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Insight For Living~ Charles R Swindoll

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Post  Admin on Sat 02 Jun 2012, 6:55 pm

June 2, 2012
For Righteous Living
by Charles R. Swindoll

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. ---Ephesians 5:1--5

Our Lord and Master, we live in a world that's lost its way. We are impacted by it, we are influenced by it, and we are sometimes intimidated by it. So twisted is the thinking of society around us in this global atmosphere that it is easy to begin thinking we are the weird ones and the world is thinking straight. Help us each day to put that in proper order.

Purify us, Father. In the process, guard us from foolish pride and from a super-pious personality which comes across as fanatical, a personality disconnected from the real world. It's a tightrope we walk, Father. And we need Your help to keep our balance, so that we don't turn off our neighbors with too much Scripture-quoting or turn away a partner in life because of too much rigid preaching and not enough reasonable living. Help us know how to relate in the business world without compromising solid ethics and integrity. Make us people of our word in the details of life---like keeping our promises, like paying our bills, like respecting others, like cleaning up our foul language.

We need help, Lord, to overcome the bad habits of the past, to resist wanting to be liked rather than doing what's right, to be popular instead of being pure. And, Lord, in the process, may we continue to be easy to live with, winsome---like Christ---who was the most attractive individual who ever cast a shadow on earth.

In great measure, Father, we trust You. For Jesus's sake. Amen.

See also Psalm 24:4--5; Proverbs 22:11; 1 Timothy 4:12; Titus 2:7.
Excerpted from The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 2, Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Post  Admin on Fri 01 Jun 2012, 10:30 pm

June 1, 2012
God's Complete Control
by Charles R. Swindoll
God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;
Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah. . . .
The LORD of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah. . . .
"Cease striving and know that I am God."
---Psalm 46:1--3, 7, 10

Quiet our hearts, dear Father, and in so doing, remind us that You are sovereign---not almost sovereign but altogether sovereign. Nothing occurs in our lives that has not been masterfully planned and put together by You, our eternal God. Help us to enter into the truth of Psalm 46:10 personally and consistently. May that result in being still, enabling us to discover that You are God. As we cast our cares upon You, knowing You care for us, release our stress.

We entrust our concerns to You today . . . large and small, new and nagging. We long to experience peace-filled living by stepping off this treadmill called pressurized living. We pray that Your mighty presence would take the place of the stress, the demands, the struggles, the mess we've created. We ask that You would give us Your shalom---Your peace---like we've never known it before. We deliberately choose to trust You and to rest in You.

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

See also Psalm 34:4; Proverbs 16:3; Jeremiah 17:7; Philippians 4:19.

Excerpted from The Prayers of Charles R. Swindoll, Volume 2, Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
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Post  Admin on Thu 31 May 2012, 8:01 pm

May 31, 2012
Checking Up on Your Job
by Charles R. Swindoll
The soul of the sluggard craves
and gets nothing. But the soul
of the diligent is made fat.
---Proverbs 13:4

A young fellow rushed into a gas station to use the pay phone. The manager overheard his telephone conversation as he asked: "Sir, could you use a hardworking, honest young man to work for you?" [pause] "Oh . . . you've already got a hardworking, honest young man? Well, thanks anyway!"

The boy hung up the phone with a smile. Humming to himself, he began to walk away, obviously happy.

"How can you be so cheery?" asked the eavesdropping manager. "I thought the man you talked to already had someone and didn't want to hire you."

The young fellow answered, "Well, you see I am the hardworking young man. I was just checking up on my job!"

If you called your Boss, disguised your voice, and asked about your job, what do you think would be His answer?
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
May 30, 2012
Heavenly Hindsight
by Charles R. Swindoll

You are my hiding place;
You preserve me from trouble;
You surround me with songs of deliverance.
---Psalm 32:7

Providence. We toss the word around. But have you ever analyzed it?

It comes from the Latin, providentia. Pro means "before" or "ahead of time"; videntia is from videre, meaning "to see." . . . Put them together and you have "seeing ahead of time," which is what Almighty God does. He sees the events of life ahead of time---something that we of course can never do.

We're great at history. Our hindsight is almost always 20/20. But we're lousy at prophecy, that is, the specifics of the future.

Stop and think. We've no clue as to what will happen one minute from now, no idea what's going to happen next. But our invisible God, in His providentia, is continually, constantly, and confidently at work. . . .

He never changes. He knows what He is about, and He pursues it with relentless determination.

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Wed 30 May 2012, 11:42 am

May 29, 2012
Dangerous Disillusionment
by Charles R. Swindoll
The steadfast of mind
You will keep in perfect peace,
because he trusts in You.
---Isaiah 26:3

Disillusionment is a dangerous, slippery slope.

First we become disillusioned about our fellow man. Then we move on to cynicism. Before long, we trust no one, not even God. We've been burned. We've been taken advantage of; we've been mistreated. . . .

The cause of disillusionment and the cure for it can be expressed in almost the sample simple words.

The cause of disillusionment is putting one's complete hope and trust in people. Putting people on a pedestal, focusing on them, finding our security in them. . . . And when the feet of clay crumble (as they surely will) total disillusionment sets in.

What's the cure?

Putting our complete hope and trust in the living Lord. When we do that, the simplest messages from God calm our spirits.

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Mon 28 May 2012, 9:00 pm

May 28, 2012
A Memorial Day Prayer
by Charles R. Swindoll

There are certain scenes that when I come across I always pause and let the wonder in. When our children were very small and we were traveling back from a camp up in northern California, along the side of the road they saw something they didn't understand. On a windswept hillside there were literally thousands of white crosses in perfect rank and file. One of my little children said to me, "Daddy, what is that?" And it occurred to me that the younger generations can come and grow up and never even understand how they could have the freedom to drive along a highway or to sit without their home being invaded or to worship at a church we love . . . because those men and women under those crosses paid the ultimate price for our liberty. And so I took time to explain to them the significance of that hillside. I said, "All around the world there are places like that. None more beautiful than this one." And I quoted them from the British poet, "In Flanders field the poppies grow, / Between the crosses, row on row, / . . . And those birds still singing fly." And I couldn't even finish the work as I was moved to tears.

Today we honor those who are no longer among us. And we are grateful for each one and for you who have served your country and have survived them. I want you again, if you will, military veterans to please stand. (Long audience applause.) Remain standing please. You men and women have known the hardship and the responsibilities connected with serving in places that are lonely and often terribly uncomfortable. I'm confident some of you have known battle. And though others around you may never know your story, God never missed one minute of it. By His grace you made it through, having survived all those dangers. All of us today are in your debt. Thank you for saying "yes" to sacrifice. Thank you for being willing to do what you considered simply your duty, never expecting ever in your life to be applauded for it. But today we respect you and we honor you.

However, today the greater respect and honor go to those who have died in battle, in places around the world, having lived their self-forgetful lives in such a brave manner.

To the end of our lives, our Father, we will be grateful for those who have taken liberty seriously. For those who stepped away from family and home and the love of a mom and dad, a spouse and children, and stepped into the fight. Who wore the uniform proudly and to this day live grateful for the privilege of serving. We thank You for our training, for those strong-hearted men who got us into shape and prepared us for battle. Who with unswerving devotion determined that they had our good at heart and helped us understand what it means to live for others and if necessary, to die. Today we remember those who carry on the fight, whose presence would eclipse any one of ours. They are in those hard places today and they serve You in the air, on the land and at sea, and under the sea. Thank You for each one. Thank You for a country that lives in the legacy of such heroism.

Today, our Father, we acknowledge that there is evil in this world, but this world is still Yours. This is our Father's world. And You have privileged us to be born into this land, the greatest land in the world. We would fight for it and defend its liberty to our last day. We honor You, our Father, for giving us those of whom this world was not worthy. And we pray that You will encourage these who stand and many like them. May this Memorial Day be more than just a celebration of eating and relaxing with family and friends. May we on occasion come aside, pause, and reflect.

Thank You, our Father, for Your presence, Your sovereign hand, whether in war or in peace. Help us, Dear Lord, to survive these times in which we live.

Now we give You our lives and we do so with gratitude, because You have been so faithful to us. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.
Copyright © 2010, 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
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Post  Admin on Sun 27 May 2012, 11:23 am

May 26, 2012
Honest to the Core
by Charles R. Swindoll

Keep my commandments and live,
and my teaching as the apple of your eye.
---Proverbs 7:2

What is God looking for? He is looking for men and women whose hearts are completely His---completely. . . .

God is not looking for magnificent specimens of humanity. He's looking for deeply spiritual, genuinely humble, honest-to-the-core servants who have integrity. . . .

Today, we live in a world that says, in many ways, "If you just make a good impression, that's all that matters."

But you will never be a man or woman of God if that's your philosophy. Never.

You cannot fake it with the Almighty. He is not impressed with externals. He always focuses on the inward qualities . . . those things that take time and discipline to cultivate.

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Fri 25 May 2012, 6:34 pm

May 25, 2012
Two Are Better Than One
by Charles R. Swindoll

Two are better than one because
they have a good return for their labor.
---Ecclesiastes 4:9

Independence is our watchword and "Think for Yourself" is our motto. Declaring a need is a sign of weakness, an open admission of failure and lack of character.

Furthermore, we are on the move so much, who has time to share and to care? It has been my observation that we Christians are not immune from this hurry-up, hassle-hustle mentality. . . .

Even though it is easy to buy into the selfish lifestyle and opt for isolationism instead of involvement, the consequences are bitter and inescapable. . . . Swimming with the current of today's me-ism mindset has a way of eclipsing the contrasting light of Scripture.

"Two are better than one . . ." because:
•they have a good return for their labor---mutual effort
•one will lift up his companion---mutual support
•they keep (each other) warm---mutual encouragement
•they can resist an attack---mutual strength

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Thu 24 May 2012, 7:39 pm

May 24, 2012
It Is Finished
by Charles R. Swindoll

For all have sinned and fall short of
the glory of God, being justified as a gift
by His grace through the redemption
which is in Christ Jesus.
---Roman 3:23--24


Stop and think: Upon believing in Jesus Christ's substitutionary death and bodily resurrection, the once-lost sinner is instantly, unconditionally, and permanently "declared 100% righteous."

Anything less and we are not righteous . . . we're almost righteous.

If we are declared 99.9% righteous, some verses of the Bible would have to be rewritten. Like Isaiah 1:18, which might then read: "'Come now, and let us reason together,' says the Lord, 'though your sins are as scarlet, they will be light pink.'"

Nonsense! The promise of sins forgiven is all or nothing. Eighty percent won't cut it. . . .
When our Lord said "It is finished," He meant "finished."
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Wed 23 May 2012, 9:10 pm

May 23, 2012
Alone with God
by Charles R. Swindoll

Thus the Lord GOD, . . . has said,
“. . . In quietness and trust is your strength.”
---Isaiah 30:15
Some of the most profound ministries of the Spirit of God are not public or loud or large. Sometimes His most meaningful touch on our lives comes when we are all alone.

I urge you to include in your schedule time to be alone with God. . . .

You do have places where you can get away for a long walk, don't you? I hope it's in a wooded area. The gentle breeze blowing through the forest is therapeutic.

Sometimes just being alone out in God's marvelous creation is all that's needed for the scales to be removed from your eyes and for you to silence the harassment and the noise of your day and begin to hear from God.

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Tue 22 May 2012, 10:58 pm

May 22, 2012
Giving God First Place
by Charles R. Swindoll
The LORD possessed me
at the beginning of His way,
before His works of old.
---Proverbs 8:22
If some corporate position is the god of your life, then something terrible occurs within when it is no longer a future possibility. If your career, however, is simply a part of God's plan and you keep it in proper perspective, you can handle a demotion just as well as you can handle a promotion.

It all depends on who's first and what's first.

Breaking the magnet that draws things ahead of God is a lengthy and sometimes painful process.

There is a line found in the Jewish Talmud that puts it well: "Man is born with his hands clenched; he dies with them wide open. Entering life, he desires to grasp everything; leaving the world, all he possessed has slipped away." . . .

Just remember: Whatever is in first place, if it isn't Christ alone, it is in the wrong place.

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Mon 21 May 2012, 8:32 pm

May 21, 2012
God's Hand on Your Life
by Charles R. Swindoll
My frame was not hidden from You,
when I was made in secret, and skillfully
wrought in the depths of the earth.
---Psalm 139:15

Perhaps you never knew what it was to nestle securely in a parent's love. Your home life may have been strained or even fractured from your earliest memory. From a human point of view, your birth might have come at a difficult or awkward time in your parents' lives.

It may be that you've never known the reassurance of a faithful mother and father who built their faith into your heart. When you think back on your growing up years, you realize you don't have much to shout about.

I'd like to deliver a beautiful message to you, my friend. God's hand on your life may be just beginning to make its mark. That steep hill you've been climbing for such a long time may be the ramp to a destiny beyond your dreams.

I do not believe there is any such thing as an accidental or ill-timed birth. You may have arrived in a home that was financially strapped. You may have known brokenness, hurt, and insecurity since your earliest days---but please hear me on this: You were not an accident.

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Sun 20 May 2012, 9:58 am

May 19, 2012
Pull in the Anchor
by Charles R. Swindoll

Forgive us our debts, as we
also have forgiven our debtors.
---Matthew 6:12


Have you done someone wrong?
Have you been offensive?
Have your actions caused hurt?

To do nothing is not only in direct disobedience to Jesus' teaching, it also complicates your life. It adds heavier mental weights than you are capable of carrying.

It is like dropping an anchor and then cranking up your boat's engine and putting it in gear. The anchor keeps catching and snagging on the bottom, making for a terribly uncomfortable ride across the water.

How simple the solution! Just pull in the anchor. . . .

Let me give you a simple tip: We cannot be right with God until we are right with others.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Fri 18 May 2012, 7:58 pm

May 18, 2012
Don't Get Burned!
by Charles R. Swindoll

Bad company corrupts good morals.
---1 Corinthians 15:33


Compromise never works. We always get burned. Even though we rationalize around our weak decisions and tell ourselves that wicked associations really won't harm us ("they'll get better, our good will rub off their bad!"), we get soiled in the process.

If you put on a pair of clean white gloves on a rainy day and then go out into the backyard to the flowerbed and pick up a glob of mud, trust me, the mud will never get "glovey."

The gloves will definitely get muddy. Every time.

In all my sixty-plus years on earth, I have never seen glovey mud. Not once.

In simple terms, that's what 1 Corinthians 15:33 is saying: "Do not be deceived: 'Bad company corrupts good morals.'"
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Thu 17 May 2012, 9:16 pm

May 17, 2012
Friendly People, Thoughtful People
by Charles R. Swindoll

There is a friend who
sticks closer than a brother.
---Proverbs 18:24


If I have learned anything during my journey on Planet Earth, it is that people need one another.

The presence of other people is essential---caring people, helpful people, interesting people, friendly people, thoughtful people. These folks take the grind out of life.

About the time we are tempted to think we can handle things all alone---boom! We run into some obstacle and need assistance. We discover all over again that we are not nearly as self-sufficient as we thought.

In spite of our high-tech world and efficient procedures, people remain the essential ingredient of life. When we forget that, a strange thing happens: We start treating people like inconveniences instead of assets.

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Wed 16 May 2012, 9:49 pm

May 16, 2012
Precepts and Principles
by Charles R. Swindoll

Teach me good discernment and knowledge,
for I believe in Your commandments.
---Psalm 119:66


Whenever you see the scriptural phrase "This is the will of God," you know for sure that's God's will. You also know that to disobey is to break His Word.

Other clear indications of His leading are the precepts and principles in the Scripture.

Precepts are clearly marked statements like "Abstain from sexual immorality." That's like saying, "Speed Limit 35." What is speeding? Anything over thirty-five miles an hour. That's a precept.

Then there are principles . . . and these are general guidelines that require discernment and maturity if we are to grasp them. . . . Like the sign that says, "Drive carefully." This may mean forty miles an hour on a clear, uncongested highway, or it may mean ten miles an hour on an ice-covered curve. But it always means that we must be alert and aware of conditions; it always means we have to be discerning. . . .

These principles require wisdom and discernment.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Tue 15 May 2012, 11:55 pm

May 15, 2012
A Loving Father
by Charles R. Swindoll
How blessed are the people who know
the joyful sound! . . . O LORD, they walk
in the light of Your countenance.
---Psalm 89:1
Contrary to popular opinion, God doesn't sit in heaven with His jaws clenched, His arms folded in disapproval, and a deep frown on His brow.

He is not ticked off at His children for all the times we trip over our tiny feet and fall flat on our diapers.

He is a loving Father, and we are precious in His sight, the delight of His heart. After all, He "has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light" (Colossians 1:12). Think of it! He's put us in His inheritance!

Remember that the next time you think God is coming down on you.

You have reason to give thanks. You don't have to qualify yourself for His kingdom. His grace has rescued you.

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Mon 14 May 2012, 10:11 pm

May 14, 2012
No Fear of Failure
by Charles R. Swindoll

The wicked flee when no one is pursuing,
but the righteous are bold as a lion.
---Proverbs 28:1

When will we ever learn that there are no hopeless situations, only people who have grown hopeless about them?

What appears as an unsolvable problem to us is actually a rather exhilarating challenge. People who inspire others are those who see invisible bridges at the end of dead-end streets.

There was a Cabinet meeting in London during the darkest days of the Second World War. France had just capitulated. Prime Minister Churchill outlined the situation in its starkest colors. Quite literally, the tiny British Isles stood alone.

Grim faces stared back at him in stoic silence. Despair and thoughts of surrender were written in their looks. The visionary statesman momentarily remained silent, lit a cigar, showed a hint of a smile, and with a twinkle in his eye, responded to that dispirited company of officials, "Gentlemen, I find it rather inspiring." . . .

What a great line! No wonder people followed the man. Fear of failure never entered his mind!

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Sat 12 May 2012, 8:00 pm

May 12, 2012
God's New Morning Message
by Charles R. Swindoll

The LORD raises up those
who are bowed down;
the LORD loves the righteous.
---Psalm 146:8


Do you know what God's fresh, new morning message is to us? Whether the sun is shining brightly or whether it's pouring down rain? Whether the morning is bright or whether it's gray and overcast?

His promise is the dawn itself. . . .

Every morning the Lord comes through with His encouraging message, "We're still on speaking terms, you know! I'm here. I haven't moved. Let's go together today." . . .

Trust God to remember you.

He won't forget your name. He won't forget your circumstances, He certainly won't forget your prayers. . . .

Trust Him, He remembers you.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Fri 11 May 2012, 3:30 pm

May 11, 2012
God's Plan for Hope
by Charles R. Swindoll

For I know the plans I have for you . . .
plans to prosper you and not harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.
---Jeremiah 29:11, NIV


God knows, right down to the final nub, exactly where you are in life.

He sees.

He cares.

He is aware.

And best of all, He is touched by it.

The enemy of our souls wants you to think differently. God doesn't care. He's left you in this mess for so many months. How unfair! Those around you, those at work, your neighbors, live like the devil, and they're making it fine. And here you don't even have a job. You don't even have enough to cover the credit card bills. What kind of God is that?

Or maybe some young mother-to-be, stretched to the limit already with other young children and crushing responsibilities, cries out in her heart, "My situation is more than I can bear!"

And God replies, "My daughter, I know what I am doing. I know the pain of your heart right now. I know you feel overwhelmed, overloaded, pressed down. But believe Me, I am touched with your situation. And I have a plan! I am working out the details of your deliverance even now. Trust Me!"

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Thu 10 May 2012, 5:16 pm

May 10, 2012
Power to Overcome
by Charles R. Swindoll

Apply your heart to discipline
and your ears to words of knowledge.
---Proverbs 23:12


Can't and won't. Christians need to be very careful which one they choose. It seems that we prefer to use "can't."

"I just can't get along with my wife."

"My husband and I can't communicate."

"I just can't discipline the kids as I should."

"I just can't give up the affair I'm having."

"I can't stop overeating."

"I can't find time to pray."

Any Christian who takes the Bible seriously will have to agree the word here really should be "won't."

Why?

Because we have been given the power, the ability to overcome. . . .

We're really saying "I won't," because we don't choose to say "With the help of God, I will!"

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Wed 09 May 2012, 4:05 pm

May 9, 2012
Real Riches
by Charles R. Swindoll

In [Christ] are hidden all the
treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
---Colossians 2:3

From the looks of things, you're pretty impressive. You've got a nice place. And I suppose your neighbors would agree that you're a hard worker . . . climbing right on up that ladder toward success, right? . . .

Your salary is good and your material possessions are growing in number, but . . . the truth is you are empty on the inside and you're faking it on the outside. Not one thing you own in your "kingdom" has brought you the happiness you long for.

So you're thinking, "Maybe if I could land that better job," or "get into that bigger house," or . . . or . . . .

But don't allow the smoke screen of more money to blind your eyes to the truth. There's a lot more to being rich than making more money. Seneca, the Roman, was right: "Money has never yet made anyone rich."

Do you want riches? Then listen to Jesus: But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you (Matthew 6:33).

For the real riches, try switching kingdoms.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Tue 08 May 2012, 10:13 pm

May 8, 2012
The ABCs of Love
by Charles R. Swindoll

Hatred stirs up strife,
but love covers all transgressions.
---Proverbs 10:12


"I accept you as you are."

"I believe you are valuable."

"I care when you hurt."

"I desire only what is best for you."

"I erase all offenses."

We could call that the ABCs of love. And I don't know of anybody who would turn his back on such magnetic, encouraging statements.

There is nothing shallow about authentic love. Nor is it a magic wand we whip out and wave over a problem with a whoosh, hoping all the pain will go away.

Real love has staying power. Authentic love is tough love. It refuses to look for ways to run away. It always opts for working through. It doesn't cop out because the sea gets stormy and rough. It's fibrous and resilient. . . .

While the world around us gives the opposite counsel, love stands firm.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Mon 07 May 2012, 8:34 pm

May 7, 2012
No Success Without Wisdom
by Charles R. Swindoll

Wisdom has the advantage of giving success.
---Ecclesiastes 10:10

I don't know of a hotter subject today than success. Magazine articles, books, seminars, and sermons promote it.

But success is seldom linked with wisdom. Chances are good that if we would pick up last Sunday's paper and read it through, we'd come across twenty or more references to success, yet find nothing added regarding wisdom.

In today's hype about success, wisdom is conspicuous by its absence. Outside of biblical literature and biblically based books, we hardly even come across the word. . . .

[Wisdom] may not give us great popularity and wealth and it may not mean that we will be the most respected in our field or that we will have the most significant voice in the company, but ultimately, as God gauges it, we will be successful.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Sat 05 May 2012, 9:32 pm

May 5, 2012
The Value of Obedience to God
by Charles R. Swindoll

Luke 6:46

For a moment, let's pretend you work for me. In fact, you are my executive assistant in a company that is growing rapidly. I'm the owner and I'm interested in expanding overseas. To pull this off, I make plans to travel abroad and stay there until the new branch office gets established. I make all the arrangements to take my family in the move to Europe for six to eight months, and I leave you in charge of the busy stateside organization. I tell you that I will write you regularly and give you direction and instructions. I leave and you stay.

Months pass. A flow of letters are mailed from Europe and received by you at the national headquarters. I spell out all my expectations. Finally, I return. Soon after my arrival I drive down to the office. I am stunned! Grass and weeds have grown up high. A few windows along the street are broken. I walk into the receptionist's room and she is doing her nails, chewing gum, and listening to her favorite rock station. I look around and notice the wastebaskets are overflowing, the carpet hasn't been vacuumed for weeks, and nobody seems concerned that the owner has returned. I ask about your whereabouts and someone in the crowded lounge area points down the hall and yells, "I think he's down there." Disturbed, I move in that direction and bump into you as you are finishing a chess game with our sales manager. I ask you to step into my office (which has been temporarily turned into a television room for watching afternoon soap operas).

"What in the world is going on, man?"

"What do you mean, Chuck?"

"Well, look at this place! Didn't you get any of my letters?"

"Letters? Oh, yeah---sure, got every one of them. As a matter of fact, Chuck, we have had letter study every Friday night since you left. We have even divided all the personnel into small groups and discussed many of the things you wrote. Some of those things were really interesting. You'll be pleased to know that a few of us have actually committed to memory some of your sentences and paragraphs. One or two memorized an entire letter or two! Great stuff in those letters!"

Sound a little familiar?

Jesus, the Lord, goes to the bottom line when He said, in effect, "I left you an example of what you should do---carry out my directions, fulfill my commands, follow my instructions." That's obedience. That's doing what we are told to do.
Adapted from Charles R. Swindoll, Improving Your Serve: The Art of Unselfish Living (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1981), 169--71. Copyright © 1981 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.
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Post  Admin on Fri 04 May 2012, 7:52 pm

May 4, 2012
The Strength of Serving Others
by Charles R. Swindoll

John 13:8--15

Jesus said a strong thing to Peter when He spoke these words: "If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me" (John 13:8). Our Lord's rebuke introduces a convicting observation: being a servant is not a sign of inner weakness but of incredible strength.

There is no way to remove the jab and the twist from Christ's words to Peter. He said, in effect, "If you do not allow Me to do this, that is it. Get out!" Anybody who lives under the delusion that Christ was rather weak and spineless has overlooked such statements as this one. Being a servant in no way implies there will never be a confrontation or strong words shared with others.

The Lord may choose to use the reproof of a servant who has earned the right to be heard even more often than that of an aggressive leader type. It certainly worked with Peter. We know he got the message when he blurted out, in so many words, "Give me a bath!" No, that wasn't necessary, only his feet.

After Jesus brought back balance to Peter's overreaction, He sat down for a time of reflection and instruction among the men. "Do you know what I have done to you?" (13:12). What a strange question. Obviously, they knew what He had done. He had washed their feet! But He had much more in mind than the obvious---Jesus always does. He wanted them to think deeply, to learn something very insightful and valuable as an obedient servant. Look at what He told them.

"You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet." (13:13--14)

He told them (and us) to wash one another's feet. What an admonition! Now here's the clincher, "For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you" (13:15). Let's read it in a much more popular way: "I gave you an example that you should study about it on Sundays." No.

Or . . . "I gave you an example that you should form discussion groups and meditate on it." No.

Or how about . . . "I gave you an example that you should memorize My words and repeat them often." No.

Jesus said it plainly. "I gave you an example that you should do as I did to you." He was looking for action, not theory.

Adapted from Charles R. Swindoll, Improving Your Serve: The Art of Unselfish Living (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1981), 167--69. Copyright © 1981 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.
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