If I should be enormously successful in my chosen profession but lost my children to the ravages of drugs, promiscuity and crime, just how happy and/or successful would I be? How would it hit me if one of my children came to me and said, “Dad, if you had invested some time with me when I was growing up, giving me some of the advice you’ve given others, maybe things would have been different. If you could have been there to awaken me in the morning and given me some of the famous pep talks you gave others; if you had been there to tuck me in at night, told me some bedtime stories, assured me of your love and answered some of the questions all children have, maybe, Dad, my life would not have turned out to be the disaster it is”? I’ve got to tell you that I would be one more broken-hearted dad were this to happen, because I deeply love my children. I am grateful that I have a marvelous relationship with each one, mainly because all of their lives we have spent time together, talked a lot and shared our hearts with one another. Are you “successful”? Do the people you love know you love them? Think about it and I’ll SEE YOU AT THE TOP!
Zig Ziglar is known as America’s Motivator. He authored 32 books and produced numerous training programs. He will be remembered as a man who lived out his faith daily.
Zig was born in Coffee County in southeastern Alabama to parents John Silas Ziglar and Lila Wescott Ziglar. He was the tenth of twelve children. In 1931, when Ziglar was five years old, his father took a management position at a Mississippi farm, and his family moved to Yazoo City, where he spent most of his early childhood. The next year, his father died of a stroke, and his younger sister died two days later. Ziglar served in the United States Navy during World War II (c. 1943 to 1945). He was in the Navy V-12 Navy College Training Program and attended the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina. In 1944, he met his wife, Jean, in the capital city of Mississippi, Jackson; he was seventeen and she was sixteen. They married in late 1946. Ziglar later worked as a salesman in a succession of companies. In 1968, he became a vice president and training director for the Automotive Performance company, moving to Dallas, Texas. As of 2010, Ziglar still traveled around taking part in motivational seminars, despite a fall down a flight of stairs in 2007 that left him with short-term memory problems. State Representative Chris Greeley of Maine mentions Ziglar in the credits of his CD on public speaking.—Ziglar wove his Christianity into his motivational work. He was also an open Republican who endorsed former Governor Mike Huckabee for his party’s presidential nomination in 2008.
by Charles R. Swindoll
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again
to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ
from the dead. (1 Peter 1:3, emphasis added)
Rarely will one of God’s heroes show up in the Scriptures having lived a life free of failure. Take Peter, for example. As soon as you read the name, you remember his story. Peter experienced the extreme highs and lows of life—from days spent in blessed fellowship with Christ . . . to the heart-wrenching erosion of loyalty when he denied the Lord. Not once. Not twice. Three times. Once he realized his failure, the Bible says, “he went out and wept bitterly” (Luke 22:62).
Can you remember a failure that was so dramatic and so tearful for you that you hardly need to be reminded of the feelings? I remember Betsie ten Boom’s words, “There is no pit so deep but that He is not deeper still.” As dark and as deep and as tragic as your failure may be, He is willing to go to the depths of it with you.
This was true of Peter too. Look back at Luke 22. After the surprising warning of Satan’s attack, Jesus gave Peter a statement of fact: “I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail.” Then there was a veiled reassurance: “And you, when once you have turned again . . .” Then a final command: “Strengthen your brothers” (22:32).
What does that suggest? It suggests that Peter was going to fall. “Once you have turned again.” “Retraced your steps” is another way someone else has put it. “Once you have turned again,” Jesus said, “then use it to strengthen your brothers.” Jesus knew Peter to the core. He knew Peter would fall, but He prayed for him that he would not remain fallen. Jesus loved Peter—even at his point of deepest weakness.
How did He prove that love? Mark 16:6-7 answers that question. After the Resurrection, while the women were standing at the tomb, an angel told them:
“Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid him. But go, tell His disciples and Peter.” (emphasis added)
Isn’t that great? “Don’t forget Peter. He’s the last one who thinks that I’ll ever want to talk to him again. Tell Peter!” What grace!
Somewhere between the time Peter fell and this angelic announcement there was a process during which Peter wallowed in remorse, wishing he could, if possible, correct his error . . . but he couldn’t. And somewhere in the midst of it he heard the Lord say to him, “Peter, I forgive you. I understand. Use it to strengthen your brothers.”
That’s why Peter later was able to write the following words to early Christians:
May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection. (1 Peter 1:2-3, emphasis added)
Why did this mean so much to Peter? Because it was at the Resurrection Peter’s name was called, and the Lord in tender mercy said, “Tell him I’ve come back.”
First Peter is a letter of great hope written by a man who experienced it! By the time he wrote this letter, Peter had come to the place where he was not only back on the scene, he was aggressively engaged in the formation of the early church.
It can happen to you too. Just like fallen and forgiven Peter, you can find new hope despite your failures. If you are a believer, you are born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3).
What tender mercy! What triumphant grace! Failure is not forever. God specializes in forgiveness and hope. He can use even your worst failures in a mighty way.
Taken from Charles R. Swindoll, “Hope beyond Failure,” Insights (August 2002): 1-2. Copyright © 2002 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.
Used with permission. All rights reserved.
I was reading Julie Ackerman Link’s post in Our Daily Bread published by RBC.ORG. She titled the devotion, “Road Construction.” I really thought she hit the mark with her thoughts and Scriptures. I am posting it here with the prayer that you will not only read her thoughts today, but you might subscribe to Our Daily Bread over at rbc.org.
By Julie Ackerman Link (Read: Jeremiah 31:31-34)
Here in Michigan we joke that we have two seasons: winter and road construction. Harsh winters damage road surfaces, so repair crews begin their work as soon as the ice melts and the ground thaws. Although we call this work “construction,” much of what they do looks like “destruction.” In some cases, simply patching holes is not an option. Workers have to replace the old road with a new one.
That’s what it can feel like when God is at work in our lives. Throughout the Old Testament, God told His people to expect some major renovation on the road between Him and them (Isaiah 62:10-11; Jeremiah 31:31). When God sent Jess, it seemed to the Jews as if their way to God was being destroyed. But Jesus wasn’t destroying anything. He was completing it (Matthew 5:17). The old way paved with laws became new way paved with the sacrificial love of Jesus.
God is still at work replacing old ways of sin and legalism with the way of love that Jesus completed. When He removes our old ways of thinking and behaving, it may feel as if everything familiar is being destroyed. But God is not destroying anything; He is building a better way. And we can be confident that the end result will be smoother relationships with others and a closer relationship with Him.
Free from the law–O happy condition!
Jesus has bled, and there is remission;
Cursed by the law and bruised by the fall,
Grace has redeemed us once for all. — Bliss
Keep this in mind: Upheaval often precedes spiritual progress.
Law or Grace: Which?
By Ron English
God has fixed the Christian for eternity. The fix is in. God did something for the child of God that can not be undone. It can not be unfixed. God has placed something in a Christian that Satan can not touch. He can’t find it.
15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. 16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. 17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.Paul struggled at times with wanting to do the wrong things and recognized he had given in to his old nature. We are not better Christians than Paul…we too have these struggles. It is only the loving help and power of the Holy Spirit that helps us conquer those temptations and resist Satan causing him to flee from us. Satan is a defeated foe and the Christian is dead and his life is hidden in Christ. “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” – Colossians 3:3 Satan can tempt your flesh, but he can’t get at your hidden life. Words mean things…Eternal life means Eternal. Everlasting life means everlasting. Salvation is a wonderful, eternal, everlasting gift that will make sure you go to Heaven. Rejoice!