Sunday, March 31, 2013

Before the Stone was Rolled Away!

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The Sabbath was over, and it was almost daybreak on Sunday when Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. Suddenly a strong earthquake struck, and the Lord's angel came down from heaven. He rolled away the stone and sat on it. The angel looked as bright as lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards shook from fear and fell down, as though they were dead.

The angel said to the women, “Don't be afraid! I know you are looking for Jesus, who was nailed to a cross. He isn't here! God has raised him to life, just as Jesus said he would. Come, see the place where his body was lying. Now hurry! Tell his disciples he has been raised to life and is on his way to Galilee. Go there, and you will see him. This is what I came to tell you.”

Matthew 28:1-7

For some reason I always thought that the angel rolled the stone away from the entrance to the tomb of Jesus and the Resurrected Christ came out. That is not what the Bible says. It says that the angel rolled the stone away and revealed that the tomb was empty! There is a big difference. The Resurrection did not depend on the stone being moved. Jesus did not wait for the stone!

When a man is raised with Christ to walk a new life empowered by and led by the Holy Spirit there are "rolling stones" that would try to keep us in the tomb of our old lives! And so we sit and wait for someone to roll the stone away from the entrance to our tomb convinced that until they do we cannot live the "Resurrected Life" of a follower of Jesus.

We make much of being Crucified with Christ but pay little attention to following Jesus in His Resurrection. Like Jesus you can leave the tomb before the stone is rolled away!

After Jesus was resurrected He demonstrated that He could walk through walls, After you are raised with Christ to walk a new life, you can also walk through the walls that would keep you from living your new life to the fullest!

"Thank You Jesus for inviting me to die with and be raised with You. Thank You for what the Resurrection means for all men, but also Lord for what the Resurrection means for my life today. May Your angel roll the stone away from the tomb of my old life so the world can see that I am not there. And may You be glorified forever! Amen."

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Day of Despair

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That evening a rich disciple named Joseph from the town of Arimathea  went and asked for Jesus' body. Pilate gave orders for it to be given to Joseph, who took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth. Then Joseph put the body in his own tomb that had been cut into solid rock and had never been used. He rolled a big stone against the entrance to the tomb and went away.

All this time Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting across from the tomb.

On the next day, which was a Sabbath, the chief priests and the Pharisees went together to Pilate.  They said, “Sir, we remember what this liar said while he was still alive. He claimed in three days he would come back from death. So please order the tomb to be carefully guarded for three days. If you don't, his disciples may come and steal his body. They will tell the people he has been raised to life, and this last lie will be worse than the first one.”

Pilate said to them, “All right, take some of your soldiers and guard the tomb as well as you know how.”  So they sealed it tight and placed soldiers there to guard it.

Matthew 27:57-66

The day after the Crucifixion of Jesus was also the day before the Resurrection. It was indeed a Day of Despair for those who followed Jesus. The Bible does not mention anyone who was anxiously waiting for that Sunday morning and expecting the tomb to be empty. Only the chief priests and Pharisees thought the tomb might be empty because the disciples could steal the Body of Jesus to make everyone believe that he was no longer dead.

The Day of Terror on that Friday was followed by a Day of Despair when everything seemed to be lost. All hope was gone and the disciples must have been going over in their minds everything they knew and believed about Jesus. Did Jesus really do all those miracles? How can his death on a Cross make any sense at all? It was all so confusing.

Are you a follower of Jesus Christ and yet are experiencing a Day of Despair? The things you had hoped for have not happened and the things you feared have come upon you. You can understand how the disciples of Jesus felt on that Saturday after the Crucifixion.

Be reminded that after the Day of Despair comes the Resurrection! The darkness will not last. The light will come and shine forever! So wait, and wait patiently for the Resurrection!

"Lord Jesus I thank You that You came back to life and that You will come back again! I know that the darkness of today will change into the glorious light of tomorrow when I see Your face, and will keep on seeing it forever. Thank You Lord. Amen."

Friday, March 29, 2013

If No One Listens!

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Ezekiel, I am sending you to the people of Israel. They are just like their ancestors who rebelled against me and refused to stop.They are stubborn and hardheaded. But I, the Lord God, have chosen you to tell them what I say. Those rebels may not even listen, but at least they will know that a prophet has come to them.

Don't be afraid of them or of anything they say. You may think you're in the middle of a thorn patch or a bunch of scorpions. But be brave and preach my message to them, whether they choose to listen or not. Ezekiel, don't rebel against me, as they have done. Instead, listen to everything I tell you.

And now, Ezekiel, open your mouth and eat what I am going to give you.

Just then, I saw a hand stretched out toward me. And in it was a scroll. The hand opened the scroll, and both sides of it were filled with words of sadness, mourning, and grief.

Ezekiel 2:3-10

The "Good News" of the Gospel is nothing but words of sadness, mourning, and grief for everyone who rejects Jesus! It is only Good News for those who turn away from the world and fully embrace Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

God told Ezekiel that when he preached those "rebels may not even listen." If you are called to proclaim the Gospel, the response to that message does not bring you shame or glory. If no one turns to Jesus because they heard you proclaim the Gospel its is no fault of your own. And if everyone who hears the message repents and turns to Jesus there is no glory that should go to you because of their response.

As a follower of Jesus your success has nothing to do with how many people come to know Jesus because of you. If you follow Jesus you are a success and if you don't follow Jesus nothing else matters.

An evangelist is like a man who delivers the mail. His job is done when the mail is the delivered. Nothing that happens after it is delivered has anything to do with him.

"Lord, give me the courage to deliver the message of the Gospel to everyone, not just those who I think are more likely to receive it. May I glory only in knowing You and not in how men respond to my preaching. Thank you Jesus. Amen."

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Ark Saved You!

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Because Noah had faith, he was warned about something that had not yet happened. He obeyed and built a boat that saved him and his family. In this way the people of the world were judged, and Noah was given the blessings that come to everyone who pleases God.

Hebrews 11:7

There are many people in my ancestry to whom I am grateful for their faithfulness to God. I don't know who most of them are, but I do know Noah. Without Noah's faith humanity as we know it today would not exist. When Noah built the ark he saved not only the animals. Noah also saved me and he saved you!

If you believe, as the Bible says that everyone on earth died except Noah and his family, then Noah's faith was the channel of every blessing you now have from God.

Even as Noah saved the human race from extinction when the flood came, Jesus is the ark that saves from Eternal Death those who come to Him! God provided the ark as a way for Noah and His family to escape the flood that destroyed the earth, and God sent His Son, Jesus Christ as the way for us to escape the flood of sin that is destroying all mankind.

When Noah got in the boat and shut the door he saved your life on this earth, and when Jesus died on the Cross he saved your Eternal life in Heaven if you trust in Him.

"Lord Jesus thank you providing the Way for all men to be saved from the flood of evil that would sweep us away and drown us in sin. Help me to rest today in Your arms as Noah rested in an trusted You in the ark. Thank You Jesus. Amen."

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Salvation Not COD!

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Then I looked and saw a Lamb standing in the center of the throne surrounded by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb looked as if it had once been killed. It had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God, sent out to all the earth.

The Lamb went over and took the scroll from the right hand of the one who sat on the throne.  After he had taken it, the four living creatures and the 24 elders knelt down before him. Each of them had a harp and a gold bowl full of incense, which are the prayers of God's people.   Then they sang a new song,

“You are worthy

to receive the scroll

and open its seals,

because you were killed.

And with your own blood

you bought for God

people from every tribe,

language, nation, and race.

You let them become kings

and serve God as priests,

and they will rule on earth.”

Revelation 5:6-10

COD shipping is still available in the United States, but with the coming of the electronic transfer of funds it is not very popular. COD stands for "Collect on Delivery." With COD shipping you pay the price when you receive the thing you ordered.

Many people seem to believe that Salvation is COD. They think that the price is paid when they come to Jesus. And although they know that they cannot pay for their own salvation they try to pitch in a little something to help with the price!

Your Eternal Salvation is not COD. The price was paid for your salvation and the sins of the entire world when Jesus died on the Cross 2000 years ago. When a man or woman is lost it is not because the price was never paid! Like a package lost in shipment everyone who chooses Hell instead of Heaven is not lost there because there was no sacrifice for sin. The price was paid on the Cross. God chose you and paid for your sins. Will you choose Jesus or choose Hell? It is really that simple.

"Lord Jesus, I rejoice with You today about those who will be delivered to You today. Help me to encourage someone else to choose You, Lord Jesus! Amen."

Monday, March 25, 2013

No Need to Look Back!


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God's curse will no longer be on the people of that city. He and the Lamb will be seated there on their thrones, and its people will worship God and will see him face to face. God's name will be written on the foreheads of the people.  Never again will night appear, and no one who lives there will ever need a lamp or the sun. The Lord God will be their light, and they will rule forever.

Revelation 22:3-5

Why does a motor car need a rear view mirror? I suppose I have never really pondered that, but it is significant when you think about it. A rear view mirror is necessary if you are going to turn to the right or to the left or you are going to slow down or stop. If you never slow down or turn away from the road you are on it is not necessary to look behind you.

God did not put eyes in the back of our heads. God did not give man a natural rear view mirror. When you are running a race there is no need to look back or turn to the right or the left. You look toward the goal and keep going as fast as you can.

In a very real sense every follower of Jesus is in a race. We are not trying to be the only one who wins the prize but we must run toward Heaven and look at Jesus without ever looking back or turning to one side or the other. Looking back serves no purpose in running the race today. It is only important, where you are going, not from whence you came!

"Lord Jesus, help me to press on toward the goal today. Give me the strength to run the race. I thank You Lord that You are indeed with me always. I can almost see the End of the race and the beginning of an Eternity with You, Jesus. Amen."

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Faith Like Enoch

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Enoch had faith and did not die. He pleased God, and God took him up to heaven. This is why his body was never found. But without faith no one can please God. We must believe that God is real and rewards everyone who searches for him.

Hebrews 11:5-6

I have always thought that Enoch was a unique case in the Bible. He was "raptured" by himself and no one ever found his body. The experience of Enoch is what will happen to those who have faith when Jesus returns. God will take us up to heaven and we will not die!

How was Enoch different from other men who had faith in his time? The Bible doesn't say, but this verse implies that Enoch was constantly searching for God. His day must have been a continual, running conversation with God. I'm sure Enoch got away from others to spend time with God, but he must have also sensed the presence of God while he was walking with the crowd.

Make it your goal to please God like Enoch did. Have faith in God, but spend your day searching for Him. Search for God in everything you see, do and hear. Search for God in the good things that happen and in the tragedies. Search for God when you are happy and when sadness overwhelms your heart.

Take only the steps that you believe are pleasing to God and wait patiently for Him to show you the way. Then when you arrive before the Throne of God He may tell you to stand with Enoch as you praise Him forever!

"Lord, I believe in You, but I want to trust You and depend on You more. I want to have faith like Enoch's and I want to search for You as Enoch did. May I please You today in every step I take and every thing I do. In the name of Jesus I ask this. Amen."

Friday, March 22, 2013

Watch Out for SIN!

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The Lord said:

Ezekiel, son of man, warn your people by saying:

Someday, I, the Lord, may send an enemy to invade a country. And suppose its people choose someone to stand watch and to sound a warning signal when the enemy is seen coming. If any of these people hear the signal and ignore it, they will be killed in battle. But it will be their own fault, because they could have escaped if they had paid attention.

But suppose the person watching fails to sound the warning signal. The enemy will attack and kill some of the sinful people in that country, and I, the Lord, will hold that person responsible for their death.

Ezekiel 33:1-6

When a soldier who is standing watch falls asleep, the consequences are almost always severe. The safety and security of the rest of the army depends on that watchman staying awake and vigilant.

I believe that every follower of Jesus Christ is a watchman as well as a disciple. When you see danger coming you must not only prepare to stand in the storm, but also warn others of the trouble that is on the way. Being a watchman is hard because you may be the only one seeing the difficulties on the horizon. Everyone around you thinks that all is well and no trouble is on the way.

That is the way it is with the world. Of all the problems in this world there is only one that makes an eternal difference. That one thing is SIN! Sin is behind everything that is wrong with this world. Without SIN and it's consequences truth would reign and the Majesty and Glory of God would be seen by everyone.

As a watchman, you may be watching for all the End Times prophetic fulfillments while you ignore the imminent danger of SIN in your life and the life of your nation.

When you see SIN sound the alarm and prepare to say NO to every temptation that may come. And when you SIN, repent without delay and come back quickly to the arms of Jesus!

"Lord Jesus, give me the courage to warn those around me of the SIN that I see. Lord, the battle is not over, in fact it is raging as we all wait for Your return. Come quickly Lord Jesus. Amen."

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The President Goes to Jerusalem

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So God's promise came true, just as the prophet had said,

“Announce to the people

of Jerusalem:

‘Your king is coming to you!

He is humble

and rides on a donkey.

He comes on the colt

of a donkey.’ ”

The disciples left and did what Jesus had told them to do.  They brought the donkey and its colt and laid some clothes on their backs. Then Jesus got on.

Many people spread clothes in the road, while others put down branches which they had cut from trees.  Some people walked ahead of Jesus and others followed behind. They were all shouting,

“Hooray for the Son of David!

God bless the one who comes

in the name of the Lord.

Hooray for God

in heaven above!”

When Jesus came to Jerusalem, everyone in the city was excited and asked, “Who can this be?”

Matthew 21:4-10

It was in the early Spring that Jesus came to Jerusalem riding on a donkey. It is on the first day of Spring that the President of the United States comes to Jerusalem riding on the Marine One helicopter. The only donkey in US political life is the mascot for the Democratic Party.

Jesus was called the Prince of Peace and many people are wanting the U.S. President to bring peace to Israel and the rest of the world as well.

Jesus was received like a king with shouts of praise as He came into the city. As I write this we do not know how the U.S. President will be received.

But I do know this: There is no comparison between any President of the United States and Jesus Christ. Presidents come and go and are like a raindrop in a storm compared to the Power and Glory of Jesus Christ. Jesus was there at the Creation of the World and His return to the earth will signal the End has come!

The most powerful man on earth is nothing compared to Jesus.

Is the visit of a U.S. President to Israel on the first day of Spring 2013 important. Well yes it is because everything that happens is used of God to accomplish His purposes in this world. And that includes your life and mine. Remember everything you do today is important to God.

"Lord, may I faithfully walk in the path You have chosen for me today and not turn even one step to the right or left. And Lord, may only Jesus receive all the Glory forever. Amen."

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Tree that Gives Life

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The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!”

Everyone who hears this should say, “Come!”

If you are thirsty, come! If you want life-giving water, come and take it. It's free!

Here is my warning for everyone who hears the prophecies in this book:

If you add anything to them, God will make you suffer all the terrible troubles written in this book.  If you take anything away from these prophecies, God will not let you have part in the life-giving tree and in the holy city described in this book.

Revelation 22:17-19

There is a "life giving tree" in my back yard. Some years this tree is full of peaches and if you were starving to death, it would certainly have enough fruit to save your life. No one planted my peach tree. It came up where Granny would throw out the garbage. But that peach tree gets so full of peaches that I have to support the branches or they would break under the weight of the fruit.

The life giving tree in Heaven has a very special fruit. When you eat of that tree you will live forever! That is why God made Adam and Eve leave the Garden of Eden, so they wouldn't live forever in their sin. But the redeemed will eat of the Tree of Life and live with Jesus in Heaven without end!

Men and women go through life looking for something that will satisfy and insure that they will live forever. First they try one "tree" and it's fruit. Then they try another. Like a bee going from flower to flower they are hoping the next one will give them what they want and need. It will not.

Only Jesus will give you what you need to live forever. Stop trying to find it somewhere else.

"Lord Jesus, I confess that I have been looking for eternal life in all the wrong places. I once again fall down at Your feet and praise Your Name until that Day when the Door will be opened and You will let me eat of the tree that gives eternal life. Thank You Jesus. Amen."

Sunday, March 17, 2013

When Will it Get Better?

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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. 4He 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

I think I was in high school when I first saw a poster with the saying, "Cheer up, things could be worse. And so I cheered up and sure enough things got worse!"

The "IF WE" claims are everywhere. If we elect a Republican in the next election things will get better. If we hold on to our guns and don't let "them" take our guns away then it will be better. If we pass the right laws and don't pass the wrong ones then all will be well.

Parents want a "better life" for their children and a "better retirement" than their parents had. Business owners want a "better year" and a "better economy."

I suppose all those things would have been possible if it were not for the problem of Sin. Adam and Eve turned away from God and turned toward their own satisfaction and put us all on the path of sorrow, pain and suffering. Living here on earth without great difficulty is like trying to swim in the water without getting wet.

But when God makes His home among His people all those things will be gone forever! Instead of spending your life trying to remove the pain of living on this earth, live this life getting yourself and others ready to live with Jesus in Heaven.

"Lord Jesus, I know that the tribulations of this world will only go away when You come back and take your followers to be with You forever. Help me to be ready to go when You come and ready to stay until You do! Amen."

Saturday, March 16, 2013

War, Wisdom and North Korea!

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Once I saw what people really think of wisdom, and it made an impression on me. It happened when a powerful ruler surrounded and attacked a small city where only a few people lived. The enemy army was getting ready to break through the city walls. But the city was saved by the wisdom of a poor person who was soon forgotten. So I decided that wisdom is better than strength. Yet if you are poor, no one pays any attention to you, no matter how smart you are.

Words of wisdom spoken softly

make much more sense

than the shouts of a ruler

to a crowd of fools.

Wisdom is more powerful

than weapons,

yet one mistake can destroy

all the good you have done.

Ecclesiastes 9:13-18

The United States is currently adding many millions of dollars of debt to our already depleted economy by constructing 14 additional missile defense sites on the West Coast. North Korea is threatening to strike an American city with a nuclear missile, and this time the threat appears to have more teeth.

When the Bible says "wisdom is better than strength" and that "wisdom is more powerful than weapons" we are confronted with the missing ingredient in government. If a country is powerful, but it's leaders are not wise it is no better than a paper tiger or a even worse a tiger, escaped from the zoo running loose in a city.

Pray that wisdom will be restored to the leaders of both North Korea and the United States.

But what about your own life? Are you running through life with plenty of power and money but very little if any wisdom from God? Would you rather be a rich man or a wise man? A rich man without wisdom can cause great damage in the world around him. But a wise man without riches can still "save a city." A rich man who is also wise is a blessing to many!

The man with the greatest wisdom is the one who runs hard after God. When you seek Jesus Christ and put Him on the throne of your heart the wisdom of God is daily poured into your mind through His Word and the Holy Spirit.

Judge a nation, not by how many missiles of war it has, but by how much of the Wisdom of God is seen in it's life. Men will be judged the same way. Let faith be your shield. Faith is better than missiles!

Friday, March 15, 2013

No Sinkholes in Heaven!

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Moses said to the crowd, “The Lord has chosen me and told me to do these things—it wasn't my idea. And here's how you will know:  If these men die a natural death, it means the Lord hasn't chosen me. But suppose the Lord does something that has never been done before. For example, what if a huge crack appears in the ground, and these men and their families fall into it and are buried alive, together with everything they own? Then you will know they have turned their backs on the Lord!”

As soon as Moses said this, the ground under the men opened up and swallowed them alive, together with their families and everything they owned. Then the ground closed back up, and they were gone.

The rest of the Israelites heard their screams, so they ran off, shouting, “We don't want that to happen to us!”

Numbers 16:28-34

He was in bed and then suddenly without warning a sinkhole opened up under his house and down he went never to be found again! Then just a few days later a man was walking on the golf course when an 18 foot deep sinkhole opened up under his feet and took him down. The golfer was rescued and I hope some day will be able to laugh with those who tell the story of the man who went to the golf course and fell in the hole!

The first recorded instance of a sinkhole swallowing people is in Numbers 16. A man named Korah was leading a rebellion against Moses when God opened up the earth and sucked Korah and his followers to their death. Those who heard their screams ran away shouting "We don't want that to happen to us."

By the way there is no indication that today's sinkholes are being used by God to punish sinners and those who are rebelling against God. Truthfully, we all have sinned and deserve a sinkhole, but God sent Jesus to rescue us from a fate worse than a sinkhole.

The best way to avoid sinkholes today is to turn your heart and life over to Jesus Christ. Jesus died so that when you die on this earth you will begin an eternal life with Him in Heaven where there are no sinkholes.

Jesus Christ is the only solid ground that will never give way and crumble under your feet!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

White Smoke from Argentina

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The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. There he met Philip, who was from Bethsaida, the hometown of Andrew and Peter. Jesus said to Philip, “Follow me.”

Philip then found Nathanael and said, “We have found the one that Moses and the Prophets wrote about. He is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.”

Nathanael asked, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”

Philip answered, “Come and see.”

John 1:43-46

Today is the first full day of the new Pope's life as head of the Catholic Church. The news is coming in slowly as the questions about who he is and where he came from are being answered in bits and pieces. As the days and weeks go on we will know much more about Pope Francis.

The Pope's legacy will be defined not by where he came from and even what he did in his past life, but rather by where he is going and what he does in the future with the Catholic Church following along.

This one man has been thrust into a position that greatly influences the lives of untold numbers of people. Whether you are Catholic or not you should pray that God will help him lead those people toward righteousness and not the other way.

Today is the first full day of the rest of your life as well. You are not the leader of millions of people, but you have the choice to walk toward righteousness and influence those around you to do the same, or you can walk toward darkness and pull people away from Jesus.

As a follower of Jesus remember that it does not matter where you came from, it only matters where you are going!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Who is by Your Side?

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A little while before morning, Jesus came walking on the water toward his disciples.  When they saw him, they thought he was a ghost. They were terrified and started screaming.

At once, Jesus said to them, “Don't worry! I am Jesus. Don't be afraid.”

Peter replied, “Lord, if it really is you, tell me to come to you on the water.”

“Come on!” Jesus said. Peter then got out of the boat and started walking on the water toward him.

But when Peter saw how strong the wind was, he was afraid and started sinking. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.

At once, Jesus reached out his hand. He helped Peter up and said, “You surely don't have much faith. Why do you doubt?”

Matthew 14:25-31

Jesus said that we would do what He did. Does that include walking on water today? I have never seen anyone, or even heard of anyone who claimed that they walked on water. There are plenty of people who say they have seen the sick healed or the dead raised to life, but not so many who claim to have walked on water.

Lesson number one in walking on water is this: "Don't try to walk on water unless Jesus tells you to do it!"

Lesson number two is: "When you walk on water keep your eyes firmly fixed on Jesus. That is the only way to keep from becoming fearful and beginning to sink."

And finally, if you start to sink quickly call out to Jesus.

I had a "walking on water moment" yesterday. I was trusting the Lord in ways that I have never trusted Him before. The storm was raging, but walking in stride with Jesus made it exciting, not fearful. Then almost without warning I started looking at the wind and the waves. My sinking started quickly and I began to panic. Like He did with Peter, Jesus reached out and kept me from sinking.

The problem of course is fear, fear of heights, fear of drowning, fear of flying, fear of anything. The Bible says that Perfect Love casts out Fear. Jesus is Perfect Love and He is the only one who can cast out and deal with all your fear! The fear of God is only fear that should remain when you walk with Jesus. And that fear is the only one that can leave you at perfect peace while standing in awe of your Eternal Creator!

"Lord Jesus, thank you for reminding me of what happened to Peter when he walked with You on the water. Help me today to be concerned only with Who is by my side and not what is under my feet! Thank you Jesus. Amen."

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Roots of the Tree

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The message about the cross doesn't make any sense to lost people. But for those of us who are being saved, it is God's power at work.  As God says in the Scriptures,

“I will destroy the wisdom

of all who claim

to be wise.

I will confuse those

who think they know

so much.”

What happened to those wise people? What happened to those experts in the Scriptures? What happened to the ones who think they have all the answers? Didn't God show that the wisdom of this world is foolish?  God was wise and decided not to let the people of this world use their wisdom to learn about him.

Instead, God chose to save only those who believe the foolish message we preach.  Jews ask for miracles, and Greeks want something that sounds wise. But we preach that Christ was nailed to a cross. Most Jews have problems with this, and most Gentiles think it is foolish.  Our message is God's power and wisdom for the Jews and the Greeks that he has chosen. Even when God is foolish, he is wiser than everyone else, and even when God is weak, he is stronger than everyone else.

I Corinthians 1:18-25

Human wisdom and knowledge have their roots in the tree that produced the forbidden fruit. They both depend on the five senses of man and are totally impotent in dealing with anything that cannot be seen, heard, tasted, smelled or touched. There is of course an eternal world that cannot be sensed by any of these.

Men and women without the indwelling Holy Spirit have no way of understanding the things of God. It is like a man who is born blind. All men are born without spiritual eyes. They can no more see God's eternal reality than a blind man can see the sunset. They may hear about Jesus and even believe that He is real, and that He must be wonderful. But only after their eyes are opened can they experience the Glory of God's Son!

Don't forget that telling men about Jesus is not enough. The message of the Gospel doesn't simply declare that God is real, the Good News calls them to come to Jesus and have their spiritual eyes opened to the eternal glories of God.

The Power of the Gospel is not in learning more about Jesus. You can know many things about Jesus and never let Him touch your heart and heal your life.

"Lord Jesus, I know many things about You, but what I need is to know You more and more. I need You to touch me where I am broken and heal me where I am sick. I need you to open my eyes so I can see the things that You see and hear the things that You hear. I need You, Jesus in my heart so I can feel the things that You feel. May I rest today in Your sweet arms and lean upon Your breast! Amen."

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Weak Brother

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Welcome all the Lord's followers, even those whose faith is weak. Don't criticize them for having beliefs that are different from yours. Some think it is all right to eat anything, while those whose faith is weak will eat only vegetables. But you should not criticize others for eating or for not eating. After all, God welcomes everyone. What right do you have to criticize someone else's servants? Only their Lord can decide if they are doing right, and the Lord will make sure that they do right.

Romans 14:1-4

The weak brother is often one who has bound himself by rules that God did not write. When you relate to another Christian who cannot in good conscience do something that you believe is perfectly acceptable, you must be careful not to do damage to their faith. As you grow in your own faith it is easier to see others who might be considered "weaker" in faith. You can view them as "legalistic" in their walk as Christians and yes it is easy to look down on them as brothers who don't know the grace of God!

But have you ever considered how the "stronger" brother appears from the perspective of the "weaker" one? When the man who is weak in faith looks at a man who is strong in faith he sees that man doing things that he considers to be sin! One man is eating meat and the other man "knows" that eating meat is sin!

Satan uses even the amount of faith that we have to drive a wedge between brothers. So what must we do?

When you see a brother binding himself to a moral standard that you believe is too strict, don't criticize and demean. And if you see a brother engaged in behavior that you believe is not acceptable to the Lord, warn him but leave the judging to the Lord.

Keep your eyes on Jesus and walk with others who do the same. Busy yourself in worshiping and serving the Lord and you will have little time to focus on each other. Let God direct your steps and change you into the likeness of Jesus Christ and let Him do the same for your brother.

"Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am indeed the weaker brother. My faith falls so far short of what it could be. I want to trust You more and more. May my weak faith grow strong as I walk with and listen to You everyday. And I ask this in the Name of Jesus. Amen!"

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Flames of Faith

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What does all of this mean? It means that the Gentiles were not trying to be acceptable to God, but they found that he would accept them if they had faith.  It also means that the people of Israel were not acceptable to God. And why not? It was because they were trying to be acceptable by obeying the Law instead of by having faith in God. The people of Israel fell over the stone that makes people stumble,  just as God says in the Scriptures,

“Look! I am placing in Zion

a stone to make people

stumble and fall.

But those who have faith

in that one will never

be disappointed.”

Romans 9:30-33

Faith is the foundation of a life that is pleasing to God. When I first heard about faith as a child I somehow thought that faith and believing were the same. They are not. Faith must be preceded by belief for how can you trust someone that you don't really believe exists. But the Bible says that even the demons believe and tremble. I can know full well that God exists and even see His power working in the world around me and never come to trust and depend on Him.

Trust and dependence are the two major pillars of Faith. Remember the story of Jesus and the disciples in a storm. Jesus was asleep in the boat when the storm began to rage. Even though Jesus was with them in the boat, the disciples began to fear that they would drown. When faith begins to fall away it is replaced by fear. When you find fear rising up in your heart instead of trying to be brave fan the flames of faith and trust in Jesus!

When your need seems to be greater than your harvest it is time to depend on Jesus to provide the things that you need. It is easier for a poor man to see the provision of the Lord than for a man who has everything he needs stored in barns and bank accounts.

Don't confuse believing in God and having faith in Jesus Christ. There is not a demon in Hell that doesn't believe in God. But no one will be in Heaven unless they have faith in Jesus! Once you come to believe in God you are standing at the door of faith. If you believe it is time to take the next step of trusting in and depending on God about and for everything in your life! That is faith and that is the kind of faith that will usher you in to the presence of God forever!

"Lord Jesus, it is easy to believe that You exist, but it is hard to trust You for everything in my life! Help me today to take another step of faith in trusting in and depending on You. And may You be glorified forever. Amen."

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Which Criminal Are You?

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Two criminals were led out to be put to death with Jesus. When the soldiers came to the place called “The Skull,” they nailed Jesus to a cross. They also nailed the two criminals to crosses, one on each side of Jesus.

Jesus said, “Father, forgive these people! They don't know what they're doing.”

While the crowd stood there watching Jesus, the soldiers gambled for his clothes. The leaders insulted him by saying, “He saved others. Now he should save himself, if he really is God's chosen Messiah!”

The soldiers made fun of Jesus and brought him some wine. They said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself!”

Above him was a sign that said, “This is the King of the Jews.”

One of the criminals hanging there also insulted Jesus by saying, “Aren't you the Messiah? Save yourself and save us!”

But the other criminal told the first one off, “Don't you fear God? Aren't you getting the same punishment as this man?  We got what was coming to us, but he didn't do anything wrong.”  Then he said to Jesus, “Remember me when you come into power!”

Jesus replied, “I promise that today you will be with me in paradise.”

Luke 23:32-43

There were two criminals that were crucified with Christ that day. These two criminals represent all mankind. One of these men insulted Jesus while the other one called out to Jesus for mercy!

In a real sense, everyone is crucified with Christ. We are all guilty of sin that makes us worthy of Hell. When we see Christ on the Cross next to ours we either rail at Him or cry out for mercy. If you are the criminal who shouts at Jesus and mocks Him when you die you will be with Him no more, forever. But if you ask Jesus to remember you when He comes into power, then you will be with Him in paradise and in Heaven forever!

In a real sense you don't stand at the foot of the Cross. Instead you hang on a cross next to Jesus. As you are dying for your sin you have a choice. You can curse The Lord or beg for His mercy! There really are no other options. Both criminals died that day with Jesus. One was saved and the other one was lost.

Today you are hanging on a cross next to Jesus. What will you say to Him?

"Lord Jesus, I thank You that You were not ashamed to die as if You were a criminal. I have suffered because of my sin, but You suffered to set me free from sin forever! Remember me when You come into power! Amen!"

Friday, March 8, 2013

Rainbow in the Storm!

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After this, I looked and saw a door that opened into heaven. Then the voice that had spoken to me at first and that sounded like a trumpet said, “Come up here! I will show you what must happen next.”  Right then the Spirit took control of me, and there in heaven I saw a throne and someone sitting on it. The one who was sitting there sparkled like precious stones of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow that looked like an emerald surrounded the throne.

Revelation 4:1-3

The rainbow that God placed in the sky as a sign of His promise never to destroy the whole earth by flood again was not the first rainbow. Around the throne of God there is a rainbow that looks like an emerald.

So when you look at a rainbow in the sky you can think of God's promise, but also the throne room in Heaven where, as far as we know, there has always been a rainbow surrounding the throne.

The brightest rainbows here on earth appear when you look at the storm that has passed with the bright sun shinning behind you.

There is a rainbow that has only been seen for about the last 100 years which appears around the shadow of an airplane flying above the clouds. These rainbows are in a complete circle and sometimes are called "the glory." If you have not seen one, look for "the glory" the next time you fly.

Remember at the end of the storm, if you look with the light of the Son shining back on the storm that has passed you will see the "Glory" of God.

"Lord, thank You that after every storm here on earth I can see Your Glory. Help me Lord to see not only the rainbow, but help me to see You in everything that happens here on this earth. Jesus You promised to be with me always and so by faith I will look for You in the storm not just after it has passed. May You be glorified forever! Amen."

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Rich People


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Warn the rich people of this world not to be proud or to trust in wealth that is easily lost. Tell them to have faith in God, who is rich and blesses us with everything we need to enjoy life. Instruct them to do as many good deeds as they can and to help everyone. Remind the rich to be generous and share what they have. This will lay a solid foundation for the future, so they will know what true life is like.

1 Timothy 6:17-19

The wealth of this world can be easily lost. You may know that right now the US stock market is at an all time high. That makes many people feel like they are very wealthy. But one really bad session and those "rich" people can lose it all. It has happened before and everyone knows it can happen again.

These verses tell rich people not to trust in their wealth, but rather to have faith in God. A very good friend of mine was rich and then lost it all. In fact he lost it more than once. He would lose his wealth and then work to get it back. Although it is not popular to say, but some rich people work hard to become rich and they often do it more than once. But now my rich friend is richer than he ever was when he only had money. I have watched him over the years turn his heart from money to God. It has been an amazing transformation as he has come to know what true life is like!

And if my friend happens to be reading this I would warn him against the temptation of pride.

So here are three things that rich people should do: Have faith in God, do as many good deeds as you can to help others, and be generous and share what you have. Those three things will lay a solid foundation for the future.

And if you are not rich, I would warn you not to envy followers of Jesus who are rich. A very wealthy believer once told me that having lots of money must be seen as an awesome responsibility rather than a blessing.

"Lord Jesus, I thank you that I am rich, not in this worlds goods, but rich because I know You. My Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills and I am His child. Help me today to seek You and not the wealth of this world! Come quickly Lord Jesus. Amen."

PERSONAL NOTE: I want to remind you that I am putting together a companion website for this blog.  It is at  And I really appreciate responses you make to these blogs.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Give it to Jesus!

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Jesus called his disciples together and told them, “I feel sorry for these people. They have been with me for three days, and they don't have anything to eat. I don't want to send them away hungry. They might faint on their way home.”

His disciples said, “This place is like a desert. Where can we find enough food to feed such a crowd?”

Jesus asked them how much food they had. They replied, “Seven small loaves of bread and a few little fish.”

After Jesus had told the people to sit down, he took the seven loaves of bread and the fish and gave thanks. He then broke them and handed them to his disciples, who passed them around to the crowds.

Everyone ate all they wanted, and the leftovers filled seven large baskets.

Matthew 15:32-37

When you follow Jesus Christ the question is not "Do I have enough to do the job He has called me to do?" That question really is irrelevant.

When you follow the Lord the only thing with which you must concern yourself is this: Have you given what you have to Jesus? It doesn't matter how much you have, it only matters whether or not you have given what you have to Jesus!

I believe Jesus is still in the business of multiplying the "loaves and fishes."

Like a tiny "mustard seed" Jesus takes what you give Him and grows it into a mighty witness for Him! Sometimes He does that so that we can see it happening, but often Jesus will use your witness in ways that are never known to you. One simple act of faith can take hold and become a family tradition that echoes down through the years to those who come after you. There may be multitudes of your descendants who are drawn closer to God because of your dedication to walk with Him yourself.

When you give what you have to Jesus, you can trust Him to multiply it for His glory and to fulfill the needs of others. Your job in the process is simply giving even the smallest thing that you have to Him.

"Lord Jesus, I am poor and weak and I don't have many "loaves and fishes." But I give what I have to You and trust that You will multiply it. Lord, I have been trying to multiply it myself instead of just giving it to You. So here it is Lord. Take it and do with it as You will. And may You be glorified forever! Amen."

Monday, March 4, 2013

God Controls Every Nation

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The Lord All-Powerful has made this promise:

Everything I have planned will happen just as I said.

I will wipe out every Assyrian in my country,

and I will crush those on my mountains.

I will free my people from slavery to the Assyrians.

I have planned this for the whole world, and my mighty arm

controls every nation.

I, the Lord All-Powerful, have made these plans.

No one can stop me now!

Isaiah 14:24-27

In this world of great turmoil and strife it is more than comforting to hear The Lord say "I have planned this for the whole world; and My mighty arm controls every nation."

It is foolish arrogance of rulers, kings and presidents to believe that they can change the destiny of the world by stopping the use of fossil fuels! They are but pawns in the chess game of good and evil and will be controlled by God so that the End of all things is precisely as He predicted it.

Do not fear the rulers. Only fear God who controls every nation on earth!
The final six words of verse 27 of Isaiah 14 are very important. God says "No one can stop me now!"

Those who fight against God will not win. Those who oppose the Creator of the Universe will fail in the end. Those who say "there is no God" are foolish beyond belief.
Remember this: The ride may be rough and even scary, but the one in control never makes a mistake. He will carry you all the way to the end and bring you safely to your home in Heaven.

"Lord Jesus, help me to believe that all this wickedness and evil that I see in the world today exists only because You have allowed it have are using it for Your purpose. I trust you Lord. Help me to trust You more. Amen.”

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Day of Judgment!

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I saw a great white throne with someone sitting on it. Earth and heaven tried to run away, but there was no place for them to go.  I also saw all the dead people standing in front of that throne. Every one of them was there, no matter who they had once been. Several books were opened, and then the book of life was opened. The dead were judged by what those books said they had done.

Revelation 20:11-12

The Day of Judgment is a fearful thing. God knows every evil thought you have ever had as well as every evil deed you have done! There is no way to hide from God. Even the "earth and sky" will try to run away from God's judgment, but there will be no place to go!

Imagine standing before any judge and everything you have ever done wrong is part of the charges against you! When you are charged with a crime here on earth it is usually one thing you have done wrong. At most you might be charged with several crimes, but not with everything you have ever done wrong! The Day of Judgment before God will address every sin you have ever committed. What a fearful thought!

But there is hope and that hope is in Jesus alone! When you come to Jesus and give your heart to Him an amazing thing happens. If you are "in Christ" when you go to the Day of Judgment it will be declared that the penalty for your sin has already been paid! No matter what the sin, there is no greater penalty than the death sentence.

We sometimes think of Jesus paying our debt and I that is true as well, but Jesus also suffered our punishment. All sin will be punished. Will yours be covered by the blood of Jesus on the Day of Judgment or will you try to justify yourself before God?

"Lord Jesus, I thank You for suffering and dying for me and paying the price for my sin. Jesus, I owe You everything. And I give You everything I have and everything I am. I give You my heart and mind and strength again today. Amen."

PERSONAL NOTE:  I want to thank you for visiting this blog.  I usually get up by 3 am local time to prepare it.  It is one of the highlights of my day.  I am currently developing a companion website where you can get more information and interaction.  I would love to hear directly from you.  May God bless you!