Tag Archives: Devotional Thoughts

Reverence

Reverence– Deep respect or veneration, especially on account of the object’s sacred or exalted character. The condition or state of being deeply respected or venerated.

(Oxford Dictionary)

 

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Our reverence for God is much more than just respect or honor. Reverence for God involves a recognition of who he is that brings into our souls joy and awe for the creator. God, himself, who created us in his image has enabled our Spirits to know and acknowledge deep within our souls who he is. That understanding leads us to a level of adoration and worship that is reserved for God alone. No other person or any creation is worthy of such reverence.

Respect is earned by merit. Reverence is an intrinsic acknowledgement and recognition of the holiness and awesomeness of God . Reverence is not mere admiration, it is a unique level of existence that is reserved for our Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer, and Comforter as we glorify and exalt his very existence and power and presence in our lives.

The people of Israel could not even speak the name of Yahweh. We should humbly approach God with a level of fear and awe that belongs to him alone.

Reverence invites Revelation ~~~Boyd K. Packer

Quotes Banner

Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.
~~~Henry David Thoreau
Whoever gives reverence receives reverence.
~~~Rumi
Just as white light consists of colored rays, so reverence for life contains all the components of ethics: love, kindliness, sympathy, empathy, peacefulness and power to forgive.
~~~Albert Schweitzer
No soul is desolate as long as there is a human being for whom it can feel trust and reverence.
~~~George Eliot
Only reverence can restrain violence – reverence for human life and the environment.
~~~William Sloane Coffin
What we call love is in its essence reverence for life.
~~~Albert Schweitzer
Let parents bequeath to their children not riches, but the spirit of reverence.
~~~Plato
Only when we are captured by an overwhelming sense of awe and reverence in the presence of God, will we begin to worship God in spirit and in truth.
~~~Alistair Begg
By having a reverence for life, we enter into a spiritual relation with the world By practicing reverence for life we become good, deep, and alive.
~~~Albert Schweitzer
Even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live forever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect.
~~~Pope Francis
Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies.
~~~John Milton
The more reverence we have for the Word of God, the more joy we shall find in it.
~~~Matthew Henry

Scripture Banner

Then he said, ‘Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.’
—Exodus 3:5
a God feared in the council of the holy ones,
  great and awesome above all that are around him?
—Psalm 89:7
Happy is everyone who fears the Lord,
  who walks in his ways.
—Psalm 128:1
The God of Israel has spoken,
  the Rock of Israel has said to me:
One who rules over people justly,
  ruling in the fear of God,
—2 Samuel 23:3
Meanwhile the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and was built up. Living in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.
—Acts 9:31
Only fear the Lord, and serve him faithfully with all your heart; for consider what great things he has done for you.
—1 Samuel 12:24
In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.
—Hebrews 5:7
You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder.
—James 2:19
You shall not revile the deaf or put a stumbling-block before the blind; you shall fear your God: I am the Lord.
—Leviticus 19:14
The angel of the Lord encamps
  around those who fear him, and delivers them.
—Psalm 34:7Prayer Banner

Prayer

Lord, In all ways I respect and reverence you. You are my creator and redeemer-the reason I am here. In you I find strength and comfort in all the paths of my life. Make my life an example to others by the way that I fear and serve you. May I never forget the praise I owe to you.

Amen

 

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Mystery of Being

The ultimate Mystery of being, the ultimate Truth, is Love. This is the essential structure of reality. When Dante spoke of the ‘love which moves the sun and the other stars’, he was not using a metaphor, but was describing the nature of reality. There is in Being an infinite desire to give itself in love and this gift of Self in love is forever answered by a return of love….and so the rhythm of the universe is created.

~~~Venerable Bede

The ultimate truth and mystery of life is love. The absence of love leads people to do some very dark things that hurt, destroy, and ravage those who are near them. Perhaps there is no greater need in the world that to discover the power of love.

The love I refer to is not one that gives us all that we want but a love that requires something of us. It requires that we know that we are loved. When people realized that they are loved by their creator with an unlimited and endless love they can love themselves and others. Perhaps the greatest need of most people is a positive self-love. Godly self-love brings peace and harmony. It is the type of harmony that allows neighbors to live at peace with one another even when they are different. This love allows husbands and wives to respect and cherish one another in the worst of times. It is a love that is promised by God. We need only receive it and by doing so, we can share a boundless love with the world.

Venerable Bead called it the mystery of being. Without this discovery we are doomed to live in self-hatred and doubt. Mysteries are hard to solve and perhaps the mystery of love has been the hardest that people have ever faced. It is one that requires that we look way beyond ourselves and to the God that made us in His image. The solution is to claim and capture that image and to spread it to all that we touch.

We all go about our lives trying to find ways to discover the love of God. Sadly, we think that we can discover the mystery with rules or practices that are man made and explainable. Nothing could be further from the truth. The mystery of being remains a mystery. We are called to embrace the mystery and allow the love of God to flow through us. God will not totally reveal himself to you, but He does love you and will give you the strength to love others

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

~~~The Living Bible





Prayer

Lord, I want to surrender to the mystery of being. Let me this day know that you are the essence of love. Your love created the world and will sustain it. Guide me as I flounder with my own methods of finding you, and touch me in a way that allows me to discover you. With that discovery my life will be complete.

Amen

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CHARACTER

Line 1CHARACTER – The estimate formed of a person’s quality; reputation; good repute.

(Oxford Dictionary)

We are fast approaching an election that will decide the White House, the House of Representatives and one third of the Senate. I do not know about you, but I will be voting based on the character of the candidate and their philosophy will be a distant second. We have seen, repeatedly, that people of character make good decisions even when those decisions do not agree with their political philosophy. That is what made our country a great nation, and it is the way we can stay great.

Character is also the key to the resurgence of the church. We have seen in the past twenty years a true decline in the church. People are too busy or just not interested. My strong belief is that, while there is a great deal of truth to the previous statement, we have a deeper problem. We can never rebuild the faith community that we call the church, until we make character building the focus of our ministry. Somewhere on the journey we have lost our way and focused on either permissive freedom or harsh rules to define the church.

Character is built by knowing who and what we are from the inside out. Too often church people seek their direction from outward sources and neglect the inner strength of character that comes from being a person of faith and prayer. Read the scriptures and meditate on them, and God will build your character and give you some answers in the most difficult of situations. These answers will be spiritually based and not as difficult as trying to enforce a rule or being so free that we lack forethought or direction. Paul describes those spiritually directed answers this way, “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.” That is our goal – to become children of God.

Children of God know how to be honest and truthful. Children of God are always putting others first and themselves last. Children of God talk to the Father about anything and everything. Children of God are not afraid to do the right thing when it is not the popular thing. Children of God bring light into a room and calm in the midst of calamity. Do you get it? Children of God are persons of character that make the world a better place.

I share this verse as a blueprint for character development.


If we sow a thought, we reap an act;

If we sow an act, we reap a habit;

If we sow a habit, we reap character;

If we sow character, we reap a destiny.

—Michael P. Green

Quotes Banner

The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.

~~~Abigail Van Buren

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.

~~~Abraham Lincoln

Top 15 Things Money Can’t Buy- Time. Happiness. Inner Peace. Integrity. Love. Character. Manners. Health. Respect. Morals. Trust. Patience. Class. Common sense. Dignity.

~~~Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Be more concerned with your character than your reputation because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.

~~~John Wooden

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.

~~~Helen Keller

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

~~~Martin Luther King Jr.

A man’s true character comes out when he’s drunk.

~~~Charlie Chaplin

Education as far as object the formation of character.

~~~Herbert Spencer

People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character.

~~~Ralph Waldo Emerson

The wise have a solid sense of silence and the ability to keep a storehouse of secrets. Their capacity and character are respected.

~~~Baltasar Gracian

Scripture Banner

And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,

—Romans 5:3-4

Do not be deceived:

‘Bad company ruins good morals.’

—1 Corinthians 15:33

Now a bishop must be above reproach, married only once, temperate, sensible, respectable, hospitable, an apt teacher,

—1 Timothy 3:2

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.

—Romans 8:14

The wicked flee when no one pursues,

  but the righteous are as bold as a lion.

—Proverbs 28:1

For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ; I have often told you of them, and now I tell you even with tears.

—Philippians 3:18

Prayer BannerLord, I seek to develop character that only you can give me. I pledge myself today to seek your direction and wisdom so that I may become of person of authentic character. that comes from the heart. Let my life be rooted in truth and faith in you so that I may, by nature, do what is right and good.

Amen

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Peace

THIS WEEK -PEACE

Peace – Freedom from, or cessation of, war or hostility; the state of nation or community in which It is not at war with another. Freedom from disturbance or perturbation, especially as a condition of an individual; quiet, tranquility.

(Oxford Dictionary)

The word peace has a variety of implications. We all know that peace is an absence of war or conflict, but it is much more. Peace relives us of anxiety, worry and even physical illnesses. A person who lives with a sense of inner peace can face the toughest of times. That inner peace acts as a shield to the arrows of harm and difficulty that are directed their way. The scripture puts it this way-” Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) When  we surrender ourselves to the care of Jesus, we discover a peace that is beyond this world.


The peace of Christ will lead to the solution of those times of conflict and strife that we face. We live in times of peril and strife, and I believe that a great deal of it comes from our refusal to call on the one who gives real peace. Jesus promised to leave his peace with us, and that peace would not be as the world’s peace but would cross new frontiers. The peace of Jesus is the key that opens the door to peace in the world. We must open that door.

We open the floodgate of peace by surrendering our selfish desires to an unselfish God who loved us even when we did not love him. His peace can give us what the world cannot give:

  • Peace of mind
  • Peace of heart
  • Peace that destroys conflict
  • Peace that is everlasting
  • Peace that is personal and corporate

The quotes ad scripture in this musing are meant to lead us in that direction. Read them and meditate on them and let God give you peace.

You find peace not by rearranging the circumstances of your life, but by realizing who you are at the deepest level. ~~~Eckhart Tolle


We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.  ~~~Dalai Lama


There are no makers of peace because the making of peace is at least as costly as the making of war. ~~~Daniel Berrigan


Mankind must remember that peace is not God’s gift to his creatures; peace is our gift to each other. ~~~Elie Wiesel


Peace is a day-to-day problem, the product of a multitude of events and judgments. Peace is not an ‘is,’ it is a ‘becoming.’ ~~~Haile Selassie


We seek peace, knowing that peace is the climate of freedom. ~~~Dwight D. Eisenhower
We are not at peace with others because we are not at peace with ourselves, and we are not at peace with ourselves because we are not at peace with God.~~~Thomas Merton


Peace is not the product of a victory or a command. It has no finishing line, no final deadline, no fixed definition of achievement. Peace is a never-ending process, the work of many decisions. ~~~Oscar Hammerstein II


You may call for peace as loudly as you wish, but where there is no brotherhood there can in the end be no peace. ~~~Max Lerner


Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances. ~~~ Mahatma Gandhi


Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be. ~~~Wayne W. Dyer


Nobody can bring you peace but yourself.~~~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. John 14:27


Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7


Those of steadfast mind you keep in peace— in peace because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3


do not fear, for I am with you,  do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you,  I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10


I will both lie down and sleep in peace;  for you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety. Psalm 4:8


Let us therefore no longer pass judgement on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling-block or hindrance in the way of another. Romans 14:13


And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15


Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7


Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Romans 12:17-18


For a child has been born for us,  a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders;   and he is named Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

Lord, I seek peace today. First give me peace in my heart and soul so that I may be able to face the trials of life. My ability to face the trials of life will make me a peacemaker to those who are in conflict. Let the peace that you put in my heart so shine to the rest of the world that they can see that you are real and can make a difference. Amen

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Faithfulness

Faithfulness 1


 
One of the qualities that we all desire is faithfulness. We all want to be faithful to the people and tasks that are given to us. If one is faithful, they will accomplish much in life. The world is driven by a thirst for success, and success is much easier if we are faithful to the tasks and opportunities that that come our way.
Practicing faithfulness means not being self-centered, stubborn, unbending or anything else that hinders us from doing what is good and right. I found this poem which speaks of the virtues of a faithful friend. It gives an idea of the benefits of faithfulness.
“A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter;
he who finds it finds a treasure.
A faithful friend is beyond price,
no sum can balance his worth.
A faithful friend is a life- saving remedy,
such as he who fears God finds.
for he who fears God behaves accordingly,
and his friend will be like himself.”
Author Unknown
Having such a friend shelters us from harm and adversity. That friend is of immeasurable value and is a treasure to our lives. He or she can be, and often is, the one who saves us when we are in harm’s way. They are a friend that can model for us the fear of God and help us to grow into a healthy person.
The value of faithfulness in us and those that surround us is priceless and makes us and the world a better place.

 


Faithfulness 3 Faitfulness 3


Quotes Banner

Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles.
~~~Confucius
By faithfulness we are collected and wound up into unity within ourselves, whereas we had been scattered abroad in multiplicity.
~~~Saint Augustine
Nothing is more noble, nothing more venerable than fidelity. Faithfulness and truth are the most sacred excellences and endowments of the human mind.
~~~Marcus Tullius Cicero
Kindness and faithfulness keep a king safe, through kindness his throne is made secure.
~~~King Solomon
I meant what I said and I said what I meant.
~~~Dr. Seuss, Horton Hatches the Egg
The ragamuffin who sees his life as a voyage of discovery and runs the risk of failure has a better feel for faithfulness than the timid man who hides behind the law and never finds out who he is at all.
~~~Brennan Manning
Being faithful in the smallest things is the way to gain, maintain, and demonstrate the strength needed to accomplish something great.
~~~Alex Harris
There have been times of late when I have had to hold on to one text with all my might: “It is required in stewards that a man may be found faithful.” Praise God, it does not say “successful.”
~~~Amy Wilson
Because faithfulness is not a human question, but a divine one.
~~~ Sebastian Barry
God has been faithful since the beginning of time. Even today, nothing can make Him change, who He is. He remains the same and what He said, will remain the same
~~~Gift Gugu Mona

Scripture Banner

Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house,” bearing witness to what would be spoken by God in the future.
Hebrews 3:5

So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.
1 Peter 4:19

God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 Corinthians 1:9

The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.
Luke 12:42-44

What if some were unfaithful? Will their unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness?
Romans 3:3

Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions
Matthew 24:45-47

For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.
1 Corinthians 4:17

And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise.
Hebrews 11:11

For this reason Jesus had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.
Hebrews 2:17

But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory Hebrews 3:6
Prayer Banner

Prayer

Lord, This day I desire to live with a knowledge that faithfulness brings fullness of life.Let me be faithful to you, so that I may be a faithful servant to all that is entrusted to me. I ask you to allow me to be a model of faithfulness to all our encounter. May I achieve this through your grace.

Amen

‌ ‌

 

 

 

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Love Without Inquiring

“Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. That is not our business and, in fact, it is nobody’s business. What we are asked to do is to love, and this love itself will render both ourselves and our neighbors worthy if anything can.”

—–Thomas Merton

Our job is to love one another without inquiring about their worthiness. That is not the entire context of the Merton quote, but I believe it is the heart of the matter. So much of our love, our service, our commitment is hinged on the worthiness of the recipient. When we think in this manner we spend a large portion of our Merton-30efforts judging our brothers and sisters. Christ never acted in such a way. He said: “Come to me, all who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.” As we learn to follow the example of Jesus it lightens our burden of judgment, assessment or whatever you may call it and makes us free to love and serve.

Today’s world is certainly one of wars and rumors of wars. The greatest war that most of us have to fight is a self-inflected war of harshness and unkindness to one another. We fail to help those who are in need because we are too busy trying to find out why they are in need and too selfish to give them the simplicity of God’s love. I can only imagine what the world would really be like if we were willing to carry one another’s burden without assessing the cost, risk and worthiness of the recipient of our kindness.

Perhaps we can take a lesson from the monk when he says to us: “…love itself will render both ourselves and neighbors worthy if anything can.”

Midweek Thought 7-1

Prayer

Lord help me this day to look upon my brothers and sisters as, just that, brothers and sisters. May I see them as fruits of your creation that are worthy of my love just as they are recipients of your love. In this ONE truth we find the peace and harmony that will fill the vastness of the void that lies in our souls.

Amen


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The Road

If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.

St. John of the Cross, Doctor of the Church.

——John of the Cross

John of the cross is the medieval mystic who gave us “Dark Night of the Soul.” In his work he challenges us to the work of being a Christian, and the strength that comes for the journey. He tells us that the strength comes from complete union with God. This union has a price, and it is separation from the world. In that dark night of separation John finds the peace of God.

Prayer Thought

Lord help us to seek union with you and to understand its cost.

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Protecting Empty Boxes

God is always bigger than the boxes we build for God, so we should not waste time protecting the boxes.

—–Richard Rhor from Everything Belongs

Several years ago, when such things appealed to me, I bought a “high quality” counterfit Rolex watch while on a mission trip to Mexico. My fake was so good, it had the sweep second hand, a serial number, and all the rest. After about three months the stem just came off. I hesitated but decided to bring it to a jeweler to be repaired. The clerk treated me very nicely when I brought my watch into his shop. A few days later I received a call that my watch was fixed and ready for pickup. For reasons I can’t remember, my wife went to the store for the pickup. When she arrived and presented the claim ticket, she was told it would be a few minutes because my watch had been put in the safe for security reasons. Imagine that – a fifty dollar fake Rolex locked in the safe with the real ,valuable stuff! I would call that protecting an empty box.

So many of our ideas about God are so far off base, but we defend them to the last breath. Our “boxed” God is further away from the real God that we can ever imagine. Your idea. my idea of God is limited by our ability to understand the supernatural. That’s why it is childish to be so protective of our “boxed” God. Denominations have been formed, people have been imprisioned, all to protect empty boxes.

Today I challenged you to take a look a your “God Box” and determined its value. I think you will find it lacks the true awe and majesty of God, and yet you defend it on a regular basis. Let’s all try to see God as so big that we can never fit him into a box. In doing so, life becomes a journey beyond our imagination, and God becomes more majestic.

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The Bitter Conflict

We are caught in a bitter conflict between flesh and spirit. Jesus has delivered us from sin, but not from the weaknesses and desires of the flesh. We have to reproduce in our life the Cross of Christ so that, have died sacramentally to sin in baptism, we may also put to death sin in our flesh by restraining our evil desires and bad tendencies. This is the basis of monastic asceticism. (Or the Christian walk)

—-Thomas Merton from Basic Principles of Monastic Spirituality

There is not one among us who has not felt the tug of war caused by the conflict of flesh and spirit. This conflict of soul lives in everyone, and the battle rages with little relief. As we face this reality and own it, the conflict takes on a new aspect. The acknowledgement of our fleshly weaknesses allows us to turn to the spirit that is promised by Jesus. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.(John 14:26) Through this spirit we can achieve small victories over our desires, but we have to work at it, and be vigilant.

Prayer young manMerton points to a very important, and the often neglected reality of sacramental grace. Through our baptism the community lift us up so that we might die to sin. That grace is an important tool in our battle with the flesh, and one that should not be neglected. When the congregation (community) says, “-we will so order our lives after the example of Christ, that this child, surrounded by steadfast love, may be established in the faith-” that pledge is the communion of saints in action. We must never abandon the strength that can be garnered from the sacramental community.

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Out of Fuel

In 1991 an Air Canada flight ran into big trouble. Passengers were enjoying an in-flight movie on the Boeing 767 when the jumbo jet’s massive engines abruptly stopped. At first only those without earphones on noticed anything. However, soon it was apparent the jet was in trouble. The pilot came on the speaker system and announced that Flight 143 would be making an emergency landing. The 69 people on board were trapped in an agonizingly slow but inescapable descent to earth.

For a minute that seemed like an eternity, a desperate silence filled the cabin. That silence morphed into fear and gave way to screams as the landing neared. All the latest technology could not keep the jumbo jet in the air. What had happened was this: the electronic digital fuel gauge was out of order. The flight crew had depended on the figures given them by the refueling crew before takeoff. But someone on the refueling crew had confused pounds with kilograms. Therefore, eight hundred miles short of its destination, the jet simply ran out of fuel and was forced to make an emergency landing. Fortunately no one was injured.

A multimillion dollar airplane, headed in the right direction, but running out of fuel. That’s what’s happening to a lot of people today. They have everything in life and one day they wake up out of fuel.

KnowJesusDon’t let that happen to you. Jesus tells us that the power for successful living comes from God. It is the promised gift that Jesus offers us. “Peace be with you,” he says. “My peace I give to you, not as the world gives you. Let not your hearts be troubled, believe in God, believe also in me.”

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