Thursday, January 24, 2013

Happy Thursday

Are You Running to Win? By C.R. Stam
"And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible" (I Cor. 9:25).

Paul's epistles have much to say about the competitive sports of his day. He uses the gymnasium and stadium, the races, the boxing and wrestling matches, to drive home vital spiritual lessons.

As he witnessed the intense enthusiasm of the masses and the grim determination of the contestants in the Greek games, he was gripped with the challenge to believers to put as much into the issues of life and death as these put into their games.

How rigidly the contestants, then as now, controlled and denied themselves! How tirelessly they trained themselves!

"Now they do it," says the apostle, "to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible one."

In this pleasure-loving, self-indulgent age, believers are prone to forget that the Christian life is a race and that the divine Judge is watching their performance. He observes those who are running with all that is in them—and He likewise observes those who have so indulged themselves in the things of this world that they can hardly run at all.

Realize it or not, the race will soon—perhaps very soon—be over and the prizes awarded. Let each of us, therefore, ask himself: How will I fare then? Am I heeding the exhortation: "So run that ye may obtain," or do I scarcely care whether or not I receive the approval of the One who gave His all—Himself—to save me from a just and certain doom and to bless me with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies?

May God convict us, beloved, and help us to arise to meet the challenge that faces us every day while the millions of the lost about us continue their course to Christless graves, and a confused and divided Church points them in a dozen different directions.

May He give us a burden for the lost—and the saved. May He convict us of our responsibility for their condition. May He help us to live lives of true, practical devotion to Christ, rather than mere sentimental devotion; to practice self-control and self-denial, to put our all into the race, so that when we stand before Him He may confer upon us a garland of victory that will never fade away, and with it everlasting joy that we have brought honor, rather than reproach, to His worthy name.

Daily Smile:

Shakey went to a psychiatrist:
"Doc,"he said,"I've got trouble.Every time I get into bed, I think there's somebody under it. I get under the bed,I think there's somebody on top of it.Top,under,top, gotta help me,I`m going crazy!" 

"Just put yourself in my hands for two years," said the shrink."Come to me three times a week,and I`ll cure your fears."

"How much do you charge?" 

"A hundred dollars per visit."

"I'll sleep on it,"said Shakey. 

Six months later the doctor met Shakey on the street. 

"Why didn`t you ever come to see me again?"asked the psychiatrist. 

"For a hundred buck's a visit?A bartender cured me for ten dollars."

"Is that so! How?"

"He told me to cut the legs off the bed!"

In The News:

Belgian Twin Brothers Assisted in Suicide
Two deaf twin brothers in Belgium were put to death by their doctor on Dec. 14, though the hospital that performed the euthanasia waited a month to announce the action, WORLD News Service reports. The 45-year-old men were legally put to death by lethal injection at the Brussels University Hospital in Jette; their names were not released. Belgium legalized euthanasia in 2002 and the number of cases has risen every year since. In 2011, more than 1,100 people engaged in assisted suicide, most of whom suffered from cancer. The men in this case were going blind, and said they did not want to face the world without being able to see each other. This incident is thought to be the first assisted killing involving people who were neither terminally ill nor in physical pain, but who simply wanted to die.

Majority of Americans Think Religious Freedom is Fast Declining in U.S.
Slightly more than half of American adults, particularly Protestants and evangelicals, feel religious freedoms have grown worse in the last decade in the United States and foresee further restrictions in the years to come, according to a new study by the Barna Group and the Clapham Group, the Christian Post reports. Twenty-nine percent say they are very concerned and 22 percent say they are somewhat concerned that religious freedom in the U.S. will become more restricted in the next five years. The survey found that 71 percent of evangelicals, 46 percent of practicing Protestants and 30 percent of practicing Catholics are "very concerned" about this prospect. Concerns are not only the future of religious freedom, but also about the current level of restraints: 48 percent of practicing Protestants say they perceive religious freedom to have grown worse in recent years, while 60 percent of evangelicals perceive religious freedom to have grown worse.

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