Saturday, January 31, 2009

What Does God Know about You? (Part 3)

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Hebrews 4:13 (NIV)

Over the last two days we have looked at God’s omniscience – that he knows everything, specifically everything about you and your life. We have been examining God’s presence in your life by breaking it down into five areas. Today we’ll look at the final two.

God knows your fears. God knows everything that gets you stressed out. For instance, many of us today are concerned about the economy, and so we have financial fears.

And then we act as if God is unaware of our bills. “Don’t you see, God? I’m going under! I’m not going to make it!” We’re trying to stretch and make ends meet. We get uptight, upset, and we worry. But worry is the result of not realizing the omniscience of God.

When we think that God doesn’t know what’s going on in our lives, then we think we have to take matters into our own hands. In effect, we’re saying, “I’ll be God.” Worrying is taking responsibility for things God never intended you to have.

The truth is God is aware of all your needs. Prayer is never giving information to God. The Bible says, “… Your Father knows what you need before you ask him” (Matthew 6:8 NIV). He’s aware of every single need you have: financial needs, spiritual needs, sexual needs, social needs, emotional needs.

God knows your faithfulness. Here’s another benefit from the truth that God knows everything: He sees everything you do that is good and right. Every time you choose not to sin, every time you resist temptation, every time you take a stand because of God’s Truth, he sees your faithfulness to him.

The Bible says every good deed will be rewarded, no matter how insignificant and regardless of whether anybody else on earth sees it. Every encouragement you give to other people, every kind word you give to your children, every time you do a thoughtful act for your husband, every time you pick up around the office when it’s not your job, every time you set up chairs in church or stuff bulletins, every act of courtesy, every time you refuse to gossip, every time you’re positive instead of negative – God sees it all, no matter how small (Matthew 10:40-42).

Imagine yourself on a giant stage and you’re the only person on that stage. You’re acting out your life. In the audience there is only one person and it’s God. He’s out there clapping and saying, “I see that good thing you just did. Keep on going! Nobody else saw it, but I did. I know that thought you just had and I know it was a positive good thought. I saw it.”

So what should be my response? If God sees all the good things that I do and he’s out there cheering me on, then my response should be, “Don’t Be Discouraged!”

Some of you may be saying, “I’ve been trying to do the right thing in my marriage. I don’t see any results. I’ve been trying to be the right kind of person and respond correctly with my kids or to my parents. I’ve been trying to do the right thing at work or at school. And I don’t know if it’s paying off. I don’t see it making any difference in anybody’s life.”

God says, “I see it and it doesn’t matter who else sees it.” Nothing good we ever do is ever done in vain: “So we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up” (Galatians 6:9 HCSB).

Knowing the truth – that God knows everything in your life, can either be very disturbing or very comforting. It depends on your relationship to him, whether you’re trying to fool him or not.

Have you been acting as if God is totally unaware of your life in any of these five areas?

· God know your faults and failures, but he still loves you unconditionally.

· God knows your feelings and frustrations, and he sees your hurt more than anyone else can.

· God knows your future, so he can tell what you need to know.

· God knows your fears, and he wants you to hand your worries over to him.

· God knows your faithfulness because he sees every good thing you do.

The fact that God knows everything is a tremendous motivator for me to live a godly life. I realize that nothing in my life is in secret; nothing I face will hinder his ability to help me; nothing that is to come will catch him by surprise; nothing I fear will be too big for God’s strength; and nothing I do in his name is ever done in vain.

Rick Warren

Friday, January 30, 2009

What Does God Know about You? (Part 2)

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Hebrews 4:13 (NIV)

God knows everything about your faults and failures, and your feelings and frustrations, and he also knows what your tomorrow holds.

God knows your future. We’re all interested in the future. It’s interesting to me the things people will use to try to figure out what’s going to happen next: astrology, horoscopes, reading tea leaves, consulting with people, bio-rhythms.

But they’re going to the wrong source because the only one who knows what’s going to happen next is God.

The Bible says, even before you were born, God knew all of your future (Psalm 139:16, Jeremiah 29:11). This means God sees your tomorrow, today. He already sees the things you’ll face.

The fact is, God is not limited by time. He’s able to be in the past, the present, and the future all at the same time. Think of it like this: if you were in the Goodyear Blimp looking down on the Rose Parade, you could see the beginning of the parade and the end of the parade all at the same time.

God, from his perspective, can see past, present, and future all at once. That should give us great confidence in God. It’s comforting to me that he knows everything that is going to happen in my life. He not only knows about the future, he’s there in the future. He not only walks with us day-by-day, he can also walk in our future.

God is already prepared for everything you’re going to face – tomorrow, next week, or next month. What the future holds may surprise us, but it doesn’t surprise God. Nothing ever catches him by surprise, or makes him say, “Oh, really?!”

Next month or next year you may be faced with a crisis, and you may ask, “What’s happening? Where is God?” God’s been there all along, preparing. He’s already in your future and he’s prepared for everything.

If I know that God knows all my tomorrows, today, then I should ask him for advice. He knows what’s going to happen: “Call to me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own” (Jeremiah 33:3 MSG).

The things you don’t know, God can tell you about. He’s not going to lay out your whole life all at once, telling you everything that will happen in your life. If he did, you’d likely get very discouraged or prideful or both. Instead, he gives it to you a little bit at a time.

It’s like this, when you’re driving up a mountain on a curving road and you’re caught behind a slow car, you may think, “If I could just see around the curve, I’d go ahead and pass this guy.” If there were a helicopter above, the pilot could let you know if there was another car around the curve. From his perspective, he could help you out.

The same is true with God: from his perspective, he knows everything that’s going to happen, so you can ask him for advice.

Here’s what I’d suggest, when you get up in the morning, go over your schedule with the Lord. Pray, “Father, you’ve already seen this day that I’m about to experience. You know ahead of time every interruption I’m going to face, every cranky person in the office, every flat tire, every traffic jam, every missed plane, when I’m going to spill the coffee on my suit. You’ve already seen it all. Would you, right now, give me the strength to cope through this day, the strength that I need for today.”

Rick Warren

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What Does God Know about You? (Part 1)

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Hebrews 4:13 (NIV)

One night I was standing in front of the refrigerator. I’d gotten out of bed to make a midnight refrigerator raid even though I was on a diet. And I stood there with the refrigerator door open, thinking, “Just one bite ….”

You know how it goes. You get into a debate with yourself: “Go ahead; it won’t hurt this one time.” “No, I’m on this diet.”

It’s in moments like these that Satan feeds us a devilish excuse, “No one will ever know.”

You may not be standing in front of the refrigerator. You may be at work, or filling out your income tax form, or some place your parents wouldn’t want you to be. But you go ahead and do something questionable because we all can get caught in the false belief that “no one will ever know.”

But God already knows!

The Bible says nothing in creation is hidden from God (Psalm 147:5) and that God knows everything about you (Psalm 139). This means there’s no question God cannot answer, no problem that confuses him. He’s never surprised. He’s never shocked. He never says, “Oh, really?!” God knows everything; it’s something theologians call the omniscience of God.

The fact that God knows everything about you is good news, not bad, and today we will look at two of five specific areas where knowing this will make a difference in your life.

God know your faults and failures. I find it uncomfortable to realize I don’t have any secrets from God, because there are things about me I’d rather God not know. But the Bible says, “My sins, O God, are not hidden from you; you know how foolish I have been” (Psalm 69:5 GNT).

So we’re foolish when we do something wrong and then try to sneak it past God, to stuff it in a closet and lock the door. God knows what’s behind the locked door (Proverbs 5:21).

Everything you think, everything you see, everything you do, everything you feel, God knows all about it. He already knows all you’ve done wrong and he still loves you!

You’re not fooling God when you keep your sins hidden (1 John 1:8). He’s not shocked by your sin; and when you admit it to him, it doesn’t ever, will never, change the way he feels about you. He loves you unconditionally, and that means you don’t have to fake it, you don’t have to pretend.

God knows your feelings and frustrations. Some of you think, “Nobody knows what I’m going through, nobody feels the pain I’m experiencing.” God knows. He knows your feelings and frustrations. He’s seen the crisis in your soul. There’s no hurt that goes unnoticed by God. Psalm 56:8 says, “You know how troubled I am; you have kept a record of my tears” (GNT).

Often when we’re hurting, we feel very isolated and lonely. Maybe there’s been a death in the family, a divorce, maybe we’ve gotten fired, and we start to think, “Nobody understands the way I feel; nobody feels the pain.”

But God knows, and “The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him” (Psalm 103:13 NLT).

God not only sees, he cares. He knows the causes, the reasons, the things that brought you to this point. He understands because he made you, and he sees the hurt in your heart like nobody else can.

Because God knows our frustrations and despair, we can give those feelings to him: “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you” (1 Peter 5:7 NLT). Cast them all permanently on God, once and for all. Don’t take them back......Rick Warren

Rick Warren

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Why Does God Appear to Bless Evil People?

He causes the sun to rise on good people and on evil people, and he sends rain to those who do right and to those who do wrong.

Matthew 5:45 (NCV)

A common question among believers is, “Why does God appear to bless evil people?” I’ve asked this question myself.

In Matthew 5, Jesus says God causes his blessing to be given to both the evil person and the good person – and that both those who are evil and those who are good go through difficulties. Whether someone is a believer or unbeliever, evil or good, we all face sickness in our families, natural disasters, and all sorts of other problems.

God doesn’t always protect believers from having to face the same difficulties that unbelievers must face; and he allows unbelievers to experience some of the same benefits that we, as believers, enjoy because we are a part of his creation. One reason for this: it allows those who don’t know Jesus to see what it really means to know him. When someone sees a believer finding even a bit of light in the middle of a struggle, it helps those who do believe in Jesus to see who he really is and that he is the light in the darkness.

Rick Warren

Monday, January 26, 2009

Great Commission Eyes

“If you ask me, I will give you the nations; all the people on earth will be yours.”

Psalm 2:8, NCV

As we’ve been discussing, the opportunities for normal, everyday Christians to become involved in short-term international missions are now literally limitless. It’s never been easier in history to fulfill your commission to go to the whole world. The great barriers are no longer distance, cost, or transportation. The only barrier is the way we think. Your perspective and attitudes must shift – so that you develop Great Commission eyes --

Shift from local thinking to global thinking -- God is a global God; he’s always cared about the entire world (“God so loved the world ….” John 3:16, KJV). From the beginning he’s wanted to call forth, from every nation, the people he created.

The Bible says, “From one person God made all nations who live on earth, and he decided when and where every nation would be. God has done all this, so that we will look for him and reach out and find him.” (Acts 17:26-27, CEV)

Much of the world already thinks globally. The largest media and business conglomerates are all multi-national. Our lives are increasingly intertwined with those in other nations as we share fashions, entertainment, music, sports, and even fast food. Probably most of the clothes you’re wearing and much of what you ate today were produced in another country. We are more connected than we realize.

These are exciting days to be alive. There are more Christians on earth right now than ever before. Paul was right: “This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is changing lives everywhere, just as it changed yours.” (Colossians 1:6, NLT)

One of the best ways to switch to global thinking is to just get up and go on a short-term mission project to another country! There’s simply no substitute for hands-on, real life experience in another culture. Quit studying and discussing your mission and just do it! I dare you to dive into the deep end.

In Acts 1:8 Jesus gave us a pattern for involvement: “You will tell everyone about me in Jerusalem, in all Judea, in Samaria, and everywhere in the world.” (Acts 1:8, CEV)

His followers were to reach out to their community (Jerusalem), to their country (Judea), to other cultures (Samaria), and to other nations (everywhere in the world). Note that our commission is simultaneous, not sequential. While not everyone has the missionary gift, every Christian is called to be on a mission to all four groups in some way.

So what does this mean?

  • Become an Acts 1:8 Christian -- Set a goal to participate in a mission project to each of the four targets: your community, your country, other cultures, and other nations. I urge you to do whatever it takes to participate in a short-term mission trip overseas as soon as possible. It will enlarge your heart, expand your vision, stretch your faith, deepen your compassion, and fill you with a kind of joy you have never experienced. It could be the turning point in your life.
  • Watch the news with Great Commission eyes -- Wherever there is change or conflict, you can be sure that God will use it to bring people to him. People are most receptive to God when they are under tension or in transition. Because the rate of change is increasing in our world, more people are open to hearing the Good News now than ever before.
  • Prayer is the most important tool for your mission in the world -- People may refuse our love or reject our message, but they are defenseless against our prayers. The Bible tells us to pray for opportunities to witness, for courage to speak up, for those who will believe, for the rapid spread of the message, and for more workers.
  • Begin praying for specific countries -- World-class Christians pray for the world. Get a globe or map and pray for nations by name. Also, pray for missionaries and everyone else involved in the global harvest. Paul told his prayer partners, “You are also joining to help us when you pray for us.” (2 Corinthians 1:11, GW).

Rick Warren

Friday, January 23, 2009

We Know God’s Truth through God’s Commandments

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.

2 Timothy 3:16 (NLT)

If I discover truth from the Bible, how do I know the Bible is true? There’s a world of objective evidence, both external and internal, that says the Bible is true.

External evidence proves the Bible is a historical book that you can rely on. There are 5,366 copies of the Bible dating from the time it was written to just 70 years afterwards. That fact dispels the urban legend that the Bible was changed as it passed through generations and languages.

External evidence also includes many archeological discoveries. For example, historians used to say that Solomon couldn’t have had the horses the Bible says he had because no one had horses at that time. But then thousands of horse stables were found in an archeological dig.

There’s also the internal evidence of the Bible itself. In a court of law, a prosecutor with two or three eyewitness accounts has a good chance of making his case. The Bible is filled with eyewitness accounts. Moses was there when the Red Sea split; Joshua was there to watch Jericho fall; the disciples saw the resurrected Jesus.

The internal evidence of the Bible also includes the fact that it tells one story with consistency – though it was written over 1,500 years on three different continents by 40 different authors from every walk of life. No human being could account for that. It’s an amazing example of God’s abilities.

The Bible says, “There’s nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another — showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us” (2 Timothy 3:15-17 MSG).

Rick Warren

Thursday, January 22, 2009

We Know God’s Truth through Careful Consideration

Carefully consider the path for your feet, and all your ways will be established.

Proverbs 4:26 (HCSB)

When you tell God, “I want the truth more than anything else,” he will reveal his truth to you in a variety of ways, such as through creation or your conscience and also through careful consideration.

In other words, truth is knowable. You can test it; you can experiment with it; you can prove it.

If I want to go to San Francisco and I follow a map that takes me to San Francisco, and the next week I follow the same map to San Francisco again, eventually I figure out that the map is true.

The same is true of the Bible: If you follow its map again and again, you’ll find it to be true. It always takes you where it says it’s going to take you. You may not always like where it takes you, but it always takes you where it says it’s going to take you.

Often people say, “Why won’t God just write it in the sky?” Why would God do that? He gave you a brain. But most people never slow down long enough for such careful consideration. Most people just drift through life.

The Bible tells us, “Carefully consider the path for your feet, and all your ways will be established” (Proverbs 4:26 HCSB).

Spend some time in careful consideration, in thoughtful observation, and ask yourself: “Am I on a true path?”

Rick Warren

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

We Know God’s Truth through Conscience

Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it.

Romans 2:14 (NLT)

God leads us to discover his truth, not only through creation, but also through our conscience.

Some things are hardwired in us by God; we know they are always right or always wrong, no matter what anybody else says. Our conscience tells us this. The Bible says, “Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right” (Romans 2:14-15 NLT).

Say we take a random sample of one million people from around the planet and put them on a corner in New York City. We say: “Here’s a 92-year-old blind lady with a walker. She needs to cross the street. Tell me which of these three options is morally right. One, you can let her try to cross on her own. Two, you can help her cross the street. Three, you can push her into oncoming traffic.”

You don’t have to be a Christian or Jew or Muslim or even a spiritual person; inside you know the right thing to do.

“Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right” (Romans 2:14-15 NLT).

Tomorrow we will look at how we are also led to the truth through careful consideration.

Rick Warren

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

We Know God’s Truth through Creation

But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is!

Romans 1:19 (MSG)

About 35 years ago, I was at a camp in the mountains. Alone in a room, I prayed, “God, if there is a God, I’m open. If you’re real, I want to know you’re real. And, Jesus Christ, if you can change my life, if there is a purpose for my life, I want to know it.”

You know what happened? I didn’t get goose bumps. I didn’t cry. No bright lights shown down. Nothing like that.

Yet, still, it was the turning point in my life – because I was no longer biasing myself against God. I wanted to know the truth, even if it was inconvenient.

Truth can be discovered, but first we have to have an attitude of openness that says, “I want the truth more than anything else.” Once you choose that attitude, you can discover the truth. How?

First, through creation.

We learn a lot about God, a lot about truth, just by looking at nature. This is why science is so important. It helps us understand God and his universe.

For instance, by knowing that there are 60,000 varieties of beetles, we learn God likes variety. By seeing a volcano, a tidal wave, or an earthquake, we learn God is powerful. From the delicately balanced ecosystem, we can observe God is incredibly organized.

The Bible says, “The basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse” (Romans 1:19-20 MSG).

In the coming days, we’ll look at how God also leads us to the truth through conscience, careful consideration, his commandments, and through Jesus Christ.

Rick Warren

Monday, January 19, 2009

There Is a River

Such a one is like a tree planted near streams; it bears fruit in season and its leaves never wither, and every project succeeds.

Psalm 1:3 (NJB)

Today’s guest devotional is provided by Jon Walker

There is a river that flows from the throne of God, down the celestial main street and into the hearts of those who believe in the Lamb (Revelation 22); the river then flows like streams of living water through those who are one with Jesus (John 7).

We hear the river whisper, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink” (John 7:37 NIV). We feel its moisture hanging cool in the air, and we stretch and then we stretch again to reach the river’s edge.

It woos us to dwell within it, to dig deep with determined roots, gnarled fingers inching, bit by bit, toward the source of life.

Rooted at the river, we stand firm against the storms and we sip sweetly in times of drought, even as others burn up or blow away when faced with the dry and dusty, now-and-now of life.

Nourished by the river of life, the fruit we produce is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV).

Friday, January 16, 2009

Our God Does Not Grow on Trees

He burns part of the tree to roast his meat … Then he takes what’s left and makes his god.

Isaiah 44:16-17 (NLT)

Today’s guest devotional is provided by Jon Walker

In 1980, Howard Cosell interrupted a “Monday Night Football” game with the announcement that John Lennon, of the Beatles, had been murdered outside his New York City apartment.

In an eerie moment, ABC Sports respectfully cut sound from the game just as a play broke on the field, leaving television viewers – numbed by the news – sitting in silence while fans at the game, unaware of Lennon’s death, cheered wildly.

As I grieved, a Bible verse floated into my mind: “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36 NKJV).

I’d like to tell you that I fell to my knees and forever turned from my prodigal path, but, in my arrogance, I continued to wander a long and winding road to the Truth.

The prophet Isaiah spoke about men who used wood to fashion a god – one unable to deliver them – and so, by their own hands, they doomed themselves.

Our objective-in-Jesus is to rid ourselves of any gods we’ve fashioned from our own hands and to serve the one true God.

Rick Warren

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Hopefully in Love

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

1 John 4:16 (NIV)

Today’s guest devotional is provided by Jon Walker

We were singing when I noticed the typo. The lyrics to the praise tune were supposed to be, “I’m hopelessly in love with you.” But someone accidentally typed: “I’m hopefully in love with you.”

The first suggests an abandonment to love: “God, I’m in this relationship head-to-toe, no matter where it leads.”

The second suggests tentativeness: “Gee, I hope I can love you God.”

We express a desire to deepen our relationship with God and there he stands in the deep end calling us to jump in and join him. There we stand, testing the living water with our toes, hesitating to take the plunge that would require a fully immersed abandonment to God.

The thing is this: The only thing stopping you from a deep, abiding relationship with God is … you.

Our objective-in-Jesus is to fall hopelessly in love with God. Ask yourself what hinders you from a deeper relationship with God, and ask God to remove any obstacles that are in the way.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

God Loving Us Perfectly

For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ ….

Colossians 2:9-10 (NIV)

Today’s guest devotional is provided by Jon Walker

Perfect love desires communion, the sharing of life together, and so it cannot be expressed from a distance. God so perfectly loved the world that he came up close in Christ, stepping into the brokenness of our lives (1 John 1:1-3):

· Into our emptiness, Jesus brings fullness and completion (Colossians 2:9-10).

· Into our deficit, Jesus brings supply (Philippians 4:19).

· Into our death, Jesus brings life (Ephesians 2:1, 5).

· Into our separation, Jesus brings reconciliation (Romans 5:10-11).

· Into our imperfect love, Jesus brings his perfect love (1 John 4:10).

When we know, and believe, that God is determined to love us perfectly, we can stop being self-absorbed and we can start being conformed to Christ (Romans 12:2). When we don’t believe God is determined to love us perfectly, we end up living like our best choice is to take care of ourselves.

And then, we become so busy taking care of ourselves that we have little time for authentic, transparent, loving community with others.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

We Are Desperate for You

Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; Be gracious to me and hear my prayer.

Psalm 4:1 (NASB)

Today’s guest devotional is provided by Jon Walker

Lord, we’re desperate for you. We’re bunched up in confusion, moving by impulse and fear, flitting here and there like a frenzied flock caught in the wilderness of the far country.

We are here! We are here! And we know you hear. You’ve heard us before; you’ve swept in and saved us from our hopeless paralysis.

Do it again, O, Holy One; how long must we wait?

And we hear you say, “Yes, how long? How long must I wait while you wear my grace and peace like a cheap cloak from a secondhand store?”

Oh God, I hear your heart. You set me apart; yet, I joined the crowd – like birds of a feather.

From now on, Abba, when the swirl and twirl shoves at me, instead of taking to panicked wings; I’ll let you quiet my soul.

I am ready now; I am willing now to be swept under the safety of your wings, as a hen gathers her chicks (Matthew 23:37 NKJV).

Monday, January 12, 2009

Spiritual Growth Is Not a Private Matter

Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

Hebrews 10:24-25 (NLT)

Some of us hesitate to commit ourselves to developing an intentional plan of growth that requires accountability or relationship with others because we believe spiritual growth is a personal and private matter. We choose to believe each person develops in his or her own way at his or her own rate.

This is an aberration from the truth.The idolatry of individualism has influenced even the way we think about spiritual growth.So much of the teaching on spiritual formation is self-centered and self-focused without any reference to our relationship to other Christians.

This is completely unbiblical and ignores much of the New Testament. The truth is that Christians need relationships to grow. We don’t grow in isolation from others. We develop in the context of fellowship.

Over and over again in the New Testament we find this basic truth: Believers need relationships with each other to grow! Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another …” (NIV).

God intends for us to grow up in a family.

Rick Warren

Saturday, January 10, 2009


“ For everyone who asks receives ; he who seeks finds ; and to him who knocks , the door will be opened ”

Luke 11:10

Friday, January 9, 2009

Spiritual Growth Must Be Intentional

Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

Philippians 2:12-13 (NLT)

The truth is that growth in the human soul requires a commitment to grow. A person must want to grow, decide to grow, and make an effort to grow.

Spiritual growth begins with a decision. It doesn’t have to be a complex decision, but it does have to be sincere. When Jesus’ followers decided to choose his way, they didn’t understand all the implications of their decision. They simply expressed a desire to follow him, and that was the beginning of an exciting journey of the soul. Jesus took that simple but sincere decision and built on it.

In Philippians 2:12-13, Paul offers insight into spiritual growth while speaking to people who already believe: “... continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose” (NIV).

Notice that it says “work out” – not “work on” – your salvation. There is nothing you can do to save yourself spiritually; Christ took care of that by his life, death, and resurrection. The important thing to note is that God has a part in our growth – but so do we. We must make an intentional effort to grow.

Rick Warren

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Does Spiritual Growth Just Happen?

You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food.

Hebrews 5:12 (NLT)

Millions of Christians have grown older without ever growing up; they act as though spiritual growth is automatic. They may have a plan to save for retirement. They may have a plan for sending their kids to college. But they don’t have a strategy for enriching their souls. They leave the single most important facet of human existence to chance!

But a soul doesn’t automatically grow to maturity any more than a baby automatically grows to physical maturity. You need to have a plan for feeding, exercise, education – and especially potty training – if a child is going to grow up healthy, strong, and mature.

A baby left on its own withers and dies. The same thing is true of your soul. Our world is full of people who have grown older but are still babies when it comes to spiritual maturity.

Spiritual growth is not automatic even for people who have opened their hearts to Christ. The writer of Hebrews sadly noted, “You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word.”

“You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong” (Hebrews 5:12-14 NLT).

Rick Warren

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

အဘယ္အရာမွ မတားဆီးနိုင္။

ေျဖာင့္မတ္ေသာသူသည္ စြန္ပလြံပင္ ကဲ့သို႕ ပြင့္လန္း၍ ေလဗနုန္ေတာင္ေပၚမွာ အာရဇ္ပင္ကဲ့သို႕ ၾကီးပြားလိမ့္မည္။
ဆာလံက်မ္း ၉၂ း ၁၂

ေလျပင္းမုန္တိုင္းထန္ေသာ္လည္း မက်ိဳး၊ ေက် မပ်က္ဆီးတတ္ေသာ စြန္ပလြံပင္ကို ေတြ႕ျမင္ဘူးၾကသုူမ်ား သိၾကမွာ။ ေလျပင္းဒဏ္ေၾကာင့္ ကိုင္းညြတ္ျပီး ေျမျပင္နွင့္ ထိလုမတတ္ ကိုင္းညြတ္သြားေသာ္လည္း၊ ေလျငိမ္ေသာ အခ်ိန္၌ ျပန္လည္ ေထာင္မတ္၊ ၾကီးထြားလာေသာအေၾကာင္း၊ က်မတုိ႕ မွတ္သားနိုင္ပါတယ္။ စြန္ပလြံပင္၏ လႈိ႕ဝွက္ခ်က္ကေတာ့၊ ေလျပင္းရဲ႕ဒဏ္ေၾကာင့္ ၾကီးထြားနႈန္း ပိုမိုေကာင္းမြန္ျခင္းဘဲ ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။

ထာဝရဘုရားသခင္ က်မတို႕ကို စြန္ပလြံပင္နွင့္ ပံုပမာ ေပးျခင္းကို ျပန္လည္ဆန္းစစ္ၾကည့္မယ္ဆိုရင္၊ ဘဝရဲ႕ အသက္တာမွာ အခက္အခဲ၊ ဒုကၡ၊ ၾကမး္တမ္းမႈ႕ ေပါင္းကို ၾကံဳရမွာ ျဖစ္ေၾကာင္း သတိေပးျခင္းျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ ဘယ္ေလာက္ဘဲ ဘဝရဲ႕ လႈိင္းဒဏ္ၾကီးမားပါေစ၊ က်မတို႕ဟာ အသက္တာသစ္၊ ရင့္က်က္၊ ေကာင္းမြန္လာမွာ ျဖစ္ေၾကာင္းကို ပံုပမာ ေျပာခ်င္ေၾကာင္းျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ ဘယ္အရာဘဲျဖစ္ျဖစ္ သင့္ရဲ႕ တိုးတက္မႈ႕ကို အေနွာက္အယွက္၊ အဟန္႕အတားျဖစ္ေစေနသလို ျဖစ္ေနေသာ္ျငားလည္း စိတ္ဓာတ္မက်ဘဲ၊ ထာဝရဘုရားေပးသနားေတာ္မူေတာ္၊ ေက်းဇူးေတာ္၊ ဆုေက်းဇူးမ်ားကို လက္ခံယူၾကပါစို႕။

ဆုေတာင္းခ်က္။ ။ က်မတို႕၏ အသက္တာကို ခိုင္မာ၊ ရင့္က်က္၊ ေကာင္းမြန္လာေစေသာ္ေၾကာင့္ ေက်းဇူးေတာ္ကို ခ်ီးမြန္းပါ၏။ အာမင္။

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

ခရစ္ေတာ္အားျဖင့္ တဖန္နိႈးေဆာ္ေလာ့။

ထိုသို႕ျဖစ္၍၊ ငါလက္တင္ေသာအားျဖင့္၊ သင္၌ဘုရားသခင္ ေပးေတာ္မူေသာဆုကို ႏိႈးေဆာ္မည္ အေၾကာင္း၊ ငါသည္သင့္ကို သတိေပး၏။
တိေမာေသၾသဝါဒစာ ဒုတိယေစာင္ ၁ း ၆

သင္၏ဘဝအသက္တာမွာ ရည္မွန္းခ်က္၊ ပန္းတိုင္မ်ားေရာက္ရွိဖို႕ ခြန္အားေတြ ေပ်ာက္ဆံုးျခင္း ေတြ႕ၾကံဳေနရပါသလား၊ ဘဝရဲ႕ ေန႕စဥ္လႈပ္ရွားမႈ႕ေတြၾကား၊ လမ္းေပ်ာက္ေနပါသလား။ အသက္တာတခုလံုးတြက္ ထာဝရဘုရားသခင္ ေပးသနားေတာ္မူေသာျပင္ဆင္ေပးျပီးေသာ ဆုလာဘ္မ်ားကို ျပန္လည္သတိယ၊ ႏႈိးေဆာ္ယူဖို႕ အခ်ိန္တန္ျပီ။ သင့္ဘဝတြက္ ဘုရားရွင္ေပးသနားေတာ္မူေသာ ဆိုေလာဘ္ေတြကို ဖ်က္ဆီး၊ နဳတ္ယူဖို႕ ဘယ္အရာကမွ မတတ္နိုင္ပါဘူး၊ က်မတို႕ကိုယ္တုိင္ က ျပန္လည္ႏႈိးေဆာ္ယူဖို႕ေတာ့ လုိအပ္ပါတယ္။ ဘုရားရွင္ရဲ႕ နုတ္ကပတ္ေတာ္ေတြကို နွလံုးသြင္း၍ ဘုရားရွင္ထံ ခ်ဥ္းကပ္ပါ။ ေန႕စဥ္အသက္တာကို ကိုယ္ေတာ္လက္အပ္နွံလ်က္ အသက္ရွင္ပါ။

ဘုရားရွင္ဖြင့္ထားေသာ တံခါးကို ျမင္နိုင္ေအာင္ၾကည့္ပါ၊ လူ႕စိတ္အားျဖင့္ ၾကံစည္၍ မမွီနိုင္ေသာ ဆုေက်းဇူးေတာ္ေတြ အခ်ိန္က် ေရာက္ရွိလာမွာျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ က်မတို႕ရဲ႕ ကိုယ္ေတာ္ျပင္ဆင္ေပးေသာ္ ဆုေက်းဇူး၊ ဆုေလာဘ္၊ အလိုဆႏၵမ်ားကို ယံုၾကည္ျခင္း၊ ခုိကိုးျခင္းျဖင့္ လက္ခံယူၾကပါစို႕။

ဆုေတာင္းခ်က္။ ။ ေကာင္းကင္ဘံု၌ ရွိေသာမူေသာ ထာဝရဘုရားသခင္၊ က်မတို႕အသက္တာအတြက္၊ အိမ္မက္၊ ဆႏၵ၊ ဆုေက်းဇူးေတာ္ေတြကို ေပးသနားေတာ္မူေသာေၾကာင့္ ေက်းဇူးေတာ္ခ်ီးမြမ္းပါ၏။ က်မတို႕ စိတ္နွလံုးကို ႏႈိးေဆာ္လ်က္၊ ယံုၾကည္ျခင္းအားျဖင့္ လက္ခံယူနိုင္မည့္အေၾကာင္း မစေတာ္မူပါဘုရား၊ သခင္ေယရႈ၏ ျမတ္ေသာနာမ၌ ဆုေတာင္းပါ၏။ အာမင္။

Four Benefits of Putting Margin in Your Life

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

Here are four immediate benefits you’ll receive by building margin into your life:

1. Peace of mind. When you’re not always hurrying and worrying, you have time to think, time to relax, time to enjoy life. We had a bird come into the building one evening before service. He started singing, and it was just like we’d been given an invitation: “Just relax. Everybody except those sitting directly under the bird, relax.”

2. Better health. Unrelenting stress harms our bodies. We all know that, yet we let it continue day after day after day. Many times we only build margin in our lives after the heart attack almost happens or does happen, or the blood pressure skyrockets. Why do we wait until our health plummets before we make this decision? Why not realize that we need to build some margin in to our lives now? The truth is your body needs downtime in order to heal. Race cars make pit stops occasionally in order to get repaired. You can’t fix anything going 200 miles an hour. Yet, we try to repair ourselves while we’re still racing through life. Margin builds in time for better health.

3. Stronger relationships. Lack of margin is one big reason for the collapse of the American family today. When we don’t make relationships a priority and make time for each other, our relationships suffer. Relationships take time; and margin provides the time to sit and talk, to listen and enjoy one another, and to provide the comfort we each need.

4. Usefulness in ministry. When you’re overloaded by activity, you can only think of yourself. You’re in survival mode, just trying to make it through another day. But being available to God for his use makes all the difference in this world.

When you have no margin in your life and God taps you on the shoulder, saying, “I’d like you to do this for me,” your first response isn’t joy. Your first response is, “Oh, no! Another thing to do! Sorry, God – I’d like to do that, but I’m just too busy.”

We end up resenting the great opportunities God brings into our lives. But when you have margin, you’re available for God to use.

You don’t have to live on overload. You don’t have to live in survival mode. Begin today to build a buffer around your schedule. Then enjoy the benefits of margin and see what God does next! ...Rick Warren

Monday, January 5, 2009

ခရစ္ေတာ္၌ ေမွ်ာ္လင့္ျခင္းရွိေလာ့။

လူပ်ိဳတို႕သည္ ေမာ၍ပင္ပန္းျခင္းသို႕ေရာက္ၾကလိမ့္မည္။ လုလင္တို႕သည္လည္း ထိမိ၍လဲၾက လိမ့္မည္။ ထာဝရဘုရားကို ေျမာ္လင့္ေသာသူတို႕မူကား၊ အားျပည့္ၾကလိမ့္မည္။ ေရႊလင္းတကဲ့သို႕ မိမိတို႕ အေတာင္ကို အသစ္ျပဳျပင္ၾကလိမ့္မည္။ ေျပးေသာ္လည္း မပင္ပန္း၊ ခရီးသြားေသာအခါ မေမာရၾက။ ေဟရွာယအနာဂတၱိက်မ္း ၄၀ း ၃၀-၃၁

က်မတို႕ အေယာက္ဆီတိုင္း ေန႕စဥ္အသက္တာၾကား၊ ဖိအားေပးမႈ႕၊ ပင္ပန္းဆင္းရဲမႈ႕မ်ိဳးစံုတို႕ကို ခံစားရ၊ ပိေနတတ္ၾကပါတယ္။ ဒါေပမဲ့ ဒီက်မ္းပိုဒ္ေလးကို အမွတ္ယ ေစခ်င္ပါတယ္။ က်မတို႕ဟာ ေငြေၾကး၊ အလုပ္ေကာင္းရဖို႕၊ က်မတို႕ရဲ႕ လူလူျခင္းဆက္ဆံျခင္း၊ ခ်စ္သူျခင္း၊ မိဘ၊ ေမာင္နွမဆက္ဆံေရး ပိုမိုေျပျပစ္ ေကာင္းမြန္လာဖို႕၊ စေတာ့ေတြ ေကာင္းလာဖို႕ ဒီေလာက္ကိုဘဲ ေစာင့္စားေနတတ္ၾကတယ္။ ယေန႕ဟာသင့္ရဲ႕ ေမွ်ာ္လင့္ျခင္းကို တျခားေသာအရာမ်ား၌ ထားရွိျခင္းထက္၊ သင့္ကိုအျမဲကူညီေစာင္မ ၾကည့္ရႈျပီး၊ ထာဝရေသာ ခ်စ္ျခင္းေမတၱာကို ေပးသနားေတာ္မူ၍၊ အရာရာကို တတ္နိုင္စြမ္းေသာ၊ ထာဝရဘုရားသခင္၊ သခင္ေယရႈထံ ျပန္လည္ပို႕ေဆာင္ျခင္းျဖင့္ အသက္တာကို အေကာင္းဆံုးျပဳျပင္ ၾကပါစို႕။

က်မတို႕၏ ေမွ်ာ္လင့္ခ်က္မ်ားကို ေယရႈခရစ္ေတာ္ ထံမွ ေသြဖယ္ဖို႕၊ က်မတို႕ရွိေနတဲ့၊ ျဖစ္ေနတဲ့အရာကို ဆက္လက္ျပီးအသက္ရွင္ေနထိုင္ဖို႕ ဖ်ားေယာင္းေသြးေဆာင္မႈ႕မ်ားကို ေရွာင္ကြင္းနိုင္ျပီး၊ ထာဝရဘုရားသခင္ ေပးသနားေတာ္မူေသာ္၊ ေအာင္ျမင္ျခင္း၊ ပန္းတိုင္ကိုလက္လွမ္း ယူနိုင္ဖို႕ က်မတို႕ရဲ႕ ေမွ်ာ္လင့္ျခင္း လမ္းေၾကာင္းကို ထာဝရဘုရားသခင္ထံသို႕ ျပန္လည္ပို႕ေဆာင္ၾကပါစို႕။

ဆုေတာင္းခ်က္။ ။ ထာဝရဘုရား၊ က်မတို႕၏ ယံုၾကည္ျခင္းကို ကိုယ္ေတာ္ထံပါး ပို႕ေဆာင္ေပးသနား ေတာ္မူေသာေၾကာင့္ ေက်းဇူးေတာ္ေပါင္းကို ခ်ီးမြမ္းပါ၏။ က်မတို႕အတြက္ အေကာင္းဆံုးအရာ၊ ပန္းတိုင္၊ ျပင္ဆင္ထားေပးေၾကာင္း ယံုၾကည္ပါ၏။ ေယရႈခရစ္၏ အမည္နာမကို အမွီျပဳ၍ ေတာင္းေလွ်ာက္ပါ၏။ အာမင္။

Margin or Marginless?

God, listen to me shout, bend an ear to my prayer… You’ve always given me breathing room, a place to get away from it all.

Psalm 61:1, 3 (MSG)

A lot of people are on overload and headed for a crash. Consider these statistics:

· People now sleep 2½ fewer hours each night than people did a hundred years ago.

· The average work week is longer now than it was in the 1960s.

· The average office worker has 36 hours of work piled up on his or her desk. It takes us three hours a week just to sort through it and find what we need.

· We spend eight months of our lives opening junk mail, two years of our lives playing phone tag with people, and five years waiting for people who are late for meetings.

At least in the U.S., we’re a piled-on, stretched-to-the limit society that is chronically rushed, chronically late, and chronically exhausted. Many of us feel like Job did when he said, “I have no peace! I have no quiet! I have no rest! And trouble keeps coming” (Job 3:26 GWT).

Overload comes when we have too much activity in our lives, too much change, too many choices, too much work, too much debt, too much media exposure.

We’re stressed by information overload; we’re stressed by accessibility overload – we’re connected all the time. Simply put, we’re stressed by the pace of life.

Is there a solution? Yes. The solution is to put some margin into your life. Margin is breathing room. It’s keeping a little reserve that you’re not using up. It’s not going from one meeting to the next to the next with no space in between.

Margin is the space betweenyour load and yourlimit. But most of us are far more overloaded than we can handle, and there is no margin for error in our lives.

Dr. Richard Swenson, MD says this: “The conditions of modern day living devour margin. If you’re homeless we direct you to a shelter. If you’re penniless we offer you food stamps. If you’re breathless we connect you to oxygen. But if you’re marginless we give you one more thing to do. Marginless is being 30 minutes late to the doctor’s office because you were 20 minutes late getting out of the hairdresser because you were 10 minutes late dropping the children off at school because the car ran out of gas two blocks from a gas station and you forgot your purse. That’s marginless.

“Margin, on the other hand, is having breath at the top of the staircase, money at the end of the month, and sanity left over at the end of adolescence. Margin is grandma taking the baby for the afternoon. Margin is having a friend help carry the burden.

“Marginless is not having time to finish the book you’re reading on stress. Margin is having the time to read it twice. Marginless is our culture. Margin is counter-culture, having some space in your life and schedule. Marginless is the disease of our decade and margin is the cure.”

Tomorrow we’ll look at four benefits of building margin into our lives.. ...Rick Warren

Sunday, January 4, 2009


“ ထိုရူပါရုံသည္ ခ်ိန္းခ်က္ေသာ အခ်ိန္ နွင့္ ဆိုင္၍ အမႈ ကုန္ရေသာ ကာလ ကို ဆို လို၏။ မုသာ နွင့္ ကင္းလြတ္၏။ ဆိုင္းေသာ္လည္း ေျမာ္လင့္ေလာ့။ ေနာက္မက်ဘဲ ဧကန္အမွန္ ေရာက္လိမ့္မည္။ ဟဗကၠဳတ္ အနာဂတၱိက်မ္း ၂း၃ ”

ထာဝရဘုရားသခင္သည္ အေကာင္းဆံုး အမြန္ျမတ္ဆံုး ေသာ္ မ်ိဳးေစ့ကို ကၽြန္ုပ္တို႕၏ စိတ္နွလံုးသား၊ ဘဝတခုလံုး၌ က်ဲ၊ စိုက္ပ်ိဳးထားပါ၏။ က်မတို႕သည္ အတိတ္၌ မခံနိုင္ေသာ စံုစမ္းေနွာက္ယွက္မႈ႕၊ ခါးသီးေသာ ဘဝဒဏ္၊ အျဖစ္ဆိုးမ်ားကို ရင္ဆိိုင္ခဲ့ရေသာသူမ်ားလည္း ျဖစ္နိုင္ပါသည္၊ သို႕ေသာ္ က်မတို႕ ျဖစ္ေနရာ၊ တည္ရွိေနေသာ အေျခအေနမ်ားသည္၊ ဘုရားရွင္စီစဥ္မႈ႕ တခုလည္း ျဖစ္နိုင္ပါ၏။ က်မတို႕ အတိတ္မွ ျဖစ္ရပ္မ်ားအားလံုးသည္၊ အေကာင္းဆံုး၊ အျမင့္ဆံုး တေနရာသို႕ တြန္းပို႕ေပးမည့္ ဘုရားရွင္၏ အၾကံအစဥ္ေတာ္မ်ား ျဖစ္ေၾကာင္းကို နားလည္ထားနိုင္ဖို႕သည္ အေရးအၾကီးဆံုးျဖစ္ပါ၏။

သင့္၏အတိတ္သည္၊ အနုတ္လကၡဏာမ်ားနွင့္ ျပည့္ဝခဲ့ျခင္းသည္၊ အနာဂတ္၌္ မိမိဥဏ္ရည္နွင့္ မမွီနိုင္ေအာင္၊ ၾကီးက်ယ္ခမ္းနား၊ ထြန္းလင္းေနမည္ျဖစ္ပါသည္။ ထာဝရဘုရားသခင္ ေပးေသာ္အေကာင္းဆံုးဆုေက်းဇူး မ်ားကို လက္ခံရရွိဖို႕၊ သင့္ေျခလွမ္းမ်ားကို တခ်က္ေရွ႕ဆက္ဖို႕၊ အခ်ိန္က်ေရာက္ပါျပီ။ သင့္စိတ္ကူး၊ အိမ္မက္ မ်ားလက္လြတ္ခဲ့သလား၊ ဘုရားရွင္ျပင္ဆင္ေပးေသာ္ဌားလည္း၊ အခ်ိန္ေၾကာင့္ ေသာ္လည္းေကာင္း၊ စိတ္ပ်က္ ညည္းညဴျခင္းေၾကာင့္ ေသာ္လည္းေကာင္း ေစာင့္ဆိုင္း၊ လက္လြတ္ခဲ့ရပါသလား။

ယေန႕သည္ သင့္အိမ္မက္မ်ားကို အသစ္တဖန္ အသက္သြင္း၍ ယံုၾကည္ျခင္းကို၊ နွလံုးသား၌၊ ျပန္လည္ရွင္သန္ စတင္ရမည့္ အခ်ိန္ျဖစ္ပါ၏။ သင့္ဘဝ၌ ဘာေတြျဖစ္ခဲ့တယ္ ဆိုတာက ဘာေတြျဖစ္လာအံုးမယ္ဆိုတာေလာက္ အေရးၾကီးျခင္းမရွိဘူး ဆိုတာကို အမွတ္ယေစခ်င္ပါတယ္။ ထိုအခ်ိန္၌ သင္သည္ စိတ္၏က်န္းမာျခင္း၊ လူ၏ခ်မ္းသာျခင္းမ်ား အရင္အခ်ိန္ကထက္ ပို၍ ခိုင္မာ၊ ရင့္က်က္ လာမွာျဖစ္ပါတယ္။ ထို႕ေၾကာင့္ မိမိ၏ ေျခလွမ္းမ်ားကို ရဲရဲဝံ့ဝံ့၊ ေရွ႕သို႕ခ်ီလွ်က္၊ ဘုရားရွင္ျပင္ဆင္ေပးေသာ္၊ ပန္းတိုင္၊ ဆုေက်းဇူးမ်ားကို လက္ခံယူဖို႕၊ ယေန႕သည္ သင့္၏ေန႕၊ အခ်ိန္က်ေရာက္ျပီ၊ ယံုၾကည္ျခင္းနွင့္၊ ေရွ႕သိုခ်ီ လက္ကမ္းၾကပါစို႕။

ဆုေတာင္းခ်က္။ ။ အိုထာဝရ ျမတ္စြာေသာဘုရားသခင္ က်မတို႕အတြက္ပန္းတိုင္၊ အနာဂတ္ကို နွလံုးသြင္းေပးသနား ေသာ္မူေသာ္ေၾကာင့္၊ ေက်းဇူးေတာ္ ခ်ီးမြမ္းပါ၏။ က်မတို႕ကို ယံုၾကည္ျခင္းကို ျမဲျမဲ လက္ကိုင္ထားလွ်က္၊ ကိုယ္ေတာ္ရွင္ဘုရား ေပးသနားေတာ္မူေသာ ဆုေက်းဇူးမ်ားကို လက္ခံယူဖို႕၊ ဝိညာဥ္ေတာ္ ခြန္အား၊ ဆုေက်းဇူး၊ ေပးသနားေတာ္မူပါဘုရား၊ ေယရူနာမ၌ ရုိေသစြာေတာင္းေလွ်ာက္ပါ၏။ အာမင္။

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Resolution Worth Keeping

For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

1 Corinthians 2:2 (NIV)

Today’s guest devotional is from Jon Walker.

How are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions? You remember that list you made with optimistic enthusiasm but unrealistic expectations.

One of my friends started making New Year’s resolutions like, “I won’t lose ten pounds this year,” and “I commit to watching the Super Bowl this year.”

I suspect Paul only had one resolution on his list: “This year I resolve to know nothing but Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).

Paul’s message is radically simple: Salvation is in Christ alone. What does this mean?

It’s not Christ plus your good behavior.

It’s not Christ plus the number of Bible verses you memorize.

It’s not Christ plus your tithe or the church you attend.

It’s not Christ plus wisdom from the latest Christian seminar.

It’s simply Christ plus nothing. Christ and Christ alone.