Enjoying the Journey

Did you know that the word “quarantine” actually comes from an Italian word that has biblical roots? It means 40 days – a reference to the 40 days of purification and the 40 day testings found throughout the Scriptures. While the immediate purpose is medical and physical in nature, I believe that God is using this quarantine to both test and purify His people. This extended period will prove to be a time of purging both for churches corporately and Christians personally. Some will fall away, but, God willing, many will draw nearer to Christ. What will this quarantine do for you? “Redeeming the time” is not a matter of busyness or activity – it is a matter of emphasis…

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Everyone is busy this week. Shopping. Eating. Cooking. Eating. Traveling. Eating. Wrapping. Eating. It is easy to forget the things that truly matter in the hurry and haste. Perhaps you are working feverishly from a Christmas list. Would you add these things to your list this year? Don’t forget Christ. Remember it is His birth we are celebrating! Spend some quiet time communing with Him each day. Set aside moments for the Word and prayer. Tell Him you love Him and show Him by what you do with your time. Don’t forget your family. Is that possible at Christmas? Certainly. We can be so distracted doing things for them that we forget to be with them. Be present. Talk. Laugh.…

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In recent years I have come to realize the importance of the morning hours. There is something special about the quiet – and the coffee! – before the noise of the day. God desires, and deserves, the first. (Read more about the blessing of early mornings.) A friend once said to me that it was his practice not to speak to any man in the morning until first he had spoken to the Lord. David wrote in Psalm 5:3, “My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.” Most people look at their phones as soon as they awake. We look in the mirror. We look at…

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The final week of the year is perhaps the strangest week of the year. It is like living in limbo. One year seems all but gone and the next is not yet here. Many will wait until January 1 to begin their resolutions. But wise men know “better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof” (Eccl. 7:8). Do you remember the intensity and intent with which you began this year for the Lord? Do not simply regret that it waned. Refuse to wait, and waste another day, to regain it! Finish well. End as you desired when you started. A new day begins best when the previous day ended right. And so it is with a new…

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28,835. That is the estimated number of days the average American now lives. Sounds like a long time, doesn’t it? Until you start figuring up how many days you have already lived. The other problem is that, though you may be able to tell how many you have lived, you cannot know how many you have left! If I were to give you $28,835 it would seem like a great sum of money…until you began spending it (and paying taxes on it!). What sounds like a lot seems to disappear quickly. Every day you live is like a dollar spent – it is either wasted on the temporal or invested in eternity. Soon we only have a handful left. As of…

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Aunt Goldie is with the Lord now. I rode my bike past her house hundreds of times as a boy. In the summer she was almost always sitting on the front porch in the swing. Life was simple. There were few material possessions and yet she was a happy woman. One afternoon she said to me, “You know, Scott, sometimes I like to just get down on my knees and look at Him.” I thought maybe she was losing her mind! Now I understand that her mind was clearer than most. Life revolved around fellowship with Christ. She was living for another world. The last few months have been some of the busiest of my life. At times like these…

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As a young man beginning in the ministry I heard my pastor say that one of the most difficult things to discern was what to eliminate.  At the time, I was so busy adding things to my life that I did not fully appreciate the truth that he expressed.  Through the years I have found that one of the most challenging things to do is simply say, “no.”  Yet saying no is often just as spiritual as saying yes.  No man can do everything.  Few men can do many things well.  Wise men say with Paul, “This one thing I do.” Try this exercise.  List the key areas, assignments, relationships, interests, and hobbies of your life.  Now place all of…

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A friend and I were enjoying a time of fellowship together just a few days ago.  During the conversation I asked about a man who had been a pastor in the town where I was visiting.  The answer was all too familiar – he was no longer in the ministry but doing very well in business. And then my friend said something I cannot forget:  “The last time I heard from him he said that life couldn’t be better.” How is that possible? I believe the greatest life is the life given to God, the life of obedience to His will.  It is not always the easiest life – in fact it never is!  Following Christ leads to a cross.…

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