cravings

Cravings — we all have them. There’s the classic appetite dualism of “Sweet vs. Savory” ― the yearning for sugar or salt. Then there is my crucial morning quest for caffeine disguised in a hot and oh, so delightful cup of coffee.

CoffeeCravings can go much deeper. Deep desires compel us to search for something or someone to quench the unyielding thirsts of our souls. The elusive quest has many labels. Acceptance, love, respect. High on the list, for nations and individuals, is peace. Civil war, ethnic conflicts, domestic violence, and divorce all create a growing hunger for peace. A famous entertainer quipped, “I would give my fortune for a moment of peace.”

Is it possible that God placed these universal desires in us to compel us to seek Him? Saint Augustine seemed to be convinced when he prayed, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”

Think of it for a moment: Jesus is the Prince of Peace. He told His followers, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27). We can seek peace from other sources ― a walk in the woods, through strong friendships, and in the places we live — but the ultimate lasting peace does not come through circumstances. God’s peace is rooted in His unchanging character. Develop a craving for it, and He will satisfy you.

Jesus, thank you that you came to give the gift of peace to me and each person everywhere. You are truly the Prince of Peace. I invite you to transform my heart, soul, and mind with your peace. Amen.

By Mike Woodard


saddle up

TBTI have always enjoyed the musical ministry of Steven Curtis Chapman. But it has been 25 years since that amazing introduction was first heard - and the world was reminded that the life God gives us in an adventure "...like no other..."

This is the 25th anniversary rendition of "The Great Adventure"...

 


different

I don't wanna hear anymore, teach me to listen
I don't wanna see anymore, give me a vision
That you could move this heart, to be set apart
I don't need to recognize, the man in the mirror
And I don't wanna trade Your plan, for something familiar
I can't waste a day, I can't stay the same


I wanna be different
I wanna be changed
'Til all of me is gone
And all that remains
Is a fire so bright
The whole world can see
That there's something different
So come and be different
In me


the bend in the road

Bend

"Death is not the end of the road; it is only a bend in the road. The road winds only through those paths through which Christ Himself has gone. This Travel Agent does not expect us to discover the trail for ourselves. Often we say that Christ will meet us on the other side. That is true, of course, but misleading. Let us never forget that He walks with us on this side of the curtain and then guides us through the opening. We will meet Him there, because we have met Him here. The tomb is not an entrance to death, but to life. The sepulcher is not an empty vault, but the doorway to heaven. When we die, nothing in God dies, and His faithfulness endures. Little wonder the pagans said of the early church that they carried their dead as if in triumph!"

Lutzer, Erwin W. (2015-04-17). One Minute After You Die (p. 78). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition.


the high cost of NOT caring

GoodSamWarren Wiersbe commenting on Luke 10: 25-37:

We may read this passage and think only of “the high cost of caring,” but it is far more costly not to care. The priest and the Levite lost far more by their neglect than the Samaritan did by his concern. They lost the opportunity to become better men and good stewards of what God had given them. They could have been a good influence in a bad world, but they chose to be a bad influence. The Samaritan’s one deed of mercy has inspired sacrificial ministry all over the world. Never say that such ministry is wasted! God sees to it that no act of loving service in Christ’s name is ever lost. It all depends on your outlook. To the thieves, this traveling Jew was a victim to exploit, so they attacked him. To the priest and Levite, he was a nuisance to avoid, so they ignored him. But to the Samaritan, he was a neighbor to love and help, so he took care of him. What Jesus said to the lawyer, He says to us: “Go and keep on doing it likewise” (literal translation).

 - Wiersbe, Warren W. (2010-06-01). Be Compassionate (Luke 1-13): Let the World Know That Jesus Cares (The BE Series Commentary) (p. 138). David C Cook. Kindle Edition.

 


the altar of age

AltarWe often look forward with anxiety to the time of old age, forgetting that at evening time it shall be light. To many saints, old age is the choicest season in their lives. A warmer breeze fans the sailor's face as he nears the shore of immortality; fewer waves ruffle his sea; quiet reigns, deep, still and solemn. From the altar of age the flashes of the fire of youth are gone, but the deepening flame of sincere feeling remains. The pilgrims have reached the promised land, the happy country, whose days are as the days of heaven upon earth. Angels visit it, celestial gales blow over it, flowers of paradise grow in it, and the air is filled with heavenly music. Some live here for years, and others arrive only a few hours before their departure, but it is an Eden on earth.

- from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. Copyright © 2003, Good News Publishers and used by Truth For Life with written permission.


God's Glorious Shout

Glory2There are devotional readings that capture my imagination and give it a good shake now and then.

For devotions, I use the YouVersion application on my cell phone. I usually open it and read the selected devotional reading provided for the given day. The other day, the scripture provided was Isaiah 6:3:

"And one cried to another and said
'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
The whole earth is full of His glory.' "

Continue reading "God's Glorious Shout" »


bad news

BadNews"[As a believer], you ought not to be afraid of the arrival of bad news; because if you are distressed by such, you are no different from other men. They do not have your God to run to; they have never proved His faithfulness as you have done, and it is no wonder if they are bowed down with alarm and cowed with fear. But you profess to be of another spirit; you have been born again to a living hope, and your heart lives in heaven and not on earthly things. If you are seen to be distracted as other men, what is the value of that grace that you profess to have received? Where is the dignity of that new nature that you claim to possess?

Moreover, unconverted men often run to wrong means in order to escape from difficulties, and you will be sure to do the same if your mind yields to the present pressure. Trust in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. Your wisest course is to do what Moses did at the Red Sea: 'Stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD.' (Exodus 14:13) For if you give way to fear when you hear bad news, you will be unable to meet the trouble with that calm composure that prepares for duty and sustains in adversity."

- Morning and Evening, Charles Spurgeon (updated by Alistair Begg)


Toussaint

Another of the great professors I encountered at Dallas Theological Seminary has passed away.

Dr. Toussaint was passionate about the Word of God, but he also deeply cared for the students who sat in his classes. He was firm but fair. He knew the Word and it was a challenge just to hear him speak with such deep familiarity of and love for what God has given me in the pages of my Bible.

I know I shall never attain to levels of spiritual life or Christian influence that men such as Dr. Toussaint achieved. But I am so very glad I had the opportunity to witness real godliness in so many men and women of God - both at Dallas Seminary and at Washington Bible College. 

 


consider this...

As I was driving home from FCP (the First Church of Panera), the Lord had me consider something.

It's interesting that as the country was dealing with waves of national hatred and an idiotic mindset that considers memorial statues as objects of racism and "white supremacy" (along with associated violence and destruction), God decided to bring about "the storm of a century".  In a matter of days, destruction and flooding in one of the nation's largest cities caused the nation to turn from foolishness to a determination of what really matters -- caring for one another.

Harvey HelpHouston
Sometimes God goes to great lengths to get our attention.

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)


hallowedness

Hallow

This earnest longing after Jesus has a blessing attending it: "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness" (Matthew 5:6) and therefore, supremely blessed are those who thirst for the Righteous One. Blessed is that hunger, since it comes from God. If I do not experience the blessedness of being filled, I will come again in my emptiness and eagerness until I am filled with Christ. If I do not yet feed on Jesus, I will continue to hunger and thirst after Him. There is hallowedness about that hunger, since it sparkles among the beatitudes of our Lord. But the blessing involves a promise. These hungry ones "shall be satisfied" with what they desire. If in this way Christ causes us to long after Him, He will certainly satisfy those longings; and when He does come to us, as come He will, how sweet it will be!

 - Alaister Begg, Truth for Life