Best For Us

After all, you have never yet struggled against sin and temptation until you sweat great drops of blood. And have you quite forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you, his child? He said, "My son, don't be angry when the Lord punishes you. Don't be discouraged when he has to show you where you were wrong. For when he punishes you, it proves he loves you. When he whips you it proves you are really his child." Let God train you, for he is doing what any loving father does for his children. Whoever heard of a son who was never corrected? If God doesn't punish you when you need it, as other fathers punish their sons, then it means that you aren't really God's son at all - that you don't re

Taste and See

I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the Lord, let the humble hear and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. Look to him, and be radiant; so your faces shall never be ashamed. This poor soul cried, and was heard by the Lord, and was saved from every trouble. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. O taste and see that the Lord is good; happy are those who take refuge in him. Psalm 34:1-8 (NRSV) Florence Fong is from Singapore. The pungent smell of the durian often brings back fo

I Belong!

See how very much our heavenly Father loves us, for he allows us to be called his children - think of it - and we really are! But since most people don't know God, naturally they don't understand that we are his children. Yes, dear friends, we are already God's children, right now, and we can't even imagine what it is going to be like later on. But we do know this, that when he comes we will be like him, as a result of seeing him as he really is. 1 John 3:1-2 (TLB) And since we are his children, we will share his treasures - for all God gives to his Son Jesus is now ours too. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. Romans: 8:17 (TLB) Nearly everyone wants to feel

A Christian Legacy

Read Romans 12: 9-21 The Marks of the True Christian "He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6: 8 (NRSV) Wilma Rose Vernich is from Tennessee. One day while she was cooking yet another big meal in their family kitchen, she signed and asked aloud, "What will others remember most about me when I'm gone - the cooking or the cleaning?" Her husband jokingly suggested this inscription for her future tombstone: "She made good bread." This humorous exchange led Wilma to do some serious thinking about the legacy she would leave. In Western culture, corporations, churches, familie

Distracting Pride

Paul writes: How grateful I am and how I praise the Lord that you are helping me again. I know you have always been anxious to send what you could, but for a while you didn't have the chance. Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of contentment in every situation, whether it be a full stomach or hunger, plenty or want, for I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me strength and power. But even so, you have done right in helping me in my present difficulty. As you well know, when I first brought the Gospel to you and

Sleep in Peace

I lift up my eyes to the hills - from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keep you will not slumber. He who keeps Israel will neither slumber or sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your coming out and your going in from this time on and forevermore. Psalm 121 (NRSV) Trust in the Lord with all your heart...Proverbs 3:5 (NRSV) Juita Kartini comes from Jakarta Raya, Indonesia. One night when her younger brother and Juita were kids,

Trust Through Prayer

Next morning as the disciples passed the fig tree he (Jesus) had cursed, they saw that it was withered from the roots! Then Peter remembered what Jesus had said to the tree on the previous day, and exclaimed, "Look, Teacher! The fig tree you cursed has withered!" In reply Jesus said to the disciples, "If you only have faith in God - this is the absolute truth - you can say to this Mount of Olives, 'Rise up and fall into the Mediterranean,' and your command will be obeyed. All that's required is that you really believe and have no doubt! Listen to me! You can pray for anything, and if you believe, you have it; it's yours! But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge

Compassion and Mercy

Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured. Hebrews 13: 1-3 (NRSV) Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. Proverbs 31:9 (NIV) Lollie Hofer is from Nebraska. Her twelve-year-old son, Mike, yelled for her to pull over in the parking lot. His voice was urgent. Tears formed as his voice broke at the sight of a homeless man holding a sign that read: "Will work for food." Mike rolled down the window, handed the man a bag of s

Just As I Am

"But if I wish to boast, I will not be a fool, for I will be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think better of me than what is seen in me or heard from me, even considering the exceptional character of the revelations. Therefore, to keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.' So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses,

God Knows What Is Best

Never tire of loyalty and kindness. Hold these virtues tightly. Write them deep within your heart. If you want favor with both God and man, and a reputation for good judgment and common sense, then trust the Lord completely; don't ever trust yourself. In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success. Proverbs 3:3-6 (TLB) The problem with this world is that it doesn't fit. Oh, it will do for now, but it isn't tailor-made. We were made to live with God, but on earth we live by faith. We were made to live forever, but on earth we live but for a moment.... We must trust God. We must trust not only that he does what is best but that he knows what i

Joy

My brothers and sister, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you, But ask in faith, never doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind;........ Blessed is anyone who endures temptation. Such a one has stood the test and will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. James 1: 2-6; 12 (NRSV) Rachel Lulich is fro

Always Near

Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from you presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast. Psalm 139:7-10 (NRSV) When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. 1 Corinthians 13:11 (NRSV) Psychologist Jean Piaget carried out psychological experiments in which he observed that very young babies (under six months old) would be clearly interested in a toy placed a few yards in front of them until Piaget pl

Unending Love

Read Job 42: the ending of Job when he prays for his friends and then his fortunes are restored. And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job when he had prayed for his friends; and the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. Job 42:10 (NRSV) Larry Dowell is from North Carolina. Not long after he turned 40, his health started going down-hill. He experienced loss of appetite, sleeplessness, weight loss, and irrational thinking. His marriage was in trouble, and their oldest child was heading to college. He had always been able to fix most things fairly easily, but this was different. During his darkest moments his thoughts turned to Job and the suffering he endured. Job didn't rebuke God bu

God's Handwriting

The heavens are telling the glory of God, and the firmament proclaim his handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard; yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. Psalm 19: 1-4 (NRSV) Suzanne Felton is from Virginia. She experiences a special joy each time she pulls an envelope out of her mailbox and sees the handwriting of a dear friend or family member. She doesn't need to look at the return address to know who wrote the letter; she can recognize the author by the handwriting. Her college friend's handwriting is round and enthusiastic. Her child

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