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Insight For Living~ Charles R Swindoll

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Re: Insight For Living~ Charles R Swindoll

Post  Admin on Mon 13 Aug 2012, 8:41 pm

August 13, 2012
Amazing Grace
by Charles R. Swindoll

Fix your hope completely
on the grace to be brought to you
at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 1:13

Imagine coming to the house of a friend who has invited you over to enjoy a meal. You finish the delicious meal and then listen to some fine music and visit for a while. Finally, you stand up and get your coat as you prepare to leave.

But before you leave you reach into your pocket and say, "Now, how much do I owe you?" What an insult! You don't do that with someone who has graciously given you a meal.

Isn't it strange, though, how this world is running over with people who think there's something they must do to pay God back?

Somehow they are hoping God will smile on them if they work real hard and earn His acceptance. But that's an acceptance on the basis of works. That's not the way it is with grace. . . .

God smiles on us because of His Son's death and resurrection. It's grace, my friend, amazing grace.

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Re: Insight For Living~ Charles R Swindoll

Post  Admin on Sun 12 Aug 2012, 11:01 am

August 11, 2012
Seek Righteousness
by Charles R. Swindoll

Seek first His kingdom
and His righteousness, and all
these things will be added to you.
Matthew 6:33

Life is a lot like a coin; you can spend it any way you wish, but you can spend it only once.

Choosing one thing over all the rest throughout life is a difficult thing to do. This is especially true when the choices are so many and the possibilities are so close at hand.

To be completely truthful with you, however, we aren't left with numerous possibilities. Jesus Himself gave us the top priority: "Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness." . . .

If I am to seek first in my life God's kingdom and God's righteousness, then whatever else I do ought to relate to that goal: where I work, with whom I spend my time, the one I marry, or the decision to remain single.

Every decision I make ought to be filtered through the Matthew 6:33 filter.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Re: Insight For Living~ Charles R Swindoll

Post  Admin on Sat 11 Aug 2012, 9:43 am

August 10, 2012
The One Thing We Can Change
by Charles R. Swindoll

A wise man is strong, and a man of knowledge increases power.
Proverbs 24:5

This may shock you, but I believe the single most significant decision I can make on a day-to-day basis is my choice of attitude.

It is more important than my past, my education, my bankroll, my successes or failures, fame or pain, what other people think of me, or say about me, my circumstances, or my position.

The attitude I choose keeps me going or cripples my progress. It alone fuels my fire or assaults my hope.

When my attitudes are right, there's no barrier too high, no valley too deep, no dream too extreme, no challenge too great for me.

Yet we must admit that we spend more of our time concentrating and fretting over the things that can't be changed than we do giving attention to the one that we can change---our choice of attitude.

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Re: Insight For Living~ Charles R Swindoll

Post  Admin on Thu 09 Aug 2012, 8:11 pm

August 9, 2012
Faith or Presumption?
by Charles R. Swindoll

We would not trust in ourselves,
but in God . . . [who] will deliver us,
He on whom we have set our hope.
2 Corinthians 1:9-10

The old motto of soldiers during the Revolutionary War applies to many areas of life: "Trust in God, but keep your powder dry!"

In other words, place your life in the Savior's hands, but stay at the ready. Do all that you can to prepare yourself for battle, understanding that the ultimate outcome rests with the Lord God.

To walk by faith does not mean stop thinking. To trust God does not imply becoming slovenly or lazy or apathetic. . . . You and I need to trust God for our finances, but that is no license to spend foolishly. You and I ought to trust God for safety in the car, but we're not wise to pass on a blind curve. . . .

Acting foolishly or thoughtlessly, expecting God to bail you out if things go amiss, isn't faith at all. It is presumption.

Wisdom says, do all you can within your strength, then trust Him to do what you cannot do.

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Re: Insight For Living~ Charles R Swindoll

Post  Admin on Wed 08 Aug 2012, 5:41 pm

August 8, 2012
Absolute Silence
by Charles R. Swindoll

He will exult over you with joy,
He will be quiet in His love.
Zephaniah 3:17

I am more convinced than ever that there is no way you and I can move toward a deeper, intimate relationship with our God without protracted times of stillness, which includes one of the rarest at all experiences: absolute silence.

Am I sounding more like a mystical dreamer? If so, so was the psalmist who wrote those familiar words we often quote but seldom obey, "Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10, NIV). . . .

We are commanded to stop (literally) . . . rest, relax, let go, and make time for Him. The scene is one of stillness and quietness, listening and waiting before Him. Such foreign experiences in these busy times!

Nevertheless, knowing God deeply and intimately requires such discipline. Silence is indispensable if we hope to add depth to our spiritual life.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Re: Insight For Living~ Charles R Swindoll

Post  Admin on Tue 07 Aug 2012, 11:20 pm

August 7, 2012
Helping the World on to God
by Charles R. Swindoll

Let your light shine before men in
such a way that they may see your good works,
and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 5:16

[The world] will see "your good works," Jesus said.

Like what?

They will hear your courtesy.

They will detect your smile.

They will notice that you stop to thank them.

They will hear you apologize when you are wrong.

They will see you help them when they are struggling.

They will notice that you are the one who stopped along the road and gave them a hand.

They will see every visible manifestation of Christ's life being normally lived out through you. They will see all that and they will "glorify your Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 5:16). . . .

We are the ones who help the world on to God.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Re: Insight For Living~ Charles R Swindoll

Post  Admin on Mon 06 Aug 2012, 8:54 pm

August 6, 2012
Confident Contentment
by Charles R. Swindoll

Teach me to do Your will,
for You are my God;
let Your good Spirit lead
me on level ground.
Psalm 143:10

When Christ becomes our central focus---our reason for existence---contentment replaces our anxiety as well as our fears and insecurities.

This cannot help but impact three of the most prevalent joy stealers in all of life.

1. He broadens the dimensions of our circumstances. This gives us new confidence. . . .

2. He delivers us from preoccupation with others. This causes our contentment level to rise. . . .

3. He calms our fears regarding ourselves and our future. This provides a burst of fresh hope on a daily basis.

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Re: Insight For Living~ Charles R Swindoll

Post  Admin on Sat 04 Aug 2012, 7:40 pm

August 4, 2012

Unity and Humility
by Charles R. Swindoll

Behold, how good and how pleasant it
is for brothers to dwell together in unity!
Psalm 133:1

Do you realize how closely unity and humility are tied together? One breeds the other; neither can exist without the other. They're like Siamese twins, perpetually connected.

Personally, I have seen numerous occasions when pride won out (even though it was never called that) and harmony faded away . . . and I mean fast. . . .

Contrary to the stuff you might read today, the words, fight and quarrel, are not apt descriptions of the way to get ahead. They won't ultimately glorify God.

Friends are made by not fighting and by refusing to quarrel.

Commit yourself to freeing others so they can grow and discover on their own. For a change, as much as is possible, walk away from an argument rather than inviting one. Become more of a peacemaker.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Re: Insight For Living~ Charles R Swindoll

Post  Admin on Fri 03 Aug 2012, 7:52 pm

August 3, 2012
God Knows Our Limits
by Charles R. Swindoll

But You, O Lord, are a God
merciful and gracious, slow to anger and
abundant in lovingkindness and truth.
Psalm 86:15

Our Lord understands our limits. He realizes our struggles. He knows how much pressure we can take. He knows what measures of grace and mercy and strength we'll require. He knows how we're put together.

Frankly, His expectations are not nearly as unrealistic as ours.

When we don't live up to the agenda we have set, we feel like He is going to dump a truckload of judgment on us. But that will not happen.

So why do we fear it could?
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Re: Insight For Living~ Charles R Swindoll

Post  Admin on Thu 02 Aug 2012, 7:42 pm

August 2, 2012
God's Way Is Right
by Charles R. Swindoll

Trust in the LORD forever,
for in GOD the LORD,
we have an everlasting Rock.
Isaiah 26:4

God's way is always right.

It doesn't always make sense---in fact . . . it is often mysterious. It can seldom be explained. It isn't always pleasurable and fun.

But I have lived long enough to realize that His way is always right. . . .

I believe that not until we embrace God's sovereignty will we have the ability to reason our way through life.

Until then we will be too important in the plan. Man's opinion will be too significant to us. And we will churn and wrestle and struggle our way through this Christian life, trying too hard to please people rather than living it relieved and relaxed in His plan.

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Re: Insight For Living~ Charles R Swindoll

Post  Admin on Wed 01 Aug 2012, 8:06 pm

August 1, 2012
Take Life as It Comes
by Charles R. Swindoll

Sow your seed in the morning
and do not be idle in the evening,
for you do not know whether morning
or evening sowing will succeed.
Ecclesiastes 11:6

The only way we can come to terms with reality---is by trusting God, regardless. No ifs, ands, or buts.

If I am a farmer and God allows a flood to come and wash away my crops or God chooses to give me the beautiful season rains and a bumper crop, I trust Him and I give Him praise.

If I am in industry or some profession and someone throws me a curve and God allows my whole world to be reversed, I trust Him and I give Him praise.

I take life as it occurs. I don't waste time in the pit of doubt. Nor do I worry over crop failures and strikeouts.

We can't wait for conditions to be perfect. Nor can we wait for things to be free of all risks---absolutely free, absolutely safe. Instead of protecting ourselves, we have to release ourselves. Instead of hoarding, we are to give and invest. Instead of drifting, we are to pursue life. Instead of doubting, we are to courageously trust.

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Re: Insight For Living~ Charles R Swindoll

Post  Admin on Tue 31 Jul 2012, 8:33 pm

July 31, 2012
The Object of God's Concern
by Charles R. Swindoll

My soul waits in silence for God only;
from Him is my salvation.

Psalm 62:1

I've had times when I've found myself wondering about the things I've believed and preached for years. What happened? Had God died?

No. My vision just got a little blurry. My circumstances caused my thinking to get a little foggy. I looked up, and I couldn't see Him as clearly.

That's what happened to John Bunyan back in the seventeenth century in England. He preached against the godlessness of his day, and the authorities shoved him into prison. . . .

But because Bunyan firmly believed God was still alive and working, he turned that prison into a place of praise, service, and creativity as he began to write Pilgrim's Progress, the most famous allegory in the history of the English language.

When we hit a tough spot, our tendency is to feel abandoned. . . . In fact, just the opposite is true, for at that moment, we are more than ever the object of God's concern.

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Re: Insight For Living~ Charles R Swindoll

Post  Admin on Mon 30 Jul 2012, 8:50 pm

July 30, 2012
Wonderfully Made
by Charles R. Swindoll

I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully
and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works,
and my soul knows it very well

Psalm 139:14

The next time you pick up your little baby or grandbaby, look into the face of that marvelously made child and say, "You are fearfully and wonderfully made."

And it wouldn't hurt to repeat that statement throughout her childhood.

Children need to know how valuable they are in God's sight---and ours. Nothing gives them greater security than a strong sense of self-esteem.

Hear this well, busy parents---especially you who tend toward impatience, who are always on the run. . . . Your children have been put together in an altogether unique fashion, like no one else on earth. . . . They need you to help convince them they are unique persons, each one different, each one his or her own person.

Children arrive in our arms longing to be known, longing to accept themselves as they are, to be who they are. So when they wade into the swift current of their times, they will be able to stand firm, and won't depend on peer pressure to give them their standard.

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission
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Re: Insight For Living~ Charles R Swindoll

Post  Admin on Sat 28 Jul 2012, 11:30 pm

July 28, 2012
Give God Your Worries
by Charles R. Swindoll
Who is among you that
fears the LORD, . . . let him trust in the
name of the LORD and rely on his God.
Isaiah 50:10
Let's get six words clearly fixed in our minds. These six words form the foundation of God's therapeutic process for all worrywarts.

WORRY ABOUT NOTHING,
PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING

What qualifies as a worry? Anything that drains your tank of joy---something you cannot change, something you are not responsible for, something you are unable to control, something (or someone) that frightens and torments you, agitates you, keeps you awake when you should be asleep.

All of that now needs to be switched from your worry list to your prayer list. Give each worry---one by one---to God. . . .

Tell Him you will no longer keep your anxiety to yourself. . . .

The more you practice giving your mental burdens to the Lord, the more exciting it gets to see how God will handle the things that are impossible for you to do anything about.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
July 27, 2012
God's Instruction Book
by Charles R. Swindoll
We know that the Son of God has come,
and has given us understanding so that
we may know Him who is true.
1 John 5:20

God offers instruction, but then it's our move. We must accept His instruction and apply it to our lives. Then, and only then, can we expect to cash in on the benefits of His instruction.

So you see, application is the essential link between instruction and change. . . .

God has sent us His instruction. He has preserved every word of it in a book, the Bible. It's all there, just as He communicated it to us.

When He returns for His own, He isn't going to ask us how much we memorized or how often we met for study.

No, He will want to know, "What did you do about my instructions?"
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Re: Insight For Living~ Charles R Swindoll

Post  Admin on Fri 27 Jul 2012, 9:27 am

July 26, 2012
Celebrate Life!
by Charles R. Swindoll

Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Psalm 90:12 (NIV)

The Hebrew text suggests that we correctly "account" for our days.

I find it interesting that we are to view life by the days, not the years. We are to live those days in such a way that when they draw to a close, we have gained "a heart of wisdom."

With the Lord God occupying first place in our lives we accept and live each day enthusiastically for Him. The result will be that "heart of wisdom" the psalmist mentions. . . .

Because we cannot alter the inevitable, we adjust to it.

And we do that not a year at a time, but a day at a time. Instead of eating our heart out because a few more aches and pains have attached themselves to our bodies, we determine to celebrate life rather than endure it.

Aging isn't a choice. But our response to it is. In so many ways we ourselves determine how we shall grow old.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Re: Insight For Living~ Charles R Swindoll

Post  Admin on Wed 25 Jul 2012, 9:21 pm

uly 25, 2012
Moral Character
by Charles R. Swindoll

A good name is to be
more desired than great wealth,
favor is better than silver and gold.

Proverbs 22:1

Unfortunately, we have grown accustomed to shrugging off lapses in moral character, manifested in secretive and deceptive lifestyles.

We are frequently told that trying to find people who value honesty and model responsibility, who promote fairness, accountability, loyalty, respect for others, and who hold to strong, upright convictions is not at all realistic.

"Such people don't exist . . . we need to stop requiring personal purity," we are told. Or, as one air-headed soul said during one recent presidential campaign, "We're voting for president, not pope."

To such an analogy, I reply "Nonsense!" That kind of logic (or rather, lack of logic) gives me the jitters.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Re: Insight For Living~ Charles R Swindoll

Post  Admin on Tue 24 Jul 2012, 9:48 pm

July 24, 2012
Reach Out to Others
by Charles R. Swindoll
The generous man will be prosperous,
and he who waters will himself be watered.
Proverbs 11:25

Close, open relationships are vital. A glib "Hi, how are ya" must be replaced with genuine concern.

The key term is assimilation. When I use the word here, I'm referring to people reaching out to one another.

Being absorbed in the function of the family of God as a participant (rather than a spectator)

. . . relating to

. . . working with

. . . caring for others whom I know and love.

As I read it over, I see written between the lines the reminder:

This is not automatic.
I am personally responsible.

So are you!
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Re: Insight For Living~ Charles R Swindoll

Post  Admin on Mon 23 Jul 2012, 10:52 pm

July 23, 2012
The Weight of Worry
by Charles R. Swindoll

Casting all your anxiety on Him,
because He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7

How wonderful that God personally cares about those things that worry us and prey upon our thoughts.

He cares about them more than we care about them. Not a single nagging, aching, worrisome, stomach-tensing, blood-pressure-raising thought escapes His notice.

This is how the Phillips translation renders 1 Peter 5:7: "You can throw the whole weight of your anxieties upon him, for you are his personal concern."

Isn't that good? He genuinely cares.

He is able to bear all the weight of your worry. Because you are His personal concern, you never disappear from His radar screen.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Re: Insight For Living~ Charles R Swindoll

Post  Admin on Sat 21 Jul 2012, 10:17 pm

July 21, 2012
Money Can’t Buy Everything
by Charles R. Swindoll

How much better it is to get wisdom
than gold! And to get understanding
is to be chosen above silver.
Proverbs 16:16

Foolish indeed is the person who considers himself safe and sound because he has money. . . .

And another reason it's foolish to trust in riches for security is that money, in the final analysis, brings no lasting satisfaction, certainly not in the area of things that really matter. There are many things that no amount of money can buy.

Think of it this way:

•Money can buy medicine, but not health.
•Money can buy a house, but not a home.
•Money can buy companionship, but not friends.
•Money can buy food, but not an appetite.
•Money can buy a bed, but not sleep.
•Money can buy the good life, but not eternal life.

It is God (alone) who is able to supply us "with all things to enjoy." As Seneca, the Roman statesman once said: "Money has never yet made anyone rich."
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Re: Insight For Living~ Charles R Swindoll

Post  Admin on Fri 20 Jul 2012, 4:53 pm

July 20, 2012
Savor Satisfaction
by Charles R. Swindoll

The beginning of wisdom is:
Acquire wisdom; and with all your
acquiring, get understanding.
Proverbs 4:7

The good life---the one that truly satisfies---exists only when we stop wanting a better one.

It is the condition of savoring what is rather than longing for what might be. The itch for things, the lust for more---so brilliantly injected by those who peddle them---is a virus draining our souls of happy contentment.

Have you noticed? A man never earns enough. A woman is never beautiful enough. Clothes are never fashionable enough. Cars are never nice enough. Gadgets are never modern enough. Houses are never furnished enough. Food is never fancy enough. Relationships are never romantic enough. Life is never full enough.

Satisfaction comes when we step off the escalator of desire and say, "This is enough. What I have will do. What I make of it is up to me and my vital union with the living Lord."
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission
July 19, 2012
“Good Job!”
by Charles R. Swindoll

How precious also are Your
thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Psalm 139:17

Most of us are good at criticizing ourselves and finding fault with what we have done or failed to do. I'd like to suggest an alternate plan---spend some of your leisure time finding pleasure and satisfaction in what you have done as well as in who and what you are.

Sound too liberal? Why? Since when is a good self-esteem liberal?

There are times we need to tell ourselves, "Good job!" when we know that is true.

That isn't conceited pride, my friend. It's acknowledging in words the feelings of the heart. The Lord knows that we hear more than enough internal put-downs! Communicating in times of leisure includes self-affirmation, acknowledging, of course, that God ultimately gets the glory.

After all, He's the One who makes the whole experience possible.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Re: Insight For Living~ Charles R Swindoll

Post  Admin on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 11:09 am

July 18, 2012
Full of Grace and Truth
by Charles R. Swindoll
Grace and truth were
realized through Jesus Christ.
John 1:17

While thinking back on his days with Jesus, John (one of The Twelve) remembers there was something about Him that was like no one else, during which time His disciples "beheld His glory." His uniqueness was that incredible "glory," a glory that represented the very presence of God. In addition, this glorious One was "full of grace and truth."

Pause and let that sink in.
It was His glory mixed with grace and truth that made Him different.

In a world of darkness and demands, rules and regulations, requirements and expectations demanded by hypocritical religious leaders, Jesus came and ministered in a new and different way---He alone, full of grace and full of truth, introduced a revolutionary, different way of life.

Remembering that uniqueness, John adds, "For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace" (John 1:16).
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Re: Insight For Living~ Charles R Swindoll

Post  Admin on Tue 17 Jul 2012, 1:50 pm

July 17, 2012
A Fruitful Life
by Charles R. Swindoll

We have not ceased to pray for you . . .
that you will walk in a manner worthy
of the Lord, to please Him in all respects,
bearing fruit in every good work. . . .
Colossians 1:9--10

Have you ever been in an area of the country where there was a lot of fruit ripening in the sun?

Maybe on some cool September morning you've taken a walk through the apple orchards of the Hood River valley or along the Columbia River in Oregon. It is pleasing to the eye to see such an abundance of sweet, delicious fruit hanging on branch or vine, ready to be plucked.

A fruitful Christian life is like that---sweet, refreshing, nourishing, fragrant, sustaining, delightful to be near. But such a life requires careful cultivation. . . .

A deeper, more consistent walk with Christ requires time and attention every day. If that happens, you will bear fruit.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
July 16, 2012
No Island of Second Chance
by Charles R. Swindoll

Grandchildren are the crown of old men,
and the glory of sons is their fathers.
---Proverbs 17:6

We cannot change the past . . . and that includes the way we reared our children.

All of us---yes, every parent I have ever met---would love to step into the time tunnel and return to the Island of Second Chance. We would give anything to relive those years and correct the failures and mistakes we committed the first time around.

All such fantasy wishes need to be erased. They can never be fulfilled! The parenting process offers only one try per child, one day at a time, never again to be repeated.

Someone once said, "Life is like a coin; you can spend it any way you wish, but you spend it only once." That is never more true than with rearing children. About the time we get fairly good at it, our kids are all young adults and gone. Having come closer than ever to perfecting the process, we suddenly realize nobody is listening! Which means we're qualified for one major role: grandparenting (when it becomes our right to break all the rules and spoil those darlings!).

It's a funny world.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Re: Insight For Living~ Charles R Swindoll

Post  Admin on Sat 14 Jul 2012, 7:30 pm

July 14, 2012
The Hardest Part of the Christian Life
by Charles R. Swindoll

James 5:10--11

When our older daughter Charissa underwent two eye surgeries, an ordeal I mentioned in my book Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back, I thought the test was over. It wasn't. Late in the summer of 1979, she suffered a severe fall, resulting in a fracture of two vertebrae in her back. During the early part of that episode, her mother and I were forced to wait on the physical outcome.

The most difficult discipline in the Christian life, in my opinion, is waiting. But God used that to force us to lean on Him . . . to trust Him . . . to believe in Him . . . to release our will and accept His. Words fail to describe the pain of that transfer of wills. Finally, when we made the transfer, empty-handed and totally dependent, Cynthia and I leaned hard on our God. It was a time of great stress.

Today, Charissa's broken back has healed. Our daughter is neither paralyzed nor handicapped in any way. She is whole, healthy, energetic, and a very grateful woman. And---I might add---all the Swindolls have learned again the value of being cast upon our God.

Admittedly, in the pain of it all, I wrestled with Him. But, looking back, I can clearly see that the process required being emptied of our own strength. God designed the process to equip my family---and especially their dad---to be better servants.

Things may not be logical and fair, but when God is directing the events of our lives, they are right.
Adapted from Charles R. Swindoll, Improving Your Serve: The Art of Unselfish Living (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1981), 191--92 Copyright © 1981 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.
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Re: Insight For Living~ Charles R Swindoll

Post  Admin on Fri 13 Jul 2012, 8:03 pm

July 13, 2012
Two Truths for Coping with Suffering
by Charles R. Swindoll
Job 2:3--6; 2 Corinthians 1:3--7

I have found great help from two truths God gave me at a time in my life when I was bombarded with a series of unexpected and unfair blows (from my perspective). In my darkest hours, these principles become my anchor of stability, my only means of survival. Afflicted, confused, persecuted, and rejected in that situation, I claimed these two truths and held on to them like wild waves, strong winds, and pounding rain grabbing hold of the mast of a ship at sea. God took me through the consequences and kept me from becoming a bitter man.

Because they worked for me, I pass them on to you. At the risk of sounding simplistic, I would suggest that you not only write them down where you can read them often, but also that you might commit them to memory. The day will come when you will be thankful you did, I assure you. They have scriptural support, but I'll only list a couple of verses for the sake of brevity and clarity.

Here is the first truth to claim when enduring the consequences of suffering: nothing touches me that has not passed through the hands of my heavenly Father. Nothing. Whatever occurs, God has sovereignly surveyed and approved (Job 2:3--6). We may not know why (we may never know why), but we do know our pain is no accident to Him who guides our lives. He is, in no way, surprised by it all. Before it ever touches us, it passes through Him.

The second truth to claim is this: everything I endure is designed to prepare me for serving others more effectively. Everything. Because my heavenly Father is committed to shaping me into the image of His Son, He knows the ultimate value of this painful experience (2 Corinthians 1:3--7). It is a necessary part of the preparation process. It is being used to empty our hands of our own resources, our own sufficiency, and turn us back to Him---the faithful Provider.

And God knows what will get through to us.
Adapted from Charles R. Swindoll, Improving Your Serve: The Art of Unselfish Living (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1981), 190--91 Copyright © 1981 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.
July 12, 2012
Par for the Servanthood Course
by Charles R. Swindoll

2 Corinthians 4:9--11, 16--18; 11:25--27, 33

Paul was no criminal. The man was innocent of wrong . . . yet he was misunderstood, mistreated, hunted like a wounded deer, and hated by those who once respected him. In 2 Corinthians 4:9, Paul states we are "struck down." And then to illustrate just how close he came to death itself, he mentions the following experiences in chapter 11 of this letter:

•Shipwrecked three times (11:25)
•A day and a night spent in the ocean (11:25)
•Surrounded by constant dangers (11:26)
•Without sufficient food (11:27)
•Being exposed to the elements (11:27)
•Escaping death by being let down a wall in a large basket (11:33)

What happened? How could so much unfair, near-fatal treatment happen to a man like Paul? An even deeper question is this: How could and why would God permit it? Without sounding glib . . . it was par for the servanthood course. Still is. Paul even admits that we are:

always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. . . . Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:10--11, 16--18)

That sounds beautiful, almost poetic. However, it is one thing to read it as black print on a white page, but it's another thing entirely to embrace that mind-set when all hell breaks loose against us. How does the servant of God cope when the bottom drops out? I'll share that in tomorrow's post. In the meantime, read those last verses again. Isn't Paul's perspective amazing?
Adapted from Charles R. Swindoll, Improving Your Serve: The Art of Unselfish Living (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1981), 189--90. Copyright © 1981 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.
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Re: Insight For Living~ Charles R Swindoll

Post  Admin on Wed 11 Jul 2012, 8:03 pm

July 11, 2012
Dealing with Physical and Emotional Pain
by Charles R. Swindoll

Daniel 6:3--4; 2 Corinthians 11:24--25

It's hard for me to read Paul's words without wincing:

Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. (2 Corinthians 11:24--25)

Can you imagine being beaten "times without number"? I cannot. Here is the awful reality of physical abuse. Few people will ever know such extreme pain. But if you think the man was pretty much alone in it all, get hold of a copy of Fox's Book of Martyrs or read it online. There is no way to get around it; God's servants often become scapegoats.

This is true emotionally more frequently than physically. Humanity’s twisted depravity, for some reason, likes to express itself in this way. Take the prophet Daniel, for example. Faithful, efficient, honest, dedicated to the maximum, the man served others with a pure heart. But it backfired on him. According to the sixth chapter of the book that bears his name, the very people he worked with turned on him. They set out to prove he lacked integrity. They left no stone unturned.

Can you imagine how that hurt? You are the object of investigation. You hear whisperings about your character. Stories swirl around, calling into question your words, your actions. Every move you make is viewed with suspicion. And yet there is not a shred of truth to it. You have been a model of authenticity, you have devoted yourself to the dual role of helping others and honoring the Lord . . . and this is the thanks you get.

I'll tell you, it takes the grace of almighty God for us to press on under those circumstances and to accept His plan over our own.
Adapted from Charles R. Swindoll, Improving Your Serve: The Art of Unselfish Living (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1981), 187--88. Copyright © 1981 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.
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