A Willingness to Go with God

WHEN GOD CALLS A SERVANT, there is little room for negotiation. The most striking example of this is when God spoke to Abram, lifting him from obscurity and setting him on a course that would change human history. The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous. GENESIS 12:1–2

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An Enduring Mercy

EVEN TOWARD the end of his life, the apostle Paul had not gotten over the great mercy he had received from Christ: I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength to do his work. He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to serve him, even though I used to blaspheme the name of Christ. In my insolence, I persecuted his people.

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Where the Real Power Resides

THE GREAT APOSTLE PAUL was just like you and me. He had a love for God blended with feet of clay. Great passion . . . and great weakness. The longer I thought about this blend, the more evidence emerged from Scripture to support it. Read Paul’s words to the Corinthians: When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan.

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A New Thing

THOUGH I HAVE WALKED WITH God for several decades, I must confess I still find much about Him incomprehensible and mysterious. But this much I know: He delights in surprising us. How important it is for us to remain sensitive and open! There are insights to be discovered which the Spirit of God quietly whispers. There are solutions to be applied, profound lessons to be learned . . .

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Slaying Giants

GOLIATH REMINDS ME OF the cross-eyed discus thrower. He didn’t set many records . . . but he sure kept the crowd awake! Paralyzed and hypnotized, the camp of the Israelites sat in their tents. The only noise heard from their side of the valley was the knocking of their knees—in unison. Goliath was, up to that point, eminently successful with his strategy of intimidation.

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Move toward the Unexpected

MOST FOLKS I KNOW LIKE things to stay as they are. Being creatures of habit, we resist change; we protect our comfort zone; we are uneasy with the unexpected. We admire pioneers . . . so long as we can just read about them, not participate in their journeys. We applaud explorers . . . but not if it means we must load up and climb and crawl with them. Creative ideas are fine . . . but “don’t get carried away,” we warn. Plans that involve risks prompt worst-case scenarios from the lips of most who stand back in the shadows.

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Tough Hides, Tender Hearts

WHEN HOSEA MARRIED A PROSTITUTE, respect for him dropped to zero. “Small wonder he is listed first among the minor prophets,” some may sneer today. “He must have been a real loser.” Wrong again, O critic. Hosea was one of the most patient, tender, loving, and obedient of all the ancient prophets. “Then why in the world would such a man fall for a woman such as she?” Because God told him to! That’s right.

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Beyond Your Comfort Zone

HEBREWS 11 has been called “the hall of faith”—and for good reason. Beginning with one of the first people on earth, the author traces the essential quality of faith through Hebrew history, highlighting ten great men and women.

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Finishing Well

DON’T CRY for Abraham. Don’t mourn his death. Don’t grieve his departure. Rejoice! Celebrate him. Look at what he made of his life and his final years on earth.

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