Editor: Richard (Dick) Innes
Published by: ACTS International
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Vol. 17 – No. 2215 May 30, 2015
Thought for the week: "I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it for I shall not pass this way again." – Stephen Grellet
"A man of knowledge lives by acting, not by thinking about acting." – Carlos Casteneda
"Even if they try to kill you, you develop the inner conviction that there are some things so precious, some things so eternally true that they are worth dying for. And if a person has not found something to die for, that person isn't fit to live!" – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Complaining about the boss won't make the boss a better boss. It will make you a bitter employee." – Schlesinger
"A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs—jolted by every pebble in the road." – Henry Ward Beecher
"Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Walk beside me and be my friend." – Albert Camus
"Rivers know that there is no hurry. We shall all get there one day." – Winnie the Pooh
"God made time, but man made haste." – Irish Proverb
There are five sponges lying on your kitchen counter. Each member of your family has been cleaning up different areas of your home, but all the sponges look the same. You are curious as to what was cleaned, but you can't tell by looking. They all look the same. So, what do you do? As you squeeze the first sponge, you see that cola comes out, and you decide that someone cleaned the kitchen with that one. Upon squeezing the second sponge, you find tub and tile cleaner. That one was used in the bathroom. In the third sponge you find motor oil. Someone cleaned the garage. In the fourth sponge, baby power puffs out. The baby's nursery was cleaned with that one. In the last sponge is floor wax. That was the one you used on the hall floor. As you lay the last one down, you look again at their similarity.
They all look the same until they are squeezed. Christians are the same!
As life squeezes us, different things come out: anger, revenge, tears, remorse, greed, untruth, lust and finally, from one saint, pours forth the love of Christ. Just like the sponge, we can only squeeze out what is put in. Stay in the Word daily and be in continuous prayer so that when life puts the squeeze on you, Jesus, and Jesus alone will shine forth.
As you think upon this, ask yourself, if I was squeezed, would Jesus and Jesus alone shine forth?
I once was in a situation similar to the person in your Daily Encounter article, "When Your Boss Is a Jerk." I couldn't tolerate my boss's "high and mighty" ways and her treatment of me. I finally decided something had to be done. I had prayed about it and finally decided to pray for my boss. I began to pray for God to give her some of my blessings. I started with one blessing and it nearly choked me. The second day I gave her two of my blessings and it was a little easier. I kept increasing it daily until I got up to ten. I continued praying for her and then I noticed a change in me. It didn't change her but it changed me and my attitude. We never became friends but when she left our work place we parted on friendly terms.
For years, the opening of "The Wide World of Sports" television program illustrated "the agony of defeat" with a painful ending to an attempted ski jump. The skier appeared in good form as he headed down the jump, but then, for no apparent reason, he tumbled head over heels off the side of the jump, bouncing off the supporting structure.
What viewers didn't know was that he chose to fall rather than finish the jump. Why? As he explained later, the jump surface had become too fast, and midway down the ramp, he realized if he completed the jump, he would land on the level ground, beyond the safe sloping landing area, which could have been fatal.
As it was, the skier suffered no more than a headache from the tumble. To change one's course in life can be a dramatic and sometimes painful undertaking, but change is better than a fatal landing at the end.
– Craig Brian Larson, Illustrations for Preaching and Teaching, Baker, p. 15.
To those who see with loving eyes, life is beautiful.
To those who speak with tender voices, life is peaceful.
To those who help with gentle hands, life is full.
And to those who care with compassionate hearts,
life is good beyond all measure.
"The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron."1
Some time ago I read the following story in Focus on the Family magazine about a man who bought a car that had replaced warning lights with spoken instructions from a woman.
In a soft voice, his little woman, as he called her, would say, "Your door isn't closed properly." "Your key is still in the ignition." "Your seatbelt isn't fastened properly."
On one occasion, he recalled how the voice of his little woman said, "Your fuel level is getting low."
The driver thanked her, and figuring he had sufficient fuel to take him fifty more miles, ignored the voice and kept driving. Soon his little woman repeated, "Your fuel level is low." The longer he drove, the more his little woman repeated her warning.
Getting frustrated, he stopped his car, searched under the dashboard, and found the appropriate wires. One quick jerk and his little woman was silenced.
Imagine the look on his face when, a few minutes later, his car sputtered and jerked to a standstill—out of fuel! One could almost imagine a grin on his little woman's face!
We all have a little voice within. It's called conscience. It can get very annoying at times, too. Sometimes we "pull its wires" and, too late, we discover we are "out of fuel."
One danger, when we ignore the voice of our conscience and don't live according to our convictions, is that our mind experiences what counselors call cognitive dissonance. That is, mental disharmony. Because this is too uncomfortable to live with, we switch off our conscience.
When we do this often enough, our mind not only switches off the voice of conscience but turns up the volume on the voice of rationalization and justification.
The sad fact is that if we don't live the life we believe, we end up unhappily believing the life we live. The Bible calls this having a seared conscience, a dangerous and self-destructive path to follow.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to realize the danger of switching off the voice of conscience and justifying what I want to do. Please help me to live the life I believe—a life that is lived in harmony with your will and your Word. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
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