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Activated August 2010

Spiritual Renewal - August 2010

Life holds no greater thrill than discovering how much God loves you and wants to show that love day by day. This issue brings that truth up close and personal.

01-08-2010
Getting to Know Jesus
Getting to Know Jesus

I was 21 when I read from the Bible for the first time. Someone had suggested I read the Gospel of John first, but I knew so little about the Bible at the time that I didn’t understand the Gospels were four separate accounts of Jesus’ life and ministry. So I started at what seemed the more logical place, at the beginning of the New Testament, with the Gospel of Matthew.

By the time I got to the Gospel of John, I was fascinated with Jesus. He had the perfect answer to every question and always knew exactly what to do....

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01-08-2010
Five Things I Love About Jesus
Five Things I Love About Jesus

Randomness: Jesus has an intricate plan for the whole universe, but I love how He seems to be perfectly random about lots of things that don’t have much bearing on that plan. Like the irregular texture of tree bark, or where the next branch will pop out. Either that, or it’s not random at all and that branch needs to be exactly where it is for the universe to run right. If that’s the case, I love how He makes it look random to me.

 

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01-08-2010
More like the Master
More like the Master

A Persian fable says, one day

A wanderer found a piece of clay

So redolent of sweet perfume,

Its odor scented all the room.

“What are thou?” was the quick demand.

“Art thou some gem of Samarkand,

Or spikenard rare in odd disguise?

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01-08-2010
Prayer for the Day: Priorities

Dear Jesus, keep me from having my life so full of good things that I don’t have time for the best. Help me not to be so pressured that I put off my time with You. Help me to bask in Your spiritual sunshine, rest in Your arms, drink deeply of Your Word, and inhale of Your Spirit. Help me to seek You daily and love You most of all—more than any of the other things I enjoy. Help me to remember how You said that without You, I can do nothing (John 15:5). Help me to not have misplaced...

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01-08-2010
Jesus and Me
Jesus and Me

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.—John 3:16

 

Faith in Jesus Christ is the soul’s flight into the city of refuge.—Hugh Binning (1625–1654)

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01-08-2010
A Better You
A Better You

How will reading God’s Word make your life better?

 

Food for spiritual strength and growth

Just as your body needs food to survive and grow strong, your spirit needs spiritual nourishment from God’s Word. This little analogy crops up repeatedly in both the Old and New Testaments:

When Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God,” He was quoting Moses.1

Job declared in his time of suffering, “I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.”2

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01-08-2010
When the Bible Seems Boring
When the Bible Seems Boring

Question: I’ve heard that reading the Bible and/or other inspirational material every day is the key to spiritual progress. I try to do that, but sometimes it doesn’t hold my interest and my mind wanders. Am I missing something?

 

Answer: You can’t just sit down and start reading and expect to fully understand what you read, or for it to have the desired effect. Jesus said, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.”1 The Spirit of God is what brings the Word to life...

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01-08-2010
God’s Word Has Power To...
God’s Word Has Power To...

…bring us closer to Jesus.

John 1:1, 14: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 8:31: Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.

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01-08-2010
Divine Nature
Divine Nature

God has given us “exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these [we] may be partakers of the divine nature.”1 What is the “divine nature”?—It is the essence of God, how He thinks and how He acts. And through the promises He gives in His Word, we can be like He is. We can partake of those same attitudes, those same feelings, those same ways of looking at things by believing and putting into practice the principles and promises that are right there in the Bible.

We can transcend the confines of earthly attitudes that keep us weighed down, sorrowful, fretful,...

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01-08-2010
Thirsty No More
Thirsty No More

A retelling of John Chapter 4

Susannah sighed as she draped her head-covering over her long raven hair. Picking up an empty clay urn, she set out on the long, hot, dusty walk to fetch water from the communal well near Sychar, the Samaritan village where she lived.

She approached the well warily, because there sat a stranger—a Jew, judging by appearance. She was astonished when the man asked her for a drink of water, because the Jews’ religious customs forbade them any interaction with the Samaritans, whom they considered “unclean.”

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01-08-2010
Nourish Your Spirit
Nourish Your Spirit

Good nourishment from a balanced diet of vegetables and fruit, proteins, carbohydrates, and fats is important for maintaining good health. The same applies to our spirits. We all have days when we are busier than usual, but we should make a habit of taking some time for “food for the soul.”

You may find it helpful to plan your spiritual diet for the coming week, much like you might plan ahead the meals you will cook and what to shop for. This will help ensure that you get at least a few minutes of spiritual feeding each day. Find what works...

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01-08-2010
Meet Me in the Morning
Meet Me in the Morning

You do well to take time with Me first thing in the morning, for you are powerless without the strength you draw from Me, you are foolish without the wisdom you learn from Me, and you have no love to share with others unless you first get it from Me. Without Me, you would continue on in your own little world and be limited to your own meager resources. Your human strength would run out before the day had scarcely started, your own thoughts would get in the way, and you wouldn’t go far on yesterday’s store of love. But...

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