June 4

If you’ve got it, show it off! Just so you know, I am not talking about boasting or bragging about something you have accomplished. I remember being in my high school band and competing for one of eighteen positions in the district band in our area. I was taking private lessons from a very good teacher, who happened to be on the governing board of the organization of the district band. He told me that there were 136 trumpet players competing for those eighteen slots. It just happened that year, that on the day of the try-outs, I was required to take standardized tests to get into college.

As it worked out, as I arrived at the band try-outs all the judges were ready to leave. My teacher encouraged enough to stay to allow me to compete. The problem was that I had no time to warm up, and I was totally frazzled by the time I stood before the judges. They had no mercy (nor would I expect them to), and I did not do my best before them. When the final results were posted, I had come in number thirty-six, and did not make the cut. However, one girl in our band who also played the trumpet did make the cut. She let me know that she had won, and I had lost for months afterward. I’m not talking about that kind of flaunting.

Psalm 96:2 says, “Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; show forth his salvation from day to day.” Now that’s something to sing about! Think for a moment about where you would be without God’s mercy that was displayed at the cross and empty tomb for you! There is a danger for those of us who have been saved for a longer period of time. That danger is that we tend to forget about what it was like when we realized that we were no longer headed to Hell, but were not on our way to Heaven! I love being around recently saved people, just to catch some of that excitement and enthusiasm all over again.

Today is a good day for those of us who are saved, to tell someone about our experience. Don’t keep this good news to yourself! There are multiple people who will cross your path today who might be considering suicide, or trying drugs or alcohol to find a way of escape. Those are not ways of escape. Those are ways of speeding up the process for them to experience the horror of Hell. We have the answer! We cannot keep it to ourselves, but we must “flaunt” the fact that we have a great God. We have a God Who is able to give us salvation. We need to show that salvation, or evidences of that salvation, wherever we go today. By the way; that is not for your benefit, but for the benefit of those who are searching for answers!

In Spite of our Shortcomings – June 5, 2018

I am so thankful for grandparents! I am one now, so I am seeing this whole grandchild versus children dynamic in a whole different light. Let me explain what I mean … parents are required to keep a strict hand on their children (I believe in the value of this) so that their children will learn limits and to behave in the family, church, and society. Grandparents, on the other hand, do not have the same pressure on them. That is not to say that grandparents have no responsibility when it comes to helping children to learn to behave, but the pressure to perform is much less with grandparents.

For example, when I was a boy, we moved in with my grandmother on my mother’s side when I was eight years old. We lived with her, or she lived with us however you want to look at it; for me it was a dream come true. The reason for this was extremely selfish. When we ate dinner, I would ask my grandmom to butter my bread. You see, if my mother buttered my bread, she would put the butter on, and then scrape the knife across the bread to thin out the butter. When grandmom put the butter on my bread, she laid it on thick! I love butter!

I found throughout my life that my grandmothers both excused a great deal of my faults to see only the best things in me. According to both my grandmothers, I was the best trumpet player in the world … the best preacher in the world … you get the idea. They overlooked all the bad notes I played. They overlooked my bad grammar and silly illustrations that did not fit the message. Their love for me allowed them to by-pass my short-comings to see the me they hoped would someday be the real me. They knew I was not perfect, but their desire to see me succeed far surpassed their knowledge of my faults.

Today I read something about the way God views each of us. “Thou answeredst them, O LORD our God: thou wast a God that forgavest them, though thou tookest vengeance of their inventions” (Psalm 99:8). Do you see it? God knows the evil of our “inventions,” and He loves us in spite of them. The idea of the word “inventions” is our behavior. God knows all of our faults, but He chooses to forgive them anyway! Is that incredible, or what? A grandmother can overlook some faults, but God sees them directly, and chooses to forgive them! I love this truth.

I don’t need to try to hide my sins from God; that is impossible. I need to remember that He offers me forgiveness for all my sins if I will simply confess, repent, and forsake them … in spite of my sins … He loves me!

In Every Language – June 6, 2018

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