DEVOTIONAL

Loneliness and Christmas

Loneliness is one of the most common and most devastating emotions of life. Loneliness is being the new kid at school and nobody knows your name. It’s moving to a new town and leaving all your friends behind. It’s your parents going through a divorce and you don’t know which one you’re going to live with. It’s coming home to an empty house after burying your nearest and dearest. It’s driving aw...

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A Christmas Gift

Dr. Pat Thomas, my dear friend and one of Tyler’s finest physicians, told me of a little girl who was asked shortly after Christmas, “Did you get all you wanted for Christmas?”  She replied, “No!  But it wasn’t my birthday!”

She had learned at an early age one of life’s greatest lessons: Life did not revolve around her and getting. It revolves around him and giving.

After all it...

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Never Stop Running

A friend told me birthdays are good for you. People who have lots of them usually live a long time. In 2001 I had bypass surgery. I had seven of those suckers – that’s right, seven. That’s all you can have. I wanted to have eight so I could make the Guinness Book of World Records, but my doctor said seven is the maximum.

After the surgery the doctor said, “I think I bought you ten more...

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What a Husband Owes His Wife

The Bible is the greatest textbook on marital relations ever written. All other books are but amplifications, illustrations, and applications of the basic truths in the Bible.

In many places the Bible sets out the duties of a husband to his wife. Here they are as a good reminder to every husband.

1. Love her. The first and most often–mentioned responsibility of...

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Raising Peanuts or Mining Gold

Years ago, a local newspaper carried an article entitled, “West Texas Gold Discovery Richest in Years.” It pointed out that gold flakes had been found in 18 sandy West Texas acres that its owners had previously been using to raise peanuts.  

When random samples were sent to the Colorado School of Mines, assay reports concluded it was one of the richest finds in modern times. Think of it...

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Don’t Turn Loose

One Sunday a young man dressed in a suit and sitting on the third-row aisle listened and watched with such rapt attention that he caught my eye. At the close of the service an usher introduced him to me. Jason, a local seminary student, extended his hand and said, “It’s an honor to meet you.” (Obviously, Jason had read some of my books.)

I responded, “No! No, it’s an honor for me to mee...

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Poor Communication

The last battle of the Civil War was fought March 12-13, 1865 near Brownsville in Cameron County, Texas. Ironically it was fought more than a month after the South had surrendered and the war was over.  

The Texans won the battle, but 118 men lost their lives. The men invested all they had – their courage, their skill, their blood, and their futures – all for nothing.

The reason...

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Overlooking Faults in Others

A man sat down at a banquet table and the place setting name tag next to his read, “Emily Post”. He assumed it was the famed columnist who was an expert on table manners. He asked the lady sitting there, “Are you Emily Post?” She replied, “Yes, I am.” He asked again, “Are you the Emily Post?” She replied, “Yes, I am.”  

He asked a third time, “Are you the Emily Post who wrote t...

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On Raising Children

Someone once asked my wife, “If you had it to do over, would you have children again?” She responded, “Yes, but not the same ones.” Every parent feels that way at times. When I started preaching years ago, I had a sermon entitled, “Ten Commandments for Parents.” After our first child, I changed the title to “Ten Hints for Parents.” After our second child, I changed the title to “A Few Tentative...

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Today's Devotional

Prayer and Work

A minister who was conducting worship services in the White House quoted a maxim of Augustine: “I will work as if everything depended on me; I shall pray as if everything depended on God.”

Prayer and work naturally go together. Jesus said, “Men ought always to pray, and not to faint” (Luke 18:1). Prayer is important but prayer is not a substitute for work; it is a desperate effort to work further and to be efficient beyond the range of one’s powers. It is not the lazy who are most inclined to prayer; those who pray most care most, and who, having worked hard, find it intolerable to be defeated.

While the Bible repeatedly urges us to pray, it also urges us to work. For example, it says, “Let us abound in the work of the Lord” and “Let us not be weary in well doing.” Work and prayer are an unbeatable combination. To live life at its best give both of them a prominent place in your life.

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