The Big Picture

When the sun is shining, your neighbors are nice, your kid got all A's, and the boss told you "Good job!" you can preach a sermon on how rewarding it is to obey God. .
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But back in the shadows sits a host of others. They listen to your sermon and wonder what they did wrong. They thought they were obeying God too. They thought they'd be preaching up there right along with you.
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But everything went crazy. The sunny day led to a tornado, the neighbors are suing them, their kid flunked out of school, and the boss just said, "Get out!"
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In many instances, a string of disasters are merely the consequences of a string of bad choices. But what about those who followed God as closely as they could, listened to His voice, took the road less traveled, determined to do it right for the glory of God--and it all led to disaster?
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I've been there. My parents were health-conscious long before it was in vogue. They were actively serving God, devoid of bad habits or unhealthy choices, distilling their water, growing their own food, living clean and right for the glory of God.
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And they each died of cancer in their 60's. Had they missed God? Was obedience a joke?
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When my husband and I had our first child, we knew God was leading us to homeschool. And we obeyed, following Him as closely as we knew how, every year remaining faithful to that calling with our other children as well.
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That first child rebelled against everything good and became our worst nightmare. Had we missed God?
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When a young girl named Mary heard from the angel Gabriel that she had been chosen to bear the Messiah, she instantly obeyed. Enduring childbirth as a virgin, opening herself to public scorn, embracing poverty, living on the run, and eventually watching her firstborn child murdered was probably not what she had in mind. Did she miss God? Did he not care about her pain, her suffering, her heartache?
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Of course He cared. But as much as God cares about our private pain, He cares far more about the big picture. When God tells the prophet Jeremiah that "My ways are not your ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways" He was making it as simple as he could for our tiny brains. When he says "higher" he means far more encompassing than we can fathom.
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When we base our obedience on our own understanding, we limit God's ability to use us in His ultimate plan. God requires absolute obedience to His Voice, but doesn't promise the results we think we want. Most of the time, the results we want benefit only ourselves. God wants to use our obedience in the bigger picture.
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Had God allowed Mary's personal sacrifice to alter His plan, humanity would be damned forever. What if he'd heeded her cries to spare her precious Son?
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That's why He insists that we obey whether or not we like or understand it. He knows where we fit into the bigger picture--His picture: the redemption of mankind, the restoration of broken hearts, the conformity of man to the image of His Son.
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When we follow God only when we can see and approve of the results, we are in danger of derailing how God wants to use us in the bigger picture. God's plan will prevail, but it may have to go on without you. Do you really want it to?
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We are responsible only for our obedience, not the results of that obedience.

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And someday, we'll get to see the bigger picture. .

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The Tightrope Walker


Does your life ever feel like this?

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You put one foot in front of the other, balance for a second and whatever you do--don't look down!
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I am learning that following God's call on my life is like walking a tightrope. The direction is clear, the goal is obvious, but getting there can be frightening.

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I used to think the sense of nearly falling meant I was doing something wrong. But I'm learning it means that I'm doing it right.

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When I follow the path God has set me on, it can look overwhelming.

"Are you sure I can do all that, Lord?"
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And He says, "Absolutely not. That's why I assigned it."

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On that tightrope, the ground is several stories below. Nothing holds the guy there but a thin connection to the other side. Destruction waits him if he should slip, and that thought crowds his mind as he takes the next step.
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And when we step out to follow God, nothing but a thin strand of faith connects us to Him. With every step, we become more aware that without Him doing this through us, sure destruction awaits. As long as we focus on Him, the surety of our calling, and the victory at the end, we can walk with confidence.


But the moment, we take our eyes off Him and look down, we're in trouble.


What keeps most people from walking a tightrope? The risk.


The same thing keeps most people from following God.


Too scary. He might require more of me than I want to give. What if he sets me up and then disappears? It looks too hard.


But most professional tightrope walkers will tell you there is nothing like the thrill they feel when they step foot on the other side. Mission accomplished.


And there is nothing like the thrill of walking hand-in-hand with the Creator as He accomplishes more in your life than you ever imagined. You look back at that tightrope and wonder how you did it.


You did it because you refused to look down. Refused to drop your gaze from the One who was coaxing you across. Refused to look at how impossible it was, how improbable that someone like you could do such a thing. You just did it. You felt his hands over yours, His feet nudging yours across, His quiet encouragement.


So readjust your gaze. Stabilize your feet. Take a deep breath. Purpose never again to look at the ground. Why should you? It's not your destination, the other side is. The One who called you won't let you fall.


So, get ready. Get set. Take another step.

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The Mission



The bog smelled worse than I remembered.
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The nauseating sulfuric stench burned my nostrils. It bubbled and popped, splashing onto the bank, and I took a step back. It had touched me before, more often than I liked to remember. But that was long ago. Now I stood on the dry bank, cleansed and whole. Never again.
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A cry sounded from far out in the middle and I turned away. Signs were posted everywhere, but people insisted on diving in anyway. Not my problem. They'd finally learn the signs meant business, but usually it was too late. The acidic murk eventually ate them alive. It ate everything that touched it, clearly illustrated by the severed ropes lying all along the shore.

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Tied to trees, boulders, anything sturdy, the ropes lay in parallel lines right to the bog's edge where they were eaten away, leaving only ragged edges. A long pole lay like a thick finger pointing at the bog, its tip chewed off by the vicious liquid.
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Another cry echoed through the steam rising from the bog and a hand waved frantically before disappearing beneath the thick film.

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I turned to walk away and bumped into someone. He stood like a statue, staring out over the bog. A tear inched down his left cheek.

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My heart melted. It was Him! He'd come to walk with me!

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I smiled and reached for him, but he didn't seem to see me as he stared straight ahead, past me, to the bog.

"They're so desperate," he said and only then did I notice what he was holding. A T-shaped staff, stained dark with some substance. "I want you to go in after them."
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I froze, staring at that face I loved. Surely he didn't mean that.
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He forced his gaze away from the bog and smiled at me, that smile I would do anything to see. He held out his staff.

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I shrank from it and glanced instead down at my clean clothes. "I...I can't. That nasty bog. It'll eat me too. You know that. You're the one who rescued me from it." I swallowed hard and took a step back, something I'd never done before.

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"This will do it," he answered and his eyes swept the bog again where a second ill-fated swimmer shouted for help. "This will protect you. As long as you're holding this, you're safe from the effects of the bog. They will be too, once they clasp on to it. Take it to them. Go after them. For me."
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My head involuntarily shook back and forth. "No...no. I...it can't. Nothing's safe in there. It will pollute me, get all over me...I don't want---What is that anyway?"
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I squinted at the rod he held and now realized what covered it. I looked up at him. "Blood?"
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He nodded and held the staff toward me again. "Yes. It's the secret to the bog. Blood neutralizes the acid. My blood. Hold on to it and you'll be safe. So will they."

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With trembling hands I took the staff. At the first touch, I felt it: the power surging through my hands, up my arms, electrifying my heart. Strength poured into my limbs and I knew I could swim as far out as I had to.

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He touched my cheek with the back of his hand and smiled again. "I knew you would. I'll be waiting right here when you bring them out, and I'll do the rest. You're not going in alone, you know. We're doing this together. You and me."

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I swallowed hard and nodded, scarcely able to see through my tears. "How will I know which ones? There are so many."

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"Go to the ones who are calling out. The others won't grab on. Take my staff to the ones who are ready for it."
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With a single nod, I turned away and faced the bog. More arms waved frantically and voices echoed like owls in the night.
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With a firm grip on the staff--His staff--I stepped into the bog.

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"...as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you." John 20:21

How Spongy Are You?


How are you and Spongebob alike?
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Never thought about it?
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You should. We have more in common with him than his blunders and silliness. In fact, we were created just like him.

We humans are living sponges. We tend to absorb the life and influence of whatever we're immersed in. You can quickly tell where someone's passion lies when you give them a little squeeze. What comes out?
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The sports enthusiast (i.e."nut") will rattle off the batting averages and touchdowns of his favorite teams. The celeb-stalker can tell you the birthplace of J. Lo's latest husband and who in Hollywood just had lipo. The serious student oozes with recently acquired knowledge crammed into his brain for tomorrow's test.
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None of those is wrong in itself. It's just insufficient.
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Augustine said, "Man was made for God, and he will never find happiness until he finds it in the One who made him."
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Notice he did not say man needs to discover God. Many people have discovered God; some have even crept into his shadow through salvation in Christ. But how many of those can honestly say they seek their happiness in Him alone?
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Instead, we hear comments more like these:
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"I'm a Christian and everything, but I don't want to go, you know...overboard with it."
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"Why are some people so...well...into God? Isn't that carrying the holy thing a little too far?"
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"I want God to be a part of my life, but I can't say I want Him to be my whole life. I have other things I'm interested in."
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How far we enlightened 21st-century believers have fallen from what God intended to be the norm for human beings created in his image.
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We were designed to be filled with God, immersed in His presence, as Tozer says "living in a state of unbroken worship."
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When you immerse a sponge in any liquid, the fluid becomes a part of it, filling every crevice, making the once-empty sponge a conduit for the liquid.
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And God created us to do the same. True happiness is only found when every crevice is so filled with the presence of God that there is no room for anything else.
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We substitute fun, temporary thrills, and complacency for the joy God designed us to embrace---believing that is all there is and disappointed at the realization.
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Most people spend their lives soaking up everything BUT what will really fill them and when squeezed, there is nothing but dust.
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Maybe you know you're empty. You already know nothing seems to satisfy for long. If so, you're on the right track.
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You were designed to feel that way, because until God becomes your life, you're only dabbling at the edges. There are few people more unhappy than half-hearted Christians. You weren't meant to live only half-filled. God invites you to jump in. Submerge yourself in Him, His truth, His ways, His life and His purpose for yours.
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So go ahead. Be a sponge. Immerse yourself. Just like Spongebob, that's what you were created to do.
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Brake Check

The road stretches before you, flat and predictable. Your foot presses the accelerator, but instead of speeding up, you feel a catch. Then another. The brakes are catching.
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Jerk--Jerk--Jerk--
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Your speed slows and you pound the steering wheel in frustration. Stupid brakes! Everything was fine until the stupid brakes started ruining a perfectly good trip.
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You you curse them under your breath: Wish this car didn't even have brakes. I could slow myself down some other way if I wanted to. These brakes are in the way.


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Then you top a rise and your heart lurches. The road shoots straight down, curving out of sight at the bottom.
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The car begins to accelerate. You lift your foot from the accelerator and pound the brake.
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How do you feel about your brakes now?
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Most people see their lives as a straight and predictable path, with themselves in the driver's seat. They think they understand where they want to go in life and are the best judges of how to get there. They see God's moral laws as nuisances, impeding their progress to the Land of Unbridled Happiness.
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But life is not one long predictable highway. It is a series of ups and downs and scary turns and to attempt to navigate it without adequate boundaries in place is to place ourselves at the top of a cliff in a car with no brakes.
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We like boundaries when they refer to someone else. But when was the last time you thanked God for the moral and ethical boundaries He has written on your heart?
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"Thou shalt not..." should be considered a handy brake at the top of a hill. Heed it, and you will navigate the winding highway just find. Ignore it to your own peril.
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Those who boast, "Oh, I like excitement! Give me a hill with no brakes any time," are usually perched at the top, untried and healthy. The broken ones at the bottom, however, have a different story. They are far from the picture of "unbridled happiness" they imagined at the top of the hill.
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To believe that the God who created you would turn you loose on life with no brakes is as ridiculous as the idea of strapping your newborn baby in a car seat by himself and giving that car a shove down the mountain. If that sounds cruel, then so is the idea of a Creator turning his creation loose with no moral laws. No brakes.
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So how's your driving? Are you using your brakes?
They really do come in handy.
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Blind Faith or Reasonable Faith

The man tightens his grip on the dog's harness. His senses absorb the cacophony of the city: trucks honk, voices--distant and disembodied--shout to each other, fumes from passing buses sear his nostrils, and the combination of exhaust, sunlight, and the press of humanity brings a bead of sweat to his upper lip.
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All senses are alive but one. The man is blind.
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Though his eyes can't be trusted, there is a pair of keen eyes upon which he depends. King, his loyal guide dog, has brought him over a mile on New York City's 34th Street. Navigating around sign posts, hurrying bodies, and impatient taxis, King has kept his master safe as the man takes his cues from the dog. Continually interpreting King's signals and following them is the only way he can experience freedom and safety in the middle of the bustling city.
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Suddenly King freezes, whimpers and sits down. The man almost trips over him.
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"King, what's wrong?"
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The man turns his head slightly, straining to hear what has made the dog stop.
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The roar of the city has faded into distant background music and he hears the chirping of birds overhead. The cool, green-scented breeze tells him he is on a quiet, tree-lined street.
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"C'mon, boy." He rattles the dog's harness.
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King doesn't move.
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The man frowns and touches his braille watch. Ten minutes to get to his appointment. He'll never make it now. He shakes the harness again and nudges King with his foot.
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The dog gives a soft whimper, but refuses to budge.
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The man drops the harness in frustration and listens again. No horns honking. No shouts. No blasts of exhaust. They are on a quiet street with no reason not to move forward.
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He thinks about this morning. King had been a bit balky when the harness was fitted over his head. It had taken two calls to get him to come. The dog was being stubborn. That's all it was.
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The man sighs and grabs the handle again. "Remember, I'm the master here," he growls. "I've got an appointment and you're not gonna make me late!"
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With that he gives a jerk on the handle and steps off the curb..
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King barks, but not in time.
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The man cries out as he plunges into the open manhole beside the curb. The cry is cut short as his head hits the concrete floor below. And then all is silent. All but the soft whimper from the loyal dog sitting only inches away from the opening.
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Was it blind faith or reasonable faith that made the man follow the dog at first?
Was it blind faith or reasonable faith that made him decide to obey his own instincts?
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Blind faith would have been trusting his life to a stray dog he'd picked up at the pound that morning. However, King was a dog he knew well, one who had proven his loyalty and sufficiency many times. To put faith in his dog's instinct would have been reasonable faith.
Yet, when the dog's will clashed with the man's, the man chose to follow his own understanding. The consequences were devastating.
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Some people say that believing in the God of the Bible is blind faith. "I base my life and decisions on what I can see," they say. "I can't believe in something without proof."
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But faith in God is not blind faith. Blind faith chooses to stake something of value on something unproven. Blind faith is the hallmark of any religion that does not worship the Creator, because it is based on man's faulty perception and ignores what is evident all around us. Blind faith chooses to turn its face away from the truth because the implications of that truth are not what they want to hear. And like the man in the story above, the results are devastating.
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Real faith is based on an active, vital relationship with a Person you know and trust. It is reasonable to follow a Guide who has proven His love and loyalty over and over again. It is reasonable to follow a Guide who has never once steered you wrong. Reasonable faith bases its existence on evidence from the past and assumes that the unbroken pattern will continue.
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We can see how foolish it was for the man to break faith with a guide who had never let him down, yet often cannot see how foolish it is when we do the same thing with God.
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Life is filled with unexpected manholes and events our senses cannot understand. Make sure you have a firm grip on the only One who can steer you safely home.
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Test Time!

Semester Quiz


Name _______________ Date _______________


In each pairing below, choose the person who is most significant. (Don't give your Sunday School answer. Be honest.)
  • The CEO of a Fortune 500 company, who gives millions to charity.

  • The owner of Fred and Bubba's Neighborhood Tavern who gambles away his meager profits.


  • A young, healthy mother of four, raising her sister's orphan child.

  • A homeless drunk.


  • A United States Senator.

  • The school janitor.


  • The Chief of Police.

  • A prisoner.
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In the above statements, it's easy to tell which person has more significance in life. Regardless of our ethical insistence that all people are equally valuable, the truth is, we do consider those who contribute to the good of society more worthwhile than those with apparently little to offer.
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What about in the spiritual realm?
Which of these Christians has more significance in God's kingdom?
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  • A missionary with only 1 convert after 20 years on the field.

  • The pastor of a mega church, baptising 100 per week.

  • The minority pastor of an inner-city church.

  • The wiggly little boy interrupting the teacher during Sunday School.

  • A stay-at-home mother rocking a colicky baby.

  • Beth Moore.
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If you've spent any time learning about God's value-system, you probably gave the magnanimous answer that they were all equally significant.
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But that's not what you really think.
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Our mouths give a lot of answers our hearts don't believe. We've been programmed to parrot correct teachings, yet we know when we say it we are not speaking the truth.
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The truth is, we try to use the same standards in the kingdom of God that we use to determine earthly significance. Our bottom line is: How impressive are your results? If you've got a lot to show for your efforts, you are more important than someone who has nothing to show for them.
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The truth is, when we are working for God, we are not responsible for the outcome.
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Our significance comes from our level of obedience,

not the results of that obedience.

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God calls us each to a different place, different goals, different service. We are uniquely designed to fit into God's masterpiece just the way he wants us to fit. When we work in harmony with His plan, we are fulfilling His ultimate purpose in creating us. When we resist his plan and try to earn significance our way, we lose significance in God's kingdom because we are out of sync with the big picture.
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If the missionary with one convert has stayed within God's perfect will for His life, His reward in Heaven is equal or greater than the mega-church star who may or may not be doing his job for the glory of God.
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When is the last time you evaluated your own significance on the quality of your obedience rather than the quantity of your output?
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To judge significance based on any other system is like trying to use Monopoly money at Wal-Mart. No good. Doesn't work.
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So before you say yes to that project because you can't say no, before you race out the door to "help" someone who needs to be helping himself, before you take on more than you should in your frantic effort to feel important, ask yourself: Upon whose standard am I judging my worth, God's or the world's?
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Do exactly what God tells you to do--and not a thing more.
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You cannot be any more significant than that.
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Does God Have Favorites?


Every good parent knows you never answer that question. But every parent also knows that not all children earn equal favor at all times.
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Love should be unconditional, and with God it is. But favor is something different.
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If you do a study of the term "favor of the Lord" you find something interesting. In almost every instance, the favor of the Lord was something sought and when it wasn't, a sharp rebuke followed. In other words, God expects His children to seek His favor.
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Notice Scripture never instructs us to try to win His love. God cannot love us more than He does. He's already given the ultimate love gift, His Son, and to expect Him to demonstrate greater affection for humanity is not only insulting, it is impossible.
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But He is selective upon whom He bestows His favor.
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Gabriel used the term when he greeted the virgin Mary for the first time: "Greetings. You have found favor with God."
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Noah "found favor" in the eyes of God.
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Moses assumed this favor when he negotiated with God to spare the rebellious Israelites. He prefaced his prayer with the words: "If I have found favor in your sight, grant my plea." He was staking the future of the Hebrew nation on the assurance that God would listen to his favored one.
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Psalm 5: 11 says "For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O LORD, You surround him with favor as with a shield."
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Notice who receives this blessing. Not everyone, as in "God so loved the world." But it is the righteous who can expect to experience God's favor.

So who are the righteous?
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If you counted up your good deeds and raised your hand, you've just eliminated yourself as a candidate! Pride tends to disqualify most of us.

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I believe the secret lies in this little phrase in Psalm 119: 58. "I sought Your favor with all my heart; Be gracious to me according to Your word."
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The righteous are those who accept Christ's righteousness in exchange for their own sinful nature and spend their days seeking to please God in everything they do. That doesn't mean they always get it right, but when they do they are quick to confess it, change it, and learn from it.
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The ones who obtain God's favor

are the ones who want it more than anything else.
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If you are busy earning the world's favor, you'll scarcely notice whether or not you have earned God's. It won't mean anything to you. You'll attribute your success to yourself and your hard work. You'll join the community in patting yourself on the back, and Scripture is clear that you have earned all the reward you're going to get.
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But if you choose to live in the secret place of the Most High, if pleasing Him is the only item on your To-Do list, then the Bible is very clear that you have earned the favor of the Lord.
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So what does favor look like?
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Favor can be seen in those little extras that God didn't have to do to answer your prayer, but He tossed in anyway just to show you he knows what you like.
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Notice the beautiful purple flowers at the top of this post. Purple is my favorite color and purple flowers are as good as it gets.
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I've mowed a path across my field. It leads to the place I go every day to meet with the Lord. The first spring I mowed it, guess what sprang up along this path all the way to the woods?
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Purple flowers. Millions of them became a carpet where I walked every day and every time I saw them, I felt the favor of the Lord. They could have been yellow or red or pink. But they weren't. They were purple. Just for me. And every spring they come back, waiting for me like a smile from God.
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Those who find favor with the Lord are looking for it. It comes wrapped in personalized gift wrap. They find it everywhere they go because they know what to look for.
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It's in the little extras. It's the special gift tucked in among your answered prayers that gives you a little shiver because you know what it is. It's personal, it's beautiful, it's thoughtful, and it's a reminder that the Creator who knows every sparrow in the trees, also knows every desire of your heart.
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Sometimes it's even purple.
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The Unwelcome Friend


“You’re back.”

“You thought I wouldn’t be?”

She was in my sun, the sun I’d earned. I wished she’d move.

“Are you ready to talk?”

“No.” I inched sideways and decided to ignore her. After all, she was invisible to everyone else.
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She plopped down beside me and little sand crystals showered my skin. Irritating. Like her.

“Let’s get it over with,” she said and sounded as irritated as I was. “You know you shouldn’t be here. This is wrong. You’re running away. What should we do about it?”

I hated these talks. She was so persistent, like a gnat that couldn’t be swatted. No drug could silence her, no drink drown her out. The moment the artificial solution wore off, there she was, annoying me, making things worse. I wished she would vanish forever and let me enjoy myself.
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For a blissful moment, I imagined basking in my own sun, doing as I pleased without her bothersome nagging. “You’re right. I’m sorry. But I don’t need you this time. Now, leave.”

That patronizing chuckle. “Not good enough. I can’t leave yet. He sent me because He cares about you. If I don’t stay, you’re gonna get yourself in big trouble.”

She stretched out beside me, looking out over the same whitecaps I saw, but I knew she wasn’t enjoying them. I wasn’t either.

She turned to study me with that probing look she had. “Believe me, if you’d shape up, no one would be happier than I would. It’s no fun being at odds with you all the time. But this is my job and I’m good at it.”

“I ran here to get away from you. Why won’t you leave me alone?” Anger mushroomed like a cloud. Righteous anger. I was a good person, better than most. She didn’t have the right to bug me so often. Did she bug other people like this?

The silence stretched so long I thought she had gone, but when I turned my head I could see her shadow across the sand. She hadn’t moved.
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In a voice so soft I could barely hear, she asked, “Do you honestly want me to go away and never return? You know what that would mean, don’t you?”
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An unwelcome vision flashed across my mind, blocking out the rest of the sun but bringing a light of its own. Her presence, unwelcome at times, had kept me from wrong decisions, destructive relationships, habits and addictions. Whenever I got to a crossroads, there she was, bugging me. Sometimes loudly. Too loud to ignore.

“No,” I sighed. “I guess I need you. You’re annoying, but life without you would be unbearable. I’ll do as you say and…tell Him thanks.”

She helped me to my feet. “All right then, follow me.”

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Who Touched Me?


The eager crowd pressed against him. Hands reached out, voices called, beggars pleaded. Everyone wanted a miracle.


Suddenly he froze and the clamor quieted. His expression changed and he looked over his shoulder. "Who touched me?"


Snickers rippled through the throng. Touched him? Everyone is touching him. We're pressed together like a sandwich. What's he mean?


"Sir? It was me." A gnarled woman dressed in rags bowed before him. "I-I'm sorry, but you see I've had this awful bleeding for eighteen years and it's destroying me. My money's gone, my family, my health...I thought...well, I thought if only I could touch the hem of your robe I would be healed and...and...something's happening!"
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The old woman gasped and straightened.
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"Yes, you've been healed," he replied softly. "Go and enjoy your life."
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Have you ever wondered what he meant? Why was one woman's touch so much different from all the other hands that grabbed at him? After all, he'd been healing people right and left for months. Touching the crippled, the blind, the lepers...
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But this one touched him.
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Mark 5 tells us that Jesus "felt the power drain out of him." Her touch depleted something in him and he felt it.
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This woman's healing cost Jesus something. She received the power of God at Christ's expense. He didn't begrudge her that. He knew where to get more power. That's why he spent so much time alone with his Father. His Source.
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Last night, I learned in a personal way what he meant. As I lay flat on my back, drained from the last two days of counseling, I felt like an empty sock. It was more than tired. Tired is spending all day at the zoo with a toddler and a crying baby. It was more than mental exhaustion, the way you feel after doing your taxes. It was a hollowness, a draining of spirit that reverberated through my being like shouts echoing through a canyon. The power had "drained out of me."
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As I tried to identify the feeling, Mark 5 came to mind and I finally understood it.
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Within the past 48 hours, I had been the instrument God used to transfer His healing to 7 broken people. Seven different cases, different issues, different needs. But all received His healing, coming alive again when they had believed hope was gone. Each one had touched me uniquely. Their pain, their past, their sorrows became mine as God's wholeness became theirs in a Divine Exchange.
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Jesus understood this exchange better than anyone else. He let himself be touched by this wasted woman, knowing that it would cost him something. And it costs us to be used as God's tools to heal others. It's a power we do not have in ourselves and it runs out quickly if we don't stay replenished.
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One aspect of being God's vessel of healing is that we must be willing to allow the sick to touch us, to drain us until we feel like an empty sock.
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We hear a lot today about "burnout." Why didn't Jesus burn out? That's what happens when you feel the power drain out of you. If you stay depleted, you burn out.
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We must learn how to stay continually plugged into the source of strength and power. We must be continually replenished, filled to overflowing with God's love, wisdom, truth, and power or we have nothing to offer anyone else. The time Jesus spent alone with his Father was more than a typical "quiet time"-- those twenty minutes of trying not to watch the clock that most Christians call "spending time with God."
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Jesus lived there. Stayed at the feet of his Father. Lived in a different zone than everyone else and most people thought he was nuts. People will think you're a little off your rocker too, when you emulate his lifestyle.
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But that's where the power is. That's where you go to be replenished. You live there. You dwell in the secret place of the Most High. You abide in the shadow of the Almighty. You stay in constant communion with the only One worth expending yourself for.
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And you allow the wasted ones to touch you, grab like drowning swimmers at that power that heals.
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Yes, it drains you. Yes, they take it all, but there's more where that came from.
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Only when you drink daily, hourly, moment-by-moment from that never-ending supply, the way Jesus did, can you allow them to touch you and be healed.
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