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Friday

An Offer You Can't Refuse

2 Corinthians 1:3-4, God of All Comfort, God comforts us, Jacob refused to be comfortedJacob refused to be comforted when he heard of Joseph's "death" (Genesis 37:34-35). 

He vowed to mourn the rest of his life.

His vow didn't change his situation nor did it bring Joseph back. All it did was make Jacob miserable.

For the 15 years Jacob was separated from Joseph, he could have rested in God's constant comfort and let that comfort flow into the lives of others around him because "God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others" (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

But Jacob refused that comfort.*

Sometimes I also refuse to be comforted. I have a situation in my life that is ongoing and heart-breaking, and sometimes I let it overwhelm me.

That's when I need to get alone with my God and my Bible.

I need to cry out to Him, pour out my heart to him, and climb into His arms of comfort and love.

Do you need to climb into those arms today?
*It appears that Jacob continued to refuse comfort until he was restored to Joseph (Genesis 42:36; 44:18-31).

Thursday

Flattery or Growth

Proverbs 15:31, constructive criticism, flatteryWhen judges correct a performer, the audience often boos.

Our culture is convinced that our greatest need is praise.

But Scripture doesn't agree: 
  • Proverbs 15:31: If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise.
  • Proverbs 25:12: Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is the rebuke of a wise judge to a listening ear.
  • 2 Timothy 3:16-17: All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
When we think of praise, it should be in relation to God. He's perfect, but we still need some work.

Wednesday

Can't Live Without 'Em

Matthew 28:20, Great Commission, A.D. The Bible Continues"You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth. Go into the world and preach the Gospel to all creation."
from "A.D.The Bible Continues"

The actual Great Commission - Christ's final earthly message - is brief, concise, and powerful:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

The television series missed several key elements, but perhaps the greatest is this:

Jesus, the Ultimate Authority, King of Kings and Lord of Lords is with His followers always ... that's me ... and it's you, if you know Jesus.

I can live without the scripted words of actors, but not without the Words and presence of Christ.  How about you?

*****************

Despite my disappointment in the shortened version of the Great Commission, I have enjoyed a number of things about "A.D. The Bible Continues." If you have been watching it, I would love to hear your observations. Please leave them in a comment.

Monday

The Freedom of Loving Your Enemies

Love your enemies, American Army treats sick Iraqis
90% of wounded American soldiers survive because of advances in medicine and protective gear.

New technologies were created specifically for war injuries, but they benefit everyone--something good coming out of the war.

But that's not the only good...An Army nurse, who was stationed in Iraq, told me he frequently saw American medical teams treat injured Iraqi soldiers. What do you think of this...healing enemies who minutes earlier had tried to kill Americans?

I think it's an amazing use of freedom.

“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you…Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”  Luke 6:27-36

When we apply this principle to our lives and personal enemies, it transforms us and makes us truly free!
copyright Gail Burton Purath, 2011 
* ABC News/Health: Innovative Care Is Helping Iraq War's Injured Survive
This is a "re-run" from the 2011 archives

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All Scripture references NIV unless otherwise noted.