Cynicism Is Epidemic
One of the greatest evidences of spiritual blindness in our culture is cynicism. Defined as “believing all people are motivated by selfishness,” from our music to our talk shows, sitcoms to late night monologues, cynicism is epidemic.
It’s easy for someone to be cynical until you meet the most unselfish Person in the universe. When Jesus comes to live in your heart and you allow His Word to renew your mind, something extraordinary begins to happen. God says, “I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.” (Ezekiel 36:26, NLT)
When we realize how much we have each been forgiven, God gives us the grace to be kind and gracious to others as well.
Don’t Be Troubled
Are you in the middle of a crisis or maybe just struggling to make it through the day? Lots of people are. But how we respond in a crisis demonstrates, perhaps better than any other situation, what we really believe about God.
Jesus promised that our peace of mind doesn’t have to be subject to our un-peaceful circumstances. He said, “Don’t let your heart be troubled.” He wouldn’t have said it, if it wasn’t possible. Frankly, if our hearts are troubled it’s because we’re not fully trusting Jesus.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” (Proverbs 3:5-6, NLT) If you can believe it, today’s a great day to trust God!
Are you thankful for your life? It’s a great way to live. It’s been said when you’re stuck in traffic, think of all the people who’d love to have a car. When you’ve had a hard day at work, think of those out of work. When you’re having a disagreement with your spouse, think of how many don’t even know what it’s like to love and be loved in return.
When you’re car breaks down and you have to walk to get help, think of the paraplegic who’d love to take a walk. When you notice you’re getting a lot of grey hairs think of the cancer patients who’ve lost their hair because of chemotherapy. Every one of us has much to be thankful for. That’s why the Bible says, “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1Thessalonians 5:18, NIV)
Are you content with the life God has given you? It’s one of the great goals in life.
Paul the Apostle wrote, “I have learned in whatever state I am in, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.”
This may shock you, but emotional wholeness is a learned experience! The Bible says, in whatever state I’m in: depressed, worried, fearful, needy, pressured, or frustrated. Everywhere…in all things, whether full or hungry, we are to be content.
Perhaps you say, “I can’t do that!” Then just read the next verse, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13, NKJV)
Eric Liddell was at one time considered the fastest man alive. But when asked at the Summer Olympics to compromise what he considered biblical convictions by running on Sunday, he refused. Eric stood for principle, and God gave Him favor.
In spite of the controversy, Eric still won an Olympic Gold Medal… But this probably wasn’t the pinnacle experience of his life.
Later, he traveled to China as a missionary and died in a Japanese concentration camp. During his two years of internment, Eric Liddell emerged as the camp’s “most outstanding personality; the one with a permanent smile.”
One woman said he was “the only man who did anything for her without wanting to be repaid.”
May those around you today see Christ’s selfless humility, and not merely—selfish humanity.
Your Life is Beautiful
Many people live like they have no inherent value, no destiny. As if God was asleep at the controls when He made them. Nothing could be further from the truth. When God created each of us He said, “It is good.” (Genesis 1:21) As a matter of fact, “…everything God created is good.” (1Timothy 4:4)
The Bible says, “God has made everything beautiful for its own time.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11) Everything includes each of us. Give God time, He’ll make your life beautiful! Eternally beautiful! It’s His destiny for you. If you’ll trust Him, He will reveal the unique grace and calling upon your life that no one else has.
In eternity, we will each see that none of us have been shortchanged. We have each been overpaid. “Jesus, open my eyes to see into eternity even now.”
Each of our lives is shaped by our priority toward those closest to us! Kurt Warner had a lot of ups and downs in his football career. When he won a Super Bowl a TV announcer said, “First things first, the touchdown pass…blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.”
Kurt Warner corrected him and said, “First things first, I’ve got to give the praise and glory to my Lord and Savior up above. Thank you, Jesus!”
Kurt had priorities he lived by!
He and his wife Brenda have a son, Zachary who is partially blind and disabled. Speaking of his son, Kurt said, “Zachary falls down really hard ten times a day, but he always gets right back up and exudes pure joy.” Perhaps one of the people who influenced Kurt the most was his own special needs son.
Do you believe your best days are behind you? God doesn’t!
Perhaps you feel, “Too many things have gone wrong in my life for God to ever use me” Again, not true!
In the Old Testament, there’s the amazing story of Joseph. At one point, Joseph had a big mouth. He boasted about his many dreams. All that did was make his brothers jealous and reject him. He was sold as a slave until his boss’ wife wrongly accused him. Things seemed to get worse. He was thrown in jail, forgotten by those he’d helped, but eventually remembered by God and given the #2 leadership position in Egypt.
Joseph would become the man God used to save the family that rejected him and even all of Israel. God never forgot Joseph, and He’ll never forget you.
James A. Garfield
Before the Civil War, a farmer hired a young man named Jim. Jim milked cows, chopped wood, slept in the hayloft and ate with the family. Over the course of the summer he fell in love with the farmer’s daughter and asked to marry her.
The farmer said, “You have no money and no prospects. I’m sorry, but I can’t let you marry my daughter.” The summer ended, and Jim packed his bags and left.
Thirty-five years later, the farmer decided to tear down his old barn and build a bigger one. When he did, he found, carved in the rafter where Jim had slept, Jim’s full name, James A. Garfield, by then he was the President of the United States.
This story reminds each of us: don’t judge too quickly when reflecting on the value of others.
In the Rocky Mountains of Colorado there’s a place called the Continental Divide. It’s where a small stream separates on a certain rock. One part leads to the Atlantic Ocean on the eastern coast, the other goes to the Pacific Ocean on the west.
At one point the two streams were in the same place, but where they wind up couldn’t be more different. I’ve seen this happen with some of my closest friends. At one point they were both whole-heartedly serving the Lord, but later they’re gone, chasing something infinitely less than God.
Jesus is the rock, the turning point for each of our destinies. Those who reject Jesus, reject GOD and go on to be separated from Him forever. Those who believe in Him enter into eternal life and go on to eternal happiness in the presence of God.
Have You Seen Jesus?
God is trying to reveal Himself to each of us, every day. We see God’s beauty in His pristine creation. He guides us toward the joy of doing what is right and away from what is wrong when our conscience is fully activated, and we clearly see Him as a loving person in those who represent Him well.
Seeing God’s beauty and hearing His inner voice is a revelation given to each of us. It is a great privilege and yet a real responsibility.
Oswald Chambers wrote, “If you don’t walk in the revelations God gives you, you will ultimately run after something God never called you to.”
Have we seen Jesus today? His beauty! His character? His love? He is trying to reveal Himself to each of us. May we see Him.
Have To’s and Get To’s
The Christian life is not a “have to,” it’s a “get to.” I don’t have to do what God asks me to do. I get to! Yes, you can be a bird and not fly. You can be a fish and not swim. You can be married and not love your spouse.
But why would you want to? Why would you want to live beneath your potential? Because of fear? Unbelief? I choose to obey God and believe that I get to do the things He’s called me to. I get to receive the love of my Creator. I get to follow His majestic plan for my life. I get to love others as He has loved me. I get to worship Him with all of my heart, soul and strength.
Don’t make following Jesus a miserable “have to.” Make it a marvelous “get to.”