Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Nothing Has Changed!

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I have stumbled, and worthless liars I don't even know surround me and sneer.  Worthless people make fun and never stop laughing.  But all you do is watch! When will you do something? Save me from the attack of those vicious lions.  And when your people meet, I will praise you and thank you, Lord, in front of them all.  Don't let my brutal enemies be glad because of me. They hate me for no reason. Don't let them wink behind my back.  They say hurtful things, and they lie to people who want to live in peace.  They are quick to accuse me. They say, "You did it! We saw you ourselves."  You see everything, LORD! Please don't keep silent or stay so far away.  Fight to defend me, Lord God, and prove that I am right by your standards. Don't let them laugh at me or say to each other, "Now we've got what we want! We'll gobble him down!"  Disappoint and confuse all who are glad to see me in trouble, but disgrace and embarrass my proud enemies who say to me, "You are nothing!"  Let all who want me to win be happy and joyful. From now on let them say, "The LORD is wonderful! God is glad when all goes well for his servant."  Then I will shout all day, "Praise the LORD God! He did what was right."

Psalm 35: 15 - 28

King David sounds like a 21st Century politician.  His opposition was trying to accuse him of things he did not do, spread lies about him, and hate him for no reason.  They said they saw him do something that he did not do, and the list goes on and on!    

So if you listen to the news from the United States today, you will find that nothing has changed since the time of King David.  There are true and false accusations today just as there were then.  So how do you know today what is true and what is a lie?  How do you judge the accusations you hear and know whether or not they are true?  

Here the simple and yet very profound answer to that question.  In the End truth will win and lies will be exposed!  You can trust Jesus and rest in the peace of knowing that His Holy Spirit will be with you as you seek truth in everything!  And as you struggle through the turmoil of your life, know that in the End everything will work together for good to those who are followers of Jesus!

"Lord Jesus, thank you for being the Truth and for exposing the lies that can only come from the Enemy of all that is Good and Right and Holy!  Praise Your Name now and forever.  Amen."

Monday, February 19, 2018

In God I Trust

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This is the LORD's message for his rebellious people: "You follow your own plans instead of mine; you make treaties without asking me, and you keep on sinning.  You trust Egypt for protection. So you refuse my advice and send messengers to Egypt to beg their king for help.  You will be disappointed, completely disgraced for trusting Egypt.  The king's power reaches from the city of Zoan as far south as Hanes.  But Egypt can't protect you, and to trust that nation is useless and foolish.  This is a message about the animals of the Southern Desert: You people carry treasures on donkeys and camels. You travel to a feeble nation through a troublesome desert filled with lions and flying fiery dragons.  Egypt can't help you! That's why I call that nation a helpless monster.  The LORD told me to write down his message for his people, so that it would be there forever.  They have turned against the LORD and can't be trusted. They have refused his teaching and have said to his messengers and prophets: Don't tell us what God has shown you and don't preach the truth. Just say what we want to hear, even if it's false.

Isaiah 30: 1 - 10

The United States of America prints the words "In God We Trust" on their money.  The desire to acknowledge God on its coins came in the midst of the most difficult time in U.S. history, the Civil War!  When a nation or a man or woman trusts in Almighty God blessings will come and when they stop trusting in God the blessings will vanish!

According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury"  at treasury.gov the U.S. mint "could make no changes (in what is printed on the coins) without the enactment of additional legislation by the Congress."  The Congress of the United States would have to make a new law to take "In God We Trust" off of the money!

But no law would need to be made for you to take "In God I Trust" off your heart!  Trusting in God is the essence of the walk of faith with Jesus.  But when you trust in anyone or anything other than God, you will be "disappointed and completely disgraced."  

Make sure that "In God I Trust" is printed on your heart, but even more importantly actually trust God in every situation of your life.  Every time you are tempted to run to Egypt for help remember to only go to Egypt if God Himself sends you.

"Thank You Jesus that I can trust in You for everything.  There is nothing in my life that is beyond Your ability to be my source and supply.  May Your Name, Jesus be praised now and forever.  Amen."

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Think About the Baby and Not the Birth Pains!

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The LORD is going to twist the earth out of shape and turn it into a desert. Everyone will be scattered, including ordinary people and priests, slaves and slave owners, buyers and sellers, lenders and borrowers, the rich and the poor.  The earth will be stripped bare and left that way. This is what the LORD has promised.  The earth wilts away; its mighty leaders melt to nothing.  The earth is polluted because its people disobeyed the laws of God, breaking their agreement that was to last forever.  The earth is under a curse; its people are dying out because of their sins.  Grapevines have dried up: wine is almost gone-- mournful sounds are heard instead of joyful shouts.  No one plays tambourines or stringed instruments; all noisy celebrating has come to an end.  They no longer sing as they drink their wine, and it tastes sour.  Towns are crushed and in chaos; houses are locked tight.  Happy times have disappeared from the earth, and people shout in the streets, "We're out of wine!"  Cities are destroyed; their gates are torn down.  Nations will be stripped bare, like olive trees or vineyards after the harvest season.  People in the west shout; they joyfully praise the majesty of the LORD.  And so, everyone in the east and those on the islands should praise the LORD, the God of Israel.  From all over the world songs of praise are heard for the God of justice.

Isaiah 24: 1 - 16a

There will be a day when the destruction of the earth will proceed just as it did in the days of Noah.  Only this time it will not be destroyed by flood waters.  God is going to twist the earth out of shape and turn it into a desert!  There will be no joy on planet earth except for one group of people.  Those who know Jesus Christ and seek to follow Him will be heard joyfully praising the majesty of the Lord.  

For those who are disciples of Jesus, the destruction of the earth will signal the soon and glorious return of Jesus!  All over the world the sounds of praise will be heard as Christians know for certain that their future is not tied to this earth!  So for those who are worried about air pollution and climate change, I would say this: This earth is destined to be destroyed and replaced by a new one that will remain forever!  That is what God has said and that is what He will do!  You cannot change what God has predicted, but you can become part of the group that will be joyfully praising God through it all!  

As we approach that time of terrible suffering on earth, think about the Baby, not the birth pains!  Followers of Jesus will experience unspeakable joy when Jesus returns!

"Lord Jesus, help me today to praise Your Holy Name as I hear and see all the tragedy in the world around me.  And help me to encourage everyone I meet today to seek You and Your will for them. May You Lord be praised now and forever.  Amen."

Friday, February 16, 2018

His Nature in My Heart

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I pray that God will be kind to you and will let you live in perfect peace! May you keep learning more and more about God and our Lord Jesus.   We have everything we need to live a life that pleases God. It was all given to us by God's own power, when we learned that he had invited us to share in his wonderful goodness.   God made great and marvelous promises, so that his nature would become part of us. Then we could escape our evil desires and the corrupt influences of this world.

2 Peter 1: 2 - 4

Many years ago there was a popular chorus that we would sing in worship.  The words were, "To be like Jesus, to be like Jesus, all I ask to be like Him."  I thought that "being like Jesus" meant that I would act like Jesus did and ask the question "What would Jesus do" before making any decisions in my life.  It certainly does mean those things, but it means much more.

In 2 Peter 2:4 it says that "His nature would become part of us."  That is an amazing statement and a marvelous mystery.  The very nature of God is transplanted into your heart.  The very best man or woman in this world is a clay pot covered with a layer of gold so that there is the appearance of being a solid gold vessel!  Children of God have their human nature tendencies replaced by the nature of God Himself!  That is how you will be able as a follower of Jesus to stand against the temptation that comes at you every day.  A "born again" believer in Jesus Christ doesn't just look like a solid gold vessel, he or she actually is what they appear to be!  

God has given you His very nature so that you can "escape your evil desires and the corrupt influences of this world."  You are able to resist temptation, not because of how strong you are, but rather because of who He is and the fact that His nature is a part of your heart!  

"Lord Jesus, thank You for putting Your nature in my heart so that I may grow more like You every day.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen."

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Shine Like a Star!

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Michael, the chief of the angels, is the protector of your people, and he will come at a time of terrible suffering, the worst in all of history. And your people who have their names written in The Book will be protected.   Many of those who lie dead in the ground will rise from death. Some of them will be given eternal life, and others will receive nothing but eternal shame and disgrace.  Everyone who has been wise will shine as bright as the sky above, and everyone who has led others to please God will shine like the stars.

Daniel 12: 1 - 3

When you hear the story of a successful person, you will almost always hear about someone else who inspired them to greatness!  This person is often called a role model.  You look at the life of another man or woman and try to live your life like they are living theirs.  

When your goal in life is to please God, then you will lead others to do the same thing.  Truthfully, the most important thing you can do in life is to please God!  If God is pleased with you, then you need not concern yourself with anything else.  When God approves of how you are living your life, it does not mean that the world will agree with God.  In fact, those who are not Children of God will probably think you are wasting your life.  Some will even think you are insane because you not only pray to God, but you believe that He speaks to you about His will for the things you do!

If you encourage other men to please God in how they live their lives, then you will see them turn their hearts to Jesus and be saved!  The saved are those who please God!  And those who lead others to be pleasing to God will shine like the stars in the sky!

"Lord Jesus, may I be pleasing to You today, and may I lead others to do the same.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen."

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Ark of God's Love!

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Christ died once for our sins. An innocent person died for those who are guilty. Christ did this to bring you to God, when his body was put to death and his spirit was made alive.  Christ then preached to the spirits that were being kept in prison.   They had disobeyed God while Noah was building the boat, but God had been patient with them. Eight people went into that boat and were brought safely through the flood.  Those flood waters were like baptism that now saves you. But baptism is more than just washing your body. It means turning to God with a clear conscience, because Jesus Christ was raised from death.  Christ is now in heaven, where he sits at the right side of God. All angels, authorities, and powers are under his control.

1 Peter 3: 18 - 22

In these verses the Bible compares the waters of the great flood to the waters of Baptism.  The flood waters both took the lives of all living land creatures and lifted the Ark of Noah above the waters so that he, his family and the animals in the Ark were saved from death!  Now, here is the part of these verses that I find difficult to understand.  They say that after Jesus died He preached to the spirits of those people who died in the flood!  

I think this is one of the things in the Bible that I will never understand this side of Heaven.  I don't see any other Scripture talking about people being able to "come to Jesus" after they die.  It even says that once we die then comes the "judgment."  

So here is the lesson for my life.  I must believe in and trust Jesus and every Word I find in the Bible, even though I know that I cannot fully understand the Truth of God!  I am not able to know everything and I am not able to understand everything.  What I am able to do, and this I must do, is to love Jesus and trust Him with all my heart as I obey every Word that comes from Him!

The mysteries of God are great, even for those who love Him and can be called His children, but the love of God is the greatest thing of all!  And that love, which comes from the Father is poured out on His children through the Blood of Jesus!  

"Thank You Jesus that one day we will in Heaven understand all mysteries.  But thank You even more that right now here on earth we can live in the Ark of Your Love.  Praise Your Holy Name, now and forever.  Amen."

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Echo the Voice of God!

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The people said to Jesus, "Abraham is our father!" Jesus replied, "If you were Abraham's children, you would do what Abraham did.  Instead, you want to kill me for telling you the truth that God gave me. Abraham never did anything like that.  But you are doing exactly what your father does." "Don't accuse us of having someone else as our father!" they said. "We just have one father, and he is God."  Jesus answered: If God were your Father, you would love me, because I came from God and only from him. He sent me. I did not come on my own.  Why can't you understand what I am talking about? Can't you stand to hear what I am saying?  Your father is the devil, and you do exactly what he wants. He has always been a murderer and a liar. There is nothing truthful about him. He speaks on his own, and everything he says is a lie. Not only is he a liar himself, but he is also the father of all lies.

John 8: 39 - 44

God cannot tell a lie and Satan cannot tell the truth!  That is the fundamental difference that men can see between Jesus and the Devil.  Everything you hear from God is true and everything you hear from the mouth of Satan is a lie!

So when your mouth utters words that are true you are speaking like God does and when you lie, even a "little white lie" you are acting like the Devil.

I suppose that is why the very first step away from righteousness is when a child begins to lie to his or her parents.  As you often hear today "it is not the crime, but rather the cover-up" that is the problem. Lying is the way all men, who don't know Jesus try to cover their sin.  But when you know the Lord, there is no need to lie about your sin because the Blood of Jesus has you covered!

So as you live this day, remember to guard your words and never speak words that are not true!  When you lie, you are being like the Evil One.  But when you speak the truth your words echo the voice of God!  

"Lord Jesus, help me today to guard my words so that I will always speak as You do and not like Satan!  Praise Your Holy Name, now and forever.  Amen."