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Jan 28 14

King of the Mountain

by wgbcaz

King of the Mountain!  Remember playing that game as a kid? The object is to push, claw, and climb until you get to the top. Once there, you fight to hold your position. Don’t even think about sitting down. Forget enjoying the view. Slack up and you’ll be slapped down. And then you’ll have to start all over again.

As grown-ups we still play King of the Mountain, but now the stakes are higher.  The push for power has come to shove. And most of us are either pushing or being pushed.

I might point out the difference between a passion for excellence and a passion for power. The desire for excellence is a gift of God.  It’s characterized by respect for quality, a yearning to use God’s gifts in a way that pleases him. The quest for excellence is a mark of maturity. But the quest for power— it’s childish!

By the way, you don’t have to play King of the Mountain.

Jan 27 14

King of the Mountain

by wgbcaz

King of the Mountain!  Remember playing that game as a kid? The object is to push, claw, and climb until you get to the top. Once there, you fight to hold your position. Don’t even think about sitting down. Forget enjoying the view. Slack up and you’ll be slapped down. And then you’ll have to start all over again.

As grown-ups we still play King of the Mountain, but now the stakes are higher.  The push for power has come to shove. And most of us are either pushing or being pushed.

I might point out the difference between a passion for excellence and a passion for power. The desire for excellence is a gift of God.  It’s characterized by respect for quality, a yearning to use God’s gifts in a way that pleases him. The quest for excellence is a mark of maturity. But the quest for power— it’s childish!

By the way, you don’t have to play King of the Mountain.

Max Lucado

Jan 24 14

The Power of a Seed

by wgbcaz

Want to see a miracle? Take a small seed, put it under several inches of dirt. Give it light, water, and fertilizer. It doesn’t matter that the ground is a zillion times the weight of the seed. The seed will push it back! Never underestimate the power of a seed.

James, the epistle writer, wasn’t a farmer.  But he knew the power of a seed sown in fertile soil. “Those who are peacemakers,” he said, “will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of goodness” (James 3:18).

How good are you at sowing seeds of peace? Jesus modeled peace through acts of love, washing the feet of men he knew would betray him, and honoring the sinful woman whom society had scorned.
Want to see a miracle? Plant a word of love heart-deep in a person’s life. Nurture it with a smile and a prayer, and watch what happens!

Max Lucado

Jan 22 14

The State of Your Heart

by wgbcaz

Luke 6:45 says,  “. . .out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.”  That is why the state of the heart is so critical. So what’s the state of your heart?

When your to-do list is too long, do you lose your cool or keep it?  Well, that depends on the state of your heart. When you’re offered gossip marinated in slander, do you turn it down or pass it on? That depends on the state of your heart. Do you see the bag lady as a burden on society or as an opportunity for God?  That too depends on the state of your heart.

No wonder the wise man in Proverbs begs, “Above all else, guard your heart” (Proverbs 4:23). David’s prayer should be ours: “Create in me a pure heart, O God” (Psalm 51:10).
And Jesus’ statement rings true, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).

Max Lucado

Jan 21 14

Blessed are the Merciful

by wgbcaz

Could someone actually be forgiven a debt of millions and be unable to forgive a debt of hundreds? Could a person be set free and then imprison another? You don’t have to be a theologian to answer those questions; just look in the mirror.

Who among us hasn’t begged God for mercy on Sunday and then demanded justice on Monday? Is there anyone who doesn’t, at one time or another, show contempt for the riches of God’s kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?

Look into the face of the One who forgave you.  Who wept when you pleaded for mercy.  Look into the face of the Father who gave you grace when no one else gave you a chance. “Blessed are the merciful,” Jesus said (Matthew 5:7). Why? “Because they will be shown mercy.”

You see, forgiving others allows us to see how God has forgiven us!

Max Lucado

Jan 20 14

Childish Resistance

by wgbcaz

Jesus’ promise is comprehensive. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matthew 5:6 ).

We usually get what we hunger and thirst for. The problem is, the treasures of earth don’t satisfy. The promise is, the treasures of heaven do. Blessed are those, then, who hold their earthly possessions in open palms. Blessed are those who are totally dependent on Jesus for their joy.

Our resistance to our Father is childish.  God, for our own good, tries to loosen our grip from something that will cause us to fall.  But we won’t let go.  We say, “No, I won’t give up my weekend rendezvous for eternal joy.” “Trade my drugs and alcohol for a life of peace and a promise of heaven?  Are you kidding?”  There we are, desperately clutching the very things that cause us grief.

It’s a wonder the Father doesn’t give up!

Jan 17 14

True Courage

by wgbcaz

Are you timid?  Cautious?  Could you use some courage?  Scripture says, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).  “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). If you’re in Christ, these promises are not only a source of joy, they are the foundations of true courage!

When God looks at you, he doesn’t see you; He sees the One who surrounds you. Failure’s not a concern for you; your victory is secure. How could you not be courageous?  In Hebrews 10:22, the writer says, “Since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus—let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith.”

The point is clear. The Father of Truth will win, and the followers of Truth will be saved. The prize is yours. Applaud the victory!

Max Lucado

Jan 16 14

Doing What Comes Naturally

by wgbcaz

My child’s feelings are hurt, I tell her she’s special. My child’s injured, I do whatever it takes to make her feel better. My child’s afraid, I won’t go to sleep until she’s secure. I’m not a hero. I’m not unusual. I’m a parent. When a child hurts, a parent does what comes naturally. He helps.

Moments of comfort from a parent. I can tell you they’re the sweetest moments in the day. They come naturally, willingly, joyfully. If all that’s so true, then why am I so reluctant to let my heavenly Father comfort me?

Being a father has taught me that when I’m criticized, injured, or afraid, there’s a Father who’s ready to comfort me. A Father who’ll hold me until I’m better. And who won’t go to sleep when I’m afraid. Ever! And that’s enough.

Max Lucado

Jan 15 14

The Prison of Pride

by wgbcaz

The prison of pride. You’ve seen the prisoners—the alcoholic who won’t admit his drinking problem; the woman who refuses to talk to anyone about her fears. Perhaps to see such a prisoner all you have to do is look in the mirror!

The Bible says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us” (I John 1:9). The biggest word in Scripture just might be that two-letter one, if.

Confessing sins, admitting failure, is exactly what prisoners of pride refuse to do. They say, “Listen, I’m just as good as the next guy.”  “I pay my taxes.” Justification. Rationalization. Comparison. These are the tools of the jailbird. But in the kingdom of God they sound hollow. Many know they’re wrong, yet pretend they are right. As a result they never taste the exquisite sorrow of repentance.

Blessed are those who know they’re in trouble and have enough sense to admit it!

Max Lucado