“I don’t need your help!”

I can!

Before learning to swim, I was struggling in water over my head. There was a boy on the edge of the pool, but I did not want him to save me.

Managing to get to where I could touch bottom, I didn’t need saving after all!

Reminds me of the little girl who’d say, “Self do it!” Children must learn to stand on their own feet, and yet . . . .

I can’t!

Wisdom comes in realizing there are times when we are in way over our heads and self can’t do it.

“For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 6:6).

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“God, be merciful to me, the sinner!” (Luke 18:13).

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

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Out of Its Element

Out of place

Today while shopping I noticed a bird inside the store. How did it get in? Will it ever get out?

Although the bird had the entire place to explore, probably it wished it was back where it belonged.

In Jesus’ parable of the Prodigal Son, the young man realized what a huge mistake he had made in leaving home (Luke 15:11-32). The life of sinful pleasures he had so eagerly sought didn’t last nor ultimately satisfy—it never does (Hebrews 11:25).

Back in place

I don’t know what became of the bird, but I do know that the errant son decided to return home. What a welcome his father gave him!

“For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls” (1 Peter 2:25).

Back where we belong!

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

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Under Construction

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Day by Day

Within sight of our backyard is a freshman residence hall under construction.

Day by day it looks more and more like the architect’s drawing displayed on site.

Barring unusual circumstances, someday it should be occupied—all 490 beds!

A work in progress

Addressing Christians under construction, Paul wrote, “. . . He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).

In view of how much it cost God to redeem us, He is highly motivated to finish what He started.

And finish He will—if we do our part.

“. . . work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (2:12-13).

Someday . . . .

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

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The Hourglass

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This life

Although we no longer use the hourglass to measure time, it illustrates our brief life on this earth.

The lower chamber represents the days we’ve lived, the top chamber our future, and the narrow neck the present.

To make the analogy true to life, the upper chamber remains covered—we cannot tell how much time we have left.

“As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, or if due to strength, eighty years, yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; for soon it is gone, and we fly away” (Psalm 90:10).

Eternal life

If we are wise, we prepare for that eventuality by regulating our lives by Jesus’ teaching (Matthew 7:24-27).

We can then “depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better . . .” (Philippians 1:23).

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

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“Even There”

He knows and cares

God is not some great celestial computer. Yes, He knows every thought, word, deed, but to the psalmist, God cares to know, and He cares deeply.

“If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Your hand will lead me . . .” (Psalm 139:9b-10a).

Wherever we go

What peace comes for the faithful disciple in knowing God is always there—wherever we go, whatever happens.

The young Christian away in school or the military may be far from home but not from God.

The aged believer confined by infirmity can take comfort in knowing God is near.

God goes with us into heavy traffic, into surgery, into old age, into death.

He is there.

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

Adapted from an article by JDG in the daily devotional guide Power for Today

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And the Baby Grew Up

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Newborn potential

Holding our infant children in my arms, I found it hard to imagine them as adults with children of their own. Yet that’s what they are today!

The song “Mary, Did You Know?” beautifully accentuates the marvelous things Jesus would do and become when He grew up.

Potential realized!

We can be so thankful for the inspired and inspiring narratives of Jesus’ birth and infancy in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Yet by far, the emphasis of all four Gospels is Jesus’ unique identity, ministry, teaching, death, resurrection, and exaltation to God’s right hand as Savior and Lord.

No one ever accomplished what He did. No one comes anywhere close to being what He is.

Yes, the baby grew up!

Aren’t you glad He did?

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“Come and See”

Tall claims!

In the first chapter of John’s Gospel are more names and titles for Jesus than perhaps anywhere else in the Bible.

He is the Word, God, Light, Lord, Lamb of God, Jesus of Nazareth, Messiah, Rabbi, King of Israel, Son of God, Son of Man.

He created all things, was made flesh, and He takes away the sin of the world.

Toward the end of the chapter, Philip tells Nathanael about Jesus of Nazareth. Nathanael finds it incredible that anything good could come from Nazareth!

“Come and see,” says Philip.

Sufficient evidence?

When he did, skeptical Nathanael becomes believing Nathanael: “Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel” (vv. 45-49).

Does the evidence John presents in his Gospel warrant faith?

Read and see (John 20:24-31).

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

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