The Rule of “Three”

  • Three things to govern: Temper, tongue, conduct 
  • Three things to cultivate: Courage, affection, gentleness
  • Three things to commend: Thrift, industry, promptness
  • Three things to despise: Cruelty, arrogance, ingratitude
  • Three things to wish for: Health, contentment, friends
  • Three things to admire: Dignity, intellect, gracefulness

“I will lift up my eyes to the hills—From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber” (Psalm 121:1–3).

Deep Bible Paradoxes

  • Finding through losing (Matthew 10:39).
  • Living through dying (John 12:24).
  • Receiving through giving (Acts 20:35).
  • Freedom through servitude (Romans 6:18).
  • Strength through weakness (2 Corinthians 12:10).
  • Gaining through loss (Philippians 3:7).

On the Move or Waiting for Our Last Stand?

To explain exaltation through humility (James 4:10), Lloyd C. Douglas tells the story of Thomas Hearne, who, “in his journey to the mouth of the Coppermine River, wrote that a few days after they had started on their expedition, a party of Indians stole most of their supplies. His comment on the apparent misfortune was, ‘The weight of our baggage being so much lightened, our next day’s journey was more swift and pleasant.’

“Hearne was in route to something interesting and important, and the loss of a few sides of bacon and a couple of bags of flour meant nothing more than an easing of the load. Had Hearne been holed in somewhere, in a cabin, resolved to spend his last days scratching out an existence and living on capital previously collected, the loss of some of his stores by plunder would probably have worried him almost to death.”

How we respond to “losing” some of our resources for God’s work depends upon whether we are on the move or waiting for our last stand. 

—Lloyd C. Douglas, The Living Faith

“I press toward the goal” (Philippians 3:14). 

Make Someone a Dinner

Some will misunderstand this article. Some will criticize it. Some will think that it is a hint. But I will run the risk. In the last eight days, we have received twelve invitations to dinner by twelve different groups or families. Church families. I have always believed that a church that can eat together can work together. Putting your feet under somebody’s table—eliminates doubts, suspicion, jealousy, envy, and pride. Preparing dinner for someone says, “Hey, I love you . . . I accept you
. . . I care about you.”

A church that is heavy on fruit and fiber will not have time for fusses and fights. Jesus is our example—even when it comes to dinners. Read John 12:1–9. At the home of Mary and Martha, a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. An appreciation dinner! Can you imagine? Having Jesus over for dinner? What would you prepare? Pork chops (not for a Jew!)? Hamburgers? Fried chicken? Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?

What Mary and Martha served was not important. The thing that impresses me is the timing of the dinner: “Six days before the Passover” (12:1). Jesus was approaching His crucifixion. He knew He was going to die (12:8). The chief priests wanted to kill Him (12:10). You talk about depressed and discouraged. Jesus was in upset city. He was experiencing some of the lowest moments of His life. But all of a sudden the invitation is extended by two sweet sisters. “Jesus, come on over and have dinner with us.” (I bet they could cook, too!) And up from the pits He arose!

When someone is going through tough times . . . make him a dinner. When someone is discouraged . . . make him a dinner. When a sister is lonely . . . make her a dinner. When a brother is mad at you . . . make him a dinner. (Nobody ever stays mad if he is invited over for T-bone steaks.) I’d rather have dinners than debates. —Keith Parker

What the Cross Reveals (Isaiah 53)

  1. A terrible secret few believe (53:1): “Who has believed our report?”
  2. A horrible blindness few see (53:2): “And when we see  Him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.”
  3. A grievous reality few understand (53:3–6): “All we like sheep have gone astray.”
  4. A wonderful salvation all can share (53:12): “And He bore the sin of many.” —Gus Nichols

 

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