Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Love is What You Are!



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God is love. If we keep on loving others, we will stay one in our hearts with God, and he will stay one with us.  If we truly love others and live as Christ did in this world, we won’t be worried about the day of judgment.  A real love for others will chase those worries away. The thought of being punished is what makes us afraid. It shows that we have not really learned to love.  We love because God loved us first.  But if we say we love God and don’t love each other, we are liars. We cannot see God. So how can we love God, if we don’t love the people we can see?  The commandment that God has given us is: “Love God and love each other!”

1 John 4:16-21

Love is not something God does. Love is what God is! The Love of God pours from His presence to everyone who is able to come near Him. Everyone who enters the human race is an object of the love of God, because He is the Creator of everyone!

Remember that Jesus loves and died for the most horrible sinners who ever lived. The love of God is not based on the righteousness of those who receive that love.

God loves because that is His nature, and when we become like Him we will love like He does.

Remember, you cannot love one person and hate everyone else because love is who you are not what you do! If you become like Jesus you will love others, even if those that you love have declared themselves to be your enemy.

"Lord Jesus, I want to love like You do. Change me into a person who is love, so that I can love like God! And may You be praised forever. Amen."

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Evangelism Happens!



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Six days before Passover Jesus went back to Bethany, where he had raised Lazarus from death.  A meal had been prepared for Jesus. Martha was doing the serving, and Lazarus himself was there. Mary took a very expensive bottle of perfume and poured it on Jesus' feet. She wiped them with her hair, and the sweet smell of the perfume filled the house. A disciple named Judas Iscariot was there. He was the one who was going to betray Jesus, and he asked,  “Why wasn’t this perfume sold for three hundred silver coins and the money given to the poor?”  Judas did not really care about the poor. He asked this because he carried the moneybag and sometimes would steal from it. Jesus replied, “Leave her alone! She has kept this perfume for the day of my burial.  You will always have the poor with you, but you won’t always have me.” A lot of people came when they heard that Jesus was there. They also wanted to see Lazarus, because Jesus had raised him from death.  So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus.  He was the reason that many of the Jewish leaders were turning from them and putting their faith in Jesus.

John 12:1-11

Why did Mary "waist" an expensive bottle of perfume by pouring it on Jesus' feet? What would you give to the person who raised your brother from the dead? Of course Judas was there to question the wisdom of what Mary did.

And why did the chief priests want to kill Lazarus? It was because the resurrection of Lazarus caused many Jewish leaders to turn from them and put their faith in Jesus!

So remember that it is a wonderful thing to pour out the precious thing in your life at the feet of Jesus. And remember as well that when you come out of the grave and walk in your new life, others will turn to Jesus as well. The most effective evangelism campaign happens when you give everything you have to Jesus and let Him bring you out of the grave to walk with Him, alive again forever!

"Lord Jesus, help me today Lord to give You all of my precious treasures and to walk with You so that others will turn their hearts to You as well. And may You, Jesus be praised forever. Amen."

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Only What God Has Approved!


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Daniel made up his mind to eat and drink only what God had approved for his people to eat. And he asked the king’s chief official for permission not to eat the food and wine served in the royal palace.  God had made the official friendly and kind to Daniel.  But the man still told him, “The king has decided what you must eat and drink. And I am afraid he will kill me, if you eat something else and end up looking worse than the other young men.The king’s official had put a guard in charge of Daniel and his three friends. So Daniel said to the guard,  “For the next ten days, let us have only vegetables and water at mealtime.  When the ten days are up, compare how we look with the other young men, and decide what to do with us.”  The guard agreed to do what Daniel had asked.  Ten days later, Daniel and his friends looked healthier and better than the young men who had been served food from the royal palace.  After this, the guard let them eat vegetables instead of the rich food and wine.  God made the four young men smart and wise. They read a lot of books and became well educated. Daniel could also tell the meaning of dreams and visions.  At the end of the three-year period set by King Nebuchadnezzar, his chief palace official brought all the young men to him.   The king interviewed them and discovered that none of the others were as outstanding as Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. So they were given positions in the royal court.

Daniel 1:8-19

Have you made up your mind like Daniel to do only what God has approved in your life? Daniel and his friends were greatly rewarded for that decision.

It was the classic controversy between what the king says and what God says. When you make the decision to do only what God approves the "king" is anyone and everyone who disagrees with God!

That is why is it so very important that you fill your heart and mind with the Word of God. Only then will you see clearly what path you should take at each crossroads in your day.

Daniel and his friends were rewarded for their faithfulness to God's will, and you will be as well. But never forget that there may be a lion's den or a furnace of fire that you will encounter on your way through life to Eternity with Jesus!

"Lord Jesus, help me today to only do those things that are approved by my Father in Heaven. And may You Lord Jesus be praised forever. Amen.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Faith and Knowledge


 


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No matter how much you know or what plans you make, you can’t defeat the Lord.  Even if your army has horses ready for battle, the Lord will always win.

Proverbs 21:30-31

Why is it that many if not most of the institutions of higher education are breeding grounds for plans to defeat the Lord? Of course, there are Colleges and Universities that honor God, but they are not the biggest and most powerful or the most plentiful.

The history of colleges and universities in the United States shows that faith in God was active and strong when some of the most prominent of them were born. But the evidence of that faith is seen today only on plaques or carved into stones to decorate the campus.

The truth is that the more you know the greater the temptation to set your heart against the Lord. When you know little you must trust God greatly, but when you know much your heart wants to depend on that knowledge instead of the God who created you!

Does that mean that you should avoid education so that your faith can be strong? Absolutely not! Knowledge with pride can lead to your destruction, but a humble man who has great knowledge can honor God with what he knows!

Knowledge is like gold. With knowledge you can do great good, or you can do great evil. Whatever God has given you must be dedicated to His Glory and Honor. If He has given you much or little, may it all be poured out at His feet as He is praised forever!

"Thank You Jesus for all You have given me. May I today give it all back to You. Praise Your Holy Name. Amen."

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Count Your Many Blessings!





When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on the side of a mountain and sat down.  Jesus' disciples gathered around him,  and he taught them: God blesses those people who depend only on him. They belong to the kingdom  of heaven!  God blesses those people who grieve. They will find comfort! God blesses those people who are humble. The earth will belong to them! God blesses those people who want to obey him more than to eat or drink. They will be given what they want! God blesses those people who are merciful. They will be treated with mercy! God blesses those people whose hearts are pure. They will see him! God blesses those people who make peace. They will be called his children! God blesses those people who are treated badly for doing right. They belong to the kingdom of heaven.  God will bless you when people insult you, mistreat you, and tell all kinds of evil lies about you because of me.  Be happy and excited! You will have a great reward in heaven. People did these same things to the prophets who lived long ago.

Matthew 5:1-12

These verses are from the Sermon on the Mount and are often called the Beatitudes. They are actions of men that God responds to with blessings from above. Books have been written about each one of them. 

But I simply want to remind you and myself that God blesses men!  You cannot go through a single day without the blessings of God!  Every breath you take is from God.  Every sip of water is a blessing from your Creator! 

When someone sneezes often they will hear a quick "Bless You" in response.  Calling for God's blessings on other people is not uncommon.  Even the word "Goodbye" originated as a contraction of "God be with ye" in 14th century English.

God blesses the righteous and those who are evil.  It is His power that sustains the life of everyone on earth.  There is an old song which encourages you to "count your many blessings."  As you go through this day be aware of and immediately thank God every time you recognize a blessing from above!

"Lord Jesus, thank You for being the source of each and every blessing.  And may You be praised forever.  Amen."

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A Glorious Life!



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This is what you must write to the angel of the church in Smyrna:
I am the first and the last. I died, but now I am alive! Listen to what I say.  I know how much you suffer and how poor you are, but you are rich. I also know the cruel things being said about you by people who claim to be Jews. But they are not really Jews. They are a group that belongs to Satan.  Don’t worry about what you will suffer. The devil will throw some of you into jail, and you will be tested and made to suffer for ten days. But if you are faithful until you die, I will reward you with a glorious life. If you have ears, listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. Whoever wins the victory will not be hurt by the second death.

Revelation 2:8-11
 
Have you lived a life full of suffering? Suffering does not just come from a lack of physical needs like food, clothing and shelter. Suffering also comes from pain and sorrow. Perhaps the worst pain you can experience comes from disappointment and sorrow. The father of the prodigal son and Job may have suffered very much the same, even though Job had serious physical suffering.

These verses in Revelation 2 tell us not to worry about what we will yet suffer in this life. Even though that suffering may be greater than anything we have experienced thus far, Jesus says that our reward will be a Glorious Life!

I know people who can say that they have had a wonderful life, but I don't think I know anyone who can say that their life on this earth has been glorious! Sin, sorrow, and suffering have touched us all on this earth. But when we are done with this life, we are promised, if we are followers of Jesus Christ, that our life will be glorious!

Each night when you put your head down on your pillow you can rest easy knowing that you are one day closer to a Glorious Life that will go on forever!

"Lord Jesus, thank You that this life of pain and suffering will soon end, and I will then live a Glorious Life with You forever. Amen."

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

How to Keep on Growing!

 
 
 
Let the wonderful kindness and the understanding that come from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ help you to keep on growing. Praise Jesus now and forever! Amen.
 
2 Peter 3:18

As a follower of Jesus Christ, how do you keep on growing even when you have been a Christian for many years?

You can continue to grow and in fact you must because there is no limit to how mature you can be as a disciple of Christ. When you spend time with Jesus you will grow and learn more and more even if you have been with Him for years. Knowing Jesus is a well of limitless relationship.

If you are alive, whether you are 21 or 101 you have another opportunity today to grow in Christ. So, specifically what can I do today that will help me to grow as a believer?

 
 
Well, growth of a physical body as well as a spiritual person comes from nutrition and exercise. Make sure that you take in plenty of spiritual food today and then you must exercise your faith as you walk through the day! Consume the Word of God as you would your most favorite food as you fellowship with Jesus. Then, let your faith play a role in every decision you make, every step you take and every thought you think.

When you do those things you will continue to grow!

"Lord Jesus, I want to grow to be more like You today. Thank You Lord for making that possible by what You did on the Cross. May You be praised forever. Amen."
 
(Scriptures come from the Contemporary English Version unless otherwise noted.)