Humility

highway 2Today I give up my small ambitions.
I will give thanks for the pleasures God has designed for me to enjoy,
But no longer will I allow my life to be driven by the pursuit of pleasure.
I will no longer sacrifice joy on the altar of happiness.
I will never again measure my success by my ability to escape pain.

Today I give up my small ambitions.
I will give thanks for the material blessings God entrusts to me,
But no longer will I associate money with happiness.
Never again will I believe the lie that gain is godliness,
Or that my worth is measured by what I own.
From this day forward, I will use things and love people,
Not the other way around.

Today I give up my small ambitions.
I will give thanks to God for the ways
I can be a blessing to others.
I will accept with humility
The words of gratitude and honor I receive from others.
But I will never again live to please other men.
Today I choose to get off the pedestal,
Knowing that I don’t have to live in the gutter to do so.
I will find my honor in being no more than a man,
But no less than a child of God.

Today I give up my small ambitions.
And instead, I reach for the stars.
I will spend my life in pursuit of my God-given destiny.
By His grace I will fulfill the purpose for which
I was created and redeemed by Christ.
By His love I will touch the lives of those He died for.
And by His power
I will span the breech between time and eternity.

From this day forward,
I will seek dreams as big as the heart of my God
And visions as great as the need of this world.
And though through human failure
I may never see all those dreams come true,
When I stand to face my Lord and my God,
I pray He will see a heart determined to do exploits for His glory.

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JerusalemJust across from the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem is a small mountain called Moriah.  Today the Dome of the Rock stands as the old city’s most visible landmark.  But there was a time when, on that very site, one of the most striking ancient structures of all time stood, calling the people of Israel to worship God.  I’d like to tell you why the Solomon’s temple was located there.

It all started with a colossal failure in leadership that left 70,000 people dead.

And the leader?  Israel’s wonder-boy, David.

You remember David, right?  [click to continue…]

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shepherd-11Maewyn Succat.  Bet you never thought to hang that name on your son.  But Maewyn wasn’t from around these parts, and his name apparently suited him as he grew up in his native Wales.

Maewyn had a pretty respectable upbringing.  His granddaddy was a preacher, and his dad was a deacon – though rumor had it that Dad’s religious affiliations had more to do with tax deductions than spiritual passion.

In most ways, I suppose, Maewyn was your typical teenager.  Times were tough, but youth is a time to dream of something better.  No doubt this teenager had dreams, hopes, and plans to get there.

But all of that came crashing down when Maewyn’s family estate was attacked and he was abducted, placed in chains, and hauled off into slavery, far away from his home and his family.

What do you do when all you’ve ever known is ripped away from you?  How do you respond when your dreams, your hopes, your family, and your heritage become distant memories or painful reminders of a life that once was?

Some children encounter such things at very early ages, and never remember their heritage or parents.  Not Maewyn.  He’d seen too much.  Known too much.  Missed too much. [click to continue…]

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