Friday, May 26, 2017

The Memory of Cool Water!

As a deer gets thirsty for streams of water, I truly am thirsty for you, my God.  In my heart, I am thirsty for you, the living God. When will I see your face?  Day and night my tears are my only food, as everyone keeps asking, "Where is your God?"   Sorrow floods my heart, when I remember leading the worshipers to your house. I can still hear them shout their joyful praises.

Psalm 42: 1 - 4

I remember a time when a Sunday morning worship service was “electric” with anticipation!  We would come together, not just to hear a sermon or to sing songs of praise and worship, but to hear from God!  Regularly, God would speak to my heart and life while we were gathered together.  The Holy Spirit was moving among those who assembled!  The “order of worship” was regularly interrupted by the testimony of a brother or sister who “felt led” to bring us a short word!  It was the leader’s responsibility to lovingly judge the things that were said as to whether or not they were from God.  

Many of the songs we sang were new, and were even composed by someone in the fellowship!  I even remember one time when there was a line of people waiting to tearfully confess their sins to the congregation.  

“Sorrow floods my heart,” when I remember those days.  It was a time when God showed His face and overwhelmed us with His love!  But then came our “cooling off” to the things of the Spirit, and like the writer of Psalm 42 we have become “thirsty for God!”  It is the memory of drinking cool, refreshing water that makes your thirst even greater!  

“Lord Jesus, we are thirsty for You today.  Overwhelm us with Your love and bring revival to our hearts!  Lead us to a time when the whole world will see Your Glory and praise Your Holy Name!  Hallelujah! Amen.” 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Do Your Thoughts Please God?

Your love is faithful, LORD, and even the clouds in the sky can depend on you.  Your decisions are always fair. They are firm like mountains, deep like the sea, and all people and animals are under your care.  Your love is a treasure, and everyone finds shelter in the shadow of your wings.  You give your guests a feast in your house, and you serve a tasty drink that flows like a river.  The life-giving fountain belongs to you, and your light gives light to each of us. Our LORD, keep showing love to everyone who knows you, and use your power to save all whose thoughts please you.

Psalm 36: 5 - 10

Do your thoughts please the Lord?  Most people believe that pleasing God is the result of what you believe, do and say.  And, of course belief, actions and words are crucial in your walk with Jesus, but what about your thoughts?  

Thoughts are your “Secret Place” where you can ponder words that you would never say.  In your thoughts you can consider actions that you know would not be pleasing to God.  

Here is the lie that Satan tells us about our thoughts.  He says: “God doesn’t know what you are thinking. So go ahead and think whatever you want.  And as long as you don’t say it or do it, God won’t care!”

Like Satan’s other words, those words are a lie!  There is no Secret Place from God!  Your thoughts might as well be shouted from the roof top as far as God is concerned.  He knows every one of them.  One good definition of a hypocrite is someone whose thoughts don’t match his words and actions! 

There are two who know your thoughts, you and God!  Determine that your thoughts today will please God in every way!

“Lord Jesus, help me today to run away from every thought that would not please You and hold tight to every thought that makes You happy!  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Be Completely Holy!

Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants you to do.  Don't turn away God's Spirit or ignore prophecies.  Put everything to the test. Accept what is good and don't have anything to do with evil.  I pray that God, who gives peace, will make you completely holy. And may your spirit, soul, and body be kept healthy and faultless until our Lord Jesus Christ returns.

1 Thessalonians 5: 18 - 23

As a follower of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is always available to guide you in the way that you should go.  But when you begin to walk in the ways of the world around you, the Holy Spirit is turned away from your heart!  He does not leave you, but your heart becomes deaf to His voice!  You cannot listen to the world and the Lord at the same time.  God’s voice will turn down the volume of the world’s appeal, but listening to the world will also make it hard or virtually impossible to hear the Word of God directed to your heart.  

Having anything, at all to do with evil in your life will deaden your spiritual senses toward the Holy Spirit.  God wants your life to be “completely Holy.”  He wants “your spirit, soul, and body (to) be kept healthy and faultless until our Lord Jesus Christ returns.”

So, your job for this day is to listen to and obey the Holy Spirit, but at the same time have nothing to do with evil.  Satan is continually presenting you with evil thoughts which he wants you to ponder, think about and even consider.  Say no to them all, because God wants you to be completely Holy!

“Lord Jesus, fill my heart and my mind with nothing but glorious, Holy and true thoughts from Your Spirit.  May I have have nothing to do with evil.  Praise Your Holy Name forever.  Amen.”

Friday, May 19, 2017

A Flood of Saved Souls!

But the chief priests and the leaders convinced the crowds to ask for Barabbas to be set free and for Jesus to be killed.  Pilate asked the crowd again, "Which of these two men do you want me to set free?" "Barabbas!" they replied.  Pilate asked them, "What am I to do with Jesus, who is called the Messiah?" They all yelled, "Nail him to a cross!"  Pilate answered, "But what crime has he done?" "Nail him to a cross!" they yelled even louder.  Pilate saw that there was nothing he could do and that the people were starting to riot. So he took some water and washed his hands in front of them and said, "I won't have anything to do with killing this man. You are the ones doing it!"  Everyone answered, "We and our own families will take the blame for his death!"  Pilate set Barabbas free. Then he ordered his soldiers to beat Jesus with a whip and nail him to a cross.

Matthew 27: 20 - 26

Jesus went to the Cross and Barabbas was set free!  

Barabbas was the first person to be set free because Jesus took the punishment instead of him.  The Bible does not tell us, but I hope Barabbas came to know Jesus as His Lord and Savior.  That would mean that Barabbas was like the first drop of rain in the flood of Saved Souls that  covers the earth!

If you are part of that flood then you can rejoice every day that Jesus took the punishment that you deserved because of your sins!  If you are not yet “saved” then turn your life over to Jesus, including your heart and confess your sins and then proclaim to all that Jesus is your Lord and Savior!   

“Lord Jesus, thank You for taking my place on the Cross!  You are the only hope for all men!  You died that we might live.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.”  

Thursday, May 18, 2017

It is All His Plan!

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.  When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat, and when I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink. When I was a stranger, you welcomed me, and when I was naked, you gave me clothes to wear. When I was sick, you took care of me, and when I was in jail, you visited me."  Then the ones who pleased the Lord will ask, "When did we give you something to eat or drink?  When did we welcome you as a stranger or give you clothes to wear or visit you while you were sick or in jail?"  The king will answer, "Whenever you did it for any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did it for me."

Matthew 25: 34 - 40

When Jesus sees one of His children reach out to and minister to one of His other children He is blessed!  Could the Lord minister to us, relieve all our pain and cure all our illnesses without the help of anyone else at all?   Well, of course He could.  Then why does He desire that we bless His other children by serving their needs?  

It is all part of His plan to make us into the image of Jesus Himself!  When we suffer we begin to understand the suffering of Jesus!  When you trust God, like Jesus you will see His miraculous power applied to situations you encounter each day.  When you learn about the life of Jesus on this earth you will come to understand the life that He expects you to live this side of Heaven! 

If your life, as a follower of Jesus is filled only with blessings and never with suffer and pain, you should seek His face and make sure you are walking according to His will!  The image of Jesus on this earth is not one of an easy life and the praise of men.  

So we learn here below how to suffer like Jesus did and how to minister to others who are suffering!  It is all a part of preparing to live with Jesus in Heaven forever!

“Lord Jesus, teach me more today about what it means to be like You!  May Your Name be praised now and forever.  Amen.”

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

First Thoughts of Evil!

In the Scriptures it says, "I spoke because I had faith." We have that same kind of faith. So we speak because we know that God raised the Lord Jesus to life. And just as God raised Jesus, he will also raise us to life. Then he will bring us into his presence together with you.  All of this has been done for you, so that more and more people will know how kind God is and will praise and honor him.  We never give up. Our bodies are gradually dying, but we ourselves are being made stronger each day.  These little troubles are getting us ready for an eternal glory that will make all our troubles seem like nothing.  Things that are seen don't last forever, but things that are not seen are eternal. That's why we keep our minds on the things that cannot be seen.

2 Corinthians 4: 13 - 18

The fundamental spiritual conflict in this life is a battle for the control of your mind.  

If Satan can persuade you to spend your time letting your thoughts focus on the ungodliness of this world, then he will eventually have your actions and ultimately your allegiance!  

But if you only allow your thoughts to dwell on righteousness, holiness, and the eternal things that are not seen, your actions and your heart will soon follow in devotion to Jesus Christ!  

If you swat down the annoying gnats of the first thoughts of evil, you will not be overcome by a swarm of unrighteousness that attempts to control your life!

“Lord Jesus give me the strength to reject the temptation to think about things on this earth and not things in Heaven.  And may You, Jesus be praised now and forever.  Amen.”

Monday, May 15, 2017

Seeking a Message from God!

I, the LORD, also promise you a terrible shortage, but not of food and water. You will hunger and thirst to hear my message.  You will search everywhere-- from north to south, from east to west. You will go all over the earth, seeking a message from me, the LORD. But you won't find one.

Amos 8: 11 - 12

When you are truly hungry and thirsty, satisfying those needs becomes the focus of your life!  And if you go long enough without food and water you will die!  

When you fast and abstain from food on purpose, you choose to deny your desire to eat in order to focus on things that are more important in your life!  

Are you searching for and seeking a message from God?  Hearing from God is food and drink for your spiritual life.  A Word from God for your life will sustain you in times of trouble.  Knowing that God is aware of your difficulties and understands how you feel, brings refreshment like cool water and energy like a nourishing meal.  

Instead of just trying to understand more about God, seek to hear His voice and the message that He has for you today!  

“Lord Jesus, let my ears hear Your voice and my heart receive Your Word for me today!  Praise Your Holy Name, now and forever!  Amen.”