Good Morning October 31

When a pastor stands up to begin a sermon he often opens with the greeting, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Paul used it in greeting each of his churches. It is a marvelous statement of the good God extends to His people. It is followed by an exposition of God’s Word intended for the good, for the up building, of all who hear. “Grace to you…”, the extending of God’s good, free, and totally unearned gift of life. At times the Word must be hard, cutting through something in us that is blocking the good work God’s love seeks to do. The Word is always intended to bring life and guide us into His peace, a peace that passes all understanding. The Word comes to us from the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ in the midst of our broken life in this fallen world, to bring us into fellowship with them. This is the place, alone, where we find life and hope. May God’s grace and peace be abundant upon you for this day.

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Good Morning

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Good Morning
Time is relative. When you are having fun it seems to go very fast. When you are in a difficult situation you wonder if it will ever end. We know that God is beyond time. He is eternal. The Apostle Peter tells us that with the Lord, a day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as a day. So, can God really know what we go through when we are in some seemingly unending difficulty? This is where we must remember that God entered time. He humbled Himself and willingly submitted to all of the limitation of time, the constraints of physical weakness, and the onslaughts of temptation, that we each face. “We do not have a (Lord) who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are.”(Hebrews 4:15) Our God knows where we are and what we need in our joys, and in our sorrows. His grace is sufficient for all time.

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Good Morning

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Good Morning
A few years ago some friends of ours gave us a small wooden wall hanging from Italy. It is a picture of a building with ornate arches, and a tower in the background. The wood process is called marquetry, where many different and tiny wood slivers are cut, shaped, and inlayed to form a larger piece. Each individual piece doesn’t look like very much, but when assembled by the artists hand, all form a beautiful picture. The parallel is obvious. God is the Great Artist. We are those small and different wood slivers. Individually, we may not seem to be of great value, but we are all very necessary in the plan of God. He has called us to be a part of His life. He has a purpose of every one of us. If one is missing there would be a blank spot in the work He is forming. Just as that little chip of wood, you are unique and necessary in God’s plan for His Kingdom. And it will be a beautiful work of art.

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Good Morning

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Good Morning
In the book of Nehemiah it says, “do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (8:10) This is an important statement. We all want to feel a sense of strength, security, direction, purpose, and confidence. The verse says that joy gives that to us, but not any joy. The joy of the Lord. Our personal relationship with the Lord Jesus assures us that we are loved by God, that we have forgiveness and cleansing from all of our sins, and that He is with us daily. We don’t trust only in our own strength and ability, but in His. It must have been a thrill for the first century disciples to walk along the road with Jesus, and experience His power working through them when they ministered to people. But we have the same thrill as His Spirit abides in us. He is with us in every day, and for every need. Realizing this gives us our joy, and in that is our strength. Rejoice in Him today.

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Good Morning

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Good Morning
People have a fascination for wanting to know the future. News papers all carry the horoscopes. Palm readers, fortune tellers, and psychics are easily found. We want to know about the stock market, our next job, our love life. Even Christians pour over the prophetic book of the Bible, putting all kinds of interpretations on what they believe God is going to do. I am not opposed to studying biblical prophesy, but much will remain a mystery to us until the Lord actually appears. Above all, we are called to put our complete trust in God. We certainly don’t need to read horoscopes, even for fun. We have a Father who holds our future in His hands. He loves us, and will always do the best for us. We don’t even know what the rest of this day will hold for us, but we don’t need to. We know who holds us in this day.

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Good Morning October 24

Too much consumer debt on a family is a great problem. We are told that as the economy improves consumer debt goes up. It is not uncommon for a family to owe thousands of dollars on credit cards. But suppose you were one of those families. The debt was so high you couldn’t even make the minimum payments. Then some benevolent person comes along and says, “I will pay all of that debt for you. You no longer owe anything.” The feeling of relief, gratitude, and elation would be incredible. Obviously, I am using this as a parable of what our Lord has done for each of us. He has canceled our debt of sin. The problem with many is really believing that our sin debt is that great. We would rather think that we are pretty good folks compared to lots of others we could name. But in truth, we are evil in our own nature, and our sin debt is so high we have no hope of being right with God. Only the benevolent act of Jesus Christ on Calvary is sufficient to pay our debt. And it has been paid! That calls for an unending sense of gratitude and worship.

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Good Morning October 23

When someone is writing an article or some other longer paper, it usually starts with a draft copy, then it gets edited and refined. Language is clarified, and phrases are sharpened to better express what the writer wants to convey. It is that same refining and clarifying process that our Lord is doing in each of us. We are God’s creation. He made us, and called us to be one with Him through Christ Jesus. Throughout our lives He works to refine us into His image. The difference between us and a manuscript is that we can resist the Refiner’s hand. Yet, in His patience and persistence, He continues to work, and has given us the promise that He will not stop until we are complete. This is an ongoing and daily process. Look with anticipation at how our Lord will work in you today.

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