Wednesday, December 26, 2012


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Finally, a third angel came and shouted:

Here is what will happen if you worship the beast and the idol and have the mark of the beast on your hand or forehead.  You will have to drink the wine that God gives to everyone who makes him angry. You will feel his mighty anger, and you will be tortured with fire and burning sulfur, while the holy angels and the Lamb look on.

If you worship the beast and the idol and accept the mark of its name, you will be tortured day and night. The smoke from your torture will go up forever and ever, and you will never be able to rest.

Revelation 14:9-11

I think we may have missed something about God! These verses clearly say that God will torture those who worship the beast and the idol and accept the mark of its name.

Today, civilized people believe that torture is barbaric and serves no good purpose. There is great controversy in the United States about whether or not some of the interrogation techniques used by the intelligence services might be classified as torture. I know it would be much more comfortable to skip over these verses and pretend they were not saying what they are indeed saying. God will torture, in anger those who oppose Him while the holy angels and the Lamb look on!

This is simply a sobering reminder that we are not God and that we cannot stand in judgment of His Words or actions. When God decides to save a life, or not to save that life, we are tempted to read human motives in to God's actions. When God says He will torture those who oppose Him we cannot assume using torture, for God, would violate His Holiness and Eternal purity.

"Lord, I know that You are perfect in every way. Your ways are not my ways and Your thoughts are not my thoughts. Help me Lord to stand in awe of You and not in judgment. Thank you Jesus. Amen."

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

How to Stop Sinning!

"The people who lived through these terrible troubles did not turn away from the idols they had made, and they did not stop worshiping demons. They kept on worshiping idols that were made of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood. Not one of these idols could see, hear, or walk. No one stopped murdering or practicing witchcraft or being immoral or stealing."
Revelation 9:20, 21
What does it take to stop a man from sinning?
The world believes that education is the answer to everything! If there is a problem with illicit sex then we need more sex education. If drugs is the problem then drug education should fix it, right? But education is not the motivation for righteousness.
Knowing more about sin is not the way to keep from doing it. In fact, education may have the opposite effect. If I were to be trained in all the aspects of safe cracking and bank robbery it would not make it less likely that I would rob a bank. I might then even be more likely to try my hand at the crime.
Don't forget the first sin was eating of the tree of the "knowledge of good and evil." Knowing about evil is not a deterrent even as knowing good doesn't mean you will do it.
If you want to stop sinning the only way to do it is to get to know Jesus better and better everyday. Knowing Jesus will keep you from sinning and knowing Jesus will prompt you to do the right things everyday.

"Lord, I want to know You more today than I did yesterday. Keep me from knowing sin and help me forget the sin that I have come to know so well. May all my thoughts be filled with the wonders of Your love! Amen."

Monday, December 24, 2012

At Home in My Heart!

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My dear friends, remember what you were when God chose you. The people of this world didn't think that many of you were wise. Only a few of you were in places of power, and not many of you came from important families.  But God chose the foolish things of this world to put the wise to shame. He chose the weak things of this world to put the powerful to shame.

What the world thinks is worthless, useless, and nothing at all is what God has used to destroy what the world considers important. God did all this to keep anyone from bragging to him.  You are God's children. He sent Christ Jesus to save us and to make us wise, acceptable, and holy.  So if you want to brag, do what the Scriptures say and brag about the Lord.

1 Corinthians 1:26-31

If you were handsome or beautiful and had a very high IQ along with power and influence in this world would you feel a desperate need for God in your life? If you had all the material things that men desire and work hard to obtain how deeply would long for Jesus?

When you find a truly spiritual man or woman who seeks to know God better at every turn you almost always find a "suffering servant" who is not the world's ideal roll model. Isaiah 53:2 even says Jesus was not attractive. I have never seen a painting depicting Jesus as a man who even looked ordinary much less "unattractive."

If you received a present on Christmas and it was wrapped in beautiful paper how long would you remember the wrapping paper? This body that we have on this earth is like that paper around a gift. The gift of life and the promise of eternal life may be wrapped in the least attractive paper possible, but your body does not define your spirit, the Holy Spirit, or Jesus Himself who lives in your heart! Instead of spending your life grooming your physical body, spend all that you have in time, energy and resources in making the Holy Spirit feel at home in your heart.

"Lord, may the Holy Spirit in my life be as comfortable in my heart as He was in Yours when you walked this earth as a man. How can I make you feel more at home in my heart today? Amen"

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Understanding Will Come!

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The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,


“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Blessed is the king of Israel!”

Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written:

“Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion;

see, your king is coming,

seated on a donkey’s colt.”

At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him.

John 12:12-16

Understanding the things of God can be an instantaneous enlightenment or a slow and even lifelong revelation.

When you read the Bible sometimes the Holy Spirit quickens your spirit with truth that is far beyond your human grasp.

Life itself is also a great teacher of Eternal reality. There is wisdom that comes with age which God built in to the human experience. An old man still makes mistakes but usually not the same ones he has made before. When you combine Wisdom from the Word of God and the wisdom of living here on earth you find a fully fermented wine that speaks not only of years past but also of Eternity to come!

Like the disciples of Jesus when He walked the earth there is much that you may not understand at first! But there will come a point or probably many points when things that were complex will be simple and things that were dark will be as bright as the morning sun.
Accept the mysteries of God like a child accepts the things he cannot understand until he is grown. The time will come and may come soon that everything will be as clear as crystal.

"Lord, there are so many mysteries in this life and so much that I want to know. Help me to rest in peace like a child in the knowledge that someday, maybe soon everything will be revealed as I stand or fall down in Your presence. May You be glorified forever! Amen!"

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Peace?

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That night in the fields near Bethlehem some shepherds were guarding their sheep.  All at once an angel came down to them from the Lord, and the brightness of the Lord's glory flashed around them. The shepherds were frightened.  But the angel said, “Don't be afraid! I have good news for you, which will make everyone happy. This very day in King David's hometown a Savior was born for you. He is Christ the Lord.  You will know who he is, because you will find him dressed in baby clothes and lying on a bed of hay.”

Suddenly many other angels came down from heaven and joined in praising God. They said:

“Praise God in heaven!

Peace on earth to everyone

who pleases God.”

Luke 2:8-14

What is this “peace” that the angels were talking about on the night that Jesus was born?  Was the peace of the first Christmas the end of war between nations?  Did the coming of Jesus 2000 years ago bring global peace?   Quite obviously it did not!

Was this “peace” a personal peace that would surround those who follow Jesus so that no trouble and turmoil would disturb them?  The answer is also no to that.

The angels were talking about peace between man and God Himself!  Man had been at war with God since the Garden of Eden.  With the coming of Jesus the war could end without the eternal damnation of all men!

My four year old grandson said “The devil is scary!”  His grandmother gently reminded him that the devil is scary only if you do not have Jesus with you.  If you are at war with God, Satan will destroy you.  If you are at peace with God, all the wrath of the devil himself can do you no eternal harm.

“Lord Jesus, may the peace of that first Christmas fill my heart and give me the calm assurance that all is well no matter how violent the storms that rage around me.  Thank You Lord.  Amen!”

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Heaven Meets Earth!

At the sound of the seventh trumpet, loud voices were heard in heaven. They said,

“Now the kingdom

of this world

belongs to our Lord

and to his Chosen One!

And he will rule

forever and ever!”

Then the 24 elders, who were seated on thrones in God's presence, knelt down and worshiped him.  They said,

“Lord God All-Powerful,

you are and you were,

and we thank you.

You used your great power

and started ruling.

When the nations got angry,

you became angry too!

Now the time has come

for the dead

to be judged.

It is time for you to reward

your servants the prophets

and all your people

who honor your name,

no matter who they are.

It is time to destroy everyone

who has destroyed

the earth.”

The door to God's temple in heaven was then opened, and the sacred chest could be seen inside the temple. I saw lightning and heard roars of thunder. The earth trembled and huge hailstones fell to the ground.

Revelation 11:15-19

Certainly heaven and all of its inhabitants pay much attention to the things that are happening here on earth while we barely recognize that heaven even exists!

It must seem strange to the heavenly hosts that we can ignore the God who created us while we dream up alternate explanations for everything. We are blind to spiritual reality while boldly pretending to see! It is indeed a pitiable existence. We are like men who cannot swim jumping into the sea with pride and confidence that everything will work out just fine. It will not!

Don't judge a man by the confidence he displays or by his many assurances that what he says is true. Judge a man only by his agreement with the Word of God. God speaks only truth, but more importantly truth is what God speaks. Whatever God says is true even if it appears to contradict everything we see, hear, touch or taste!

In these last days don't let an hour go by without thinking of heaven! Everything that is going on there is all about what is happening here.

"Lord, make me more aware of heaven than I am of earth. Let me see in my heart and mind the final preparations for that soon coming wonderful day! Amen."

Monday, December 17, 2012

Testimony of Life!

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A lot of people came when they heard that Jesus was there. They also wanted to see Lazarus, because Jesus had raised him from death.  So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus.  He was the reason that many of the people were turning from them and putting their faith in Jesus.

John 12:9-11

The testimony of Lazarus was not what he had done for Jesus but rather what Jesus had done for him! Lazarus had died and been resurrected. All Lazarus had to do to proclaim his testimony was to breathe and let men see that he was truly alive.

When you are dead and then you come out of the grave and are alive, it is not necessary to say anything in order to proclaim your testimony.

But when a dead man says he is alive but is not, it is a very "hard sell."

If you want to know if someone is really dead just watch for a while and you will know for certain. If there is no breath and no heartbeat for even few minutes you can know that there is no life.

Are you trying to give a testimony that does not match what people see? Are you claiming that you have been resurrected with Christ but there is the smell of death hanging on to every part of your life?

"Lord Jesus if I have even deceived myself about what You have done in me, for me and through me then right now turn my lies into the truth of Your love. Rescue me even from myself and let me be changed by Your power not mine. Thank You Jesus. Amen"

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Incomplete Obedience!

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This is what you must write to the angel of the church in Sardis:

I have the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. Listen to what I say.

I know what you are doing. Everyone may think you are alive, but you are dead. Wake up! You have only a little strength left, and it is almost gone. So try to become stronger. I have found that you are not completely obeying God.  Remember the teaching you were given and heard. Hold firmly to it and turn from your sins. If you don't wake up, I will come when you least expect it, just as a thief does.

A few of you in Sardis have not dirtied your clothes with sin. You will walk with me in white clothes, because you are worthy. Everyone who wins the victory will wear white clothes. Their names will not be erased from the book of life, and I will tell my Father and his angels that they are my followers.

If you have ears, listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.

Revelation 3:1-6

Years ago there was a military raid into Iran in an attempt to free the Americans who were being held hostage at the United States embassy. The mission was aborted when two helicopters ran into each other on the ground in a sand storm. The U.S. President called the effort an "incomplete success!"  That means the mission failed. It was a creative way of trying to put a better face on the tragic outcome.

What about your obedience to the Word of God? Are you obeying God completely or is your response to God's Word an "incomplete success?"

Instead of using these last days in searching the scriptures for prophetic references about the return of Jesus why not search the Word to discover another way you can be completely obedient to it? Of course you should keep watching the sky, but more importantly keep doing the things that God's Word encourages you to do. Then when He comes you will be working in His Harvest field! There would be no better place to be when Jesus returns!

"Lord, I know You are coming soon and I also know that there are those who still have not turned their hearts to You even at this late hour. Use me today Lord to bring someone else to the point of decision! Thank You Jesus. Amen."

Saturday, December 15, 2012

God Will End the Day!

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Who can measure the wealth and wisdom and knowledge of God? Who can understand his decisions or explain what he does?

“Has anyone known

the thoughts of the Lord

or given him advice?

Has anyone loaned

something to the Lord

that must be repaid?”

Everything comes from the Lord. All things were made because of him and will return to him. Praise the Lord forever! Amen.

Romans 11:33-36

If the wisdom, knowledge and wealth of God could be measured no man on earth would live long enough to read the results! God's wisdom begins in simplicity and never ends. When we encounter the wisdom of God even the greatness of the wisdom of Solomon is like foolishness itself. All the wise men on earth cannot collectively even show up on the same scale as God's wisdom.

And what about the knowledge of God? God does not learn. No truth comes to Him, it all comes from Him. You cannot tell God something He does not already know. God even knows the heart of every man! All of God's questions are rhetorical because He already knows the answers!

And the wealth of God cannot be compared to any other because God ultimately owns everything! If a thing exists it is because God created it, and God can, without justifiable judgment from anyone take it out of existence!

There is a popular phrase that is used a lot in public discussions in The United States. It is "at the end of the day." It is taking the place of phrases like "when all is said and done." or "the bottom line is." I would like to soberly and seriously use that phrase about God. "At the end of the day, God will end the day!"

"Lord, I fall down before You like a leaf in the forest. I am only a drop of rain in the storm or a grain of sand on the beach. It is amazing that You let me call on You at all. And yet because of Your amazing love for me I can humbly even stand in Your presence. May You be praised forever. Amen."

Friday, December 14, 2012

Not a Substitute!

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Moses said a person could become acceptable to God by obeying the Law. He did this when he wrote, “If you want to live, you must do all the Law commands.”

But people whose faith makes them acceptable to God will never ask, “Who will go up to heaven to bring Christ down?”  Neither will they ask, “Who will go down into the world of the dead to raise him to life?”

All who are acceptable because of their faith simply say, “The message is as near as your mouth or your heart.” And this is the same message we preach about faith.  So you will be saved, if you honestly say, “Jesus is Lord,” and if you believe with all your heart that God raised him from death.  God will accept you and save you, if you truly believe this and tell it to others.

The Scriptures say no one who has faith will be disappointed, no matter if that person is a Jew or a Gentile. There is only one Lord, and he is generous to everyone who asks for his help.  All who call out to the Lord will be saved.

Romans 10:5-13

As a parent of six children I can guarantee you that I frequently made errors in judgment in relating to my children. Sometimes I disciplined too harshly and then i might not apply any punishment at all when it was really needed.

But my love for my children never changed. I loved the most obedient child the same as the most rebellious. Rebellion meant that I could not show my love in the same way but the love was the same.

Some Christians are like the child who obeys his father, but in his heart he is standing against God in every way. Others have their hearts turned toward Jesus, but frequently fail in their obedience. The goal of course is to be both committed and obedient. But of first importance is your heart. If your heart is not right toward God then nothing else matters.

"Lord, I call on Your name with all my heart. May my obedience to Your commands be an evidence of the right relationship I have with You and not a substitute for it. Thank You Jesus. Amen."

Friday, December 7, 2012

Wisdom Not Gold!

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With great understanding,

Wisdom is calling out

as she stands at the crossroads

and on every hill.

She stands by the city gate

where everyone enters the city,

and she shouts:

“I am calling out

to each one of you!

Good sense and sound judgment

can be yours.

Listen, because what I say

is worthwhile and right.

I always speak the truth

and refuse to tell a lie.

Every word I speak is honest,

not one is misleading

or deceptive.

Proverbs 8:1-8

Why are old people often wiser than the young? The answer to that is quite simple. Those of us who are now old have made many more mistakes than the young and have learned "not to touch those fires again."

And of course the truly wise man is the one who learns from the mistakes of others. When he sees the tragedy of the foolishness of other men he sets his course to avoid those paths that lead to death.

But there is a way that is even greater. Instead of waiting for your own stumble or even the foolishness of others to instruct you the wisest man listens to the Word of God and orders his steps to walk on that path.

God will never point you in the direction of hell! His teaching shows you the way of life not death! So as you read your chapter or even verse for today be soberly certain that you are drinking in the wisdom of God and satisfying your thirst on the water of life.

"Lord, I ask as Solomon did that You give me wisdom, not gold so I may please You today and walk in the path of life forever! Amen."

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Fountain of Blood!

In the future there will be a fountain, where David's descendants and the people of Jerusalem can wash away their sin and guilt.

The Lord All-Powerful says:

When that time comes, I will get rid of every idol in the country, and they will be forgotten forever. I will also do away with their prophets and those evil spirits that control them.

Zechariah 13:1-2

In the late 1700's William Cowper wrote: "There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emanuel's veins. And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains."

The truth of those words lives on today. Jesus satisfied the justice of God so that we can bask in His love and forgiveness. There is nothing more Amazing than the Grace of God poured out on sinners! Our own righteousness is useless. Filthy rags are more valuable than human righteousness.

I get caught up in doctrine, theology, church, culture and even right living and completely forget that without the Blood of Jesus washing me clean, none of those things would make any difference at all!

It is the fountain filled with the Blood of Jesus that washes me clean so I can stand before Almighty God forever! The Blood of Jesus is the only remedy for the inevitably tragic fate of all mankind. Nothing but the Blood of Jesus can even begin to remove the stains of sin.

"Lord, I come to You needing to be washed by Your Blood. My sin has no other cure than Your precious Blood. Thank You Jesus. Amen."

Sunday, December 2, 2012

God Loves You!

I have given myself completely for their sake, so they may belong completely to the truth.

I am not praying just for these followers. I am also praying for everyone else who will have faith because of what my followers will say about me. I want all of them to be one with each other, just as I am one with you and you are one with me. I also want them to be one with us. Then the people of this world will believe that you sent me.

I have honored my followers in the same way you honored me, in order that they may be one with each other, just as we are one. I am one with them, and you are one with me, so they may become completely one. Then this world's people will know that you sent me. They will know that you love my followers as much as you love me.

John 17:19-23

It is only when you have a child of your own that you begin to understand how much your parents love you. In a human sense parents play the role of the Creator of their children. God, the Creator loves each of His children with the same "I Will Die for You" love that a human parent has for a child. It is the same but it is also greater by many magnitudes.

In fact, God in the person of His Son Jesus did die for His children! The story is remarkably simple and yet utterly complex. God's ultimate creation which was made in His own image turned from Him and ran away to live a life that ends in Eternal Death!

The sorrow of God gave way to a Plan that would bring mankind back to that perfect relationship of Creator and Created.

Jesus came to earth and worked God's Plan by dying on the Cross. His resurrection sealed the deal and the price was paid for every man to shed the burden of his sin and return to the Father who created him.

"Lord give me a new awareness of the greatness of Your love for me. Help me to believe that which the world cannot believe. Lord, I choose to rest secure in Your love today. Amen."

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Six Hours!

It was about nine o'clock in the morning when they nailed him to the cross. On it was a sign that told why he was nailed there. It read, “This is the King of the Jews.”The soldiers also nailed two criminals on crosses, one to the right of Jesus and the other to his left.

People who passed by said terrible things about Jesus. They shook their heads and shouted, “Ha! So you're the one who claimed you could tear down the temple and build it again in three days. Save yourself and come down from the cross!”

The chief priests and the teachers of the Law of Moses also made fun of Jesus. They said to each other, “He saved others, but he can't save himself. If he is the Messiah, the king of Israel, let him come down from the cross! Then we will see and believe.” The two criminals also said cruel things to Jesus.

About noon the sky turned dark and stayed that way until around three o'clock.  Then about that time Jesus shouted, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you deserted me?”

Some of the people standing there heard Jesus and said, “He is calling for Elijah.”  One of them ran and grabbed a sponge. After he had soaked it in wine, he put it on a stick and held it up to Jesus. He said, “Let's wait and see if Elijah will come and take him down!”  Jesus shouted and then died.

At once the curtain in the temple tore in two from top to bottom.

A Roman army officer was standing in front of Jesus. When the officer saw how Jesus died, he said, “This man really was the Son of God!”

Mark 15:25-39

Some people lived for several days while hanging on a cross.  Jesus was on the Cross of His crucifixion from nine o'clock in the  morning until three in the afternoon.  From our perspective two thousand years later it is hard to believe that no one on earth knew what Jesus was doing on the Cross except Christ Himself.  For His followers, His mother, the casual observers, and everyone else who passed by the cross that day the crucifixion of Jesus was just a terrible tragedy and to His disciples it put an end to all their hopes and dreams. 

The greatest event in all of human history was happening right in front of them and no one had any idea about the eternal significance of that day!

Like the followers of Jesus at the crucifixion you may be witnessing or even be a key participant in some of the most critical acts of God in these last days.  

Jesus was only on the Cross about six hours.  Mark off the next six hours in your life and ask God to show you what He is doing in your presence today.  

"Lord, like everyone who stood at the foot of Your Cross I am blind to what is really happening around me today.  Show me Lord how Your hand is moving in the world around me. Let me see the things I cannot see and know the things I cannot know without the touch of Your Hand on my heart!  Thank you Jesus.  Amen!"