Tuesday, March 31, 2015

You Will Understand Later!

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Jesus knew he had come from God and would go back to God. He also knew that the Father had given him complete power.  So during the meal Jesus got up, removed his outer garment, and wrapped a towel around his waist.  He put some water into a large bowl. Then he began washing his disciples' feet and drying them with the towel he was wearing.  But when he came to Simon Peter, this disciple asked, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”  Jesus answered, “You don't really know what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

John 13:3-7

As you walk in the steps of Jesus through this life, there are many things that you don't understand.  You may see where the steps of Jesus are leading you, but you do not know why.  You may be clearly convicted as to what you should say to someone you meet on the road of life, but you have no idea what God's purpose is for those words. 

Christians are like men on a chess board and God is playing the game.  He may move me from where I am now to another square, but His reason for the move remains hidden in His mind until He is ready to reveal it.  I believe God has a purpose for every encounter in my life.  When I stand next to someone, even for a brief moment, I know that God knows something I may do or say that will glorify Him and draw others to His throne! 

The reason I may miss many of those "God appointed moments" is that I am expecting to understand now rather than later!  When Jesus washed the feet of Peter, the disciple did not understand what the Lord was doing, but later he came to know the full meaning of  that humble moment of service.  Peter must have pondered it often over the years to come! 

If you are truly a follower of Jesus Christ and are hearing His voice, there will be many times when you hear what He says, but you will not understand why He speaks those words.  Remember the Words Jesus spoke to Peter on the night He washed the disciples feet.  Jesus said, "You don't really know what I am doing, but later you will understand."

"Lord Jesus, gives me the ears to hear Your voice and the courage to follow You even when I don't know where You are going!  May You, Lord Jesus be praised forever.  Amen."

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Is Your Light Darkness?


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No one lights a lamp and then hides it or puts it under a clay pot. A lamp is put on a lampstand, so everyone who comes into the house can see the light.  Your eyes are the lamp for your body. When your eyes are good, you have all the light you need. But when your eyes are bad, everything is dark.  So be sure your light isn't darkness.

Luke 11:33-35

Years ago I knew a girl who had been blind since birth. She was quite comfortable in her blindness and confessed that she really didn't want to see, because she knew that there were many temptations that would come with being able to see!  But her life was severely limited by her inability to see.

In a sense, every man is born blind.  We are blind to the things of God and for us the "darkness" of this world's wisdom is our light!   Men and women walk through this life never knowing that there is so much more to see because they have never turned to Jesus and received their "spiritual sight" from the Savior of all who will spend Eternity in Heaven!

How does a man who is born blind know that there is such a thing as sight? The answer to that question is simple and yet very profound. A blind man is gently guided through the darkness by someone who can see the obstacles in his way and helps him avoid them. He comes to know that being able to see is better than being blind!

If you have spiritual eyes because of the Blood of Jesus and His Power being present in your life, then instead of commanding the blind man to see, show him the way. Let him see by the life you live before him that you can see things that are in the dark to his eyes! Then he will ask you to show him how he can see like you do!

And when a man comes to Jesus, he sees that what he thought was light is really darkness.  And the light of Jesus causes him to see everything differently.

"Lord Jesus, may Your light fill my heart and mind so that my eyes will see everything around me as You see it! And may You be praised forever. Amen."

Saturday, March 21, 2015

A One Verse Doctrine!

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Finally, the devil took Jesus to Jerusalem and had him stand on top of the temple. The devil said, “If you are God's Son, jump off.   The Scriptures say:‘God will tell his angels to take care of you. They will catch you in their arms, and you will not even hurt your feet on the stones.’ ”   Jesus answered, “The Scriptures also say, ‘Don't try to test the Lord your God!’ ”  After the devil had finished testing Jesus in every way possible, he left him for a while.

Luke 4:9-13

This final temptation in Luke 4 came with a dose of scripture from Psalm 91. Satan quoted the Bible in an attempt to get Jesus to sin! The "Great Deceiver" even uses the Word of God to confuse your mind and lead you to sin. Jesus then responded with Deuteronomy 6:16 which tells us not to "test" the Lord.

These verses clearly show that the Devil can even use the Bible itself in an attempt to lure us away from God. How does Satan do that today? When you hold to a doctrine that is supported by only one verse of Scripture, it would be wise to consider that your "interpretation" may come from the bowels of Hell instead of the Holy Spirit.  Of course, one verse is enough to establish a truth from God, but if your understanding of that verse is contradicted by other Words of Scripture, then you need to re-examine it!

Just because you have found a verse that seems to justify an action you are planning to take, does not mean that you will have God's blessing when you do it. The book of Romans talks about those who use their understanding of the Grace of God to justify sin!

Remember, that you are in the process of being shaped into the image of Christ Himself. The Word of God will become the thoughts of your mind and the desire of your heart. The Love of Jesus will be your consuming passion above everything else in life. And you will reject every work of the flesh and doctrine of the world that wants to lure you away from Jesus! And you will praise the Holy Name of Jesus, Forever! Amen.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Jesus is Not a Part-Time Lord!

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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.  Then the one sitting on the throne said:I am making everything new. Write down what I have said. My words are true and can be trusted.   Everything is finished! I am Alpha and Omega,the beginning and the end. I will freely give water from the life-giving fountain to everyone who is thirsty.

Revelation 21:1-6

When you invite someone to move in to your home, everything changes! You begin to share things that you have never shared before and just the time you spend interacting with someone else living in your home makes life very different.

When you invite Jesus into your heart, everything changes! You share things with Jesus that you never shared before. And the time you spend talking to and fellow shipping with Jesus makes your life schedule completely different.

Jesus did not die so that He could meet with you one hour a week, or even one hour a day. Jesus wants to be your constant companion not your part-time Lord!

"Lord Jesus, help me to open my heart, mind, and entire life to You so that everything will indeed be new in my life! And Lord, may You be my reason for every breath and the source of every thought that goes through my head. Praise Your Holy Name forever! Amen."

Monday, March 16, 2015

The God of the Impossible!



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Then in a loud voice she (Elizabeth) said to Mary:God has blessed you more than any other woman! He has also blessed the child you will have.  Why should the mother of my Lord come to me?  As soon as I heard your greeting, my baby became happy and moved within me.  The Lord has blessed you because you believed that he will keep his promise.

Luke 1:42-45

Mary was blessed because she believed that God would keep His impossible promise. An angel told Mary that she would have a baby without ever having been with a man. That was impossible.

God told Noah that the whole earth would be covered by a flood. That was also "impossible!" Jesus told the disciples that He would be killed and three days later rise from the dead. That again was "impossible!"

It is the impossible promises of God that show everyone who hears them and then sees them come to pass that Almighty God is indeed on His Throne and in charge of all that there is!

When you pray and God's answer is "impossible" prepare your heart for a miracle! But also prepare to hear the words of Satan that proclaim that even God cannot do the impossible!
My friend, God cannot only do the impossible, He is the God of the Impossible! With God all things are possible, even the impossible!

"Lord Jesus, it seems impossible that the God of Heaven and Earth and Creator of everything that there is would love even me! But You do, and for that miracle I am eternally grateful! May You, Lord Jesus be praised forever. Amen."

Monday, March 9, 2015

Filled With All That God Is!


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God is wonderful and glorious. I pray that his Spirit will make you become strong followers  and that Christ will live in your hearts because of your faith. Stand firm and be deeply rooted in his love.   I pray that you and all God's people will understand what is called wide or long or high or deep.  I want you to know all about Christ's love, although it is too wonderful to be measured. Then your lives will be filled with all that God is.  I pray that Christ Jesus and the church will forever bring praise to God. His power at work in us can do far more than we dare ask or imagine. Amen.

Ephesians 3:16-21

The Spirit Filled man or woman is not just a "cleaned up" version of "fallen" Adam or Eve. When you submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in your life, sin becomes the farthest thing from your mind and your daily walk is a path of righteousness. But there is more. These verses say that you "will be filled with all that God is." The only way to even begin to understand what that means is to ask God for the wisdom to know!

God is love and when a man or woman is filled with all that God is, he or she is filled with love! The love of God is not simply a gushy emotion, but is seen in continual acts of life sustaining kindness! Because of God's love we have air to breathe, food to eat, and a way to stay warm in the winter. Because of God's love we are able to love the unlovely and be kind to those who are not kind in return.

Now here is perhaps for me the most difficult part of loving like God does. God loves even those who will spend Eternity in Hell, separated from Him! When a man does not separate himself from sin, then he will be separated from God!  God's holiness demands that sin be removed from His presence.

When you are filled with all that God is, you will be a target for the unrighteous and a sweet smelling aroma for those who also know God! But never forget that usually the first temptation leveled at someone who is filled with all that God is will be pride! When you see the power of God working through you, you will be tempted to believe that you are doing it yourself, and that now you are a "new man" instead of an old man filled with the power of God!

"Lord Jesus, I pray that my life will be filled with all that God is, and that Your power at work in me will do more than I ask or imagine! May You be praised forever. Amen."

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Better than Abel's Blood!



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You have now come to Mount Zion and to the heavenly Jerusalem. This is the city of the living God, where thousands and

thousands of angels have come to celebrate.  Here you will find all of God's dearest children, whose names are written in heaven. And you will find God himself, who judges everyone. Here also are the spirits of those good people who have been made perfect.   And Jesus is here! He is the one who makes God's new agreement with us, and his sprinkled blood says much better things than the blood of Abel.

Hebrews 12:22-:24

When Cain killed Abel the violent and sometimes deadly struggle between good and evil reared it's ugly head for the first time in human history!

Unrighteousness has tried all through time to put an end to the righteous.
The blood of Abel was the first, but it was by no means the last. The list of those who have bled and even lost their lives because of their faith in God and their walk with Jesus Christ is long and growing!

There was a time in the recent past when the story of martyrdom was a history lesson, not today's news!   But now, in many parts of the world holding true to Jesus can cause you to loose your head!

When the Blood of Jesus was shed, the one who was fatally injured was Satan not Christ. The Blood of Jesus "did the Devil in" and provided a covering for the sins of those who would follow Him and be obedient to His Word!

The blood of Abel showed everyone that the War was on, but the Blood of Jesus showed us all that the War was over!

When Jesus said, "It is finished," He declared the Victory over sin and death for everyone who would come to Him!

"Lord Jesus, thank You that Your Blood says better things than the blood of Abel. I know Lord that nothing can wash away my sins, except Your Precious Blood. May You be praised forever. Amen."

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Restoring His Image on Your Heart!


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The Pharisees got together with Herod's followers. Then they sent some men to trick Jesus into saying something wrong.  They went to him and said, “Teacher, we know that you are honest. You treat everyone with the same respect, no matter who they are. And you teach the truth about what God wants people to do. Tell us, should we pay taxes to the Emperor or not?”  Jesus knew what they were up to, and he said, “Why are you trying to test me? Show me a coin!”  They brought him a silver coin, and he asked, “Whose picture and name are on it?”“The Emperor's,” they answered.  Then Jesus told them, “Give the Emperor what belongs to him and give God what belongs to God.” The men were amazed at Jesus.

Mark 12:13-17

I believe these verses are about much more than some Pharisees trying to trick Jesus into saying something wrong, or even about whether or not people of God should pay tax to a godless government.  I think Jesus is saying that human beings are made in the image of God and therefore, rightfully belong to God! 

When a man or woman turns their heart to God, it can be accurately said that they have turned "back to God!"  Except for Adam and Eve we all began life as little children, and Jesus Himself said that we must all become like little children if we are going to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. 

So when you give your heart to Jesus, you are simply giving Jesus what is rightfully His because His image is on your heart!  Don't forget that even the worst sinner among us was created in God's image. 

I know a man who restores old vehicles.  He can make a car or truck look like it did on the day it came from the factory!  That indeed is what God does with lives.  But we all know of the "used car salesman" who makes a car look new on the outside, but is still old and broken on the inside.  That restored vehicle will soon break down and be totally undependable.  A true restoration cannot be done "overnight" and quickly!  It takes time, but the results are beautiful and dependable!

"Lord Jesus, restore every part of me that is broken and in need of repair.  And Lord, give me the patience to wait on Your perfect renewal of my life!  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen."

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Bible Study Before Sin!


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The snake was sneakier than any of the other wild animals that the Lord God had made. One day it came to the woman and asked, “Did God tell you not to eat fruit from any tree in the garden?”   The woman answered, “God said we could eat fruit from any tree in the garden, except the one in the middle. He told us not to eat fruit from that tree or even to touch it. If we do, we will die.”  “No, you won't!” the snake replied.  “God understands what will happen on the day you eat fruit from that tree. You will see what you have done, and you will know the difference between right and wrong, just as God does.”  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.

Genesis 3:1-6

What could possibly be wrong with discussing "What God Said" and asking the question "What did God mean?" It sounds like a perfectly enjoyable Bible Study that, if you are a follower of Jesus, we all have enjoyed many times! The difference in this dialogue in theology is rather profound. Satan approached Eve to entice her to disobey God based on her "understanding" of what God Himself had said!

There is a monumental difference between studying the Word of God in order to justify disobedience and in searching the Scriptures in your quest for obedience!

The warning for us all is this: Exposing yourself to the Word of God and even studying it's "meaning" does not prove that you are walking right before Him. Remember the first sin was preceded by a discussion of "theology." Satan is still quite capable of conversing about the "meaning" of what God has said!

Are you seeking to understand what God has said so that you can be obedient to His Word, or are you studying the Bible in an attempt to justify your sin? Remember Adam and Eve stepped in to the chasm of sin and eternal damnation based on the desire to justify disobedience!

"Lord Jesus, I want to trust and obey Your every Word. Show me how to be obedient to You today in everything I do. May I be obedient to You, Lord even when I don't understand why You said the things You did. And may You be praised forever. Amen."