Monday, September 22, 2014

Both Words and Heart!


Click here to listen to blog

I now saw another beast. This one came out of the ground. It had two horns like a lamb, but spoke like a dragon. It worked for the beast whose fatal wound had been healed. And it used all its authority to force the earth and its people to worship that beast. It worked mighty miracles, and while people watched, it even made fire come down from the sky.

This second beast fooled people on earth by working miracles for the first one. Then it talked them into making an idol in the form of the beast that did not die after being wounded by a sword. It was allowed to put breath into the idol, so it could speak. Everyone who refused to worship the idol of the beast was put to death.

Revelation 13:11-15

Convert or die! That is the choice given to many people when they encounter one major religion in the world today. A man's religion is a matter of the heart and not just a matter of the mouth! How foolish for anyone to think that speaking words that are obviously a lie will change your heart. I can go around all day repeating a lie, but that will not change the lie into the truth.

In these verses in the book of Revelation we see that men and women were killed for refusing to worship, not for refusing to speak the words. A hundred people may be all gathered together in a church building and singing songs of worship, but only one person may be truly worshiping God! Worship comes first from the heart and then the words come out of the mouth. Words that don't come from the heart cannot be worship!

If however, the fear of death causes you to abandon your faith in God and you worship the beast, you have a serious problem.

One major issue today with the Church is that we have filled our pews with people who are willing to speak the words of conversion, but their hearts are far from God.

"Lord Jesus, give me the courage never to deny You, no matter what the threat. Guard my heart with Your great love! And may You be praised and worshiped forever! Amen."

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Every Wave that Rocks Your Boat



Click here to listen to blog

Praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is so good, and by raising Jesus from death, he has given us new life and a hope that lives on.  God has something stored up for you in heaven, where it will never decay or be ruined or disappear.

You have faith in God, whose power will protect you until the last day. Then he will save you, just as he has always planned to do.  On that day you will be glad, even if you have to go through many hard trials for a while.  Your faith will be like gold that has been tested in a fire. And these trials will prove that your faith is worth much more than gold that can be destroyed. They will show that you will be given praise and honor and glory when Jesus Christ returns.

1 Peter 1:3-7

Is there trouble in your life?  Are "unexpected" problems a part of your every day experience?  Does it seem that there is no let up in difficulties?  And many of the things that go wrong are no fault of your own. 

These "bad things" in your life are doing something good!  Like gold that is purified by fire your faith is made better by the things that you suffer.  Every wave that rocks your boat gives you another opportunity to trust God a little more! 

And also like waves on the sea, troubles do come one after another while the storm is raging!  Are there times of peace, when troubles come but not so often?  Yes, of course there are.  But while you live on this earth the storms of life will come and your faith will grow even though Satan is trying to destroy it! 

"Lord Jesus, I know that no matter how rough the seas of this life become, You will keep me safe in Your arms now and forever!  Amen."

Friday, September 19, 2014

Noah’s Blessings!

Click here to listen to blog

But without faith no one can please God. We must believe that God is real and rewards everyone who searches for him.

Because Noah had faith, he was warned about something that had not yet happened. He obeyed and built a boat that saved him and his family. In this way the people of the world were judged, and Noah was given the blessings that come to everyone who pleases God.

Hebrews 11:6-7

Is God pleased with your life? First of all, for God to be pleased with your life, you must have faith in Him. Of course, that means that you trust God in every situation. You must trust Him when times are bad, and you must trust God when everything is going well! It is often harder to trust God in good times than when things are going wrong.

If you have faith and please God then He will give you the same blessings that He gave Noah. How did God bless Noah and how can those blessings be available to me as well?

Because God was pleased with Noah's life He warned Noah about the Flood that was coming and He told Noah how to be saved from it!

If your life pleases God, He will also warn you about things that have not yet happened. And He will tell you how to build an ark so that you might be saved. Does this mean that you will not suffer here on this earth? Of course not. Noah's life was certainly blessed by God, but was also filled with adversity and suffering as he struggled to obey God.

Noah's blessing was that he would not be destroyed with the rest of the world and that through Noah all men yet to be born would be given the opportunity to live! Noah's pleasing life to God was and is a continued blessing to every man who is alive today!

Make it your goal today that your life will please God! Determine to be the "Noah" of your generation! Be faithful to God even if no one else is!

"Lord Jesus, I want to please You by the way I live. Give me the grace every day to remind You of Your servant Noah! And may You be praised forever. Amen."

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Sin of Not Doing!

Click here to listen to blog

You should know better than to say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to the city. We will do business there for a year and make a lot of money!”  What do you know about tomorrow? How can you be so sure about your life? It is nothing more than mist that appears for only a little while before it disappears.  You should say, “If the Lord lets us live, we will do these things.”  Yet you are stupid enough to brag, and it is wrong to be so proud.  If you don't do what you know is right, you have sinned.

James 4:13-17

There is a television commercial in the United States that shows a woman who says, "I'm in my sixties now and I've got a nice long life ahead of me!" What an arrogant statement! No one knows how long their life will be. No one knows if they will live to see the end of this day.

These verses in James remind us that our lives are like a mist that appears for a little while and then disappears. So what should we do with the time that God has given us to live on this earth? How should we spend each moment of every day? And remember our time may come to an end later today!

The answer is this: Do what you know is right every moment! If you don't do what is right you have sinned. The "sin of not doing" is very deceptive. It may be that you and God are the only ones who know what you had an opportunity to do and you didn't do it! In our struggle against sin we try to avoid certain actions that would be sinful, but ignore all together "inactions" that are also sin!

Don't be arrogant and assume that you have a long life ahead of you! And use the time you do have to do the right thing whatever that is!

"Lord Jesus show me the right thing to do with every minute of this day, so that I can bring Glory to You now and forever. Amen."

Monday, September 15, 2014

Tempted or Tested?


Click here to listen to blog

We are people of flesh and blood. This is why Jesus became one of us.  He died to destroy the devil, who had power over death. But he also died to rescue all of us who live each day in fear of dying.  Jesus clearly did not come to help angels, but he did come to help Abraham's descendants.  He had to be one of us, so he could serve God as our merciful and faithful high priest and sacrifice himself for the forgiveness of our sins.  And now that Jesus has suffered and was tempted, he can help anyone else who is tempted.

Hebrews 2:14-18

There is a great debate about whether Jesus was "Tempted" or "Tested."  The arguments center around the fact that Jesus had the nature of God in Him as well as a human nature. If Jesus was God in the flesh how could He be tempted?    In order to define the difference you must study hard and speculate at least some to establish that the temptations of Christ were not the same as our temptations.

My purpose here is not to enter that debate, except to say that I can trust that as my "High Priest" Jesus knows everything that I experience!  When He was a child there were those who believed that Jesus was conceived outside of marriage by means of an illegitimate human father.  During His ministry there surely were those who thought Jesus was irresponsible in not working for a living.  And when He died it was between two thieves.

I suppose the bottom line is this:  Jesus had a will that at least at times was different from the Will of the Father.  That was clearly seen when Jesus told God that He chose for God's will to be done instead of His own just before He went to the Cross.  Jesus can identify fully with me when I have a will that is different from the Will of God!  But Jesus is my example of how to deal with that in my life!  I must give up my will and embrace the Will of God! 

When you are tempted Satan wants you to think that Jesus does not understand how you feel!  So I must forget about the theological debate about whether Jesus was tempted or tested and hold on to the truth that Jesus understands everything I experience!  When I am tempted Jesus can help!

"Lord Jesus, thank You for purchasing my eternal salvation with Your Blood on the Cross.  And Jesus thank You for knowing just how I feel when I am tempted to sin!  Praise Your Holy Name forever!  Amen.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Hope and Terror!


We had hoped for peace
and a time of healing,
but all we got was terror.
Jeremiah 8:15
I don't like to take a verse out of it's context and comment on it, but this one is amazingly appropriate for today!  My nation, the United States has hoped for peace and a time of healing, but all we got was terror.  And it seems to me that most of the rest of the world has been doing the same thing. 

There is always something on which hope is based.   When someone buys a lottery ticket they may hope to win millions of dollars.  Most people hope for personal peace and prosperity.  When you are sick, you hope to get well.  When you go on a trip you hope to arrive safely at your desired destination.

But there is only one way to know for sure that what you hope for will come to be a reality.  When you hope for the things that God has promised, then your hope will happen just as God said!
But when your hope is based on the words of men, or even the desire of your own heart you will be ultimately disappointed. 

So here is what is happening in my nation.  We have deliberately and diligently turned away from God while we, at the same time hoped for peace and time of healing.  But all we got was terror!

"Lord Jesus, as the old song so powerfully said, 'My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus Blood and righteousness.'   May my hope today come only from You, Your Words and the Cross!  And may You be praised forever.  Amen."

Friday, September 12, 2014

Rescued from the City of Sin!


Click here to listen to blog

God punished the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and this is a warning to anyone else who wants to sin.

Lot lived right and was greatly troubled by the terrible way those wicked people were living. He was a good man, and day after day he suffered because of the evil things he saw and heard. So the Lord rescued him.  This shows that the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their sufferings and to punish evil people while they wait for the day of judgment.

2 Peter 2:6-9 (CEV)

Why did Lot have to be rescued from the city of Sodom? Could he not have taken his family and moved away from this most famous CITY OF SIN? What kept Lot in Sodom while he suffered greatly from what he saw going on around him? The Bible doesn't say why Lot stayed in Sodom.

But surely, Lot was salt and light to all those who lived in Sodom and were caught in and controlled by their sin. Sadly, his witness brought no change in Sodom.

The sin of "Sodomy" is not one that is passed on to the next generation. Uniquely, that sin has no children. So the terrible condition of the city must have developed rather quickly while Lot and his family watched.

The story of Sodom is the sobering assurance that God not only knows how to rescue godly people, but He also knows how to punish evil people while they wait for the day of judgment.

Why did God choose to punish Sodom while some sins on this earth go unpunished? The Bible does not say, but the sin of Sodomy, if left to multiply, will stop the spread of humanity on the earth and ultimately destroy it!

If you live in "Sodom" today, then focus your attention on being Salt and Light to all those around you. Let them know about Jesus and His love for all mankind. Let them know that Jesus wants to free them from the bondage of sin, all sin. And be ready to be rescued when the time comes!

"Lord Jesus, the whole world today is like Sodom. Sin of all kinds is rapidly spreading and growing worse every day. Give me the courage to proclaim Your very Good News to all men until that soon coming Day when You will rescue those who love You and honor Your Name! Amen."