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March 2021

Nothing

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We can never be blessed until we learn that we can bring nothing to Christ but our need.

                                                                    — Vance Havner

For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. (Romans 7:18, NIV)

If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. (Galatians 6:3, NIV)

Come, ye sinners, poor and wretched,
Weak and wounded, sick and sore;
Jesus ready waits to save you, …
He is willing, doubt no more. …
All the fitness He requireth
Is to feel your need of Him. — Joseph Hart

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5, NIV)


Word

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The Word is not just a written document we call the Bible or the Scriptures. It is a dynamic declaration of life-transforming and light-giving truth that is embodied in a Person to whom the Bible points. Our journey is about walking with a Person not with a set of propositions. — Roger Helland

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom. (Colossians 3:16, ESV)

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17, ESV)

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12, ESV)

The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish. (John 1:14, MSG)


Exchanged

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So few Christians ever get out of themselves into Him. They live a changed life but not the exchanged life—“not I but Christ.” We must come to the end of our experiences, our success, our prayers, our seeking and striving, all that we can see or feel, to where our comeliness is turned to corruption and we can only cry, “woe is me!” There is no liberty and victory until we cease from our own works and settle down in God. — Vance Havner

We felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. (2 Corinthians 1:9-10, ESV)

Not I, but Christ, be honored, loved, exalted;
Not I, but Christ, be seen be known, be heard;
Not I, but Christ, in every look and action,
Not I, but Christ, in every thought and word. — A.B. Simpson

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20, NIV)

You will be dead so long as you refuse to die. — George MacDonald


Reserve

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Reserve gives us an air of aloofness, and though it may start with being outward only, it will slowly and surely eat its way into the heart and result in a base form of self-centeredness. — Oswald Chambers

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. (Romans 12:11, NIV)

Believe me, it is not, it cannot be right to go about always full of your own affairs, always engrossed by your own concerns, your own selfish cares and hope and plans; and to have not time to bestow on another—nothing for them, but the vacant look, and the careless heart, when they seek a Christian neighbor. Reserve is but selfishness, after all; it is the pride of the self-satisfied, self-sufficient heart. — Henry Sulivan

As he [Jesus] approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it. (Luke 19:41, NIV)

Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. (Hebrews 10:34-35, NLT)


Later

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Some chapters are to be experienced now and understood hereafter. It is well to be forewarned about them and forearmed for them, even if they do not come, lest Satan overwhelm us as he sought to do with Job and Peter. God marks across some of our days, “Will explain later.” — Vance Havner

Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” (John 13:7, NIV)

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.

                                            — Soren Kierkegaard

Do this in remembrance of me. (Luke 22:19, ESV)

We won’t walk into God’s good future if we have no memories of God’s mighty acts on our behalf in the past. Or at least, we won’t walk into the fullness of that future, with all the power and healing force for our [lives and] communities that God intends. — Len Hjalmarson

Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says . . . The one who is victorious will not be hurt at all by the second death. (Revelation 2:11, NIV)


Morning

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Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. (Mark 1:35, NIV)
 
Your first ritual that you do during the day is the highest leveraged ritual, by far, because it has the effect of setting your mind, and setting the context, for the rest of your day. — Eben Pagan
Mark a life of discipline and live wisely; don’t squander your precious life. Blessed the man, blessed the woman, who listens to me awake and ready for me each morning, alert and responsive as I start my day’s work. When you find me, you find life, real life, to say nothing of God’s good pleasure. (Proverbs 8:33-35, MSG)
 
Every day of his life he arose very early in the morning to study the Word of God, way down to the close of his life. Mr. Moody used to rise about four o’clock in the morning to study the Bible. He would say to me: “If I am going to get in any study, I have got to get up before the other folks get up,” and he would shut himself up in a remote room in his house, alone with his God and his Bible. —R. A. Torrey
My little lamps were kindled at Thy sun. — J. H. Jowett