Tuesday, December 31, 2013
God as our Creator has specific directions for our lives. If we live according to His directions, our lives work - we are blessed, and we experience life the way it was meant to be lived. If we ignore or reject His directions, we do so to our own detriment and experience much less than He intended.
All around us are
But God never intended us to be broken. He did not just create you and me, plop us down on Planet Earth, and say, "Happy birthday! Now you can guess your way through life." Instead, He has given us directions, which form a pattern that will prevent breakage of our lives and will help to mend the brokenness already present if we follow them.
So . . . open the Creator's manual for life - the Bible - and follow His directions.
Make this the one resolution that you DON'T break!
Sunday, December 29, 2013
He who heeds the word wisely will find good, and whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he. Proverbs 16:20, NKJV
When God had told Noah He was "going to bring the floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens," He had also said He would establish a covenant with Noah and his family to keep them alive along with all the animals who would come to him (Gen. 6:17-18, 20). Noah had God's promise that God would bring him through the Flood to new life on the other side.
Have you been in a situation that has proven to be extremely stressful? It may not have been as stressful as a nuclear holocaust or a devastating flood, but has the pressure been great enough so that consuming fear and worry have been your constant companions?
When you find yourself drowning in overwhelming circumstances, ask God to give you a promise to which you can cling - a promise on which you can base your hope. Hope that is based simply on what you want or what you feel is not a genuine expression of faith. Our hope must be based on God's word.
Friday, December 27, 2013
Many people, because they had heard that he had given this miraculous sign, went out to meet him. John 12:18, NIVWhat has Jesus done for you? What things have your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, classmates, teammates, employers, employees, professors, doctors, lawyer, counselor, pastor, and anyone else heard about that Jesus has done for you? John testified that, "Many people, because they had heard that he had given this miraculous sign, went out to meet him." Who is seeking to meet Jesus because of what He has done for you?
When have you told someone about how He raised you from spiritual death?
When have you told someone about how He forgave your sin and removed your guilt?
When have you told someone about the disease He healed,
or the prayer He answered,
or the blessing He gave,
or the promise He fulfilled?
Go . . . and tell someone about Jesus!
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
They shall obtain joy and gladness and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. Isaiah 35:10, NKJV
The black, velvety sky was clear and studded with sparkling stars that had
looked down on Earth since the beginning of time. Shepherds appeared to be
sitting idly by their flocks but in fact were keeping a sharp lookout for
anything or anyone who might harm the sheep entrusted to their care. In the
distance, the lights from the town could be seen and the noisy commotion could
be heard as more people were coming into the town than the town could hold.
On the clear night air, sound traveled easily and somewhere from the
direction of the village inn someone slammed a door.
And a baby cried.
The Seed of the woman, Who would open heaven's gate and welcome any and all
who place their faith in Him . . . had been given!
The Hope that was born that night continues to radiate down through the years
until it envelops your heart and mine.
Blessings and Merry Christmas!
Monday, December 23, 2013
God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.John 4:24, NKJV
To worship God means to attribute worth to God through obedience to God, preoccupation with God, and praise of God. The Samaritan woman at the well in Sychar said, in essence, "Oh, well, I worship God." And Jesus corrected her, "You Samaritans worship what you do not know." Why was her worship invalid? Because she was substituting the traditions and rituals of her religion for a personal relationship with God through faith. So Jesus explained, "God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24, NIV).
What does it mean to worship "in spirit and in truth"? To worship God in spirit means to worship Him in deepest sincerity from the heart as one who is indwelled by the Spirit of God. To worship Him in truth means to worship Him honestly, without hypocrisy, through faith in His Word, both the Living Word, which is Jesus, and the written Word, which is the Bible.
Saturday, December 21, 2013
It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. John 16:7, NIV
Following supper the night before He was to be crucified, Jesus unburdened His heart to His disciples. He knew He was going not only to the cross but, after the resurrection, back to His Father in heaven. His disciples would be like orphans. Had He taught them all they needed to know?
The disciples must have begun to sense His heavy burden. Without Jesus, how could they ever meet their own needs, much less the needs of the multitude? They had given Him their very lives for three years. How could they possibly manage without Him?
Jesus knew their fears. So He began to tell them how they would go on in His absence. He told them they could live, not just somehow, but triumphantly, because "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you . . . I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever" (John 14:18, 16, NIV, emphasis added). Jesus would remain with them, not physically, but in the invisible person of the Holy Spirit.
Thursday, December 19, 2013
We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28, NIV
Why does God let bad things happen to good people? to innocent people? to children? to me?
Sometimes His ways seem so hard to understand!
In Romans 8:28, Paul wrote to reassure believers who lived in a city dominated by Nero, a madman with absolute power. He wrote encouragingly, "We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
Phrased another way, Paul was reminding the children of God they can be confident that...
all things work together for good,
brokenness leads to blessing,
death leads to life,
and suffering leads to glory!
So when bad things happen, just trust Him!
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8, NKJV
Has someone suggested to you that:
If God really loved you, He would heal your disease?
If God really loved you, He would never have allowed you to lose your job?
If God really loved you, He would bring your spouse back home?
If God really loved you, you would be healthy and wealthy and problem free?
Yet God has said that the proof of His love is none of those things! The proof of His love is that while we were sinners, passing Jesus by on the road of life, He sent His only, beloved Son to die for us.
Would you thank God, not just for saying, "I love you," in words, but for proving it?
Sunday, December 15, 2013
If you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord's holy day honorable, . . . then you will find your joy in the Lord. Isaiah 58:13-14, NIVIn the beginning, by His own example, God patterned our week to include not only the discipline of work but also one day out of every seven that would be "set apart," different from the other six days.
For the majority of people today, there is very little difference between the way they keep Sunday and the way they keep Saturday. Sunday has become more of a holiday than a holy day. Sunday was not designed just so we could sleep late, meet friends for brunch, go shopping to take advantage of weekend sales, do extra yard work or house work, attend the latest movie, or watch the football game on TV. Sunday should be not only for physical rest and restoration but for spiritual refreshment and expression of our devotion to God.
Has the day that is supposed to be set apart fallen apart?
Consider what you can do to keep Sunday special - different from the other six days of the week.
Friday, December 13, 2013
"They will be mine," says the Lord Almighty, "in the day when I make up my treasured possession."
Malachi 3:17, NIV
As we totally yield our lives to the control of God's Spirit within us, He uses:
the responsibilities and relationships and ridicule,
the opportunities and obstacles and obligations,
the pressures and pain and problems,
the success and sickness and solitude . . .
He uses all things to work for our ultimate good, which is increasing, progressive, glorious conformity to the image of Jesus Christ. (Rom. 8:28)
We are God's treasure! When God the Father looked throughout the universe for something to give His only Son in reward for what He had accomplished on earth, the Father handpicked you! You are the Father's treasure - His priceless gift of love to the Son!
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
No one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him. Isaiah 64:4, NIV
I hate to wait. I hate to wait for a traffic light to turn green,
for the doctor to see me,
for the telephone to ring,
for investments to produce,
for the copier to warm up,
for seeds to grow,
for the fax to go through,
for answers to prayer . . .
I just hate to wait. Period. Waiting is so hard, especially when I am waiting on the Lord. Sometimes He seems to be s-o-o-o s-l-o-w. But waiting is an essential part of spiritual discipline. It can be the ultimate test of our faith.
If we grow impatient with waiting and take matters into our own hands, we will be in trouble. But if we wait on God, we will be blessed.
Monday, December 9, 2013
"Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water." So He said, "Come." Matthew 14:28-29, NKJV
When it comes to experiencing God, I have to choose Him at all cost. I have to be willing to step out of the boat, as Peter did in Matthew 14, risking total failure in the eyes of others, in order to discover firsthand His power enabling me to walk on the water when He bids me, "Come." Again and again, I've been confronted with hard choices when I've had to throw caution to the wind and abandon myself to faith in Him, and Him alone . . .
when I step into a pulpit,
when I pick up my pen to write,
when I commit our ministry to much more than we have resources to underwrite.
Whenever I choose to step out in faith and trust Him, I'm actually choosing to take Him at His Word, put Him to the test, and just do it! The result is the thrilling adventure called the Christian life.
Have you taken the first step?
Saturday, December 7, 2013
Your word has given me life. Psalm 119:50, NKJV
Sometimes when we are depressed, we feel lifeless. It's hard to get out of bed in the morning. We seem to have no energy to do even the most routine functions. If you are depressed by the greatness of your problems, read God's Word! That's where you find help. That's where you find joy. Let the rushing waters of the living Word drown out all other sounds and voices. There is life-giving power in the Word of God!
At the most difficult times in my life - the loss of a sibling, the forced removal from a church, having to arrest a friend, the robbery of our home - God's Word has sustained me. There have been times when I have only been capable of reading a few verses at a time, yet the supernatural life-giving power of the Word of God has not only helped me maintain my emotional and mental balance, it has given me strength to go on, even if only one day at a time.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
"God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him." 1 John 4:16, NKJVThe first secret to loving others is to immerse yourself in a love relationship with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit - and abide there.
I will never get over the wonder that God the Father and God the Son do not have
a working kinship
nor a business partnership
nor a brotherly friendship
nor a competing dictatorship
nor a mandatory fellowship
nor an obligatory guardianship
but a love relationship
that has existed since before time and space! And you and I enter into that eternal sphere of unconditional love when we abide in Christ.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. John 15:7, NKJV
Prayer is a conversation. We speak to God in prayer then listen attentively as He speaks to us through His Word.
Do you think the promise that Jesus gave His disciples was like handing them a Divine Genie in a bottle? And that if they would just rub the bottle with enough faith, the Genie would pop out and grant them their "wishes"? As ludicrous as that is, it actually is the way some people view prayer. And when the Genie doesn't pop out of the bottle, they become offended with God and resent Him for not being at their beck and call.
One major prerequisite to receiving answers to prayer is that our requests line up with God's will. How will we know what God's will is? By abiding consistently in His Word. Instead of basing our prayers on "I hope so," our prayers are based on "God says so." And if we are saturating ourselves in His Word, then His desires will be ours.
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. 1 Corinthians 2:9, NKJV
The Creator Who created all the earthly beauty we have grown to love . . .
the majestic snowcapped peaks of the Alps,
the rushing mountain streams,
the carpets of wildflowers,
the whir of a humming bird's wings . . .
this is the same Creator who has prepared our heavenly home for us! If God could make the heavens and earth as beautiful as we think they are today - which includes thousands of years of wear and tear, corruption and pollution, sin and selfishness - can you imagine what the new Heaven and the new earth will look like? It will be much more glorious than any eyes have seen, any ears have heard, or any minds have ever conceived.
Friday, November 29, 2013
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16, NKJVOne night when Robert Louis Stevenson was a small boy, his nanny called him to come to bed. Oblivious to her summons, he was staring at something outside his nursery window. The nanny walked over, stood at his shoulder, and inquired patiently, "Robert, what are you looking at?" The little boy, without taking his eyes away from the window, exclaimed in wonder as he pointed to the lamplighter who was lighting the streetlamps, "Look, Nanny! That man is putting holes in the darkness!"
You and I may not be able to change the world, but surely each of us can put a hole in the darkness! Turn on the Light! Share what Jesus means to you and give God's Word to someone else!
All through the ages, men and women have done just that! They have turned on the Light so that a living faith in God has been passed from generation to generation. Not everyone has been attracted to the Light, but one by one people have come to Him for truth, wisdom, hope, salvation, and eternal life.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Because Your loving kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You. Psalm 63:3, NKJV
No means of measure can define God's limitless love . . .
No far-seeing telescope can bring into visibility the coastline of His shoreless supply . . .
No barrier can hinder Him from pouring out His blessings . . .
He forgives and He forgets.
He creates and He cleanses.
He restores and He rebuilds.
He heals and He helps.
He reconciles and He redeems.
He comforts and He carries.
He lifts and He loves.
He is the God of the second chance, the fat chance, the slim chance . . .
Just give me Jesus! He makes change possible!
Monday, November 25, 2013
[He] loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood. Revelation 1:5b, NIV
Jesus is the most important Man, not just in our nation, not just on planet
earth, but in the entire universe! And He isn't important just for four years or
eight years, but forever and ever and ever! Furthermore, the most important Man
in the universe thinks I am so important, He gave His own life for me! How can I
feel depressed by the smallness of my life when the most important Man in the
universe died for me, rules over me now, and will one day return for me? In the
eyes of the Lord Jesus Christ, I am important. I am of value. How can I consider
myself anything less?
Do you feel depressed by the smallness of your life? There is an antidote for
feelings of smallness. Just think on Jesus!
Saturday, November 23, 2013
Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7, NKJVDid you think Jesus only cares about things like heaven and hell? About forgiveness and sin? About holiness and wickedness? About truth and lies? About salvation and judgment? Jesus does care about those things. But He also cares about your job, about whether your child makes the sports team, about your children's college tuition, about your budget now that you are unexpectedly pregnant, about the roof that leaks, about the cranky transmission in the car, and about all the other physical problems and needs we face.
Jesus cares even if the physical problem we face is largely of our own making. He cares if we are having car trouble, even if it was caused by our not having taken the time to change the oil regularly. He cares if we are having financial struggles, even if they were caused by our having run up massive debts on our charge accounts for things we wanted but did not necessarily need. Jesus cares about your physical needs today.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called Children of God! 1 John 3:1, NKJV
C. S. Lewis, in his testimony Surprised by Joy, described his growing awareness of the capacity within himself to respond with joy and delight in such a way that it gave him an insatiable desire for more joy and delight. The things he found so deeply satisfying left him with a craving for more and more satisfaction. He concluded that nothing in this world could ever give him lasting satisfaction, so therefore he must have been created for another world. And C. S. Lewis was right. Our very beings are created for God. We will never experience permanent, personal satisfaction and fulfillment apart from Him because, as Saint Augustine so eloquently stated, "Our hearts are restless until we find our rest in Thee."
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. Psalm 145:18, NKJV
On Christmas Eve, 1968, Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders, while orbiting the moon in Apollo 8, were so aware of the Presence of God in space that they publicly read the first ten verses of Genesis to the listening world thousands of miles away. When James B. Irwin, an astronaut with Apollo 15, actually walked on the surface of the moon, he said he looked out into the inky blackness, saw our planet looking like a blue marble suspended in space, and was overwhelmed with the conscious awareness that God was present on the surface of the moon! And God was! And God is! He is not bound by space.
Whom are you praying for who is separated from you? A child off at school? A spouse on a business trip? A family member who lives in another city or state or country? What comforting encouragement to know that God is not only fully present with you but also with those from whom you are separated, hearing and answering your prayers of faith for them.
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Faith, by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. James 2:17, NIV
Jesus stands ready to help us, but His help is contingent on our absolute, total obedience to His Word, whether or not we agree with it or understand it.
In some way, God requires more than our intellectual faith - He requires our total trust as demonstrated by our obedience to His Word in order to release the miracle. Jesus gave sight to a man born blind, but in order to receive it he had to trust and obey by going to the pool of Siloam to wash. (John 9:1-7) Jesus gave strength to a paralyzed man who had been lying on his pallet for thirty-eight years, but he had to trust and obey by getting up and picking up his mat before he could walk. (John 5:1-9) Jesus healed a man with a withered hand, but before it could be straightened, the man had to trust and obey by stretching it out. (Luke 6:6-10)
What miracle are you waiting to receive? Could it be that God also is waiting - waiting for you to simply trust and obey?
Friday, November 15, 2013
The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Luke 1:35, NIV
When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, he gave her the startling announcement that "the Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God." When you and I place our faith in Jesus Christ and invite Him to come live within us, the Holy Spirit comes upon us, and the power of God overshadows us, and the life of Jesus is born within us. We do not conceive a physical life, but the spiritual life of Jesus in the Person of the Holy Spirit.
It is the indwelling powerful Person of the Holy Spirit Who sets me free from the habits of sin. But the power I possess to live a life pleasing to God is directly related to how much control of my life I give to the Holy Spirit.
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
The earth is the Lord's and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein. Psalm 24:1, NKJV
God is the Creator Whose purpose for you and me is the same as it was when He created our environment in the beginning. He wants us to reflect His image so that we might receive His blessing. "God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning-the sixth day" (Gen. 1:31, NIV).
In the end, the Creator stood back. He surveyed the transformation of the environment that had followed His loving and careful preparation. Then He looked at the man and woman He had created in His own image, with a capacity to be His close, personal friends, and He was pleased.
As the Creator surveys your life, is He still pleased?
Monday, November 11, 2013
"I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do." John 17:4, NIV
Jill Briscoe, noted author and international speaker, was once asked what she saw as her life's greatest mission. She answered that her life's greatest mission is "to figure out what to do every day in my life - as ordained by God - and then to do it." Jill knows there are many things to do in life that are not ordained of God, which is why we must be single-minded.
To be single-minded as I embrace God's purpose for my life means that there are times I have to just say no . . .
to an invitation to join my friends for coffee,
to an offer for a lucrative job,
to a long weekend . . .
To be single-minded as I embrace God's purpose for my life means there are times I have to just say yes . . .
to less sleep and more prayer,
to less TV and more study,
to less work and more worship.
Saturday, November 9, 2013
Look UP!Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. Revelation 22:14, NKJV
Has your entire life been a series of struggles? Have you been . . .
More sick than well?
More defeated than successful?
More tired than rested?
More empty than satisfied?
More sad than happy?
Do you feel defeated because after a lifetime of struggle, all you have to look forward to is death and a cold grave? Look up! . . .
Regardless of our circumstances or condition, we can look forward with hope as we glimpse Heaven, My Father's House, which is being prepared as an eternal home for you and for me!
Thursday, November 7, 2013
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. Colossians 3:16, NKJV
My parents were so confident in who God is and what God has said through His Word that it genuinely never crossed my mind, nor to my knowledge the minds of my siblings, to doubt God! When I was a child, I told my father I wanted to know God personally for myself, and he lovingly gave me the instructions about how to approach Him. So I followed his instructions and went to the designated place at Calvary, to an altar of wood called the cross, and took my sacrificial Lamb. The knife of my sin and guilt was responsible for His death, and His shed blood made atonement for me. When I walked away from that altar, not only had I been reminded of my sinful condition, but I had the deep peace and assurance that my sins were forgiven! I was no longer separated from God but accepted by Him, because my sacrifice was the Lamb of God who is my Creator who became my Savior!
What a blessing to have parents who are people of confident faith. What a blessing to be a parent with confident faith like that!
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
By this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us. 1 John 3:24, NKJV
When the Holy Spirit comes into you at your invitation, you receive as much of Him as you will ever have. You do not get a little bit of Him then and a little bit more at later experiences. Since He is a Person, you cannot get Him in pieces. You either have all of the Holy Spirit or you have none of the Holy Spirit. Why is it, then, that He seems to get us in pieces? He comes to us unconditionally, while we surrender to Him conditionally.
We give Him our Sundays but not our Mondays.
We give Him our actions but not our attitudes.
We give Him our relationships but not our reputations.
We give Him our time but not our thoughts.
We give Him our burdens but not our bodies.
We give Him our prayers but not our pleasures.
We give Him our crises but not our children.
We give Him our health but not our hearts.
Would you drop the conditions and give Him all of you?
Sunday, November 3, 2013
He is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him. Exodus 15:2, NIV
I have prayed without ceasing for my children throughout the years. One of the promises I believe God gave me for them, and a promise I have claimed again and again in prayer, is Exodus 15:1-2. This passage is the song of Moses as he exults in God's deliverance of the Hebrew children when the Red Sea was parted and they crossed over on dry ground. As Pharaoh's army pursued and sought to keep God's children from getting safely to the Promised Land of His blessing, the sea's walls collapsed, the enemy was supernaturally destroyed, and God's people rejoiced: I will sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted. The horse and its rider he has hurled into the sea. The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.
The promise God seemed to give me from this ancient hymn of joy was that He would supernaturally overthrow anything or anyone seeking to hinder my children from being in His place of blessing for their lives. God has a promise in His Word for your children, too. Ask Him to give it to you.
Friday, November 1, 2013
"You did not choose me, but I chose you to go and bear fruit - fruit that will last." John 15:16, NIV
Do you struggle with knowing the will of God for your life? For your marriage? For your family? For your home? Knowing God's will is not difficult - unless you are not abiding in Him. Jesus indicated that knowing His Father's will is the fruit of abiding as well as asking: "You did not choose me, but I chose you to go and bear fruit - fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name" (15:16, NIV).
God has chosen you and me for the purpose of bearing much eternal fruit - fruit in our character such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control exhibited toward those within our own home - fruit that is simply the character of God's Son coming out in us. We are to bear much eternal fruit in our service as we lead other people to faith in Jesus Christ and help them to grow into maturity so that they in turn will produce much eternal fruit in their lives.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
He had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. Mark 6:34, NIV
Jesus looked out at the approaching crowds and saw people who were seeking God but instead had received hundreds of man-made legal burdens.
He saw people who wanted truth but had received political posturing and religious platitudes from the Pharisees.
He saw people as more important than His own plans and need for rest.
He saw people not as an interruption, but as an opportunity to reveal His loving care and His Father's compassionate power to meet their deepest needs.
He saw people as sheep who needed a shepherd. He saw people as God saw them.
Monday, October 28, 2013
"If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." John 14:3, NIV
On the day when Jesus returns, everyone will be looking at Jesus. But have you ever considered where He will be looking? He will be looking for you! He has told us, ". . . I will come back and take you to be with me. . . ." His eyes will be searching the crowds of upturned faces, looking for you! While others mourn because His coming brings their judgment, you and I who have been redeemed by His blood will be rejoicing because His coming fulfills all our hopes and dreams!
Praise God for the deity of Jesus Christ! Praise God for the humanity of Jesus Christ! And praise God for the eternity of Jesus Christ!
Saturday, October 26, 2013
God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them. Hebrews 11:16, NKJV
After the long journey of life, we are going to look up and see heaven. We're going to hear voices lifted in songs of praise. We're going to see the glory of God radiating from within, and we're going to long for home. But we will be forbidden to enter. Heaven is closed to us because we are too dirty in our sin to enter it.
However, because Jesus found us in our hopeless, helpless state and offered us His hand at the Cross, we can be welcomed into heaven. If we accept His offer and put our hand of faith in His, He will walk with us hand in hand, not only through the remainder of our journey, but through the gates of heaven that will be opened wide for us. We will be as welcomed and accepted in heaven as He is, solely because of our relationship and identification with Him. Praise God! Jesus is the One, and the only One, Who makes heaven available to the sinner, not only through the cross, but also through His resurrection.
Thursday, October 24, 2013
The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. Psalm 119:130, NIV
In the beginning there was no dawn to end the night,
no sun to warm the day,
no moonlight reflected in the swirling water,
just a never-ending night!
While the light described was literal, it has wonderful analogy and personal meaning for you and me, because light in the spiritual sense represents the truth, clarity, spiritual understanding, and discernment we receive from God's written Word. So . . . read your Bible and turn the Light on!
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
The kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17, NKJV
The Jews had many preconceived ideas about the Messiah based on their interpretation of Scripture and what they wanted. When Jesus of Nazareth came on the scene with His public ministry, He was neither the Messiah they had been expecting, nor the Messiah they wanted.
The Jews wanted someone Who would:
raise their standard of living,
grant them privileges without responsibility,
and restore them to the world power they had known under King David and King Solomon.
They wanted someone who would meet their physical and material and emotional needs.
They expected a glorious, victorious King who would rid them of the Romans and establish them in national peace and prosperity and prominence. But the first time He came, He came to establish the kingdom of God, not in the world, but in the hearts of men. He was born to die. And so He was rejected as the King of Hearts.
Sunday, October 20, 2013
WE SAY WITH OUR MOUTH THAT WE ARE CHRISTIANS, WE ARE SAVED, WE LOVE THE LORD, ALL WHILE FORGETTING THAT GOD READS YOUR HEART AND REALLY KNOWS WHAT YOU ARE HIDING.
TO SIMPLY PUT IT, IF YOUR LIFE IS NOT LINING UP WITH THE WORD OF GOD SOMETHING'S WRONG!
IF YOU ARE CONFESSING YOUR LOVE FOR GOD AND SECRETLY DESIRING TO HAVE WORLDLY POSSESSIONS, POSITION AND POWER; SOMETHING'S WRONG!
WE CAN'T HAVE THE WORLD AND DENY OURSELVES AT THE SAME TIME, JUST AS WE CAN'T SERVE TWO MASTERS WITHOUT LOVING ONE AND HATING THE OTHER.
SPEAK TO ME AND THROUGH ME HOLY SPIRIT, IT'S TIME TO REALLY TURN FROM ANYTHING THAT'S NOT OF GOD'S WILL AND PURPOSE.
GOD SAID IN HIS WORD, "MANY WOULD CALL TO ME AND I WILL SAY "DEPART FROM ME YOU WORKERS OR INIQUITY, I KNOW YOU NOT." WHAT A SHAME THAT WOULD BE ESPECIALLY IF WE HAVE BEEN SAYING WE ARE A CHRISTIAN.
LET US RE-EXAMINE OURSELVES AND OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.
GOD IS A HOLY GOD, A FORGIVING GOD. THAT DOESN'T MEAN WE DON'T HAVE TO LIVE A CHRISTIAN LIFE-STYLE, OR DO THE THINGS HE ASK OF US AS HIS CHILDREN. WHEN WE ACCEPT CHRIST AS OUR PERSONAL LORD AND SAVIOR, WE BECOME NEW IN CHRIST. THERE'S NO WAY WE SHOULD BE DOING THE SAME THING AS IF WE WERE NOT BORN AGAIN.
GOD IS A HOLY GOD, A FORGIVING GOD. THAT DOESN'T MEAN WE DON'T HAVE TO LIVE A CHRISTIAN LIFE-STYLE, OR DO THE THINGS HE ASK OF US AS HIS CHILDREN. WHEN WE ACCEPT CHRIST AS OUR PERSONAL LORD AND SAVIOR, WE BECOME NEW IN CHRIST. THERE'S NO WAY WE SHOULD BE DOING THE SAME THING AS IF WE WERE NOT BORN AGAIN.
IF UNSAVED PEOPLE CAN'T TELL THAT WE, AS CHRISTIANS, ARE CHILDREN OF A HOLY LIVING GOD, WOE TO US, WE ARE LOSING THE WAR TO LEAD OTHERS TO CHRIST.
THESE ARE THE WORDS AS I HAVE RECEIVED THEM FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT, BE BLESSED IN CHRIST JESUS. AMEN
"Do not let your hearts be troubled." John 14:1, NIV
"Do not let your hearts be troubled" is a command you and I are to obey! Deliberately calming ourselves is a choice we are to make in the face of shocking setbacks,
all of which cause us to be terrified of the consequences and repercussions. In the midst of the swirling, cloying fog of fear, Jesus commands, "Stop it!"
How in the world is it possible to obey a command that involves so much of our emotional feelings? Our obedience begins with a choice to stop being afraid, followed by a decision to start trusting God.
Friday, October 18, 2013
I was brought up in a home where my mother, Sherry, followed Jesus.
When I was about 8 years old a friend invited me and my brother Brent to summer bible camp where I came forward and gave my life to the Lord.
Though I've had ups and downs in my life I have never doubted the power of God.
I almost died in 2 situations where I feel angels were looking after me.maybe other times I had no knowledge of.My sons are a blessing to me and they love Jesus.The Lord is moving in my life by teaching me forgiveness and love for others.
Though I am not a rich man in the worldly way I am rich in that God has gotten me through tough times.
Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. John 6:3, NIV
As Jesus and His disciples rested together on the mountainside, we have the beautiful picture of the Good Shepherd, making His sheep lie down in green pastures, leading them beside the still waters, that He might restore them on the inside. Jesus knew the demands that would be made on the disciples and Himself that very day, and He knew in order to meet those demands, they had to have some time alone together.
Again and again, I have been amazed to discover that the verse of Scripture or thought or insight that God seems to give me in my early morning quiet time with Him is the very same verse or insight or thought I am called on to give to someone else during the day. Many times I have wondered how I would have been able to speak a "word that sustains the weary," had I not first received it for myself in those brief, early morning retreats. Jesus offers us ample resources, but we have to receive them from Him in order to impart them to others.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
WHAT A BLESSED MORNING IT IS, ONCE MORE MY HEAVENLY FATHER BLESSED ME TO SLEEP PEACEFULLY, FULLY PROTECTED, WAKEN TO SEE A BRAND NEW DAY WITH NEW GRACE AND MERCY. I WILL PRAISE MY GOD WITH ALL THAT'S IN ME, I WILL TELL OF HIS GOODNESS AND MERCY TO ALL, I WILL SHARE MY GOD! HE IS A LOVING GOD WHO CARE AND LOVES YOU VERY MUCH, HE WOULD LIKE VERY MUCH TO BE YOUR LORD AND SAVIOR.
SOMEBODY SOMEWHERE ON THIS DAY NEED TO KNOW THAT GOD IS WAITING FOR THEM TO CONFESS AND ACCEPT HIM, THEY NEED TO KNOW THE LOVE OF A LIVING AND TRUE GOD. I ASK OF ALL MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS WHOM EVER YOU CROSS PATH WITH TODAY, PLEASE SHARE THE WORD OF JESUS CHRIST WITH THEM, FIND OUT IF THEY ARE SAVED IF NOT LEAD THEM TO CHRIST AND BE THE PERSON THAT HELP THEM COME TO CHRIST ON TODAY.
BE BLESS IN THE HOLY NAME OF JESUS, LET ME SAY THIS, I STILL HAVE MY JOY IT'S A WONDERFUL FEELING TO HAVE DAILY, JOY AND PEACE AS ONLY GOD CAN GIVE.
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life. John 8:12, NKJV
Jesus said, "I am the light of the world," and He also said we are the light of the world. (Matt. 5:14) The sole light in Heaven will be the light that comes directly from God through Jesus Christ, and that light will be reflected in the life of each one of His children! The entire city will be saturated with the glorious light of His life, truth, righteousness, goodness, love and peace - through you . . . and me!
Praise God! The Light of the World is the Light of Heaven!
Monday, October 14, 2013
If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9, NKJV
Today, in a world where the role models are entertainers, athletes and politicians, many of whom lack morals, integrity and even common decency . . . in a world where no one seems to stand for anything unless it is to stand for selfish, self-serving rights . . . in a world where anything is compromised if it impedes success . . . in a world where pleasure takes priority over principles . . . in a world where we care more about public opinion than about what God thinks . . . in a world where there are no absolutes, where what is right is what works or what feels good . . . in a world where character no longer seems to count . . . In such a world, the testimony of one life lived for Christ is powerful! One life cleansed through faith in the blood of Jesus. One life that confesses, "Jesus is Lord." One life that has the courage to stand for godly convictions in the midst of moral compromise. One life that tells the truth. One life that lives the truth. One life that lifts high the Light!
You can be that one life!
Saturday, October 12, 2013
Being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross! Philippians 2:8, NIV
Christ "made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross!" (Phil. 2:7-8) How awesome to consider that the Creator of the universe, unbound in time and space for all eternity, chose to be bound
by a woman's womb for nine months,
by the body of a man that knew weariness and hunger,
by a Roman cross, with His hands and feet pinned by spikes,
by a borrowed tomb . . .
Why? So that you and I might be set free from the problems that threaten to bind us and keep us from fulfilling God's intended purpose for our lives.
Praise God! We can be free, truly free at last, from all that binds us, because the One Who is gloriously eternal, unbound by time and space, was willing to be bound!