Friday, July 1, 2016

Pray Your Worries Away!

Always be glad because of the Lord! I will say it again: Be glad.  Always be gentle with others. The Lord will soon be here.  Don't worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God.  Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel.  Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don't ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise.

Philippians 4:4-8

When you pray about everything, you will worry about nothing!  Prayer is not an attempt to “figure out” what you should do, it is rather the calm submission of your needs to Almighty God.  You cannot ask God for something that He cannot give you!  The only limits on God’s generosity come from His love for His children and His desire that “all things work together for good.”  

If you had a million dollars deposited in every bank in the world would you know for certain that the banks will not fail and you lose everything you have?  But if you have the love of God and His care and mercy promised by Jesus Christ Himself you can “know for certain” that His love and care will never fail!  

Recently I met a man who, when asked if he was a Christian answered, “I used to be!”  What he meant was that he had given up on trusting God and had returned to the world and it’s worries!  

When you pray and fully trust the Lord in everything, your heart will be at rest and the peace that goes beyond anyone’s understanding will fill every place in your heart that used to worry!  With the riches of this world come many cares and worries, but the riches of God’s Spirit bring total and complete peace!

“Lord Jesus, help me today to worry about nothing and to pray about everything, so that my heart may be at peace with You.  And may You, Jesus be praised forever.  Amen!”

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Deadly Make Believe!

I offer you my heart, Lord God, and I trust you. Don't make me ashamed or let enemies defeat me. Don't disappoint any of your worshipers, but disappoint all deceitful liars.

Psalm 25:1-3

As the hearts of men turn away from the God who made them, lying becomes the “new normal” in how men communicate with each other!  In courtrooms you may still hear “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth” but everywhere else the “truth” is not expected.

Many years ago in America there were men who would travel around selling bottles of “medicine” that was guaranteed to cure all your ills!  It didn’t matter what was wrong this “miracle cure” tonic would fix it!  Almost everyone knew it was a lie, but it was something they wanted to believe and so the lies continued!  Today we hear politicians and would be politicians making promises and claims that we know are lies, but they are things that we wish were true and so we keep on listening!

The lies of the Devil, who is the father of lies are the same.  He tells us things that we know are not true, but we wish they were so we keep on listening!  It is a deadly form of “make believe.”  Some of Satan’s lies include: 

“You are really a good person so you don’t need Jesus!”

“A good God won’t send anyone to Hell!”

“There are many ways to Heaven, so just pick one and relax!”

And the list of Satan’s lies goes on. Don’t believe any lie from Satan.  Adam and Eve’s first mistake was that they believed the lie of Satan about the consequences of eating fruit from the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil!

“Lord Jesus, fill my heart and mind with truth today.  Give me wisdom to know when I am hearing the truth and when I am hearing a lie.  And may You Jesus, be praised now and forever.  Amen.”

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

God Will Clear the Road!

With all your heart you must trust the Lord and not your own judgment.  Always let him lead you, and he will clear the road for you to follow.

Proverbs 3:5-6

When my own judgment is the same as the Will of God I have no problem following Him.  But when His will and my assessment of the best course of action are not the same, I am tempted to follow my own will and not His!  It is easy to look at life in the ways that you agree with God and ignore those ways that you disagree!  

You may say, “I always agree with God!”  But that is not true.  Since God’s ways and thoughts are higher than any man’s ways and thoughts you will, by nature disagree with God’s Will more than you will agree with it!

So as you approach every decision you make this day ask the question: “What is God’s Will in this situation?”  Don’t seek the most practical answer or the one that makes the most sense.  Pursue knowledge that comes from above in everything.  When you do that you will find that God Himself will clear the road for you and you will rejoice in seeing Him work all around you!

“Lord Jesus, I once again submit my ways, to Your Way!  Show me how and where to take every step along my path this day.  And may You, Jesus be praised forever.  Amen.”

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Jesus Erases Sins!

Well then, what can we say about our ancestor Abraham? If he became acceptable to God because of what he did, then he would have something to brag about. But he would never be able to brag about it to God.  The Scriptures say, “God accepted Abraham because Abraham had faith in him.” 

Money paid to workers isn't a gift. It is something they earn by working. But you cannot make God accept you because of something you do. God accepts sinners only because they have faith in him. In the Scriptures David talks about the blessings that come to people who are acceptable to God, even though they don't do anything to deserve these blessings. David says,

“What a blessing when God forgives our sins and our evil deeds. What a blessing when the Lord erases our sins from his book.”

Romans 4:1-8

It is truly frustrating if you walk into a store looking to buy something that you really do need, and the store clerk shows you the “perfect” thing, but it is way too expensive.  You just can’t afford it.  That is what it is like for the man who is convicted of his sin and realizes that unless he can pay the price for his sin, he will be eternally lost in Hell!  

You know you are not perfect and your sin may be pushed down, but it always comes back when you are depending on your own strength to deal with it!  But then you see what you really need!  You need to be forgiven for your sin and be able to stand clean before the Lord!  Only how can it be done?  You may try to convince yourself that you are good enough to deserve Heaven, but deep inside you know you are not!  An old song perhaps said it best when it asked the question: “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the Blood of Jesus!”

Jesus erases your sins from His Book!  When you turn your heart to Jesus and become His follower the record of your sins vanishes!  When a man comes before a judge and is accused of a crime, his “record” is always considered.  But when you come to the Day of Judgement, if you are a Jesus follower, you will have no record of sins!  No matter how hard anyone will look, your sins will be gone!

“Lord Jesus, praise You forever for erasing my sins from Your Book.  The only thing I really need is what You purchased for me on the Cross.  Bless Your Name now and always.  Amen.”

Monday, June 27, 2016

Enoch Pleased God!

Because Abel had faith, he offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. God was pleased with him and his gift, and even though Abel is now dead, his faith still speaks for him.

Enoch had faith and did not die. He pleased God, and God took him up to heaven. This is why his body was never found. But without faith no one can please God. We must believe that God is real and rewards everyone who searches for him.

Because Noah had faith, he was warned about something that had not yet happened. He obeyed and built a boat that saved him and his family. In this way the people of the world were judged, and Noah was given the blessings that come to everyone who pleases God.

Abraham had faith and obeyed God. He was told to go to the land that God had said would be his, and he left for a country he had never seen.  Because Abraham had faith, he lived as a stranger in the promised land. He lived there in a tent, and so did Isaac and Jacob, who were later given the same promise.  Abraham did this, because he was waiting for the eternal city God had planned and built.

Hebrews 11:4-10

This is an interesting list of men of faith.  Abel, Noah and Abraham obeyed God and were blessed because of it.  Abel’s blessing was that he was the first person to go from earth to Heaven!  But Enoch was different.  These verses do not talk about Enoch’s obedience, rather it simply says that Enoch pleased God and God took him up to Heaven.  Of course Enoch must have been obedient to God, but it seems that it was Enoch’s relationship and communion with God pleased God so much that He took Enoch without Enoch having to die!

There is a saying that the only two things that are certain are death and taxes!  But for Enoch it seems to have been only taxes.  

As a follower of Jesus Christ today, you should certainly live with the goal of being on God’s list of men and women of faith, but there is more.  Instead of making it the purpose of your life to be obedient to God, add to that your desire to please the Father!  God was pleased with Jesus and He said so!  Let every word you speak today and everything you do be focused on pleasing God!  Someday I hope to hear Enoch tell us how he pleased God so much that God took him to Heaven without dying!

“Lord Jesus, I want to have faith and be obedient, but also show me how to please You today in everything!  May You be praised forever.  Amen.”

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Pray Before You Eat!

God's Spirit clearly says that in the last days many people will turn from their faith. They will be fooled by evil spirits and by teachings that come from demons.  They will also be fooled by the false claims of liars whose consciences have lost all feeling. These liars will forbid people to marry or to eat certain foods. But God created these foods to be eaten with thankful hearts by his followers who know the truth.  Everything God created is good.  And if you give thanks, you may eat anything.  What God has said and your prayer will make it fit to eat.

1 Timothy 4:1-5

Is it your custom to pray before you eat?  In my parent's home and all my married life it was and is the custom to pray before eating a meal.  After hundreds and even thousands of such prayers, you might be tempted to think that the practice of praying before eating is simply a formality with no real impact on your life.  That is wrong.  These verses in 1 Timothy 4 clearly say that praying can change food that is not fit to eat into something that is fine to consume.  

You see when God’s children pray, God acts!  Every time you pray, your life will be different and not like it would have been had you not prayed!

God doesn’t just answer prayer by saying something.  God answers prayer by doing something!  Certainly God can, and does answer our questions which we bring to Him in prayer, but He does more, much more!  

So when you pray, listen and look for His answer!   And the next time you bow your head to pray before eating a meal, remember that God can make this meal fit to eat!

“Lord Jesus, thank You for answering my prayers with actions and not just words!  You are indeed worthy to be praised now and forever.  Amen.” 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Souls in Hell!

With a loud command and with the shout of the chief angel and a blast of God's trumpet, the Lord will return from heaven. Then those who had faith in Christ before they died will be raised to life.   Next, all of us who are still alive will be taken up into the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the sky. From that time on we will all be with the Lord forever. Encourage each other with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

What will happen to those people who are not “taken up into the clouds” to meet the Lord when He returns from Heaven?  I would answer that question with another one.  “Why do you care?”  Are you still considering whether or not you will be one of the ones that go up to meet Jesus?  There is a series of fictional books about those who are “Left Behind.”   

The best answer to the “Left Behind” question is  this: DON’T FIND OUT!  If you spend your time here on earth trying to understand the plight of the lost, you will miss time enjoying the blessings of the saved!  If you are alive and breathing air today, then you are eligible to believe on Jesus and receive the amazing benefits of faith!  

Those who try to understand the timing and even the theology of the “Second Coming” are missing the peaceful and joyful heart of a follower of Jesus who is ready for His return at every hour of every day!  

Leave the problem of souls in Hell to the God who made them.  The fate of those who are Left Behind is for God to deal with, and you can be sure He will!  

“Lord Jesus, help me today to be ready to go with You when You come!  Give me opportunity to warn those around me that the only way to be ready to leave this earth is to make You the Lord of their life!  May You, Jesus be praised now and forever.  Amen.”