Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Potter's Touch

Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?   Romans 9:21, NKJV

Jesus makes suffering understandable; as the Potter, He uses suffering as the pressure on the wet "clay" of our lives. Under His gentle, loving touch, our lives are molded into a "shape" that pleases Him. But the shape that is so skillfully wrought is not enough. He not only desires our lives to be useful, but He also wants our character to be radiant. And so He places us in the furnace of affliction until our "colors" are revealed - colors that reflect the beauty of His own character.

Without the preparation of the loving, skillful touch of the Potter's hand, any usefulness or beauty the clay might have would be destroyed by the pressure and the heat. But Jesus makes suffering understandable to this blob of clay. In the midst of the pressure and the heat, I am confident His hand is on my life, developing my faith until I display His glory, transforming me into a vessel of honor that pleases Him! I don't trust any other potter with my life.

Would you submit to the touch of the Potter's hand?


Blessings

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Passing the Baton

You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.   John 8:32, NKJV


Winning a relay race depends not only on the speed of the runners but also on their skillful ability to transfer the baton. If the baton is dropped, precious seconds are wasted, and the race may be lost. If the runner fails to pass the baton, he is disqualified from the race altogether.
In the race of life, the "baton" is the truth that leads to personal faith in God. Each generation receives the "baton" from the previous generation, runs the race to the best of its ability, then passes the "baton" smoothly and securely to the next generation.

Every day we see advances in our civilization bringing better health care, longer life spans, and ever-expanding knowledge. But underneath all the progress and sophistication, our civilization is experiencing a bankruptcy of moral and spiritual values that threatens to erode our very existence. In the midst of wickedness and waste, we must strive to relay the baton of truth that leads to personal faith in God that has been handed down to generation after generation since Creation.


Blessings

Friday, July 26, 2013

Faith That Works

"If you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move."   Matthew 17:20, NKJV

Are you discouraged because you have not received "anything from the Lord" as it relates to your prayer life? When Jesus' disciples were discouraged by their inability to get answers to prayer and so were ineffective in helping others, He encouraged them by pointing out that even faith the size of a mustard seed could move mountains. The key to faith that works is the foundation on which it is placed.

Base your faith in prayer on God's Word. Ask Him to give you a promise that applies specifically to your situation. Then claim it persistently in prayer until God keeps His Word.


Blessings

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Work Brings Satisfaction

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.    Ecclesiastes 9:9-11, NKJV

Are you afraid of hard work? Often we tend to quit a job before it is finished because the job is too hard or we lose interest or we receive a better offer somewhere else. The Creator has built into each of us the capacity for tremendous satisfaction in work that is not only finished but well done. If we quit before we are finished, we miss out on the satisfaction that comes with completion.

Sometimes we think of not having to work as a luxury reserved for the lifestyles of the rich and famous. It is actually a deprivation! One reason unemployment is so devastating is because when a person is out of work, that person is outside the Creator's design for living and therefore denied the satisfaction that comes from working and from completing a job.

So...in this weakened economy, as you pray for those who don't have jobs, make sure you finish yours!


Blessings

Monday, July 22, 2013

Finding Love

We love Him because He first loved us.   1 John 4:19, NKJV


Our world is looking for love.

As human beings, we need to love and be loved. 

 But we're looking in all the wrong places. 

We look for it from a parent,

from a child,

from a spouse,

from a friend,

But our parents grow old and die,

our children grow up and live their own lives,

our spouses are too busy or too tired,

our friends are superficial or selfish.

Who can truly understand the need of the human heart?

 Who can meet the need of our hearts? Where is love found?

Love is found in the heart of God.


Blessings

Saturday, July 20, 2013

There Is NO Place God Is Not

"I will never leave you nor forsake you."   Hebrews 13:5, NKJV

Praise God that you and I can be where Jesus is-now, and for all eternity-because He lives within us and has promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us!

When your parents forsake you through death or abandonment, or your spouse forsakes you through divorce, you have His presence. (Ps. 27:10)

When the fire of adversity increases in intensity, you have His presence. (Dan. 9:1-25)

When you are overwhelmed by burdens or depression, you have His presence. (Isa. 43:2)

When you and I follow Jesus, He promises that we will be where He is. And there is not one place in the entire universe, visible or invisible, where He is not! What a blessing!


Blessings

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Jewel of Creation

I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.   John 10:10, NKJV


In the beginning, the Creator was not stingy with our environment. He filled it with life. Planet Earth was progressively transformed as every day God's Word went forth and every day God's Word was received. Each day's change prepared the environment for the next day's change until it was totally transformed. Yet it was as though it waited for something. In the same way a church sanctuary, all decorated, waits for the bride and a nursery, all equipped, waits for the baby, Planet Earth was prepared but waiting to be completed.

All of the daily changes seemed to be setting the stage for the climax on the sixth day. "Then God said, 'Let us make man in our image, in our likeness" (Gen. 1:26, NIV).

Earth had been waiting for man! Man himself was the climactic jewel of Creation! You are His crown jewel!


Blessings

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Spiritual Implant

I tell you the truth, unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.   John 3:5, NIV

The only people who go to heaven are those who are born of water. But those who go to heaven must also be born of the Spirit. Just as the virgin Mary conceived the physical life of the Son of God, you and I conceive the spiritual life of the Son of God when we are "born again." From that moment on, we are essentially two people on the inside. We have the mind, emotions, and will that we were physically born with, but we now also have the mind, emotions, and will of Christ within us. We have a spiritual "implant" of the life of Jesus Christ within our bodies. This is actually Jesus in the person of the Holy Spirit.

This "implanting" of the life of Christ is a supernatural miracle. It is something God does in response to our humble confession and sincere repentance of sin coupled with our deliberate, personal faith in His Son.


Blessings

Sunday, July 14, 2013

God Cares

God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.   Romans 5:8, NIV

When have you felt so totally helpless that your prayer was fathoms deeper than mere words-it was a desperate heart's cry? Was it when some bad thing happened to someone you love? Was it when you experienced . . .
a physical illness?

a financial collapse?

a severed relationship?

a social rejection?

Did you think because something bad happened, it indicated Jesus doesn't really know what's going on? Or that maybe He knows, but He's not pleased with you? Or that if He does know, He just doesn't love you or your family enough to do anything about it? Are you interpreting His love by your circumstances instead of interpreting your circumstances by His love? When we are tempted to question whether or not God cares, we are reminded that, "God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." God does care!


Blessings

Friday, July 12, 2013

Give All That You Have

Philip answered [Jesus], "Eight months' wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!"   John 6:7, NIV


Almost as soon as Philip came to the conclusion that it was humanly impossible to feed the crowd gathered on the hillside, "Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, spoke up, 'Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?'" (John 6:8-9, NIV). While Andrew seemed to agree with Philip about the impossibility of feeding so many, his approach to the need was more positive. Without even realizing it, his faith had found the key to the storehouse of God's ample supply. When he offered Jesus a few loaves and fish, he was offering Jesus everything he had!

What do you have? Do you have a little bit of time?

a little bit of love?

a little bit of money?

a little bit of faith?

Don't concentrate on what you lack, concentrate on what you have. 

Then give all of it to Jesus for His use.


Blessings

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Paying the Ultimate Price

Paying the Ultimate Price

"No servant is greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also."    John 15:20, NIV

They didn't just persecute Jesus; they crucified Him! How is it that you and I think we will be treated any better?

You may be thinking this doesn't happen today. Yet it has been estimated by the World Christian Encyclopedia that more than 45 million men and women were put to death for their faith in Jesus Christ during the twentieth century! In recent years the estimate has averaged between 160,000 and 171,000 per year. Imagine! That's more than 10,000 Christians dying for their faith every month! More than 400 per day!
While you and I are getting up in the morning, trying to decide what to wear and what to eat and where we will spend our vacation, somewhere in the world someone is paying the ultimate price for his or her relationship with Jesus! And I ask myself, would I be willing to do the same?


Blessings

Monday, July 8, 2013

There's No Excuse!

God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.   1 Corinthians 1:9, NKJV


"I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred" (John 5:7, NIV). The man beside the pool of Bethesda was focused on what he lacked. He lacked a friend to help him. He lacked the strength to do it on his own. But while he was preoccupied with what he didn't have, he totally missed what he did have-he had Jesus! Standing right there!

What's your excuse for continuing to lie down on your responsibilities? What's your excuse for remaining a spiritual child when you should be mature in your faith? What's your excuse for sleeping when you should be kneeling in prayer? What's your excuse?

Is it lack of faith? Lack of willpower? Lack of knowledge? Lack of discipline? Lack of energy? There is no excuse you or I can come up with that is valid because we have Jesus!


Blessings

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Follow God's Directions

Therefore, what God has joined together, let man not separate.   Matthew 19:6, NIV


Don't break up what God the Creator has put together in an equal, diverse, unified companionship we call marriage. God is the God of the impossible. It does not matter how bad the condition of your marriage is. Turn it over to God, follow His directions, and He can mend the brokenness.

God has created everyone. Whether you are from Africa, America, or Asia; whether your skin is white or black or brown; whether you speak English or Polish or Spanish; whether your religious affiliation is Baptist or Buddhist or B'Hai; everyone is created by God. The entire human race comes with the Manufacturer's directions for a pattern to live by, a place to live in, a purpose to live for, and a partner to live with. Isn't it time you followed directions?


Blessings

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Mystery of God



God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.   Genesis 1:31, NKJV



Someone has said that if God were small enough for us to understand, 
He would not be big enough to save us. 

Yet the Bible is God's revelation of Himself to us. And the revelation is true . . .

At the birth of time and space and human history, against the inky blackness of the universe and the shadowy mysteriousness of eternity, the character of God shone forth with the radiant beauty of a full moon in a cloudless night sky. Even the casual reader of the creation account in Genesis can easily identify . . .

His unequaled power as He called into existence that which had no existence,

His unlimited sovereignty as He took counsel with Himself and decided to create man in His own image,

and His unsearchable goodness that was revealed when He created Adam, the first man.

In what way have you glimpsed the character of God today? 

Would you praise Him for it?


Blessings

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Follow God's Directions

Therefore, what God has joined together, let man not separate.   Matthew 19:6, NIV

Don't break up what God the Creator has put together in an equal, diverse, unified companionship we call marriage. God is the God of the impossible. It does not matter how bad the condition of your marriage is. Turn it over to God, follow His directions, and He can mend the brokenness.

God has created everyone. Whether you are from Africa, America, or Asia; whether your skin is white or black or brown; whether you speak English or Polish or Spanish; whether your religious affiliation is Baptist or Buddhist or B'Hai; everyone is created by God. The entire human race comes with the Manufacturer's directions for a pattern to live by, a place to live in, a purpose to live for, and a partner to live with. Isn't it time you followed directions?


Blessings