Sunday, August 31, 2014

Cleanliness and Godliness!

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So let's come near God with pure hearts and a confidence that comes from having faith. Let's keep our hearts pure, our consciences free from evil, and our bodies washed with clean water.

Hebrews 10:22

There are lots of misunderstandings about the what the Bible really says.  I suppose many of them have to do with "sins" that are recognized by groups of Christians, but are things about which the Bible is silent.  One of the most common prohibitions when I was young was "dancing."  It was widely accepted as a sin for a man to dance with a woman who was not his wife. The issue of course was lust not dancing, and the truth is you can dance without lusting and you can lust without dancing!

But the one that I always thought was a "made up" admonition from scripture was "cleanliness is next to Godliness."  I always thought it was just a way to get a kid to take a bath when he didn't want to.  But look again at Hebrews 10:22 which says "Let's keep our hearts pure, our consciences free from evil, and our bodies washed with clean water."  There it is!  Cleanliness does have something to do with Godliness.

You may have noticed that when a person with bad hygiene comes to know Jesus, his or her personal grooming will improve!  Physical filth does go hand in hand with spiritual filth!  This process is sometimes called "Redemption and lift."  When you are redeemed your standards for living, including personal hygiene are lifted up as well.

Here though is the bottom line.  Cleanliness is a result of Godliness, not the other way around.  Just because you are neat and clean does not mean that you are living a Godly life.  But if you do turn your heart to Jesus Christ, your life will be changed spiritually and physically.

"Thank You Jesus for washing me with Your Blood so that I may be clean in the eyes of the Father.  And may You be praised forever.  Amen."

Friday, August 29, 2014

Is the End Near?

 

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Look and be amazed

at what's happening

among the nations!

Even if you were told,

you would never believe

what's taking place now.

Habakkuk 1:5

Yes of course I am taking this verse "out of context."  But the principle is sound and extremely important at this time in history!  The nations of the world are in turmoil and distress.  The financial stability of the world is being questioned on every hand and may be on the brink of an unprecedented collapse.  Those who hold that Christianity is a false religion are multiplying as they seek to destroy all who call on the name of Jesus!  And leaders with common sense are rare!

It certainly seems that a major shift in the "world as we know it" is at hand.  Will this shift be the End of Days or just another major marker on the time line of history? 

We cannot know for sure where we stand in relation to the End, but we can know Jesus who stands at every point on the road that leads from the Garden of Eden through the Garden of Gethsemane to the Glories of Heaven!  

Two thousand years ago Jesus told His disciples that He was going away and that they could not go with Him at that time.  Then Jesus said "DON'T LET YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED!"  Still today, those words remind us that trusting Jesus is the only place of peace and rest, even when the world is falling apart!  When you are holding on to Jesus Christ even death cannot harm you.

"Lord Jesus, help me today to hold Your hand and to trust that no matter what happens in the world around me, or even to me, that all is well!  Jesus I long to see Your glorious face.  Come quickly, Lord.  Amen."

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Cry for Justice!

 

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If you hire poor people to work for you, don't hold back their pay, whether they are Israelites or foreigners who live in your town. Pay them their wages at the end of each day, because they live in poverty and need the money to survive. If you don't pay them on time, they will complain about you to the Lord, and he will punish you.

Deuteronomy 24:14-15

In the streets of a town near St. Louis, Missouri you can hear the cry for justice! After a young man was killed during a confrontation with a police officer the local community and many people from around the country marched, rallied, looted, rioted and demanded justice! Absent from their cry was a demand for TRUTH! And the justice they demanded apparently did not have to reflect the truth in order to satisfy their desires.


Many years ago a co-worker threatened me with a knife while I was a work. I was able to get away unharmed, but I immediately wanted to report the problem and "get him fired!" When I prayed, I decided to leave the matter in the hands of God for whatever justice He decided was appropriate. Within three days the man was caught lying and was fired! This man taught me a valuable lesson! When you see the need for justice in the world around you call out to God and leave the matter with Him! His justice is awesome and relieves you of the burden of trying to avenge yourself!


I remember as a child the ultimate threat of my mother was "I will tell your father when he gets home!" That always turned me into an obedient child almost immediately. The justice of my father was not a pleasant prospect.


The justice of God is a very sobering reality. God sees everything, so His justice is certainly fair, but if you are the target of God's justice it is also frightening! Remember, that what we all need from God is MERCY not JUSTICE!


"Lord Jesus, I lay all my desire to get revenge with others at Your feet and ask that You give them Your Mercy rather than Justice! Help me to rest in the forgiveness and mercy that You meet out to all men who turn to You! And may You be praised forever. Amen."

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Only One I Need!

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We are people of flesh and blood. This is why Jesus became one of us. He died to destroy the devil, who had power over death. But he also died to rescue all of us who live each day in fear of dying.   Jesus clearly did not come to help angels, but he did come to help Abraham's descendants.  He had to be one of us, so he could serve God as our merciful and faithful high priest and sacrifice himself for the forgiveness of our sins.   And now that Jesus has suffered and was tempted, he can help anyone else who is tempted.

Hebrews 2:14-18

Are you afraid of dying? The fear of death makes perfect sense if you are under the control of Satan because death will usher you into the pits of Hell! The "Blessed Assurance" of knowing Jesus Christ is that death will bring you into the Glorious presence of the Lord, and you will remain with Him forever!


There are some followers of Jesus who will not have to die at all. They are the ones that are still alive when He returns. According to the Bible it will be a time when there is much trouble in the world, and then without warning and in the blink of an eye, history itself will transform into the new reality that "Jesus Has Returned."


Until Jesus returns the Devil will try to make you fear death again and will make sure that you are bombarded with temptations! Remember, Jesus came to destroy Satan and the work that the Evil One does. So Jesus takes away your fear of death and helps you with your temptations!


The next time you are tempted to sin or become afraid of death again, call on the Name of Jesus. Say it out loud!


"Jesus, I know because of Your death I do not have to fear dying. And Lord, when I am tempted You are the only one who can help! Lord, You are the only one I need here on earth now and forever! Amen."

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sing With Heaven’s Choir!

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Then I heard all beings in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and in the sea offer praise. Together, all of them were saying,

“Praise, honor, glory,

and strength

forever and ever

to the one who sits

on the throne

and to the Lamb!”

Revelation 5:13

This verse refers to an amazing reality that we almost always overlook! When you sing praises to God here on earth it may be that all the beings in Heaven are singing with you!

Now frankly, I've got to pause and ponder that for a minute. When I praise God even while taking a shower, all of God's creation that now dwell in Heaven may be raising their voices to join me in praising Him!


The Bible does not say that this always happens, but it does say that it happens! Heaven and earth join together to sing adulation and praise to God!


This truth leaves me with four options when it comes to praising God. I can praise God alone with no one else joining in my worship of the Father. I can praise God with others here on this earth. Also, I can ask God to reveal to me what song is being sung before His throne so that I can join in with Heaven's singing. And finally, I can choose a song of praise and humbly ask God if Heaven could join me in bringing praise before His throne!


So when the worship in song in your fellowship is especially glorious, it may be that Heaven itself is joining you in praising God! Even the possibility of Heaven joining in with our worship makes me want to be there on time or even early, and makes me want to praise God as a regular part of every day!

"Lord Jesus, thank You for letting me know that I am part of the praise of Heaven. I don't have to wait to lift my voice in praise in Your hallowed throne room. And may I always be part of Heaven's Choir as we praise Your Name forever. Amen."

Friday, August 22, 2014

Lose Your Head for Jesus!

 

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I saw thrones, and sitting on those thrones were the ones who had been given the right to judge. I also saw the souls of the people who had their heads cut off because they had told about Jesus and preached God's message. They were the same ones who had not worshiped the beast or the idol, and they had refused to let its mark be put on their foreheads or hands. They will come to life and rule with Christ for 1,000 years.

Revelation 20:4

As the Second Coming of Jesus Christ approaches, one predicted means of persecution is rearing it's ugly head! Those who stand in direct opposition to Jesus are using decapitation as a means of execution, and are making video recordings available to the whole world of the gruesome practice!


The very sobering reality is that if you are a follower of Jesus Christ and you refuse to renounce Jesus when confronted by His enemies, you may indeed become a victim of this terrible fate!


Here is an awesome Truth: God will either deliver you from becoming a Martyr or He will deliver you by letting you lose your head for Jesus! Either way as a follower of Jesus Christ you will be delivered!


In the English language saying that someone has "lost his head" may also mean that he is following a path without any regard to practical restraints. That is what every Christian must do in their walk with Jesus here on earth. That means that every follower of Jesus will lose his or her head one way or the other!


Which way is harder? Frankly, staying alive on this earth as you lose your head for Jesus is the harder of the two paths. When you are killed for your faith you are immediately "absent from the body and then present with the Lord."


Of course, you will not seek to become a martyr, but if it comes to you remember that what the enemies of Jesus intend to be a curse will in an instant become the doorway to Eternal Blessings in Heaven!


"Lord Jesus, I will see You soon, either when You come back to earth or I go to Heaven to be with You forever! Help me today to be willing to lose my head for You! Praise Your Holy Name forever! Amen."

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Speak Only God’s Words About Israel!

 

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Balaam said:

“King Balak of Moab brought me

from the hills of Syria

to curse Israel

and announce its doom.

 

But I can't go against God!

He did not curse

or condemn Israel.

 

“From the mountain peaks,

I look down and see Israel,

the obedient people of God.

 

They are living alone in peace.

And though they are many,

they don't bother

the other nations.

“I hope to obey God

for as long as I live

and to die in such peace.”

Numbers 23:7-10 (CEV)

King Balak hired Balaam to pronounce a curse on Israel.  The whole story includes the episode of God giving Balaam's donkey the ability to see an Angel and to speak to Balaam about it.  Even though Balaam was not himself a Jew, he was determined only to speak the words that God gave him to speak.

Around the world today there are many people speaking words of condemnation for Israel.  And the number of people who are willing to bless Israel with their words seems to be growing smaller every day.  Even the United States has become very critical of Israel. 

Today, men and women of God are tempted to join the crowd in cursing Israel.  If you listen to or watch the international media, Israel is described as an "aggressor and occupier" instead of the victim of relentless terrorist attacks and missiles. 

Heed the warning of the story of Balaam.  Don't pronounce curses on Israel.  Only speak the words that God gives you to speak about Israel.  The description of Israel in Numbers 23:10 is still accurate today:

"They are living alone in peace.  And though they are many, they don't bother other nations."

"Lord Jesus help me today to speak only Your words about Israel, and yes Lord about everything else.  May my mouth be a place for You to use to speak the words that You desire others to hear!  And may You be praised forever. Amen."

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Language of the Spirit!

 

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Dear friends, don't believe everyone who claims to have the Spirit of God. Test them all to find out if they really do come from God. Many false prophets have already gone out into the world, and you can know which ones come from God. His Spirit says that Jesus Christ had a truly human body.  But when someone doesn't say this about Jesus, you know this person has a spirit that doesn't come from God and is the enemy of Christ. You knew this enemy was coming into the world and now is already here.

Children, you belong to God, and you have defeated these enemies. God's Spirit is in you and is more powerful than the one who is in the world.  These enemies belong to this world, and the world listens to them, because they speak its language.  We belong to God, and everyone who knows God will listen to us. But the people who don't know God won't listen to us. This is how we can tell the Spirit that speaks the truth from the one that tells lies.

1 John 4:1-6

Have you ever tried to talk to someone who doesn't understand your language?  You probably start by using gestures and objects to define individual words.  You may be able to communicate that you are hungry or thirsty, but to have an in depth dialogue is virtually impossible if they don't know your language. 

The world does not understand the language of the Spirit of God.  When they hear a Christian talk about Jesus Christ and the ways of God it all seems like meaningless sounds. 

Some Christians think that evangelism happens when they teach the language of the Spirit to non-believers.  In doing that people without faith learn doctrines and concepts that do not apply to their lives because they have never decided to let Jesus be their Lord!

Don't spend your life teaching spiritual words to non-spiritual people.  Just as people at the time of the Tower of Babel learned a new language in an instant, God will give the language of the Spirit to those who turn their hearts to Him!  Suddenly, they will read the Bible and be able to understand things that made no sense before! 

"Lord Jesus, increase the size of my spiritual vocabulary today!  Help me to understand more of You and the things of God by listening to Your Words. Thank You for teaching me the language of the Spirit.  And may You be praised forever! Amen."

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Drones of the Beast!

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The beast was worshiped by everyone whose name wasn't written before the time of creation in the book of the Lamb who was killed.

If you have ears,
then listen!
If you are doomed
to be captured,
you will be captured.
If you are doomed
to be killed by a sword,
you will be killed
by a sword.

This means God's people must learn to endure and be faithful!

I now saw another beast. This one came out of the ground. It had two horns like a lamb, but spoke like a dragon. It worked for the beast whose fatal wound had been healed. And it used all its authority to force the earth and its people to worship that beast. It worked mighty miracles, and while people watched, it even made fire come down from the sky.

Revelation 13:8-13

God clearly says that there will be a time when people will worship someone who is wicked and evil and might truly be called a "beast." If you want to avoid worshiping this "beast," you don't have to identify him. All you have to do is never worship anyone except Jesus Christ and you will certainly not worship the beast.

The "beast" will  like drones, or something like drones because he will be able to make fire come down from the sky! In an attempt to be like God the beast will be able to rain down fire like God did on Sodom and Gomorrah. The beast will meet out judgment on those who oppose him.

Remember as the troubles in this world increase men and women will be tempted to trust in one man to lead them back to peace and security. Unless that man is Jesus the hope that he brings will end in death and Hell.

"Lord Jesus send Your fire, not to destroy me but to burn brightly in my heart! I worship You because there is no hope in this world except in You, Jesus. Come quickly, Lord Jesus! Amen."












Saturday, August 16, 2014

Trouble Will Boil!

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Someday you will see that “Horrible Thing” where it should not be. Everyone who reads this must try to understand! If you are living in Judea at that time, run to the mountains. If you are on the roof of your house, don't go inside to get anything. If you are out in the field, don't go back for your coat. It will be an awful time for women who are expecting babies or nursing young children. Pray that it won't happen in winter. This will be the worst time of suffering since God created the world, and nothing this terrible will ever happen again. If the Lord doesn't make the time shorter, no one will be left alive. But because of his chosen and special ones, he will make the time shorter.

Mark 13:14-20

The Bible goes on to say that this terrible time of suffering will be right before the return of Jesus! So when "all hell breaks loose" on this earth it is time to be patient and trust that Jesus may soon be here. Do we know for sure that the return of Jesus is near today? No we do not, but on the other hand we do not know that, as an old song said, "He might be standing up right now to give the call and end it all!"

If you are not ready for the return of Jesus, then what should you do? First of all you must repent of your sin and turn your heart to Jesus. Giving your heart to someone or something other than Jesus Christ is eternal suicide.

Forget about being religious. Forget about doing good deeds so that other men will be impressed with your life. Turn your heart and your thoughts to Jesus and become consumed with the fact that Jesus is with you always! Never complain about how bad things are here on this earth and remember that just before Jesus returns things will be very very bad. Like never before the trouble will boil and then without warning Jesus will return!

"Lord Jesus, things are bad here on earth today and they seem to be getting worse all the time. Could this be the time when we will see You come with the clouds? If it is then Lord come quickly! If this is not the time, help us to be patient as we wait for that day to come. But either way, we praise Your Name and look to the sky and wait for Your return! Amen."

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Foolish National Leaders!

 

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A country is in for trouble

when its ruler is childish,

and its leaders

party all day long.

But a nation will prosper

when its ruler is mature,

and its leaders

don't party too much.

Ecclesiastes 10:16-17

There is a Bible verse that says that God looks on the heart of a man, not on what he appears to be on the outside.


Your national leaders may be impressive looking when they appear before the cameras, but if they are empty of the wisdom that comes from God you know that your country is in for trouble! The annals of history are filled with the stories of countries that crumbled and were ultimately destroyed because of the foolishness of their handsome and beautiful leaders!


The warning for you and for me is this: Don't be pulled out to sea by the rip currents of your unrighteous culture as you swim innocently near the shore! No matter how corrupt and evil a nation becomes, Godly men and women can remain faithful to God even if it means that they must give up their lives to do so! The Bible even mentions a special blessing for those who are killed in the Book of Revelation.


"Lord Jesus, my nation is not walking in the wisdom that can only come from You. We are turning ourselves over to corruption and sin and we need to repent! But Lord, even if my country continues to turn from righteousness, please hold me close to You and help me today to walk only in Your ways! May Your Holy Name be praised forever. Amen."

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Bible’s Last Words!

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Here is my warning for everyone who hears the prophecies in this book:

If you add anything to them, God will make you suffer all the terrible troubles written in this book.  If you take anything away from these prophecies, God will not let you have part in the life-giving tree and in the holy city described in this book.
The one who has spoken these things says, “I am coming soon!”

So, Lord Jesus, please come soon!

I pray that the Lord Jesus will be kind to all of you.

Revelation 22:18-21

Those are the Words that bring the New Testament to an end. They include the last recorded Words of Jesus Christ which are simply, "I am coming soon!" We are also sternly warned not to add to or take away from the written Word of God.

When we ignore something that God's Word clearly says then we are taking that thing away from the Word of God. And when we require of ourselves and even others something that God's Word does not require we "add to" the Bible!

The consequences of both of these are bad, but taking away something from the Word of God, according to these verses seems to be the worst! When you edit God's Word to suit your own personal opinions and remove things that God has said, it says here that He removes your right to eat of the Tree of Life and be a part of those who dwell in Heaven!

When you add to the Word of God you will suffer all of the terrible troubles written about in the Book of Revelation! But, it does not say that God will keep you from eating of the Tree of Life!

So the warning for me is this: Don't take the Word of God lightly! It is not simply a story book about Jesus which gives us a "general idea" of what God would like from those who choose to follow Jesus. Determine to put God's Word into your heart and hold on to all of it! Many people feel that they must "understand" the Bible before they believe what it says. But, for those who follow Jesus, understanding often follows belief! If God said a thing, then choose to believe what He said whether or not you understand it.

"Lord Jesus, by Your Word You created all things when You spoke them into being. Help me to hold on tightly to Your Word so that my life will be Re-Created in Your image! And may You be praised forever. Amen."





Monday, August 11, 2014

Terrible Times!

 

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You look forward to the day

when the Lord comes to judge.

But you are in for trouble!

It won't be a time of sunshine;

all will be darkness.

 

You will run from a lion,

only to meet a bear.

You will escape to your house,

rest your hand on the wall,

and be bitten by a snake.

 

The day when the Lord judges

will be dark, very dark,

without a ray of light.

Amos 5:18-20

Are you looking forward to the Day when the Lord comes to judge the world? I have heard many people say that they long for His coming and I have said that myself. But before He arrives it will be terrible!


It is like a soon to be mother who longs for the baby to arrive, but is not anxious to experience the labor pains that always come before birth. When our first baby arrived I lost all my joy about the coming child during the time my wife was in hard labor. Frankly, it was horrible!


As I write these words the world seems to be spiraling out of control. Turmoil and trouble are growing worse every day, all around the world! Darkness is growing and sunshine is fading fast. World leaders act like school children, playing a game while evil bullies are taking control.


My wife told me not to look at the pictures, but I did anyway. Children are being beheaded because their families are Christians. Men and women who will not renounce Christianity are being killed. And at this point the resistance to this murderous evil is weak at best.


As you experience the labor pains of the earth about to give birth to the return of Jesus Christ, don't give up hope! Remember that the Bible said this would happen before Jesus returns.


Here is something good you can do every morning when you wake from sleep! Turn your heart back to God! If you can think of any sins, confess them and repent as you turn your life even more firmly in His direction. The labor pains will be very difficult even for Christians, but after all is done, Jesus is Lord!


"Lord Jesus, help me to hold tightly to You as the terrible times come, if these are the days just before Your return! And may You be praised now and forever! Amen."

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Who is the King?

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After John was arrested, Jesus went to Galilee and told the good news that comes from God.  He said, “The time has come! God's kingdom will soon be here. Turn back to God and believe the good news!”

Mark 1:14-15

What is the Kingdom of God? The term is used today to mean many different things. We often use the term "Kingdom of God" to refer to the Church as it exists around the world. But the Kingdom of God in my life is simple: God is the King and I am His subject!


I suppose it is harder to understand a "Kingdom" for those of us who live in "democracies" where the people can vote in or out their leaders. Since God is King, His Word is the final say in everything. Someone once said "God said it, I believe it, and that settles it!" But the truth is if "God said it, that settles it whether I believe it or not!"


When you choose to be part of God's Kingdom you defer your will to the Will of the King! When you are trying to determine which way to go in life, the overriding factor must be the Will of the King! Everything else is irrelevant. As human beings we consider factors like talent and ability, money and resources, and a thousand other practical issues that may mean nothing at all to God. If God wants to send you and sustain you on a path for which you have no human qualifications, then as a faithful subject of the King of kings, you must go that way!


Of course God often does use men and women in ways that take advantage of their natural abilities for His glory, but the direction of your life must come from the Will of God, not an aptitude test!


"Lord Jesus, give me the ears to hear every Word that comes from You, so that I will know which way to go today! And may You be praised forever! Amen."

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Lord Hates Lies!

 

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When your ancestors made me angry, I decided to punish you with disasters, and I didn't hold back.  Now you no longer need to be afraid. I have decided to treat Jerusalem and Judah with kindness.   But you must be truthful with each other, and in court you must give fair decisions that lead to peace.  Don't ever plan evil things against others or tell lies under oath. I, the Lord, hate such things.

Zechariah 8:14-17

I remember when lying was a very bad thing!  Truth was the "life-blood" of liberty, peace, and security in the country where I live.  When a man or woman was found out to be a liar the social consequences were pretty severe.  Having a reputation as a "truth teller" was extremely valuable.  But sadly, things have changed dramatically. Today, lying is part of the normal course of life for many, if not most people.

God hates lying, but in our rush to rebel against God we have made lying a norm in the Western world.  That Bible says that Satan is the father of lies, so those who would live their lives according to Satan's rules would naturally tell lies!

Remember, even a "little white lie" is still part of the "kingdom of Satan" and is not appropriate in the "kingdom of God!"  Telling the truth is not just a good thing, it is essential if you are a follower of Jesus Christ!  Watch everything you say today to make sure that you are not being used by Satan!  There are consequences for not telling the truth!

"Lord Jesus, I know that You hate lies.  Help me today to cling on to the truth in everything I think and say.  May there be no room in my heart for lies!  Praise Your name forever.  Amen."

Thursday, August 7, 2014

One Love!

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

1 John 2:15-17

Loving the world and loving God are mutually exclusive. If you love one you will not love the other! At least one of the reasons that God says marriage should be between one man and one woman for life is that their love is an earthly type of the love we have for God. The world and the Lord compete for your heart! You can only give your heart to one or the other.


How can I tell if I love the world or the Lord? What are the ways of identifying where you have given your allegiance? Spending time is perhaps the simplest test. How much time do you spend with the Lord and how much time with the things of the world? The one you love will have more of your time than the other.


Also when you love someone you will focus your mind and heart on knowing their desires. When you love the world you will know the trends, fashions and fads. When you love God you will know what He has said in His Word, not because it is God's command, but because it is God's desire!


Remember, as beautiful as the world is, it will pass away in the fires of Judgment. True eternal beauty is in knowing Jesus Christ.


"Lord Jesus, help me today to spend more time with You than I do with the things of this world. Invade my mind, heart, thoughts and even my dreams so that You will overwhelm me with Your Love! And may You be praised forever. Amen."

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Understanding or Love?

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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.  As God says in the Scriptures,

“I will destroy the wisdom

of all who claim

to be wise.

I will confuse those

who think they know

so much.”

What happened to those wise people? What happened to those experts in the Scriptures? What happened to the ones who think they have all the answers? Didn't God show that the wisdom of this world is foolish?  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.

1 Corinthians 1:18-21

The deep thinking of men and women we call "Theologians" may mean much to those who don't know Jesus Christ. But for simple minded believers who walk daily in the shadow of the Almighty and listen to the Holy Spirit, applying the human disciplines of education to the Word of God may seem at least curious and maybe even irrelevant.


When my brain is fully spent on the understanding of God I only touch a water droplet in a mighty rain storm! But when my heart embraces the Love of God and begins to radiate that same love to others I am experiencing the Essence of God Himself in my heart!


The Bible makes no educational or I.Q. requirement to be a follower of Jesus! There is no need even to be able to read or write. Simple faith and a daily walk with Jesus is all that is needed. Truthfully, even as a lot of money can make it hard to enter the Kingdom of Heaven an education can war against simple faith in God!


Don't substitute your education for your daily communion with Jesus!


A "great theologian" once said that the greatest truth of all is this: "Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so!"


"Lord Jesus, help me not to try to impress the world with my understanding of You. But help me Lord to melt their hearts with Your love for me and Your love for them working through me! Praise be to Your Name forever! Amen."

Monday, August 4, 2014

Must I Obey the King?

 

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Obey the rulers who have authority over you. Only God can give authority to anyone, and he puts these rulers in their places of power.  People who oppose the authorities are opposing what God has done, and they will be punished.  Rulers are a threat to evil people, not to good people. There is no need to be afraid of the authorities. Just do right, and they will praise you for it.  After all, they are God's servants, and it is their duty to help you.

If you do something wrong, you ought to be afraid, because these rulers have the right to punish you. They are God's servants who punish criminals to show how angry God is.

Romans 13:1-4 (CEV)

"God established" rulers are to be obeyed and they are a threat to evil people, not to good people! When God puts a ruler in power evil people are afraid because that ruler will punish evil and encourage right living!


So what do you do if a man calls himself a "ruler" but he is a threat to good people and he encourages evil? There are many who disagree with me on this, but I believe a man calling himself a ruler and exercising power ruthlessly is evidence that he was not put in power by God. God created all squirrels, but calling yourself a squirrel does not make you one!


Does God use evil men to accomplish His ultimate purposes? Of course, He does, but that does not mean that we must obey the unrighteous demands of an unrighteous impostor!


A God appointed leader will reflect the anger of God as he punishes criminals for their wrong doings. A God ordained ruler will not be feared by good men.


When the government makes laws that violate the clear Word of God we are obligated to refuse to obey those laws! It is not about the violation of our conscience and religious freedom. It is about the authority of God's Word and anyone who would oppose it! Obedience to God must come first in our lives.


Remember, on the Day of Judgment you will not stand before the President of your country or even the Supreme Court. On that Day you will stand before God Almighty and be judged by His Word alone!


"Lord Jesus, You are the only one to be obeyed and You are the only one to be feared! Give me the courage today to be true to Your Word no matter what the consequences. And may You be praised forever! Amen."

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Prince of Peace Agreement!

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Do I mean that the people of Israel fell, never to get up again? Certainly not! Their failure made it possible for the Gentiles to be saved, and this will make the people of Israel jealous.   But if the rest of the world's people were helped so much by their sin and loss, they will be helped even more by their full return.

Romans 11:11-12 (CEV)

Jesus was a Jew and He was subject to the law of Moses! No one before or since Jesus ever kept the law of God perfectly, but Jesus did. Jesus never needed to ask God for forgiveness. He never sinned! But in spite of Jesus doing everything that God required of a Jew His fellow Israelites rejected Him. But God worked, even through that for the ultimate salvation of those who would accept Jesus!


Many believe that these verses in Romans 11 are saying that there will be a time when the Jews will accept Jesus as the Messiah and turn their hearts to Him. It is well documented that hundreds of thousands of Muslims are accepting Christ, can the Jews be far behind?


Sometimes it is hard to see the true greatness of a man if you know him very well. Many Jews are still looking for the Messiah to come! Pray that God will open the eyes of the people of Israel to see that Jesus is the Messiah for whom they have been looking!


When Muslims and Jews both turn their hearts to Jesus there will be no more need for war! Pray for and trust God for the "PRINCE OF PEACE AGREEMENT" in the Middle East! Jesus brings peace to all our hearts!

"Lord Jesus, where there is war, bring peace. Where there is hatred bring love. Where there is sin bring righteousness and where there is despair bring hope! Come quickly Lord Jesus! Amen."

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Ebola and the Blood of Jesus!

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The Lord told Moses to get up early the next morning and say to the king:
The Lord God of the Hebrews commands you to let his people go, so they can worship him!   If you don't, he will send his worst plagues to strike you, your officials, and everyone else in your country. Then you will find out that no one can oppose the Lord.  In fact, he could already have sent a terrible disease and wiped you from the face of the earth.   But he has kept you alive, just to show you his power and to bring honor to himself everywhere in the world.
Exodus 9:13-16 (CEV)

The world is being confronted with what appears to be the largest Ebola outbreak since the disease was first identified in 1976 when more than 400 people died. The current report of Ebola deaths in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria is more than 700. So we all wait to see if the spread of the disease, which is fatal in at least half of the cases will be contained or will reach other parts of the world.

All disease comes as a result of the decision of man to rebel against God. If Adam and Eve had not sinned there would be no sickness. But as we live in this fallen world, God also provides wisdom for doctors to know how to use some of the substances He created as medicines to fight disease. All healing either comes from the miraculous intervention of God or the application of God's wisdom to man's sicknesses by doctors!

At this point we have not discovered a "medicine" that God created which will stop the Ebola Virus!

The prospect of a worldwide Ebola outbreak is frightening! Hundreds of millions could die and leave the rest in a world that has been pushed back to the Dark Ages!


But the world has already returned to the Dark Ages because of an OUTBREAK OF SIN! Unlike Ebola, Sin is always fatal unless the one sure cure is applied to the patient! The Blood of Jesus Christ is the only cure for Sin. And that cure works every time!

If you knew the cure for Ebola, you would be mobilized right now to spread the word! If you know Jesus Christ, then you know the cure for SIN! Spread the Word today about the Blood of Jesus!

"Lord Jesus, I do pray for those infected with the Ebola virus. Lord show us how You would have us put a halt to this deadly disease. But Lord, I also pray for those infected with Sin. Thank You Lord that Your Blood cures our SIN SICK lives! May You be praised forever. Amen."




Friday, August 1, 2014

You Remind Me of Jesus!

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My two witnesses will wear sackcloth, while I let them preach for 1,260 days.

These two witnesses are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand in the presence of the Lord who rules the earth.  Any enemy who tries to harm them will be destroyed by the fire that comes out of their mouths.   They have the power to lock up the sky and to keep rain from falling while they are prophesying. And whenever they want to, they can turn water to blood and cause all kinds of terrible troubles on earth.

After the two witnesses have finished preaching God's message, the beast that lives in the deep pit will come up and fight against them. It will win the battle and kill them.  Their bodies will be left lying in the streets of the same great city where their Lord was nailed to a cross. And this city is spiritually like the city of Sodom or the country of Egypt.

For three and a half days the people of every nation, tribe, language, and race will stare at the bodies of these two witnesses and refuse to let them be buried.  Everyone on earth will celebrate and be happy. They will give gifts to each other, because of what happened to the two prophets who caused them so much trouble.  But three and a half days later, God will breathe life into their bodies. They will stand up, and everyone who sees them will be terrified.

The witnesses then heard a loud voice from heaven, saying, “Come up here.” And while their enemies were watching, they were taken up to heaven in a cloud.   At that same moment there was a terrible earthquake that destroyed a tenth of the city. Seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were frightened and praised the God who rules in heaven.

Revelation 11:3-13

No, I don't know who these two witnesses are but I do know this: Their time on this earth has amazing parallels with the life of Jesus.  They are killed in Jerusalem and are dead a little more than three days before rising from the dead and being taken up to heaven in a cloud.  I suppose when this happens those who know the Book of Revelation will clearly identify the fulfillment of this prophecy.

But what about me?  How does my life parallel the life of Jesus Christ?  What can others see in me that reminds them of the experiences of Jesus?  Do others hear me asking God to forgive those who are persecuting, even crucifying me?  Do I depend on God for everything I need like Jesus did?  Am I  willing to offend all men as long as I don't offend the Father? 

Remember, without the life that Jesus lived His Words would just be a proclamation from Heaven.  But the life that Jesus lived shows us the truth of His Words.  Your life as well will show the world that what you say about Jesus is Truth! 

Don't forget that it was the physical body of Jesus that was crucified.  Our salvation was purchased with a physical body not by a theological understanding!  What Jesus did with His body made all the difference for all of us.  If you are a follower of Jesus others will be reminded of the life of Jesus when they see what you do each day!

"Lord Jesus, help me today to remind others of You.  Show me how to walk like You did as I face the problems of this day!  And may You be praised forever.  Amen."