Lord Moynihan was recognized as one of the world’s greatest surgeons. Physicians came from distant places to observe his techniques and procedures.
One day after he finished operating before a gallery of other surgeons a reporter asked, “How can you work so calmly with such a famous crowd present?”
After pausing for a moment, he calmly replied, “There are just three people in the operating room when I operate – the patient, myself and God.”
In Joshua we read, “I will not fail you or abandon you.” In Hebrews we read, “I will never fail you, I will never forsake you!”
One thing is certain: Wherever Christians find themselves they can know with certainty that God is with them, will never fail, abandon nor forsake them!
How marvelous is that.
When we learn to accept the reality of God’s presence in our lives and come to depend on His strength and power rather than our own, we will begin to recognize the sufficiency of His grace and mercy. Once we make the transition from depending on ourselves to complete dependency upon God, our fears will be relieved, our anxieties overcome and our lives endowed with a “peace that passes all understanding.”
God wants to do more than care for us, He wants to take care of us. And He will if we trust Him!
Prayer:We are grateful Lord, for Your promises and presence, Your power and protection and Your desire to give us whatever wisdom we need if we use it to honor You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Hebrews 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
Joseph is a well-known painter of seascapes. His paintings capture calm waters and threatening storms. Once, an admirer was looking at one of his famous paintings and asked, “How were you able to paint with such realism the violence of a storm at sea?”
“Sir,” he replied, “I was on the bow of a ship one evening facing that storm. I not only saw it, I felt it. I experienced it.”
Like the painter, our Lord experienced the storms of life. Often we neglect to think of what the writer of the book of Hebrews said: “Since He himself has gone through suffering and temptation, he is able to help us when we are being tempted.”
When we neglect to walk along side of Jesus in the Gospels, we fail to remember that He was as human as we are. We don’t often remember and recall the fact that whatever we experience in our lives He also experienced it in His life. However, He persevered because of His faith and trust in His Heavenly Father.
When we lose a loved one, we need to remember that He stood by a grave side one day and wept.
When we experience loneliness, we need to recall His feelings of desertion when His followers left Him.
When we experience suffering, we need to look at Him as He hung on His cross on our behalf and try to feel His pain and humiliation. God understands our pain, suffering and grief.
Prayer:How blest we are, Father, to know that we have a “High Priest” who has experienced our pains and knows our problems and is waiting to heal and help us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Hebrews 4:15-16 We do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
One warm summer day a snail began climbing an apple tree. As he moved upward he heard a voice calling, “There’s no reason for you to climb this tree. There are no apples up there.” Looking around he saw a worm basking in the warmth of the sun.
Returning his attention to the task before him, the snail shouted back, “There will be when I get up there.”
A great example of positive thinking was Noah. If you recall, “God warned him about something that had never happened before…and by faith…he built an ark to save his family.”
Perhaps no one in history experienced more ridicule and rejection for being different from his neighbors than Noah. God commanded him to build a huge boat in the middle of dry land. This certainly made no sense to him when he got his instructions from God. But it didn’t matter. He did what he was asked to do. And although his behavior seemed strange to his neighbors, it made no difference to him. Being obedient to God with what mattered.
God often asks Christians to do things that seem strange to those who do not know Him. So, our being obedient to God often makes what we do look odd, perhaps even weird, to those who do not know the Lord. But remember, whenever God asks us to do something He also gives us the courage to overcome the skeptics and succeed.
Prayer:Help us, Lord, to keep our eyes on You and on what You call us to do. Give us faith and persistence to do what You call us to do and never waver. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.
It seemed as though the night would never end. Little Luke tossed and turned trying to get comfortable and fall asleep. Finally he gave up and came wandering out of his bedroom with his favorite blanket and teddy bear.
His father heard his footsteps and went upstairs. Picking him up he asked, “What’s the matter? Why can’t you sleep?”
“It’s my room,” he replied.
“Your room? What’s wrong with your room?” asked his Dad.
“It’s full of lonely,” said Luke.
It is a well-known fact that loneliness is one of the biggest problems in society today. Though we are surrounded by family and friends, loneliness grips the hearts and minds of countless millions. Medications and endless activities do not seem to fill the vacuum.
God has promised in His Word that “He will never leave us nor forsake us.” If that’s true, then, why do so many feel lonely?
Could it be that we have left God and He wants us to return? Has He created those feelings of loneliness to get us to seek Him? Have we become so involved with so many “things” that we have crowded Him out of our days? Must He use the darkness of a lonely night to get our attention to return to Him?
Prayer:We ask You, Father, to do whatever it takes, to draw us so close to You that we will feel Your presence and power wherever we are, night or day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today:Hebrews 13:6 So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
Young Mark was preparing to say his prayers before going to bed. His mother had been in his room going over his homework with him. As he knelt to pray he said, “Go away, Mom. I want to talk to God.”
“But, can’t I listen?” she asked.
“Well,” he said, “I don’t mind telling God about the wrong things I did today because I know He will forgive me and forget what I did. But you’ll go on yelling at me forever.”
How different is our God! His Word proclaims, “And I will forgive their wrongdoings, and I will never again remember their sins.” One of the final characteristics of the New Covenant is that the blood of Jesus not only cleanses us completely, but that He will remove them from His memory.
That’s probably difficult for many of us to accept. We often harbor in our hearts and minds the wrongs that people do to us. Often we seem to roll them around and seek opportunities to get revenge – or at least get even. Not our God.
We know that His grace is sufficient to save us. But believing that He will never allow our sins to enter His memory should bring us a permanent peace.
Prayer:Help us, our Father, to take You at Your Word, and know that as we confess our sins, You not only forgive them but forget them – forever. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Hebrews 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
Harold stopped by the gift store to purchase a barometer to inform him of changing weather conditions. When he got home he hung it on the wall in his library. After a few moments he decided to see if it was working. When it warned him of an impending tornado, he became angry and took it back to the store demanding a new one.
Pleased with his new one, he hurried home to hang it on the wall in the place of the one he thought was not working properly. As he turned the corner of the street, he was shocked with disbelief. While he was gone, a tornado came through town and his home was completely destroyed.
Many look at the Bible the way that Harold looked at his barometer: They doubt it or deny it or attempt to distort its message one way or another. But one's opinion will not alter the invitation to salvation or the promise of judgment.
God's Word warns us that “each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment.” We hear little about judgment because it is not a popular theme in today's culture. God's Word and promises are as certain as His love and salvation. We cannot change facts – only accept or reject them.
Prayer:Help us, Lord, to accept the teachings of Your Word and be prepared for Your judgment and to live knowing we will stand before You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,
Alexander the Great had been leading his army across the hot scorching sand for days. He and his men had parched throats, scorched skin, eyes crusted with particles of sand and muscles that had difficulty in responding to orders to move forward.
Early one morning as the sun was beginning to rise, his advance guard appeared bringing him a container of water. His troops watched with envy as he accepted it. Then slowly and with great deliberation he poured it on the sand and said, “It is not right for one to drink when so many are thirsty.” He did not have enough water to give each man a sip, but he gave them the inspiration to continue their journey to victory and success.
Later they found the water they needed to survive. But that day they saw a leader who loved them and they followed him willingly.
When we look at Jesus, our leader, we see in Him the supreme example of how we are to live and what we are to do. The Christian life involves discipline and determination, commitment and conviction. It requires us to focus on our calling on Christ and a willingness to endure hardships for His sake and in the strength we receive from Him. Our endurance in the Christian life will depend on our keeping our eyes upon Him and Him alone. If we take our eyes off of Him we will stumble, fall and fail. If we allow our eyes to remain fixed on the circumstances that surround us or if we willingly let temptation overcome us, we will not be able to finish the race He has called us to run.
We can successfully run the race that is before us “by keeping our eyes on Jesus on whom our faith depends from start to finish.” We run for Him and with Him and finally, to Him!
Prayer:Our Father, we ask for Your strength as we run the race that You have set before us which we know will lead us into Your presence and the place You have reserved for us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Hebrews 12:2 looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
“Dad,” said a small child getting ready for Sunday school, “When I grow up I want to be just like you. How old will I have to be to quit going to church?”
The father blushed with embarrassment and said, “Son, going to church is something we need to do all of our lives.”
Most parents are anxious that their children go to church. Unfortunately, many parents do not realize how important it is for them to set the proper example for their children. Going to church is one of the most important examples parents can set for their children. It demonstrates the value and priority they place on worshiping together.
Being a Christian without going to church is like a soldier going into battle without an army or a violinist preparing for a concert without any strings in his violin. A family trying to live life without worshiping together is like a ship with no rudder.
The Apostle Paul wisely said, “Let us not neglect our church meetings, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of His coming back is drawing near.”
Prayer:Father, I admit that I need to be with others and worship and praise You. Help me to be faithful and join with others to honor You: in Your Name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: Hebrews 10:25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
James Whitaker was the first American to conquer Mount Everest. A reporter asked him, “Why did you risk your life in such an endeavor?”
“Because,” he said, “of the challenge. I wanted to see if I could stand on the top. You don’t conquer the mountain. You conquer yourself. You overcome your sickness, your pains and your fears to reach the summit. Man needs challenges.”
Life is full of challenges. Some we create to develop our strength or potential. Others come at us as a complete surprise with no warning in advance or means of escape. Many are short term while others may last a lifetime. While we can overcome most of them, there are some that overcome us.
There are times when God uses certain trying situations in our lives to prepare us for tasks that are in our future. There are times when He knows that we need to increase our faith and trust in His grace and mercy. And there are times when we face hardships because of our poor choices or not following His will for our lives.
The Bible tells us that we will encounter many trials in this life. But it also promises us that God will be with us, and that His presence, love, comfort and strength are ours for the asking.
Prayer:Father, when we go through the difficulties of life we ask for Your hand and the assurance of Your presence. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
“I’m not afraid to die,” begins an old fable. “I’ll gladly go with you, if you will only give me a warning. Let’s make that our agreement.”
“We will,” promised the visitor.
One night, years later, Death came for the old man. “You are here without warning!” shouted the frightened man. “Why didn’t you let me know you were coming?”
“I did,” answered Death. “Your hair is thin and white. Your hearing is very poor. You cannot see without thick glasses. You have difficulty in walking. Your closest friends have gone on. I’ve sent you many messages but you did not seem to be interested in any of them. But now your time has come to leave with me.”
It is not a topic we usually talk or think about very frequently, yet we all know our time on earth is limited. But Jesus, Who wants to be our Savior, died on our behalf so we could live with Him in eternity forever. He has provided us an unbelievable opportunity if we only accept it. His saving grace does away with our past, present and even future sin if we accept what He has done for us on the cross. When we reach out to Him, in faith believing, He’ll be there with us at “the last appointment” waiting graciously to take us to be with Him.
Prayer:We rejoice, Father, in the goodness of Your love, the fact of Your salvation and the hope we have in You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: Hebrews 9:27-28 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,