Archives For All Praise

Word for Your Life

He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. ~ Matthew 28:6

Billy Graham

A classic cut from Billy Graham on your soul.

A Year with Aslan from The Silver Chair

No greater call..No greater love..No greater life. Sometimes that’s the only thing that keeps us going … knowing we’re doing what he wants us to do.  Today we find Jill, Puddleglum, & others trekking through several caves.  Puddleglum, who tended to be kind of a wet blanket before, asks the obvious question ..

I wonder if anyone from our world, the world atop, has ever done this trip before? 

& as Jill wonders “Whatever will become of us?” .. it’s Puddleglum who conforts her, saying ..

There’s one thing you’ve got to remember.  We’re back on the right lines.  We were to go under the Ruined City, & we are under it.  We’re following instructions again.

The same is true for us.  If we are following after God, it may seem at times that we’re lost – but we aren’t. We’re simply following our leader.

Quotes

Your calling can’t make YOU holy, but you can make IT holy.  No matter how humble the calling may be, the true order is God makes a man holy by blood, fire, & sharp discipline.  Then he calls the man to some special work, & the man makes the work holy.“ ~ A.W. Tozer, We Travel An Appointed Way

Forgiveness may be the most misused, misapplied, & misunderstood quality in our culture.  Real forgiveness, he says, is unconditional.  When Jesus stretched out his hands on the Cross & said “Father, forgive them..for they don’t know what they’re doing” – nobody asked for it.  Nobody had said “Please forgive me”.  He just offered it.  No attachment.  You don’t earn it.  You don’t deserve it.  You don’t bargain for it.  It’s not based on a promise to not do something again.  You offer forgiveness whether they ask for it or not. ~ Pastor Rick Warren, Daily Hope

“A recent study shows we’re getting about an hour less sleep per nite than we used to. That means by the end of the year, we’re about 2 weeks behind on sleep. That restlessness is a big contributor to our worry.  In Proverbs 12:25, we’re told ..

An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.

So if you’re looking for a pick me up, get some rest.  & be someone who helps lift others up.“ ~ Daily Walk Devotion, Intentional Living Center

In the Old Testament, as people entered to worship, they were given a strong sense of what kind of God they were approaching.  The whole tabernacle spoke of a holy God with an intense desire to dwell among His people.  The white walls spoke of His purity.  The embroidered wall hangings of his beauty.  Everything about it prepared the people’s hearts for reverent worship.  Any sort that esteems drawing near to God, yet portrays Him as a cuddly friend, perhaps isn’t as near to Him as we would like to think.“ ~ Matt Redman, Facedown

Satan wants us to believe meaningless things for meaningless reasons.  Can you imagine if Christians actually believed God was trying to rescue them?“ ~ Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz

Eric never tried to change [my] theology.  He focused us not on the future, not on someday, but on today.  What can we do today to love like Jesus loved. ~ Eric Liddell’s roommate, Pure Gold  

Scriptures 

Luke 24:1-12

Acts 4:33-35

Isaiah 61

Ephesians 2-3

Psalm 40:1-2

Verse of the Day

…Too long have I lived among those who hate peace.  I’m for peace, but when I speak, they are for war. ~ Psalm 120:16

A Year with Aslan from A Horse & His Boy

Hwin & Bree are talking, & Bree says “I can’t go on.”  Hwin answers that by saying …

Don’t horses, when they’re being ridden by humans, get forced to go on & find they have more to give?’

But that doesn’t seem to get through to Bree, & the passage goes on to say that …

One of the worst of being a slave & being forced to do things is that when there is no one to force you any more, you find you’ve almost lost the power of forcing yourself.”

Quotes

Jacob vowed a vow & it was the beginning of a wonderful life.  Daniel purposed in his heart & God honored his purpose.  Jesus set his face like a flint & walked straight to the Cross.  & Paul determined to not know anything but Jesus Christ crucified.  So let us set our sails in the will of God, so we can find ourselves moving in the right direction, no matter which way the wind blows.“ ~ A.W. Tozer, The Set of the Sail

Most people don’t get the difference.  We don’t just forgive & move on.  Trust is built over time.  If you lose trust, you’ve lost your right to lead at that moment.  It takes time to rebuild it – & in our relationship with God that comes thru obedience. ~ Pastor Rick Warren, Daily Hope

“A photo of a man shows him lying on his back, a heavy chain on his ankle, dragging a huge boulder.  He had collapsed dragging this boulder, trying to earn forgiveness from God. So many people are walking around, maybe even in your church today, confused about what it takes to “get to heaven”, when the truth is heaven came to us. Ephesians 1:7 says …

In Him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.

The redemption comes from him.  The forgiveness comes from him. You don’t have to earn it.  You can’t. So don’t make someone else drag a boulder around to earn your favor.“ ~ Daily Walk Devotion, Intentional Living Center

…the otherness of God .. that idea that God is so pure & unique, so different from us, nothing else comes close.  That’s what makes his grace so outrageous.  God does not need of our offerings – everything we bring to him, whether a good deed, a tithe, or even a simple song of praise, came first from Him.  God even paid the price for us to draw near to Him in worship.“ ~ Matt Redman, Facedown

It comes mostly from losses & disappointment, which only leads to deeper discouragement.  So I’m learning, he says, to ask myself “Can I be content with these losses, knowing they’re part of aging – & as such are the will of God.  If I accept my lot with a quiet patience, not chafing against it, I will find it’s not without its compensations.  God’s will is a soft pillow for my head.“ ~ David Roper, A Heart of Wisdom

Prayer is an interruption of personal ambition.  It’s not a means of self-development.  When we’re born from above, the life of the Son of God begins in us – & we can either starve it or nourish it.  Prayer is not a way, he says, to get things from God – but rather that we may get to KNOW God. Oswald Chambers, If You Will Ask  

When we’re in an unhealthy condition we always look for thrills.  That leads to a counterfeit life – & eventually to destruction.  “ ~ Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

Scriptures 

Luke 1:17

 

Verse of the Day

Lord, do good to those who are good .. to those who are upright in heart. ~ Psalm 125:4

A Year with Aslan from The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe

After Edmund has snuck out of the Beaver’s home & is walking toward the White Witch’s castle, he begins to talk himself into betraying the others.  It says:

As for what the Witch would do with the others, he didn’t want her to be especially nice to them – but he managed to believe, or pretend to believe, she wouldn’t do anything very bad – even though, deep down inside him, he really knew she was bad & cruel.

Quotes

The only fear I have is to fear to be out of the will of God.  Outside the will of God, there’s nothing I want – & inside there’s nothing I fear – for if I am in His will, he has sworn to keep me.  He’s able to do it, wise enough to know how, & kind enough to want to.“ ~ A.W. Tozer, Success & the Christian

Diffused light, he says, doesn’t have much of an effect on what it touches – but when you focus a light, like the sun thru a magnifying glass – you can start a fire.  & if you focus it even more, it becomes a laser, which can cut thru steel or destroy cancer. ~ Pastor Rick Warren, Daily Hope

“In Genesis, we’re reminded that Joseph was …

a man among men, but nobody noticed it at first.  He was sold into slavery by his brothers & stuck in a prison for a crime he didn’t commit – but still, he was faithful & thru God’s power, overcame.

So much so that after Joseph interpreted his dream, Pharaoh said …

Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?

& then God used Joseph to save the land from famine, save his people from starvation, to later deliver them from bondage.“ ~ Daily Walk Devotion, Intentional Living Center

In a sort of mysterious way, divine forgiveness depends on us.  Jesus hinges God’s forgiveness on our forgiving others.  I fervently wish these words weren’t in the Bible, but they are – from the lips of Christ himself.  God has granted us a terrible agency; by denying forgiveness to others, we are in effect deeming them unworthy of God’s forgiveness, & so are we.“ ~ Phillip Yancey, What’s So Amazing About Grace

…because birds have a syrinx instead of a larynx, they can sing 2 different notes at the same time – essentially do a duet with themselves.“ ~ David Roper, A Heart of Wisdom

…One of the greatest difficulties in war is to find a man who can keep his head when everyone else is losing theirs.  It’s only done by steady practice.  When God says “Therefore take up the whole armor of God” – we’re not told to attack, but to stand – unpanicked – more than conquerors.  But this armor is not given – we have to take it up.  So prayer is not for special times, but must be our continual practice. Oswald Chambers, If You Will Ask  

It’s very common for people to every period to believe their own age is the crisis – the turning point of history.  The real hinge pin is the Cross.  Should Christ die or not?  If he refuses, the world is doomed.  If he conquers, the world will yet see day where it dwells in righteousness.“ ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Scriptures 

John 12:20-36

Isaiah 26:3

Revelation 21:3

Psalm 24:8

Psalm 59:16

Verse of the Day

“…Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; He lifts his voice, & the earth melts. ~ Psalm 46:6

A Year with Aslan from Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Some of my biggest hallelujahs have come when God has revealed something about myself to me & I’ve been able to confess it & grow. That’s kinda where we find Eustace in today’s devotion.  He has just awakened to find he is a dragon, & for a brief moment the thought occurs to him that he could get even with the others on the ship now – but he realized he didn’t want to anymore.  It reads ..

He wanted to be friends.  He wanted to get back to humans & talk & laugh.  He began to realize the others hadn’t been fiends at all, & he wondered if he had been such a nice person as he always supposed.  & he longed for their voices.

Eustace eventually got back to being human, but it only came through confession.  & the same is true for us.  Our lives won’t change until we repent.

Quotes

Unbelief says “Some other time, not now.  Some other place, not here. Some other people, not us.”  But FAITH says “Anything he did anywhere else, He will do here.  Anything he did any other time, he’s willing to do now.  & anything he did for other people, he’ll do for us.”  If we will yield & obey, God doesn’t care about the limits – He’s bigger than all of them.  The question is – will you open your heart?“ ~ A.W. Tozer, The Counselor

We can’t be all God created us to be if we don’t take our thoughts captive.  If you talked to your friends the way you talk to yourself, you probably wouldn’t have friends anymore – because we fill our heads with lies.  & your thoughts don’t have to be true, you just have to believe them. ~ Pastor Rick Warren, Daily Hope

“When grace comes looking for you, it’s a pretty rare thing.  Three of the gospels share a story about a woman who was afflicted who reached out to touch Jesus’ robe.  Jesus did not just tell her “You’re healed”, but “Go in Peace”.  That is as much a mindset as anything.  If we wait for the world to agree with us about anything, especially Jesus, we’ll never have peace. But if we accept his grace – we can live in his presence – & know his shalom.“ ~ Daily Walk Devotion, Intentional Living Center

If you don’t have all the things you want, be grateful for all that you don’t have that you don’t want.“ ~ Marty Radcliff

The wind & waves were high when Peter stepped out of the boat, but he didn’t see them at first – he simply recognized his Lord.  If we’re doing that, we aren’t overwhelmed by our circumstances – but realize he is engineering them.  As you become totally unrestrained in your faith, casting everything on him, you will only recognize his voice all the more – & be willing to risk your all.“ ~ Oswald Chambers, Utmost for His Highest

If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if he didn’t rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching – but whether or not he rose from the dead.” ~ Pastor Tim Keller

Nowhere in scripture do I see a balanced life with a little bit of God added in .. When Jesus tells us to take up our cross, it’s a call to radical faith. To walk in such intimacy with the Spirit that my genuine response when he moves is to dance with abandon.  God is capable of this, but typically asks us to play an active role.  Like we have to get on the treadmill & run if we want results.” ~ Francis Chan, Forgotten God

“Men & women were created in the image of God.  Fearfully & wonderfully made … His glory was shared with us.  Psalm 8 says “You’ve made them a little lower than the angels, crowned with glory & honor.”  We’ve heard a bit about original sin, but not nearly enough about original glory.” John Eldredge, Waking the Dead  

“For every atrocity there must be an equal & opposite atrocity.” ~ Lance Morrow

Scriptures 

Isaiah 58:4-8

Isaiah 29:13

2 Corinthians 4:18

 

Verse of the Day

“…great peace have those who love your law, & nothing can make them stumble. ~ Psalm 119:165

Crossings ~ Lee Webber

I came to the swift, raging river & the roar held the echo of fear;
“O Lord, give me wings to fly over, If you are as you promised quite near.”
But he said “Trust the grace I am giving. All pervasive, sufficient for you.
Take my hand we will face this together, but my plan is not over but through.”

A Year with Aslan from The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe

Luke 18 tells us we have to enter the kingdom of Heaven like a little child.  That’s just the way Lucy Pevensie entered Narnia, but in today’s devotion we learn that Edmund didn’t.  As they both speak to Peter, Edmund says …

Oh yes.  Lucy & I have been playing, pretending that her story about a country in the wardrobe is true.  Just for fun of course.  There’s nothing really there.

That sends Lucy out of the room crying, & Edmund thinks by making fun of Lucy he’ll score points with Peter but just the opposite happens.  The lesson for us is clear - it’s easy to pile on, but it takes real character to show grace.

Quotes

God has nothing to say to the frivolous man.  The psalmists wrote in tears, the prophets could hardly conceal their heavy heartedness, & the apostle Paul broke into tears when he thought about how many were enemies of the Cross.  There is not power in tears per se, but tears & power lie close together.  God, send them soon.“ ~ A.W. Tozer, God Tells the Man Who Cares

We can’t make changes in our lives until we understand our identity.  We may all have been given different parents, pains & problems, but we all have potential.  It’s like a game of cards: You’ve got to play the hand you’re dealt. ~ Pastor Rick Warren, Daily Hope

Redemption isn’t a word we use much outside of church, but think of it like going to a big yard sale.  All kinds of stuff rejected by its owners, but gets a second chance at usefulness when you redeem it. Redemption means you were bought at a price .. & the price was Jesus’ life .. but that allowed God to remove from you the penalty of your sin.“ ~ Daily Walk Devotion, Intentional Living Center

“A team of Navy SEALs went in to rescue some hostages, but the hostages wouldn’t follow.  They didn’t believe them, thinking they were kidnappers just messing with them.  So one SEAL put his guns down, took off his helmet, went & sat down,  huddled up in the corner with the hostages – getting as close as he could.  Then he told them “We’re Americans & here to rescue you.”  That’s when they believed him, because they knew the kidnappers would never have treated them like that.“ ~ Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz

Christianity is not a matter of deciding for Christ, or making vows.  The way of His entrance into us is the knowledge of our own poverty.  A saint’s life is in the hands of God like a bow & arrow is in the hands of an archer.  God is aiming at something the saint can’t see.  He stretches & strains, & every now & then the saint says “I can’t stand it any more”..but God doesn’t heed; He goes on stretching until His purpose is in sight .. then he lets the arrow fly.“ ~ Oswald Chambers, The Love of God

If grace is so amazing, why don’t Christians show more of it?  The ladder of power, he says, reaches up.  The ladder of grace reaches down.” ~ Philip Yancey, What’s So Amazing About Grace?

“Don’t follow where the path may lead .. [follow God] where there’s no path & leave a trail.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (paraphrase)

Scriptures 

Luke 6:47-49

Luke 1:68

2 Corinthians 3:7-11

Romans 8:22-27