Keeping it positive

True story. A man walked into a blood bank where he had previously donated. Looking up his record showing his blood type, the receptionist said, “Oh, B-positive!” “I try to be,” he said.

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A reason to be optimistic

If anyone tried to be positive, it was the apostle Paul. In spite of being under house arrest, he wrote what may be his most upbeat letter—what we call Philippians.

How could he be so positive? 1) He could see much good resulting from his suffering, and 2) he anticipated the reward awaiting him.

Sharing Paul’s perspective

When we have what he had, we can say what he said, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4).

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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Why did the tower cross the road?

Traveling to Sulphur Springs, I like to ask my passenger which side of the road the water tower ahead is on.

Your eyes tell you it’s on the left. But as you approach, the road curves left, and the tower “jumps” to the right.

Not what we thought!

Some people are like that. They certainly seem like fine Christian folks. But in time their true character comes out.

Honest?

Since God knows all, we might as well put our masks aside and admit with the penitent tax collector in Jesus’ parable, “God, be merciful to me, the sinner!” (Luke 18:13).

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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What’s Missing?

It was dark. I had replaced four of the five lug nuts on my spare. Where was the fifth one? After I’d aimed my flashlight in various directions, my eyes focused. The errant nut was stuck to the magnet on my flashlight!

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Seek and find

Addressing the Athenians, the apostle Paul explained that our Creator wants people to “seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us . . .” (Acts 17:27).

Why we’re here

Good news: God wants to be found. Best news: Finding Him fulfills our very purpose for existence!

We might get by with only four lug nuts, but can we make it without God?

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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The Contrast/The Choice

Today I saw what I think is an oak tree. Underneath were a number of brown mushrooms.

“Here today, gone tomorrow”

The stark contrast between oaks and mushrooms has often elicited comments. Mushrooms grow at an impressive rate, then after a few days disappear.

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Oaks take their time, but what results is something truly solid, with deep, abiding roots.

The first psalm describes the individual of integrity who meditates daily on God’s word. Such a person is “like a tree firmly planted.” In contrast, the wicked “are like chaff which the wind drives away” (Psalm 1:3, 4).

Making a choice we can live with

Oaks and mushrooms have no choice. But we do. We choose our character, and in choosing that, our destiny.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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More Stuff?

What greed can do

A man who did estate auctions told me he has seen a family divide over who would get an item once owned by a deceased parent. He said he used to be materialistic, but after being in this business he now felt he owned nothing he couldn’t part with.

When a man asked Jesus to settle an inheritance dispute, He refused. “Beware,” Jesus warned, “and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions” (Luke 12:13-15).

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A better way to live

A sure cure for what some call “accumulitis” is contentment.

Things can never ultimately satisfy. Only Christ can.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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The Statue

Some years ago in Santa Fe I saw a statue of a man holding a hammer and chisel, carving himself out of a rock. It was appropriately titled “Self-Made Man.”

What was the artist saying? Was he taking aim at those who brag about what they’ve done without having the advantages many of us enjoy?

Do we have bragging rights?

But where did we get our intelligence, health, and talents by which we can accomplish what we do? The Scriptures provide us with a reality-check. God “has made us, and not we ourselves . . .” (Psalm 100:2).

Can bragging be dangerous?

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King Nebuchadnezzar learned the hard way that God “is able to humble those who walk in pride” (Daniel 4:37).

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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Grace is Amazing!

 

Describing his niece’s greatly improved attitude, a man told me, “She made a 360º turn.” Although that’s not exactly what he intended to say, I knew what he meant.

 About-face!

If anyone did a 180, it was Saul of Tarsus, who violently persecuted the church, traveling far and wide in his zeal to destroy.

On one such trip he was stopped dead in his tracks. Three days later he was a Christian, and what a Christian he became!

What changed him?

Seeing Jesus who appeared to him, Saul then realized how wrong he had been. We know him today as the apostle Paul.

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If Jesus could save Saul, He can save anyone (1 Timothy 1:12-17).

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