Friday, May 30, 2014

Truth and Love!


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

2 Thessalonians 2:9-11

I think the word "Truth" should always be capitalized.  According to these verses the reason some will not be saved is that they refused to "love the Truth and accept it."  Truth is much more than just accurate reality.  Jesus said that He was the Truth.  So anytime you touch the Truth, you are coming into contact with Jesus!  That is why those who reject Jesus also embrace lying. 

I think it should be the same for the word "Love."  The Bible says that God is Love.  So when you Love you are experiencing God.  That is why those who reject God are so drawn to hate!  

It is not remarkable that the World "tolerates" every religion imaginable with the exception of Christianity.  Those who follow Jesus are a significant threat to the lifestyle of those who want to pretend that God does not exist. The threat comes not from what Christians might do, but rather simply from who they are. 

Let Truth and Love be a part of this day!  Remember that every time you recognize Truth in any situation you are seeing Jesus and when you Love, even your enemies God is on the scene! 

"Lord Jesus, help me today to be a person of Truth and Love.  Let me see You and the Father in many ways as I seek the Truth in everything and Love even those who don't Love me!  Amen."

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Biblically not Politically Correct!


Men were created to be like God and to bring honor to God. This means a man should not wear anything on his head. Women were created to bring honor to men.  It was the woman who was made from a man, and not the man who was made from a woman.  He wasn't created for her. She was created for him.

1 Corinthians 11:7-9

If you are politically correct in today's world you probably have already stopped listening to anything else I might say!  To say that "women were created to bring honor to men" is like jumping into a pit of snakes and expecting not to get bit! 

Today there seems to be an uncontrollable urge to re-define the structure of God's creation and proclaim that "we" are the judges of what is right and wrong.  There is nothing new in this, since Satan began his conversation with Eve by questioning God's Word.

We approach the Bible with the attitude that through reading Scripture we will discover how what we believe is sanctioned by God.  When we find those things where our understanding happens to agree with God a "doctrine" is firmly established in our hearts.  But when we see Scripture that opposes our prejudices we "table" consideration of that part of God's Word until we can "study" the issue in greater depth! 

My approach to the Bible should be quite the opposite!  I must determine to accept what God says even if it contradicts what I already believe!   That means that the Word of God trumps all my prejudices.  Traditions and culture must give way to what God says.  When I do that I find that life itself makes more sense and I come to understand the world around me with greater clarity.

Ask God to show you one place where your belief and God's Word are at odds and then let go of your preconceived notion of truth! 

"Lord Jesus, show me today how to bend my will to conform completely with Yours!  Open my heart and mind to accept Your Word in everything!  And may You be praised forever. Amen."

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Win With Jesus!



At the sound of the seventh trumpet, loud voices were heard in heaven. They said,

“Now the kingdom

of this world

belongs to our Lord

and to his Chosen One!

And he will rule

forever and ever!”

Revelation 11:15


The struggle between good and evil is not a fair fight!  It is a contest between God and the Devil with the final outcome predetermined!  God wins and Satan loses!  The only victory the Devil can win is to convince men and women to join with him in his defeat and be separated from God forever! 

In the midst of amazing trouble, turmoil and rebellion against our Lord Jesus Christ it is easy to forget that those who follow Jesus will finish first in the race of life!  You can be confident to know that Jesus wins and Satan loses.  Just look at the redeeming power of love compared to the destructive power of hate.  Love wins and hate loses!

Here is the Good News of the love of Jesus.  Because of His love for you Jesus took the punishment you deserve so that you could enjoy Eternal life which He deserves.  Then in the END Jesus Wins and you win with Him!

As you walk through life today in this dark world, remember the victory that is yours through Jesus Christ.  Even death itself has lost it's sting, because the end of this life will simply user you into the presence of God for eternity! 

"Lord Jesus, encourage my heart to remember the victory that is mine because of You!  And Lord, I know for sure that I will see You soon, either when You come or I go!  May You be praised forever. Amen."

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tust and Obey and Pray!



The Lord watches over

everyone who obeys him,

and he listens

to their prayers.

But he opposes everyone

who does evil.”

1 Peter 3:12

When you obey the Lord, you can be sure of two things.  You can be certain that God is watching over your life and that He will listen to your prayers.

When our grandchildren are visiting with their parents at our house the occasional cry for help from one of the children playing outside is monitored carefully by their mothers and fathers.  Even though my oldest son has seven children he or his wife can quickly determine which one of the kids is calling for help and whether or not the cry is a real emergency.  The same is true for all of my other children and my total of 22 grandchildren.  (Yes I am bragging about the number!)

God watches over my life and listens for my cry.  He knows whether or not my upset is something He needs to address immediately.  Only God knows my circumstances and my heart and everything that is going on in my life! 

But when you sin, you put yourself in the place of being opposed by God.  That is not where you want to be.   

So when you obey the Lord, then pray.  Perhaps the old song should say "Trust and Obey and Pray!" 

"Lord Jesus, show me how to obey You today.  Help me to obey in even little things throughout my day and remind me to pray!  Amen."

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Heart of a Child!


If we claim to be in the light and hate someone, we are still in the dark.  But if we love others, we are in the light, and we don't cause problems for them.   If we hate others, we are living and walking in the dark. We don't know where we are going, because we can't see in the dark.

1 John 2:9-11

I am coming to the point of being what some consider to be a very old man.  It has been almost 50 years since I was required to register for the military draft.  But I can still remember the emotions of being a small child with no enemies.  I remember thinking that "I love everybody." 

In a world of sinful corruption and evil at almost every turn the "pure heart" of a little child is hard to imagine.  But that kind of loving heart is exactly what Jesus has called us to have. 

You see, Satan wants you to hate those who oppose Jesus.  If the Devil can't get you to participate in the evil of this world he can still take you into the darkness by getting you to hate those who are in the dark.  That way he can turn off the light in your life as well.

So how do you keep from hating those who are your enemies and the enemies of Christ?  I suppose one simple and maybe imperfect example would be like a child who is being bullied.  The little boy who simply lets his father take care of any response that is needed will not be drawn into a fight!  The same is true for you and me.  Let God take care of dealing with the evil in the world.  Our job is to love even those people who are given up completely to Satan. 

Try to remember today what it is like to "love everybody."  What you are remembering is the heart of a child.  And becoming like a little child is the goal for those who want to live as Jesus desires!

"Lord I choose to love everyone, even the most despicable.  I cannot walk in the light and hate anyone, so I seek the light by being filled with Your love.  Praise Your Name forever. Amen."

Sunday, May 25, 2014

War on Christians!

2014-01-29 07.00.53

This made the dragon terribly angry with the woman. So it started a war against the rest of her children. They are the people who obey God and are faithful to what Jesus did and taught.

Revelation 12:17

Have you ever wondered what it would have been like if you were a Bible character?  What if your name appeared in Matthew, Mark, Luke or John?  It will be amazing when you get to Heaven and meet those whose stories are told in the pages of Scripture. 

Many people believe that we are living in the End Times.  They think that these are the days just prior to the return of Jesus Himself!  If that is the case, then you are specifically mentioned in Revelation 12:17.   That verse mentions the Dragon starting a war against people who "obey God and are faithful to what Jesus did and taught." 

So there is your story and mine in the Bible!

In the last days there will be a WAR ON CHRISTIANS.  Christians will be  ridiculed, maligned, discriminated against and even physically persecuted.  The attack on Christians will be relentless.  In those days Christians will suffer for their faith, perhaps like never before.

There may be many signs that we are very near the return of Jesus Christ, but the WAR ON CHRISTIANS, for me is the most convincing.  In a day when "tolerance" is the cry from every direction, intolerance against Christians is heartily encouraged. 

In any war when a soldier is unarmed and unaware of the presence of the enemy he will be swept away in the battle.  Be warned that we are not living in a time of peace!  The Enemy of God is plotting your and my destruction.  Arm yourself with the Word of God and be ready to stand and fight!  You will find the Enemy makes all earthly enemies look weak, but with the Sword of the Spirit you will be wielding the most power weapon ever imagined! 

"Lord Jesus, whether or not You will come today, I do not know.  But I do know that the war against those who follow You is raging!  Strengthen my hand today as I hold Your Word high!  And be praised forever.  Amen."

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Money is Not a Good Master!



You cannot be the slave of two masters. You will like one more than the other or be more loyal to one than to the other. You cannot serve God and money.

The Pharisees really loved money. So when they heard what Jesus said, they made fun of him. But Jesus told them:

You are always making yourselves look good, but God sees what is in your heart. The things that most people think are important are worthless as far as God is concerned.

Luke 16:13-15

When you need some food to eat there are a couple of options.  If you cannot, or don't know how to grow the food yourself then you can take some money and go to a store or market and exchange money for food.  Money is an excellent tool as a medium of exchange.  You can work for a day and receive money for your labor which you can then exchange for something that you need.  But the Bible warns us that money and the love of money can harm us as well.

Money wants to become your master and the love of money wants to lead you into all kinds of sin!  I have never heard a story of someone who won millions in the lottery and went on to "live happily ever after."  To desire to be rich is to desire trouble and pain and a great and difficult responsibility. 

God, your loving Creator also wants to be your master.  When God rules your life "all things work together for good."  Every story of someone who lives under the umbrella of Jesus Christ is indeed one where you do live "happily ever after."

The foolishness of some who talk of freedom and liberty is that they believe that they can live this life without a Master.  Truthfully, you will not be the Master of your of life.  Either you will submit yourself to Jesus Christ or you will live at the beck and call of Satan.  When you decide that God will not be the master of your life, then you are on the slippery road toward being mastered by the Devil!  It may not happen over night, but it will happen.

"Lord Jesus, please be the Lord of my life in every way.  Give me the wisdom to avoid everything that would take control of my heart and draw me away from You.  And may Glory and Honor be Yours forever.  Amen!"

Friday, May 23, 2014

Free Will and Personal Choice!

IMG_0225 - Copy - Copy

Sound the trumpet on Zion,

the Lord's sacred hill.

Warn everyone to tremble!

The judgment day of the Lord

is coming soon.

Joel 2:1

It may have been almost three thousand years ago that Joel wrote these words about the soon coming of the "judgment day of the Lord."  Doesn't that mean that his words were and are irrelevant?  Absolutely not!  God says that for Him a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day, so it can rightly be said that God inspired Joel to give this warning less than three days ago!

The truth is that the time of "Free Will and Personal Choice" when it comes to our response to God is coming to an end.  Life on this earth as a human being is a unique period for every man.  While you are here you can decide to live your life in opposition to the Will of God or you can choose to submit yourself to it.  After the judgment day of the Lord has come "Free Will," is not mentioned as an option!  Some have expressed it by saying there will be no second chance at salvation after you leave this earth! 

Turning your heart to Jesus is not like shopping for new clothes.  You can't say to God, "I don't like the offer You made with the sacrifice of Jesus, so what other good thing will You give me?"  Jesus is everything God has to offer and if you reject Him you reject it all!  There are no options when it comes to your Eternal Life.  It is either Jesus or Hell and right now as you read these words you have a choice.

By the way, your relationship with God through the Blood of Jesus has nothing to do with the approval of other people!  If you are "RIGHT WITH GOD" everyone else may think you have lost your mind.  Also all the "good folks" may think you are a wonderful Christian and yet you are headed for Hell!  The opinions of other people are totally irrelevant. The only thing that matters is that you have come to terms with God through the Blood of Jesus Christ.

"Lord Jesus, I choose You again today!  May I spend the hours of  this day doing Your Will.  And may You be Praised forever!  Amen."

Thursday, May 22, 2014

You Can be a Light for the Nations!

2013-05-17 06.46.54

Now the Lord says to me,

“It isn't enough for you

to be merely my servant.

You must do more than lead back

survivors from the tribes

of Israel.

I have placed you here as a light

for other nations;

you must take my saving power

to everyone on earth.”

Isaiah 49:6

How can you be a light for other nations?  How can you take the "saving power" of Jesus to everyone on earth?  It used to be that the only way you could be part of evangelizing the world was to support financially or pray for a missions organization which sent men and women all over the world to preach the good news of Jesus if you were not a missionary yourself!  Those organizations still exist and what they do is certainly important, but God has opened up the whole world for everyone who is reading these words right now.

When you write a blog, produce even a simple YouTube video or even make a comment on one that someone else has done, your words are almost instantly accessible everywhere on earth!  The internet has opened an amazing door.  These words that I am writing will probably be read by people in a number of different countries around the world before this day is done. 

The internet has great potential for evil and it does serve that purpose, but the opposite is true.  I can declare to everyone on earth that God is the only true God and that He is powerful beyond your imagination.  Through the Blood of Jesus Christ He has provided for me to be cleansed and made Holy so that I can live with Him forever! 

I can share my own story of coming to Jesus with men and women in every nation.  Surely the invention of this amazing communication tool was not allowed by God so that it could wreck families and destroy lives.  I believe that God moved on whoever invented it to provide another way for the Good News of His love to be shared with all men!

Here is a good way to start.  Every time you find a blog or video that honors God and lifts up the Name of Jesus, LIKE it, SHARE it or just make a positive comment which will be seen by others.  The most common and perhaps the most powerful comment is simply, "AMEN!"  Then you might want begin writing your own simple blog.  Just a few words a day lifting up the praising the Name of God will provide another point of light to shine on the world! 

"Thank You Jesus for Your awesome power to spread Your saving message around the world today.  Amen."

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Pain is Not a Curse!

When all of this happened,

the Lord All-Powerful told you

to weep and mourn,

to shave your heads,

and wear sackcloth.


But instead, you celebrated

by feasting on beef and lamb

and by drinking wine,

because you said,

“Let's eat and drink today!

Tomorrow we may die.”

Isaiah 22:12-13

Narcotics that stop the pain can be a great blessing, but they can also be a terrible curse!  Pain and the fear of pain is God's gift to man to keep him from harming himself.  If the fire did not burn and hurt, a small child would never learn to stay away from it. 

We (the United States) are a nation in great pain today because we have ignored the teachings of Scripture and have tried to destroy the things that God has created!  God created the family so that both boys and girls would be able to grow up securely loved and able to learn what it means to be a grown man or woman.  When the family is "re-defined" by those who would be "politically correct" God's purpose is lost and the whole society suffers for it.    

God created man to relate to and worship Him and only Him!  We have decided that the greatest good is to encourage men to worship anyone and anything they like.  Originally, Freedom of Religion was the freedom to worship God in the way you chose.  But now Freedom of Religion is the freedom to worship idols, pagan gods, or nothing at all.  God never declared that to be a thing of value!  Many religions have spawned much suffering in the world. 

When the Physician is in charge of your life, stopping the pain can be a wonderful thing, but when you are consuming pain killers to dull the pain of reality and truth, the end of your story is not likely to be a good one.  Like narcotics in the physical world, spiritual pain killers should be taken only if prescribed by the Great Physician!

There is one "over the counter" pain killer that God encourages everyone to take, and that pain killer is REPENTANCE!  When you change your ways, you will relieve yourself of much of the pain in this life.  That's also what we need as a nation.  When the United States repents of it's sin and turns back to God we will find cures for our ills.  If we do not, it may be that we are terminal as a nation.

Whether or not your nation turns to God as the Great Physician, you can and must do that yourself!  Their is no waiting list to see the Great Physician and you don't even need an appointment.

"Thank You Jesus for the pain that has turned my heart back to You!  May You be praised forever. Amen."

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Ring the Dinner Bell


The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!”

Everyone who hears this should say, “Come!”

If you are thirsty, come! If you want life-giving water, come and take it. It's free!

Revelation 22:17

I'm not old enough to remember the Dinner Bell. It was used for the farmer in the field who would know it was time to come in and eat when he heard it ring.  When everything was ready someone was appointed to ring that bell!

In a real sense, the job of everyone who follows Jesus Christ is to ring the "Dinner Bell."  Everything is ready and it is time to call people to come home!  Jesus has gotten things ready and now it is time to call all men to come to Him. 

We often try to make our calling it too hard with strategies and programs.  The bottom line of evangelism is that all people need to hear that Jesus wants them to come to Him.  When men call on Jesus, He will take it from there.    Just ring the bell and let people know that dinner is ready!

The offer is simple.  If you are thirsty you can come to Jesus and He will give you free, life-giving water.  Once you have had a taste of the LIFE that comes from Jesus nothing else will satisfy your thirst!

"Lord Jesus, give me an opportunity today, maybe many times today to tell someone that You want them to come to You for life-giving water! Amen."

Monday, May 19, 2014

Last Days People!


You can be certain that in the last days there will be some very hard times.  People will love only themselves and money. They will be proud, stuck-up, rude, and disobedient to their parents. They will also be ungrateful, godless,  heartless, and hateful. Their words will be cruel, and they will have no self-control or pity. These people will hate everything good.  They will be sneaky, reckless, and puffed up with pride. Instead of loving God, they will love pleasure.  Even though they will make a show of being religious, their religion won't be real. Don't have anything to do with such people.

2 Timothy 3:1-5

Are we currently living in the "hard times" of the last days?  The most convincing sign that the time of the End is upon us is the people themselves.  Paul's description of people who will be living during that time is all too familiar today!  Personal pleasure and the economy have risen to the top of almost everyone's priority list.  The "words" of Political Correctness are carefully crafted to express hatred for everything that is good.  And "sneaky, reckless, and puffed up with pride" are appropriate descriptions for many in today's world.

Paul summarized it well when he said, "Instead of loving God, they love pleasure."

When I go back and look at pictures that were taken of me in the 1970's it is quite obvious that I found nothing wrong with conforming to the fashion statements of that decade.  I wore bell bottom pants, hair over my ears and had long sideburns.  I was just "fitting in" to the world around me and I did that without really any conscious effort. 

Instead of simply criticizing the people who live around me today, I must ask myself if I am becoming like those who love themselves and their money.  Are my priorities in life built around my bank account and "being able to enjoy" the pleasures of this life? 

Don't become one of  the "Last Days People" that you read about in 2 Timothy.  Whatever you do, get rid of your leisure suite and long hair!  Abandon political correctness for "Biblical Correctness."  Let the Word of God be the standard and not the will of the majority.  Democracy did not provide a way for you to go to Heaven!  JESUS DID!

"Lord Jesus, show me today the things I need to abandon so that I will not be like the world around me.  Come quickly Lord Jesus, Amen."

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Worst Sinner!


Christ Jesus our Lord treated me with undeserved grace and has greatly blessed my life with faith and love just like his own.

“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” This saying is true, and it can be trusted. I was the worst sinner of all!  But since I was worse than anyone else, God had mercy on me and let me be an example of the endless patience of Christ Jesus. He did this so that others would put their faith in Christ and have eternal life.  I pray that honor and glory will always be given to the only God, who lives forever and is the invisible and eternal King! Amen.

1 Timothy 1:14-17

The Apostle Paul confessed that he was the worst sinner of all!  I have always quietly agreed with him when I read about his life before he met Jesus on the road to Damascus.  He was then called Saul and was actively trying to stamp out all the followers of Jesus.  But, here is the hard part to understand.  When Saul was killing Christians he thought he was doing the right thing.  He did what he did because he desired to be faithful to the laws of God!  And yet even in his sincerity he finally came to believe that he was the worst sinner of all.

Instead of judging the sins of Paul, I think I should look no farther than my own heart.  Without Jesus Christ in my life, my own heart is wicked beyond remedy!  It is capable of embracing every sin known to man without the Holy Spirit continually convicting and drawing me to Jesus.  I believe every one of us could honestly say as Paul did that "I am the worst sinner of all."

What is your worst sin?  You may think it is some destructive habit or pattern of thinking.   I believe my worst sin is not being serious with Jesus about my relationship with Him.  I so often think of myself as a man trying to keep the laws of God, occasionally crying out to Him when something big comes up in my life.  I usually don't see a need for Jesus in most of my day, but do try to spend a few minutes or even an hour with Him to start the day.  I guess it would be fair to say that Jesus is like my car insurance policy.  I certainly am careful to keep it up to date, but hope that I will never have to depend on it. 

The truth is that Paul was the worst sinner, but you and I are the worst sinners too!  Without Jesus in my life, my sin separates me from God forever!  That's what Paul's sin would have done for him if he had not met Jesus and that what my sin would have done for me without Christ in my life! 

Here is a challenge.  Spend a full sixty seconds thinking about Jesus!  Then try to extend it to five minutes.  Then try for fifteen and twenty.  See if you can think about the Lord one full hour today.  The goal of course is to expand your walk with Jesus into a 24/7 fellowship with Him.

"Lord Jesus, instead of hoping not to need You in my life, I want to be with You every minute of every day and to always need Your sweet love!  Praise Your Holy Name. Amen"

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Falling in Love With Jesus!

“I invite the whole world

to turn to me and be saved.

I alone am God!

No others are real.


I have made a solemn promise,

one that won't be broken:

Everyone will bow down

and worship me.


They will admit that I alone

can bring about justice.

Everyone who is angry with me

will be terribly ashamed

and will turn to me.


I, the Lord, will give

victory and great honor

to the people of Israel.”

Isaiah 45:22-25

It is the Power of God that formed you in your mother's womb.  He is the Power behind the Creation of all life!  There is no living human being from Adam until today who is not the object of God's care and love!  He did not make you without purpose and design.  You may not be called like Moses to "deliver the people" from the bondage of Egypt, but you are called by God to turn to Him and be saved and to accomplish the works that He planned for you to do! 

There are those who interpret God's Word to say that even though He Created you, God never intended that you should turn to Him and be saved. They believe that there are only a few who have that privilege.   I suppose it is insensitive to say it this way, but they really believe that millions of people were created to be "firewood for Hell."

I believe that a "theology" like that was crafted for the purpose of relieving me of the responsibility of delivering God's message to the lost!  If men and women are not going to turn to God then why should I bother preaching the message of Christ to the masses? 

Here is a sobering thought.  Bring to your mind someone you know who stands in direct opposition to God and refuses to follow Jesus. Ask God to use you to bring him or her to faith in Jesus.  You can know for sure that one day they will fall down on their knees before the Lord and worship Him, as will every human being ever created.  Those who turn to Him while living on this earth will live with Him forever and those who do not will be separated from God forever!

The message is really quite simple.  "Jesus loves you and wants you to be in an Eternal love relationship with Him!  He even died to make that possible and He is ready right now to receive your love for Him!"

"Lord Jesus use me today to bring one more lost sinner to You!  Let Your love flow through me so I can touch another life with the thrill of falling in love with Jesus!  Amen."

Friday, May 16, 2014

Be Ready to Live in the Light!


You know what sort of times we live in, and so you should live properly. It is time to wake up. You know that the day when we will be saved is nearer now than when we first put our faith in the Lord. Night is almost over, and day will soon appear. We must stop behaving as people do in the dark and be ready to live in the light.

Romans 13:11-12

A blind man walks in the light the same as he does in the darkness.  For those who are sightless there is no difference between day and night.  In fact, many people who are blind develop what is sometimes called "Non-24" which causes them to function outside of the 24 hour day and so their sleep schedule continually changes.  Daylight and dark are the same for those who are blind.

But for those of us who can see, darkness and light are very different parts of the day.  Darkness is a time of limited vision.  With no sun to light everything around us we must depend on lamps and lights which penetrate only a little of the darkness. 

But when daylight comes, we can see the horizon in every direction and drink in the limits of our vision.  The day brings the sun and the warming rays that not only show us the world around  us, but also sustain life through photosynthesis. 

Everyone who comes to Jesus is like a blind man who receives his sight. When you turn your heart to Jesus you will begin to see things that you never saw before.  Every part of you will be changed.   You will see, hear and understand the world around you in ways you had not even imagined. 

Some believers are like a blind man who is healed, but continues to let his guide dog lead him through the day.  How absurd it would be to have a seeing eye dog when you can see perfectly well yourself. 

Let Jesus be the Light of your life!  Everything else is darkness.  Let your understanding of everything come from the light of Christ that shines on it!  It is only when Jesus shines His light before your eyes that you will truly be ready to live in the Light!

"Lord Jesus, You are the only true light.  Everything else is darkness!  Shine in my heart today and show me the way You would have me go! And may You be praised forever! Amen."

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Stumbling Stone!

What does all of this mean? It means that the Gentiles were not trying to be acceptable to God, but they found that he would accept them if they had faith.  It also means that the people of Israel were not acceptable to God. And why not? It was because they were trying to be acceptable by obeying the Law instead of by having faith in God. The people of Israel fell over the stone that makes people stumble,  just as God says in the Scriptures,

“Look! I am placing in Zion

a stone to make people

stumble and fall.

But those who have faith

in that one will never

be disappointed.”

Romans 9:30-33

I'm sure you have seen someone "trying to be funny" who pretends to stumble and fall.  We may laugh at the comedian who falls as part of his performance, but it is not a joke if you are the one who stumbles and you fall on your face.  I once fell down a flight of stairs in our house after stumbling over our cat in the dark.  There was nothing funny about it!

There is a stone that can cause you to trip and make you fall.  It is not a physical stone and it is very hard to see in this world's darkness.  It is what happened to Israel when they tried to be acceptable to God by obeying the Law instead of having faith in Him.

For those of us today who are not Jews by physical birth that stone of stumbling is simply trying to be acceptable to God by anything except faith in Him!  We try to please God by the name on the church we attend, by the school from which we got our degree, by the humanitarian work we busy ourselves with, and in a thousand other ways.

The truth is that I am pleasing to God because of Jesus Christ and my faith in Him and nothing more!  If you do all the "good works" of Mother Teresa and then some, you will still be acceptable to God only because of your faith in Jesus.  All those good works have nothing to do with your place in God's heart.  

You see, I "keep the law" because I am acceptable to God, not in order to be acceptable.  I do what God wants me to do because I am His child not in order to become His child!  In a sense those who are trying to please God by being obedient are just pretending to be followers of Jesus.  They may look like and even act like Christians,but they are not standing before God because of their faith in Christ.

"Lord Jesus, help me today not to stumble over the good works that You have prepared for me to do by trusting in them instead of having faith in You.  May You Lord be praised today and forever.  Amen."

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Eternal Love Story!

Can anything separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble, suffering, and hard times, or hunger and nakedness, or danger and death?  It is exactly as the Scriptures say,

“For you we face death

all day long.

We are like sheep

on their way

to be butchered.”

In everything we have won more than a victory because of Christ who loves us.  I am sure that nothing can separate us from God's love—not life or death, not angels or spirits, not the present or the future,  and not powers above or powers below. Nothing in all creation can separate us from God's love for us in Christ Jesus our Lord!

Romans 8:35-39

If you are a child of God you will never ever be separated from the Love of Christ!  When I am with the one who loves me and the One I love in return wonderful and indescribable things happen.  The One who loves me knows me like no one else.  The One who loves me knows my strengths and weaknesses. Jesus knows what makes me happy and He knows the things that make me sad.  Jesus knows my favorite color and He knows when I sit and look at and admire the mural in the sky that He paints twice a day! 

Jesus knows my every longing and He loves to just sit quietly with me and feel the pulse of my heart as I lean on Him.  I love the thought that Jesus not only leads me through this life, but that He takes my hand and leads me on from day to day!

There are people who "join a church" and confess that they believe in Jesus just to avoid the fires of Hell.  But oh the JOY when one sweet day they discover that Jesus is real, and really loves them like no one ever could.  They step into an Eternal Love Story that began in the heart of God and will end . . . .it will never end!

As I walk through these final days of the time God has allotted me on earth I feel again like that 21 year old young man waiting for my bride to come down the isle to join me for a life of wonder, joy and adventure together.  Every day of that "Heaven on Earth" experience reminds me of "Eternity in Heaven" that is sure to come. 

"Lord Jesus, I look to the sky today and long for Your return.  And if there is a tomorrow I will look to the sky again with great expectation.  What a day that will be when You come back and take me to be with You forever!  Amen."

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Being Like God!

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You have heard people say, “Love your neighbors and hate your enemies.” But I tell you to love your enemies and pray for anyone who mistreats you.  Then you will be acting like your Father in heaven. He makes the sun rise on both good and bad people. And he sends rain for the ones who do right and for the ones who do wrong.  If you love only those people who love you, will God reward you for this? Even tax collectors love their friends.  If you greet only your friends, what's so great about this? Don't even unbelievers do that?   But you must always act like your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:43-48

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you were God?  What if you had the power to control the whole world just like God does?  Floods and droughts would be responsive to your commands.  Kings would rise or fall because of your decisions from the Throne of Heaven.  Everyone who opposed you would be doomed to ultimately fail.  Nothing could stand in your way of accomplishing your will!

Those displays of God's power are only part and I might be bold enough to say a small part of what it is to be like God.  The most amazing thing there is about God is that God, the Great Creator of all there is, and Sovereign of the Universe loves His enemies! 

When Adam and Eve ate of the Forbidden Fruit they became enemies of God!  But God's love was not banished from their lives like they were sent out from the Garden of Eden.  God loved the fallen race and planned from the very beginning to bring them back to Him with the sacrifice of Jesus! 

If you were like God you could certainly "do miracles."  God has the power to suspend the laws of nature to accomplish anything He desires.  But being like God means something much greater than walking on water.  Being like God means that you love your enemies and give yourself for their ultimate salvation! 

Being like God means that you humble yourself and take the lowliest place like Jesus did when He came to earth.  Being like God means that you may indeed be despised and rejected.  And being like God means that you will take up your cross and follow Him!

"Lord Jesus help me today to know more of what it means to 'be like God.'  The Bible says that I was created in the image of God.  May that image of You bring Glory to Your Name today and every day! Amen."

Monday, May 12, 2014

Ready for His Return!

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When the Son of Man appears, things will be just as they were when Noah lived. People were eating, drinking, and getting married right up to the day the flood came and Noah went into the big boat.

They didn't know anything was happening until the flood came and swept them all away.
This is how it will be when the Son of Man appears.

Two men will be in the same field, but only one will be taken. The other will be left.  Two women will be together grinding grain, but only one will be taken. The other will be left. So be on your guard! You don't know when your Lord will come.

Matthew 24:37-42

About two years after I was born Israel became a nation again. The year was 1948 and the impossible happened when in the aftermath of Hitler's persecution of the Jews the world decided that the Jewish people should be allowed to be a nation. I once read an early 1930's Christian publication that made fun of those who predicted that Israel would once again be a nation. I think the article used the word "impossible."

On the day that Jesus returns what will it be like? Well, there will be lots of signs of His coming, but almost no one will pay any attention to them. There will have been lots of suffering in the world as God's power rolled across every land bringing men and women to a fresh awareness of the Almighty!

On the day that Jesus comes even His followers will not know that the Day has come until they see Jesus in the clouds!

We always remember what we were doing when something great happens. My mother told me she was baking a pie when she heard the news of the bombing of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. I was working on a sink when the news of 911 broke. And I suppose we will all remember what we are doing when Jesus returns!
Here is a good suggestion for your "What to do today" list. Do only those things that would not cause you shame if Jesus came while you were busy with them. If a "very important person" was coming to your house today, but you didn't know exactly when, you would make sure everything was ready and you would keep it that way until they came.

That is what we all must do for Jesus. Jesus is coming, but we don't know when. So get your life ready for His arrival and keep it that way until that day arrives! You will never regret being ready for the return of Jesus! Amen.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Cain’s Grain!

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God blesses those people

who want to obey him

more than to eat or drink.

They will be given

what they want!

Matthew 5:6

I remember when I was a child and I first pondered this verse from the Sermon on the Mount.  It seemed like this was a promise that if I wanted to obey God more than anything else, then He would give me the "things" that I wanted in life.  But now I see this quite differently. 

If I want to obey God more than anything else, then He will see to it that I get what I want and that is the opportunity to obey Him! 

Being able to obey God means first of all that I have heard His voice!  You cannot obey God unless you have heard and understand the "Will of God" for that moment of obedience. Obedience is not offering "Cain's Grain" on the alter of your desire.  Obedience is "Abel's Lamb."

Also, obedience to God's Will often stands in direct contradiction to "Common Sense."  If I only obey God when "Common Sense" agrees with His commands then who am I really obeying, God or "Common Sense?" 

The ultimate example of obedience to God was the Cross of Christ.  Jesus obeyed God by dying on the Cross, but that death brought life to everyone who will receive it.  Your obedience to God's Will can bring great suffering, but it will also bring life and joy and peace as well! 

Let Obedience to God be your greatest desire.  Abandon the life of bringing "Cain's Grain" to God and listen carefully for His sweet voice! 

"Lord Jesus, I do want to obey You.  Help me want to obey You more than anything else in life.  And Lord give me one Word today that I may obey, so that You will once again and forever be glorified.  Amen."

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Asking For Things You Already Have!

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Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father. That is all we need.”

Jesus replied:

Philip, I have been with you for a long time. Don't you know who I am? If you have seen me, you have seen the Father. How can you ask me to show you the Father? Don't you believe that I am one with the Father and that the Father is one with me? What I say isn't said on my own. The Father who lives in me does these things.

Have faith in me when I say that the Father is one with me and that I am one with the Father. Or else have faith in me simply because of the things I do.  I tell you for certain that if you have faith in me, you will do the same things I am doing. You will do even greater things, now that I am going back to the Father. Ask me, and I will do whatever you ask. This way the Son will bring honor to the Father.  I will do whatever you ask me to do.

John 14:8-14

Phillip asked for the thing that he already had.  Phillip wanted to see God while he was standing face to face with Jesus.  Jesus answered Phillip by letting him know that he already had that which he was asking for!

I think we often pray for things that we already have been given by Jesus.  If you are a follower of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit is living in your heart, how can you say you need more peace, or joy, or love and comfort?  All those things and more are dwelling in you through the Holy Spirit in abundance.  The Holy Spirit not only provides direction for your life, but also all the provisions for the earthly part of your journey to Eternity.

Jesus plainly said it with the Words "I Am with you always!"  With the Holy Spirit in your heart, when you need peace, it is there for you to grasp.  When you need joy, He has all you need.  When you need comfort you can be sure that the "Comforter" will have all you need and more at your disposal!

"Lord Jesus, thank You for reminding me again that everything I need, You have.  Thank You for living in my heart through the Holy Spirit.  Knowing You Jesus is all I ask and all I could ever need!  May You be praised forever.  Amen."

Friday, May 9, 2014

Don’t Forget the Horses!

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Finally, I looked up and saw four chariots coming from between two bronze mountains.  The first chariot was pulled by red horses, and the second by black horses;  the third chariot was pulled by white horses, and the fourth by spotted gray horses.

“Sir,” I asked the angel. “What do these stand for?”

Then he explained, “These are the four winds of heaven, and now they are going out, after presenting themselves to the Lord of all the earth. The chariot with black horses goes toward the north, the chariot with white horses goes toward the west, and the one with spotted horses goes toward the south.”

The horses came out eager to patrol the earth, and the angel told them, “Start patrolling the earth.”

When they had gone on their way, he shouted to me, “Those that have gone to the country in the north will do what the Lord's Spirit wants them to do there.”

Zechariah 6:1-8

When I was a child I learned that God works in the world through His servants!  Men are moved by God's Spirit to say and do the things that He wants said and done.  But wait!  Human beings are not the only tools God has hanging on the wall of His workshop.  God also uses angels, the forces of nature, droughts, floods, and don't forget horses to accomplish His purposes on earth along with anyone or anything else He chooses to use!

If God wants something done on earth, it will be done.  The only choice we, as His children have is whether or not we will allow Him to use us to accomplish it.  What a blessing it is to be held by the Hand of God to craft the Will of God in lives of other men and women. 

So there is no reason for human pride as we see the things that God has done through us.  But there are lots of reasons for rejoicing in Jesus as we see right before our eyes His work continue on earth up until the very Day He returns in Glory!

It is a spectacular sight to view the Power of the Holy Spirit convict and change men into the image of our Savior.  Watch for the return of Jesus, but also watch to see what He is accomplishing all around you every day! 

"Lord Jesus, thank You for allowing me to be one of the tools You use to do Your will on earth today.  May I see Your Glory in all that You do.  And may Your Name be praised forever. Amen."

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Wisdom Speaks!

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I am Wisdom—Common Sense

is my closest friend;

I possess knowledge

and sound judgment.


If you respect the Lord,

you will hate evil.

I hate pride and conceit

and deceitful lies.


I am strong, and I offer

sensible advice

and sound judgment.


By my power kings govern,

and rulers make laws

that are fair.


Every honest leader rules

with help from me.

Proverbs 8:12-16

The Bible does not teach that we should respect and tolerate "evil, pride, conceit and deceitful lies."  To tolerate evil is to abandon the Heart of God.  All true wisdom comes from God and anyone walking in rebellion to God is living in foolishness! 

I must confess that the world around me pulls me away from hating evil.  The "live and let live" philosophy combined with the Devil's definition of "Freedom" makes me look like an idiot if I express the mind of Christ and say that there is such a thing as "RIGHT AND WRONG!"  

Righteousness is not determined by a majority vote.  Just ask the people of Sodom how that worked out for them!  Opinion pollsters do not uncover truth.  Truth is a standard apart from the opinions of men. 

God is the standard for all truth!  The man who says "there is no God" is a fool.  What you think about God does not change the Truth of Who God is! 

In no more than one lifetime from right now everyone on earth will know for certain that God is the Creator of all there is and that Jesus Christ is Lord!  I pray that each day of the rest of your life will be one of letting your heart become like the Heart of Jesus.  May you love what He loves and hate what He hates!

"Lord Jesus, help me today to see evil around me as You see it.  Drain my heart of all the love of evil, and fill it with love for You!  May Your Wisdom speak through me this day.  Amen!"

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Body Parts!

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Together you are the body of Christ. Each one of you is part of his body.  First, God chose some people to be apostles and prophets and teachers for the church. But he also chose some to work miracles or heal the sick or help others or be leaders or speak different kinds of languages.  Not everyone is an apostle. Not everyone is a prophet. Not everyone is a teacher. Not everyone can work miracles.  Not everyone can heal the sick. Not everyone can speak different kinds of languages. Not everyone can tell what these languages mean.

1 Corinthians 12:27-30

Diversity is a real and very important part of the Church of Jesus Christ We are not all the same, nor should we be.  Sometimes I think our denominations are attempts to get all the arms together in one place, all the legs together in another, all the hands and feet separated so they can enjoy the fellowship of those who are just like themselves!  Two arms are wonderful for a body, but nothing but arms would be silly and really useless.  What good are arms without hands and feet? 

If you look around and find that you are the only one in your fellowship gifted the way you are, then spend your time using the gift God has given you to minister to others instead of just trying to encourage others to seek your gift.  If you are the church's "right hand," don't work at helping the "left hand" learn how to do what the right hand can so easily accomplish!

Cut off from the rest of the body the individual parts are really not very effective if at all.  But attached to and functioning with the whole body the hand of an artist can create beautiful paintings to bless us all! 

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ ask Him to show you what part of the Body you are and how you should function to fulfill His purposes in this world.  Recognize that other believers will have different ways of using their gifts, and that their walk with Jesus is in response to His Spirit's leading! 

"Lord Jesus, give me the eyes to see how I can bless other parts of your Body and recognize how they bless me!  Today Lord use me to accomplish the things that You have planned!  And may You, Lord be praised forever! Amen."