Thursday, December 31, 2015

Rescue Mission from Heaven!

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16 
Why has this verse become so popular? In essence John 3:16 tells the whole story of the Bible in 26 words!

Everything began with the Love of God pouring out on the rebellious world He had created. God's Love demanded that He use His Almighty power to rescue His loved ones! Jesus was sent on a rescue mission from Heaven.

Jesus did not come to forcefully take us out of the hands of Satan. Instead He came to woo us back to God. No one is ever saved against their own will! If your will is to continue in your rebellion against God He will allow it. But if your will is to accept God's offer of Eternal Salvation He will surely save you, forever!

"Lord Jesus, my hope is built on nothing less than Your Blood and Righteousness. And may You be praised forever! Amen."

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Do Your Plans Include Sin?

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The Lord told me,  “Go to the pottery shop, and when you get there, I will tell you what to say to the people.”
I went there and saw the potter making clay pots on his pottery wheel. And whenever the clay would not take the shape he wanted, he would change his mind and form it into some other shape.

Then the Lord told me to say:
People of Israel, I, the Lord, have power over you, just as a potter has power over clay.  If I threaten to uproot and shatter an evil nation  and that nation turns from its evil, I will change my mind.

If I promise to make a nation strong,  but its people start disobeying me and doing evil, then I will change my mind and not help them at all.

So listen to me, people of Judah and Jerusalem! I have decided to strike you with disaster, and I won’t change my mind unless you stop sinning and start living right.

But I know you won’t listen. You might as well answer, “We don’t care what you say. We have made plans to sin, and we are going to be stubborn and do what we want!”

Jeremiah 18:1-12

Tomorrow is the last day of 2015.  Have you made your plans for next year?  Do those plans include living a life that is pleasing to God and in the daily pursuit of righteousness?  Or are you seeking to find better ways to sin?  

The current President of the United States has declared that this nation is not a Christian nation.  As upsetting as that statement may be, he may be correct.  We have turned away from our recognition of God as the only God and Jesus Christ, His Son!  We have banned Jesus from our government while reaching out to every other religion on earth with compassion and tolerance.  

Recognizing God and honoring Him as a nation and then turning your back on Him has been over the centuries a prescription for disaster.  As we begin this New Year, we as a nation, and really as a world have a choice.  We can repent and turn back to God or we can prepare for disaster!  And you can be sure of this: The disaster that will come from rejecting Jesus Christ will last forever!  

"Lord Jesus, I turn my heart back to You today!  We have sinned in rejecting You!  Give us the courage to proclaim, without fear, that You Jesus are our Savior and our God!  And may You be praised forever!  Amen."    

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Speak to My Storm!

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After Jesus left in a boat with his disciples, a terrible storm suddenly struck the lake, and waves started splashing into their boat.

Jesus was sound asleep, so the disciples went over to him and woke him up. They said, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

But Jesus replied, “Why are you so afraid? You surely don’t have much faith.” Then he got up and ordered the wind and the waves to calm down. And everything was calm.

The men in the boat were amazed and said, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him.”

Matthew 8:23-27

The disciples woke Jesus when the storm started raging.  They wanted Him to save them, but they did not know that He could command the storm to be still!  I’m not sure what they expected Jesus to do. 
But they must have assumed that if Jesus was still asleep when the boat went down He wouldn’t have much of a chance and might drown with them. 

When Jesus spoke to the storm and it became quiet they were amazed.  Even though they called on Jesus to save them from the storm, they did not expect Him to simply speak to the storm and shut it down! 

The storms in your life are like the storm on the lake that night.  They are terrifying and many of them are life-threatening storms.  When you cry out to Jesus at the pinnacle of the trouble in your life what do you expect Him to do? 

So often my expectations of what Jesus will do are wrong.  What you can expect Jesus to do and what you want Jesus to do is to speak to your storm!  When Jesus proclaims calm to your storm it will be calm.  When Jesus declares peace in your war, there will be peace.  When Jesus says you are healed, then you will no longer be sick. 

“Lord Jesus, I have many troubles and storms in my life, and all I want You to do is to speak to my storms.  May Your Word declare peace to my war!  And may You, Lord Jesus be praised forever!  Amen.”

Monday, December 28, 2015

Sudden Beginning of Eternity!

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“Look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth, and no one will even think about the old ones anymore.  Be glad; rejoice forever in my creation!  And look! I will create Jerusalem as a place of happiness.  Her people will be a source of joy.   I will rejoice over Jerusalem and delight in my people.  And the sound of weeping and crying will be heard in it no more.

Isaiah 65:17-19 

These verses remind us of the first four verses of Revelation 21.  God's plan for a place with no tears is not a new one.  It will be like the Garden of Eden before sin entered the heart of man.  

If you were blessed to have a peaceful and safe childhood, you might think about the time before you knew that there was evil in the world.  You could not imagine anything other than the safety you experienced with your family.  And whatever wickedness you knew about was always conquered by good.  Imagine that peace and security multiplied by a million and you will touch the edge of what Heaven will be like!

In this world of terrible troubles and escalating turmoil, followers of Jesus need to continually remind each other of what is coming, and may be coming very soon!  There will be a sudden end to the trouble.  And there will be a sudden beginning of Eternity with Jesus in Heaven!  Let your mind dwell on that marvelous truth!

"Lord Jesus, do come quickly and take us to be with You forever.  I am so looking forward to the place You are preparing which will have no tears!  And may You Lord Jesus be praised forever.  Amen."

Friday, December 25, 2015

My Thoughts and God's!

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Seek the LORD while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near.
Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong. Let them turn to the LORD that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously.
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD . “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.
“The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry.
It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.

Isaiah 55:6-11

We have sinful thoughts and ways, but God does not!  That is the real difference between God and man.  God does not sin but men do sin, and that is the problem!

Jesus Christ came to this earth to be like a man so that we can be like God and not sin! 

Jesus did what we cannot do.  He lived without sin!  The dilemma of being human is that we spend our lives trying to do what can't be done.  An authentic encounter with Jesus will free us from the impossible burden of trying to live a sinless life on our own. 

"Lord help me today to give up my ways and my thoughts and embrace the power of Your Holy Spirit so that I may have Your ways and Your thoughts!  And may You Lord Jesus be praised forever.  Amen."

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Depend Only on Jesus!

The Lord says, “Clear the road!  Get it ready for my people.” Our holy God lives forever in the highest heavens, and this is what he says: Though I live high above in the holy place, I am here to help those who are humble and depend only on me.

Isaiah 57:14-15

Emmanuel is another name for Jesus and it means “God with us!”  You might turn and walk away from God, but He will not walk away from you.  Jesus Himself said, “I will be with you always.”

In Isaiah 57 the promise to help us is for those who are humble and who depend only on God.  That means that we should not expect God to help if we are proud and depend on lots of other things in our walk through life.  God is not a God of last resort.  He wants to be the first one you turn to as well as the last. 

If Emmanuel saves you, then you cannot be lost!  But if Jesus Christ does not help you then there is no help that can redeem you from the pit of Hell.  He is the way and the only way.  He is the truth and the only truth and Jesus is the life and the only life!

Make it your goal today to be humble and rid yourself of everything you depend on except Jesus!  Then He will help you!  That is His guarantee and you can bet your life on it!

“Lord Jesus, help me today to depend only on You my Lord and my God.  May You be praised forever.  Amen.”

Monday, December 21, 2015


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 11:7

What are the blessings that come to everyone who pleases God?  When a man pleases God does that mean that he will not suffer or be in pain?  Does it mean that he will be rich in the things of this world?  When you please God does it mean that you will have no trouble for the rest of your life? 

The blessings for pleasing God that Noah got and that you will also receive are blessings of being spared the judgment of God that is coming on the world. 
If you please God, He will rescue you just as He did Noah when it comes time for His wrath to fall on those who have rejected Jesus Christ.  So do everything you do today that will be pleasing to God.  And even as Noah did, warn those around you of the coming judgment! 
“Lord Jesus, help me today to be ready like Noah was when the people of the world were judged.  Fill my heart with the blessings that come from pleasing the Father.  And may You be praised forever.  Amen.” 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Words that Work!


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Turn to the Lord!  He can still be found.  Call out to God! He is near.  Give up your evil ways and your evil thoughts.  Return to the Lord our God.  He will be merciful and forgive your sins.  The Lord says: “My thoughts and my ways are not like yours.  Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, my thoughts and my ways are higher than yours. “Rain and snow fall from the sky.  But they don't return without watering the earth that produces seeds to plant and grain to eat.  That's how it is with my words. They don't return to me without doing everything I send them to do.”

Isaiah 55:6-11

The Word of God is very different from the words of man. Men may talk about doing lots of things and then do nothing at all in the end. But when God speaks a Word that Word itself works in the world and accomplishes the Will of God!

Words of men without actions are worthless and the "stuff" of political promises. Smooth talking deceivers tell us what we want to hear and then do what they want when they are put in power. But every Word of God is true and has no deception in it. It is not only true, but the Word of God plows through the world and changes the hearts of men!

You see the Bible is not just a book about the miraculous power of God working in the world. The Bible is the miraculous power of God as it changes everything it touches.

In the Beginning God spoke the world into existence and His creative power is still available to create a clean heart in you as you listen to His Word!

"Lord, give me a greater hunger for the Words that come from You. Let me see Your Words work all around me today and forever. Praise Your Holy Name. Amen."

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Be Ready Now!



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Remember Christ says, “When I come, it will surprise you like a thief! But God will bless you, if you are awake and ready. Then you won't have to walk around naked and be ashamed.”

Revelation 16:15 

Have you ever been surprised by a thief? Only twice in my almost 70 year life has a thief broken into my house with the intent of stealing things that belonged to me. Both times when I discovered that the thief had come I was shocked and upset. And I suppose those two events have left permanent scars on my life.

Jesus Christ will only return to this earth once and when He does it will be like the surprise of a thief. It will be shocking even for those who are waiting for His return. I know Jesus is coming, but I really don't expect Him to come today. And of course, that is how Satan lures me away from my intimate walk with Jesus today. He says "Sure Jesus is coming, but all the signs are not yet here so you can relax and not worry about it for a while yet!" The Devil wants me to procrastinate in making my final preparations for the return of Jesus!

If you knew for certain that Jesus would return before you go to sleep tonight, what would you do in making preparations for His return? Whatever it is that you would do if you knew His return was today is what you should do as you live this day! Begin by asking God to show you one thing that you need to do before Jesus returns and start with that.

"Lord Jesus, I know that You will come again. Help me to believe that Your return could be today. Help me to be ready in every way for that Glorious moment! And may You be praised forever. Amen."

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Gift of Love!

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The good news is spreading all over the world with great success. It has spread in this same way among you, ever since the first day you learned the truth about God's wonderful kindness from our good friend Epaphras. He works together with us for Christ and is a faithful worker for you.  He is also the one who told us about the love that God's Spirit has given you.

Colossians 1:6-8

Love is a gift of the Spirit of God! You may be a person who has set your heart and mind in direct opposition to God, but if you love anyone, you are touching the essence of God Himself. Love is not just what God does, love is who He is! Love is not getting something from someone else. Love is giving yourself for others.

There is a popular and yet quite wrong definition of love that says it is a desire to fulfill your needs by focusing on someone else. Love is rather when you seek to serve others by ministering to their needs. Jesus loved us, even to the point of dying for us!

You see, you can't love an object. You can't love an activity. You can't even love a beautiful sunset. Because you can not fulfill the needs of any of those things. You can only love someone created in the image of God, as you reach out and care for their needs.

"Lord, I want to love as You love and serve others as You did. Show me today how to love everyone who crosses my path with true love that only comes from You. And may You be praised forever. Amen."

Monday, December 14, 2015

In the Name of Jesus

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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 5:19-20

Can everybody pray in the name of Jesus? When someone ends a prayer with those three words what does it mean? Jesus Himself said that no one comes to the Father except through Him. We were not born with automatic access to God the Father. In fact, we came into this world having been cut off from God by the sin that started in the Garden of Eden. Because of Adam and Eve we had no way to approach the throne of God.

When you become a follower of Jesus Christ you gain access to God even as the first couple had before the fall! Your conversations with God can be up close and personal, like the prayers of Jesus we find in the New Testament. You can praise Him or plead with Him all in the Name of Jesus.

When Jesus prayed the night before He went to the Cross, He told the Father that He wanted some other way if it were possible. Even Jesus saw the will of God and found it difficult to accept. Just because you can pray in the Name of Jesus don't think that God's will for your life will not be hard. It was for Jesus and it will be for you as well.

But when you come to God in the Name of Jesus, there is nothing you cannot ask and there is nothing He cannot do. You are only limited by your desire to do His will above everything else in life. So as you come to know His will, that is what you will pray for and that is what you will receive!

"Lord, I come to You in the Name of Jesus Christ and ask again that Your will be done in and through me today. And may You be praised forever. Amen."

Saturday, December 12, 2015

God's Wake Up Call!



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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. 

Ephesians 5:14-18

Are you awake in this wicked world to the things of God and aware of the arrows aimed at you by Satan? When danger is at your door and you pretend it is not there you are indeed a foolish man. Today the times are evil, just as these verses in Ephesians 5 say. So as a follower of Jesus your job is to "wake up from sleep and act like people with good sense and make every minute count" in this wicked world!

When you travel across many times zones it is sometimes very hard to wake up at the proper hour in the morning. Your body may think it is still the middle of the night, but the clock says it is time for the day to begin. That is when you need a "wake up call" to jog you from your slumber and encourage you to tackle the tasks of this new day!

For whatever reason you may still be sleeping soundly and completely unaware of the dangers of this day! Ask God to wake you up to the dangers and temptations around you and to the opportunities He is placing before you today!

"Lord Jesus, I know I have been asleep when I should have been awake and alert at this late hour. Wake me from my slumber and show me the steps that I need to take today to completely do Your will. And may You be praised forever. Amen."

Friday, December 11, 2015

God's Word Must be the Judge!

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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

These final words of the New Testament contain a dire warning for anyone who would add something to the Word of God. It is no small thing to mix your own opinions and prejudices with the teachings of the Bible. And yet almost every church struggles with that temptation.

We often judge the Word of God by the culture in which we live. Instead, we should judge our culture by the teachings of the Bible. The Word of God must not and indeed cannot change, but your culture will change as it conforms to the truth of the Bible.

As a follower of Jesus, whenever the society in which you live contradicts the Word of God you must, regardless of the cost follow Jesus and not the world around you. For a Christian there is indeed a higher law than the law of his or her land. Be careful not to add to or take away from the Word of God because of a law written by men.

"Lord Jesus give me the courage today to obey every Word You have given us in the Bible. May Your Word be the judge of everything! And may You be praised forever. Amen."