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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Powerful Preaching

If you are responsible for communicating biblical truth, consider yourself a preacher (at least for the now)—you are a communicator of God’s Word. If that describes you, these next four principles are especially for you.

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God’s Goads

Apparently, “to kick against the goads” was a common expression found in both Greek and Latin literature—a rural image, which rose from the practice of farmers goading their oxen in the fields.

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An Arbitrator

Job longs for an arbitrator who could serve as his go-between, communicating with this mighty and holy God. He’s wishing for one who could argue his case. Job would love to present his case in God’s court, but he doesn’t have a mediator.

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