Saturday, September 30, 2006

Pursuing God's Kingdom

A devotion for today.

Pursuing God's Kingdom

"Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."


Seek - pursue relentlessly - God's Lordship over your life and the righteousness that he demands in your daily life. The other stuff you pursue is all temporary. Only God and his Kingdom remain. In the process of pursuing God's kingdom and his righteousness, you will find that the God who gives you his Kingdom and righteousness, also will bless you with the things in this life that you need.


Holy Lord, only in you do I find what satisfies my soul's desires. The things that have captured my eye are boring after only a short while. The artificial things I have pursued, all of my addictive pursuits, have left me empty and enslaved. I find hope and help only in you. Please be near to love, correct, discipline, lead, and mold me to your glory. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Written by: Phil Ware

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

My Job and My God

Around a month ago, I got a new part-time job. I now work for my local Humane Society. I can see God's hand at work almost everyday, though my non-Christian co-workers are completely oblivious to it. Dogs and cats are saved from roaming the streets, owner's are reunited with lost pets, and many other such occurrences happen every week in this small, humble, temporary home for pets awaiting owners.

I believe God is the reason that I even have this job. For awhile now, I have been praying for a more steady job that wouldn't force me to stop the work I do for some older people around my town. Unknown to me, a young volunteer/employee of the Humane Society of 4 years had decided to quit and move on (hopefully) to be a veterinarians assistant. That opened up a position that was advertised in the newspaper to be around 20 hours a week. My Mom suggested I apply for the job, and I did. That is when I said I wouldn't be around the blogs much.

I went in for the interview, and afterward, left unsure of whether I still wanted the job. The hours described in the interview sounded like many more than what was advertised in the newspaper. At the time my prayers changed, I now prayed that if I got the job, my schedule would even out. The Humane Society told me that I would be called in a few days if I got the job. Those few days came and went.

A week later, I received a call from the Humane Society telling me that they had filled the position I had applied for, but were wondering if I was interested in a position with much fewer hours. I accepted the job and worked those hours for the rest of that week. I enjoyed the hours, and was thankful that they didn't interfere with my other jobs, but the hours were few enough and the gas prices high enough that costs were just a little less than the benefit.

When I returned the next week, I was called into my boss' office and told that the person who had taken the position I originally applied for quit, and if I was willing, I could take their place. I prayed about it and talked to my parents and my boss over the next few days. I felt led to take the hours change and accepted the position. Now, my hours are almost perfect for this season of my life.

Three times through this experience I was tempted to doubt God. I couldn't see how I would have a more steady job without settling for second best. I couldn't understand how I could have a job without interfering with the other jobs I know God wants me do. I couldn't comprehend how once I had the job, I would rationally justify the cost I felt it was going to take up. And I could never have believed it all would have slid into place as well as it has. It is only because of God I have this job, and it is only Him I have to thank.

Written by: Zachary J.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Bad

A devotion for today.

The Bad

READ: Nahum 1:1-8

"The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble."

Nineveh was in trouble with God. Big trouble! Despite the good work of the reluctant prophet Jonah, Nineveh had returned to its evil ways. The Ninevites had oppressed other countries, worshiped idols, and performed acts of cruelty.

God saw this evil, and through the words of Nahum He spoke of Nineveh’s coming destruction, using words such as wrath and vengeance. Nineveh was about to face judgment.

Why would God’s prophet tell the people of Judah about this? How could Nahum’s frightening words help those who lived in the Promised Land?

There is help for answering those questions in Nahum 1:7-8. His prophecy of the destruction of those who reject God stands in sharp contrast to God’s promise to those “who trust in Him.” The godly, rather than facing judgment, would be cared for. They would have a refuge in Him.

God is not one-sided. He provides refuge, help, and comfort for those who trust Him, and He also sends judgment against those who disobey His standards.

The message for us is the same as it was for Judah. Through trust and obedience, we can enjoy the comfort of God’s refuge—even in times of trouble. ~Dave Branon

How oft in the conflict, when pressed by the foe,
I have fled to my Refuge and breathed out my woe;
How often, when trials like sea billows roll,
Have I hidden in Thee, O Thou Rock of my soul. ~Cushing

Everyone must face God as Savior or as Judge.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Crocodile Hunter

~ By Ray Comfort

It's not often that someone from down-under is the lead story on primetime TV. The fact that presidents from other countries die is a big deal, but they don't get to head the news. Some don't even get the tail. But when Stephen Robert Irwin was suddenly killed on September 4th, 2006, he was number one.

Steve Irwin was an Australian naturalist, wildlife expert, a well-known and colorful personality, and was best known for the television program "The Crocodile Hunter."

But his death didn't come as a shock to most who knew of him. How he died, did. Like many others who had watched him get up close and personal with dangerous animals, I thought it was just a matter of time until he would be mortally attacked by a crocodile or bitten by a poisonous snake. But that didn't happen. Instead, he was tragically stabbed through the heart by a stingray that was apparently only trying to defend itself. His distraught manager and close friend said that he "lived beyond the edge but seemed invincible." But none of us are invincible. Time will prove that to be true.

I become frustrated when I hear of the sudden unexpected death of any famous person. I want to grab this blind and unthinking world by the ear and shout "Hey, wake up. Death is a reality. It will come to you. You are not invincible. Please open your heart to the gospel." I want to seize the moment before the shock of another celebrity death wears off.

The Crocodile Hunter was passionate about the preservation of any endangered species--even if they were snakes and crocodiles. Perhaps you are a compassionate person and also have a deep concern about preserving animals. Then may I encourage you to do your part to preserve a forgotten endangered species--the dying human race. Doing this will not only make your life count for something in eternity, but it will also cater to you, if you are one who likes to live on the edge.

There is a forgotten and effective way to do this. It is something that Jesus did. It's also something the Apostle Paul, Peter, Stephen and John did. It's something that was done by Charles Spurgeon, George Whitefield and John Wesley. It's arguably scarier than jumping headlong out of a plane or messing with snakes and crocodiles. It's called "open air preaching."

Open air preaching is where you stand up in front of a God-hating world and preach His message of everlasting life. There's no applause. There's no pat on the back from an appreciative world. You probably won't make the lead on primetime news. Not even if you die doing it.

Steve Irwin left a huge and lasting legacy, and now that he's gone his words have become even more meaningful. Death tends to do that. He said, "I believe that education is all about being excited about something. Seeing passion and enthusiasm helps push an educational message." This is true. Of all the things a Christian should be passionate about, saving sinners from Hell has to be high on the priority list. So educate yourself on how to reach them, and then educate the world on how and why they need to be saved.

When Steve died he was described by the CEO of Queensland's Royal Society for Protection of Cruelty to Animals as a "modern-day Noah." We tend to forget that Noah was more than passionate about preserving endangered species. He did something about which the world rarely hears. Scripture calls him a "preacher of righteousness." He was an open air preacher. He faithfully pleaded with a sinful and violent world to get right with a just and holy God, and warned them that God was going to judge them in righteousness. They laughed at Noah and his ark then, and they laugh at Noah and his ark now. Despite the mountain of evidence, most deny that there was even a world-wide flood.

We are living in the days that Jesus called "the days of Noah," and as in the days of Noah there is violence throughout the earth and the imagination of men's hearts is continually evil. These are dark times, but like Noah, we must be faithful preachers of righteousness, and if demons hiss and sinners snarl--if the endangered species fights against us, we have a strong consolation. Jesus said, "Behold, I give to you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you."

So while you are still in the land of the living, live on the edge of eternity. Don't listen to your fears. Listen to your faith. Be passionate about reaching the lost. Learn how to show this world that they are in mortal danger. Convince them that they are not in a place to argue with God--that a drowning man should keep his mouth closed. And follow the footsteps of those who through faith "stopped the mouths of lions," and never forget that "the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly."

Friday, September 08, 2006


A devotion for today.

Peaceful Anxiety

READ: Philippians 4:4-13

The peace of God . . . will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

I was scheduled to teach at a Bible conference outside the US and was waiting for my visa to be approved. It had been rejected once, and time was slipping away. Without the visa, I would lose an opportunity for ministry, and my colleagues in that country would have to find another speaker at the last minute.

During those stressful days, a co-worker asked how I felt about it all. I told him I was experiencing “peaceful anxiety.” When he looked at me rather quizzically, I explained: “I have had anxiety because I need the visa and there is nothing I can do about it. But I have great peace because I know that, after all, there is nothing I can do about it!”

It’s comforting to know that such things are in our Father’s hands. My inability to do anything about the problem was more than matched by my confidence in God, for whom all things are possible. As I prayed about the situation, my anxiety was replaced by His peace (Phil. 4:6-7).

The problems of life can be taxing on us—physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Yet, as we learn to trust in the Father’s care, we can have the peace that not only surpasses all understanding but also overcomes our anxiety. We can be at rest, for we are in God’s hands. ~Bill Crowder

Oh, the peace I find in Jesus,
Peace no power on earth can shake,
Peace that makes the Lord so precious,
Peace that none from me can take. ~Beck

When we keep our minds on God, God will keep our minds at peace.

P.S. This is my one-hundredth post! And I hope to return to normal posting sometime next week.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

I Know It But I Can't Explain It

A devotion for today.

I Know It But I Can't Explain It

"But he, willing to justify himself, said to Jesus, 'And who is my neighbor?'"
LUKE 10:29

Oldies but goodies: "The pedestrian had no idea which way to go, so I ran over him." That, says the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, is among a list of explanations the company has received for automobile accidents.

Others include:

"The other car collided with mine without warning me of its intention."

"I had been driving my car for 40 years when I fell asleep at the wheel and had the accident."

"As I reached an intersection, a hedge sprang up, obscuring my vision."

"I pulled away from the side of the road, glanced at my mother-in-law, and headed over the embankment."

"The telephone pole was approaching fast. I attempted to swerve out of its path when it struck my front end."

"The guy was all over the road. He had to swerve a number of times before I hit him."

"The indirect cause of this accident was a little guy in a small car with a big mouth."

But Metropolitan says the strangest reason of all is, "An invisible car came out of nowhere, struck my car, and vanished."

I guess, like the lawyer who questioned Jesus, it's a human trait that too many of us want to justify ourselves whenever we do wrong or fail to do what we know we should.

However, it's only when we admit our mistakes that we can learn from them, grow, and find forgiveness—from God and others. As Solomon put it, "A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful. But if he confesses and forsakes them, he gets another chance." ~ Dick Innes

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be mature and honest enough to admit when I make a mistake, quit playing the blame-game, and accept full responsibility for all of my actions. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."