August 31 – Devotional: Love Your Wife

I am not sure Graham Anley has ever read the Bible; at least, I am pretty sure he has not read Ephesians 5. You see, recently his yacht ran aground off one of South Africa’s most dangerous stretches of ocean. He and his passengers faced waves of up to 23 feet as they were swept onto a reef. As they were abandoning ship, he first swam Rosie to shore before returning to help his other passenger. (The Huffington Post)

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Who is Rosie? A Jack Russell Terrier, the other passenger was his wife, Sheryl. Yes, it seems that rescuing Rosie who was wearing a specially tailored life jacket with an emergency strobe light came first before his wife. Fortunately, all three were airlifted to safety.

While it did turn out all right, Graham is definitely not our example. Instead, we as believers in Christ are to follow the example laid out in the book of Ephesians which says, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her . . . In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.”

What a high calling that is, to love your wife as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Let’s face it, if Christ approached our need in the same way Mr. Anley did, we might not be here. We will not always get it right when it comes to loving our wife, but we should always be striving to do so. And when we fail, we need to apologize and ask for forgiveness.

How blessed I am to be able to sacrifice for my wonderful wife, Kendra. If you are married, why don’t you tell your wife that she will always come first, even before the Jack Russell Terrier?

Ephesians 5:25-28

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her . . . In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.”

Jauregui, Andres. “Graham Anley Saves Dog From Sinking Yacht, Then Comes Back For Wife.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 06 Aug. 2013. Web. 18 Aug. 2013.

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®)
Copyright © 2001 by Crossway,
a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
All rights reserved.
ESV Text Edition: 2007

2-Minute Pastor Copyright © 2013

 

 

August 30 – Devotional: Abound In Hope

Watch out for OLEVs. What is an OLEV, you ask?  Well, it is an acronym that stands for an online electric vehicle. They just switched one on in South Korea. It is basically a road that recharges electric vehicles as they drive over it. They have finished the first seven and a half miles where public buses, through a technology called “Shaped Magnetic Field in Resonance”, derive their energy directly from the road by driving on it. (BBC News)

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Okay, so in reality, part of the road has been dug up and replaced with electric cables, which are buried under the road and used to generate electromagnetic fields. Those fields in turn are picked up by a coil inside the bus and converted into electricity even though the receiving equipment is as much as 6 ½” away.

Imagine never having to stop for fuel or even electricity. When would we ever get a potty break? But, it is kind of the way that you and I are powered. We have to stop and eat and go to the restroom. But, I am talking about our spiritual power. It comes from within generated by the Holy Spirit. Especially when we don’t feel like we can keep going. In Romans 15:13 we are encouraged by these words, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

I love that word “abound”. We are not given enough merely to survive, getting from point a to point b, but rather to abound or have more than we need, when it comes to hope.  Not because we travel on an electric road, but because the power of God resides within us.

Romans 15:13

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

Kelion, Leo. “South Korean Road Wirelessly Recharges OLEV Buses.” BBC News. BBC, 08 July 2013. Web. 24 Aug. 2013.

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®)
Copyright © 2001 by Crossway,
a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
All rights reserved.
ESV Text Edition: 2007

2-Minute Pastor Copyright © 2013

 

 

August 29 – Devotional: Spiritual Heritage

I guess styles come and go, as I have pretty much stayed the same. I recently watched my son hang out with some of his friends at church. And I could not help but laugh. All four of them were wearing khaki shorts on a Sunday morning; I know that is wrong, but at least they were there. What I was laughing about is that one teenager was wearing bright blue socks, another red, a third neon yellow and the fourth one black- all while wearing shorts.

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I can assure you no self-respecting teenager of the 1980s would have been caught dead wearing colored socks with shorts. That is what old people did and we made fun of them for it.  But alas today, that is what it takes to be cool, that and $14 per pair. I can still buy a whole package of 12 pair of socks for $14.  I guess things aren’t the way they used to be.

But, I do hope one thing will stay the same for him – a spiritual heritage that he can call upon when things get tough. I had the privilege of growing up in a family that believed and followed Jesus. We always went to church, served the Lord and lived like we believed it. As a result, I came to know the Lord at an early age. For me, Psalm 71:5 is true which says, “For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth.”

He has been that for me, and I hope my son does the same. But even if you did not have that privilege, you can call on Him today and let Him be your hope and your trust.

Psalm 71:5

“For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth.”

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®)
Copyright © 2001 by Crossway,
a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
All rights reserved.
ESV Text Edition: 2007

2-Minute Pastor Copyright © 2013

 

 

August 27 – Devotional: Sweet Sleep

Are you afraid of the dark? I never have been, but I am afraid of all of those things that might be hiding in the dark. There’s something about darkness that makes everything seem so scary . . . like waking up in the middle of the night with, well, a nightmare. We all have those from time to time I suppose. The result of some type of emotional stress, or maybe a bad burrito, but the tricky part is trying to determine if what you were dreaming was real, or just a dream.

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Maybe it is that confusion that keeps little ones up at night. Lately, my youngest has been having a hard time going to sleep. He has his own room now, so the buddy system (so effective against monsters) is no longer in force.  I am not always the most patient at those moments and normally send him to bed with just a simple “go to bed”. But, I found a Bible verse I am going to try, and maybe you should try it next time you have trouble falling asleep.

Proverbs 3:24 says, “If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.”

This is not a magical formula, but rather the result of following the advice given by a father to his son, which begins the chapter and reads “My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.”

You see, for the most part, a good night’s sleep is the result of a well-lived life, one of love for and obedience to His commands. So, the next time you can’t sleep one night, get up the next morning and live for Him.

Proverbs 3:24

“If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.”

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®)
Copyright © 2001 by Crossway,
a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
All rights reserved.
ESV Text Edition: 2007

2-Minute Pastor Copyright © 2013

 

 

 

August 26 – Devotional: Beware

You have to be careful, just because a person looks legit, doesn’t always mean he is.  Recently, along the East Coast of our country, exclusive country clubs have been targeted by a couple of thieves stealing cash and credit cards from the locker room. How do thieves break in to places like that, you might ask? Well, they dress the part.

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A surveillance camera caught a man wearing a blue polo shirt, golf pants, a hat and even a golf glove. But, he wasn’t there to golf. He and an accomplice stole credit cards and cash from unlocked lockers. They took the stolen goods and purchased over $8,000 in gift cards. But, the next time they tried it at a different club, employees recognized them from a police sketch. The authorities were called and let’s just say they will be wearing different outfits for a while.

In our world, all kinds of people try to fool us by looking a certain way, and it is not just thieves who want our money.  Jesus warned about people who want to lead us astray from the truth. He said in Matthew 7:15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

You see, some people may say nice things about Jesus. They may even claim to be following him, but instead they are looking out for their own needs and desires. How do you know? You will recognize them by the fruits of the way they live their lives.

So, the next time you see someone who is preaching a message in the name of Jesus, you better read the Scriptures for yourself and see how they are living their own life. They just may be dressed up to look like golfers.

Matthew 7:15

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®)
Copyright © 2001 by Crossway,
a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
All rights reserved.
ESV Text Edition: 2007

2-Minute Pastor Copyright © 2013

 

 

 

 

August 25 – Devotional: Pride Comes Before The Fall

How proud are you? I have prided myself on being proud, if you can do such a thing. I thought about that recently when I read about Jonathan Knight. He is one of those guys who stands on the side of the road and begs. He has his sign, has his favorite street corner upon which to stand, and spends hours every day looking into the faces of people as hundreds drive on by and a few, a very few stop to help.

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No, he is not begging for food, his sign does not say will work for food, but instead it reads, “Please Take a Resume.”  He holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy, Interred with a US Senator, but has not been able to land a job. So, every weekday he puts on his suit with tie, stands on a street corner and hopes that someone will take his resume and eventually offer him a job. (Los Angeles Times)

I am proud of Jonathan for not being proud.  He is not ashamed to say, Hey I need some help. I am qualified and I am willing to work. I am willing to be creative.  If I had an open job I think I would want to hire Jonathan.  But, I wonder sometimes if God would rather I not work for Him because of my pride.  How many times have we been ashamed of Him? In front of friends, or family members or even total strangers?

The Apostle Paul never was, in Romans 1:16 he writes “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel for it is the power of God that brings Salvation to everyone who believes.”  I don’t know if Jonathan Knight believes, but he is not ashamed to let everyone know of his need. May we not be ashamed of our God, who meets every need.

Pool, Bob. “Young Job-seeker Hopes Freeway Ramps Lead to an Entry-level Position.” Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 26 July 2013. Web. 03 Aug. 2013.

Romans 1:16

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes; first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.”

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®)
Copyright © 2001 by Crossway,
a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
All rights reserved.
ESV Text Edition: 2007

2-Minute Pastor Copyright © 2013

 

 

 

August 23 – Devotional: Pure

I was invited to speak at a major conference. Over 4300 people were in attendance.  Now, I just spoke at a breakout session with only maybe 30 in the room, but I was treated as if I was the main speaker.  I was given access to the green room for the main speakers and got to hang out with people like Luis Palau and Jim Cymbala, and also received free snacks. Plus, at my hotel room a welcome bag was given to me.

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In it was a strange looking bottle of water. It was called Voss. I had never heard of it, but as I read the bottle it claimed to be artesian water from Norway. When I looked it up online it is supposed to be among the purest water in the entire world.  Though another report said that when a group of experts tasted the water in a blind taste test, it finished sixth out of six, even behind Helsinki tap water.

I tasted it and it was good, but I don’t know that I would pay the asking price for the water. Apparently, some people do as the water has spread to over 50 countries commanding prices by the ounce I would pay for hundreds of gallons. Its purity is what drives the price. People will pay a high price for something that is pure.

Of course, the highest price ever paid for purity would undoubtedly be the price paid for your purity. You remember what the Psalmist said don’t you? “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.”

Pure snow, that melts and turns into water.  Praise be to God, for the blood of Christ.

Psalm 51:7

“Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.”

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®)
Copyright © 2001 by Crossway,
a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
All rights reserved.
ESV Text Edition: 2007

2-Minute Pastor Copyright © 2013