Archive for September, 2012

The Giving Box

Posted in D. Mann on September 9, 2012 by workoutwarriors

But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. (Matt. 6:20)
Becoming a missionary wasn’t looking like she thought it would. Instead of traveling to a remote village on the other side of the world, Barbara and her family would be relocating to the west side of town. Moving to a much smaller home, Barbara began filling boxes of their belongings to give away.
“Can I keep my blocks, Mommy?” Kevin rubbed the sleep from his eyes as he stumbled downstairs into the kitchen.
“Of course you can. Have you thought about which toys you’d like to give away to the boys and girls when we get settled?”
“What about the blue ones?Blue is my favorite color.”
“But don’t you want to keep your favorite ones and give the rest away?”
“No. I want to give my best away, Mommy.”
Convicted by her young son’s heart, Barbara ran her finger along a small chip as she studied the floral pattern of one of her favorite dishes; yellow daisies matched the curtains she’d sewn years ago. Kevin’s help setting the table at just two years old caused that chip. Her heart squeezed as she dried the last one and placed them all, including the curtains, into the giving box.
The Bible encourages us to put people over possessions. All things will someday fade away, but the Word of God—and souls won to Christ through the generosity of another—will remain.

The Fire

Posted in D. Mann on September 9, 2012 by workoutwarriors

Bible verse: But Peter followed at a distance. – Luke 22:54b
Peter was totally confused. Gone were the Galilean hills and the Sea of Galilee. Gone were the crowds and the beautiful words of the Sermon on the Mount. Gone were the healings, the deliverances and the wave of miracles that had swept across the land. Peter was completely alone and frightened. He was so scared he dared not even flee. He had followed at a distance. Behind his deep fear lay thousands of questions. What would happen now?
Chilled, both inwardly and outwardly, he sat by the fire on the palace grounds. Then they recognized him. A cold shiver went through him. No, this could not happen. First a girl with an eye for detail recognized him and then another. It seemed as though everyone stared accusingly at him. Like an ensnared animal he attempted to defend himself.
The instinct to survive took over, and he lied. He began to curse and swear. His accent betrayed him. He could not escape. He felt himself sink into the swamp of selfishness, saying and doing things merely to ensure his survival. Then the rooster crowed. Then Jesus turned around and looked into his eyes. Jesus’ loving eyes were filled with clarity and truth. Nothing could have been worse. Nothing! Peter’s heart broke, and he fled, crying uncontrollably.
Prayer Lord, You never forsake me. Help me never to forsake You. Help me to gather rather than dispel, to confess rather than deny. When I make a mistake and feel ashamed, help me to run to, not from, You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

PSALM 23

Posted in D. Mann on September 9, 2012 by workoutwarriors

Psalm 23
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” Trust Christ as your good shepherd. He promises to meet your needs.
“He maketh me to lie down in green pastures,” He gives us rest and spiritual nourishment.
“He leadeth me beside the still waters.”
He calms our troubled souls.
“He restoreth my soul;”
He renews our spirit when we spend time with Him.
“He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake,”
His Word teaches us how to live right.
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil;”
He overcomes our fears, even of death.
“For thou art with me, thy rod and staff they comfort me.”
He’s always with us to discipline and encourage. This makes us feel secure.
“Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies,”
He gives us strength with those who aren’t for us.
“Thou anointed my head with oil; my cup runneth over.”
He gives us an abundance of blessings.
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,”
Daily, He reminds us of His love and forgiveness.
“And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
He provides us eternal, abundant life.
If you are discouraged with the world and the difficulties you face; if you feel like a sheep without a shepherd, Jesus wants to be your good Shepherd. Every day is better when you know “The Lord is my Shepherd.”

Give Thanks

Posted in D. Mann on September 9, 2012 by workoutwarriors

Jesus lived a life of thanksgiving. He always thanked His Father for what He had and for always hearing Him when He prayed. That was how He released miracles in His life.
In the story of the feeding of the five thousand ( John 6:1-13), Jesus’ attitude was one of thankfulness. He took a little boy’s lunch of five loaves and two fish, gave thanks and had them distributed. He gave thanks for the little that was there and the little multiplied. Not only did the people eat as much as they wanted, there were 12 baskets full of leftovers!
So when you see the meager balance in your bank account, thank the Lord for what you have. That’s your ‚”five loaves and two fish‚”. When you give Him thanks that He is your provider and the source of your supply, in spite of the little you have, your little will become much, with leftovers!
Even when faced with the impossible, the solution was still, ‚”Father, I thank You…‚” When Jesus stood outside Lazarus’ tomb, and the people took away the stone that was covering the tomb, He did not see the situation as hopeless and impossible. He simply lifted up His eyes and said, ‚”Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.‚” Then, He proceeded to call forth Lazarus, and the man came forth alive once more!
The raising of Lazarus, who had been dead for more than four days, was one of Jesus’ greatest miracles. And He accomplished this by saying, ‚”Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.‚” He thanked His way to an awesome miracle.
My friend, the next time you find yourself praying, ‚”God, please do this for me! Please give me…‚” stop! Instead, say, ‚”Thank You God, for hearing me. And because You have heard me, I thank You that I have what I asked for.‚” And when you thank God, the little that you have will multiply. Your impossible situations will turn around to reflect God’s provision. And resurrection life will hit you!

It Could Help

Posted in D. Mann on September 9, 2012 by workoutwarriors

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” – (Proverbs 16:18)
The Christian life is a life of constant growth and transformation in which we are becoming more like Jesus. And the moment we fail to go forward spiritually is the moment we potentially begin to backslide. In fact, the word “backsliding” is used a number of times in the Bible.
Through the prophet Jeremiah, God told the wayward nation of Israel, “Return, you backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings” (Jeremiah 3:22).
The Bible also tells us that one of the signs of the end times, of the last days, is that people will fall away from the faith. No one has ever backslidden overnight. You don’t call up your Christian friend and say, “Hey, you want to backslide tonight?” No. Backsliding is a series of steps that always lead a person downhill.
Just as sheep have a tendency to go astray, we do, too. So we have to constantly keep up our guard. We have to constantly be moving forward spiritually.
The first step down in any backslide is self-confidence and pride. The Bible says, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18).
For example, maybe you are playing a game of tennis, and you are beating your opponent. Then maybe you get a little cocky, a little self-assured. And suddenly you start losing. It happens in all things in life. And it certainly happens in the spiritual life.
So here is what we need to know about ourselves: We always can fall. Don’t ever think it couldn’t happen to you; because it could, if you are straddling the fence and being careless in your lifestyle and etc.

Summary sentence: Backsliding never happens over night; so be vigilant in your spiritual walk.

A Just Result

Posted in D. Mann on September 9, 2012 by workoutwarriors

As a teenager, I went to work in a tennis shop, learning to string racquets. The owner told me I’d have to practice on old racquets for a couple of weeks before he’d let me get paid to string customers’ racquets. After a few weeks, he gave me a brand new Jack Kramer racquet to string for one of his best customers. In the dark ages of the twentieth century, there were no finer racquets.
I worked carefully and slowly, and when I was done, I said to the shop owner, “I hope he likes it ’cause that’s the best I can do.” He looked it over and smiled and said, “I hope so, too, ’cause it’s yours.”
That man gave me a gift that has lasted long after the racquet gave out. We need to do our best to treat folks like we want to be treated because we never know when our actions may come back to bless us or haunt us. God’s word is clear, “Whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.”

At A Distance

Posted in D. Mann on September 9, 2012 by workoutwarriors

Then the people who had arrested Jesus led him to the home of Caiaphas, the high priest, where the teachers of religious law and the elders had gathered. Meanwhile, Peter followed him at a distance. . . . (Matthew 26:57–58)
Have you ever noticed the last miracle Jesus performed before He went to the cross was to cover up the blunder of one of His own disciples? As a contingent arrived to arrest Jesus, Peter took out his sword and started swinging, taking off the ear of the high priest’s servant, Malchus.
Jesus could have told Malchus, “See? That is what you get!” But instead, he healed the man.
Then, as Jesus was arrested and taken away, Matthew’s Gospel tells us that “Peter followed him at a distance and came to the high priest’s courtyard. He went in and sat with the guards and waited to see how it would all end” (Matthew 26:58).
Peter had forgotten all that Jesus had said about rising again from the dead and the purpose of His death. A lot of the other disciples were in hiding at this point. At least Peter was following—but at a distance.
Show me a believer who is following at a distance, and I will show you a person who is well on his or her way toward backsliding. It is not a good thing when a Christian asks questions like, “Can you still do this and technically be a Christian?” Or, “Can you do that and still go to heaven?”
If you ever watch a nature program where a predator will go after a certain animal, you’ll notice the prey is always the one that is trailing about 10 feet behind the rest of the pack. It’s the stray that gets picked off.
When we are at a distance from God’s people, when we are at a distance from the church, when we are at a distance from God, trouble will ensue. It did for Simon Peter, and it will for us as well.
Summary sentence: Are you a close or distant follower of Christ?