Tuesday, June 27, 2017


The only way we can win the war, as did the countless servicemen and women in the past, is to focus on the goal—victory. We believers can win the victory over sin by focusing on our Savior, Jesus Christ, who has already won the victory for us. Hallelujah!

Eternal Perspectives              by Sally Bair


I’ve always kept a list of goals: some yearly, others monthly or weekly and always daily. They keep me focused on my tasks. But I’ve learned not to make my goal-keeping too rigid. Allowing for interruptions and other changes of plans, I sometimes must rewrite them or add them to tomorrow’s list.

I formulate goals for my writing and my daily life. Because I fail at times, I find myself rescheduling the goals over and over, unwilling to throw them out.

Sometimes I fail to keep my spiritual goals, too. My heart tells me I need to spend time in God’s presence and in His Word every day. But my head takes charge, pulling me toward less important things and away from my Creator and Savior.

Paul wrote that it is important to keep our focus on the things of God. “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12)

In his letters, Paul often referred to athletes and how they must focus on the finish line at the end of a foot race. Runners today also train themselves to focus on their finish line, not allowing anything to deter or distract them. We believers in Christ are encouraged to do the same. Paul said we must forget the things which are behind and reach toward the goal ahead. We know it’s impossible to win a race by looking over our shoulder or glancing to the side. In order to win, we must focus on the goal.  

Like Paul, we can choose to forget our past mistakes, grief and glory. We can choose instead to consider the prize of living both now and forever with God’s forgiveness and love, His presence, power, peace and joy. There is no greater prize.

Lord, thank You for today and all the joys You offer in it. Strengthen our resolve to make Your prize of eternal life, now and forever, a worthy goal for us to reach. Show us how to better run Your race and guide us in each step toward that prize. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


Ever wonder what kind of music your Christian testimony portrays to those around you? With God’s everlasting righteousness, peace and joy, our thoughts, words and actions will be as harmonious as the most accomplished choir and the most beautiful birdsongs.

Eternal perspectives   by Sally Bair

Everywhere I turn, I hear a symphony of birdsongs. Some don’t add to the harmony, but their voices always gladden the heart and imbue a feeling of peace.

Whether by voice or instrument, music always brings a reaction. It can soothe our anxious soul, rouse us to action or bring a joy-filled smile. Certain musical renditions can keep us awake or put us to sleep, and evoke feelings of romance, sadness, fear, hilarity or patriotism.

The Israelites of long ago used music for many occasions. Trumpeters marched ahead of the soldiers in battle or called the people to gather for assembly. Other instruments were played during their festivals and in worship, even as we use them today.

David, gifted in the playing of the harp, was called upon to play for King Saul when “A distressing spirit from the Lord troubled [Saul].” (1 Samuel 16:14) The music refreshed the king and the spirit would leave.

The dictionary states that an instrument, besides being a device for producing musical sounds, is a tool or piece of equipment used for delicate work. In a sense, God uses us as His tools for the sometimes delicate work of sharing His goodness with others. We are His instruments of peace and joy and rightness with Him.

The Psalms are filled with references of making music to the Lord. “The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation.” (Psalm 118:14) This verse is repeated twice more, an indication of its power and importance. Psalm 40:3 again attests to God’s salvation and the need to share that news. “He has put a new song in my mouth—Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord.”

Sharing the Good News can be a delicate task. That’s why God has given us His Holy Spirit to guide us. We need to stay attuned to His Word and His still small voice so we can know what to say and when to say it. Our demeanor is important, too. We need to show God’s joy and peace rather than allowing our worries and circumstances to cloud our message so it sounds out of harmony. Our willingness to serve those in need should always be a chorus of Christian love.

Lord, thank You for the joy and peace that come from knowing that You love us and have saved us from our sins. Show us how to share Your righteousness, peace and joy in such a way that it will be harmonious music to those around us. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


Eternal Perspectives              by Sally Bair

The calm before the storm

One hot day, my family and I unknowingly drove directly toward a town where tornadoes were forecast. The car radio announcer yelled, “Take cover now, or die!” We immediately diverted our route and stopped in a different town to wait out the weather.

From a parking lot we watched the black clouds spawn another tornado. The air remained as still as a lifeless leaf. Then, without warning, a huge gust of wind shook the car. That second tornado, though small, touched down and damaged property behind us.

We all face storms in our personal lives: unknown circumstances, death or devastation, change or loss. In the midst, it can become hard to find a tranquil spot. For instance, we might take a walk to relieve anxiety. Some might use less favorable mechanisms such as drinking, using drugs, running away, or over-working. Others seek tranquility through the practice of yoga or transcendental meditation. We all crave peace, especially when our emotions become unstable during stormy circumstances.

The best calm in any storm is found in the presence of God Himself. Psalm 91:1-2 says: “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.’” Jesus desires that all of us should experience the peace of abiding in Him. His peace transcends our understanding, no matter what storm we face.

Lord, thank You for Your peaceful place of refuge. Forgive us when we look in the wrong places for peace of mind. Teach us to put our trust in You alone so we can thrive even when the storms of life rage around us. In Jesus’ name, amen.

(Reprinted from The Nature of God: Daily Devotionals Celebrating Summer)        

Tuesday, June 6, 2017


When we remember that every thought, every word spoken and every act is made by choice, we are more inclined to make the ultimate choice—that is, to let God choose for us. His are always better.

Eternal Perspectives               by Sally Bair


Oh, the choices we face! For instance, consider our northern weather changes. From hour to hour we must decide whether to take an umbrella, wear a winter jacket and gloves or don summer sandals instead of waterproof boots.

Choices such as we make in the grocery stores present their own dilemmas.  Should I try that new cereal brand among the dizzying array of products? What shall I make for dinner? Do I really need that ice cream?

The internet also offers countless choices, not only regarding food but other necessities as well as a host of non-essentials. Some may be dangerous. Yet the final choices are ours to make. If we decide on items we don’t need or might be detrimental to our well-being, we may suffer the consequences.

God allowed Adam and Eve choices, too. Rather than listening to God’s words, they made a wrong choice which brought hardship, death and disease. God continues to give us choices. His Word teaches that when we choose well, He will bless us. In His mercy He also spells out the consequences of our wrong choices.

Before Moses died he restated God’s Law to the Israelites, including these words. “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days.” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20)

Jesus also spoke of choices. When He accepted Mary and Martha’s invitation to their home, Martha became distracted by all she had to do in serving their guest. Mary, meanwhile, spent her time at Jesus’ feet, focused on what He taught. This didn’t set well with Martha, who complained about having to do all the work alone. Jesus’ answer is worth remembering.

“Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)

Our choices, like Martha’s, often bring worry and trouble. When we choose, however, to sit at the feet of Jesus—in quiet meditation of His Word and presence or in prayer—we are blessed with His life-enhancing peace and joy. And all distractions disappear.

Lord, thank You for giving us the choice between life within Your kingdom and death to the distractions of the world. Help us make choices that matter. In Jesus’ name, amen.