A woman confessed to me that she had lied about me. She then asked for my forgiveness. I told her she was forgiven. She took me at my word, and our relationship has been good ever since.
After Steve Jones won the 1996 US Open golf tournament, he accepted the trophy and said to the crowd, "I just thank the Lord Jesus Christ. . . . Even with God on my side, I was still pretty nervous."
When we express our gratitude to God, it's easy to emphasize material prosperity and the qualities of life that are wonderful to have but easy to lose. Good health is a great blessing, but it could be gone tomorrow. Into the most loving families and friendships, death intrudes when we least expect it. Our tables may be loaded with food today, but we could be out of work tomorrow and wondering about our next meal.
Things were going along as well as could be expected in the Sunday school class for 2-year-olds. But then along came "Charlie." As soon as we took him from his mother's arms, he squirmed and fussed. Like a broken record, he whined over and over, first for his mommy, then for his daddy.
Time and time again, the Lord has tenderly spoken these reassuring words to His people: "Do not fear." Yet how prone we are to live our days, like frightened lambs, in fear and anxiety.
Is your living room the site of daily murders? Do you routinely entertain guests who swear at you and make fun of your faith? Have you ever had somebody drop by and try to convince you that sexual sin is a joking matter and that violence is entertaining?
Christ's followers are called to live an "inclusive" lifestyle. By this I mean that we are instructed in God's Word to reach out to those who might not be accepted by others. But we get so comfortable with our church friends that we may feel it's too much to ask.