DEVOTIONAL

Keep Your Eye on the Goal

There is an old western painting of a rugged wagon train that has been drawn into a circle for the evening. The men are gathered around the campfire, and the wagon-master has some maps spread out before him. On the map is a heavy black line that traces the zigzag course they have followed. They have swung a little to the left, then south, but always toward the west.  

An argument seems...

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Jesus Ticks People Off

Former columnist-turned-commentator Brit Hume was once severely criticized because he suggested that Tiger Woods ought to turn to Christianity in his time of marital and moral crisis. He pointed out that Tiger was a Buddhist and that Buddhism offers no forgiveness and redemption. And he suggested that those were two things that Tiger needed most at this time. He was accused of proselytizing bec...

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Be Good to Yourself

A man came out of church one Sunday and said to me, “Preacher, be good to yourself today.” It was his way of saying, “You are important also.”  

It reminded me that I had often been better to other people than I had been to myself. I think a lot of people are that way. They have gone through a divorce, failed in business, had a child go bad, or committed some grievous sin. So now they g...

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The Gift of Sickness

I fought a bout with the shingles and lost. Fortunately, it was a mild case perhaps because I had the shingles shot two years ago. I recommend that to you – the shot, not the shingles.

I’ve decided an occasional illness is good for me. I didn’t say I liked it; I just said it was good for me. It helps me in four ways:

Gratitude: It helps to remind me how grateful...

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Are You Lonesome Tonight?

The first thing in all creation that God named as not being good was loneliness. He said of Adam whom he had created, “It is not good for man to be alone.” It’s as true now as it was then. Maybe you remember the song by Elvis Presley, “Are You Lonesome Tonight?”  He sang that song with such feeling that it was one of his longest running hits. 

Sometime after his death I read something t...

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What Money Won’t Buy

If we aren’t careful in this materialistic world, we can be misled by appearances and blinded by unseen values. For example, the scriptures say, “How much better it is to get wisdom than gold" (Proverbs 16:16). German philosopher Immanuel Kant said, “Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.” A well-ordered life, one that’s not falling apart, is one of life’s greatest values.

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Surrender

Charles G. Finney was one of America’s great evangelists (1792-1872). He was a lawyer by profession when he became a Christian at the age of 27. The day he was converted he quit practicing law, though he had a trial scheduled for that day. He told his client, “I have been retained for the Lord Jesus Christ to plead his case and I cannot plead yours.” The man was forced to settle out of court. K...

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Major on the Basics

Knute Rockne was one of the greatest football coaches ever. In his 13 years at Notre Dame, his teams won 105 games, lost 12, and tied 5. He never had a secret practice. In fact, he sometimes put up a sign for visitors that said, “Secret practice. Come and bring your notebooks.”

On one occasion when an Army scout missed a train connection and didn’t get to the Notre Dame game he was to c...

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Am I Normal?

When a loved one dies, scores of emotions flood our lives. We may be so overcome by grief that we wonder, “Am I normal? Am I losing my mind? Is there something wrong with me?”

We need to understand what happens to us in a time of grief. Here are some of the emotions that usually come to us:

1. Shock. We simply cannot believe what has happened. It seems like a dr...

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Today's Devotional

Attitudes in Marriage

The solution to most of the marital discord in today’s home is found in one line from the Bible. It is, “Take heed to your spirit” (Malachi 2:15). If our attitudes and dispositions are right, then we can live in love and peace in any relationship, including marriage.

What kind of spirit do we need to develop and maintain a good marriage?

1. A trusting spirit. A good marriage is built on faith and trust. Therefore beware of jealousy. We are empowered with certain protective emotions. Fear is one—it makes you careful as you cross the street. Anxiety is another—it makes you prepare carefully that speech you have to make. Jealousy is a third—it makes you watchful over the relationship upon which your security and happiness depend. These are all perfectly good and natural when kept within limits. But when jealousy becomes too strong, it can make life miserable for all concerned. Behind irrational jealousy there is always insecurity. If jealousy is your problem, seek help. Don’t let it ruin your marriage.

2. A sacrificial spirit. The Bible urges that we live “in honor preferring one another” (Romans 12:10). We are to love one another as Jesus loved us. Sacrifice is at the heart of such love. Avoid a selfish spirit. It is marriage enemy number one. Instead of being selfish, seek to please one another.

3. A reasonable spirit. Don’t expect too much of one another. Allow for some mistakes and failures by your partner. Avoid a critical and nagging spirit. When polls are taken to discover what unhappily married men and women object to in each other, nagging on the spouse’s part almost always heads the list. No one can continue to feel affection toward a spouse who nags them. It only produces coldness and hardness.

4. A forgiving spirit. It is not possible to avoid disagreements in marriage, but they need not canker into resentment. Avoid a grudging spirit. “Let not the sun go down on your wrath,” says the Bible (Ephesians 4:26). Learn to say “I’m sorry” and “You are forgiven.”

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