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Daily Boost

  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

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Whether your day is good, bad or somewhere in between, a timely word of encouragement can help you navigate difficult circumstances or celebrate blessings. Something special happens when God’s servants interact with His Word and then share their insights with each other.

Since 2006, the Pentecostal Evangel has offered Daily Boost as a free resource for just that kind of interaction. Daily Boost writers are young and not so young, clergy and laity, women and men — all of them committed to Jesus Christ as their Savior and to communicating His love to as wide an audience as possible.

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My daughters love to play dress up — princesses, fairies, mermaids, you name it. As a result, most of their everyday clothes rarely get worn. I can’t say I really blame them. After all, who would choose boring old T-shirts and jeans over tutus and fairy wings?

At the ages of 6 and 4, the girls are very much aware of how I’m dressed and often want to look like me. If I’m wearing leggings, they want to wear leggings. When I put on a sweater, they get their sweaters, too. Without even trying, I’m teaching my daughters what is appropriate attire by the clothing I choose. They learn how to dress simply by watching me.

My daughters are imitating my heart attitudes as well. What do they see when they look at me? Do I show anger and bitterness, or does my countenance radiate joy and peace? Am I all decked out in pride and selfishness or arrayed in humility and generosity? In other words, what kind of clothes am I wearing?

“Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 13:14, NIV).

— Kristen Feola

“You’ve got to let go or I can’t help you!”

I was a fireman trying to rescue a little boy out of a tree. He had been climbing up on the higher branches and slipped. He fell about 10 feet and wedged his leg deep into the “V” of two large branches. The leg was broken, and he was still about 6 feet off the ground.

The boy had been stuck there for about 30 minutes before the ambulance or any emergency personnel were called. Our fire truck had the only “Jaws Of Life” in Tulsa, Okla.

Once the jaws cut away a branch, the leg was free in seconds. Now all that was needed was for the boy to let go of the branch he was clinging to so I could lower him to the men below.

“You’ve got to let go or I can’t help you!”

Jesus said, “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 16:25, NKJV).

— Gary Rogers

It seems to me that the average Christian misses a major purpose of prayer. Most people understand that we should praise God in prayer and that we can petition Him to act on our behalf. But I think that one of the most important aspects is lost. You can find it in the second petition in the Lord’s Prayer: “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10, NIV).

At first, the request may seem unnecessary. Why should we have to ask God to do what He already wants to do? Perhaps it will make more sense when we personalize it.

If we apply the petition to ourselves, we might pray, “May my life be in the center of Your kingdom and will as is the case in heaven.” In other words, we don’t just pray that God’s will be displayed throughout the earth, but also that our lives are lived according to His will. After all, what good is it to God if His kingdom is manifest throughout the rest of the earth but not in His people?

— Bob Caldwell

“The thin blue line” is a reference to police who form a boundary between lawless chaos and a safe, peaceful society. Though our law enforcement is not a perfect system, I am grateful to those men and women who keep the bad guys from taking over. While I am not always thrilled to see a police cruiser pull up behind my car, I know that ultimately it is the charge of that law officer to serve and protect.

Followers of Christ have a similar commission in this world, to work to counteract and restrain evil. Do you know this is your high and holy calling? Jesus describes the functional nature of our mission by calling us “salt” and “light” (Matthew 5:13,14).

In Jesus’ time, salt was much more than a flavoring of food. In that pre-refrigeration age, it was a critical preservative. Christians are to serve that function in the world today. Don’t just think of great movements involving millions of like-minded believers. Individually, we can have a noticeable effect, and we should!

We are also lights in this dark world. Our love for God and for each other should make the Way plain for others to follow into a relationship with the Savior.

— Jerry D. Scott

Jesus instructed His disciples not to run off to foreign fields with the good news about His death and resurrection but to wait in Jerusalem until they had received power for the task.

“You shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth” (Acts 1:8, Amplified).

Many tasks can be done in our own strength, but spiritual work isn’t among them. Spiritual work requires spiritual strength. Only God can give us that strength. Selwyn Hughes, the great devotional writer, wrote, “The Holy Spirit gives us the power not simply to imitate Christ; He imparts to us the energy by which Christ himself lived. It’s impartation, not imitation, that makes for effective Christian living.”

— Rose McCormick Brandon

If grace and peace come from God, then He is the source of the gospel. Too many people think of God as a Divine Judge who wants to arrest, try, condemn and execute them for their sins. And let us be clear: God is “the righteous Judge” (2 Timothy 4:8). But God’s justice arises out of His love for us: He cannot tolerate the sin that harms us. Sin is under His judgment, and we are too, if we do not repent of it. Behind the Judge, however, is the Father who longs to see His children live and thrive in His presence. He moves heaven and earth to realize His desire.

Or perhaps I should say He moves heaven to come to earth to realize His desire. If God is the source of the gospel, Jesus Christ is its mediator. Someone has given this acronym for grace: God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.

— George Paul Wood

Giving unto the Lord is not just giving our tithes and offerings at church, though that is an important part of it. Truly giving unto the Lord is offering ourselves to Him as vessels to be used for His glory. It is being obedient to do what God has commanded in His Word — to love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves (Luke 10:27). When we offer our lives into the hands of our loving Heavenly Father and surrender our hearts to His Son, Jesus Christ, we discover immeasurable abundance and personal security.

Start looking for ways to offer what the Lord has placed in your hands to be used for the kingdom of God. Are you great at baking cookies? Then bake some and ask the Lord whom you should share them with. Write cards, call someone, offer to do little jobs for someone who is sick or recovering from surgery. Be creative and allow the Lord to speak to your heart. Give your all to God. You won’t be disappointed.

— Dorothy Rugg

When I grew up back in the ’40s, small farmers brought in crops with teams of horses and a man behind the machine. The work was backbreaking, and sweat plastered your hair to your head as it ran down your face. Your hands became sore and calloused, and it took grit and determination to bring in the harvest.

There’s a harvest out there more precious than any grains, and it’s fully ready to be brought in. Souls will be eternally lost unless we volunteer to work in that harvest. Jesus was talking about a burden, one that will make our knees ache and tears run down our faces as we battle with Satan for souls to be born into God’s kingdom.

Will you join me in what our Lord admonished us to do, and pray that the Lord of the harvest will send us as laborers into His harvest?

“The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved!” (Jeremiah 8:20,NKJV).

Think about it!

— Beatrice Northcutt

The Lord put strongly in our hearts that I was called to stay home with our kids and raise them up to know and love the Lord. This is the one of the greatest choices we’ve ever made. However, it’s a choice with a cost, a cost worth the price, with great rewards and blessings that money cannot buy.

This year has been especially difficult for us financially, living on one low income and then my husband losing his job. For three months we had no income, yet God has provided for every single one of our needs. Without our having to beg or announce our needs to others, He’s taken care of our needs before we even knew we had them.

We had to give back our van because we couldn’t afford the payments when my husband was out of work. God gave us a new car at no cost to us. We had to move out of our house because we discovered mold that was making our kids very sick. God provided us a better house for the same price as the old one. We couldn’t afford to have birthday parties for our kids this year, but God provided them with presents and cake. We didn’t always have money for food; God would provide, and never once did we go without.

We are learning to live like Philippians 4:12,13:

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (NIV).

— Rhea Falig

What happens after death? Many have written books on the topic. Various groups and people have spent much time, money and talent probing the mystery of what is beyond the grave. I have nothing more to add except to say we know where our destination lies if we have committed our lives to Christ. The apostle Paul says, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8, KJV).

I was with some friends recently who could confidently say their dear one who had just died was now present with the Lord. What a pleasure to rejoice in that. We do not “grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13, NIV). We have a stabilizing hope in “the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were” (Romans 4:17). God has resolved all the questions about what is beyond the grave and has offered us eternal life. Hallelujah!

— Randy Mantik

It’s really kind of neat watching my daughters grow and develop from the childlike little girls they struggle to break away from into the more mature adults I know they will eventually become. I’m learning patience and wisdom as they mature to discern when to let them run free and where to draw the lines.

I imagine how Jesus felt as He watched the disciples grow. Think how often the Twelve wavered between (to use two expressions based on Hebrews 5:11-14) the “spiritual milk” stage of childlike responses to situations they encountered and the mature “meat of the Word” stage where they actually put Jesus’ teaching into practice.

Spiritual growth and maturity is a process, one we continually go through our entire lives. I thank God for His patience as He watches me run around, struggling to break free from that childlike state of spiritual milk I am in to the more mature “meat of the Word” spiritual adult I am becoming.

— Geff Mastro

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