Tuesday, April 24, 2018

How to Truly Know Jesus!

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I want you to know what a struggle I am going through for you, for God's people at Laodicea, and for all of those followers who have never met me.  I do it to encourage them. Then as their hearts are joined together in love, they will be wonderfully blessed with complete understanding. And they will truly know Christ. Not only is he the key to God's mystery, but all wisdom and knowledge are hidden away in him.

Colossians 2:1-3

When followers of Jesus Christ love Him and love each other the outcome of that sharing of life is amazing!  As the hearts of a fellowship of believers in Jesus are "joined in love" they will be wonderfully blessed with "complete understanding!"  No, I have no idea what "complete understanding" means, but you can be sure that it is a good thing.

I think even more importantly, when you are joined with other believers in love, you will come to "truly know Christ."  That, my friend, is indeed the goal of every disciple of Jesus.   

So if you want to know Jesus better, then walk in the love of your brothers and sisters.  Jesus was a human being who was filled with the fullness of God Himself and led by the Spirit of God in everything that He said or did.  When you are joined in love with other believers you come to know what it is like to walk with Jesus here on earth!  

The Bible says that whenever two or three Christians meet together in Jesus Name, that He is there as well.  And, of course Jesus is there inside every one of them!

If you choose not to fellowship with other believers you are missing a God ordained opportunity to get to truly know Jesus and you will not have the "complete understanding" that Jesus wants you to have!

"Lord Jesus, may I be joined in love to every follower of Yours that I know, so that I will come to truly know You and have complete understanding!  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen." 

Monday, April 23, 2018

Not a Tragedy to Go to Heaven!

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"Your faith in the Lord and your service are like a sacrifice offered to him. And my own blood may have to be poured out with the sacrifice. If this happens, I will be glad and rejoice with you.  In the same way, you should be glad and rejoice with me."

Philippians 2:17-18

Some people believe that "sacrifices" are no longer part of being a follower of the Lord.  That is quite wrong.  "Animal" sacrifices did cease, but presenting God with a sacrifice is alive and well!

Today there are at least two ways of making an acceptable sacrifice to the Lord.  These verses in Philippians say that your faith and service are a sacrifice to God.  And Paul said that he might have to pour out his blood along with their sacrifice. 

And then Paul said that if he were to give his life for Jesus he would be glad and rejoice and he wanted his brothers and sisters to rejoice with him!

I have never questioned the authenticity of the faith of a man or woman who would not renounce Jesus and then died for that refusal!  Remember that on the other side of the sword that takes your life for being a follower of Jesus is the most Glorious Reality you could ever imagine!  Think about the Words of Jesus when He told one of those crucified with Him, "Today you will be with Me in Paradise!" (Luke 23:43)

So today you can sacrifice by living for Jesus or you can sacrifice by dying for Him!  Either way, Paul says you can be glad and rejoice, no matter what happens!  It is not a tragedy to go to Heaven!

"Lord Jesus, thank You for the sweet assurance of Heaven and the Hope of an Eternity with You!  May Your Name be praised now and forever.  Amen."

Saturday, April 21, 2018

The Solution for Every Problem!

My prayer is that light will flood your hearts and that you will understand the hope that was given to you when God chose you. Then you will discover the glorious blessings that will be yours together with all of God's people.  I want you to know about the great and mighty power that God has for us followers. It is the same wonderful power he used when he raised Christ from death and let him sit at his right side in heaven.

Ephesians 1: 18-20

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, then you can expect to receive “Glorious Blessings” from the Lord!  Not the least of which is the “Great and Mighty Power” that was used to raise Jesus from death!  

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most important way that you will be like Him!  Jesus died and then came back to life, and you will do that very thing!  The Great and Mighty Power of God will heal, restore and change your body into one that will live forever with Jesus!  

The only ones who will not die are those who are alive when Jesus returns.  They will not die, but they will be changed as all the Saved are gathered into the arms of Jesus!  

Remind yourself daily that life itself is all about Jesus!  Jesus is the reason you were born.  Jesus is the answer to every question, and Jesus is the solution to every problem.  Jesus is, therefore I exist!  

“Lord Jesus, let me walk with You today with every step I take.  May Your Name be praised now and forever.  Amen.”

Friday, April 20, 2018

Sleep On It!

After King Herod died, an angel from the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph while he was still in Egypt.  The angel said, "Get up and take the child and his mother back to Israel. The people who wanted to kill him are now dead."  Joseph got up and left with them for Israel.  But when he heard that Herod's son Archelaus was now ruler of Judea, he was afraid to go there. Then in a dream he was told to go to Galilee, and they went to live there in the town of Nazareth. So the Lord's promise came true, just as the prophet had said, "He will be called a Nazarene."

Matthew 2: 19-23

It is really amazing to note how many times God delivered His message to man in a dream!  An angel came to Joseph in a dream and told him to go ahead and marry Mary even though she was pregnant.  The Wise Men were warned in a dream not to go back and tell Herod where they found Jesus.

Then an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him to take Mary and Jesus to Egypt because Herod wanted to kill Him.  After Herod died an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him to take Mary and the child back to Israel. Finally, an angel told Joseph in a dream to go and live in Galilee with his family.  That is five dreams from the Lord in just the first two chapters of Matthew.

Of course there are many other dreams mentioned in the Bible that were messages from the Lord.  It is important to recognize that God’s messages in dreams came both to followers of the Lord and to those who were not!

Does God still speak to human beings in dreams,  or has this method of communication ceased?  There are many reports today of people who are following “another religion” being called by God in a dream.  

A good piece of advice that is often given to a man or woman who is in the process of making an important decision is this: “Sleep On It!”  What that does is to give God an opportunity to express His thoughts about your decision as you dream!  That is not to say that you will always have a dream from God about your decision, but He may input His message into a dream.

Don’t forget that the Written Word of God will not be contradicted by a dream or a vision or any other word you hear if it is really from God!  But don’t ignore it if is consistent with what you read in the Bible!

“Lord Jesus help me today to always listen for Your voice, even in my dreams!  May Your Name be praised now and forever.  Amen.”

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Just Imagine if John Lennon . . .

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Many people from strong nations will come to Jerusalem to worship me and to ask me to treat them with kindness.  When this happens, ten people from nations with different languages will grab a Jew by his clothes and say, "Let us go with you. We've heard that God is on your side." I, the LORD All-Powerful, have spoken!

Zechariah 8: 22-23

Almost 50 years ago John Lennon challenged the world to “Imagine” there is no Heaven and no Hell.   The world grabbed hold of the idea and has spent the last half century pretending that “peace on earth” can come from the goodness of human beings!  Such a fantasy has produced nothing but bitter fruit and destruction among men!

God wants us to “imagine” that everything He has said is true!  Like a little child who believes every word that comes from his or her father, when we believe God we will please Him in everything we do.

What will it be like when there are no more atheists because everyone has come face to face with Jesus Christ and has fallen down before Him?  Imagine there are no skeptics, no doubters, and no debate about whether or not God really exists.  How do you doubt the existence of God when you have been brought before His judgment seat and have been sentenced to Eternal Death or been given Eternal Life?

Imagine that the age of wondering whether or not God exists is over.  And imagine that the Eternal purposes of God are clear to everyone!  As John Lennon said about his imaginations, you are not the only one!  

“Lord Jesus, I do want to imagine what it will be like to stand before You and hear You say ‘Well Done.’ May Your Name praised now and forever.  Amen.”

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Because Of Who He Is!

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About twelve months later, I was walking on the flat roof of my royal palace and admiring the beautiful city of Babylon, when these things started happening to me. I was saying to myself, "Just look at this wonderful capital city that I have built by my own power and for my own glory!"
  But before I could finish speaking, a voice from heaven interrupted: King Nebuchadnezzar, this kingdom is no longer yours.  You will be forced to live with the wild animals, away from people. For seven years you will eat grass, as though you were an ox, until you learn that God Most High is in control of all earthly kingdoms and that he is the one who chooses their rulers.

This was no sooner said than done--I was forced to live like a wild animal; I ate grass and was unprotected from the dew. As time went by, my hair grew longer than eagle feathers, and my fingernails looked like the claws of a bird.  Finally, I prayed to God in heaven, and my mind was healed. Then I said: "I praise and honor God Most High. He lives forever, and his kingdom will never end.  To him the nations are far less than nothing; God controls the stars in the sky and everyone on this earth. When God does something, we cannot change it or even ask why."

At that time my mind was healed, and once again I became the ruler of my glorious kingdom. My advisors and officials returned to me, and I had greater power than ever before. That's why I say: "Praise and honor the King who rules from heaven! Everything he does is honest and fair, and he can shatter the power of those who are proud."

Daniel 4: 28-37

God is in control of even the mind of man.  When God chose to, he caused Nebuchadnezzar to be unable to think and live like a man.  So for 7 years the king lived in the fields with wild animals and ate grass!  

Then, when the king had come to know that God is in control of all earthly kingdoms and that He chooses their leaders, King Nebuchadnezzar regained his sanity and was restored to the throne.

Here is a sobering truth: Even your ability to think and reason and understand is a gift from God that He could withdraw at any moment.  I met a man once who had been an accomplished surgeon until a mugging left him bed ridden and unable to communicate about even the ordinary things in life.  

So, remember that your ability to think, reason and understand comes from God!  It is not because of how great you are that you are "smarter" than other men.  It is because of who He is that you have whatever capabilities you have!  No matter how important you may be in this life, you must humble yourself before Almighty God and recognize that everything you have is a gift from your Heavenly Father!

"Lord Jesus, me help today not to be stubborn about learning that You are in control of everything.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen."

Monday, April 16, 2018

Bullseye of Satan's Target

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Listen to my concerns, God, and protect me from my terrible enemies.  Keep me safe from secret plots of corrupt and evil gangs.  Their words cut like swords, and their cruel remarks sting like sharp arrows.  They fearlessly ambush and shoot innocent people.  They are determined to do evil, and they tell themselves, "Let's set traps! No one can see us."  They make evil plans and say, "We'll commit a perfect crime. No one knows our thoughts."  But God will shoot his arrows and quickly wound them.  They will be destroyed by their own words, and everyone who sees them will tremble with fear.  They will be afraid and say, "Look at what God has done and keep it all in mind."  May the LORD bless his people with peace and happiness and let them celebrate.

Psalm 64: 1 - 10

The attacks of Satan on followers of Jesus Christ often consist of simply words and cruel remarks!   The Enemy of all that is good and right wants you to be discredited so that you cannot spread the amazing message of Jesus Christ!  The Devil wants you to be seen by all around as a person not to be believed.   

If Satan destroys your health or even takes your life, he simply turns you into a martyr for Jesus and it defeats the purpose of the Enemy.  But if he can destroy your reputation and your credibility, then everything you have done for Jesus or have said about the Lord comes into question.

When you are in the bullseye of Satan's target pray that "God will shoot his arrows and quickly wound" those who are coming against you. Watch as they are being "destroyed by their own words."

"Lord Jesus, thank You that I am not alone in the battle against Satan.  And with You Lord Jesus, there is no question who will win that battle.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen."