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Yesterday, 11:25 amTake Heart And Wait
Monday June 17, 2013
Dealing with it...
"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." -Psalm 27:14
Jesus was unhurried, wasn't He? He never seemed to be in a hurry except when He went to the cross. That was it.
When Jesus was called to heal Jairus' daughter, and He encounters all these distractions on the way, He sees God in the distractions. Then He gets to Jairus' daughter and she's dead because He took too long. So He just raises her from the dead. The same thing with Lazarus. Jesus actually finds out about Lazarus and decides to do nothing (John chapter 11). He wants to wait for Lazarus to die so that He can raise him from the dead.
And of course, Jesus, throughout His life, is unhurried because God is unhurried. They're eternal beings who live in a different reality. They're not afraid of things like death or not accomplishing their goals. They live in a completely different reality. Jesus lived, and so should His disciples live, from a place of humility, listening, and an unhurried posture.
The sense of hurry that I normally live out of, and many of us live out of, often comes from either a place of pride or a place of fear. Sometimes when we create space for the Lord of silence or solitude, we have to face our inner demons, we have to face our struggles, our loneliness, our feelings of lack of meaning or fulfillment, and then we have to deal with them. So typically, instead of dealing with them, we just go back and hurry again, and get productive.
However, I don't believe that's what the Lord wants from us. Maybe He actually wants to teach us in those moments that he would rather we slow down so we can live the life he has planned for us.
Prayer: Dear Lord, I want to live the life you have planned for me. Show me the way to live the unhurried life. Amen.
Reflection: What do you think the Lord has planned for you once you slow down and take more time to listen to him?
June 7, 2013, 9:05 amLove, Peace, And Happiness
Jun 07, 2013
Serving God in Ways That Honor Him
Read | 2 Timothy 2:4, 16-25
In Paul’s second letter to Timothy, he shared helpful instructions, which apply to all Christians. That epistle is a rich compendium of life lessons he’d learned in full-time service to the Lord.
The apostle knew that while certain people were serving God out of love, others were “preaching Christ even from envy and strife” and out of “selfish ambition, rather than from pure motives” (Phil. 1:15, 17). As for himself, Paul said that from the beginning of his Christian walk, he had been serving God with a clear conscience (2 Tim. 1:3).
Then, to introduce some guidelines for godly service, he gave Timothy this word picture: “No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier” (2:4).
There are undoubtedly hundreds of ways to become “entangled,” but Paul gave one specific example—in verse 14, he cautioned against quarreling about words, since that can lead to ruin. He also warned Timothy to avoid “worldly and empty chatter” (v. 16), and urged him to “refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels” (v. 23). Paul summarized the idea in the next verse by saying that “the Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome,” but instead ought to be “kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged.”
How quickly our service to God can degenerate into an angry debate. We at times think the only way to deal with error is by strong argument, but there are often opportunities to correct opponents with gentleness (v. 25).
June 5, 2013, 4:59 pmDaily Comfort
When you touch someones life it is a privilege.
When you touch someones heart it is a blessing.
When you touch someone's mind it is an honor.
When you touch someones soul it is a triumph.
When you touch someones spirit it is a miracle.
June 3, 2013, 10:33 amConfidence to Face the Unknown
Confidence to Face the Unknown
Read | Hebrews 11:23-29
The phrase “by faith” occurs five times in today’s short Scripture reading from Hebrews. In fact, it appears in every full sentence. Essentially, we are told that by faith Moses endured ill treatment, left Egypt, observed the Passover, and passed through the Red Sea.
Why are the words “by faith” so critical to this story? The reason is that Moses’ faith allowed him to join a long list of biblical heroes who were called to move forward into impossible situations, armed only with their trust in God.
Of course, at times these great men and women—Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, David, and many others—must have been filled with reservation and even fear. Yet by choosing to place their lives in God’s hands and to follow His call, each of them was able to accomplish great and mighty things in the name of the Lord.
The path through life can be dark and confusing; it can be difficult and at times unsettling to move forward with the lantern of God’s guidance shining only a step or two ahead of us. We want to know more, we want to see what lies ahead, and we want a guarantee of success.
Our worries and fears of the unknown, however, do not in any way diminish or deter our sovereign, omniscient Lord. Instead, He desires that each of us step forward in faith. He has promised that when we do so, He will provide us with the guidance we long for (Isa. 30:21).
If you’re currently being called to move forward by faith but are having trouble doing so, call upon the Lord of Abraham, Moses, and David. He strengthened each of them, and He’ll surely strengthen you.
June 1, 2013, 9:30 pmJean Stapleton, TV's Edith Bunker, dies at 90
NEW YORK (AP) — Jean Stapleton, the stage-trained character actress who played Archie Bunker's far better half, the sweetly naive Edith, in TV's groundbreaking 1970s comedy "All in the Family," has died. She was 90.
Stapleton died Friday of natural causes at her New York City home surrounded by friends and family, her children said Saturday.
"It is with great love and heavy hearts that we say farewell to our collective Mother, with a capital M," said her son and daughter, John Putch and Pamela Putch, in a statement. "Her devotion to her craft and her family taught us all great life lessons."
Little known to the public before "All In the Family," Stapleton co-starred with Carroll O'Connor in the top-rated CBS sitcom about an unrepentant bigot, the wife he churlishly but fondly called "Dingbat," their daughter Gloria (Sally Struthers) and liberal son-in-law Mike, aka Meathead (Rob Reiner).
Stapleton received eight Emmy nominations and won three times during her eight-year tenure with "All in the Family." Produced by Norman Lear, the series broke through the timidity of U.S. TV with social and political jabs and ranked as the No. 1-rated program for an unprecedented five years in a row. Lear would go on to create a run of socially conscious sitcoms.
"No one gave more profound 'How to be a Human Being' lessons than Jean Stapleton," Lear said Saturday. In a statement, Reiner added: "Jean was a brilliant comedienne with exquisite timing. Working with her was one of the greatest experiences of my life."
Stapleton also earned Emmy nominations for playing Eleanor Roosevelt in the 1982 film "Eleanor, First Lady of the World" and for a guest appearance in 1995 on "Grace Under Fire."
Her big-screen films included a pair directed by Nora Ephron: the 1998 Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan romance "You've Got Mail" and 1996's "Michael" starring John Travolta. She also turned down the chance to star in the popular mystery show, "Murder, She Wrote," which became a showcase for Angela Lansbury.
The theater was Stapleton's first love and she compiled a rich resume, starting in 1941 as a New England stock player and moving to Broadway in the 1950s and '60s. In 1964, she originated the role of Mrs. Strakosh in "Funny Girl" with Barbra Streisand. Others musicals and plays included "Bells Are Ringing," ''Rhinoceros" and <snip> Yankees," in which her performance — and the nasal tone she used in "All in the Family" — attracted Lear's attention and led to his auditioning her for the role of Archie's wife.
"I wasn't a leading lady type," she once told The Associated Press. "I knew where I belonged. And actually, I found character work much more interesting than leading ladies." Edith, of the dithery manner, cheerfully high-pitched voice and family loyalty, charmed viewers but was viewed by Stapleton as "submissive" and, she hoped, removed from reality. In a 1972 New York Times interview, she said she didn't think Edith was a typical American housewife — "at least I hope she's not."
"What Edith represents is the housewife who is still in bondage to the male figure, very submissive and restricted to the home. She is very naive, and she kind of thinks through a mist, and she lacks the education to expand her world. I would hope that most housewives are not like that," said Stapleton, whose character regularly obeyed her husband's demand to "stifle yourself."
But Edith was honest and compassionate, and "in most situations she says the truth and pricks Archie's inflated ego," she added.
She confounded Archie with her malapropos — "You know what they say, misery is the best company" — and open-hearted acceptance of others, including her beleaguered son-in-law and African-Americans and other minorities that Archie disdained.
As the series progressed, Stapleton had the chance to offer a deeper take on Edith as the character faced milestones including a breast cancer scare and menopause. She was proud of the show's political edge, citing an episode about a draft dodger who clashes with Archie as a personal favorite.
But Stapleton worried about typecasting, rejecting any roles, commercials or sketches on variety shows that called for a character similar to Edith. Despite pleas from Lear not to let Edith die, Stapleton left the show, re-titled "Archie's Place," in 1980, leaving Archie to carry on as a widower.
"My decision is to go out into the world and do something else. I'm not constituted as an actress to remain in the same role.... My identity as an actress is in jeopardy if I invested my entire career in Edith Bunker," she told the AP in 1979.
She had no trouble shaking off Edith — "when you finish a role, you're done with it. There's no deep, spooky connection with the parts you play," she told the AP in 2002 — but after O'Connor's 2001 death she got condolence letters from people who thought they were really married. When people spotted her in public and called her "Edith," she would politely remind them that her name was Jean.
Stapleton proved her own toughness when her husband of 26 years, William Putch, suffered a fatal heart attack in 1983 at age 60 while the couple was touring with a play directed by Putch.
Stapleton went on stage in Syracuse, N.Y., that night and continued on with the tour. "That's what he would have wanted," she told People magazine in 1984. "I realized it was a refuge to have that play, rather than to sit and wallow. And it was his show."
Stapleton was born in New York City to Joseph Murray and his wife, Marie Stapleton Murray, a singer. She attended Hunter College, leaving for a secretarial stint before embarking on acting studies with the American Theatre Wing and others.
Stapleton had a long working relationship with playwright Horton Foote, starting with one of his first full-length plays in 1944, "People in the Show," and continuing with six other works through the 2000s.
"I was very impressed with her. She has a wonderful sense of character. Her sense of coming to life on stage — I never get tired of watching," Foote told the AP in 2002. He died in 2009.
Her early TV career included guest appearances on series including "Lux Video Theatre," ''Dr. Kildare" and "The Defenders."
She and Putch had two children, John and Pamela, who followed their parents into the entertainment industry.
Her post-"All in the Family" career included a one-woman stage show, "Eleanor," in which she portrayed the wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Stapleton spent summers working at the Totem Pole Playhouse near Harrisburg, Pa., operated by her husband, William. She made guest appearances on "Murphy Brown" and "Everybody Loves Raymond" and even provided the title character's voice for a children's video game, "Grandma Ollie's Morphabet Soup."
For years, she rarely watched "All In the Family," but had softened by 2000, when she told the Archive of American Television that enough time had passed.
"I can watch totally objectively," she said. "I love it. And I laugh. I think, 'Oh,' and I think, 'Gee, that's good.'"
May 30, 2013, 1:39 pmWealth Enhancers
Posted: 29 May 2013 12:22 PM PDT
There are many Feng Shui products which have been believed to enhance wealth luck and augment affluence. By using the most common and desired items listed below, you will succeed in achieving abundant riches and fortune.
Wealth Ship – When placed inside the home, a wealth ship full of gold coins and jewels is an icon of a victorious venture. Increased income and material gain are only some of the Feng Shui benefits that will dock in your home with the wealth ship!
Wealth Pot – There have been many vessels used throughout the centuries to contain wealth and symbolize and endless flow of fortune; pots, vases, plates and bowls are only a few. By filling a Wealth Pot with treasures, you are symbolizing a constant flow towards you and your family of windfall luck and business success.
Wealth Inviting Crystal Trees – This special structure will do wonders in bringing you fortune. With a trunk made of resin and branches of copper with dangling crystals, this bonsai-like tree will also make a beautiful display. To swell sales and increase income, display the crystal gem tree in your workplace or office, in prominent places such as reception desks, lobby areas and beside cash registers. Partaking in this practice will ensure a solid gain in wealth and stable finances for the rest of your life.
Wealth God – Used widely in Chinese homes, “Chai Sen Yeh” is a predominant icon of flowing fortune and preposterous prosperity. There are many festivals during the lunar New Year which honor his presence inthe home, and the Chinese worship this God of Wealth in hopes that he will never hinder to bless them with wealth luck, good fortune and material gain.
Money Frog – This auspicious animal of wealth luck, also known as “Chan Chu” or the “Three Legged Toad”, is highly revered as being able to increase income. It is said that he will appear in homes during every full moon, presenting families with prosperity. To benefit from his blessings, display the Money Frog in prominent places in your workplace, such as reception areas or next to cash registers.
Pi Yao – Also known as “Pi Xie”, this little being is said to always desire treasures and jewels. It is auspicious belief that since the Pi Yao does not have an anus, fortune will only be ingested and never released. Due to this, many Feng Shui followers keep the Pi Yao in their homes, to keep their affluence solid and stable.
Citrine – Also known as the “Merchant Stone” by avid Feng Shui followers, this special stone was used in ancient China to bring the Feng Shui benefits of affluence, abundance and fortune. During the Period 8 (2004 – 2024), the Citrine will be even more effective in increasing your income and enhancing business success.
Gold Ingots – In ancient times, these “Yuen Bao” were the means of money among emperors and government officials in China. Because of this, Feng Shui dictates that gold ingots are a potent symbol of everlasting wealth; they are often displayed in wealth ships and wealth vases, attracting money into the home.
Dragon – One of the auspicious animals in the Chinese zodiac, the Dragon is regarded as a mighty creature with a power that surpasses any other. The Dragon’s “Sheng Chi”, a form of cosmic chi which created wealth and luck, will bring any home fortune, good blessings and abundance for eternity. In addition to this, a new sense of power will be attained by family members.
Arowana – Known as the “Golden Dragon Fish”, the Chinese highly respect this fish. Its similarity to the mighty dragon is a large factor in this; with its scales and two whiskers, it is said to bring with it money and prosperity. Also, in the Chinese language, the word for fish is “yu”; this is similar to the word for “abundance”. When the Arowana is displayed beside the dragon, it is the ultimate icon of wealth luck, potency and eternal prosperity.
May 23, 2013, 9:23 amHe Will Answer
May 23, 2013
Why We Miss God’s Will
Read | 1 John 5:13-15
The Father has provided the Holy Spirit to teach His children about His will for their lives (John 14:26). Why, then, do we have difficulty understanding what the plan is?
We make decisions based on emotion. When life presses in on us, our instinct is to move away from the source of stress or pain. At such times, our need to remove difficulties and turmoil from our life can take precedence over the Lord’s plan. We figure He could not possibly want us to feel this way, so we take action and then hope that we are in His will. Our emphasis is on ourselves rather than on God’s purposes.
We focus only on the immediate. Many times we come to the Lord troubled about the choices we or our loved ones are facing. We do not see how this situation could possibly be His will. Our short-term focus prevents us from seeing God’s long-term purposes.
We conduct a superficial search. In our desire for an answer, we can fall into a trap and treat finding God’s will like a checklist—read the Bible, pray, fast, serve, worship, give. Then, satisfied with what we have done, we press the Lord for His answer now. But we have neglected to give God the time and stillness needed for us to hear from Him (Ps. 46:10). Investing time with our Creator is a necessity, not a luxury, and listening to Him without distractions is essential.
How much Bible study is required to find out what our heavenly Father wants for us? What amount of prayer? What quantity of time? The answer is simple: Whatever it takes to hear from God. He will answer. The question is, Will we wait?
May 19, 2013, 12:04 pmKarma Cleanse
May 14, 2013, 7:56 amThe Only Way to Heaven
May 14, 2013
Jesus: The Only Way to Heaven
Read | John 10:1-11
While there are many religions, there is only one way to heaven. Jesus clearly states that “no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6). He used several picturesque descriptions to emphasize this point—He called Himself the way (14:6), the door (10:9), the living bread (6:51), and the good shepherd (10:11).
God does not expect you to follow some kind of ritual to make Jesus the Lord of your life—you can use any words that you like. However, some biblical elements are essential when beginning a relationship with Him:
• Confess your sin and admit your need for a Savior (1 John 1:9). • Place your trust in Jesus Christ as the only possible Savior, acknowledging that He died for your sins, was buried, and rose again three days later (John 3:16; 1 Cor. 15:3-4). • Believe that your sins are forgiven and your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (1 John 5:11-13).
Every person has a choice to make. Death is inevitable, but we can decide whether, on exiting this world, we will enter eternal torment or the everlasting beauty of God’s presence. Let me make this very clear: What a person believes about heaven and hell won’t influence God in the slightest. People will be judged not by their attitudes but by the truth of His Word.
Scripture declares there is but one way to heaven—through faith in Jesus Christ. His gospel is a straight path from the pit of sin to the glory of heaven, with the promise of an abundant life in between. What we must do is go through the Door and follow the Way; then the Living Bread will sustain us.
Here are four fundamental things to do to manifest money using the law of attraction.
1. Think more thoughts in a day of abundance than of lack of money.
2. Be happy now, without the money.
3. Be truly grateful for everything you have now.
4. Give the best of yourself to others.
Four easy steps.
You can do them if you want it enough.
May 8, 2013, 4:41 pm'Young and Restless' star Jeanne Cooper dies at 84
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jeanne Cooper, the enduring soap opera star who played grande dame Katherine Chancellor for nearly four decades on "The Young and the Restless," has died. She was 84.
Cooper died Wednesday morning in her sleep, her son the actor Corbin Bernsen wrote on Facebook. The family confirmed the death to CBS, according to a network spokeswoman.
Cooper will be remembered "as a daytime television legend and as a friend who will truly be missed by all of us here at the network," said Nina Tassler, president of CBS Entertainment, adding that the actress brought "indelible charm, class and talent to every episode."
Bernsen tweeted April 12 that his mother faced an "uphill battle" for an undisclosed illness. In subsequent days he wrote of her gradual improvement and said that she'd been taken off breathing equipment.
In a Facebook posting April 17, Bernsen said his mother cursed several times, "showing me that she's becoming her old self, not thrilled about the situation, and ready to get out of the hospital and shake up the world."
On Wednesday he wrote that she remained a fighter until the end: "She has been a blaze her entire life, that beacon, that boxer I spoke of earlier. She went the full twelve rounds and by unanimous decision... won!"
Cooper joined the daytime serial six months after its March 1973 debut, staking claim to the title of longest-tenured cast member. The role earned her 11 Daytime Emmy nominations and a trophy for best actress in a drama series in 2008.
"God knows it's claimed a big part of my life," she told The Associated Press in March as CBS' "Young and the Restless" celebrated its milestone 40th anniversary.
As the years passed, Cooper brushed aside thoughts of saying goodbye to the show and its fictional Wisconsin town of Genoa City.
"What would I do? I'm no good at crocheting. My fingers would bleed," she told the AP as she turned 83.
Cooper, born in the California town of Taft in 1928, attended the College of the Pacific and performed in local theater productions before her professional career began with the 1953 film "The Redhead from Wyoming" starring Maureen O'Hara. Other film credits include 1968's "The Boston Strangler" with Tony Curtis and 1967's "Tony Rome" with Frank Sinatra.
She had a parallel career in TV, with shows including "The Adventures of Kit Carson" in 1953 and "The Pepsi-Cola Playhouse" in 1954 and "Bracken's World" in 1969-70.
In a recurring role on "L.A. Law," she played the mother to Bersen's character, Arnie, and received a 1987 Emmy nomination for best guest actress in a drama. Bernsen later joined his mother on her series, making several appearances as a priest, Father Todd.
But it was her role on "The Young and the Restless" that made her a TV star intimately familiar to viewers.
In 1984, Coooper's real-life facelift was televised on the show as her character underwent the surgery at the same time, and had no regrets about it.
"It opened up reconstructive surgery for so many people, youngsters getting things done," she said. "To this day, people will come up to me and say, 'Thank you so much for doing that. My mom or I had something done, and not just cosmetic surgery.' That was an incredible experience in my life."
"The Young and the Restless" has topped the daytime serial ratings for more than 24 years, in part because of the continuity provided by Cooper and its other long-time stars including Eric Braeden. It held its ground as the genre diminished in popularity and the majority of soaps vanished.
Cooper's 30-year marriage to Harry Bernsen ended in divorce. The couple have three children, Corbin, Caren and Collin, and eight grandchildren.
April 27, 2013, 10:49 pmA Lifetime of Holiness
A Lifetime of Holiness
Read | Romans 12:1-3
By placing faith in Jesus Christ, a new believer is sanctified—that is, he is set apart for God’s purpose. Unlike salvation, which takes place in a single moment, sanctification is a lifelong process. We who have trusted in Christ as Savior and allow His Holy Spirit to control our lives are currently being sanctified, no matter what we may feel or how our actions appear to others. We are progressively maturing in our faith.
If we are progressing, then we must be working our way toward something. The apostle Paul explained the Christian’s mission this way: “For those whom [God] foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom. 8:29). The character, conduct, and conversation of a believer are to reflect Christ, who lives within through His Spirit.
On our own, we would place too much emphasis on conduct and get caught up following rules and rituals that look Christian but do not actually reflect Christ. God, however, has given each believer His Spirit as a teacher and guide. The Holy Spirit’s work is to transform our minds and hearts so our character is markedly different from that of our unsaved peers. Only when we are under the Spirit’s control can we speak and act according to who we truly are: God’s sons and daughters.
Our heavenly Father wants His children to be living examples and reflections of who He is. He doesn’t expect perfection from us—He knows that we cannot be totally sinless as long as we remain in our human body. Rather, He shows us how to think and act so we may “walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which [we] have been called” (Eph. 4:1).
April 21, 2013, 5:35 pmA Time for Courage
A Time for Courage
Read Judges 6 and 7
1.Sometimes fear is related to sin.
Sometimes we feel discontent or anxious because of sin in our lives The sins of worry, impurity, greed, unforgiveness, and many others can open the door to fear. Although believers in Jesus are always indwelt by the Holy Spirit, clearing our conscience of known sins enables us to walk in His power in a fresh, new way.
2. Our lack of courage can enable us to operate in God’s strength.
The Lord works through people who allow Him to use their weaknesses for His glory.
3. Discovering God’s will is an important part of overcoming fear.
The angel of the Lord told Gideon that he had been chosen to lead the people in battle against Midian and that God would give him victory (vv. 14, 16). However, Gideon wanted to make sure this was indeed the Lord talking to him. Gideon overcame his fear, in part because he asked for signs that God was indeed speaking to him. But the leader’s approach described in verses 36-40 is not recommended anywhere else in Scripture. While no one should stipulate how the Father is to confirm His promises, we certainly can ask Him to make His will clear to us.
4. Humanly speaking, God’s path to peace may not make sense at first. The world--and sometimes fellow believers--won’t always understand why we obey the Lord even when His commands defy common wisdom.
5. When we obey God despite our fears, He will fight our battles for us.
Our Prayer: Father, thank You for the promise that I don’t have to be afraid. You are always with me. I pray that I would learn to magnify You and let my fears fall into perspective. Help me keep a clean conscience and meditate on Your marvelous promises instead of giving in to anxiety. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Note: If you are suffering debilitating fears that prevent you from carrying out everyday tasks or result in panic attacks, you may want to seek professional help from a pastor or Christian counselor.
April 16, 2013, 9:06 amFaith vs Reason
Faith vs. Reason
Read | 1 Corinthians 1:18-29
Hebrews 11:1 describes faith as “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Another way of saying that is “knowing that God will honor His Word.”
Reason can be the enemy of faith, because it attempts to “trump” trust in God by encouraging us to rely on human intellect. This kind of logical thinking places confidence in man, but since we are not all-knowing or all-powerful, it leads to insecurity and worry.
All the while, God waits patiently for man to acknowledge his need of a Savior and then respond in faith. Reason says, “I can do it.” Faith says, “With God, all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26). Reason says, “Hurry and get yours before it’s gone.” Faith responds, “My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19). Reason wrings its hands and says, “There has to be a better way!” Faith looks at Jesus and hears Him whisper, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).
God’s Word states that the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. It makes no sense whatsoever to them because Satan has blinded their eyes to the truth. But to us who are being saved, the Gospel is the very power of God (1 Cor. 1:18).
In 1 Corinthians 1:19, God says, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever I will set aside.” Those who are of the world may seem to have the upper hand now, but a time will come when they will wither like grass. Only those belonging to Christ possess eternity. We need to lovingly share this truth with others.
April 11, 2013, 6:28 amAm I Good Enough
April 10, 2013, 10:12 amOur Choices Matter
Apr 10, 2013
Our Choices Matter
Read | Galatians 5:13-16
Most people who choose to walk through the wide gate don’t stop to consider the pros and cons of taking the path leading to destruction. Instead, they drift onto that roadway without thinking of the consequences. The narrow gate is different—we must deliberately choose to pass through it and take the sparsely populated way to heaven.
Walking on the narrow road requires faith, discipline, and determination. We must be reading the Bible daily and main- taining an active prayer connection to God. By surrendering our lives to Christ, we keep our hearts on a path of righteousness.
Truthfully, we all have desires—that is, fleshly appetites—that find the easier pathway more attractive. In other words, we are each tempted to sin. As we choose to give in to temptation, our feet may remain on the narrow road, but our hearts return to the broad way. The more we choose to participate in sinful actions and attitudes, the deeper our heart becomes embedded in the worldly way.
We may try to tell ourselves that we are achieving freedom and that it is our right to do what we want. However, the truth is that we are grasping at false contentment while the “genuine article” awaits us if we simply return to obeying God.
And we are not the only ones injured by our rebellion. Fellow travelers on the broad way are watching us. When we act just like them, they make a judgment: “Hypocrite!” In that way, we can easily lose our testimony.
The narrow way may be hard to follow, but God promises constant aid and great reward—salvation and joy now; heaven later. Have you chosen the narrow gate?