Saturday, April 26, 2014
Friday, April 25, 2014
by Aletha Hinthorn
Aletha Hinthorn is a dear friend and faithful lover of Jesus in Kansas City. She is a co-founder of Come to The Fire, an organization offering conferences for women who desire a holy heart and a deeper encounter with Christ. You can read more at http://cometothefire.org
Our family was enjoying summer vacation at Philmont, a Boy Scout ranch where my husband was one of the doctors in the clinic. As usual, I was more comfortable reading in our room than visiting with the other wives. Yet, two weeks was long enough to get acquainted with others--if only I weren't so shy!
Surely God has a verse that will help me to be more friendly, I thought. Opening my Bible to Proverbs, I decided to write down every verse that mentioned tongue, lips, or words.
When I read 10:31, I knew I had found my verse: "The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable." No longer would my excuse be, "I won't know what to say." God would give me appropriate words!
With new confidence, I greeted the next vacationers carrying suitcases past our door. Within the hour, the wife returned for a long get-acquainted visit. Our days together formed the beginning of a warm friendship.
God has a word for us in every situation. When we learn how to apply God's wisdom, we discover the joy of living the Word.
Jesus was the Word become flesh-or become human. He came to show us what the life of God looks like in human form. He did that by depending on the Word to tell Him what to do.
For us to also become the embodiment of the Word, we must regularly consider how the Scripture we read can be expressed in us.
Dear Jesus, thank You for the Word that You give us to express in our lives.
"Oh the joys of those who...delight in doing everything the Lord wants. Day and night they think about his law" (Psalm 1:1, 2)
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Ryan did not want to do the Showmanship competition, but after a pep talk and prayers for both him and his calf, he headed into the ring. I was pleased to see him focused and concentrating on the heifer, as well as the judge. He was paying attention and had the calf firmly under control.
There was another boy in the ring who was clearly more experienced, and more confident, than Ryan. As the judge lined the children up by standings, the other boy was in first place and Ryan was in second. Since he’d only competed once before, I thought Ryan had done well, and I could see from his face that he was pleased.
Just before announcing the winner, the judge hesitated. Why was he waiting? He had the winners in line and he should be through. As I watched, I realized the boy in the first position was having trouble with his calf, which had become very restless. Abruptly, the calf tried to bolt and a struggle ensued.
Ryan never noticed. He was focused on his calf, gently stroking her belly with his show stick, and watching the judge. He had his calf, amazingly, under perfect control.
I saw a surprised look on his face as he began to turn his calf around. What was Ryan doing? As I glanced back at the judge, I realized he was pointing at Ryan and motioning for him to swap places. Ryan was moving into first place! What in the world was going on? I was shocked.
When the judge picked up the microphone to defend his placings, he explained that the boy who started in first had lost control of his calf at the last minute. Ryan, on the other hand, had persevered even when it looked as if he was coming in second. He never stopped trying, and it had paid off. He had won!
Later in the day, the judge commented to the crowd that he’d been watching Ryan ever since he entered the show ring. He told them that it was no surprise his calf had ultimately won Grand Champion, because Ryan never gave up.
It’s fun to win a trophy for persevering in the show ring, but God has promised us something better. James tells us the one who endures will receive the crown of life. When the trial you face seems too hard to endure, remember the lesson of the show ring. Keep your hand to the task with both eyes firmly fixed on the judge, and you, too, can come in a winner.
“Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” James 1:12 NASB