The Curve

There was a certain science teacher that was infamous for always grading his students on “the curve”, giving the highest test score a 100% and raising the other scores by an equal number of points that the highest score got raised to make it a perfect score. This practice encouraged many students to slack on their studies, with everyone doing pretty well once “the curve” was applied with no real effort.

Halfway through the semester a new student was transferee into one of these classes. She didn’t care for the system and studied hard to actually learn the material and earn a good grade. The results were terrible for the other students with many of them failing the semester. The new student scored near perfectly on every test, thereby negating “the curve”.

Sometimes I think our people believe that God is going to be like this teacher, comparing one’s behavior in this life to another; if so-and-so is better than such-and-such they will make the “cut”. Well, you know what? That is exactly true. Yes, you read that right; that is correct. There is one thing folks forget about this “system” that we’ll be compared on: the One we’ll be compared to is Jesus. And no one can come close to the perfect life He led and then laid down for each of us.

The good news then? We don’t have to live up to His unattainable perfection. We only have to accept the gift He has so lovingly provided for us: life eternal through and by His shed blood.

Leviticus 19:2b

Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.

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Charles Spurgeon – Daily Help

To know one’s self to be foolish is to stand upon the door-step of the temple of wisdom; to understand the wrongness of any position is half way towards amending it; to be quite sure that our self-confidence is sin and folly, and an offence towards God, is a great help towards the absolute casting of our self confidence away, and the bringing of our souls, in practice as well as in theory, to rely wholly upon the power of God’s Holy Spirit. Nobody will err about the way to God if he really resolves to follow that way. The Spirit of God will guide those whose hearts are set upon coming to God.
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Eyewitness Account

Eyewitness Account

We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty (2 Peter 1:16).

Scripture: 2 Peter 1:16-21

I witnessed it, watching in horror as a pick-up truck veered out of its lane and smashed into a friend’s car. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured. The truck’s driver tried to deny his responsibility, but the police were quite interested in my firsthand, eyewitness account.

The apostles were eyewitnesses too. How wonderful to walk with Jesus, to dine with Him, to hear Him teach. They witnessed His miracles; they heard the voice of the Father affirming Jesus as His Son. They even saw Jesus raised to life, and then ascending to Heaven.

We encounter difficult days when our faith may be tested. We may begin to doubt in the darkness what seemed so sure in the light. It’s then that we can return to the beginning point of faith-to the clear, firsthand accounts of those who were with Jesus. After all, you just can’t argue with an eyewitness. Let Christ shine in your heart, no matter how dark your days may seem.

Father, thank You for the faithful witness of those who were with Jesus. May their testimony be a constant source of strength and faith for me. In the name of Jesus, my Savior, I pray. Amen.

(Dan Nicksich is the senior minister of First Christian Church in Somerset, Pennsylvania.)

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The Crystal Case

The other day I heard a fellow talking about his trip to Moscow. He recounted the following:

I went to see Lenin’s tomb when I was in Moscow. He is sealed in a crystal case. You can see his waxen face and his trimmed beard, and on that tomb these words are written: “He was the greatest leader of all peoples of all countries of all times. He was the lord of the new humanity. He was the savior of the world.”

Do you notice that those sentences are all past tense?. The real Lord of all people, places, and times is Christ Jesus. And He is not past tense!. No Jesus is alive and in control. Lenin lays in his crystal case, forever silent. Jesus’ tomb is empty and He calls out to us every day. Thank God for our risen and living Savior!

Revelation 1:18“I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore.”

The Forecast

Our area, the Ohio River Valley, was expecting a sizable snowfall this weekend. The accumulations were predicted to be in the six inch range. We ended up with maybe two inches, most of which had melted by Saturday night.

Meteorologist say this part of the country is hard to forecast. I can’t recall exactly but it has something to so with out proximity to the Ohio River and the Appalachian Mountains. As of right now, they are calling for another big snowfall middle of the week, 4-6 inches. I’m not putting a lot of stock in their forecast at this point.

Over the years, many individuals and groups have made predictions, or forecasts if you will, concerning our Lord’s return. The Bible clearly teaches no man knows when Jesus will return, only the Father knows, but that He will return for His church. None of the predicted dates have been correct and the current ‘trend’ of forecasting a date on the Mayan calendar will not be either. I put no stock in those or any other of man’s forecasts of the end of time, or Day of the Lord. No, I put my stock, faith, in God’s Word alone.

2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Arise

Arise

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you (Isaiah 60:1).

In the animal kingdom there is a very small, strange critter known as a tardigrade. It has been spotted on mountaintops and in the deepest oceans, in tropical forests, and in the Antarctic.

He’s tiny-only about 1 millimeter (the thickness of a dime) in length. He can endure temperatures from minus 328 degrees to plus 324 degrees, survive a lack of oxygen and water, or continue to exist under the pressure of a vacuum. He has been revived after a decade of a death-like sleep without water; when he’s moistened, he immediately springs back to life.

Why am I telling you all this? Well, sometimes I feel like a tardigrade. I allow my life to become dull, flat, and death-like. Occasionally, I’m even tempted to withdraw into my shell and elude the challenge of daily living.

But there is good news. Perspectives, attitudes, and the whole of life can be refreshed when “moistened” with renewed purpose and a reinvigorated prayer life. When I’ve found myself spiritually asleep, I know that I can ask God’s Holy Spirit to awaken me from my slumber. He’s always willing to revitalize my spirit.

God of life, touch my being with Your renewing, revitalizing power. Refresh me in the joy of Your salvation. Through Christ I pray. Amen.

This devotion is from the book, 365 Devotions, brought to you by Standard Publishing. Buy 365 Devotions and other great resources at www.standardpub.com.