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AskMe #2694470 01/02/13 07:10 AM
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Psalm 90:12 (NASB)
12 So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.

There is no certainty of life. We are always living under a constant threat that our life can be taken away from us at any moment. The Psalmist encourages us to use our life wisely, making each day count such that at the end of our days we may show God we used our lives wisely.


William Whiting Borden was a Christian missionary to Northern China and the heir to the Borden, Inc. family fortune. After his mother converted to Christianity in 1894, she began taking William to Chicago Avenue Church, now The Moody Church. He soon responded to the gospel of Christ and was baptized. Bible study and prayer became a passion in his life. After graduating from the Hill School in Pottstown, PA, at age 16, he traveled to Europe, Africa, and Asia. William entered Yale University in 1905, graduating in 1909 and then later from Princeton Theological Seminary. At age 21 he was already a millionaire, but he decided to renounce his fortune and give up everything to become a missionary to the Muslims of Northern China. Borden bequeathed $1 million to the China Inland Mission and other Christian agencies. Sadly William died at age 25 of cerebral meningitis while studying Muslim culture in Egypt.

After his death, Borden's Bible was found and given to his parents. In it they found in one place the words "No Reserve" and a date placing the note shortly after he renounced his fortune in favor of missions. At a later point, he had written "No Retreat", dated shortly after his father told him that he would never let him work in the company ever again. Shortly before he died in Egypt, he added the phrase "No Regrets."

William is buried in Egypt in an abandoned graveyard located at the end of a garbage-lined alley. A tombstone makes his grave and has the following inscription: A man in Christ He arose and forsook all and followed Him, Kindly affectioned with brotherly love, Fervent in spirit serving the Lord, Rejoicing in hope, Patient in tribulation, Instant in prayer, Communicating to the necessity of saints, In honour preferring others, Apart from faith in Christ, There is no explanation for such a life. William Whiting Borden (1887-1913)

In the New Testament Jesus called a rich young man to give up everything and follow him, but the rich young man walked away sadly for he could not give up his wealth. However, William Whiting Borden did exactly what Christ had called the other young man to do -- William gave up a life of wealth to follow Christ. Most of us might have a hard time understanding such a sacrifice. Truly apart from faith in Christ there is no explanation for such a life. For Christ Himself gave up the riches of heaven and gave His life for us that we may inherit the riches of God�s kingdom.

Lord teach us to number our days that we may present to You a heart of wisdom. Let us understand the sacrifices made that our lives may be lived for you Lord. In Christ�s name, Amen.

AskMe #2694719 01/03/13 06:35 AM
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Titus 2:9-10 (NIV)
9 Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, 10 and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.

Slaves during this period of time were often indentured servants. Usually these people acquired loans they could not repay so the lender had the right to hold them as slaves to work for them until their debt was repaid. The message Paul gives to Titus is we must act with integrity so that we may be trusted. Indentured slaves would steal from their masters hoping to repay the debt sooner, but in doing so they were stealing and going against one of God�s commandments.



"According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, employee dishonesty costs American businesses over $50 billion annually. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that 75 percent of all employees steal at least once and at least half of these steal again and again. The chamber also reports that one of every three business failures are the direct result of employee theft" [Bob Mather, Employee Theft: Prevention Beats Apprehension].

I watch a show called Mystery Diners that investigates employee theft in the restaurant business. Show after show people are caught in the act of taking goods or money from the restaurant owner. Sometimes the people steal just out of arrogance and evil desire. Some think they are compensating themselves for unfair wages. Sometimes they steal because they feel hopeless.

A Christian is no different from any other person. The temptation to steal is always right there in front of them. However, they know it is wrong to steal for God has told them so and the Holy Spirit speaks to their heart about the wrong. When a Christian steals, even a small amount, their integrity and trust are forfeited. It becomes difficult to tell someone about the love, mercy and grace of God given through Jesus Christ when their integrity has been shattered. This is why Paul wrote Titus to let him remind the new Christians of the wrong in stealing, even when they were bond in slavery.

You see we often justify our actions by the actions of others. We may say this person wronged me so I have a right to take from them. Yet we also know the old saying, �Two wrongs don�t make a right.�

Proverbs 10:9 reminds us, �Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.�

AskMe #2694964 01/04/13 06:56 AM
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Micah 6:8 (ESV)
8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

This verse is a response to the previous verses which said, �With what shall I come before the Lord and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression?� God Himself has told man what is right and good and yet there are those who believe they can purchase their pardon from sin by offering back to God what God has given them. What God requires is that we must act justly as God justly deals with us. We must show love and kindness to others just as God has done with us by offering mercy and grace through our Savior Jesus Christ. Finally we must humble ourselves by conforming ourselves to the will of God and abide by His will and follow Him in obedience that we might walk comfortably with God.




Bill White is outreach pastor at Emmanuel Reformed Church in Paramount, California. He shared this story, �I recently took a 45-minute drive in an old, beat-up van with a guy I barely know. Along the way we ended up talking about Jesus and whether this man would give his life to Christ. His response to me laid out humanity's resistance to the gospel with striking clarity. He said, "My biggest problem is pride. I can't humble myself. And you wanna know the reason I can't give up my pride?" He leaned up onto the steering wheel and paused for effect. "Because it's brought me so far."

I couldn't believe my ears. I knew that his pride had brought nothing but great pain. It was all he held onto while growing up in gangs�while his father died of a drug overdose and his mother was in the mafia. I knew that this self-made man beat his wife regularly, that he was unemployed, that he had just gotten out of prison. In fact, I found out a week later that he was on his way back into prison!

In a separate conversation, his wife told me that his young daughters are terrified of him, that he is an alcoholic, and that she is planning to leave him. She even told me that the old van he was driving was going to be repossessed in a week.

Yet despite all our differences, I couldn't help but notice that in some ways, this guy and I are similar. I struggle to lay down my pride, because it's brought me so far�or so I think. What it's really brought both him and me�and you, no doubt�is pain, isolation, and ruined relationships.�

Micah asks are we humbly walking with God. If we are holding onto pride the answer may be no -- for in order to have humility we must let go of pride.

AskMe #2695785 01/07/13 06:43 AM
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John 14:25-27 (NIV)
25 �All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Jesus tells us that we have an Advocated here on earth, The Holy Spirit, here to remind of what Jesus taught. The Holy Spirit always speaks on our behalf to the Father and Son. An advocate speaks favorably of those represented, which gives us a confidence, a peace, so we might not be troubled or afraid.




The African-American preacher E. V. Hill told the following story about a positive encounter with a white Christian leader. Hill writes:

As a freshman at Prairie View College, a part of the Texas A&M system, I was actively involved in the Baptist Student Union. [Our denomination's annual convention] for blacks, held in Nashville, Tennessee, was a highlight of the year. Much to my pleasure, I was one of two students selected to go. White students had raised the money. That was okay with me, as I viewed it as an act of pity on their part � or at best a chance to ease their guilty conscience. But then real trouble began!

The trip through the South was by car�three whites and two [blacks] traveling together. I had no idea how we'd eat or how we'd sleep. So great was my anxiety and hatred over how the trip might turn out that I almost backed out entirely �. In all my experience I had never seen a white man stand up for a black man and never felt I would.

But then Dr. Howard, the director of our trip and a white man spoke up. "We'll be traveling together," he said. "If there isn't a place where all of us can eat�none of us will eat. If there's not a place all of us can sleep�none of us will sleep."

That was all he said, but it was enough! For the first time in my life I had met a white man who was Christian enough to take a stand with a Christian black man. [William Cannon, editor, Seven Black Preachers Tell: What Jesus Means to Me (Broadman Press, 1971), pp. 99-100]

Dr. Howard was an advocate for these young men letting them know he personally was going to ensure they would have a place to eat and a place to sleep. He was letting them know they would stand together as one wherever they went.

In heaven we have an advocate � Jesus Christ who speaks on our behalf. In our daily lives we have The Holy Spirit as an advocate reminding us of what God promised and speaking to both God and Christ for us. Just as Dr. Howard did we need to be an advocate for each other.

Prayer: Lord I am thankful we have advocates who stand up for us. Lord thank you for being our advocate. Lord we thank you for the advocate we have in the Holy Spirit who guides us and takes up for our faults. Lord let us love like You that we may be advocates for others. In Jesus name, Amen.

AskMe #2695793 01/07/13 07:18 AM
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I was reading Proverbs this morning. I try to read the chapter associated with the day of the month since there are 31 chapters in the Book of Proverbs. Chapter 7 is one I think many need to be reminded of so I'm adding as an extra devotion this morning. It speaks of King Solomon watching an immoral affair unfold before his eyes. The affair was that of an Immoral Woman. We know the same could be true for a man as well as we see a young man fall to her seduction. Sadly what took place thousands of years ago still takes place today. Here are the verses from Proverbs chapter 7.

Another Warning about Immoral Women


1 Follow my advice, my son;
always treasure my commands.
2 Obey my commands and live!
Guard my instructions as you guard your own eyes.
3 Tie them on your fingers as a reminder.
Write them deep within your heart.


4 Love wisdom like a sister;
make insight a beloved member of your family.
5 Let them protect you from an affair with an immoral woman,
from listening to the flattery of a promiscuous woman.


6 While I was at the window of my house,
looking through the curtain,
7 I saw some naive young men,
and one in particular who lacked common sense.
8 He was crossing the street near the house of an immoral woman,
strolling down the path by her house.
9 It was at twilight, in the evening,
as deep darkness fell.
10 The woman approached him,
seductively dressed and sly of heart.
11 She was the brash, rebellious type,
never content to stay at home.
12 She is often in the streets and markets,
soliciting at every corner.
13 She threw her arms around him and kissed him,
and with a brazen look she said,
14 �I�ve just made my peace offerings
and fulfilled my vows.
15 You�re the one I was looking for!
I came out to find you, and here you are!
16 My bed is spread with beautiful blankets,
with colored sheets of Egyptian linen.
17 I�ve perfumed my bed
with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
18 Come, let�s drink our fill of love until morning.
Let�s enjoy each other�s caresses,
19 for my husband is not home.
He�s away on a long trip.
20 He has taken a wallet full of money with him
and won�t return until later this month.�


21 So she seduced him with her pretty speech
and enticed him with her flattery.
22 He followed her at once,
like an ox going to the slaughter.
He was like a stag caught in a trap,
23 awaiting the arrow that would pierce its heart.
He was like a bird flying into a snare,
little knowing it would cost him his life.


24 So listen to me, my sons,
and pay attention to my words.
25 Don�t let your hearts stray away toward her.
Don�t wander down her wayward path.
26 For she has been the ruin of many;
many men have been her victims.
27 Her house is the road to the grave.
Her bedroom is the den of death.



AskMe #2696112 01/08/13 06:18 AM
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Amos 5:14-15 (NLT)
14 Do what is good and run from evil so that you may live! Then the Lord God of Heaven�s Armies will be your helper, just as you have claimed. 15 Hate evil and love what is good; turn your courts into true halls of justice. Perhaps even yet the Lord God of Heaven�s Armies will have mercy on the remnant of his people.

Matthew Henry writes � �The scope of this chapter is to prosecute the exhortation given to Israel in the close of the foregoing chapter to prepare to meet their God; the prophet here tells them What preparation they must make; they must "seek the Lord,�� and not seek any more to idols; they must seek good, and love it.� Here in these verses there was a benefit to following this decree in that perhaps God would have mercy seeing the change in the lives.



In Spanish, it's called el camino de la muerte, which translated into English means "road of death." In 1995, the Inter-American Development Bank called it the "world's most dangerous road."

Found in Bolivia, this dirt and rock route stretches 38 to 43 miles, depending on the source, and descends from La Paz (at 12,000 feet) down to the beautiful rain forest town of Coroico at the edge of the basin of the Amazon River.

Why so dangerous? An average of 26 vehicles fall off this road each year; and 200 to 300 people lose their lives on it annually. Steep hillsides, cliffs, and drop-offs with no guardrails present hazards, and the road in places has room for only one vehicle. Rain and fog complicate the trip, along with muddy surfaces and loose rocks sliding down hillsides. On July 24, 1983, over 100 passengers were killed when a bus veered over the edge and crashed into a canyon.

But, despite the danger, the road has become an increasingly popular tourist attraction since the early 1990s. [Graham Gori, "Thrills on the Highway of Death," Associated Press (11-24-02)]

You would think that knowing a road is called �road of death� and it�s the most dangerous road in the world killing 200-300 people a year that people would shy away from such a road. Still people are actually taking bike tours down the dangerous path. To quote on person leaving a comment on a trip site, �We had no hesitation in signing up for the Death Road, it sounded like an adventure not to be missed.� Another said, �Death Road is not for the faint of heart, and not for people who don't already feel comfortable on bikes.� Yet there is still a thrill an attraction to participate in this danger.

Let me tell you friend there are people every day participating in things that attract and may even thrill for the moment, but that lead to disaster in the end. Here I am talking about following the road of sin. Sin can destroy a person�s life. Sin can destroy relationships. Sin can even kill. Yet people are attracted to sin and follow it despite the danger. Let this be a warning that we should hate the sin that faces us enough to protect our lives, relationships, and loved ones. We should love the Lord our God who watches over us and protects us and instead follow His road of goodness.

The prophet Amos warned the people and many did not listen. Don�t be like one of those who didn�t listen to God�s warnings about sin. Decide today that you will commit your life to The Lord. There is a road that leads to death, but there is also a road that leads to life with Jesus Christ our Lord. Which road are you on?

AskMe #2696519 01/09/13 07:22 AM
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Jeremiah 29:10-12 (NLT)
10 This is what the Lord says: �When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,� declares the Lord, �plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

Reverend Matthew Henry (18 October 1662 � 22 June 1714) was an English commentator on the Bible and Presbyterian minister. About chapter 29 of Jeremiah he wrote here is, I. A letter which Jeremiah wrote to the captives in Babylon, against their prophets that they had there (v. 1-3), in which letter, 1. He endeavours to reconcile them to their captivity, to be easy under it and to make the best of it (v. 4-7). 2. He cautions them not to give any credit to their false prophets, who fed them with hopes of a speedy release (v. 8, 9). 3. He assures them that God would restore them in mercy to their own land again, at the end of 70 years (v. 10�14). 4. He foretels the destruction of those who yet continued, and that they should be persecuted with one judgment after another, and sent at last into captivity (v. 15�19). 5. He prophesies the destruction of two of their false prophets that they had in Babylon, that both soothed them up in their sins and set them bad examples (v. 20�23), and this is the purport of Jeremiah�s letter.



If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music, sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

God has a plan for everyone�s life. His desire is to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. The King James Version of The Bible says this a little different. It says, �thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.� The Lord wants us to be able to live a peaceful life avoiding evil which disrupts life. The Lord wants us to prosper in what we might do so that we may carry out the plans He has for us � to reach others and share His message of salvation in Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul was a tentmaker, yet he was also a great missionary to all people. As Paul needed, he stopped to perform his trade in order that his needs in life would be met. When Paul was carrying on the work of The Lord his needs were often met by others who saw his dedication to The Lord.

In 2006 Success Magazine uncovered some surprising results into the insights of American. A prosperous, successful life was not so much about having wealth and money, but instead having a good relationship with family, spouse and God. The two most important elements for success were Faith and family.

Many of you have family that loves you and supports you. More importantly there is God who loves you, supports you, and has given you plans for you and your family. Let�s pray we can put those plans to good use by serving The Lord.

AskMe #2698090 01/14/13 06:44 AM
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1 John 4:20-21 (NLT)
20 If someone says, �I love God,� but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don�t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? 21 And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their Christian brothers and sisters.

Matthew Henry wrote -- As love to our brother and neighbour in Christ; such love is argued and urged on these accounts:�1. As suitable and consonant to our Christian profession. In the profession of Christianity we profess to love God as the root of religion: "If then a man say, or profess as much as thereby to say, I love God, I am a lover of his name, and house, and worship, and yet hate his brother, whom he should love for God�s sake, he is a liar (v. 20), he therein gives his profession the lie.�� That such a one loves not God the apostle proves by the usual facility of loving what is seen rather than what is unseen: For he that loveth not his brother, whom he hath seen, how can he love God, whom he hath not seen?


Think about this -- if all the people you dislike or hate are the same people you believe God would dislike or hate then you have most likely created God out of your own imagination and not the words given to us in The Bible. God is a god of love, mercy and grace. To make God anything else makes us liars about God�s nature and our love for Him. Jesus gave us all a commandment in John 13:34-35 to obey, �So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.�

Unfortunately English allows the word �love� to be used in so many ways. The Greek version of the word �love� we want is agape. Agape love is described as being patient, kind, truthful, unselfish, trusting, believing, hopeful, and enduring. It is not jealous, boastful, arrogant, rude, selfish, or angry. True love never fails. The description perfectly fits God's love toward us, and should be the way we love each other and God. Unfortunately most of us will never live up to that entire definition of love, but wouldn�t it be nice if we tried.

In Matthew 22:37 when Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, He said, "YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND." He then added that the second most important law was "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." Jesus said that the entire law was dependent upon these two commandments. In other words, all that we do to please God comes out of love for God. If we cannot love man who we see, how can we love God who is unseen.

AskMe #2698801 01/16/13 06:08 AM
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Galatians 5:16 (NLT)
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

Later in Galatians 5 the apostle explains the desires of the flesh this way -- The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies and the like. The flesh of our souls wants to act against that which is right. Matthew Henry tells us -- The best antidote against the poison of sin is to walk in the Spirit, to be much in conversing with spiritual things, to mind the things of the soul, which is the spiritual part of man, more than those of the body, which is his carnal part, to commit ourselves to the guidance of the word, wherein the Holy Spirit makes known the will of God concerning us, and in the way of our duty to act in a dependence on his aids and influences.



Carl Sandburg the poet once wrote, ��There is an eagle in me that wants to soar, and there is a hippopotamus in me that wants to wallow in the mud�. I think many of us in our daily lives feel that way. We want to do that which is good and then comes along something that just makes us want to wallow in sin. The Apostle Paul had the right answer for us � we need to walk by the Spirit. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to guide us in our daily lives. We also need to be in a spirit of companionship with The Lord in that we desire to be closer to Him. We do that by reading The Bible, which is God�s word. We also become closer to The Lord through prayer, having a conversation with Him about what is going on in our life and then waiting for His response.

When I saw Sandburg�s quote on eagles there was another quote nearby from another person. It said, �When you soar like an eagle, you attract the hunters.� We also need to remember when we feel like we are on top of the world Satan is right there as our hunter ready to take us down. Again, being close to God, standing firm in your faith, holding on to God�s promises will help hold you away from the temptations that come towards you.

May God bless you, keep you safe, and walk with you daily through your life.

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It's a constant, daily, sometimes minute by minute battle.
The desires of the flesh against the Way.

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Originally Posted by AskMe
I was reading Proverbs this morning. I try to read the chapter associated with the day of the month since there are 31 chapters in the Book of Proverbs. Chapter 7 is one I think many need to be reminded of so I'm adding as an extra devotion this morning. It speaks of King Solomon watching an immoral affair unfold before his eyes. The affair was that of an Immoral Woman. We know the same could be true for a man as well as we see a young man fall to her seduction. Sadly what took place thousands of years ago still takes place today. Here are the verses from Proverbs chapter 7.

Another Warning about Immoral Women


1 Follow my advice, my son;
always treasure my commands.
2 Obey my commands and live!
Guard my instructions as you guard your own eyes.
3 Tie them on your fingers as a reminder.
Write them deep within your heart.


4 Love wisdom like a sister;
make insight a beloved member of your family.
5 Let them protect you from an affair with an immoral woman,
from listening to the flattery of a promiscuous woman.


6 While I was at the window of my house,
looking through the curtain,
7 I saw some naive young men,
and one in particular who lacked common sense.
8 He was crossing the street near the house of an immoral woman,
strolling down the path by her house.
9 It was at twilight, in the evening,
as deep darkness fell.
10 The woman approached him,
seductively dressed and sly of heart.
11 She was the brash, rebellious type,
never content to stay at home.
12 She is often in the streets and markets,
soliciting at every corner.
13 She threw her arms around him and kissed him,
and with a brazen look she said,
14 �I�ve just made my peace offerings
and fulfilled my vows.
15 You�re the one I was looking for!
I came out to find you, and here you are!
16 My bed is spread with beautiful blankets,
with colored sheets of Egyptian linen.
17 I�ve perfumed my bed
with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
18 Come, let�s drink our fill of love until morning.
Let�s enjoy each other�s caresses,
19 for my husband is not home.
He�s away on a long trip.
20 He has taken a wallet full of money with him
and won�t return until later this month.�


21 So she seduced him with her pretty speech
and enticed him with her flattery.
22 He followed her at once,
like an ox going to the slaughter.
He was like a stag caught in a trap,
23 awaiting the arrow that would pierce its heart.
He was like a bird flying into a snare,
little knowing it would cost him his life.


24 So listen to me, my sons,
and pay attention to my words.
25 Don�t let your hearts stray away toward her.
Don�t wander down her wayward path.
26 For she has been the ruin of many;
many men have been her victims.
27 Her house is the road to the grave.
Her bedroom is the den of death.

This verse can also have a spiritual meaning of being lead astray by false doctrines

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Philippians 2:14-16 (NLT)
14 Do everything without complaining and arguing, 15 so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. 16 Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ�s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless.

The Apostle Paul calls upon Christians to live obeying The Lord�s word without complaining and arguing so there will be no criticism, but instead peace and love towards one another. In our lives we should endeavor not only to be harmless, but to be blameless; not only to do no hurt, but not to come under suspicion of it. We are to live life looking forward to the day of being reunited with Christ, serving others and sharing His wonderful message of salvation. In doing we can be proud the lives we lived were not in vain, but produced fruit that would endure forever.




Jim Petersen tells the story of Mario, [a friend from South America] with whom he had studied the Bible for four years before Mario became a Christian. The Bible studies reflected the fact that Mario was a Marxist intellectual who'd read all the leading Western philosophers. A couple of years after his conversion, Jim and Mario were reminiscing: "Do you remember what it really was that made me decide to become a Christian?" Mario asked.

Petersen thought of all their Bible studies and philosophical discussions. Mario's reply took him by surprise. "Remember that first time I stopped by your house? We were on our way someplace together, and I had a bowl of soup with you and your family. As I sat there observing you, your wife, and your children, and how you related to each other, I asked myself, 'When will I have a relationship like this with my fianc�?' When I realized that the answer was 'never,' I concluded I had to become a Christian for the sake of my own survival."

Petersen did remember the occasion. He remembered his children behaving badly and his frustration at having to correct them in front of Mario. Yet Mario saw the grace of Christ binding that family together. Years later, Petersen would comment on this incident:

We tend to see the weaknesses and incongruities in our lives, and our reaction is to recoil at the thought of letting outsiders get close enough to see us as we really are. Even if our assessment is accurate, it is my observation that any Christian who is sincerely seeking to walk with God, in spite of all his flaws, is reflecting something of Christ. [Tim Chester, A Meal with Jesus (Crossway, 2011), pp. 95-96]



How we live our lives has a great impact on others. We need to ensure we love others like Christ loved so they may see Christ living in us. Isaiah 55:11 says of The Lord, �It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.� Our lives should reflect that same idea that what we seek to accomplish will proper in goodness and accomplish what God intended for our lives.

AskMe #2699294 01/17/13 10:04 AM
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That's interesting how Peterson was worried that his kids were misbehaving. Yet God still used that opportunity to reach Mario

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Acts 22:19-20 (NIV)
19 �Lord,� I replied, �these people know that I went from one synagogue to another to imprison and beat those who believe in you. 20 And when the blood of your martyr Stephen was shed, I stood there giving my approval and guarding the clothes of those who were killing him.�

Paul had been arrested for speaking about the Gospel of Christ. Standing in front of a crowd of people he gave his testimony of how he came to know Christ. In the verses above he confesses his guilt over the abuse and murders of Christians. He admits how he imprisoned and beat those who believed in Christ. Paul was even present for the stoning of Stephen watching after the clothes of those who disrobed to throw their stones to kill Stephen.



Some of the apostles who first met Paul were very leery of him. They had witnessed what he had done to other Christians. They knew of his reputation. Now he was with them preaching the Good News of Salvation to both Jew and Gentile. Yet they still feared his past. They feared Paul might turn on them as he had done in the past. Eventually they learned to embrace Paul as a fellow Christian and friend.

We need to remember The Lord can change people. God can change a thief and give them a heart of gold. The Lord can change someone in the adult business and make them a minister who helps those trapped where they use to be. The Lord can even soften the heart of a murderer and make them truly repentant for what they have done. God has the power to change people and make them different.

The next time you meet an unlovable person try to share with them the Good News of Jesus Christ. Share about God�s love for them. Share how God wants to give them a new life.

AskMe #2700830 01/22/13 06:32 AM
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Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV)
7 �Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Jesus gave us three things we are to do � Ask, Seek, and Knock. To better put it - Pray; pray often; pray with sincerity and seriousness; pray, and pray again; make conscience of prayer, and be constant in it; make a business of prayer, and be earnest in it. When we ask of God we do so in several ways. We ask for things that represent our wants. We ask for what sustains us. We ask that our burdens may be lifted. As we ask we seek God�s answer, we must always be vigilant that God provides an answer; even if the answer does not agree with how we perceived the request should be answered. Sin shuts the door between us and God so we must knock asking The Lord to forgive us. We must knock persistently -- pleading and wrestling with God over the answers we seek; always persevering in prayer knowing The Lord will give His final answer.



Francis Thompson, a 19th century British poet wrote "The Hound of Heaven" alluding to Christ as a hound who is in a relentless pursuit of loving us. Thompson was a follower of Christ, but he struggled with poverty, poor health, and an addiction to opium (sold those days as an "over-the-counter" medication). In the depths of his despair, Thompson put into poetry, what is called THE HOUND OF HEAVEN describing his flight from The Lord: "I fled him, down the nights and down the days. I hid from him, and under running laughter. I sped � from those strong feet that followed, followed after [me]." Thompson knew the unrelenting love of Jesus -- the hound of heaven. In the poem Jesus pursues Thompson with "unhurrying chase, and unperturbed pace, deliberate speed, and majestic urgency." He hears the feet of Jesus beating after him as Jesus calls, "All things betray those who betray me.�

The Lord is in pursuit of us with an unbridled passion to fellowship with us and to love us. Yet so often we are on the run from the Lord; not even taking the time to pray or thank Him for what He has done in our lives. Make this the day you stop running from The Lord, asking Him for direction, seeking His will to follow, and knocking that you might fellowship with Him.

AskMe #2701126 01/23/13 07:14 AM
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James 1:5 (NLT)
5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.

For those who might feel discouragement, here is an encouraging word from James. When we go to God in need of wisdom He is sure to provide it. God is of a giving nature that what we ask is not beyond him and it is His nature to be inclined to provide for us. Even though we might ask in small portion God loves to give generously. Whoever we might be -- there is no fear in asking. For God loves all people and is willing to depart His wisdom upon them.



A Texas kindergarten student asked his teacher for help, and she could see why. Even with her pulling and him pushing, the little boots still didn�t want to go on. By the time they got the second boot on, she had worked up a sweat. She almost cried when the little boy said, �Teacher, they�re on the wrong feet.� She looked, and sure enough, they were. It wasn�t any easier pulling the boots off than it was putting them on. She managed to keep her cool as together they worked to get the boots back on, this time on the right feet. He then announced, �These aren�t my boots.� She bit her tongue rather than get right in his face and scream, �Why didn�t you say so?� Once again, she struggled to help him pull the ill-fitting boots off his little feet. No sooner had they gotten the boots off when he said, �They�re my brother�s boots. My mom made me wear �em.� Now she didn�t know if she should laugh or cry, but she mustered up what grace and courage she had left to wrestle the boots on his feet again. Helping him into his coat, she asked, �Now, where are your mittens?� He said, �I stuffed �em in the toes of my boots.�


This child was asking for the wisdom of his teacher to help. Unfortunately she didn�t have all the knowledge and facts she needed at one time. It was through trial and error that she persevered. Fortunately there is God who has all the knowledge, all the facts, and all the wisdom we could ever need. And while the teacher might have gotten frustrated, fortunately God never will. God is always there ready to grant us wisdom and help us through our issues when we ask.

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Proverbs 18:24 (NLT))
24 There are �friends� who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.

A friend must be a friend to one another. To have friends and keep them, we must not quarrel with them, but instead love them and make it obvious that we do so by all expressions that are endearing by being open with them. We are also to be pleasing to them, visiting them and welcoming them; and especially by doing all the good services within our power -- that is showing ourselves as a friend. If you wish to gain the affection of a friend you must also be ready to bestow affection for that friend. We can find a great deal of comfort in a friend. In our troubles we desire comfort and relief from our family; but sometimes there is a friend whose love proves stronger than those of the natural family and when it comes to trial will do more for us than a brother will.




Comedian Steve Harvey is all about getting a laugh, whether as one of the cracking-wise "Kings of Comedy" or as the newest host of long-running game show "Family Feud."

But Harvey showed a more emotional side on his daytime television show this week, thanks to an unexpected call. Harvey, who turned 56 on January 17, took a call via satellite during the show's taping as part of his birthday special. What transpired next sent both Harvey and his audience to tears.

A man appears and wishes him a happy birthday, causing Harvey to whisper "Aw, man," before pacing the stage. "This is Rich Liss from Orlando, Florida," the man said. "Do you still love me, baby?"

Harvey bends over, choking back sobs for a few moments. "Hey, man," he said, still trying to pull himself together. "I love you."

It turns out Liss and his wife, Becky, were early supporters of Harvey, first when he was a 26-year-old running a fledgling carpet cleaning business, and later when he was trying to break into comedy.

"I was struggling," Harvey said, wiping tears away. "I didn't have nothing. And these people... took me in." [The Huffington Post, By Anthonia Akitunde, Posted: 01/19/2013]


I watched the video with my wife and it was obvious by Steve�s tears these were genuine friends. My wife said, �You know, Steve may have lost track of Rich and Becky, but I�m sure Rich and Becky saw Steve Harvey on TV and could have easily sought him out.� Then she added, �Others would have might have sought Steve out for his fame and fortune, but not these people. This family gave out of their hearts expecting nothing but to see Steve succeed in life.�

Remember the importance of friendship as you are friends to others. Keep this thought also, Jesus is a friend who loved us deeply and who gave freely of His life that we would also succeed in our lives.

AskMe #2702201 01/26/13 11:52 AM
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Proverbs 8:28-30 (NLT)

I was there when he set the clouds above, when he established springs deep in the earth. I was there when he set the limits of the seas, so they would not spread beyond their boundaries. And when he marked off the earth�s foundations, I was the architect at his side. I was his constant delight, rejoicing always in his presence.

Jesus was there from the very beginning of time and in every moment of creation. He was by His Father�s side as your life was handwritten in love. Not one detail was missed as your Savior looked at the freedom that would be given to you one day. What a comfort to know that Jesus Christ has been part of God�s Plan from the beginning and not an addition along the way! The Lord knew exactly what was needed to change bondage into boundaries. One may think the two words are the same but they are not. Bondage is to be confined and restrains. Boundaries mark claimed territory. It marks the farthest limit. Grace offers us freedom. It is to one�s benefit to live a life of boundaries. Boundaries are confirmation of acquisition. As we grow in our walk with the Lord, these boundaries will expand as our territory grows. God�s Love continually moves the markers surrounding our life farther and farther as we discover another facet of God�s Amazing Grace and Love.

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Matthew 24:42-44 (NLT)
42 �So you, too, must keep watch! For you don�t know what day your Lord is coming. 43 Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would keep watch and not permit his house to be broken into. 44 You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.

Jesus is preparing His disciples by reminding them to not only to believe �that our Lord will come, but to desire that He would come, to be often thinking of His coming, and always looking for it as sure and near, and the time of it uncertain. To watch for Christ�s coming, is to maintain that gracious temper and disposition of mind which we should be willing that our Lord, when he comes, should find us in. To watch is to be aware of the first notices of his approach, that we may immediately attend his motions, and address ourselves to the duty of meeting him. Watching is supposed to be in the night, which is sleeping time; while we are in this world, it is night with us, and we must take pains to keep ourselves awake.� [Matthew Henry]



In the verses above Jesus uses an illustration, �If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would keep watch and not permit his house to be broken into.� I believe most people want to protect their property and ensure the safety of their home and family. It seems contrary the words of Jesus in Luke 6:29 where He says, �If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also.� In our Christian lives we should stop and think about our actions. A strike to the cheek was meant as an insult. If a person insults us try to resolve the situation peacefully, even allowing them to insult us again if need be. In the case of someone demanding our coat for warmth, go an extra step and see how you might be able to help keep them. Our first thoughts should always be towards love, grace and mercy as The Lord himself has shown us and not revenge. However, there is a difference in giving up personal revenge and confronting evil in self-defense. There are times when we might find it necessary to defend ourselves in all manners.

In Genesis we see Abraham defending his relatives by pursuing those who took his relatives captive. It should be noted that this action wasn't for revenge but only to secure the safe release of his family and the return of his property. So obviously God allows us to protect our families and relatives and their property. Genesis 14:14-16, "When Abram heard that his nephew Lot had been captured, he mobilized the 318 trained men who had been born into his household. Then he pursued Kedorlaomer�s army until he caught up with them at Dan. There he divided his men and attacked during the night. Kedorlaomer�s army fled, but Abram chased them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus. Abram recovered all the goods that had been taken, and he brought back his nephew Lot with his possessions and all the women and other captives.�

You see Jesus knew during His time people were taking the law into their own hands instead of allowing administrators to administer justice. We should never believe we have the right to exact revenge upon others, but we do have the right to protect our home and family when those occasions arise.

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Mark 9:35 (NIV)
35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, �Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.�

In verses 33-4 Jesus and his disciples were on the road. Verses 33-34 said, �They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, �What were you arguing about on the road?� But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.� Now Jesus already knew what they were talking about and yet they kept quiet. So instead of rebuking them directly he tells them, �Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.� It probably knocked the wind out of those who said they thought they were first among His disciples.



Earnest Shackleton led a daring expedition in 1914 to reach Antarctica. A year earlier, a lesser-known Canadian-led expedition headed in the other direction to explore the North Pole. Both ships, the Karluk in the north and the Endurance in the south, found themselves trapped by solid ice packs. Each crew was faced with a fight for survival. But the outcomes of the two expeditions couldn't have been more different.

In the north, the crew members from the Karluk, led by Vilhjalmur Stefansson, degenerated into a band of selfish, mean-spirited, cut-throat individualists, ending in the death of all 11 crew members. In the south, Shackleton's crew faced the same problems�, cold, food shortages, stress, and anxiety, �but his crew responded with teamwork, self-sacrifice, and astonishing good cheer.

In the end, each leader stayed true to his core leadership values. Stefansson valued success above caring for people. He consistently communicated his ultimate objective: getting to the North Pole. In Stefansson's words this meant "that even the lives of the [crew] are secondary to the accomplishment of the work!" To the very end, Stefansson denied that his drive for success led to a tragedy� for himself and his crew.

In sharp contrast, Shackleton's leadership focused on the value and dignity of his teammates. At one of the lowest points of his trip, Shackleton wrote, "The task was now to secure the safety of the party." The well-being of his team drove him to put others first. Shackleton even gave away his mittens and boots and volunteered for the longest night watches. By valuing each person, Shackleton forged a team that was willing to share their rations with each other, even on the brink of starvation. Through his example of sacrificial leadership, Shackleton was able to accomplish his ultimate objective: saving the lives of his crew members. [Dennis N. T. Perkins, Leading at the Edge, (AMACOM, 2000), pp. Xiii-xiv]

I dare say the trip to the Antarctica may have been a tougher journey and yet these men survived by putting each other ahead of themselves. They understood the concept Jesus was trying to instill in His disciples. Always be ready to put others first and be a servant to all. In doing so you will end up helping each other through the tough times.

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