Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Extreme Beauty!

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Everything in the heavens has a body, and so does everything on earth. But each one is very different from all the others. The sun isn’t like the moon, the moon isn’t like the stars, and each star is different.

That’s how it will be when our bodies are raised to life. These bodies will die, but the bodies that are raised will live forever. These ugly and weak bodies will become beautiful and strong. As surely as there are physical bodies, there are spiritual bodies. And our physical bodies will be changed into spiritual bodies.
1 Corinthians 15:40-44

How much time, money and energy do you spend trying to make your body beautiful?

The desire to be beautiful or handsome in this world is common to man and can consume all of your resources. Just watch an hour of commercials on television and count the number that claim to make you more attractive to other people. The list includes losing weight, getting rid of your wrinkles, making your "abs" thinner without losing weight, and dozens of other self improvement products
If you are frustrated and discouraged just thinking about it, take heart. God has a body building and beautification program like no other. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ your body will become beautiful and strong when it is raised to life to live with Jesus forever.

Even if you spend hours a day at the gym the body you have now will grow older and weaker until the day you leave this earth. But when Jesus comes and changes your body at the resurrection of the dead you will become beautiful and strong beyond your wildest imagination.

Remember the ugly duckling who became the beautiful swan? Those who follow Jesus will explode that story into eternity as they are changed into the likeness of Jesus Himself. When that happens you will be given Extreme Beauty, Unlimited!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Crucified With Christ!

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I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Galatians 2:20

Who demanded the crucifixion of Jesus? It was not the murderers, thieves, adulterers and the like. It was the very religious people who were highly offended by Jesus. They could not stand His honesty and His words were bold and convicting.

Here is a difficult truth. If you are living like Jesus in this world you will offend the religious people more than anyone else. Jesus didn't condemn sinners, but He did lash out at the "Scribes and Pharisees." He called them hypocrites.

So here is a word of encouragement. If your accusers themselves claim to be religious, then you may be really walking in the steps of Jesus.

Jesus went to the Cross for the Joy that was to come, and it did. If you are hanging on the Cross remember it is the only path to truly share in the Joy of Jesus!

When you are crucified with Christ, the miracle of the Cross touches your life in a way that it never could when you are simply standing by at the foot of the Cross.

The pinnacle of fellowship with Jesus is on the Cross!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Alarm of God!

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Light shows up everything, just as the Scriptures say,
“Wake up from your sleep
and rise from death.
Then Christ will shine on you.”

Act like people with good sense and not like fools. These are evil times, so make every minute count. Don’t be stupid. Instead, find out what the Lord wants you to do.

Ephesians 5:14-17

Do you have trouble waking up in the morning? If you do, then you probably are not getting enough sleep. Your body is begging for more. Enter the Snooze Alarm! The Snooze Alarm postpones the pain of waking up for usually another five minutes. And then another and another.

I have found that if I am having trouble getting up when the alarm goes off I should put it across the room so I have to get out of bed to shut it off. A louder alarm can also help. At one point I had an alarm clock that had the sound of a herd of elephants to wake me up. Frankly, it was pretty effective.

Has God been trying to wake you up from your spiritual sleep? It is so easy to hear the alarm of God and hit the snooze button. "Lord, just give me a little longer to sleep, and then I will wake up!" Over and over the wakeup call comes and our response is to go back to sleep.

It is easy to pretend that you are ignorant and don't know why God is waking you from sleep. You can even become so calloused that you don't hear the alarm anymore, much less bother with the snooze button.

OK, before you doze off and stop reading or listening to what I am saying consider one thing.

Why would God love you so much that He wants to wake you from sleep and as these verses say, raise you from death? Truthfully, no one but God Himself can answer that question, but the next time you hear the alarm of God think about how very much God loves you, wake up and don't hit the snooze button!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I Saw the Light!

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Jesus told us that God is light and doesn’t have any darkness in him. Now we are telling you.
If we say that we share in life with God and keep on living in the dark, we are lying and are not living by the truth. But if we live in the light, as God does, we share in life with each other. And the blood of his Son Jesus washes all our sins away.
1 John 1:5-7

When a blind man turns on the lights in his house, he is doing it for other people, not for himself. I suppose he can enjoy the warmth of a light bulb, but as far as the light is concerned, it does him no good at all.

Because of the decision Adam and Eve made to disobey God and sin, everyone born since has been born blind to the light of God! Our other senses perceive things about God, but since we are spiritually blind we grope about in the dark sometimes not even knowing that Jesus can touch our spiritual eyes and heal our vision!

I have a friend who is blind and sometimes jokes about wanting me to let him drive the car. Of course that would be truly a "wreck waiting to happen." When a man or woman who is spiritually blind tries to navigate through this life without being able to see the end is certain as well.

Jesus not only came to tell us that God is light and in Him there isn't any darkness at all, but He also came to heal our blindness so that we can see the light.

There is an old country song written and recorded by Hank Williams in 1948 which says "I wandered so aimless, life filled with sin. I wouldn't let my dear Savior in. Then Jesus came like a stranger in the night. Praise the Lord, I saw the light."

Remember, you will not see the light unless Jesus heals your blindness!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Prepare for the Storm!

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“You disgraceful nation, gather around, before it’s too late. The Lord has set a time when his fierce anger will strike like a storm and sweep you away. If you humbly obey the Lord , then come and worship him. If you do right and are humble, perhaps you will be safe on that day when the Lord turns loose his anger.”

Zephaniah 2:1-3

There comes a time when it is too late to prepare for the storm. When a hurricane is born in the Atlantic Ocean it doesn't even have a name. The storm is "way out there" in the ocean and may or may not affect anyone on shore, so most people pay no attention at all. Some prepare just in case this storm is the "big one" that everyone believes will come some day.

As the storm grows it is given a name and warnings begin to go out to the areas of possible impact. Finally, the hurricane is imminent and will strike land with full force in only hours! Those who have prepared begin to work their plans and those who have not run away, panic or simply pretend that they are not afraid.

When a full blown category three hurricane hits the shore it is accurate to say that "all Hell breaks loose."

There is a storm that has been gathering for a long time and is without a doubt about to come ashore in this world. That storm is building because men have refused to obey God. That storm is the "fierce anger" anger of God and will sweep you away if you are not a follower of Jesus.

You may say, "You are just trying to scare me!" Actually, that is right. If you continue to reject God in your life you should be afraid, very afraid. The storm that is coming will not be pretty and there is only one shelter where you can make it through the storm. You will only be safe in the arms of Jesus.

Don't wait because soon it will be too late!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Coming With the Clouds!

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The high priest stood up in the council and asked Jesus, “Why don’t you say something in your own defense? Don’t you hear the charges they are making against you?” But Jesus kept quiet and did not say a word. The high priest asked him another question, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the glorious God?”
“Yes, I am!” Jesus answered.
“Soon you will see
the Son of Man
sitting at the right side
of God All-Powerful,
and coming with the clouds
of heaven.”

Mark 14:60-62

What kind of clouds will be in the sky when Jesus returns? Will they be white and puffy and look like cotton balls against the bright blue sky, or will they be dark and threatening and speak of the ominous and imminent return of Jesus? Clouds are beautiful and relaxing but clouds are the visible part of the most destructive hurricane. Clouds, all clouds remind me that Jesus is coming and clouds will be with Him when He returns.

I am fascinated with sunrises. Without clouds a sunrise is beautiful, but clouds give it character and perspective that a cloudless day can never provide.

When I see the sun rise with clouds I am reminded of the Son of Man coming with clouds. He is so bright that you can't look at Him long without hurting your eyes. He brings eternal hope of the New Day to come! He warms my heart and gives me new strength.

So when you see a sunrise let yourself be reminded of that soon coming day when Jesus will come with the clouds. When we see Jesus coming, it will be like seeing the beauty of every sunrise that has ever been in one Glorious moment.

Remember, they say the night is the darkest just before the sunrise!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

God Bless You!

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“God blesses those people
who depend only on him.
They belong to the kingdom
of heaven!”

Matthew 5:3

Saying "God bless you" when someone sneezes is a very old practice and one for which the origin is not certain. It may have started when sneezing was an early symptom of the Bubonic plague and the blessing of God was invoked to ward it off.

In what is now call the "Beatitudes" Jesus mentions nine instances of people who are blessed by God. The top of the list is someone who depends only on God.

Life's highest goal is to depend only on God for everything. A simple definition of sin would be when we let go of our dependence on God and hold on to something or someone else for our needs! God is willing to give me wisdom, a path for my walk, food and clothing, even as He does the Lilies of the field. God answers all my prayers and lovingly corrects me when I need it. God is my savings account, my retirement, my health insurance, and my doctor. There is nothing in this life that I need that cannot come from the hand of God!

As you walk through this day, look for even small ways in which you are not depending only on God and then repent. God will bless you even more!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Good Defense Doesn't Win the Battle!

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On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel:
"Sun, stand still over Gibeon,
and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon."

So the sun stood still,
and the moon stopped,
till the nation avenged itself on its enemies,
as it is written in the Book of Jashar.
The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day.

Joshua 10:12-13

When there was not enough time to finish the battle with the Amorites Joshua asked God to push the pause button on time itself until the job was complete!

It seems that time either goes too fast or too slow. We either have too much time and are bored, or we have too little time and are anxious. There have been many times in my life when I have silently prayed that God would make this day at school or work go faster. There have also been times when I wanted God to make today last longer because of the joy I was experiencing. But I never prayed that God would stop the sun and moon so I could be engaged in the battle with the Enemy of Righteousness!

I think the problem is this: I have believed that standing against the attacks of Satan is all that it takes to qualify me as an over comer. When my defenses against sin are strong I consider myself an excellent soldier. Battles are not won by having a good defense. No one ever won a football game only by keeping the other team from scoring. To win the game you must carry the ball across the line!
If your spiritual warfare has only been defensive ask God to show you how you can attack Satan!

"Lord, show me today how I can strike a blow in the spiritual battle that is raging all around. Give me a heart for the eternal victory that belongs only to You!"

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My House is God’s Home!

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“The most holy place was thirty feet square, and its walls were covered with almost twenty-five tons of fine gold.  More than a pound of gold was used to cover the heads of the nails. The walls of the small storage rooms were also covered with gold.”
2 Chronicles 3:8-9

When God directed Solomon to build the Temple in Jerusalem it was opulent beyond our wildest imagination. If my rough math estimate is anywhere near correct, the thirty by thirty foot Most Holy Place had a little less than two billion dollars worth of gold on the walls alone. That is figured on the current price of gold.

Frankly, I'm not excited about fancy and expensive church buildings, but when God had Solomon build the Temple He put everyone else’s extravagance to shame.

Here is the part of these verses that really caught my attention. The Most Holy Place in the Temple in Jerusalem was almost exactly the size of my house. My house is thirty feet square. So the place in the Temple where the presence of God was encountered by the High Priest was about as big as my house.

The Bible says that followers of Jesus today are the Temple of the Holy Spirit. If you are a Christian, the Holy Spirit lives in your body. And you live in a house, so how can you make your house a comfortable place for God to dwell today? First, you need to give God all the keys to your house. No rooms or even closets will be off limits for God. And then you need to go through all your stuff and get rid of everything in your home that you would not want God to see.

The old saying "A man's home is his castle" may be true for most people, but for followers of Jesus the saying should be "A Christian's home is where God lives!"

Just as a reminder, the next time you sit down for a meal with your family set an extra place at the table for Jesus! It is a good way to start covering your walls with gold!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Plan “B”

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I am certain, Lord ,
that you will help
your chosen king.
You will answer my prayers
from your holy place
in heaven,
and you will save me
with your mighty arm.

Some people trust the power
of chariots or horses,
but we trust you, Lord God.

Others will stumble and fall,
but we will be strong
and stand firm.

Psalm 20:6-8

Trusting God is not simply a phrase on a coin. Trusting God is an attitude which is revealed and supported by appropriate actions. Trusting God has no plan B. When you trust God you make no preparations for God to fail you. If you have a contingency plan for trusting God then you proclaim to the world that you do not really trust the Creator of the Universe!

If you do not trust in God, then in who do you trust? The list of alternatives to trusting God is quite long. Some trust in money, fame, education, power, position, good health, and government. Some trust their own ability to think rationally and understand the world around them. Some trust in a man or woman they consider to be a great leader.

Perhaps the most difficult part of trusting God is getting rid of Plan B. Plan B is the "here is what I will do if God fails to act" provision. Being prepared for God to fail is not part of being a man or woman of faith.

Examine your life and ask yourself how many "Plan B's" you have right now in place. Those are where your faith is weak or perhaps not there at all.

"Lord give me the wisdom and the faith to have You as my only plan for the future. If You Lord fail to save me then I will not be saved! Amen!"

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Patient or Slow?

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The Lord isn’t slow about keeping his promises, as some people think he is. In fact, God is patient, because he wants everyone to turn from sin and no one to be lost.
2 Peter 3:9

What is the difference between being patient and being slow? A man who is patient usually is slow, but a man who is slow is not always patient. Laziness and unconcern are sometimes part of being slow, but a diligent and focused man can still be patient.

Why has God waited so long to bring this world to a conclusion? Why did God not, when He flooded the entire world, wipe out everybody including Noah and his family?

God is patient because He loves you so much that He wants you to turn from your sin and not be lost forever.

If you think that God doesn't care about you and doesn't know what is going on in your life, then go find a pair of tweezers and pull out one hair from your head! You have just triggered a recount by God!

The patience of Job is legendary, but the patience of God dwarfs the patience of Job. When God is on your case, and He is, the Holy Spirit will hound you at every turn making opportunity after opportunity for you to come Home and be His child.

Remember, the prodigal son story can happen again today in your life! And that is what God desires and that is what He is patiently waiting for!

Saturday, August 20, 2011


“But he will give you relief from your troubles. He will do the same for us, when the Lord Jesus comes from heaven with his powerful angels and with a flaming fire. Our Lord Jesus will punish anyone who doesn’t know God and won’t obey his message. Their punishment will be eternal destruction, and they will be kept far from the presence of our Lord and his glorious strength.”

2 Thessalonians 1:7-9

A fire can be beautiful, warm and comforting, or it can be frightening, painful and destructive. It all depends on what you are made of and how close you are to the fire. If you are "fireproof" then you won't burn no matter how close you come to the fire. Then the fire will simply burn away the impurities, the things that will burn and it will leave you pure and holy, devoted to God.

If your basic nature has never been converted into one that can withstand the flames, the fire will consume you and bring about your eternal destruction and separation from God.

You see, what happens when you have faith in Jesus Christ is this: He changes you into someone that the fires of Hell cannot touch! You will become like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who were thrown into the fiery furnace and came out not even smelling like smoke.

The fire of Heaven will make you Holy and keep you far away from the fire of Hell!

Friday, August 19, 2011

God’s GPS!

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Then I was told:
These words are true and can be trusted. The Lord God controls the spirits of his prophets, and he is the one who sent his angel to show his servants what must happen right away. Remember, I am coming soon! God will bless everyone who pays attention to the message of this book.

Revelation 22:6-7

What is the message of the Book of Revelation? The last Book of the Bible has been quite a mystery for two thousand years. It is like box full of puzzle pieces which all fit together perfectly, but no one seems to have made complete sense of the picture of the Book of Revelation. It is indeed exciting to study the Bible and find things that fit together and are certainly part of the story of God's redemption of men and women. For instance, Adam and Eve lost the right to eat of the Tree of Life and live for ever, but in Heaven we find that same tree and we will eat of its fruit and live forever!

The Book of Revelation is like a graphic GPS display that shows you in these last days exactly where you are on this journey to Heaven. If you know the Book you will recognize the landmarks along the way and you will take comfort that you are not LOST!

The best advice is to know the Word of God rather than trying to interpret the Word of God. When you know what the Bible says then the Holy Spirit will help you understand what is happening so you can trust that God is not far even though the storms of life are raging.

Here is a test. Take a verse from the Book of Revelation and memorize it. Then ask God to use that part of His Word to let you know where you are in your walk with Him. Like any good GPS you will receive direction from above!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Invitation to Heaven!

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God wants everyone to be saved and to know the whole truth, which is,
There is only one God,
and Christ Jesus
is the only one
who can bring us
to God.
Jesus was truly human,
and he gave himself
to rescue all of us.

1Timothy 2:4-5

How does an ordinary person get invited to the Oval Office in the White House for a visit with the President of the United States? Often it happens when that regular citizen performs some extraordinary act of bravery or heroism and saves the lives of other people. Sometimes the person whose life was saved is invited to meet the President as well. Pictures are taken, an award may be presented and everyone goes on their way.

How does an ordinary person get invited to come into the presence of God? There is only one way any man can come to God. Jesus Christ hung on a Cross and died so that He could bring everyone who believes in Him to God! We are invited into the throne room of God not because of any good thing we have ever done. In fact, there is nothing we could ever do that would make us worthy to come before the Face of God. The two sides of the coin are this: Jesus is the Savior and we are the Saved!

You can run and jump and flap your arms all day, every day and you will never be able to fly. But when you take a seat on a jet plane, you can sit back and relax and soar through the heavens. You can work and pray and try to do every good thing it is possible for a man to do and you will not for those things be invited into the presence of God Almighty. But when you turn your heart to Jesus and make Him the Lord of your life you will soar to Heaven with Jesus!

Because of the sacrifice of Jesus everyone is invited to Heaven. Jesus is waiting for you to R.S.V.P

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

As Loving as God!

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I pray that the Lord will guide you to be as loving as God and as patient as Christ.
2 Thessalonians 3:5

Adam and Eve were deceived. They wanted to be wise like God and so they sinned. How foolish was that? Sinning does not make you like God at all. It is just the opposite. If you want to be like God, your life will be defined by love. You will love those who love you and you will love those who hate you. Love will be your purpose for living and the focus of every thought and action. You will love God even though you have not seen Him, and you will love the world like God did and gave His Son to redeem the world from the grasp of Satan.

Can you recall the voice of a little child who says with all sincerity "I love everybody?"

Loving like God is amazing, but so is being as patient as Christ. Every day of your life Jesus has been waiting patiently for that moment when you will turn your heart to Him. He longs for that day. He gave everything for you and now waits patiently for you to give everything to Him! He calls you "Softly and Tenderly" like the old hymn says, to have Him the closest one to your heart. He looks down the road like the father of the prodigal son hoping to catch a glimpse of your return.

As you walk through this day make your goal to be as loving as God and as patient as Christ!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Harmonize with Heaven!

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Then I heard all beings in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and in the sea offer praise. Together, all of them were saying,
“Praise, honor, glory,
and strength
forever and ever
to the one who sits
on the throne
and to the Lamb!”

Revelation 5:13

It was almost fifty years ago, but the memory is still vivid. My first practice session with our college choir grabbed my heart and has never let go. It was the sound of many people singing in "perfect harmony." My ears brought the sound into my body, but then it filled all my senses with something I had never felt before. I could not hear any individual voice, just the blended sound of the group. My job was to lend my voice to become part of that unity of sound.

Then there was the angel. When everyone was absolutely on key there were times when we could hear an overtone that sounded like an angel singing an octave or two above everyone else. Frankly, I have not heard the angel now in almost fifty years. The “angel” was there because we were in perfect harmony.

When all the beings in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and in the sea offer praise together the experience will never be forgotten. What will that day be like when all the creatures of God blend their voices in perfect harmony to praise Him? Hearts will beat with joy and throb with pleasure.

But as followers of Jesus wait for that day to come, and it will, our job now is to blend our voices, hearts and lives in perfect harmony in praising and worshipping the One who created us all!

Then we will once again and forever more HEAR THE ANGEL!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Three Things Jesus Sells!

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“You claim to be rich and successful and to have everything you need. But you don’t know how bad off you are. You are pitiful, poor, blind, and naked.
Buy your gold from me. It has been refined in a fire, and it will make you rich. Buy white clothes from me. Wear them and you can cover up your shameful nakedness. Buy medicine for your eyes, so that you will be able to see.”
Revelation 3:17-18

When a rich man pretends to be poor no one needs to feel sorry for him. Usually access to his riches will be restored and he will want for nothing. But when a poor man tries to make everyone believe that he is rich, the end of the story is almost always pitiful.

Jesus tells us what to do when we claim to be rich and successful and indeed are not. He says we should buy three things from Him. Those three things are Gold, White Clothes, and Medicine.
Jesus doesn't sell paper money, or stock certificates. Jesus sells pure one hundred percent gold. Jesus' gold has been refined in a fire and it's value goes up so fast that it will make you rich.
The White Clothes that Jesus sells fit perfectly, don't get dirty, and never wear out! When you buy clothes from Jesus, you always look your best!

There is a song about Jesus being the "Great Physician," and indeed He is. Everyone is blind until they buy eye salve from Jesus. The medicine Jesus sells is a guaranteed and absolute cure for blindness!
How much does it cost to buy Gold, Clothes, and Medicine from Jesus? Will you have enough? The answer is yes, everyone has enough to buy what they need from Jesus. All it costs is everything you have!

Don't forget that when it comes to buying what you need from Jesus, He is open for business 24/7 - 365 days a year!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Listen for the Trumpet of God!


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On the Lord’s day the Spirit took control of me, and behind me I heard a loud voice that sounded like a trumpet. The voice said, “Write in a book what you see. Then send it to the seven churches in Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.”

Revelation 1:10-11

If an alien from some other planet landed in your yard today and approached you with the well known request, that I suppose all aliens know to ask, "TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER," to whom would you take him? In today's world I'm not sure I know who the leader that is in control is. In a country when there is no well defined and respected leader chaos is certainly not far away.

As a Christian, there is no chaos. Your life is led by and in the control of the Holy Spirit! Like John in the Book of Revelation when you are controlled by the Holy Spirit you always hear the trumpet. The earliest use of trumpets was not for making music, but for signaling directions in war. Trumpeters were the most protected members of the troop because without the trumpeter the soldiers did not know what the next move would be.

Soldiers in the army of God listen for the trumpet sound from the Holy Spirit. If you are a follower of Jesus and are alert, you probably have noticed that Christians around the world seem to be hearing the same trumpet blast.

Today when you hear the trumpet of God remember that it is sounded for your instruction and direction not your entertainment!

Let your "quiet time" today be a time of listening for the sound of the trumpet so you will know for certain which way to go!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Everyone is an Artist!

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My dear friends, remember the warning you were given by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They told you that near the end of time, selfish and godless people would start making fun of God.

Jude 1:17-18

Everyone is an artist, and every man draws a picture of God in his own mind. Some pictures of God are majestic and glorious and some are small and even silly. But every living human being has some concept of the One who controls the truths of the universe. Even those who make fun of God have a concept of who He is.

How do you decide what brush strokes to make when you paint your picture of God? Do you just take your bucket of paint and randomly throw it at the canvas and declare that whatever results is a picture of God? Do you get a mirror and try to make your picture of God look just like you? That won't work very well because when you look in a mirror everything is backwards!

Do you remember the old "paint by the numbers" kits. It was great for kids. All you had to do was put the right color in the right spot and you eventually had a complete picture of a mountain, or tree or bird.

Painting a picture of God is much the same. As I go through life I see a little more of God and I fill in that blank in the picture. As a child I thought I understood God completely, but as I grew I found out that there is so much more to the picture of God that still needed to be painted. Every time I fill in one color on my painting of God I find there are two more than need to be added which I never saw before.

One of the things that we do, often without even knowing it, is to compare our picture of God with other people. When your picture of God is similar to mine we are drawn together. When our pictures look very different we find little opportunity to fellowship.

As you paint your picture of God there is only one way to make sure you are getting all the colors in the right places. The Bible is the only place where you can find an absolutely accurate picture of God. Spend time each day comparing your picture of God to the one in the Bible.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

You Can Listen and Never Understand!

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So God’s promise came true, just as the prophet Isaiah had said,
“These people will listen
and listen,
but never understand.
They will look and look,
but never see.

All of them have
stubborn minds!
Their ears are stopped up,
and their eyes are covered.
They cannot see or hear
or understand.
If they could,
they would turn to me,
and I would heal them.”

But God has blessed you, because your eyes can see and your ears can hear!

Matthew 13:14-16

I love Chinese food and I love to watch the Chinese chef preparing my dinner. It is quite a show and the food is the culmination of thousands of years of trial and error in the kitchen. But listening to the Chinese language is a complete mystery. I literally understand nothing when I hear it spoken. When it comes to Chinese I am like the people Jesus spoke about. I can listen and listen and never understand.

When you turn your heart to Jesus and become His follower an amazing miracle happens in your life. The Holy Spirit becomes your interpreter for everything you hear and everything you see. The miracle is like going into a Chinese restaurant and suddenly you can understand everything that it spoken in the kitchen! Things that made no sense before become crystal clear.

Followers of Jesus can understand the language of Heaven which sounds like complete gibberish to everyone else. So if you are a Christian don't become frustrated because people who don't understand the language of Heaven think you are a fool. It is perfectly logical to judge you to be out of your mind if all they hear you do is babble. But if you are not a follower of Jesus be cautious in how quickly you judge Christians. They are hearing and seeing things that would boggle your mind if you only knew. And by the way, you can hear and see them as well. You will understand great and unsearchable things you do now know.

When you open your heart to Jesus the vast expanse of heavenly reality will burst on your sight and ring in your ears!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Heart of the King is in the Hand of God!

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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 4:36-37

Those are the words of Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon after he had spent seven years living as an animal. God sent the king from the pinnacle of power to live outdoors like a man who had completely lost his mind.

Remember that the cosmic, spiritual war that is raging in the universe and beyond is not a serious challenge to the power of God. God allows it to continue because of the work that it does for His children. Almighty God could stop all opposition to His power in the twinkling of an eye. In fact, that is just what He will do, but only at the right time to serve His eternal purposes.

Nebuchadnezzar and his fall from power is a stunning reminder of how powerful God is and how even our minds can function clearly because He allows them to do so.

If the King, the President, or other great and mighty leaders arise this morning with any common sense at all it is because God has graciously allowed them to continue to be in their right minds. At God's command every great leader would become like Nebuchadnezzar and completely lose all sense of reality!

So for those who follow Jesus we must not fear the King or what the King threatens to do. The sanity of the King is clearly held in God's hand. We must fear God and Him only.

When you look around and see the storms beginning to rage never forget that complete calm will follow one Word from Jesus. He will speak that Word at just the right time. Amen!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Wedding Dress!

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“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.”

Revelation 19:7-8

Why would the enemies of God make such an effort to destroy the significance and beauty of marriage? Believe it or not it was just a few years ago in the United States that marriage was not just a "big deal" in the life of every young person who got married, it was THE BIG DEAL! Marriage was a mystery, a new frontier, a lifetime adventure, a bit of heaven on earth, and a place of personally permanent peace and prosperity. That special relationship was worth more than anything else in this world. For those of us who remember when marriage was like that the current state of "affairs" is truly tragic.

Of course the reason Satan wants to destroy marriage is because it is the earthly picture of the Marriage of the Lamb in Heaven.

Here is a delightful thought that just skips right by a casual reading of the Bible. The wedding dress of the Bride in Heaven will be a symbol of the good things God's people have done. So if you are a child of God and you do something good for someone else, you are also having a part in the preparation of the Wedding Dress for the Bride of Christ! Let that one roll around in your head for a while!

At a Royal Wedding everyone is interested in the Dress and who made it. So when you have opportunity today as a follower of Jesus put a few stitches in the Wedding Dress for Heaven!

Monday, August 8, 2011

God’s To Do List

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“Whatever the Lord God
plans to do,
he tells his servants,
the prophets.

Everyone is terrified
when a lion roars—
and ordinary people
become prophets
when the Lord God speaks.”

Amos 3:7-8

When a young lady wants to politely refuse to spend time with a young man she often says, "I already have plans." That sounds nice enough, but the end of that sentence would be, "Those plans do not include you, and I certainly will not change my plans in order to be with you!"

The first time he hears it, it is a little discouraging, but after several "I already have plans" responses a young man usually gives up and looks elsewhere.

When you call on the Lord and ask to spend time with Him, He always responds with "I already have plans, and they certainly include you!" God has things in mind for you to do today.

According to these two verses in Amos God tells ordinary people what He is planning to do in the world. Ordinary people become prophets when God speaks. God confides in those who accept Jesus no matter who they are.

Ask God what He plans to do in the world today, but also ask Him what He plans to do with you today and then listen for His answer. Never forget that God has you on His TO DO LIST for today!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Before All Else Fails!

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“I, the Lord , am the one
who sends storm clouds
and showers of rain
to make fields produce.
So when the crops need rain,
you should pray to me.”

Zechariah 10:1

We like the word "Extreme."  It is used to describe everything from political views to deodorant. Extreme is "on the edge," "over the top," "above and beyond," and certainly "radical."

The Southeast United States is currently in a state of extreme drought. The lack of rain is so bad that Texans were hoping for a hurricane! It came without the massive amounts of rain needed to end the drought.

Now the Governor of the State of Texas is publically praying for relief from God. What an Extreme thing! The problem with drought is this: We can't print more rain and drop it on our fields. We can't borrow some rain from China. We can't pass a two thousand page law that orders the rain to fall, and we can't have an election and vote some more rain on our fields. When it comes to rain there is really only one option. Pray!

The question is: How hungry and thirsty do you have to get before you will humble yourself and pray? If God Almighty is for you a "God of Last Resort" He will lovingly see that all else fails so you will turn to Him!

Here is a great idea. Turn back to God before all else fails! Remember, that delayed repentance is always painful and can be fatal!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Downgrade and Recovery!

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“People of Judah, your time is coming too. I, the Lord , would like to make my nation prosper again and to heal its wounds. But then I see the crimes in Israel and Samaria. Everyone is deceitful; robbers roam the streets. No one realizes that I have seen their sins surround them like a flood. The king and his officials take great pleasure in their sin and deceit.”

Hosea 6:11-7:3

I first saw the report late on Friday night. Standard and Poor's had downgraded the United States from a triple A rating to a double A. The financial re-rating came like a tsunami. It was quiet and didn't appear to be threatening even to those standing on the beach. As I write these words the floods have not yet come ashore, but when the wave is fast approaching land there is nothing that can stop it.

Like the Lord told Judah, "your time is coming" applies to America as well. God sees our sins and they surround us like a flood. In our culture today it can be accurately stated that "everyone is deceitful and robbers roam the streets."

And who would not agree that in the United States, "The King and his officials take great pleasure in their sin and deceit."

Can the United States prosper again and be healed? Yes it can! Righteousness is the only stimulus that can return it to prosperity. Repentance and a return to righteousness by the President, our elected officials, leaders, all the way down to the least among us is the only hope of restoring America to its former glory in the world of nations.

Any other approach to the problem will simply seal the deal of America's demise.

So if America is to prosper again repentance and a return to righteousness must include me and it must include you if you are a citizen of the United States. Do your part to save America today! Repent of your sin and turn your heart to God and His righteousness. Your decision may just be the weight that will tip the scales in our nation's return to God!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Welcome His Love!

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“He came into his own world,
but his own nation
did not welcome him.

Yet some people accepted him
and put their faith in him.
So he gave them the right
to be the children of God.

They were not God’s children
by nature or because
of any human desires.
God himself was the one
who made them his children.”

John 1:11-13

Perhaps the greatest pain in all the world is when the one you love does not welcome that love. When the object of your love objects to being pursued by it, the sharpest dagger plunged into your heart would not be as painful. History is filled with stories of men and women who never recovered from the rejection of love.

Jesus was the ultimate rejected lover! God so loved the world that He gave Jesus to save the world from sin. But the world ignored Him, made fun of Him, persecuted Him and then killed Him. But Jesus even asked God to forgive those who killed Him.

When a man is rejected by the one he loves, his love can soon turn to hate. Often the bitterest enemies are those who were lovers before one rejected the other. But Jesus never opened His heart up to the hate that Satan wanted Him to drink. The Hell that so many will experience will not be because Jesus hates them. Going to Hell is a choice you make by rejecting the only one who can keep you out of its eternal flames.

But when you put your faith in Jesus, He gives you the right to become a child of God. When you trust in Jesus you are welcomed into the family of God Himself. You are adopted! God puts His Spirit in your heart and everyday you become more and more like Jesus.

It is what happens to everyone who welcomes the love of Jesus!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Come Quickly!

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”But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self‑control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God– having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.”

2 Timothy 3:1-5

Well here we are in the last days and it is just as the Bible predicted. The times are terrible and may be getting worse. The people of today are lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive etc. etc. The end of this list speaks of men who have a "form of godliness" but deny its power.

The difference between a godly man and one who only has a form of godliness is that one has the power and one does not. The authentic godly man is the one who displays the power of God in his life. He not only has the right doctrines and speaks the right words, but he also has the evidence of God's power following him like the wake of a speedboat. He makes waves that can be felt long after he passes by.

Christians are told to stay away from people who have the form of godliness but no power. A store window manikin has the form of a real person, but there is no life in it. There is no power. Fellowshipping Christians who have no power would be like having store window dummies for friends! How foolish would that be?

The bottom line is this: If you are to overcome and succeed in these terrible times, you will need the power of God in your life every day. You will not make it if you are a plastic, dummy, or artificial Christian. Like an airplane that loses its power at 30,000 feet, you may be able to glide for a while without power, but you are sure to crash unless power is restored.

If that is you, then ask God to give you the power of godliness, not just the form. It is only when you have the power of God in your life that you can successfully navigate these terrible times. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Pride and Faith!

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“I, the Lord , refuse to accept
anyone who is proud.
Only those who live by faith
are acceptable to me.”

Habakkuk 2:4

The sin of pride is fundamentally this: Those who are proud give credit to the creation for what the Creator has done.

Every accomplishment of man is totally supported by the provision of God. God gives air to breathe, water to drink and food to keep the body nourished and strong. Without the breath of God blowing on the spark of life every flame would quickly die out and join the historic heap of cold ashes.

On the other hand, faith is the same as pride except it is totally focused on God. What the proud man believes about himself is what the man of faith believes about God! "God is great and God is good" are the first seven words of a children's prayer. Those with faith see the greatness of God and fully embrace His goodness!

Man is not good and man is not great. Only God is worthy of those descriptive words. When you refer to the most honorable man alive today and call him a "good" man you are wrong. When you refer to any man as "great" you join the chorus of those proclaiming the lie of Satan.

The proud man will show others his pride. He cannot do otherwise. The man of faith will reveal his faith to those around him.

Faith in God is like pouring a gallon of water into a pint jar! It will spill over on everyone around.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

When Jesus Comes to My House!

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“I heard a loud voice shout from the throne:
God’s home is now with his people. He will live with them, and they will be his own. Yes, God will make his home among his people. He will wipe all tears from their eyes, and there will be no more death, suffering, crying, or pain. These things of the past are gone forever.”

Revelation 21:3-4

Anticipating a new member of the family is a marvelous time. In our home it happened twice as the baby grew for nine months in my wife's womb and four more times as the new member of the family grew in our hearts while we waited for the approval to adopt! Either way our lives were changed forever when the new child arrived in our home.

A new member of the family becomes the total focus of every day for new parents. The needs and even wants of the baby become the first priority of the day and night.

I also remember when I was twelve and my grandmother came to live with us after my grandfather passed away. I know it was hard on her, but it was such a blessing to have her in our home. She was an emotional solid rock and tried to encourage me every day. I confided many things to my grandmother that I never told my parents.

In a special and truly amazing way after this life is over God will live with His people. No one can even imagine how wonderful that will be. Like little children frolicking with their father while waiting for a special Sunday morning breakfast to be prepared we will experience the joy of the Lord in a way that will touch every fiber of our being.

While we wait for that time of ecstasy there is a way to sample it now. Invite Jesus to live in your home and be a part of every moment of every day. He is willing to accept your offer of a place to live, and He wants you to make Him a place at your table.

When Jesus comes to your house, He never "wears out His welcome!"

Monday, August 1, 2011

Repent or Perish!

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Everything you treasure most
will be taken from you.

Your allies can’t be trusted.
They will force you out
of your own country.
Your best friends
will trick and trap you,
even before you know it.

Edom, when this happens,
I, the Lord , will destroy
all your marvelous wisdom.

Obadiah 1:6-8 CEV

The country of Edom is a sobering example of the problem of standing against God and Israel as a nation. Edom was just to the south of Israel and probably as far as most people are concerned it has disappeared from all historical significance.

The three things that Edom lost were, treasure, friends and wisdom.

When you set yourself against God and his people you will lose your treasure. That is because the things you treasure here on this earth are all corruptible and temporary. Only those who fear God treasure things that last forever!

You will lose your friends because men who do not fear God will ultimately betray each other for self preservation.

Finally, you will lose your wisdom because all human wisdom is based on the realities of God. When you reject God, there is no standard for human wisdom. Then your wisdom has the consistency of a bowl of Jell-O and flies with the wind like seeds from a dandelion weed.

If you think human wisdom will work without God, look at the collective, worldwide attempts today to solve the money and debt crisis. The basic principles of sanity are being denied by otherwise brilliant men and women. Like the country of Edom, it will be a great ride all the way to oblivion!

Three words describe the plight of the world today. REPENT OR PERISH!