Jesus Our Lord

“You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”—1 Corinthians 6:20.

Stephen Olford says, “Jesus died to purchase us completely…there is no part of us that has not been bought outright. Christ alone owns our eyes to view His world. He alone owns our hands to serve His will. He alone owns our feet to walk His way. He alone owns our mind to think His thoughts. He alone owns our hearts to love Him fervently. He alone owns our personalities to radiate His charm and glory. Failure to recognize this is a refusal to recognize His sovereignty.”

Is Jesus your Lord? Any area of your life that isn’t covered by the lordship of Jesus is in danger. You are Satan’s target. Some of us need to reaffirm the lordship of Jesus. Others, perhaps for the first time, need to bow before Jesus and settle the issue—is Jesus your Lord?

“Why do you call me, “Lord, Lord” and do not do what I say?”—Luke 6:46

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Joy of Serving

Warren Wiersbe

“…the joy of the Lord is your strength.”—Nehemiah 8:10

“No matter what kind of Christian service God has called you to, it’s a privilege to be in ministry and to serve Jesus Christ. In some ways, it’s the hardest work in the world; but in many ways, it’s the happiest work in the world. Yes, it has its tears and trials, but it also has its joys and triumphs; and the best is yet to come!—Warren Wiersbe

Let us be reminded that we followers of Jesus are all in the ministry—whether we are paid or not. 1 Peter 2:5 says, “You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

May our service to God be acceptable, and may we do it joyfully!

 

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Ticket to Ride

I am told that there were different types of tickets you could buy to ride on a stagecoach back in the frontier days.

If you bought a first-class ticket you could remain seated, no matter what. If the stagecoach got stuck in the mud or a wheel came off or the axle broke, first-class ticket holders remained seated at all times.

Second-class ticket holders could sit down until there was a problem. Then they had to get off, but they could stand in the shade and watch while others fixed the problem. When the problem was fixed they got back on the stagecoach.

Those with third-class tickets could sit until there was a problem. When they got off, they had to help fix the problem. If the coach was stuck in the mud, third-class ticket holders had to help get it unstuck. If the stagecoach had to be pushed up a hill, third-class ticket holders had to push. If the wheel broke, third-class ticket holders had to lift up the stagecoach so the wheel could be replaced.

Which type of ticket-holder best represents the way you serve the Lord?

“…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”—Matthew 20:26-28

 

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Mama’s Boy

A mother was concerned about her only son going off to college. She wrote the following letter to the college president:

“Dear Sir: My son has been accepted for admission to your college and soon he will be leaving me. I am writing to ask that you give your personal attention to the selection of his roommate. I want to be sure that his roommate is not the kind of person who uses foul language, or tells off-color jokes, smokes, drinks, or chases after girls. I hope you will understand why I am appealing to you directly. You see, this is the first time my son will be away from home, except for his three years in the Marine Corps.”

Some mothers tend to be over-protective, but we have to be thankful for moms who want the best for their children.

“I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.”—2 Timothy 1:5

 

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Food Available

Last fall my wife and I put a bird feeder outside our living room window. We hoped to attract some birds that would entertain us and to offer some food to our little feathered friends to help them make it through the winter.

To our dismay, the birds completely ignored the feeder. All winter long, we did not see a single bird come to the feeder. Only recently, the first week of May, have the birds discovered the food that was available to them all along.

God has made spiritual food available to us, but so many people have yet to figure out that this much-needed sustenance is there for them. Let us do everything we can to help people discover that God has given them the Bible as spiritual food, and that his Son Jesus is the bread of life.

“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”—Psalm 34:8

 

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The Reason for Our Courage

“But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’”—Matthew 14:27

The disciples of Jesus were terrified when they saw him walking on water. But he spoke to their fears, telling them to be courageous, not fearful. Notice the short phrase in the middle of the above verse—“It is I.”

Earlier, Jesus had amazed his disciples with his ability to calm the raging winds and waves on the lake by merely speaking to them (Matthew 8:23-27). Now, he further exhibits his control over nature by actually walking on water! His powerful presence was all that was needed to drive away their fears.

It is the presence of Jesus that allows us to be courageous and fearless. We who follow him have witnessed his power and control. We trust him to see us through even the fiercest of life’s storms. When life gets scary, look to Jesus. He is the source of our courage.

 

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Stay in Your Lane

2019 Kentucky Derby

Maximum Security crossed the finish line first in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby. However, the horse was disqualified when race stewards determined that it had interfered with several horses. Maximum Security’s jockey, Luis Saez, thinks that the horse drifted out of his lane after becoming spooked by the crowd noise. In any case, Country House, a 65-1 longshot that had been the second horse to cross the finish line, was declared the winner of the race.

Those of us who follow Jesus need to be sure that we stay in our lane. We must not be frightened or confused by the “crowd”. We must stay on the right path, all the way to the finish line.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”—Matthew 7:13-14

 

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Off Track

Omaha Beach

Kentucky Derby favorite Omaha Beach will not be competing in this year’s race. He was scratched because of a breathing issue. This condition can be fixed, but even if the surgery is successful, the horse will be out of training for a couple of weeks. It is hoped that Omaha Beach will be able to compete in the fall season.

Jesus gives his followers the Holy Spirit, which is essentially the breath of the church. If we grieve or quench the Spirit because of our wickedness, our indifference, our divisiveness or some other sin, we will be sidelined for a while. Let’s make sure we don’t get off track!

“And with that he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’”—John 20:22

“Do not quench the Spirit.”—1 Thessalonians 5:19

 

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Playing Hurt

James Harden

Houston Rockets guard James Harden was inadvertently poked in both eyes by Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors in Game 2 of the NBA Western Conference semifinals. Although in a great deal of pain, Harden was able to finish the game and is expected to be available for Game 3 on Saturday night.

Harden isn’t the only player in the series who is battling against injuries. Golden State’s Steph Curry suffered a dislocated finger in Game 2. Like Harden, Curry is expected to be able to play in Saturday’s contest.

Sometimes you have to compete even though you are in pain. Paul the apostle lists some of the many hardships he endured in 2 Corinthians 6. Included are: beatings, imprisonments, riots, sleepless nights and hunger.

Living for Jesus isn’t always easy. Sometimes you have to endure pain and suffering along the way.

 

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Stepping Up to the Plate

Noah Syndergaard

Last night New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard became the first pitcher in nearly 36 years to homer for the game’s only run and pitch a complete game. The last pitcher to accomplish this feat was the Dodgers’ Bob Welch on June 17, 1983.

Baseball teams don’t normally expect much offensive output from their pitchers, but sometimes they step up and contribute to the team’s effort in unexpected ways.

In the same way, in God’s kingdom sometimes people prove themselves able to help the cause in ways that are not expected. When Nehemiah and his fellow workers rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem, we see that even goldsmiths and perfume-makers stepped outside the comfort zone of their normal occupations to join in the construction work (Nehemiah 3:8). So the next time you are asked to do something that is normally outside your area of expertise, think about it before you decline. God just might be wanting you to step up to the plate and do something spectacular!

 

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