Friday, July 31, 2015

Whose Picture Is That?

An art teacher asked her students to draw a picture of someone famous. Looking over the shoulder of one of her students she asked, “And whose picture are you drawing?”
“God’s,” he answered confidently.
“God’s?” asked the teacher. “No one knows what He looks like.”
“They will when I get through!” he said.
Who was right: the teacher or the student?
Paul said that “Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God.” The word Paul chose for image was a word his readers knew meant “a description” of a person. In other words, what we see in the life of Jesus is a portrait, or a description, of God. So, if we want to know Who God is and what He is like, it is possible to see, know and understand God through the life and teachings of Jesus.
In Jesus we see a Man filled with unending love that included the least, the last, the loneliest. A Man who healed, helped and hungered to reach and redeem the lost. And this He did on a cross.
Prayer: Thank You, Father, for the picture we have of You in Your Son, our Lord and Savior. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Colossians 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Who Gets The Credit?

A Chinese farmer had only one son and one horse. Nothing else in life mattered much to him. One night his horse ran away. His neighbors came to console him and said, “What bad luck!”
Later the horse returned and brought twelve wild horses with him. The neighbors, hearing the news, gathered at his home and rejoiced with him saying, “What good luck!”
While taming one of the wild horses, the son fell and severely broke his leg. The neighbors gathered once again and with remorse said, “What bad luck!”
Soon after this, their warlord was engaged in a battle and took all of the able-bodied men to war – except his son.
None of the men returned. But the son, left behind, led a long and productive life.
Was it the Lord or was it luck?
Every event that occurs in our lives is open to interpretation. The discerning mind sees God at work.
Prayer: Help us, Father, to realize Your presence and power in our lives and see Your hand at work. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

What's In Your Name?

Arthur Rubinstein was one of the world’s most celebrated pianists. He often wondered what the critics and his audience would say if someone else appeared to play in his place in a concert.
One night, with an assumed name and made up to look different with a disguise, he performed a concert before a large audience. After the concert, the critics agreed, “The gentleman who played this evening wasn’t in the class with the great Rubinstein.”
We are reminded in Proverbs that “A good name is more desirable than great riches; and to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.”
God has called each of us to a life of service.
He has given us gifts and talents that He expects us to develop and refine. As we work with what He has given us, we develop a reputation for our accomplishments – whatever they may be. We become known to others not only by what we do but how well we do it. Our reputation, our “name,” is a result of what we do with what God has given us.
Prayer: Help us, Father, to “work hard” to “earn” a good name, and bring great honor to Your name in doing so. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Proverbs 22:1 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, Loving favor rather than silver and gold.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

What Would He Think?

A mother lectured her daughter about how important it was to keep family secrets private. One day she got in trouble in school and the principle called her mother to give her the information.
After scolding the girl, she said, “Now you must go to your room and ask God to forgive you.”
Later, when the family sat down for dinner she asked, “Sara, did you ask God to forgive you?”
“No, Mom, I didn’t,” said Sara. “I knew that you wouldn’t want Him to know about our family scandals!”
He had no doubt that everything he did and everything he said – whether good or bad – was seen or heard by God.
True for Job. True for us. Nothing that we have done or will ever do will escape His notice because nothing can be hidden from Him. As Job was speaking of the life he lived in the presence of God, he was able to say, “I have not committed any sin in my heart against God or my neighbor.”
Prayer: Help us to realize, Lord, that we cannot hide anything from You and to live lives free of sin. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Job 31:3-4 Is it not destruction for the wicked, And disaster for the workers of iniquity? Does He not see my ways, And count all my steps?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Warm Words And A Sincere Smile

Years ago at a missionary conference in London, a gracious man with an inviting smile noticed a young boy standing alone looking puzzled. Softly he asked, “Would you like to be a missionary?”
“Oh yes,” he answered, “yes, I would!”
And he did. He became one of the world’s most famous missionaries as well as an explorer in Africa. Years later, David Livingstone said, “It was that smile, gentle question and expression of kindness that led me to become a missionary.”
It is easy to overlook those who appear to be unimportant or seem to have no significance. We often consider them the “least in the Kingdom of God” – assuming that they have little worth in serving the Lord.
Jesus picked men to be His disciples who were considered “ordinary men.” But those “ordinary men” preached sermons, wrote books, established the Church, grew the Kingdom and reached the world because some One said, “Follow me!”
Prayer: Father, open our eyes to those around us who we may invite to work with us to reach the lost. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Potential of Praise

THE POTENTIAL OF PRAISE
He had a burning desire to be a writer even though everything seemed to be against him. As a young man in London, he was only able to attend school for four years. His father was jailed for bad debts and he had no one to help him.
Finally he got a job pasting labels on bottles. The owner of the business was kind enough to allow him to sleep in the warehouse where he worked. Every spare moment he had was invested in writing stories. For several years every editor rejected every story he ever submitted. But he refused to give up.
Finally, one day, one editor wrote him and said that one of his stories had been accepted for publication. He went on in his letter and complimented him for his work. A word of praise and the publication of one story were all that he needed. He continued to write and eventually perfected his passion. Today, libraries and book stores around the world contain many books written by Charles Dickens.
A word of encouragement goes a long way. And a word of encouragement is all that most of us need to “keep on keeping on.” Be an “encourager” to someone today!
Prayer: Lord, keep our eyes open and our minds alert to find and help all who need encouraging. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,

Saturday, July 25, 2015

"If Only" People

A psychiatrist was deeply troubled by the sadness of one of his dear friends. Curiously he asked, “What’s troubling you?”
After some time he responded, “I’ve been reviewing the ‘If onlys’ of my life. I’ve made so many mistakes.”
Wanting to help he said, “Let’s go to my office. I have some recordings I want you to hear.”
Sitting quietly he played a tape containing the stories of three very depressed patients. After a moment he asked, “Did you notice that each one kept repeating, ‘if only’?” The “if onlys” bring about a sense of hopelessness and helplessness, depression and discouragement. All of us must learn to say, “Next time I’ll do things differently. I’ll seek God’s will and ask for guidance before I make a decision.”
James said, “If you need wisdom – if you want to know what God wants you to do – ask Him and He will gladly tell you!” Wisdom here means “practical discernment or guidance” that will lead the Christian to right living and eliminate the “if onlys” of life.
Prayer: Father, may we look to You for guidance before we make decisions and trust Your directions. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Best Advice Ever

Derek Jeter, formerly a New York Yankee, is acknowledged by some to be one of the greatest shortstops who ever played baseball. One day a reporter asked him, “What’s the best advice your father ever gave you?”
Came the quick reply, “Don’t let anyone ever outwork you!”
It was hard, relentless work over many years that led Jeter to the pinnacle of his profession. And it is the same hard work that kept him there and served as a model that many seek to follow. His efforts have rewarded him lavishly and brought him friends, fame and fortune.
There are some of us, however, who work just as hard but get relatively little recognition. No one sees us and no one knows how hard we labor. We may even wonder if what we do really matters to anyone.
But it does – at least to God. One day He will reward us personally in front of everyone in heaven for the good we have done for others in His Name.
Prayer: Help us, Father, to realize that You will reward each one of us for all that we have ever done. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Ephesians 6:7-8 with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, 8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Success At What Price?

A reporter was interviewing a farmer who was known for growing the best corn in his area. He was intrigued by the fact that the farmer was also known for sharing his seed corn with his neighbors.
“Why do you share your best seed corn with your neighbors?” asked the reporter.
After a moment’s thought he replied, “The wind picks up the pollen from the ripening corn and swirls it from field to field. If my neighbors grew inferior corn, cross-pollination would degrade mine. If I am to grow good corn, I must help my neighbors do the same.”
Jesus said, “Give and it will be given unto you!” He was teaching us that if we want more, we must give more. That is God’s plan and it is His promise. Whatever we share with others, whether it is our time, our talents or our treasures, will always be returned to us with “interest added.” There will be more time in our days, more opportunities to enjoy life, our talents will continue to grow and our value to the Lord will increase as well.
Prayer: Help us, Lord, to give generously to others in the gracious way that You give to us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Share And Succeed

Disheartened by the lack of opportunities for work in Cuba a refugee made his way to America. He submitted one application after another only to have it rejected because he could not speak English.
Finally, in desperation he tried once again at a Pizza Hut, but with little hope. He was rejected and felt defeated. Then, while eating a piece of their pizza he noticed a sign that announced their need for a dishwasher. Expecting nothing in return, he went into the kitchen and began to wash dishes. The owners were so satisfied with his work that they offered him a permanent job and he began a successful career with the company. Years later he became an owner and one day sold his Pizza Hut franchise for $125 million.
Education and talent are no guarantee for success. Paul writes, “Do what is good” and not to “get discouraged and give up for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time.” We must always be sensitive to the needs of others and have a willingness to help. Sharing another’s burden and meeting another’s need always honors God and it will not go unnoticed by Him.
Prayer: Father, open our eyes to recognize when others need our help, and to respond with Your love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Galatians 6:9-10 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Right Is Right

The games were played, the gifts opened, the food eaten. Turning to his uncle, Billy said, “Thank you for my birthday present.”
“Oh, it was nothing,” he said pleasantly.
“Mom and I agree,” he replied, “but she said I should thank you anyway.”
An attitude of gratitude is very important. A mind that is alert to and aware of the gifts and kind acts of others is an invaluable asset to anyone. And a heart that is quick to express a word of “thanks” for any expression of thoughtfulness is deeply appreciated by others.
Too often as we make our way through life we focus on our worries and woes rather than God’s blessings that come to us through others. We seem to harbor problems and losses deep within us and tend to lose sight of God’s gracious and generous gifts.
Although it is normal and natural to bring our needs and necessities to God, we must never lose sight of our obligation to express our gratitude to Him for everything that He brings into our lives. If we truly love and worship Him our lives will be one continuous celebration of thanksgiving.
Prayer: Father, we ask that You will open our eyes to gifts that You constantly lavish upon us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: 1 Thessalonians 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Recognizing Reality

For several weeks a radiologist had suffered with a painful stomachache. Noting his discomfort, his associate suggested that he have a series of x-rays to rule out any problems.
He agreed to this plan and was assigned a number by the clinic. The next day he was examining a nameless x-ray that he did not know was his. Suddenly he cried out, “Contact this person immediately. He has inoperable cancer.”
Unfortunately, many of us have feelings of discomfort. We are uncomfortable and troubled. We hear sermons, read Scripture and even pray but get no satisfaction or relief. We wonder what is going on.
Peter wrote that it is important for us to keep our “conscience clear.” Perhaps when we experience moments or days of “dis-ease” God’s spirit is reaching out to us. When we feel no relief or peace or quiet or joy or satisfaction, no doubt He is saying – “Take an x-ray you will discover the problem. Look carefully for the sin that is causing you this pain.” If we examine our lives carefully, God will help us find the cause of our problem.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for all the warning signs You give us to let us know when we need to repent. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: 1 Peter 3:16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Past, Present Or Future?

A formal dinner for important individuals was scheduled in Washington. General Jimmy Doolittle decided to invite Charles Lindbergh, the famous pilot, to join him to recognize him for his outstanding accomplishments.
After a moment’s thought, Lindbergh said, “It seems to me that life is full of so many worthwhile opportunities that I do not want to spend a lot of time celebrating the past.”
Paul wisely said to his friends, “I choose to focus all my energies on one thing: I will forget the past…and look forward to serving You until the end of my race when I receive my prize: heaven!”
Too often we look at what we have done or where we have been and neglect to realize where we, as Christians, are going. We all have betrayed, disappointed and abandoned our Savior. However, we must let go of the past. God has forgiven us, so we must keep focused on our relationship with Him now and do what we can do to serve Him faithfully and lovingly until He greets us in heaven.
Prayer: Help me, Savior, to realize that the past is gone and that the life I live now is to please You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Philippians 3:13-14 but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Now Or Never!

In 1874 Elisha Gray did something that no one else had ever done. He unveiled a machine that transmitted musical notes over a telegraph wire. The audience was fascinated with the sounds. Proudly he said, “If music, why not words?”
Immediately the New York Times predicted a “Talking Machine,” and people expressed a great interest in wanting one.
Gray did nothing with his “machine” for two months. One day he decided to go to the patent office with a drawing. After presenting it to one of the officials he learned that Alexander Graham Bell had presented an identical sketch two hours earlier.
Gray did not fail. He hesitated.
Salvation is God’s free gift to everyone who accepts Christ. But like Gray, many put off making a decision about becoming a Christian until it is too late. Everyone seems to believe that there will always be another tomorrow because there was a yesterday.
Prayer: We pray, Father, for the ones we know who need to accept Christ as Savior today! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: 2 Corinthians 6:1-2 Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

Friday, July 17, 2015

No Mistake

He had been playing football in a muddy field. Tired and covered with fresh mud, little James returned home for dinner. His mother horrified with his appearance and wanting to shame him said, “Who’s this? I don’t know of anyone who lives here who could ever get so dirty and come to the table to eat!”
“It’s me, Mom,” he shouted. “It’s your son James who’s underneath all this dirt.”
Jesus once told the story of a son who went to his father and said, “Dad, I want whatever you have that has been set aside for my inheritance. I’m leaving home today.”
But things did not work out the way he thought they would. He wasted his inheritance on things with no eternal value. So, one day he “came to himself,” Jesus reported and decided to return home and face the consequences. But they were not what he expected.
He was met by his Dad who was filled with joy and compassion, longing for the day he would return. He wrapped his son in his arms and held him as tightly as he could and told him that he was loved and welcomed and “all is forgiven.”
What a picture of Jesus! Eyes searching, ears listening, arms open and heart pounding as He waits to receive us!
Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, for a love that exceeds our sinfulness and grace and mercy that accepts us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Luke 15:11-32 “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Me, My Mop And The Doctor

Early one morning Jim Belasco, a noted writer, went to the Methodist Hospital in Houston, to interview the world famous heart surgeon, Dr. Michael DeBakey. As he made his way toward the operating room, he met a custodian with a smile as large as life and singing happily with all his heart, mopping the floor.
Curious to see such enthusiasm at such an early hour, the writer asked, “Why are you so happy?”
Came the quick reply, “Me and the Doc are going to save some lives today.”
We all form partnerships for many different reasons. There are occasions when partnerships are formed for leisure activities or social events and other times for work or special projects. But imagine a partnership that included a mop and a scalpel, a doctor and a janitor. Unbelievable! But that is what Paul had in mind when he said, “We work together as partners who belong to (and bring glory to) God!”
PrayerFather, may all of our “partnerships” be formed with the simple purpose of pleasing You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: 1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Lost And Found

An explorer became lost in a dangerous part of an African jungle. His compass was of no use because he did not know where he was or which direction to travel. He became desperate and was filled with fear when a native appeared and offered to take him to his camp.
Hesitatingly, but hopeful, he asked, “Do you know the way?”
Confidently the native replied, “I am the way.”
People all around us are lost and looking for direction for their lives. The world has many maps and GPS systems but they offer no final destination that provides salvation, peace and hope. They are searching, even seeking desperately, and trying anything and everything, to discover a way out of their fear and hopelessness.
They need to hear the words of Jesus, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” In Him we have the direction we need for living here and hereafter.
Prayer: Father, thank You for being our Savior and Guide. Help us to lead others to You, the Way. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Keep Alert!

Years ago LSU and Indiana were playing in the NCAA Regional finals. LSU was leading Indiana by eight points going into the last few minutes of the game.
Suddenly, LSU began playing a different type of game. They were trying to use the clock to their advantage. But it did not work out the way they planned. As they took their eyes off of the ball and watched the clock, Indiana stayed focused on the ball and won the game.
In the last hours of the life of Jesus, He asked three of His disciples to stay awake and watch as He prayed. But they fell asleep. When He returned and found them sleeping, He did not scold them. Instead, He warned them to “keep alert and pray!”
Temptations come to the Christian when least expected. Jesus wisely warned and advised His disciples to combine praying with alertness or they would not see temptation taking advantage of them.
Prayer: Lord, please help us to be aware and alert to temptation by being focused always on You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Monday, July 13, 2015

It's What's Inside That Counts

Paganini, one of the world’s most famous violinists, walked onto the stage before a large crowd. Just before he began playing, he looked at the violin he was holding and realized that it was not his. He was horrified, but it was too late for him to do anything about the violin.
After the concert the critics and audience said it was the best concert of his entire career.
When questioned about using a violin that belonged to another person, he said, “Today I learned the most important lesson of my life. I once believed that the music was in the violin. Today I learned that it was in me.”
God has given each of us different abilities and gifts. They vary in name and number but not in value. They may be obvious to others or they may be seen only by Him when we serve others in His name. We must realize that His gift is within us and only comes to life when we respond to the opportunities He gives us.
Prayer: Equip us, Lord with gifts and abilities to serve others and bring honor and glory to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Romans 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith;

Sunday, July 12, 2015

How Does Your Garden Grow?

During a lunchtime conversation, a friend said to Samuel Coleridge, the famous poet, “Children should be given a free rein to think and act at an early age, and to make their own decisions.”
“Interesting,” said Coleridge. “Come with me. Let’s visit my flower garden.”
Walking outdoors together they came to a plot of ground that was in complete disarray. They stopped and Coleridge pointed and said, “Look at that.”
“That’s nothing but a bed of weeds,” protested the guest.
“It was a rose garden,” said the poet. “But this year I just let it grow as it willed, and look.”
Children, like gardens, need to be well cared for and nourished, given structure and attention. It is critical that parents accept their responsibility to God as well as their children and provide a nurturing and discerning lifestyle where Christ is always present.
Prayer: Lord, we ask for Your insight, strength and direction as we raise our children to honor You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

"Goodbye. We're Moving!"

The discussion at dinner centered on the family’s move to New York. That evening as she was saying her bedtime prayers with her mother, little Suzanne concluded them by saying, “Goodbye, Jesus. I guess we won’t be talking anymore. We are moving to New York and I’m not sure you can hear me from there.”
Our Heavenly Father is not confined to any city or church. He has no set hours or days off. We do not need an appointment and He has no secretary to screen His calls. He’s always there when we need Him for anything and everything. In fact, it is almost beyond belief that we have direct and immediate access to the Creator of the Universe.
When He encourages us to “call upon me,” He concludes this invitation by saying that He will personally “answer us.” What a gracious and generous guarantee from a loving and faithful Father. Wherever we are and whenever any need arises, He’s there waiting and listening for our call.
Prayer: Thank You, Father, for the promise that You listen, hear and answer when we call for help. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Jeremiah 33:3 ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’

Friday, July 10, 2015

Go On Or Give Up?

During the Olympics in Mexico City some years ago, a runner received a standing ovation – not for winning – but, of all things, for finishing last.
In the heat of the race, he tripped, fell and severely damaged one of his knees. He was in great pain and bleeding profusely when he stumbled across the finish line.
“Why didn’t you quit?” asked a reporter.
“My country did not send me 7,000 miles to start the race,” he answered. “They sent me 7,000 miles to finish the race!”
What courage he displayed. Had he quit, everyone would have understood his problem and pain. Everyone except the runner. He had a quality of character and a state of mind that enabled him to endure great suffering for the joy that would be his by completing the race.
When we face trying times, if we turn to and trust in the Lord, we can complete the race He has set before us. “Be courageous. Be strong,” said Paul. In other words – “Never give up.”
Prayer: Help us, Lord, to keep our eyes on You, our faith in You and find courage through You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: 1 Corinthians 16:13 Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Give Them A Push!

While a teenager, Jean Nidetch enjoyed walking through a park near her home. Day after day she saw children sitting in swings as mothers enjoyed themselves talking and laughing. While the mothers seemed to be enjoying one another, the children appeared to be neglected. One day she started to push them gently. Then she taught them how to pull on the ropes to set their swings in motion. Soon the children were able to swing on their own and enjoy themselves while their mothers visited.
It brought her much satisfaction to see the children having so much fun. It was from that experience that she found her role in life. She once said, “My role in life is giving others a push.” Ms. Nidetch went on to become the founder of Weight Watchers.
One day Andrew found his brother Peter and gave him a “push” toward the Lord. It took someone’s “push” for Peter to become a powerful leader. We must always look for opportunities to “push” people toward our Savior and Lord.
Prayer: Father, may we constantly look for ways to “give others a push” toward Jesus our Lord. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: John 1:34-43 He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

From Failure To Fortune

Harlan Sanders had just turned forty. No matter what he tried, he failed. Nothing he did succeeded. He was discouraged and disheartened.
Then, one day someone said to him, “Life begins at forty!”
He decided to open a gas station. Shortly afterward, he added a luncheonette. People said that his chicken was tasteless. Rather than giving up on his tasteless chicken, he worked on new and different seasonings. One day he finally combined the right seasonings in the right amounts for his now famous recipe and called it Harlan Sanders’ Fried Chicken. It soon brought him fame and fortune and the governor of Kentucky made him a “Kentucky Colonel.” It was the beginning of Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Through his faith in God he turned failure into fortune and tragedy into triumph and gave God the credit for his success. Life began at forty for the Colonel because he worked hard and trusted God. Hard work, trusting God and being faithful to the Lord is a winning combination. Follow the formula daily. It works.
Prayer: Father, help us to realize that failing does not make us a failure, but our lack of faith will.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Does Prayer Always Work?

An avid baseball fan was sitting next to a priest during a baseball game. Aware of the need to speak religiously, the fan did his best to speak of Godly things.
A player came to bat, and before stepping to the plate, bowed his head in prayer and made the sign of the cross. On the first pitch he hit the ball over the bleachers and out of the park.
On his next trip to the plate, he followed the same routine: he bowed his head and made the sign of the cross. On the first pitch he hit another home run. Amazed, the man turned to the priest and asked, “Does prayer always work like that?”
“It does,” said the priest, “if you can hit!”
We must always remember that God has given each of us unique skills, talents and abilities. And we must also remember that we are responsible to develop our gifts to the best of our ability. Then ask God to bless them as we seek to honor Him.
Prayer: May we always remember, Lord, that You will not do for us what we can do for ourselves. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: James 2:17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Conquered Or Conqueror

George Mallory, a famous mountaineer and explorer from England, led two expeditions to conquer Mount Everest. Both times he failed to conquer the mountain. He was so committed to conquer the mountain that he recruited another team to accompany him on another expedition.
He studied his past efforts thoroughly and made extensive preparations, carefully planning every detail. However, before he reached the top this time, an avalanche struck, killing him and most of his men.
One of the survivors was determined to honor Mallory. Looking at a picture of Mount Everest, he cried with tears in his eyes, “We shall defeat you some day because you can’t get any bigger and we can.”
When we feel defeated or destroyed by the tragedies of life, the most important thing we can ever do is to take God at His word. With Paul we can proclaim, “I can do all things through Christ!”
Prayer: Lord, may we seek strength from You, to meet and overcome every challenge we face. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.


Sunday, July 5, 2015

Caring Means Sharing

A delivery boy was in a hurry to make his last stop before going home. In his haste he stumbled and fell, breaking the two dozen eggs he had been carefully carrying. He sat on the curb near the customer’s home, crying.
A crowd gathered around him wanting to know if he had injured himself. Each of them was happy to learn that he was ok, but saddened that he had broken the eggs. One gentleman reached into his pocket and gave him two quarters. Turning to the others he said, “I care fifty cents worth. How much do the rest of you care?”
John clearly confronted Christians when he said, “If you have enough money to live well and see someone in need and refuse to help – how can God’s love be in you?”
And Paul also warned us that what we give and how we give is what we will one day receive ourselves in heaven. No matter what we say, it is always what we do. If we care, we will share. Works, not words, are the true proof of our love. We must walk our talk.
Prayer: Lord, may we realize that when we give to others in Your name we will never go without. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: 2 Corinthians 9:6 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Breakthrough!

BREAKTHROUGH
It was the first time she, JoAnn, had ever competed in the Special Olympics. She had trained hard but had no expectations of winning her race. But she did win.
After the medal was placed around her neck she ran to her parents and said, “Look mom and dad – I won! I won my race!” Tears fell from their eyes and splashed on their chests.
Noticing their tears, the judge approached them and asked, “Aren’t you happy that your daughter won the race? Why are you crying?”
Wiping the tears from her eyes, JoAnn’s mother said, “Of course we are happy she won her race. But what brought tears to our eyes was the joy we had in hearing the first words she ever uttered.”
It is easy for Christians to do good works and kind deeds in the name of the Lord without mentioning His name. And that is good. But we must also willingly and without hesitation boldly tell others of His redeeming grace and salvation.
Prayer: Give us courage, Father, to share Your message of love, hope and salvation with the lost. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 107:2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy,

Friday, July 3, 2015

Avoiding The Truth

A gentleman was fascinated with an advertisement he read about a barometer. He thought he would be the envy of his neighbors to have such an instrument at his home. In his mind he imagined them coming to him for weather reports. So he ordered one.
When it arrived, the needle was pointing to “Tornado.” In disbelief, he shook it, slapped it, and waved it from side to side. But the needle remained pointing toward the word “tornado.” In anger, he wrapped it up, took it to the post office and mailed it back to the manufacturer, thinking, “I’ve been cheated!”
As he was returning home he noticed that many trees were overturned with their roots in the air. Buildings were destroyed and power lines down. Damage and destruction was everywhere he looked. Finally, he turned onto the street where he lived and there, before his eyes, was his home that had been completely destroyed. The barometer was accurate: a tornado was approaching.
Many of us fail to realize that there are serious consequences for each decision we make. Every choice, does indeed, have its consequences. However, there is one choice that is more important than any other choice we will ever make: What will YOU do with Jesus?
Prayer: We thank You, Father, for Your salvation that can be ours through Christ, and accept it now. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth,  to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Anything For You, God?

As he was saying his morning prayers, little Ben surprised his parents by praying, “Good morning, God. What can I do for You today?”

Often our prayers are focused on what we want God to do for us rather than us asking God what He wants us to do for Him.

Could it be that we have shaped God into the image of a bellhop that we would find in a hotel? We dial a number, place an order and then wait at the door for someone to appear with our requests on a tray. Do we see prayer as the ultimate in heavenly room service?

One day Paul heard a voice saying, “Get up and go…and you will be told what to do!”

Our Lord sees a world full of people who need His love and salvation, grace and hope. And He has given us, His children, the responsibility to bring those who need Him, to Him. When we pray, we must first be willing to “get up and go” to serve Him before we “dial and wait” for what we want.

Prayer: Lord, when we pray, let us first hear what You want from us and then make our requests. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Acts 9:6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

All That Is His?

It was the first Sunday for the new pastor in the little country church. His sermon was short, but his prayer was rather lengthy. After the service was over, two members got together to share their opinions of the new pastor.
“That preacher sure can pray,” said one.
“Yes he can,” agreed the other. “He prayed for things that the last preacher didn’t know that the Lord had.”
Prayer involves responsibility and accountability. As God’s children we are responsible to go to our heavenly Father in prayer and ask for what we need. As for God our heavenly Father, He is accountable to answer our prayers because we are His children. It is important that we understand the child/heavenly Father relationship. Because we are God’s children we are to go to Him any time and every time we have a need. We are to ask for anything and everything, whenever we have a need and wherever we happen to be as long as the request is in agreement with His will and for our best. All of life comes from God and all of our life is given us to honor God. So, if what we ask will honor and glorify Him – the needs that we have that are in agreement with His Word – we can expect an answer.
Remember this: If it concerns us it concerned Him first and He will do whatever it takes to honor His promises if we are faithful to Him.
Prayer: Help us, Father, to rely completely upon You for everything we need, trusting in You always. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Jeremiah 33:3 ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’