May I gently but firmly remind you of something you know but may have forgotten? Life is not fair. That’s not pessimism, it’s a fact. It’s not a complaint, it’s just the way things are. I don’t like it. Neither do you. Ever since the kid down the block got a bike and we didn’t, we’ve been saying the same thing, “That’s not fair!”
At some point someone needs to say to us, “Who ever told you life was going to be fair?” God didn’t. In James 1:2, he didn’t say, “If you have many kinds of troubles,” he said, “When you have many kinds of troubles.” Troubles are part of the package.
Jesus said, “My kingdom does not belong to this world. My kingdom is from another place (John 18:36).”
When all of earth turns against you, all of heaven turns toward you. To keep your balance in this crooked world, think of home!
Look at the birds in the air. They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns, but your heavenly Father feeds them. Mat 6:26
Consider the earth! Our globe's weight has been estimated at six sextillion tons (a six with twenty-one zeroes). Yet it is precisely tilted at twenty-three degrees; any more or any less and our seasons would be lost in a melted polar flood. Though our globe revolves at the rate of one-thousand miles per hour or twenty-five thousand miles per day or nine million miles per year, none of us tumbles into orbit…
As you stand … observing God's workshop, let me pose a few questions. If he is able to place the stars in their sockets and suspend the sky like a curtain, do you think it is remotely possible that God is able to guide your life? If your God is mighty enough to ignite the sun, could it be that he is mighty enough to light your path? If he cares enough about the planet Saturn to give it rings or Venus to make it sparkle, is there an outside chance that he cares enough about you to meet your needs?
The Great House of God (Max Lucado)
God will praise each one of them. 1 Co 4:5
What an incredible sentence. God will praise each one of them. Not "the best of them" nor "a few of them" nor "the achievers among them," but "God will praise each one of them."
You won't be left out. God will see to that. In fact, God himself will give the praise. When it comes to giving recognition, God does not delegate the job. Michael doesn't hand out the crowns. Gabriel doesn't speak on behalf of the throne. God himself does the honours. God himself will praise his children.
And what's more, the praise is personal! … Awards aren't given a nation at a time, a church at a time, or a generation at a time. The crowns are given one at a time. God himself will look you in the eye and bless you with the words, "Well done, good and faithful servant!" (Mat 25:23 NIV).
When Christ Comes (Max Lucado)
Luke 6:45 says, “. . .out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” That is why the state of the heart is so critical. So what’s the state of your heart?
When your to-do list is too long, do you lose your cool or keep it? Well, that depends on the state of your heart. When you’re offered gossip marinated in slander, do you turn it down or pass it on? That depends on the state of your heart. Do you see the bag lady as a burden on society or as an opportunity for God? That too depends on the state of your heart.
No wonder the wise man in Proverbs begs, “Above all else, guard your heart” (Proverbs4:23). David’s prayer should be ours: “Create in me a pure heart, O God” (Psalm 51:10).
And Jesus’ statement rings true, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).
From The Applause of Heaven
As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Psa 103:12
Confession does for the soul what preparing the land does for the field. Before the farmer sows the seed he works the acreage, removing the rocks and pulling the stumps. He knows that seed grows better if the land is prepared. Confession is the act of inviting God to walk the acreage of our hearts. "There is a rock of greed over here Father, I can't budge it. And that tree of guilt near the fence? Its roots are long and deep. And may I show you some dry soil, too crusty for seed?" God's seed grows better if the soil of the heart is cleared.
And so the Father and the Son walk the field together; digging and pulling, preparing the heart for fruit. Confession invites the Father to work the soil of the soul.
In the Grip of Grace (Max Lucado)
He took our suffering on him and felt our pain for us. Isa 53:4
Jesus knows how you feel. You're under the gun at work? Jesus knows how you feel. You've got more to do than is humanly possible? So did he. People take more from you than they give? Jesus understands. Your teenagers won't listen? Your students won't try? Jesus knows how you feel.
You are precious to him. So precious that he became like you so that you would come to him.
When you struggle, he listens. When you yearn, he responds. When you question, he hears. He has been there.
If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it.
If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it.
He sends you flowers every spring.
He sends you a sunrise every morning.
Whenever you want to talk, He listens.
He can live anywhere in the universe, but He chose ... your heart.
Face it friend, He is crazy about you!
God didn't promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun
without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the
tears, and light for the way. Our life is so precious and fragile.
Sharing our love with others for a moment, an hour, a day, can bring
much more to us than we can ever return. Love isn't -- until we give it
Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Php 4:4
Go with me back in history a couple of thousand years. Let's go to Rome … to a rather drab little room, surrounded by high walls… Inside we see a man seated on the floor. He's an older fellow, shoulders stooped and balding. Chains are on his hands and feet…
It is the apostle Paul… The apostle who was bound only by the will of God is now in chains—stuck in a dingy house—attached to a Roman officer…
He is writing a letter. No doubt it is a complaint letter to God. No doubt it is a list of grievances… He has every reason to be bitter and complain. But he doesn't. Instead, he writes a letter that two thousand years later is still known as the treatise on joy—Philippians…
Why don't you spend some time with it?
The Inspirational Study Bible (Max Lucado)
I will be with you always. Matthew 28:20
David, the man after God's own heart, said: "I'm asking Yahweh for one thing, only one thing: to live with him in his house my whole life long" … (Psalm 27:4).
What is this house of God which David seeks? Is David describing a physical structure? Does he long for a building with four walls and a door through which he can enter but never exit? No. "Our Lord does not live in temples built by human hands" (Acts 17:24). When David says, "I will live in the house of the LORD forever" (Psalm 23:6), he's not saying he wants to get away from people. He's saying that he yearns to be in God's presence, wherever he is.
The Great House of God (Max Lucado)
LORD, I love the Temple where you live, where your glory is. Psa 26:8
When it comes to resting your soul, there is no place like the Great House of God. "I'm asking Yahweh for one thing," [David] wrote, "only one thing: to live with him in his house my whole life long. I'll contemplate his beauty, I'll study at his feet. That's the only quiet secure place in a noisy world" (Psa 27:4-5 MSG).
If you could ask God for one thing, what would you request? David tells us what he would ask. He longs to live in the house of God. I emphasize the word live, because it deserves to be emphasized. David doesn't want to chat. He doesn't desire a cup of coffee on the back porch. He doesn't ask for a meal or to spend an evening in God's house. He wants to move in with him … forever. He's asking for his own room … permanently. He doesn't want to be stationed in God's house, he longs to retire there. He doesn't seek a temporary assignment, but rather lifelong residence.
The Great House of God (Max Lucado)