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Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.

-John 5:22-23

SPECIALIZE IN THE IMPOSSIBLE - 

BY MRS. CHARLES COWMAN

In Streams in the Desert

"The hill country shall be thine." -Josh. 17:18, RV


There is always room higher up. When the valleys are full of Canaanites, whose iron chariots withstand your progress, get up into the hills, occupy the upper spaces. If you can no longer work for God, pray for those who can. If you cannot move earth by your speech, you may move Heaven. If the development of life on the lower slopes is impossible, through limitations of service, the necessity of maintaining others, and such-like restrictions, let it break out toward the unseen, the eternal, the Divine.


Faith can fell forests. Even if the tribes had realized what treasures lay above them, they would hardly have dared to suppose it possible to rid the hills of their dense forest-growth. But as God indicated their task, He reminded them that they had power enough. The visions of things that seem impossible are presented to us, like these forest-covered steeps, not to mock us, but to incite us to spiritual exploits which would be impossible unless God had stored within us the great strength of His own indwelling.


Difficulty is sent to reveal to us what God can do in answer to the faith that prays and works. Are you straitened in the valleys? Get away to the hills, live there; get honey out of the rock, and wealth out of the terraced slopes now hidden by forest. --Daily Devotional Commentary


Got any rivers they say are uncrossable,

Got any mountains they say 'can't tunnel through'? 

We specialize in the wholly impossible, 

Doing the things they say you can't do.

--Song of the Panama builders


The public domain version of this classic devotional is the unabridged edition of Streams in the Desert.

- See more at: http://www.backtothebible.org/devotions/specialize-in-the-impossible#sthash.MbrO9mFT.dpuf

Devotions.org, a division of Back to Bible has a daily source of devotions to keep you in touch with God and His word, written by some of today's top authors and Bible teachers. Browse the variety of resources completely on their website. 

More of Devotions.Org: http://www.backtothebible.org/devotions

Heroes -   

This devotional was written by Robin Dugall

 

Therefore, I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. —2 Corinthians 12:10

 

Over the last few decades, our cultural concept of what makes a hero has changed. In the past, presidents, firefighters, policemen, soldiers, pastors, teachers and star baseball players may have been at the top of most people’s list. Times were much more innocent and the perceptions of what stood out in people’s mind as heroic or worthy of emulating was vastly different than today.

 

Now, kids are much more interested in the “heroes” of contemporary culture: athletes with huge salaries, musicians, public “icons” made famous by 15 minutes in the media spotlight, fashion models and people who are financially successful. I don’t often regret changes in culture, but in this instance, I sure do. How I wish our view of what was heroic could revert to a more innocent time!

 

The Bible is clear about what makes someone heroic in God’s eyes. The Apostle Paul learned that if he was going to “boast,” he would boast in the Lord. He dedicated his life to a selfless, sacrificial and grace-filled lifestyle that reflected not only the values of the Kingdom of God but those that mirrored Jesus.

 

People need heroes. We need people to look up to as models of what is truly meaningful in life. We have more than enough cultural icons. What our children, friends, spouses and neighbors need are not any more posers of what it means to be a hero. What people need to see is a true hero—someone who gives his or her life as a ransom and servant for others! Here’s the good news: we all can be heroes to others around us as we follow and imitate Christ.

 

GOING DEEPER:

1. Who were your heroes when you were growing up? Who are some of the people you would love to be like now in your life?

 

2. How is the personality and character of Jesus taking shape in you?

 

FURTHER READING:

2 Corinthians 11:16-33; Hebrews 12

This devotional originally appeared in “HomeWord with Jim Burns” on Crosswalk’s Family Devotional section. For more information about HomeWord with Jim Burns devotionals, please visit us online.

More of HomeWord with Jim Burns: http://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/homeword/

He Also Made The Stars -  

This devotional was written by Jim Liebelt

 

God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. —Genesis 1:16

 

Since I was a boy, I’ve been fascinated by stars. Aside from an introductory college course on astronomy and owning a nifty iPad app, I’ve never seriously indulged in this fascination. But I’m always enthralled when I find myself outside on a clear night under the canopy of stars.

 

When we look at the stars, it’s watching history in the here and now. Some of it is recent history, as it only takes about 4 years for light from the next closest star to our sun to reach Earth. But much of what we see is ancient history. Our unaided eyes can see light from a star about 1,550 light years away (it’s light that originated in the mid-400s A.D.), and we can also see light from the Andromeda galaxy that is 2.8 million light years away. Of course, with the use of a telescope we can see further still. The night sky is wondrous and provides a reminder of God’s greatness.

 

When we read the creation account in the Bible (from Genesis 1) we find that “God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.” The focus in the account is God’s creation of the sun and the moon. But what fascinates me is that “He also made the stars”- seems almost like an afterthought. Perhaps it’s just how our English translations read, but to me it seems that God in His unlimited might and creativity just happens to throw out an estimated septillion stars (1024) in our universe, as if it were no big deal. Now, that’s power!

 

In the day-to-day moments that make up our lives, and especially in our difficulties and trials, it’s easy to lose sight of God’s greatness and His care for us.

 

Perhaps today you are feeling alone and weighed down by life. You might feel as though God is a million light years away and that He can do nothing about your own astronomical struggles. While your trials are altogether real, remember today that as God’s child, He loves you. The Holy Spirit is ever present in your life. And He is the same God of whom the Scriptures say, “He also made the stars.”

 

If God is able create a universe of millions upon millions of stars, there is nothing in your life that His power cannot handle and heal. Place your trust in Him, and never forget, “He also made the stars.”

 

GOING DEEPER:

1. What difference does it make to you that the God who created the universe is always present in your life?

 

2. What life issue are you facing today that you most need to be reminded that God is all-powerful?

 

FURTHER READING:

Isaiah 59:1; Psalm 8, 19; Ephesians 1:13-14, 18-21

This devotional originally appeared in “HomeWord with Jim Burns” on Crosswalk’s Family Devotional section. For more information about HomeWord with Jim Burns devotionals, please visit us online.

More of HomeWord with Jim Burns: http://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/homeword/

Pure, Rock and Resurrection -  

(Part 1 of 2)

We were recently in Charleston, SC and went to a Christmas Festival. As we walked through various booths we came to a jewelry stand and Gracie fell in love with a necklace pleading with me to buy it. I tried to steer her in a different direction. I thought there were other necklaces that were prettier, but she had her heart set on THIS one… so I reluctantly conceded.

Later that evening she came to me and said: “I love this necklace because it symbolizes Jesus!”

“How does it symbolize Jesus?” I asked. The video below is how she responded, and I when I heard it, I was very glad that I’d gotten the necklace that was her heart’s desire…

{Watch Gracie's Video Here}

Jesus is the Rock: Our Firm Foundation

Scripture points to Jesus as the firm foundation. Isaiah prophesies: Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed. (Isaiah 28:16)

I’m particularly drawn to the fact that the foundation referred to here is “firmly placed.” When we think of a building project, the most important aspect is setting the foundation. A firm foundation is necessary to keep the building standing, but moreover, it is the foundation that keeps the building from moving due to the outside forces of nature. A building with a solid foundation will not be disturbed.

Jesus himself tells us that He and His words are a firm foundation for us. Life can be disturbing. The ground shakes under us. The rains fall and the floods rise. How can we be secure? Jesus tells us that He and His words are a firm foundation for those who believe.

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matthew 7:24-27)

Many of us know that old children’s song based on this passage from Matthew 7: The Wise Man Built His House Upon a Rock! If I had to guess, this little song did the work of writing Matthew 7 on Gracie’s heart. She recently had a few weeks of “friend” troubles at school. I have been amazed at how well she has managed this situation. While her feelings were hurt, she was not shaken. In fact, one day in the midst of her “friend troubles” we were driving to school and I heard her whispering in the back seat.

“What are you talking about back there, buddy?” I asked.

“Oh, I am just saying verses to help me with my friends. Mama, these verses are REALLY helpful!” she said.

“Which ones are you saying?”

“I’m saying Romans 3:23, 'For all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God' - Romans 3:10, 'For there is no one who is righteous no not one,' and Jeremiah 17:9, 'The heart is deceitful above all things, who can know it?' and from Acts, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved!' Verses are so, SO helpful…”

“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed.' (Isaiah 28:16)

Jesus is that costly cornerstone. He raised up His words and laid down His life to be that firm foundation so that we might claim as the Psalmist does: “I have set the Lord always before me, because he is at my right hand I will not be shaken.”

Jesus is the Rock- our Firm foundation.


To be continued...


This originally appeared here and is shared with the author's permission.

Monica is her husband’s adoring wife, her little girl’s “Mama,” a crazy dog lover, and everyday falling more deeply in love with the Lord! In September of 2008 the Gills were blessed with a fifth tiny addition to the family (this time a baby instead of a puppy!) Grace is an ever-present wonder and a constant source of joy. Monica has been an active Bible teacher, writer and speaker for women's ministry and youth for twenty years. She loves to combat every challenge of life with this truth: Jesus is the answer! Jesus is always the answer!

 You can find Monica at www.lifewithgrace.net or contact her at monica@lifewithgrace.net

More of Monica Gill: www.lifewithgrace.net

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