Reference Point Devotional

God’s Plan May Not Be What We Think It Is – 06/2017

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

A recent Christian movie set in the 1950s showed a young couple lying on the hood of their 1956 Chevy, looking up at the stars. One of them quoted Jeremiah 29:11 from the New International Version (which ironically wasn’t published until the 1980s) and talked about their upcoming marriage. Based on this verse, they thought everything they ever dreamed about was about to come true.

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Don’t Quarrel on the Way – 05/2017

“Then he [Joseph] sent his brothers away, and as they were leaving he said to them, “Don’t quarrel on the way!” (Genesis 45:24 NIV)

It speaks to my weird sense of humor, I guess, but I find this verse very amusing. Joseph, who had been sold into slavery by his brothers, has been placed in a position of authority in Egypt. When the brothers come from Canaan to Egypt to purchase food, Joseph recognizes them and through a series of back and forth moves, convinces them to return home and to return to Egypt again. He tells them their younger brother had better accompany them on the next visit. Finally, he tells them to go home and return with their aged father and their families and settle in Egypt.

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Mowing in the Rain – 04/2017

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:26 NIV)

Usually during the months of July and August, Kentucky lawns get brown and crispy, with great gapping cracks appearing in the clay soil. Not last year. Last year there was so much precipitation that the grass and weeds needed cutting every four days to avoid Long Rows of Clumped Grass (LRoCG), and Grandma Patti does not like LRoCG.

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Unvoiced Perspective – 03/2017

“Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation,  just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.” (2 Peter 3:15-16 NIV)

There can be no higher critical praise than to describe an author’s writing as scripture. And it is rather interesting that Peter reprimands readers who are at fault rather than placing blame with the author for difficult passages. Peter calls these misguided interpreters “ignorant and unstable.”

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Fan into Flame – 02/2017

“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:6-7 NIV)

I suspect that most of us have made many New Year’s resolutions over the years. How are you doing on the most recent ones you have made? If you are like me, your resolutions involve attempts to be or do better.

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Happy New Year – 01/2017

“And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.” (Revelation 21:5 KJV)

The New Year brings a fresh start, another “start over.” Those of us who work in academic settings feel like we get more chances to begin again—each new semester as well as each new calendar year. But the Lord faithfully gives us a new season, a new moon, a new week, and—every twenty-four hours—a new day. We can start over anew! That new start inevitably comes with optimism and hope, even in the middle of winter, even with a healthy dose of reality mixed in.

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God and Sinners Reconciled – 12/2016

“For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.” (Romans 5:10 ESV)

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Check the Property Lines – 11/2016

“The lines have fallen unto me in pleasant places.” (Psalm 16:6 KJV)

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He Has Made Everything Beautiful in its Time – 10/2016

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven . . .” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-13 ESV)

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Right Before My Eyes – 09/2016

“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” (Colossians 3:2 ESV)

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