Saturday, May 26, 2007

Do you want victory over your critical attitude?

Do you want victory over your critical attitude?

"Love never fails." 1 Corinthians 13:8

One of Abraham Lincoln's earliest political enemies was Edward Stanton. In one speech he called Lincoln a "low, cunning clown." In another he said, "It's ridiculous to go to Africa to see a gorilla when you can find one just as easily in Springfield, Illinois." Yet Lincoln never responded. Why? Because "Love is patient, love is kind" (1 Corinthians 13:4 NIV). This kind of love is not passive endurance, it's active good will. It's not just standing across the room saying, "That person drives me bananas so I'm going to steer clear of them." No, it's crossing the room and finding a way to physically (or in conversation) embrace them. Lincoln did that. When he was elected President and needed a Secretary of War, guess who he chose? Edward Stanton. When friends asked why, Lincoln said, "Because he's the best man for the job." Years later as the slain President's body lay in state, Edward Stanton looked into the casket and said through his tears, "There lies the greatest ruler of men the world has ever seen." His animosity had been broken by Lincoln's long-suffering, non-retaliatory spirit.

Is someone injuring you? Have they chosen a place of opposition in your life? How are you responding? Do you want victory over your critical attitude? Then by an act of your will - forgive them, move toward them with grace and begin to love them. Then watch God bring victory in a way you never could, because "Love [the God kind] never fails."

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Your Reward

Your labour is not in vain. - 1 Corinthians 15:58

Sometimes it's easy to forget that this world is not your home! You're going to spend eternity with Christ in a place prepared especially for you (John 14). You're also going to be rewarded for the job you've done. The Bible not only supports that idea. It spells out some of the specifics. Here are three you need to know about today:
(1) Most of your rewards will be received in heaven - not on earth! Yes, there are earthly rewards (Mark 10:30), but God reserves special honour for the day when "each man's work will become evident" and "he shall receive a reward" (1 Corinthians 3:13-14 NAS). Your service now will determine the status then, so give it your best today!
(2) All your rewards will be based on quality, not quantity! We're so impressed with size and volume, noise and numbers, but God has His eye on motive. When He rewards you, it'll be based on what you did with what you had, and the "heart" you put into it. That means everybody has an equal opportunity when it comes to rewards.
(3) Your reward may be postponed, but it'll never be forgotten! Think about that! When you've done what was needed, yet you were ignored and misunderstood, remember, "Your labour is not in vain." When you've done "the right thing," but received neither credit nor acknowledgment, remember, "Your labour is not in vain." When you've served, given, and sacrificed, and then willingly stepped aside for God to get all the glory, remember, "Your labour is not in vain." What an assurance!