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Monday, August 31, 2015

A Beggar's Rags

- Author unknown

A beggar lived near the king's palace. One day he saw a proclamation posted outside the palace gate.
The king was giving a great dinner. Anyone dressed in royal garments was invited to the party.

The beggar went on his way. He looked at the rags he was wearing and sighed. Surely only kings and their families wore royal robes, he thought. Slowly an idea crept into his mind. The audacity of it made him tremble.
 Would he dare?

He made his way back to the palace. He approached the guard at the gate. "Please, sire, I would like to speak to the king."
"Wait here," the guard replied. In a few minutes, he was back. "His majesty will see you," he said, and led the beggar in.

"You wish to see me?" asked the king.
"Yes, your majesty. I want so much to attend the banquet, but I have no royal robes to wear. Please, sir, if I may be so bold, may I have one of your old garments so that I, too, may come to the banquet?"

The beggar shook so hard that he could not see the faint smile that was on the king's face.
 "You have been wise in coming to me," the king said. He called to his son, the young prince. "Take this man to your room and array him in some of your clothes."

The prince did as he was told and soon the beggar was standing before a mirror, clothed in garments that he had never dared hope for.
"You are now eligible to attend the king's banquet tomorrow night," said the prince.
"But even more important, you will never need any other clothes. These garments will last forever." The beggar dropped to his knees. "Oh, thank you," he cried.

But as he started to leave, he looked back at his pile of dirty rags on the floor. He hesitated.
What if the prince was wrong?
What if he would need his old clothes again. Quickly he gathered them up.

The banquet was far greater than he had ever imagined, but he could not enjoy himself as he should.
 He had made a small bundle of his old rags and it kept falling off his lap. The food was passed quickly and the beggar missed some of the greatest delicacies.

Time proved that the prince was right.
The clothes lasted forever. Still the poor beggar grew fonder and fonder of his old rags. As time passed people seemed to forget the royal robes he was wearing. They saw only the little bundle of filthy rags that he clung to wherever he went.
They even spoke of him as the old man with the rags.

One day as he lay dying, the king visited him.
The beggar saw the sad look on the king's face when he looked at the small bundle of rags by the bed. Suddenly the beggar remembered the prince's words and he realized that his bundle of rags had cost him a lifetime of true royalty.
He wept bitterly at his folly. And the king wept with him.
We have all been invited into the royal family--the family of God.

 To feast at God's dinner table, all we have to do is shed our old rags and put on the "new clothes" of faith which is provided by God's Son Jesus Christ.

But we cannot hold onto our old rags. When we put our faith in Christ, we must let go of the sin in our life, and our old ways of living. Those things must be discarded if we are to experience true royalty and abundant life in Christ.

What are you holding on to from your life before knowing Jesus?

Whatever it is, get rid of it! God will give you everything you need ... you don't need to rely on the world to satisfy you anymore!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

A Little Burnt Toast

- Samuel Machado

"When I was a little girl, my mom liked to cook food for dinner every now and then. And I remember one night in particular when she had made some toast after a long, hard day at work.

On that evening so long ago, my mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage, and extremely burned toast in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all my dad did was reach for his toast, smile at my mom, and ask me how my day was at school. I don't remember what I told him that night, but I do remember Watching him smear butter and jelly on that toast and eat every bite! When I got Up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my mom apologize to my dad For burning the toast. And I'll never forget what he said: 'Baby, I love burned toast.'

Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if He really liked his toast burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, 'Debbie, your Momma put in a hard day at work today and she's real tired. And besides-a little burnt toast never hurt anyone!' You know, life is full of imperfect things.....and imperfect people. I'm not the best housekeeper or cook.

What I've learned over the years is that learning to accept each other's faults - and choosing to celebrate each other's differences - is the one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting relationship again that may be a "close-friend relationship, husband-wife relationship or to that matter any relationship whatsoever" !!!!

And that's my prayer for you today. That you will learn to take the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your life and lay them at the feet of God. Because in the end, He's the only One who will be able to give you a relationship where burnt toast isn't a deal-breaker! We could extend this to any relationship in fact - as understanding is the base of any relationship, be it a husband-wife or parent-child or friendship!! "

"Don't put the key to your happiness in someone else's pocket, but into your own"


1 Peter 4:8 New International Version (NIV)

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Parachute

- Samuel Machado


Charles Plumb, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, was a jet fighter pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected & parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured & spent six years in a Communist prison. He survived that ordeal & now lectures about lessons learned from that experience.

One day, when Plumb & his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up & said, "You're Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!"

"How in the world did you know that?" asked Plumb.

"I packed your parachute," the man replied.

 Plumb gasped in surprise & gratitude. The man pumped his hand & said, "I guess it worked!"

Plumb assured him, "It sure did-if your 'chute hadn't worked, I wouldn't be here today." Plumb couldn't sleep that night, thinking about that man. Plumb says, 'I kept wondering what he might have looked like in a Navy uniform-a Dixie cup hat, a bib in the back, and bell bottom trousers. I wondered how many times I might have passed him on the Kitty Hawk. I wondered how many times I might have seen him & not even said good morning, how are you or anything because, you see, I was a fighter pilot & he was just a sailor.'

Plumb thought of the many hours the sailor had spent on a long wooden table in the bowels of the ship carefully weaving the shrouds & folding the silks of each chute, holding in his hands each time the fate of someone he didn't know.

Now, Plumb asks his audience, 'Who's packing your parachute?'

Everyone has someone who provides what they need to make it through the day.

Plumb also points out that he needed many kinds of parachutes when his plane was shot down over enemy territory-he needed his physical parachute, his mental parachute, his emotional parachute, & his spiritual parachute."

He called on all these supports before reaching safety.

His experience reminds us all to prepare ourselves to weather whatever storms lie ahead.

In our day to day life we do carry the invisible parachutes of God’s grace and mercy that shields us throughout our journey. And how often we forget these invisible blessings! It’s time to remind ourselves us of the awesome grace that keeps this world and us intact until the appointed hour. We all are Para-Troopers with Parachutes designed by our Heavenly Father.

Let’s carry these chutes as we continue in the War... Yes the War with the spiritual forces of darkness, which try day and night to annihilate us into sin and destruction. But no matter what, the Safety Jacket of the Cross and the Blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will carry us through in victory.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Take all of me, Jesus!

- Gary Wilkerson

In the 1800s, after a visit with a couple and their eight children, a young woman wrote an anointed song. All the family members attended church but during her five days with them, she sensed a coldness in their hearts toward the things of God. They seemed to lack spiritual fervour and there was no reverence for Him.

Deeply burdened, the young lady prayed fervently for her hosts the entire time she was with them, believing that God would deal with their hearts. She also spoke the truth in love and boldly warned them. Before she left, a revival had broken out in that house of ten people. They wept for hours as they rejoiced at what the Holy Spirit was accomplishing in their lives!

The composer of the song, Frances Havergal, said, “I was too happy to sleep, and passed most of the night in praise and renewal of my own consecration. These little couplets formed themselves, and chimed in my heart one after another till they finished with 'Ever, ONLY, ALL for Thee!'"

CONSECRATION HYMN

Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days; let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move at the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice, and let me sing always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect, and use every power as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will, and make it Thine; it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own; it shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour at Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be ever, only, all for Thee.

Would you ask God to fill you afresh with the power of the Holy Spirit?

I invite you to pray,
“Take all of me, Jesus. I want my life to be fully consecrated to You!”

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Looking Forward to Better Days

When a player begins to score, the opposing team assigns their best players to block him. So the attack you're experiencing right now could be an indication of your value to God.


2 Corinthians 11:26-28New International Version (NIV)

26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.

How did Paul handle these experiences?

Philippians 3:12-14New Living Translation (NLT)

Pressing toward the Goal

12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it,[a] but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.


Now, Paul didn't forget any of it; he could remember names, places, faces, and even record it. But here's the difference: he refused to let what was done to him affect his outlook. That's the attitude you need! When your desire to go forward becomes greater than the memories of your past, you'll begin to live again.

Proverbs 29:18King James Version (KJV)

18 Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.


The very fact that God is putting desire back into your spirit means that better days are coming! So rise up and say with the Psalmist,

Psalm 27:13-14New International Version (NIV)

13 I remain confident of this:
    I will see the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart
    and wait for the Lord.


Friday, July 24, 2015

God looks for faithfulness in little things

- Zac Poonen


1 Kings 19:19-21New International Version (NIV)

The Call of Elisha

19 So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. 20 Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,” he said, “and then I will come with you.”
“Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?”
21 So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant.

In 1 Kings 19:19-21 we read of Elijah calling Elisha.
Elisha was working hard in the fields with his oxen, when Elijah called him.

Notice first of all, that God always calls those who are working hard and faithful in their secular occupations.Moses was faithfully looking after his father-in-law’s sheep when God called him.



David was looking after sheep and fighting with lions and bears. Amos was a hardworking herdsman. Peter, James, John and Andrew were hardworking fishermen. Matthew was sitting at the table working on his accounts.


We never see, anywhere in the Old Testament or the New Testament, that God called a lazy man for his service. We don’t find Elijah going to Elisha’s house when he was fast asleep and calling him there - because we would have thought he was a lazy man. Jesus also never went to Peter’s house in the evening to call him. He called him when he was fishing. All these examples show us that God wants us to be faithful and hardworking in our secular jobs, before He can call us to serve Him.


If you are not faithful in earthly matters, how can you be faithful in heavenly matters? If you are young and still living at home, then be a faithful son or daughter at home.

Notice secondly, that all these men dropped everything and went, as soon as God called them. We see that in Peter, John and Matthew and also here with Elisha.

God calls those who will respond to His call immediately and wholeheartedly.
They may seek to confirm God’s call on their lives with godly people in order to be certain that they are not acting on their own emotional feelings.

But once they are sure, they act quickly. God can use only such people to serve Him, because His service requires instant obedience, total commitment and hard work.
So God tests us in our secular occupations, to see whether we are faithful.

If you are asked to clean a room and you are careless about the way you do it, or you are slipshod about it, I doubt if God will ever call you to serve Him. Because, if that’s the way you clean up a room that will probably be the way you clean up your heart as well.

How then can God use you to clean up His church?
It is faithfulness in the little things that God looks for.

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Friday, July 17, 2015

Hold steady and let God work

2 Corinthians 4:17-18 New International Version (NIV)

17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

There are times in your life when everything you attempt to do will seem to go wrong. Your faith may be strong and your commitment deep, yet adversity will come knocking on your door. In such times, the power of prayer will strengthen and stabilise you. But you can't pray away life's seasons! God has a purpose for not allowing you to be fruitful all the time.

Real growth requires seasons of struggle as well as seasons of success. Your seasons of struggle destroy pride in your own ability, increase your dependence on God, and cause you to say, like Paul did, 

2 Corinthians 3:5 New International Version (NIV)

Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.

These are humbling experiences, but you need them. Your life is like a tree: in winter it silently refurbishes its strength, preparing for the next season of fruitfulness. As you look back on your life's accomplishments you'll notice that they are seasonal. There are seasons of rain as well as sunshine, and each season serves an important purpose. That's why it's a mistake to make a permanent decision based on a temporary circumstance or changing emotion.

The word temporal means 'subject to change'. Hold steady, it's not always going to be this waySometimes the situation doesn't call for action, it calls for patience and trust in God. In ways you cannot understand, God is making the circumstances you're in today work for your good.