Category: Devotionals

Presence Or Program?

By , February 20, 2020

“A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough.”
John 6:18-20 (NIV)

“When they had rowed about three or four miles,
they saw Jesus approaching the boat,
walking on the water; and they were frightened.
But he said to them, ‘It is I; don’t be afraid.’”
John 6:18-20 (NIV)

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We are a society in the western world that has its faith in programs. When my children were young the rage in education was to have no walls separating classrooms in schools. “Open concept” was what it was called, I believe. Now, 30 years later, there are serious doubts about this program and many of these schools have constructed floor to ceiling walls between classes trying to recover the old program.

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Knowing God

By , February 19, 2020

“I am the good shepherd;
I know my sheep and my sheep know me—“
John 10:14 NIV

“My sheep listen to my voice;
I know them, and they follow me.”
John 10:27 NIV

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In writing about the Lord knowing His people and what that means a good friend suggested to me that the other side of the coin is also a precious truth: we know the Shepherd. I pondered that thought for a while and was blessed with the exercise.

When a Jew of Jesus’ day spoke about “knowing” something or someone it meant much more than an intellectual exercise. What I mean to say is that “knowing” in our Lord’s vocabulary meant intimate acquaintance, significant involvement with the person known.

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Making Good From Disaster

By , February 18, 2020

Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them,
but Paul did not think it wise to take him,
because he had deserted them in Pamphylia
and had not continued with them in the work.
Acts 15:37-38 NIV

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They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord. He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches. Acts 15:39-41 NIV

The first great division in the Christian community is recorded in Acts 15 and the two men who quarreled were Paul and Barnabas. The occasion of their dispute was whether to take John Mark with them on the second missionary journey.

On the first journey Paul and Barnabas took John Mark along as an apprentice. However when the going got tough John Mark deserted them and fled home to his mother in Jerusalem.

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Real Peace

By , February 17, 2020

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I am giving to you:
not as the world gives do I give to you.
Stop letting your hearts trouble you, and stop being afraid.”
John 14:27

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An organization in New York City that is called “The United Nations” is anything but “united”. The various members are secretly spying on each other and some are even at war with each other. So much for calling themselves “United”.

Some families act as though other family members were the enemy and not family. Some people are at secret warfare with fellow employees or their bosses. The only reason they do not declare an all out war is because they desperately need the job.

Other people are at war with their situations in life. They express anger at their low pay and poor housing. They wish they could drive a newer car or a more expensive vehicle. They have troubled hearts and are secretly afraid of their situation in life.

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Strength In Tears

By , February 16, 2020

“For his anger endures for a moment; in his favour is life:
weeping may endure for a night,
but joy comes in the morning.”
Psalm 30:5

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“Jesus wept.” John 11:35 “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” Romans 12:15

We are commanded in Scripture to weep with those who are weeping and have the wonderful example of our Lord in this regard.

I recall when a child having a very painful procedure in hospital and the pain following the medical intervention lasted for several hours. I wept many tears until it seemed I had no more tears to shed. 65 years ago doctors did not seem to have the ability to alleviate pain as well as they do today or else they thought children should “grin and bear it”.

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