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AskMe #2807992 06/20/14 07:22 AM
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Proverbs 20:5 (NLT)
5 Though good advice lies deep within the heart, a person with understanding will draw it out.

This proverb tells us that a person with understanding can draw out the knowledge that lies within a person that is concealed from them deep in their heart.



When Tim Keller moved his family to New York City to start Redeemer Presbyterian Church, he asked his wife Kathy to grant him three years of long hours, and after that, he promised, things would change.

Kathy agreed to Tim's request, but when the three year mark came and went, Tim said, "Just a couple more months." Still, the months flew by with no change. Although Kathy was incredibly patient and restrained, she did have to get Tim's attention. Tim writes what happened next:

One day I came home from work. It was a nice day outside, and I noticed that the door to our apartment's balcony was open. Just as I was taking off my jacket, I heard a smashing noise coming from the balcony. In another couple of seconds I heard another one. I walked out on to the balcony and to my surprise saw Kathy sitting on the floor. She had a hammer, and next to her was a stack of our wedding china. On the ground were the shards of two smashed saucers.

"What are you doing?" I asked.

She looked up and said, "You aren't listening to me. You don't realize that if you keep working these hours you are going to destroy this family. I don't know how to get through to you. You aren't seeing how serious this is. This is what you are doing." And she brought the hammer down on the third saucer.

I sat down trembling. I thought she had snapped. "I'm listening. I'm listening," I said. As we talked, it became clear that she was intense and laser focused, but she was not in a rage or out of control emotionally. She spoke calmly but forcefully. Her arguments were the same as they had been months before, but I realized how deluded I had been. There would never be a convenient time to cut back. I was addicted to the level of productivity I had achieved. She saw me listening for the first time, and we hugged.

Finally I inquired, "When I first came out here, I thought you were having an emotional meltdown. How did you get control of yourself so fast?'"

With a grin she answered, "It was no meltdown. Do you see these three saucers I smashed? I nodded. 'I have no cups for them. The cups have been broken for years. I had three saucers to spare. I'm glad you sat down before I had to break any more."
[Timothy Keller and Kathy Keller, The Meaning of Marriage (Dutton, 2011), pp. 145-146]


Sometimes we need someone wise or close to us in order to pull the truth out of us that we already know. Tim realized he wasn�t being honest with himself. His admission came when he said, �I was addicted to the level of productivity I had achieved.� It took the wisdom of his wife to draw out this conclusion that he had locked up in his heart.

AskMe #2808426 06/23/14 06:55 AM
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Isaiah 40:31 (NLT)
31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

This is a prophecy of promise that those who trust in The Lord will find strength to accomplish their tasks that they were meant to perform in this life.


Eighty-six year old Joy Johnson, a veteran of 25 New York City marathons, died with her running shoes on. Johnson, who was the oldest runner in this year's marathon, fell at the 20 mile marker in the event. She crossed the finish line at about eight hours. After the race she returned to her hotel room, lay down with her shoes on, and never woke up.

Amazingly, Johnson didn't run her first marathon until she was sixty-one years old. The only hint of the sport was the verse from Isaiah 40:31 which hung on the kitchen wall in her family farm home in rural Minnesota: "But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."

Ironically, the career gym teacher, Johnson was a stranger to personal exercise until she took a three-mile walk in 1986. Then she started jogging and competing in 10-K races. By 1988 she had competed in her first New York City Marathon. Three years later she recorded her best time at age sixty-four with a time of 3 hours and 55 minutes.

A few years ago she told a reporter about her exercise regimen. She would wake up at 4 A.M., drink her coffee while reading her Bible, and then set out on an eight mile pre-dawn run. "When you wake up it can either be a good day or a bad day," Ms. Johnson said. "I always say, 'It's going to be a good day.'"

The devout Christian ran every day but Sunday so she could attend church. Johnson sang hymns to herself to pass the time while running. According to Johnson's daughter, "She was always a happy runner�and besides her faith and family, this was something she loved the most."

[Greg Asimakoupoulos, Mercer Island, Washington; sources: Michael Winter, "NYC marathoner, 86, dies after her 25th race," USA TODAY (11-5-13); Natasha Velez and Bruce Golding, "Marathoner dies happy after chasing dream to last mile," New York Post (11-5-13)]


The verse hanging in Joy Johnson�s kitchen gave her strength to run. She counted on the promise �They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.� She ran, she fell, and she got back up and finished the race. The she walked to her hotel where she laid down and died and went home to be with Jesus. For 25 years she had held to that promise, but now she was finally at home with The Lord.

AskMe #2809241 06/30/14 05:59 AM
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Proverbs 30:7-9 (NLT)
7 O God, I beg two favors from you; let me have them before I die. 8 First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. 9 For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, �Who is the Lord?� And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God�s holy name.

These are the words of Agur son of Jakeh. These verses are a prayer to God to learn the wisdom never to live and secondly to learn how to live modestly, neither in poverty or in riches.



According to Amnesty International, North Korea has a vast network of gulags that imprison over 200,000 people. The most feared camp is known as "Total Control Camp 14." In Camp 14, hunger is so rampant that prisoners behave like "panicked animals" at mealtimes. Teachers at the camp school beat students to death for minor infractions. Medieval torture devices are employed in dungeon-like underground cells. And human relationships are so degraded that prisoners inform on family members.

The book Escape from Camp 14 tells the gripping story of Shin Dong-hyuk, the first known escapee from Camp 14. Shin was born in Camp 14, but at the age of 23 he escaped, finding his way to South Korea and eventually the United States. Today, Shin lives in Seoul, South Korea, a nation that in many ways resembles the United States and other developed countries.

In a 2012 documentary, Shin reflected on the nature of true freedom and happiness. Towards the end of an interview Shin said:

When I lived in the labor camp, I had to suffer a lot of pain �. But in South Korea you have to suffer when you don't have enough money. It's exhausting. It's all about money. That makes it tough for me here. When I think about it, I rarely saw someone committing suicide in the camp. Life was hard and you were an inmate your whole life. But in South Korea many people attempt suicide. They die. It may look like the people here don't want for anything. They have clothes and food. But there are more people committing suicide here than in the camp. There are news reports about that every day.
The interviewer asked, "What do you miss about the life in North Korea?" Shin got out his cell phone and started looking at it and tapping the screen before he said:

I miss the innocence and the lack of concerns I had. In the camp � I didn't have to think about the power of money like I do in South Korea. Though I don't miss everything from that camp �. I don't know how else to say it: I miss my innocent heart.

[Matt Woodley, managing editor, PreachingToday.com; sources Camp 14�Total Control Zone, directed by Marc Wiese (2012, Produced by Engstfeld, Germany); Andrew Salmon, "Escape from Camp 14," The Washington Post (4-27-12)]


Shin lived and understood the words of Agur. For while having nothing he recognized people were grateful for the things they received. Yet those who had opportunity to gain power and money were never satisfied; they wanted more and often gave up on life obtaining it.

Father grant us the wisdom to be satisfied with what You have given us and let us always give thanks.

AskMe #2809385 07/01/14 06:02 AM
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Romans 12:3 (NLT)
3 Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don�t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.

The apostle speaking upon the authority of The Lord warns Christians they should not think themselves too good to be the slaves of sin and servant to this world. Instead they should examine themselves by the faith God has given.



Forgiven souls are humble. They cannot forget that they owe all they have and hope for to free grace, and this keeps them lowly. They are brands plucked from the fire--debtors who could not pay for themselves--captives who must have remained in prison for ever, but for undeserved mercy--wandering sheep who were ready to perish when the Shepherd found them; and what right then have they to be proud? I do not deny that there are proud saints. But this I do say--they are of all God's creatures the most inconsistent, and of all God's children the most likely to stumble and pierce themselves with many sorrows. [J. C. Ryle in Foundations of Faith. Christianity Today, Vol. 32, no. 4.]


We all need to remain humble in our lives and remember that each of us who have placed their faith in Christ have been given the same measure of mercy and grace. Each of us has been forgiven by the blood of Jesus that was shed on the cross.

Proverbs talks about dishonest scales used by merchants that weigh incorrectly in order to overcharge. Ensure the scales of life you are using to evaluate your faith are balanced evenly and not skewed by the views of the world.

Father, let each of us see ourselves as You see us. Let us understand our faults, our weaknesses in order that we might remain humble. Let our faith in You stand firm. Let us always be honest in the evaluation of ourselves. Thank You for the mercy and grace that has been provided. In Jesus name, Amen.

AskMe #2809496 07/02/14 06:23 AM
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Jeremiah 17:9-10 (NLT)
9 �The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? 10 But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.�

Our own hearts deceive us. We often think we trust in God and are entitled to his blessings; but God examines the motives of the hearts and rewards accordingly.




In April, 2011, Newsweek magazine featured an article about Arnold Schwarzenegger, movie star and former governor of California. Here are some of the most telling excerpts from the article:

Life at 63, for Arnold Schwarzenegger, is a titanic clash between human frailty and dazzling possibility. "I feel terrific about where I am in my life, when I look back at what I've accomplished," [he said], "but I feel [horrible] when I look at myself in the mirror."

It's a jolt to hear Schwarzenegger�a five-time Mr. Universe and seven-time Mr. Olympia before he was Conan the Barbarian, the Terminator, and ultimately Governor�musing about his own decay �. Still strapping in shirtsleeves, a fine specimen of aging movie star, he has lost an inch and a half from his previous 6-foot-2 height, the 31-inch waist has ballooned to 36, and the vaunted 57-inch chest has shrunk by a half foot.

"I'm not competing, I'm not ripping off my shirt and trying to sell the body," he tells me. "But when I stand in front of a mirror and really look, I wonder: What the [heck] happened here? What a beating!"
Thirteen years ago, when he was 50, Schwarzenegger had surgery to replace a defective aortic valve �. At some point in the next several years the valve will wear out, and surgeons will split his chest open to install a new one. "It does quite a number on you for quite some time," [he] tells me, "because even though you're strong willed, you know from now on you're damaged goods." He adds with a chuckle: "As with most things, I live in denial."

Three weeks after the publication of this interview, Schwarzenegger admitted that his 25-year marriage was breaking up due to his extra-marital affair. [Lloyd Grove, "Arnold's Wild Road Trip," Newsweek (4-25-11)]

King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 11:9-10 �Young people, it�s wonderful to be young! Enjoy every minute of it. Do everything you want to do; take it all in. But remember that you must give an account to God for everything you do. So refuse to worry, and keep your body healthy. But remember that youth, with a whole life before you, is meaningless.�

Towards the end of life we realize many of things we have done are meaningless unless we have done them for God. The thoughts of our heart fool us and we lead ourselves astray. We go the ways that please us and then realize the damage we have done. Let us allow God to examine our hearts and listen when God speaks.

AskMe #2809593 07/03/14 06:26 AM
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Proverbs 14:34 (NLT)
34 Godliness makes a nation great, but sin is a disgrace to any people.

When the administration of the government is concerned with righteousness; when there is impartiality between people; when the nation protects and preserves those who are virtuous; when there is charity and compassion; these are the marks of a Godly nation. However when sin rules a county it forces disgrace upon the people and the nation loses favor with God.



Gregg Zoroya writes:

When Iraq's war against Iran was faltering in the early 1980s, Saddam Hussein startled his cabinet with a seemingly uncharacteristic request. He sought advice, encouraging the assembled ministers to speak freely.

Health Minister Riyadh Ahmed took Saddam at his word and suggested that he temporarily step down to appease the Iranian religious leader, Ayatollah Khomeini. A peace agreement would be secured and Saddam could later return to power. Saddam thanked Ahmed and then ordered his arrest. The minister was sent home to his wife in pieces, the remains stuffed into a black canvas bag.

It was a classic bit of Saddam stagecraft—tricking a lieutenant into confessing doubt, then sending the chilling message to other advisors that only servile loyalty would be tolerated. [Gregg Zoroya, "Will Saddam Decide to Disarm�or Fight?" USA Today (11-25-02)]


Tomorrow is the celebration of the independence of this nation. In the Virginia Declaration of Rights written by Thomas Jefferson the first declaration says: That all men are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

After several other articles about government responsibilities, freedoms and rights the document ends with this declaration: That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practise Christian forbearance, love, and charity toward each other.


Our forefathers understood the importance of God in our lives and in our country just as Solomon knew so long ago. Without God we become a disgrace and His favor is withdrawn from our nation.

AskMe #2809861 07/07/14 07:59 AM
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Psalm 18:30 (NLT)

God�s way is perfect. All the Lord�s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.

This is a psalm written by David after being rescued from his enemies. David realizes God�s ways are perfect and true. He protected David, not by human demands but by God�s own desire.



Timothy Larsen, Carolyn and Fred McManis Chair of Christian Thought at Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois, reflects on the importance�and difficulty in today's age�of Scripture memorization:

A few particularly rewarding, compact, and potent [biblical] texts are worthy of not only deep reading but even memorization. This is the most counterintuitive of practices for my students. Why memorize a text that you can access electronically any time you wish? This attitude indicates a failure to grasp the way in which a text can permanently inhabit one's inner life. Ask yourself: If you were stranded, what resources would you have by heart to sustain you? Who are you without Google?
When the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, Robert F. Kennedy was able to address a shocked nation promptly and off-the-cuff, quoting Aeschylus from memory: "In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God." I wonder which of today's public figures have such rich and resonant resources within them.
Increasingly, therefore, I am trying intentionally to practice two countercultural habits: first, reading long, substantive books; and second, memorizing short but weighty texts.

[Timothy Larsen, "Who Are You Without Google?" FaithandLeadership.com (viewed 6-17-10)]


Throughout my life I have memorized many Bible scriptures. There are times the scriptures just pop into my mind and they are very comforting. God has given many promises that hold true, we just need to know them and hold onto them in moments of trouble.

AskMe #2810689 07/14/14 06:24 AM
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John 15:10 (NLT)
10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father�s commandments and remain in his love.

Jesus loved the Father and the Father loved Him. Even when the Father placed the sins of the world on Jesus; the Father still loved Jesus for his obedience. Jesus kept His Father�s word even though He suffered and was bruised and killed. We are to obey the commandments of Jesus and remain in His love.



Stuart Briscoe, author and long-time pastor of Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin, tells the following story:

Many years ago, during the Cold War, I traveled to Poland for several weeks of itinerant ministry. One winter day my sponsors drove me in the dead of night to the middle of nowhere. I walked into a dilapidated building crammed with one hundred young people. I realized it was a unique opportunity.

Through an interpreter I preached from John 15 on abiding in Christ. Ten minutes into my message, the lights went out. Pitch black.

My interpreter urged me to keep talking. Unable to see my notes or read my Bible, I continued. After I had preached in the dark for twenty minutes, the lights suddenly blinked on, and what I saw startled me: everyone was on their knees, and they remained there for the rest of my message.

The next day I commented on this to one man, and he said, "After you left, we stayed on our knees most of the night. Your teaching was new to us. We wanted to make sure we were abiding in Christ."

[Lee Eclov, Vernon Hills, Illinois; source: Marshall Shelley, Changing Lives Through Preaching and Worship (Random House, 1995), p. 147]


Jesus reminds us of the following in John 15:4, �Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed.� To be useful to the service of Christ we must have a close relationship with Jesus Christ that includes our love for Him. Christ then uses us to minister to others so that we will spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Let others come to know Christ because of our devotion to Him.

AskMe #2810773 07/15/14 05:32 AM
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James 1:21 (NLT)
21 So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.

Here the apostle teaches that we should lay aside all corrupt manners of life. To do so we should humbly accept God�s word that in within our hearts for it has the power to keep us from harm.



A [2006] medical study reveals just how difficult change is for people. Roughly 600,000 people have heart bypasses a year in America. These people are told after their bypasses that they must change their lifestyle. The heart bypass is a temporary fix. They must change their diet. They must quit smoking and drinking. They must exercise and reduce stress.

In essence, the doctors say, "Change or die."

You would think that a near-death experience would forever grab the attention of the patients. You would think they would vote for change. You would think the argument for change is so compelling that the patients would make the appropriate lifestyle alterations. Sadly that is not the case.

Ninety percent of the heart patients do not change. They remain the same, living the status quo. Study after study indicates that two years after heart surgery, the patients have not altered their behavior. Instead of making changes for life, they choose death.

Change is that difficult. The majority of the heart patients choose not to change. They act as if they would rather die. [Thom S. Rainer and Eric Geiger, Simple Church (B & H Publishing Group, 2006), p. 229; submitted by Bill White, Paramount, California]


God tells us sin has the power to destroy our lives and yet many of us follow the same path as the heart bypass patients; we refuse to change our lifestyles. We continue to let sin dominate our lives and because there are consequences to sin sometimes our lives are cut short. May we all listen to the words God has implanted in our hearts and turn to His saving grace.

AskMe #2810897 07/16/14 08:08 AM
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Colossians 2:9-10 (NLT)
9 For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. 10 So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.

Christ is in God and God is in Christ. The Holy Spirit that indwells within us is in Christ and therefore also in God. So we too are in God and Christ when we have received the Holy Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ.



In Christianity we refer to The Father, Jesus Christ the Son and the Holy Spirit as the Trinity or one God in three persons. The three persons are distinct, yet they are a single in nature. Each one has its purpose and works together in harmony.

"Catechism of the Catholic Church, 253-267: The dogma of the Holy Trinity says that the whole work of creation and grace is seen as a single operation common to all three divine persons, in which each shows forth what is proper to him in the Trinity, so that all things are "from the Father", "through the Son" and "in the Holy Spirit".

In Matthew 22:41-46 it is said, �Then, surrounded by the Pharisees, Jesus asked them a question: �What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?� They replied, �He is the son of David.� Jesus responded, �Then why does David, speaking under the inspiration of the Spirit, call the Messiah �my Lord�? For David said, �The Lord said to my Lord, Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies beneath your feet.� Since David called the Messiah �my Lord,� how can the Messiah be his son?� No one could answer him. And after that, no one dared to ask him any more questions.

From the beginning The Son and The Holy Spirit were with The Father. We see references in the Old Testament where people were filled with The Holy Spirit. David said in Psalm 51, �Do not banish me from your presence, and don�t take your Holy Spirit from me.� In Genesis God said, �Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us.� When man ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, God said, �Look, the human beings have become like us, knowing both good and evil.�

An analogy I like to use is that of an egg. If we hold up an egg we easily identify it. Yet an egg is made from three distinct parts, the shell, the yoke, and the white. Yet all parts work together to form a new born chicken. All parts of the Trinity work to form a new born man. For in receiving Christ man receives the Holy Spirit and is in communication with The Son who speaks to The Father on our behalf. We are redeemed and made new and are bonded to Christ who makes us adopted heirs to eternal life.

In John 14:9-11, �Jesus replied, �Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don�t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you? Don�t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me. Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do.�

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Romans 12:2 (NKJV)
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

The word transformed comes from the Greek word �metamorphoō� from which we get metamorphose, which means a change completely in form or nature. So here the apostle is saying we should not keep our mind locked onto the thoughts of the world, but allow changes to take place that have been proved to be good, acceptable and perfect by the will of God.



The world attempts to influence us in many ways. Take advertising for example, images and messages conveyed in advertising try to change our minds about the products we buy; unless we stop to take time and analyze the things we are looking at we often buy into false beliefs.

I�m never one to belittle someone�s belief in a religion. Everyone has a right to believe as they choose. Hopefully many of you have looked at your beliefs over the years and tried to reconcile what you believe with the truths and the history available to you. In other words hopefully you have allowed God�s will to work in your life so that a transformation took place that grew, developed and matured you into understanding your own faith. The apostle Paul even reminds us that some of us should be teachers, but we are still being weaned off the first lessons we ever learned and have not matured.

I grew up a Southern Baptist and as a kid I was allowed to attend other churches with my friends. I attended Methodist, Lutheran, Catholic, Church of Christ and a few others. I also have friends that are Muslims, Mormons and Jews. Through attendance of theses churches and listening to their beliefs, God has guided me in the things I believe. I have transformed over the years and some things I use to believe I no longer believe, but believe something different, something better, something that aligns with God�s will. And I�ll add that I am still transforming.

From The Bible, which includes the Old and New Testament, I have reached the belief that there is an eternal life after death. I also believe that eternal life is a gift from God and is not something I have earned, but something I have to accept by faith. By faith I believe Jesus Christ paid the debt for all sin by dying on a cross and then rising back to eternal life three days later. I believe that I am a sinner who needs the gift Jesus provides of redeeming salvation so that I am made right with God. I believe I am a sinner, but that I want to change and be more like Jesus because of His love for me. I�m not always perfect. I fail many times, but Jesus loves me through those times and never takes away the gift of eternal salvation He has given me. God�s love has transformed me and many others.

The saddest part about being a Christian is to believe that those who understand they are a sinner and who don�t accept Jesus Christ on faith are doomed eternally to hell. When I think that friends of mine will be lost forever I am truly sad. Their belief is their decision, but I pray they might know the love, grace and mercy of Jesus Christ. I don�t give up on them; instead I love them as Christ would love them.

If you haven�t accepted Christ and you feel the need to do so, just pray this simple prayer: Father God, I know I am a sinner. I know that I want to turn from sin and follow you. I therefore place my faith in Jesus Christ, Your Son, that I may receive eternal salvation. In Jesus name, Amen.

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Proverbs 18
22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the Lord.

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Psalm 119:30 (NLT)
30 I have chosen to be faithful; I have determined to live by your regulations.

Here in this verse we see David making a clear and deliberate choice as to how he will live out his faith. He is choosing to walk in this faith, not because he doesn�t know another way, but instead because he knows no better way than what he has come to believe.



When the prayer made in faith is not answered, and the healing for which many have sought does not come, we are not to look for someone to accuse of failure in faith. Rather we are to remember that besides faith there is hope. Hope has to do with God's promises that are still future and hidden, just as faith has to do with God's promises that are here and now. To the person who has believed for today but has not seen the answer come today, there comes the call to hope. Hope says, "Tomorrow also is God's. Enough has happened already to assure you that the rest is on the way."

[Thomas Smail, quoted in Ken Blue's Authority to Heal]


There are times when it seems God just doesn�t answer our prayers, yet God may have a greater a purpose; a purpose that is for the future. We still need to be determined to live by God�s regulations and let our hope stay anew that we know God has an answer, even when it may not be the one we desire. For God�s work includes everyone and not just us as an individual.

I think of the group of missionaries who went into the jungle to show a tribal culture the meaning of Christianity. They prayed this tribe might learn about Christ and be saved; yet they were killed by the hands of those they took the message to. Years later their families went to the same tribe, but this time the tribe listened, they heard the gospel of Jesus Christ and this tribe was saved. The deaths of the missionaries had not been in vain, but instead were a preparation for future events to come.

Father please allow hope to stay alive within us. Let us know there are times when our prayers are not answered directly, but the answers will come in the future. Let us be assured of our faith and our hope in You and may we never turn away from Your will that You have established for us. In Jesus name, Amen.

AskMe #2811544 07/22/14 05:40 AM
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Matthew 16:15-16 (NLT)
15 Then he asked them, �But who do you say I am?� 16 Simon Peter answered, �You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.�

This question follows this discussion with the disciples. When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, �Who do people say that the Son of Man is?� �Well,� they replied, �some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.� Simon Peter was quick and answered, �You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.� Messiah is a Hebrew term and Christ is a Greek term, both meaning �anointed one�. Peter knew Jesus to be the anointed savior of man.



[John Lennox (an author and professor of mathematics at Oxford University) tells a story about touring Eastern Europe and meeting a Jewish woman from South Africa. The woman told Lennox that she was researching how her relatives had perished in the Holocaust. At one point on their guided tour, they passed a display that had the following words written on it: Arbeit macht frei" (or "work makes free"). It was a mock-up of the main gate to the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz. The display also had pictures of the horrific medical experiments carried out on children by the infamous Dr. Josef Mengele. At that point of their tour, the Jewish woman turned to Lennox and said, "And what does your religion make of this?"

I said, "You know that I am a Christian. That means that I believe that Yeshua is the messiah. I also believe that he was God incarnate, come into our world as savior, which is what his name 'Yeshua' means. Now I know that this is even more difficult for you to accept. Nevertheless, just think about this question�if Yeshua was really God, as I believe he was, what was God doing on a cross?

"Could it be that God begins just here to meet our heartbreaks, by demonstrating that he did not remain distant from our human suffering, but became part of it himself? For me, this is the beginning of hope; and it is a living hope that cannot be smashed by the enemy of death. The story does not end in the darkness of the cross. Yeshua conquered death. He rose from the dead; and one day, as the final judge, he will assess everything in absolute fairness, righteousness, and mercy."

There was silence. She was still standing, arms outstretched, forming a motionless cross in the doorway. After a moment, with tears in her eyes, very quietly but audibly, she said: "Why has no one ever told me that about my messiah before?" [John Lennox, Gunning for God (Lion, 2011),]]


If someone were to ask you who is Jesus, who would you say He was? For those who are not Christians the answers would be varied. He was a good man. He was a role model for other. He was a persecuted man who was crucified. He was a teacher to many.

Yet Jesus was much more, He was The Christ, The Messiah, the one appointed to save the world from sin. It is through Christ that we can be reconciled with God. It is through Christ that we can share our burdens, problems and difficulties and Christ will help shoulder those afflictions. Christ loves us and gave His life for us. Place your faith in Christ and develop and real and meaningful relationship with Him. Then if someone asks who Jesus is, you will have intimate knowledge about Him.

AskMe #2811739 07/23/14 06:32 AM
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Proverbs 23:9 (NLT)
9 Don�t waste your breath on fools, for they will despise the wisest advice.

If the words of a wise man will not be heard then they should be held back for they will be in vain falling upon deaf ears. The words may of benefit to the foolish, but they will not listen for they are too content with the folly they are involved with.



[In the American frontier days, there was a settlement in the West whose citizens were engaged in the lumber business. The town felt they wanted a church. They built a building and called a minister. The preacher moved into the settlement and initially was well received. Then one afternoon he happened to see some of his parishioners dragging some logs, which had been floated down the river from another village upstream, onto the bank. Each log was marked with the owner's stamp on one end. To his great distress, the minister saw his members pulling in the logs and sawing off the end where the telltale stamp appeared.

The following Sunday he preached a strong sermon on the commandment "Thou shall not steal." At the close of the service, his people lined up and offered enthusiastic congratulations: "Wonderful message, Pastor." "Mighty fine preaching." "Keep up the good work."

It wasn't the response he expected, so he went home to prepare his sermon for the following Sunday. He preached on the same text, the same commandment, but gave it a different ending. He said, "Yes, thou shall not steal, but thou shall also not cut off the end of thy neighbor's logs." When he got through, the congregation ran him out of town. [Haddon Robinson, "Grace and Truth in Application," PreachingToday.com]]


Oh the foolishness of people. They are willing to listen to words of wisdom, but they fail to hear the message for themselves. They do not see the folly of their actions; nor the sin taking place in their life. The foolish mock others, hide their faults and when confronted with their flaws they turn against those who confront them as if they are wrong.

AskMe #2811862 07/24/14 06:44 AM
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3 John 1:13-14 (NLT)
13 I have much more to say to you, but I don�t want to write it with pen and ink. 14 For I hope to see you soon, and then we will talk face to face.

The 3rd book of John was a letter to his friend Gaius. It was an encouraging letter speaking of the work Gaius did to help others. It commended him and also warned him of those who spoke ill thinks that could influence his thoughts. He ends the letter saying he hopes to see Gaius and talk face to face.



In relationship communications, face to face talks are very important. It gives times for each to speak uninterrupted to one another. It allows for them to listen carefully and not be interrupted. It lets each other know that the other person is concerned about the things that are to be said.

In the news recently there was a husband who sent a spreadsheet to his wife listing dates, whether she accepted his advances for sex and her excuses if he was rejected. It was emailed to her to read. She got the email, but the email wasn�t too well received, can you only imagine?

Let�s go back to the face to face talk, which is the best way to communicate. Not only do you hear what is being said, you see how it is being said in body language, and you can hear the tone in which it is being said. Words, body language and tone all play an important part in communication. Emails take out body language and tone. How often have you said something and watched someone�s eyes roll? You know without hearing a word that they either didn�t believe you or thought �Oh no, not again!�

Let�s say I want to have a face to face talk with my wife. I would ask her if I could talk to her about something important and is now a good time. You want to make sure she has time to listen and is not in a hurry or maybe distracted by something else. If the time is good you can proceed to talk.

Try to state your feelings and keep the conversation more about you than trying to place blame on the other person. For instance the husband above could have said, �Lately I feel rejected about asking about sex because it never seems there is never an appropriate time. This gives the other person a chance to understand the feelings and does not place direct blame on them. Its a good way to open the conversation.

Now that the conversation has started keep on topic. Don�t start venting about other issues. You also want to carefully listen. Remember the words of the apostle Peter, �Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.� It both parties can learn these techniques discussions become more productive.

I also want to mention, men, you need to listen carefully to feelings a woman talks about. We are not as in tune with feelings as women are and we can miss a lot of clues.

AskMe #2811953 07/25/14 05:54 AM
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Matthew 5:43-48 (NLT)
43 �You have heard the law that says, �Love your neighbor� and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.

In these verses Jesus slightly changes a law most people have heard that they should love their neighbors and hate their enemies. Instead they should also love those who are against them just as the Father in Heaven loves each and every person. Jesus reminds the people that even those deemed sins can love as they do so why not attempt to be perfect as The Father in heaven is perfect.



The Bosnian War during the early 1990s pitted Bosnian Serbs against Muslims, making the sides bitter enemies. But after the war, journalist Chris Hedges heard a story of unusual kindness in the midst of savagery. Rosa and Drago Sorak, a Bosnian Serb couple, told Hedges that during the war the Muslim police took their oldest son, Zoran, away for questioning. He never returned.

Five months after Zoran's disappearance, his wife gave birth to a girl. The mother was unable to nurse the child. The city was being shelled and there were severe food shortages. Infants were dying in droves. The family gave the baby tea for five days, but she began to fade. "The baby was dying," Rosa Sorak said. "It was breaking our hearts."

But on the fifth day, just before dawn, the Soraks heard someone stomping up to their front door. It was their Muslim neighbor, Fadil Fejzic, one of the few people in town who owned a cow. He was wearing black rubber boots and holding a half a liter of milk. Other families insulted Fadil and told him to let the children of their enemies die. But Fadil, the man with a cow and heavy black rubber boots, kept showing up on their porch�for 442 days in a row, until the Soraks' daughter-in-law and granddaughter left the country.

The Soraks said they could never forgive those who took Zoran from them. But they also couldn't forget the kindness of their neighbor Fadil. Drago Sorak said. "The milk he had was precious, all the more so because it was hard to keep animals. He gave us 221 liters. And every year at this time, when it is cold and dark, when we close our eyes, we can hear the boom of the heavy guns and the sound of Fadil Fejzic on the stairs."

"Here was the power of love," Hedges concludes his story. "What this illiterate farmer did would color the life of another human being, who might never meet him, long after he was gone. In his act lay an ocean of hope." [Adapted Chris Hedges, War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning (Anchor, 2003), pp. 50-53]



We can see many signs of war in our world. King Solomon said it is Better to have wisdom than weapons of war, but one sinner can destroy much that is good. People can either make a difficult situation better or they can make it worst. Jesus calls on us to make life better for all. Love all those around us despite our differences and hopefully we can learn to live in harmony with each other.

AskMe #2812118 07/28/14 07:13 AM
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Philippians 3:14(NLT)
14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

A Christian should always press forward in the work they are doing for God knowing that the journey to reach heaven will be at hand one day. The race will have been run and the prize handed out to all who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ.




This is a story by Randy Alcorn, from �Money and the Disciple� that is always worth sharing. Author Randy Alcorn recalled a two-month missions trip that he and his family took some years ago that included a visit to Egypt. While in Egypt, Alcorn's hosts took him to visit an abandoned graveyard located at the end of a garbage-lined alley. The host pointed out one tombstone in particular�that of William Borden (1887-1913), heir to the Borden dairy estate. William was a millionaire by 21, but he renounced his fortune, giving nearly all his wealth to missions. His heart's desire was to take the gospel to Muslims in China. On his way to China, William stopped in Egypt to study Arabic, but four months later he contracted spinal meningitis and died at the age of 25.

Alcorn writes:

I dusted off the inscription on the headstone of Borden's grave. After describing his love for Christ and his commitment to and his love for the Muslim people; and his sacrifices for God's kingdom; the inscription ended with some words I wrote down on the spot�and I have never forgotten them to this day. The inscription ended with, "Apart from faith in Christ there is no explanation for such a life."
Then Alcorn wrote, "And I thought, Lord, what's the explanation for my life?"


To have been a millionaire in 1908 would have been a great accomplishment. And yet William Borden chose to run a different race in life. He chose to give up everything in order to serve Christ. Matthew 19:21-22 says, �Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.� There was another young rich man who came to Jesus, but unlike that young man, William Borden was willing to sacrifice everything to follow Christ.

You see William Borden came to the conclusion that apart from Christ life is meaningless. You can have many riches, but what do they mean if you aren�t living your life to something important. What is the purpose for your life? Maybe there are challenges Christ is waiting for you to complete.

AskMe #2812257 07/29/14 05:35 AM
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Psalm 119:93 (NIV)
93 I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life.

The best evidence of our love for God is never to forget the wisdom He has imparted to us through His word. For God�s wisdom is life changing and preserves our life.



I grew up in a Christian home where I went to church on Sunday. One of the things I learned to do as a child was to memorize scripture. Our Sunday school class had a chart up on the wall with our names and the scriptures we were to memorize. One set of those verses was Psalm 23. It seemed longed at the time as kid, but I endured and learned the passages.

Psalm 23
1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.


There are times those words will come to me reminding me how The Lord is with me, watching over me and allowing me to rest as He leads me. It was good for me to learn those verses and keep them with me.

The same has held true for many other people. I have heard soldiers speak of how the scriptures they had memorized kept them alive while they were held in horrible prisoner of war camps. I have heard the testimonies of people trapped by buildings collapsed by earthquakes repeating God�s promises to them until they were rescued. People have spoken of God comforting them through His word as they faced difficult trials.

You see when we draw close to The Lord by reading His word and meditating on it; The Lord draws close to us. He is there with us in fellowship watching over the souls of our life.

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Matthew 5:14,16 KJV
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Jesus was speaking to a multitude of people from the mountain when He spoke the words above. The words were a reminder that like a city on a hill that cannot be hidden, neither can the good works be hidden that we do for the Father in heaven. The sick will remember our care. The hungry will remember the meals provided. The homeless will remember the shelter provided them. All will see the good works accomplished and their thankfulness will be overflowing.



Our church has a program where people go out to feed the homeless and minister to some immediate needs. The homeless are invited to participate in a time of praise and worship. They are also supplied with a simple meal. Some of the local food stores provide things like bread, pastries and other items the people can take with them. People put together basic hygiene kits that have toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, hand lotions, razors and shaving cream and hand them out to the people.

During the winter months when the cold weather is setting in, the church will gather coats, blankets, and other warm clothes to provide the people. People line up hoping the supplies don�t run out before they get to the front of the line, but usually there is plenty for all. It�s on these nights that hot coffee and hot chocolate are served to help warm up the guests.

A young boy wrote the following after helping in this ministry. My name is Ben and I am 10 years old. I have been going to Church on the Street for a while with my father. It all started months ago when I heard about Church on the Street. I had no idea what to expect, my dad said it was serving, preaching and preparing food for the homeless people in Atlanta. I really wanted to go.

My first time going I was nervous because it was a large crowd. Church on the Street not only helped the homeless, but me as a child. I have grown closer with the Lord ever since I started serving at Church on the Street. Volunteers do many different jobs. I, for one, like to help with the snacks in the beginning. I like to say hi to all the homeless people. My real favorite job to do is to wrap the hot dogs in tin foil. Sometimes when I am not washing the dishes, I will go out with an adult and pray with a homeless person who needs prayer. I would like to do Church on the Street as long as I can and try new jobs when I get older.


There is a light within us that cannot be hidden. It is the light of love that The Lord has given to us all. We can let our light shine and have a great influence on many people. It is a light that cannot be hidden for it spreads to other people who share it as they too minister to people. One night I remember a homeless person giving up some of the things they had to help another person. The person was in need and the other person shared the little bit that they had to help. So let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

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