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Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Small Step—Giant LeapEphesians 4:17-24 Be renewed in the spirit of your mind. (Eph 4:23) In July 1969, I was at Fort Benning, Georgia, training to become a US Army officer. Infantry Officer Candidate School was intense and highly regimented with only rare moments of free time. Surprisingly, on the evening of July 20, we were ordered to our company Day Room, seated in front of a flickering television set, and told simply, “This is history.” Amazed, we watched Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong become the first human to set foot on the moon as he said, “That’s one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind.” Our usual curfew was suspended and we talked late into the night—not only about what we had witnessed but about life, God, and eternity. Our demanding routine had been interrupted, and our attention was shifted to what truly matters. All of us need to shift our focus on a daily basis. Maintaining a regular time alone with God allows us to step away from our demanding jobs, break the…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Till He Became Strong2 Chronicles 26:3-15
His fame spread far and wide, for he was marvelously helped till he became strong.(2 Chroni 26:15) In George MacDonald’s fairy tale Lilith, giants live among normal people. These giants must conduct their daily affairs very carefully. When they sleep, their snoring is disruptive. When they turn over, houses may be crushed under their weight. In the Bible, Uzziah became a “giant” of a man after becoming king at age 16. The keys to his success are recorded in 2 Chronicles 26. His father Amaziah set a good example for him (v.4). The prophet Zechariah instructed him (v.5). He had an army of fighting men and capable generals who helped him (vv.11-15). And God prospered him (v.5). Clearly, King Uzziah became a “giant” through the Lord’s blessing. But after attaining success, he grew careless and stumbled badly. The clue to his demise is found in the phrase “he was marvelously helped till he became strong” (v.15). Those last four words serve as a dire war…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

A Donkey In Lion’s ClothingMatthew 7:15-23
Beware of false prophets . . . in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.(Matthew 7:15) In the final book of C. S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, The Last Battle, a devious ape named Shift finds an old lion’s skin and persuades a simpleminded donkey to put it on. Shift then claims that the disguised donkey is Aslan (the Lion who is the rightful king of Narnia) and forms an alliance with Narnia’s enemies. Together they set out to control and enslave the subjects of Narnia. Young King Tirian, however, can’t believe that Aslan would actually be involved with such brutal practices. So, with the help of the real Aslan, he defeats Shift and his counterfeit lion. The Bible tells us that the devil is in the business of imitating God. His goal is “to be like the Most High” (Isa. 14:12-15). Through deception, Satan tries to replace Christ with a substitute. Jesus Himself warned us of false prophets and false christs: “Take heed that no one …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

When The Ground ShakesPsalms 18:1-6
In my distress, I called upon the Lord.(Psalms 18:6) Several days after a devastating earthquake in the San Francisco area, a young boy was seen rocking and swaying on the school playground. His principal asked him if he was okay, and the boy nodded yes and said, “I am moving like the earth, so if there’s another earthquake I won’t feel it.” He wanted to prepare himself for another shaking of the ground. Sometimes after a trauma, we brace ourselves for what might be coming next. If we’ve had a phone call that brought bad news, every time the phone rings we feel panicky and wonder, What has happened now? The “ground was shaking” for the psalmist David after King Saul tried to kill him (1 Sam. 19:10). He ran and hid. He thought death was next and told his friend Jonathan, “There is but a step between me and death” (20:3). He wrote, “The pangs of death surrounded me, and the floods of ungodliness made me afraid” (Ps. 18:4). David cried to the Lord in his di…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Behind The Building1 Peter 4:8-11
Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.(1 Cor 15:58) Where we were working was hot, dirty, and it smelled bad. We had traveled thousands of miles to do some work projects, and on this day we were painting the back of a classroom building at a school for the deaf. The only people who would ever see this part of the building would be the guy who cut the grass and any unfortunate person who would have to work on the septic pit. Yet, as the young adults diligently painted away, one of the girls, Melissa, put it in perspective by saying, “Nobody will ever come back here to see this, but God will see it. So let’s make it look nice.” And so we did. Sometimes we sit at our desk and think no one sees our work. Or we stand at a line assembling item after endless item. Perhaps we take care of crying babies in the church nursery. Or we live the best Christian life we can—without anyone not…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

One PassionLuke 14:25-35
If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.(Luke 14:26) Nechayev, a 19th-century disciple of Karl Marx who had a role in the assassination of Czar Alexander II, wrote: “The revolutionary man . . . has no personal interests, no business affairs, no emotions, no attachments, no property, and no name. Everything in him is wholly absorbed in the single thought and the single passion for revolution.” Although his motives and goals were wrong, Nechayev’s statement shows the singlemindedness of commitment. Jesus wanted true commitment from His disciples. In Luke 14, we read that large crowds joined Him as He traveled toward Jerusalem (v.25). Perhaps these casual followers considered themselves to be His true disciples, but Jesus taught that following Him was more than just knowing facts about Him. He explained what it really meant to be His disciple when He …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

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CHRISTIAN EDUCATION FORUM
Word for the Day
"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path". 
Psalm 119:105
Love Is For Losers?1 Corinthians 13
Now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1 Cor 13:13) You can learn a lot about a person by what his or her T-shirt says. Recently, one of these messages caught my attention as I walked through a local shopping mall. A young woman wore a bright red T-shirt that said, “Love Is for Losers.” Maybe she thought it was clever or provocative, even funny. Or perhaps she had been hurt by a relationship and had pulled away from others rather than risk being hurt again. Either way, the T-shirt got me thinking. Is love for losers? The fact is, when we love, we take risks. People could very well hurt us, disappoint us, or even leave us. Love can lead to loss. The Bible, though, challenges us to higher ground in loving others. In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul describes what it means to live out God’s kind of love. T…