Friday, August 17, 2018

The Real Rock

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Come to Jesus Christ. He is the living stone that people have rejected, but which God has chosen and highly honored.  And now you are living stones that are being used to build a spiritual house. You are also a group of holy priests, and with the help of Jesus Christ you will offer sacrifices that please God.  It is just as God says in the Scriptures, "Look! I am placing in Zion a choice and precious cornerstone. No one who has faith in that one will be disappointed." You are followers of the Lord, and that stone is precious to you. But it isn't precious to those who refuse to follow him. They are the builders who tossed aside the stone that turned out to be the most important one of all.  They disobeyed the message and stumbled and fell over that stone, because they were doomed.

1 Peter 2: 4 - 8

There is a movie actor and professional wrestler  who is called "The Rock." He is not the first man of power who used that name.  Jesus Christ is the real "Rock of Ages."  Jesus is the Cornerstone that holds the whole building together.  Jesus is more than a powerful man.  Jesus is also a powerful God, and of course the only true God!  

Men may be impressed with your physical strength.  God is impressed when you let His Spirit live in your heart and work His Will through your life! God wants to use you as a "spiritual rock" to be part of His "spiritual house."  

You are part of what God is doing in the world when you let the Holy Spirit have His way with you!  Giving your heart to Jesus is only step one on the road to Heaven!  When you choose to be used by God to accomplish His Will on this earth, He becomes the King of your life and the Ruler of your heart!

"Lord Jesus, use me today to do what You want done on this earth.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen."

Thursday, August 16, 2018

In His Sweet Arms

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My friends, we want you to understand how it will be for those followers who have already died. Then you won't grieve over them and be like people who don't have any hope.  We believe that Jesus died and was raised to life. We also believe that when God brings Jesus back again, he will bring with him all who had faith in Jesus before they died.  Our Lord Jesus told us that when he comes, we won't go up to meet him ahead of his followers who have already died.  With a loud command and with the shout of the chief angel and a blast of God's trumpet, the Lord will return from heaven. Then those who had faith in Christ before they died will be raised to life.  Next, all of us who are still alive will be taken up into the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the sky. From that time on we will all be with the Lord forever.  Encourage each other with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4: 13 - 18

If you are a follower of Jesus, have you ever secretly hoped that you would still be alive when the Lord returns?  Then you would not have to die.  The fear of death can make you very interested in the "Second Coming" of Jesus.

Well, you say, "I would like to see the Return of Jesus and not already be gone when it happens!" But remember that these verses say that everyone who has faith in Jesus before they die will be at the "Second Coming."  Those who have already died will return with Him.  Those who have not will go  up to be with Him forever.  

The fear of death is not a good reason to desire to remain until the Lord returns.  The best reason for wanting to stay on this earth until Jesus returns is not complicated.   Be ready every day to fulfill His purposes in these Last Days!  Ask Jesus to use you today to put one more piece of the puzzle in place before He returns!  Be willing to be the hands, and feet and mouth of Jesus today.  As a follower of Jesus, do not fear death today.  But rather fear the possibility of saying, "No" to His leading.  If you are His obedient and faithful servant when He is ready for you to come, you will pass from this life and rest in His Sweet arms for Eternity.  

"Lord Jesus, I do look forward to Your Second Coming.  It doesn't matter whether I am still here at the time or I return with You.  What a Glorious Day that will be.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen."

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Infected With Faith!

The Apostle Paul wrote this:

At last, when I could not wait any longer, I sent Timothy to find out about your faith. I hoped that Satan had not tempted you and made all our work useless.  Timothy has come back from his visit with you and has told us about your faith and love. He also said that you always have happy memories of us and that you want to see us as much as we want to see you.  My friends, even though we have a lot of trouble and suffering, your faith makes us feel better about you.  Your strong faith in the Lord is like a breath of new life.  How can we possibly thank God enough for all the happiness you have brought us?

1 Thessalonians 3: 5 - 9

Faith is like a disease!  Now don’t misunderstand.  Sickness is bad, but faith is good.  Faith is like being ill because faith is contagious.  When one person is infected with the flu, it usually spreads to others.  Sometimes it spreads to many others.

The only way to keep from catching the flu is to stay away from those who already have it or find some way to be vaccinated against it.  

The only way to keep from being “Infected with Faith” is to stay away from those who are men and women of faith or let dead and dying christianity vaccinate you against it!  When you expose yourself to those who believe in Jesus, He draws you to Himself and you feel His pull on your heart.

You can get sick because someone coughs in your face.  But most of the time you are just around the person enough to catch the illness through being exposed to their breath.  One way to protect yourself from getting sick is to wear a mask over your face to keep out the germs.  

I would like to encourage you to take off whatever mask you are wearing to protect yourself from Jesus Christ.  Breathe in the Holy Spirit and His Word and give your whole heart to Him.  Then your heart will burn with the fever of following Jesus and your faith in Him will be incurable! 

“Lord Jesus, thank You for showing me how to be infected with Faith in You.  May I breathe in more of Your Spirit and Word today and every day.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Walking in the Shoes of Jesus!

We have not stopped praying for you since the first day we heard about you. In fact, we always pray that God will show you everything he wants you to do and that you may have all the wisdom and understanding that his Spirit gives.  Then you will live a life that honors the Lord, and you will always please him by doing good deeds. You will come to know God even better.

Colossians 1: 9 - 10

When you do what God wants you to do, He is happy about that.  When you refuse the Will of God in your life, God is sad.  

Doing God’s Will and living a life that honors Him gives you the opportunity to know God even better! 

There is an old saying that you should not judge a man until you “walk a mile in his shoes.” 

When you live a life that pleases God and you do His Will you are walking in the shoes of Jesus!  When you do that you will get to know God better and better!

Make it your goal that today that you will walk in the steps of Jesus!  That way will lead you to the Cross and, of course the Peace and Joy of an Eternity with the Lord!

“Lord Jesus, I do want to be obedient to everything You want me to do.  I do want to walk in Your Shoes today.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Monday, August 13, 2018

Prayer or Money

The LORD is disgusted by gifts from the wicked, but it makes him happy when his people pray.  The LORD is disgusted with all who do wrong, but he loves everyone who does right.

Proverbs 15: 8 - 9

Years ago there was a rich man who, according to some, gave 90 percent of everything he made to God.  He kept only 10 percent of what he earned.  Surely, God was pleased with this man’s giving.

These verses basically say that God is disgusted with a man’s gifts if the man’s heart is not right with the Father!  If you try to gain favor with God by giving, even large sums of money or things to Him, it will not work.

Jesus Himself, who pleased God more than any other man, did not accumulate great wealth or give large gifts to God.  One place in the Bible it says that Jesus didn’t even have the money to pay a tax that was due.  And of course, Jesus and His disciples didn’t have money to feed the crowd of 5000.

But listen to this! When God’s people pray it makes Him happy!  God would rather hear what is in the hearts of His children than to have all the money in their pockets!  When you tell God what is in your heart, you bless Him! God is only interested in your treasure because it tells Him where your heart is.

As a child of God, when you do right and pray you  bless your Heavenly Father.  If you were the richest man in the world and gave God everything you had, would that please Him?  He would still be disgusted with your gifts if that is all you gave Him.  But when a child of God prays and gives his heart to God, that child blesses the Father!

“Lord Jesus help me today to take time away from something else in my day to spend that time with You.  I do so need to tell You, Lord what is in my heart!  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Secrets in Your Heart

If the LORD can see everything in the world of the dead, he can see in our hearts.

Proverbs 15: 11

The world of the dead is a great mystery even to those who follow Jesus!  The Bible tells us many things about what happens after you die. But the “only God knows” answer is still appropriate for a large number of questions about Heaven.

Much about the future is still a closely held secret in the Heart of God.  And we can know His secrets only if He chooses to tell us!

Human beings foolishly think that they can hide things in their hearts, even from God!  The writer of Proverbs tells us that God can see in our hearts! 

What “secrets” do you have in your heart that you think even God doesn’t already know?  How can the Holy Spirit be comfortable in a heart that is trying to hide something from God?  

It is time to tell God all the things that you are trying to hide, but He already knows!  That is called confession.  The next step is to clean out your heart of all the secret things that should not be there.  That is called repentance. 

A good “Heart Cleaning” will make it a wonderful place for the Holy Spirit to dwell.  And you will be at peace!

“Lord Jesus, show me today the things in my heart that should not be there.  And give me the courage to repent so that my heart will be a comfortable place for the Holy Spirit.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Are You Wrestling With God?

Afterwards, Jacob went back and spent the rest of the night alone. A man came and fought with Jacob until just before daybreak.  When the man saw that he could not win, he struck Jacob on the hip and threw it out of joint.  They kept on wrestling until the man said, "Let go of me! It's almost daylight." "You can't go until you bless me," Jacob replied.  Then the man asked, "What is your name?" "Jacob," he answered.  The man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob. You have wrestled with God and with men, and you have won. That's why your name will be Israel."  Jacob said, "Now tell me your name." "Don't you know who I am?" he asked. And he blessed Jacob.  Jacob said, "I have seen God face to face, and I am still alive." 

Genesis 32: 24 - 30a

When Jacob wrestled with God, he did not win the match because he was stronger and more able than the Almighty!  Jacob prevailed because God allowed it.  But God wounded Jacob’s hip  and left him limping from the encounter.

When you choose to wrestle with God you allow your own stubborn will to rule instead of the leading of God’s Spirit.   You will not come away without “limping” in some way.

When God shows up in your life you can choose to listen to Him and obey or you can choose to wrestle with God.  

You may be wrestling with lots of things in your life, but it is very foolish to let God be one of them!  When God shows up, surrender to Him before you do anything else!

“Lord Jesus, give me the wisdom today to choose You and to give in to Your every desire.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.”