Friday, February 27, 2015

King of My Life!

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Why do the nations plot, and why do their people make useless plans?  The kings of this earth have all joined together to turn against the Lord and his chosen king.  They say, “Let's cut the ropes and set ourselves free!”  In heaven the Lord laughs as he sits on his throne, making fun of the nations.  The Lord becomes furious and threatens them.  His anger terrifies them as he says, “I've put my king on Zion, my sacred hill.”

Psalms 2:1-6

The kings of the earth want to set themselves free from the reality of God!  They have declared that God doesn't exist and some say that if He did exist, God is now dead! To God the picture of the world's rebellion against Him is amusing and maybe even funny.  Perhaps it could be compared to a bunch of kindergarten children storming the White House in attempt to take over the country.  How foolish would that be?

God, in His love has given you the freedom to oppose Him, but He did not give you the ability to defeat the Almighty Creator!  When you try to do that you will run squarely into the Lord Jesus on Zion, His Holy Mountain, and you will lose forever!

Check your heart to see if you are the lord of your own life and are just pretending to follow Jesus.  If you do that, God Himself will laugh at your foolishness and you will regret that foolishness for Eternity!

"Lord Jesus, You are the King of kings and Lord of Lords, and You, Jesus are the King of my life as well.  May You be praised forever.  Amen."

Monday, February 23, 2015

God Knows You!

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Before you knew God, you were slaves of gods that are not real.   But now you know God, or better still, God knows you. How can you turn back and become the slaves of those weak and pitiful powers?

Galatians 4:8-9

It is a wonderful thing to meet a man who knows God! If you are a follower of Jesus Christ then the Holy Spirit living inside you will let you know that you are in the presence of another believer.

Knowing God is great, but "better still" is that God knows you. The Bible does not say, but it certainly is possible that while Jesus was hanging on the Cross He was thinking about you and about me specifically! The Enemy wants me to believe that I am just a randomly created human being who is irrelevant in the scheme of things and certainly unknown to God. Satan desires that I see no purpose for my life and no possibility of pleasing God.

But God knows me! He knows how many hairs there are on my head, and adjusts that number as is appropriate as the years pass. God knows how my brain works since He carefully and lovingly put it together in the first place. God knows all my strengths and weaknesses. He knows when I get up and when I lay down for the night!

There is nothing about me that is a mystery to God! He already knows it all. But my life is one of daily discovering the mysteries of God. With the Holy Spirit and His Word in my heart I am continually presented with Eternal truth that had never "crossed my mind" before!

Remember, God knows you and it is His desire that you know Him. Let today be a day of discovering something new about your Heavenly Father!

"Lord, I praise Your Name that You know me. May I know You better when I put my head on my pillow tonight than I did when I got up this morning! Praise Your Holy Name forever. Amen."

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Let the Word Burn in Your Heart!

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Every time Jehudi finished reading three or four columns, the king would tell him to cut them off with his penknife and throw them in the fire. Elnathan, Delaiah, and Gemariah begged the king not to burn the scroll, but he ignored them, and soon there was nothing left of it.The king and his servants listened to what was written on the scroll, but they were not the least bit afraid, and they did not tear their clothes in sorrow.

Jeremiah 36:23-25

When you hear the Word of God and still have no faith you are tempted to do what this king did. He heard the Word and then ripped out the pages and burned them in the fire. And it says he did not fear God!

Don't forget that the Bible also says that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. So a wise man fears God and acts accordingly. A fool relaxes in God's grace and mercy and has no concern for whether or not he is offending the Almighty Creator. But don't forget that a just and loving God created gravity which will dash you to your death if you jump off a tall building, He gave you His Word so you will not be destroyed by the sin that seeks to kill you!

So instead of throwing the Word of God in the fire after you hear it, let it burn in your heart and draw you back to Him.

And if you do not fear God, then you are not wise and indeed you are a fool. Receive the Word of God with a fear that is appropriate and stand in the awesome presence of the Creator of everything that is!

"Lord Jesus, I stand today in awe of You and Your Glorious Almighty presence. And may I be one of those who Praise Your Holy Name Forever. Amen."

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Homesick for Heaven!


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I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth had disappeared, and so had the sea.   Then I saw New Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down from God in heaven. It was like a bride dressed in her wedding gown and ready to meet her husband.   I heard a loud voice shout from the throne:God's home is now with his people. He will live with them, and they will be his own. Yes, God will make his home among his people.   He will wipe all tears from their eyes, and there will be no more death, suffering, crying, or pain. These things of the past are gone forever.

Revelation 21:1-4

The first week at summer camp seemed bearable, but the thought of a second week away from home was almost more than I could imagine. As a child, being away from home and away from my parents just seemed more than I could bear. I was definitely "homesick."

When you are homesick you think about how wonderful it would be if you were only back home. You imagine the comforts of home compared to the difficulties of being away from those who love you the best. Children are not the only ones who get homesick. For me it only takes a couple of weeks of "vacation" before I am ready to return to my "normal routine" at home.

As a follower of Jesus Christ are you "Homesick for Heaven?" Do you think about what it will be like with no more death, suffering, crying or pain? Do you imagine the peace and joy of living in a place where sin has never and can never touch your life? And do you think about constantly being in the presence of Jesus and walking with Him as He shows you all the glories of Heaven?

Have you ever heard the song "Soon Oh Very Soon?" We are going to see the King, and be with Him forever!

"Lord Jesus, like a little child away at summer camp, I am Homesick for Heaven. Comfort my heart with the calm assurance that You are indeed coming to take me back to be with You forever! And may that Day come "Soon Oh Very Soon." Amen."

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Legality and Morality!

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When the nation of Israel disobeys me without meaning to, the whole nation is still guilty.

Leviticus 4:13

The idea of a whole nation being guilty of sin before the Lord is a rather foreign concept to our way of thinking.  We believe that sin is an individual issue and certainly it is, but a nation can stand in opposition to the ways of God as well.

When that happens those who follow Jesus must oppose even the nation in which they live in order to please the Lord.  I suppose a rather obvious example of a national sin is the legalization of abortion in the United States.  Our Supreme Court decided many years ago that killing a baby before it is born should not be illegal and therefore is not a sin!  They turned our "God fearing" nation into a "killing field" of infanticide. 

Many people believe that the obvious and dramatic decline in the life of the United States and it's influence around the world is because God is meeting out His judgment for our national sin of abortion!

The warning for followers of Jesus is this: Be sure to live your life according to what God thinks and not what the Supreme Court has ruled!  The legality of an issue does not determine its morality!

Jesus must be Lord of your entire life and heart, not just part of it!  And if your faith and the culture in which you live are completely compatible, then there is something lacking in your faith!  Search your heart and your mind to see if you are holding on to a "national sin" instead of the ways of God!

"Lord Jesus show me today where my nation is sinning against you, and give me the courage to walk in Your ways and not the ways of my nation.  And may You be praised forever.  Amen."

Saturday, February 14, 2015


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My Father has given me everything, and he is the only one who knows the Son. The only one who truly knows the Father is the Son. But the Son wants to tell others about the Father, so they can know him too.

If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest.
Take the yoke I give you. Put it on your shoulders and learn from me. I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest. This yoke is easy to bear, and this burden is light.
Matthew 11:27-30

When men go into space they become weightless for the time they are there. Without the active pull of gravity everything weighs nothing. And because they do not weigh anything men in space can fly around the cabin of their spacecraft.

An impossible task here on earth becomes an easy job in space because the pull of gravity is gone.
When you turn your heart to Jesus and put His yoke on your shoulders you become like a man in space! With Jesus the cares of this world become weightless and no burden is too big . With Jesus the pull of this world fades and ultimately will vanish as we soar with Him through Eternity.

The world's record for living in space on one flight is more than a year, but your journey with Jesus will last forever!

"Lord, take my heart and make me ready to hear the trumpet when the countdown is complete and it's time to blast off into Eternity with You. Come quickly, Lord Jesus. Amen."
(re-published from October 10, 2012)

Friday, February 13, 2015

Grown Up Christians!


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God lives fully in Christ.  And you are fully grown because you belong to Christ, who is over every power and authority.  Christ has also taken away your selfish desires, just as circumcision removes flesh from the body.   And when you were baptized, it was the same as being buried with Christ. Then you were raised to life because you had faith in the power of God, who raised Christ from death.   You were dead, because you were sinful and were not God's people. But God let Christ make you alive, when he forgave all our sins.

Colossians 2:9-13

At some point every child is infected with the desire to be a "grown-up." Children want to become adults. That is a natural part of life itself as a child. Children are precious and marvelous, but when someone "never grows up" it is indeed sad to behold.

Wait a minute. Didn't Jesus say that we must all become like little children? Yes He did, but Jesus wants you to be like a child in innocence not in selfish ignorance! The Lord wants you to have the heart of a child, not the actions of a child when you are already grown.

Children are selfish. They want what they want and they want it now! Concern for the needs of others is not part of being childish! If you want to know if you are a grown up Christian then simply look at your selfish desires. If fulfilling your own desires is the ruling principle of your life, then you indeed are still a baby believer.

Here is the most amazing part about growing up as a Christian. Jesus doesn't just change your old man into a new man. That is not the way it happens. The old man dies and you are born again into a new life of following Jesus. So if you wonder why you can't seem to act like a "grown up" as a Christian maybe you aren't dead yet!

"Lord Jesus, I want to grow up and be like you, but I know I can't do that without dying to this world and the things of this world and being made alive by Your great power. And may You be praised forever. Amen."

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Power Behind the Book!

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I looked and saw heaven was open, and a white horse was there. Its rider was called Faithful and True, and he is always fair when he judges or goes to war.   He had eyes like flames of fire, and he was wearing a lot of crowns. His name was written on him, but he was the only one who knew what the name meant.   The rider wore a robe that was covered with blood, and he was known as “The Word of God.”

Revelation 19:11-13

The Bible is the Word of God! I have been taught that all my life, and I do believe it, but there is much more to the Word of God. It is not just a Book. Remember it also says that "in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God." With the Word, God spoke everything that there is into existence. God "said let there be light!"

The Bible is like a box full of dynamite. A Bible on a shelf may seem harmless enough, but when those Words are unleashed into the heart of a man or woman, the power of God explodes into the world around! You may think you are just teaching small children to memorize Bible verses, but you are loading their minds with "Weapons of Mass Instruction!" If you know what the Bible says, you will know how to accurately navigate the rough seas of human existence!

If you want to prove to yourself that the Bible is the written record of the Word of God, then ask God to speak to your specific life situation in the pages of Scripture, then open the Book and begin reading. I have never seen that kind of sincere prayer go unanswered!

If the Bible is like a box of dynamite then my job is to simply light the fuse and wait for the explosion!

"Lord Jesus I praise Your Name that You are the Power behind the Book. Jesus, You are the Word of God, now and forever! Amen."

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Heaven on Earth?

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I have not yet reached my goal, and I am not perfect. But Christ has taken hold of me. So I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize.   My friends, I don't feel I have already arrived. But I forget what is behind, and I struggle for what is ahead.   I run toward the goal, so I can win the prize of being called to heaven. This is the prize God offers because of what Christ Jesus has done.

Philippians 3:12-14

There is a sobering reality of living on this earth as a follower of Jesus Christ. Those who want to teach against a theology of "works salvation" speak about the grace of God and the peace that we should have in knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and those things are true but we must take heed of a serious warning. 

Indeed our salvation is based solely on the Blood of Jesus and not on our own works, but why would the Apostle Paul say that he had "not yet reached" his goal?" And why would he say that he had not yet "arrived" and that the prize was "being called to heaven?"

The parallel is not perfect but consider this: If you were planning a vacation to Florida this summer would you pretend that you are already in Florida as you live your life in Ohio during a rather harsh winter? It certainly is wonderful to look forward to and even dream about the wonderful time you will have in Florida, but if you pretend you are there as you sit in Ohio in the middle of winter you are only deluding yourself.

Paul recognized that he was not yet in heaven and that living here is still very much a struggle as he "ran toward the goal" which is heaven!

Never forget that Jesus came not only to forgive your sins, but He also came to empower you to resist the Devil and flee from him! If you glory in forgiveness and grace and ignore your need to daily struggle against sin, then of all people you are most deceived. Remember if you are reading this, like Paul the Apostle you have not yet arrived!

"Lord Jesus, help me to remember today that until I arrive in Heaven I have not yet reached the goal You set for me when You died on the Cross. Help me to resist the Devil today. And may You be praised forever. Amen."

Monday, February 9, 2015

Happily Ever After!

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We believe Jesus died and was raised to life. We also believe that when God brings Jesus back again, he will bring with him all who had faith in Jesus before they died.   Our Lord Jesus told us that when he comes, we won't go up to meet him ahead of his followers who have already died.   With a loud command and with the shout of the chief angel and a blast of God's trumpet, the Lord will return from heaven. Then those who had faith in Christ before they died will be raised to life.  Next, all of us who are still alive will be taken up into the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the sky. From that time on we will all be with the Lord forever.  Encourage each other with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4:14-18

The story of the return of Jesus Christ is the only real "Happily Ever After" story in all the world!  For those who love Jesus the end of life on this earth is the beginning of a Glorious Forever with Him!  All the pain, suffering and sorrow of this world will be swallowed up in the joy and peace of unimaginable fellowship with Jesus in Heaven! 

The birth pains of a mother waiting for the arrival of a child are bearable because of the hope of that glorious moment when pain gives way to peace and the child arrives!  It is the same for you and me as followers of Jesus.  The hope of that Glorious Moment when Jesus returns and the pain of this life gives way to the peace of Eternity strengthens our every hour of suffering here!

Every mother knows that the greater the pain, the nearer the birth of a coming child!  And every Christian should know that the greater the pain of this life, the nearer the Coming of Jesus Christ when pain will be gone forever! 

So if you are a follower of Jesus and a true believer in our Lord, then let every ounce of suffering and pain you feel today remind you that Jesus is coming soon! 

"Lord Jesus, make me ready today to hear the sound of the trumpet and join You in the sky to be with You forever.  Praise Your Holy Name.  Amen."

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sunrise to Sunset!


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Why is life so hard? Why do we suffer? We are slaves in search of shade; we are laborers longing for our wages.  God has made my days drag on and my nights miserable.  I pray for night to end, but it stretches out while I toss and turn.  My parched skin is covered with worms, dirt, and sores, and my days are running out quicker than the thread of a fast-moving needle.

Why do you test us from sunrise to sunset?

Job 7:1-6, 18

All day long, every day of our lives we are being tested from sunrise to sunset!  The Old Testament character Job is known for his patience, but I think next to Jesus Himself Job tops the list for those who suffered as well!  Job lost his possessions, his children and his health.  He lived in excruciating pain and was accused of being guilty of some awful sin by those who knew him best. 

Here is the sobering part of the story of Job.  Job's suffering was not the result of his sin, or even the sin of someone else.  Job suffered because God was pleased with Job and the way he lived! 

It is hard to imagine the suffering of Job.  My wife and I lost a 16 year old daughter in an automobile accident.  Job lost all of his children in a windstorm that blew down the house of his oldest son!  The pain of losing one child much less all of your 10 children in one day is beyond tragic!

So when life takes a terrible turn of suffering, don't automatically conclude that you are being punished for sin or that God is simply unhappy with the way you are living your life!  With Job it was just the opposite.  Because God was pleased with Job he allowed this "righteous" man to endure extreme pain and suffering.

Here is a most common mistake we make as followers of Jesus.  We assume that living a life that is pleasing to God will always result in peace and prosperity here on this earth.  We believe that we are not blessed unless we are surrounded by an abundance of things that bring comfort to our lives.

But the truth is this: If your life is pleasing to God you may be asked to suffer the most!  So ask yourself if you are following Jesus because you want the blessings that often come to those who walk in His ways, or are you following Him because you love Him more than life itself!   

"Lord Jesus, I choose to follow You and walk in Your ways no matter what that means for my life!  If loving You brings joy and peace, I praise Your Name and if loving You brings pain and sorrow in this world, I also praise Your Name, now and forever!  Amen."

Saturday, February 7, 2015

This Little Light of Mine!

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Command the people of Israel to supply you with the purest olive oil. Do this so the lamp will keep burning in front of the curtain that separates the holy place from the most holy place, where the sacred chest is kept. Aaron and his sons are responsible for keeping the lamp burning every night in the sacred tent. The Israelites must always obey this command.

Exodus 27:20-21

These verses are not the only place the Bible talks about the need to keep the light shinning in the darkness. Know for sure that if the Devil cannot extinguish your light, he at least wants you to cover it up so the world cannot see the light that comes from God!

There is a simple and fundamental struggle going on in the world today. The message is loud and clear from those who don't know Jesus. They say: "You cannot show me the light from Heaven that burns in your heart. You cannot let your light shine in the darkness of my life!" And, at least in the United States they claim it is "unconstitutional" to let your light shine in public buildings, public places, schools and almost anywhere it would be seen by unbelievers!

Now here, the foolishness which comes from fear takes over and followers of Jesus Christ hide in the dark alleys with their lamps covered looking for an opportunity to tell someone about the Light of the World! They are afraid, that if they let their light shine openly they will be offensive to the world and even arrested for "breaking the law!"

The first follower of Jesus who did this was the great apostle Peter who denied three times that he even knew Jesus because of the fear of what other men would think and do!

The other day I found my flashlight in the pocket of my coat. I had put it there absentmindedly without even turning it off. So my light was shinning all day in my pocket. Needless to say, when I needed that light again the battery was dead!

Find the light the Lord has given you to shine before the world, trim the wick, check the oil, or charge the battery and make sure it is ready to let you be seen by those who have not yet turned their hearts to Jesus.

And if that burning light provides a target for the arrows of Satan, which it always will, you can be sure that you will either be protected from harm, or you will be ushered into the presence of Jesus and begin to know the Glories of Heaven forever! Either way, YOU WIN!

"Lord Jesus, may I never be afraid to let the light that comes from You shine brightly in my life, because it is only the light that dispels the darkness! And may You be praised forever. Amen."

Friday, February 6, 2015

Have You Disappeared Into the Cloud?

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Then Moses climbed up the mountain, and the cloud covered it.  And the glory of the lord settled down on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days.  On the seventh day the lord called to Moses from inside the cloud.  To the Israelites at the foot of the mountain, the glory of the lord appeared at the summit like a consuming fire.  Then Moses disappeared into the cloud as he climbed higher up the mountain. He remained on the mountain forty days and forty nights.

Exodus 24:15-18 (New Living Translation)

As you begin to climb the Mountain of the Lord, you will hear first words of discouragement from those whose lives are lived to please themselves and not God. But as you go higher on that mountain voices of jeering and ridicule will also attempt to pull you back away from God. The enemies of God who stand in the Valley of Sin and watch you ascend toward Heaven will hope to see you fall from that Mountain and be destroyed. But then, one day like Moses you will "disappear into the cloud as you climb higher up the mountain."

The place of greatest blessing and most glorious relationship is in the Cloud on the Mountain of God! It is a place that the world below cannot see! Yes, you are to live as an example to those who don't know Jesus, but don't be afraid to step into the Cloud and hear the Word of the Lord as you bask in His presence!

And as you climb the Holy Mountain, remember that there will come a time when you must step into the Cloud where no one can see you except God Himself. And while you are there, you will see no one but God!
Moses didn't stay in the Cloud. He returned to the people. But because Moses had been in the presence of God, he was empowered by God to lead the Children of Israel to the Promised Land.

Power for the ministry to which God has called you does not come from education, preparation, planning, or fund raising. The Power to do what God calls you to do comes from being in the Cloud with Him! And don't forget that ever since Jesus returned to the Father, the Holy Spirit has been dwelling in His people. The Cloud is within you!

"Lord Jesus, help me today to disappear into the Cloud so that I may hear the voice of God in everything I do. And may You be praised forever. Amen."

Thursday, February 5, 2015

God is Not an Enabler!

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Some godless people have sneaked in among us and are saying, “God treats us much better than we deserve, and so it is all right to be immoral.” They even deny we must obey Jesus Christ as our only Master and Lord. But long ago the Scriptures warned that these godless people were doomed.   Don't forget what happened to those people the Lord rescued from Egypt. Some of them did not have faith, and he later destroyed them.  You also know about the angels who didn't do their work and left their proper places. God chained them with everlasting chains and is now keeping them in dark pits until the great day of judgment.   We should also be warned by what happened to the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and the nearby towns. Their people became immoral and committed all sorts of sexual sins. Then God made an example of them and punished them with eternal fire.

Jude 1:4-7

The Grace of God working through the Blood of Jesus on the Cross covers your sin, but does not enable you so you can sin even more!  If you believe that God's Grace is a "get out of jail free" card which you can use anytime you want to sin, you are tragically mistaken!  Jesus came to destroy the works of the Devil, not to promote them! 

The intoxicating lie that says it is alright to willfully sin and then ask God for forgiveness misses the point of the incarnation.  Judas Iscariot chose to betray Jesus and then threw the money back.  Why was Judas not received back into the fellowship of the disciples and why did he not become a prime example of the Grace of God? 

If you are carefully shaping your understanding of God around your fleshly desire to walk in sin, you are in for a rude awakening!  You must not take the Grace of God for Granted!  God's Grace is a rescue squad, not a pleasure boat! 

Even on a human level, what eventually happens to a man who purposefully gets in trouble and then over and over again calls 911?  You know how that will end!

"Lord Jesus, may I never look at Your great Grace as an opportunity to sin without consequence. Your love compels me to never even think about being unfaithful to You my Lord!  And may You be praised forever.  Amen."

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

God's Word Through a Simple Man!


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The next morning Moses sat down at the place where he decided legal cases for the people, and everyone crowded around him until evening.  Jethro (the father-in-law of Moses) saw how much Moses had to do for the people, and he asked, “Why are you the only judge? Why do you let these people crowd around you from morning till evening?” 

Moses answered, “Because they come here to find out what God wants them to do.  They bring their complaints to me, and I make decisions on the basis of God's laws.” 

Jethro replied: That isn't the best way to do it.  You and the people who come to you will soon be worn out. The job is too much for one person; you can't do it alone.  God will help you if you follow my advice. You should be the one to speak to God for the people, and you should teach them God's laws and show them what they must do to live right.  You will need to appoint some competent leaders who respect God and are trustworthy and honest. Then put them over groups of 10, 50, 100, and 1,000.  These judges can handle the ordinary cases and bring the more difficult ones to you. Having them to share the load will make your work easier.  This is the way God wants it done. You won't be under nearly as much stress, and everyone else will return home feeling satisfied.  Moses followed Jethro's advice.

Exodus 18:13-24

God had spoken to Moses in big and dramatic ways. The Burning Bush that never burned up while God delivered His message, and the thunder crashing and lightning flashing from the mountain as Moses received the Ten Commandments were awesome in every way.  But then, God also spoke to Moses through his father-in-law Jethro. It was "good common sense" advice about how to handle the daily affairs of serving as the leader of the Children of Israel but it was "the way God wanted it done."

There was nothing glorious or dramatic about Jethro's advice, and the name "Jethro" itself has, at least in the English language, remained an ordinary name for common people. Perhaps the most well know uses of the name were the country music duo of "Homer and Jethro" and of course Jethro Bodine in the Beverly Hillbillies television series in the 1960's!

Remember, God doesn't just speak in big and powerful ways accompanied by lightning and thunder! He also speaks through men and women like Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses. It is hard to ignore a burning bush or roaring thunder, but it is easy to ignore a "Jethro" who comes with the Word of the Lord!

So as you walk with the Lord today, keep your eyes and ears open for the Lord's Word through "Jethro." Of course, the Word of the Lord through "Jethro" is not the only way God speaks today, but when He does use a "Jethro" to proclaim His message it can be easy to ignore!

"Lord, help me today to keep my ears open for Your Word coming through a "Jethro" in my life. And Lord help me to be ready to be a "Jethro" for others who are following You! May You be praised forever! Amen."

Monday, February 2, 2015

Manna or Mammon?

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Then the Lord said to Moses,  “I have heard the Israelites’ complaints. Now tell them, ‘In the evening you will have meat to eat, and in the morning you will have all the bread you want. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.’”  That evening vast numbers of quail flew in and covered the camp. And the next morning the area around the camp was wet with dew.  When the dew evaporated, a flaky substance as fine as frost blanketed the ground.  The Israelites were puzzled when they saw it. “What is it?” they asked each other. They had no idea what it was.And Moses told them, “It is the food the lord has given you to eat.  These are the Lord’s instructions: Each household should gather as much as it needs. Pick up two quarts for each person in your tent.”  So the people of Israel did as they were told. Some gathered a lot, some only a little.  But when they measured it out, everyone had just enough. Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered only a little had enough. Each family had just what it needed.

Exodus 16:11-18

God "miraculously" provided food for the Children of Israel to eat as they traveled through the wilderness on the way to the Promised Land.  They had Manna in the morning and quail in the evening and were sustained by those provisions until they reached the land of Canaan.

There is a statement in these verses about the miracle of Manna that is often overlooked.  "Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered only a little had enough!" 

You never need to ask the question, "Do I have enough?"  The only question you must ask is this: "Did what I have, even if it is only a little, come from God?"  If what you have came from God, then it is enough!  And of course if what you have did not come from God, it will never be enough!

This was apparently the same kind of miracle that Jesus did with the loaves and fish.  Good common sense would say you don't have enough to feed 5000 people, but with the blessing of Jesus you do, and with lots left over.

So, busy yourself with gathering Manna in the morning and let God take care of whether or not it is enough for the day.  You can rest in the fact that His provision will be enough!

"Lord Jesus, help me today to concern myself with making sure I am gathering Manna from You and not Mammon or money from the world.  If what I have is Manna, it will be enough, but if all I have is Mammon (money), it will never be enough! And may You be praised forever!  Amen."

Sunday, February 1, 2015

A Hard Heart in the Hand of the Lord!

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God struck down the first-born in every Egyptian family. 

God's love never fails.  

He rescued Israel from Egypt. 

God's love never fails

God used his great strength and his powerful arm.

God's love never fails. 

He split the Red Sea apart. 

God's love never fails. 

The Lord brought Israel safely through the sea. 

God's love never fails. 

He destroyed the Egyptian king and his army there. 

God's love never fails.

Psalm 136:10-15

Over and over again Pharaoh had proclaimed that he was going to let the people go, but then his hard heart took over and he refused to release the Children of Israel. It was God's way of setting the stage for His power to be manifest for all to see! The plagues of Egypt are still part of our vocabulary when we speak of a disaster of "biblical proportions!"

I suppose Pharaoh set the standard for any leader today whose heart is "hard" toward God, His Word, and the people who call on the name of Jesus! And if your land has such a leader do not be discouraged! Even as every twist and turn of the heart of Pharaoh served God's purpose, hardhearted leaders today are clay in the hands of the Potter!

When God was finished with Pharaoh, the hard heart of the King pushed him to drive his army into the Red Sea where God destroyed the King and his army! So if you live under the rule of a hardhearted "Pharaoh" today you can trust that God is still working to deliver His people and bring them all to the Promised Land!

Keep your heart soft and your ears open for the voice of God. And when you hear Him tell you what to do or where to go, then rejoice and say "Yes" to every Word that comes from Jesus!

"Thank You Lord that I do not have to be frustrated by the hard heart of a leader! I know You will use even his rebellion against You to glorify Your Name. And may You be praised forever. Amen."