Category: Devotionals

Pressing On

By , January 20, 2020

“Not that I have already obtained all this,
or have already arrived at my goal,
but I press on to take hold of that
for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
Brothers and sisters,
I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.
But one thing I do:
Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,
I press on toward the goal to win the prize
for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12-14 NIV

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There is a sad notion in some Christian circles which encourages believers to think that they can arrive—spiritually speaking—in this life. Over the years different terms have been used to describe this teaching about the Christian life.

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What Do They Know?

By , January 19, 2020

“They called out in a loud voice,
‘How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true,
until you judge the inhabitants of the earth
and avenge our blood?’”
Rev. 6:10 (NIV)

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As I have been ministering in palliative care for many years, family members who have been bereaved sometimes ask me what their loved ones in heaven know of things here since their deaths. It is a good question and the answer may be surprising to some of my readers.

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How to Pray

By , January 18, 2020

“One day Jesus was praying in a certain place.
When he finished, one of his disciples said to him,
‘Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.’…
[Jesus replied] ‘So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you;
seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.’”
Luke 11:1, 9-10 (NIV)

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Prayer is at once the easiest and most difficult spiritual exercise to do. Here is an example of an easy prayer. I recall a near fatal car accident in the Smoky Mountains. We were driving around a bend in the highway far up a mountain when we hit a patch of ice. The car skidded out of control and toward the edge of the mountain that did not have a guard rail to stop us from plunging hundreds of feet to our deaths. All I could utter was a three word prayer, “God help us!” Mercifully the Lord helped us, and we stayed on the road.

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How to Love Our Neighbour

By , January 17, 2020

“One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:
‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’
Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
This is the first and greatest commandment.
And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Matthew 22:35-40 (NIV)

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How do we “love our neighbour as ourselves”? That is a very important question to consider since Jesus commands us to do this.

Some teachers say that Jesus commands us to love ourselves in this verse. Actually, Jesus here commands us to love our neighbours and tells us to love them as much as we love ourselves. So, loving ourselves is neither commanded or commended. It is just noted that we do love ourselves and that fact is to modify how much we love others.

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The Music of Heaven

By , January 16, 2020

“…speaking to one another with psalms,
hymns, and songs from the Spirit.
Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord,”
Ephesians 5:29 (NIV)

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What will the music of heaven be like? Classical? Ballads? I am not sure, but it will be spectacular beyond description. The instruments and singers will thrill us and captivate our minds as they play and sing to the glory of God. Also, we will join in the singing and spend part of our time there in musical activity. Isaiah give a description of the joyful music in the following words:

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