Thursday, June 30, 2016

Deadly Make Believe!

I offer you my heart, Lord God, and I trust you. Don't make me ashamed or let enemies defeat me. Don't disappoint any of your worshipers, but disappoint all deceitful liars.

Psalm 25:1-3

As the hearts of men turn away from the God who made them, lying becomes the “new normal” in how men communicate with each other!  In courtrooms you may still hear “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth” but everywhere else the “truth” is not expected.

Many years ago in America there were men who would travel around selling bottles of “medicine” that was guaranteed to cure all your ills!  It didn’t matter what was wrong this “miracle cure” tonic would fix it!  Almost everyone knew it was a lie, but it was something they wanted to believe and so the lies continued!  Today we hear politicians and would be politicians making promises and claims that we know are lies, but they are things that we wish were true and so we keep on listening!

The lies of the Devil, who is the father of lies are the same.  He tells us things that we know are not true, but we wish they were so we keep on listening!  It is a deadly form of “make believe.”  Some of Satan’s lies include: 

“You are really a good person so you don’t need Jesus!”

“A good God won’t send anyone to Hell!”

“There are many ways to Heaven, so just pick one and relax!”

And the list of Satan’s lies goes on. Don’t believe any lie from Satan.  Adam and Eve’s first mistake was that they believed the lie of Satan about the consequences of eating fruit from the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil!

“Lord Jesus, fill my heart and mind with truth today.  Give me wisdom to know when I am hearing the truth and when I am hearing a lie.  And may You Jesus, be praised now and forever.  Amen.”

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

God Will Clear the Road!

With all your heart you must trust the Lord and not your own judgment.  Always let him lead you, and he will clear the road for you to follow.

Proverbs 3:5-6

When my own judgment is the same as the Will of God I have no problem following Him.  But when His will and my assessment of the best course of action are not the same, I am tempted to follow my own will and not His!  It is easy to look at life in the ways that you agree with God and ignore those ways that you disagree!  

You may say, “I always agree with God!”  But that is not true.  Since God’s ways and thoughts are higher than any man’s ways and thoughts you will, by nature disagree with God’s Will more than you will agree with it!

So as you approach every decision you make this day ask the question: “What is God’s Will in this situation?”  Don’t seek the most practical answer or the one that makes the most sense.  Pursue knowledge that comes from above in everything.  When you do that you will find that God Himself will clear the road for you and you will rejoice in seeing Him work all around you!

“Lord Jesus, I once again submit my ways, to Your Way!  Show me how and where to take every step along my path this day.  And may You, Jesus be praised forever.  Amen.”

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Jesus Erases Sins!

Well then, what can we say about our ancestor Abraham? If he became acceptable to God because of what he did, then he would have something to brag about. But he would never be able to brag about it to God.  The Scriptures say, “God accepted Abraham because Abraham had faith in him.” 

Money paid to workers isn't a gift. It is something they earn by working. But you cannot make God accept you because of something you do. God accepts sinners only because they have faith in him. In the Scriptures David talks about the blessings that come to people who are acceptable to God, even though they don't do anything to deserve these blessings. David says,

“What a blessing when God forgives our sins and our evil deeds. What a blessing when the Lord erases our sins from his book.”

Romans 4:1-8

It is truly frustrating if you walk into a store looking to buy something that you really do need, and the store clerk shows you the “perfect” thing, but it is way too expensive.  You just can’t afford it.  That is what it is like for the man who is convicted of his sin and realizes that unless he can pay the price for his sin, he will be eternally lost in Hell!  

You know you are not perfect and your sin may be pushed down, but it always comes back when you are depending on your own strength to deal with it!  But then you see what you really need!  You need to be forgiven for your sin and be able to stand clean before the Lord!  Only how can it be done?  You may try to convince yourself that you are good enough to deserve Heaven, but deep inside you know you are not!  An old song perhaps said it best when it asked the question: “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the Blood of Jesus!”

Jesus erases your sins from His Book!  When you turn your heart to Jesus and become His follower the record of your sins vanishes!  When a man comes before a judge and is accused of a crime, his “record” is always considered.  But when you come to the Day of Judgement, if you are a Jesus follower, you will have no record of sins!  No matter how hard anyone will look, your sins will be gone!

“Lord Jesus, praise You forever for erasing my sins from Your Book.  The only thing I really need is what You purchased for me on the Cross.  Bless Your Name now and always.  Amen.”

Monday, June 27, 2016

Enoch Pleased God!

Because Abel had faith, he offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. God was pleased with him and his gift, and even though Abel is now dead, his faith still speaks for him.

Enoch had faith and did not die. He pleased God, and God took him up to heaven. This is why his body was never found. But without faith no one can please God. We must believe that God is real and rewards everyone who searches for him.

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

Abraham had faith and obeyed God. He was told to go to the land that God had said would be his, and he left for a country he had never seen.  Because Abraham had faith, he lived as a stranger in the promised land. He lived there in a tent, and so did Isaac and Jacob, who were later given the same promise.  Abraham did this, because he was waiting for the eternal city God had planned and built.

Hebrews 11:4-10

This is an interesting list of men of faith.  Abel, Noah and Abraham obeyed God and were blessed because of it.  Abel’s blessing was that he was the first person to go from earth to Heaven!  But Enoch was different.  These verses do not talk about Enoch’s obedience, rather it simply says that Enoch pleased God and God took him up to Heaven.  Of course Enoch must have been obedient to God, but it seems that it was Enoch’s relationship and communion with God pleased God so much that He took Enoch without Enoch having to die!

There is a saying that the only two things that are certain are death and taxes!  But for Enoch it seems to have been only taxes.  

As a follower of Jesus Christ today, you should certainly live with the goal of being on God’s list of men and women of faith, but there is more.  Instead of making it the purpose of your life to be obedient to God, add to that your desire to please the Father!  God was pleased with Jesus and He said so!  Let every word you speak today and everything you do be focused on pleasing God!  Someday I hope to hear Enoch tell us how he pleased God so much that God took him to Heaven without dying!

“Lord Jesus, I want to have faith and be obedient, but also show me how to please You today in everything!  May You be praised forever.  Amen.”

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Pray Before You Eat!

God's Spirit clearly says that in the last days many people will turn from their faith. They will be fooled by evil spirits and by teachings that come from demons.  They will also be fooled by the false claims of liars whose consciences have lost all feeling. These liars will forbid people to marry or to eat certain foods. But God created these foods to be eaten with thankful hearts by his followers who know the truth.  Everything God created is good.  And if you give thanks, you may eat anything.  What God has said and your prayer will make it fit to eat.

1 Timothy 4:1-5

Is it your custom to pray before you eat?  In my parent's home and all my married life it was and is the custom to pray before eating a meal.  After hundreds and even thousands of such prayers, you might be tempted to think that the practice of praying before eating is simply a formality with no real impact on your life.  That is wrong.  These verses in 1 Timothy 4 clearly say that praying can change food that is not fit to eat into something that is fine to consume.  

You see when God’s children pray, God acts!  Every time you pray, your life will be different and not like it would have been had you not prayed!

God doesn’t just answer prayer by saying something.  God answers prayer by doing something!  Certainly God can, and does answer our questions which we bring to Him in prayer, but He does more, much more!  

So when you pray, listen and look for His answer!   And the next time you bow your head to pray before eating a meal, remember that God can make this meal fit to eat!

“Lord Jesus, thank You for answering my prayers with actions and not just words!  You are indeed worthy to be praised now and forever.  Amen.” 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Souls in Hell!

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 4:16-18

What will happen to those people who are not “taken up into the clouds” to meet the Lord when He returns from Heaven?  I would answer that question with another one.  “Why do you care?”  Are you still considering whether or not you will be one of the ones that go up to meet Jesus?  There is a series of fictional books about those who are “Left Behind.”   

The best answer to the “Left Behind” question is  this: DON’T FIND OUT!  If you spend your time here on earth trying to understand the plight of the lost, you will miss time enjoying the blessings of the saved!  If you are alive and breathing air today, then you are eligible to believe on Jesus and receive the amazing benefits of faith!  

Those who try to understand the timing and even the theology of the “Second Coming” are missing the peaceful and joyful heart of a follower of Jesus who is ready for His return at every hour of every day!  

Leave the problem of souls in Hell to the God who made them.  The fate of those who are Left Behind is for God to deal with, and you can be sure He will!  

“Lord Jesus, help me today to be ready to go with You when You come!  Give me opportunity to warn those around me that the only way to be ready to leave this earth is to make You the Lord of their life!  May You, Jesus be praised now and forever.  Amen.”

Friday, June 24, 2016

Brexit and Chrexit!

After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. With a mighty voice he shouted: “ ‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!’ She has become a dwelling for demons and a haunt for every impure spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detestable animal. For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.”  Then I heard another voice from heaven say: “ ‘Come out of her, my people,’ so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes.

Revelation 18:1-5 (NIV)

The people of the United Kingdom have voted to leave the European Union!  It was a very bold decision based partly on the fact that the UK was required to accept lots of immigrants who had no allegiance to the country and who made it harder for ordinary British citizens to work and provide for their families.

As I write (speak) these words the decision is less than one day old and the world is bracing for the earthquake which is sure to happen!

If you are a follower of Jesus, then God has called you to “come out” of the world system and depend on Him and not the world around you!   When you do that your life will never be the same again.  It will shake your world like an earthquake.  How you spend your time and money will change.  The things you treasure will be moved from earth to Heaven!  The world around you will think you have lost your mind and that common sense has departed from every thought.  

But when Christians Exit this world and put their focus on Heaven as the goal of life here on earth, by simply doing that, they will challenge others to turn to Jesus themselves!

“Lord Jesus, give me the courage today to vote to exit the world and set my feet on the path toward Heaven.  Praise Your Name forever.  Amen!”    

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Travel Light

An important man asked Jesus, “Good Teacher, what must I do to have eternal life?”  Jesus said, “Why do you call me good? Only God is good.   You know the commandments: ‘Be faithful in marriage. Do not murder. Do not steal. Do not tell lies about others. Respect your father and mother.’ ”

He told Jesus, “I have obeyed all these commandments since I was a young man.”  When Jesus heard this, he said, “There is one thing you still need to do. Go and sell everything you own! Give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven. Then come and be my follower.” When the man heard this, he was sad, because he was very rich.

Jesus saw how sad the man was. So he said, “It's terribly hard for rich people to get into God's kingdom!  In fact, it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get into God's kingdom.”

When the crowd heard this, they asked, “How can anyone ever be saved?” Jesus replied, “There are some things that people cannot do, but God can do anything.”

Luke 18:18-27

The rich man asked Jesus what he could do to have eternal life.  Jesus responded to the question by telling the rich man that he must sell everything that he had and give it to the poor and then come and follow Him!  Jesus knew that the man would not do that because he was very rich.

Somehow, we think that being rich sets a man free to do things that he could not do if he were poor.  When it comes to following Jesus the exact opposite is true.  Money and the things that come with riches war against being a daily follower of Jesus.  Riches require that they be managed and that you spend lots of time taking care that you don’t lose them!  

As a follower of Jesus, you can “travel light.”  You won’t need lots of money or things!  God can and will provide what you need, when you need it!  

Imagine a very rich professional boxer who insists that he have all his possessions with him in the boxing ring.  All he needs to fight is a pair of boxing gloves, shoes and shorts!  If he has more than that he will not be able to fight!

As a follower of Jesus, make sure that you have what you need to fight the “fight of faith” and not burden yourself down with the things of this world!  

“Lord Jesus, help me today to check the things and the money that I have and get rid of the those things that keep me from doing what You want me to do today!  Praise Your Name forever.  Amen.”


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

To Trust List

You have accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord. Now keep on following him. Plant your roots in Christ and let him be the foundation for your life. Be strong in your faith, just as you were taught. And be grateful.  Don't let anyone fool you by using senseless arguments. These arguments may sound wise, but they are only human teachings. They come from the powers of this world and not from Christ.

Colossians 2:6-8

The powers of this world may impress you with their “wisdom” but it is the wisdom of this world and definitely not from Christ!  Perhaps the saying that sounds the most reasonable of all is this: “God helps those who help themselves.”  If you have not yet heard it, I’m sure you will eventually by confronted with the idea that God will not do anything unless you are doing something first!  

Go ahead and search your Bible and see if you find “God helps those who help themselves” somewhere in the Scriptures!  You will not.  You see, the truth is that God helps those who give their hearts completely to Him and totally depend on Him for help in everything!  Helping yourself is not a part of what He requires!  

Abraham tried to “help himself” when he fathered Ishmael.  Peter tried to “help himself” when he cut off the ear of the servant of the high priest. History is filled with examples of people who tried to help God and help themselves and failed miserably at both!  

Instead of making a “To Do List” for your day, make the list, but title it “To Trust List.”  These are the things that you believe need to be accomplished in your life and you set your mind and heart to trust God to work in you, through you or without you to get them done!  

“Lord Jesus, help me to receive every Word of wisdom that comes from You, and to reject everything the world would say that is not from Your heart!  May You, Jesus be praised forever.  Amen.”

Friday, June 17, 2016

Torn Between Two Lovers!

“Don't love the world or anything that belongs to the world. If you love the world, you cannot love the Father.  Our foolish pride comes from this world, and so do our selfish desires and our desire to have everything we see. None of this comes from the Father.  The world and the desires it causes are disappearing. But if we obey God, we will live forever.”

1 John 1:15-17

About 40 years ago there was a popular song in the United States that was titled, “Torn Between Two Lovers.”  It gave “logical reasons” why one woman could love two men and have them both approve of the relationship with the other one!  The problem is that God did not design marriage for more than two people!  When people try to live in a multiple marriage partner relationship they give up the true wonders of that special bond between two people!

That’s the way it is with God as well.  The Bible says that we cannot love this world and love God at the same time.  If you love God and try to love the world as well, you will find that your love of the Father will fade away and your love of the world will consume your life!        

Like the love of a man and a woman, your love for God cannot be shared with the world!  If you love God but have looked at the world fondly wishing you could love the world and love God, wake up and look away from the temptation that would take your heart far away from the Father!

“Lord Jesus,  help me today to keep my heart totally focused on You and not the world around me.  Show me to total joy of loving only You!  May You, Jesus be praised forever.  Amen.”

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Jesus Tossed Aside!

Come to Jesus Christ. He is the living stone people have rejected, but which God has chosen and highly honored. And now you are living stones being used to build a spiritual house. You are also a group of holy priests, and with the help of Jesus Christ you will offer sacrifices that please God.  It is just as God says in the Scriptures,

“Look! I am placing in Zion a choice and precious cornerstone. No one who has faith in this one will be disappointed."

You are followers of the Lord, and this stone is precious to you.
                                                                                                                                                       But it isn't precious to those who refuse to follow him. They are the builders who tossed aside the stone that turned out to be the most important one of all.  They disobeyed the message and stumbled and fell over this stone, because they were doomed.

1 Peter 2:4-8

I know a man who on occasion will spend the whole day looking for rocks in a field.  I’m really not sure why he does it, but I have seen him spend the day picking up rocks.  

If you carefully examine every rock you come across in this life, you may find that, once in a great while you will discover a “precious stone.”  It may be a mineral of great value or even a nugget of gold!  If you take the time, you can profit greatly from taking a long look at the stones that come your way!

Jesus is the “Rock of Ages”  and is the most precious of all!     And yet, everyday people all around the world are confronted with the Christ and toss Him away as they would a worthless piece of limestone.  It is the greatest foolishness on earth!  Finding Jesus and then turning your back on the Savior and walking away from Him is the saddest story ever told!

So today, if you remember that you did once encounter Jesus Christ, but turned away from Him, then now is the time to run back to Him as fast as you can and cling to the Savior and never let go!  

If you refuse Jesus, you will regret it forever, but if you believe in Him and let Him be the Lord of your life, regret will be gone forever!

“Lord Jesus, You are the Rock that I need today.  Hold me tightly to You even as I hold on to You forever!  Amen.” `

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Just Say No to Satan!

What can we say about all this? If God is on our side, can anyone be against us?  God did not keep back his own Son, but he gave him for us. If God did this, won't he freely give us everything else?  If God says his chosen ones are acceptable to him, can anyone bring charges against them?   Or can anyone condemn them? No indeed! Christ died and was raised to life, and now he is at God's right side, speaking to him for us.  Can anything separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble, suffering, and hard times, or hunger and nakedness, or danger and death? 

Romans 8:31-35

If you arranged a game between the best high school football team in America and the worst NFL (National Football League) team there is no question who would win!  All the skill and enthusiasm of the teenage men would be overwhelmed by the sheer size and strength of the professional players!  In fact, it would be amazing if the high school team scored any points at all.

The contest between God and Satan is an even more lopsided one.  The devil, who was himself created by God is trying to topple the One who made him.  The Evil one is without a doubt “going down” and he wants you and me to be destroyed with him. 

The only real enticement Satan has is to lie to us and tell us that following him is much more “fun” than following Jesus.  It would be like someone telling you that falling from an airplane to the ground without a parachute is much more fun than using the life saving device.  Would you eat poisonous food, if it tasted like the most wonderful meal in the world?  Of course not!

When you are on the side of God and give your heart and soul to Jesus, the “end of the game” is already decided.  Jesus won the contest when He died on the Cross!  Remember, every temptation that comes your way is based on the lie of Satan that says it really will not harm you!

“Lord Jesus, open my eyes to see the world around me as You see it.  And give me the strength and wisdom to say NO to every recommendation of Satan.  May You, Jesus be praised forever.  Amen.”     

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Real Love Story!

In everything we have won more than a victory because of Christ who loves us.   I am sure that nothing can separate us from God's love—not life or death, not angels or spirits, not the present or the future, and not powers above or powers below. Nothing in all creation can separate us from God's love for us in Christ Jesus our Lord!

Romans 8:37-39

When the heart of a young man turns to a special young woman, it is an amazing display of how God created human beings!  The young man discovers that nothing on this earth is more important than pleasing the one he loves!  And in fact, he may love her deeply even if she never returns his love!  Then there may come that glorious day when she confesses her love for him and another “real love story” of life begins!

That story is the same as the story of Jesus and you.  Jesus turned His heart to you and died on the Cross to pay for your sins.  Nothing on earth was more important to Jesus than making a way for you to be with Him forever in Heaven.  His desire is that today will be the Glorious Day when you will return His love and let Him be the Lord of your life!  When you do that the Love Story of Eternity begins, and it begins here on this earth!  

So today, if you know that Jesus loves you, it is time to return His love and enter into a love relationship that will last forever!  

“Lord Jesus, I accept Your proposal that I be part of Your Bride in Heaven!  Show me how to be everything You want me to be today.  Praise Your Name forever.  Amen.”

Monday, June 13, 2016

Praise Him in the Valley!

Have pity, Lord! I am hurting and almost blind.
My whole body aches. I have known only sorrow all my life long, and I suffer year after year. I am weak from sin, and my bones are limp.

My enemies insult me. Neighbors are even worse, and I disgust my friends. People meet me on the street, and they turn and run. I am completely forgotten like someone dead. I am merely a broken dish. I hear the crowds whisper, “Everyone is afraid!” They are plotting and scheming to murder me.

But I trust you, Lord, and I claim you as my God. My life is in your hands. Save me from enemies who hunt me down. Smile on me, your servant. Have pity and rescue me. I pray only to you. Don't disappoint me. Disappoint my cruel enemies until they lie silent in their graves. Silence those proud liars! Make them stop bragging and insulting your people.

You are wonderful, and while everyone watches, you store up blessings for all who honor and trust you.

Psalm 31:9-19

When things in your life are going well and you are at peace and not in pain and overwhelmed with grief, it is easy to Praise the Lord!  Loudly proclaiming the Glory of God from a place of comfort and security takes little faith!  

But when God hears your voice of praise from  the valley of despair He knows that your heart belongs to Him!  Rejoicing on the mountain tops is what all men do.  But the valleys are the places where your true heart is revealed!  Of course, when you are in the valley you will cry out for help, but don’t forget to also Praise God from your point of hopelessness!

As a follower of Jesus Christ, the worse thing that can ever happen to you on this earth will result in you being ushered into the presence of God forever!   Satan may kill your body, but he cannot truly harm you!  The valley of despair and hopelessness is the place where you can put all your hope in Jesus!  And no one who hopes in Him will ever be disappointed.  

“Lord Jesus, give me the faith to praise You on the mountains, but even more so in the Valley of Despair!  You are all my hope, now and forever!  May Your name always be praised.  Amen.”   

Friday, June 10, 2016

Remember Who You Are!

I want you to know about the great and mighty power that God has for us followers. It is the same wonderful power he used when he raised Christ from death and let him sit at his right side in heaven.  There Christ rules over all forces, authorities, powers, and rulers. He rules over all beings in this world and will rule in the future world as well.  God has put all things under the power of Christ, and for the good of the church he has made him the head of everything.  The church is the body of Christ and is filled with Christ who completely fills everything.

Ephesians 1:19-23

Being “saved” is certainly important, but being part of the Body of Christ is truly amazing! You are saved from the fires of Hell, but being part of Christ’s Body is why you are saved.  And an even more astounding truth is that you don’t have to wait till you get to heaven to be part of Christ’s Body!  That begins here on earth!

If you are part of a “big” family with father, mother and lots of kids it is very much the same.  Your family should function like a body.  Everyone contributes to the success and joy of the family!  And when one member of the family is suffering they all hurt.  Being cut off from the rest of the family, even for a short time is hard for everyone!  Fathers sometimes admonish their children to “remember who you are.”  What you do in this world either brings praise or shame to your family!

As a member of Christ’s Body, you are part of the family of God!  As you walk through this day determine that everything you do will bring Glory to God and not shame!   Simply, remember who you are in Christ!

“Lord Jesus, I want to live today so that others will honor You in their lives as well.  And may You, Jesus be praised forever.  Amen.”