Count the Cost

By , December 16, 2017

“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.
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.
They do it to get a crown that will not last,
but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”
1 Corinthians 9:24-25 (NIV)

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It is marvelous to watch the Olympics and witness the athletic prowess of superbly trained athletes competing against themselves and others to set a new world record and gain a medal .

We marvel at their feats, at the execution of very difficult physical tasks, at the endurance they demonstrate.

This form of heroism is the stuff of books and movies. Yet there is a greater form of heroism that we need to consider today as we read the verses above.

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Old Friends

By , December 15, 2017

A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly.
Proverbs 18:24 (KJV)

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A while back I had the privilege of preaching at a church that I had not visited for almost 20 years. The Lord graciously met with us and the people responded well to my preaching. I was blessed to be there among Christians who have loved and prayed for me for many years.

Now if I had told you that I saw a number of old friends, you would not be sure what I meant. For example I might have meant I saw people in their 70’s 80’s or even 90’s. On the other hand you might have understood me to mean I had seen people I have known for some years. Those people might be considerably younger and in their 30’s or 40’s.

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An Amazing Look At Jesus

By , December 14, 2017

When the Lord saw her,
his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.”
Luke 7:13 (NIV)

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While I especially love the Gospel of John and the remarkable stories of Jesus recorded in it, I confess that Luke chapter 7 is possibly my all time favorite chapter in the entire Bible. In Luke 7 we have four stories of Jesus and they are all different.

The first story is about Jesus healing a man from a distance. Messengers came to our Lord and asked that He come to heal the servant of a centurion (a Roman army officer). En route, a message came from the centurion asking Jesus to just say the healing word as he felt Jesus too important to come into his humble home. Jesus did as asked and commended the centurion’s faith.

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Jesus’ Command to Watch the Birds

By , December 13, 2017

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life,
what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.
Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?
Matthew 6:25 (NIV)

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Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
Matthew 6:26-27 (NIV)

Have you ever had your doctor tell you to go bird watching? It happened to me today. This surgeon is internationally known in his field of specialty. He was also the fourth surgeon to examine my medical records with a view to operating to relieve chronic back and leg pain.

The examination in his office was thorough both as he poked me here and pushed me there, and as he asked many questions in a very logical order. I felt that I was in the presence of an unusually competent practitioner.

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The Blessing of Suffering

By , December 12, 2017

It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.
The law from your mouth is more precious to me
than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.
Psalm 119:71-72 (NIV)

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Some Sundays ago I attended a service at a fine evangelical church and enjoyed a sermon that beautifully developed Christ from the Old Testament story of David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17). The people were very friendly and I felt welcome among them.

Following the service I left but not before being greeted by a number of people who had known me from a former church where I had preached. Upon seeing me for the first time with a cane, their love for me caused them to express concern for my well being. I thanked them for their desire to see me well and then quoted our verse for today.

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