Enjoying the Journey

We live by lists! Grocery lists, to do lists, lists to keep up with our lists. At this particular time in our world people are more reflective. God has providentially allowed us to have time to meditate and ponder what is truly important. The question is: will we remember what we are learning? Someone said that a short pencil is better than a long memory. It is so easy to forget what God is impressing on our minds. I learned as a student in college that if I intended to take action on something or share it with others then first I had to write it down. After our Lord’s miracle of feeding the five thousand He had the disciples…

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Many years ago I learned how to say thank you in a variety of different languages. I am no linguist. The languages that I have taken have not taken on me! But it was enjoyable to learn how to say thank you in Spanish, German, Arabic, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Russian, and French. I have used this in my travels and found that everyone enjoys a thank you…especially in their own language. This week I returned from speaking in a prayer conference in Quebec, Canada. It was my first time to this French-speaking province and I was truly blessed by the kindness of God’s people there. The family of God is wonderful wherever you go. My messages were all translated into…

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There are many commands given to God’s people. Each of the Lord’s commands are given for our good and His glory. This is certainly the case for the command most often repeated in Scripture. More than any other admonition in the Word of God we are commanded to praise the Lord! Why does God repeat this so frequently? Praise is purifying. When we begin to praise we come into the presence of the Lord, and His presence purifies every other part of life! Praising Christians are kept happy, holy, and humble. As we enter the month of November there will be much talk of giving thanks. Thanksgiving must be more than a holiday. This season of thanks should be a…

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This week I had the joy of hearing a couple of reports that were overwhelming. In a world of bad news it is encouraging to hear of definite answers to prayer, spiritual victories being won. As a family we rejoiced in the way God is at work in the lives of people for whom we have prayed. As I shared the good news with others I found myself saying, “Did you hear what the Lord did?” Oh, how that must please Him! We speak all to frequently about what we have done or about what others are doing. When was the last time you spoke of some definite thing that the Lord did? This must have been the passion of…

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Through the years I have written a number of things about making the most of the mornings. (You may read several articles about how to begin your mornings here.) In Genesis 1 we repeatedly find the phrase, “the evening and the morning.” Evening hours and morning hours serve as bookends on each day. It is vital that we learn how to both begin and end with God. Interestingly enough, the Jewish people viewed the beginning of a new day in the evening. The Jewish day began at 6 pm. It was not just the ending of one day, it was the beginning of another. Evenings should be a time to reflect on God’s faithfulness that day and prepare your heart for the…

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Yesterday I had the privilege to speak to a group of pastoral staff men in the church where I am preaching. It was a joy to share with them truths that God and my pastor graciously taught me as a staff member. As I spoke to them I was reminded how truly grateful all of God’s people should be if they have a faithful pastor. Across this land there are hundreds of churches in need of shepherds to feed and lead the flock. If God has provided such a man for your family stop and thank the Lord today. What would it be like NOT to have a pastor? While you are praising God, write a note to your pastor…

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Some time ago my wife challenged each member of our family to share three things for which we were grateful each night as we went to bed. It is easy to say the same things again and again (and hope that no one “steals” your list first!). The exercise was good for our home and for my own heart. I would recommend it to you and your family! One thing that I have noticed about many of our thanksgiving lists is that they often concentrate more on the material than they do the spiritual. I am grateful for God’s provision – food, clothing, and the beautiful place He has allowed us to live. Yet we must never forget that the…

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I love Thanksgiving. (And, yes, I know this is not November!) For too many of us thanksgiving is a day of the year instead of a way of life. We have established a tradition without applying the truth. God never meant us to give thanks from time to time. He blesses us every day. This is why David wrote, “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah” (Psalm 68:19). Daily benefits deserve daily blessing. Notice that the “blessing” mentioned here is not the Lord blessing us, but us blessing Him. His blessings upon us are constant. It is our blessing and praising of His name that seems to waver. He continues…

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I like to be liked.  So do you!  There is a great danger in seeking to please men – desiring to gain their compliments and avoid their criticism.  “The fear of man bringeth a snare” (Proverbs 29:25). Living for the praise of men is empty.  Accolades and acknowledgment do not bring fulfillment.  Beware!  Compliments will make you a man of men, not a man of God.  Listening to others boast of you is just as deadly as boasting of yourself. Dr. Lee Roberson used to say that we must “die to compliments and criticism.”  Both tend to rouse the flesh.  Men who walk in the Spirit cannot afford to listen to the flesh, whether it speaks positively or negatively. You…

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Like most of you I try to make a list each Thanksgiving of reasons for which I am grateful to God.  Obviously it is never complete because the blessings never end.  This year I have decided not to make a list.  I am taking the list of Another who is far better at thankfulness than I. The Gospel records provide insight not only into the prayer life of the Lord Jesus but into His “praise life.”  The Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief was constantly thanking His Father.  His thirty-three and a half years were spent not only considering the joy that was before Him (Hebrews 12:2) but also the joys that were all around Him.  This is where…

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