Saturday, August 29, 2015

Covered Minds!

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We are not like Moses. His face was shining, but he covered it to keep the people of Israel from seeing the brightness fade away.  The people were stubborn, and something still keeps them from seeing the truth when the Law is read. Only Christ can take away the covering that keeps them from seeing.  When the Law of Moses is read, they have their minds covered over with a covering that is removed only for those who turn to the Lord.

2 Corinthians 3:13-16

When you turn your mind to the Bible, but do not turn your heart to Jesus, you will find that your mind is covered with a veil that will keep you from understanding what you read! The truth of God's Word is for those who love Him and seek to know Him.

If you were to find a stack of "love letters" written with the greatest tenderness, but those love letters were not written to you, they would certainly be interesting, but not "life changing." But if you were to find that same stack of letters and they were addressed to you what a difference that could make in your life!

For you is the Bible a history book or a love letter? If it is a history book, you may believe everything in it, but not have your life changed at all. If the Bible to you is a love letter, every Word is life altering in some significant way! If my heart is turned to Jesus then the Bible is "God speaking to me!"

"Lord Jesus, help me today to see Your Word as a love letter and not a book of history! Touch my heart with Yours today and every day. And may You be praised forever. Amen."

Friday, August 28, 2015

His Word is Truth!

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Everything God says is true—and it's a shield for all who come to him for safety.  Don't change what God has said! He will correct you and show that you are a liar.

Proverbs 30:5-6


My father taught me many things during the years I lived under his constant care.  When he left this earth, now almost thirty years ago he left me with his word.  I remember what he said about so many things.  Basically, he taught me "how to think" about life.  And it is a tribute to my father to say that he taught me well!

My Heavenly Father has taught me many things during the years I have lived under His constant care!   When I was a small boy I was taught that the Bible is the "TRUTH."  That was a hard concept for a child to comprehend, and I suppose in many ways it is still difficult to understand.  I guess that's why someone decided to use the title  "Holy Bible" on the cover of many editions of Scripture.

The Bible is not just a Book of Miracles, it is itself a miracle.  God committed His Word to writing so that until the End of Time men will have access to what God thinks about everything in life!  You can take your greatest difficulties, confusions and sufferings and find in the Bible the Words that calm your heart, give direction to your steps and ease the pain of life itself. 

I would simply challenge you to open the Bible expecting to hear from God.  When you do that you will find your needs addressed in the Words of God.  And like a Good Father He will teach you how to see life itself!

"Lord Jesus, today I need to know what You think about everything I encounter.  Your Word is Truth and I need to know the truth today.  May You be praised forever!  Amen."

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Are You Waiting for Jesus?

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We die only once, and then we are judged.   So Christ died only once to take away the sins of many people. But when he comes again, it will not be to take away sin. He will come to save everyone who is waiting for him.

Hebrews 9:27-28
If someone asks you the question "What are you waiting for?" it is usually an encouragement for you to hurry up and do something.  But it can also mean that they want to know what you expect to receive at the end of a time of being very patient. 

I would ask you that question in relation to Jesus.  If you have not turned your heart, mind and body over to Jesus Christ, so that He can direct your steps for the rest of your life, then WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?  But if you have already accepted Jesus as your Savior and Lord, then also tell me WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?  

If you are a Christian you should be waiting for the return of Jesus today!  That day of His return will come and it will come suddenly and "without warning."  Are you ready for His return?  If you knew for certain that today was the Day that Jesus would come back to Planet Earth, how would you live your life this day?

When the trumpet sounds there will be no time for repentance. You will not be able to repair relationships that have been damaged.  You will hear the sound and time will be gone.   

Live this day as if it were the last day you will spend on this earth!  Be ready for and watch for the return of Jesus today.

"Lord Jesus, I do want You to come back and take me to be with You forever.  Help me today Lord to spend my time getting ready for Your return.  And may You be praised forever.  Amen."

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

God Wins and Satan Loses!

The oceans you saw the prostitute sitting on are crowds of people from all races and languages.  The ten horns and the beast will start hating the shameless woman. They will strip off her clothes and leave her naked. Then they will eat her flesh and throw the rest of her body into a fire.  God is the one who made these kings all think alike and decide to give their power to the beast. And they will do this until what God has said comes true.

Revelation 17:15-17
As things descend into chaos on the earth you may be tempted to think that God has "lost control." That is not true. In fact, it is just the opposite. God is the only one who is still very much in control and He is orchestrating the fulfillment of His will on Planet Earth!

Satan himself is the unwilling pawn on God's chessboard. The infinite Power of God Almighty makes all the forces of evil seem like a literal "drop in the bucket" of Eternity! The outcome of the struggle between Good and Evil has already been decided. God wins and Satan loses!

If you are worrying about what will happen, then you are not depending on the faith that Jesus wants you to rest in! God is watching everything on earth and is allowing only those things that will work together to bring Eternal Bliss to those who love Him!

"Lord Jesus, calm my heart today and help me to rejoice in You as I wait for Your soon return! And may You be praised forever. Amen."

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The War is On!

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When the dragon realized it had been thrown down to the earth, it tried to make trouble for the woman who had given birth to a son.   But the woman was given two wings like those of a huge eagle, so she could fly into the desert. There she would escape from the snake and be taken care of for a time, two times, and half a time.  The snake then spewed out water like a river to sweep the woman away.   But the earth helped her and swallowed the water that had come from the dragon's mouth.  This made the dragon terribly angry with the woman. So it started a war against the rest of her children. They are the people who obey God and are faithful to what Jesus did and taught. 
Revelation 12:13-17

Theses verse clearly say that there will be a time when Satan will declare "War" on followers of Jesus! I believe that time of War may be now. Beheading Christians is on the rise in many parts of the world. Christians and Jews are certainly the target of terrorism today. There are those who want to kill all the Jews as well as those who call Jesus their Lord!

But persecution does not accomplish what Satan wants it to. Instead of slowing down the growth of Christianity, persecution is the fertilizer that invigorates and draws others to lay down their lives for Jesus! The fact that being a follower of Jesus may be dangerous simply means that you will see the power of Jesus working in your life every day as He confirms that you are indeed on the right path!

Remember, you are not "unarmed" as a Christian. You are not only filled with the Holy Spirit, but you have the "Sword of the Spirit" which is the Word of God at the ready in your heart and mind! The Words of Scripture are not just to give you understanding, they are also there to use as weapons against the wiles of the Devil! When you utter God's Word all of Creation must pay attention! It always has and always will!

"Lord Jesus, lead me today to the place where I should stand in the battle that is raging against those who follow You. Give me courage and peace as I confront the Enemy of those who follow You! May You be praised forever! Amen."

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Evil People Must be Removed!

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God is praised for being mysterious;  rulers are praised for explaining mysteries.  Who can fully understand the thoughts of a ruler?  They reach beyond the sky and go deep in the earth.   Silver must be purified before it can be used to make something of value.   Evil people must be removed before anyone can rule with justice.

Proverbs 25:2-5

Solomon wrote these words and he was the best example of a ruler who could explain the mysteries of God! Solomon was known for and praised for his wisdom. And that wisdom was given to Solomon by God Himself!

So listen carefully to what Solomon then says about how to rule with justice. He says that "evil people must be removed before anyone can rule with justice." Do you remember the U.S. presidential election a few years ago when there was a national debate about whether or not "character" mattered in the selection of a President of the United States? Enough people voted who believed that character was not an important qualification, and a man was elected who did not have "good character" written on his resume. The aftermath of that decision is still plaguing the government of the United States!

I may have no power to remove evil people from my land, but I can do something about making sure that I am not one of them! I can remove evil from my life and heart! I can stand against evil in my heart, walk away from it when I see it, and run away if I need to! As a follower of Jesus, with the Holy Spirit living in my heart, He can remove the evil from my life!

"Lord Jesus, I choose again today to let You clean my heart and mind and create in me a clean heart! Remove all evil from my life and fill me with Your Love! And may You be praised forever. Amen."

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

His Power at Work in You!

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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 3:19-21

As a follower of Jesus Christ, do you work for God, or does God accomplish His will through you?  One man, even in the prime of his youth has very little power to accomplish anything in this life.  But one man, filled with the Holy Spirit of God has unlimited power to do the things that God wants done through him! 

These verses clearly say that you can't even imagine what God can do by working through you.  With God in your heart you can speak just the right words in every situation without even knowing what those words should be or why you should speak them. 

The power of God in you will enable you to know what "deed" you can do that will "tip the scale" in the life of someone who has not yet committed their life to God.  Even a worldwide revival may start with a spark in your heart as you come humbly before the Lord!

And you have no way of knowing what the Eternal Consequences are of your daily and quiet faithfulness to Jesus!  Remember, the giant oak tree started as a tiny acorn! 

"Lord Jesus, Your power at work in me is all I need in this life!  I cannot ask or even imagine how much you can accomplish through me!  May all the praise for everything that I do that is good be given to You, now and forever!  Amen."

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Obedience Instead of Love?

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I know everything you have done, including your hard work and how you have endured. I know you won't put up with anyone who is evil. When some people pretended to be apostles, you tested them and found out they were liars.   You have endured and gone through hard times because of me, yet you have not given up.   But I do have something against you! And it is this: You don't have as much love as you used to.   Think about where you have fallen from, and then turn back and do as you did at first. If you don't turn back, I will come and take away your lampstand.

Revelation 2:2-5

These words of Jesus are recorded in the Book of Revelation and were specifically spoken to Christians in the city of Ephesus.  They rated high on hard work, endurance, not putting up with evil, and even testing those who claimed to be apostles but were not.  They also had not given up even though they had gone through hard times!  But then there are these words of rebuke!


Jesus then tells them that if they don't turn back to the love that they had "at first" He will come and "take away" their lampstand!  I suppose we could debate about exactly what does it mean to take away your lampstand, but why not rather spend your energy and time in reclaiming the love you had when you first met Jesus! 

Yes, the Lord wants you to obey the Words of Scripture, but obedience without love is really of no value!  Jesus wants you to obey Him because you love Him, not obey Him instead of loving Him! 

"Lord Jesus, give me more love for You today.  May my obedience and diligence flow out of my growing love for You so that my lamp will continue to spread Your light to everyone around me.  And may You be praised forever.  Amen."

Sunday, August 16, 2015

No Other Help in Desperate Times!

I asked the Lord for help,    and he saved me
    from all my fears.
Keep your eyes on the Lord!
You will shine like the sun
    and never blush with shame.
I was a nobody, but I prayed,
    and the Lord saved me
    from all my troubles.
If you honor the Lord,
    his angel will protect you.
Discover for yourself
    that the Lord is kind.
    Come to him for protection,
    and you will be glad.

Psalm 34:4-8

Who can save us? The world itself is falling apart. When you think you see a glimmer of hope in the world, it quickly fades as even more darkness rolls over the land! It is not an overstatement to say that these are desperate times! And desperate times call for desperate actions!

Here is the most radical response you can give to all the insanity in the world! Keep your eyes on Jesus. Let the focus of your heart and mind as well as your eyes be Jesus Christ. Think about Him all the time. Talk to Him about everything you see and hear in your day. Live your day as if Jesus was carrying you in His arms all day long. Respond to every word of "bad news" from the perspective of someone who is filled with the Holy Spirit of God, and consumed with the Fellowship of Jesus Himself!

Instead of asking "what will I do" when troubles come today, ask "what will Jesus do" since He is with me and has promised never to leave me, even to the end of the world?

Yes the "End of the World" may be near, but Jesus is near, and that is a certainty!

"Lord Jesus, help me today to walk with You and feel Your presence every minute of every hour. You Lord Jesus are everything I need and the solution to all my problems! And may You be praised forever. Amen."

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Jesus is the Only Way!

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But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.  So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man.   Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life.   But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back.   After that the end will come, when he will turn the Kingdom over to God the Father, having destroyed every ruler and authority and power.

I Corinthians 15:20-24

Death came to this world because of sin.  If Adam and Eve had never sinned they would still be alive on this earth today!  But they did sin and death was the result.  Even as sin and death came to this world, Jesus was born to reverse the consequences of both sin and death.

Jesus not only died, but was raised from death as the first of a "Great Harvest" of all who have died! 

If you belong to Christ you will be given "new life" and you will experience resurrection from the dead!  That new life will last forever with Jesus in Heaven. 

We live in a world that proclaims that we must honor and accept everyone's religion but God never says that in the Bible.  He says that Jesus is the only way for us to get to Him. 

"Lord Jesus, thank You for making the way for me to get to the Father.  Without You I would be lost forever.  Oh Lord Jesus, may I be one of those who bows before Your throne and praises Your Name throughout Eternity.  Amen."

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Creation of Eve!

Charm can be deceiving, and beauty fades away,  but a woman who honors the Lord deserves to be praised.   Show her respect—praise her in public for what she has done.

Proverbs 31:30-31 

There is great wisdom in the Book of Proverbs! We live in a world that praises women for their charm and beauty, but both of those things come to an end here on this earth. These verses from Proverbs tell us to praise a woman who honors the Lord! And in fact, it tells us to praise her publicly.

God created beauty, but the beauty that the world admires lasts for only a time, then it fades. But a woman who is beautiful because she honors the Lord will only grow more beautiful the longer she lives!
In today's world, at least in the western world, we often hear women being criticized and demeaned, but we rarely hear a woman being praised in public for honoring the Lord!

The challenge I would present to you is this: Look for an opportunity today to publicly praise a woman who honors the Lord! I suppose this is mine. My wife is the mother of six and grandmother of twenty-two and insists that they all, respect and honor the Lord when in her presence! She is a woman who prays much. She has spent her life serving others and seeking Jesus! And as she does, her beauty and charm are not fading and certainly not deceiving!

This challenge is not just for men. If you know a woman who honors the Lord, honor her publicly and you will be obedient to the words of this scripture.

"Lord Jesus, thank You for the blessings that come to us all through women. Whether it be mother, wife, daughter, sister or just friend, we praise You for Your great wisdom in the Creation of Eve! And may You be praised forever. Amen."

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Power Not Words!

Ten thousand people may teach you about Christ, but I am your only father. You became my children when I told you about Christ Jesus,  and I want you to be like me.  This is why I sent Timothy to you. I love him like a son, and he is a faithful servant of the Lord. Timothy will tell you what I do to follow Christ and how it agrees with what I always teach about Christ in every church.  Some of you think I am not coming for a visit, and so you are bragging.   But if the Lord lets me come, I will soon be there. Then I will find out if the ones who are doing all this bragging really have any power.   God's kingdom isn't just a lot of words. It is power. 
1 Corinthians 4:15-20

Have you ever heard someone say "he can talk a good game?" That means that a man's words don't match what he can actually accomplish. For instance, you might learn everything that there is to know about golf, but not be able to swing the club and hit the ball at all! You might be an "expert" on swimming, but never get in the water!

Some people who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ have learned all about a relationship with Jesus without ever having fellowship with the Lord! These folks can spiritually "talk a good game."

Here is a sobering truth: You don't really learn what is in my heart by listening to me talk. We all know that there are professional actors who can "play a role" and make you think that they really are the person "created" by the author of the story!

The test of whether or not you are a genuinely "born again" believer is in how you live, not in what you say! So instead of spending time "practicing" your testimony, focus on spending your whole day depending on the Power of God and listening to the Holy Spirit as you walk in the steps of Jesus! Then your "testimony" will be what others say about you and not what you say about yourself!

"Lord Jesus, help me today to walk by the Power that comes only from You instead of simply talking about it! May You be praised forever. Amen."

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Jesus is the Head!

I saw thrones, and sitting on those thrones were the ones who had been given the right to judge. I also saw the souls of the people who had their heads cut off because they had told about Jesus and preached God's message. They were the same ones who had not worshiped the beast or the idol, and they had refused to let its mark be put on their foreheads or hands. They will come to life and rule with Christ for 1,000 years.   These people are the first to be raised to life, and they are especially blessed and holy. The second death has no power over them. They will be priests for God and Christ and will rule with them for 1,000 years.No other dead people were raised to life until 1,000 years later.

Revelation 20:4-6

You can get your head cut off for lots of different reasons, but did you know that if your head is cut off because you are one who proclaims God's message there is a special blessing for you?

Just a few years ago we all thought that the world has moved past the idea of decapitation as a means of punishment. It was so "barbaric" and surely we have all moved far beyond the practice of cutting off someone's head. Well, the practice is back and it is spreading!

What I need to remember is this: If I lose my head because I am a follower of Jesus Christ there is a special blessing for me! I should also keep in mind that Satan not only wants to cut off my head from my body, but he also wants to cut off Jesus from His body. The Devil wants to separate you from your Head, which is Jesus! A body can stay alive without a hand or a foot, but not without it's head. The Body of Christ, the Church cannot live without being connected to the Head, Jesus!

"Lord Jesus, I can live forever, even with my head cut off of my body, but I cannot live even for one second if I am cut off from You. You are my Head and without You I have nothing at all. Thank You Lord, that no one can ever separate You from Your Body. And may You be praised forever. Amen."

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

One Thing?

I ask only one thing, Lord: Let me live in your house every day of my life to see how wonderful you are and to pray in your temple.

Psalm 27:4 

The "man after God's own heart," King David asked "one thing" of the Lord. That thing was this: David wanted to live in God's house and see how wonderful God is along with the right to pray in God's temple!

You may think you know someone very well, but if you move into their house, you find out so much more about who they are! God wants you to live in His house! He wants you to see how wonderful He is. God wants you to involve Him in every minute of your day! Jesus promised that He would be with us ALWAYS! And of course when you know for certain that Jesus is with you, what can come your way that would cause you to despair? If Jesus is with you then you are empowered in every situation!

But I think the most marvelous part of David's request of the Lord is that he be allowed to see how wonderful God is! When you live in the house of the Lord and see Jesus with you in every situation, you will live in a continual state of Awe as you marvel at the Creator of everything that there is and know that He is concerned about every second of your life!

"Lord Jesus, I want to live in Your house every day and continually see how wonderful you are. May You be praised forever. Amen."

Monday, August 3, 2015

"God Would Never Let this Happen!"

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From then on, Jesus began telling his disciples what would happen to him.  He said, “I must go to Jerusalem. There the nation's leaders, the chief priests, and the teachers of the Law of Moses will make me suffer terribly. I will be killed, but three days later I will rise to life.”   Peter took Jesus aside and told him to stop talking like that. He said, “God would never let this happen to you, Lord!”

Matthew 16:21-22

Peter heard what Jesus said about being killed and he reacted in a most human way. Peter thought he knew what God would and would not do and was convinced that God would never let Jesus be killed. Jesus rebuked Peter because Peter wanted to stand in the way of the will of God!

Don't walk in the steps of Peter in telling others what God would or would not do! My job is to listen to the voice of the Lord and walk in the way that He has called me. I am not to be the judge of others who follow Jesus and are listening for His Word. They will stand accountable to the Lord for whether or not they were obedient to His call.

Read Romans 14 about the weaker and stronger brother before deciding that you must get involved in a brother or sister's walk of faith! It is especially hard to understand the actions of someone whose faith is stronger than yours!

If Peter had been a contemporary of Abraham I am sure that he would have told the "Father of the Faithful" that God would never tell him to sacrifice Isaac!

"Lord Jesus, help me today to clearly hear Your voice and like Abraham be willing to obey You no matter what! And may You be praised forever. Amen."

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Don't Laugh at God's Messengers!

Hezekiah's messengers went everywhere in Israel and Judah with the following letter: People of Israel, now that you have survived the invasion of the Assyrian kings, it's time for you to turn back to the Lord God our ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob worshiped. If you do this, he will stop being angry. Don't follow the example of your ancestors and your Israelite relatives in the north. They were unfaithful to the Lord, and he punished them horribly.   Don't be stubborn like your ancestors. Decide now to obey the Lord our God! Come to Jerusalem and worship him in the temple that will belong to him forever. Then he will stop being angry,  and the enemies that have captured your families will show pity and send them back home. The Lord God is kind and merciful, and if you turn back to him, he will no longer turn his back on you.   The messengers went to every town in Ephraim and West Manasseh as far north as the territory of Zebulun, but people laughed and insulted them. 
2 Chronicles 30:6-10
It was long before the days of being "Politically Correct" that my mother taught me not to make fun of other people. It didn't matter who they were or what their circumstance, poking ridicule at others who were "different" was not OK.

But what about "making fun" of God's attempt to call you back to Him? Can you not see that when a nation respects and recognizes God they are blessed in every way. And when a nation rejects God there is a wave of trouble that comes across the land.

A tidal wave of judgement is coming to this world while most people stand on the beach and ignore the warnings! The only way to stay alive in a tsunami is to run to higher ground, and the only way to survive the judgement that is coming on the world is to run to the "higher ground" of faith in Jesus Christ!

If you are tempted to ridicule those who are sounding the alarm and calling you to repentance, it is time to sober up! God will bring judgement on those who ignore the Good News of Jesus!

"Lord Jesus, give me the courage to deliver Your warnings and call men and women back to You before it is too late. And may You be praised forever. Amen."