“His Voice Was Heard”

By , April 21, 2018

So I was left alone…Then I heard him speaking…
“Do not be afraid, you who are highly esteemed,” he said.
“Peace! Be strong now; be strong.” When he spoke to me,
I was strengthened and said,
“Speak, my lord, since you have given me strength.”
Daniel 10:8-9, 19 (NIV)

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I recall a very wonderful Thanksgiving Conference in London, Ontario where I preached about 25 years ago. As the day progressed we sensed that the Lord was truly speaking.

Following the day of ministry I visited in the home of a dear man of God who was slowly dying. He was thrilled with the sense that the Lord drew near as he attended the conference. His way of summing up the ministry was to say, “His voice was heard!”

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Don’t Say That

By , April 20, 2018

Just then there appeared before them
Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.”
Matthew 17:3 (NIV)

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Human beings have a curious way of speaking about some things. We are able to ask questions when we are actually making a statement. For example, if we think someone is not as good as they think they are (singer, parent, etc.) we might ask the question, “Who does he/she think they are?”

Our question is not an effort to gain information about the person’s impression of who they think they are. We know very well who they think they are. The statement we are really trying to make in asking the question is that the person is definitely not who they think they are. So, in asking a question, we state a fact. Rather confusing to an outsider, but we know what the speaker wants to say.

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Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? *

By , April 19, 2018

 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
Genesis 3:9 (NIV)

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea,
during the time of King Herod,
Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked,
“Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?
We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
Matthew 2:1-2 (NIV)

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Of all the English literature I have read for fun and studied formally in school, the line from William Shakespeare that stayed with me the best is the title for our devotional today. Romeo and Juliet were in love but the problem is they came from feuding families. It is a tragic love story that does not have opportunity for success.

Juliet is talking out loud to herself on her balcony unaware that Romeo is listening to her. She is struggling with the impossible love story they are living out. She asks the purpose for Romeo’s existence right now and in her life.

Questions can be a rich source of the dramatic as we see not only in Shakespeare but in the Christian Bible. Our two texts today are the first questions in the Old and New Testaments and are full of mystery and intrigue.

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Be Who God Made You To Be

By , April 18, 2018

The word of the Lord came to me, saying,
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
Jeremiah 1:4-5 (NIV)

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When you look at the twelve apostles, you can see points of common interest and areas where the disciples differed from each other. Peter, James, and John were apparently business partners as fishermen on the Sea of Galilee.

Matthew was a tax collector at a very profitable location, and the description of him leaving his business to follow Jesus suggests he had a lot to leave (“left everything” Luke 5:28).

Thomas, often called Doubting Thomas, appears to be a man who was always finding problems in life or who was not capable of dealing effectively with a situation. In John 14:5 he appears to be unable to understand Jesus’ teaching and gets a kindly rebuke from the Lord. In John 11:16 he is a pessimist as he urges the other apostles to obey Jesus and go to their deaths. No such thing was in the plan of our Lord, but Thomas often had that kind of cloudy or dark atmosphere around his thinking.

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Shooting Yourself In The Foot

By , April 17, 2018

“But the Pharisees and the experts in the law
rejected God’s purpose for themselves…”
Luke 7:30 (NIV)

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In western society we have an expression that is our devotional’s title today. We say someone is “shooting himself in the foot” when the person does something to harm their future prospects. Let me illustrate what I mean.

Say a person was applying for a job selling Ford cars. He comes to the job interview well dressed, well spoken, and eager to be employed by the Ford dealership. He demonstrates a lot of knowledge about cars in general and about Ford cars in particular.

Suddenly he blurts out, “I have always driven Chevrolet cars as I think they have a much better product.” That comment is called “shooting yourself in the foot”. The person has said something that virtually guarantees failure in his search for a job at the Ford dealership. The person has destroyed his prospect of a job at that location.

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