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Showing posts from April 4, 2013

Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional

May 4: More Than I Can Handle
Psalm 66:1–20; Philippians 2:1–11

“God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.”
This Christian maxim is a well-meaning attempt at putting our difficult times into perspective. It holds the view that God knows our weaknesses and knows when we can’t measure up to a challenge. But if we’re going through trials, this same saying can be debilitating when we feel that we can’t possibly handle a situation.
The psalms often describe circumstances that leave the nation of Israel hopelessly struggling and helplessly in need of God:
“For you have tested us, O God; you have tried us as silver is tried. You brought us into the net; you placed a heavy burden on our backs. You let men ride over our heads. We went through fire and through water, but you have brought us out to the place of abundance” (Psa 66:10–12).
Israel doesn’t often “handle” situations very well. Throughout its history, the nation chosen by God repeatedly rebelled against Him. Only when God gave them ov…

Morning and Evening: Daily Readings, Complete and unabridged; New modern edition.

Morning, April 5      Go To Evening Reading

         “On him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus.”
         — Luke 23:26

We see in Simon’s carrying the cross a picture of the work of the Church throughout all generations; she is the cross-bearer after Jesus. Mark then, Christian, Jesus does not suffer so as to exclude your suffering. He bears a cross, not that you may escape it, but that you may endure it. Christ exempts you from sin, but not from sorrow. Remember that, and expect to suffer.

But let us comfort ourselves with this thought, that in our case, as in Simon’s, it is not our cross, but Christ’s cross which we carry. When you are molested for your piety; when your religion brings the trial of cruel mockings upon you, then remember it is not your cross, it is Christ’s cross; and how delightful is it to carry the cross of our Lord Jesus!

You carry the cross after him. You have blessed company; your path is marked with the footprints of your Lord. The mark of…

Morning and Evening: Daily Readings, Complete and unabridged; New modern edition.

Morning, April 4      Go To Evening Reading

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
         — 2 Corinthians 5:21

Mourning Christian! why weepest thou? Art thou mourning over thine own corruptions? Look to thy perfect Lord, and remember, thou art complete in him; thou art in God’s sight as perfect as if thou hadst never sinned; nay, more than that, the Lord our Righteousness hath put a divine garment upon thee, so that thou hast more than the righteousness of man—thou hast the righteousness of God. O thou who art mourning by reason of inbred sin and depravity, remember, none of thy sins can condemn thee. Thou hast learned to hate sin; but thou hast learned also to know that sin is not thine—it was laid upon Christ’s head. Thy standing is not in thyself—it is in Christ; thine acceptance is not in thyself, but in thy Lord; thou art as much accepted of God to-day, with all thy sinfulness, as thou wilt be when thou sta…

Forgive, Forget, and Comfort

April 4: Forgive, Forget, and Comfort
2 Corinthians 2:1–11

There is a subtle type of grudge that festers. When we extend forgiveness, the challenge isn’t necessarily in the moment of reconciliation. It’s extending that moment and letting it permeate the interactions that follow.
In 2 Corinthians, Paul doesn’t just ask the Corinthians to forgive. He asks them for much more: “So then, you should rather forgive and comfort him lest somehow this person should be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. Therefore I urge you to confirm your love for him. Because for this reason, also I wrote, in order that I could know your proven character, whether you are obedient in everything” (2 Cor 2:7–9).
Patronizing superiority suits our selfish desires, but grudging forgiveness doesn’t heal a community. Paul calls the Corinthian church to much more. He wants them to live sacrificially. That’s why, when Paul calls for the offender in Corinth to be reprimanded, he specifically turns to address those who were …