Intimacy with the Almighty

As we discovered [Monday], “trusting in the Lord with all your heart” begins with the decision to “not lean on your own understanding.” The second choice calls for us to “acknowledge Him in all our ways.” Acknowledge comes from a simple Hebrew term meaning “to know.” This kind of knowledge is personal and experiential. In fact, Hebrew writers used this term as a euphemism for sexual relations between a husband and wife.

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Principles

I think we need to sign a mental declaration of independence. Let’s put our names on the line, pledging ourselves with firm resolve, much like those brave men did on July 4, 1776, in Philadelphia when they signed the Declaration of Independence. Did you know that of the fifty-six courageous men who signed that original document in Philadelphia, many did not survive the war that followed?

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Taking Time

Eight words were brashly smeared across the dashboard of the speedboat tied up at Gulf Shores, Alabama. They reflected the flash and flair of its owner whose fast life was often publicized in sporting news across America. In the off-season, the left-handed speedster in the Gulf of Mexico resembled a shiftless, beachcombing drifter with his stubble beard, disheveled hair, and darting eyes rather than one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in Oakland Raider history.

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Man’s Quest

Greece said . . . Be wise, know yourself. Rome said . . . Be strong, discipline yourself. Judaism says . . . Be holy, conform yourself. Epicureanism says . . . Be sensuous, enjoy yourself. Education says . . . Be resourceful, expend yourself. Psychology says . . . Be confident, fulfill yourself. Materialism says . . . Be acquisitive, please yourself. Pride says . . . Be superior, promote yourself.

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The Satisfaction of Being Thorough

I HAVE JUST TAKEN MY Webster’s Dictionary off the shelf and looked up thorough. It means, “carried through to completion, careful about detail, complete in all respects.” Thorough is my kind of word! I learned the importance of being thorough from my parents while growing up in south Texas. Most weren’t so fortunate.

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The Cost of Following

DO YOU RECALL JESUS’ RADICAL philosophy of servanthood? It’s found tucked away in His now immortal words: He said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me.” LUKE 9:23 Following Christ as His disciple is a costly, unselfish decision. It calls for a radical examination of our self-centered life.

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Humility and Inferiority

PART OF HUMILITY IS HAVING a preset mentality that determines thoughts like this: “I care about those around me.” “Why do I have to be first? Today I’m going to help someone else win.” “It’s my sincere desire to curb my competitive tendencies and turn that energy into encouraging at least one other person.”

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Monuments

THE FOUR MONUMENTS OF HUMAN NATURE: Fortune, Fame, Power, Pleasure Built in clusters, making them appear formidable . . . and acceptable. As the idols in ancient Athens, our society is saturated with them. Fortune. How neatly it fits our times! Its inscription at the base is bold: “Get rich.” The figure in the statue is impressive—a hardworking young executive, a clever, diligent businessman unwilling to admit the greed behind his long hours and relentless drive.

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The Kindness of God

“MY TREAT!”. Nice words to hear, huh? They have flowed into my ears from any number of places—yours, too. Treats are neat. Spontaneous. Unexpected. Pleasant moments that communicate: “You are special . . . loved, appreciated, affirmed, deserving,” and a half a dozen other warm fuzzies we need to hear but seldom hand out. Normally, they don’t come on holidays, birthdays, or anniversaries, but rather during the run-of-the-mill, no-big-deal times in our lives.

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Friend of God

DIRECT INTERCHANGES between God and individuals don’t occur often in Scripture. But in Abraham’s life, his interchange with God takes the form of a true dialogue, a back-and-forth conversation between friends.

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