No Junk Allowed

NLFCOUPLES

“Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

Seven‐year‐old Chris Krebs was born with cerebral palsy and was profoundly retarded. One day he and his father, Greg, sat in a hospital lounge waiting for Mrs. Krebs, who worked at the hospital. Another man, shabbily dressed and emanating a peculiar aroma, was also waiting there. He looked like a bum or derelict. Greg went to the nurses’ station and asked how much longer his wife would be. When he returned, he saw Chris sitting by the man. The man was sobbing, and Greg wondered what Chris had done to disturb him.

“I’m sorry if my son offended you,” Greg said.

The man replied, “Offended me? Your son is the only person who has hugged me in the last twenty years!” Greg later said, “I realized at that moment Chris had a more Christ-like love for this man than I did.”

Although disrespect for the disabled or less fortunate is characteristic of our culture, we know there is no “junk” in God’s value system. He loves every one of us the same. He sees our potential, and He uses each person to accomplish some part of His purpose. As His children, we’re called to look at everyone through the lens of His perfect love.

When we show compassion and respect to the people who cross our paths from day to day, we are also likely to treat our spouse the same way. It all begins with a spirit of loving‐kindness.

Just between us…

  • Has anyone ever unexpectedly modeled Christ’s love to you?
  • How can we encourage each other to see value and potential in everyone we meet?

Father, may we always be sensitive to the needs and value of other people. Help us to share Your love to them, no matter who they are. Amen.

  • From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

Character Vacation

NIGHT LIKE FOR PARENTS

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Philippians 1:27

It’s easy for moms and dads to come up with reasons for taking a “character vacation.” You may think, for instance, Everyone else cheats on their taxes, so why shouldn’t I? Or, No one will care if I take a few things from the office (or factory) to use at home. But once you start your slide into the pit of rationalization, it’s very difficult to climb back out—and equally tough to keep your children from joining you.

In the first days of the Christian church, a man named Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, thought they could fool God by appearing to be generous. First they sold a piece of property. Then Ananias, with his wife’s knowledge, kept some of the money and presented the rest to the apostles, pretending that it was the full amount from the sale. Peter confronted him: “What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God.” Ananias immediately fell down and died. When Sapphira arrived later, also pretending that they had given the full amount, she too died at Peter’s feet (Acts 5:1–10).

Our kids are watching our character closely. God is watching, too. He knows when our actions are forthright and when we distort the truth: “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity” (Proverbs 11:3). We must remember—and teach our children—that God’s desire for us is to keep our character intact.

Before you say good night…

Are there times when you take a “character vacation”?

Are you modeling godly character to your children?

Gracious Lord, we too often allow troubles and our own priorities to pull us away from You. Let us cling to You and Your eternal Word, no matter what the circumstances. Build our trust as we stay ever faithful to You. Amen.

  • From Night Light For Parents, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST

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The Eternal Goal

By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing…I will bless you…  Genesis 22:16-17

Abraham, at this point, has reached where he is in touch with the very nature of God. He now understands the reality of God.

My goal is God Himself…
At any cost, dear Lord, by any road.

“At any cost…by any road” means submitting to God’s way of bringing us to the goal.

There is no possibility of questioning God when He speaks, if He speaks to His own nature in me. Prompt obedience is the only result. When Jesus says, “Come,” I simply come; when He says, “Let go,” I let go; when He says, “Trust God in this matter,” I trust. This work of obedience is the evidence that the nature of God is in me.

God’s revelation of Himself to me is influenced by my character, not by God’s character.

’Tis because I am ordinary,
Thy ways so often look ordinary to me.

It is through the discipline of obedience that I get to the place where Abraham was and I see who God is. God will never be real to me until I come face to face with Him in Jesus Christ. Then I will know and can boldly proclaim, “In all the world, my God, there is none but Thee, there is none but Thee.”

The promises of God are of no value to us until, through obedience, we come to understand the nature of God. We may read some things in the Bible every day for a year and they may mean nothing to us. Then, because we have been obedient to God in some small detail, we suddenly see what God means and His nature is instantly opened up to us. “All the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen…” (2 Corinthians 1:20). Our “Yes” must be born of obedience; when by obedience we ratify a promise of God by saying, “Amen,” or, “So be it.” That promise becomes ours. From My Utmost for His Highest Updated Edition

Bible in One Year: Ezekiel 5-7; Hebrews 12

 

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

For the past three hundred years men have been pointing out how similar Jesus Christ’s teachings are to other good teachings. We have to remember that Christianity, if it is not a supernatural miracle, is a sham.

from The Highest Good, 548 L

 

 
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