Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Prison of Sin

Christ died once for our sins. An innocent person died for those who are guilty.

Christ did this to bring you to God, when his body was put to death and his spirit was made alive.

Christ then preached to the spirits that were being kept in prison.  They had disobeyed God while Noah was building the boat, but God had been patient with them. Eight people went into that boat and were brought safely through the flood.

1 Peter 3:18-20

After Jesus was crucified he preached to "the spirits that were being kept in prison." These were the spirits of people who had disobeyed God while Noah was building the ark. Does that mean that those people could come to Christ and be saved after they had already died? This is one of those "I know what it says, but I don't really know what it means verses." It is clear in scripture that people today cannot expect the opportunity to turn to Jesus after they die. The Bible says that we die once and after that comes the judgment!

But here is a certainty that I do know. Jesus still preaches to those in prison.

If you are in a literal prison, you may already know that the liberating message of Jesus is able to free you from your confinement while all the doors remain securely locked.

If your prison is not made of bricks and bars, but the addiction of sin, then Jesus still has a liberating message for you. Real freedom is not the freedom to sin, but rather authentic freedom enables you not to sin! The greatest prison in all this world is the prison of sin. Without Jesus we are all locked tightly in its cells. We may long to be free, but only Jesus can unlock the doors of the prison of sin and let us out.

Without Jesus all men are in the Prison of Sin. They may talk about freedom and even claim to be free. But every man and woman ever born lives in the Prison of Sin until Jesus opens the door to the eternal freedom of being like God!

"Lord Jesus I know that You came to set me free from sin, not just to help me live a better life.. Show me Your awesome power again today as You keep me free from sin, all sin. Thank You Jesus for what You did on the Cross so many years ago and for what You are doing in my life today! Amen."

Monday, February 25, 2013

Jesus People

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If we have faith in God's Son, we have believed what God has said. But if we don't believe what God has said about his Son, it is the same as calling God a liar.  God has also said he gave us eternal life and this life comes to us from his Son. And so, if we have God's Son, we have this life. But if we don't have the Son, we don't have this life.

1 John 5:10-12

If you want to be justified without Jesus you are just playing a game that will make no difference in your life here or your eternal destiny.

You have been separated from God, not just by your own sin, but by the sin of Adam in the Garden of Eden. The way back to God is not simply repentance and good living. If you lived a perfect life, it would not change the fallen nature that you inherited from your fathers and ultimately from Adam and Eve.

Without faith in Jesus there is no work of righteousness that would save you from Eternal Death! It doesn't matter how much your life blesses other people in this world or how your life "made a difference" and made the world "a better place."

There is only one way to God and only one person through whom we can be reconciled with our Creator. That way and that person is Jesus Christ.

During a brief revival, mostly in the 1970's those who were impacted for God were called "Jesus People." Let yourself become totally obsessed with Jesus Christ. Focus on Jesus in everything you do. Let your mind and heart be turned to Him every waking moment and pray that your dreams will be filled with thoughts of Him. Let Jesus be the beginning and end of every day.

"Lord I want nothing more than to be consumed with my love for You. May everything I see and hear today remind me of You my Lord. And may I have the courage to boldly proclaim my love for You Jesus to all the world around me. Today and forever! Amen."

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Extraordinary Day

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You, Lord, are my God!

I will praise you

for doing the wonderful things

you had planned and promised

since ancient times.

Isaiah 25:1

I suppose it has happened to almost everyone. Your father promised to take you somewhere or do something with you and circumstances dictated that he could not keep his promise. And of course there are fathers who make promises and just don't keep them for whatever reason. It is a part of growing up that is very disappointing to say the least.

Many people in this world can't bring themselves to trust God because they could not trust their human father. When your father betrays your trust it is harder to trust God who is your Heavenly Father.

Here is some good news. Everything your earthly father should have been, your Heavenly Father is! God always keeps His promises and He will never, ever let you down or abandon you. God will provide for your every need whether it be spiritual, emotional, or physical.

God has known about you from the Beginning! You were planned and a way for you was prepared. Today is one of the days that God planned for you. If you are still alive on this earth then God has a plan for you today. Every step of the way today ask Him to show you the way and know that He knew about you and this day long before you were even born!

"Lord, show me the place to put my foot today on the path that You put before me. I praise You Lord that You have not only planned my life, but You have planned this day! When I walk with You every day is Extraordinary. Thank You Lord for another one. Amen."

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Down on His Knees

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When the Lord God made the heavens and the earth, no grass or plants were growing anywhere. God had not yet sent any rain, and there was no one to work the land. But streams came up from the ground and watered the earth.

The Lord God took some soil from the ground and made a man.God breathed life into the man, and the man started breathing. The Lord made a garden in a place called Eden, which was in the east, and he put the man there.

Genesis 2:4-9

I wonder if God still thinks about the time He got down on His knees and formed a man from the dirt? Now, the Bible doesn't say that God got down on His knees, but if you imagine what He did, getting down on His knees was the most logical way. God must have had tender thoughts about this new creation. And by the way, God did not create man for any random purpose that man might imagine. He had a specific reason for creating mankind.

The day that God first met Adam reminds me of my first encounter with each of my children. My wife and I have six children and each of their stories is unique, very unique. But the feelings a father has for his children must be something like how God felt for Adam.

It was love at first sight, it was a miracle and it was the beginning of a long journey with joy and happiness, but also with sorrow and pain. There was separation from the Father, but then came a time of homecoming and reunion. Jesus paid the price for Adam and Eve so they could be restored to fellowship with God. He paid the price for you and me as well so that one day we will be gathered with all our brothers and sisters before His throne and worship Him forever.

"Lord God, You know the day You first created me and I know the day I first realized that You are my Father. Hold me in Your Hand until the day that I can eat the fruit from the Tree of Life and live forever with You. Amen."

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Bread of Betrayal

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After Jesus had said these things, he was deeply troubled and told his disciples, “I tell you for certain that one of you will betray me.”  They were confused about what he meant. And they just stared at each other.

Jesus' favorite disciple was sitting next to him at the meal,  and Simon motioned for this disciple to find out which one Jesus meant. So the disciple leaned toward Jesus and asked, “Lord, which one of us are you talking about?”

Jesus answered, “I will dip this piece of bread in the sauce and give it to the one I was talking about.”

Then Jesus dipped the bread and gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.  Right then Satan took control of Judas.

Jesus said, “Judas, go quickly and do what you have to do.”  No one at the meal understood what Jesus meant.  But because Judas was in charge of the money, some of them thought that Jesus had told him to buy something they needed for the festival. Others thought that Jesus had told him to give some money to the poor. Judas took the piece of bread and went out.

It was already night.

John 13:21-30

The Betrayal of Jesus is difficult to understand. Why did it serve God's purpose to have one of the disciples turn Jesus over to those who would crucify Him? What purpose did that serve? Judas was not rewarded for fulfilling God's purpose. The Bible says it would have been better for him if he had never been born.

But God sees yesterday, today and tomorrow all the same. He can predict the future because He already knows what will happen. The prophecy of Psalm 41:9 which says "Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me" is testimony to God's knowledge of what will happen in the future.

The warning for me in the story of what Judas did on that awful night is this: Being close to those who are intimate with The Lord does not mean that you have a relationship with Jesus yourself. Satan wants you and me to betray Jesus today. He speaks to our minds and gives us opportunities to join Judas in turning away from The Lord.

"Oh Lord, help me not to look at all those around me who are close to You and be satisfied with that. May I receive from You the Bread of Life and not the bread of betrayal like Judas did on the night before You went to the Cross. Draw me close to You Lord Jesus. Amen."

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Jezebel and Jesus!

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I know everything about you, including your love, your faith, your service, and how you have endured. I know you are doing more now than you have ever done before.  But I still have something against you because of that woman Jezebel. She calls herself a prophet, and you let her teach and mislead my servants to do immoral things and to eat food offered to idols. I gave her a chance to turn from her sins, but she did not want to stop doing these immoral things.

I am going to strike down Jezebel. Everyone who does these immoral things with her will also be punished, if they don't stop.  I will even kill her followers. Then all the churches will see that I know everyone's thoughts and feelings. I will treat each of you as you deserve.

Some of you in Thyatira don't follow Jezebel's teaching. You don't know anything about what her followers call the “deep secrets of Satan.” So I won't burden you down with any other commands.But until I come, you must hold firmly to the teaching you have.

Revelation 2:19-25

Sometimes I think I know too much! I was driving for an Amish man earlier this week. The Amish in our community don't drive cars and they don't use electricity or have telephones in their houses. Their lifestyle is much as it was almost 200 years ago.

We passed by a movie theater and he asked me what it was. When I said it was a movie theater he had a blank look on his face. He is almost 50 years old and no one had explained to him about Hollywood and the movie industry. As I was trying to tell him what it was all about I felt like I was violating an innocence that needed to be left undisturbed. I quickly changed the subject and moved on to something less mired in sin!

The people in Thyatira were solid followers of The Lord, but some of them knew the "deep secrets of Satan." For some reason they had not seen the problem of walking with Jesus and following Jezebel as well.

I believe that today Jezebel is the ungodly culture in which we all live. Every nation on earth has customs and accepted practices that do not come from God. When we try to be a follower of Jesus and walk in perfect harmony with the ways of other men in our land we are usually following a Jezebel as well as Jesus.

"Lord Jesus I repent of even knowing the "deep secrets of Satan." Take away from my mind the things that I should not know, and replace them with the things that draw me closer to You. May my every thought bring You glory today and forevermore. Amen."

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Horizon of Heaven

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I am John, a follower together with all of you. We suffer because Jesus is our king, but he gives us the strength to endure. I was sent to Patmos Island, because I had preached God's message and had told about Jesus. 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.”

When I turned to see who was speaking to me, I saw seven gold lampstands.  There with the lampstands was someone who seemed to be the Son of Man. He was wearing a robe that reached down to his feet, and a gold cloth was wrapped around his chest. His head and his hair were white as wool or snow, and his eyes looked like flames of fire.  His feet were glowing like bronze being heated in a furnace, and his voice sounded like the roar of a waterfall.  He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp double-edged sword was coming from his mouth. His face was shining as bright as the sun at noon.

Revelation 1:9-16

The Apostle John was imprisoned on the island of Patmos because he had preached God's message and told about Jesus. While he was suffering the Spirit took control of him and John saw Jesus and heard the message which is now the Book of Revelation.

If you are a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ and you are suffering then look for Jesus and listen for His voice. The greatest revelation of Jesus can come when you are suffering the most. As the early martyr Stephen was dying he saw Heaven open up before him. When the pain is greatest look for the Horizon of Heaven and let your mind and heart be filled with visions of what is beyond.

There is no new Book of Revelation to be written today, but there is much for you to see while you suffer for Jesus. Let the Words of Scripture sound like a trumpet in your ears as you feel the pain allotted to you.

I don't believe John would have had the revelation that became the Book of Revelation if he had been on Patmos for a Summer holiday. It was in and because of his suffering that he was able to see what Jesus wanted to show him.

"Lord, I know that the pain I feel today makes me ready to hear from You and see the Horizon of Heaven as I have never seen it before. Show me what you want me to see and speak Your Words to my heart that I may not waste the sorrow that is heavy on me today. May You be praised forever. Amen."

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

No Light When You Hate!

My dear friends, I am not writing to give you a new commandment. It is the same one you were first given, and it is the message you heard. But it really is a new commandment, and you know its true meaning, just as Christ does. You can see the darkness fading away and the true light already shining.

If we claim to be in the light and hate someone, we are still in the dark. But if we love others, we are in the light, and we don't cause problems for them. If we hate others, we are living and walking in the dark. We don't know where we are going, because we can't see in the dark.

I John 2:7-11

There is a difference between not being able to see and walking in the dark. If you are blind, there can be light all around you, but you will not see it. It is only when your blindness is touched by the hand of a healer that your vision will be restored. But if your eyes are good and you can see very well, but you walk in darkness you have no advantage over the man who is blind.

Every man is born blind to the things of God and must be "born again" before he can see the spiritual reality of Eternity! When that new birth happens the eyes of his heart are healed and he can see! It is the wonder of a new Christian who runs after God and is continually seeing truth that he had never imagined before Jesus healed his eyes!

Then there are those whose spiritual eyes have been healed, but because of hate they are walking in the darkness. When you hate, even your enemies, darkness comes over your soul and you can't walk without stumbling. Sometimes the light dims so slowly that you don't even realize that you are in darkness and not in the light.

Search your heart for hate. When you find even a tiny speck in your heart, throw it out by replacing it with love! Pray for God's blessings on the one you hate. If it is within your power do a loving act of kindness for them. Drive out hate and the light will come back to your life!

"Dear Jesus, I am tempted every day to hate someone for something. It is so easy in this evil world. There are so many reasons to hate and I encounter more of them every day! Show me the hate that is still in me and help me cast it out and replace it with Your love so that the light may shine again in my heart now and forever! Amen."

Monday, February 18, 2013

Your Thoughts Come First

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You used to be far from God. Your thoughts made you his enemies, and you did evil things. But his Son became a human and died. So God made peace with you, and now he lets you stand in his presence as people who are holy and faultless and innocent. But you must stay deeply rooted and firm in your faith. You must not give up the hope you received when you heard the good news. It was preached to everyone on earth, and I myself have become a servant of this message.

Colossians 1:21-23

There is an old saying that sounds good, but really isn't true. Has someone ever said to you, "You are what you eat." As a kid I know it was an attempt to get me to eat my vegetables and not just live on junk food.

But really we are not what we eat. The truth is that we are what we think! Thoughts come first and then evil words and evil deeds. Unless you think a thing you will not say it or do it. Satan's war for control of your life begins in your mind. If he can get you to dwell on a thought that comes from him then acting on that thought is relatively simple. Just let the thought stay there long enough and you will act.

The path to be spiritually strong begins the same way. If we constantly fill our minds with God's Word and thoughts that come from Him there will be no place or time for Satan. And with God's Word in our thoughts we will not find it hard to do the deeds of righteousness that please God so very much.

"Lord Jesus, fill my mind today with Your thoughts and help me to run quickly away from every evil thought. May I have no time to consider or ponder the messages from Satan that are directed at my mind everyday. May I today think of nothing other than my Lord and Your Majesty and Glory. Amen!"

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Tread on Me!

Our God, you save us,

and your fearsome deeds answer

our prayers for justice!

You give hope to people

everywhere on earth,

even those across the sea.


You are strong,

and your mighty power

put the mountains in place.


You silence the roaring waves

and the noisy shouts

of the nations.


People far away marvel

at your fearsome deeds,

and all who live under the sun

celebrate and sing

because of you.


You take care of the earth

and send rain to help the soil

grow all kinds of crops.

Your rivers never run dry,

and you prepare the earth

to produce abundant grain.


You water all its fields

and level the lumpy ground.

You send showers of rain

to soften the soil

and help the plants sprout.


Wherever your footsteps

touch the earth,

a rich harvest is gathered.


Desert pastures blossom,

and mountains celebrate.


Meadows are filled

with sheep and goats;

valleys overflow with grain

and echo with joyful songs.

Psalm 65:5-13

When you walk a path every day the ground becomes hard and nothing will grow. But with God it is different. When God walks a path the ground where His feet have trod produces a rich harvest.

There is an Ethiopian farmer whose story is amazingly simple and yet a profound testimony to the truth of these verses. After the farmer came to Jesus his harvest was amazingly greater. He farmed the same, but the results were different after the farmer let God walk through his life and his fields. God confirmed his pleasure with this man by increasing the yield of his crops.

When the feet of God touch the ground even the desert blossoms. There are flowers and fruit and trees, beautiful beyond our imagination.

During the Revolutionary War between America and England those who were standing up against British rule coined the phrase "Don't Tread on Me!" The symbol was a rattlesnake that would strike if you step on it! But when it comes to God the call must be quite the opposite.

"Dear Lord, let Your feet walk on my life and on my heart. May You press me hard that I may blossom with new life that can only come from You. Hold me down that I may not wander from the path on which You daily walk! Please Jesus Tread on Me today! Amen."

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Peace Controls You!

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Always be glad because of the Lord! I will say it again: Be glad. Always be gentle with others. The Lord will soon be here.  Don't worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God.  Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel.

Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don't ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise.

Philippians 4:4-8

There are many things in this world that can control the way you think and feel. Many substance addictions directly manipulate your mind set and the sensations you have of the world around you.

You can also be addicted to a pattern of thinking and the deeds that come from those thoughts.

Fear itself can control your mind and heart and put you through daily turmoil as you wait for something bad to slam into your life. Closely related to fear is worry. Fear may be for only a moment, but worry goes on and on and festers in your heart.

But God says we should pray instead of worrying and be thankful as we offer up our requests to the Father! Then He will give you the peace that no one can completely understand. And that peace will control the way you think and feel.

So when you are controlled by the peace of God you can keep your mind on whatever is "true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper." Then your thoughts can focus on things that are "truly worthwhile and worthy of praise."

As a follower of Jesus Christ, the choice is mine. I can be controlled by anything other than the Peace of God and I will indeed be miserable. I will worry and fret about everything in life and be constantly troubled over even the small problems.

Or, I can pray about everything and thankfully ask God to intervene in everything that concerns me. Then His peace will arrive like a soft spring rain and soak me with His love. I will be so blessed by His touch that Satan himself cannot trouble my heart!

"Lord Jesus, You know every troubling word that has come to steal my peace. I bring all those worries and fears and lay them at Your feet. And I thank You Lord that no problem given to You cannot be resolved and no puzzle put before You cannot be solved! I confess Lord that my responsibility is to trust You in everything and keep my mind on those things that are truly worthwhile and worthy of praise. And Lord, may I praise You forever and ever! Amen."

Friday, February 15, 2013

Strange Things in the Sky!

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Strange things will happen to the sun, moon, and stars. The nations on earth will be afraid of the roaring sea and tides, and they won't know what to do. People will be so frightened that they will faint because of what is happening to the world. Every power in the sky will be shaken.  Then the Son of Man will be seen, coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When all of this starts happening, stand up straight and be brave. You will soon be set free.

Luke 21:25-28

Even as I write this they are cleaning up from a meteorite that hit in the Russian Urals yesterday morning. There was destruction and injuries even though it was a sparsely populated area.

And we are waiting for the "flyby" of a small asteroid less than twelve hours from now. If you read or hear this blog tomorrow instead of today you will know whether or not the prediction of a close encounter was accurate, or if the asteroid hit the earth.

Instead of taking comfort that the return of Jesus may be near, many Christians want to argue about whether or not these "signs" are some of the ones Jesus was talking about. The enormous tsunami in Asia a few years ago was the beginning of a universal fear of "the roaring sea and tides."

Real wisdom would dictate that we all live as if these are the signs and these are the days just prior to the return of Jesus Christ. If we are wrong and His coming is still far off in the future, what harm is there in living in daily anticipation of His return. He would not lead you to do something foolish as you expectantly wait for Him. But if you believe it is not and could not be now that Jesus will return you will certainly not be wise in how you live.

Those who follow the signs instead of Jesus are like a man seeing a rainbow and looking for a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow instead of listening to the Word of the one who created it. When God puts a sign in the heavens it may be a fearful warning to the world, but for those who are God's children it is an awesome display of His Eternal Power and Majesty!

"Lord Jesus, if this is not the Day that You come back, then may it be the day that I come back with my whole heart to You! May the Day that You return be a day on which I am closer to You than I have ever been before! Amen."

Thursday, February 14, 2013


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You look forward to the day

when the Lord comes to judge.

But you are in for trouble!

It won't be a time of sunshine;

all will be darkness.

You will run from a lion,

only to meet a bear.

You will escape to your house,

rest your hand on the wall,

and be bitten by a snake.

The day when the Lord judges

will be dark, very dark,

without a ray of light.

Amos 5:18-20

I'm sure someone on the Titanic that fateful night realized what a foolish mistake the pilot of that ship had made and thought "he is getting just what he deserves." Then at some point the real truth came upon them all. "We are all getting what he deserves!" When judgment comes on a nation everyone suffers, even those who do not deserve it.

If you believe God's judgment will come on your nation because of its unrighteousness, you may be right, but don't rejoice. When God's judgment sweeps across a land like a flood it can take away the righteous with the wicked. That's why, in the book of Revelation God's people are encouraged to get out of Babylon!

I remember a road sign when I was a boy that someone put up, I suppose randomly, but I saw many of them. It said "Prepare to Meet Your God!" Really this is the most important message for every man and woman on earth. Be ready for the return of Jesus. Get your heart right with God, so that when the flood comes you will be ready to be swept into His presence to be there forever!

"Lord show me today how to be ready today for whatever may come. Make my heart into one that longs for Your return not Your judgment. But give me the strength to stand firm as I wait for what this day may bring. Thank You Jesus. Amen!"

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Let Jesus Touch Your Eyes

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As Jesus was leaving that place, two blind men began following him and shouting, “Son of David, have pity on us!”

After Jesus had gone indoors, the two blind men came up to him. He asked them, “Do you believe I can make you well?”

“Yes, Lord,” they answered.

Jesus touched their eyes and said, “Because of your faith, you will be healed.”  They were able to see, and Jesus strictly warned them not to tell anyone about him.  But they left and talked about him to everyone in that part of the country.

Matthew 9:27-31

When you finally come to the point of knowing that you are blind what can you do? Until you know that there is such a thing as sight, blindness is just the way you are and not something that would bother you, really at all.

The two men in this story were both blind and they knew it quite well. I suppose we all seek the fellowship of those who are afflicted with the same issues we experience. But two blind men would really be of no help to each other, except to console one another in their misery.

Every man, woman and child on earth was born blind, and by nature they do not know that there is such a thing as spiritual sight. They stumble around in life until one day someone tells them the Good News of Jesus Christ and they catch a brief glimpse of what it would be like to see the light!

Then Jesus says, "Do you believe I can make you well?" If you answer "Yes, Lord" Jesus will touch the eyes of your heart and you will see Jesus and the Glory of an Eternity with Him.

"Lord, touch my eyes and let me see beyond this world of sin and death. Touch my eyes Lord and flood my heart with the Light that comes only from Heaven, so I can sing "I once was blind, but now I see!" Amen.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Wiser than Solomon

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Seven hundred of his wives were daughters of kings, but he also married 300 other women.

As Solomon got older, some of his wives led him to worship their gods. He wasn't like his father David, who had worshiped only the Lord God.Solomon also worshiped Astarte the goddess of Sidon, and Milcom the disgusting god of Ammon. Solomon's father had obeyed the Lord with all his heart, but Solomon disobeyed and did what the Lord hated.

Solomon built shrines on a hill east of Jerusalem to worship Chemosh the disgusting god of Moab, and Molech the disgusting god of Ammon. In fact, he built a shrine for each of his foreign wives, so all of them could burn incense and offer sacrifices to their own gods.

The Lord God of Israel had appeared to Solomon two times and warned him not to worship foreign gods. But Solomon disobeyed and did it anyway. This made the Lord very angry,

I Kings 11:3-10

What a serious warning about remaining faithful to God even in your old age. The wisest man who had ever lived turned to false gods toward the end of his life. I think Solomon is one of the saddest characters in the Bible. He had it all, wealth, wisdom and power. But Solomon's heart turned away from God.

Here is the most sobering and perhaps the most encouraging word in the Bible. Even if you have the wealth and wisdom of Solomon, you can turn your heart from God and disobey Him. But also, you can be the most faith filled believer who had ever lived and not even know how to read the Bible! You may be poor, destitute and homeless and still have the most vibrant faith of anyone on earth!

You can be the world's greatest theologian and have no faith at all. Or, you can walk daily in a vibrant relationship with Jesus without even knowing how to define the word "theology."

Even knowledge of the Bible is not an automatic path to faith. You can expose your ears to the Word and never HEAR what it is saying!

The saddest part of the story of Solomon is the part that is not there. There is no account of Solomon turning back to God before he died.

Be wiser than Solomon and turn your heart back to God, if you have wandered away from your walk with Jesus. Amen.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

I Remember Jesus!

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I can’t remember when I saw a tree with leaves of green.

I can’t remember flowers blooming early in the spring.

I can’t remember soft sweet words from someone that I love.

Or fresh warm rain that’s falling down and washing from above.


I can’t remember mornings with hope for each new day.

I can’t remember the feeling of not wanting to run away.

I can’t remember roses sent by someone who loves me.

But I remember Jesus who daily sets me free.


When I remember Jesus I see Him face to face.

For when I think of Jesus, He’s truly in this place.

My secret smile is Jesus, my peace and joy and rest.

My Jesus is the answer, no matter what the test.


I’d rather be in prison with Jesus by my side

Than roam the world without Him with darkness to abide.

I’d rather have no legs at all than walk without my King.

I’d rather be with Jesus and hear the angels sing.


With Jesus I can see the trees and all their leaves of green.

With Jesus I can smell the flowers blooming in the spring.

With Jesus I hear soft sweet words from someone that I love.

With Jesus I am gently washed with water from above.


If Jesus is not with you, then let Him in today.

You can open up your heart to Him.

No one locks your Lord away.

And then with your sweet Jesus every day will be the best.

He will hide Himself deep in your heart and give you daily rest.


Oh please remember Jesus!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

When I Sin!

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My enemies, don't be glad

because of my troubles!

I may have fallen,

but I will get up;

I may be sitting in the dark,

but the Lord is my light.

I have sinned against the Lord.

And so I must endure his anger,

until he comes to my defense.

But I know that I will see him

making things right for me

and leading me to the light.

Micah 7:8-9

I once met a group of Christians who taught that after you come to Jesus sin will never be present in your life. The problem with such a teaching is that we all know our own sin and so if we embraced the theology Christians never sin we would suffer under the delusion that everyone else is living a perfect life. The frustration and guilt must be enormous.

Will you stumble and fall after beginning your walk with Jesus? Of course you will! If you say that you never sin, then you are a liar and of course that is a sin! The question is not "What to do if you sin?" It is rather, "What to do when you sin?"

All day long you are tempted and enticed by the world and every operative Satan has to sin. You are continually bombarded with taunts from the enemy. Let down your guard for one second and you will act in an ungodly way, say an unloving word or even think an improper thought. If your eternal standing before God depends on you walking perfectly, then you will be the most unhappy of all believers!

The good news is "I may have fallen, but I will get up; I may be sitting in the dark, but the Lord is my light." Here is the amazing part of the good news. When I sin against God, I must endure His anger, but He will Himself come to my defense.

God will make things right for me and lead me to the light!

"Lord, I "hate the sin that so easily besets me" and I ask You Lord to strengthen me by the power of Your Spirit that I may never again stumble over that stone. But Lord, when I do, please come to my defense and lead me back to the light. Lord only You can make things right for me! May Your name be praised forever and ever! Amen!"

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Mary Magdalene

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Mary Magdalene stood crying outside the tomb. She was still weeping, when she stooped down and saw two angels inside. They were dressed in white and were sitting where Jesus' body had been. One was at the head and the other was at the foot. The angels asked Mary, “Why are you crying?”

She answered, “They have taken away my Lord's body! I don't know where they have put him.”

As soon as Mary said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there. But she did not know who he was. Jesus asked her, “Why are you crying? Who are you looking for?”

She thought he was the gardener and said, “Sir, if you have taken his body away, please tell me, so I can go and get him.”

Then Jesus said to her, “Mary!”

She turned and said to him, “Rabboni.” The Aramaic word “Rabboni” means “Teacher.”

Jesus told her, “Don't hold on to me! I have not yet gone to the Father. But tell my disciples I am going to the one who is my Father and my God, as well as your Father and your God.” Mary Magdalene then went and told the disciples she had seen the Lord. She also told them what he had said to her.

John 20:11-18

Mary Magdalene was seeking Jesus at the tomb that Sunday morning, and she was the first one to see the resurrected Christ! That was a choice that Jesus made, not Mary. Peter and John had been there also but Jesus waited until they left to appear to Mary. After having seen His mutilated and crucified body she did not recognize His resurrected body, but when Jesus called her name she knew it was the Lord.

There is much speculation about Mary Magdalene, but the Bible clearly says that Jesus had cast seven demons out of this now devoted disciple. There is no description of how this happened or even when, but Mary Magdalene was deep in the grips of Satan's minions when an encounter with Jesus left her free, free to follow Jesus.

There are those who march completely out of the Biblical bounds of revelation and assume that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married. There is nothing in the Bible that even hints at such an absurd belief. But Jesus was fully human as well as fully God and as such he would have had tender and protective feelings toward any woman. Mary must have also seen Jesus as not only her deliverer, but also her protector. Jesus was the perfect example of what it means to be a man.

So Jesus chose this formally demon possessed woman to be the first person on earth to see Him after His resurrection.

Like Mary Magdalene if you let Jesus cast the demons from your life, you will see Jesus. Jesus came to earth to release you from the grip of Satan and to pay the price for your sins.

"Lord Jesus, like Mary Magdalene I need your touch to free me from the demons that would keep me from following You. You are the only hope for every man and woman who ever lived. And in that hope I rest and trust You to do for me what You did for Mary and everyone who comes to You. Amen."

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Tell Me More Lord!

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Father, I want everyone you have given me to be with me, wherever I am. Then they will see the glory you have given me, because you loved me before the world was created. Good Father, the people of this world don't know you. But I know you, and my followers know that you sent me.  I told them what you are like, and I will tell them even more. Then the love you have for me will become part of them, and I will be one with them.

John 17:24-26

How can you tell someone what God is like? It is a little like one tiny ant trying to describe an elephant to another ant. We can touch the awesome and overwhelming presence of God and never grasp the fullness of His being.

But Jesus tells us what God is like and His description is accurate to the smallest detail. God is like Jesus and Jesus is like God! When you read the accounts of the life of Jesus Christ, you are seeing God in the flesh. Without knowing Jesus you cannot know God. It is only by faith in Jesus that you can come to God.

Jesus made an astonishing statement when He said, "I told them what You are like, and I will tell them even more." How can there be more to tell than what God is like? These words are like a pin hole in a fence through which you can see a ray of light from Eternity! The "More" than what God is like must include the Heavenly realities that never come to our minds except by revelation of Jesus!

"Lord I cannot think of many things at the same time, so fill my mind with thoughts of what God is like and with the "More" that Jesus was talking about. Pour into my mind a continual stream of Heavenly visions so that I have no time for this world or the sin that covers the earth like a flood. As I sit quietly now Lord, show me something "More." Amen"

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Gospel of Nice!

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If the people of this world hate you, just remember that they hated me first. If you belonged to the world, its people would love you. But you don't belong to the world. I have chosen you to leave the world behind, and this is why its people hate you.  Remember how I told you that servants are not greater than their master. So if people mistreat me, they will mistreat you. If they do what I say, they will do what you say.

People will do to you exactly what they did to me. They will do it because you belong to me, and they don't know the one who sent me.

John 15:18-21

Some churches hope to bring the community around them to Jesus by being nice and winning their approval. Perhaps that is the way to grow a social, service club, but it will never work with Jesus.

True believers do not commit their lives to Jesus and proclaim that they are ready and willing to give up their lives for Him because your church is nice! I once heard a compelling message about a false teaching called "The Gospel of Nice." The problem with believing Christians must always be seen as nice is this: If you live in full obedience to the teachings of Jesus Christ and walk according to the Spirit's lead, the world around you will be convicted of their own sin and will not think you are nice!

The world's response to you will be the same as it was to Jesus. They may praise you for a moment, but then you will hear them shouting "Crucify him." Remember that following in the steps of Jesus always leads you to the Cross. Even as Jesus, when He was lifted up on the Cross drew all men to Himself, it is when you are crucified with Christ that you will find the lost are coming to Jesus because of you.

Instead of trying to find some new method of evangelism, look for your cross and in faith embrace it. On your cross the life of this world is drained out of your body as you step in to the power of your new life in Jesus Christ. Amen.

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Evidence of Obedience!

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If you love me, you will do what I have said, and my Father will love you. I will also love you and show you what I am like.

The other Judas, not Judas Iscariot, then spoke up and asked, “Lord, what do you mean by saying that you will show us what you are like, but you will not show the people of this world?”

Jesus replied:

If anyone loves me, they will obey me. Then my Father will love them, and we will come to them and live in them. But anyone who doesn't love me, won't obey me. What they have heard me say doesn't really come from me, but from the Father who sent me.

John 14:21-24

What is the best evidence that you love Jesus? How do you know, yourself that you are not simply claiming to be a follower of Jesus instead of an authentic believer? The easiest person to deceive is yourself.

You can regularly go to a church, sing the songs with everyone else, know all the relevant theologies and even know how to appear to be a follower of Jesus on the outside, while the Holy Spirit is not in your heart!

Here is the simple test. If you love Jesus you will keep His Word. That means when you read the Bible your goal will be obedience instead of understanding. Understanding has its' place, but it is not essential like obedience! You can jump from an airplane and float safely to earth without understanding how the parachute works. But the parachute will not save you by understanding it. You must jump from the plane to be saved.

Understanding theology will not save you eternally. Jumping by faith into the arms of Jesus and being obedient to His every Word will save you from Hell, by the power of His sacrifice on the Cross!

"Lord, I have so much depended on my own understanding instead of on being obedient to Your Word. I know that I will not always understand the One I love, but Lord I always want to obey. Show me how to obey You again today! Amen."

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Know the Father!

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My Father has given me everything, and he is the only one who knows the Son. The only one who truly knows the Father is the Son. But the Son wants to tell others about the Father, so they can know him too.

If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest.  Take the yoke I give you. Put it on your shoulders and learn from me. I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest. This yoke is easy to bear, and this burden is light.

Matthew 11:27-30

The easy yoke and the light burden Jesus is speaking of can catch our attention and divert us from the truth in verse 27.

The Father is the only one who knows the Son and the only one who knows the Father is the Son. Then comes the cosmic shifting declaration. Jesus wants to tell others about the Father so they can know Him too!

Jesus wants to bring you into a knowledge of and relationship with God that can be had in no other way. The fellowship of the Father and Son is incomparable, there is no other relationship like it in all of the universe. No one has ever or could ever break into that amazing unity between Father and Son. But Jesus is inviting you to know God like He knows God!

It is a glorious mystery and a story which has no end! In one second of ultimate fellowship with the Father you will experience more joy and peace and love than you would in a thousand life times here on earth! And yet that fellowship begins here and goes on forever!

"Lord Jesus, tell me about the Father so I can know Him too. I want to hang on every Word You say and fill my mind only with thoughts about Him. I want to be totally caught up in knowing God so that when I am caught up to Heaven the change will be where I am, not what I am doing! May I praise God forever and ever! Amen."

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Do You Belong to Jesus?

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If you tell others you belong to me, I will tell my Father in heaven you are my followers.  But if you reject me, I will tell my Father in heaven you don't belong to me.

Matthew 10:32-33

Belonging to Jesus is not like belonging to a social club. When you belong to any organization most of your life is still controlled by your own free will. If the organization controls your whole life it is called a cult not a club.

Cults are bad, not because you have given over your life to someone else's control, but they are bad because they are not worthy of controlling your life! Cult leaders sometimes ask their followers to do things that are immoral and even illegal.

Jesus is worthy of controlling your whole life. He is worthy of controlling everything about your life. When those still in the world look at your actions they may think that you have simply become a member of some kind of cult and are in the grips of an unworthy leader.

The amazing truth is that we belong to Jesus not because of anything we have done. We belong to Jesus because He paid the price that was on our head! We don't belong to Jesus because we chose Him, but rather because He chose us and completed the transaction for the rightful ownership of our lives. When you choose to follow Jesus you are simply recognizing His rightful ownership of your life!

"Lord, grant me the courage today to tell everyone that I belong to You! And I willingly ask that You control my heart, and mind, and words and actions this and everyday from now until the Day that You return! Amen.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Stop and Listen!

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When you pray, don't talk on and on as people do who don't know God. They think God likes to hear long prayers. Don't be like them. Your Father knows what you need even before you ask.

You should pray like this:

Our Father in heaven,

help us to honor

your name.


Come and set up

your kingdom,

so that everyone on earth

will obey you,

as you are obeyed

in heaven.


Give us our food for today.


Forgive us for doing wrong,

as we forgive others.


Keep us from being tempted

and protect us from evil.

Matthew 6:7-13

Wait a minute. Did these verses just say that people who don't know God pray long prayers? I always thought that people who don't know God don't pray at all, or if they do their prayers would be short!

Doesn't the Bible tell us to "pray without ceasing?" Wouldn't that be a long prayer?
I think we forget that prayer is a conversation with God, not a declaration addressed to Him. The prayer of a man of faith is short because he pauses to listen for God's answer. But he is unceasingly calling on God or listening for God's reply.

If you want to know God better, then listen more and talk less. God already knows your heart, when you listen to Him you will come to know His heart.

When you pray, remember that prayer should be like two dear friends sharing their hearts. I suppose that is why we are encouraged to pray in our closets with the door closed!

Every child is taught to "stop, look, and listen" before he crosses the street. As children of God we must also, when we pray, "stop, look and listen" for God's answer! Stop talking, look in the Bible and Listen for the voice of God speaking to your heart! Amen.