The Bestseller Of All Time!

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Are you among the "bookish?"  Some would call you boring but you just love books.  I admit that I am.   Boring?  Yes, sometimes.  But, what I mean is, I love books!  I love to read.  I enjoy turning pages.  I aspire to write.

According to Google, there are 129,864,880 published books in existence.  Though this is a grand number, it increases daily as more and more titles are presented to our Global Library.  The most expensive book ever purchased sold for $30.8 million.

That is quite a "Bibliotheca!"  (An extensive collection of books).  What book tops the list of the most read books in all of the world?  The Bible.  Think of it, the most read Author of all, in human history, is God!  His Book remains the most sought-after and widely translated scripts that exist.  Even the Latin word for a large collection of books honors the Holy Title:  Bible.

Here's what we must understand:  This top-selling, most read Book of all the ages, is a Book that requires the help of the Author for you to benefit from it.  Normally, an author writes his thoughts, and leaves you with it, for your interpretation.  God, on the other hand, sends you His Word and waits for your invitation to come, by His Spirit, and read it with you.  

I heard that a preacher once said, "Some read the Bible in Hebrew while others read it in Greek.  I read God's Word in the Holy Ghost!"  We need the assistance of The Spirit of Truth because the Word of God is alive and powerful, and can only be spiritually discerned.  If we attempt to comprehend God's Word with our natural mind, our intellect, we will not understand the divine intention.  We will also miss the benefits of His Word addressing our lives at a very personal level.

The enemy certainly doesn't mind you being bookish.  Just don't become bookish about the Bible!  Your enemy hopes that you would read anything other than God's Word!  Here are a few reasons why:

  • The Word is life to all who find it and health to all of their flesh!  (Proverbs 4:22)
  • The entrance of God's Word brings light and understanding. (Psalm 119:130)
  • Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God! (Romans 10:17)
  • God watches over His Word to perform it! (Jeremiah 1:12)
  • You shall know the Truth and the Truth will make you free! (John 8:32)
  • You cannot live by bread alone but by every word that comes from God. (Matthew 4:4)

The list of the blessings and benefits of reading, believing, speaking and living God's Word is endless!  Ask the Divine Author to come, by His Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation; and open your eyes and heart to be forever changed by the Bestseller of All Time!

 

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"Are We There Yet?"

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"For it is God who is producing in you both the desire and the ability to do what pleases Him." ~  Philippians 2:13 (ISV)

Of the three of us, I was usually the first one to whine-out the pressing question:  "Are we there yet?" 

We were only four hours into our 26-hour road trip to Grandma's house.  My sister, my brother, and I were already beginning to feel the burden of our confinement.  Each of us had a portion of the back-end of our 1971 Volkswagen Squareback Wagon.  We strained by the minute to uphold the boundaries of our valuable real estate partitioned into three parts with the edges of our sleeping bags.  Because I was the youngest and the smallest, I had to fight for my space on both sides.  I was stuck in the middle, going and coming!

I don't know if it was the model or the condition of our particular car, but, in what my dad called "the hull,"  where we three were surviving the miles by playing Old Maid and Go Fish!, it seemed consistently filled with fumes of exhaust and burning rubber.

As the cityscapes disappeared, replaced by the hills and cactus of the desert, the question would become increasingly involuntary.  Every few torturous miles, "Are we there yet?" was thrown from the back of the bus to the adult navigators at the front with blind hope of some immediate relief.

With good intention, my dad would lead us in song while my mom handed out the bologna and cheese sandwiches on fresh white bread.  It would help!  What sustained us the most was when mom would remind us to look outside and see things that we hadn't seen before.  "Even if you're uncomfortable riding in the car, watch where you're going!  There are always interesting things to see."

Our journey is long and spiritual formation can be difficult.  As one who is pursuing God and His great plan for your life, I encourage you to enjoy the journey!  Even when it's uncomfortable, there is always something that God is doing, changing or imparting.  Remember this:  spiritual formation is not a destination; it's the right heart posture in the journey.  A heart of transformation is:

  • Yielded to God in faith and obedience
  • Mindful of God's abiding presence and help every mile of the journey
  • Gratitude for all that God has already done and for all that He has promised yet to do
  • Love and respect for others that you are privileged to serve
  • Generous, gracious, kind and joyful

"Spiritual formation is not a destination, it's the right heart posture in the journey."

I've always remembered the words of my dad, in response to my childhood impatience.  He would hear me complain, "I wish I were 20 years old!"  Or, "I wish that Summer-time was tomorrow!" He encouraged me, "Arthur, don't wish your life away!" 

"This is the day that the Lord has made!  Rejoice and be glad in it!" (Ps. 118:24)  Today, with all of its hours, appointments, responsibilities, and precious people; is a beautiful part of your journey.  Enjoy it as you and Jesus make the very most of it!  

You have a lot of miles to go, yet.  Enjoy every mile of the journey!

 

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Don't Become Sick While Caring For The Sick

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"Exercise foresight and be on the watch to look [after one another], to see that no one falls back from and fails to secure God’s grace (His unmerited favor and spiritual blessing), in order that no root of resentment (rancor, bitterness, or hatred) shoots forth and causes trouble and bitter torment, and the many become contaminated and defiled by it."  ~  Hebrews 12:15 (AMPC)

Physicians and nurses go to great lengths to protect themselves from the diseases carried by those for whom they are called to care.  These Gifts are trained to treat the sick, at a very close proximity, while not becoming sick, themselves.  Without this preparation and posture, caring for the ill would be impossible.  

As Ambassadors for the Christ, we must guard our hearts!

As Ambassadors for the Christ, we must guard our hearts!  Our hearts break for the many in our world who are in pain.  We care for those who are experiencing loss, and the millions who are navigating the long journey to recovery; in the aftermath of global violence and natural disaster. 

In the midst of all that is happening in our world, don't allow despair to destroy you.  You cannot let the destruction of others be the destruction of you!  Be aware that ignored grief can quickly become bitterness or torment that will contaminate your life.  We must keep our hearts healthy in love, faith, peace, and truth so that we can be used by the Great Physician to minister Life to our broken world.

"Keep alert. Be firm in your faith. Stay brave and strong."  ~  1 Corinthians 16:13 (CEV)

Lift your heart.  Lift your eyes.  Lift your voice and exalt Jesus Christ, the Author and the Finisher of your faith!  Cast all of your cares and concerns upon Him.  He, alone, will keep your heart free from fear, hatred, rancor, and bitterness.  He will fill your heart with His love, His Life, and His very own Spirit!  Shine brightly, Ambassador for Christ!  Our world is desperately searching for the Light of God's grace and power!

 

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Don't Believe Everything You Hear!

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"He [the Enemy] will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them." ~ 1 Thessalonians 2:10

"Let's go!  Let's play catch. Let's go swimming.  Let's do something!"  I shouted at my brother, Ken.  "Nah."  was his pat answer.  All I wanted to do, as a kid, was play.  Anything.  I just wanted to experience all the excitement that goes along with the activity.  All my brother wanted to do was read, aka, learn.  He loved gaining information.  Especially truths and facts about anything! 

I couldn't understand.  It seemed so boring and useless to spend all of your daylight hours with your nose in an Encyclopedia!  Ugh!

One day, having succeeded to drag my brother to a friend's house to swim, one of us suggested that the airplane zooming over our heads was intentionally spraying poisonous toxins into the air for "population control."  Without a hesitation, Ken began a 10-minute dissertation on how this was an absurd idea; and how the real danger of airplane traffic is the build-up of lead in the air, noise pollution and the increase in ticket prices, as the desire of humans for global travel grows with each generation.  With eyes as big as saucers and gaping mouths, we listened as our thinking realigned with facts offered from someone who knew.

We were all ready to run for cover from the toxic jet fuel overhead.  It all changed; however, when we were told the truth from someone who loves truth.  We continued to swim without any further alarm.  I found out over the years; Ken knew a lot of things about a lot of things.  

One of the most important and powerful weapons that God has given to His people is a love for truth!  We cannot take this gift for granted.  In this hour of chaos and darkness saturating our world, if you have any measure of love for truth, give thanks to God for what He's doing in your life!

Cultivate This Love

Like anything else that you have a passion for, you must tend to your love for truth.  Our appetites change as we get older.  One of the reasons this change occurs is because the foods that you steep your appetite in the more of that food you crave.

As a kid, searching for and finding sugar was a daily pursuit.  I could find sugar in the most unlikely places because I loved it!  We will always find for what we hunger.  As we become older and wiser, we learn how important proper nutrition is, and we begin to eat better.  The better we eat, the better we feel.  Our increased health feeds the desire to continue eating the right foods until eventually we genuinely crave vegetables and proteins.    When you love truth, you will

  • Love Jesus, The Truth. His Word, the Word of Truth.  His Spirit, the Spirit of Truth.
  • pursue it until you find it
  • embrace it as an irreplaceable treasure
  • digest it as divine nutrition from God
  • apply it in faith knowing God is trustworthy

Don't Believe Everything You Hear

Because, in my youth, I didn't read, do my homework or follow current events very well, I would come home with some wild ideas about things.  While my brother would smirk at me and just wag his truth-filled head, my dad would say, "Arthur, don't believe everything you hear!"

I would pass this good advice on to you.  Just because a leading News Channel says it, or because it's a post on Facebook, or because it's an article you read on the Internet does not confirm that what you're hearing is true.  If it's important to you, get to the bottom of it.  

A lover of truth will not settle for anything less.  If what you're hearing doesn't agree with God's Word, His Spirit and His nature, don't feed your spirit and mind with it.  Stay with the truth, and you'll not be deceived, dismayed or brought to despair.  As our world continues to shift and change, God's Word remains the Unshakeable Rock of Truth!

 

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Stop Saving Time!

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"This is the day the Eternal God has made; let us celebrate and be happy today!" ~  Psalm 118:24 (Voice)

Thousands of books are waiting on your purchase.  Dozens of software programs to strategize and analyze are downloaded to computers hourly.  Piles of gadgets and gizmos are all designed with one end in view:  How to save your time.  

What are you saving it for?  Is it possible that once your time has been successfully garnered that you can take it from where you've put it (if you can even find it!) and use it for your purpose or pleasure?  There's a reason why sand fills the hourglass:  The tighter you hold on to sand the more of it you lose.  Saving time is a myth.  All you can do with time is choose what you'll do with it, at the moment.  Will you sour it or will you savor it?  I say, neither waste it nor save it, rather live it, each moment, to its fullest!  Minutes turn into hours, which turn into days, which turn into years, which is your life!

For many, Today will be endured but not enjoyed. Today is seen only as a transition to tomorrow, as though today is the burden and tomorrow is the blessing.  

In the effort to save time, we miss beautiful moments; moments that are full of life and potential. We miss hugs and kisses.  We miss engaging with others in a meaningful way.  We don't see smiles intended to convey love and care.  Because it's impossible to smell the roses at the break-neck speed that we often travel, we settle for a picture of a rose on our home screen and just keep moving!  

There are things that God, in His love, wisdom, and generosity has designed for you, today.  He has hidden treasures along every path if you'll take the time to discover them. It may be in the face of an elderly man or the sweetest coo of a sleeping newborn.  A picture, a word, a song, a smile...a moment taken to stop-sit-sip some coffee and think about the goodness of God. Discover His promises, today!  Fulfill His divine potential, today!  Today is the tomorrow that you were looking for yesterday; celebrate and live it to God's honor and glory!

 

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