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"Take time. Give God time to reveal Himself to you. Give yourself time to be silent and quiet before Him, waiting to receive, through the Spirit, the assurance of His presence with you, His power working in you."
HARDSHIPS FURTHER HIS KINGDOM
Bill Hybels' The Power of a Whisper (p.110-111):
"Don't ever buy into the idea that everything God prompts His followers to do will be uncomplicated or low-cost. Sometimes God asks His children to carry heavy loads, as He did with the apostle Paul. But even--and often especially--under those backbreaking burdens, God's purposes are fulfilled. When our (whispered) task is tough, the reward of knowing we've helped further His Kingdom and bettered our broken world is all the sweeter.
"If you ever find yourself with a difficult assignment, why not try giving God thanks for trusting you with something that needs your particular strength. He assigns tasks to the right person every time. He did it throughout history, and He still does it today. As you walk whatever potholed path He has asked you to walk, never forget the tough journey that Jesus Himself once made. ...Christ was asked to bear the most difficult assignment of all--to lay down His life as a redemptive sacrifice for humankind. He chose to obey. And because of His obedience, you and I enjoy our redemption today."
Philip Yancey in his book Disappointment with God wrote this: "Imagine for a moment becoming a baby again: giving up language and muscle coordination, and the ability to eat solid food and control your bladder. God as a fetus! Or imagine yourself becoming a sea slug – that analogy is probably closer. On that day in Bethlehem, the Maker of All that is took form as helpless, dependent newborn.”
GET SOME REST!
Our most notorious industrial accidents in recent years—Exxon Valdez, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, the fatal navigational error of Korean Air Lines 007—all occurred in the middle of the night. When the USS Vincennes shot down an Iranian A300 airbus killing all 290 people aboard, fatigue-stressed operators in the high-tech Combat Information Center on the carrier misinterpreted radar data and repeatedly told their captain the jet was descending as if to attack when in fact the airliner remained on a normal flight path. In the Challenger space shuttle disaster, key NASA officials made the ill-fated decision to go ahead with the launch after working twenty hours straight and getting only two to three hours of sleep the night before. ...
SPURGEON was once invited by a wealthy man to come down and preach in a country church in order to help them raise funds to pay a debt. The man told Spurgeon he was free to use his country house, his town house, or his seaside home. Spurgeon wrote back and
declined coming and said, ‘Sell one of your homes and pay the debt yourself’.
Some people get to the top of the ladder of success only to discover they're on the wrong ladder.
Rick Warren in his book The Purpose Driven Life says, “Life is all about love!” “Because God is love, the most important lesson he wants you to learn on earth is how to love. It is in loving that we are most like him, so love is the foundation of every command he has given us; ‘the whole Law can be summed up in this one command; ‘Love others as you love yourself” (123).
CHANGING THE PRICE TAGS
One year, my best friend and I devised what we thought was a brilliant and creative plan for mischief. We decided to break into the basement of the local five-and-dime store. We did not plan to rob the place (Sunday School boys would never do that sort of the thing); instead, we planned to do something that, as far as the owner of the store was concerned, would have been far worse. Our plan was to get into that five-and-dime store and change the price tags on things.
We imagined what it would be like the next morning when people came into the store and discovered that radios were selling for a quarter and bobby pins were priced at five dollars each. With diabolical glee, we wondered what it would be like in that store when nobody could figure out what the prices of things really should be.
Sometimes I think that Satan has played the same kind of trick on all of us. Sometimes I think that he has broken into our lives and changed the price tags on things. Too often, under the influences of his malicious ploy, we treat what deserves to be treated with loving care as though it were of little worth. On the other hand, we find ourselves tempted to ma...
"Give me the fruitful error any time, full of seeds, bursting with its own corrections. You can keep your sterile truth for yourself."
Writer Regina Barreca wrote an article for the Chicago Tribune in 1996 on this very issue: "Sloth is insidious. It whispers that you might as well do it tomorrow, that nobody will know if you cut comers here and there to save yourself some trouble, that the world will be the same in a hundred years no matter what you do, so why do anything? Sloth says, "Don’t strain yourself," "What’s the big hurry?" and "Just give me five more minutes."
Sloth hits the snooze alarm, hits the remote control and hits the road when the going gets tough ... Sloth cheats on exams, drinks straight from the milk carton and leaves exactly two sheets on the toilet roll so that it will have to be replaced by the next poor soul who finds out too late that the remaining paper is nothing more than a mirage.
Sloth does slightly less than the right thing. It doesn’t bother returning something to the lost-and found, but pockets it instead; it doesn’t tell the clerk he has undercharged. Sloth has never written a thank-you note, sent a birthday card on time or entertained angels. All this simply asks too much effort."