Saturday, April 30, 2016

A Prize for His Children!



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Trust God, my friends, and always tell him each one of your concerns.  God is our place of safety. We humans are only a breath; none of us are truly great.  All of us together weigh less  than a puff of air. Don’t trust in violence or depend on dishonesty or rely on great wealth.  I heard God say two things:  “I am powerful,  and I am very kind.”  The Lord rewards each of us according to what we do.

Psalm 62:8-12


When my six children were all small we had , what I guess would be called a family tradition.  If I had to go away for a few days, when I returned I would be greeted by hugs and kisses but also this question: "Did you bring me a prize?"

Something small and inexpensive would do nicely, as long as I brought something for them when I returned!

It reminds me of the return of Jesus.  You see, Jesus is not just returning to this earth, but when He comes He will bring  a prize for His children!  When I brought prizes to my children, they did not cost a lot, but the prize that Jesus is bringing for me cost Him His very life!  Jesus is bringing me, eternal citizenship in Heaven!  It cost Him everything and will mean everything to me, forever!

"Thank you Jesus for the great prize that You are bringing Your children.  And may You, Jesus be praised forever. Amen!"

Friday, April 29, 2016

Breathe in the Heart of God!


I pray that God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ will be kind to you and will bless you with peace!  Every time I think of you, I thank my God.  And whenever I mention you in my prayers, it makes me happy.  This is because you have taken part with me in spreading the good news from the first day you heard about it.  God is the one who began this good work in you, and I am certain that he won't stop before it is complete on the day that Christ Jesus returns.  You have a special place in my heart. So it is only natural for me to feel the way I do. All of you have helped in the work that God has given me, as I defend the good news and tell about it here in jail.  God himself knows how much I want to see you. He knows that I care for you in the same way that Christ Jesus does.  I pray that your love will keep on growing and that you will fully know and understand how to make the right choices. Then you will still be pure and innocent when Christ returns. And until that day, Jesus Christ will keep you busy doing good deeds that bring glory and praise to God.

Philippians 1:2-11

Every time the Apostle Paul thought of the Philippians he prayed.  Prayer was like breathing for the man who met Jesus on the road to Damascus!   He would breathe out the concerns of his heart and breathe in the Heart of God!  

You can only hold your breath for a few minutes until you will pass out and lose consciousness.  And you can only go for a short period of time without praying.  If you don’t pray you will lose spiritual consciousness!

For a Christian, prayer is life itself!  When you feel a need of any kind you lay it before the Father.  When a question fills your heart you present it to God.  When you need an answer you look to Jesus, who walked this very road as He lived on earth. 

Many times a day a husband and wife communicate with each other.  It may be a word, a look, a touch or a kiss.  Those things and many more are what prayer is between a follower of Jesus and the Father!  


“Lord Jesus, show me more today of what it means to pray without ceasing!  And may You be praised forever, Amen!” 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Listen for the Lord!




Click here to listen to blog Then the glorious Lord All-Powerful ordered me to say to the nations that had raided and robbed Zion: Zion is as precious to the Lord as are his eyes. Whatever you do to Zion, you do to him. And so, he will put you in the power of your slaves, and they will raid and rob you. Then you will know that I am a prophet of the Lord All-Powerful.  City of Zion, sing and celebrate! The Lord has promised to come and live with you.  When he does, many nations will turn to him and become his people. At that time you will know that I am a prophet of the Lord All-Powerful.  Then Judah will be his part of the holy land, and Jerusalem will again be his chosen city.  Everyone, be silent! The Lord is present and moving about in his holy place. 

Zechariah 2:8-13 

When I was a small child I remember how comforting it was to go to sleep while hearing my mother and father moving about in the house. The noises they made and the conversations I heard filled my heart with peace. Every sound they made let me know that I was being watched over by my parents who loved me dearly!

Today, as a grown man, when my spirit is quiet I can hear the Lord moving about in the world which He made. I can see Him when I look at the heavens or the face of a new born baby who was made in His image. If you have never heard or seen the Lord moving about in the world around you, it is time that you got quiet and listened!  Just a little while ago I stopped and listened as a thunderstorm passed over our house.  Only God can rattle the windows and comfort my soul at the same time.

So as you move through this day listen for the sound of God "moving about in His holy place."  It will comfort your soul in these  very troubled times!

"Lord Jesus I can be at peace when I hear and see that You are near.  And may You be praised forever.  Amen."

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Normal Christian Life!


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People who are ruled by their desires think only of themselves. Everyone who is ruled by the Holy Spirit thinks about spiritual things.  If our minds are ruled by our desires, we will die. But if our minds are ruled by the Spirit, we will have life and peace. 

Our desires fight against God, because they do not and cannot obey God's laws.
                                                                                                 If we follow our desires, we cannot please God.  You are no longer ruled by your desires, but by God's Spirit, who lives in you. People who don't have the Spirit of Christ in them don't belong to him. 

But Christ lives in you. So you are alive because God has accepted you, even though your bodies must die because of your sins.  Yet God raised Jesus to life! God's Spirit now lives in you, and he will raise you to life by his Spirit.  My dear friends, we must not live to satisfy our desires.                                                                                                                                                 

If you do, you will die. But you will live, if by the help of God's Spirit you say "No" to your desires.  Only those people who are led by God's Spirit are his children. 

Romans 8:5-14

Being led by the Holy Spirit is not just a wonderful thing, it is essential for a man or woman who is desiring to live as a child of God.  Many years ago a man named Watchman Nee wrote a book called “The Normal Christian Life.”  What he described is not normal at all for many who call themselves Christians today.  The “normal” Christian life according to the Bible is a man or woman who is totally focused on Jesus and is listening to the Holy Spirit for direction every day and of course is then obedient to every Word of God!

Many today would call a “normal” Christian a “radical” follower of Jesus!   If the world around you sees you as someone who fits in with them in almost every way except that you say that you are a follower of Jesus when pressed to confess it, but apart from that they see little or no difference, then it would be good to discuss the matter with the Lord!  Jesus sees your heart and mine for what it is, not for what you would like to pretend it to be.  Jesus is the only doctor who can replace your wounded, weary and deceptive heart with one that is totally sold out to Him.  Let Jesus operate on your heart so that you will surely become one who lives a “Normal Christian Life.”


“Lord Jesus, thank You for showing me the sinfulness of my own heart and for changing my heart into one that is radically dedicated to following You.  May You, Jesus be praised forever.  Amen.”

Friday, April 22, 2016

God is Working Among the Nations!

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I am Habakkuk the prophet. And this is the message that the Lord gave me.

Habakkuk Complains to the Lord
 

Our Lord, how long must I beg for your help before you listen? How long before you save us from all this violence?  Why do you make me watch such terrible injustice? Why do you allow violence, lawlessness, crime, and cruelty to spread everywhere? Laws cannot be enforced; justice is always the loser; criminals crowd out honest people and twist the laws around.

The Lord Answers Habakku
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Look and be amazed at what’s happening among the nations! Even if you were told, you would never believe what’s taking place now.

Habakkuk 1:1-5
We think the prophet wrote these words about 600 years before Jesus was born and yet they sound like they were written in 2016!  

From the day that Adam and Eve stood beneath the TREE and were deceived to believe that God did not really mean what He had said and that He did not see them as they sinned, the world has been filled with violence, lawlessness, crime and cruelty!

Habakkuk would have found today's world familiar because it is the same as "laws cannot be enforced; justice is always the loser; criminals crowd out honest people and twist the laws around."

But God assured Habakkuk that He is orchestrating world events to serve His purposes!  And you can rest assured that God is doing the same today!

"Lord Jesus, thank you for the blessed assurance that You are now working among the nations and that You will soon return to take Your people home!  Praise Your Name forever.  Amen!"

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Fifth Seal Souls!

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When the Lamb opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of everyone who had been killed for speaking God’s message and telling about their faith.  They shouted, “Master, you are holy and faithful! How long will it be before you judge and punish the people of this earth who killed us?”  Then each of those who had been killed was given a white robe and told to rest for a little while. They had to wait until the complete number of the Lord’s other servants and followers would be killed.

Revelation 6:9-11


This is a remarkable passage.  After you are killed for speaking God's message and telling about your faith, you will still be able to shout, rest, wait and wear a white robe!  Your physical body is simply the container in which you now reside.  When your body dies you will live on!

Fifth Seal Souls are especially blessed.  They are the ones who, like their Lord are killed for delivering God's message and proclaiming their faith in Him! 

If you are called to preach the Word of God where you may lose your head, then trust God to protect you from the sword of Satan or trust Him to deliver you by that sword.  When Fifth Seal Souls stand before the Father on the Day of Judgement there is no question about what their fate will be!

"Lord Jesus, give me the strength to be a follower who is willing to lose my life here on this earth that You, Lord may be glorified in Heaven!  And may You, Jesus be praised forever.  Amen!"

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

God Crushed My Bones!

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I have suffered much because God was angry.  He chased me into a dark place, where no light could enter.  I am the only one he punishes over and over again, without ever stopping. God caused my skin and flesh to waste away, and he crushed my bones.  He attacked and surrounded me with hardships and trouble.

Lamentations 3:1-5


Jeremiah reminds us that everyone's life is filled with trouble!

Last week I broke a bone in my finger.  Actually I crushed a bone!  The doctor told me that when you break a bone it is a somewhat simple process to put it back in place and hold it there for a few weeks and it will knit back together, perhaps as good as new.  But when you crush a bone, it will still heal but there will be lasting consequences.  When a bone is crushed the flesh around the bone is also mangled and torn.  There is then the serious danger of infection.  And when a crushed finger heals it is almost always stiff and has limited mobility!  So, for the rest of my life I will remember the day I crushed my bone!

If God has crushed the bone that surrounds your heart it is the same.  It will heal, but you will always remember that the strong hand of God has touched you.

God is indeed a loving Father, but He is willing to let us suffer so that we will turn our hard hearts toward Him and be ready for Jesus when He returns!

"Lord Jesus, crush the bones in my life that need to be broken, so that my heart will always be submitted to your will!  May You, Jesus be praised forever, Amen!"