Monday, April 28, 2014

God Cannot Tell Lies!

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God cannot tell lies! And so his promises and vows are two things that can never be changed.

We have run to God for safety. Now his promises should greatly encourage us to take hold of the hope that is right in front of us. This hope is like a firm and steady anchor for our souls. In fact, hope reaches behind the curtain and into the most holy place.

Hebrew 6:18-19

If God can do anything, how can it be said that "God cannot tell lies?"  The fact that God cannot lie is not a statement about His honesty, it is rather a statement about His complete power over everything.  When God utters a Word the entire cosmos adjusts itself to reflect the Word that God has spoken.  If it was "not true" when God says a thing, then instantly it becomes true because that's what Creation does in response to the Word of God.

All Creation becomes whatever God says it is.  This truth takes my reverence for the Bible to another level of wonder.  When I read the Bible and let God's Word dwell in my heart I am changed.  When I speak God's Word to a situation I am wielding the most powerful weapon on earth.  That's why simple men proclaiming the Word of God have been used to spark massive earth shaking revivals!  When a child memorizes a Bible verse he is storing in his heart a "concealed weapon" that is indeed dangerous in the eyes of Satan and his demons!

"Lord Jesus, Your Word is the Sword that cuts to the core of everything!  Your Word is the power that controls all there is.  Lord, whatever You say will be done.  May Your Word be done in my heart and my life today!  Speak Lord and open my ears that I may hear!  Amen."

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Jesus Removes the Curse!

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

I heard a loud voice shout from the throne:

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

Then the one sitting on the throne said:

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

Revelation 21:1-7

I think every time I read about Heaven I see something about Eternal Life with Jesus that I had not seen before.  There is a profound significance to the fact that "death, suffering, crying and pain" are all absent from the place where I will live with Jesus forever.  All four of these things are life long experiences here on planet earth, not one single event.  As soon as we enter the world from our mother's womb the first sign of life itself is the cry of a baby.  Crying is the first thing we do on this earth.  Suffering and pain are the roads that our mothers traveled to bring us here.  And death is the inevitable conclusion to life.  We have no other way of exiting this earth than by drinking of the original "curse of death." 

The longer we live here the more, pain and suffering become our daily companions.  And crying is our heart's response to the pain and suffering of others. 

Earlier this week I spent almost six hours standing by my wife's bed as she suffered excruciating pain from a kidney stone.  Getting rid of the source of that pain became the most important thing on earth for those few hours.  I wanted desperately to take her pain and give her relief from what had become an ordeal, but I could not.

Jesus knows what a "death free, crying free, pain and suffering free" life is like, because He has experienced that forever in Heaven.  The Cross was not the only place Jesus suffered in this world.  For more than thirty years He walked on roads that hurt His feet, He was betrayed by those whom He loved, and He cried when death snatched away His friend Lazarus.  Jesus knows every pain you suffer, every trouble you have, and every tear that comes from your eyes. 

Jesus came to earth to remove the curse from those who will follow Him!  When you go to live with Jesus in Heaven none of the bad things of this earth will go with you!  In Heaven, NOTHING CAN GO WRONG! 

"Lord Jesus, I want to imagine what it will be like to live without death, suffering, pain and crying.  Thank You Lord that those things will be gone forever!  Praise Your Holy Name.  Amen."

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Do You Want to Suffer as Jesus did?

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But Christ has shown me that what I once thought was valuable is worthless.  Nothing is as wonderful as knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have given up everything else and count it all as garbage. All I want is Christ and to know that I belong to him. I could not make myself acceptable to God by obeying the Law of Moses. God accepted me simply because of my faith in Christ. All I want is to know Christ and the power that raised him to life. I want to suffer and die as he did, so that somehow I also may be raised to life.

Philippians 3:7-11

Somewhere in my life someone taught me that Jesus suffered and died so that I would not have to suffer or die.  The idea was that Jesus had the "hard life" so that I could have an easy one.  It is a popular view of Christianity but to be perfectly frank, it is not true.  The Cross of Jesus did provide for my salvation and the forgiveness of my sins, but it did not excuse me from walking as Jesus did and taking up my cross as well. 

The Apostle Paul says in these verses that he wanted to suffer and die as Jesus did!  Paul wanted to be like Jesus in His greatest act of love!  The Cross of Jesus Christ was the complete revelation of His Heart of Love!  Your suffering and death cannot do what the death and suffering of Jesus did, but it can make you more like Jesus and help you experience a "complete identification" with your Lord! 

Your cross and the suffering associated with it are really the most precious parts of your walk with Jesus!  This amazing truth does not take away the pain of your cross, but it does take away the shame!  If you know Christ and the power that raised Him to life, then you will suffer and die as He did!

"Lord Jesus, may all my suffering be part of being like You.  And may even my death bring glory to Your Name not mine!  Praise Your Holy Name forever!  Amen."

Monday, April 21, 2014

Only God Lives Forever!

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Promise to obey completely and fully all that you have been told until our Lord Jesus Christ returns.


The glorious God

is the only Ruler,

the King of kings

and Lord of lords.

At the time that God

has already decided,

he will send Jesus Christ

back again.


Only God lives forever!

And he lives in light

that no one can come near.

No human has ever seen God

or ever can see him.

God will be honored,

and his power

will last forever. Amen.

I Timothy 6:14-16

Only God lives forever!  What an amazing statement!  We see eternal life as one that has no end, but God has no beginning and He will have no end.  God has been, as long as He will be and neither one of those can be measured. 

For me it is more difficult to think about the fact that God has always been than that He always will be.  With Jesus I will not live "forever" but I will live "the rest of forever," since I had a beginning.  The blood of Jesus insures that I will have no end, but it doesn't change the fact that I am a creation of God and I had a beginning.

My "beginning" started when God reached down and formed Adam from the dust of the ground.  Then God knit me together in my mother's womb.  He knew and designed every part of my body, mind, and soul.  I was formed to follow Jesus.  Every step that I take in walking with my Lord is one step closer to being everything God created me to be.

Perhaps in Heaven I will be enabled by God to see "Eternity Past" as well as "Eternity Future," but until that day I will just walk with Jesus and hold His hand! 

"Lord Jesus, I trust You today to lead me on toward tomorrow and forever!  Strengthen my heart to face whatever may come today with You walking at my side.  Praise Your Eternal and Holy Name. Amen."

Sunday, April 20, 2014

John’s Trip to Heaven!

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

Twenty-four other thrones were in a circle around that throne. And on each of these thrones there was an elder dressed in white clothes and wearing a gold crown.  Flashes of lightning and roars of thunder came out from the throne in the center of the circle. Seven torches, which are the seven spirits of God, were burning in front of the throne.  Also in front of the throne was something that looked like a glass sea, clear as crystal.

Around the throne in the center were four living creatures covered front and back with eyes.  The first creature was like a lion, the second one was like a bull, the third one had the face of a human, and the fourth was like a flying eagle.   Each of the four living creatures had six wings, and their bodies were covered with eyes. Day and night they never stopped singing,

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord,

the all-powerful God,

who was and is

and is coming!”

Revelation 4:1-8

The Book of Revelation might also be called "John's Trip to Heaven!"  God is not trying to hide the existence of Heaven from human beings.  In fact, He wants us to know what it is like and what happens there. 

The Apostle Paul talked about someone he knew, and it may have been Paul himself, going up into Heaven and coming back. 

There is currently a movie called "Heaven is For Real."  It is about a little boy who tells a rather amazing story of a trip to Heaven while he was not responsive on the operating table.

Did anyone ever accuse you of being "So Heavenly minded that you are of no earthly good?"  Well, the truth is quite the opposite.  Those who are mindful of Heaven and desire to go there and be with Jesus are of the most good on this earth.  It is the man or woman who is "sold out to Jesus" who can live his or her life for the sake of others and not be concerned about treasures here on this earth.

The hardships of the trip are only bearable if you know where you are going.  If you are simply wandering through life with no certain destination how will you know which way to go when you come to a crossroads?

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, think about Heaven.  Think about the throne of God and what it will be like to stand before Him.  Ponder the beauty of your eternal home.  This life is a long journey and it is very short at the same time.  When you are young it seems that life on this earth will never end, and when you are old it seems you have been here only a little while! 

Take heart, if you Love Jesus Christ, very soon you will stand before the Throne of God and begin an eternity with Him.  Let Heaven and what the Bible tells us of that very real place fill your mind with joy and hope!

"Lord Jesus, help me to imagine the reality of Heaven.  Give me a clear vision of what it will be like to stand before the Throne of God and see You, face to face.  And may all Glory, Honor and Praise be Yours forever.  Amen."

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Tools Not Ornaments!

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My friends, you asked me about spiritual gifts.  I want you to remember that before you became followers of the Lord, you were led in all the wrong ways by idols that cannot even talk.  Now I want you to know that if you are led by God's Spirit, you will say that Jesus is Lord, and you will never curse Jesus.

There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but they all come from the same Spirit.  There are different ways to serve the same Lord,  and we can each do different things. Yet the same God works in all of us and helps us in everything we do.

The Spirit has given each of us a special way of serving others.

I Corinthians 12:1-7

My wife and I have six children.  When I hear that one of my children is being a servant to the rest of them, I am really blessed.  I suppose God feels the same way about His children.  In fact, God even gives His children special gifts so that they will be better able to serve each other! 

How has God enabled you to serve others?  What ability has He given you that you can use in being a blessing to those around you?  Instead of leaving your gift from God wrapped up in a box with a pretty ribbon around it, open it up and use the gift, whatever it is, to bless others! 

If you say, "I don't know what my gift is" then ask yourself one simple question.  "How can I minister to others?"  I believe that whatever the answer to that question, you will with that answer discover your gift from God! 

The gift that God has given you is a tool not an ornament!  Gifts of the Spirit are not for the purpose of making you look better to those around you.  Gifts of the Spirit are in your tool box of service opportunities! 

When you see a need in someone's life, ask the Lord if He has given you a way to minister to that need.  If the answer is that He has not, then it is perfectly alright to ask God for a special tool for that special need!  There have been many miraculous ministries that began exactly that way!

Whatever God's gift to you, He wants you to walk this day with the power of God flowing through you to those who are in need!  The Glory will be His, but Joy and Peace will be yours! 

"Lord Jesus, show me a need today for which You want to empower me to be the channel for a blessing from You. Thank You Jesus that Your gifts are tools and not ornaments!  Praise Your Holy Name Jesus, forever.  Amen."

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Judas Opportunity!

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Judas Iscariot was one of the twelve disciples. He went to the chief priests and asked, “How much will you give me if I help you arrest Jesus?” They paid Judas 30 silver coins, and from then on he started looking for a good chance to betray Jesus.

Matthew 26:14-16

I believe that every follower of Jesus is presented with a "Judas Opportunity" at least once and maybe many times. 

If you foolishly let your heart take you to the leaders of this world and ask them "HOW MUCH WILL YOU GIVE ME IF I HELP YOU ARREST JESUS?" The answer will be an impressive temptation.  You see, arresting Jesus today is trying to stop Him and keep His power from moving through the world and touching the hearts of the lost.  When you "arrest" the spread of the Gospel you are indeed betraying the Lord!

Judas was trying to stop Jesus from fulfilling God's plan for His life on this earth.  Judas was not willing to submit his own heart to the Will of God and so he sold his loyalty to Jesus for a mere 30 pieces of silver! 

What has the world offered you to turn your heart away from the Lord Jesus?   The list of possible things is long and can include, peace, security, wealth and fame.  Success in your field of work is also a popular offer.  Truthfully, anything that keeps you from being a 24/7 follower of Jesus can be your "30 Pieces of Silver." 

Judas did not stop Jesus from going to the Cross, in fact he became, even in his betrayal, part of the plan of God.  God's will, will be done in this world.  You can be certain of that!  You cannot stop God.  But you can refuse to follow Jesus and you will regret that decision forever!

It may help you to realize that every temptation you have to not walk with Jesus, even for a little while, may be your "30 pieces of silver."  When an opportunity crosses your path ask yourself this question and answer honestly.  Can I walk with Jesus on this path?  If I go this way will I find myself squarely in the will of God?  If the answer anything except, "Yes, absolutely! This is the path that Jesus wants me to walk" then turn and run away from it. 

"Lord Jesus, I know that the world has "30 pieces of silver" for me if I will only turn away from You.  Dear Jesus, open my eyes to see every temptation to betray You and give me the strength to say no!  I want to live this day and the rest of my life walking only on the path that You have prepared for me.  And may You be praised forever.  Amen."

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The First Blood Moon!

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I will work wonders

in the sky above

and on the earth below.

There will be blood and fire

and clouds of smoke.

The sun will turn dark,

and the moon

will be as red as blood

before that great

and terrible day

when I appear.

Joel 2:30-31

Today is the day of the first of four "Blood Moons."  These are times when the earth completely blocks the light from the sun and the moon turns blood red.  If there were no clouds in the sky I could be watching it right now at just past 3 A.M.  Instead I am watching it on a live internet feed from Griffith Observatory in California.

There are many who believe these Blood Moons are part of  the "final fulfillment" of the prophecies in Joel.  Is that possible?  Well of course it is, but even though there is much happening in the world today that tells us the coming of Jesus may be very soon, we do not know the "Day or the Hour" of His return.  I suppose in Days of Noah you could be pretty certain that a flood was coming when you saw the Ark and the preparations of Noah and his family, but no one knew when the rain would start and when the Ark would lift off of the ground for it's journey into the "New World."

In today's world Jesus Himself is the Ark.  When He comes Jesus will lift you off of the ground and take you with Him to the Eternal New World in Heaven!  If you are in the Ark nothing can harm you when the flood comes! If you are not in the Ark nothing can save you. 

There is only one thing that is essential for your life today.  That one thing is this: Stay in Christ.  Never set even one foot outside of Him.  Cling tightly to Jesus and trust Him as the storm rages.  When turmoil in the world reaches a fever pitch you will know one thing for certain.  This will either be the time that Jesus will come or you will go.  But either way you will be with Jesus forever! 

"Lord Jesus, I see signs of Your coming that may indeed be the ones that the Bible tells us about.  But Jesus I know that either You will come soon or I will go soon to be with You.  Life on this earth is so short for every man, but life with You in Heaven will never, ever end!  May all Glory and Honor and Praise be given to You, Lord Jesus. Amen."

Monday, April 14, 2014

Called Up By Jesus!

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We have not stopped praying for you since the first day we heard about you. In fact, we always pray that God will show you everything he wants you to do and that you may have all the wisdom and understanding his Spirit gives.  Then you will live a life that honors the Lord, and you will always please him by doing good deeds. You will come to know God even better.  His glorious power will make you patient and strong enough to endure anything, and you will be truly happy.

I pray that you will be grateful to God for letting you have part in what he has promised his people in the kingdom of light.

Colossians 1:9-12

I think I was 12 years old when I first tried out for the "Knot Hole" summer baseball team in my neighborhood.  I was not very athletic, but my best friend wanted to play baseball and I figured it would be a good thing for me as well. When I was 12 everyone who wanted to play did not "make the team."  I was one of those who had to stay home while my friend played baseball.  After more than 50 years I can still feel a twinge of the rejection of not being able to play that summer. 

Jesus is not like the "Knot Hole" baseball coach who told me I could not be on the team.  Everyone who comes to Jesus and wants to be with Him is welcomed with open arms!  You see Jesus does not exclude you from His team because of your ability, talent, or past experience.  The only thing that can keep you off of His team is your sin, but Jesus personally took care of that problem when He went to the Cross!

Jesus let's you be involved in what He is doing in the world today!  That is really quite amazing.  To continue with the baseball analogy, when you meet Jesus, He calls you up from the minor leagues to play with Him in the World Series!  He gives you a place on His team and then He imparts His own strength and wisdom to you so you can succeed.

Never forget that everything good that you are able to do is because of Jesus.  He has called you to belong to Him and Jesus gives you the strength to "play the game of life" and win! 

"Lord Jesus, thank You for letting me work with You as Your power moves on the hearts of men and women in this world.  And may You be praised forever! Amen.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Yoked With Jesus!

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If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest.  Take the yoke I give you. Put it on your shoulders and learn from me. I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest. This yoke is easy to bear, and this burden is light.

Matthew 11:28-30

Is life itself a heavy load? Have you learned from experience that life brings you many circumstances that are very difficult and some that are completely overwhelming? Are you "burned out" and desperately in need of rest?

The answer to all you needs is Jesus Christ! He will bear your burdens and give you the rest you need, and that rest will be the sweetest repose possible! But don't forget the line in these verses that says: "Take the yoke I give you. Put it on your shoulders and learn from me." As a follower of Jesus Christ we are "Yoked" to Him. Like two oxen that pull together we not only see the Lord work around us, but He lets us feel the pull of the load!

When two cattle are yoked together, one usually is more experienced and because of the yoke can teach the other one lessons that are needed to be a valuable "beast of burden."

When you are yoked to Jesus Christ you not only see how He works, but you learn how to work like Jesus does and ultimately you become like Jesus. So when the world around you observes your life they don't see you "acting like" Jesus, but rather they see you have "learned from Him" and consequently "you are like" Jesus. It is all part of being transformed into His image!

Don't forget that the troubles, burdens, loads and even suffering in this life are all part of how you learn while being yoked to Jesus. They are all too heavy to pull without the Lord in your life, but with Him no burden can stop you or even slow you down!

"Lord Jesus, I want to feel the yoke that You have put on my shoulders. May I learn from You all that You want to teach me as I carry the loads of life which are on Your shoulders as well as mine. May You be praised forever. Amen."

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Miracle Based Faith!

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When Jesus heard this, he said, “There is one thing you still need to do. Go and sell everything you own! Give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven. Then come and be my follower.”  When the man heard this, he was sad, because he was very rich.

Jesus saw how sad the man was. So he said, “It's terribly hard for rich people to get into God's kingdom!  In fact, it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get into God's kingdom.”

When the crowd heard this, they asked, “How can anyone ever be saved?”

Jesus replied, “There are some things that people cannot do, but God can do anything.”

Luke 18:22-27

God is the God of the impossible!  When God does something that cannot be done everyone knows that someone greater than a man accomplished that deed! 

Scientific advances make it more difficult to identify a "real miracle."  We are working hard to do things that once, only God could do.  Like Adam and Eve we still want to be like God, but not in a good way.

Jesus healed the sick, gave sight to the blind and by His touch the deaf could hear.  At some level doctors are doing all those things today.  And I suppose it could be said that doctors are able to "raise the dead" by means of advanced resuscitation techniques. 

If your faith is based on seeing miracles here on earth, you will continually struggle with whether or not you are seeing a miracle or the latest advancement in science and medicine.  But when your faith is firmly planted in your relationship with Jesus Christ and the undeniable reality of that fellowship with Him, then nothing here on earth can mimic that sweet communion!  Will you see miracles?  Oh yes, everyday is a miracle when you walk with Jesus!  The world will indeed try to copy the miracles, but it will most certainly work at killing your relationship with Jesus!

"Lord Jesus, I don't need to see miracles, but I need to hear Your voice and feel Your touch as I walk today through this 'world of woe.'   Thank You Jesus that You can do what cannot be done!  And may You be praised forever.  Amen."

Friday, April 11, 2014

See the Light!

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The king of Syria was furious when he found out what was happening. He called in his officers and asked, “Which one of you has been telling the king of Israel our plans?”

“None of us, Your Majesty,” one of them answered. “It's an Israelite named Elisha. He's a prophet, so he can tell his king everything—even what you say in your own room.”

“Find out where he is!” the king ordered. “I'll send soldiers to bring him here.”

They learned that Elisha was in the town of Dothan and reported it to the king. He ordered his best troops to go there with horses and chariots. They marched out during the night and surrounded the town.

When Elisha's servant got up the next morning, he saw that Syrian troops had the town surrounded. “Sir, what are we going to do?” he asked.

“Don't be afraid,” Elisha answered. “There are more troops on our side than on theirs.”   Then he prayed, “Lord, please help him to see.” And the Lord let the servant see that the hill was covered with fiery horses and flaming chariots all around Elisha.

2 Kings 6:11-17

I have a photo map that shows the whole earth from space.  The pictures were taken at night and then put together to make one view of the earth.  You can see where there is darkness on earth and you can see the light!  Oh yes, there is light all over the earth. 

A few years ago I asked God to show me what He is doing in the world and within weeks I was on my way to Africa!  I had never been to Africa before, but at the invitation of an old friend I spent three weeks on the "Dark Continent" seeing the light that is shining there because of Jesus Christ!

When you ask God to show you what He is doing in the world prepare yourself for an amazing experience.  You will see God in places that you never even imagined He would be working.  Like the servant of Elisha you will see the hill "covered with fiery horses and flaming chariots!" 

Somehow many have come to believe that God's work in the world is only done with the help of human hands.  That is not true.  Certainly God uses His children to proclaim His message to the rest of the world but He also uses dreams, visions, calamities, suffering, trials and all sorts of disruptions of the status quo to bring people to the point of being ready to receive Jesus!  The bottom line is that God is at work in the world and sometimes we see clearly what He is doing.  When we do it may be that He is calling us to join in with what He is doing or He may simply be increasing our courage as He did with the servant of Elisha.

Ask God to show you what He is doing in the world around you and watch the dark map light up as you see how very much is going on according to His purpose!

"Jesus, I so often forget how Your Spirit is moving in this dark world.  Let me see again the light that is shining all around me today as You are convicting the hearts of men.  And may Honor and Glory be Yours forever and ever.  Amen."

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Understand the Times!

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The numbers of the armed troops who came to David at Hebron to turn Saul’s kingdom over to him,according to the Lord’s word, were as follows:

From the Judahites: 6,800 armed troops bearing shields and spears.

From the Simeonites: 7,100 brave warriors ready for war.

From the Levites: 4,600 in addition to Jehoiada, leader of the house of Aaron, with 3,700 men; and Zadok, a young brave warrior, with 22 commanders from his own ancestral house.

From the Benjaminites, the relatives of Saul:3,000 (up to that time the majority of the Benjaminites maintained their allegiance to the house of Saul).

From the Ephraimites: 20,800 brave warriors who were famous men in their ancestral houses.

From half the tribe of Manasseh: 18,000 designated by name to come and make David king.

From the Issacharites, who understood the timesand knew what Israel should do: 200 chiefs with all their relatives under their command.

1 Chronicles 12:23-32

What a remarkable statement about these 200 men from Issachar.  They understood  the times and knew what Israel should do!  If I had been alive and was one of those who came to make David King, then I would liked to have been among those who "understood the times and knew what Israel should do."

There is a great temptation for me to ignore what is going on in the world.  There is so much trouble, pain and sorrow, not to mention all the wickedness!  I just want to pretend that "all is well" and everything on earth will just go smoothly on, at least for the rest of my life!  But today there is talk of "global calamity" and plenty of reason to believe that trouble of unimaginable proportions may come to the earth and may come quickly.  World wide economies teeter on the brink of collapse and drums of war are beginning to beat with an alarming rhythm. 

Back during the days of King David the men from  Issachar knew what Israel should do, and so should the people of God today understand the times and  know what Christians should do! 

Do not close your eyes to what is happening in this evil world.  The truth is that God is working in hearts and minds around the world.  God is calling men to Himself in amazing ways.  Even some of the most hardened hearts are being confronted with Jesus Christ like
Saul was on the road to Damascus.  Yes the darkness is great, but the LIGHT of Jesus is shining in that darkness. 

"Lord Jesus, help me to understand the times and see the light that You are shining in the darkness of this world!  And Jesus help me to know what to do today to be a part of Your work in this world.  Take my hand and rest it on Your plow as You break up the hearts of men.  We will praise Your Name, Jesus forever! Amen."

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The End!

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I, the Lord, now promise

to destroy everything

on this earth—

people and animals,

birds and fish.

Everyone who is evil

will crash to the ground,

and I will wipe out

the entire human race.


I will reach out to punish

Judah and Jerusalem—

nothing will remain

of the god Baal;

nothing will be remembered

of his pagan priests.


Not a trace will be found

of those who worship stars

from their rooftops,

or bow down to the god Milcom,

while claiming loyalty

to me, the Lord.


Nothing will remain of anyone

who has turned away

and rejected me.

Zephaniah 1:2-6

This promise to destroy the earth came after the time of Noah. You may be thinking, "I thought the sign of the rainbow meant that God will not destroy the earth again?" Well no, the rainbow means that He will not destroy the earth by a flood. He did not promise never to destroy the earth.

So the fact that we are all still here means that this prophecy in Zephaniah has yet to be fulfilled. But You can be sure that the earth will not go on forever. It will come to an end and that end will be when God decides it should be. God describes that time of destruction with these words: "Nothing will remain of anyone who has turned away and rejected me."

When Noah found out that God was going to destroy the earth and everything in it, God gave him careful instructions about what he should do to get ready for that time. God told Noah to build an ark that would carry the animals and Noah's family from this world into the next one. The earth will be destroyed again and there will be an ark that will carry God's children to the next world. That ark is Jesus, Himself. If you are "in Christ" when that day comes you will be safely transported to the New Earth where you will live with Jesus forever!

Remember God does not change. Even though He promised never to destroy the earth with a flood, He will bring this world to an end, in fact it will be THE END! But for those who love Jesus THE END will be THE GREAT BEGINNING of ETERNITY!

"Lord Jesus, thank You that I can rest peacefully and in safety in Your love! Give me the courage to call the lost to You today so that when that Great Day comes they will also be resting in the Ark of Jesus! And may You be praised forever! Amen."

Monday, April 7, 2014

Government is Not God!

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You have looked deep

into my heart, Lord,

and you know all about me.


You know when I am resting

or when I am working,

and from heaven

you discover my thoughts.


You notice everything I do

and everywhere I go.


Before I even speak a word,

you know what I will say,

and with your powerful arm

you protect me

from every side.


I can't understand all of this!

Such wonderful knowledge

is far above me.

Psalm 139:1-6

There is a great controversy today about how much personal information is gathered by intelligence agencies. You are probably aware that your government knows things about your life that would you wish they didn't know. I am sure you believe that political positions and personal preferences are not the business of government.

But what about God? God knows not just more about me than anyone else. God knows everything about me. God looks deep into my heart. He knows what I am doing all day long. He even knows the contents of my dreams at night. Now here is where it gets really amazing - God knows what I am going to say before I say it! There is nothing that I can tell God, that He does not already know! And don't forget that God protects me with His powerful arm! I have no way of knowing how many times a day God saves my life!

When a government decides to be "God" in your life, it must start by finding out everything about you. Then it can try to step in to the role of being your protector. It can "keep you from harm," even from harming yourself. So the government makes lots of laws and rules to control your life.

God however is not like government. God knows everything about you, but still lets you have complete freedom. God does protect you, but He gives you the right to choose Him or not. God does not want you to be His slave, but rather God desires that you be His LOVED ONE! When God is in control of your life, your Master is the one who gave His life for you! That is impossible to understand!

"Lord Jesus, I cannot understand the love that You have for me. It is truly far above me and too wonderful for me to even imagine. Lord, Jesus You even knew that I was going to speak these words. May You reign forever and ever. Amen!"

Sunday, April 6, 2014

My Tears in God’s Bottle!


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You have kept record

of my days of wandering.

You have stored my tears

in your bottle

and counted each of them.

Psalm 56:8

One dictionary definition of wandering is "traveling aimlessly from place to place." You may not have kept a diary of your aimless travels in this life, but God has a record of all of it. God has watched you plod from day to weary day not having any specific purpose. You have felt like and even told yourself that God doesn't care about your life, but you could not be more mistaken.

God has not only kept a record of your wandering, but He has also counted your tears and put them in His bottle! If God were to do a "Spring Cleaning" of Heaven, He would not throw out the bottle that holds your tears. God not only keeps those tears of sadness, pain and sorrow, but He can recall everything that brought them forth from your eyes!

You may look back at your "wasted years" and think that since you ignored God, He ignored you. Such is not the case. God watched my wandering and He even put my tears in His bottle. The first line of a song which was popular a number of years ago, perhaps said it best: "He was there all the time!"

God is as close to you in your rebellion as He is in your faithfulness. When you ignore God, He does not ignore you. And since God is everywhere, when you run away from Him, you put no distance between God and yourself. God is there when you wander and He is there when you cry!

If you are wandering away from God, remember that He is recording every aimless step you take. And if you are overcome with sorrow, pain and suffering never forget that every tear you shed is counted and stored in God's bottle.

"Lord Jesus, how wonderful it is to know that You have kept record of all my wanderings and have put all my tears in Your bottle. Your love for me is too wonderful to understand. May my love for You grow more every day, until that Day comes when I see Your face and fall down forever in Your presence. Amen."

Friday, April 4, 2014

Treasure in Heaven

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But Christ has shown me that what I once thought was valuable is worthless.  Nothing is as wonderful as knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have given up everything else and count it all as garbage. All I want is Christ and to know that I belong to him. I could not make myself acceptable to God by obeying the Law of Moses. God accepted me simply because of my faith in Christ.  All I want is to know Christ and the power that raised him to life. I want to suffer and die as he did,  so that somehow I also may be raised to life.

Philippians 3:7-11

When I was a small boy, my brother and I had a "Pirate's Chest" in our room which we used to store our treasured toys. My earliest memory of that small box is one Saturday morning we ate our breakfast with our bowls of cereal siting on the chest while we listened to Captain Midnight on the radio! At the time that little box held our most precious possessions which now seem like nothing but "children's toys," which is exactly what they were. And today I have nothing that was in that box.

But today I do have a box of treasured earthly possessions. These are the things that I "insure" so that if they are lost or stolen I will have money to replace them. These are the things that I spend time, usually some time every day, maintaining, cleaning and generally taken care of the contents of my "toy box." But I am reminded again that even as I have nothing from my childhood toy box I will have nothing of my earthly treasures when I go to Heaven.

I will have treasure in Heaven, but it will not be the same as earthly wealth! My treasure in Heaven will be Jesus! What else will I need in Heaven except to know Him? Before my wife and I married years ago we were encouraged to be practical and were warned that we couldn't just "live on love." But in Heaven we not only can live on the Love of Jesus, but we will. Loving Jesus and being with Him forever is the beginning and end of eternity. Jesus is the Treasure of Heaven!

None of your earthy treasure will go with you to Heaven, but Jesus, your Heavenly Treasure can be with you here today. He even said, "I am with you always!"

"My Lord Jesus, nothing on earth compares to You. No riches even come close to the eternal weight of Glory that shines forth from You, even now on this earth. You are my Treasure in Heaven and the only treasure I need now or forever! Jesus, come as soon as You can and take us all home to be with You forever and ever! Amen."

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Changed Fundamentally!

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Some time later, God spoke to Azariah son of Oded.  At once, Azariah went to Asa and said:

Listen to me, King Asa and you people of Judah and Benjamin. The Lord will be with you and help you, as long as you obey and worship him. But if you disobey him, he will desert you.

For a long time, the people of Israel did not worship the true God or listen to priests who could teach them about God. They refused to obey God's Law.  But whenever trouble came, Israel turned back to the Lord their God and worshiped him.

There was so much confusion in those days that it wasn't safe to go anywhere in Israel.  Nations were destroying each other, and cities were wiping out other cities, because God was causing trouble and unrest everywhere.

So you must be brave. Don't give up! God will honor you for obeying him.

2 Chronicles 15:1-7

The way back to peace and prosperity as a nation is not through tolerance and environmentalism. I want to speak here directly to the United States of America. We were established on Biblical principles and with the recognition that God Himself was necessary to our success. As we, sometimes imperfectly sailed the Ship of State over these past two hundred plus years we declared that we trust in God on our money and pledged our allegiance to the flag of "one nation under God!" And we prospered! Oh my did we prosper! Our money became the world's standard currency and people flocked to our shores for a "better life." If someone made up the story of the United States of America you would not believe it because it was too fantastic.

But then, we decided to take the glory for our prosperity instead of giving it to God. We came to believe that "democracy" was the secret to our success instead of a nation submitted to God which was then blessed by the Creator for it's obedience to His Word! We drank deeply from the pleasures of this world and passed out in a drunken stupor. We sleep soundly, if not peacefully while our leaders rip from our history the God who made us great! The leaders lie, cheat and steal and we only rouse enough to turn over and go back to sleep!

Like a family sleeping in a burning house we will all be lost unless someone wakes up and sounds the alarm. If you don't know where to start, perhaps you should go see the movie "God is Not Dead."

"Lord Jesus, I have been sleeping with the rest of my nation while we turn away from You and Your Word. Jesus, I ask You to wake us up so we can see the sin which has changed our hearts and our nation fundamentally. And Lord show us how to put You back on the throne of our hearts and yes our nation as well. And may You be praised forever. Amen."

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Nothing but the Blood!

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Has anyone believed us

or seen the mighty power

of the Lord in action?


Like a young plant or a root

that sprouts in dry ground,

the servant grew up

obeying the Lord.

He wasn't some handsome king.

Nothing about the way he looked

made him attractive to us.


He was hated and rejected;

his life was filled with sorrow

and terrible suffering.

No one wanted to look at him.

We despised him and said,

“He is a nobody!”


He suffered and endured

great pain for us,

but we thought his suffering

was punishment from God.


He was wounded and crushed

because of our sins;

by taking our punishment,

he made us completely well.


All of us were like sheep

that had wandered off.

We had each gone our own way,

but the Lord gave him

the punishment we deserved.

Isaiah 53:1-6

It is so easy to believe that my "good life" qualifies me for Heaven.  It does not!  Nothing I do or even could do on this earth makes me suited for Eternal Bliss with Jesus!  It is human vanity and false pride that lures me into believing that I can stand justified before God because of my "good deeds."

Does that mean that I should ignore doing good things?  Of course not!  If I am a follower of Jesus Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit I will do the things that Jesus did and I will walk the path which is prompted by the Spirit.  But even those things will not and cannot forgive my sin.  My sin is forgiven because of the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross and nothing else!   Do you remember the old song which asks the question "What can wash away my sin?" And the answer comes "Nothing but the Blood of Jesus!"

Every man will be judged by the Blood of Jesus.  If a man is "covered" by the Blood of Jesus he will be saved.  If He is not covered by the Blood then he will stand guilty before the Lord and receive the just punishment for his sins! 

Satan wants me to add my own righteousness to the requirements for my salvation.  The Devil wants me to believe that a "good life" is the thing that puts me over the top and makes the difference when it comes to whether or not I will go to Heaven when I die!  The truth is this: I live a "good life" because I am saved, not in order to be saved!

"Lord Jesus, Your death on the Cross is why I can expect to live with You forever.  You paid the full price for my sins.  I can only stand before God robed in Your righteousness.  And may that Day come soon!  I praise You now and I will praise You forever! Amen."

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Strike the Match!

In the future, the mountain with the LORD's temple will be the highest of all.It will reach above the hills;every nation will rush to it.Many people will come and say,“Let's go to the mountain of the LORD God of Jacob and worship in his temple.”The LORD will teach us his Law from Jerusalem,and we will obey him.He will settle arguments between nations.They will pound their swords and their spears into rakes and shovels;they will never make war or attack one another.People of Israel, let's live by the light of the LORD.

Isaiah 2:2-5

If Jesus ruled in the heart of every man, woman and child on planet earth what would it be like to live here? Everyone you meet would already know the Lord and the Love of Christ would be seen and felt in every encounter. The prisons would soon be empty and the courts would not be needed to settle disputes. Politicians would proclaim the truth to the people and deceiving advertisements would stop running.

Is it possible that everyone would turn their hearts to Jesus? The answer is "yes" unless you believe that God created some men without the freedom to choose.

God wants to set the entire world on fire with His love. I stand with a small box of matches on the edge of a parched and dry land and find it hard to believe that my small fire can ignite the whole world for Jesus.

Jesus wants me today to put the match to the tender and let the wind of the Holy Spirit bring the flame to life!

"Lord Jesus, forgive me for not believing that You can cover the whole earth with Your love. May this be a Day of Destiny when Your people overwhelm the world with Your love. I pray that everyone will turn to You today. Amen."