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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Our true value


Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

I recently read an article about an Apple computer that someone threw away. The crazy thing about the computer was that it was worth about $200,000. The computer the person threw away was one of the first Apple computers made and only about 50 of original computers exist still today.

The lady who threw the computer away didn’t realize the value of the computer. She thought it looked like junk and she discarded it. She had no idea she was getting rid of a $200,000 computer.

Lots of times this is a lot like how we view ourselves. We often get down on ourselves because of something dumb we said or did. We might not feel that we look the right way or have the right friends. This leads us to want to treat ourselves like junk, instead of realizing the true value we have.

See our value isn’t in what we do, what we wear or who we hang out with. Our true value comes when we realize what we’re worth. We find that worth in what the Bible says about us.

The Bible has lots of great things to say about your value. You’re important and created to do good things. So when the feelings come that say you’re not worth much or that you’re junk, remember that to God you have great value.

Dear Lord, help us to realize that we have great worth because if You. Help us to not get down on our self but instead be positive. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Friday, February 16, 2018

He just loved us


Deuteronomy 7:7-8 (ESV)
7 It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, 8 but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

Charlotte Mortimer described her adult education, creative writing class. The teacher asked all the students to write “I love you” in 25 words or less, without using the words, “I love you.”

The class was given 15 minutes to complete the assignment. Charlotte wrote that one woman spent about 10 minutes looking at the ceiling and wiggling in her seat. Then the last five minutes, she wrote frantically. Later she read her composition to the class. It consisted of three loving statements:

“Why, I’ve seen lots worse hairdos than that, honey.”
“These cookies are hardly burned at all.”
“Cuddle up-I’ll get your feet warm.”

It tells us something about her husband. It also tells us something about the practical side of love.

I don’t know if anyone else spends much time wondering why God loves us, but sometimes His love is a mystery to me. I know my inadequacies and shortcomings. I also know that God loves me in spite of them. Moses’ words to Israel in Deuteronomy 7:7-8

Our might and importance have nothing to do with God’s affection for us. He just loves us. John 3:16 may be the most memorized verse in the Bible: “God so loved the world...”

In the book Love Beyond Reason, by John Ortberg he describes a doll, Pandy, that belonged to his sister, Barbie. By the time he knew Pandy he says, “She had lost a lot of hair, one arm was missing, and she’d had the stuffing knocked out of her.” Not impressed with Pandy’s beauty, he felt that she was too damaged to be even given away.

He remembers his family going to Canada from Illinois for vacation. On the return trip they realized that they had left the doll in Canada and had to drive all the way back to Canada to retrieve her. Pandy was that important to his sister.

When Barbie married and had a little girl of her own, Courtney, his sister had Pandy restored and kept her as Courtney’s doll. Ortberg’s reflection on Pandy’s story impacted me deeply. He wrote, “When Pandy was young, Barbie loved her. She celebrated her beauty. When Pandy was old and ragged, Barbie loved her still. Now she did not simply love Pandy because Pandy was beautiful, she loved her with the kind of love that made Pandy beautiful.”

That’s what God’s love has done for us. He doesn’t love us because we are beautiful, His love makes us attractive.

Sometimes it is hard for us to receive undeserved love, so we try to earn it.

Richard Bellinger, a young boy in South Carolina, was the son of a Baptist minister. One Saturday night, Richard decided to shine his father’s shoes. The following night his father put a silver dollar on the bureau of his son’s room with a note commending his son for what he had done, and telling him that the dollar was his reward. The next morning, when the father put on his shoes, he felt something hard and metallic in one of them. When he took the shoe off and reached inside, he found the silver dollar he had given to his son the night before. Along with the dollar was a note that simply read, “I did it for love!”

What God has done for us, He did for love. Instead of trying to understand it, or deserve it, or pay for it, He just wants us to receive it and say, “Thank you.” When we do that, His love begins to change us. And does His love ever have the power to change us!


God loves us. When we are about to step into heaven because we have believed in Him, if someone asks us why we made it, we can confidently say, “He just loved us.”

Dear Lord, we thank You for loving us. Help us to not question it but to just take Your love and show it to those around us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Faith is...


Hebrews 11:1 (ESV)
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

But we can’t really embrace the realities of faith until we get rid of some faulty notions:

Faith is not a head-in-the-sand position. It isn’t denying, ignoring, or hiding from the obvious or inevitable. It’s not pretending something is real when deep down you really don’t believe it. That’s fear, not faith.
Faith is not anti-intellectual. It’s not a warm feeling that requires you to check your intellect at the door. That’s feeling, not faith.
Faith is not a shallow, positive mental attitude. It’s not a platitude to “just follow your dreams.” Nor does faith ignore pain and embrace optimism, regardless of the evidence. That's foolishness, not faith.

Faith is active confidence in the God who has revealed Himself—not a vague uncertainty about an unknown someone. God has proven Himself real again and again, and if you’ve not yet experienced His reality, you can. Your faith comes alive as you believe the Word of God and act upon it.

Let’s say you ask God for guidance in prayer. Proverbs 3:5-6 says to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” So you focus on living that out—trusting and acknowledging God in “all your ways.” That’s faith—it’s your active confidence in Him, the thing you hold onto while you wait to see how the Lord is going to answer your request.

Faith is also the evidence that God is faithful. We are not the first people to trust God. Moses wrote, “Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations” (Psalm 90:1, ESV). The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the God of Moses, Ruth, David, Mary, John, Paul, Lois, Eunice, and Timothy. People have been trusting God for thousands of years. This is not a foolish thing to do. The faithfulness of God—not only in generations past but also in your own life—provides you with evidence. Can you recall specific times, places, and ways God has come through for you, showing Himself faithful? That’s the evidence of things not yet seen.

Faith is not believing in a vacuum; it’s belief based on the Scriptures. God wrote a Book—a trustworthy, proven, inspired, true Book. Our faith isn’t in the stock market or a news feed or another person’s advice, no matter how wise and well-meaning. Though everyone and everything else fails or fades, “The word of the Lord remains forever” (1 Peter 1:25).

Genuine faith always downloads into life. While we claim to believe all kinds of things, if they don’t influence the way we live, then we don’t really believe. When you’re willing to put yourself at risk, your faith in God becomes active. Only when you know God’s grace is your only option, when you’ve cut off all back-up plans and thrown yourself entirely upon God’s mercy—only then is your faith the substance and evidence God’s Word says it will be.


Dear Lord, just as You have never failed those who trust in You, we know You will not fail use. Help us to trust You, to believe in Your Word and act upon it, no matter how we feel, because You promise a good result. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentines Day


There are so many verses about the "heart" of Valentine's Day, which is L-O-V-E!

Probably the most well known and one of the best Bible verses on love is John 3:16 - “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."

God is Love
1 John 4:8 - "The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love."
1 John 4:16 - "We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him."

God's Love Described
1 Corinthians 13 is typically called "The Love Chapter" because it describes love; verses 4-8 say - "Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails;"  Verse 13 continues - "But now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."
Jeremiah 31:3 says God loves with a never ending love - "The Lord appeared to him from afar, saying, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with loving kindness."

Why we can love
Matthew 22:37-40 records when Jesus was asked which of the commandments was the greatest - "He replied And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
Luke 10:27 records the same - "He answered: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself."

How we should love
1 Corinthians 16:14 - "Let all that you do be done in love."
1 Peter 4:8 - "Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins."
John 13:34 - Jesus tells us to love others like He has loved us:  "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another."
John 13:35 - Jesus goes on to say that when we love each other as His followers, all men (both other believers and unbelievers will see & recognize:   "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

Take the time to share God’s love today and every day.

Dear Lord, we thank You for Your great love. Help us to show it to those You bring into our life. In the Name of Jesus, Amen

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Expectations for Valentine’s Day


1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (ESV)
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

There are a lot of expectations for Valentine’s Day. Someone, probably a Hallmark employee, decided that February 14th would be the day to declare and demonstrate your love to that special someone. Cards, flowers, and chocolates caught on quickly and became a near requirement even for preschool children. But what gets lost in finding the perfect card or gift is the very essence of what love is and how we can best share that with those around us.

I Corinthians 13 is the famous biblical love chapter in Christian circles and beyond. It’s beautiful because it describes the kind of perfect love that God has for us and through him we are able to love our spouses, children, extended family, co-workers, and neighbors this same way. It’s an active love; a love that is more committed to that person than our own feelings at the time. Gift giving isn’t even mentioned because this love, God’s perfect love, is worth so much more than anything money could ever buy.

Sometimes a gift is a hit and sometimes it’s a miss. In any case, as either the giver or recipient, let’s not fool ourselves into thinking the gift is the sum of how much we love or are loved. We can enjoy Valentine’s Day as a good excuse to spoil the ones we love and share God’s love in a special way with those who are lonely and hurting. But let’s stay focused: no material thing or sentimental card can ever replace the simple gestures of God’s love expressed every day. 


Dear Lord,  we ask that You would show us practical ways to demonstrate Your perfect love to others on a daily basis.  In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Ultimate Valentine


John 3:16 (ESV)
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

This Valentine’s Day, remember that love is so much more than flowers and candy and cards.  It is even more than the deepest feelings you experience, because real love is expressed by unconditional commitment and unwavering dedication to our loved ones—which should be everyone!

That’s why God didn’t spend billions of dollars on us, He sacrificed His priceless Child.

He didn’t send us flowers, but He allowed a crown of thorns to be put on Jesus’ brow.

He didn’t send us a card, but He demonstrated the ultimate Valentine:

John 3:16 - The Ultimate Valentine

Let’s make every day a “Valentine’s Day” because God so loved the world, so should we.  Picture yourself as God’s living Valentine to a world that desperately needs to know what love is truly all about.

Dear Lord, we thank You for the greatest Valentine we could ever have received. Help us to share that same love with the world around us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

The Ultimate Valentine


1 John 4:8 (ESV)
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

There really isn’t any other day on earth like it.  If you just look at Valentine’s Day by the numbers, it boggles the brain a bit:

  $130.97 – The average estimated amount an individual will spend on Valentine’s Day.

  224 million – The estimated number of roses grown for Valentine’s Day.

  $18.6 billion – The projected total amount Americans will spend for Valentine’s Day.

  $1.6 billion – The amount people will spend on candy

  $1.9 billion – The amount people will spend on flowers

  $4.4 billion – The amount people will spend on diamonds, gold, and silver

Not only that, but over 6 million folks will propose on February 14th, and if you are a member of the club that sees Valentine’s Day as S.A.D. (i.e., Single Awareness Day), you can actually pick up a Valentine’s card and/or treat for your pet!

Picture yourself as God’s living Valentine to a world that needs His love. Take the time this week to share God’s love.

Dear Lord, we pray that we would be Your love to the world today. Help us to look for the chance that You give us to reach out to those around us. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.