The Elephant and the Mouse!

YEVnSWdfcgThe golden sun rose over the African Savannah. An elephant walked through the jungle, with a mouse scampering by his side. They walked and talked for a while, when until the path ended at the edge of a deep cliff.

A short way down, they discovered a rickety n bridge. As they approached the bridge, the elephant said, “Listen, little feller, I don’t think we can both go across at the same time. Why don’t you climb up on my back and just enjoy the ride?” The little mouse scampered up the elephant’s trunk and sat on top of his head.

The elephant started walking across the bridge. A quarter of the way across, they could see the bottomless depths below, and hear the bridge make unsettling sounds. The little mouse held on while the elephant plowed on.

Halfway across, the bridge swayed and the sounds of creaking and cracking became much louder. The elephant ran as fast as he possibly could. Seconds after reaching the other side, the old bridge gave way and fell into the depths.

The little mouse wiped the sweat from his forehead and let out a sigh of relief. When his heartbeat slowed, he said, “Elephant, WOW, did we ever shake that bridge! That was the greatest thing that ever happened to me!”*

The same goes for our walk with Christ. HE is the one who carries us through difficult times. Sometimes, when incredible things happen, we feel like that little mouse, screaming “WOW, did we shake that bridge!.” In reality, we were just part of the excitement and along for the ride. When Jesus said, “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light,” the reason why it is easy is because HE is carrying the real weight! Trust HIM! HE will get you to the other side!

Are you trying to take the credit for shaking the bridge?

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:28-30).

Podcast button
https://citalife.podbean.com/

Horses in the desert!

ZUFlQGVQTwo little girls joined their Dad for the first time in the desert and watched him test his horses near an oasis. Every day for months, the girls witnessed their father train five Arabian stallions for many months. When he whistled a certain way, the horses had learned to recognize it as a command to immediately come to him.

One day with the girls watched, he gave the signal to release the stallions. They had not been given food or water for the previous two days and desperately needing water, they bolted toward the oasis. When they reached the pool, the man whistled.

Two of the horses ignored the whistle and took a long drink of water. Two others took a short drink and turned and run back. The fifth horse stopped as soon as it heard the whistle and, despite its tremendous thirst, turned raced back until it stood in front of the father.

Then he said to his girls: “This is the horse, kids! Of the five, this is the only one that we can depend on to obey its master, no matter how strongly it wants to disobey. You can trust this horse with your life. The others will never be trustworthy.” He looked deep into their eyes and continued, “When it comes to obedience, people are not so different!” *(Edited devotion from God’s Little Devotional Book for Girls by Honor Books)

The next time God asks you to do something you’d rather not do, just say “YES!” instead of “Why?”*

Can God bet his life on you?

Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love me, obey me.”

Nothing is really lost by a life of sacrifice.

Everything is lost by failure to obey God’s call!

Podcast button
https://citalife.podbean.com/

Little Killers!

YkZnSWRYcgA workman on a road construction crew told this story of a time when he worked on a project deep in the mountain area of Pennsylvania. Every morning as he drove to work in his pickup, he saw a young boy at a fishing hole near the road. He would wave and yell out a “hello” to the boy each day. One day, however, as he drove slowly past the fishing spot and asked how the boy was doing, he got a strange reply: “The fish aren’t bitin’ today but the worms sure are.”

When he pulled into the local gas station down the road a few minutes later, he jokingly related the boy’s comment to the attendant. For a moment the man laughed, but then a look of horror crossed his face. Without another word he ran to his truck, jumped in, and sped away.

Later that day, the man on the construction crew learned what had happened to the boy. The gas station attendant arrived on the scene too late. The boy somehow mistook a nest of baby rattlesnakes for earthworms and had been bitten to death.

Baby rattlesnakes, you see, are born with their full venom. And so it is with many of the sins that tempt us. They may appear harmless, even colorful, yet they contain the full venom of Satan’s poison and will destroy us if we handle them.

“Illustrations for Biblical Preaching” Green, 1992, P.338

Podcast button
https://citalife.podbean.com/

Untapped potential!

YkxnQWJeWe bounced around in our old Land Rover early one morning on a dusty African road. I was 12 years old at the time and proudly held my pellet rifle in my hands. But one thing bothered me about my gun: it made almost no sound, maybe like a low sneeze, when I pulled the trigger. However, my brothers and I found the perfect solution. The Army had left live blanks lying around in the semi-desert area where we were heading. When I taped one of those to the end of my pellet rifle, the shots sounded better than a real gun!

Ready for action, we approached a herd of impalas. We sneaked up to them, shushing each other when we thought someone made too much noise. When we reached the impalas, I fired my rifle. Oh, so much fun for a 12-year-old! The impalas jumped straight up in the air, about eight feet. It was incredible to see how high they could jump. Of course, my rifle was all noise and no bite!
Did you know that the impalas are kept in zoos with walls of only three feet surrounding them? Although they can jump eight feet high, they are held captive by three-foot walls! But even though they are in captivity, they never attempt to jump over those walls because they cannot see what is on the other side.

Most people have the potential to do incredible things for God but are held captive by a lack of trust and faith in God. We could jump eight-foot walls, but shy back from a three-foot wall because we don’t feel secure or see the guarantee for how things will turn out for us. The enemy laughs, as we waste our lives cowering within our walls. Just one leap of faith would take us to freedom!

Are you being held back a three-foot wall today?

Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

Podcast button
https://citalife.podbean.com/

You Are Called to Be More Than a Conqueror!

Caravel In The OceanWhen you believe, act!

When we ask God for something that we know is in His will, we must also be ready to receive the answer.

When Hudson Taylor went to China, he made the voyage on a sailboat. As it neared the channel between the southern Malay Peninsula and the island of Sumatra, the missionary heard an urgent knock on his stateroom door. He opened it, and there stood the captain of the ship.

“Mr. Taylor,” the captain said, “we do not have any wind. We are drifting toward an island whose inhabitants are heathen and, I fear, also cannibals.”

“What can I do?” asked Taylor.

“I understand that you believe in God. I want you to pray for wind.”

“Alright, Captain, I will, but you must first set the sail.”

“Why, that’s ridiculous! There’s not even the slightest breeze. Besides, the sailors will think I’m crazy.”

Nevertheless, the captain finally agreed. Forty-five minutes later he returned and found the missionary still on his knees.

“You can stop praying now,” said the captain. “We got more wind than we know what to do with!” (Our Daily Bread, October 23, 1991).

Is there a situation where you need to put action to your prayers?

Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see” (NET).

Podcast button
https://citalife.podbean.com/

 

This Case is Closed!

Judge's gavel and handcuffs on black legal book isolatedThe music blared. Many had come to the bar that night to “forget” the struggles of life. The smell of alcohol permeated the air.

As the evening wore on, the strong drinks began to take effect. Suddenly, a disagreement broke out between two very intoxicated men. Soon the shouting became louder than the music. As everybody looked on in horror, the two began to fight violently. In his rage, one of the men pulled out a long sharp knife and started stabbing the other man over and over again. Blood was everywhere! Fatally wounded, the stabbed man fell to the ground, where he died a few moments later. When the murderer realized what he had done, he darted out of the door. No one managed to stop him. Not knowing where to find refuge, he decided to go to his twin brother’s house. His identical twin brother had often helped him in times of trouble, because he was a good man.

Running for his life, he arrived at his twin brother’s house and knocked frantically. When his brother opened the door and saw all that blood on his twin’s clothes, his face could not hide the shock. He beckoned him in. “I have to run for my life,” the murderer said. “Can you give me a change of clothes?” Without hesitation, the brother brought him a set of clean clothes to put on. The murderer washed up, changed into the new clothes and ran out the back door.

In the distance, the barking of the police dogs could be heard, as they came closer and closer to the house of the good twin. Very soon, the violent knock of a police officer could be heard at the door. The good man opened the door … he was wearing the bloody clothes of his brother! The officer asked no questions, but immediately seized him and took him to the local jail. Within just a few days, he was convicted of murder and hanged in the market square.

A few days later, the murderer got a copy of the local newspaper. On the front page, he saw a big picture of his brother on the gallows. He began to weep and immediately went to the police station, where his brother had been hung. He burst into the office and said, “Sir, you hanged the wrong man! I’m the real murderer.” The officer looked at him and said, “Maybe you were, but this case is closed. You are a free man!”

Jesus took your punishment upon himself! HE paid the price and shed his blood for you. This is the true significance of Easter! If you have accepted Christ in your life, the case is closed! The bible says: “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9; NIV).

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:16-17; NIV).

The case is closed!

Podcast button
https://citalife.podbean.com/

I Refuse to Go to Prison!

YUdkSWdQcgOne day, according to an old fable, the devil decided to sell some of his well-worn tools. On display were some treacherous instruments, including hatred, jealousy, lying, and pride. Set apart from the rest was a harmless-looking device with a very high price tag. “What’s this?” someone asked. “That’s discouragement,” Satan replied. “It’s one of my most effective tools. With it I can pry open the hearts of God’s greatest servants and bring on depression” (Our Daily Bread, June 20, 1991).

Discouragement is simply losing God’s perspective. You no longer see yourself the way God sees you! After the tremendous victory on Mt. Carmel and years of powerful ministry, experiencing one miracle after another, Elijah would never have dreamt that one day he would find himself under a tree wanting to die, simply because he was so deeply discouraged. The spirit of fear had robbed him of all Godly perspective. However, God had not changed nor had HE lost control over the situation!

If you stay close to God and communicate with him on a regular basis, you can maintain His view of things! There have been times in my life when I was so overwhelmed with discouragement that I felt very tempted to simply give up. But then all of a sudden, God showed me the reality: I am not a victim, I am a VICTOR! In those moments I now say, “In the name of Jesus, I rebuke that evil spirit!” As soon as I take advantage of that Godly authority, discouragement is broken every time!

Refuse to be put in the devil’s prison! You cannot afford it, because the harvest fields are demanding the best right now (see John 4:35).

“‘They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,’ declares the LORD” (Jeremiah 1:19).

Podcast button
https://citalife.podbean.com/