Posts

Showing posts from February, 2019

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Cast Your Cares
Philippians 4:4-9
Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.(1 Peter 5:7)The psalmist wrote, “Be still, and know that I am God” (46:10). Paul exhorted the Philippians to “be anxious for nothing” (Phil. 4:6). And Peter instructed his readers to cast all their cares on God (1 Peter 5:7). How can someone stop worrying and be “still”? Only through prayer and trust in the loving God (Phil. 4:6-7). Those who cast their cares on Him can set aside the noise and confusion, ambitions and strivings, and enter into the peace of God (v.7). This doesn’t mean that those who are “still” before the Lord will escape life’s dangers and dilemmas, but it does mean they will have the ability to live with tranquility in the midst of them. Though trouble may remain, the confusion, apprehension, and despair begin to fade away. Such people show poise under pressure; they’re unshaken by life’s alarms; they radiate peace wherever they go. If you’ve never acquainted yourself with the depths …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Buy Without Money
Isaiah 55:1-5
Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live.(Isaiah 55:3)A story was told of a wealthy man who felt his son needed to learn gratefulness. So he sent him to stay with a poor farmer’s family. After one month, the son returned. The father asked, “Now don’t you appreciate what we have?” The boy thought for a moment and said, “The family I stayed with is better off. With what they’ve planted, they enjoy meals together. And they always seem to have time for one another.” This story reminds us that money can’t buy everything. Even though our bodies can live on what money can buy, money can’t keep our souls from withering away. In Isaiah 55, we read: “Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat” (v.1). Is it possible to buy what truly satisfies without money? Yes, the prophet Isaiah is pointing to the grace of God. This gift is so invaluable that no price tag is adequate. And the one who offers it—Jesu…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Making Restitution
Luke 19:1-9
He shall make restitution for his trespass in full.(Numbers 5:7)During the compilation of the Oxford English Dictionary, managing editor James Murray received thousands of definitions from Dr. William Chester Minor. They were always sent in by mail and never brought in personally. Murray was curious about this brilliant man, so he went to visit him. He was shocked to find that Minor was incarcerated in an asylum for the criminally insane. Years earlier, while in a delusional state, Minor had shot an innocent man whom he thought had been tormenting him. Later he was filled with remorse and began sending money to support the widow and her family.  Minor was imprisoned for the rest of his life but he found practical ways of easing the pain of his victims and contributing to society through his work on the dictionary. When the dishonest tax collector Zacchaeus heard Jesus’ message of grace, he chose to return more than what he had extorted from others. “Look, Lo…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Celebration Of Creation
Job 38:1-7
By Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth.(Colossians 1:16) In The Magician’s Nephew, one of the books in C.S. Lewis’ Narnia Chronicles, Digory and Polly use special rings to go into other universes. In one instance, they are transported to a place where they witness the creation of a new world. In the darkness, a beautiful voice sings stars into existence, followed by a newly created sunrise. In the morning light, they see that a mysterious lion is the singer. In response to his voice, grass spreads out like carpet, and trees grow in moments. Then animals begin to form out of the ground. When Narnia’s creation is complete, Aslan, its creator, gives the gift of speech to animals and celebrates with his creatures. Lewis’ skillful use of Christian symbolism provides a fresh perspective on the wonder of our own world’s beginning. There was a time when our universe did not exist. There was no matter, no energy, and no time. Then…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Image
View this email in your browser
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION FORUM
Word for the Day
"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path".
Psalm 119:105

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Waiting For The HarvestMark 4:26-29
First the blade, then the head, after that the full grain . . . . The harvest has come.(Mark 4:28-29) In the book What’s Gone Wrong With the Harvest? James Engel and Wilbert Norton illustrate on a graph how people often go through a series of preconversion stages before stepping over the line of faith and receiving Jesus as their Savior. When we hear individuals share their conversion experience, we may conclude that faith happened all at once. But their salvation frequently carries an extended back-story of spiritual pilgrimage before they made that decision. They needed time to reflect on the gospel. For them, coming to the Savior was a process. This is similar to the process of farming: Months of waiting come to an end and workers stream into the fields to help with the harvest. One of our Lord’s parables illustrates how faith—like a crop—needs time to develop. Responding to the gospel is like a seed that grows “first the blade, then the head, after …

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Carried In His Strong Arms
Isaiah 46:1-11
I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.(Isaiah 46:4) Missionary couple Ray and Sophie de le Haye served heroically in West Africa for more than 40 years. As she grew older, Sophie suffered from the loss of all motor control of her body. That once-strong servant of Christ, who had carried on a ministry of unimaginable stress, was suddenly reduced to helplessness, unable to button her clothes or lift a cup of water to her lips. But she refused to become bitter or self-pitying. In her moments of utter weakness, she would quietly remind herself, “For this you have Jesus.” Many centuries ago our heavenly Father gave a reassuring message to a burdened prophet of Israel—a message that we need today: “Listen to Me, O house of Jacob, . . . who have been upheld by Me from birth, who have been carried from the womb: Even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; even I will…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Is That You, Neighbor?
Luke 6:27-36
And who is my neighbor?(Luke 10:29) An English yachtsman sailing in the Caribbean, 4,000 miles from home, lost his mast in a storm. He had been adrift for 2 days, and was taking water in 20-foot waves, when his desperate SOS was picked up. According to Ananova news service, 90 minutes later he was rescued by the captain of a 116,000-ton superliner. Only when he was pulled out of the water did the rescued sailor discover that the captain who had responded to his call for help was a neighbor from his Hampshire village of Warsash. The rescued man later asked, “What are the chances of being rescued in the middle of nowhere by your neighbor?” Jesus saw neighbors in unlikely places. When an expert in Jewish law asked Him to define the neighbor we are to love, Jesus drew a big circle. He told the story of a merciful Samaritan to show that a neighbor is the friend, stranger, or enemy who needs the help we can give (Luke 10). To distinguish ourselves as Jesus’ peo…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Dying For Justice
Deuteronomy 24:14-22
You shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you from there.(Deut 24:18) When Presbyterian clergyman Elijah Lovejoy (1802–1837) left the pulpit, he returned to the printing presses in order to reach more people. After witnessing a lynching, Lovejoy committed to fighting the injustice of slavery. His life was threatened by hateful mobs, but this did not stop him: “If by compromise is meant that I should cease from my duty, I cannot make it. I fear God more than I fear man. Crush me if you will, but I shall die at my post.” Four days after these words, he was killed at the hands of another angry mob. Concern about justice for the oppressed is evident throughout Scripture. It was especially clear when God established the rules for His covenant people after they were released from Egyptian bondage (Deut. 24:18-22). Moses emphasized concern for the underprivileged (Ex. 22:22-27; 23:6-9; Lev. 19:9-10). Repeatedly, the I…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Celebrate Winter
Psalms 42:1-11
Why are you cast down, O my soul? . . . Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.(Psalms 42:5) I love living where there are four seasons. But even though I love settling down with a good book by a crackling fire when it’s snowing, I must admit that my love for the seasons grows a little dim when the long gray days of winter drone on into February. Yet regardless of the weather, there is always something special about winter: Christmas! Thankfully, long after the decorations are down, the reality of Christmas still lifts my spirits no matter what’s happening. If it weren’t for the reality of Christ’s birth, not only would winter be dark and dreary, but our hearts would be bleak and have nothing to hope for. No hope for the freedom from guilt and judgment. No hope of His reassuring and strengthening presence through dark and difficult times. No h…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Making Melody
Psalm 126:1-6
Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.(Eph 5:19) Do you know why bees hum? It’s because they can’t remember the words! Ironically, that old joke reminds me of a serious story I read about a man awaiting heart bypass surgery. He was aware that people die during surgery. As he thought about all that could go wrong, he felt very much alone. Then an orderly walked into his room to take him to surgery. As the young man began to push his gurney along the corridor, the patient heard him humming an ancient Irish hymn, “Be Thou My Vision.” It prompted his memories of lush green fields and the ancient stone ruins of Ireland, the land of his birth. The hymn flooded his soul like a fresh breath of home. When the orderly finished with that song, he hummed Horatio Spafford’s hymn, “It Is Well With My Soul.” When they stopped outside the surgical suite, the man thanked him for the hymns. “God has used you this day,” he said, “to remove my fears and res…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Finding God In The Darkness
Acts 17:24-31
The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.(Luke 19:10) When our boys were small, we played a game called “Sardines.” We’d turn out all the lights in our home and I would hide in a closet or some other cramped place. The rest of the family groped about in the darkness to find my hiding place and then hide with me until we were squeezed together like sardines. Hence the name. Our smallest family member at times became frightened in the dark, so when he came close, I would whisper to him softly: “Here I am.” “I found you, Dad!” he would announce as he snuggled against me in the darkness, not realizing that I let myself be “found.” Likewise, we have been made to search for God—to “grope for Him,” as Paul put it so vividly (Acts 17:27). But here’s the good news: He is not at all hard to find, for “He is not far from each one of us.” He desires to make Himself known. “There is a property in God of thirst and longing. He hath longing …

Word for the day by Christian Education

The Answers
1 John 3:1-9
Beloved, now we are children of God.(1 John 3:2) The story is told that the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer (1788–1860) was sauntering through Berlin’s famous Tiergarden one day, mentally probing the questions of origin and destiny that had been constantly perplexing him: Who am I? Where am I going? A park-keeper, closely observing the shabbily dressed philosopher as he walked slowly with head bowed, suspected that Schopenhauer was a tramp. So he walked up to the philosopher and demanded, “Who are you? Where are you going?” With a pained expression, Schopenhauer replied, “I don’t know. I wish somebody could tell me.” Are you ever perplexed by those same questions? Who am I? Where am I going? What a comfort it is to have God’s authoritative answers in the Bible. Who are we? In 1 John 3, John calls his readers “children of God” (v.2). We become His children by receiving Jesus as our Savior from sin (John 1:12). And where are we going? John 14:1-6 tells us that one da…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Drift
Hebrews 2:1-9
We must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.(Heb 2:1) In the 1923 silent movie Our Hospitality, comedian and acrobat Buster Keaton performed a daring stunt near a waterfall. A retaining line, called a “holdback” cable, hidden in the water and attached to him, kept him from being carried over the falls. During filming, the cable broke, and Keaton was swept toward the falls. He managed to grab an overhanging branch, which he clung to until the crew could rescue him. The dramatic scene appears in the finished film. Drifting into unintended hazards can make for exciting film footage. In real life, however, dangers of this kind are usually marked with warning signs to prevent people from venturing into harm’s way. Similarly, the Bible has provided us with warning signs about drifting from the safety of God’s Word. “Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away” (Heb. 2:1). When we don’t cling…

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Written In Red
1 John 4:7-19
God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.(1 John 4:9) My first Bible was printed mostly in black type, but some of its words were in red. It didn’t take me long to discover that the ones in red had been spoken by Jesus. More than 100 years ago, a man named Louis Klopsch published the first “red-letter” Bible. As he thought about Jesus’ words in Luke 22:20, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you,” he purposely used blood-red ink to call specific attention to His words. The words of the Bible are priceless to us because they tell of the “love letter” God sent 2,000 years ago in the Person of His Son (1 John 4:10). Jesus’ purpose in coming to earth as a Man was to die, to be sacrificed, to give His life for ours. God’s plan was written in red—written with “the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:19). Those of us who have accepted God’s gift of love are …