Friday, August 18, 2017

Living by Lamplight

Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105 NAS)

Living by Lamplight
Lamps in Jesus’ time were small bowl-like clay vessels using olive oil as fuel. A burning wick inserted into the oil illuminated a small room. Lamps allow one to see even in darkness and protect from lurking danger. Hebrew families left lamps burning through the night to ward off prowlers. In our modern age, homeowners light their home’s exterior and leave lamps on at night for the same reason … protection.

Psalm 119 teaches that God’s Word is our lamp, the source of all Truth. There you can find answers to every question, solutions to each dilemma. God’s Word used properly produces light, the light of Truth, to illuminate our path AND keep us safe on our journey. However, God’s lamp requires the oil of the Holy Spirit to produce the intended result. When we approach His Word, we must invoke the Holy Spirit to come and produce the needed light, for both the lamp and the oil work together to give us light.

Let us dust off our lamps and pour in the oil. 2 Peter 1:19 emphasizes the preeminence of the Word: “... we possess the prophetic message that is altogether reliable. You will do well to be attentive to it as to a lamp shining in a dark place.” God’s lamp shines with Truth, brightens our path, and protects us along the way. It is a sure guide. Don’t live in fear, doubt, or ignorance. Walk in God’s light and gather faith, peace, and wisdom. You were created to live by lamplight. Karen Pourbabaee

Friday, August 11, 2017

Live In Love

Jesus said to him, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40 KJV)

Live in Love
The New Testament reduces the laws of the Old Testament to one overriding rule: love. If you want to know what true love is, you only need to study God's behavior toward you. God is generous, forbearing, kind, faithful, supportive, nurturing, forgiving, and just. He is everything you want and need.

You exist in God and know God through your own acts of love in the world. He is in the face of everyone you reach out to, no matter from what station in life he or she might come. His love is in your gentle word to a friend in pain, in the simple work of making a home for your family, and in the kindness you show a stranger. When you live in love, you become more and more like God. Faith Daniels

God, fill my heart with love for you and for those whose lives I touch each day. Thank you for first loving me and showing me how to love others. In Jesus' name, Amen.


Friday, August 4, 2017

Live Like a Favored Child

"Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate." (Luke 15:22-23 NIV)

Live Like a Favored Child
The fact that Jesus would die so we could be forgiven is an astounding act of love on God's part, but sometimes we overlook the fact that God then places us in the position of being a favored son or daughter.

This is seen so clearly in the story of the prodigal son. The son would have been happy to have become one of his father's hired men (v. 19). This is reasonable, considering he had prematurely demanded his inheritance, and then wasted it living an unacceptable lifestyle. The son figured the best he could hope for was to gain employment with his father. But the father doesn't just forgive him, he restores him to the position of a favored son.

So often as Christians we act like God's hired men. We know that God has forgiven us, but now we seem to think we have to work in order to be acceptable to God.

The Bible tells us we are not God's hired workmen or women but rather we are his "dearly loved children" (Ephesians 5:1) not because of anything we have done, but simply because God chose to put us in that position.

So let's accept that the robe, the ring and the sandals are really for us, and live like God's favored children, celebrating his amazing grace. Susan Barnes

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