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    Living Simply— Yet Focused

    Look at the birds of the air . . . . Consider the lilies of the field . . . —Matthew 6:26, 28

    Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin”— they simply are! Think of the sea, the air, the sun, …

    Faith— Not Emotion

    We walk by faith, not by sight. —2 Corinthians 5:7

    For a while, we are fully aware of God’s concern for us. But then, when God begins to use us in His work, we begin to take on a pitiful look and talk only of our trials and difficulties. And all the while God is trying to make us do…

    My One Thing

    The song “You Are My One Thing,” by songwriter Hannah McClure voices a deep cry of the heart to walk closely with God and experience His presence. The lyrics are a beautiful reminder of how our relationship with God can transform our lives. Hannah says that the song came out of a season when God was calling her back to remember the time where she’d first experienced the depth of His love for her.

    With Us in Our Suffering

    Poet Christian Wiman, some time after being diagnosed with an incurable form of blood cancer, reflected on his ordeal, writing, “I have passed through pain I could never have imagined, pain that seemed to incinerate all my thoughts of God and to leave me sitting there in the ashes, alone.” But he found hope in the powerful presence of Jesus. “I am a Christian because of that moment on the cross when Jesus, drinking the very dregs of human bitterness, cries out, ‘My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?’ ” (Matthew 27:46). In times of great suffering, Wiman…

    Enjoying God Forever

    The first question of the Westminster Shorter Catechism asks, “What is the chief end of man?” Answer: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” A student misquoted this as, “Our purpose is to glorify God and endure Him forever.” The mistake is funny, but isn’t that sometimes how we secretly feel about eternity? What will we do there except sing praise songs? How wonderful for the first million years. But . . . forever?

    Toward or Away

    Ignatius of Loyola (1491–1556) and John Wesley (1703–1791) lived more than a century apart and in very different contexts. But both created a means of self-examination to aid in their spiritual transformation. Ignatius recommended that those in the religious order he formed pray an “examen” prayer twice a day to open themselves to the Holy Spirit and to discern the movements of their soul either toward or away from God. John Wesley, similarly, formed a series of twenty-two questions that he and his small group in Oxford asked themselves each night, including, “Did the Bible live in me today? Am…

    Isn’t There Some Misunderstanding?

    “Let us go to Judea again.” The disciples said to Him, “…are You going there again?” —John 11:7-8

    Just because I don’t understand what Jesus Christ says, I have no right to determine that He must be mistaken in what He says. That is a dangerous view, and it is never right to think that my obedience to God’s directive will bring dishonor to Jesus. The only thing…

    Why?

    Sipping tea at a café, I saw two women sit down at different tables. One, young and attractive, was downing a drink topped with a mountain of whipped cream. Shopping bags sat at her feet like obedient pets. The other, about the same age, gripped a metal walker as she moved to her table. Thick plastic braces guarded her ankles. The clerk at the register had to help her maneuver into her seat. As I looked at the two women, I wondered, Why does God seem to allow some to suffer much more than others?

    Friendship with God

    Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing…? —Genesis 18:17

    The Delights of His Friendship. Genesis 18 brings out the delight of true friendship with God, as compared with simply feeling His presence occasionally in prayer. This friendship means being so intimately in touch with God that you never even need to ask Him to show you His will. It is…

    Obedience to the “Heavenly Vision”

    I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision. —Acts 26:19

    If we lose “the heavenly vision” God has given us, we alone are responsible— not God. We lose the vision because of our own lack of spiritual growth. If we do not apply our beliefs about God to the issues of everyday life, the vision God has given us will…

    Turning Back or Walking with Jesus?

    Do you also want to go away? —John 6:67

    What a penetrating question! Our Lord’s words often hit home for us when He speaks in the simplest way. In spite of the fact that we know who Jesus is, He asks, “Do you also want to go away?” We must continually maintain an adventurous attitude toward Him, despite any…

    Have You Felt the Pain Inflicted by the Lord?

    He said to him the third time, “…do you love Me?” —John 21:17

    Have you ever felt the pain, inflicted by the Lord, at the very center of your being, deep down in the most sensitive area of your life? The devil never inflicts pain there, and neither can sin nor human emotions. Nothing can cut through to that part of our being…

    “Do You Now Believe?”

    “By this we believe….” Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe?” —John 16:30-31

    “Now we believe….” But Jesus asks, “Do you…? Indeed the hour is coming…that you…will leave Me alone” (John 16:31-32). Many Christian workers have left Jesus Christ alone and yet tried to serve Him out of a sense of duty, or because they sense a need as a result of their…

    What Does It Mean To Be “Hidden In Christ”

    When there’s potential danger, we take precautions! We wear seat belts, buy home insurance, and lock our doors at night! But where’s the safest place to be in a dangerous world? Tune in today to Discover the Word, as the team answers this question by looking at what it means to be “hidden in Christ.” Discover […]

    God Is Our Best Hiding Place

    When you were a kid, did you have a favorite hiding place? Even today, is there somewhere you love to go just to get away? Well, today on Discover the Word, we’ll look at how God is our best hiding place! Tune in today for an encouraging study on Discover the Word!