Who to please?

Every day we wake up there are people we seek to please. We want our family to be pleased. We want our boss and co-workers to be pleased. We want our friends and acquaintances to be pleased. No matter what we do, we should understand that it is impossible to please them all.

At the core of the Christian’s understanding is the reality that God is the only One whose approval we must seek. He is not only our Creator and Savior, He is our Judge. The early disciples knew that and lived accordingly. Therefore Paul wrote, “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10).

via Daily Lift – November 08, 2017 – GBN Daily lift

This is more of a problem for some than for others. Some societies seem to have a greater need to please other people. Still, even the most independent types must face it.

The emphasis on God as Judge is right and proper. We must never forget that we must eventually stand before him and answer for our words and actions in this life. The decision to please God above all others will determine whether or not we enter into heaven.

We must not be contrary toward others for contrary’s sake (see 1 Cor 10.32-11.1), but seek to please others that they may be saved and also desire to please God.

#devotionals #God #Judge #please-God

On Psalm 1

Great, short read on Psalm 1 by a good Okie brother.

To whom will you listen? Who owns your attention? The wicked, sinners, and scoffers? Or “the law of the Lord”? That choice will determine whether life is anchored and fruitful or baseless and pointless. And ultimately whether we stand with the righteous or perish with the wicked. Don’t hurry past Psalm 1. Spend some time here. Think seriously and examine closely.

He has a good devotional site worth following.

#Psalms #devotionals

When we do not offer our best to God

“‘A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘It is you, O priests, who show contempt for my name. But you ask, ‘How have we shown contempt for your name?'” Malachi 1:6.

After this last book of the Old Testament, there would be over four hundred years of silence from God until John would become the “voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for [Jesus].'”

So there is a lot of good and important stuff packed into these four chapters, split into two main sections. Continue reading

#devotionals, #malachi, #reverence

Scattering my ashes How about scattering good deeds…

Scattering my ashes? How about scattering good deeds and the seed of the word of God? Tim Hall in Weekly messages from the light of God’s word.


#cremation, #devotionals

Starving with food in sight: Tim Hall on World Food Day

Tim Hall makes a spiritual application of the UN World Food Day commemorated today. http://eepurl.com/5W5sb

Since 1945, October 16 has been celebrated as “World Food Day” (established by the United Nations) to draw attention to the needs of people throughout the world. It’s hard for many of us to understand chronic hunger. But occasions like this at least make me pause and try to understand.

Imagine this hypothetical scenario: people starving, even though food is within their reach. They simply refuse to eat what is before them! Would that not be a tragedy?

Tim encourages us, among other things, to “develop healthy habits.” Read this good meditation at the above link.

#bible, #christianity, #devotionals, #spirituality, #world-food-day

We don’t need a creed

The scripture for today, May 4, is 1st Peter 5:4 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.”

Many denominations appoint someone to be the head of their religion at their world headquarters. He goes by different titles — bishop, high priest, father, president. Their headquarters may be a small office or an entire complex. From here the head meets regularly with others to make decisions for their denomination. Continue reading

#bible, #devotionals, #jesus-christ, #religious-creeds

Inspired men with a passion

The scripture for today, April 15, is 1st John 4:15 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.”

The New Testament was written by people who walked and talked with Jesus. They saw his miracles, they heard his amazing words. They were eyewitnesses. Continue reading

#bible, #dedication, #devotionals, #inspiration

Most think of Christianity in a way foreign to Scripture

buffet-religion“There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called—one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” Ephesians 4:4-6.

Many like buffet restaurants that give us a good excuse to eat as much of our favorite foods as we want. We pick and choose what we like while rejecting what we don’t like.

That’s how most think of Christianity—that Jesus is the vine and denominations are the branches. We think it picky to point out teachings that oppose other groups or the Bible because if you don’t like a particular dish, just load up your plate from another. Continue reading

#church-of-christ, #devotionals, #restoration

The fruit of faithfulness

“I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations” Psalm 89:1.

That God is faithful is well established. This entire psalm declares this truth. And, oh, how good that is! We could not long endure without the Almighty following through and staying true to the provisions He gives to us and the promises He’s made to us.

What is at stake is our faithfulness to Him. Faithfulness is one of the fruits of the Spirit that those who’ve obeyed the gospel are to grow in our lives, yet it seems we too easily sell the Lord out at the first twinge of temptation.

We have so far to go to imitating our God in whose image we’ve been restored in Christ. The trustworthy saying in 2 Timothy 2:13 tells us, “If we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”

So, let us celebrate His great faithfulness while recommitting ourselves to growing this fruit. As another psalm says, “It is good … to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night.”

Are you growing in the fruit of faithfulness?

Doug Kashorek

Plattsburgh church of Christ


author of Kin of Cain

a Christian historical fantasy


#devotionals, #faithfulness, #psalms

Old As The Hills (Alan Smith)

===== Thursday’s Thought For The Day (April 4, 2013) =====


The census taker knocked on the lady’s door. She answered all his questions except one. She refused to tell him her age.

“But everyone tells their age to the census taker,” he said.

“Did Miss Maisy Hill, and Miss Daisy Hill tell you their ages?” she asked.

“Certainly,” he replied.

“Well, I’m the same age as they are,” she snapped.

The census taker simply wrote on the form, “As old as the Hills.”

You may have heard that our nation’s oldest person, a 113-year-old woman, died recently just weeks before her 114th birthday. The world’s oldest person in the world, according to the Gerontology Research Group, is a Japanese man, who will turn 116 next week. The oldest person ever on record was a Frenchwoman who was 122 when she died in 1997. All of these could easily be described with the phrase, “As old as the hills.”

But they are all babies when compared with Methuselah. You recognize his name. He’s known in the Bible for one thing — being the oldest person mentioned. 969 years old! That’s a lot of years. And I think it’s sad. Not that he was so old, but because that’s what he is known for. He’s not known for his great faith, for his moral courage, or for his righteousness. He’s known for being old.

In fact, if you do the math, you come up with an interesting fact — Methuselah died the year it started flooding. Was it just a coincidence, or was Methuselah one of the many who perished in that judgment of God? We don’t know.

I just pray that some day I’ll be remembered, not for the number of years I lived upon this earth, but for the way that I lived while I was here.

“The silver-haired head is a crown of glory, if it is found in the way of righteousness.” (Proverbs 16:31)

Have a great day!

Alan Smith
Helen Street Church of Christ
Fayetteville, North Carolina

To subscribe to “Thought For the Day,” send a blank email to join-thought-for-the-day@hub.xc.org

Send any comments or questions to alansmith.servant@gmail.com

#age, #devotionals, #methuselah

How love grows within us (Doug Kashorek)

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” Ephesians 4:2.

We’ve explored why the greatest of gifts God gave us is love. Now we must see how love grows within us as a fruit of the Spirit. All around the North Country, we’ll soon see trees in full blossom. It will be many months, though, until itinerants will fill totes with apples. The same goes for the fruits of the Spirit. That’s why we are to be humble, gentle, and patient with others–bearing with one another in love. ‘Bearing with one another’ implies a perseverance that has built up over time. I still remember tearing up the day I’d read a former student whom I’d had years earlier was hurt in a motorcycle wreck. Though he had made my first year of teaching a true trial by fire, I had worked with him a lot … and, I guess, grown to love him – enough so that the mention of his name made the decade disappear. I suppose that that was the love of the father, who, filled with compassion, ran to his son. While we are the prodigal in that parable and not to be the older brother, the fruit of love growing in us is to be like his for others that we need to bear with.

How’s the fruit of love growing within you?

Doug Kashorek

Plattsburgh church of Christ


author of Kin of Cain

a Christian historical fantasy


#devotionals, #fruit-of-the-spirit, #love

Fat, not frugality: Doug Kashorek

“Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope” Romans 5:3-4.

No, this isn’t the season to speak about suffering building character; it’s the season of warm, opulent comfort. We like images of roaring fires in a room decked in gold and silver and holly, tables laden with every meat and casserole and pie, and piles of presents under a fat and bejeweled evergreen.

Truth is: this world is too much our home, and instead of celebrating a Savior being born a man to die for His blood to cleanse our sins, we allow ourselves to become mesmerized by a jolly old elf in a red suit and his sugar-cookie-baking wife. We want fat, not frugality. We put down roots in this life instead of yearning for the next. But God’s all about ‘Character, not Comfort.’

Why else would Paul cry out, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead”?

This time of year can be an opportunity for the gospel, but only if those who have obeyed it aren’t too busy loosening our belts and falling asleep by the fire.

Do you seek comfort more than character?

Doug Kashorek

Plattsburgh church of Christ


[I bought the rights to Kin of Cain from the publisher, so I’m needing to reduce my inventory to recoup the cost. So, checks written out to me for $12.00 and sent to PO Box 2659, Plattsburgh, NY 12901, will cover the signed book (at my cost), sales tax, and shipping. I’ll even throw in a bookmark. This is an even cheaper deal than my website: www.douglaskashorek.com.]

#character, #christmas, #conformity, #devotionals, #evangelism, #gospel

So Jesus had a wife, did he?

People get all bent out of shape about supposed discoveries like the manuscript that claimed Jesus had a wife. Or they get excited about the latest discovery of Noah’s ark. (Poor Noah must have built a dozen of them.) I didn’t even bother to read beyond the Twitter headline about the wife claim. You can pretty well be sure that if a major media outlet touts it, it’s wrong. Scripture is complete in itself, and our faith ought not to be shaken by such news. Nor should our faith rest in said archaeological confirmations. Or in the Shroud. If the words of Scripture do not convince, no material evidence will either.

• The FPress website was down for over 24 hours. This morning it appears to be back up. These things happen, seems like, just as you’re working on something or depending on it to be online.

• For those who like to keep up with us, our latest ministry report is now online in PDF format. This time, I did a little Zingers feature, one-liners on things happening around here and in the work.

• Brad Cobb sent out the following email. which I’ve slightly edited for length.

Michael Shank is not preaching full-time, and is looking for secular work so that he doesn’t have to move his family. Ordering some of his book, Muscle and a Shovel, now would be a good time, for his benefit. The congregation here ordered another hundred a few weeks ago, and they’re already gone. We’re considering placing an order for another 200 this week (and we’re a congregation of 75 people).

Last week, a Christian in the next town over confided in one of the members that he was struggling with his attitude and anger and in doubting his faith. This member gave him a copy of Muscle and a Shovel. Yesterday, the man called our member, thanking her for the book, said his faith has been incredibly strengthened because of it, and that because of reading just the first half of the book (he’s not done yet), he conducted the first Bible study he’s ever conducted with three other people.

If you can help out Mike (and trust me, it will help you also), please order his book from www.MichaelShankMinistries.com.

I’ve not read the book, but I hear good things about it.

• After the first presidential debate on Wednesday, several saints on Facebook made comments that called attention to Jesus’ discussions with the religious leaders of his day, an attempt to redirect attention from politics to spiritual matters. I liked that. It seemed effective for me, so I hope it was for others as well.

• I like devotional thoughts (and write them, too) and follow not a few brethren’s writings. On occasion I read outside the brotherhood, too, like this one, on BibleGateway.com, about the integrity of the gospels, taken from the Case for Christ Study Bible by Lee Strobel. Seems to me to be quite a challenge to talk about apologetics in a devotional format, but maybe it works for those who already believe. Reinforcement. Continue reading

#books, #corollaries, #devotionals, #divine-faithfulness, #jesus-wife

Leading back to slavery

Subject: Weekly Devotional for 9/16/12

“They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery” Nehemiah 9:17.

In their restoration to God and rebuilding of Jerusalem, the Israelites confess their sins and those of their fathers – among them being this incident from their nation’s forty years of wandering in the wilderness. So many want to lead without really knowing the way. Through the plagues and the Red Sea, God had rescued His people from slavery. In their rebellion God’s people appointed a leader to return to that slavery. Jesus said that if the blind lead the blind, they both will fall into a pit. But in our case we often idolize celebrities, sports or political figures who influence us right back into the slavery of sin. Sometimes the leaders we appoint in our rebellion are fleshly desires, time-wasters, and selfishness we yield to.

Who or what is leading you?

Doug Kashorek Continue reading

#devotionals, #israel, #leaders

“Renewing Your Mind Spiritually” eBook available as ePub

my e-book has been OK ed for distribution from Barnes and Noble in the epub (Nook) format — please click on the link below for more info

Renewing Your Mind Spiritually” (Devotional Articles by Larry Miles) –

I hope you will check it out. Please pray that it can be used, along with the Kindle version through Amazon, to help Christians grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

#devotionals, #ebook