Thursday, June 30, 2011

+DEV+ Reaching Out

Date: June 30, 2011 12:38 AM
Topic: +DEV+ Reaching Out

Reaching Out

"So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified." (GALATIANS 2:16B)
Scripture Focus: Matthew 9:9-13

When Jesus met Matthew, a successful and dishonest tax collector, He could have passed on by. Instead, Jesus saw Matthew's spiritual need and gave him this invitation: "Follow me."

Remarkably, Matthew didn't hesitate to leave his business and follow. With a new life and a changed heart, Matthew's desires changed, too. He invited Jesus, His disciples and "sinner" friends to dinner. The group shared laughter and lively conversation while food was passed and enjoyed. What an opportunity to know the Savior!

But this irritated the Pharisees who believed salvation came by obeying the law. Pointing accusing fingers to the group of diners, they questioned the disciples. "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"

Jesus speaks to us as He spoke to the Pharisees because we ourselves are no better than those "tax collectors and sinners." Yet Christ has invited us to dine with Him and know Him. The same call that Matthew heard comes to us as well: "Follow me."

Insight: Christ Promised Us Power In The Holy Spirit To Tell People In Our Area And Outward That He Died To Save Them. (See Acts 1:8).

+DEV+ Reaching Out

Date: June 30, 2011 12:38 AM
Topic: +DEV+ Reaching Out

Reaching Out

"So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified." (GALATIANS 2:16B)
Scripture Focus: Matthew 9:9-13

When Jesus met Matthew, a successful and dishonest tax collector, He could have passed on by. Instead, Jesus saw Matthew's spiritual need and gave him this invitation: "Follow me."

Remarkably, Matthew didn't hesitate to leave his business and follow. With a new life and a changed heart, Matthew's desires changed, too. He invited Jesus, His disciples and "sinner" friends to dinner. The group shared laughter and lively conversation while food was passed and enjoyed. What an opportunity to know the Savior!

But this irritated the Pharisees who believed salvation came by obeying the law. Pointing accusing fingers to the group of diners, they questioned the disciples. "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"

Jesus speaks to us as He spoke to the Pharisees because we ourselves are no better than those "tax collectors and sinners." Yet Christ has invited us to dine with Him and know Him. The same call that Matthew heard comes to us as well: "Follow me."

Insight: Christ Promised Us Power In The Holy Spirit To Tell People In Our Area And Outward That He Died To Save Them. (See Acts 1:8).

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

+DEV+ Learn From Children

Date: June 29, 2011 12:17 AM
Topic: +DEV+ Learn From Children

Learn From Children

"He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: 'I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.'" (MATTHEW 18:2-3)
Scripture Focus: Matthew 18:1-6; 19:13-14

You've heard the funny things children often say. Young ones do speak honestly of what they observe, don't they? Jesus' disciples ignored children in a crowd, being more concerned about who would be great in the kingdom of heaven. "Change and be like this child," was Jesus' response.

Another time the disciples rebuked parents for bringing their children to Jesus so that He could place His hands on them and pray for them. What Jesus wanted His grown followers and us to see is that the child's heart, full of trust, is something we must never lose. The readily believing heart of a little one was so precious to Jesus that He said it was the very sort His kingdom would be made of. The disciples could argue about who would be best, but it was the one who trusted Him as a child does who would find rest in Him.

Come to Jesus like a child: without pretension, without motives of self-interest, without trying to save yourself, but with the unadorned excitement at receiving His wonderful gift.

Insight: Teach A Child Not To Be Childish. Encourage A Humble, Childlike Attitude So A Child Will Grow Up To Be Christ-Like In Word And Action.

Monday, June 27, 2011

+DEV+ Hope in God

Date: June 27, 2011 11:14 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Hope in God

Hope in God

“Because of the LORD'S great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." (LAMENTATIONS 3: 22-23)
Scripture Focus: Psalm 42

Like the psalmist, I once shared in joyful worship and fellowship in church. Then, a friend's betrayal resulted in rejection from a group of people, and I stood apart from the fellowship of others at church. Singing during worship came from my lips, not from my heart. Sermons seemed like mere words bouncing off walls without touching my heart's needs. It was a lonely time for me.

In time, my soul began to thirst for closer fellowship with the Lord. With Bible and notebook, I studied intently verse by verse. I disciplined my thinking to God's promises when negative thoughts came to mind. The rich truth of those promises revived my hope in Him. Hymns of the faith wafted through rooms of my house (and my heart!) as I cleaned and cooked. I began reaching out to people with the love of Jesus Christ. In time, my downcast spirit was lifted as I realized that any rejection I could ever feel was matched and surpassed by the rejection that my Lord took for me at the cross. Great is His faithfulness!

Insight: When Your Soul Is Downcast, It Is A Signal For You To Look Up And "Put Your Hope In God." (Psalm 42:11)

+DEV+ God Behind the Scenes

Date: June 27, 2011 12:30 AM
Topic: +DEV+ God Behind the Scenes

God Behind the Scenes

"When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers, There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord, victory rests with the Lord." (PROVERBS 21:15-16; 30-31)
Scripture Focus: Proverbs 21

The book of Esther tells of Haman, proud descendant of Amalek, longtime enemy of the Jews. Second only to the king in power, Haman targets Mordecai, a Jewish official who won't pay him honor. Mordecai will not bow to a man with such a history of opposition to the Lord and His people.

It's shocking to read of Haman's outrageous response to Mordecai's simple refusal to bow: ordering the killing of every Jew in the land (Jewish Queen Esther included). His ego had been hurt, and anyone knows that when the proud human heart is involved, ugly things can happen.

But just as surely, we know that when God is involved (and He always is!), amazing things can happen. This is the only book of the Bible with no mention of God's name. Yet at every turn, there is no one whose presence is more obvious than God. There may be times in our lives when God seems absent, times when our egos intrude, but God is there, weaving the threads of our lives into a tapestry that testifies of His might and honor.

Insight: God, Who Turns A King's Heart, Directing It Like A River Wherever He Pleases, Has Directed Every Turn In Your Own Heart And Life Also.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

+DEV+ Safety in the Ark

Date: June 26, 2011 12:59 AM
Topic: +DEV+ Safety in the Ark

Safety in the Ark

"By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith." (HEBREWS 11:7)
Scripture Focus: Genesis 6:9-22; 7:17; 8:15-20

Living for God amid the moral erosion of our times is increasingly hard. Your values clash against those of unbelievers. Society imposes godless influences on your family so that at times you'd like to pack up and move them away from corruption to safety.

God looked favorably on righteous Noah living among people whose thoughts and actions were evil. Noah made animal sacrifices for his sin daily and walked with God. He listened when God instructed him to build an ark, which seemed ridiculous in a land where it rarely rained.

People mocked Noah's faith in God, and they'll do the same to you. They didn't respect Noah for protecting his family, and they likely won't respect the way you care for yours. Most pitifully, they refused to believe in the God who made them and the storms. Safety in the ark was granted to believing Noah, just as safety in the arms of the Lord is granted to you who believe in Him now. God is patient, giving people opportunities to repent while there's time (see 2 Peter 3:9).

Insight: In A Spirit Of Humility, Live In Obedience To God And Be Ready To Share With Others Your Hope Of Eternal Salvation.

Saturday, June 25, 2011



I Am the Democratic, Republican Liberal-Progressive's Worst Nightmare.
I am a White, Conservative, Tax-Paying, American Veteran, Gun Owning Biker. That's me!
I am a Master Mason. I work hard and long hours with my hands to earn a living.

I believe in God and the freedom of religion, but I don't push it on others.
I ride Harley Davidson Motorcycles, and drive American-made cars, and I believe in
American products and buy them whenever I can.

I believe the money I make belongs to me and not some liberal governmental functionary,
Democratic or Republican, that wants to share it with others who don't work!

I'm in touch with my feelings and I like it that way!

I think owning a gun doesn't make you a killer; it makes you a smart American.

I think being a minority does not make you noble or victimized, and does not entitle you to
anything. Get over it!

I believe that if you are selling me a Big Mac or any other item, you should do it in English.

I believe there should be no other language option.

I believe everyone has a right to pray to his or her God when and where they want to.

My heroes are Malcolm Forbes, Bill Gates, John Wayne, Babe Ruth, Roy Rogers, and Willie G. Davidson, who makes the awesome Harley Davidson Motorcycles.

I don't hate the rich. I don't pity the poor.

I know wrestling is fake and I don't waste my time watching or arguing about it.

I've never owned a slave, nor was I a slave. I haven't burned any witches or been persecuted
by the Turks, and neither have you!

I believe if you don't like the way things are here, go back to where you came from and
change your own country!

This is the USA ...We like it the way it is and more so the way it was stop trying to
change it to look like Russia or China , or some other socialist country!

If you were born here and don't like it... you are free to move to any Socialist country that will
have you. I believe it is time to really clean house, starting with the White House, the seat
of our biggest problems.

I want to know which church is it, exactly, where the Reverend Jesse Jackson preaches,
where he gets his money, and why he is always part of the problem and not the solution?

Can I get an AMEN on that one?

I also think the cops have the right to pull you over if you're breaking the law, regardless of
what color you are, but not just because you happen to ride a bike.

And, no, I don't mind having my face shown on my driver's license. I think it's good....
And I'm proud that 'God' is written on my money..

I think if you are too stupid to know how a ballot works, I don't want you deciding who
should be running the most powerful nation in the world for the next four years.

I dislike those people standing in the intersections trying to sell me stuff or trying to guilt me
into making 'donations' to their cause.... Get a job and do your part to support yourself and
your family!

I believe that it doesn't take a village to raise a child, it takes two parents....

I believe 'illegal' is illegal no matter what the lawyers think!

I believe the American flag should be the only one allowed in AMERICA !

If this makes me a BAD American, then yes, I'm a BAD American.

If you are a BAD American too, please forward this to everyone you know...

We want our country back!

My Country..... I hope this offends all illegal aliens.

My great, great, great, great grandfather watched and bled as his friends died in the Revolution
& the War of 1812.
My great, great, great grandfather watched as his friends died in the Mexican American War.
My great, great grandfather watched as his friends & brothers died in the Civil War.
My great grandfather watched as his friends died in the Spanish-American War.
My grandfather watched as his friends died in WW I.
My father watched as his friends died in WW II.

I watched as my friends died in Vietnam , Panama & Desert Storm.
My son watched & bled as his friends died in Afghanistan and Iraq .
None of them died for the Mexican Flag.
Everyone died for the American flag.

Texas high school students raised a Mexican flag on a school flag pole,
other students took it down. Guess who was expelled...the students who took it down.

California high school students were sent home on Cinco de Mayo, because they wore
T-shirts with the American flag printed on them.

Enough is enough

This message needs to be viewed by every American; and every
American needs to stand up for America .

We've bent over to appease the America-haters long enough. I'm taking a stand.

I'm standing up because the hundreds of thousands who died fighting in wars for this country,
and for the American flag.

If you agree, stand up with me.

And shame on anyone who tries to make this a racist message.

AMERICANS, stop giving away Your RIGHTS !

Let me make this clear! THIS IS MY COUNTRY !

This statement DOES NOT mean I'm against immigration !

YOU ARE WELCOME HERE, IN MY COUNTRY, welcome to come legally:

1. Get a sponsor !

2. Learn the LANGUAGE, as immigrants have in the past !

3. Live by OUR rules !

4. Get a job !

5. Pay YOUR Taxes !

6. No Social Security until you have earned it and Paid for it !

7. NOW find a place to lay your head !

If you don't want to forward this for fear of offending someone,

We've gone so far the other way . . . bent over backwards not to offend anyone.

Only AMERICANS seems to care when American Citizens are being offended !

WAKE UP America ! ! !

Made in the U S A & PROUD OF IT!!!!!

+DEV+ Christ's Life in Us

Date: June 24, 2011 10:11 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Christ's Life in Us

Christ's Life in Us

"'I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds." (JOHN 12:24)
Scripture Focus: John 12:20-36

As a youngster in the early 60’s, I helped my dad cut his field of ripe wheat every summer. Bundles of wheat were stacked against each other into shocks to dry. Just days later, Dad and neighboring farmers worked together, pitching dried bundles into the hopper of a threshing machine. Kernels of wheat, separated from hulls and straw, flowed from a chute into waiting wagons. By watching the process, I learned that the kernels of grain were the valuable part of the plant. Wheat were sold or used to feed animals. Straw, having no food value, became bedding for animals.

A science lesson teaches that every kernel of seed planted gives up its life so a new plant can take root and grow. A healthy kernel of seed produces many more seeds. We can see parallels with our spiritual lives, too.

We identify with Christ who dies for us by dying to ourselves. Living for Christ means forsaking our interests and choosing to live by faith in Him each day. The life you live in your body is a life of faith in Christ (Galatians 2:20).

Insight: Die Daily To Your Own Desires, Allowing Christ To Use You To Produce His Life In The Lives Of Those Around You.

Friday, June 24, 2011

+DEV+ Prayer Changes People

Date: June 24, 2011 12:06 AM
Topic: +DEV+ Prayer Changes People

Prayer Changes People

"My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge." (PSALM 62:7-8)
Scripture Focus: 1 Samuel 1

Hannah couldn't even enjoy a meal. No one understood how the longing for a child sent an ache to her very core. Her rival irritated her. The priest accused her of drunkenness when he saw her praying. Even her husband couldn't make sense of her grief. Hannah poured out her desire to the Lord until belief replaced bitterness. Drying her eyes, she worshipped and then headed home. God saw her brokenness and heard her prayer.

Like Hannah, we learn that when God says "no," our dependence on Him grows. Our desires are refined, our faith deepened as we accept His will. Hannah's heart turned to worship and peace though her request was not as yet granted. In her prayers she vowed even deeper commitment to the Lord: giving her son back to Him.

God used Hannah's son as a leader among the Israelites, His chosen people from whom a greater Son would come. While Hannah gave Samuel for the Lord's service, God gave His only begotten Son for the greatest service ever: earning eternal life for us.

Insight: Trust God Who "Is Able To Do Immeasurably More Than All We Ask Or Imagine, According To His Power That Is At Work Within Us." (Ephesians 3:20)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

+DEV+ God Knows Us

Date: June 22, 2011 11:25 PM
Topic: +DEV+ God Knows Us

God Knows Us

"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." (MATTHEW 10:29, 31)
Scripture Focus: Psalm 84

One spring a robin tried to build its nest behind the light outside my front door. Every time the bird stuffed dried grass into the narrow space, I removed it. I was hoping my feathered friend would make a better choice for its home. Several days later, I happily watched the robin building its nest in a nearby tree.

Like the bird, the time came for me to look for a better house than the one I was in. My current home turned out to be structurally unsound and would have cost me staggering amounts of money to fix. Thoughts of solving all of the problems of this home baffled me.

But believing that God cares for my every need, I prayed. I felt a bit like that bird needing redirection. But I also remembered that I am worth more to my heavenly Father than all of His precious little birds. Eventually, I settled in a condo in my own neighborhood, so grateful for what turned out to be a much better plan for my life. Keep your eyes open and your heart softened to the paths the Lord leads you down.

Insight: God, who counts every hair on your head, knows every detail of your life. he will direct your paths; trust him to do so.

+DEV+ What is Your Mission?

Date: June 22, 2011 3:32 AM
Topic: +DEV+ What is Your Mission?

What is Your Mission?

"I have been crucified with Christ and I
no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God." (GALATIANS 2:20)
Scripture Focus: Acts 9:1-31

Saul was zealous (to say the least!) about religion. He knew the Scriptures inside out, but he didn't know Jesus, the Lord of the Bible, at all. Schooled under Gamaliel, his study of Jewish law made him a good Pharisee. But God was taking hold of Saul's heart on his way to Damascus when a light from heaven flashed and a voice asked, "Saul, why do you persecute me?" He knew who had spoken. "Who are you, Lord?"

That personal encounter with Christ brought about Saul's conversion, changing his name to Paul and changing his life as a believer in the Messiah. His ambitions took a new direction; his mission became spreading the gospel to the Gentiles instead of becoming a better Pharisee.

Paul didn't just add Christianity to the religious teachings he'd already learned from his youth. Rather, he exchanged his former life for new life in Christ. His eyes were opened to seeing how Jesus fulfilled every prophecy of the law he had studied. And now, wondrously, He would fill Paul's life as well.

Insight: Let's Say With Paul That We Can Do Everything Through Christ Who Gives Us Strength (Philippians 4:13) To Accomplish God's Purpose In Us.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

+DEV+ Valuing Your Treasure

Date: June 21, 2011 12:34 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Valuing Your Treasure

Valuing Your Treasure

"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field." (MATTHEW 13:44)
Scripture Focus: Matthew 13: 44-50

You may recall the famous painting by Grant Wood, "American Gothic." It's one of the most parodied works of art - probably because of the sour faces of the pitchfork-holding farmer and his wife. The painting certainly does not convey joy, does it? There have been times when I or other Christians I've known have felt about as jubilant as that farmer looks.

Do you also feel like your life as a believer holds no joy? The Bible gives us a reason why that is so. Unlike the man in the parable in Matthew 13, we have not fully appreciated the value of the treasure (It's Jesus Christ!) in our field. The man realized that the treasure hidden in the field had value that far exceeded everything he owned. So it was with great joy that he sold all he had to purchase that field.

When I lack abundant, overflowing joy, it is because either I haven't appreciated the value of Jesus or I have allowed other things to crowd out my love for Him. Be filled with joy for the life in Him that He has given you!

Insight: Are You Short On Joy? Re-Evaluate The Value Of Being In Christ. It Will Increase Your Joy, And He Wants Your Joy To Be Full.

Monday, June 20, 2011

+DEV+ Got Rewards?

Date: June 20, 2011 12:21 AM
Topic: +DEV+ Got Rewards?

I hope every Father had as good of a Fathers day as I did.

Got Rewards?

"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. (MATTHEW 6:1)
Scripture Focus: Matthew 6:1-4

Christians try to teach themselves and young ones that giving and acts of service ought to be done selflessly with no thought for our personal reward. It's awfully hard to stick to that. What does the Bible teach us about how to serve the Lord?

Clearly, Jesus taught that if we are looking for financial reward or accolades from others, then that is probably all we will get. And we soon realize how temporary and fleeting those rewards are.

But did Jesus teach that we should not expect reward at all? No. In fact, He taught the opposite. When we are not looking for reward from our fellow man - or as Jesus said, when we do good deeds in secret - then our Father who sees in secret will reward you. No ifs, ands or buts He will reward you!

Perhaps our problem is that we are too easily satisfied with things like money or admiration. If we understood the Lord's ideas of reward, we would do our good in secret and look to the greater reward: a life in Christ!

Insight: Do You Find Your Greatest Pleasure In Material Things Or In God? His Great Reward Is Really Himself. The Lord Is My Portion.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

+DEV+ Priorities

Date: June 16, 2011 3:56 AM
Topic: +DEV+ Priorities


"A good name is more desirable than
great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold." (ROMANS 6:11)
Scripture Focus: Psalm 37

Sometimes a name suggests a reputation. Just the mention of it may prompt others to think, "Oh, she's from the family of musicians," or "He's from that family who owns the grocery stores," or "Their family has had all the trouble with the law." A teacher may form an opinion of a student based on the family name. Because our name often identifies us, we want to make sure we're building a good one.

Mistakenly, much of the world believes that establishing a good name comes by acquiring wealth and living luxuriously. They look for what gives the most pleasure or yields the most money, thinking those will establish an admired name.

As Christians, we have wonderful news: the good name to be chosen is the name of Jesus. It's not our own name at all! By relinquishing the never-ending quest for our own aggrandizing, we are given instead the name above all names, the name that all the stars and storms know, the name that will one day cause every knee to bow: Jesus!

Insight: When Life In This World Draws To A Close, My Money Will Not Go With Me, But The Name Of The Lord Will Be On Me Forever.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

+DEV+ No Condemnation

Date: June 14, 2011 11:38 PM
Topic: +DEV+ No Condemnation

No Condemnation

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death." (ROMANS 8:1-2)
Scripture Focus: Romans 8:1-17

She was raised in a Christian home, taught right from wrong and the truth of the gospel. In her early teens, curiosity consumed her. Just as Eve took the forbidden fruit and lost her place in the garden, this young woman found herself outside the "garden" of God.

Multiple partners, drugs and alcohol slowly took their toll. The pain became too great; she tried to numb it with more alcohol and sleeping pills. Life couldn't get any more painful. Her parents had been praying for her all those difficult years. Finally, she surrendered and uttered those hard words, "I am going to rehab."

Now sober, she wondered how she could face her family whom she'd repeatedly disappointed and whose hearts she'd broken.

The answer is the hardest and simplest at once: "There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." She has "come home." Regardless of your failures, come home to Jesus whose arms welcome you no matter where you've been.

Insight: Never Let The Shame Of Past Failures Keep You From Glorifying God By Fully Enjoying Him Forever. In Christ, There Is No Condemnation!

Monday, June 13, 2011

+DEV+ The Peace of God

Date: June 13, 2011 11:53 PM
Topic: +DEV+ The Peace of God

The Peace of God

"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (PHILIPPIANS 4:7)
Scripture Focus: Philippians 4:4-9

The economy is in recession and headed for another depression. Unemployment is high. There is significant stress on individuals and families. Many folks worry about where the money will come from to pay mortgages and put food on the table. When the bank forecloses on their homes or they lose their jobs, can we be at peace? It would have to be a peace that transcends understanding. Exactly!

Perspective makes the difference. The imprisoned Paul wrote, "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God" (Philippians 4:4-6).

The Lord is near, even in our times of desperation and suffering. So rejoice, however you can manage to do so. Tell Him about your worries, praise and thank Him for what He will do or has done for you in Christ. Stay near to Him; He will not forsake you.

How this works transcends understanding. It is the peace of God in Christ.

Insight: Do You Think God Must Not Understand? Remember "We Do Not Have A High Priest Who Is Unable To Sympathize With Our Weaknesses" (Hebrews 4:15)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

+DEV+ Forgive and Forget?

Date: June 12, 2011 10:49 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Forgive and Forget?

Forgive and Forget?

"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." (EPHESIANS 4:32)
Scripture Focus: Ephesians 4:17-32

"Forgive and forget." We've all heard or used that saying. But it's much easier said than done, isn't it?

I recall a situation years ago when I was deeply offended and had a really hard time forgiving that offense against me. I felt that I simply didn't have the internal fortitude to forgive and forget how I had been wronged. It hurt too much. I prayed about it and asked for the strength to forgive.

Somewhere along the line it dawned on me that I have already received forgiveness in Christ myself. I realized what I needed to do was merely extend to my offender what had already been given to me: God's forgiveness. This wasn't something I had within myself alone, but I had received it in Christ. I needed only to share what was given to me and be relieved of the heavy load of resentment.

Though I thought I would never forget that incident, today I cannot seem to remember what the offense was! But I will always remember how God in Christ has forgiven me.

Insight: Are You Going Through Life Carrying Bitterness? Share The Forgiveness You Have Been Given In Christ And Be Relieved Of The Burden Of A Grudge.

Friday, June 10, 2011

+DEV+ No Self-Made Man

Date: June 10, 2011 10:44 PM
Topic: +DEV+ No Self-Made Man

No Self-Made Man

"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (EPHESIANS 2:10)
Scripture Focus: Ephesians 2:1-10

Believers have an edge on their fellow man when it comes to questions of why we are here on this earth at all. Many people have wrestled with these questions since their youth. Our answers come to us in Christ.

First, God has chosen you to be His own; what you are is what God made you to be. We are God's workmanship, not our own workmanship, not self-made men and women.

Second, in Christ God has prepared good works for you to do. That includes your career and how you express the life and love of God in the work place. It includes the influence you may have on your neighbors. When we recognize the gifts and interests God has placed in us, we can use them uniquely to bless others. "We have different gifts, according to the grace given us" (Romans 12:6).

Third, give yourself to God, "as living sacrifices" (see Romans 12:1). To the extent that you offer yourself to God, you will display His glory and find yourself doing the good works He has planned just for you.

Insight: Whether You Are A Young Person Or An Older Person Looking Back On Life, Be Assured That He Has Purposefully Made You Who You Are.

+DEV+ A New Creation

Date: June 10, 2011 3:41 AM
Topic: +DEV+ A New Creation

A New Creation

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is
a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come." (2 CORINTHIANS 5:17)
Scripture Focus: 2 Corinthians 5: 16-21

Ken was a poster boy for what drugs can do to a person. He was nearly catatonic when some boys from the church dorm found him wandering around Houston's Allen's Landing - the home of several psychedelic night clubs in the late 60's. Ken became their object of prayer around the clock for several days until he finally gained consciousness. Somehow the Spirit of God penetrated the fog of drugs, and Ken received Christ.

The life Ken left behind - wandering though hill country on all fours thinking he was a lion, eating rodents, planning an escape to India for easier drugs - compared to the life he gained in Christ, is the kind of radical change we all have when we know Jesus. No matter how detestable our sin - and really no matter how trivial our sin - we are a new creation altogether in Christ Jesus.

The last time I saw Ken, he had married a woman with a sordid past whom he had led to Christ. They now spend their lives sharing how Christ totally redeemed their lives, glorifying God and enjoying Him.

Insight: Seeking An Altered State Of Consciousness Leads To A Break With Reality. Finding The Truth In Christ Fulfills The Desire For Authentic Reality.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

+DEV+ Christ, Our Redemption

Date: June 8, 2011 11:40 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Christ, Our Redemption

Christ, Our Redemption

"It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God - that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption." (1 CORINTHIANS 1:30)
Scripture Focus: 1 Corinthians 1:26-31

All of us have a built-in sense of justice. We've had it since we were kids! We know right from wrong and feel strongly that when someone is wronged, there is an appropriate price to be paid by the perpetrator. A person who has committed a serious crime will generally wind up behind bars. Until recently our justice system said that person should not get out of jail until the sentence is satisfied.

When we become aware that we have wronged God by our sin, it is natural to think we have to pay the appropriate price for it. We think we can do some religious act that will satisfy justice. Unfortunately, the price to pay is death, both physically - and worse - eternally separated from God.

God has become both just and justifier by paying that price for us in the death of Jesus. He then becomes our redemption. In Him we have been redeemed; the price of justice has been satisfied at great cost to God. It is good that we know right from wrong. But our rejoicing comes in knowing that our Redeemer lives.

Insight: Consider The Impact Of Your Sin On The Scales Of Justice. The Loving Price Paid By Jesus Christ Tips The Scales In Your Favor.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

+DEV+ Christ, Our Holiness

Date: June 7, 2011 9:53 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Christ, Our Holiness

Christ, Our Holiness

"It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God - that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption." (1 CORINTHIANS 1:30)
Scripture Focus: 1 Corinthians 1:26-31

We go to the historic places where our forefathers walked and lived, and we feel something almost holy there. Some of us have visited the Holy Lands and touched places where the Apostle Paul or even Jesus Christ were. There is a strong sense of being on "holy ground." But what is holiness for you and me?

Something holy is set apart. Think of when you visit the dentist. You notice several specialized tools ready for use. Some of them have only one purpose; that is, they are set apart to do what no other tool will do. That "set apart" tool could be called "holy."

Here is the wonderful mystery: Christ has been made holiness for us! Jesus was set apart for me so that I could be set apart for Him. In Christ, we take on His holiness. I am so glad that my own attempts to be holy are not what my life now and in eternity depends on.

Many religions require holiness through rigid systems of rules and regulations. Unattainable holiness is freely given to believers in Christ.

Insight: Contemplate The Fact That As A Believer That Which You Can Never Accomplish Has Been Accomplished For You.

+DEV+ Christ, Our Righteousness

Date: June 7, 2011 1:50 AM
Topic: +DEV+ Christ, Our Righteousness

Christ, Our Righteousness

"It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God - that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption." (1 CORINTHIANS 1:30)
Scripture Focus: 1 Corinthians 1:26-31

Other than when used in American surf slang, such as, "That wave is totally righteous, dude," the word "righteous" does not get much use in English. We may perhaps associate it with someone who does no wrong. While the term does include the idea of good behavior, there is much more depth to it for us as Christians.

Righteousness is a positive attribute given by God in response to faith. Early on, God made a promise to Abraham about his offspring. Abraham believed what God told him and the Bible says, his belief was "counted to him as righteousness."

It works the same for us today except the promise to us who believe is the promise that Jesus died for our sins and rose again from the dead. His sacrifice was acceptable to justify us before God. God counts us as righteous. In fact, we are given the righteousness of Christ.

That is God's wisdom. It is not the wisdom of this age, but God's wisdom - that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.

Insight: When The Conviction Of Your Own Recurring Sin Overwhelms You, Remember That The Righteousness Of Jesus Covers Over It All.

Monday, June 6, 2011

+DEV+ Short of the Glory

Date: June 6, 2011 1:10 AM
Topic: +DEV+ Short of the Glory

Short of the Glory

"This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (ROMANS 3:22-23)
Scripture Focus: Romans 3:21-31

Pastor and author John Piper defines the glory of God as "the beauty of His manifold perfections." "Manifold" means various, diverse, many, or assorted.

God's glory is difficult to define, but glimpses can be seen. Consider the beauty of a fall forest, the splendor of valleys and mountains, the allure of wide open beaches and deserts, the magnificence of the sky and the heavenly bodies. They all display the awe of His manifold perfections.

God's many perfections include His perfect holiness, perfect love, perfect justice, perfect compassion and perfect plan for our lives.

When we sin, we fall short of these many perfections. Our sin is like a misplaced drop of paint right in the middle of a grand painting. How can we ever correct it? We can't. That is the point. We have fallen short of the beauty of God's many perfections.

Perfection comes to us in Christ, our true hope in this wretched - yet beautiful - world of sin.

Insight: "Ascribe To The Lord The Glory Due His Name; Worship The Lord In The Splendor Of His Holiness." (Psalm 29:2)

Friday, June 3, 2011

+DEV+ So, What's the Point?

Date: June 3, 2011 3:28 AM
Topic: +DEV+ So, What's the Point?

So, What's the Point?

"And God raised us up with Christ in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus." (EPHESIANS 2:6-7)
Scripture Focus: Ephesians 2:1-10

Do you ever wonder what life is all about? Have you ever wondered what the "after life" is all about? That is a different question altogether, isn't it? How short-sighted we typically are, thinking about our brief time on earth! There is more to life than just "this life." The human being is too wonderful to be limited to our few years here. There is more that awaits us.

For those who believe the gospel, there is a wonderful future ahead. Paul tells us that God raised Jesus from the dead for the purpose of showing, in the age to come, the incomparable riches of His grace.

When this life is over, we will see as we are seen by God (that is, with clarity rather than out of focus). We will know just how wonderful and incomparable God's grace is. His grace is unique; no analogy we formulate is adequate to depict the wonder of it. But the ultimate demonstration of it came to us in the person of Jesus Christ. We who believe in Him will further be God's demonstration of His everlasting grace.

Insight: We Need Good Theology, But Our Lives Are The Opportunity To Live Out What We Believe. Let Your Life Be A Testimony Of His Magnificent Grace.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

+DEV+ The Fellowship of God's House

Date: June 1, 2011 9:55 PM
Topic: +DEV+ The Fellowship of God's House

The Fellowship of God's House

"And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit." (EPHESIANS 2:22)
Scripture Focus: Ephesians 2:11-22

Almost everyone has known loneliness - people separated from people. But loneliness is not necessarily the absence of other people alone. Sometimes it can happen in a crowd. The lack of meaningful relationships with others brings on a loneliness all its own.

In Christ we are being built together as a dwelling place for God. John speaks of fellowship as being "fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ" (1 John 1:3). Notice, John refers to fellowship as being with us, the Father and His Son. That important intertwining of lives is more than human; it also is spiritual.

God is building all of us who are in Christ into a glorious dwelling place that is characterized by fellowship with the Father and the Son as well as us. Being in Christ and participating with His church is a sure cure for loneliness. Find ways to connect with other believers at your church. This will be the richest form of fellowship possible, for it includes the Creator of the universe!

Insight: As You Take Opportunities To Enjoy The Company And Fellowship Of Others, Remember That Because You're In Christ, He Is There, Too!