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More to Life

More to Life


More to Life

Devotions for Life

See no one pays back evil for evil, Always do good to each other and all people.

1 Thessalonians 5:15, NLT

“I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again,” goes the old saying from William Penn. Kindness is not an inconvenience to be avoided but a characteristic to be embraced.
Sometimes it is as simple as a pleasant smile, a warm handshake, sending a thank you note, assisting a neighbor with household project, or being with a friend in distress. Someone once said, “The greatest thing a man can do for his heavenly Father is to be kind to his other children.”
Kindness originates from the heart of God. God is kind because he cannot be otherwise. It is essential to his nature. And, likewise, that kindness becomes a part of our new nature, which comes to us through the Holy Spirit. Kindness becomes a part of our conduct because our character is rooted in God. The poet Robert Burns said that the kind heart most resembles God.
Kindness provides for the other people’s needs. Kindness is more than a pat on the back while saying, “Have a nice day.” Kindness gets involved. It gets its hands dirty. It’s visible and active. It moves beyond the spiritual and the emotional to the physical and practical. Kindness’s theme song says, “Find the need and fill it. Find the hurt and heal it.”
The watchword of today’s society is “Don’t get involved.” But at the heart of a kind person is involvement. They see the needs and seek to fill them. They are willing to risk in order to help others out. They know they can’t do everything, but they can do something.
After answering the lawyer’s question with the story of the Good Samaritan, Jesus instructed him to go and do likewise, and he instructs us to do the same. Let’s move from pious platitudes to practical involvement. Let’s not just stand for what is right; let’s do what is right. Let’s not just carry a placard to city hall; let’s carry a casserole next door. Let’s not make our religious activities a substitute for Christian kindness.


Men’s Devotional Seek the Kingdom of God

These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
Matthew 6:32-33, NLT
America seems obsessed with sports. Other schedules often bow before the sports priority. There’s the Super Bowl early in the year. Then, in spring there are the Final Four, the NBA Championship, and the Stanley Cup. Meanwhile spring training gets under way, announcing the beginning of the baseball season. It’s one sport after another, with devoted fans cheering, paying, and following every move in the press.
I certainly have no problem with sports per se. I consider myself an athlete, and I’ve participated in many, including college football. Besides the physical conditioning, competitive sports have taught me many lessons. And I’m still an avid fan of all the local teams. But I do have a problem with the emphasis on money in all sports, especially the unbridled greed in the professional arena.
Each day brings new reports of athletes demanding, and receiving, contracts for multiple millions of dollars. With each new salary plateau, others demand to have their contracts renegotiated so that they can be the highest paid … and the upward spiral continues. It’s absurd to think that men are being paid fortunes to play games. It’s even more ridiculous that someone is willing to pay them.
And think of the consequences: With their salaries guaranteed after a great season or two, some players relax and turn in very poor performances; others play tentatively, afraid of ending their careers with an injury. And look at the drug and alcohol problems faced by so many who had too much too soon.
In addition, the big money paid to professional athletes is almost destroying college sports. Major universities vie for the television money and exposure so that they can recruit “blue-chip” athletes. And high school athletes choose colleges based on how they can be prepared for the pros. This leads to continual recruiting and eligibility violations, with secret payoffs and no-class graduates. Recently a professional football player—and college alumnus—admitted that he couldn’t read.
Although I fault the athletes and their agents for their greed and the team owners for their greed and cowardliness, the real fault lies with us, the fans. We put these men on pedestals, make them bigger than life, buy the souvenirs, and pay the big ticket prices. And the only way to stop the money madness is to boycott the sports, to stop giving in to the greed.
What if someone said: “There’s going to be a group of millionaires playing a game this afternoon. Want to go? It’ll only cost $20 each.” Would you be interested? Probably not. But that’s exactly what professional sports has become—millionaire gladiators. I know I’m going to take a second look at my cheering, viewing, and spending habits. How about you? What are we chasing after? In our entertainment are we seeking the Kingdom?

I Blew It!

“Then David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the LORD.’ And Nathan said to David, ‘The LORD also has taken away your sin; you shall not die'” (2 Sam 12:13 NASU).
When Nathan exposed David’s adultery and murder, David’s guilt came crashing upon him like a tsunami. It overwhelmed him, and he confessed and cried out, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
David is not the only one in Scripture to confess the words “I have sinned.”   At least nine individuals confessed these words. Some were not sincere such as Pharaoh, Balaam, or Saul. Some were either caught and wanted an easy way out of the consequences, or the words sprang from just a passing pang of conscience that led to no change. Judas expressed these words when it dawned upon him that he had “betrayed innocent blood.” True repentance would have led him to seek forgiveness, but instead he ended his life.   God never intended our guilt to destroy us, but to motivate us to do the right thing. It is a God given-blessing to have godly remorse.
The Prodigal Son first said to himself, “I have sinned,” rehearsing what he would say to his father upon his return. He then met his father, and with deep conviction and remorse uttered the words, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son” (Luke 15:21 NASU).   The words, “he came to his senses” (v. 17), suggest a drastic change in the thinking every sinner must traverse before he admits “I have sinned” against the Lord. But for those words to mean anything to the Lord, they must be followed with true repentance, and a drawing nigh to the Lord with confession and commitment.
David, among all those who disclosed these heart-wrenching words, “I have sinned,” uttered them four times.   This doesn’t mean he was the worst sinner, but that his sins never hardened his heart to the point of no return. Twice he was convicted and cried out to God. Twice he penned two psalms with his confessions (Ps. 41:4; Ps. 51:4)
I am sure, like me, you have felt your confession of sin has not always been sincere, for it did not lead to a change of life. I am sure we have confessed sin to get out of a bad situation. Maybe we just had a passing pang of conscience. But I am also sure everyone reading this devotional wants to be as sincere as the Prodigal and David.
Let’s examine our hearts and sincerely confess the sin in our lives because He is faithful and righteous, and will forgive us all our sins (1 Jn. 1:9).
Hymn: “Amazing Grace”
Dear Almighty Father full of grace, we humble ourselves before You, seeking Your favor. Look deep into our hearts and reveal to us our sin. Help us to acknowledge our sinfulness and to feel its conviction. Forgive us if You find us sincere. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Rob Redden, Arroyo Grande, CA