living devotions

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Rev. E. Anderson

BITTERNESS

Senior Living Ministries

“But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
— Luke 6:35-36

It was the week before his freshman year would begin, and Bruce Goodrich was being initiated into the Corps of Cadets at TexasA&MUniversity. One night, Bruce was forced to run until he dropped—but he never got up. Bruce Goodrich died before he even entered college.

A short time after the tragedy, Bruce’s father wrote this letter to the university administration:

“I would like to take this opportunity to express the appreciation of my family for the great outpouring of concern and sympathy from TexasA&MUniversity and the college community over the loss of our son Bruce.

“I hope it will be some comfort to know that we harbour no ill will in the matter. We know our God makes no mistakes. Bruce had an appointment with his Lord and is now secure in his celestial home. When the question is asked, ‘Why did this happen?’, perhaps one answer will be, ‘So that many will consider where they will spend eternity.’”

In a day and age when many parents’ first inclination would be to call a lawyer, Bruce’s parents showed grace. And while it might not have been easy to do, God gave them strength!

Maybe you’ve been wronged and are holding on to bitterness. If so, give it to God and show grace. In the same way you’ve been forgiven, you also can forgive others with the power of Christ in you! 

PRAYER CHALLENGE

Ask God to show you where you need grace to cover any bitterness you may be harboring in your heart.

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Rev. John Maxwell

JOSHUA: PICTURE OF A FAITHFUL LEADER

Taken from the John Maxwell Leadership Bible

Joshua 24:29-3

Joshua provides a superb example of a leader whose faithfulness prompted God to raise him J up. Over the three divisions of his life (40 years in Egypt; 40 years in the wilderness; and 30 years in Canaan), God gradually moved this trustworthy man into leadership.

Note the signs of his faithfulness: Obedience (Ex. 17:8-16; Num. 32:10-12); Servanthood (Ex. 24:13; Josh. 11:15); Loyalty (Ex. 33:11; Num. 11:24-30); Courage (Num. 13:8,16,25-30; 14:5-10);  Promotion (Num. 27:15-23); Responsibility (Deut. 31:7,8); Power (Deut. 34:9); Credibility (Deut. 34:9). Joshua’s faithfulness challenges us even today to lead as he did:

1/.  LIVE AHEAD OF YOUR CONTEMPORARIES.

Joshua spied out the same land at the same time as the other ten spies, but he and Caleb returned with a different report. He lived ahead of his time.

2/.  LIVE ABOVE YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES.

Joshua faced several challenges: He followed Moses; he had to conquer mighty Jericho; he] had to cross the Jordan with more than one million people. But he did it.

3/.  LIVE DEEPER THAN YOUR CALAMITIES.

When Israel began to make progress in taking the Promised Land, some disobeyed God brought defeat on the nation. Joshua overcame it all.

4/.  LIVE BEYOND YOUR CAPABILITIES.

Joshua’s dream, his determination, and his ability to develop his leadership skills enabled him to soar beyond his own personal gifts.

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