Tag

perspective

The citizens of a small community were overwhelmed with discouragement. The drought had destroyed the crops of the farmers and they were facing bankruptcy. The merchants were unable to purchase inventory for their stores because their customers could not pay their bills. Unfortunately things went downhill from there.
Everyone was heartbroken and depressed except one elderly man of God. He invited the leaders of the community to his home for a meeting to see if he could encourage them to continue a little longer.
His friends came to his home and sat around his kitchen table. Standing before them he hung a large piece of white paper on a wall and asked them to turn and look at it. As they did, he placed a black dot in the center. He then asked, “Gentlemen, what do you see?”
In unison they said, “A black dot.” Not one of them mentioned the white paper that surrounded the one small black dot.
“Gentlemen,” he asked, “are there some blessings in your life that we can place around the black dot that might make it not so obvious?” One by one they thought of some of the good things that they had been overlooking in their time of loss and grief.
God’s goodness sometimes disappears from our horizon. When days are difficult and nights are long, it is easy to see the dot and not the One who can remove it.
Prayer: Help us, Heavenly Father, to be aware of all that we have because of Your grace. Give us faith to proceed through difficulties of life through Your strength. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Russ Ortiz was an outstanding baseball pitcher for the Atlanta Braves. In fact, in one season he won twenty-one games. On one occasion a reporter asked him how he kept calm in situations when it looked like he would lose control of the game. Quickly he replied, “When I am on the mound and need a calming experience I look under the bill of my cap. You see, I keep a Bible verse there,” he explained. “When I started doing it,” he continued, “it helped me put things in perspective.”


The Christian is never guaranteed a life free from stress, strife or the worries of the world. It does not assure us of quiet paths and calm waters. But it does assure us that when we keep our minds securely focused on God and His Word we will know perfect peace even in the most turbulent times.

Isaiah, in a song of praise to the Lord wrote, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, whose thoughts are fixed on You!”

This is a powerful promise for the believer. His Word provides all of the assurance that we need to know a perfect peace. It exceeds all of the wisdom, knowledge and understanding that we find in the writings of worldly authors. In Him we have everything we need: His unending and unchanging love. When we accept that fact, there is no reason for us to fear the chaos that confronts us or the confusion that surrounds us.

Prayer: Lord, may we accept the peace that You offer us through Your Son, our Savior. Help us to rely on Him and His power to protect and preserve us in all things. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Isaiah 26:3 You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.

The citizens of a small community were overwhelmed with discouragement. The drought had destroyed the crops of the farmers and they were facing bankruptcy. The merchants were unable to purchase inventory for their stores because their customers could not pay their bills. And things went downhill from there.

Everyone was heartbroken and depressed except one elderly man of God. He invited the leaders of the community to his home for a meeting to see if he could encourage them to continue a little longer.

His friends came to his home and sat around his kitchen table. Standing before them he hung a large piece of white paper on a wall and asked them to turn and look at it. As they did, he placed a black dot in the center. He then asked, “Gentlemen, what do you see?”

In unison they said, “A black dot.” Not one of them mentioned the white paper that surrounded the one small black dot.

“Gentlemen,” he asked, “are there some blessings in your life that we can place around the black dot that might make it not so obvious?” One by one they thought of some of the good things that they had been overlooking in their time of loss and grief.

God’s goodness sometimes disappears from our horizon. When days are difficult and nights are long, it is easy to see the dot and not the One who can remove it.

Prayer: Help us, Heavenly Father, to be aware of all that we have because of Your grace. Give us faith to proceed through difficulties of life through Your strength. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Matthew 19:26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Sir Michael Costa was a celebrated and successful conductor in England. He was recognized by others for the demands he placed on musicians to be accurate and to perform with excellence. In fact, many resented him for his adherence to high musical standards.

On one occasion, during a rehearsal of a large choir and orchestra, he brought the music to an abrupt stop. The musicians were puzzled until be shouted, “Where’s the piccolo? I can’t hear the piccolo.”

With all of the musicians playing as loudly as they could, and the choir singing as loudly as it could, the piccolo player thought to himself, “My instrument is so small and the sound it makes is so insignificant it won’t be missed.” But to Costa, the sound of one small instrument was essential to make the harmony needed for the concert to be complete.

Paul, writing to the church at Corinth said, “Now, all of you together are Christ’s body and each one of you is a separate and necessary part of it.” Here we find him emphasizing the significance that each of us have, though we have our own distinctive talents and skills, that is necessary to do the work of Christ through our church and its various activities.

One of the dangers of comparing ourselves to others is that we come out looking as small as a piccolo. But remember, the Conductor needs us to play our part.

Prayer: Lord, may we each play our part in Your symphony of grace, realizing that if do not play our part, Your Kingdom will be incomplete. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: 1 Corinthians 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
Two farmers were talking about their crops. Said one, “Aren’t you just thrilled over the large healthy crop of potatoes this year?”

“Not really,” came the reply. “It’s plenty good, but now we don’t have the bad ones to feed the pigs.”

Often we deceive ourselves into believing that we are not good enough for God to love. Sometimes we convince ourselves that we are incapable of achieving the opportunities that God has given us.

There are times when we face a situation and everything appears to be going against us. That is exactly the time we need to realize that God is in that very situation and that one thing is always right: He loves us in all places and at all times. We need to cultivate an unshakeable confidence in God, believing that He can lighten every load, brighten every dark corner and straighten out any path He calls us to travel.

As Christians, we can develop a “faith-filled attitude.” He can and will change us from the inside out. We can develop a new way of looking at life, a new way of thinking about life and a new way of living life. We can look at life through His eyes and discover the goodness He wants to share with us.

Prayer: Father, may we learn to look at everything in life through Your eyes, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, find encouragement and opportunity to honor and serve You. In Christ’s Name, Amen.

Scripture: Philippians 4:4-6
Read Numbers 13:26-33

A little boy picked up a pebble, held it close to his eye and shouted, “Look, Pop, it’s bigger than you.”

“Drop it, son,” said the father. He did. “Now,” he exclaimed, “it’s little!”

There’s only one way to do anything rightly, and there’s only one way to see anything rightly.

When the spies returned from the Promised Land ten saw giants, two saw God; ten saw problems, two saw possibilities; ten put their problems first and were overcome, two put God first and overcame.

Don’t look to God through your circumstances. Look at your circumstances through God. “With God all things are possible.”

Prayer: Inspire us, heavenly Father, to develop spiritually, mentally, socially and bodily. Give us grace for our hearts, strength for our bodies, and wisdom for our minds to do and be the person that will always please Thee: through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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