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Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

I Know I CanEphesians 3:14-21
[God] is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.(Eph 3:20) Remember the story of The Little Engine That Could? That determined little train climbed the steep hill by chanting positively, “I think I can. I think I can.” And then, as it gained more resolve, it declared, “I know I can. I know I can.” No one would disagree that followers of Christ should think and live in a positive way. But do you ever find yourself depending too much on your own abilities rather than on the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit? In John 15, Jesus explained our need for complete dependence on Him when He said, “He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (v.5). Paul reminded us that we “can do all things through Christ who strengthens [us]” (Phil. 4:13), that “the excellence of the power [is] of God and not of us” (2 Cor. 4:7), and that we are “strengthened with might thr…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

It’s All About The HeartMatthew 15:7-20
Those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart.(Matthew 15:18) Every time Susan opens her mouth, it sounds like the blare of an ambulance siren. This TV commercial uses humor to indicate that a dental problem could reveal a more serious physical ailment. So she’d better see her dentist soon! The commercial made me think about what comes out of my mouth when I open it. Jesus said that our words come from our heart (Matt. 15:18). He offended the Pharisees when He said, “Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man” (vv.11-12). They thought they were right with God because they followed strict rules, including ritual cleansing of their hands before eating and eating only “clean” foods. Jesus upset their pride. Jesus upsets our pride too. We may think we’re godly people because we go to church regularly or pray, but then we gossip or talk about people behind their backs. James 3:9-10 sa…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Beware The Rupert2 Corinthians 11:3-4, 12-15
Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.(2 Corinthians 11:14) In the June 6, 1944, D-Day invasion of Europe, an armada of Allied ships assaulted the beaches of Normandy, France. Simultaneously, thousands of airplanes dropped paratroopers into the action. Along with the paratroopers, the Allies also dropped hundreds of rubber dummies behind the enemy lines. Called “Ruperts,” these dummies were intended to simulate an attack to confuse the enemy. As the Ruperts landed, some German outposts were tricked into fighting the “paradummies,” creating a vital crack in the walls of Fortress Europe. We accept that kind of deception as part of a legitimate military operation designed to thwart oppressive forces. What we should not accept is the deception Satan throws our way. Paul explained that the devil “transforms himself into an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14), and his servants appear to be people who are promoting righteousness (v.15). W…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Sing A New SongPsalms 98 Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth; break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises. (Psalms 98:4) At age 94, Pastor Willis was admitted into a care facility. From his wheelchair, he shared with joy how God had given him a new mission field to share the gospel. When he was bedridden a few years later, he spoke with enthusiasm of being in the best possible position to look up to God. When he died at age 100, Pastor Willis left behind a legacy of one who sang a new song of praise at every turn of his earthly life. Psalm 98 exhorts us to sing a new song for God who “has done marvelous things; His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory” (v.1). We ought to praise Him —even in times of difficulty—for God remembers “His mercy and His faithfulness” (v.3). Though this psalm is about God freeing the Israelites from slavery, it is prophetically also about our salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord. And as we remember what God has done for us, we can …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Royalty RecognizedPhilippians 2:5-11
At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, . . . [and] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.(Philippians 2:10-11) As a kid, I loved watching the film Little Lord Fauntleroy. The story focuses on Cedric, a boy growing up in a poor home with his mother in Brooklyn. He discovers the stunning news that he is actually the direct descendant of the Earl of Dorincourt and the heir of a vast fortune. One day he’s a nobody playing “kick the can” on the streets of New York, and then suddenly he’s traveling through an English town to the cries of “Your lordship!” from adoring villagers. If you had seen Jesus playing in the streets of Nazareth as a boy, you wouldn’t have taken any special notice of Him (except that He probably wasn’t playing “kick the can”). If you had seen Him in the carpentry shop, you wouldn’t have had a clue about His deity. And if you had seen Him hanging on the cross, that horrific scene wouldn’t have enticed your heart to …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Running Every Day1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Run in such a way that you may obtain [the prize]. (1 Cor 9:24) The Pikes Peak Ascent is a challenging mountain foot race, covering 13.32 miles while gaining 7,815 feet in altitude. My good friend Don Wallace ran it 20 times. In his final race, he crossed the finish line one week before his 67th birthday! Instead of training just before a race, Don ran 6 miles a day, year round, with rare exceptions, wherever he happened to be. He’s done that for most of his adult life and continues to this day. In 1 Corinthians 9, Paul uses running as a picture of his own discipline as a Christian in the race of life. He ran with purpose and discipline to win an eternal crown, and he encouraged others to do the same: “Run in such a way that you may obtain [the prize]” (v.24). The word temperate in verse 25 carries the meaning of self-control practiced by athletes who train to win the prize. As a consistent habit of life, regular discipline is of far greater value to…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The Deadliest DiseaseJoshua 7:1,19-26
[Jesus] was wounded for our transgressions, . . . and by His stripes we are healed.(Isaiah 53:5) Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) was identified in 2003 in Vietnam. By the time it was brought under control, SARS had spread globally and killed nearly 800 people. One reason for the high mortality rate was that the virus was not recognized initially. But once recognized and understood, SARS was contained. An even more dangerous disease is on the loose in our world—sin. It too is difficult to bring under control because many people do not recognize its deadliness. And many dispute the Bible’s diagnosis of sin. In Joshua 7, we read the tragic story of Achan. We may recoil at the extreme way God dealt with him. Against God’s command, he had taken some of the spoils from Jericho and hid them in his tent (v.21). He and his entire family paid with their lives (v.25). Thankfully, God does not deal with us in that way. If He did, none of us would remain a…