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Archive for August, 2011

All the backpacks are lined up by the front door. The first day of school clothes are waiting on their hangers. The crayons are pointed and unbroken.

My birds are asleep in the nest, ready to fly away tomorrow. And it’s this hour that a Mama kneels and prays… (Discover more about how you can pray for your children as they head back to school on Mindy’s blog, “Treasure the Ordinary.”)

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The Roman RoadIf yesterday’s message left you wanting to close the door of sin in your life— that’s really good.  If it left you wanting to put out the welcome mat for God’s presence at the door of your heart— that’s great.  If it left you aching to share what Jesus did on the cross with someone you know— that’s tremendous.

Here’s a tool called the “Roman Road” to help you do that. It’s just a road map, really, through the pages of Romans that can keep you focused as you talk through the amazing gift of salvation with someone who needs to hear it.  Print it out and keep it handy, jot it down in the back of your Bible, put it in your smartphone, or memorize it completely.  But, whatever you do, be prepared to testify about how this journey has changed your life and get ready to see it transform someone else’s.

  • Romans 3:23
    For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
  • Romans 6:23
    For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • Romans 5:8
    But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
  • Romans 10:9-10
    That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

 

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Have you ever dreamed about opening the mailbox and finding a check written to you for a large sum as an inheritance from some distant, never-met relative?  How about a British estate left to you by a long-lost great-uncle?

Those dreams may seem far-fetched, and probably are as far as your hopes of a mailbox treasure go.  But, you would be completely within reason to expect an inheritance of a different nature.

“A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous” (Proverbs 13:22).

While most people rightly tie this verse to the handling of personal finances, it should also be applied to spiritual inheritance.  Have you ever stopped to consider what was passed down to you from previous generations in the way of Godly heritages and foundations?  What did the people who came before you pray for, sow into, and work towards that you are now reaping the benefits of in your own life?  Perhaps more importantly, what are you praying for, sowing into, and working towards in order to leave a Godly inheritance for your grandchildren?

Our Bible heroes weren’t perfect, but quite a few of them did a good job of modeling what this could look like for us.  Abraham is known as “Father Abraham” because he sowed faith into future generations by believing God, and seeing that credited to him as righteousness (Galatians 3:6).  Esau sowed forgiveness of his brother into the heart of his nephew Joseph, and Joseph harvested those seeds with his own brothers a couple of decades later (Genesis 33 and 45).  King David was told by God that he could not build the temple, but he didn’t let that stop him from storing up everything needed for his son, Solomon, to do so (I Chronicles 22-29).

It’s usually pretty easy to find things that are wrong with our families; after all, they’re made up of imperfect people.  And it’s true that if generational baggage has been handed to you, you’d better go to the Lord and see those bags unpacked.  But, it’s also just as important to recognize the beautiful and the holy that God has been building in your family and learn to cooperate with Him to see that carried on to completion.  Your actions today could mean that those who follow after you get a spiritual “check in the mail.”

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On April 10, 1912, the RMS Titanic set sail from Southampton, England, bound for New York.  Four days into her maiden voyage, she hit an iceberg and sunk into the Atlantic Ocean.

The sinking of the Titanic is a story ingrained in our culture with mythic proportions.  The events of that tragic day have been scrutinized from every angle, but the greatest contributing factor to the loss of so many lives was the simple neglect of multiple warnings from other ships, “Icebergs ahead.”

Failure to head warnings has lead to more disasters than just the sinking of one ship.  It has lead to loss and heartbreak at every level of life and human relationships.

I believe there are three significant warning signs every follower of Jesus must be aware of if they desire to steer free of icebergs as they navigate their way through life.

Three warning signs of ice bergs ahead:

  1. When what I hear on Sunday morning changes my language, but not my life, I am in iceberg waters.
  2. When the cry for comfort is louder than the cry for compassion, I am in iceberg waters.
  3. When my eyes are so focused on this world that I am not homesick for Heaven, I am in iceberg waters.

Warning signs are not a guarantee of either a collision or avoidance thereof.  They simply are what they are, a cautious observation that you are sailing in dangerous waters.

I pray you will give careful consideration to the warning signs around you, and may you steer clear of the icebergs that could hurt you or the ones you love.

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