The Measure of a Person

Kyler Murray

Football fans anxiously awaited news about Kyler Murray’s appearance at the NFL scouting combine. While the Heisman Trophy winning quarterback out of Oklahoma declined to participate in throwing drills, he did submit to the measuring of his height and the recording of his weight. The talented player is small by NFL standards—the only question has been, how small is he?

Murray measured just over 5-feet 10-inches tall. This has reportedly boosted his stock for the upcoming NFL draft. Had he measured less than 5-10, his position in the draft would no doubt have fallen.

It seems odd that one inch can make that much of a difference!

Let us be reminded that the important thing for Christians is not our size, but that we stand tall for Jesus! Let’s make sure that we measure up when put to the test!

“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”—Ephesians 6:13

 

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They Need Shoes

Shane Claiborne, an advocate for the poor and homeless, once spoke at a church service in Chicago. And at the end of his speech he said, “When I’m done here tonight, I’m going to go be with some homeless folks in Chicago, and a lot of them don’t have shoes. And they need shoes. So I’m just asking anybody who’s willing, take your shoes off, bring them up here, and I’ll take them into the city.”

There ended up being 1,500 pairs of shoes left after the service, and people went home in their socks.

That’s a radical act of giving!

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”—Luke 6:38

 

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Worshiping through Music

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.”—Colossians 3:16

There are at least three important truths we can gather from the above verse of Scripture about music and singing. First is that music is one of the highest forms of praise. While music is not the only way we can direct our worship to God, it is certainly an important one. We see many places in the Bible where God’s people worshiped him through music and singing.

Second, we see that God honors diversity in music. We tend to have a favorite genre of music, but the fact that there are different types of music listed here seems to tell us that God likes variety.

Finally, it is important to note that the attitude of the heart matters more than the style or form of the music.

Let us continue to strive to worship God in a manner that truly pleases him.

 

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Danger Ahead!

A hiker in Yosemite National Park was killed Sunday when struck by falling rock and ice. Officials had closed the trail due to the hazardous conditions. The trail closure was clearly marked, but the hiker ignored the warning and suffered the consequences.

The Bible is filled with warnings to everyone who is traveling down life’s trail. The danger signs are not hidden; they are clear and distinctive. God wants us to know full well the peril that awaits us if we choose to ignore the warnings and proceed down a path that is not safe for us. Wise people will heed the warnings!

“My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared.”—Proverbs 3:21-26

 

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Easy for Me to Say!

I was once watching a sports announcer on television as he offered his view of something that had happened in the sports world. I don’t recall whether he was talking about a certain player, a particular team or a play that he was describing, but his opinion of what had happened was quite negative. He ended with these words—“Easy for me to say! I’m wearing makeup!”

This was a clever way of acknowledging that he realized that he wasn’t the one competing; he was merely an observer. It is easy to be critical; it is difficult to actually play the sport.

It is easy for church members to sit in the pew and complain about what is going on. It’s much harder to join in the action and try to make a difference.

“Do everything without grumbling or arguing.”—Philippians 2:14

 

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Determination

Ignacy Jan Paderewski

Ignacy Jan Paderewski was asked by a fellow pianist if he could be ready to play a recital on short notice. The famous musician replied: “I am always ready. I have practiced eight hours daily for forty years.”

The other pianist said, “I wish I had been born with such determination.”

Paderewski replied, “We are all born with it. I just used mine.”

“To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.”—Colossians 1:29

 

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Are You Ready?

I have heard that there is an old tombstone in a cemetery in Indiana which bears the following epitaph:

Pause Stranger when you pass me by,

As you are now, so once was I.

As I am now, so you will be,

So prepare for death and follow me.

 

An unknown passerby read those words and underneath scratched this reply:

To follow you I’m not content,

Until I know which way you went.

 

Each one of us has an appointment with death, so we had indeed better be making preparations for that event.

 

“…people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”—Hebrews 9:27-28

 

Are you ready? Are you waiting for him?

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Close to God

Alberta Herron

My old friend Alberta Herron recently passed away at the age of 93. Alberta was a wonderful Christian woman, one of the best members a church could ever have. She cared about people, and you could always count on her to faithfully fulfill her role in the church.

Alberta hated to see anything go to waste, so she took the leftover communion juice home and made grape jelly out of it. She would share this jelly with family members and church friends. If I ever suddenly felt close to God while eating a piece of toast, I suppose I have Alberta to thank for that!

Communion is a special time of remembering what Jesus did for us when he died on the cross to pay for our sins. Communion makes us feel close to God, so we should make every effort to participate in the Lord’s Supper every chance we get.

“On the first day of the week, we came together to break bread…”—Acts 20:7

 

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Similar Uniforms

The new professional football league, the AAF, is off to a good start in their first two weeks. The games have been getting a lot of attention, and the reception from fans has been strong.

However, a game yesterday between the San Diego Fleet and the Atlanta Legends caused some confusion for many watching the game. The uniforms that the teams wore were so similar that it was difficult to tell the players apart! This is an issue that the league might want to address as they continue to work out some of their problems.

It is a problem in the kingdom when observers can’t tell Christians from non-Christians on the basis of their actions. The Bible says to get rid of the soiled garments of a sinful lifestyle and put on the righteous clothing that Christ gives us.

“Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.”—Romans 13:13-14

Can people tell by your uniform whose team you are on?

 

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Doing Without

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

While on a recent cruise to the Caribbean, my wife and I met a young lady who lives and works in St. Thomas. She was telling us about how life was for her and her family in the aftermath of a devastating hurricane that hit her town. One thing that stands out in my mind is that she said that they were without water and electricity for 192 days. No water or electricity for 192 days!! We get aggravated if we have to do without one or the other for just a couple of hours!

We should learn to be more thankful for what we have.

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”—Philippians 4:12

 

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