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Showing posts from August 31, 2012

Walking with Jesus

August 31: Walking with Jesus

Luke 24:13–53

Imagine encountering Jesus on the road to Emmaus. It would be a surreal experience. You’re walking to the next town, and you start a conversation with a man beside you, only to find out later that you’ve been talking with the resurrected Son of God. Even more surreal, the topic of conversation up to your moment of discovery has been the death of the man walking with you (Luke 24:13–35).
I have often wondered what it would be like to meet Jesus face to face—to have Him explain to me how He exists in the biblical text from Moses, in all the prophets, and in all Scripture (Luke 24:27). How different would my life be after that experience? Would I rethink everything I had known and heard—perhaps everything I do?
Asking these questions is not only healthy, it also turns on our spiritual GPS. Are we on the path God has called us to? Have we strayed in one direction or another? Are we caught in some odd roundabout where we’re explaining to Jesus wha…

Small Talk

August 31





Small Talk
“So, are you taking over Dan Coker’s church?”

It was the day after we accepted the call to become the next pastor of the First Southern Baptist Church of the Monterey Peninsula. We were getting information to enroll our youngest son in school when the clerk at the school asked me the question.

The question hit me wrong for a couple of reasons. I didn’t like the phrase, “taking over.” It made me feel like a corporate raider acquiring a business. I prefer the terminology we use, “to accept the call.” A pastor doesn’t “take over,” he accepts a call that is issued from God and from a church to become their pastor.

The second part of that question bothered me too. It sounds like the pastor “owns” the church. This church never belonged to Dan Coker and it will never belong to me—it is God’s church. People can start to believe they own the church. Maybe they’ve been members a long time, have contributed a large sum of money, or they hold important offices in the church. Re…

August 31 ONLY ONE LIFE Avis B. Christiansen, 1895–1985 And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again. (2 Corinthians 5:15) Find your purpose and fling your life out into it; and the loftier your purpose is, the more sure you will be to make the world richer with every enrichment of yourself! —Phillips Brooks How tragic it is to see the great number of talented young people who waste their lives on transient things instead of investing them in that which is eternal. Yet this choice must be made by every individual: Will I commit my life to the highest and best—God and His service—or will I settle for that which is self-seeking and cheap? The results of these two styles of living are obvious; merely observe the difference between the quality of life of those who have engaged in self-indulgent, useless living and those who have spent their time faithfully serving God with a concern for the spiritual and physical needs of others. One leads to disillusionment and the other to contentment. Since it was published in 1937, this thoughtful hymn by Avis B. Christiansen and Merrill Dunlop has been widely used of God to challenge scores of young believers with the importance of committing their lives completely to God’s glory and service. Both Mrs. Christiansen and Mr. Dunlop have made other notable contributions to gospel hymnody with their many fine hymns. These words reinforce and amplify the oft-quoted statement: “Only one life, ’twill soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last.” Only one life to offer—Jesus, my Lord and King; only one tongue to praise Thee and of Thy mercy sing; only one heart’s devotion—Savior, O may it be consecrated alone to Thy matchless glory, yielded fully to Thee. Only this hour is mine, Lord—May it be used for Thee; may ev’ry passing moment count for eternity; souls all about are dying, dying in sin and shame; help me bring them the message of Calv’ry’s redemption in Thy glorious name. Only one life to offer—Take it, dear Lord, I pray; nothing from Thee withholding, Thy will I now obey; thou who hast freely given Thine all in all for me, claim this life for Thine own to be used, my Savior, ev’ry moment for Thee. For Today: Matthew 10:39; Luke 12:15, 34; Romans 12:1, 2; Philippians 1:20, 21; 3:8 Seriously ponder: Do I really have something beyond myself that gives real meaning and purpose to my life? Is that something God and His service? Breathe this musical prayer— Kenneth W. Osbeck, Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1996). 262.

August 31




ONLY ONE LIFEAvis B. Christiansen, 1895–1985
  And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again. (2 Corinthians 5:15)

  Find your purpose and fling your life out into it; and the loftier your purpose is, the more sure you will be to make the world richer with every enrichment of yourself!
—Phillips Brooks

How tragic it is to see the great number of talented young people who waste their lives on transient things instead of investing them in that which is eternal. Yet this choice must be made by every individual: Will I commit my life to the highest and best—God and His service—or will I settle for that which is self-seeking and cheap? The results of these two styles of living are obvious; merely observe the difference between the quality of life of those who have engaged in self-indulgent, useless living and those who have spent their time faithfully serving God with a concern for the spiritual and …