DEVOTIONAL

Grace

A man I knew when he was just a boy lived near one of those old-timey neighborhood grocery stores. As a child he was in that grocery store every day. He knew the owner and those working in the store very well. One day he stole some pencils. It didn’t amount to very much—maybe 25 cents. He didn’t need them. It was just one of those childish acts. In fact he took them home and buried them in the...

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No Room

Have you ever stopped at a hotel late at night to get a room and the clerk said to you, “I’m sorry, we have no vacancies”? Overbooked, overcrowded, no room for you.

That very well may be what happened that first Christmas.

The innkeeper simply had an overcrowded inn and there was no room for Jesus to stay. What Jesus experienced in that first century is what he oftentimes experi...

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Happy New Year

Happy New Year! Having happiness this year, of course, will not happen automatically. Turning over a new leaf of the calendar won’t change anything. But turning over a new leaf in life can.

What do we need in order to have a happy New Year?

• You need a self you can live with. If you don’t like yourself it’s hard to like anybody or anything else. If you need to...

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A Good Goal for the New Year

When you get where you are going, where will you be? Every life needs a goal. Much of the boredom and unhappiness in life can be traced to a lack of purpose for living. This New Year is an excellent time for you to stop and examine your own goals in life and perhaps reset some of them.

The only goal worthy of your highest and best is to do the will of God. Many great people have lived a...

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The Rising Sun

After the signing of the constitution in 1787, Benjamin Franklin commented about the chair in which George Washington had sat through all the weeks and months of their preparations. At the top of the chair were the golden rays of the sun. He told Washington that throughout all the proceedings he had wondered if it was a rising or setting sun.

Then Washington asked him, “What have you de...

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The Keeper of the Keys

As we approach another New Year we are again aware that the future holds many mysteries for us. Will it be a year of poverty or prosperity? Will it be a year of happiness or sorrow? Will it be a year of life or death? Who knows? While we do not know what the future holds, we can know who holds the future. The future is in God’s hands.

The Romans named January for Janus, the Roman god of...

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Keeping Christ in Christmas

At the Yuletide season someone always asks, “How can we keep Christ in Christmas?” The answer is simple—try! Christ can be kept at the center of your Christmas if you put forth an effort. Here is my recipe of three specific things that your family can do:

1. Remember the reason for the exchanging of gifts. This has become the dominant feature of Christmas for many famil...

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Merry Christmas

With the commercialization of Christmas, its real meaning is often obscured. If we aren’t careful, the tinsel and the wrappings will blot out the star and the straw of Bethlehem. What is the real meaning of Christmas?

• Christmas is for family. The song “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” is more than just a perennial favorite. It is the desire of almost every one of us.

...

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The Miracle of Christmas

Almost forgotten now - seldom ever recalled – is the Christmas Day of 1914. The First World War was in its first years, and as Christmas drew near, the thoughts of men of both armies, facing each other across the dead strewn “No Man’s Land,” turned towards home. Home where the Christmas trees were gaily decorated amid the warmth and love of the annual celebration of the birth of the Prince of P...

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Today's Devotional

Applied Christianity

I once talked with a man who was convinced that Christianity was a failure. His conclusion was based on the fact that while our cities are full of churches and preachers, our world is getting worse and worse.

If you think about this criticism, you must agree that there is much religion in America that has little effect on the daily lives of people. While the number of church members may grow each year, so does lawlessness and immorality. But does this mean that Christianity is a failure? No. At the close of World War I a soap manufacturer, walking down the street with his pastor, was bemoaning the “failure” of Christianity. He said to his pastor, “After 19 centuries of preaching and teaching Christ, there is still so much evil in the world. I don’t see how you can go on preaching the Gospel.” 

“I don’t see how you can go on manufacturing soap,” retorted the pastor. “Look at the little urchin playing in the gutter. Neck and ears filthy. There’s still so much dirt in the world. Soap is such a failure.”

“But,” countered the soap manufacturer, “If people will just apply the soap, they’ll be clean.”

“Yes,” concluded the pastor, “and if men will but apply Christ to their daily living, they will also be clean.” 

The evil of today’s world is not due to Christianity’s failure, but to our failure to apply our Christianity. As writer G.K. Chesterton said, "Christianity has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and not tried."

Attend church Sunday, listen to God’s word, then apply it to your daily life and you and the world will both be better because of it.

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