LOOKING FORWARD TO V-DAY

AUGUST 13

Shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation. I PETER 1:5 NIV

In World War II, if you’d asked the brave souls in the French Resistance how they ever hoped to prevail against the forces of evil when they were ill-equipped and outnumbered, they’d have told you: “While we’re struggling on this side of the Channel, an invasion force is assembling on the other side. Nobody knows exactly when, but soon a signal will be given, a fleet of ships will come, we’ll join them and they’ll carry us on to victory.”

Every war has pivotal battles that shape the outcome, like Waterloo and Gettysburg. The Battle of Normandy determined the outcome of WorJd War II, but it didn’t immediately end it. In fact, things got worse before they got better. The battle was fought and won on D-day, but it wasn’t until V-day that the war officially ended and victory was declared. On earth we’re in a life-or-death fight against the forces of evil. We live waiting for the trumpet that heralds Christ’s return to lead us to victory.

Jesus said, “No one knows … that day or hour” (Mt 24:36 NN). In the meantime He tells us to “Occupy till I come” (Lk 19: 13). He also gives us, “A living hope through the resurrection .. .into an inheritance that can never perish .. .for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation … to be revealed in the last time” (IPe 1:3-5 NIV). Christ’s resurrection removes all our doubts about the final result. We won’t limp out battered and broken, we’ll march out triumphant, “a radiant church … holy and blameless” (Eph 5:27 NIV). So live your life in the light of God’s V-day!

Taken from THE BEST OF THE WORD FOR YOU TODAY

 

 

A barber gave a haircut to a priest one day. The priest tried to pay for the haircut, but the barber refused, saying, “you do God’s work.”

The next morning the barber found a dozen Bibles at the door to his shop.

A policeman came to the barber for a haircut, and again the barber refused to pay, saying, “you protect the public.” The next morning the barber found a dozen doughnuts at the door to his shop.

​A lawyer came to the barber for a haircut, and again the barber refused payment, saying, “you serve the justice system.” The next morning the barber found a dozen lawyers waiting for a free haircut.



TRY PRAYING ABOUT IT

AUGUST 12

In the night his song shall be with me. PSALM 42:8

Nothing fuels prayer like real need. In a crisis, even those who say they don’t believe in God, pray secretly. It’s an admission that there are certain things we can’t resolve. David said, “In the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.” Some prayers are midnight cries for

help, intended for God’s ears only; the fear is too deep and the feelings too private; we don’t want others around when those inner feelings surface. In prayer you “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (IPe 5:7 NIV), and because you know He will handle it for you.

A mother watched her Son run into the house clutching his bloody hand. “Let me see!” she said. Backing away he cried, “No, you’ll hurt me.” When he finally opened his hand, instead of a major injury she saw a tiny scrape that bled a lot. As she marveled at his theatrics, she realized she’d done the same to God. When her husband left her she was so hurt, she refused to pray. God kept saying, “Let me help you,” as she clenched her fists and said, “No, you’ll hurt me.” Once she realized this she gave it to God and her healing began. Catherine Marshall called this “the prayer of relinquishment,” which means giving the sit-

uation to God, taking your hands off it completely, refusing to discuss it any further, and trusting the One who makes “all things work together for good” (Ro 8:28). That’s why prayer makes it possible for you to stop struggling with the situation and have peace about it!

Taken from THE BEST OF THE WORD FOR YOU TODAY

 

A man went to the doctor for his yearly checkup.

As his doctor was examining his patient he commented on his pale complexion.

“I know” the patient said “It’s my high blood pressure, it’s in the family.”

“Your mom’s side, or dad’s side?” questioned the doctor.

“Neither, my wife’s.”

“What?” the doctor said “that can’t be, how can you get it from your wife’s family?”

“Oh yeah, I am telling you the truth!” Why don’t you come meet my wife’s family sometime!”​



TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR LIFE

AUGUST 11

Don’t let the world … squeeze you into its own mould. RIlMANS 12:2 PHP

Do you feel like you no longer control your own life? Like running you instead of you running it? That’s because you’re in the passenger’s seat, conforming to people, events and circumstances. They’re in the driver’s seat, not you. No wonder your frustration level is high and your contentment level is low. “Don’t let the world … squeeze you into its own mould.” If you’re feeling “squeezed,” you’ve two options.

(a) Remain a conformer, or become a transformer. Either choose to stay in the passenger seat, or get behind the wheel. The Bible says, “Do not be conformed to this world” (Ro 12:2 NKJV). Instead be transformed into the proactive, faith-driven person God meant you to be.

(b) Take charge of your life by “renewing your mind. ” Instead of struggling to change the people and circumstances around you, change how you think and what you tell yourself. The Greek word for renewing means “to align your thoughts with God’s.” Abandon those self-defeating thoughts that tell you “you’re not, you can’t, and you’ll never be able to.” God says: “You are, you can, and you certainly will be able to,” because of His indwelling power! john writes, “This is the victory that conquers the world-our faith” (lJn 5:4 NCV). Go to God’s Word! Discover what He says about the things that intimidate and control you, then pull the plug on them. The Word for you today is: “Don’t be afraid .. .1 am your God. I will make you strong .. .I will support you” (Is a 41: 10 NCV). Align your thoughts with God’s thoughts. Get into the driver’s seat and take charge of your life!

Taken from THE BEST OF THE WORD FOR YOU TODAY

 

Three construction workers are on the seventy-fifth floor of a non-finished building.

The Italian opens his lunch box to find a pizza and says “Man, if I get pizza one more time I am going to jump off this building and fall to my death!”

The Chinese opens his lunch box to find rice and says “Man, if I get rice one more time I am going to jump off this building and fall to my death!”

The blonde opens his lunch box to find a cheeseburger and says “Man, if I get a cheeseburger one more time I’m going to jump off this building and fall to my death!”

So the next day they all got the same thing and they jumped off the building to their death.

That weekend at the funeral, the Italian and the Chinese wives are crying and saying “I would have fixed him something else for lunch but he never told me.”

​And as the two wives stare at the blonde’s wife, they both ask why she isn’t sad about her husbands death, the blonde replies “Don’t look at me, he packs his own lunch.”



ONE DAY AT A TIME

August 10

Don’t get worked up about … tomorrow. MATTHEW 6:34 TM

Max Lucado says, “Worry is to joy, what a vacuum cleaner is to dirt; you might as well attach your heart to a happiness-sucker and flip the switch.” Jesus said, “Don’t get worked up about … tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” When it looks like things are falling apart, Paul reminds us, “Every detail in our lives .. .is worked into something good” (Ro 8:28 TM). When it seems like the world’s gone mad, don’t forget God “existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together” (CoI 1:17 NIT). When worry whispers, “God doesn’t know what you need,” remember God promised to “take care of everything you need” (Ph 4:19 TM).

Jesus taught us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” You won’t get the wisdom or resources to handle tomorrow’s problems till you need them. When we “go confidently to the throne … [we’ll] find kindness, which will help us at the right time” (Beb 4:16 GWT).

Over a century ago Charles Spurgeon said: “Enough for today is all we can enjoy. We cannot eat, drink, or wear more than today’s supply of food and clothing. The surplus gives us the care of storing it and the anxiety that someone might steal it. One staff aids a traveler; a bunch of staves is a heavy burden. Enough is as good as a feast, and more than gluttony can enjoy. Enough is all we should expect, a craving for more is ungratefulness. When our Father doesn’t give you more, be content with your daily allowance.”

Taken from THE BEST OF THE WORD FOR YOU TODAY

 

A visitor to a certain college paused to admire the new Hemingway Hall that had been built on campus.

“It’s a pleasure to see a building named for Ernest Hemingway,” he said.

“Actually,” said his guide, “It’s named for Joshua Hemingway. No relation.

“The visitor was astonished. “Was Joshua Hemingway a writer, also?”

​”Yes, indeed,” said his guide. “He wrote a check.” …



SEEING JESUS IN THE UNDERDOG

August 7

You did it to Me. MATTHEW 25:40 NAS

A minister on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia noticed a homeless man coming towards him. He was filthy and his beard was caked with rotten food. He was holding a cup of coffee and the lip of the cup was dirty. Staggering up to him the hobo exclaimed, “Hey, mister. You want some of my coffee?” The

pastor really didn’t, but he thought it was the right thing to do, so he said, “Sure, I’ll take a sip.” When he handed the cup back he remarked, “You’re generous giving away your coffee.” Looking at him the derelict replied, “Well, it was particularly delicious today, and I think if God gives you something that

good you should share it!” The pastor continued: “I figured I was being set up and it would cost me five bucks. So I asked him, ‘Is there something I can do for you in return?’ The man answered, ‘Yeah, you

can give me a bug!’ (To tell the truth, I was hoping for the five dollar option!) He put his arms around me, and I suddenly realized he wasn’t going to let me go! People were passing by and staring at me. There I was, dressed in my establishment garb, hugging this filthy bum! I was embarrassed. Then little by

little my embarrassment changed to awe. I heard a voice echoing down the corridors of time saying, ‘I was hungry; did you feed Me? I was naked; did you clothe Me? I was sick; did you care for Me? I was the bum you met on Chestnut Street … did you hug me? For if you did … you did it to Me.”’

Taken from THE BEST OF THE WORD FOR YOU TODAY

 

A climber fell off a cliff, and, as he tumbled down, he caught hold of a small branch.

“Help! Is there anybody up there?” he shouted.

A majestic voice boomed through the gorge:

“I will help you, my son, but first you must have faith in Me.”

“Yes, yes, I trust you!” cried the man.

“Let go of the branch,” boomed the voice.

There was a long pause, and the man shouted up again, “Is there anybody else up there?”



IMPORTANT LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLES

August 6

I have chosen you.HAGGAI 2:23 NIV

Over the years leadership coach Angie Ward has enlisted of ministry volunteers. She says that most of the time she hears the same excuses; “I’m not a leader .. .I don’t know anything about teens .. .I’m not an extrovert” (or as Moses told God, “Send Aaron”), Instead of trying to convince them otherwise, Ward tells them they have only two major responsibilities:

(1) To love people. Face it, ministry would be easy if we didn’t have to deal with people. But people matter to God and they should matter to us! Like being part of a family and knowing what’s best for your own children, you need to spend time getting to know the people who depend on you and look

to you for direction. Consider their needs, not just your own, And look for ways to serve them instead of seeing them as distractions from your “real” work. Jesus spent most of His time with people, not offering pious platitudes, but loving and ministering to them. And He said, “Love each other as I . .loved

you” Jn 13:34 NCV), It’s always easier to ask people to do something, when you’re modeling the same kind of behavior in your own life.

(2) To try to think like a leader. One mega-church pastor says that before he makes any important decision, he asks himself what the other leaders he respects would do in the same situation. That’s wise! Asking somebody to be a leader can be intimidating and overwhelming, whereas, asking them to think

like one takes the pressure off, allows them to be less-than-perfect, and encourages them to grow into the job!

Taken from THE BEST OF THE WORD FOR YOU TODAY

 

 

 

Christian Football

Quarterback Sneak–Church members quietly leaving during the invitation.

Draw Play–What many children do with the bulletin during worship.

Half-time–The period between Sunday School and worship when many choose to leave.

Benchwarmer–Those who do not sing, pray, work, or apparently do anything but sit.

Backfield-in-Motion–Making a trip to the back (restroom or water fountain) during the service.

Staying in the Pocket–What happens to a lot of money that should be given to the Lord’s work.

Two-minute Warning–The point at which you realize the sermon is almost over and begin to gather up your children and belongings.

Instant Replay–The preacher loses his notes and falls back on last week’s illustrations.

Sudden Death-What happens to the attention span of the congregation if the preacher goes “overtime.”

Trap–You’re called on to pray and are asleep.

End Run–Getting out of church quick, without speaking to any guest or fellow member.

Flex Defense–The ability to allow absolutely nothing said during the sermon to affect your life.

Halfback Option–The decision of 50% of the congregation not to return for the evening service.

Blitz–The rush for the restaurants following the closing prayer.



KEEP YOUR EYES ON JESUS!

August 5

Consider him who endured such opposition … so that you will not .. .lose heart.

HEBREWS 12:3 NIV

Are you feeling misunderstood? You’re not alone! The most individual who ever lived was Jesus. Critics

joked about His birth, disputed His divine origin, scorned His purposes, reviled His teachings, were suspicious of His motives, critical of His methods, and angered by His message. Ultimately they put Him to death on a cross I That explains what the Apostle John meant when he wrote, “The Light shines in the

darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it .. .I-Ie came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him” (In 1:5-11 NAS). Wherever Be went, Jesus met with misunderstanding and ejection. Yet in spite of it, He endured. And by His grace you can too!

The Bible says: “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Heb 12:1-3 NIV). So, as you run your race today: (a) Recognize the things that slow you down. (b) Recognize the things that trip you up. (c) Recognize that obstacles and opposition are par for the course, and don’t get discouraged. How do you do this? By keeping your

eyes on Jesus and drawing strength from Him each day.

Taken From the BEST OF THE WORD FOR YOU TODAY

 

A couple was vacationing in Honolulu for the first time. The husband turned to his wife and said, “Isn’t Hawaii beautiful, dear?”

“Yes, it is,” she replied, “but it’s pronounced ‘ha-VA-ii,’ not ‘ha-WA-ii.'”

“No,” he countered, “it’s ‘ha-WA-ii.'”

Unable to come to an agreement, they decided to ask one of the locals.

They approached a man who didn’t look at all like a tourist and the wife said, “Excuse us, sir — are you from around here?”

“Yes,” he replied.

The wife continued, “I wonder if you can settle something between my husband and me. I say that the name of your state is pronounced ‘ha-VA-ii’ and he insists it’s pronounced ‘ha-WA-ii.’ Which is it?”

“It’s ‘ha-VA-ii,'” the man replied.

“I guess that settles it, then,” the wife said smugly to her husband. Then, turning to the local man, she said, “Thank you!”

He replied, “You’re velcome.”



RESTORE WITH THE RIGHT ATTITUDE (2)

August 4

If a man is overtaken in any trespass … restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness. GALATIANS 6:1 NKJV

The word trespass comes from the word “misstep,” which means to take a step in the wrong direction or to make an error in judgment or conduct. When you lose your footing or you slip on an icy sidewalk, you didn’t intend to fall, but now it’s happened and you need help to get back up again. That’s the kind of trespass the Bible talks about when it says, “Restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness.” In Greek the word restore has two shades of meaning:

(1) Resetting a broken bone. Paul says, “Christ makes us one body … connected to each other” (Ro 12:5 GWT). When you think about it, your spiritual family is even more important than your physical family, because it will last forever. By reinstating a brother or sister who has been overtaken by sin, you help to heal their pain and enable them to become a vital, functioning part of Christ’s body again.

(2) Removing a tumor. Malignant tumors are life-threatening, and spiritual tumors are soul-threatening. By removing one you not only help save somebody, you obey the Scripture, “Bear one another’s burdens, and” .fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal 6:2 NKJV). And make 110 mistake, sharing their shame and humiliation is a burden. Nevertheless, “We should do it , .. [giving] special attention to those who are in the family of believers” (GaI6:10 NCV). In God’s army we are not supposed to shoot our wounded. Indeed, if the wounded can’t find mercy in the ranks of the redeemed, where are they going to find it?

Taken from THE BEST OF THE WORD FOR YOU TODAY

 

 

There once was a powerful Japanese emperor who needed a new chief samurai. So he sent out a declaration throughout the entire known world that he was searching for a chief.

A year passed, and only three people applied for the very demanding position: a Japanese samurai, a Chinese samurai, and a Jewish samurai.

The emperor asked the Japanese samurai to come in and demonstrate why he should be the chief samurai. The Japanese samurai opened a matchbox, and out popped a bumblebee. Whoosh! went his sword. The bumblebee dropped dead, chopped in half. The emperor exclaimed, “That is very impressive!”

The emperor then issued the same challenge to the Chinese samurai, to come in and demonstrate why he should be chosen. The Chinese samurai also opened a matchbox and out buzzed a fly. Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh! The fly dropped dead, chopped into four small pieces. The emperor exclaimed, “That is very impressive!”

Now the emperor turned to the Jewish samurai, and asked him to demonstrate why he should be the chief samurai. The Jewish Samurai opened a matchbox, and out flew a gnat. His flashing sword went Whoosh! But the gnat was still alive and flying around. The emperor, obviously disappointed, said, “Very ambitious, but why is that gnat not dead?”

The Jewish Samurai just smiled and said, “Circumcision is not meant to kill.”



RESTORE WITH THE RIGHT ATTITUDE (1)

August 3

If a man is overtaken in any trespass … restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness. GALATIANS 6:1 NKJV

When somebody messes up, God says; “Restore such a one. in a spirit of gentleness.” But what if they’ve disgraced themselves and provided fodder for the skeptics who already think all Christians are hypocrites? Why bother with somebody like that?

First: Because the Bible says, “If a man is overtaken [caught by surprise] … [consider] yourself lest you also be tempted.” If it happened to you you’d want somebody to help you, right? And if you’re thinking you would never embezzle money, have an affair, or slap a child in anger, think again. When you’re

under financial pressure, sleep deprived, lonely and depressed, or your marriage is on shaky ground, you might be surprised what you’d do. Paul says, “We are just as capable of messing it up as they were. Don’t be so … self-confident … You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else” (LCo 10:12 TM).

Second: Because Jesus is your example, While He had no time for Pharisees who hid their sins under a religious facade, not once did He condemn anybody who was “overtaken” by temptation and failure. When they repented He forgave and restored them. Theologian Victor Shepherd writes: “When

we’re face-to-face with someone who’s been surprised because trespass overtook them, do we deflect their shame back into their face, or do we own it as ours? Do we rub their nose in it, or do we absorb it, put an arm around them and affirm our solidarity-in-sinnershipj Do we regard ourselves as superior, or

do we say, ‘Take my hand .. .I know the way to the cross?'”

Taken from the BEST OF THE WORD FOR YOU TODAY

 

“It’s not that I really cheat,” the golfer explained.

“It’s just that I play golf for health, and a low score  makes me feel better.”\

 

A couple was touring the capitol in Washington, DC, and the guide pointed out a tall, benevolent gentleman as the congressional chaplain. The lady asked, “What does the chaplain do? Does he pray for the Senate or House?” ​The guide answered, “No, he gets up, looks at both houses of Congress, then prays for the country!” …



TO LIVE IN GOD’S BLESSINGS

TO LIVE IN GOD’S BLESSINGS

JULY 31

Blessed is the man who … PSALM 112:1 NIV

Psalm 112 is a description of what it means to live in God’s blessings. The first verse is the door through which you must walk in order to receive them. “Blessed is the man who fears [trusts in, honors and obeys] the Lord, who finds great delight in his commands [takes pleasure in what God says, then

does it].” Now, when you set what God offers to such people you’ll want to rush into the next verses. But you can’t, you must qualify! This verse is the price tag; check it carefully. You can’t do anything to earn God’s love, but you must obey Him to live in His blessings. But when you qualify, here’s the payoff:

“His children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man. Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice. Surely he will never be shaken; a righteous man will be remembered forever. He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes. He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor, his righteousness endures forever; his horn [name] will be lifted high in honor” (Ps 112: 2-9 NIV). That’s what it means to live in God’s blessings.

Taken from THE BEST OF THE WORD FOR YOU TODAY

 

A fire started in the grasslands close to a farm. The county fire department rushed to the scene, but the fire was more than they could handle.

Someone suggested calling the volunteer fire department. Despite some doubt that they would be of any assistance, they were called.

The volunteers arrived in a dilapidated old fire truck. They rumbled straight towards the fire, drove right into the middle of the flames and stopped!

 The firefighters jumped from the truck and frantically started spraying water in all directions. Soon they had snuffed out the center of the fire and leaving two parts which were easily put out.

​As the farmer watched all this, he was impressed and grateful that his house and farm had been spared. He quickly got his checkbook and donated $1000 to the volunteer fire department.

A local news reporter asked the volunteer fire captain how they planned to use the funds. The captain replied, “The first thing we’re gonna do is get the brakes on our fire truck fixed!”




 

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