January 6th, 2014
Benaiah … went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion. 2 Samuel 23:20
While the temps across the nation are unreasonably cold at this time, today’s title refers to a different kind of cold. The coldness of fear that Benaiah, one of King David’s valiant fighters, must have felt when he went down into a pit on a snowy day to kill a lion. That is courage with cold feet, showing courage in the face of fear.
I’ve heard many explanations of courage. Some say courage is just fear that has said its prayers. When you know you have heard the voice of God, you are filled with faith in that moment, and His voice puts steel in your spine. But, as you move out in faith you encounter the lions of fear. The ‘What if this doesn’t work? What if I fail? What will people say?‘ That’s when you have to decide if you’re going to be a warrior or a worrier. There’s no middle ground.
When you’re faced with a health crisis, relationship crisis or financial difficulty, you either choose to stand on God’s word or give into fear. While we may never fully understand why bad things happen to good people, we do know that God is good … all the time! So when trials come, and they will come, don’t let it destroy your peace. Arm yourself with the word of God and rise up against it. Trust in Him to give you strength and courage.
January 5th, 2014
The way of the just is uprightness. Isaiah 26:7
It wasn’t America’s finest hour. The year was 1938, but it could be 2014, with our country stuck in the economic despair following the Great Depression. Putting food on the table is on our minds, and people with decent jobs are among the lucky ones. Violent crime in on the increase and justice seems to be in short supply. To make matters even more ominous, North Korea is threatening to involve the nation in war again, much like the doom of WWII.
Yet into the depressing environment, two men gave America Superman. A red, white and blue crime fighting hero who struck the chords of patriotism and ignited something in our hearts when we needed it most. From that time through today, DC Comics’ Superman has reigned supreme as our most beloved superheroes.
His motto: “Truth, justice and the American way.” It’s the justice that we saw Superman pursue most actively as he turned over to police a cat burglar escaping with jewelry, halted mobsters running away in a boat with their loot after a shootout, and thwarted the evil Lex Luthor’s plot to annihilate California.
With crime and poverty rampant today, we’re still in need of a hero to bring justice. Without Superman in sight it falls on us to bring justice to our world. God says His way is uprightness, and He is counting on us to do our part.
As Christians we’re charged to do justice and walk humbly with God. God made it so simple for us. It’s certainly not hard to find people who need help. Defend the defenseless; help the oppressed; speak up for the weak! It’s our job.
January 4th, 2014
As in many homes on New Year’s Day, Janet and Nigel, a happy couple, faced the annual conflict of which was more important: the football game on television, or the lunch itself.
Hoping to keep the peace Nigel ate lunch with the rest of the family, and even lingered for some pleasant after-lunch chat before retiring to the couch to turn on the television.
Some time later, Janet looked in to see how he was and graciously even bought a cold drink to Nigel. She smiled, kissed him on the cheek and asked what the score was. Nigel told her it was half time and that the score was still 0-0.
‘See?’ Janet said happily, ‘You didn’t miss a thing.’ LOL!!
New Year’s Resolutions by Fido
- I will not bark each time I see or hear a dog on TV.
- I will not steal underwear belonging to my mistress and then dance all over the back yard with it.
- I will not chew red crayons or pens, because my master will think that I am haemorrhaging.
- I will not roll my toys behind the fridge.
- I must shake the rainwater out of my coat BEFORE I enter the house.
January 3rd, 2014
And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.” Luke 1:46-49
It’s my first morning home after visiting my family for Christmas. I feel a bit sad and lonely. I was thinking it’s always sad, isn’t it? Christmas is over, the company leaves and you’re left taking down the decorations and putting everything away for the next 11 months. It’s like we experience this tremendous Christmas high that crashes to the ground after New Years day.
Unfortunately, that’s the way many Christians live their spiritual life. They’re just waiting for the next big event so they can get their feel-good fix. But Mary’s first Christmas was anything but feel-good.
Mary sang and praised God for the same reasons that we ought to be singing every day of the year. She sang because of her salvation. Mary knew the challenges that were on the horizon and was getting ready to face some severe scrutiny for turning up pregnant and unwed! And never mind the anguish she was going to cause her family, who would be forced to disown her or face the same rejection.
True praise isn’t grounded in your circumstances. So as you unwind from Christmas, don’t just settle back into business as usual. Take something special from this Christmas like a better appreciation of who Christ is and what he did for you. Because while you may celebrate the birth of Christ on December 25th, you should experience the life of Christ every day as he lives through you.