Saturday, June 29, 2013

When I Disobey!

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Our Lord, how long must I beg for your help before you listen?

How long before you save us from all this violence? Why do you make me watch such terrible injustice?  Why do you allow violence, lawlessness, crime, and cruelty to spread everywhere?

Laws cannot be enforced; justice is always the loser; criminals crowd out honest people and twist the laws around. Look and be amazed at what's happening among the nations!

Even if you were told, you would never believe what's taking place now.

Habakkuk 1:2-5

When laws are established to rule a nation the intent is that, that nation be at peace with itself and others because its people honor that which was written! But when those laws are ignored or cannot be enforced chaos follows and the nation ultimately falls into the hands of whoever is strong enough to capture it.

The laws that God has written for human beings are the same. When you obey the law of God you are at peace with yourself and with God. The very minute you say "I see what God says about this or that, but I am not going to obey this part of God's will because I don't like it" unrest will enter your heart and you will have set your feet firmly on the path that will lead to your downfall.

"But what about Jesus? I am saved by Grace through the Blood of Jesus. I don't have to obey the law! So why are you talking to me about the law?"

Oh yes, your eternal salvation is only dependent on your acceptance of Jesus Christ and the blood He shed for you on the Cross. But the "law" still has significance in your life. What if a man said "I am saved so I don't have to obey the law of gravity!" Where would that man be in only a short while? When you obey the Word of God you are honoring the One who wrote that Word!

"Lord Jesus, everywhere I look I see chaos and unrest because the laws are not enforced. Help me Lord to honor every Word that comes from Your mouth and honor You by my obedience to the Word! Give me the Peace that goes beyond understanding and show me today how to obey You and every Word that comes from You. Amen."

Friday, June 28, 2013

Come Home Forever!

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I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.

God will bless all who have washed their robes. They will each have the right to eat fruit from the tree that gives life, and they can enter the gates of the city. But outside the city will be dogs, witches, immoral people, murderers, idol worshipers, and everyone who loves to tell lies and do wrong.

I am Jesus! And I am the one who sent my angel to tell all of you these things for the churches. I am David's Great Descendant, and I am also the bright morning star.

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!

Revelation 22:13-17

When the time comes and you decide that you have had enough of this world what do you do? Perhaps you have spent more than half or even most of your life running after pleasure and even arrogantly doing battle against God and everything that you think might have come from Him. The wisdom of the world screams in your head, "It's too late, God will have nothing to do with you. You have sinned too much and offended Him to often for Him to ever take you back." The logic of the world sounds reasonable and can be very convincing but it is simply a lie! If you are breathing it is not too late. No one can sin so terribly that the Blood of Jesus will not wash away that sin with all the rest!

When will God receive you back into His arms? The answer to that is this: When you are ready and willing to turn away from the sin that keeps you far from God and run to Him, He will gladly and quickly receive you.

If you have been a "prodigal" son or daughter with your earthly parents, when you come back home you may discover what it is like to turn back to God. If you are a parent of a prodigal son or daughter you can have the opportunity to learn how God feels about us! The love for your wayward child blossoms again very quickly and the full bloom is there in a way that seems hard to imagine.

"Lord Jesus, I must confess that I have been the prodigal son. There are things in this life that have drawn my attention away from You and I have bowed down and worshiped them instead of You. Lord I want to come back home to You today and to do it completely. I throw everything down at Your feet and come home forever. Thank You Lord Jesus. Amen."

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Way It Ends!

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I heard a loud voice shout from the throne:

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

Then the one sitting on the throne said:

I am making everything new. Write down what I have said. My words are true and can be trusted.  Everything is finished! I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will freely give water from the life-giving fountain to everyone who is thirsty.  All who win the victory will be given these blessings. I will be their God, and they will be my people.

Revelation 21:3-7

If you enjoy reading novels you know that part of the pleasure is trying to figure out how the story ends. I don't read very many novels, but of those I have read, rarely do I accurately guess how it will end. The weaving of the final details of the book usually take a few unexpected turns that leave me amazed and sometimes even astonished at the way it ends.

There are many followers of Jesus who spend lots of time trying to understand the End Times and how it will all work out. For some it becomes an overwhelming passion and the focus of everything they do. They chart the process and explain in great detail every move that they expect to see in the world as we approach that day. And if you look around you see that there are many different scenarios proclaimed to be absolutely "the truth!"

Instead of trying to pick a popular End Times explanation and spend your time defending it against other options, why not spend your time thinking about "Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Colossians 1:27)

Are we living in the End Times? Is the coming of Jesus Christ just around the corner, or even today? The answer to both of those questions is: It certainly seems that these are the days. So if there is something that you need to do before Jesus comes, today is the day to do it! Today is not the day to argue about biblical interpretations and prophecy fulfillment.

Like the approaching end of a well written novel we will all find the Coming of Jesus to be beyond our understanding and better in every way than we could ever imagine. Spend this day letting Jesus touch your heart with His love. Let Him show you the steps He wants you to take today. Then with reckless abandon walk in that direction!

"Lord Jesus, I know you may be coming soon, and I know that this life is so short for all humans that I will be seeing You soon even if Your coming is many years away. Show me something today that You desire that I should do before I see You face to face, and strengthen my heart to do it! Jesus do COME QUICKLY! Amen."

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

How Much Will You Leave?

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We didn't bring anything into this world, and we won't take anything with us when we leave. So we should be satisfied just to have food and clothes. People who want to be rich fall into all sorts of temptations and traps. They are caught by foolish and harmful desires that drag them down and destroy them. The love of money causes all kinds of trouble. Some people want money so much they have given up their faith and caused themselves a lot of pain.

1 Timothy 6:7-10

When a rich man dies the question is often posed, "How much did he leave?" The answer to that question is simple and profound. No matter how much wealth the man had here on this earth, when he died he left it all! Everything you own will be passed on to someone else when you leave this world.

So why do men spend so much time and energy gathering up money and things that they cannot take with them? Truthfully you don't own anything on this earth. Instead of ownership you are simply a temporary steward of your possessions. But most people see their "things" as the measure of their lives. If you control more things than anyone else then you are the most important man on earth! If you have nothing, then you are seen by the world as worth nothing yourself.

Who is the most blessed, the man who has "great wealth and many possessions" but spends most if not all of his time caring for and protecting his things from those who would take them from him, or the man who has little or no responsibility for wealth and possessions, but is loved and cared for by Someone with unlimited wealth?

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ you have no need to control vast amounts of this worlds resources. You need to simply give yourself to Jesus and let Him not only control your life, but trust Him to give you everything you need, every day of your life!

And don't forget that the love of money causes all kinds of trouble. The Bible does not say that "the love of lots of money causes all kinds of trouble." It doesn't matter how much or little money you love. If you love money you will have trouble.

So remember, that everything you have is temporarily in your control. When you go it will stay. And loving even a little money will bring trouble. Don't love anything that can't go with you to Heaven!

"Lord Jesus, make me rich by knowing You better every day. Give me the wisdom to turn my heart away from the riches of this world. Show me today what it means to be truly wealthy as a follower of You. Thank You Jesus that You will take care of my every need today and forever. Amen!"

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Jesus Set You Free!

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When our ancestors were in Egypt, you saw their suffering; when they were at the Red Sea, you heard their cry for help.

You knew that the King of Egypt and his officials and his nation had mistreated your people.

So you worked fearsome miracles against the Egyptians and earned a reputation that still remains.

You divided the deep sea, and your people walked through on dry land. But you tossed their enemies in, and they sank down like a heavy stone.

Each day you led your people with a thick cloud, and at night you showed the way with a flaming fire.

At Sinai you came down from heaven, and you gave your people good laws and teachings that are fair and honest.

You commanded them to respect your holy Sabbath, and you instructed your servant Moses to teach them your laws.

When they were hungry, you sent bread from heaven, and when they were thirsty, you let water flow from a rock.

Then you commanded them to capture the land that you had solemnly promised.

Nehemiah 9:9-15

Have you stood on the shore of the Red Sea and heard the sound of Pharaoh's army coming to destroy you? Do you know what it means to be desperate for God's help? Did you fall into the slavery of sin like the Israelites did? They were welcomed and honored guests when they arrived in Egypt, but little by little over 400 years they became complete and total slaves. They needed someone to set them free! So God sent Moses to lead them out of slavery.

God also sent Jesus Christ to set us free from the slavery of sin. As a little child you were the perfect example of what Jesus created you to be. He even said that only those who become like little children will enter the Kingdom of Heaven! But everything changed when you like Adam and Eve chose to disobey God and listen to your own selfish desires. The change was this: You fell short of the Glory of God and became a slave to sin. And of course, that has happened to every man who was ever born except ONE! Jesus like Moses lead us out of slavery to a life of freedom as we journey toward the Promised Land.

The entire story of the Israelites going from the slavery of Egypt to the milk and honey of the Promised Land is the story of my life and yours.

"Lord Jesus I praise and thank You for leading me out of the slavery to sin! Thank You Lord for giving me everything I need in this desert as I wait for the day that You will lead me across the Jordan River to the Promised Land of Heaven! Come quickly Lord Jesus. Amen."

Monday, June 24, 2013


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The Lord and his disciples were traveling along and came to a village. When they got there, a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat down in front of the Lord and was listening to what he said. Martha was worried about all that had to be done. Finally, she went to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn't it bother you that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to come and help me!”

The Lord answered, “Martha, Martha! You are worried and upset about so many things, but only one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen what is best, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Luke 10:38-42

The two sisters, Mary and Martha teach us much about what is important in our relationship to Jesus. Martha invited Jesus into her home but was worried about all the work that had to be done to properly entertain Jesus as a guest. Mary simply sat in front of Jesus and listened to Him!

When Martha complained and asked for Jesus to help in getting Mary to work with her the Lord spoke to Martha's misplaced priorities and ours as well. Jesus said, "You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is necessary."

Make a list, or at least a mental list of all the things that worry and upset you. For some that list may be fairly short, but for others it is really long. That list may include your own health or the health of a loved one, your job, the economy of your nation, the world, or even your own lack of funds, the prospect of war, a persistent drought and the frightening possibility that there may be a famine in your land, and many others.

Jesus told Martha that "only one thing is necessary." That one thing is the thing that Mary chose. Mary placed herself in front of Jesus and listened to what He said. That is the one thing Jesus says is necessary. Worrying and being upset about all the other things is not necessary.

As you go through this day sort out the times that you are being like Martha and busily working and worrying about things that are not necessary. Then list the times that you are sitting in front of Jesus and listening to Him. Here is the good news about being like Mary. It is impossible to sit in front of Jesus and listen to His voice and at the same time be worried and upset. So if you find yourself worried and upset about many things, stop and sit down in front of Jesus and listen for His voice!

"Dear Jesus, I have been worried and upset about so many things, even good things. But I want to be like Mary and not like Martha. Help me to sit quietly in Your presence today and listen to the Words that come from Your mouth! Today I want to do THE NECESSARY THING! Amen."

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Face to Face With Jesus!

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

“Lord God All-Powerful,

you are and you were,

and we thank you.

You used your great power

and started ruling.

When the nations got angry,

you became angry too!

Now the time has come

for the dead

to be judged.

It is time for you to reward

your servants the prophets

and all your people

who honor your name,

no matter who they are.

It is time to destroy everyone

who has destroyed

the earth.”

Revelation 11:16-18

It was years ago that I first heard a most amazing claim about the Bible. The statement is this: "I have read the end of the Book and we win!"

God will reward everyone who honors His name and He will destroy everyone who has "destroyed the earth."

Many people think that all the "End Times" talk is just foolishness and that the world will go on forever. There certainly is a "forever" but it does not include this earth as we know it today.

There will come a day when God Almighty will meet out His vengeance on those who oppose and reject Jesus Christ. There will come a day when those who honor Christ will be rewarded!

Don't be confused or deceived by all the untruth in today's world.  If you are a follower of Jesus Christ keep your mind clearly focused on the goal of spending eternity with Him.  Anything that pulls your mind and heart away from that truth does not come from God! 
Imagine the foolishness of a girl who looks forward to her wedding day, the home they will live in, even the joys of being married, but thinks very little or maybe not at all about being with her husband. Eternity is all about being with Jesus. There are of course many blessings we will experience when we are with Him, but no blessing will compare to the blessing of simply being face to face with Jesus, forever!

"Lord Jesus, help me today to ponder the unfathomable joy of gazing into your eyes and simply being overwhelmed by Your presence.  I pray dear Jesus that that Day will come soon and Eternity will begin.  And may Your will be done in everything I do this day.  Thank You Jesus.  Amen."

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Jesus Wins the World Cup!

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What can we say about all this? If God is on our side, can anyone be against us? God did not keep back his own Son, but he gave him for us. If God did this, won't he freely give us everything else? If God says his chosen ones are acceptable to him, can anyone bring charges against them? Or can anyone condemn them? No indeed! Christ died and was raised to life, and now he is at God's right side, speaking to him for us.

Romans 8:31-34

When elementary school children choose sides for a game of soft ball the teacher can almost always tell which team is going to win just by seeing who is on the teams. If there is a particularly gifted athlete among them, the side that chooses him or her is the one who will win the game!

In the game of life, we all choose those who will be with us. Not to oversimplify it, but if you choose God to be with you, you will win. If you do not choose God you will lose and that loss will be for eternity!

Now here is an amazing thing. God has already chosen you! God wants you to be on His team, not because He can't win without you, but because you can't win without Him! If I was on the team that won the World Cup and only sat on the bench for the entire time, I would still be recognized as a member of the team that won the Cup! If you have chosen God and decided to let Jesus Christ be the Lord of your life, your eternal salvation is assured, not because of anything you have done, or will ever do, but because of Jesus and what He did on the Cross!

I may play the game with all my heart, mind, soul and strength but Jesus scores the winning goal!

"Lord Jesus, I choose You because You have chosen me to be with You forever! Who can succeed against me when You Jesus are with me in this life and forever. To You Jesus be the glory forever and ever, Amen!"

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Dog Food!

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You are my chosen people, so don't eat the meat of any of your livestock that was killed by a wild animal. Instead, feed the meat to dogs.

Exodus 22:31

There is at least one other mention of dog food in the Bible. In Matthew 15:26 Jesus said, "It isn't right to take food away from children and feed it to dogs."

I once worked with a man who liked to shock his co-workers by bringing dog food to work and eating it in front of others. It frankly is still disgusting to think about seeing him eat dog food.

I also remember a quart jar filled with catfish bate which consisted mostly of blood and was labeled "Not Suitable for Human Consumption." It was so awful smelling and looking that I can't imagine anyone even tasting it, much less eating it!

The world is serving, every day a plate of spiritual food that is "Not Suitable for Human Consumption." You can't keep the opportunity to consume corruption from arising, but you can keep your finger out of the jar and you can refuse even one bite! Remember it was not the second bite that Adam and Eve took of the fruit that has caused us all so much trouble.

Here is an idea. When Satan offers you a morsel to eat imagine that he is giving you a plate of rotten meat full of maggots and worms! Think about my jar of catfish bate and just say no! Eating rotten meat will make you sick and eating food that Satan gives you will make you spiritually sick as well. If you wonder why you are having spiritual difficulty, it may be because you have been eating dog food all day long!

"Lord Jesus, give me the food today that I need to eat so that I can grow strong in You! Open my eyes that I can see and recognize the things that I must not consume. And may You be glorified by my life, every minute of every day! Amen."

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Simple and Complex

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The Lord's angel said to Philip, “Go south along the desert road that leads from Jerusalem to Gaza.”  So Philip left.

An important Ethiopian official happened to be going along that road in his chariot. He was the chief treasurer for Candace, the Queen of Ethiopia. The official had gone to Jerusalem to worship was now on his way home. He was sitting in his chariot, reading the book of the prophet Isaiah.

The Spirit told Philip to catch up with the chariot. Philip ran up close and heard the man reading aloud from the book of Isaiah. Philip asked him, “Do you understand what you are reading?”

The official answered, “How can I understand unless someone helps me?” He then invited Philip to come up and sit beside him.

Acts 8:26-31

Do you understand the things you read in the Bible?  You may say, "Well of course I do, I learned to read when I was a child and if I don't know a word I can look it up in a dictionary. So I can certainly understand the Bible!"  

Many years ago I lived in Indonesia for a time.  I studied the language and learned quite a few simple words and their meanings.  But I was frequently frustrated because a complex concept would be expressed using several simple words, all of which I knew their meanings, but I had no idea what was being said.  I'm sure that when you learn a new language, no matter what it is, you will encounter a similar problem.

Jesus mostly taught using simple stories.  Even a child can learn the stories that Jesus told the people who would listen to Him.  And just like learning a new language you must learn the simple stories before you can step into the amazingly complex teachings that emerge as the Holy Spirit explains them to you like Phillip did for the

When I want to go deep into the Word of God I need someone to explain the Scriptures to me, even as the Official from Ethiopia did.  If I am not already a follower of Jesus, the Holy Spirit will send a Phillip to help me understand the Good News of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.  If I am already a believer the Holy Spirit, in me will bring the understanding that I need!  It is an amazing part of following Jesus.

"Lord Jesus, Your words are so simple and yet the depth of what You say is beyond measuring.  Show me more today of what You are speaking to me, even from the simplest Words of Scripture.  And Lord, help me to be willing to obey!  Amen."

Monday, June 17, 2013

Together in Eternity!

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Jesus said to his disciples, “Don't be worried! Have faith in God and have faith in me. There are many rooms in my Father's house. I wouldn't tell you this, unless it was true. I am going there to prepare a place for each of you. After I have done this, I will come back and take you with me. Then we will be together.

John 14:1-3

There will be a special place for you in Heaven. Your room in Heaven will not be just like everybody else's. Right now Jesus is getting your room ready so that when He comes back and gets you everything will be perfect.

If you are a follower of Jesus He has promised to be "with you always," but when He takes you back to Heaven you will be "together" with Jesus.

I once traveled to Africa with a dear friend. He is a seasoned international traveler. When anyone questioned who I was he would simply say "he's with me" and I was invited to go wherever my friend went. Consider the amazing reality that we will travel through eternity together with Jesus! Wherever Jesus goes we will go, and whatever Jesus does we will be right there with Him.

"Thank you Jesus that You are with me today and that Your Holy Spirit is in me. But Lord I do so look forward to the day that we will be TOGETHER IN ETERNITY! What an amazing future You have promised. And may You be praised forever! Amen."

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Don’t Be Stupid!

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Act like people with good sense and not like fools.  These are evil times, so make every minute count. Don't be stupid. Instead, find out what the Lord wants you to do.  Don't destroy yourself by getting drunk, but let the Spirit fill your life.

Ephesians 5:15-18

There are verses in the Bible that sound like they were written this morning.  I believe that when the Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle Paul to write these words He must have known that they would be so needed right now in the history of this world!  

Foolishness is everywhere and these are indeed evil times!  Instead of trying to find out what the Lord wants them to do many people "act stupidly."  They actively look for pleasure and  become addicted to its pursuit.  

Truth and righteousness are no longer the "ideal" of "honorable" men.  In fact, men of honor are becoming a very rare commodity.  Fear is blossoming as men seek ways to protect themselves from the evil and fear is swelling like the tide and sweeping over the earth!

Getting drunk is not the only way today to destroy yourself.  There are many mind changing and intoxicating addictions that are available and are very efficient in bringing any man or woman to a pitiful end.  But when you let your life be filled by the Holy Spirit there is good sense in a world of foolishness, there is understanding in a world of stupidity, and there is joy and peace in a world that is marching lock-step toward eternal destruction!

"Dear Jesus, help me today to make every minute count in these evil times.  Show me today what You want me to do and fill my life with Your Holy Spirit.  And may Your will be done today with every breath that I take!  Amen."

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Is Jesus Your Lord?

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Jesus left and returned to his hometown with his disciples. The next Sabbath he taught in the synagogue. Many of the people who heard him were amazed and asked, “How can he do all this? Where did he get such wisdom and the power to work these miracles?  Isn't he the carpenter, the son of Mary? Aren't James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon his brothers? Don't his sisters still live here in our town?” The people were upset because of what he was doing.

But Jesus said, “Prophets are honored by everyone, except the people of their hometown and their relatives and their own family.”

Mark 6:1-4

The people who knew Jesus the best had the most difficulty in coming to real faith in Him!They knew His mother and His brothers and sisters and they knew what kind of work He did as a carpenter, but they didn't know Jesus as the Lord! Sometimes it is easy to let what you know about Jesus stand in the way of coming to see who He really is!

The stories about Jesus' life and miracles are great for telling children, and of course everyone else. They are filled with wonderful moments when Jesus brought healing to the sick, lame and blind. And then there is the simple teaching that is truly amazing. Jesus even raised Lazarus from death. I can know all these things about Jesus and what He did during His life on this earth and even know all about His crucifixion, resurrection, and even His ascension and still not know Jesus as MY LORD!

Jesus becomes the Lord of your life when you fall down before Him and surrender yourself to Him! When you tell Jesus that you choose to let His will be the deciding factor in everything you do then you are stepping into the world of "Jesus is Lord."

You can make Jesus the Lord of your life when you know only a little about Him or when you already know much about His life. But knowing everything there is to know about Jesus does not mean that He controls you as you walk through each day.

Of course it is wonderful to know more about Jesus and that is what you will desire when you make Him your Lord. Every word of His story will be a golden morsel of delicious manna! But don't forget to fall down before Him and make Jesus your Lord!

"Oh Jesus, I do want to know everything that there is to know about You. But more than that, I want You to be the Lord of every thought I think, every word I speak, and every deed I do. May I be a living expression of You today in this world. And may You be praised forever. Amen!"

Friday, June 14, 2013

Are You At Ease?

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Dear friends, if we feel at ease in the presence of God, we will have the courage to come near him. He will give us whatever we ask, because we obey him and do what pleases him.  God wants us to have faith in his Son Jesus Christ and to love each other. This is also what Jesus taught us to do. If we obey God's commandments, we will stay one in our hearts with him, and he will stay one with us. The Spirit he has given us is proof that we are one with him.

1 John 3:21-24

Do you feel at ease in the presence of God and do you have the courage to come near Him? The answer to those questions is very important in determining how you live your life.

The "victorious Christian life" is not the experience of a man or woman who is uncomfortable in the presence of God. And if you don't have the courage to come near Him how can you show the Glory of God to those around you? There is no powerful witness from a man who is separated from God. All Satan has to do to remove you from the battle is to make you uncomfortable to be in God's presence. You may not join the forces of Satan in the battle, but you will be silent when the battle begins to rage around you.

How do you become comfortable in the same room with God? The answer to that really is quite simple. If you are obeying His commands you will feel no threat when you come close to God. Search God's Word to see if there are any commands you have not kept and then set your heart to obey each and every one.

If you are at ease and comfortable in the presence of God, Satan will not be at ease in your presence. When you draw near to God, He will draw near to you and Satan will run!

"Lord Jesus show me today everything that is keeping me from being comfortable in the presence of God. May Your name be praised forever. Amen!"

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Ultimate Wedding!

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From the throne a voice said,  “If you worship and fear our God, give praise to him,no matter who you are.”

Then I heard what seemed to be a large crowd that sounded like a roaring flood and loud thunder all mixed together. They were saying,

“Praise the Lord!  Our Lord God All-Powerful now rules as king.

So we will be glad and happy and give him praise. The wedding day of the Lamb

is here, and his bride is ready.

She will be given a wedding dress made of pure and shining linen.

This linen stands for the good things God's people have done.”

Revelation 19:5-8

There is going to be a wedding and it will be the greatest wedding in all of Eternity! Jesus the Son of God has paid the price for a Bride and she has made herself ready. Marriage on this earth is only a shadow of the Real Wedding in Heaven. The greatest joy on this earth is when a man and a woman come together and live in that shadow. A wise old woman once said that marriage is either "Heaven on Earth," or it is "Hell." God designed marriage to let us experience a small touch of heavenly bliss!

Even on this earth there is much to do for a bride to be to get ready for the wedding. She pays attention to many things. There are parties to plan, and many personal considerations in order to be ready for that day. After all the preparation, finally the day comes and the lives of two become one as they begin their journey together through this life!

The Bride of Christ is in the final stages of preparation for that ultimate wedding day! We are often tempted to think that when we die we simply "go to Heaven" and quietly slip into our Eternal relationship with Jesus. Don't forget the Wedding. When the whole Bride is ready the ceremony will begin and of course the Wedding Feast. Jesus' first miracle was at a wedding feast as He made the water into wine. But when Jesus is the Groom the wine will never run out and the joy will last forever!

"Lord Jesus, help me today and everyday for the rest of my life to be ready for the Wedding! Wash me with Your Word and hold me close to Your Heart until that wonderful Day. And Jesus may it come soon, oh very soon! Amen."

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

You Are The Horse!


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

Colossians 1:21-23

It is not the evil things you do that make you God's enemy. You are the enemy of God because of what you think, not because of what you do. Love itself rests in your thoughts. When you love someone the way you think about them is different. Of course the actions follow, but the way you think is the heart of love.

What do you think about Jesus? Do you think He is the Son of God who came to earth and died for your sins so that you can avoid Hell? Or do you add to that the fact that Jesus loves you and wants to walk with you always, even to the end of the world? Is Jesus the desire of your heart or is He your Heavenly Insurance policy?

If you only avoid thinking about Evil what good is that? If your mind is constantly on the mundane matters of this world and not focused on Jesus how will you hear His voice or even feel the gentle nudge He gives to direct your day? My neighbor is Amish and his car is a horse. It is amazing to watch him give commands to his horse. Much of the time it seems the horse obeys without him doing anything. Of course the horse has listened to his master long enough to respond to even the quietest word or smallest movement.

Pretend that you are the horse and Jesus is my Amish neighbor. Keep your ears in the alert position to hear even the smallest word from Jesus. Others around you will think that you have just learned to live a righteous life. They would be wrong. Your righteousness comes from Jesus and your good decisions come from His simple commands.

"Lord Jesus help me to feel the slightest tug on the reins of my heart and help me hear every sound that comes from Your mouth, even a whisper. And may my thoughts always be on You Jesus. Amen."

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I Am Not Religious!

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From heaven God shows how angry he is with all the wicked and evil things that sinful people do to crush the truth. They know everything that can be known about God, because God has shown it all to them.  God's eternal power and character cannot be seen. But from the beginning of creation, God has shown what these are like by all he has made. That's why those people don't have any excuse.  They know about God, but they don't honor him or even thank him. Their thoughts are useless, and their stupid minds are in the dark. They claim to be wise, but they are fools.  They don't worship the glorious and eternal God. Instead, they worship idols that are made to look like humans who cannot live forever, and like birds, animals, and reptiles.

Romans 1:18-23

Man was made to worship! We will either worship God or someone or even something else. I recently saw a documentary about a nation which rejects God, but has a "Great Leader." When a visiting physician did cataract surgery on several hundred blind men and women they all rushed to stand before a picture of their "Great Leader" and thank him for healing them. It was almost comical if it had not been so pitiful. You would think they would at least thank the doctor who operated on their eyes. But no, they turned to the image of a dead man and gave him the praise.

Some people say "I am not religious!" But that is quite wrong. If you are a human being you are religious. The question is who will you worship. Will you worship a "Great Leader" whose promises are amazing, but whose actual bestowed blessings are few and far between, or even non existent. Do you worship your own achievements? Do you bow down before the idols that you have made with your own hands? Do you worship a political system, or even the idea of a political system that claims to right all the wrongs and bring a Utopian life to everyone?

You may think that you "go to worship" only on Sunday, but every man worships every day. The choice that you have is not to worship or not worship, it is rather who or even what will I worship today!

"Lord Jesus, I choose to worship You today and You alone. Show me more reasons today that You are to be praised! Amen."

Monday, June 10, 2013

Sowing and Reaping!

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You cannot fool God, so don't make a fool of yourself! You will harvest what you plant. If you follow your selfish desires, you will harvest destruction, but if you follow the Spirit, you will harvest eternal life.

Galatians 6:7-8

A farmer who plants corn and expects to harvest beans is really quite foolish. You will reap what you sow. When it comes to putting seeds in the ground everyone knows that this is true. But many, maybe most people expect to reap a wonderful harvest in their lives without sowing good seed.

When you live a life that is dedicated to the pursuit of your own happiness and the fulfillment of your selfish desires you will harvest destruction. But if you follow the Holy Spirit and live your life dedicated to daily obedience then you will harvest eternal life!
In a real sense every word you speak, every thought you think, and every deed you do is a seed that will produce a harvest.

Your life becomes a field in which all of the things you have planted are growing. Even after you turn your heart to Jesus and He forgives you of your sins, there are still things you will harvest from your past.

So as you walk through this day remember that you are planting seeds that will grow, and you will receive the harvest in time. When you are tempted to sin remember that you will be really planting a seed. When you obey the leading of the Holy Spirit you are also planting a seed that will produce a harvest in Heaven! Spend your time today planting seeds of righteousness and not seeds of destruction.

"Lord Jesus, help me to plant only seeds of life and not seeds of death in my life. And Lord I look forward to that Eternal day of Harvest in Heaven because of Your Blood which was shed for me! Thank You Jesus. Amen."

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Butterfly Believer!

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I will fiercely attack.

Then every god on this earth

will shrink to nothing,

and everyone of every nation

will bow down to me,

right where they are.

Zephaniah 2:11 

If you somehow think that you need to defend the Name and Honor of God, you are terribly mistaken. God will defend and vindicate Himself and in the End His victory will be all encompassing and complete!

My job is not to send the men and women who have joined with the Enemies of God to their doom. I am rather to snatch them from the hand of Satan by proclaiming the Saving message of Jesus Christ.

The transformation of a sinner into a saint is more amazing than a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. God surely created that process to show us how He changes ordinary men into men who are empowered by and filled with the Holy Spirit.

If you spend your time trying to promote, facilitate or otherwise push along the process of becoming like Jesus in any way other than filling yourself with His Word and walking in daily fellowship with Him you are like a caterpillar trying to become a butterfly.

As you live the life that God has given you, and live it in faith and fellowship with Jesus you will be changed. And everyone will be amazed at the way God's Grace will give Wings to your Faith!

"Lord Jesus, I want to fly with You in the beauty that You have created me to become. I hold on to You today and wait for that Day. And may You be praised forever. Amen."

Friday, June 7, 2013

No Power in Prayer

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Our God, you deserve praise

in Zion, where we keep

our promises to you.


Everyone will come to you

because you answer prayer.

When our sins get us down,

you forgive us.


You bless your chosen ones,

and you invite them

to live near you

in your temple.

We will enjoy your house,

the sacred temple.


Our God, you save us,

and your fearsome deeds answer

our prayers for justice!

You give hope to people

everywhere on earth,

even those across the sea.

Psalm 65:1-5

There was a man who prayed every day, and he prayed often, but he was not a follower of Jesus Christ. Then the man heard about Jesus and decided to let Jesus be the Lord of his life. When I asked him how his praying had changed since he became a Christian his answer was simple and maybe a little unsettling as well. He said (these are not his exact words), "Before I became a follower of Jesus my prayers were never answered, but after I became a Christian my prayers were always answered!"

The promise of answered prayer is for those who come to God in the name of Jesus. If you come to God through anyone else, or even in your own name there is no promise that God will answer your prayer or even hear it! But when you come to God in the name of Jesus as His disciple amazing things happen in the wake of your prayers!

Some people talk about the "power of prayer," but there is no power in prayer. All the power rests in God and when mountains are thrown into the sea because of your prayer it is God's power that did the impossible.

If as a Christian you pray and nothing happens what is the problem? As your Heavenly Father, God does not withhold things you pray for just to punish you. When you pray for things to simply satisfy your fleshly desire is it any wonder that God would withhold those "blessings?" When you seek and know His will for your life the answers to prayer will flow like a rushing river because you will ask for the best He has to offer.

"Lord Jesus, I want to see Your power work in, around and through my life as I turn my will over to You and pray according to Your will not mine. Thank You Jesus. Amen."

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Whisper from Jesus!

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God gives peace, and he raised our Lord Jesus Christ from death. Now Jesus is like a Great Shepherd whose blood was used to make God's eternal agreement with his flock. I pray God will make you ready to obey him and that you will always be eager to do right. May Jesus help you do what pleases God. To Jesus Christ be glory forever and ever! Amen.

My friends, I have written only a short letter to encourage you, and I beg you to pay close attention to what I have said.

By now you surely must know that our friend Timothy is out of jail. If he gets here in time, I will bring him with me when I come to visit you.

Hebrews 13:20-23

Why did so many of the early Christian leaders spend time in jail? It was not because they were suffering for their sins. And really it was not because they were simply targeted by the government because of their faith. Jail time for Christians comes because life as a follower of Jesus Christ often finds itself at odds with the culture. Regulations about where you can and cannot proclaim the message of Jesus must be ignored. Rules about where you can or cannot pray have to be broken. And of course Christians will not fall down and worship anyone except Jesus Christ!

Of course you must obey the laws of your land. But if Jesus tells you to do something that causes you to break a law, then you must break it and trust Jesus to be with you no matter what the consequences. That is why it is so very important that you practice listening to the voice of Jesus. If you think "maybe, it might be Jesus" calling you to do something with great consequence, it won't be long until you question the wisdom of what you have done! It is only when you know His voice with certainty that you can courageously step out of the boat and walk on water like Peter did.

Small children and members of the military learn that when their mother or commanding officer gives an order it is to be obeyed without question! There is no praise for a soldier who refuses to obey because he doesn't understand why the order was given. Understanding may be wonderful, but obedience is better.

So my job today is not to understand theology, but rather to hear the voice of Jesus and obey. Will I understand more and more about what God is doing in the world? Of course I will! But my first responsibility is to obey the Lord even if I go to jail as a consequence!

"Lord Jesus, I do want to know more, but I also want to obey more. Help me to clearly hear Your voice today so I can walk in obedience even to a whisper from You! And may You be praised forever. Amen."

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Faith and Hope!

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God's people had faith, and when they had walked around the city of Jericho for seven days, its walls fell down.

Rahab had been a prostitute, but she had faith and welcomed the spies. So she wasn't killed with the people who disobeyed.

What else can I say? There isn't enough time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets. Their faith helped them conquer kingdoms, and because they did right, God made promises to them. They closed the jaws of lions  and put out raging fires and escaped from the swords of their enemies. Although they were weak, they were given the strength and power to chase foreign armies away.

Some women received their loved ones back from death. Many of these people were tortured, but they refused to be released. They were sure they would get a better reward when the dead are raised to life.  Others were made fun of and beaten with whips, and some were chained in jail.  Still others were stoned to death or sawed in two or killed with swords. Some had nothing but sheep skins or goat skins to wear. They were poor, mistreated, and tortured. The world did not deserve these good people, who had to wander in deserts and on mountains and had to live in caves and holes in the ground.

All of them pleased God because of their faith! But still they died without being given what had been promised. This was because God had something better in store for us. And he did not want them to reach the goal of their faith without us.

Hebrews 11:30-40

"Tell me about when were you saved?" That question usually prompts a Christian to speak of how he came to know Jesus as his Lord. And I suppose that answer is appropriate, but it might also be accurate for us to say "I was saved when Jesus died for my sins, but when Jesus returns, that's what I am waiting for!" You see, God has something better in store for us than this life and even the great men and women of faith will not "reach the goal" of their faith without us!

"Hope" is the often forgotten one third of the "faith, hope and love" trio mentioned in 1 Corinthians 13. Love and faith are greater than hope, but it is hope that fuels love and faith and keeps them alive and well even in the most difficult times. It is hard to keep faith and even love alive when all hope is lost!

The hope of what God has planned and what He has promised is like a warm rain for the flowers of spring! Let your faith in and love for God be strengthened by the promises He has given us.

"Lord, I want to be remembered as a "man of faith," and I know that does not mean an easy life of comfort and peace. But may the hope of Heaven keep me strong in faith until I see Your face on that glorious day. And may that day be soon. Amen."

Monday, June 3, 2013

Love Jesus More

A Pharisee invited Jesus to have dinner with him. So Jesus went to the Pharisee's home and got ready to eat.

When a sinful woman in that town found out that Jesus was there, she bought an expensive bottle of perfume. Then she came and stood behind Jesus. She cried and started washing his feet with her tears and drying them with her hair. The woman kissed his feet and poured the perfume on them.

The Pharisee who had invited Jesus saw this and said to himself, “If this man really were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him! He would know that she is a sinner.”

Jesus said to the Pharisee, “Simon, I have something to say to you.”

“Teacher, what is it?” Simon replied.

Jesus told him, “Two people were in debt to a moneylender. One of them owed him 500 silver coins, and the other owed him 50.  Since neither of them could pay him back, the moneylender said that they didn't have to pay him anything. Which one of them will like him more?”

He answered, “I suppose it would be the one who had owed more and didn't have to pay it back.”

“You are right,” Jesus said.

Luke 7:36-43

There is a great disadvantage for those who turned to Jesus before there were any "great sins" of which to repent. When you believe that Jesus has forgiven you of only a few small sins, your love for Jesus is small as well. You know you need the Blood of Jesus, but not so much as other men! That love may of course grow as you come to realize that without the sacrifice of Jesus you would spend eternity in Hell even though your sins were not "significant." But believing that you are a "pretty good person" will hold your love for Jesus in check.

A way to fertilize your love for Jesus is to ask Him to show you the enormity of your sin! It is foolish to assume that your sin is not so bad. It is also foolish to think that your sin is so bad that Jesus can't save you.

When you begin to see just how heinous your sin is in the eyes of God, your love for Jesus will grow as well. So must I go out and sin some more so I can have more love for Jesus. Oh no not at all. You have already sinned enough. The problem is totally one of perception. You simply don't know how bad your sin is. Ask Jesus to let you see your sin through His eyes. When you do your love for Him will begin to swell like the tide before a storm. Truthfully, Jesus sees my sin the same as any murderer. It was my sin that drove the nails in His hands and stuck the spear in His side.

"Lord Jesus, I want to love You more. I want to know what You have done for me. And I want to know You better today than ever before. May my love for You grow today. Amen."

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Obedience Based Discipleship!

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Obey God's message! Don't fool yourselves by just listening to it.  If you hear the message and don't obey it, you are like people who stare at themselves in a mirror and forget what they look like as soon as they leave. But you must never stop looking at the perfect law that sets you free. God will bless you in everything you do, if you listen and obey, and don't just hear and forget.

If you think you are being religious, but can't control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is useless. Religion that pleases God the Father must be pure and spotless. You must help needy orphans and widows and not let this world make you evil.

James 1:22-27

There is a well established practice in the field of medicine for educating those who will one day be doctors. It is "see one, do one, teach one." First, you observe a medical procedure, then you perform that procedure yourself, and finally you teach someone else how to do it.

Many Christians try to skip the obedience step in their walk with Jesus. They hear the Word and even see others living in obedience, but they move on to teaching others without walking in that truth for themselves. It is the basis of the hypocrite accusation that is directed toward many Christians. They hear and teach others, but they don't obey the truth themselves.

Some call the process that God wants for us, "Obedience Based Discipleship." It is easy to rest in "Knowledge Based Discipleship" and skip the obedience part. Some even warn others not to obey until they understand what their obedience means.

There is an old church song titled, "Trust and Obey," there is not one call "Understand and Obey."

So we must sharpen our hearing skills before being concerned with understanding the reason God speaks this or that to our lives. Obedience is simply doing what God tells us to do. It is no more complicated than that. So listen for God's voice even in the small things like "speak to that person," or "pray for someone you don't even know." Then you will know it is the voice of God when He says "go to Africa and preach to the lost there!"

"Lord, I am so thankful that when I know the sound of Your voice I don't need to understanding everything You tell me to do! But Lord I do need to recognize Your voice today and every day. I need to know You better and better, every day. Speak Lord, today and I will obey. Amen."