Sunday, May 20, 2018

Gates of Heaven!

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Then I was told: I am coming soon! And when I come, I will reward everyone for what they have done.  I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.  God will bless all who have washed their robes. They will each have the right to eat fruit from the tree that gives life, and they can enter the gates of the city.

Revelation 22: 12-14

There are lots of jokes about entering the gates of Heaven.  Most of them center on someone, usually St. Peter,  asking the question "Why should I let you in?"  Of course, there is no mention in the Bible of St. Peter being the gate keeper of Heaven, but it is true that there will be a specific reason why you are allowed to "enter the gates" of Heaven.  

The reason that you will be allowed to pass through the gates of Heaven is that you have "washed your robes" in the Blood of Jesus!  That is the one and only reason that you will be qualified to enter the City.  You will not be able to enter because of all the good things you have done, even though you will be rewarded for those things if you enter Heaven.  But, you will only be allowed in Heaven because of the Blood of Jesus.  

Don't forget that as a follower of Jesus Christ, you will do the good things you do by His power working in you.  It is all for His glory and not for yours!

"Lord Jesus, thank You for being the reason that I can enter the gates of Heaven and be with You forever.  May Your Holy Name be praised now and always!  Amen."

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Repaid by God!

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Caring for the poor is lending to the LORD, and you will be well repaid.

Proverbs 19:17

The Book of Proverbs is a very practical "How to Live Today" guide.  If you read it regularly, you will find advice that is applicable in every situation of life.

This verse from Proverbs 19 really opens the door to a stunning truth.  When you care for a poor person you are lending to the Lord.  If you are the one who lends, then the Lord is the One who borrows!  I thought that God didn't need to borrow anything, and of course that is true.  But God chooses to be indebted to you when you care for the poor!

Don't forget that caring for the poor is not simply giving them money or some physical thing.  Caring for the poor would also include acts of kindness and developing a personal relationship or friendship with those who are poor.  

I once knew a very rich man who told me that his friends were much more important than his money. Caring for a poor person is more often than not about relationship and not always about money.  If your poverty is a lack of friends, you are poorer than the man who has no money!

I believe that God can and does repay those who care for the poor with physical blessings, but also, and I think more importantly, they are repaid with a closer relationship with God.  It is better to have a close personal relationship with Jesus Christ than to be a billionaire!

"Lord Jesus, give me the wisdom to know how to care for those who are poor.  Open my eyes to the needs of those that I can bless.  But Lord, if You choose to bless me for caring for the poor then bless me with a closer walk with You.  That Jesus, I know is the greatest blessing of all.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen."

Monday, May 14, 2018

Faith Has No Backup Plan!

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God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die.  God did not send his Son into the world to condemn its people. He sent him to save them!  No one who has faith in God's Son will be condemned. But everyone who doesn't have faith in him has already been condemned for not having faith in God's only Son.  The light has come into the world, and people who do evil things are judged guilty because they love the dark more than the light.  People who do evil hate the light and won't come to the light, because it clearly shows what they have done.  But everyone who lives by the truth will come to the light, because they want others to know that God is really the one doing what they do.

John 3: 16 -21

What is the difference between faith and belief?  Everyone who refuses to fly in an airplane believes that airplanes exist.  You can believe in God and His Son Jesus Christ without having any faith at all!

Very often in today's world men and women believe in God but have no faith in Him.  Of course, everyone who has faith in God also believes in Him.  But the real question is this: How is it that you have faith in God?  For what do you trust Him and Him alone in your life?  What in your life would not be there except for Jesus?  Do you trust God for your health, or do you trust that the doctors will step in and save you if God fails?  Do you trust God for your food, or do you trust the grocery store for being there and hope that God blesses them to be able to supply your food?

The Bible says that "faith is the evidence of things not seen."  In a sense faith is trusting in God for thing for which you can see no alternative!  There is no "back up plan" to trusting in God.  God is not simply the best insurance plan.  Satan is the author of all the alternatives to trusting in God.

Certainly, that does not say that God doesn't use doctors, grocery stores, and our jobs to funnel His resources to our lives.  He does that every day.  But if you believe in fulfilling your needs through some other way than trust in God alone, you are making Him very sad.

Remember "every good and perfect gift" comes from God and Him alone.  Thank Him for every blessing no matter what the human source.  It all comes from Him!

"Thank You Jesus for being the source of supplying my every need.  Help me not only to believe in You but to trust You for everything.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

On Board With Jesus

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The LORD gives perfect peace to those whose faith is firm.  So always trust the LORD because he is forever our mighty rock.

Isaiah 26: 3 - 4

When there is no storm in your life and the waters are smooth, it is not hard to be peaceful and calm. But when trouble comes, and it will, you can be upset down to the very core of your being.

Imagine a boat that would not rock back and forth with the waves, no matter how rough the sea!  You could stand on the deck and feel the wind and see the waves, but the floor beneath your feet would be as solid as dry land.

If other boats passed close enough to yours, they could see your smiling face and notice that the waves did not knock you off of your feet!  Then, they would shout and want to know how your boat could be so steady in the storm!  The answer to that question is JESUS!  The true answer is always JESUS!

That my friend is what we call Evangelism!  And it will always be successful in bringing others on board with Jesus.

"Thank You Jesus that being with You in the storms of life gives human beings PERFECT PEACE.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen." 

Friday, May 11, 2018

Prison of Sin

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I will praise the LORD God with a song and a thankful heart.  This will please the LORD better than offering an ox or a full-grown bull.  When those in need see this, they will be happy, and the LORD's worshipers will be encouraged.  The LORD will listen when the homeless cry out, and he will never forget his people in prison.  Heaven and earth will praise our God, and so will the oceans and everything in them.

Psalm 69: 30 - 34

There are many stories about men and women who found God while in prison.  And of course, don't forget the experiences of people like the Apostle Paul who were incarcerated because of their faith in Jesus Christ!  

The prison experience for those who are put there because of a crime against society is indeed like life itself.  

Sin is not just a "one time" event.  It is rather the door to the prison of being addicted to that sin!  I never met a man whose goal in life was to spend even a small part of that life in prison.  

Every man who has not given his heart to Jesus is a prisoner of sin.  All the inmates in that prison of sin are not there for the same "crime" but they have all lost their freedom!

The Lord not only remembers those who are in physical prisons, but also, and I think maybe especially, those who are in the Prison of Sin!  Jesus came to set you free from the Prison of Sin, and He can and will do it by the Power of His Blood!

"Lord Jesus, thank You for remembering those who are in the Prison of Sin.  And thank You, Jesus that You can open the doors to that prison and set us all free!  May Your Name be praised now and forever.  Amen."

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Always a Way to Go!

In the future your children will ask what this ceremony means. Explain it to them by saying, "The LORD used his mighty power to rescue us from slavery in Egypt.  The king stubbornly refused to set us free, so the LORD killed the first-born male of every animal and the first-born son of every Egyptian family. This is why we sacrifice to the LORD every first-born male of every animal and save every first-born son."  This ceremony will serve the same purpose as a sign on your hand or on your forehead to tell how the LORD's mighty power rescued us from Egypt.  After the king had finally let the people go, the LORD did not lead them through Philistine territory, though that was the shortest way. God had said, "If they are attacked, they may decide to return to Egypt."  So he led them around through the desert and toward the Red Sea. The Israelites left Egypt, prepared for battle.  Moses had them take along the bones of Joseph, whose dying words had been, "God will come to your rescue, and when he does, be sure to take along my bones."  The people of Israel left Succoth and camped at Etham at the border of Egypt near the desert.  During the day the LORD went ahead of his people in a thick cloud, and during the night he went ahead of them in a flaming fire. That way the LORD could lead them at all times, whether day or night.

Exodus 13: 14-22

The Lord had a way of leading the Children of Israel during the day with a thick cloud and at night with a flaming fire.  It didn’t matter how bright the sun was during the day or how dark the night.  The cloud of God’s leading kept them from being blinded by the bright lights around them or the sun bearing down on them during the day.  And the darkness could not hide the “flaming fire” at night.

The important message for us today is this: God will provide a way to guide your walk with Him no matter how bright the lights are shinning around you during the day or how dark the night.  

Don’t take a step without setting your compass on the cloud or the flame of fire!  When you do that, you will not be confused and mislead by the world around you. When you fix your heart and mind on Jesus, every step you take will bring you closer to the Heart of Jesus!  Remember, there is always a way that God wants you to go!

“Lord Jesus, thank You for the Cloud and for the Fire.  Thank You for showing me the way to go every day and every night.   May Your Name be praised now and forever.  Amen.”

Monday, April 30, 2018


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At noon the sky turned dark and stayed that way until three o'clock.  Then about that time Jesus shouted, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" which means, "My God, my God, why have you deserted me?"  Some of the people standing there heard Jesus and said, "He's calling for Elijah."  One of them at once ran and grabbed a sponge. He soaked it in wine, then put it on a stick and held it up to Jesus.  Others said, "Wait! Let's see if Elijah will come and save him."  Once again Jesus shouted, and then he died.  At once the curtain in the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, and rocks split apart.  Graves opened, and many of God's people were raised to life.  Then after Jesus had risen to life, they came out of their graves and went into the holy city, where they were seen by many people.

Matthew 27:45-53

It is part of the story of the Crucifixion of Jesus that is "uncomfortable" to say the least.  When Jesus died graves were opened and "many of God's people were raised to life."  The Bible does not explain why this happened or even what it meant, but the impact on the people of Jerusalem must have been dramatic!

Just imagine how you would feel if you were to see someone walking around today who had died and you had previously attended their funeral!  I think it may be the reason that the Resurrection of Jesus was ignored by the Romans and the rest of the population of Jerusalem.  As far as they were concerned Jesus was just another one of these "zombies" and not a special and eternally significant case!

But for the disciples of Jesus, His Resurrection was startling, amazing and totally life changing, as it is for everyone who believes on Him today!

Whatever the reason for the resurrection of many of God's people when Jesus died, it accomplished God's purpose and was fueled by His Devine power!

It also says this: Because Jesus died and was raised to life you will rise from death and live forever with Him.  And many people will recognized that even though you were dead in your sins, you are now alive because of Jesus!  That is the core of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

"Lord Jesus, may I live and walk today because You lived, died and rose again!  You Lord, are to be praised now and forever.  Amen."