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Refreshing

Daily
in Gods Word
Emphasis on

Christians

If you were on trial for being a


Christian
would there be enough evidence to
convict you?

The saddest thing one meets is a nominal


Christian. ~ Amy Carmichael

A Peculiar People

April 1
Bible Reading: I Peter 2:1-10
Key Verse: Verse 9 - But ye are a chosen generation,
a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people;
that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath
called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
Key Words: a peculiar people
Its no wonder that the lost world doesnt understand
us. Think about this. The Christian feels a supreme love for
One whom he has never seen, talks familiarly every day to
Someone he cannot see, expects to go to heaven on the virtue
of Another, empties himself in order to be full, admits he is
wrong so he can be declared right, goes down in order to get
up, is strongest when he is weakest, richest when he is
poorest, and happiest when he feels worst. He dies so he can
live, forsakes in order to have, gives away so he can keep, sees
the invisible, hears the inaudible, and knows that which
passeth knowledge. (A. W. Tozier)
Yes, the world sees us as being a little peculiar, but
then again, dont we see the world as something strange?
The song writer said it best, Oh, it is wonderful to be a
Christian.
What to do:
Dont let the world get you down by thinking you are
peculiar, so are they.
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good
courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the
LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
Joshua 1:9

Christians and Saints


April 2

Bible Reading: Philippians 4:15-23


Key Verse: Verse 21 Salute every saint in Christ
Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you.
Key Words: every saint in Christ
Donald Barnhouse relates a story about Dr. H. A.
Ironside in his earlier ministry.
He was on his way to the Pacific Coast at a time when
it still took about four days to make the trip from Chicago. In
his railway car was a party of nuns, and day by day he spoke to
them and they spoke to him. He would sit reading his Bible,
and at times the nuns talked with him about spiritual things.
He read some of the stories from the Word, and they were
delighted with the reading. About the third day, he asked
them if any one of them had ever seen a saint. They all
answered they never had. Then he asked them if they would
like to see a saint. They all declared they would like to very
much. Then he astonished them by saying, I am a saint. Im
Saint Harry. He then opened the New Testament and
showed them the truththat God Almighty does not make a
saint by exalting an individual, but by exalting the Lord Jesus
Christ.
The church cant make us a saint nor can our parents,
only Christ can do that!

What to do:
If you are in Christ, then live like a saint.

Posing Christians

April 3

Bible Reading: James 1:17-25

Key Verse: Verse 22 But be ye doers of the word,


and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
Key Words: be ye doers of the word

I read an interesting story about a bodybuilder who


visited an African tribe. The tribal chief was just amazed at
his physique. So the tribal chief asks the muscle builder,
What do you do with all those muscles?
The bodybuilder said, "Well, it's probably easier to
show you than to explain." So he went into all these different
presentations of his physique to show off the different
musclesthe biceps, the triceps, the back, and the obliques.
He just stood there, changing poses. After the presentation,
the tribal chief said, "Now that's impressive! But, I have a
second question. What else do you do with all of those
muscles?"
"Well," the bodybuilder said, "that's pretty much it. I
work out to pose." The African chief said, "What a waste.
What a waste."
Many Christians work out their spiritual muscles only
to pose. They don't work out to use the muscles they have
developed. They carry their Bibles and absorb the Word of
God from the services, only to leave the church and never use
what they've learned.
What a shame! Dont be just a poser; be a doer.

What to do:
Be a doer of the Word, not just a poser.

Objections to Christianity

April 4

Bible Reading: I Corinthians 1:18-25

Key Verse: 23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto


the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks
foolishness;
Key Words: But we preach Christ
A preacher announced a special men's meeting in his
church, proposing to give the men a chance to air their
objections to Christianity.
Over 1200 men were present. The first objector said,
Church members are no better than others.
The ministers are no good, said another.
And so the objections were mentioned one after
another, as the pastor wrote them down on paper:
Hypocrites in the church.
The church is a rich mans club.
Christians dont believe the Bible anymore.
There were twenty-seven objections to Christianity in
all. When they were through, the pastor read off the whole
list, then tossed it aside saying, Friends, you have objected to
pastors, to church members, to the Bible, etc., etc., but you
have not said one word against my Master!
And in a few simple words, he preached Christ to them
as the faultless One and invited them to come to Him and
believe on Him. Forty-nine men responded.
Being a Christian isnt about what man has done or
has not done. Its not about what the church has done or has
not done. Being a Christian is all about what Jesus did in
coming to earth, dying for our sins, being buried and rising
again. We preach Christ.

What to do:
Dont focus on man, focus on Jesus Christ.

What Is a Christian?

April 5
Bible Reading: Acts 11:19-30

Key Verse: Verse 26 And when he had found him,


he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass,
that a whole year they assembled themselves with the
church, and taught much people. And the disciples
were called Christians first in Antioch.
Key Words: the disciples were called Christians
What is a Christian? In the LETTER TO DIOGNETUS,
which dates back to the second century A.D., an anonymous
writer describes a strange people who are in the world but not
of the world.
Christians are not differentiated from other people by
country, language, or customs; you see, they do not live in
cities of their own, or speak some strange dialect. . . They live
in both Greek and foreign cities, wherever chance has put
them. They follow local customs in clothing, food, and other
aspects of life. But at the same time, they demonstrate to us
the unusual form of their own citizenship.
They live in their own native lands, but as aliens. . .
Every foreign country is to them as their native country, and
every native land as a foreign country.
They marry and have children just like everyone else,
but they do not kill unwanted babies. They offer a shared
table, but not a shared bed. They are passing their days on
earth, but are citizens of heaven. They obey the appointed
laws and go beyond the laws in their own lives.
They love everyone, but are persecuted by all. They
are put to death and gain life. They are poor and yet make
many rich.
They are dishonored and yet gain glory through
dishonor. Their names are blackened and yet they are
cleared. They are mocked and bless in return. They are
treated outrageously and behave respectfully to others.
Ahh! So thats what a Christian is!
What to do:
Live like a Christian.
********************

Christian Affections
April 6
Bible Reading: Colossians 3:1-11
Key Verse: Verse 2 Set your affection on things
above, not on things on the earth.
Key Words: Set your affections on things above
We live on the earth, but aspire for the heavenly or at
least that should be our goal.
Years ago during World War I, one of our airmen took
off from a field in Kobar, Arabia. While on the ground in
Kobar, a large rat had gotten into the aircraft.
The pilot became aware of the rats presence when he
was in midair and heard the sound of gnawing behind him.
Alarmed by the threat of disaster, he remembered that rats
cannot live in high altitudes. Accordingly he pointed his plane
upward until breathing was difficult. After some time, when
the gnawing had ceased, he descended to a landing where he
found the rat had died.
Many, if not most, of our struggles can be eliminated
by rising to a higher altitude in our Christian walk.
~ Charles Diffee
Its always good to remember that a Christian is:
A mind through which Christ thinks;
A voice through which Christ speaks;
A heart through which Christ loves; and
A hand through which Christ helps.
What to do:
The best way to not be a part of this world is to live
above it.

The Christian Walk


April 7

Bible Reading: Galatians 5:16-26

Key Verse: Verse 16 This I say then, Walk in the


Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
Key Words: Walk in the Spirit

Your walk walks and your talk talks, but your walk
talks louder than your talk talks.
Our Daily Bread writes: Our lives should preach good
sermons. According to the book Life of Francis d'Assisi,
Francis once invited a young monk to join him on a trip to
town to preach. Honored to be given the invitation, the monk
readily accepted. All day long he and Francis walked through
the streets, byways, and alleys, and even into the suburbs.
They rubbed shoulders with hundreds of people.
At day's end, the two headed back home. Not even
once had Francis addressed a crowd, nor had he talked to
anyone about the gospel. Greatly disappointed, his young
companion said, "I thought we were going into town to
preach." Francis responded, "My son, we have preached. We
were preaching while we were walking. We were seen by
many and our behavior was closely watched. It is of no use to
walk anywhere to preach unless we preach everywhere as we
walk!"
Its always wise to remember that someone is watching
you and your walk may be the only message they ever hear.

What to do:
Remember, you cant take back a bad decision!

Christians and Winning


April 8

Bible Reading: Matthew 12:22-37

Key Verse: Verse 29 Or else how can one enter into


a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he
first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his
house.
Key Words: a strong mans house
I confess to you that I hate losing. If I play, I play to
win, even if its a game of checkers with the grandkidsI want
to win.
We should have the same winning attitude when it
comes to spiritual things as well.
On February 4, 1993, Larry Bird said good-bye to his
fans at the Boston Garden. A special 2 1/2 hour affair marked
the retiring of Bird's jersey and the ceremonial placing of
number 33 in the Garden's famed Rafter Heaven. His words
were chosen with the class he typically displayed on the court.
Maybe the most significant words he said were, "I never put
on a uniform to play a game. I put on a uniform to win." The
former Hoosier, who worked on a garbage truck before
finding his niche in basketball, is right. God hasn't called
Christians to simply play in His Kingdom. He's called us to
triumph over the strongholds of Satan.
Its not a game we are in; its a war. Losing is not an
option. We must win.

What to do:
Be on the winning side. I have read the last chapter
in The Book, and we win!!

A Glorious Christian Life


April 9

Bible Reading: Psalm 14

Key Verse: Verse 1 The fool hath said in his heart,


There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done
abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
Key Words: The fool
The song writer got it right when he wrote, New life in
Christ: abundant and free, what glories shine, what joys are
mine, what wondrous blessings I see!
But some have missed this glorious Christian life.
Years ago, a pregnant woman stood in the yard of her
Baltimore, Maryland, home and shook her fist at God. In a
torrential rainstorm she shouted vulgarities at God and
taunted Him to strike her dead if He did indeed exist. After
lightning did not strike, she turned to her family who had
witnessed the unusual ordeal and declared victory because
she had proven God doesnt exist. She would later tell her
son, Bill, that she didnt care if he became a drug addict, bank
robber, or brought home a boyfriend instead of a girl friend,
all she wanted was for him to never become a Christian.
Bill Murray did become a Christian at the age of thirtythree, and his mother disowned him. He had done the one
thing she had hoped he never would. His life had been
transformed from addictions with pornography and alcohol.
He came to know the peace that had alluded him all of his life.
Bitterness began to loosen its stranglehold on his heart and he
started giving for the first time in his life. But none of that
mattered to his mom. The only ambition Madalyn Murray
OHair had for her son was that he not become a Christian.
The ambition of a godless philosophy definitely siphons any
real meaning from life.

What to do:
Enjoy your glorious life in Christ.

Three Types of Christians

April 10

Bible Reading: II Kings 10:1-17

Key Verse: Verse 16 - Come with me and see my zeal


for the Lord.
Key Words: Come with me and see my zeal for the
Lord
Bill Hybels, Senior Pastor of Willow Creek Community
Church, has identified three types of Christians: Yawners,
Maimers, and Killers. In the spiritual battle of light and
darkness we are called to be soldiers of the Cross.
Unfortunately, not all Christians can be classified as Killers.
Some believers yawn at the tasks God has called us to perform
in His Kingdom and can never be counted on to advance the
cause of Christ. Other Christians periodically rise to the
occasion if nothing more interesting catches their attention.
As a soldier for God they maim the enemy every once in a
while but they seldom deliver a death blow. The final group,
Killers, are people by which you grow a strong and vital
Church. Their commitment is vital and zealous. They see the
seriousness of the spiritual battle and are dedicated to being
victorious for Christ and His Kingdom.
Killers are few, but they can turn the tide in battle---just ask Gideon or Goliath. Greater attention should be given
to this final group even though they represent a small
minority of the total Church. A tiny group of Killers can help
build a Killer Church.
Likewise, each of us should evaluate which group best
describes us and our level of commitment to God. Just
because you may have been a Yawner or Maimer doesn't
mean you cant change and become a Killer.

What to do:
Let people see your zeal for the Lord.

The Backsliding Christian


April 11

Bible Reading: Proverbs 14:8-16

Key Verse: Verse 14 The backslider in heart shall be


filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be
satisfied from himself.
Key Words: The backslider in heart shall be filled

with his own ways


Have you ever studied the word backslider? Its a
farmers word. It is what an oxen would do when the farmer
would want his oxen to move forward and the oxen wanted to
go in a different direction. A backslider then is someone who
wants to go his own way rather than be led by the Lord.
When Billy Sunday was converted and joined the
church, a Christian man put his arm on the young mans
shoulder and said, William, there are three simple rules I can
give to you, and if you will hold to them you will never write
backslider after your name.
Take 15 minutes each day to listen to God talking to
you; take 15 minutes each day to talk to God; take 15 minutes
each day to talk to others about God.
The young convert was deeply impressed and
determined to make these the rules of his life. From that day
on throughout his life he made it a rule to spend the first
moments of his day alone with God and His Word. Before he
read a letter, looked at a paper or even read a telegram, he
went first to the Bible so that the first impression of the day
might be what he got directly from God.
Not bad advice that we would be wise to heed.

What to do:
Remember, if you are not being led by the Lord;
youre going in the wrong direction.

The Conforming Christian

April 12

Bible Reading: Romans 8:28-39


Key Verse: Verse 29 For whom he did foreknow, he
also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of
his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many
brethren.
Key Words: to be conformed
Verse 29 is not a predestination to salvation but a
predestination to conformation: to be conformed into the
image of His Son. To be conformed into the image of His Son
is not instantaneous, it takes timeand I might add, its a
struggle.
The story is told of an individual who was somewhat
overweight. This individual went to an exercise and diet
clinic. The first thing the supervisor did was to draw
a silhouette on a mirror, in the shape he/she wished to
become. As he/she stood in front of the mirror, they bulged
out over the silhouette. The instructor told them, Our goal is
for you to fit this shape.
For many weeks the individual exercised and dieted.
Each week they would stand in front of the mirror but their
volume, while decreasing, still overflowed. So they continued
to exercise and diet more rigidly. Finally, one happy day, to
everyones delight, as they stood in front of the mirror, they
found they were CONFORMED to the image of the silhouette.
It takes time and work to be conformed to the image of
Gods Son. The discipline of sorrow and suffering, the
exercise of pain and trials conform us to His image.
So today remember, whatever struggles, sorrows, and
pain come your way, God is simply conforming you to the
image of His Son.
What to do:
Dont quit during the hard times and the end result
is conforming to the image of Jesus Christ.

Self-Centered Christians

April 13

Bible Reading: Hebrews 12:1-13

Key Verse: Verse 2 Looking unto Jesus the author


and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set
before him endured the cross, despising the shame,
and is set down at the right hand of the throne of
God.
Key Words: Looking unto Jesus

The moment the focus of your life is me, you are


headed for failure.
Tony Evans writes, While in seminary preparing for
ministry, I was enrolled in a class that one day brought me
great discouragement. Our class was asked to do a paper.
Now I always loved to do challenging things in class and I was
committed to making an A on this paper; I was determined to
spare no research effort, no dedication, nor any steadfastness
to make an A on this paper. It was a particularly difficult class
and it was rare that anyone ever made an A with this
professor. I was sure that I would be the exception to the rule.
My Type A personality kicked in and I was committed to ace
this class, which meant acing this research paper. I was
committed to it.
When I got my paper back, there was an F on it. Not
only did I not make an A, I did not make a B, C, or D either.
There was an F in bold red across the top. You can imagine
how crushed I was because I did my work, I clocked allnighters, I researched, I studied the original languages, and I
dug in. Even though the paper was only to be ten or twelve
pages, I had eighteen to twenty pages. I had footnotes. I had
gone the distance. How dare he give me an F!
I noticed a handwritten note on the bottom of the
paper below the big, red F. It said, Great scholarship, great
detail, and magnificent effort, but you answered the wrong
question. All that work mistakenly addressed the wrong
thing. It wasnt that I was not sincere; it wasnt that I was not
working hard; it was simply that I had addressed the wrong
thing. I had been so focused on myself and what I wanted to
achieve, that I missed the professor and what he wanted from

me. In my desire to score high, I missed out on what could


have been a wonderful assignment because I did not
understand what the professor wanted from me.
Today, the Lord wants you to run the race focusing on
Him, not you!
What to do:
Dont miss out on this wonderful Christian life by
focusing on yourself.
********************

Christian Unity
April 14

Bible Reading: I Corinthians 1:1-10


Key Verse: Verse 10 - Now I beseech you, brethren,
by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all
speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions
among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in
the same mind and in the same judgment.
Key Words: perfectly joined together
Can you imagine how our churches appear to the
world with such things as church fights and splits? What a
shame!
Madalyn Murray O'Hair was interviewed on Public
Television. During the course of the interview it was noted
that Ms. OHair seemed to have a lot of clout. The interviewer
asked why she didnt organize the atheist movement better so
as to be a stronger power. She responded with a telling
answer: Because every time a bunch of atheists get together,
all they do is argue.
Christian unity should always
demonstrate regenerated believers working in cooperation
and love to extend the gospel of Jesus Christ. Sometimes,
though, churches sound more like Ms. O'Hairs camp of
disagreeables.

So remember the next time your church is fussing,


fuming, and fighting with one another, thats the same thing
the atheists do.

What to do:
We can walk together in harmony or look like a
bunch of atheists, the choice is up to us.
********************

The Blessed Christian


April 15

Bible Reading: Matthew 5:1-12


Key Verse: Verses 1-11 - And seeing the multitudes, he
went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his
disciples came unto him:
And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the
kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be
comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after
righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called
the children of God.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for
righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of
heaven.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and
persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil
against you falsely, for my sake.
Key Words: Blessed are

The Baptist version of the blessed are is the blessed


is and it goes like this.
Blessed is the man who is faithful on a
committee.
Blessed is the man who can endure an hour
and five minutes in a place of worship as well
as two hours in a place of recreation.
Blessed is the church officer who is not
pessimistic.
Blessed is the man who loves his church with
his pocketbook as well as with his heart.
Blessed is the man who has grace enough to
leave his critical spirit on the sidewalk when
he comes to church.
Blessed is the man who loves his own church
enough to praise it.
Blessed is the man who is filled with
understanding to realize that his pastor cant
be in more than one place at a time.
Christians should always strive to be like a good watch
open face, busy hands, pure gold, well regulated, and full of
good works.

What to do:
May you be one of the blessed is people.

The Christian and the New Life


April 16

Bible Reading: Romans 6:16-23

Key Verse: Verse 22 - But now being made free from


sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit
unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
Key Words: But now being made free from sin
When you move into a new house that someone else
lived in, it's your house, even though the owners are no longer
there. The old people who were there may have been dirty,
despicable, and filthy or unkempt and unclean. The house
may have reflected who they were, but now youve purchased
the home and you are a clean person. You are concerned
about removing the dust, sweeping the floor, cleaning the
dishes, and painting the walls. You move into that house and
because you are there, the house takes on a whole different
appearance. The grass is cut. The dishes are clean. The
carpet is vacuumed. Why? Because a new person has moved
into that old house.
Well, before you met Christ, the old person was living
in that house called your body. But now that Jesus has moved
in, its the same body but youve got a new resident. This new
resident is holy, clean, pure, and righteous. So even though
Hes living in that old house, He can paint it up. Even though
Hes living in that old house, He can clean it up. He can fix
those carpets and hang those drapes and straighten out
everything thats wrong in your life. Why? Not because your
bodily house has changed but because somebody has moved
in. Christ has moved in. So stop keeping Him from painting
and fixing up that old place so that you can live life as He
meant it to be lived.
What to do:
Let Jesus fix up your house.

Christian Identity
April 17

Bible Reading: I Corinthians 12:1-11

Key Verse: Verses 9 & 10 - To another faith by the


same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the
same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to
another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to
another divers kinds of tongues; to another the
interpretation of tongues:
Key Words: To another
Sometimes Christians look at other Christians and say,
Boy, I wish I could be as spiritual as they are. But dont you
understand? You have the same identity that they do. So if
they are progressing and you are regressing, it is because they
are living in light of who they are and you are not. In my
house, I have a toaster, a can opener, a microwave, and a
refrigerator. They are all different appliances, but they all
work from the same power source. When I plug them in, the
refrigerator refrigerates. When I plug the microwave in, the
microwave does the microwaving. When I plug the toaster in,
the toaster does the toastering, and when I plug the can
opener in, the can opener does its can opening. Each
appliance, though different, lives up to its manufactured
specifications because each appliance is receiving the same
power source.
Even though I am different from you and you are
different from me, all of us have the equal potential of living
up to Gods manufacturers specifications. You can be what
God saved you to be and I can be what God saved me to be
because the same electrical current is available to all Gods
kids. Its available to all who belong to Christ. So there are no
special kids in the kingdom. God has the design for you but
you must know who you are in Him.

What to do:
We are all different and we all have different
abilities to be used for Gods glory. So present your
body as a living sacrifice for that purpose.

********************

The Value of a Christian


April 18

Bible Reading: I Corinthians 10:23-33

Key Verse: Verses 31 - Whether therefore ye eat, or


drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
Key Words: do all to the glory of God

Let me begin by asking you two questions: what are


you; and what is your value to the Kingdom of God?
Your value in Gods kingdom is based upon your value
to Him on this earth. Let me explain.
Sand is cheap. In fact, at the beach, it's free! Once it is
bagged in order to put it on a playground, it costs to have
access to it. Its value goes up. When sand is taken and
bagged, what once was free on the beach now costs $25 for a
twenty-five pound bag. Once this same sand is glued to a
piece of paper to make sandpaper, its value has gone up again.
Now its $5 for a sheet. The value has increased with a change
in its purpose.
Now, sand is silicon dioxide. When sand is taken,
heated, and processed, it becomes an intricate part of a
computer chip that is now worth $500. So what was once free
on the beach now has value because it is in a bag, because it is
glued on a piece of paper, or because it is in a computer chip
that you can hardly afford. The sand is the same, but it has
now found increased value in a larger purpose. So we as well
have increased value as we desire to glorify God.

What to do:
Live your life with a valuable purpose: glorifying
God.
********************

A Christian Trying to Find


Himself

April 19

Bible Reading: Ephesians 2:11-22

Key Verse: Verses 13 - But now in Christ Jesus ye


who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the
blood of Christ.
Key Words: But now in Christ Jesus

Many people today say they are trying to find


themselves. These people are running around, trying to find
themselves. This search is meaningless. If you dont know
who you are, how do you know what to look for? And how do
you know when you have found it, since you dont know what
youre looking for?
Toasters dont find themselves. Refrigerators dont
find themselves. Appliances dont find themselves because
their purpose has been assigned by another. A toaster doesnt
have to find its reason for being; its just got to do what the
manufacturer had in mind.
Christians dont have to look for themselves. God has
already consigned to us a divine reason for being. Our goal is
to fulfill it. If we are not fulfilling His purposes, days, weeks,
and months go by as we watch more television, hook up with
more friends, and try to get better jobs and our lives still feel
empty because we are disconnected from the purposes of God.
Unless God becomes your reference point, you cannot
discover what Gods will is for your life.

What to do:
Quit trying to find yourself and start searching for
Gods will.
********************

Distracted Christians
April 20

Bible Reading: Revelation 4

Key Verse: Verse 11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to


receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast
created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and
were created.
Key Words: for thy pleasure they are and were
created

Yogi Berra, the great catcher for the New York


Yankees, used to talk a lot of noise. I can appreciate that.
When I played baseball I was a catcher. One of the jobs of a
catcher is to distract the batter. Part of my job involved
saying mean things, irritating things, and offending things to
the player up to bat. Id talk about their mother, make fun of
their batting abilities, or tell them that they hit like a girl. The
point was to mess with their minds in order to take the focus
off of the ball.
One time, Yogi Berra was behind the plate, and Hank
Aaron came up to bat. Yogi said on this one occasion, All
right, Hank is getting ready to bat. Hank wouldnt say
anything to him. Yogi continued, Hank, youve got the
writing on the bat in the wrong place. The words should be
facing you. Yogi wanted to get Hank to look at the bat to
make sure it was in the right place. Yogi kept going, You
better check it. Hank didnt budge. He didnt say a word.
The next pitch Hank hit over the center field fence. Hank
rounded the bases, stepped on home plate, and began walking
toward the dugout. He stopped, turned back, looked at Yogi
Berra, and said, I didnt come here to read.
Its vital to know why you are here. Dont let folks
distract you from your calling.

What to do:

Remember why you are here: for Gods pleasure.


********************

Christians and Values


April 21

Bible Reading: I Samuel 16:1-13


Key Verse: Verse 7 - But the LORD said unto Samuel,
Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his
stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD
seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the
outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the
heart.
Key Words: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth
We all know the story of I Samuel 16: how God told
Samuel to go anoint the next king. Samuel looked at David as
being the least likely one to be king but God saw him as the
valuable one because He looked at David's heart, not his
stature.
One day a teenager lost his contact lens while playing
basketball in the driveway. He started looking all over the
ground trying to find it, but couldnt find it anywhere.
Somewhat scared, he went and told his mom that the lens was
lost. She went out to help him look and found the lens in all of
two minutes. Now, contact lenses are hard to find. His mother
found in two minutes what the teenager had been looking for
over an hour. When he asked his mother how she found it so
easily, she said, Its simple, son. We werent looking for the
same thing. You were looking for a piece of plastic. I was
looking for 150 dollars.
Our perspective reveals what we value.

What to do:

Your perspective reveals your value. Two men


looked out from prison bars. One saw mud, the other
saw stars. What do you value?
********************

Christians Outlook
April 22

Bible Reading: I Kings 17:8-16


Key Verse: Verse 12 - And she said, As the LORD thy
God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal
in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I
am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it
for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.
Key Words: we may eat it, and die
Our outlook on life, our job, our church, our parents,
our school, etc. is often determined by how we look at things
or our perspective of them.
In our Bible reading for today, the widow saw no hope.
Her perspective on life was, "It's over!" On the other hand,
Elijah saw God; and his perspective on life was, "God will
supply."
The noted English architect Sir Christopher Wren was
supervising the construction of a magnificent cathedral in
London. A journalist thought it would be interesting to
interview some of the workers, so he chose three and asked
them this question, "What are you doing?" The first replied,
"I'm cutting stone for 10 shillings a day." The next answered,
"I'm putting in 10 hours a day on this job." But the third said,
"I'm helping Sir Christopher Wren construct one of London's
greatest cathedrals."
And then there is this outlook on life:
A chaplain was speaking to a soldier on a cot in a
hospital. "You have lost an arm in the great cause," he said.
"No," said the soldier with a smile. "I didn't lose it, I gave it."
In that same way, Jesus did not lose His life. He gave it
purposefully.

A proper perspective and outlook on life can and will


keep you going, even through the hard times.

What to do:
Keep your chin up!! It isn't over yet.
********************

The Christian and His Bible


April 23

Bible Reading: II Peter 1:1-8

Key Verse: Verse 4 - Whereby are given unto us


exceeding great and precious promises: that by these
ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having
escaped the corruption that is in the world through
lust.
Key Words: great and precious promises

Thought: A Bible that is falling apart usually belongs


to someone who isnt.
Let me begin by asking: how precious is the Bible to
you?
A man in Kansas City was severely injured in an
explosion. Evangelist Robert L. Sumner tells about him in his
book The Wonders of the Word of God. The victim's face was
badly disfigured, and he lost his eyesight as well as both
hands. He was just a new Christian, and one of his greatest
disappointments was that he could no longer read the Bible.
Then he heard about a lady in England who read braille with
her lips. Hoping to do the same, he sent for some books of the
Bible in braille. Much to his dismay, however, he discovered
that the nerve endings in his lips had been destroyed by the
explosion. One day, as he brought one of the braille pages to
his lips, his tongue happened to touch a few of the raised
characters and he could feel them. Like a flash he thought, I
can read the Bible using my tongue. At the time Robert

Sumner wrote his book, the man had "read" through the
entire Bible four times.

What to do:
Claim Gods great and precious promises today.
They will keep you from falling apart.
********************

A Christian Education
April 24

Bible Reading: Deuteronomy 6:1-15

Key Verse: Verse 7 - And thou shalt teach them


diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them
when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou
walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and
when thou risest up.
Key Words: And thou shalt teach them

Titles often tell us much more than we realize. For


example, the word Christian comes from two words: Christ
a reference to Jesus, and the suffix ian which means to
resemble. So the word Christian means to resemble Christ or
a resemblance of Christ. The word educate or education
comes from a 15th Century word ed-u-ca-tus which means to
be taught, brought up. So then a Christian education means
to be taught or brought up to resemble Jesus Christ in our
lives, words, work, to teach a child to be not only mentally
whole, but to be spiritually and emotionally whole as well.
This is not simply the Christian schools or churchs
responsibility, it is primarily the parents responsibility. A
Christian education should begin at home and continue both
in the school and in the church you and your children attend.
Some time back we had a couple of our grandchildren
over at the house. One of them was playing with a magnetic
alphabet set...you know, the kind you can take and stick on

the refrigerator. The other one was playing with a fluffy


stuffed animal. They had been gone for quite a while when we
found the stuffed animal laying on the letter A from the
magnetic alphabet set. When we picked up the animal and
looked on its back, you could clearly see the imprint of that
A. Thats what a Christian education is its clearly seeing
the impression that Christ is having in their lives by what they
are being taught.
I leave you with this thought: It is not only needy that
our children receive a Christian education in the home, the
church, and the school; it is imperative.

What to do:
It is not important that our children resemble us,
but it is necessary for them to resemble Christ.

The Christian and Criticism


April 25

Bible Reading: Nehemiah 4:1-11

Key Verse: Verse 2 - And he spake before his


brethren
and the army of Samaria, and said, What do
these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they
sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they

revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which


are burned?
Key Words: What do these feeble Jews?
We all face criticism. The question is, how do we
handle it? Some criticize back, others weep and still others
fume inwardly.
In the early days of the Civil War, Robert E. Lee was
severely criticized by General Whiting. It might have been
expected that Lee would seize any opportunity to get even
with Whiting. The opportunity presented itself when
Jefferson Davis called Lee in for consultation.
Davis wanted to know what Lee thought of General
Whiting. Without hesitation Lee commended him in high
terms and called him one of the ablest men in the army.
Afterwards, a fellow officer took Lee aside and wanted to
know why he had not told Davis the things Whiting had said
about him.
Lee answered, "It was my understanding that the
President wanted to know my opinion of Whiting, not
Whiting's opinion of me."
Its always wise to remember that
God uses critics in our lives
To help us see our pride,
To teach us true humility,
To change us from the inside.

What to do:
How we handle criticism reveals the true us.

The Well-Meaning Christian

April 26

Bible Reading: Job 2

Key Verse: Verse 11 - Now when Job's three friends


heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they
came every one from his own place; Eliphaz the
Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the

Naamathite: for they had made an appointment


together to come to mourn with him and to comfort
him.
Key Words: Jobs three friends
Have you ever had someone who meant to encourage
you but in reality their words had the opposite effect? Well,
Jobs three friends would certainly fit into that category. We
know that they came to mourn with Job and to comfort him,
but their efforts failed miserably.
See if you think these words from Eliphaz are
encouraging. Job 5:26a, Thou shalt come to thy grave in a
full age. Job, you are going to die, but youve lived a good
life. How encouraging is that?
Then how about the words of Bildad found in Job 8:4,
If thy children have sinned against him (God), and he have
cast them away for their transgression;. Job, have you
considered that your children died because they were living in
sin? Now, dont you know those words just brightened Jobs
day?
Then Zophar came and shared these words with Job,
If iniquity be in thine hand, put it far away, and let not
wickedness dwell in thy tabernacles. Job 11:14. In essence
he is saying, Job, you are living in sin.
I guess this is where the old saying, With friends like
these, who needs enemies? came from.
People often do have the best of intentions but their
words seem to discourage rather than encourage.
This reminds me of the story of the visiting pastor who
greeted people after the Sunday morning service. The people
seemed very generous and appreciative of the sermon. But
one lady abruptly stated, Too long! as she filed past the
pastor. She then circled back through the line and shouted,
Too loud! The two negative comments unnerved the pastor
a bit, but he tried to maintain his composure. When she came
through a third time her comments were no more flattering.
She declared, And it was also boring! At that point the
chairman of the deacons intervened and assured the pastor
that this womans remarks should not be taken seriously. He

whispered, Dont pay any attention to her. Shes a little


senile and doesnt know what shes talking about. She just
repeats what other people say. Not very encouraging!! So let
me caution you when you attempt to encourage others, use
the right words.

What to do:
Make sure your brain is not in neutral when your
mouth is in gear.
Pray for wisdom.
Always be encouraging, and youll always be a
blessing.
********************

The Christian and His Message


April 27

Bible Reading: Luke 24:44-53

Key Verse: Verse 27 - And that repentance and


remission of sins should be preached in his name
among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
Key Words: that repentance and remission of sins

should be preached
Luke 24:46 - 48, And said unto them, Thus it is
written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise
from the dead the third day: And that repentance and
remission of sins should be preached in his name among all
nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of
these things.
Did you witness to anyone last week? Do you
understand the supreme importance of being a witness for the
Lord?
Mark J. Goodger made it a weekly practice to hand out
tracts from door to door. One day in South Carolina he
stopped at a house and rang the bell. Because he heard

sounds inside, he knew someone was home; so he kept


ringing, even though no one came. Finally a man appeared,
took the tract he offered, and rudely slammed the door in his
face. A week later, Goodger returned to the same house. This
time the man answered almost immediately. Inviting him in,
he asked him to come to the attic. There he saw a sturdy rope
dangling from the rafters with a box below it. The man said,
Friend, when you rang my bell last week, my head was in that
noose. I was ready to jump! But you were so persistent that I
decided to go down and see who it was. After receiving your
tract, I read it because its title interested me, and through it
God spoke to me. Instead of jumping off that box, I knelt
beside it and gave my heart to the Lord. How thankful
Goodger was that he had been diligent in his witnessing!
Without that leaflet the man would have gone into eternity
unsaved.
Everyday souls are literally at stake. Beginning today,
dedicate yourself to being a witness for God.

What to do:
Be a daily witness for Jesus.

The Christian and Excellence


April 28

Bible Reading: Daniel 6:1-9

Key Verse: Verse 3 - Then this Daniel was preferred


above the presidents and princes, because an
excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to
set him over the whole realm.

Key Words: an excellent spirit was in him

Michelangelo stands as one of the towering figures in


the history of art. His majestic Frescoes on the ceiling of the
Sistine Chapel and his masterful sculptures bear witness to his
greatness. But he was a man never content to rest on his
laurels. He spent countless hours on his back on the
scaffolding in the Sistine, carefully perfecting the details of
each figure. When a friend questioned such meticulous
attention to detail on the grounds that at that height who will
know whether it is perfect or not? Michelangelos simple
response was, I will.
After contemplating what some consider his greatest
work, Moses, the master sculptor stood back and surveyed his
craftsmanship. Suddenly, in anger, he struck the knee of the
creation with his chisel and shouted, Why dont you speak?
The chisel scar that remains on the statues knee is the mark
of a man who always reached out for more. His ambition was
to be the best he could be.
The Christian adds a deeper dimension. His ambition
is not simply to be good or to be good for something. He
longs to be good for Someone, striving for excellence out of
love for His Savior.

What to do:
Do more than exist live.
Do more than look observe.
Do more than read absorb.
Do more than hear listen.
Do more than listen understand.
Do more than think ponder.
Do more than talk say something.
********************

The Christians Help


April 29

Bible Reading: Psalm 121

Key Verse: Verse 2 - My help cometh from the LORD,


which made heaven and earth.
Key Words: My help cometh from the Lord, which

made heaven and earth


The psalmist reminds himself and us that if God can
create the heaven and the earth, He can help us in our day of
adversity.
The words found in verse 2 are some of the most
encouraging words in the Bible.
I don't know where your help comes from but it sure
can't beat the help that comes from the One Who created the
heaven and the earth.
The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a
small, uninhabited island. He prayed fervently for God to
save him. Every day he scanned the horizon for help, but
none seemed forthcoming.
Exhausted, he eventually
managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him
from the elements, and to store his few possessions. One day,
after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut
in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had
happened everything was lost. He was stunned with grief and
anger. God, how could you do this to me? he cried. Early
the next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a
ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue
him. How did you know I was here? asked the weary man of
his rescuers. We saw your smoke signal, they replied.
Now, let me ask: Where did the survivor's help come
from? If you said God, you are absolutely correct. He is our
very present help in a time of trouble!
Read it again and don't forget it. Psalm 121:2, "My
help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth."

What to do:
Let God be your help. There is none better.

********************

The Christian and the Lord


April 30

Bible Reading: Psalm 48


Key Verse: Verse 1- Great is the LORD, and greatly to
be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of
his holiness.
Key Words: Great is the LORD
The word great carries the idea of being larger than
life. Because God is great He is to be greatly praised. This is
no ordinary praise, its a great praise. Its a praise of God that
reveals that God is, to the testifier, larger than life.
John Wesley was about 21 years of age when he went
to Oxford University. He came from a Christian home, and he
was gifted with a keen mind and good looks. Yet in those days
he was a bit snobbish and sarcastic. One night, however,
something happened that set in motion a change in Wesleys
heart. While speaking with a porter, he discovered that the
poor fellow had only one coat and lived in such impoverished
conditions that he didnt even have a bed. Yet he was an
unusually happy person, filled with gratitude to God. Wesley,
being immature, thoughtlessly joked about the mans
misfortunes. And what else do you thank God for? he said
with a touch of sarcasm. The porter smiled, and in the spirit
of meekness replied with joy, I thank Him that He has given
me my life and being, a heart to love Him, and above all a
constant desire to serve Him! Deeply moved, Wesley
recognized that this man knew the meaning of true
thankfulness.
Many years later, in 1791, John Wesley lay on his
deathbed at the age of 88. Those who gathered around him
realized how well he had learned the lesson of praising God in
every circumstance. Despite Wesleys extreme weakness, he
began singing the hymn, Ill Praise My Maker While Ive
Breath.
Today and everyday, I challenge you to praise God so
others will see in you that God is larger than life.

What to do:
Praise the Lord, for He is great!

Notes:

I deeply appreciate the


help of
Mary Parsons
Glenda Myrick
And my lovely wife, Linda

Without God using these


people to help, this
devotional would not
have been possible.
Dr. Mike Rouse

is a ministry of

5568 Chalkville Mountain Road


Birmingham, AL. 35235
(205) 854-2741
www.mountainviewbaptist.org