Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Drunk on the Holy Spirit!

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You used to be like people living in the dark, but now you are people of the light because you belong to the Lord. So act like people of the light and make your light shine. Be good and honest and truthful, as you try to please the Lord. Don't take part in doing those worthless things that are done in the dark. Instead, show how wrong they are. It is disgusting even to talk about what is done in the dark. But the light will show what these things are really like. Light shows up everything, just as the Scriptures say,

“Wake up from your sleep
and rise from death.
Then Christ will shine on you.”

Act like people with good sense and not like fools.  These are evil times, so make every minute count. Don't be stupid. Instead, find out what the Lord wants you to do. Don't destroy yourself by getting drunk, but let the Spirit fill your life.  When you meet together, sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, as you praise the Lord with all your heart. Always use the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to thank God the Father for everything.

Ephesians 5:8-20

Being filled with the Holy Spirit can be compared to being drunk! Such a comparison is referenced by use of the term "spirits" when you speak of alcoholic beverages! Don't misunderstand, being drunk is not a good thing, but being filled with the Spirit is, in fact it is a very good thing!

When you are filled with wine you lose the ability to know precisely what you are doing. When you are filled with the Spirit the same thing is true. When you are filled with the Spirit you become a small gear in God's Eternal time piece. Your work is tremendously important in the eternal scheme of things, but from your perspective you cannot know really what you are doing!

When you are filled with wine those who are sober and near you can see that you are not responding appropriately to your human, physical circumstances. When you are drunk you may not move out of the way when the speeding train comes barreling down the tracks! When you are filled with the Spirit you respond to the Spirit and His leading and not the world around you. You may step off of the tracks if that is what the Spirit says, or you may stand there and let the train send you to glory!

When you are filled with wine you can relax and enjoy the moment. I suppose they named it the "Happy Hour" because drinking alcohol makes you "happy" even when things are bad. When you are filled with the Spirit of God you can sing and be happy like Paul and Silas did in a dungeon in the middle of the night. Remember on the day of Pentecost the crowd thought the followers of Jesus were drunk!

Drinking alcohol brings momentary and temporary relief from your troubles. But being filled with the Spirit permanently changes everything. When Jesus comes into your life, everything changes forever!

"Lord Jesus, help me to drink deeply of Your Spirit and not of the world's counterfeit. And may Your Name be praised forever. Amen."

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Have You Finished the Work?

Jesus knew that he had now finished his work. And in order to make the Scriptures come true, he said, “I am thirsty!”   A jar of cheap wine was there. Someone then soaked a sponge with the wine and held it up to Jesus' mouth on the stem of a hyssop plant.   After Jesus drank the wine, he said, “Everything is done!” He bowed his head and died.

John 19:28-30

What would your life be like if you finished all the work that God had prepared for you to do?  Not only was Jesus sinless in His life on this earth, but there was not one thing that God wanted Jesus to do that He overlooked or ignored!

For me to be like Jesus, I must not only avoid sin in my life, but I must also listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit and set myself about "doing my Father's business!"  Every prompting of the Spirit in my life carries with it the weight of Heaven, even if it seems small and insignificant here on earth.

When you look back on your life you can see how seemingly unimportant decisions and steps resulted in a change in direction for your life that had a major impact!  When those decisions and steps are prompted by the Holy Spirit the change is good.  When they are from your own lusts and pride the direction is bad!

That is why it is crucial that you put every thought, word and deed to the test of "is this what God wants me to do?"  When you come to the end of each day you can then say that you have finished the work that God had for you to do on that day of your life!

"Lord Jesus, help me to be like You in doing everything You want me to do.  No matter how small it seems, I want to finish the work that You have for me today!  And may You be praised forever!  Amen."

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Tested by Praise!


Gold and silver are tested

in a red-hot furnace,

but we are tested by praise.

Proverbs 27:21

A wise man once told me to carefully consider criticism and to ignore praise.  He said that your downfall commences  when you begin to believe all the good things other people say about you.  He also helped me to learn that those who tell you your faults give you stepping stones to later success.

No one sees you as you really are except You and God, and often even you are deceived about your own life!  What other people think of you is never an accurate assessment of who you are. 

There is only one way to know yourself, and that is by seeing the reflection of your own life in the Word of God.  The Bible will speak to every issue.  If there is any appropriate praise for your life, let it come from God and let His rebuke be the motivation for change. 

You see it really makes no difference what other people think of you.  Spending time trying to win the approval of men is surely a waist of time, but living your life with the approval of God as your goal is exceedingly wise!

"Lord Jesus, help me today to pass the test of praise and look only to You and Your Word to evaluate my own life!   Thank You Jesus!  Amen."

Friday, September 26, 2014

Stones and Arrows!

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In fact, anyone who belongs to Christ Jesus and wants to live right will have trouble from others.  But evil people who pretend to be what they are not will become worse than ever, as they fool others and are fooled themselves.

Keep on being faithful to what you were taught and to what you believed. After all, you know who taught you these things.  Since childhood, you have known the Holy Scriptures that are able to make you wise enough to have faith in Christ Jesus and be saved.

2 Timothy 3:12-15

The fact that you will be persecuted as a follower of Jesus Christ is certain.  Along with your walk with Jesus comes the stones and arrows of the world trying to do you in.  They are enemies of Christ and following Him makes you their enemy as well. 

So how should you respond to those who want to make trouble for you or even want to cut off your head?  Opposition from the world is a sure sign that you are not with them in their rebellion against God!  If the world loves you and likes the message you preach, you have much to worry about!  Why would those who are enemies of God be friends with a man or woman who is filled with the Holy Spirit and walking daily in response to God's leading?  The offensive message of the Gospel only becomes sweet and precious when a man's heart is convicted and he turns from his sin to embrace the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is then that he feels the love of Jesus and the grace of God!

Don't be angry at the world for opposing you as a follower of Jesus.  Instead rejoice and be glad that even the world around you confirms the destination of your life! 

"Lord Jesus, give me the strength and courage today to stand strong for You even while the world causes me trouble.  And may You be praised now and forever.  Amen."

Thursday, September 25, 2014

You Are The Temple!

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The Lord All-Powerful had said to them and to the people:

You say this isn't the right time to build a temple for me. But is it right for you to live in expensive houses, while my temple is a pile of ruins? Just look at what's happening. You harvest less than you plant, you never have enough to eat or drink, your clothes don't keep you warm, and your wages are stored in bags full of holes.

Think about what I have said!  But first, go to the hills and get wood for my temple, so I can take pride in it and be worshiped there.  You expected much, but received only a little. And when you brought it home, I made that little disappear. Why have I done this? It's because you hurry off to build your own houses, while my temple is still in ruins. That's also why the dew doesn't fall and your harvest fails. And so, at my command everything will become barren—your farmland and pastures, your vineyards and olive trees, your animals and you yourselves. All your hard work will be for nothing.

Haggai 1:2-11

I suppose if I were wanting to encourage someone to build an expensive church building I would refer to these verses in the Book of Haggai. But these words are about rebuilding the Temple not a church building.

Today the "Temple" is the body in which you live if you are a follower of Jesus. The Bible clearly says that my body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit. The earliest "church building" may have been some 200 years after Jesus died.

Church buildings are simply places that Christians gather to worship the Lord, but they are not a temple. As the Temple of the Holy Spirit you have the opportunity to honor and worship God all day, every day. In fact, the Holy Spirit dwells in you! So even as the Lord was Glorified by the Temple in Jerusalem, He is given Glory today by the life that you live because the Holy Spirit is in you!

There is no verse in the New Testament that encourages Christians to build Church buildings. But every verse is focused on how you live as the Temple of the Holy Spirit!

"Lord Jesus, help me today to be a life where the Holy Spirit is comfortable. May every word, thought and action I take be consistent with Your will for this day. And may You be praised forever! Amen."

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Isaiah 24!

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The Lord is going to twist the earth out of shape and turn it into a desert. Everyone will be scattered, including ordinary people and priests, slaves and slave owners, buyers and sellers, lenders and borrowers, the rich and the poor.  The earth will be stripped bare and left that way. This is what the Lord has promised.

The earth wilts away; its mighty leaders melt to nothing.

The earth is polluted because its people disobeyed the laws of God, breaking their agreement that was to last forever.

The earth is under a curse; its people are dying out because of their sins.

Grapevines have dried up: wine is almost gone— mournful sounds are heard instead of joyful shouts.

No one plays tambourines or stringed instruments; all noisy celebrating has come to an end.

They no longer sing as they drink their wine, and it tastes sour.

Towns are crushed and in chaos; houses are locked tight.

Happy times have disappeared from the earth, and people shout in the streets, “We're out of wine!”

Cities are destroyed; their gates are torn down.

Nations will be stripped bare, like olive trees or vineyards after the harvest season.

Praise the God of Justice

People in the west shout; they joyfully praise the majesty of the Lord.

And so, everyone in the east and those on the islands should praise the Lord, the God of Israel.

From all over the world songs of praise are heard for the God of justice.

But I feel awful, terribly miserable. Can anyone be trusted? So many are treacherous! There's No Escape

Terror, traps, and pits are waiting for everyone.

If you are terrified and run, you will fall into a pit; if you crawl out of the pit, you will get caught in a trap. The sky has split apart like a window thrown open. The foundations of the earth have been shaken; the earth is shattered, ripped to pieces.

It staggers and shakes like a drunkard or a hut in a windstorm. It is burdened down with sin; the earth will fall, never again to get up.

On that day the Lord will punish the powers in the heavens and the kings of the earth.

He will put them in a pit and keep them prisoner. Then later on, he will punish them.

Both the moon and sun will be embarrassed and ashamed. The Lord All-Powerful will rule on Mount Zion in Jerusalem, where he will show its rulers his wonderful glory.



Monday, September 22, 2014

Both Words and Heart!


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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.

This second beast fooled people on earth by working miracles for the first one. Then it talked them into making an idol in the form of the beast that did not die after being wounded by a sword. It was allowed to put breath into the idol, so it could speak. Everyone who refused to worship the idol of the beast was put to death.

Revelation 13:11-15

Convert or die! That is the choice given to many people when they encounter one major religion in the world today. A man's religion is a matter of the heart and not just a matter of the mouth! How foolish for anyone to think that speaking words that are obviously a lie will change your heart. I can go around all day repeating a lie, but that will not change the lie into the truth.

In these verses in the book of Revelation we see that men and women were killed for refusing to worship, not for refusing to speak the words. A hundred people may be all gathered together in a church building and singing songs of worship, but only one person may be truly worshiping God! Worship comes first from the heart and then the words come out of the mouth. Words that don't come from the heart cannot be worship!

If however, the fear of death causes you to abandon your faith in God and you worship the beast, you have a serious problem.

One major issue today with the Church is that we have filled our pews with people who are willing to speak the words of conversion, but their hearts are far from God.

"Lord Jesus, give me the courage never to deny You, no matter what the threat. Guard my heart with Your great love! And may You be praised and worshiped forever! Amen."

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Every Wave that Rocks Your Boat



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Praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is so good, and by raising Jesus from death, he has given us new life and a hope that lives on.  God has something stored up for you in heaven, where it will never decay or be ruined or disappear.

You have faith in God, whose power will protect you until the last day. Then he will save you, just as he has always planned to do.  On that day you will be glad, even if you have to go through many hard trials for a while.  Your faith will be like gold that has been tested in a fire. And these trials will prove that your faith is worth much more than gold that can be destroyed. They will show that you will be given praise and honor and glory when Jesus Christ returns.

1 Peter 1:3-7

Is there trouble in your life?  Are "unexpected" problems a part of your every day experience?  Does it seem that there is no let up in difficulties?  And many of the things that go wrong are no fault of your own. 

These "bad things" in your life are doing something good!  Like gold that is purified by fire your faith is made better by the things that you suffer.  Every wave that rocks your boat gives you another opportunity to trust God a little more! 

And also like waves on the sea, troubles do come one after another while the storm is raging!  Are there times of peace, when troubles come but not so often?  Yes, of course there are.  But while you live on this earth the storms of life will come and your faith will grow even though Satan is trying to destroy it! 

"Lord Jesus, I know that no matter how rough the seas of this life become, You will keep me safe in Your arms now and forever!  Amen."

Friday, September 19, 2014

Noah’s Blessings!

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But without faith no one can please God. We must believe that God is real and rewards everyone who searches for him.

Because Noah had faith, he was warned about something that had not yet happened. He obeyed and built a boat that saved him and his family. In this way the people of the world were judged, and Noah was given the blessings that come to everyone who pleases God.

Hebrews 11:6-7

Is God pleased with your life? First of all, for God to be pleased with your life, you must have faith in Him. Of course, that means that you trust God in every situation. You must trust Him when times are bad, and you must trust God when everything is going well! It is often harder to trust God in good times than when things are going wrong.

If you have faith and please God then He will give you the same blessings that He gave Noah. How did God bless Noah and how can those blessings be available to me as well?

Because God was pleased with Noah's life He warned Noah about the Flood that was coming and He told Noah how to be saved from it!

If your life pleases God, He will also warn you about things that have not yet happened. And He will tell you how to build an ark so that you might be saved. Does this mean that you will not suffer here on this earth? Of course not. Noah's life was certainly blessed by God, but was also filled with adversity and suffering as he struggled to obey God.

Noah's blessing was that he would not be destroyed with the rest of the world and that through Noah all men yet to be born would be given the opportunity to live! Noah's pleasing life to God was and is a continued blessing to every man who is alive today!

Make it your goal today that your life will please God! Determine to be the "Noah" of your generation! Be faithful to God even if no one else is!

"Lord Jesus, I want to please You by the way I live. Give me the grace every day to remind You of Your servant Noah! And may You be praised forever. Amen."

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Sin of Not Doing!

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You should know better than to say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to the city. We will do business there for a year and make a lot of money!”  What do you know about tomorrow? How can you be so sure about your life? It is nothing more than mist that appears for only a little while before it disappears.  You should say, “If the Lord lets us live, we will do these things.”  Yet you are stupid enough to brag, and it is wrong to be so proud.  If you don't do what you know is right, you have sinned.

James 4:13-17

There is a television commercial in the United States that shows a woman who says, "I'm in my sixties now and I've got a nice long life ahead of me!" What an arrogant statement! No one knows how long their life will be. No one knows if they will live to see the end of this day.

These verses in James remind us that our lives are like a mist that appears for a little while and then disappears. So what should we do with the time that God has given us to live on this earth? How should we spend each moment of every day? And remember our time may come to an end later today!

The answer is this: Do what you know is right every moment! If you don't do what is right you have sinned. The "sin of not doing" is very deceptive. It may be that you and God are the only ones who know what you had an opportunity to do and you didn't do it! In our struggle against sin we try to avoid certain actions that would be sinful, but ignore all together "inactions" that are also sin!

Don't be arrogant and assume that you have a long life ahead of you! And use the time you do have to do the right thing whatever that is!

"Lord Jesus show me the right thing to do with every minute of this day, so that I can bring Glory to You now and forever. Amen."

Monday, September 15, 2014

Tempted or Tested?


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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

There is a great debate about whether Jesus was "Tempted" or "Tested."  The arguments center around the fact that Jesus had the nature of God in Him as well as a human nature. If Jesus was God in the flesh how could He be tempted?    In order to define the difference you must study hard and speculate at least some to establish that the temptations of Christ were not the same as our temptations.

My purpose here is not to enter that debate, except to say that I can trust that as my "High Priest" Jesus knows everything that I experience!  When He was a child there were those who believed that Jesus was conceived outside of marriage by means of an illegitimate human father.  During His ministry there surely were those who thought Jesus was irresponsible in not working for a living.  And when He died it was between two thieves.

I suppose the bottom line is this:  Jesus had a will that at least at times was different from the Will of the Father.  That was clearly seen when Jesus told God that He chose for God's will to be done instead of His own just before He went to the Cross.  Jesus can identify fully with me when I have a will that is different from the Will of God!  But Jesus is my example of how to deal with that in my life!  I must give up my will and embrace the Will of God! 

When you are tempted Satan wants you to think that Jesus does not understand how you feel!  So I must forget about the theological debate about whether Jesus was tempted or tested and hold on to the truth that Jesus understands everything I experience!  When I am tempted Jesus can help!

"Lord Jesus, thank You for purchasing my eternal salvation with Your Blood on the Cross.  And Jesus thank You for knowing just how I feel when I am tempted to sin!  Praise Your Holy Name forever!  Amen.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Hope and Terror!


We had hoped for peace
and a time of healing,
but all we got was terror.
Jeremiah 8:15
I don't like to take a verse out of it's context and comment on it, but this one is amazingly appropriate for today!  My nation, the United States has hoped for peace and a time of healing, but all we got was terror.  And it seems to me that most of the rest of the world has been doing the same thing. 

There is always something on which hope is based.   When someone buys a lottery ticket they may hope to win millions of dollars.  Most people hope for personal peace and prosperity.  When you are sick, you hope to get well.  When you go on a trip you hope to arrive safely at your desired destination.

But there is only one way to know for sure that what you hope for will come to be a reality.  When you hope for the things that God has promised, then your hope will happen just as God said!
But when your hope is based on the words of men, or even the desire of your own heart you will be ultimately disappointed. 

So here is what is happening in my nation.  We have deliberately and diligently turned away from God while we, at the same time hoped for peace and time of healing.  But all we got was terror!

"Lord Jesus, as the old song so powerfully said, 'My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus Blood and righteousness.'   May my hope today come only from You, Your Words and the Cross!  And may You be praised forever.  Amen."

Friday, September 12, 2014

Rescued from the City of Sin!


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God punished the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and this is a warning to anyone else who wants to sin.

Lot lived right and was greatly troubled by the terrible way those wicked people were living. He was a good man, and day after day he suffered because of the evil things he saw and heard. So the Lord rescued him.  This shows that the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their sufferings and to punish evil people while they wait for the day of judgment.

2 Peter 2:6-9 (CEV)

Why did Lot have to be rescued from the city of Sodom? Could he not have taken his family and moved away from this most famous CITY OF SIN? What kept Lot in Sodom while he suffered greatly from what he saw going on around him? The Bible doesn't say why Lot stayed in Sodom.

But surely, Lot was salt and light to all those who lived in Sodom and were caught in and controlled by their sin. Sadly, his witness brought no change in Sodom.

The sin of "Sodomy" is not one that is passed on to the next generation. Uniquely, that sin has no children. So the terrible condition of the city must have developed rather quickly while Lot and his family watched.

The story of Sodom is the sobering assurance that God not only knows how to rescue godly people, but He also knows how to punish evil people while they wait for the day of judgment.

Why did God choose to punish Sodom while some sins on this earth go unpunished? The Bible does not say, but the sin of Sodomy, if left to multiply, will stop the spread of humanity on the earth and ultimately destroy it!

If you live in "Sodom" today, then focus your attention on being Salt and Light to all those around you. Let them know about Jesus and His love for all mankind. Let them know that Jesus wants to free them from the bondage of sin, all sin. And be ready to be rescued when the time comes!

"Lord Jesus, the whole world today is like Sodom. Sin of all kinds is rapidly spreading and growing worse every day. Give me the courage to proclaim Your very Good News to all men until that soon coming Day when You will rescue those who love You and honor Your Name! Amen."

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Faith and Understanding

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The Scriptures say that God accepted Abraham because Abraham had faith.   And so, you should understand that everyone who has faith is a child of Abraham.   Long ago the Scriptures said God would accept the Gentiles because of their faith. This is why God told Abraham the good news that all nations would be blessed because of him.  This means everyone who has faith will share in the blessings given to Abraham because of his faith.

Galatians 3:6-9

Do you understand the deep theological teachings of Scripture or do you believe in and trust Jesus.  Of course, you can do both, but it is really tempting to substitute "understanding" for faith!  There are even doctorate degrees available for those who study and come to "understand" justification, sanctification, grace, the will of God, and the numerous possible "End Times" scenarios. 

But there is no diploma for those who have FAITH!  Faith is honored by God, not by men.  Faith means you believe the things that Jesus said and the other Words recorded in Scripture.  Faith means that you expect God to accomplish the things that He said He would do. 

Every moment of every day you have a choice.  The choice is this: Will you live by FAITH or will you walk by sight?  Of course, FAITH is necessary in the big decisions of life, but FAITH is seriously important during the mundane moments of your day.  What you think about and do when no other human being knows or is watching, is the real test of your faith.  Trusting God when nobody else knows you are trusting Him removes any doubt that you may be "trusting God" to impress other people! 

You may have a college degree because of your understanding, but you will have an Eternity with Jesus in Heaven because of your FAITH!

"Lord Jesus, thank You helping me understand more about You but Lord, like a little child I choose to believe every Word that comes from You.  And may You be praised forever!  Amen."

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Shine Forever Like the Stars!

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Michael, the chief of the angels, is the protector of your people, and he will come at a time of terrible suffering, the worst in all of history. And your people who have their names written in The Book will be protected.  Many of those who lie dead in the ground will rise from death. Some of them will be given eternal life, and others will receive nothing but eternal shame and disgrace.  Everyone who has been wise will shine as bright as the sky above, and everyone who has led others to please God will shine forever like the stars.

Daniel, I now command you to keep the message of this book secret until the end of time, even though many people will go everywhere, searching for the knowledge to be found in it.

Daniel 12:1-4

If I could encourage you to do one thing in your life, it would be that you would please God by the way you live your life!  Yes it is true that God wants you to be happy, but the other side of that coin is that you can make God happy!  The joy that comes from love is seeing the object of that love blessed by your actions! 

The richest man on earth is the man who despite his lack of material goods and even good health can rest in peace with the joy of the Lord in his heart as he trusts completely in his Father in Heaven.  The prosperity of this man is beyond the imagination of those who depend on gold and silver for their measure of wealth. 

So the question that I must consider in every decision I make is this: What step can I take  that will "bless God" and make Him happy?  When I focus on His joy and not my own, I can move through the "good times" and the bad with peace in my heart and a certainty that all is indeed well! 

If I succeed at giving God pleasure, I can fail at everything else and it does not matter!  And according to these verses God is pleased when I encourage you to please Him as well! 

"Lord Jesus, I have been so very much concerned with my own happiness and so little with Yours.  Help me today to do at least one thing that brings You pleasure.  And may You be praised forever.  Amen."

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Ultimate Warrior!


Then I was told:

These words are true and can be trusted. The Lord God controls the spirits of his prophets, and he is the one who sent his angel to show his servants what must happen very soon. Remember, I am coming soon! God will bless everyone who pays attention to the message of this book.

Revelation 22:6-7

I recently heard a rather well known person declare "if that is what a Christian is like, then I am not a Christian!"   We harshly judge those who themselves pass judgment on sins that to us don't seem "too bad."  We found the verse that says "God is love" and then defined the word "love" to mean whatever nice and pleasant thing we want it to be. 

We completely ignore the fact that God is the same yesterday, today and forever.  So when something was to Him an abomination in the Old Testament Scriptures, there is no indication that He has changed His mind! 

It is the Garden of Eden all over again as Satan, in clever disguise, tells you that God really didn't mean it when He said . . . . . . . . .!  The Devil goes on to say that sin is really not as bad as God makes it out to be. 

Do you remember the time that God told His people to destroy, in the battle for Jericho, all the men, women and children?  I found a list of those instances when God directed the killing of multitudes of people.  The list was compiled by those who oppose God because of what they deem to be cruelty on His part. I think those who love God and are followers of Jesus Christ should look at that list and consider who God is and the things that He considers to be abominations!

The bottom line is this: Pay attention to the message of the Bible!  Don't edit the Word of God to fit your opinion about what God should be like!  God is God and He never changes! 

A loving and gentle father who plays with his children may also be the man who fought bravely and fiercely in battle and won the Congressional Medal of Honor as he wiped out the enemy.  The complete man is both the gentle father and the unstoppable warrior.  Almighty God is both a gentle Father and the ultimate Warrior! 

"Lord Jesus, give me eyes to see You for all You are, not just what I want You to be!  And may You be praised forever!  Amen."

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Complete, Steady, Strong, and Firm!

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Be humble in the presence of God's mighty power, and he will honor you when the time comes.  God cares for you, so turn all your worries over to him.

Be on your guard and stay awake. Your enemy, the devil, is like a roaring lion, sneaking around to find someone to attack.  But you must resist the devil and stay strong in your faith. You know that all over the world the Lord's followers are suffering just as you are.  But God shows undeserved kindness to everyone. That's why he appointed Christ Jesus to choose you to share in his eternal glory. You will suffer for a while, but God will make you complete, steady, strong, and firm.  God will be in control forever! Amen.

1 Peter 5:6-11

Every day I must remind myself that Heaven is real and that Jesus really is coming again to take His people to live with Him forever! Even though we suffer here, God will make us "complete, steady, strong, and firm." Like the little boy who gave Jesus his lunch, when we give our lives to Him, He multiplies what we have and feeds thousands!

My job on this earth is to trust Jesus. I must trust Jesus if I have an abundance of this world's goods, and I must trust Jesus if I am in desperate need. I must make it my goal in life to trust Jesus completely up until the time that and even while I am taking my final breath.

God wants to make you "complete, steady, strong, and firm" today! He wants you to be a man or woman who depends completely on Him for everything in your life! And don't forget that God will be in control forever!

"Lord Jesus, what a day that will be when You burst forth on the horizon and Your glory shines over all the earth! Oh Lord, I pray that today will be that day. And may You be praised forever, Amen!"

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What Does it Mean: To Be Like Jesus!


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Don't be like Cain, who belonged to the devil and murdered his own brother. Why did he murder him? He did it because his brother was good, and he was evil.  My friends, don't be surprised if the people of this world hate you.  Our love for each other proves we have gone from death to life. But if you don't love each other, you are still under the power of death.

If you hate each other, you are murderers, and we know murderers do not have eternal life.  We know what love is because Jesus gave his life for us. This is why we must give our lives for each other.

1 John 3:12-16

Many years ago there was a "new song" that was popular among young Christians.  The first words were: "To be like Jesus, to be like Jesus, all I ask, to be like Him!"  We sang that song with great sincerity and fervor, but I don't think we had much understanding of what those words meant. 

We thought about the fact that being like Jesus meant hearing from God every day and seeing the miraculous power of God around us and even working through us.  But we forgot about the Cross and dying for others.  The terrible suffering that Jesus endured was far from our minds as we proclaimed in song our desire to be like Him.

But as the days turned into months and the months, years, the years also turned into decades, we discovered that there was much more to being like Jesus than walking on water in a storm!  Suffering, pain and sorrow also came while we walked the "victorious" life of faith! 

Being like Jesus is like a mother who suffers terribly and even walks up to death's door to bring her child into this world.  Then she gives her life for her child every day until that baby is able to live on it's own.

Being like Jesus is giving yourself for the sake of others.  That is what Jesus did and that is what we must do to be like Him.  Will there be miracles and great mountain top experiences?  There may be some, but for sure there will be the Cross and dying to self.

"Lord Jesus, I very seriously and soberly ask You to help me be like You today.  May I give up my life today as You did every day when You  walked on this earth.  And may You be praised forever.  Amen."

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

When the Breeze Begins to Blow!

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The woman stared at the fruit. It looked beautiful and tasty. She wanted the wisdom that it would give her, and she ate some of the fruit. Her husband was there with her, so she gave some to him, and he ate it too. At once they saw what they had done, and they realized they were naked. Then they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.

Late in the afternoon, when the breeze began to blow, the man and woman heard the Lord God walking in the garden. So they hid behind some trees.

Genesis 3:6-8

I have never stopped to consider the fact that the Bible tells us what time of day it was when God walked in the Garden and confronted Adam and Eve with their sin.  It was late in the afternoon, when the breeze began to blow.  Was the breeze because of the time of day, or because the Lord was walking by?  Remember when Elijah knew the Lord was present because of the breeze?

Today, what are the evidences in your life that the Lord is near?  The Lord comes near His children both to encourage and to correct.  When you feel the breeze and know that God is near, you must stop and listen for what He would say.  Sometimes He comes near  to lift you up and give you the strength to keep on walking.  And sometimes He comes to convict you of your sin, as He did with the first man and woman.

It is still true today as it was with Adam and Eve that you can run from God, but you can't hide.  He will find you wherever you are.  So today remember when you see and feel a soft breeze in the late afternoon, know that God is near.  And then stop and listen for His Word for Today!

"Lord Jesus, may the breeze of your presence blow on my life today.  May I hear Your voice and walk with You every step of the way.  Amen."

Monday, September 1, 2014

Don’t Lean on a Spider Web!

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Our ancestors were wise,

so learn from them.


Our own time has been short,

like a fading shadow,

and we know very little.


But they will instruct you

with great understanding.


Papyrus reeds grow healthy

only in a swamp,

and if the water dries up,

they die sooner than grass.


Such is the hopeless future

of all who turn from God

and trust in something as frail

as a spider's web-

they take hold and fall

because it's so flimsy.

Job 8:8-15

Are you wiser than the people that came before you?  You may quickly say, of course because in this age of information and computers we have so much more knowledge available!  But knowledge is not the same as wisdom.  A wise man is not simply the one with the largest vocabulary.  A wise man is the man who uses his vocabulary properly in stating and pursuing the truth!  My grandmother used to say that some college graduates were just "educated fools!"

One problem with some democracies around the world is that they are often like an airplane flying at 30,000 feet and the passengers decide they need a new pilot.  So they have an election and pick the most handsome or beautiful and charming passenger to fly the plane!  You know how that story ends!

When you turn from God and take hold of a spider's web you will fall!  Truthfully, if you turn from God, there is nothing in the entire world that you can take hold of which will keep you from falling.  There is only one option for those who have turned away from God!  TURN BACK TO GOD before it is too late!

"Lord Jesus, show me how I might have turned my heart away from You.  And if I have, draw me back to You today.  And may You be praised forever!  Amen."