[forthright] The Gift -- A Divine Idea / His One Big Mistake

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Wed, 3 Dec 2008 10:35:10 -0800 (PST)
Forthright Magazine 
Straight to the Cross

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The Gift -- A Divine Idea 
 by Barry Newton

When humanity launches out to resolve issues of
spirituality, the afterlife, soul hunger or fellowship
with the divine, a predictable pattern repeatedly
emerges. Hope is pieced together with a glue of human

Such human contrived paradigms cast unsurprising fruit.
They stand powerless before a soul soaked with mores
violations and vileness. Progress must erupt from
within. They spawn either questions of insecurity or a
smug confidence.

Have enough righteous deeds been performed? Has self-
denial been sufficiently deep? Hope is thinly sustained
by one’s own thrust to perform, while despair hungrily
awaits below for those whose energy wanes
disintegrating their spiritual trajectory.

In stark contrast to such mortal solutions, God did the
humanly unimaginable. He placed the burden of hope upon
himself. He sent his greatest gift. God provided an
undeserved panacea more powerful than the worst human
decay. The Son of God was born to live a perfectly
righteous life that through his death spiritual life
and balm would be made available to all.

Even in the twilight of their life, a living hope has
been extended to the most depraved. Freedom from self-
reliance has been assured. A humble and grateful
confidence has been empowered. God’s gift of his son is
embossed with the unmistakable genius of the divine. --

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His One Big Mistake 
 by Stan Mitchell

"But one thing I do. Forgetting what lies behind and
straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the
goal to win the prize for which God has called me
heavenward in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:13,14).

Ron made only one mistake, but it was fatal. He had
trained, running before dawn every day that season. He
had eaten right, declining the doughnuts and Hostess
Cup Cakes he so craved. At the starting line he felt
good - strong, ready. He had run fast - faster than he
had ever run before. At the eighty meter mark, he was
one stride ahead of the man coming in second.

At the ninety meter mark he had maintained his lead.

But at ninety eight meters, he made his mistake. He
didn't know where his main rival, Bill was. Was he the
guy he could see out of the corner of his eye, coming
second, or was he further behind?

So he looked back. And Bill flew by to break the tape.

Looking back often cripples us. When we look back in
regret for past mistakes, it saps us of the confidence
we need for the task at hand. And when we look back to
glory in past achievements it makes us overconfident
for today's race. When we look back in resentment at
slights done to us, our anger blurs our vision.

Don't look back; the prize is ahead.

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