Saturday, November 30, 2013

Darkness Runs Away!

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“Our God, your name

will be praised

forever and forever.

You are all-powerful,

and you know everything.

You control human events—

you give rulers their power

and take it away,

and you are the source

of wisdom and knowledge.

“You explain deep mysteries,

because even the dark

is light to you.

Daniel 2:20-22

I am constantly tempted to fret and even worry because of the things I see going on around me in the world. It is so easy for me to forget that God knows everything and that He is in control of human events! I think it would be good for me to read these verses at least every day!

I also find it difficult not to be disturbed by the outcome of elections because I think that mortal man, not God gives rulers their power and takes it away. If you look at the stories of those who came to power and then were taken out of power, it is easy to see the hand of God moving to orchestrate the rise and fall of world leaders.

But the thing that bothers me the most is "darkness." Literal, physical darkness is frightening, but emotional and even spiritual darkness are troubling and pull me toward despair. But there are the words in Daniel 2:22 that snatch me up set my feet in a better place. "You explain deep mysteries, because even the dark is light to you."

God doesn't need light in order to see, He is Himself the light. God needs no lamp or torch to light His way. God cannot be in darkness because if God is there, there is light! As you become more like Jesus the same will be true to for you. When you are filled with the Holy Spirit you cannot walk into the darkness, because the darkness will run away when you arrive!

Don't be afraid of the dark because with Jesus in your heart the darkness will leave when you come!

"Jesus, it is so easy for me to forget that You are indeed Lord, not only of my life, but of this whole world and everyone it in! May Your will be done today and forever! Amen."

Friday, November 29, 2013

Walk on the Water of Truth!


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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.  You know the way to where I am going.”

Thomas said, “Lord, we don't even know where you are going! How can we know the way?”

“I am the way, the truth, and the life!” Jesus answered. “Without me, no one can go to the Father.”

John 14:1-6

When my six children were small, the greatest "sin" in our house was lying. Disobedience was wrong but lying about it made it much, much worse!

Lying is the poor substitute for the Blood of Jesus that Satan uses to try and cover your sin. Lying may keep others from knowing about your sin, but it will not hide your sin from God and it will not deal with the problem of sin and separation from God.Adam and Eve sinned and then they lied about it. That is because they listened to the father of lies and moved all men into the arena of running away from the truth. Jesus is Himself the truth and all lies are come from the Enemy of all mankind.

Quickly, into my mind comes the "yes but what about" argument when lying seems to be much more beneficial than telling the truth. "If I lie I will save a life, but if I tell the truth harm will come." I suppose this is where your faith is tested. Since Jesus is the truth then speaking truth brings Him into the conversation. If I speak lies then Satan is the influence of that moment.

Sometimes speaking truth is like when Peter stepped out of the boat to walk on water! Did Peter trust the call of Jesus or what good common sense told him?

If you were to determine that for the rest of your life you would never, ever tell another lie, what would happen? Would you be pummeled by Satan and suffer many things? Yes you might and in fact it is certain that holding on to truth will guarantee suffering. But using the tactics of Satan is worse!

If you are not already committed to telling the truth in everything, then try it just for today. Test the waters of truth and see if they will support you as you walk in the storms of life.

"Lord Jesus, You are the Truth. Help me to hold on tightly to You today as I walk on the water of Truth! And may You be praised forever. Amen."

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving and Black Friday

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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.

So God let these people go their own way. They did what they wanted to do, and their filthy thoughts made them do shameful things with their bodies. They gave up the truth about God for a lie, and they worshiped God's creation instead of God, who will be praised forever. Amen.

Romans 1:18-25

In the United States of America there is a great struggle going on between Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday.

Thanksgiving is the day to gather with your family and give thanks to God for all that He has given us. Black Friday is the day that millions of Americans rush out to get more stuff for the Christmas gift giving season. Black Friday is not a derogatory term. It is called that because that is the day that many retailers begin to turn a profit for the year and are in the "black."

This year things are beginning to change because many retail outlets are opening in the evening of Thanksgiving Day to begin the rush for things and profits. "Things and profits" are not bad, but inserting them into a day that was set aside to be thankful to God most certainly is troubling. If this continues then next year I am sure that Black Friday will begin on Thanksgiving morning!Here is the problem.

These verses from Romans 1 say it very well. As we turn from God He removes His support system from our nation. We will continue to see "useless thoughts and stupid minds in the dark." We are bombarded with philosophies that even deny the existence of truth. The foolishness of such thinking is obvious to anyone with a sound mind. These rebels are certain that there are no certainties and are absolutely sure that there are no absolutes!

My challenge as a follower of Jesus Christ is simply to be "salt and light" and to keep from being polluted by the world. Being salt and light is offensive and not being polluted is defensive. Salt and light will change the world around you and the other will keep you from being changed.

"Lord Jesus, even though You have removed so many of Your blessings from a nation that has rebelled against You, please Lord support Your people with knowing Your mind about everything. Uphold us with Your righteousness and fill us with Your love. In Jesus Name. Amen."

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Jesus Witnesses to God

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If you tell others you belong to me, I will tell my Father in heaven you are my followers.

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

Matthew 10:32-33

When you have a conversation on this earth about who Jesus is, there is also a conversation going on in Heaven about who you are!

When you confess your faith in Jesus then Jesus tells the Father that you are one of His followers. But when you tell someone that you are not a follower of Jesus, then Jesus tells God that you don't belong to Him.

This "truth" gives a whole new perspective to witnessing to others about who Jesus is. When I "witness" on earth, then Jesus "witnesses" in Heaven.

We are tempted to judge ourselves by how many times someone "accepts Jesus" because of our witness. If I tell the story of Jesus a hundred times on this earth, then Jesus tells my story to the Father a hundred times in Heaven! Jesus tells God about me even when no one responds to my "witness" on this earth!

So when you have or seize an opportunity to tell someone about Jesus, then think about the fact that Jesus is at that moment turning to the Father and telling God that you belong to Him. Keeping that heavenly conversation in mind as I tell the story of Jesus here on earth frankly give me chills. All I have to do is to confess Jesus before men on this earth and He confesses me to His Father. That is utterly amazing.

How many times today will God hear the sweet voice of Jesus mention your name? How long has it been since He heard your name?

Does it matter whether others respond to Jesus and also become His disciples? Oh yes it matters very much, but my "success rate" at evangelism has nothing to do with what Jesus says to the Father about me.

So even if men laugh at me for telling them about Jesus, I will remember that Jesus is telling God once again that I belong to Him!

"Lord Jesus, forgive me for being ashamed of You before other men. Give me courage to tell others who You are every day including this day! And thank You Lord for telling the Father that I belong to You! And may You be praised forever. Amen!"

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Birds in Heaven

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Don't be afraid of people. They can kill you, but they cannot harm your soul. Instead, you should fear God who can destroy both your body and your soul in hell. Aren't two sparrows sold for only a penny? But your Father knows when any one of them falls to the ground. Even the hairs on your head are counted. So don't be afraid! You are worth much more than many sparrows.

Matthew 10:28-31

When Jesus talked about sparrows and how cheap they are on this earth, there was much more to His perspective. According to Psalm 84:3 in God's temple "sparrows find a home near" His altars! There are sparrows in Heaven! So Jesus saw familiar birds from the altars of God in Heaven when He looked at sparrows on this earth.

Jesus even said that God notices when one sparrow dies. Of all the birds that God created Psalm 84 says that sparrows and swallows are part of the population of Heaven. I think it is quite obvious that God must give great value to sparrows. These birds that we consider cheap and expendable are allowed to make their homes near the altars of God in His temple!

What else does God greatly value and we count as worth very little or nothing at all? Make a list, even if just in your mind of the things that you consider to be the most important of all. Then make a list of the things that God considers most important. You will come up with that list by reading the Bible. God's priorities are in the Bible. Does your list and God's list have some of the same things on it? Maturing spiritually is the process of moving things on God's list to your list and removing all together some of the things on your list.

Remember when I see a sparrow, Jesus sees literally a "Bird of Paradise."

"Lord Jesus, help me today to see more things on this earth through Your eyes! May my priorities please You in every way. Show me more things that You greatly value that I may see them as You do. And may You be praised forever. Amen."

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Only God Who Can Help!

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When Israel was a child,
I loved him,
and I called
my son out of Egypt.

But as the saying goes,
“The more they were called,
the more they rebelled.”

They never stopped offering
incense and sacrifices
to the idols of Baal.

I took Israel by the arm
and taught them to walk.
But they would not admit
that I was the one
who had healed them.

I led them with kindness
and with love,
not with ropes.
I held them close to me;
I bent down to feed them.

But they trusted Egypt
instead of returning to me;
Assyria will rule them.

War will visit their cities,
and their plans will fail.
My people are determined
to reject me for a god
they think is stronger,
but he can’t help.

Hosea 11:1-7

When a man, or a nation rejects Almighty God and bans Him from their personal and national life, they come to believe the lie that says "Now we are truly free!" It is because "freedom" itself is redefined to mean "life and liberties without consequences!"
A man wants no accountability for his life or any of his actions.

Freedom means then that I can do whatever I want to do and I can do it whenever I desire without dealing with negative feedback. That is not freedom. It is rather selfish rebellion against God Himself.

I suppose the first symptom of a life or nation turning away from God is when praise that once was common becomes increasingly rare. The man or people still cry out to God when things go wrong and troubles come, but the "good times" can be lived quite nicely without God.

Then comes the final sign that the death warrant has been signed. When a man or a nation suffers terribly and does not call out to God for His help, then you know the final stage has come! You know a man is truly an atheist when he clings on to his lack of faith in a "foxhole." When a man is at great risk of losing his life and he makes no move toward God then you know he really has no faith!

In the United States now when we suffer greatly from hurricanes, tornadoes and other widespread traumas there seems to be no mention of God from any of our national leaders. But there is much talk about how "strong" we are and that we will recover, but we do not call on people to pray for help and guidance from on high.

The monumental foolishness of rejecting the only God who can help is really beyond belief! Any fool knows that you must know what is in the bill before you pass it! Forget all the plans to restore, rebuild or repair the country. Turn back to God and encourage everyone you know to do the same thing.

"Lord Jesus we have sinned and rejected the only God who can help us in our desperate plight. Have mercy Lord and call us back to You. In Jesus Name, Amen!"

Friday, November 22, 2013

Perfection Not Possible!

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Our Lord, you bless everyone

whose sins you forgive

and wipe away.


You bless them by saying,

“You told me your sins,

without trying to hide them,

and now I forgive you.”


Before I confessed my sins,

my bones felt limp,

and I groaned all day long.


Night and day your hand

weighed heavily on me,

and my strength was gone

as in the summer heat.


So I confessed my sins

and told them all to you.

I said, “I'll tell the Lord

each one of my sins.”

Then you forgave me

and took away my guilt.


We worship you, Lord,

and we should always pray

whenever we find out

that we have sinned.

Then we won't be swept away

by a raging flood.


You are my hiding place!

You protect me from trouble,

and you put songs in my heart

because you have saved me.


You said to me,

“I will point out the road

that you should follow.

I will be your teacher

and watch over you.


Don't be stupid

like horses and mules

that must be led with ropes

to make them obey.”


All kinds of troubles

will strike the wicked,

but your kindness shields those

who trust you, Lord.


And so your good people

should celebrate and shout.

Psalm 32

The world is full of broken relationships. Husbands and wives sin against each other and parents sin against their children. Rebellious children sin against their parents and the bond of birth is torn apart. The fundamental broken relationship is the fellowship of man and God. It fell apart in the Garden of Eden and remained severed until Jesus died on the Cross.

When a man or woman comes to Jesus "sorrowfully" confessing sins, that sorrow may be born of pride in believing they could have achieved perfection without Jesus. That expectation of perfection must be abandoned if we are to know the full work of Jesus in our lives. If we live our lives holding out the prospect that maybe we will be the first one to live a perfect life without Jesus then we are missing the truth of the "fall of man" and the purpose of the Cross of Christ!

The entire "world system" run by Satan is dedicated to the proposition that you can live a perfect life without Jesus. And so untold millions try and fail over and over again hoping that one day they will "get it right" and rise to the level of a perfect life!

So when you confess your sins to Jesus, do it with joy! Don't hold on to the false pride of believing you could have lived a perfect life without Jesus if you had only tried a little harder.

No one wakes up in the recovery room after major surgery sorrowful because they could have gotten well without the doctor if they had only tried a little harder! They always wake up with joy when they hear that the operation was a complete success!

The Great Physician never loses a patient! No one ever dies on God's operating table!

"Lord Jesus, forgive me of the pride of believing that I could have lived a perfect life without Your sacrifice. You know that I am a sinner, in need of Your sacrifice. Thank You Jesus for paying the price for every one of my sins! May You be praised forever. Amen."

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sin and Consequences

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The Lord said:

Ezekiel, son of man, you've heard people in Israel use the saying, “Time passes, and prophets are proved wrong.” Now tell the people that I, the Lord, am going to prove that saying wrong. No one will ever be able to use it again in Israel, because very soon everything I have said will come true! The people will hear no more useless warnings and false messages. I will give them my message, and what I say will certainly happen. Warn those rebels that the time has come for them to be punished. I, the Lord, make this promise.

Ezekiel 12:21-25

There is a very old joke about the "smartest man in the world" jumping out of an airplane after strapping on a stolen back pack which he thought was a parachute. There is no room here for the entire joke, but as you probably already know intelligence and utter foolishness sometimes go hand in hand.

We live in a world that has worked hard to remove the consequences of sin. We have come to believe that sin should be avoided because of the consequences, and so if you can eliminate the consequences of sin there is no need to keep yourself from it. But we have forgotten that sin is not wrong because of the consequences. Sin is wrong because it is rebellion against God and His Word!

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, it is not the consequences of sin that keep you from it. Christians stay away from sin not to make sure that suffering does not come their way because of rebellion. Christians don't sin because it makes Jesus sad when they do! When I follow Jesus, I live to please God! Whatever pleases God, that's what I desire to do.

Here is the problem for those who avoid sin only because of the consequences. The righteous will also suffer just like those who sin and suffer for it. Suffering and righteousness go hand in hand because we are molded into the image of Jesus Christ and He was the ultimate sufferer. No matter how you live this life will include lots of pain. There is no way to keep yourself from experiencing pain and suffering. Your choice is to suffer for sin, or suffer for righteousness. Suffering for righteousness has a glorious ending, suffering for sin does not!

"Lord Jesus, give me a heart to stay away from sin because of Your love for me. Show me today how to make You happy! And when the pain comes because of Your righteousness working in me assure me once again that You are with me always, even to the end of the world! Amen."

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Wanderer Returns!

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Christ carried the burden
of our sins.
He was nailed to the cross,
so we would stop sinning
and start living right.
By his cuts and bruises
you are healed.
You had wandered away
like sheep.
Now you have returned
to the one
who is your shepherd
and protector.

1 Peter 2:24-25

As a very small boy and I wasn't paying careful attention. I was with my mother in the grocery store and was captivated by all the pretty boxes of food and the sound of many people talking. Then suddenly I could not see my mother. Panic quickly came alive in my heart and in just a few seconds I became frantic. Then I saw my mother and ran up behind her and grabbed on to her coat. It was not her!

The end of that story is happy and not spectacular. In just a few moments my mother had found me. But I had learned a great lesson about keeping my eyes always on my mother when we were out in the world!
My trip to the grocery as a little boy reminds me of my walk with Jesus. At first I am confident and secure with Jesus. He even carries me in His arms much of the time. But then I begin to walk with Him and without even realizing it I become enamored with the world around me and wander off a bit. I haven't gone far, but when I look I don't see Jesus anymore.

Here is where I am not like a child. I don't immediately run to find my Lord. I think, "He must be near, so I don't need to worry." But I lose track to time and my wandering goes on and on, even for years during which I don't see my Lord.

Now is the time for you to look for Jesus like a lost child trying to find his mother. This is no time to be far away from Jesus. When trouble comes make sure you are holding His hand or even being carried in His arms. Then everything will be alright.

"Lord, this world has pulled me away from You again. I have wandered away and I want to return to You today. Show me the way back to Your arms. Amen."

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Greatest Knowledge of All

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Day and night I went without sleep, trying to understand what goes on in this world.  I saw everything God does, and I realized no one can really understand what happens. We may be very wise, but no matter how much we try or how much we claim to know, we cannot understand it all.

Ecclesiastes 8:16-17

Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived and was given that wisdom by God, but even Solomon says that we "cannot understand it all."

There has always been the temptation to try to "understand" everything that is going on in the world, and with the coming of the "information age" and especially the internet that temptation is sometimes overwhelming. "If I just go to one more website, or see one more YouTube video I will begin to understand." When I come home from the doctor I can immerse myself in information about his diagnosis and may even come to know more about my condition than he does.

In a sense this "search for knowledge" is part of the original sin of trying to be like God. "If I just know everything and understand everything then I will be in control of my life and the world around me." But the truth is that even being the wisest man who ever lived did not insure that Solomon would lead a righteous life. Wisdom and knowledge are certainly good things, but without humility before God even wisdom and knowledge are really worthless.

Ask yourself this question: Which is more important, having a post graduate theological degree or having a daily, vibrant and humble walk with the Lord? You may qualify for and be awarded the highest educational degree and have no faith at all in God, and you may have faith enough to "move mountains" without even knowing how to read and write!

Instead of trying to spend your life knowing everything there is to learn, spend each moment of each day getting to know the One who does know it all! God knows it all, and through Jesus Christ we can know Him!

"Thank You Jesus for the greatest knowledge of all, and that knowledge is knowing You as my Lord and Savior. Praise Your Name forever! Amen."

Friday, November 15, 2013

When God Says “No”

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When God Says No

The Lord never even hears

the prayers of the wicked,

but he answers the prayers

of all who obey him.

Proverbs 15:29

Do wicked people pray to God? Actually, evil men pray much more than you might imagine. They frequently ask God to "damn" someone or something. When they are upset or frustrated they often call out the name of God or even Jesus!

The prayers of the wicked are not spoken because someone expects or even wants the help of God. These people address God or speak His name in utter confusion. They have no desire to listen to their Creator or obey Him.

So God doesn't answer the prayers of wicked men. That means they call on God and hear nothing in reply. That does help support them in their assumption that God really isn't there in the first place.

But when a man or woman humbles himself or herself before the Father and seeks to obey the will of God, answers to prayer begin to flow and the Voice of God becomes a reality!

Here is an amazing and exciting truth. Even when God says "No" to your request of Him, you have been blessed by hearing His Voice! How amazing is that? The God of Heaven and Earth speaks to me when I pray. When I pray God Himself responds to that prayer and even if He says "No" I am in personal contact with God through Jesus Christ!

So the next time you hear God say "No" in answer to your prayer, be thrilled that God is responding when you pray!

"Lord, thank You for not only hearing my prayers, but for answering them, even if the answer is "No." Praise Your Name forever. Amen."

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Above this World!

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God is our mighty fortress, always ready to help in times of trouble. And so, we won't be afraid!  Let the earth tremble and the mountains tumble into the deepest sea.  Let the ocean roar and foam, and its raging waves shake the mountains.  A river and its streams bring joy to the city, which is the sacred home of God Most High. God is in that city, and it won't be shaken. He will help it at dawn. Nations rage! Kingdoms fall! But at the voice of God the earth itself melts. The Lord All-Powerful is with us. The God of Jacob is our fortress. Come! See the fearsome things the Lord has done on earth.  God brings wars to an end all over the world. He breaks the arrows, shatters the spears, and burns the shields.  Our God says, “Calm down, and learn that I am God! All nations on earth will honor me.”

Psalm 46:1-10

When a little child knows his father is in control even the most threatening circumstances will not cause him to panic.

As you rest in the hand of God, nothing on earth can steal your peace! Today you may be totally peaceful or you may be facing the greatest turmoil of your life, but never forget that your peace and security does not come from the world around you.

Being in Christ is like flying in a jet plane through turbulence. As long as you are in the plane you will be safe even though the ride may be bumpy.

The secret to evangelism is this: when you are walking with Jesus and experiencing His love those around you will ask to hear the Gospel perhaps without you ever suggesting that they need to.

If you could float a foot above the ground and move around all day like that would you ever need to convince people to listen to your explanation of how you do it? The news about you floating on air would spread and it would spread quickly.

Where the Gospel is spreading quickly ordinary believers are "floating on air" and blown about by the wind of the Holy Spirit.

"Lord, lift me up above the cares of this day and make me a light to this world that no one can ignore. Thank You Jesus. Amen!"

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Leaders Need Wisdom

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My friends, be glad, even if you have a lot of trouble. You know you learn to endure by having your faith tested. But you must learn to endure everything, so you will be completely mature and not lacking in anything.

If any of you need wisdom, you should ask God, and it will be given to you. God is generous and won't correct you for asking. But when you ask for something, you must have faith and not doubt. Anyone who doubts is like an ocean wave tossed around in a storm. If you are that kind of person, you can't make up your mind, and you surely can't be trusted. So don't expect the Lord to give you anything at all.

James 1:2-8

There was a time when the United States, it's people and even it's leaders were proud of the fact that the government of the U.S. was based firmly on the Bible and it's teachings. Those days are gone. Today the "leader of the free world" takes pride in not being based on the principles in God's Word. I suppose if you are reading this in a country other than the United States you already know what I have just confessed.

In days gone by we were the "land of the free and home of the brave." Today our freedom is rapidly diminishing and our bravery has turned to fear. Now we find ourselves with leaders who are desperately in need of wisdom. They have tried to "fix" a problem in our country and as a result made it a lot worse. Where can they go for the wisdom they need? The only place they can get that wisdom is the place they so strongly want to avoid.

God is the only true source of wisdom. God is the only one who can see the end from the beginning, so that His advice takes in every possible eventuality. All I would say to my leaders is this: "If you need wisdom, you should ask God, and it will be given to you."

But what about my life and yours? We have also turned away from total dependence on God to direct our steps and the results are always the same. During my day do I depend on my own "wisdom" or ask for the input of the Holy Spirit in my life? Am I trying to "fix" my life with human insight, or am I falling down before the Father and asking in faith for His wisdom?

Here is the answer to the problems of the United Sates, and yes the whole world: Give your whole heart to Jesus Christ and ask for His wisdom to direct your steps. When you do that and a revival fire is lit that spreads across the land then our leaders will be, themselves consumed by the Glory of God in this land and God's Wisdom will manifest itself once again!

"Lord Jesus, I know that every change that needs to be made in this world must be made first in my heart! So Lord, I repent today and ask You for the wisdom that I need, this day. May You and Your Glorious Name be praised forever! Amen."

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Gatekeeper of My Heart!

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The earth and everything on it
belong to the Lord.
The world and its people
belong to him.

The Lord placed it all
on the oceans and rivers.

Who may climb the Lord’s hill
or stand in his holy temple?
Only those who do right
for the right reasons,
and don’t worship idols
or tell lies under oath.

The Lord God, who saves them,
will bless and reward them,
because they worship and serve
the God of Jacob.
Open the ancient gates,
so that the glorious king
may come in.

Who is this glorious king?
He is our Lord, a strong
and mighty warrior.

Open the ancient gates,
so that the glorious king
may come in.

Who is this glorious king?
He is our Lord,
the All-Powerful!

Psalm 24:1-10

I am the gatekeeper of my heart! Every thought that crosses my mind as well as every image that enters through my eyes or word that comes to my ears can be escorted into my heart or turned away. I only have limited ability to control what I see, hear, or even think, but I have total control over what I let into my heart!

The spiritual man is not the one who lives his life so that he is never exposed to the world and its temptations. The spiritual man is the one who is the gatekeeper of his own heart and opens that heart to the Lord Jesus and closes it to everyone and everything else!

Amazingly most Christians spend more time and energy focusing on how to keep the world out than on how to let Jesus in! When Jesus does not fill up your heart there is a strong vacuum that sucks the the world around you and it's corruption into your life. But when Jesus fills every corner of your heart it is easy to deny the world when it comes near and wants in.

Certainly, it is a good thing to limit the corruption of this world to which you are exposed, but it is a better thing to practice, daily and even every second the art of being the gatekeeper of your heart. Don't let the world in.

But when you let Jesus into your heart the devil must flee and there is no place for the world or it's pollution. Jesus wants to fill up every part of your heart and He wants to stay there and be in control of your life!

"Lord Jesus, help me today to close my heart to the world and open the gate of my heart wide to You. And may You be praised forever! Amen."

Monday, November 11, 2013

Tower of Babel Syndrome!

Come on! Let’s go down and confuse them by making them speak different languages—then they won’t be able to understand each other.
Genesis 11:7

Was the story of the Tower of Babel a one time event or did it establish a principle that still functions today? Was that the only time that God confused men and women who had set the pursuit of God aside for the race to attain personal glory, fame and fortune? Speaking the same language does not mean that two men will understand each other. There are many things that can cause a man to hear the words of another man, but not understand his heart. Those things can range anywhere from fear to prejudice and even sin.

I believe that God sees Babel all over again when He looks at some of His children who have begun to lay aside pursuing Him and His glory for the establishment of their own reputation. No one but God may see the problem when He allows confusion to enter the relationship and misunderstanding to reign.

The Good News is this: The "Tower of Babel Syndrome" is reversible. The solution is simple although it can certainly be personally painful. When everyone involved in the misunderstanding turns his heart to God in soul searching repentance and refuses to look at the sin of anyone except his own, the end of the story will by default be restoration and reunion.

My prayer must not be "Lord, I have not sinned." My prayer must always be "Lord, how have I sinned?" Only God can see the depths of my heart. Only God knows who must repent. So I place myself on His examination table and humbly listen to His diagnosis of my life!

When the line forms of those who need to repent of sin everyone qualifies. "If I say I have not sinned, the truth is not in me!"

Friday, November 8, 2013

Seeing and Believing!

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Jesus said to his disciples:
If you love me, you will do as I command. Then I will ask the Father to send you the Holy Spirit who will help you and always be with you. The Spirit will show you what is true. The people of this world cannot accept the Spirit, because they don't see or know him. But you know the Spirit, who is with you and will keep on living in you.

I won't leave you like orphans. I will come back to you.  In a little while the people of this world won't be able to see me, but you will see me. And because I live, you will live.

Then you will know I am one with the Father. You will know you are one with me, and I am one with you.  If you love me, you will do what I have said, and my Father will love you. I will also love you and show you what I am like.

John 14:15-21

As a follower of Jesus Christ you will see things that other people do not see. That puts believers in a awkward position. You look and see the Holy Spirit living within you and you see Jesus, but non-believers do not see them at all. They only see you as different or strange.

The truth is this: Followers of Jesus do not believe because they see Him, rather they see Him because they believe! The world says "Seeing is believing" but with Jesus the opposite is true.

There are only two ways to walk in this world. We can walk by sight or we can walk by faith. When we walk by sight we are depending on the world and it's wisdom to guide our steps and show us the way to go. When we walk by faith we are depending on Jesus and His Spirit's wisdom to guide our steps and show us the way to go.

"Lord Jesus I see You because I believe. Thank you for opening my eyes to who You are and what You want me to do! Light the path for me today. Thank you Lord. Amen."

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Toy Box!

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Don't love the world or anything that belongs to the world. If you love the world, you cannot love the Father.  Our foolish pride comes from this world, and so do our selfish desires and our desire to have everything we see. None of this comes from the Father. The world and the desires it causes are disappearing. But if we obey God, we will live forever.

1 John 2:15-17

How many times in your life have you said "It is a great place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there!" When you come to Jesus and deeply love the Father who created us all, that is how you will come to feel about everything on this earth.

As the old song said, "This world is not my home. I'm just passing through." There is nothing you can touch, taste, or see here on earth that is forever. It will all burn up and be gone. But your love for Jesus will live on and last forever.

If you found your old toy box that you cherished when you were a small child, what would you give for it now? Certainly it would have sentimental value, but your life as an adult does not even compare to a small child loving and playing with dolls or toy trucks.

This world is like that toy box. When you come to know Jesus and grow up in Him your old toy box loses it value! Don't spend your life now trying to fix your toy train or repair that broken doll instead of living in the present and looking toward the future.

"Lord Jesus, help me to let go of the past with live for you today. Lord, all of my regrets were crucified with You and my future came out of that grave to live with You forever! Show me how to obey You again today! Amen."

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

How to Make God Angry!


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You people are in for trouble! You have made cruel and unfair laws that let you cheat the poor and needy and rob widows and orphans. But what will you do when you are fiercely attacked and punished by foreigners? Where  you run for help? Where will you hide your valuables?  How will you escape being captured or killed? The Lord is still angry, and he isn't through with you yet!

Isaiah 10:1-4

God says there are consequences for making "cruel and unfair laws." These laws "cheat the poor and needy and rob widows and orphans."

How can a law be cruel and unfair? There may be many ways, but when a law and the leaders of a country promise things that the poor, needy, widows and orphans need and then fail to keep those promises that may indeed be the kind of thing God is talking about in these verses. When a law makes the poor, poorer, the needy, needier and widows and orphans suffer more, God says that those who wrote the law are "IN FOR TROUBLE!"

Righteous leaders serve the poor. Unrighteous leaders abuse them.

A nation may declare that they have nothing to do with their Creator, but according to the Bible He still holds it accountable and will let there be consequences for cheating the poor and robbing widows and orphans.

As much as you have the opportunity, encourage your nation to bless the poor and needy as well as widows and orphans. God will be pleased when you do that. The promise of blessings is not enough. If your nation makes a law called the "Blessings for All Act" but actually it is a curse to the people, then prepare for God Himself to get involved in the consequences!

Today, find a way you can bless someone who is poor and needy, or a widow, or an orphan. God will be pleased. Amen.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Captured by Jesus!

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All people were forced to put a mark on their right hand or forehead. Whether they were powerful or weak, rich or poor, free people or slaves, they all had to have this mark, or else they could not buy or sell anything. This mark stood for the name of the beast and for the number of its name.

You need wisdom to understand the number of the beast! But if you are smart enough, you can figure this out. Its number is 666, and it stands for a person.

I looked and saw the Lamb standing on Mount Zion! With him were 144,000, who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads.

Revelation 13:16 – 14:1

If you play on a school competitive sports team you are often encouraged to wear a jacket with the name of your school written on it. It certainly can be a matter of pride and usually makes you a leader in your school.

Uniforms in the military do the same thing. When you see a soldier you can, immediately see where he came from and know if he is the enemy or a friend.

Everyone on earth is also marked spiritually. You are either marked as a child of God or you are marked by Satan as one who belongs to him. In the spiritual war that is raging still there is no one simply standing on the sidelines. You are on one team or the other. Either you have committed your life to Jesus and are walking with the "whole armor of God," ready to do battle for Him, or you are part of the enemy of Christ.

Because of the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross you have been given the opportunity to switch sides. You can come over from the "Dark Side" and join the forces of Heaven!
Remember when you are captured by Jesus you don't become a prisoner of war, but Jesus sets you free, and you will be free forever!

"Thank You Lord Jesus for paying the price to redeem me from slavery to sin. Amen."

Monday, November 4, 2013

One Purpose of Earthquakes

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The Lord controls rulers,

just as he determines

the course of rivers.


We may think we are doing

the right thing,

but the Lord always knows

what is in our hearts.


Doing what is right and fair

pleases the Lord

more than an offering.


Evil people are proud

and arrogant,

but sin is the only crop

they produce.


If you plan and work hard,

you will have plenty;

if you hurry to get rich,

you will end up poor.

Proverbs 21:1-5

If you remember Proverbs 21:1 when you watch the news on television it makes the experience far less traumatic. God controls rulers just like He determines the course of rivers. And God can change the course of a river with one strategically placed earthquake.

I have a friend who has lived in both southern California and in west Africa. He told me that the earthquakes in California were more unsettling than the jungle animals in Africa. Everyone is at the mercy of an earthquake. Even the President of the United States would not be safe deep in his underground bunker if a large earthquake happened while he was hiding there.

The difference between a good ruler and an evil one is that the good ruler is willingly controlled by God and the evil ruler is forced by the Almighty to do His will! That one statement raises dozens of questions that I don't suppose will be answered until we stand before the Throne of God in Heaven. The bottom line is that the heart of a ruler is like the course of a river and it can be changed by an earthquake!

According to these verses the way to determine if a man is "evil" is to see if he is proud and arrogant. Pride and arrogance are fruits of an evil tree. Sin itself hangs on the branches of that tree.

But the man who plans and works hard has plenty. Hard work is God's gift to fallen man. Through hard work we are able to sustain ourselves and even prosper enough to help others who are suffering. Somewhere in the Bible we are told, "If a man won't work, don't let him eat!" After a long hard day of honest work you always feel good. After a long lazy day of arrogance and pride you may find it hard to sleep!

"Lord Jesus, help me to trust the rulers of this world to Your care. I cannot direct their steps, but You can and You will according to what You know is best. Today Lord, give me work to which I may set my hand and so at the end of this day I may sleep peacefully knowing I have pleased You. And may You be praised forever. Amen."

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Disobey the Law!

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Finally, they said to one another, “We will never be able to bring any charge against Daniel, unless it has to do with his religion.”
They all went to the king and said:
“Your Majesty, we hope you live forever!  All of your officials, leaders, advisors, and governors agree that you should make a law forbidding anyone to pray to any god or human except you for the next 30 days. Everyone who disobeys this law must be thrown into a pit of lions.

Order this to be written and then sign it, so it cannot be changed, just as no written law of the Medes and Persians can be changed.”
So King Darius made the law and had it written down.
Daniel heard about the law, but when he returned home, he went upstairs and prayed in front of the window that faced Jerusalem. In the same way that he had always done, he knelt down in prayer three times a day, giving thanks to God.

Daniel 6:5-10

When the King made a law that made praying to God illegal for thirty days Daniel disobeyed the law by praying in front of a window as he usually did three times a day. The threatened consequence was not insignificant. Being thrown into a den of lions is not a small problem. But God rescued Daniel for his faithfulness and displayed His power to everyone!

In the United States praying in schools is virtually prohibited and praying in public places and especially governmental meetings is seriously limited. Many are offended to hear a prayer that ends "In Jesus Name."
Daniel's response to a thirty day prohibition on prayer was to pray as usual in front of the window where he could be seen. Daniel could have reasoned that all he had to do was to pray in private rather than in front of a window and no one would know. Daniel made no changes to his regular prayer practice to accommodate the new law and he was thrown into a den of lions!

If you want to become a Daniel today here is how to do it. First let your relationship to God be a constant and overwhelming part of your daily life. Praise Him in public and in private. Pray all the time whether or not you can be seen by others. And then when your actions become so convicting to those around you that they convince the King to make a law which makes it illegal for you to continue your prayer and praise in public, disobey the law and honor the Lord!

I can assure you that if you obey such a law you will regret it, but if you disobey a law designed to come between you and God, you will never be sorry! Amen!