Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Nations are in Big Trouble!



The Lord destroys the plans

and spoils the schemes

of the nations.

But what the Lord has planned

will stand forever.


His thoughts never change.

The Lord blesses each nation

that worships only him.

He blesses his chosen ones.


The Lord looks at the world

from his throne in heaven,

and he watches us all.

Psalm 33:10-14 (CEV)

If God is God Almighty, and if He is the only true God then much of the world is in big trouble.

Nations may make big plans and evil schemes, but God can decide to destroy and spoil them. The flow of history has gone and will go as God has seen fit to allow it! Do not fear that Satan will win in the End. He will not!

My job as a follower of Jesus is not to "figure out" how to defeat Satan. My job is to listen to the Holy Spirit and walk in every Word I hear coming from the Throne of God! In doing that I may see the Enemy defeated or I may see what looks like Evil triumphing over good. I must be a good soldier, not the general!

I can rest in peace knowing that God is watching us all. If someone plans evil against you, God knows all about it. He can warn you of it, so you can avoid the trouble or He can intervene and stop their evil plan altogether, or He can allow you to walk through the persecution. Remember that the "worst thing" Satan can do to you is to send you on to Heaven!

Don't forget Psalm 33:12 which reminds us that "the Lord blesses each nation that worships only Him." If your nation encourages its people to worship many gods then you cannot be assured of the blessings of the God who created everything that there is! There is a direct correlation between many gods and fewer blessings!

"Lord Jesus, I choose today to make You the Lord of every moment of my life! May Your will be reflected in everything I think, say, or do! And may You be praised forever. Amen."

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

What Makes a Nation (Man) Great?

Without guidance from God
law and order disappear,
but God blesses everyone
who obeys his Law.
Proverbs 29:18
A successful nation is not one that is either "conservative" or "liberal." A nation is not blessed simply because of it's economic prowess and fiscal responsibility. Neither is a nation truly great because of it's military might. Those things may indeed be true of a great nation, but they are not the source of its greatness!

When a nation honors God and seeks His guidance the results are stunning! When a nation stops looking to God for direction, the first and perhaps most obvious evidence of that is the breakdown of law and order. Those in power see laws as "recommendations" not "commands." Human opinion replaces law and chaos replaces order.

Also, when a man honors God and seeks His guidance the results are stunning as well! When you stop looking to God for direction in your life, chaos is sure to follow on some level. But when you love to do what God tells you to do the "order" in your life is sweet and peaceful.

Unless you are the leader of your nation, or someone with great power or authority (and you may be) your personal decision will not change the fate of your nation. But you can and must seek God's guidance for your life if you are to be truly great!

Then comes the most amazing part of all! When you seek God's guidance and want to obey His every desire you will eventually "fall in love with Jesus." Personal greatness and success with take a back seat to the joy of knowing the Savior! You will thrill at a Word when it comes from Him and find your greatest fulfillment in life when you obey His commands!

"Lord Jesus let me hear a Word from You today so that I may have the joy of doing what You want done! And Lord, turn me and my nation back to You. In Jesus Name! Amen."

Monday, July 28, 2014

Point of Peace!



We make our own decisions,

but the Lord alone

determines what happens.

Proverbs 16:33


This is not the only verse that confronts us with the uncomfortable Bible teachings of "Free Will" and the "Sovereignty of God." You could easily fill a library with the musings of Bible commentators on the subject. And what I say here will only be a small tea cup of thought in a flood.

My free will is fenced in by the Sovereignty of God. In fact, God Himself decided that I would have free will. Like any "freedom" there are limits to my freedom of will. God made my body so that if I choose to stop breathing I will pass out and then start breathing again. I have never heard of someone committing suicide by holding their breath.

All "freedom" is limited by the universe in which it is granted.

The two extremes are: Believing that nothing you can do makes any difference or thinking that you control everything in your life!

The TRUTH is that your decisions and actions make tremendous waves that impact your own life and the lives of others, sometimes for generations to come! But also, the decisions and actions of God are hurricanes of Sovereignty that sweep across the oceans of the earth.

The POINT OF PEACE for me is to boldly move ahead in choosing what I believe to be the will of God knowing that His great love will rescue me from even my own foolishness if I am His child!

"Thank You Jesus for allowing me to choose to love You, and thank You for being there to rescue me when I need it! And may You be praised forever! Amen."

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Your Heart Has Eyes!




I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.

Ephesians 1:18-21

You must be careful about what you allow your eyes to see. Evil can seep into your head when you simply stare at the wrong thing. There is even a line in a children's song that says "Be careful little eyes, what you see!"

You have another set of eyes. The eyes of your heart are even more powerful in touching the core of your being with what you see. The eyes in your head are limited in seeing only those things in the physical world around you. But the eyes of your heart can see the spiritual world.

With the eyes of your heart you can see the Glory behind a beautiful sunset. With the eyes of your heart you can see Heaven and the future world of unbridled joy and peace! With the eyes of your heart you can see the "light at the end of the tunnel" and the light beyond the darkness of this world.

When the eyes of your heart become focused on spiritual wickedness, the darkness is tragic. Don't focus your heart on the wickedness of this world, even for entertainment. It will not draw you closer to Jesus!

"Lord Jesus, let me see more today of the Glory that only belongs to You. Make me ready to stand in Your presence and praise Your Name forever! Amen."

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Disappearing Love!



People of Israel and Judah,

what can I do with you?

Your love for me disappears

more quickly than mist

or dew at sunrise.


That's why I slaughtered you

with the words

of my prophets.

That's why my judgments blazed

like the dawning sun.


I'd rather for you to be faithful

and to know me

than to offer sacrifices.

Hosea 6:4-6


When was the last time you "re-dedicated" your heart to Jesus? Conviction of your sin and the desire to know the Lord even better combined to push you up the mountain into the presence of God. You were entering into an "extreme" relationship with Jesus and your love for Him was coming into full bloom!

Then something happened. It may not have been something very important, but it caught your attention and pulled you away from Jesus for just a moment. When you turned back to Jesus the "thrilling" relationship was a little more ordinary. That was the first step in your "Disappearing Love" experience.

Satan is not trying to turn you into a Christian killing fanatic. I'm sure he would like to do that, but his goal for now is to simply damage the love that you have for Jesus. Intimacy with Jesus will produce much righteous fruit in your life! Without that moment by moment communion with Jesus your love will diminish and fade.

The most important moment of your walk with Jesus is right now! Pour out your heart to Jesus and listen for His response. Cling tightly to Jesus in your heart and hold His hand with every step you take. Don't dwell on the wonderful walk you had yesterday or the great time you expect to have tomorrow. Right now, listen for His sweet, soft voice and hear His words of love.

"Lord Jesus, may my love for You grow every minute until I stand before You and see You face to face. Come quickly, Lord Jesus! Amen."

Friday, July 25, 2014

What Are You Waiting For?


So Christ died only once to take away the sins of many people. But when he comes again, it will not be to take away sin. He will come to save everyone who is waiting for him.

Hebrews 9:28

The phrase "What are you waiting for?" has at least two separate meanings in the English language. It is, first of all a simple question wanting to know what is the "thing" for which you are waiting, but it also can be a call to action.

For those who are waiting for Jesus both are true. You must focus everything in your heart on Jesus Christ and the prospect of His soon return! But you must also do the things that He wants you to do even while you wait! So you wait and work!

The man who does not look for the return of Jesus misses the thrilling anticipation of expecting to see the Lord at any moment. And the man who does not seize the opportunities that the Holy Spirit sets in front of him each day misses the awe of seeing God work in the world around him!

The Bible says the coming of Jesus will be like a thief in the night! It will be sudden and most people will not expect it. That's the difference between followers of Jesus and the rest of the world. Disciples of Christ are looking for Jesus and because of the Cross of Christ they are ready for His return.

"Lord Jesus on this day, which may indeed be the "Day of Your Return" show me what to do as I wait with joy for that most Glorious event in all of history! Praise Your Name forever. Amen."

Thursday, July 24, 2014

God Knows What Sin Is!



They want to be teachers of the Law of Moses. But they don't know what they are talking about, even though they think they do.

We know the Law is good, if it is used in the right way. We also understand it wasn't given to control people who please God, but to control lawbreakers, criminals, godless people, and sinners. It is for wicked and evil people, and for murderers, who would even kill their own parents.  The Law was written for people who are sexual perverts or who live as homosexuals or are kidnappers or liars or won't tell the truth in court. It is for anything else that opposes the correct teaching of the good news the glorious and wonderful God has given me.

1 Timothy 1:7-11

It is the same as the original dialogue between Adam, Eve and the Snake. God declares something to be a sin and the Snake contradicts the Creator, then you must make a choice!

The controversy today is not about kidnappers or murderers. We still believe that those sins are wrong. But the dispute today with God is about homosexuals and liars! God classifies both of these as sin. In the Western world today we celebrate homosexuality and totally tolerate liars. If you say that lying is a sin you are ridiculed or ignored. If you say that homosexual behavior is a sin you are persecuted!

At the risk of being the recipient of backlash from the modern wave of pro-homosexual sentiment let me say this: When we were born we all inherited from Adam an attraction to sin. The fact that you have had from your earliest time an attraction toward homosexual behavior does not mean that it is not sin. Most little children work hard at becoming expert liars, but that does not change God's opinion of lying!

God requires a radical change for those who practice homosexuality, but He requires a radical change for the rest of us as well! It is the "total transformation" required by God and powered by the Holy Spirit that leaves us free from the slavery of all sin!

So don't spend your life trying to justify your favorite sin, no matter what it is. Run hard after Jesus Christ and make it your goal to make every thought you think, word you speak and even every breath you take pleasing to God!

"Lord Jesus, I know that this body of flesh is attracted to sin. But I want to be even more attracted to You my Lord! Draw me to You more today than ever before! Praise You now and forever. Amen."

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Walk the Talk!


When we told you the good news, it was with the power and assurance that come from the Holy Spirit, and not simply with words. You knew what kind of people we were and how we helped you.    So, when you accepted the message, you followed our example and the example of the Lord. You suffered, but the Holy Spirit made you glad.

I Thessalonians 1:5-6

I think I was still in my teens when I first heard the comment, "Your actions speak so loudly, that I cannot hear your words!" The believable man is the one whose deeds confirm the words that he says!

When Paul preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ, he did it with the "power and assurance that comes from the Holy Spirit," not simply with words! Let the illustrations for your sermons come from your own life, not just "made up" stories to make the point!

But isn't it "bragging" if I tell of how I am successfully walking with Jesus? Well, you don't have to tell about it. Your life will speak much louder than your words anyway! It's also called "practicing what you preach!" It's like the man who says he will sell you a "Get Rich Quick Scheme," but he gets rich by selling you the idea, not by doing it himself.

Here is the bottom line: When you live a fulfilled and victorious life with Jesus and enjoy the blessings that come from knowing Him, your life will powerfully support the Gospel message you speak.

Don't misunderstand. The Gospel is not made more powerful by your life. Jesus will save anyone who turns to Him in faith. But when you are faithfully walking with Jesus every breath you take and every word you utter point other men and women to the Lord! You are like a man with an unlimited supply of pure water who meets thirsty men and women during the day. Of course, he would give water to everyone he meets.

"Lord Jesus, thank You for quenching my thirst with Your pure and holy water! Give me today another opportunity to share Your water with thirsty men and women! And may You be praised forever. Amen."

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Too Little?



I am not complaining about having too little. I have learned to be satisfied with whatever I have.   I know what it is to be poor or to have plenty, and I have lived under all kinds of conditions. I know what it means to be full or to be hungry, to have too much or too little.   Christ gives me the strength to face anything.

Philippians 4:11-13

When you thank the Lord for all the "blessings" He has given you, are you thinking about material things or spiritual blessings? I must confess that for most of my life the "things" that come from God have been on top of the list of "blessings." Since I live in an affluent country and have never seen people in this land who are starving it is easy for me to focus on physical blessings. I see them everywhere.

But the Apostle Paul says that he had been poor, hungry and had "too little" at times during his life. How could this be? The chosen messenger of God to the gentiles without resources to keep him going, or even enough food to eat!

I have always believed that if I am walking in "the will of God" I will not be poor or hungry. But that is not what happened to Paul. There were days in Paul's life when God did not give him resources and food, but rather Christ gave Paul the strength to face the problem of having "too little!"

Knowing Jesus Christ is a blessing that far exceeds having enough physical things to keep you going in this world. The richest man on earth and the poorest are both one heartbeat away from Eternity! And in fact Jesus even said that it is hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven!

So don't be surprised if there are times in your life when the physical blessings are in short supply! Those are the times when you can depend on the strength of Jesus who will help you endure anything!

"Lord Jesus, You are all I need in this world or the next! The blessing of fellowship with You is the greatest thing now and forever! Amen."

Monday, July 21, 2014

Brothers at War!



The angel said, “Go back to Sarai and be her slave.  I will give you a son, who will be called Ishmael, because I have heard your cry for help. And someday I will give you so many descendants that no one will be able to count them all.  But your son will live far from his relatives; he will be like a wild donkey, fighting everyone, and everyone fighting him.”

Genesis 16:9-12

The sons of Abraham  (Ishmael and Isaac) were at odds with each other when they were children and they are still at war today!

Ishmael was Abraham's attempt to make God's promise of a son come true, but Isaac was the son that God had promised to the "Father of the Faithful."

Today's news, the rockets, the dispute over land, the kidnappings, and the turmoil in general in Israel all come from the two sons of Abraham! All other family feuds pale in comparison to the ongoing trouble between the Arabs and the Jews. Well meaning politicians campaign for peace and put forth proposals to solve the conflict, but nothing seems to make any difference at all. Cease fires break down and the trouble starts all over again!

There is one "Peace Maker" who can stop all the violence! In fact, He is called the Prince of Peace. When two men who are at war with each other turn their hearts to Jesus Christ, then they are transformed from enemies into brothers who love each other!

So is it just Arabs and Jews that need to be touched and transformed by the power of Jesus? Oh no, it is every man, woman and child who has ever been born. The touch of Jesus changes the dynamite of a man's heart into precious and pure gold.
From reading the Scripture I can tell you for sure that Jesus loves the Jews and He loves the Arabs! But Jesus doesn't stop there, because Jesus loves you and He loves me! He wants us to be Brothers at Peace, not Brothers at War!

"Lord Jesus, thank You for bringing the "peace that passes understanding" to all those who call on Your name! And may You be praised forever! Amen."

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Worship only at the Feet of Jesus!




Remember, I am coming soon! God will bless everyone who pays attention to the message of this book.

My name is John, and I am the one who heard and saw these things. Then after I had heard and seen all this, I knelt down and began to worship at the feet of the angel who had shown it to me.

But the angel said,

Don't do that! I am a servant, just like you. I am the same as a follower or a prophet or anyone else who obeys what is written in this book. God is the one you should worship.

Revelation 22:7-9

Even the Apostle John, while receiving the message of the Book of Revelation was tempted to fall down and worship at the feet of the messenger! That temptation is still active in the world. When a "wonderful Christian evangelist" brings you a stirring and convicting message that goes deep into your spirit and changes you, it is easy to esteem the messenger too much. That improper esteem then becomes a stumbling block and temptation for the man or woman of God who delivered the message!

If you are the minister who delivers God's Word to those who will listen the warning is this: Never believe that it was your own strength or righteousness that accomplished anything good. God works through you and He deserves all the glory. Keep no acclaim for yourself.

If you are a seeker, and a man of God brings you a wonderful message of truth that reaches to the depths of your soul, don't give that man any more honor than you would a "delivery man" who brings you a great treasure. The treasures of Heaven come from God not an evangelist!

"Lord Jesus, I want to focus my heart totally on You. Keep me from the temptation to worship the one who brings the Good News. And Lord, I do hope to see You soon! Praise only You forever! Amen."

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Muslims, Christians and Jews!



When the dragon realized it had been thrown down to the earth, it tried to make trouble for the woman who had given birth to a son.   But the woman was given two wings like those of a huge eagle, so she could fly into the desert. There she would escape from the snake and be taken care of for a time, two times, and half a time.

The snake then spewed out water like a river to sweep the woman away.  But the earth helped her and swallowed the water that had come from the dragon's mouth.   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 12:13-17

If you really are a follower of Jesus Christ, then you are the enemy of Satan! And, of course, if you are the enemy of Satan, he will do whatever he can do to defeat you! These verses quite clearly say that when you rescue Jews from the attacks of the Devil you then become the target of Satan! When you help Israel you get both the blessing of God and the anger of Satan!

You may say, "But the Jews rejected and still reject Jesus. How can they be special to God?" Those who ask that question have forgotten about the love any father has for a wayward child. Jews did not become special to God by their faith and they do not lose that status by their lack of faith.

You may wonder, "If God loves Jews then He must hate Muslims!" Oh no, not at all! The Cross of Jesus was for everyone! If your "theology" is correct in every way, Jesus invites you to come to Him. And if your theology is totally confused, Jesus still died for you and wants you to call on Him. He is the only way to God and is the expert at correcting the errors of understanding for those who give their hearts to Him!

The fundamental message of the Gospel is that Jesus loves you! It doesn't matter who you are or what you have been, the love of Jesus is focused on your heart. Coming to Jesus is not about "religion," it is about "relationship!"

"Lord Jesus, I want to know You better today. Correct my understanding as You draw my heart ever closer to You. And may You be praised forever! Amen."

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

God Knows What You are Thinking!



In certain ways we are weak, but the Spirit is here to help us. For example, when we don't know what to pray for, the Spirit prays for us in ways that cannot be put into words.  All of our thoughts are known to God. He can understand what is in the mind of the Spirit, as the Spirit prays for God's people.

Romans 8:26-27

God knows what you are thinking!  From the very beginning, men have been trying to hide from God when they sin.  But hiding from God is an impossibility.  God knows where you are, who you are, what you are doing and even what you are thinking!  I suppose many who choose not to yield their lives to God would rather pretend that God does not exist at all!  If God is there and you oppose Him the odds against you are overwhelming!

I am not an atheist, but I am regularly tempted to believe that God does not know what I am thinking.  Other people hear what I say and may see what I do, but God even knows what I am thinking.  If people knew what thoughts are harbored in your heart would they see you any differently?  I remember as a child hearing someone say: "You can't keep a bird from flying over your head, but you can keep him from making a nest in your hair!" 

The battlefield for righteousness, if you are a Christian is often not your words or actions.  The struggle is with your "private" thoughts!  You see it may be true that physically "you are what you eat," but it is also true that spiritually "you become what you think!"

"Lord Jesus, help me today to really believe that You know my every thought!  You Lord are there even in my most secret place!  And may I glorify and praise You there as well!  Amen."

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Fingerprints of God!



I am sure what we are suffering now cannot compare with the glory that will be shown to us.   In fact, all creation is eagerly waiting for God to show who his children are.   Meanwhile, creation is confused, but not because it wants to be confused. God made it this way in the hope  that creation would be set free from decay and would share in the glorious freedom of his children.   We know that all creation is still groaning and is in pain, like a woman about to give birth.

Romans 8:18-22

When God created the first Clymene moth, at least several thousand years ago did He think about the Cross? As you can clearly see the black marking on the wings looks like the silhouette of Jesus hanging on the Cross. I took this picture yesterday morning as the moth sat quietly on a tomato plant.

What else in God's creation clearly points you to Jesus Christ and the salvation that He provides? The Death, Burial and Resurrection of a single seed proclaims the work of Jesus on the Cross. The "Sunrise" every morning reminds me of when Jesus came out of the grave. Physical birth is a type of being Born Again! The list is longer than anyone can compile, but it would certainly include the Clymene Moth!

Look around today at the world God created and see the Fingerprints of God on everything He made! Look for God in places where you have never seen Him before! It will make for an exciting day!

"Lord Jesus, help me today to see Your Fingerprints on everything around me. And Lord when You touch me today please leave Your Fingerprints on my heart! And may You be praised forever. Amen."

Monday, July 14, 2014

A Word for Every Situation!




Dishonest witnesses and liars

will be destroyed.


It isn't right for a fool

to live in luxury

or for a slave to rule

in place of a king.

Proverbs 19:9-10

The wisdom of Solomon came from the mind of God.   In the Book of Proverbs you will find truth that applies to every life situation. These two verses speak about liars, dishonest witnesses and inappropriate leaders.

In Western culture today it is a greater sin to call someone a liar, than to be a liar! Liars seem to be a protected class of people. Even elected leaders are not held accountable for overt and public lies. But those who hold firmly to the truth are persecuted for being bigots.

Solomon tells me that liars will be destroyed! Please understand that Solomon is not telling me to destroy liars! I hope that liars will repent and become men and women of the truth. But if they do not repent they will be destroyed.

Solomon also speaks of the problem of having a leader who is not qualified to lead. When that happens everyone suffers!

So have you looked at the Book of Proverbs lately to see what it might say about your situation? If you read one chapter a day it will take you a month to finish the book. But if you really want to know what wisdom Solomon might have passed on to you from God, then read the whole book in one session!

"Lord Jesus, thank You for inspiring Solomon to write the Book of Proverbs. Thank You Lord for the wisdom that I need for this day. May You Lord be praised forever. Amen."

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Bad Language!



I will purify each language

and make those languages

acceptable for praising me.

Then, with hearts united,

everyone will serve

only me, the Lord.


From across the rivers

of Ethiopia,

my scattered people,

my true worshipers,

will bring offerings to me.


When that time comes,

you won't rebel against me

and be put to shame.

I'll do away with those

who are proud and arrogant.

Never will any of them

strut around

on my holy mountain.


But I, the Lord, won't destroy

any of your people

who are truly humble

and turn to me for safety.


The people of Israel who survive

will live right

and refuse to tell lies.

They will eat and rest

with nothing to fear.

Zephaniah 3:9-13


Is your language pure? The problem with "Bad Language" is that you cannot Praise God while speaking evil words! If you could print out a list of your vocabulary and present it to God for His approval how many of your words would be scratched off of God's list?

Bad language is like the aroma that comes from a pot of spoiled stew. It may look like it is good, but you know from the smell that no one should even taste it. The fragrance that comes from your heart reveals the condition of your life before God!
Maybe you like me have never made "bad language" a part of your everyday vocabulary, but that does not keep you from using "good words" to express hurtful and even evil thoughts. Over the course of your life some words will change meaning, but bad attitudes stay the same.

I can think of two specific examples of words that have changed their meaning in American English. The first one I would never have used when I was in my teens, but now it is quite common and has lost all of it's initial meaning. The second one is changing today but I don't think I will live long enough to be comfortable with it's new meaning!

Remember that your words begin in your heart. The attitude of your heart is the source of your words. You may hide your heart for a while, but eventually your words will reveal it to everyone around you.

The words to reject are those that would not be appropriate to speak as you stand before the throne of God. If a word would not be well spoken for God to hear, then it should not be spoken anywhere!

"Lord Jesus, may the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable to You now and forever! Amen."

Saturday, July 12, 2014

God’s To Do List!



The Lord isn't slow about keeping his promises, as some people think he is. In fact, God is patient, because he wants everyone to turn from sin and no one to be lost.

The day of the Lord's return will surprise us like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a loud noise, and the heat will melt the whole universe. Then the earth and everything on it will be seen for what they are.

Everything will be destroyed. So you should serve and honor God by the way you live.  You should look forward to the day when God judges everyone, and you should try to make it come soon. On that day the heavens will be destroyed by fire, and everything else will melt in the heat.   But God has promised us a new heaven and a new earth, where justice will rule. We are really looking forward to this!

2 Peter 3:9-13

The things that God has promised to do, will be done!  That is a more certain truth than "death and taxes." 

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ you can look forward to the "day of judgment."  For you that will be a day of reward not punishment.  You will see a new heaven and a new earth, where justice will rule.  But how can you "make it come soon?"  What can you do to hasten the day of judgment?  The answer is  this: Every time you put your hand to God's plow His "To Do" list get's shorter. 

By doing God's Will in this world you effectively hasten the coming of the Lord.  All of His promises will be kept before He returns.  As God checks things off of His list, we can never know when He will fulfill the final promise and Jesus will return!

So as you are obedient to the Lord Jesus Christ, you are also making God's final To Do list shorter.

"Lord Jesus, show me today something that needs to be done before You return.  May my feet take me where You want me to go, my hands do the things that You want done and my mouth utter the words that You choose!  Come quickly, Lord Jesus.  Amen."

Friday, July 11, 2014

Impossible Flower!



In every church I tell the people to stay as they were when the Lord Jesus chose them and God called them to be his own. Now I say the same thing to you.  If you are already circumcised, don't try to change it. If you are not circumcised, don't get circumcised. Being circumcised or uncircumcised isn't really what matters. The important thing is to obey God's commands. So don't try to change what you were when God chose you.  Are you a slave? Don't let that bother you. But if you can win your freedom, you should.  When the Lord chooses slaves, they become his free people. And when he chooses free people, they become slaves of Christ.  God paid a great price for you. So don't become slaves of anyone else.  Stay what you were when God chose you.

I Corinthians 7:17-24

"I can't grow here!" That excuse is often used for trying to find another group of believers with which to associate. When you discover, through your own growth in Jesus that those in your fellowship are not as far along as you are, it is often time for you to become a leader rather than a deserter!  It may indeed be that the Lord Himself saw the problem in your Church and is raising you up for the challenge.

A couple of years as a missionary in a predominately Muslim country taught me that depending on the fellowship of other believers for your own strength is risky at best. Be grateful for others who encourage you in the Lord, but recognize that your walk with Jesus must continue hand in hand with Him even when no one else is with you!

If you are reading this on my blog site you will see a picture of a flower that was “planted” between an asphalt parking lot and a concrete curb. In spite of overwhelming odds that flower grew and finally bloomed!

That is how it is with followers of Jesus. It doesn't matter how difficult your situation, you can bloom with the beauty of Jesus shining forth just as if you were planted in the finest garden!

"Lord Jesus, help me not to complain today about the circumstances where I find myself. I want to bloom like that flower planted between the asphalt and the concrete. All it takes, Lord is for my roots to grow down deep in You, and Your life will be seen in me! May You be praised forever! Amen."

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Let Suffering Work!



The people who lived through these terrible troubles did not turn away from the idols they had made, and they did not stop worshiping demons. They kept on worshiping idols that were made of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood. Not one of these idols could see, hear, or walk.   No one stopped murdering or practicing witchcraft or being immoral or stealing.

Revelation 9:20-21


The original purpose for spanking a child was to provide an incentive for good behavior. Believe it or not, I only remember being spanked once and that was when I was five years old. And I guess you might know that my "sin" was saying the wrong thing to a group of women who had come to our house for a Tupperware party. That was more than 60 years ago, but if you don't mind I think I will keep the details of my embarrassing moment a secret!

Often repentance follows suffering. When personal pain comes from doing the thing you should have not done, it does make sense that you change your ways and avoid doing that again.

But during the terrible troubles described in the Book of Revelation the suffering does not stop the sin. Men and women will keep on in their rebellion against God and His ways in spite of the painful results!

My training in "saying the right thing" may have begun when I was five years old, but it continues today. Only, today my Heaven Father is the one who "spanks" when I offend!

Here is the lesson for me today! When trouble, pain, or sorrow comes I must let it focus my heart and my life on being more obedient to Jesus Christ. If you will let them, difficulties and suffering will purify your heart before the Lord. When trouble comes, temptations will lose their power!

"Lord Jesus, thank You for letting me suffer enough to be reminded of my need to turn my heart away from sin! And may You be praised forever! Amen."

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Love is Better than Understanding!


The message about the cross doesn't make any sense to lost people. But for those of us who are being saved, it is God's power at work.

God was wise and decided not to let the people of this world use their wisdom to learn about him.

Instead, God chose to save only those who believe the foolish message we preach.   Jews ask for miracles, and Greeks want something that sounds wise.   But we preach that Christ was nailed to a cross. Most Jews have problems with this, and most Gentiles think it is foolish.

I Corinthians 1:18 & 21-23

When unsaved people hear about the Cross of Jesus Christ they will say, "That sounds foolish!"  It is only after you turn your heart to Jesus that the Cross begins to make sense!

So what is it that draws men and women to commit their whole lives to Jesus?  The Good News itself is not logical according to the wisdom of this world.  The Gospel only makes sense after you have given your heart to Jesus.  It is Jesus that draws you to Himself!  What Jesus did saves you, but who Jesus is enthralls you!  The Creator of all there is has come to earth to woo you to Himself with LOVE!  That "unbelievable" truth is spine tingling when you do believe it!

Even many Christians spend their lives trying to "understand" the Lord rather than simply living in the joy and peace that comes from knowing Him!  It is like a husband who spends his time hoping to understand his wife better rather than using that time enjoying the love that flows between them.

Real understanding of Jesus and the Gospel will come because of the relationship not instead of it.  Those who "know" Jesus without a living relationship only know about Him!  Even Satan knows all "about" Jesus.

"Lord Jesus I choose again today to commit my every step to walk in Your way!  I do not understand You, but I love You and I know that loving You, Jesus is the answer to all my problems!  May You be praised and glorified forever!  Amen."

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Riches or Wisdom?



It's much better to be wise

and sensible

than to be rich.

God's people avoid evil ways,

and they protect themselves

by watching where they go.

Too much pride

will destroy you.

Proverbs 16:16-18


If you were offered great riches or great wisdom which would you choose?  Remember when Solomon was given the opportunity to have his wish fulfilled, he asked for wisdom.  God gave him riches as well.  The trouble that came to Solomon's later life was not because he was too wise! 

With money comes the false belief that your riches can provide everything you need.  God is relegated to the place of "someone to turn to" when everything else fails.  With plenty of money in the bank you can take care of your needs by writing a check or a simple ATM withdrawal.  Then you can save God for the really big problems in your life.

But the man who has little money but lots of wisdom is really blessed by being able to depend on God for much more in his life.  I believe the greatest expression of wisdom is simply "TRUSTING GOD FOR EVERYTHING!"  You trust God for every bite of food you put in your mouth, for a place to lay your head every night, every word that comes out of your mouth, and even every thought that enters your mind!  When I am depending on God for every breath I take I will re-discover His Majesty many times a day!

Getting wisdom from God is very humbling.  The wise man recognizes that he has been a fool, but the foolish man thinks that he is wise. 

So how do I keep from depending on my money instead of my God?  The answer is to always ask God how to spend every penny.  Give all your money to God and then when you buy a loaf of bread you can praise God for giving you the money to purchase it.  Then like the poor woman whose oil never ran out, you can see the Hand of God caring for your every need!

"Lord Jesus, I give it all to You and I trust You, Lord to provide for everything I need.  And Lord I need wisdom more than anything else.  May You be praised forever! Amen."

Monday, July 7, 2014

Let Your Love Grow!


I know everything you have done, including your hard work and how you have endured. I know you won't put up with anyone who is evil. When some people pretended to be apostles, you tested them and found out they were liars. You have endured and gone through hard times because of me, yet you have not given up.

But I do have something against you! And it is this: You don't have as much love as you used to.

Revelation 2:2-4

When I was just a toddler my mother taught me a "bantering of words" game. She would ask me "How much do you love me?" And I would answer "More than words can tell!" Then I would ask her the same question and she would give the same answer. Love is alive and as a living reality, love grows. The longer real love exists the bigger it gets!

These verses from Revelation 2 clearly point out that if your love is not growing then you do have a serious problem. So when Jesus asks you, "How much do you love Me?" your answer must be "More than words can tell" but your answer must also be a life that reveals a growing love for Jesus!

Like a beautiful rose bush, a growing love produces buds of promise that bloom into the gorgeous flowers of spring and summer. Don't forget that the roses on even an ancient rose bush are as fresh and new as the roses on a very young plant.

Love that grows is an exciting thing. When love between a young man and a young woman grows everyone can see the buds of spring beginning to bloom. When your love for Jesus grows it is the same. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ you are not only a disciple of Jesus, you are His "loved one!" "Jesus loves me, this I know!" And today I can let my mind and heart ponder the beauty of the One I love!

"Jesus, You are the Love of my life! You are everything I have ever needed! You are the totality of all my desires! May my love for You grow even more as I walk through this day! Amen."

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Listen to Your John the Baptist!

2012-12-17 02.33.31

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John will lead many people in Israel to turn back to the Lord their God.  He will go ahead of the Lord with the same power and spirit that Elijah had. And because of John, parents will be more thoughtful of their children. And people who now disobey God will begin to think as they ought to. This is how John will get people ready for the Lord.

Luke 1:16-17

How do you get ready for The Lord to come into your life?  The job of John the Baptist was to prepare the way for The Lord.  Those who  listened to John began to think as they ought to and were ready to follow Jesus. 

Wrong thinking will keep you from Jesus!  Also, when you are disobedient to God you will not be thoughtful of your children.  But when you are seeking to follow God and be obedient to His commands, you will also focus your heart on the well being of your children.

Is the ministry of John the Baptist a "one time" thing, or is there a "John the Baptist" today for each of us.  I believe there is a "ministry" of challenging my "wrong thinking" and pulling me back toward the "truth" which makes my heart ready to accept Jesus!

All pursuit of the truth will ultimately end at the feet of Jesus.  Jesus is the truth.  Satan is the father of lies and will have nothing to do with the truth. 

"Thank You Jesus for using John the Baptist to turn our hearts to God.  You Lord Jesus are the Way, the Truth, and the Life!  Amen."

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Turn Back Before the Trouble Comes!



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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.

2 Chronicles 15:3-5

When you pray for revival are you really praying for trouble to come your way? When "all is well" with our lives we are tempted to forget about God, but when things go bad, even the most ungodly of us often cry out "Oh God!" Calling on God in time of crisis is almost a "knee jerk" reaction. We do it without even thinking. But calling on God in times of peace and plenty is a deliberate action of faith.

So as the "good times roll" focus your heart on God and call out to Him as if the world were about to come to an end! And you should do that because even as things are all at peace, your world may indeed be at the brink of destruction. God is not a catastrophic insurance policy there for the purpose of keeping you out of Hell. Calling out to God when circumstances couldn't be better is the wisest thing any man can do.

When desperate times come you should always turn to God first, but you will be especially blessed if you can turn to Him as a Friend who has always been there!

"Lord Jesus, help me to turn my heart to You today as if the world were about to come to an end! So that when it does, I will already be clinging tightly to You! And may You, Jesus be praised forever. Amen."

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

How Can God Forget?


2013-05-18 06.43.45

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“When the time comes,

I will make an agreement

with them.

I will write my laws

on their minds and hearts.


Then I will forget

about their sins

and no longer remember

their evil deeds.”


When sins are forgiven, there is no more need to offer sacrifices.

Hebrews 10:16-18

As most folks do, as I grow older I am getting much better at forgetting!  I can forget appointments, grocery lists, and I am especially good at forgetting why I just now went to the garage and what I was planning on getting!  Somehow I have always thought that my forgetfulness was a bad thing, but maybe not!

Almighty God forgets the sins and evil deeds of those who have made an agreement with Him through the Blood of Jesus!  So perhaps being able to forget is a Godly characteristic!  Notice that God does not say that He pretends to forget our sins!  He doesn't act as if our sins never happened!  The God of Heaven and earth who knows "everything there is" will not remember our sins!  I think that means that the Blood of Jesus obliterates our sins from the timeline of history! 

When God forgets your sin, there is then no record of it ever happening!  Again, God knows everything, so if God cannot remember your sin then it does not exist!  That is pretty mind boggling.

But what about the sins that I can remember?  What do I do about them?  The answer is simple.  Bring your sins to the Cross of Jesus and leave them there and then be Godly about it and forget them!  Live today as if you had never, ever sinned before and as if sin is the farthest thing from your mind!  When you are tempted to sin, recognize that your life is untouched by the stain of sin and that sinning is something you do not want to happen! 

All have sinned, for sure, but the power of the Blood of Jesus is beyond anyone's imagination in it's ability to deal with sin in your life! 

"What can wash away my sin?  Nothing but the Blood of Jesus!"  And then God forgets that I ever even sinned! 

"Lord Jesus, may You be praised forever for Your power to wipe out sin from the lives of those who come to You.  And may all Glory be Yours throughout Eternity!   Amen."