Christ, people watch us. Christians are by no means perfect, but we can strive to be better each day. We can strive to live in a way that gives people incentive to say or think, "I want what you have. Your life seems better -- your actions are different, and I like what I see. Tell me why you are different."

                    If you are in a management position, are you using Biblical values to determine how you treat your employees? As an employee, are you a clock-watcher, just doing enough to get by - or are you doing your work for your Ultimate Boss -- God? Teachers and students, are you displaying Christlike characteristics at school? If you are a student, are you complaining about assignments and doing just what you have to, to "get by" -- or are you giving it your best, eager to learn? And at home, are you reflecting Christ in your behavior? As Lee Haines has said, "if God's character is to be understood in terms of my life, what does my child think of God?"

                    Join me today in trying to be more like Christ in every area of our lives. Let's strive to be 24/7 (24 hours/7 days per week) Christians, not just 1/1 (1 hour/1 day per week) Christians.

                    Father, search our hearts, and show us where we are lacking. Help us to resist the temptations that come our way, and to grow up each day to be more like You. In Christ's name, Amen.
                  • CF
                    It s with joy that we at CFDevotionals present this devotional from David Massey, and welcoming him back out of retirement. We hope this is only the first of
                    Message 9 of 10 , Jan 27, 2014
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                      It's with joy that we at CFDevotionals present this devotional from David Massey, and welcoming him back out of retirement. We hope this is only the first of many more devotionals to come!

                      Fear Not
                      By David Massey

                      Proverbs 9:19 NIV The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
                       
                      2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 
                      (NLT)
                       
                      My granddaughter recently turned one year old, and she is teaching me a lot about life!
                       
                      Usually she stays with us about one night a week, or least a few hours a day, to give her mom and dad a break. She’s up and walking, and acting like she can talk. She can say a few words, like "daddy," "no more" and "bye."
                       
                      She runs around the house with no fear. Falls and bounces right back up again. We have been telling her, since she started to crawl, not to touch the electric outlets or the stove. “The stove is HOT!” we tell her, and “Don’t touch! It will hurt you!" We and her parents have done a good job of instilling fear of the stove in her. This weekend, she walked by the stove, waving one finger at it and said, “No, no, no!”
                       
                      I thought about that and wondered about the above verses. The Bible is stating in the first verse “fear” is the beginning of wisdom. The second is saying, “God does not give us a spirit of fear.” So which is it? Do we fear or not fear?
                       
                      If my granddaughter grows up fearing stoves for the rest of her life,she might be institutionalized. It will be an unhealthy fear. At some point, she will learn to use the stove, perhaps even to cook Spaghetti O’s (c) and other healthy food!
                       
                      Fear, in itself, is neither good nor bad. It can be both good and bad.

                      In the first verse,the fear is more of a “respect” for the Lord. Early in my walk, I had a misguided fear of the Lord, rather than a healthy respect. As a child, I imagined a giant father in Heaven, just waiting for me to do something wrong so He could punish me. As I grew older, I understood the second verse. We are to have a healthy respect of the Lord. We fear his greatest, but we respect His love for us, as well as what He can do for us.
                       
                      Where are you along the fear/respect journey? Are you like I was, nearly trembling of an unrealistic view of God? Are you like my granddaughter, walking by and saying, “No, no no!” Perhaps you are at the beginning of your journey, and have a good fear of the Lord. You are on your way to a balance between fear and respect.

                      Don’t touch that stove! Until it’s time. Then you will be very glad you did. You will be amazed at what the great stove can do for you! 
                       
                      David
                       
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