GOD OF HOPE

Daily Stop & Thinks

May 1, 2017

Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’ (Robin Williams, late actor & impersonator)

May 1 is an ancient northern hemisphere spring festival. It is celebrated in many countries, also, as an international day honoring workers. After a long, hard winter, April and May finally bring warmer temperatures, more sunshine, and beautiful blooms. After the partying, we should approach our work and life itself with renewed energy.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord. (Colossians 3:23)

April 30, 2017

A man wrapped up in himself makes a pretty small bundle. (Ben Franklin, prolific writer of aphorisms)

It’s inherent in human beings to think first of themselves. Just watch little children at the earliest ages begin to think selfishly. And, somehow, we don’t seem to outgrow that self-centered attitude. It takes training in character-building to overcome the me-first outlook. But, when we do, we become people who can really make a worthy contribution to society.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. (Philippians 2:3)

April 29, 2017

The remarkable thing about fearing God is when U fear God, U fear nothing else, but if U do not fear God U fear everything else. (Oswald Chambers, 20th century Scottish evangelist)

Fearing God is a concept sometimes difficult to understand. It is true that He is almighty, all powerful, and His wrath against sin and wrong is fearful, to say the least. But, fearing God is not just being afraid; it is recognizing His awesome majesty and authority. In a faith relationship with God, there need be no dread of Him or fear of opposition to us.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom . . . is a fountain of life . . . (Proverbs 9:10; 14:27) Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. (Ecclesiastes 12:13)

April 28, 2017

The meaning of life is to give life meaning. (Inspiration Line e-newsletter)

That’s a simple statement, isn’t it? But, is there something profound about it? One of life’s most important questions is, “What is its meaning? What is life all about?” Perhaps, finding your purpose in life would make it more significant for you. If we could discover why God has put us here, we could make more of an impact for good in our world.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28) It is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. (Philippians 2:13)

April 27, 2017

It only takes a few minutes to do something we will regret for decades. (Keith Minear, pastor)

In a culture where speed is everything (faster and faster Internet connections, for example), we can do good quickly, but we can also make colossal mistakes almost instantly. And once those errors are made, it’s impossible to bring them back. Correcting them may take a lot of time and effort, too. So, it’s wise to “think twice before you act once.”

Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin. (Proverbs 13:3)

April 26, 2017

You’ll never find a rainbow if you are looking down. (Charlie Chaplin, 20th century English comic actor)

Chaplain’s simple statement may be more profound than it seems at first glance. Have you noticed some people who always walk, looking at the pavement, and rarely look up? Are they like people who see the cup as half empty rather than half full? A little optimism may help you take life less seriously and find joy in what is all around you.

A happy heart makes the face cheerful. . . . All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast. (Proverbs 15:13, 15)

April 25, 2017

The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely to be the one who dropped it. (Lou Holtz, former college football coach)

It seems to be a common trait among us that when we complain about certain kinds of failures, we are often merely reflecting our own problems. We seem to be most critical of the kinds of mistakes that we often make. It’s a strange phenomenon, perhaps, but it is cause for us to examine our own problems first before we criticize others.

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? (Luke 6:41)

April 24, 2017

In between goals is a thing called life that has to be lived and enjoyed. (Sid Caesar, American comic actor)

Successful people are often goal-oriented. They know what they want to achieve, and they set out to accomplish it with careful planning and determination. When that is achieved, they pursue another chosen goal. Caesar suggests that, while goals are worthy, there is more to life than reaching goals. Take time to enjoy living while working hard to achieve.

I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil. (Ecclesiastes 8:15)

April 23, 2017

I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. (Maya Angelou, American poet laureate)

When we were children, there was so much we didn’t know and so much to learn, that it was easy to soak up new information. As we grow older, sometimes, we might be tempted to think that we pretty well know all that we need to know. Of course, that’s not true, and the sooner we realize that, the better we will be able to grow in every good way.

Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance. (Proverbs 1:5)

April 22, 2017

The road to success is always under construction. (Lily Tomlin, American comedienne and writer)

We’d like to think that success is an end that can be achieved with a reasonable amount of time and effort. But, as Tomlin suggests, it doesn’t often come quickly. In fact, successful work is most often accomplished by many other successes along the way. We are always striving to make our work better and more efficient to achieve a greater purpose.

For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. (Philippians 2:13)

April 21, 2017

We are too quick to blame God when things go wrong and too quick to give ourselves credit when things go right. (quoted by Dan McDairmant, Christian business man)

McDairmant reflects an all too common reaction to the difficulties of life. “Why has God allowed these terrible things to happen to me?” we sometimes ask. But when things go well, we might also proudly point to our successes with the appearance of arrogance. In reality, we ought to humbly recognize that even our successes are the gift of God.

For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. (Luke 14:11)

April 20, 2017

I look to the future because that is where I’m going to spend the rest of my life. (George Burns, 20th century American comedian)

Sometimes we say things that have a greater truth than merely the humor of the moment. If we are nostalgic and “live” mostly in the past, we will miss much of what’s immediately available to us. And, if we “live” only in the present, we will not be prepared well for the future. So, enjoy your memories and be productive today, but be prepared for eternity.

There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. (Proverbs 23:18)