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    What We Bring Back

    John F. Burns spent forty years covering world events for The New York Times.  In an article written after his retirement in 2015, Burns recalled the words of a close friend and fellow journalist who was dying of cancer. “Never forget,” his colleague said, “It’s not how far you’ve traveled; it’s what you’ve brought back.”

    Psalm 37 could be considered David’s list of what he “brought back” from his journey of life, from shepherd to soldier and king. The psalm is a series of couplets contrasting the wicked with the righteous, and affirming those who trust the Lord.

    “Do not fret because…

    His Nature and Our Motives

    The characteristic of a disciple is not that he does good things, but that he is good in his motives, having been made good by the supernatural grace of God. The only thing that exceeds right-doing is right-being. Jesus Christ came to place within anyone who would let Him a new heredity that would have a righteousness exceeding that of the scribes and Pharisees.

    Sanctification (2)

    The Life Side. The mystery of sanctification is that the perfect qualities of Jesus Christ are imparted as a gift to me, not gradually, but instantly once I enter by faith into the realization that He “became for [me] . . . sanctification . . . .” Sanctification means nothing less than the holiness of Jesus becoming mine and being exhibited in my life.

    Sanctification (1)

    The Death Side. In sanctification God has to deal with us on the death side as well as on the life side. Sanctification requires our coming to the place of death, but many of us spend so much time there that we become morbid. There is always a tremendous battle before sanctification is realized— something within us pushing with resentment against the demands of Christ.

    The Doorway to the Kingdom

    Beware of thinking of our Lord as only a teacher. If Jesus Christ is only a teacher, then all He can do is frustrate me by setting a standard before me I cannot attain. What is the point of presenting me with such a lofty ideal if I cannot possibly come close to reaching it? I would be happier if I never knew it. What good is there in telling me to be what I can never be— to be “pure in heart” (Matthew 5:8), to do more than my duty, or to be completely devoted to God? I must know Jesus Christ as my Savior before His teaching has any meaning for me other than that of a lofty ideal which only leads to despair.

    Surrendering to Love

    Can you win by surrendering? Discover how two broken marriages found healing when they surrendered everything to Christ. Hear Tim and Gretchen share their inspiring stories of reconciliation. Find encouragement and renewal for any marriage with the Day Of Discovery online video “Our Weekend to Remember: A Marriage Reborn.”    

    Cleaning House

    Recently, I switched rooms in the home I rent. This took longer than expected, because I didn’t want to simply transfer my (extensive) mess to a new room; I wanted a completely fresh and uncluttered start. After hours and hours of cleaning and sorting, bags of stuff sat by the front door to be thrown away, donated, or recycled. But at the end of this exhausting process was a beautiful room I was excited to spend time in.

    My housecleaning project gave me a fresh perspective when reading 1 Peter 2:1, as paraphrased in The Message: “So, clean house! Make a…

    “The Glory Effect”

    Today on Discover the Word, the group joins author and speaker Nicole Unice for another installment of the series titled, “The Glory Effect.” Today’s topic is about the transformation you can experience when you truly encounter the glory of God. Listen right here on Discover the Word!

    Unfinished Works

    At his death, the great artist Michelangelo left many unfinished projects. But four of his sculptures were never meant to be completed. The Bearded Slave, the Atlas Slave, the Awakening Slave, and the Young Slave, though they appear unfinished, are just as Michelangelo intended them to be. The artist wanted to show what it might feel like to be forever enslaved.

    Rather than sculpting figures in chains, Michelangelo made figures stuck in the very marble out of which they are carved. Bodies emerge from the stone, but not completely. Muscles flex, but the figures are never able to free themselves.

    My empathy…

    Mercy, hope, and a future through Jesus

    Many of us would admit we still struggle with regret and shame that come from our past mistakes, even when we’ve been forgiven.  Sometimes, it’s just hard to let it go— especially if they deeply hurt you and the ones you love. Discover how both Marsha and Tony found freedom in the forgiveness of God right […]

    God brings you through the fire

    What defines happiness? A job you like, a loving spouse, some measure of fame? As one of the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters, Derick seemed to have it all, but still felt miserably unhappy. Learn how he found what he’d been desperately looking for . . . and so much more. A resource just for you: Resilient: […]

    Get Moving! (2)

    In the matter of drudgery. Peter said in this passage that we have become “partakers of the divine nature” and that we should now be “giving all diligence,” concentrating on forming godly habits (2 Peter 1:4-5). We are to “add” to our lives all that character means. No one is born either naturally or supernaturally with character; it must be developed. Nor are we born with habits— we have to form godly habits on the basis of the new life God has placed within us. We are not meant to be seen as God’s perfect, bright-shining examples, but to be seen as the everyday essence of ordinary life exhibiting the miracle of His grace.

    Fifteen-Minute Challenge

    Dr. Charles W. Eliot, longtime president of Harvard University, believed that ordinary people who read consistently from the world’s great literature for even a few minutes a day could gain a valuable education. In 1910, he compiled selections from books of history, science, philosophy, and fine art into fifty volumes called The Harvard Classics. Each set of books included Dr. Eliot’s Reading Guide titled “Fifteen Minutes A Day” containing recommended selections of eight to ten pages for each day of the year.

    What if we spent fifteen minutes a day reading God’s Word? We could say with the psalmist, “Turn my…


    September 2019: Christian Living

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