Friday, May 31, 2013

Cling to Jesus!

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But I will sing about

your strength, my God,

and I will celebrate

because of your love.

You are my fortress,

my place of protection

in times of trouble.

I will sing your praises!

You are my mighty fortress,

and you love me.

Psalm 59:16-17

When tragedy strikes your life do you run away from God or do you run to Him? Satan says, "God let you down. You can't depend on Him." And many step off of the path they had been walking with Jesus because of a terrible time that descended upon them. They blame God for the trouble and begin a life based on the pitiable state of being angry with God.

When difficulties come instead of running away from God, run to Him! Grab hold of God and immerse yourself in His Word. Hang on every verse and embrace every thought that comes from Scripture.

Never try to "understand" the difficulties you have. How can a fish understand the ocean, or a bird the sky. The cosmic reality of which you are a part is too vast for any human to grasp. The mystery of life itself which God authored and sustains is something to know when we get to Heaven, if even then.

Now is the time to cling to Jesus, celebrate because of His love, and praise His Name!

"Lord, I choose You in time of trouble. I come to You in my pain and sorrow. I grab hold of You when I am suffering. I trust You to be all I need when tragedy strikes my life. And Jesus I praise You today and forever. Amen!"

Monday, May 27, 2013

What You Don’t Know!

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The Sadducees did not believe that people would rise to life after death. So some of them came to Jesus and said:

Teacher, Moses wrote that if a married man dies and has no children, his brother should marry the widow. Their first son would then be thought of as the son of the dead brother. There were once seven brothers. The first one married, but died without having any children. The second brother married his brother's widow, and he also died without having children. The same thing happened to the third brother, and finally to all seven brothers. At last the woman died. When God raises people from death, whose wife will this woman be? After all, she had been married to all seven brothers.

Jesus answered:

You are completely wrong! You don't know what the Scriptures teach. And you don't know anything about the power of God. When God raises people to life, they won't marry. They will be like the angels in heaven.

Mark 12:18-25

This was a stinging rebuke that Jesus gave to the Sadducees. They certainly took pride in knowing the Bible. In fact, they must have believed that they knew what the Scriptures teach better than anyone else.

And what religious person would not take offense when they are told that they don't know anything about the power of God?

Without the controversy of a confrontation with Jesus, I would like to ask myself, and you if you are willing to entertain the questions, do I know what the Bible teaches and, do I know anything about the power of God?

There is a famous piece of legislation in the United States that was signed into law without being read by most of those who endorsed the bill. Have you "signed on" to become a follower of Jesus without knowing what the Bible says that means?

And when it comes to the power of God, have you only heard about it, or have you heard the mighty wind of God's Spirit moving in power around and through your life?
Don't be a Sadducee today. Know what the Bible says and let His power loose in your life to bring Him glory forever.

"Lord Jesus, show me today more of what the Scriptures say and what Your power means in my life. Amen."

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Family of God!

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And you have put everything

under our power!”

God has put everything under our power and has not left anything out of our power. But we still don't see it all under our control. What we do see is Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels. Because of God's gift of undeserved grace, Jesus died for everyone. And now that Jesus has suffered and died, he is crowned with glory and honor!

Everything belongs to God, and all things were created by his power. So God did the right thing when he made Jesus perfect by suffering, as Jesus led many of God's children to be saved and to share in his glory. Jesus and the people he makes holy all belong to the same family. This is why he isn't ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters.  He even said to God,

“I will tell them your name

and sing your praises

when they come together

to worship.”

He also said,

“I will trust God.”

Then he said,

“Here I am with the children

God has given me.”

Hebrews 2:8-13

If you are a Christian, as a follower of Jesus Christ you belong to the family of God! And as a member of God's family you have an inheritance, a place at His table and a room of your own! Being a member of God's family is not a small thing.

God created the family here on this earth to show us what it is to be part of God's family. That is why the world wants so desperately to redefine the word "family." If they can blur the definition of "family" here on this earth, then we will be certainly confused about what it means to be part of the family of God.

Of course, in the family of God, God is the Father! God has the ultimate authority and responsibility for His family. God is to be trusted, praised and yes, feared! As any good father, God can be depended upon to provide what His family needs. And as a child of God it is perfectly alright, and even expected that you would tell others how great your Father is! Should you fear God? Oh yes! The loving hand of disciple that God puts on His children when they stray is painful to say the least.

"Lord I thank You again that I am part of Your family. We do pray that You will give Your children exactly what they need. If I need to be healed and relieved of the pain, then give me that, but if I need to suffer more to fulfill Your purposes in my life, then Lord give me that! The greatest thing in this life is to know Your will and Your Son Jesus Christ. And may You be praised forever! Amen."

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Heaven’s Bread

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God's Spirit clearly says that in the last days many people will turn from their faith. They will be fooled by evil spirits and by teachings that come from demons. They will also be fooled by the false claims of liars whose consciences have lost all feeling. These liars will forbid people to marry or to eat certain foods. But God created these foods to be eaten with thankful hearts by his followers who know the truth. Everything God created is good. And if you give thanks, you may eat anything. What God has said and your prayer will make it fit to eat.

1 Timothy 4:1-5

I have always thought that "Giving thanks" before you eat a meal was certainly a good thing, but in these verses I see a practical reason for praying before you eat.

Did you ever sit down before a meal that was not "fit to eat?" I'm sure I have and out of respect for everyone who has ever fixed a meal for me I will not tell you anything about it specifically. But these verses say that when you give thanks for a meal "what God has said and your prayer will make it fit to eat."

A very wise missionary once told me that it is hard to tell people about Jesus if you don't love their food! So you can not only pray that God will make the food fit to eat, but also help you to learn to love the food.

You see what you are offering the lost is food from God's table. It is manna. It is life giving in every way. Unless you can learn to love food from the table of the lost and let God make it fit to eat by what He has said and your prayers, you may be greatly hindered in sharing the Bread of Life with the lost!

The next time you pray before a meal thank God for making the food fit to eat and be alert to see how He wants to use you to share Him with those who don't yet know Jesus.
"Lord, I thank You for filling me up with every morsel of Heaven's Bread. And I thank You now for the food that You have made fit for me today. Thank You Jesus. Amen."

Friday, May 24, 2013

How to Succeed!

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I tell myself, “I am finished!

I can't count on the Lord

to do anything for me.”

Just thinking of my troubles

and my lonely wandering

makes me miserable.

That's all I ever think about,

and I am depressed.

Then I remember something

that fills me with hope.

The Lord's kindness never fails!

If he had not been merciful,

we would have been destroyed.

The Lord can always be trusted

to show mercy each morning.

Deep in my heart I say,

“The Lord is all I need;

I can depend on him!”

The Lord is kind to everyone

who trusts and obeys him.

It is good to wait patiently

for the Lord to save us.

When we are young,

it is good to struggle hard

and to sit silently alone,

if this is what

the Lord intends.

Lamentations 3:18-27

You don't read about the stories of those who failed to overcome the difficulties in their lives. There is no demand for stories about failures. But the world is filled with "How to Succeed" books. Sadly, I have learned that most is not all of those do not guarantee success, they only tell how someone else did it.

Truthfully, success is not something you do, rather it is a decision you make. When you decide to let Jesus Christ be the Lord of your life then your success is guaranteed. No matter what happens here on this earth you will leave this life triumphant over death and live forever with Jesus in Heaven!

When I fly in an airplane, the determination of whether or not the trip is a success or a failure is this: Did I arrive at my destination alive and in one piece? If I did it doesn't matter how bumpy the ride that got me there. However if the flight was smooth and peaceful, but just before landing we crashed into a mountain, that trip would be the ultimate failure.
When Jesus is  your Lord there is no guarantee that the ride will be smooth. In fact, there is a guarantee in the Bible that it will not be always smooth. The guarantee is that you will get to Heaven safely.

"Lord Jesus, I choose You instead of this world. Even though this life is troubling and unsettling, when I hold on to You Jesus I know everything will be fine in the end. Hold me close to You Lord. Amen."

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Make Believe!

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When the wicked one appears, Satan will pretend to work all kinds of miracles, wonders, and signs. Lost people will be fooled by his evil deeds. They could be saved, but they will refuse to love the truth and accept it. So God will make sure they are fooled into believing a lie. All of them will be punished, because they would rather do evil than believe the truth.

2 Thessalonians 2:9-12

There is a seemingly innocent children's game called "Make Believe." Children pretend that they are something that they are not while the truth takes a back seat. Now don't misunderstand, I'm not saying that a child's imagination is a bad thing, but when the game of "Make Believe" is played by adults it can be tragic!

There are voices screaming loudly in this world that "all is well" and that "it doesn't matter what you do here or who you are in this world, everything will be alright in the end!" They want us to pretend that God is a kindly old grandfather who will welcome all mankind to Heaven when they die. They believe that all paths lead to Heaven and we should simply "get along" here on earth!

The greatest lie of all is to lie about God! There is no end of the imaginations of men's hearts about God. If you pick one true characteristic of God and define Him by that alone you will certainly not know who God is.

Are you playing "Make Believe" about God. Are you pretending that God doesn't care how you live and whether or not you believe in His Son? God is not a game! Truth is not relative. If you are simply trying to get through this life with the least trouble and have the most fun then you have missed the ultimate truth about God. God doesn't want you to play "Make Believe" about Him. Instead God wants you to BELIEVE in His Son, Jesus Christ! When you believe in Jesus, you will know the Truth and that Truth will set you free!

“Lord Jesus, help me to know the truth about You. I turn away from the lies of this world and cling on to Your Word which I know is true! Show me more today of the truth of who You are. Amen."

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Lord Takes Away

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Job's sons and daughters were having a feast in the home of his oldest son, when someone rushed up to Job and said, “While your servants were plowing with your oxen, and your donkeys were nearby eating grass, a gang of Sabeans attacked and stole the oxen and donkeys! Your other servants were killed, and I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”

That servant was still speaking, when a second one came running and said, “God sent down a fire that killed your sheep and your servants. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”

Before that servant finished speaking, a third one raced up and said, “Three gangs of Chaldeans attacked and stole your camels! All of your other servants were killed, and I  am the only one who escaped to tell you.”

That servant was still speaking, when a fourth one dashed up and said, “Your children were having a feast and drinking wine at the home of your oldest son, when suddenly a windstorm from the desert blew the house down, crushing all of your children. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.”

When Job heard this, he tore his clothes and shaved his head because of his great sorrow. He knelt on the ground, then worshiped God  and said:

“We bring nothing at birth;

we take nothing

with us at death.

The Lord alone gives and takes.

Praise the name of the Lord!”

In spite of everything, Job did not sin or accuse God of doing wrong.

Job 1:13-22

As I write these words it was a little more than 12 hours ago that a tornado ripped through Moore, Oklahoma killing at least 51 people including many children. There is a video of a man who came out of his house with his camera running and as he looked at the pile of rubble that only a few minutes before was his house he quoted Job and said: "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away!"

When tragedy struck your life, and if there hasn't been one there certainly will be, what did you say to God? Did you cry out to God for help or did you scream out at God and blame Him for not keeping you from this suffering? Did you, like Job turn toward Heaven when all Hell broke loose in your life, or did you accuse God of doing wrong?

And what will you say to God the next time you are crushed in the wine press of life? Be ready for tragedy by planning what you will say to God when it happens. Job's words would be most appropriate:

"When Job heard this, he tore his clothes and shaved his head because of his great sorrow. He knelt on the ground, then worshiped God and said:

We bring nothing at birth;
we take nothing with us at death.
The Lord alone gives and takes.
Praise the name of the Lord."

"Lord Jesus I don't understand the pain and suffering of this life, but I love You more than life itself. Help me to praise You when I am filled with joy and praise You when I am crushed with sorrow. Thank you Jesus. Amen."

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


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You have accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord. Now keep on following him. Plant your roots in Christ and let him be the foundation for your life. Be strong in your faith, just as you were taught. And be grateful.

Don't let anyone fool you by using senseless arguments. These arguments may sound wise, but they are only human teachings. They come from the powers of this world and not from Christ.

God lives fully in Christ. And you are fully grown because you belong to Christ, who is over every power and authority.

Colossians 2:6-10

When the roots of a plant are deep in the ground it can thrive through the driest days of summer. When the roots of your life are deeply planted in Christ, the most difficult days will not destroy you or dry up your life in Jesus!

Roots go down deep in the ground to bring life giving water up to the plant. When your spiritual roots go down deep in Christ, they do the same thing. You look and all around there is nothing but parched ground and death and dying, but life giving water is coming up through your roots that go deeply into the life of Jesus.

What can you do to help your roots go deep in Christ? Really there are lots of things, but mostly focus your mind and your heart on Jesus. Every minute of every day wonder how Jesus would have you respond to "this situation." Think about Heaven and living with Jesus forever. Think about the fact that He gives you strength to endure every suffering and a way of escape out of every temptation. Think about His hand touching your head and the perfect peace that He gives you in every storm.

Let a smile come on your face when you think about Jesus. Let Jesus be your "secret love" and then shout about Him from the "highest hills!"

"Oh Sweet Lord, what a wonder You are! You are everything I need, now and forever. You are life itself. Send me the Water of Life through the roots of my life that go down into Yours. Amen."

Monday, May 20, 2013

Not by Keeping the Rules!

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It was the Law itself that killed me and freed me from its power, so I could live for God.

I have been nailed to the cross with Christ. I have died, but Christ lives in me. And I now live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave his life for me. I don't turn my back on God's gift of undeserved grace. If we can be acceptable to God by obeying the Law, it was useless for Christ to die.

Galatians 2:19-21

The illustration is not perfect, but there is no sporting event which you win because you obey more rules than your opponent. Neither can you say that you are a great golfer because you obey all the rules. Obeying the rules is important, but does not in itself determine whether or not you succeed!

As a Christian your salvation depends on the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross and not on how well you obeyed the rules. If we can be acceptable to God by keeping all the commands then why did Jesus have to die?

This is where Satan whispers in your ear: "Then do what you want. It doesn't matter. You are not saved by keeping the rules!"

Jesus responds: "If you love Me, you will keep my commandments!"

There is the missing piece of the puzzle. Salvation is all about loving Jesus! When you love Jesus the question that is always on your mind is this: "What can I do to make Jesus happy today, rather than what can Jesus do to make me happy?"

I obey the rules because it makes Jesus happy. Sometimes I don't even understand the reason for the rule, but I know Jesus does and I know that He is pleased when I obey His commands.

"Lord Jesus, I love You with all my heart. Help me to love You more. I want to keep Your commands, show me how to obey You even more today. And Lord, fill me even more with Your Holy Spirit. And may You be praised forever. Amen."

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Don’t Fight the Prisoners of War!


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When the dragon realized it had been thrown down to the earth, it tried to make trouble for the woman who had given birth to a son.  But the woman was given two wings like those of a huge eagle, so she could fly into the desert. There she would escape from the snake and be taken care of for a time, two times, and half a time.

The snake then spewed out water like a river to sweep the woman away. But the earth helped her and swallowed the water that had come from the dragon's mouth. This made the dragon terribly angry with the woman. So it started a war against the rest of her children. They are the people who obey God and are faithful to what Jesus did and taught. The dragon stood on the beach beside the sea.

Revelation 12:13-18

When you refuse to recognize that you are at war and that you have an enemy who wants to destroy you, the outcome of that conflict is almost inevitable. There are governments that even today are making the foolish mistake of pretending that they have no enemies and that there is no war. If that continues, it will not end well.

As a follower of Jesus Christ, it is imperative that you recognize who your enemy is and that there is indeed a war still raging. The Bible clearly says that our enemy is not "flesh and blood." We are not at war with human beings, no matter how evil they may be. Evil humans are all recoverable because of Jesus blood. The worst human enemy you have on this earth today may tomorrow be your brother in Christ. We are not fighting against wicked men.

The Bible says that we are at war with "principalities, powers and powers of the air." Satan himself is the enemy not the men and women who are enslaved by him. The Devil wants you to attack those who are his captives. He wants you to destroy those men and women who have come under his power. As followers of Jesus our job is to free those who are captured by Satan not to destroy them!

"Lord Jesus, help me today to see who my real enemy is and by the power of Your Word enable me to engage him in battle. And Jesus show me today how You can free those who have been captured by Satan. And may You be glorified forever. Amen."

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The War Within!

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We know that the Law is spiritual. But I am merely a human, and I have been sold as a slave to sin.  In fact, I don't understand why I act the way I do. I don't do what I know is right. I do the things I hate. Although I don't do what I know is right, I agree that the Law is good. So I am not the one doing these evil things. The sin that lives in me is what does them.

I know that my selfish desires won't let me do anything that is good. Even when I want to do right, I cannot. Instead of doing what I know is right, I do wrong. And so, if I don't do what I know is right, I am no longer the one doing these evil things. The sin that lives in me is what does them.

The Law has shown me that something in me keeps me from doing what I know is right. With my whole heart I agree with the Law of God. But in every part of me I discover something fighting against my mind, and it makes me a prisoner of sin that controls everything I do. What a miserable person I am. Who will rescue me from this body that is doomed to die? Thank God! Jesus Christ will rescue me.

So with my mind I serve the Law of God, although my selfish desires make me serve the law of sin.

Romans 7:14-25

Over the years these verses have proven difficult to understand, or maybe it would be better to say easy to misunderstand. If I am not the one doing evil, then who is and why am I held accountable for the things that I do?

If you are honest with yourself you know that your intentions of doing the right thing are often never fulfilled. You want to do right, but you don't do it and you want to never do that "bad thing" again, but you find yourself pulled back to it like a bee to honey!

The answer is simply that you are either controlled by Satan or you are controlled by God. You are not the author of Good and Evil. The choice that we all have is this: We can either give ourselves to Satan to be controlled by evil and the forces of darkness, or we can give ourselves to God and be filled with and controlled by the Holy Spirit. Jesus gave us that option when He died on the Cross! Without Jesus we would all be lost forever and have no hope of being restored to fellowship with God.

When you sin it is because you are not being led by the Holy Spirit. He will not lead you to sin and rebel against God. When you do a righteous act it is because you are being led by the Holy Spirit, so you can praise Him and take no credit for it yourself.

"Lord, I pray that my every decision today will be to let Your Spirit lead my life. Hold me close. I glory in knowing You and nothing else. Amen."

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Only Jesus Can Open the Scroll

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In the right hand of the one sitting on the throne I saw a scroll that had writing on the inside and on the outside. And it was sealed in seven places. I saw a mighty angel ask with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” No one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or look inside it.

I cried hard because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or look inside it.  Then one of the elders said to me, “Stop crying and look! The one who is called both the ‘Lion from the Tribe of Judah’ and ‘King David's Great Descendant’ has won the victory. He will open the scroll and its seven seals.”

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 5:1-10

The Word of God as recorded in the Bible, without Jesus in your life, is a history book filled with fantastic stories and stories which teach good morals! Like the scroll described in Revelation 5 only Jesus can open the Bible in your life and empower you to live the "victorious Christian life."

Some men study for years to grasp the intricacies of Bible interpretation and to understand the nuances of the original languages, but they often miss entirely the personal power of knowing and trusting in Jesus!

So what does this mean to me as a Christian? Simply this: Take the Bible verses you already know and bring them to feet of Jesus. Let Him open the scroll of your life and activate His Word in your daily walk. For example the Bible tells you to love your enemies. Let Jesus show you today an enemy to love, and let Him show you how to do it! When you love an enemy you step into a place where you never expected to find yourself and you touch the heart of God in a most remarkable way.

"Lord Jesus, open Your Word in my life. Let me see the things that I know from Your Word come alive in me. And may You be praised forever. Amen."

A Pauper Without Jesus

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You claim to be rich and successful and to have everything you need. But you don't know how bad off you really are. You are pitiful, poor, blind, and naked.

Buy your gold from me. It has been refined in a fire, and it will make you rich. Buy white clothes from me. Wear them and you can cover up your shameful nakedness. Buy medicine for your eyes, so you will be able to see.

I correct and punish everyone I love. So make up your minds to turn away from your sins.

Revelation 3:17-19

The man who claims to be rich and in need of nothing in this world is the most deceived of all. If you have available to you everything in this world, and you do not have Jesus Christ, then you are indeed living in extreme poverty.

Without knowing Jesus Christ even the richest man on earth is a pauper. And the man who knows Jesus and has nothing else in the world is a man of untold wealth!

If you are wise you will spend your life getting to know and fellowshipping with Jesus. You will give your heart to Jesus and listen to His every Word!

If you are wise you will buy your Gold, your clothes and your medicine from Jesus. Jesus is everything you need. There has never been a man or woman who depended totally on Jesus and Jesus let them down! It has never happened, and it will not happen with you or me.

"Lord Jesus, I want to be rich, but not in the things of this world. I want to be rich in the things that come from You. I want Your gold, Your covering and Your healing in my life! And Lord, I have made up my mind to turn away from my sins! Amen."

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Let the Cross Happen!

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Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane. When they got there, he told them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”

Jesus took along Peter and the two brothers, James and John. He was very sad and troubled,  and he said to them, “I am so sad that I feel as if I am dying. Stay here and keep awake with me.”

Jesus walked on a little way. Then he knelt with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, don't make me suffer by drinking from this cup. But do what you want, and not what I want.”

Matthew 26:36-39

Do you want to be like Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before He was crucified? As a human being Jesus did not want to go to the Cross. Jesus was about to experience the greatest suffering any man had ever or would ever embrace.

It was God's will that Jesus go to the Cross, but He struggled with that will before He finally submitted to it.

How did God feel that night when Jesus prayed in the Garden? The Bible does not say, but God is the Father and His Son was going to the Cross. God must have wanted to rescue Jesus and bring Him home. That's what fathers do. When one of my children is in trouble I have an overwhelming desire to insert myself between my child and the problem and pain. But there are times when I must stand back, as did God and let the Cross happen.

When I see my child following Jesus and having to submit to a cross in his or her life I understand more about God and His heart.

"Dear God, how amazing Your love is for me! You stood aside and let Jesus go to the Cross that I might be saved. My sin brought You great pain, even so may my repentance bring You JOY! Thank You Lord. Amen!"

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Extreme Obedience!

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You, Lord, are my shepherd.

I will never be in need.


You let me rest in fields

of green grass.


You lead me to streams

of peaceful water, and you refresh my life.

You are true to your name,

and you lead me

along the right paths.


I may walk through valleys

as dark as death,

but I won't be afraid.

You are with me,

and your shepherd's rod

makes me feel safe.


You treat me to a feast,

while my enemies watch.

You honor me as your guest,

and you fill my cup until it overflows.


Your kindness and love

will always be with me

each day of my life,

and I will live forever

in your house, Lord.

Psalm 23:1-6

In order to be led by the Shepherd you must first become one of His sheep. It is common to assume that we are "all God's children" and that Jesus is everyone's Shepherd.

Because of the sin of Adam and Eve we are not "naturally born" Children of God. We become Children of God and His sheep when we are "Born Again." And how does that happen? It happens when you become convicted of your own sin and your need for Jesus and then you respond to Him by giving Jesus control over everything in your life. At that moment your life becomes one of "Extreme Obedience." You look and listen for the desires of Jesus and without hesitation you obey!

If the question is "what must I do to be saved" the answer is both "nothing" and "everything." There is nothing you can do to deserve your own salvation and yet if you enter in to that saved relationship with Jesus you will be compelled by His Holy Spirit to do everything He says!

If Jesus tells you to do something, don't write a theology of that thing, just trust and obey. Obedience does not depend on your understanding. You can obey without knowing why Jesus ask you to do something!

"Dear Lord, I want to be extremely obedient to You. Show me some way today that I can obey You. I don't pray that You will give me understanding so that I can obey. But I pray that my understanding of Your commands will come after I obey them! Open my eyes today Lord as I walk in Your will. Amen."

Monday, May 13, 2013

Never Turn Back!

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Don't forget all the hard times you went through when you first received the light. Sometimes you were abused and mistreated in public, and at other times you shared in the sufferings of others. You were kind to people in jail. And you gladly let your possessions be taken away, because you knew you had something better, something that would last forever.

Keep on being brave! It will bring you great rewards. Learn to be patient, so you will please God and be given what he has promised.  As the Scriptures say,

“God is coming soon!

It won't be very long.

The people God accepts

will live because

of their faith.

But he isn't pleased

with anyone

who turns back.”

We are not like those people who turn back and get destroyed. We will keep on having faith until we are saved.

Hebrews 10:32-39

Are you as a Christian ever tempted to turn back to your old way of life? Contrary to the opinion of some, becoming a follower of Jesus Christ does not solve all of your problems instantly and give you a peaceful and trouble free life.

The truth is that when you accept Jesus Christ you are stepping in to a life of turmoil and trouble and one that cannot be lived successfully without supernatural power from above continually strengthening your walk.

Here on this earth Christians live at peace in the midst of all kinds of trouble. It is only when we reach the Heavenly Shores that the troubles will leave and the Peace will remain.

The greatest temptation for a Christian walking on the troubled road of earth is the temptation to turn back to the old way of life. You may say, "I had troubles before but now they are constant and terrible." Never forget that now you have the power of God's Holy Spirit living in you as you face the problems of each day!

"Lord Jesus, I thank You that You did not turn back and go back to Heaven when things got difficult here on this earth. Thank You Lord for not leaving me here with no hope. Please come soon and help me to keep on with You and never turn back. May You be praised forever. Amen."

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Hiding From God!

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The snake was sneakier than any of the other wild animals that the Lord God had made. One day it came to the woman and asked, “Did God tell you not to eat fruit from any tree in the garden?”

The woman answered, “God said we could eat fruit from any tree in the garden, except the one in the middle. He told us not to eat fruit from that tree or even to touch it. If we do, we will die.”

“No, you won't!” the snake replied. “God understands what will happen on the day you eat fruit from that tree. You will see what you have done, and you will know the difference between right and wrong, just as God does.”

The woman stared at the fruit. It looked beautiful and tasty. She wanted the wisdom that it would give her, and she ate some of the fruit. Her husband was there with her, so she gave some to him, and he ate it too.  At once they saw what they had done, and they realized they were naked. Then they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.

Late in the afternoon, when the breeze began to blow, the man and woman heard the Lord God walking in the garden. So they hid behind some trees.

Genesis 3:1-8

The sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden gave them an immediate awareness that they were naked and they covered themselves and hid from God.

That is what men still do when they sin. Sin turns your eyes on yourself and tempts you to decide that hiding from God would be your best course of action.

I suppose that is why in the aftermath of a national scandal there is usually an attempt at a "cover-up." We still try to do what the first man and woman did after they sinned!
We also blame someone else when our sin is exposed. Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the snake. More than forty years ago there was a comedian named Flip Wilson who became famous for the line "The Devil made me do it."

Now here is the solution to the problem of sin. Instead of trying to hide from God and blame someone else, even the Devil for your sin, hide in the arms of Jesus because He wants to rescue you from your sin and suffer the punishment that you deserve.

Jesus came to restore you to God and reverse the impact of sin. Jesus came to give you eternal life instead of eternal death which is what you deserve because of sin!

"Lord Jesus, I confess my sin and run to Your arms instead of trying to hide from You. Hold me close to You today and everyday, and even forever! Amen."

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Death Suffering Crying Pain

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I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth had disappeared, and so had the sea.  Then I saw New Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down from God in heaven. It was like a bride dressed in her wedding gown and ready to meet her husband.

I heard a loud voice shout from the throne:

God's home is now with his people. He will live with them, and they will be his own. Yes, God will make his home among his people.  He will wipe all tears from their eyes, and there will be no more death, suffering, crying, or pain. These things of the past are gone forever.

Revelation 21:1-4

Death, suffering, crying and pain are destined to be destroyed. These earmarks of humanity after the fall of man in the Garden of Eden are going to meet their demise.

Death itself is the most troubling. For those who have no hope of Heaven the fear of death controls their entire existence here on earth. Holding on to life on this earth becomes the ultimate goal for those who have no hope of a life beyond this one.

Suffering, crying and pain are all part of the human experience and are the most difficult to live with. Much of the medical profession is dedicated to relieving suffering and eliminating pain. But even that pursuit, which has a noble intent can end with addiction to drugs and even more suffering, crying and pain.

Just stop and think about Heaven where there will be no more death. You will never get word in Heaven that a loved one has died! There will also be no suffering, crying or pain. "These things of the past will be gone forever."

"Lord Jesus, what must it have been like for You to leave Heaven and come to this earth where there is death, suffering, crying and pain. Lord, Your Word says that even You cried when Lazarus died. Thank You Jesus that those things are going away, and You are coming. Come quickly Lord. Amen."

Friday, May 10, 2013

God’s Mosaic Work of Art

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The Lord says:

“My thoughts and my ways

are not like yours.


Just as the heavens

are higher than the earth,

my thoughts and my ways

are higher than yours.


“Rain and snow fall from the sky.

But they don't return

without watering the earth

that produces seeds to plant

and grain to eat.


That's how it is with my words.

They don't return to me

without doing everything

I send them to do.”

Isaiah 55:8-11

The Words of God are not just an informational source of Spiritual Truth! When God speaks a Word that Word begins a journey to accomplish the things that God intends for it to do.

Being obedient to the Word of God means that you are part of God's intent for the Word that He spoke and preserved in the Bible.

When I obey the Word of God then I become one piece of God's mosaic work of art. A mosaic is a picture made of many tiny pieces put together to make a beautiful picture. The picture of what God is doing in the world includes me when I follow Jesus.
Sometimes we desire to be a large part of God's picture when God has called us to only be one small and faithful part of the mosaic.Imagine a large and beautiful mosaic work of art with one piece missing. No one may notice your piece of God's mosaic when you are standing faithfully with Him. But everyone would notice if your piece was taken off of the picture.

God's mosaic is a living work of art and your piece is renewed every time you respond obediently to the Word of God.

"Lord Jesus help me today to see how important is my tiny piece of Your picture. May Your Word accomplish in me today what You have intended for it to do. And may Your Name be praised forever. Amen."

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Show the World How Jesus Lived!

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The Lord decided his servant

would suffer as a sacrifice

to take away the sin

and guilt of others.

Now the servant will live

to see his own descendants.

He did everything

the Lord had planned.


By suffering, the servant

will learn the true meaning

of obeying the Lord.

Although he is innocent,

he will take the punishment

for the sins of others,

so that many of them

will no longer be guilty.


The Lord will reward him

with honor and power

for sacrificing his life.

Others thought he was a sinner,

but he suffered for our sins

and asked God to forgive us.

Isaiah 53:10-12

As a Christian, when you are accused of something you did not do and you suffer the consequences of a crime you did not commit you are being allowed the to walk in the steps of Jesus.

In your heart you may scream "It's not right, it's not just. I don't deserve this!" But yes you do because you have asked to be given the honor of being like Jesus. The depth of your suffering is parallel to the depth of your desire to walk as Jesus walked.

Not many have run hard after God and only a memorable few have followed Jesus in giving up this life in order to walk in His perfect will. But those who have are the most blessed of men.

Can you live as a Christian and not step out of the boat onto the stormy sea? Of course you can. Only Peter stepped out of the boat and walked on the water with Jesus. The other disciples believed but only Peter could tell the story about when he walked on water with Jesus!

The question is this: “Do you want to tell the world how Jesus lived, or do you want to show the world how Jesus lived?”

"Lord Jesus, I want to be like You. And Lord there is much of You that I don't understand . I know that being like You means that I will suffer unjustly and the world will despise me and reject me like it did You. But being like You is certainly the greatest honor and blessing. May You be praised forever. Amen."

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Big Bang Number Two

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The day of the Lord's return will surprise us like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a loud noise, and the heat will melt the whole universe. Then the earth and everything on it will be seen for what they are.

Everything will be destroyed. So you should serve and honor God by the way you live.  You should look forward to the day when God judges everyone, and you should try to make it come soon. On that day the heavens will be destroyed by fire, and everything else will melt in the heat.  But God has promised us a new heaven and a new earth, where justice will rule. We are really looking forward to this!

2 Peter 3:10-13

The Big Bang Theory says that the Universe was formed by a huge explosion. That Big Bang is just a theory, but there will be a "Big Bang" as the heavens disappear and the whole universe is melted in the heat.

I was not there for the moment of Creation, but I may be there to hear "Big Bang Number Two." That one could happen any time now. God has a timeline for this earth and the universe that surrounds it. When we reach that moment on His schedule the End will come!

Why should you look forward to the Day when God judges everyone? You should look forward to that Day because Jesus gave Himself so that you will not be judged.

Can you remember when you were so young that you did not know that there was evil in the world? When you arrive on the New Earth you will feel like that child again, only this time there will be no evil for you to discover.

"Lord Jesus I am waiting for and longing for the Day when I will hear the noise of the "Big Bang." Make me ready for the New Heaven and the New Earth where all will be well forever. Come quickly Lord Jesus. Amen."

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Power and Authority!

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When Jesus had finished saying all this to the people who were listening, he entered Capernaum. There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant.  When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This man deserves to have you do this, because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.” So Jesus went with them.

He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof.  That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed.  For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.”  Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.

Luke 7:1-10

The Centurion was a Roman soldier and not a Jew and yet Jesus said his faith was greater than anyone in Israel!

I believe Jesus identified the Centurion's faith as "great" because he not only believed in the power of Jesus, but also recognized His authority! There is a vast difference in simply "doing a miracle" and having authority over the entire universe and everything in it!
The Egyptian magicians imitated the miracles of Moses, but they did not have the authority to deliver the people from slavery.

Do you simply believe that Jesus has the power to address the issues in your life, or do you believe that He is the Creator of everything that is, was and will be?

The truth of who Jesus is, is far more significant than the truth of what He can do. Many Christians spend their lives grappling with whether or not Jesus has the power to solve their problems and never touch the reality of the Majesty and Glory of the Son of God who came to earth!

Be like the Centurion and recognize the authority of Jesus and not just His power. When you see His great authority then you can even be at peace when Jesus does nothing to resolve the thing that concerns you most.

"Lord Jesus I believe that Your power is greater than any other and that You can do anything You desire. But Lord I also believe that You have Ultimate Authority to command everyone and everything that is in this world or beyond. And may I praise Your Name forever! Amen."

Monday, May 6, 2013

How to Defeat the World!

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If we believe Jesus is truly Christ, we are God's children. Everyone who loves the Father will also love his children.  If we love and obey God, we know we will love his children.   We show our love for God by obeying his commandments, and they are not hard to follow.

Every child of God can defeat the world, and our faith is what gives us this victory.  No one can defeat the world without having faith in Jesus as the Son of God.

1 John 5:1-5

There are some Christians who believe that a follower of Jesus should never go to war. In the United States they can be classified as "Conscientious Objectors." Of course it is only necessary to claim this status at a time when people are "drafted" into the military.

Some Christians seem to be Conscientious Objectors to the war with Satan. They think that those who believe in Jesus should never be involved in conflict, even conflict with the Devil.

Spiritual Warfare is real and is an unavoidable part of a victorious Christian life. The world will come against your life and try to take from you ground that you have been given by Jesus. Either you will repel the Enemy with the Sword of the Spirit or you will lose part of that which God intends for you to have.

When it comes to Spiritual Warfare the best advice I know which comes from a source other than the Bible is from Winston Churchill (according to Wikipedia).
"Never give in - never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in . . . . .Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy."

It is simply your faith in Jesus that will defeat the world. Trusting and depending daily on Jesus will bring down the army of Satan. Hold on to your faith as if it was a lifeline to Heaven, because it is!

"Dear Lord, may I stand and fight today and see Your victory because of the faith that You have given me. Make me ready for the battles to come. Thank You Jesus. Amen."

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The World Will Not Listen!

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Children, you belong to God, and you have defeated these enemies. God's Spirit is in you and is more powerful than the one who is in the world. These enemies belong to this world, and the world listens to them, because they speak its language.  We belong to God, and everyone who knows God will listen to us. But the people who don't know God won't listen to us. This is how we can tell the Spirit that speaks the truth from the one that tells lies.

1 John 4:4-6

Some Christians think that being a successful follower of Jesus means that the world will listen to and admire us for how we live and what we say. But that is not what the Bible says.

If you speak the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and live like Jesus lived in this world, those who do not know Jesus will not listen to you and they will think your lifestyle is strange at best.

Then why preach the message of Jesus at all, if those who have rejected Jesus will not listen? The answer to that is simple. When a man comes under the conviction of the Holy Spirit and decides to consider Jesus then he is ready to listen and it is my job as a follower of Jesus to make sure the message is available to him!

So it is useless and even counter productive to water down the Gospel with words that please the world. They will not accept Jesus because you use nice words and if they are ready to accept Him they will find it odd that you mix the Gospel with the wisdom of this world! Speak the Gospel with a "full strength" dose of truth.

"Lord Jesus, may the life that I live and the words that I speak give You glory and speak to the hearts of those who belong to You. And Jesus since You were lifted up, may all men be drawn to You. Amen."

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Let Jesus be Lord of Your Life!

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Can anyone really harm you for being eager to do good deeds?  Even if you have to suffer for doing good things, God will bless you. So stop being afraid and don't worry about what people might do. Honor Christ and let him be the Lord of your life.

Always be ready to give an answer when someone asks you about your hope.

1 Peter 3:13-15

Jesus wants to be Lord of your life, and He will do it if you will let Him. The most unsettling thing about following Jesus is giving up control of your own life. You follow Jesus. Jesus does not follow you.

Christians do not chart their own course and ask Jesus to come along and bless them on the journey. Jesus did say "I am with you always" but He is with us because we are with Him as we walk in the path He sets before us.

When you let Jesus be Lord of your life He is the one who makes entries on your TO DO list. When you let Jesus rule your life He determines not just your actions, but also your attitudes and even your thoughts. When a thought comes in to your mind you quickly ask "where did that come from?" If it did not come from Jesus then you just as quickly dismiss the thought and entertain it no more!

When you let Jesus be Lord of your life you begin to live your life as if you were Jesus Himself. The things you do are the things He did. The thoughts you think are the thoughts that Jesus had. And your life becomes an earthly reflection of Jesus. When Jesus was here on earth there was only one man living that life. But now because men and woman have allowed Jesus to be Lord of there lives there have been millions who have lived as Jesus did.

How do you begin letting Jesus be Lord of your life? It starts with the next decision you make.

"Lord Jesus show me the way to go and even the thoughts to think about this thing that concerns me. May You be Lord of this and everything in my life. And may You be praised forever. Amen."

Friday, May 3, 2013

Peace that Tolerates Sin!

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After Pilate learned that Jesus came from the region ruled by Herod, he sent him to Herod, who was in Jerusalem at that time.

For a long time Herod had wanted to see Jesus and was very happy because he finally had this chance. He had heard many things about Jesus and hoped to see him work a miracle.

Herod asked him a lot of questions, but Jesus did not answer. Then the chief priests and the teachers of the Law of Moses stood up and accused him of all kinds of bad things.

Herod and his soldiers made fun of Jesus and insulted him. They put a fine robe on him and sent him back to Pilate. That same day Herod and Pilate became friends, even though they had been enemies before this.

Luke 23:7-12

Pilate and Herod had been enemies until their opposition to Jesus brought them together as friends. The peace that was made between the two men did not come from God. It was a peace that came from opposing God and His Son Jesus Christ.

The "Peace" that is being offered to the whole world today does not come from God. We are told that the answer to all our turmoil is to learn to be tolerant of other men in everything they do, which includes all kinds of sin. The problem of course is that the peace that tolerates sin does not tolerate righteousness. Righteousness becomes the enemy and the target of all men who have made peace with sin.

Don't make peace with sin. When you are at peace with sin, you are not at peace with God.

Be vicious in your attacks on sin in your own life. Don't excuse it, accept it, or even tolerate it on any level. Unrighteousness wants to make you a friend of the world and of the Devil. Repent of and run away from sin like it was a deadly snake trying to wrap itself around your leg. Then think about and embrace everything that is good and righteous.

"Lord Jesus, help me today to have a zero tolerance to sin in my life. Give me eyes to see it, ears to hear it and a heart to sense that sin wants to move in and come between us. Lord, I need nothing the world has to offer and I need everything You would give and most of all I need You Lord Jesus in my life today. Amen."

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Before the Fire Falls

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The two angels said to Lot, “The Lord has heard many terrible things about the people of Sodom, and he has sent us here to destroy the city. Take your family and leave. Take every relative you have in the city, as well as the men your daughters are going to marry.”

Lot went to the men who were engaged to his daughters and said, “Hurry up and get out of here! The Lord is going to destroy this city.” But they thought he was joking, and they laughed at him.

Early the next morning the two angels tried to make Lot hurry and leave. They said, “Take your wife and your two daughters and get away from here as fast as you can! If you don't, every one of you will be killed when the Lord destroys the city.”   At first, Lot just stood there. But the Lord wanted to save him. So the angels took Lot, his wife, and his two daughters by the hand and led them out of the city.  When they were outside, one of the angels said, “Run for your lives! Don't even look back. And don't stop in the valley. Run to the hills, where you'll be safe.”

Genesis 19:12-17

Is there a Sodom in your life? Are you in a place that God is going to destroy and you have already received the warning? The two angels told Lot that if he did not get out of Sodom he would perish with the others!

Why didn't God simply transport Lot and his family out of Sodom? God could have removed them even against their own will and placed them in a town of safety. But God required that Lot separate himself and his family from the target of God's judgment.

The Bible does not say that Lot participated in the sins of Sodom. But even so Lot and his family would have all been killed with the others if they had stayed in the city.
God could have built the boat for Noah, but instead He told Noah to build an ark. God also told Lot to get out of Sodom.

What has God told you to do? If you were Noah would have simply "trusted God" to build the boat? If you were Lot would you have "believed" that God would miraculously move you to a place of safety?

Today is the day to do what God has told you to do, so that your story will end like Noah and Lot.

"Lord, remind me again of Your Word that You have spoken to my heart that I may obey You in every way! Amen."

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Beyond the Cross!

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After Judas had gone, Jesus said:

Now the Son of Man will be given glory, and he will bring glory to God.  Then, after God is given glory because of him, God will bring glory to him, and God will do it very soon.

My children, I will be with you for only a little while longer. Then you will look for me, but you won't find me. I tell you just as I told the people, “You cannot go where I am going.” But I am giving you a new command. You must love each other, just as I have loved you. If you love each other, everyone will know that you are my disciples.

John 13:31-35

Jesus looked beyond the Cross. He was just hours from having the nails driven into His hands but He was already thinking about the Glory that He had before He came to this earth and He focused on the fact that it was going to be restored!

As you see the storm clouds beginning to rise and the beautiful day threatens to turn into a terrifying night remember the joy that will come in the morning! One advantage of living in time instead of eternity is that everything comes to an end in this world, including suffering and pain.

If you are, like Jesus only hours away from having the nails driven into your hands, then do as He did. Look beyond your cross to the time when you will see the sun again and the joy that is on the other side of that cross.

"Lord Jesus help me  look beyond the cross that I am facing. Reassure me that the only thing that will go on forever is the joy of being with You in Heaven. Come quickly Lord and let that Day begin. And may You be praised forever. Amen."