Friday, November 28, 2014

He Knows What I Think!

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Every word we speak was taught to us by God’s Spirit, not by human wisdom. And this same Spirit helps us teach spiritual things to spiritual people.  That’s why only someone who has God’s Spirit can understand spiritual blessings. Anyone who doesn’t have God’s Spirit thinks these blessings are foolish.

People who are guided by the Spirit can make all kinds of judgments, but they cannot be judged by others.  The Scriptures ask,

“Has anyone ever known
the thoughts of the Lord
or given him advice?”

But we understand what Christ is thinking.

1 Corinthians 2:13-16

Perhaps the greatest blessing that comes from having the Holy Spirit dwell in you is that you can then understand what Christ is thinking.  The "mind of Christ" is certainly a mystery to anyone who does not have the Holy Spirit. 

Knowing how someone else thinks is the key to solving crimes as well as having a lasting and happy marriage.  Knowing the mind of Christ unlocks the mysteries of Eternity and changes the way you see everything here on earth! 

When you see sin and suffering in the world around you, knowing what Jesus thinks about those terrible things can restore your peace and enable you to keep on walking with Him!  The Holy Spirit in you, enables you to know what Jesus thinks, and since Jesus was fully human while He walked on this earth, He knows what you think as well!  When two people know each other's mind, the relationship can be long and fruitful.  When one of those two is the Lord Jesus Christ, the relationship can go on forever!

"Lord Jesus, thank You for letting me know what You think about everything in life!  And thank You Lord that You came here to earth so that You could not only die for me, but so that You could know my mind as well.  Praise Your Holy Name forever! Amen."

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Obedience Before Understanding!

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As God says in the Scriptures,  “I will destroy the wisdom of all who claim to be wise.   I will confuse those who think they know so much.”

What happened to those wise people? What happened to those experts in the Scriptures? What happened to the ones who think they have all the answers? Didn't God show that the wisdom of this world is foolish?   God was wise and decided not to let the people of this world use their wisdom to learn about him.

Instead, God chose to save only those who believe the foolish message we preach.

1 Corinthians 1:19-21

More than forty years ago I was first exposed to the concept of how the Gospel of Jesus Christ impacts different cultures. For me, at the time it was an "earth shaking" revelation that each culture will adjust itself to the truths of God's Word, but each one will remain distinct and unique even after being impacted by and remaining true to the Gospel!

That truth is crucial when you proclaim the message of Jesus to cultures other than your own. Otherwise you unwittingly export your own culture along with the Gospel.
But the Wisdom of God goes far beyond even that wisdom about different cultures.

Over the years I have seen men and women violate this bit of human wisdom about the Gospel and cultures and still have their efforts mightily blessed by God. Here is the "bottom line of following Jesus." Use the wisdom God has given you AND do everything He tells you to do even when it doesn't seem wise! That is what Abraham had to do when God told him to sacrifice his son Isaac! And that is what you will have to do as a follower of Jesus, navigating through this life.Remember that obedience to the Word of God often comes before understanding!

"Lord Jesus, thank You for giving me the wisdom to walk through this world as Your follower. But help me Lord to never put even wisdom itself before being obedient to You. May You be praised now and forever. Amen."

Monday, November 24, 2014

Follow the Whisper from Jesus!

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Judas Iscariot was one of the twelve disciples. He went to the chief priests and asked, “How much will you give me if I help you arrest Jesus?” They paid Judas 30 silver coins,  and from then on he started looking for a good chance to betray Jesus.

Matthew 24:14-16

What have you been offered to betray Jesus?  Of course, there was only one Judas Iscariot, but Satan is still quite willing to reward any follower of Jesus if he or she will betray the Lord.  How can you betray Jesus today?  It is quite simple and probably quite familiar.  Jesus shows you the way that you should go, and then there comes a profitable opportunity for you to go another way.  

With Judas it was 30 pieces of silver that "tipped the scales" and made him feel "ok" about betraying the Lord.  Some believe that Judas did not expect his betrayal to send Jesus to the Cross, and that may indeed be the case.  But when you go your own way instead of the way the Lord wants you to go, the consequences may be far worse than you expect as well.

When Jesus impresses your heart with the fact that you should speak to a stranger, you have no idea where that brief conversation will lead in the life of that "stranger" or others who know him or her.  When you sow a seed for Jesus in one heart, the new life that may come from that one seed might be so great that no one could imagine how many will turn to Jesus because of that one encounter!

And when you decide not to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in your daily walk, the impact on others, even years from now might be tragically significant.

Of course, you must not dwell on what may or may not happen in the future, but never take a whisper from the Lord lightly!  When the Holy Spirit pulls on the reigns of your heart, go that way without delay.  Let Him be in total control and know for certain that He has a Godly purpose for every Word!

And when Satan offers you 30 pieces of silver, RUN!

"Lord Jesus, help me never to betray you by accepting Satan's alternative for a direction You are showing me in life.  Give me the courage to follow every leading from You today and every day.  And may You be praised forever.  Amen."

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Greatest Freedom of All!

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When the Son of Man comes in his glory with all his angels, he will sit on his royal throne.  The people of all nations will be brought before him, and he will separate them, as shepherds separate their sheep from their goats.

He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.  Then the king will say to those on his right, “My father has blessed you! Come and receive the kingdom that was prepared for you before the world was created.

Matthew 25:31-34

Before the world was created, God prepared a Kingdom for those who would follow Jesus Christ! I believe that the eternal purpose of the creation of the human race was to provide God with citizens for that Kingdom. God is the King and we are His subjects! The ideas of "self-government" and "democracy" will not be part of that Kingdom. When you are living under the constant care and infinite love of God why would you want to choose your own way, instead of His?


When doing the Will of God becomes the very air that you breathe, and every step that you take is measured by whether or not God is pleased with it, then the greatest freedom in all of Eternity is being His slave!


When you belong completely to Jesus Christ you are free to explore Eternity with the very one who created it! Your job here on earth becomes simply the casting off of everything that wars against His claim on your life and heart!


"Lord Jesus, my Sweet Lord, today I want You to take more of my life and heart. Control every part of me, until there is nothing left for anyone else. May I know today even more of the Greatest Freedom of being Your slave. And may You be praised and glorified forever and ever. Amen."

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Are You With Jesus Where He Is?

 

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Father, I want everyone you have given me to be with me, wherever I am. Then they will see the glory you have given me, because you loved me before the world was created.  Good Father, the people of this world don't know you. But I know you, and my followers know that you sent me.   I told them what you are like, and I will tell them even more. Then the love you have for me will become part of them, and I will be one with them.

John 17:24-26

Do you want to be with Jesus where He is or do you want Jesus to be with you where you are? There is a huge difference!


When Jesus is with you where you are, you will see His power touch those in your circle of friends. And that is certainly a good thing. When Jesus is with you, His wisdom and power will open doors and solve problems in your life in remarkable, and yes even miraculous ways! For most Christians it seems to be enough to know that Jesus is "with you always." He is with you and it is wonderful!


But when you are with Jesus where He is, you see Him reach out and touch the Universe around Him with His Power and Glory! When you are with Jesus where He is, you find yourself in places you have never been before, and perhaps no one has ever been. When you are with Jesus where He is, your spirit is bathed in the Glory of God and immersed in the Promise of Eternity! What an utterly remarkable reality that Jesus wants me to be with Him where He is!


"Lord Jesus, I do want You to be with me as I walk through this day here on planet earth. But I also Lord want to be with You where You are! I want to see beyond the door of Heaven and walk with You on the streets of gold! Give me the patience to wait for that Day when I am with You always, and never let me stop longing to see it come! May You, Jesus be praised forever. Amen."

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Thirsty for God?

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Everything is finished! I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will freely give water from the life-giving fountain to everyone who is thirsty.  All who win the victory will be given these blessings. I will be their God, and they will be my people.

Revelation 21:6-7

Are you "thirsty for God" or do you want to be thirsty for God? In some parts of the world being thirsty for God is not something you even notice. When you have even the smallest desire for God you can satisfy it without anyone interfering.

But there are places, and you may be there yourself, where pursuing God is not encouraged or even officially allowed! If you run after God in those countries you must be careful because there are those who are ready to persecute you or even kill you for your faith in Jesus Christ.

When you are denied water your thirst grows even greater and when men attempt to deny you access to Jesus Christ your thirst for Him blossoms and grows! That is part of the reason that you will find greater faith in places where Christians are persecuted for their faith. With persecution comes greater thirst!

Never forget that Jesus will satisfy your thirst for Him! How much do you long for and thirst for Jesus Christ? The more you want Jesus, the more you will have of Him! Never be afraid of venturing out into the dry desert of this life, because Jesus will satisfy your thirst! He is an unending supply of life giving water!

"Lord Jesus, my life is empty without You, and my thirst for You grows every day. Satisfy me with Your life giving water, today and tomorrow and every day for Eternity. Praise Your Name forever. Amen."

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Are You a Friend of the Author’s Son?

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I saw a great white throne with someone sitting on it. Earth and heaven tried to run away, but there was no place for them to go. I also saw all the dead people standing in front of that throne. Every one of them was there, no matter who they had once been. Several books were opened, and then the book of life was opened. The dead were judged by what those books said they had done.

The sea gave up the dead people who were in it, and death and its kingdom also gave up their dead. Then everyone was judged by what they had done. Afterwards, death and its kingdom were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  Anyone whose name wasn't written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

Revelation 20:11-15

I only remember one time seeing my name in a book. While I was growing up the father of a good friend wrote an autobiography and he mentioned my name as a friend of his oldest son. That was pretty exciting at the time, but I suppose I haven't even thought about that in many years.


When the "Day of Judgment" arrives whether or not your name is mentioned in a book will make all the difference between Heaven and Hell. If your name is found in the Book of Life, you will spend eternity in Heaven with Jesus. If your name is not there you will spend eternity in Hell, separated from God.


So how do you get your name in the Book of Life? Is it because you live a really good life? Is it because you were rich and successful in business? Is it just blind luck? No it is none of those.

Your name will appear in the Book of Life if you are a friend of the author's Son, Jesus! If you don't know Jesus and call Him your friend, then your name will not be in the Book of Life. It may be exciting to see your name in a book written by someone here on earth, but nothing will ever compare to seeing your name in the Book of Life!


"Lord Jesus, my place in Heaven is reserved only because of You and what You did for me on the Cross! Thank You for making it possible for my name to appear in the Book of Life! May You be praised forever. Amen."