Saturday, August 31, 2013

Desire of Your Heart

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After Terah was 70 years old, he had three sons: Abram, Nahor, and Haran, who became the father of Lot. Terah's sons were born in the city of Ur in Chaldea, and Haran died there before the death of his father. The following is the story of Terah's descendants.

Abram married Sarai, but she was not able to have children. And Nahor married Milcah, who was the daughter of Haran and the sister of Iscah.

Terah decided to move from Ur to the land of Canaan. He took along Abram and Sarai and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran. But when they came to the city of Haran, they settled there instead.  Terah lived to be 205 years old and died in Haran.

Genesis 11:26-32

The father of Abram decided to move to Canaan but stopped short in Haran. Then God called Abram to finish the journey and go to Canaan. When Terah decided to go to Canaan was he hearing the call of God and just didn't recognize it? Well of course we don't know because the Bible does not say, but it does seem odd that Abram, who was later called Abraham would be called by God to go to the place that his father had intended on going anyway.


If Terah had gone on to Canaan would he have been called the "Grandfather of the faithful?" His son Abraham was called the "Father of the faithful."


If Terah's desire to go to Canaan was put into his heart by the Lord then there is a lesson for us today. When you decide on an honorable course of action don't stop in Haran! Do you know for sure that your desire did not come from the Lord Himself? God can put the desire in your heart as easily as He can put the Word in your ear!


Faith itself says that God is involved in every step you take. If your heart and mind are fixed on Jesus, His peace will hover over you as you walk even without a specific Word from God. God is the author of every good and righteous thing. So if you are a Christian and you want to walk in righteousness you can be sure that God is directing your steps.

Terah stopped in Haran and the call, if it was a call from God, was passed on to his son Abram.


Remember God does not work in only one generation. God works from generation to generation and from age to age. He may call you to complete a work that began long before you were born. He may call you to begin a work that will not be completed until long after you are gone.


"Lord Jesus, forgive me for stopping in Haran and not going all the way to the place to which You have called me. Give me the strength to get up and move today to the place You want me to go. And may You be praised forever. Amen."

Friday, August 30, 2013

Secrets of Eternity!

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Melchizedek was both king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He was the one who went out and gave Abraham his blessing, when Abraham returned from killing the kings. Then Abraham gave him a tenth of everything he had.

The meaning of the name Melchizedek is “King of Justice.” But since Salem means “peace,” he is also “King of Peace.”  We are not told he had a father or mother or ancestors or beginning or end. He is like the Son of God and will be a priest forever.

Notice how great Melchizedek was! Our famous ancestor Abraham gave him a tenth of what he had taken from his enemies.  The Law teaches that even Abraham's descendants must give a tenth of what they possess. And they are to give this to their own relatives, who are the descendants of Levi and are priests.  Although Melchizedek wasn't a descendant of Levi, Abraham gave him a tenth of what he had. Then Melchizedek blessed Abraham, who had been given God's promise.  Everyone agrees a person who gives a blessing is greater than the one who receives the blessing.

Priests are given a tenth of what people earn. But all priests die, except Melchizedek, and the Scriptures teach that he is alive.

Hebrews 7:1-8

Who is Melchizedek, this priest who did not die? Every time I read these verses I come away with more questions than answers about Melchizedek. He had no father or mother, was the King of Salem and received a tithe from Abraham.

Mentioning Melchizedek is like peering through a tiny hole in the wall into a much larger story that is not detailed in the Bible. One of the things I look forward to in Heaven is hearing the whole story about Melchizedek. Why did he have no father or mother and why did he not die?

For me, the lesson of Melchizedek is this: After you have consumed the entire Bible and know every truth revealed in its pages there is so much more that we will not know until we come into the presence of the Lord! I believe that the Holy Spirit specifically introduced Melchizedek to us in the Bible to remind us that there are many things that we cannot know on this earth!

How can you look up at the stars on a clear night and not be humbled by the vast expanse of unanswered questions? The Bible even says that God has named every one of those dots of light you see in the night sky.

"Lord, I fall down at Your feet and praise You for all that You have revealed to me and for all that You have kept secret. I cannot even imagine how great You really are and will be forever! What a day that will be when I see behind the wall of this earth and look clearly at all the Secrets of Eternity that are seen by all those who stand in Your presence! Thank you Lord, Amen!"




Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Room in Heaven!

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

God built a house and that house has many rooms. Try to imagine God's house. Would it be like a Southern mansion or like a skyscraper in the city? When God walks in the front door of His house does He have to duck because He is so tall? I think not. God's house must fit His needs perfectly.


Right now Jesus is working on preparing rooms in God's House for His children who are going to come on that Great Day and live in God's house. There is a television show, which I think is now off the air except re-runs that either remodels or rebuilds a house for a family. They listen to all their preferences and desires and make for them the perfect house. When it is ready they put the family behind a bus and then someone says "Move the Bus" and the family sees their new and amazing house!


When Jesus comes for you He will take you to His Father's house and show you the room He has personally prepared! I have lots of questions now. I don't suppose I will have any then. Questions like: "If there is no night in Heaven and we don't sleep then will I need a bed in my room?" "How big are the rooms in His Father's House?"


I don't think I have ever heard someone talk about our rooms in Heaven. The Bible really doesn't say more than the fact that we will have one and that Jesus is preparing it for us. But followers of Jesus will have a room in God's House in Heaven and I suppose that is enough to know!


Did you ever arrive at a hotel and find out that the room you thought was waiting for you was given to someone else? That is a real inconvenience. But what a tragedy if you leave this world thinking that you had reserved a room in Heaven and you find out it is not there!
If you try to reserve a room in Heaven by doing good things you will be disappointed. If you depend on the fact that you work hard and are honest to guarantee a room in Heaven you will find out that no room will be waiting for you. Rooms in God's House in Heaven are only for those who give their hearts to Jesus and trust Him as they obey His commands and walk in His steps!


"Lord Jesus, thank you for preparing a room for me. Thank you for promising not only a room in God's House, but that You will be with me forever! And Lord, I really like walls that are blue like the sky! Amen."

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Shroud of Turin

“On Sunday morning while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance.

She ran to Simon Peter and to Jesus’ favorite disciple and said, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb! We don’t know where they have put him.”


Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. They ran side by side, until the other disciple ran faster than Peter and got there first.

He bent over and saw the strips of linen cloth lying inside the tomb, but he did not go in.


When Simon Peter got there, he went into the tomb and saw the strips of cloth. He also saw the piece of cloth that had been used to cover Jesus’ face. It was rolled up and in a place by itself.”

John 20:1-7

The Shroud of Turin is still an unresolved mystery. The claims that it is the burial cloth of Jesus and that the image on the Shroud is that of Jesus have not been definitively proven or debunked. Some years ago carbon dating was used on the Shroud and it was thought that those tests proved that the Shroud of Turin was not real. Since then apparent flaws in those tests puts the Shroud back into the realm of the unknown.

Is it possible that the image on that cloth is Jesus' image burned on to the cloth on the first resurrection morning? Of course it is possible. The Bible specifically mentions the cloth. After the resurrection who would have tossed it out?

The resurrected Jesus may or may not have burned His likeness on the burial cloth, but when you meet Him, two thousand years later, Jesus burns His image on your life! When others look at you, they no longer see the man you used to be, but they see the resurrected Christ.

It is a miracle far greater than the Shroud of Turin.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Like a Train Wreck!


After you eat and are full, give praise to the [Lord] your God for the good land he gave you. Make sure that you never forget the [Lord] or disobey his laws and teachings that I am giving you today. If you always obey them, you will have plenty to eat, and you will build good houses to live in.

You will get more and more cattle, sheep, silver, gold, and other possessions.

But when all this happens, don't be proud! Don't forget that you were once slaves in Egypt and that it was the [Lord] who set you free.

Deuteronomy 8:10-14

Remembering, praising and obeying the Lord results in having plenty to eat, good houses to live in and provisions. Somehow even Christians today have come to the conclusion that those things come from “Capitalism” and “Democracy.”  Capitalism and Democracy are not bad things, but they are not the source of our blessings.

When men, without God establish a system of doing business and governing themselves it is like a powerful train rushing down the tracks, but no one built a bridge to cross the river. It may look good for a while, but it will surely crash!

Remember that even Freedom is not something you bestow upon yourself.  Even if you desire to be free, someone stronger than your shackles must declare it so.  Every man and woman is born into the slavery of sin and have no way of freeing themselves from that bondage.

The Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that He is willing and able to free us from slavery to sin.  When Jesus sets you free you are free indeed.

Beware of the false promises of freedom, capitalism and democracy without God!  Without God they will all fail.  Return to the Lord and let Him rebuild the nation!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The First Bite!


Don't keep the prophecies in this book a secret. These things will happen soon.
Evil people will keep on being evil, and everyone who is dirty-minded will still be dirty-minded. But good people will keep on doing right, and God's people will always be holy.

Then I was told:

I am coming soon! And when I come, I will reward everyone for what they have done.

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.

Revelation 22:10-14

Years ago when I lived in Indonesia I discovered the fruit! Growing up in the United States may have some advantages, but having access to fresh and wonderful fruit is not one of them. There was one fruit in Indonesia that was like a grapefruit but larger and it was sweet, very sweet. And of course you know that bananas fresh off the tree are really much better.

When we arrive in Heaven I wonder if there will there be a line to get your first bite of fruit from the Tree of Life? There will be no snake tempting you to try it and with that bite you will seal your fate of living forever!

When Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil their eyes were opened and they knew that they were naked. I wonder how eating of the Tree of Life will change us when we eat it? Will there be a new eternal awareness that sin and death are gone forever? Will we look at our new bodies and recognize the difference?

What will fruit from the Tree of Life taste like? I am certain of this, that nothing can compare to that Eternal Fruit! The satisfaction of eating that fruit will last forever.

Let nothing on earth keep you from that day! Throw away, repent of and abandon every sin that hinders your walk with Christ. Run after the joy of the Lord as you prepare for the return of Jesus and your first bite of the fruit from the Tree of Life!
Amen!







Friday, August 23, 2013

New Strength!

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You people of Israel say, “God pays no attention to us! He doesn't care if we are treated unjustly.” But how can you say that?

Don't you know? Haven't you heard? The Lord is the eternal God, Creator of the earth. He never gets weary or tired; his wisdom cannot be measured.

The Lord gives strength to those who are weary. Even young people get tired, then stumble and fall.

But those who trust the Lord will find new strength. They will be strong like eagles soaring upward on wings; they will walk and run without getting tired.

Isaiah 40:27-31

When a runner reaches the end of his strength and can't go on any longer he may suddenly experience a "second wind."

There is no certain scientific explanation for it but it is real and many runners have been enabled to finish the race because of a "second wind."

Have you reached the end of your strength in the race of life? You know for certain that you will not be able to go on much longer. Life is just too hard and the troubles that seem to come daily have emptied your reserve of energy.

Without a new source of energy you will not be able to continue. Then you begin to wait upon the Lord and trust Him for everything in your life and the Spiritual Second Wind begins to come! Troubles are still there but you are not drained of your strength in their wake. Instead of being crushed by the waves you are riding them as you praise the Name of Jesus!

"Lord, I cannot take another step without a "Second Wind" from You. Pick me up Lord and let me ride above the storm as I rest in Your arms!"





Thursday, August 22, 2013

Capitalism Without God!

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You rich people should cry and weep! Terrible things are going to happen to you.  Your treasures have already rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes.  Your money has rusted, and the rust will be evidence against you, as it burns your body like fire. Yet you keep on storing up wealth in these last days.

You refused to pay the people who worked in your fields, and now their unpaid wages are shouting out against you. The Lord All-Powerful has heard the cries of the workers who harvested your crops.

While here on earth, you have thought only of filling your own stomachs and having a good time. But now you are like fat cattle on their way to be butchered.

You have condemned and murdered innocent people, who couldn't even fight back.

James 5:1-6

It's not wrong to be rich, but people who are rich are greatly tempted to trust in their riches instead of trusting in God. And rich people who do not fear God are frequently guilty of abusing the poor. Respect for the poor comes from God's perspective on all men. A successful man who does not have faith in God finds it easy to believe that a poor man is just lazy and not worthy of the wealth that comes by hard work.

Here is the problem and the solution. Capitalism without God becomes corrupt and abusive and will evolve into a very oppressive form of government. But capitalism with God is kind and thoughtful of the poor and respectful of the rights of all men. It is charitable and produces fruit to be enjoyed by everyone on earth.

So instead of trying to fix the system of government we must invite God to be a vibrant part of the nation. When God is honored by a nation and it's wealth producers then blessings fall on everyone.

"Lord, help me today not to trust in the things that You have given me, but to trust completely in You. Let me see all men as Your creation, and feel the love that You have for each of them. And Lord let the rain begin that will flood our land with Your Love! Amen."







Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Power of God!

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Dear friends, don't be surprised or shocked that you are going through testing that is like walking through fire.

Be glad for the chance to suffer as Christ suffered. It will prepare you for even greater happiness when he makes his glorious return.

Count it a blessing when you suffer for being a Christian. This shows that God's glorious Spirit is with you. But you deserve to suffer if you are a murderer, a thief, a criminal, or a busybody. Don't be ashamed to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God that you belong to him.

God has already begun judging his own people. And if his judgment begins with us, imagine how terrible it will be for those who refuse to obey his message. The Scriptures say,
“If good people barely escape,
what will happen to sinners
and to others
who don't respect God?”
I Peter 4:12-18

People in the United States have become totally dependent on electricity. When the power goes out it only takes a little while for the suffering to begin. If it is summer they have no way to keep cool. If their refrigerators stop running the food supply is soon ruined. And almost everything they do all day long depends on a constant supply of power.

The "survivalists" among us have made preparations to live without external power. They have alternate sources of energy and stored up food supplies that can last them even for years in some cases. It is the modern day definition of "rugged individualist."

Have you become a Christian "survivalist?" Do you have plans to live your life nicely without power from on high? Are you able to get along without God in your life?

It certainly is a good thing to be prepared when the electricity in your house goes out. But it is quite the opposite when you are prepared to live your life without power from God!

Never install a spiritual back up source of power. If you have one now, get rid of it!

The power of God in your life will never go away unless you throw the switch yourself.

One stark difference between electricity and God's power is this: You must be careful to not use much electricity each month or the bill will be shocking. But Jesus Christ has already paid for an unlimited amount of God's power in your life. Just leave the lights on and enjoy the Power of God!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Leave Your Sins!

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Zion, how can I comfort you? How great is your pain? Lovely city of Jerusalem, how can I heal your wounds, gaping as wide as the sea?

Your prophets deceived you with false visions and lying messages— they should have warned you to leave your sins and be saved from disaster.

Those who pass by shake their heads and sneer as they make fun and shout, “What a lovely city you were, the happiest on earth, but look at you now!”

Lamentations 2:13-15

Have you ever heard lying messages supported by false visions? Are there people today proclaiming things as Gospel when they are not the truth?

The answer to those questions is: Of course there are! One way to tell if the messenger is speaking lies is to listen and see if he is warning you to "Leave your sins." In other words REPENT!

Without leaving your sins the is no way to walk with Jesus.

Every nation that embraces sin will suffer the consequences. These words ring in the ears of many people on this earth. "What a lovely city you were, the happiest on earth, but look at you now!"

If your life or your nation is in a steep decline the answer is not in a diet and self-improvement class, or in new and "fiscally responsible" leaders. The answer lies in radical repentance and a sharp turn to God! Then there will be hope for recovery. Nothing else will work!

"Lord Jesus I remember what it was like when Your Name was not dishonored in this land or in my life. Grant my heart and the land in which I live the strength to repent and once again bring Glory to Your Name. Amen!"



Monday, August 19, 2013

God Uses Even Evil!

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Joseph's brothers killed a goat and dipped Joseph's fancy coat in its blood. After this, they took the coat to their father and said, “We found this! Look at it carefully and see if it belongs to your son.”

Jacob knew it was Joseph's coat and said, “It's my son's coat! Joseph has been torn to pieces and eaten by some wild animal.”

Jacob mourned for Joseph a long time, and to show his sorrow he tore his clothes and wore sackcloth. All of Jacob's children came to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. “No,” he said, “I will go to my grave, mourning for my son.” So Jacob kept on grieving.

Meanwhile, the Midianites had sold Joseph in Egypt to a man named Potiphar, who was the king's official in charge of the palace guard.

Genesis 37:31-36

Joseph's brothers tried to cover their sin by putting the blood of a goat on his coat. Then they deceived their father Jacob and made him think that Joseph was dead. The suffering in that family for many years to come was great because of their sin.

But God had a plan to use even their sin to bring about the saving of many people during the famine that was to come. It is foolish to despair about the evil in the world around you because God is the same and the God of Joseph still uses even evil to bring about good!

Joseph was even falsely accused by Potiphar's wife and thrown into prison. But Joseph's faith in God did not waiver. He trusted God even in the worst of circumstances and waited to see what God would do.

Of course, you remember the end of the story as Joseph is lifted to the position of second in command in Egypt! It is hard to imagine. One day he was in prison and the next he was second in power only to Pharaoh. That reminds me of the experience followers of Jesus will have when they are lifted from the prison of this life to live forever with Jesus in Heaven!

When you look around you today and see evil on every side ask God to give you a glimpse of how He will use even that sin to provide His blessings!

"Lord, I confess to You that You have overcome evil with the Blood of Jesus Christ. There is no sin that will triumph over Jesus. Thank You Lord that every wicked thing that I see today will be captured by You to accomplish Your purposes on this earth. And may You be praised forever! Amen."




Saturday, August 17, 2013

Jesus the Answer!

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While the Pharisees were still there, Jesus asked them,
“What do you think about the Messiah? Whose family will he come from?”
They answered, “He will be a son of King David.”
Jesus replied, “How then could the Spirit lead David to call the Messiah his Lord? David said,
‘The Lord said to my Lord:
Sit at my right side
until I make your enemies
into a footstool for you.’

If David called the Messiah his Lord, how can the Messiah be a son of King David?” 
No one was able to give Jesus an answer, and from that day on, no one dared ask him any more questions.
Matthew 22:41-46
The first question Jesus asked the Pharisees was easy to answer. It was the second question that stumped them.
Even today when you come to Jesus and ask Him a question He sometimes answers the question with another question. The questions that Jesus asks us are convicting and probing and go right to the heart of our lost condition. When Jesus asks a question it exposes my secret sin and reveals my desperate need of a Savior!
In every courtroom in the land lawyers ask questions designed to make the witness look foolish. Jesus doesn't try to make me look foolish, but He does expose my foolishness.
I believe for every one of us there is a question that Jesus would ask that we cannot answer. When Jesus stops you short with the unanswerable question what do you do? The Pharisees simply cut short the conversation and wiggled out of the situation. But if you would be His disciple then ask Jesus to give you the answer to His question! That will be a point of coming to understand more of the depth of God Himself and of your walk with Jesus.
Finally, we must be reminded once again that Jesus not only knows the answer to the question He asks, but He Himself is the answer to every question! Amen.








Friday, August 16, 2013

Richer than Solomon!

The Queen of Sheba heard how famous Solomon was, so she went to Jerusalem to test him with difficult questions. She took along several of her officials, and she loaded her camels with gifts of spices, jewels, and gold. When she arrived, she and Solomon talked about everything she could think of.  He answered every question, no matter how difficult it was.
The Queen was amazed at Solomon's wisdom. She was breathless when she saw his palace, the food on his table, his officials, all his servants in their uniforms, and the sacrifices he offered at the LORD's temple. She said:
“Solomon, in my own country I had heard about your wisdom and all you've done.  But I didn't believe it until I saw it with my own eyes! And there's so much I didn't hear about. You are greater than I was told.”
2 Chronicles 9:3-6
The Queen of Sheba heard about Solomon and then journeyed to Jerusalem to find out if what she was told was true.  It not only was true, but Solomon was wiser and greater than she had been told.
The Queen brought gifts to Solomon including four tons of gold, but Solomon gave her even more than she had given him!  It is an amazing story. 
Some have likened the Queen of Sheba's visit to King Solomon to Christ and the Church!  When a man hears of the greatness of Jesus and then comes to the Lord in faith he finds that Jesus is always greater than he was told!  Human words cannot describe the Glory that belongs to God.  
And when you give everything you have to Jesus, He gives you more in return!  Your gifts to Jesus are earthly and temporary, but His gifts to you are Heavenly and permanent.   
It is like a man who thinks he has great wealth, but all of his dollars are counterfeit.  They are worthless.  But God says give Me your counterfeit wealth and I will give you gold in return!
When your wealth comes from Jesus and it is stored in Heaven you are richer than Solomon.  And with the Holy Spirit directing your life you are wiser than the wisest man who ever lived!
Amen.  









Thursday, August 15, 2013

The City Stands Forever!

The LORD God is wonderful!
He deserves all praise
in the city where he lives.
His holy mountain,
beautiful and majestic,
brings joy to all on earth.
Mount Zion, truly sacred,
is home for the Great King.
God is there to defend it
and has proved to be
its protector.
Kings joined forces
to attack the city,
5but when they saw it,
they were terrified
and ran away.
They trembled all over
like women giving birth
or like seagoing ships
wrecked by eastern winds.
We had heard about it,
and now we have seen it
in the city of our God,
the LORD All-Powerful.
This is the city that God
will let stand forever.
Psalm 48:1-8
When a man opposes God and spends his time fighting against the will of the Almighty all it takes is one moment of "Eternal Truth" and he will run for his life! All the human weapons a man can gather are like going after a lion with a toy gun.
The Bible says that every knee will bow and that includes the enemies of God. Every man will be overwhelmed by the unimaginable greatness of God Almighty!
It is good for your faith to ponder the greatness of God. God is bigger than your problems. God is more powerful than your enemies. God is wiser than the combined wisdom of everyone on earth. God's plan will never fail. God's Word will never lie. God's love will never cease. And one day, maybe soon, all those who love Jesus will be able to say: "We had heard about it, and now we have seen it in the city of our God, the Lord All-Powerful."
It is the city that God will let stand forever! Amen.





























Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Watch the Surgeon Work!

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Jesus knew he had come from God and would go back to God. He also knew that the Father had given him complete power.  So during the meal Jesus got up, removed his outer garment, and wrapped a towel around his waist.

He put some water into a large bowl. Then he began washing his disciples' feet and drying them with the towel he was wearing.

But when he came to Simon Peter, this disciple asked, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

Jesus answered, “You don't really know what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
John 13:3-7
As you walk with Jesus day after day it becomes really quite easy to see that the power of God is being manifest around you. You recognize that co-incidents are not at all chance happenings, but rather a plan of God that is working out in front of your eyes.
For almost 60 years I have actively desired to follow Jesus and allow Him to be the Lord of my life, but like the disciples who saw Jesus wash their feet, I may know what Jesus is doing, but don't understand why.
If I were to observe a great surgeon performing a complicated, life saving surgery I may see every move he makes during the operation, but not understand why he does what he does. During that surgery he may even ask me to hand him a tool or put my finger on a blood vessel, but I am still without complete understanding.
When you see God operating on the life of a fellow human being it is the same. You may see everything He does, but not know how God is weaving the tapestry of this man's life to call him to Jesus!
The free will of man means that even after God has done everything possible to call us to repentance and discipleship we can boldly and tragically say "No" to Jesus.
Remember this: Don't run after the understanding of what you see God doing. Run after God! Glory in the privilege of seeing God work rather than glorying in your own understanding of what God is doing!
"Lord Jesus, I see You work around me and frankly I do not understand what You are doing. But I trust You to use me in Your work far beyond that which I can understand. Lord I see You and trust You now. I will understand You later! Amen."










Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Back to Life!

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Six days before Passover Jesus went back to Bethany, where he had raised Lazarus from death. A meal had been prepared for Jesus. Martha was doing the serving, and Lazarus himself was there.
Mary took a very expensive bottle of perfume and poured it on Jesus' feet. She wiped them with her hair, and the sweet smell of the perfume filled the house.
A disciple named Judas Iscariot was there. He was the one who was going to betray Jesus, and he asked, “Why wasn't this perfume sold for 300 silver coins and the money given to the poor?”  Judas did not really care about the poor. He asked this because he carried the moneybag and sometimes would steal from it.
Jesus replied, “Leave her alone! She has kept this perfume for the day of my burial.  You will always have the poor with you, but you won't always have me.”
A lot of people came when they heard that Jesus was there. They also wanted to see Lazarus, because Jesus had raised him from death.  So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus.   He was the reason that many of the people were turning from them and putting their faith in Jesus.
John 12:1-11
When a dead man comes back to life the impact on the community around him is significant. The resurrection of Lazarus was not one of these "I was dead for 3 minutes" experiences. Lazarus was so dead that his body had begun to decay.

The bible does not say that Lazarus ever talked about what is was like to be dead, but it does say that the resurrection of Lazarus caused many of the Jews to believe in Jesus.

The death and burial of Jesus are not the amazing parts of His story. It was His resurrection that shook the world. Without the resurrection the death of Jesus would have seemed like an ordinary miscarriage of justice, but because of the resurrection all the world knew that Jesus was different. Lazarus died again. Jesus never did!

When you die to self and to the things of this world that is a good thing, but men without Jesus have done that. But there is no resurrection without the power of Jesus' Blood flowing through your veins! When you rise to walk with new life many others will also come to believe in Jesus!

"Lord, call me from the grave like you did Your dear friend Lazarus. May You always be praised! Amen."





Monday, August 12, 2013

Man of a Mighty God!

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During the second year that Nebuchadnezzar was king, he had such horrible nightmares that he could not sleep. So he called in his counselors, advisors, magicians, and wise men, and said, “I am disturbed by a dream that I don't understand, and I want you to explain it.”

They answered in Aramaic, “Your Majesty, we hope you live forever! We are your servants. Please tell us your dream, and we will explain what it means.”

But the king replied, “No! I have made up my mind. If you don't tell me both the dream and its meaning, you will be chopped to pieces and your houses will be torn down. However, if you do tell me both the dream and its meaning, you will be greatly rewarded and highly honored. Now tell me the dream and explain what it means.”

“Your Majesty,” they said, “if you will only tell us your dream, we will interpret it for you.”

The king replied, “You're just stalling for time, because you know what's going to happen if you don't come up with the answer. You've decided to make up a bunch of lies, hoping I might change my mind. Now tell me the dream, and that will prove that you can interpret it.”

His advisors explained, “Your Majesty, you are demanding the impossible! No king, not even the most famous and powerful, has ever ordered his advisors, magicians, or wise men to do such a thing. It can't be done, except by the gods, and they don't live here on earth.”

Daniel 2:1-11

King Nebuchadnezzar made an impossible demand of his counselors, advisors, magicians, and wise men. He demanded that they not only interpret his dream, but that they tell him what the dream was before they gave the interpretation. Without divine intervention that could not be done.

Men only see God in your life when you are able to do something that cannot be done without His help! If you are simply a "smarter than most" human being, then you will get the glory for overcoming your trials and difficulties. But if you are weak and helpless as a man or woman, but are empowered by Almighty God to do the impossible, then God will be glorified by your dependence on Him!

As a human being you may strive to be a "Mighty man of God" when what God wants you to be is a "Man of a Mighty God!" There is a difference.

If you are God's man then His power flows through you. If you are God's man then He is the source of your wisdom and strength and by Him you do everything that you do!

When I see a strong and powerful man who says he follows Jesus I am of course impressed with his strength and power. But when I see a weak and powerless man walking through and overcoming great difficulties because the power of God is flowing through him I am impressed with God's strength and power!

Instead of spending your life trying to become a mighty human being, let your daily goal be that of yielding to God's will for you and letting Him work through every thought and action you take. When you are weak, then He is strong!

"Lord Jesus, may everyone see how weak I am. May every victory be one that comes straight from You and not from me. Thank You Jesus. Amen."

(Published first on April 7,2013)











Saturday, August 10, 2013

Harbor of Heaven!

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When they had gone through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. When they had come opposite Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit didn’t allow them. Passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. A vision appeared to Paul in the night. There was a man of Macedonia standing, begging him, and saying, “Come over into Macedonia and help us.” When he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go out to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the Good News to them.

Acts 16:6-10

These verses reveal both the spiritual strength of the Apostle Paul and his human weakness. I would love to hear the details of how the Spirit kept Paul from going into Bithynia. Did Paul hear the voice of the Holy Spirit simply telling him not to go? He had heard the voice of the Lord before on the road to Damascus. But whatever it was it was clear and Paul did not go where he had planned.

Then comes the vision in the night. In the vision a man from Macedonia was begging Paul to come into Macedonia and help. Paul responded by trying to find a way to get to Macedonia because he "concluded" that God was calling him to preach there. Now frankly, I can relate to that. I see the circumstances around me and my own experiences and "conclude" what God is calling me to do. I believe it is harder to know what God wants you to do than what He wants you to keep from doing.

When God puts a block in your path you can be completely stopped in your tracks. When a door shuts you can push against it for a while, but if it will not budge then the way you should go must be in a different direction.

But when God opens a door and is calling you to walk through it how do you know that it is really God's way for you? When it says that Paul concluded that Macedonia was the right direction, you know there were other ways he considered in the process of making that conclusion.

Here is the bottom line: When you set out to do God's will and His calling on your life - there is still an element of faith that must be present. So you step out in faith and trust that God will change your direction if you are going the wrong way!

If a giant ship is pointed in the wrong direction, it must start moving before it can be turned. Trust Jesus to change your direction as you move through the troubled waters of this life. He is an amazing Captain and will safely bring you to the Harbor of Heaven if you let Him set your course!

"Lord Jesus, I want to walk with You, in the light of Your Word today and forever. Keep your hand on the wheel of my life and bring me safely Home with You when this life on earth is over. Praise Your Name forever! Amen."

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Same Power!

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Now Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said to him, “So you say.”

When he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. Then Pilate said to him, “Don’t you hear how many things they testify against you?”

He gave him no answer, not even one word, so that the governor marveled greatly. Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release to the multitude one prisoner, whom they desired. They had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas. When therefore they were gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus, who is called Christ?”

Matthew 27:11-17

It all seemed so very wrong. Jesus, who had never sinned was being condemned to die on the Cross. It was the most wicked thing that had ever been done since the beginning of time. The perfect, pure Son of God was rejected by those He had come to save, and yet in that very act of rejection they put Jesus in the place where He would defeat forever the power of Satan and death itself.


The Cross was the supremely powerful example of "all things work together for the good" of those who follow Jesus. God allowed wicked men in the act of fulfilling their evil desires to put Jesus on the Cross where His Sacrifice would wipe out sin which had ruled all men since Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit!


When the disciples saw Jesus hanging on the Cross, they had no idea what a glorious thing was happening. They saw tragedy. It was a great victory instead.


When you look at the evil going on around you in the world today what do you see? Do you see defeat and tragedy? Do you see a world spinning out of control with no hope of getting better? Or do you believe that God still has the power to bring life from death and good from evil? The power that God displayed to all the cosmos when Jesus hung on the Cross is the same power that works for your good today!


"Lord Jesus, I see darkness and gloom and trouble all around. But I know Lord that You can use all of those things to accomplish Your wonderful purposes in the world today, even as you did with the Cross itself! Help me to rest in the fact that You are still the Almighty and Sovereign God and that all will be as You have purposed and planned! Praise Your Name forever! Amen."

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Walking by Faith!

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Faith makes us sure of what we hope for and gives us proof of what we cannot see.  It was their faith that made our ancestors pleasing to God.

Because of our faith, we know that the world was made at God's command. We also know that what can be seen was made out of what cannot be seen.

Because Abel had faith, he offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. God was pleased with him and his gift, and even though Abel is now dead, his faith still speaks for him.

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

Hebrews 11:1-6

If you are not walking by faith, then you are of course walking by sight. You only step where you can see clearly the place your foot will land. When you have "faith" there are many steps each day that are not supported by your five senses.

After years of knowing Jesus a man of faith can be more comfortable walking by faith than by sight. When you are trusting your own ability to see the road there is always a "blind spot" than can wreck your day! Several years ago I was driving along a city street going about thirty miles an hour in a heavy rain when without warning a car crashed into the front left side of my car. I had done nothing wrong, but my day was interrupted by the accident and my car was ruined. Neither driver was injured.


If I was only walking by what I could see that day was a very bad one for me. But, if I was walking by faith I could assume that God has allowed that "accident" to happen for a purpose. Perhaps one of us was headed for a fatal accident to a pedestrian just down the road if we had not run in to each other. Whatever the reason I could assume that God allowed that accident to happen for my good as His child.


Never forget that when men of great faith walk with the Lord in the Bible they rarely, if ever knew the whole story of where they were going or what they were doing.


A young couple was ready to leave for the mission field when a warning was issued advising Americans not to travel to that country! The warning came on the day they were to leave. The couple traveled on the day of the warning after asking God to confirm that this was indeed a step of faith and that He was calling them to go at that time!


Remember it is safer to walk on water when Jesus calls you to it, than to walk on land according to your own desires!


"Lord Jesus, I want to walk by faith today. Show me the steps where I should go and give me the faith to take each one no matter what the world around me says. Thank You Jesus. Amen."

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

ONE LOVE!

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I, the Lord, hate and despise your religious celebrations and your times of worship.

I won't accept your offerings or animal sacrifices— not even your very best.

No more of your noisy songs! I won't listen when you play your harps.

But let justice and fairness flow like a river that never runs dry.

Israel, for forty years you wandered in the desert, without bringing offerings or

sacrifices to me.

Now you will have to carry the two idols you made— Sakkuth, the one you call king,

and Kaiwan, the one you built in the shape of a star.

I will force you to march as captives beyond Damascus. I, the Lord God All-Powerful,

have spoken!

Amos 5:21-27 (CEV)

An Idol is something that you worship. It really doesn't matter what it is. Anything can be an idol. And when you worship something you will spend your time, money, and your mental and emotional energy focused on that thing. When you are a worshiper, the object of your worship will find it's way into your mind and your conversations all day long. Your "idol" will never be far from your current situation.

Most Christians "go to worship" on Sundays. They gather together to sing, pray and listen to someone teach from the Bible. We call it worship and of course you can worship during that hour. But does the worship of God define the rest of your life as well? Do you talk to and think about Jesus all day long, everyday? Is He the center of your conversations with others? And I suppose the most difficult question is this: Is there something or someone in your life that gets more of your attention than Jesus does? Jesus Himself said that you cannot serve two masters. In a real sense you can only have ONE LOVE in your life! If that ONE LOVE is anyone or anything except Jesus Christ, then you are an idolater.

Examine your heart and see if Jesus really is the Lord of your life or just one of your hobbies.

"Lord Jesus, I ask You to show me if I have anything or anyone in my life that I love more than I love You. If so Lord, I repent right now and fall down at Your feet. Purify my heart so that You, Jesus will be the ONE LOVE of my life above all others. Let me worship You now. Amen."

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Last Word on Your Lips!

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The fourth angel emptied his bowl on the sun, and it began to scorch people like fire.  Everyone was scorched by its great heat, and all of them cursed the name of God who had power over these terrible troubles. But no one turned to God and praised him.

Revelation 16:8-9

Global warming is coming! It will not simply disrupt the weather patterns. It will be much worse than anyone imagines.


When the angel of God empties his bowl on the sun, the heat will be so intense that people will be scorched like they were being burned by being too close to a fire. Then men will begin to curse God and no one will turn to God and praise Him. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ and you are still here when the global warming happens the world will blame you as well as God.


So if you find yourself in the intense heat that comes from God's anger being poured out on the world, what should you do? Here is the answer and it is simple and very complex at the same time. When "all Hell breaks loose" in your life, PRAISE GOD! When troubles surround you and no hope can be seen no matter where you look, PRAISE GOD!


Cursing God never brings any good thing to your life. Accusing God is never the right thing to do. Spend your life Praising God not speaking ill of your Creator. When something good happens in your life, PRAISE GOD! When something bad happens, PRAISE GOD! And ask God to give you enough time when you leave this world to let His Praises be the last thing on your lips and in your heart. Begin PRAISING GOD before you die and you can continue to PRAISE HIM forever!


"Lord Jesus, help me to learn to live a life of PRAISING You in every situation of my life. I PRAISE You today no matter what comes my way. There is nothing better than Praising You and may You Lord truly be Praised forever. Amen."

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Going Away Party!

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The Lord, the LORD Almighty,

called you on that day

to weep and to wail,

to tear out your hair and put on sackcloth.

But see, there is joy and revelry,

slaughtering of cattle and killing of sheep,

eating of meat and drinking of wine!

"Let us eat and drink," you say,

"for tomorrow we die!"

Isaiah 22:12-13

It is traditional, in the penal system of the United States to offer a person who is condemned to die a last meal. The condemned man gets to choose the food for that extremely somber moment. No matter how “four-star” the food may be the meal is not  a time of celebration.

Before Jesus went to the Cross to die there was a “last meal” which is often called the “Last Supper.” The “Last Supper” was not a time of celebration, but it has been remembered and reenacted for two thousand years by those who are followers of Jesus. The food Jesus chose for that meal symbolizes His body and His blood. That meal is in its deepest sense the perfect example of “You are what you eat!”

The meal mentioned in Isaiah 22:13 is the world’s counterfeit of the “Last Supper.” When people of faith see calamity approach they turn to God and cry out to Him for help. When people without faith in God see calamity approach they turn to the desires of the flesh and accelerate their plans to fulfill as many fleshly desires as they can before the end comes!

So the world says, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!”

But the Spirit of God says to the world, “Instead of fulfilling the desires of the flesh you should REPENT and weep and wail, tear out your hair and put on sackcloth.”

The world is having a “going away party” for people who will soon depart for their journey to Hell! But if you are a follower of Jesus Christ you can celebrate His “soon” return.

“Lord Jesus, thank You that those who have faith in You can celebrate as we wait for the final trumpet to sound!”

Friday, August 2, 2013

God Had a Plan!

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God, who created everything, wanted me to help everyone understand the mysterious plan that had always been hidden in his mind.Then God would use the church to show the powers and authorities in the spiritual world that he has many different kinds of wisdom.

God did this according to his eternal plan. And he was able to do what he had planned because of all Christ Jesus our Lord had done. Christ now gives us courage and confidence, so we can come to God by faith.

Ephesians 3:9-12

God had a plan! Those words are really quite amazing. God is not running through eternity with no purpose and no plan. God has a plan. And that plan has your name written quite clearly in it. God has set up eternity with a place for you to live with Him in Heaven forever!

The "free will" of man is very simple. God gives you the ability to freely say "Yes" to His will or in the same way to say "No." Hell will not be filled because people are sinners and Heaven will not be occupied by those who did not sin. Hell will be the dwelling place for those who said "No" to Jesus and Heaven for those who said "Yes."

Sin is not the determining factor because Jesus died for all those sins. You can only go to Heaven by accepting Jesus Christ as Lord of your life. You will only go to Hell because you reject Him!

So quit trying to be good enough to deserve Heaven. You can't do it. Spend your time with your Lord and learn from Him. He is your only hope!

"Lord Jesus, thank You for dying for me and my sins! Give me courage and confidence so that I can come to God by faith! And may You be praised forever! Amen."

Thursday, August 1, 2013

No Matter What May Come!


“You know I'm not a Jew!” Pilate said. “Your own people and the chief priests brought you to me. What have you done?”
Jesus answered, “My kingdom doesn't belong to this world. If it did, my followers would have fought to keep me from being handed over to our leaders. No, my kingdom doesn't belong to this world.”
“So you are a king,” Pilate replied.
“You are saying that I am a king,” Jesus told him. “I was born into this world to tell about the truth. And everyone who belongs to the truth knows my voice.”
Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth?”
Jesus Is Sentenced to Death
Pilate went back out and said, “I don't find this man guilty of anything! And since I usually set a prisoner free for you at Passover, would you like for me to set free the king of the Jews?”
They shouted, “No, not him! We want Barabbas.” Now Barabbas was a terrorist.

John 18:35-40

That day, two thousand years ago the people shouted that they would rather have a terrorist running free in their society than Jesus Christ. Jesus had healed the sick, given sight to the blind and even raised the dead, but His very life convicted the world of their sin and rebellion against God.

So the crowd would rather have terrorists operate freely than have God's Man in this world!

Years have past, but the crowd still cries for Barabbas and wants to put Jesus back on the Cross!
Today terrorists are ignored, excused, justified and even praised, while followers of Jesus are blamed for all that is wrong in this world.

Never forget that if you are a follower of Jesus and living this life as Jesus did you will be treated the same as Jesus was. The world around you would rather have terrorists than you. You will not be praised by men for your faithfulness to God.

"Lord Jesus, forgive me for desiring the praise of men more than Your love and approval. May this day be one of seeking You with all my heart, no matter what may come my way. Thank You Jesus. Amen!"

(First appeared 12/3/2012)