Saturday, September 24, 2016

God is Not Tolerant!

The LORD made the heavens and everything in them by his word.  He scooped up the ocean and stored the water.  Everyone in this world should worship and honor the LORD!  As soon as he spoke the world was created; at his command, the earth was formed.  The LORD destroys the plans and spoils the schemes of the nations.  But what the LORD has planned will stand forever. His thoughts never change.  The LORD blesses each nation that worships only him. He blesses his chosen ones.  The LORD looks at the world  from his throne in heaven, and he watches us all.

Psalm 33: 6 - 14

The blessings of God come to a nation that worships Him and not to the nation that tolerates many gods and promotes them equally!  Originally, freedom of religion in the United States was not about being able to choose your own idol!  There is only One God and if you stand against Him there will be serious and eternal consequences!  But those consequences are for God Himself to pass out.  As a follower of Jesus, my job is to love the lost and call them to repentance!  

What if a husband who loves his wife were to say to her, “I love you so much that I am going to give you the freedom to be intimate with anyone you want?”  I have never heard such a statement, but there are many who assume that God says that same thing to all men!  They imagine that the Word of God says that you can worship whoever or whatever you like and you will still be rewarded with Heaven at the end of this earthly journey!  

It simply is not so!  Idolatry and following other gods has never been acceptable to God and is still an abomination!  Search your heart and mind and see if you are falling down and worshipping anyone or anything other than Almighty God!  If you are, then don’t wait to repent!  The storm is coming and there is no place to hide except in the arms of Jesus!  Only there will you be safe.

“Lord Jesus, make my heart intolerant to those things that offend You.  May Your peace and joy fill my heart now and forever.  Amen.”

Friday, September 23, 2016

Don't Worship Anyone But God!

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From the throne a voice said, "If you worship and fear our God, give praise to him, no matter who you are."  Then I heard what seemed to be a large crowd that sounded like a roaring flood and loud thunder all mixed together. They were saying, "Praise the Lord! Our Lord God All-Powerful now rules as king.  So we will be glad and happy and give him praise. The wedding day of the Lamb is here, and his bride is ready.  She will be given a wedding dress made of pure and shining linen. This linen stands for the good things God's people have done."  Then the angel told me, "Put this in writing. God will bless everyone who is invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb." The angel also said, "These things that God has said are true."  I knelt at the feet of the angel and began to worship him. But the angel said, "Don't do that! I am a servant, just like you and everyone else who tells about Jesus. Don't worship anyone but God. Everyone who tells about Jesus does it by the power of the Spirit."

(CEV: Revelation 19: 5 - 10)

Have you ever been tempted to "worship" the messenger instead of God who is the author of the message?  In some cultures the role of a Pastor is highly honored and perhaps rightfully so, but there is a danger in honoring the messenger.  I think there is a fine line between honoring someone and worshipping that same person.  Certainly, it is appropriate to give honor to someone who is worthy of that honor, but it is never appropriate to let that honor evolve into worship!  Worship is for God:  Father, Son and Holy Spirit!  When you worship, you present your whole body, soul, mind and spirit as a willing servant to the one you worship.  

Honoring someone simply recognizes the laudable place they have in your life!  But when you move from honoring a man into worshipping a human being it is a serious betrayal of Jesus.  There is also the possibility of only honoring Jesus and the Father and not truly worshipping them!  

Remember, if you worship a man, it is now time to repent because worship is only for God.    And if you only honor Jesus Christ, it is time to move from honoring Him to worshipping Jesus as your Lord and Savior! 

"Lord Jesus, keep me today from worshipping anyone except You, and show me how to move beyond simply honoring You into a place of worshipping You Jesus with all my heart.  Praise Your Holy Name forever.  Amen." 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Joy of Obedience!

Please, LORD, hear my prayer and give me the understanding that comes from your word. Listen to my concerns and keep me safe, just as you have promised.  If you will teach me your laws, I will praise you and sing about your promise, because all of your teachings are what they ought to be.  Be ready to protect me because I have chosen to obey your laws.  I am waiting for you to save me, LORD. Your Law makes me happy. 

Psalm 119: 169 - 174

These verses are from the longest chapter in the Bible.  And if you read all 176 verses you will see that it is all about obeying the law of the Lord!  Over and over again it talks about how wonderful it is to be obedient to everything that God has said!  

Indeed we are not saved by keeping the law but many have missed the joy of obedience because they were warned about legalism!  A legalist might be described as one who trusts in his own obedience to establish the fact that he merits salvation.  

Truthfully, the follower of Jesus, who is not a “legalist” is likely to be even more obedient because he will be ready to obey even the slightest utterance from the Heart of God.  The legalist will want lots of confirmation that the Word he hears is really a command of God!

But when you trust in the Grace of God and the Blood of Jesus for  your salvation you will be like a race horse at the starting gate anxiously waiting for another opportunity to be obedient!  You will run after the Wisdom of God’s Word and thrill at the opportunity to let the Law of God order your life!

“Lord Jesus, show me again today something I can do to be obedient to Your Word.  Let me experience the Joy of letting Your desires rule my life!  And may You, Jesus be praised forever.  Amen.”

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Concerns of Jesus!

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God is working in you to make you willing and able to obey him. Do everything without grumbling or arguing. Then you will be the pure and innocent children of God. You live among people who are crooked and evil, but you must not do anything that they can say is wrong. Try to shine as lights among the people of this world, as you hold firmly to the message that gives life. Then on the day when Christ returns, I can take pride in you. I can also know that my work and efforts were not useless. 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.  I want to be encouraged by news about you. So I hope the Lord Jesus will soon let me send Timothy to you. I don't have anyone else who cares about you as much as he does. The others think only about what interests them and not about what concerns Christ Jesus.

Philippians 2: 13 - 22

When you pray do you tell God what you want or do you ask Jesus what He wants for you to do with your life?  Life is like a maze through which every man and woman must walk!  We cannot see beyond the next turn in the road.  But Jesus who sits high above can see the whole picture and knows the best thing for us to do at every moment!

Remember though, that your happiness, peace and security here on earth are rarely, if ever the goal that Jesus has for your life.  Jesus knows the end of your story will, as He has promised bring you safely to Heaven in the end.  So, in truth it doesn’t matter how difficult the road you travel in this life.  Even if you were to lose your life in the service of fulling the desires of Jesus, you will be eternally blessed for it!  

So today, as you pray, ask Jesus to show you what His purpose for this day is and how you can be part of fulfilling that purpose!

“Lord Jesus, I want to be about what concerns You today!  Every moment of this day show me how I can be used to accomplish Your goals.  And may You, Jesus be praised for ever.  Amen.”

Monday, September 19, 2016

As It Was Before!

If you have ears, listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. I will let everyone who wins the victory eat from the life-giving tree in God's wonderful garden.

Revelation 2: 7

When God first made man He put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  It was a garden without weeds and there were no thorns or poison ivy!  The beauty of the Garden of Eden is really beyond our ability to comprehend.  Adam and Eve were able to live in that garden and eat from any tree in the Garden except the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. 

The Tree of Life was also in that Garden, but they were not forbidden to eat from that tree until after they sinned.  So you could ask the question: How long had Adam and Eve been living in the Garden of Eden before the Snake tempted Eve and they both ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil?  The Bible doesn’t answer that question, but we might assume that they had been consuming fruit from the Tree of Life until God threw them out of the Garden of Eden so that they could no longer eat of it!  

Adam and Eve were created to live forever and not die, and were on that path when Sin stopped their progress through Eternity!  Perhaps death came to Adam and Eve because they could no longer eat from the Tree of Life.  And of course, all men now die as we have no access to the Garden of God where that tree still lives!

But the victory that will come to all who follow Jesus is this: They will be allowed to eat from the Tree of Life in the Garden of God and live forever!  It will be again as it was before!  

“Lord Jesus, thank You for providing a way for all who come to You to live forever with You in Heaven where we will eat from the Tree that brings life in God’s Garden!  Praise Your Name forever.  Amen.”

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Bomb Blast in New York City!

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  The earth was barren, with no form of life; it was under a roaring ocean covered with darkness. But the Spirit of God was moving over the water.  God said, "I command light to shine!" And light started shining.  God looked at the light and saw that it was good. He separated light from darkness and named the light "Day" and the darkness "Night." Evening came and then morning--that was the first day.

Genesis 1: 1 - 5

Only a couple of hours after a bomb blast in New York City the mayor of New York held a news conference and was quick to declare that there is no evidence that it is terror related.  He repeated the assertion several times and then made an amazing statement.  After a bomb explodes and injures 29 people in New York City the major says, and I quote, “It was an intentional act.”  Well, obviously, what else could it have been?

Now imagine that he had said, “The explosion was spontaneous and no one was responsible. It was a bomb, but no one created it.”  That would have been a foolish and ignorant assertion!

But the world itself with all it’s complexities and the universe we see and the universe we can’t see have been declared to be an “unintentional act” of no one and not the Creation of Almighty God!  Scientists study “cause and effect” in everything we see around us and then declare that there is no “cause” for life itself!  

A bomb explodes and everyone knows that somebody did it.  But the amazing and living world around us is declared to be a cosmic accident!  What we used to say was this: “If you believe that the world came into existence by accident, then I have some swamp land in southern Florida I would like to sell you.”  In other words, “You would believe any lie!”

A more personal version of the lie of Satan is this: “It really doesn’t matter if you seek to know the Lord Jesus Christ.  Just live according to your own conscience and you will be fine when you die!”  That is a lie that is straight from the pit of Hell!  Everything for all of Eternity, as far as you are concerned hinges on whether or not you accept Jesus as the Lord of your life.  If Jesus is truly your Lord then everything will be wonderful forever even if a terrorist bomb explodes under your feet!

“Lord Jesus, show me again today that You are indeed my Lord and my Savior.  And may You Jesus be praised now and forever.  Amen.”

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Who Will You Meet in Heaven?

You have now come to Mount Zion and to the heavenly Jerusalem. This is the city of the living God, where thousands and thousands of angels have come to celebrate.  Here you will find all of God's dearest children, whose names are written in heaven. And you will find God himself, who judges everyone. Here also are the spirits of those good people who have been made perfect.  And Jesus is here! He is the one who makes God's new agreement with us, and his sprinkled blood says much better things than the blood of Abel.

 Hebrews 12: 22 - 24

When you get to Heaven, who will you meet?  I think these verses are pretty clear in telling us that in Heaven you will find lots of angels, “God’s dearest children,” God Himself, the “spirits of those good people who have been made perfect,” and Jesus!  You may wonder why these verses mention “God’s dearest children” and the “spirits of those who have been made perfect.”  I know the best answer to that question will come from the lips of Jesus when we meet Him in Heaven.  But these words strongly suggest that we will be able to communicate with God’s dearest children!

In your mind, make a list of questions you would ask Adam, Eve, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, John the Baptist, Peter, Paul, the Ethiopian eunuch, the thief on the cross next to Jesus, and Mary the mother of Jesus!  Of course, the list can be much longer than that, but as you read the stories of those who are the redeemed think about questions you might ask when you meet them in Heaven.   

Also, did you ever ask your father a question that you were too young to really understand the answer?  There are lots of those questions here on earth for those who love God and when we meet Him face to face in Heaven there will be lots of answers!

The necessary truth for this day and every day from now on is this: Spend time thinking about Heaven!  Ponder what it will be like and let your heart soar above the earth to the Day when you will open your eyes on Eternity!  And remember this: It is a wonderful thing to long for the joys of Heaven!  

“Lord Jesus, thank You for being with me here on this earth.  But I thank You even more that You have promised that I can be with You forever in Heaven.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.”