Enjoying the Journey

Devotional

Thursday’s Thought: “FOR THANKSGIVING DAY”

I must be getting more sentimental in my old age. Over the last few years I have developed a great love for poetry. In so many ways it expresses the deepest feelings of the soul. It is my conviction that this is why the Holy Spirit used poetry in the Word of God to articulate some of the deepest truths surrounding our relationship to God. Poetry is one of God’s beautiful messengers. In my office I keep some volumes of famous and favorite poems. This week I came across a poem that I had never read. It was written by one of the truly great Bible teachers of another generation, Dr. James M. Gray. As I read it for the…

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Wednesday’s Thanksgiving Thought: Why I Am Grateful For What I Never Got

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Families will gather around tables this week and briefly mention the many blessings for which they are grateful to God. For most of us the emphasis will be on the good things we have received. God truly has given us so much. This Thanksgiving I am thanking God for something else. I am grateful for what I never received. I have not received what I should have received. You see, I should have been in hell right now. But I am not there…and I am never going there! God in His mercy has withheld the judgment that I deserve. Christ took it so that I would never have to. I thank God. I have not received what I could have…

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Tuesday’s Thanksgiving Thought: “God’s Greatest Provision”

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Over the last few days we have been building a list in our home. We live by lists! Grocery lists, to do lists, special event lists. This one is different. It is a “thanks list.” Every week this month each of us have written down one thing for which we are grateful to God. The list hangs in our kitchen where every one can see it and be reminded of the Lord’s goodness to us. A wide variety of items and people are on our list this year. No doubt many of you have made such a list or will sometime this week. (To download the Thanksgiving list template we are using with our family click here.) It is a…

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Monday’s Thanksgiving Thought

Gratitude begins vertical and becomes horizontal. As we offer thanks to the Source of every good gift, we are reminded of the many channels that He uses to deliver them. Sometimes it is easy to recognize blessings from a distance and miss the ones that are right in front of us. Permit me to share an example from my own life… I am more grateful to God than ever for the wife He chose for me. In the words of Proverbs 19:14, “A prudent wife is from the LORD.” There is no way that I could do what I am doing with my life without Tammy. The other day she picked me up from the airport (again) with a smile…

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Going the Second Mile

Scott Pauley

It doesn’t mean much to us, but to the crowd Christ was speaking to it was radical, revolutionary, even ridiculous. “And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain” (Matthew 5:41). The Jews lived under constant Roman oppression. One demand by a Roman soldier or citizen would require a Jewish person to carry their burden for a mile. It was an inconvenient and unjust law. Israel lived in anticipation of the coming of Messiah. One who would deliver them from such tyranny! Now, here He stood…telling them they should carry their Roman neighbors pack for a second mile?!? Surely this could not be what He meant. But it was. In this one verse lies the secret…

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A Lesson From A Student

A few days ago I was talking with a school teacher who has a number of special education children in her class. As we spoke about the importance of this work, she told me that there was one student who had made a tremendous impact on her. This young man shows up every morning with a smile on his face. He is positive all through the day. He always has something nice to say. My teacher friend said that this one young man is like a ray of sunshine every day. One morning she finally asked, “How are you so happy all of the time?” With tears in her eyes she relayed to me his simple and sincere reply. He…

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What I Am Reading (And Re-Reading)

Books become friends. They instruct and inspire. As my wife will tell you, there are a lot of books around our home! At any given time there are several off the shelf, in the process of being read. I have previously written several articles on reading and developing a library. There is both a discipline and a joy to reading. One thing that has helped me to read more is to read several books at a time. In this way, I am less likely to get bored with any one of them. I have also found that it keeps me well-rounded to read a variety of subjects and authors. As I travel people often ask for book recommendations. This is…

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Ideas for Keeping Yourself Fresh

Living on the road can be a challenge. In fact, life itself is a challenge! The duties and demands of every day. The pull and pressure of people. It is so easy for all of us to grow weary…to let our souls grow stale. How do you stay fresh? Apply these simple ideas today… Read! Books keep your mind working. Draw from many wells and there will always be a fresh supply of truths to meditate on. Spend time with those who sharpen you. Recently I had the privilege to spend some time with a pastor who ministered to me. In fact, after a busy season of preaching I actually left feeling refreshed instead of drained! Sincere conversation with a…

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How to Be Happy In An Unhappy World

My favorite book of the Bible is the little New Testament book of Philippians. I love it for many reasons, but most of all, because it is a book of joy. Repeatedly we are told to “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice” (Philippians 4:4). God not only commands us to rejoice, He shows us the way. I believe the Lord intended for us to enjoy the journey. One of Christ’s favorite words was “blessed” or superlatively happy. In His closing words to His disciples He gave them instructions and said, “Happy are ye if ye do them” (John 13:17). How can you be happy in an unhappy world? Stop trying to be happy. Have you ever…

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You Have To Read This!

Every week I read things that I think are helpful. Often I recommend these resources to others or quote a particularly helpful statement from an author. Occasionally I read something that so convicts me and challenges me I go back to it again and again. Such is the case with a brief piece written by G.D. Watson (1845-1924). Watson was a Wesleyan Methodist who ministered in Los Angeles. I post it in its entirety with the prayer that you will meditate on it and allow it to search your own heart. OTHERS MAY, YOU CANNOT Matthew 16:24-25 If God has called you to be truly like Jesus in all your spirit, He will draw you into a life of crucifixion…

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