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Friday, June 4, 2010

Numb Lips

Yesterday I sat in a dental chair for two hours—no small task for me. I never sit that long in one place unless I fall asleep watching a baseball game. Seven fillings later I left the dentist’s office with two severely swollen lips and a severely diminished checking account. My lips stayed swollen and numb for several hours. When I tried to drink juice from a glass, the contents poured from my mouth to the kitchen table. I tried using a straw, but I could not siphon the juice up the straw. Any attempt to speak resulted in malformed words; I sounded like a drunk.

I learned how essential lips are to functions most of us take for granted.

The Bible teaches us to use our lips wisely to—

• disperse knowledge (Prov. 15:7);

• continuously offer the sacrifice of praise (Heb. 13:15);

• greatly rejoice (Ps. 71:23);

If we use our lips to do these things today, the Lord will be honored, we will have great joy, and others will be blessed.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Make Room for Rover!

I’m glad Molly, Rosie, and Sadie have a safe home and owners who love them. But thousands of dogs are homeless. Abandoned by owners or suffering the consequences of over breeding, many homeless dogs live in locked cages or other confined spaces. Many suffer physical abuse. Some circle nervously hour upon hour because they can’t run free. Probably, they will never experience the fun of playing fetch or enjoy a friendly pat on the head or a stroll in a park.

Fortunately some kind souls rescue dogs and find good homes for them. Our daughter Sherrie lavishes love on four rescued dogs. Having three dogs, my wife and I cannot add to the pack, but every time I see dogs up for adoption at PetSmart, I want to bring them home.

If you have room in your heart and home for a dog that needs a friend and wants to be your friend, why not grab a dog collar and a leash and visit a dog adoption shelter? There’s a dog there that’s right for you.

Christians should never be content to enjoy the safety and blessings of belonging to Jesus’ fold without trying to bring others into it. Jesus said, “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also” (John 10:16). Perhaps today you will reach out in compassion and love to someone who needs to be rescued. There is always room in Jesus’ sheep pen for another rescued person. He promised, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out” (John 6:37).

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Great Divide

Why do some Christians lead distinctly Christian lives, while others seem to blend in with a culture characterized by egotism, hedonism, and materialism? I don’t think we can chalk up the difference to the amount of exposure each group has had to the Word of God—although it seems to me that Biblical preaching is fading. Possibly the latter group only professes to be Christian, but that possibility makes me wonder how so many people can attend church Sunday after Sunday for years, hear the gospel, and fail to believe in the Christ of the gospel.

Joshua 23:11 may help us understand why such a great divide exists between Christians who honor God and those who are worldly. Joshua was about 110 when he addressed Israel and delivered the exhortation found in Joshua 23:11: “So be very careful to love the LORD your God.” If the Israelites devoted themselves to God, they would be distinct and blessed in the Promised Land; but if they chose to blend in with their pagan contemporaries, they would suffer dire consequences. They would experience defeat, misery, and expulsion from the Promised Land.

This Memorial Day weekend, as we remember those who sacrificed their lives to preserve our freedom, may we also remember our Lord’s sacrifice. He died to gain our freedom from sin, sin’s punishment, and the futility of a life spent without God. So let’s be very careful to love the Lord our God.