Small Group Devotionals
Keep Your Eye on the Ball
In the summer of 1992, I watched the girl from Oklahoma, Shannon Miller, rise to the lead in the individual gymnastics competition at the Olympics and then win her medals. They interviewed her coach and did a story on his coaching career and style.
There is a modern expression that describes an old human need. The expression is “kissing up” and it means to curtsy or cultivate favor with a superior. The human need is, of course, the need to be liked and appreciated by others, especially those who are over us in some way or those who have something we want.
Living on the Brink of Hope
During the weeks preceding Christmas, I watched my children as they counted down the days, hours and minutes until that special moment when the “gifts” were opened. For days they could think of nothing else, everything was secondary to the big event.
The Problem of Procrastination
Tell me what kind of person is talking here… “I will do it later”; “I will watch the movie, then finish the work”; “tomorrow”; “next time”; You want me to do it now?”… Of course, these sentences come from our mouths when we procrastinate.
In an article entitled, "Enjoying the Enduring Magic of Long-Term Friendship," Katherine Lowry lists several important ingredients found in friendships that are able to last for many years.
Giving God 100%
I would like to talk about the need to give God 100% and why we should not be afraid of doing so. To illustrate this point I have chosen the story of one of Israel's kings who learned why it was important to give God your all. The king's name was ASA.
Gratitude: The Way to Happiness
Name one virtue that, more than any other, leads to happiness, and why?
In Matthew 6:9, Jesus is teaching His disciples how to pray. "Pray, then, in this way:" This was not so much the teaching of what words to say because the Jews were trained to memorize the psalms and were experienced in offering praise and worship at the temple.
Dealing with Pain at Christmas
Perhaps the reason why Christmas time is "special" is because, for some reason or other, everything seems more intense at Christmas. We spend more, eat more, take off work days. Being in love at Christmas is more romantic. We appreciate our families and the blessings we have that much more at Christmas.
These are wonderful reminders of some of the things that God has and continues to do. As you read the Psalm you can understand what the writer is saying and make sense of the different ideas. The last verse, however, makes you think a little harder about what the author is referring to. He says, "Praise Him forever" which suggests the praise that God receives goes on and on without end. Why is that?
Bringing Your Friend to Christ
I have noticed something about our teens lately that is quite encouraging: they are not ashamed of us.
Just One Sin
After having led the people in the wilderness for 40 years; after bringing them to the point of entering into the Promised Land that they had waited for for so long, Moses is told by God to go to the top of a mountain and look at the land that the people would go to but he would not.
How to Build a Good Reputation
A few years ago my daughter and I were discussing some of the "popular" people in her school. I was amazed at the time and expense that some of these teenagers would go to be noticed and well-liked by their peers. According to my daughter, who was a keen observer of the fast life and times of teenage girls, it seemed that much of the effort at popularity was spent on fashion, make-up and hanging around with the "right" people.
You Have got to Show it
Solomon said, Better is open rebuke than love that is concealed."(Proverbs 27:5) I think that both are required in life: correction and love. There are times when a friend or saint in the church needs correction and discipline and I believe that we are usually quick to see that it be applied.
Before You Say "Why Not"
When faced with a decision to do something or get involved in some scheme or plan, people sometimes base their choice on the popular saying “why not?” When they cannot make up their minds they jump into things with the attitude “why not? I cannot think of any reason not to.” Unfortunately many people learn too late why they should not have done this or that.