Friday, October 21, 2016

Your Reward in Heaven

Don't store up treasures on earth! Moths and rust can destroy them, and thieves can break in and steal them.  Instead, store up your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy them, and thieves cannot break in and steal them.  Your heart will always be where your treasure is. 

Matthew 6: 19 - 21

Do you have treasures in Heaven?  If I were to ask you to tell me what your treasures are that you have in Heaven, what would you say?  I’m afraid many Christians would not be able to answer that question.  They know that they want to go to Heaven because the alternative is not good at all, but they haven’t considered what Heaven will be like and the idea that they already have something stored up in Heaven waiting for them is a completely foreign concept.

There are those who preach that our reward for following Jesus is material blessings on this earth.  They are wrong.  God will bless us here, but the real, and eternal blessings from God are stored in Heaven, not on the earth.  And, we have preached the truth that we cannot earn our salvation, but have then ignored the fact that God does reward you for what you do here!  When you walk in faithful obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ, you are certainly storing up treasures in Heaven!  What are those treasures?  Only God knows since He is the source of every good and perfect gift.  But you can be sure that every cup of cold water you give a thirsty person in the name of the Lord will result in a reward in Heaven!

“Lord Jesus, thank You for making a way, the only way to get to Heaven!  And Jesus, falling down at Your feet will be reward enough for all Eternity!  Praise Your Holy Name forever.  Amen.” 

Monday, October 17, 2016

He Did it Again!

Then I was told: These words are true and can be trusted. The Lord God controls the spirits of his prophets, and he is the one who sent his angel to show his servants what must happen right away.  Remember, I am coming soon! God will bless everyone who pays attention to the message of this book.  

My name is John, and I am the one who heard and saw these things. Then after I had heard and seen all this, I knelt down and began to worship at the feet of the angel who had shown it to me.  But the angel said, Don't do that! I am a servant, just like you. I am the same as a follower or a prophet or anyone else who obeys what is written in this book. God is the one you should worship.

Revelation 22: 6 - 9

John did it again!  This was the second time that John got down on his knees and began to worship the angel.  The first time the angel told him not to do it, but John was so overwhelmed by the message sent from Heaven that he once again began to worship the angel! 

If you don’t believe there can be a strong temptation to worship the messenger, just ask the Apostle John!  He did it twice!  

John’s example is clear.  Just because you have been convicted by the Holy Spirit of doing something that God doesn’t want you to do, it doesn’t mean that you will not be tempted to do that same thing again!  

The problem with the human race only began with the first sin!  Since then, every person ever born has willingly joined Adam and Eve in rebelling against the Will of God repeatedly!  Never assume that being once convicted of a sin will mean that you will not be tempted to do that same thing again!

“Lord Jesus, help me today to stand strong against the sin that is so easy to repeat in my life!  Strengthen me by Your power in me to walk always according to Your will and worship only You, my Lord and my God.  Amen.” 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Citizen of Heaven!

I often warned you that many people are living as enemies of the cross of Christ. And now with tears in my eyes, I warn you again that they are headed for hell! They worship their stomachs and brag about the disgusting things they do. All they can think about are the things of this world.  But we are citizens of heaven and are eagerly waiting for our Savior to come from there. Our Lord Jesus Christ has power over everything, and he will make these poor bodies of ours like his own glorious body.

Philippians 3: 18 - 22

Over the years, I have heard many threats by people who were very unsettled by the outcome of an election.  They declare that they will “leave the country” if their man or woman doesn’t win!  But I have yet to hear of someone who actually did it.  

Giving up your citizenship on this earth is however exactly what Jesus Christ is asking you to do!  He wants you to give up your place in this world and exchange it for a place in Heaven with Him!  In simple terms, you become a Citizen of Heaven.  

How does being a Citizen of Heaven change your life on this earth?  It changes it in every way.  But the most important thing is that your heart is turned toward Heaven and you are bound by the desires of God, not the rules of men!  

When the laws of men conflict with the heart of God you step in His direction.  You are willing to suffer whatever the consequence for being loyal to the Creator!  And you do this because you know for certain that He will love and care for you forever.  Close your eyes and imagine that when you open them you will see His face for the first time, and that you will keep on seeing Him forever!

“Lord Jesus, help me to think about You and about Heaven today as I live on this earth as a Citizen of Heaven.  Praise Your Name forever.  Amen.”

Saturday, October 8, 2016

One in Christ!

I am not anyone's slave. But I have become a slave to everyone, so that I can win as many people as possible.  When I am with the Jews, I live like a Jew to win Jews. They are ruled by the Law of Moses, and I am not. But I live by the Law to win them.  And when I am with people who are not ruled by the Law, I forget about the Law to win them. Of course, I never really forget about the law of God. In fact, I am ruled by the law of Christ.  When I am with people whose faith is weak, I live as they do to win them. I do everything I can to win everyone I possibly can.

1 Corinthians 9: 19 - 22

The apostle Paul lived his life with the purpose of calling others to give their hearts to Jesus Christ.  He would submit himself to customs and traditions that others believed were important but which he knew were not required by God.  He did this in order to remove any stumbling blocks from his attempt to proclaim the amazing message of Jesus Christ!  

When you see someone clinging to a tradition that is not required by God there is the strong temptation to confront them and let them know how “stupid” it is to believe it.  That is much of the reason why there are so many different Christian groups in today’s world, believers who judge each other for not following the same traditions!

But when your love for and devotion to Jesus Christ grows stronger, you find it much easier to let go of the traditions of men and the customs that men require to prove your righteousness!  You can then in good conscience submit yourself to traditions like Paul did in order to bring people to Jesus Christ.

Instead of spending your life battling about which custom or tradition is best, spend all your time and energy telling others about the wonderful love of Jesus!  When you do that, that same love will draw you together with men and women who live by many different traditional rules, and you will all be One in Christ!

“Thank You Jesus, for loving even those whose faith is weak, because Jesus we are all weak in faith!  Help us all to be One in loving You!  Now and forever!  Amen.”

Friday, October 7, 2016

Obey His Voice!

Moses and Aaron went to the entrance to the sacred tent, where they bowed down. The LORD appeared to them in all of his glory and said, "Moses, get your walking stick. Then you and Aaron call the people together and command that rock to give you water. That's how you will provide water for the people of Israel and their livestock." Moses obeyed and took his stick from the sacred tent. After he and Aaron had gathered the people around the rock, he said, "Look, you rebellious people, and you will see water flow from this rock!"

He raised his stick in the air and struck the rock two times. At once, water gushed from the rock, and the people and their livestock had water to drink.  But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Because you refused to believe in my power, these people did not respect me. And so, you will not be the ones to lead them into the land I have promised."

Numbers 20: 6 - 12

This was the second time that God provided water from a rock to keep the people from dying of thirst.  The first time God instructed Moses to strike the rock and Moses obeyed.  But now God only told Moses to speak to the rock and instead Moses struck the rock.  The consequence for Moses was that he lost the opportunity to lead the people into the Promised Land.

This story is filled with important teachings about our walk with God and our obedience, but it is certainly significant to note the difference between a principle and a command!  Moses may have thought that since God told him to strike the rock the first time, that striking the rock is what he should always do in situation like this.  But God was giving a specific command, not establishing a principle!

That is why we should always ask for and listen for wisdom from God about every situation and not simply move ahead because of what we heard God say previously in a similar circumstance!

There are spiritual principles that should guide our actions, but when God speaks, know that you must always be obedient to the voice of God!

“Lord Jesus, speak to my heart with Your Word for today!  Thank You that following You is not just going by a set of principles, but it is hearing You and obeying You in everything!  Praise Your Name forever.  Amen.”  

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Walk in His Wake!

Israel, listen to me! You will soon cross the Jordan River and go into the land to force out the nations that live there. They are more powerful than you are, and the walls around their cities reach to the sky.

Some of these nations are descendants of the Anakim. You know how tall and strong they are, and you've heard that no one can defeat them in battle.  But the LORD your God has promised to go ahead of you, like a raging fire burning everything in its path. So when you attack your enemies, it will be easy for you to destroy them and take their land.

After the LORD helps you wipe out these nations and conquer their land, don't think he did it because you are such good people. You aren't good--you are stubborn! No, the LORD is going to help you, because the nations that live there are evil, and because he wants to keep the promise he made to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Deuteronomy 9: 1 - 4

The enemies that God wants us to fight are stronger than we are!  That is an often forgotten truth which causes us to stumble in our walk with the Lord!  The certain way to succeed in spiritual warfare is to only go where the Lord has gone ahead of you, and where His raging fire has burned everything in its path.  Then, when you attack it will be easy for you to “destroy your enemies and take their land!”

Of course, your goal as a follower of Jesus is not to destroy your enemies, but rather to call them to become followers of Jesus as well.  The principle of going only where God has gone before you in telling people about Jesus can be seen clearly in the aftermath of a natural disaster.  The cord that holds men tightly to the world system can be often broken by some earthly tragedy, and their hearts begin searching for God!

So following Jesus not only means to do what He has said, but it also means that we go where He has gone!  Jesus is moving in the world around you and the opportunities of today are most clearly seen when you walk in His wake!

“Lord Jesus, thank You for preparing the way for me to go today!  Show me again today how to travel the path that You have prepared!  May Your Name Jesus be praised forever.  Amen.”

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

His Pull on the Reins of Your Heart!

“God gives peace, and he raised our Lord Jesus Christ from death. Now Jesus is like a Great Shepherd whose blood was used to make God's eternal agreement with his flock.  I pray that God will make you ready to obey him and that you will always be eager to do right. May Jesus help you do what pleases God. To Jesus Christ be glory forever and ever! Amen.”

Hebrews 13: 20 - 21

My neighbors are Amish, and they drive horses not cars.  A good horse is one that not only knows how to pull with all his strength, but it is one that is ready to obey at the slightest pull on the reins.  Unless you are watching very carefully, you will not see the command of the driver.  When the horse receives the instruction, whether it is turn right, turn left, speed up, slow down or stop he responds immediately and without question!  If a horse does not do that he will not be long for this world!

As a follower of Jesus, are you ready to obey the will of Jesus?  Do you look for and listen for His pull on the reins of your heart?  And when you feel it, do you respond immediately or do you question the will of God for this moment?  

The essence of living a successful Christian life on planet earth is being ready to obey every desire of the Father and being eager to do right in every situation of life.  

“Thank You Jesus for allowing me to feel Your pull on the reins of my heart.  And may I be ready to obey Your every wish for my life.  Praise Your Name forever.  Amen.”

Monday, October 3, 2016

God is the Reward!

Faith makes us sure of what we hope for and gives us proof of what we cannot see.  It was their faith that made our ancestors pleasing to God.  Because of our faith, we know that the world was made at God's command. We also know that what can be seen was made out of what cannot be seen.  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. That's why his body was never found.  But without faith no one can please God. We must believe that God is real and that he rewards everyone who searches for him.

Hebrews 11: 1 - 6

Do you believe that God is real?  Or is God, to you simply a “concept” rooted in your need to look to a higher power?  God is not an idea formed in the mind of man.  Actually, you are an idea that came from the mind of God!  God has always existed and will exist forever.  You, on the other hand are a creation of God Himself and you only exist because God has willed it so!

So how does the “creation” make the “Creator” happy?  These verses in Hebrews 11 clearly state that the only way to please God is to have faith in Him!  Without faith it is simply impossible to make God happy!  The specifics of having faith in God include, believing that He is real and that He rewards everyone who searches for Him.  

The believing part is relatively easy, in fact the Bible says that even demons believe in Him and tremble in fear of Him.  But they do not search for Him!  To please God you must believe that He rewards those who search for Him.

Are you searching for and seeking to know God every day?  Are you looking for Him to show up in every conversation you have, every thought that you ponder, every path you go down?  You can know for certain that there is a reward for seeking and searching for God.  And that reward is simple and priceless.  The reward for seeking God is finding Him!  There is no greater treasure than the reward of finding God.  He is the treasure at the end of a rainbow, and the reward at the beginning and of course the rainbow itself is from God.  The reward of seeking God is God Himself!

“Lord Jesus, help me today to believe that God is real and give me the strength to search for Him in everything I encounter today.  May You Jesus, be praised forever.  Amen.”