Show Me, O God, How to Hate

  [84 words] Show me, O God, how to hateThis wicked world and all its ways,To hate this life wrapped up in things,In thoughts that throw us far from you. Destroy what cannot remain forever,That I might gain eternal blessing,Release desires and old resentments,For cleansing the heart grown hard by sin. Show me, O Father, how to loveAll heavenly truths that lighten my burden;Let die this seed, enrich the soil,To grow in Christ from the ground of pain.  Randal Mathenybelievingprayer.com...

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The Joyful Call To Worship

[115 words] We fail to appreciate many things until they’re gone. Ethan, the author of Psalm 89, possibly a Levite, writing after the nation of Judah had been desolated and the temple destroyed, remembers. “Happy are those who hear the joyful call to worship, for they will walk in the light of your presence, Lord” (Psalm 89:15). Many today hear the call to worship, but would rather follow their own desires, enjoy recreation, sleep late and rest, use the time for self. They do not appreciate the joy which this call contains. For the call to worship is the call...

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Time for Eternity

[124 words] Why another day to open my eyes,To breathe at early mom a cooler air,To place my feet upon the floor, ariseFrom sleep, and wash the night from face and hairAnd soul, to face another sun’s surprise? Why, indeed, if not to lift up praiseTo God Almighty?! For zeal and faith to pursueHis will and presence, love and quiet displaysOf glory?! Another day to seek and renewDeep trust in all ofHeaven ‘s work and ways?! A precious gift from God, this day and hour,That we exchange them for the everlasting!In this exchange is purpose, life, and power,A people who...

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Hell is Where They Will Reside

[110 words] (After an impassioned speech by Vice-President Joe Biden on Sept. 3, 2014) “Hell is where they will reside,”Is said of vile and violent men,By powerful heads who themselves divide,And seek to rule again. Hell was made for the father of lies,And all who follow his rebel path;The place where man eternally diesAnd feels God’s holy wrath. Of Hell our Savior often spoke,He knows the danger beyond the grave;From darkness, pain, and fiery smokeWould Jesus utterly save. His followers work, not to destroy,But speak a word of truth to restore;Hell is real, so forces deployTo open heaven’s door. J....

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You’re in the Wrong Church

[168 words] If you identify your congregation by a person (pastor or leader) other than Christ, either you’re not in the right church or you’re not the right kind of Christian. Christ does not brook the exaltation of man. The church belongs to him. No person has the right to be known for the work of Christ. “Now I mean this, that each of you is saying, ‘I am with Paul,’ or ‘I am with Apollos,’ or ‘I am with Cephas,’ or ‘I am with Christ.’ Is Christ divided? Paul wasn’t crucified for you, was he? Or were you in...

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Speak, Speak, Then Speak Again

[158 words] Fair topic of talk is today’s weather,The rain, tornadoes, cold and heat,And, mostly for men, in sports whetherThis team or that will win the meet. Then comes chat about dramas and series,Movies, actors, and famous folk,Jobs, economy, political theories,Cars and clothes, the inevitable joke. But talk of hope and life beyondThe grave? The spirit’s deepest need?Of faith and works, and how to respondTo Jesus Christ with urgent speed? Where is our talk of these, my friends?Confessing Christ to all we meet?Reminding all that what one spendsOr saves or wears or drives is no feat Worthy of God’s approving...

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Indecision Keeps Us from Participating In the Victory

[398 words] They were called to war. But they stayed home discussing what to do. For their “great indecision,” they did not go to the front, but sat among the flocks listening to the whistles of the shepherds. They missed out on Israel’s victory! What a shameful moment for the tribe of Reuben! (For this account, see Judges 5:15-16). Some Bible versions translated their great indecision as great searches of the heart, or they thought long and hard about it. So long in fact, that they never got up and went. Perhaps they even affirmed their decision, but they failed...

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Soaring Faith

[50 words] The eagle sweeps across the sky,Wind under its wings and opened breast.It glides upon the current, highAbove the earth, for food and rest.Wait, wait upon the Lord,Renew your strength where the Spirit blows;Your soaring faith its own reward,The quiet heights for your repose. J. Randal Matheny...

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Truths That Ground, Blessings That Lift

[237 words] Occasionally, I have to sit down and take stock, remembering truths that ground me and blessings that lift me. 1. God is in control and guides all things toward the end that he desires. No one can block his will. 2. In Christ are all spiritual blessings, and I’m in Christ. I can tell you how to enter as well. 3. Through the Spirit, God is near, so very near, that he abides in me. 4. In Scripture, God speaks clearly and leaves no doubt about what he is doing or what I need to do. 5. The...

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What’s Your Preference?

[219 words] A popular Brazilian saying is that one does not dispute preferences. That’s mostly true, I guess, except when it comes to the will of God. The prophets prophesy lies. The priests exercise power by their own authority. And my people love to have it this way. But they will not be able to help you when the time of judgment comes! (Jeremiah 5.31 NET) Jeremiah asks what the people of Israel will do when God’s judgment comes. The great application of this is that, in the end, people will be responsible for believing in lies and submitting themselves...

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Protection and Destruction in the Same Phrase

[274 words] Nahum prophesied against Nineveh over 100 years after Jonah. In the midst of words of destruction and the downfall of the superpower of that time, the prophet cannot but speak of God’s goodness as well. “The Lord is good–indeed, he is a fortress in time of distress, and he protects those who seek refuge in him. But with an overwhelming flood he will make a complete end of Nineveh; he will drive his enemies into darkness” (Nahum 1:7-8 NET). Note the emphasis in the third phrase, on seeking God. It’s not that God helps those who help themselves....

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Awake 36 Hours Straight to Satisfy a Craving

[238 words] Some people, if you let them, will play video games to the point of exhaustion. Others practice some addiction or compulsion to their great injury . “And the people stayed up all that day, all that night, and all the next day, and gathered the quail. The one who gathered the least gathered ten homers, and they spread them out for themselves all around the camp” (Numbers 11:32 NET). In the desert, the people of Israel were so excited about the meat that God gave them that they stayed up 36 hours without sleeping while they gathered quail....

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Take Note

[132 words] Lying at your side, perhaps, Or living right next door, Or working at the desk across The company’s polished floor; Seated next to you and riding On the city bus, Or walking in the city park And making nary a fuss; Hidden from view, a smarting hurt Behind the checker’s smile, Or a head in prayer, with anguished tears, Across the Sunday aisle – Go wherever you will, good saint, And there you’ll surely find The need for love, for faithful friends, For a word that’s true and kind. Near to you a needy soul Awaits and, silent,...

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These Things Matter

[66 words] The timely word, the silent prayer, The look of love that’s all too rare, The open heart willing to share — These things matter. A promise kept, the accepting smile, The will to go the extra mile, Desire to forgive and reconcile — These things matter. Eternal life, before we die, On God, by faith, we fully rely, To do his will, and never deny — These things matter. J. Randal Matheny UPLift, randal.us/#UPLift BulletinDigest.com...

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If God is Love

[100 words] What Word of love to rule the heart And change my selfish attitude! Let blessed Scripture do its part, With grace my table’s daily food. A bruised reed he will not break, This humble, lowly servant Lord; Though all the hills with justice shake, The smoldering wick will be restored. No cry ignored, no plea refused, Let pity hear and kindness heed; Show Jesus’ way to men confused, Befriend the lonely soul in need. If God is love, and Lord the Christ, The Holy Spirit breath of peace, Then let us breathe his sacrifice, Let love, forgiveness and...

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The Study of Love

[203 words] In 1997 Western Christian Foundation published a book by Nelson M. Smith, entitled Agape Study Manual. Brother Smith identified all the places the word love and its related terms appeared in the KJV Bible. Then he wrote comments on every single verse where love was mentioned. The book has 475 pages. Brother Smith said he was no scholar, but one thing he understood well: Love is at the center of God’s plan of salvation. How would our lives be changed if we read the Bible through while focused on love, especially the love of God? How would we...

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From Death He Arose

[49 words] From darkest grave, from death he arose, As sacrifice for sin he gave His life, and blood to save flowed freely. I know I’ll rise and never die Again because my God and Lord Was first to be raised, before me. I love the way the Lord has opened. J. Randal Matheny UPLift, randal.us/#UPLift BulletinDigest.com...

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