Monday, July 31, 2017

Choose Jesus!

Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The past is forgotten, and everything is new.  God has done it all! He sent Christ to make peace between himself and us, and he has given us the work of making peace between himself and others.  What we mean is that God was in Christ, offering peace and forgiveness to the people of this world. And he has given us the work of sharing his message about peace.  We were sent to speak for Christ, and God is begging you to listen to our message. We speak for Christ and sincerely ask you to make peace with God.

2 Corinthians 5: 17 - 20

When Adam and Eve sinned, the entire human race declared war on God!  Ever since that day men and women have, by nature opposed the rule of God in their lives.  They are determined to say “no” to every Word that comes from the mouth of God!  To them, God is the enemy of a happy life on earth!

They believe that God would have them to “just say no” to everything that is truly delightful on this earth.  To them, it seems that God created men and women with desires that He demands them not to fulfill!  They see the Christian life as a somber, sad and unfulfilled experience!  But that is a huge lie of Satan!

When you make Peace with God by accepting the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross, your life steps in to an arena of unparalleled peace, joy and fulfillment!  It is beyond your fondest dreams!  The Creator of everything that is becomes your daily Companion and One who is eager to impart His wisdom in your daily walk!  

“War and Peace” are the two possible states of man’s existence.  You can be at War with God because that is the family tradition of human beings, or you can be at Peace with the Creator through the Blood of Jesus Christ!  The choice is yours!  Choose Peace!  Choose Jesus!

“Lord Jesus, thank You for paying the price for my Eternal Peace and Joy!  You are indeed the Good News, now and forever!  Amen!”

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Addicted to Jesus!

I will praise you, LORD, with all my heart and tell about the wonders you have worked.  God Most High, I will rejoice; I will celebrate and sing because of you.  When my enemies face you, they run away and stumble and are destroyed.  You take your seat as judge, and your fair decisions prove that I was in the right.  You warn the nations and destroy evil people; you wipe out their names forever and ever.  Our enemies are destroyed completely for all time. Their cities are torn down, and they will never be remembered again.  You rule forever, LORD, and you are on your throne, ready for judgment.  You judge the world fairly and treat all nations with justice.  The poor can run to you because you are a fortress in times of trouble.  Everyone who honors your name can trust you, because you are faithful to all who depend on you.

Psalm 9: 1 - 10

Do you run to God in times of trouble?  Do you honor the Name of God, and do you depend on Him?  

You can be sure that there will be troubled times for everyone who lives on this earth.  There is no guarantee of the “Good Life” for anyone, but difficulties are certainly going to be a part of every life on earth!  

The victorious Christian life is not one that is problem free, it is rather a life that responds to hard things by running to Jesus.  Someone has said that, “Jesus is the answer to every question!”  Every one of life’s puzzles and troubles can be solved by turning toward Jesus and then running to Him!

Also, when you honor the Name of the Lord, you will find yourself trusting Him more.  And, of course, when you depend on God, you will see how faithful He is to keep all His promises!

In a sense, a Christian is “addicted” to Jesus!  Jesus becomes the overwhelming source of strength, help, and comfort in times of trouble!  But the truth is this:  Being addicted to Jesus is a good thing, not a bad thing!  It is wonderful to let your relationship with Jesus consume your mind, heart, and yes your whole life.  

“Lord Jesus, You are the answer to every question, and the strength to get through every difficulty.  And You Lord are the only one on whom I can depend!  Praise Your Holy Name forever.  Amen.”

Saturday, July 29, 2017

It Will Happen!

The LORD is going to twist the earth out of shape and turn it into a desert. Everyone will be scattered, including ordinary people and priests, slaves and slave owners, buyers and sellers, lenders and borrowers, the rich and the poor.  The earth will be stripped bare and left that way. This is what the LORD has promised.  The earth wilts away; its mighty leaders melt to nothing.  The earth is polluted because its people disobeyed the laws of God, breaking their agreement that was to last forever.  The earth is under a curse; its people are dying out because of their sins.  Grapevines have dried up: wine is almost gone-- mournful sounds are heard instead of joyful shouts.

 No one plays tambourines or stringed instruments; all noisy celebrating has come to an end.  They no longer sing as they drink their wine, and it tastes sour.  Towns are crushed and in chaos; houses are locked tight.  Happy times have disappeared from the earth, and people shout in the streets, "We're out of wine!"  Cities are destroyed; their gates are torn down.  Nations will be stripped bare, like olive trees or vineyards after the harvest season.  People in the west shout; they joyfully praise the majesty of the LORD.  And so, everyone in the east and those on the islands should praise the LORD, the God of Israel.  From all over the world songs of praise are heard for the God of justice. But I feel awful, terribly miserable. Can anyone be trusted? So many are treacherous!

 Terror, traps, and pits are waiting for everyone.  If you are terrified and run, you will fall into a pit; if you crawl out of the pit, you will get caught in a trap. The sky has split apart like a window thrown open. The foundations of the earth have been shaken; the earth is shattered, ripped to pieces.  It staggers and shakes like a drunkard or a hut in a windstorm. It is burdened down with sin; the earth will fall, never again to get up.  On that day the LORD will punish the powers in the heavens and the kings of the earth.  He will put them in a pit and keep them prisoner. Then later on, he will punish them.  The moon and sun will both be embarrassed and ashamed. The LORD All-Powerful will rule on Mount Zion in Jerusalem, where he will show its rulers his wonderful glory.

Isaiah 24: 1 - 24


Friday, July 28, 2017

Even in My Heart!

. . .God has commanded the present heavens and earth to remain until the day of judgment. Then they will be set on fire, and ungodly people will be destroyed.  Dear friends, don't forget that for the Lord one day is the same as a thousand years, and a thousand years is the same as one day.  The Lord isn't slow about keeping his promises, as some people think he is. In fact, God is patient, because he wants everyone to turn from sin and no one to be lost.

2 Peter 3: 7 - 9

These words are very difficult to understand.  God, who is all knowing, and all powerful, desires something that according to the Scriptures will not happen.  The Almighty wants no one to be lost, but Mark 16:16 says that if you do not believe you will be condemned. 

There are those who say that the Sovereignty of God means that He will get everything He wants.  But God wants everyone to be saved and according to His own Word it will not happen.  Does this mean that God is weak and cannot do anything He wants?  Of course not.  It means that God wants your heart more than He wants your obedience.  He could force you to comply with every rule He has established without having your love!  But He created you with the freedom to choose or reject the One who breathed into your lungs the breath of life!  

So when you choose God, you give your Creator the one thing that He cannot give Himself.  And that is because when He created men He gave them the power to love Him or reject Him!  

Remember this: Your salvation means everything to you, but it also means everything to God!  He is one side of the loving relationship that the sacrifice of Jesus made possible.  

“Lord Jesus, help me today to choose You in every decision that I make.  May Your will be done even in my heart.  Praise Your Holy Name forever.  Amen.”

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

My Problem of Sin!

Sometimes false prophets spoke to the people of Israel. False teachers will also sneak in and speak harmful lies to you. But these teachers don't really belong to the Master who paid a great price for them, and they will quickly destroy themselves.  Many people will follow their evil ways and cause others to tell lies about the true way.  They will be greedy and cheat you with smooth talk. But long ago God decided to punish them, and God doesn't sleep.  God did not have pity on the angels that sinned. He had them tied up and thrown into the dark pits of hell until the time of judgment.  And during Noah's time, God did not have pity on the ungodly people of the world. He destroyed them with a flood, though he did save eight people, including Noah, who preached the truth.  God punished the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and this is a warning to anyone else who wants to sin.

2 Peter 2: 1 - 6

There is only one way to avoid the judgement and wrath of God!  That way is Jesus Christ Himself.  

Don’t be foolish and pretend that God will overlook sin just because your sin is not as bad as the sin of other people.  Sin is a deadly plague that covers the earth and has only one cure.  Good works, law keeping, being charitable and generous with others, and everything else you might imagine will not keep you from being held accountable for your sin!  

One bite of poisoned food can make you just as sick as eating a whole meal of contaminated cuisine!  Jesus is the answer to the problem of sin, and He is the only answer!  Nothing and no one else can keep you from the Wrath of God because of your sin!

“Lord Jesus, thank You for being the solution to my Problem of Sin!  Draw me ever closer to You today as I wait for the day of Your return.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.” 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Unhindered Prayer!

If you are a husband, you should be thoughtful of your wife. Treat her with honor, because she isn't as strong as you are, and she shares with you in the gift of life. Then nothing will stand in the way of your prayers.

1 Peter 3: 7

If you have a wife, you should pay very special attention to 1 Peter  3:7.  Your ability to pray “unhindered” prayers is directly dependent on how you treat your wife.  

There is nothing more “faith building” than praying specifically and then seeing God’s very specific answer to that prayer!   Anything that gets in the way of that process will keep you from growing in faith!  Not treating your wife with honor will directly affect your ability to pray and grow in faith! 

So, if your goal for today to is “work on your prayer life,” then focus on how to honor your wife and bless her as God intends!  A good way to test this verse is to find a man who is powerful in prayer and watch him to see how he treats his wife!  The two things are closely related!

Remember, Jesus is the perfect example of a husband and His Bride will be honored at His side forever! 

“Lord Jesus, show me today how to honor my wife so that nothing will get in the way of my prayers!   May Your Name be praised now and forever.  Amen.”

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Angel Number Four!

The third angel emptied his bowl into the rivers and streams. At once they turned to blood.  Then I heard the angel, who has power over water, say, "You have always been, and you always will be the holy God. You had the right to judge in this way.  They poured out the blood of your people and your prophets. So you gave them blood to drink, as they deserve!"  After this, I heard the altar shout, "Yes, Lord God All-Powerful, your judgments are honest and fair."   The fourth angel emptied his bowl on the sun, and it began to scorch people like fire.  Everyone was scorched by its great heat, and all of them cursed the name of God who had power over these terrible troubles. But no one turned to God and praised him.

Revelation 16: 4 - 9

In today’s world there is a great debate about “Global Warming.” Some say there is no doubt about the “fact” that the earth is heating up and that men are to blame, while others think that the recent warming, if there really is any, is just a part of the normal cycle of weather patterns.

Whatever the case, the Bible speaks of a time when “Angel Number Four” will empty his bowl on the sun, and it will begin to scorch people like fire!  Then, men will blame, not each other, but God Himself for the tragedy! 

When you see the judgments of God all around you, there is only one thing to do: “REPENT AND TURN YOUR HEART TO JESUS!”  He is the only hope of this world and the only One who can save! 

“Lord Jesus, I know that the global warming that men are talking about today is nothing compared to the global scorching that will happen when the Fourth Angel pours out his bowl!  Take my heart now and keep it safe until the Day that You return!  Praise Your Holy Name forever.  Amen.”

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Choosing to Say Yes!

If we say that we share in life with God and keep on living in the dark, we are lying and are not living by the truth. But if we live in the light, as God does, we share in life with each other. And the blood of his Son Jesus washes all our sins away.   If we say that we have not sinned, we are fooling ourselves, and the truth isn't in our hearts.   But if we confess our sins to God, he can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away.   If we say that we have not sinned, we make God a liar, and his message isn't in our hearts.

1 John 1: 6 - 11

Telling other people that you are a follower of Jesus Christ does not make you one!  Even telling people about Jesus and the eternal fact that they can be saved through His sacrifice on the Cross does not make you a Christian!  

Jesus is Lord of your life, not because you say “Jesus is Lord,” but rather because you make your life choices based on His Will and His Word rather than your own!  

The “Free Will” that Jesus has given you is simply this:  You can choose to say “no” to God!  But you can also choose to say “YES!”  And when you say YES to God you will be living in the light and are truly a follower of Jesus Christ.

It is not that we should occasionally say YES to the Holy Spirit’s prompting in our lives.  That must be how we live minute by minute!  If you have not heard a Word from God during the past few minutes, then you are not listening!  

“Lord Jesus, help me today, instead of simply telling others about You, let me show them how You walked among men and trusted the Father in everything!  May there be no darkness on the path that I walk this day.  Praise Your Holy Name, now and forever.  Amen.”

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Prescription for Happiness!

God blesses those people who refuse evil advice and won't follow sinners or join in sneering at God.   Instead, the Law of the LORD makes them happy, and they think about it day and night.   They are like trees growing beside a stream, trees that produce fruit in season and always have leaves. Those people succeed in everything they do.   That isn't true of those who are evil, because they are like straw blown by the wind.   Sinners won't have an excuse on the day of judgment, and they won't have a place with the people of God.   The LORD protects everyone who follows him, but the wicked follow a road that leads to ruin.

Psalms 1: 1 - 6

This first Psalm begins with a prescription which tells you how to be happy.  The blessings of God fall on those who refuse “evil advice,” don’t follow sinners or join in speaking in opposition to God!  And happiness comes to those who think about what God has said, during the day and during the night!

You are going to think about something.  The range of things you can think about goes from the lowest things of the gutter all the way to the Glories of Heaven!  It is a choice you can make and it is a choice that will determine how your day, your life, and yes, your Eternity will go!  

The harm in exposing yourself to music, movies and other “entertainment” that ignores or even outright denies God is that during that time you will not be thinking about the things of God and what He has said!  And of course, you will get “evil advice” and see men “sneering at God.”  

Here is some good advice.  Read the Word of God today until something God has said sticks in your mind enough, to stay there all day and through the night as you ponder and consider the Word of God!  Letting your mind be actively thinking about God’s Word will guard your mind and heart against the messages that Satan wants to deliver to you each and every day!  

“Lord Jesus, help me to think about Your Word all day and dream about it all night as I walk in the way You have prepared for me to go.  Praise Your Holy Name forever.  Amen.”

Saturday, July 15, 2017

God's Long Term Project!

I pray that God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ will be kind to you and will bless you with peace!  Every time I think of you, I thank my God.  And whenever I mention you in my prayers, it makes me happy.  This is because you have taken part with me in spreading the good news from the first day you heard about it.  God is the one who began this good work in you, and I am certain that he won't stop before it is complete on the day that Christ Jesus returns.

Philippians 1: 2 - 6

I like short term projects.  I can start and finish something, even the same day.  Then, I can move on to something else.  And God certainly has many “short term projects” for His children.  A cup of cold water given to a thirsty person can be done quickly, but as the scriptures say it can have an eternal impact.  

Sometimes the Holy Spirit will lead you to speak a word of encouragement to someone who needs it, and you never know why.  There are many such opportunities in the life of a follower of Jesus.  

I know though that life itself is a “long term experience.”   From the day that God created Adam until the day the “Second Adam” returns to claim His Bride, God has been working His will on Planet Earth.  God has a plan and He will perfectly execute that plan. Your life is part of that plan!

Human existence is like a giant jig saw puzzle and you are one piece of that picture. 

So yes, there are many short term projects as a follower of Jesus, but they are all part of the very long term project of preparing a Bride for Jesus Christ.

“Lord Jesus, help me to see today that everything You lead me to do is part of the plan You have for making Your Bride ready for Your return!  Praise Your Holy Name, now and forever!  Amen.”

Friday, July 14, 2017

Always on My Mind!

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Such a large crowd of witnesses is all around us! So we must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially the sin that just won't let go. And we must be determined to run the race that is ahead of us. We must keep our eyes on Jesus, who leads us and makes our faith complete. He endured the shame of being nailed to a cross, because he knew that later on he would be glad he did. Now he is seated at the right side of God's throne!  So keep your mind on Jesus, who put up with many insults from sinners. Then you won't get discouraged and give up.

Hebrews 12: 1 - 3

In your walk with the Lord, how do you get rid of the sin that just won’t let go?  That sin slows you down in the race that God has called you to run in this world.

These verses answer that question.  Getting rid of anything that slows you down in your Christian walk is simply a matter of keeping your eyes and mind on Jesus.  

When you keep looking at Jesus, you won’t be distracted by the “fruit” which is hanging on the tree of temptation.   Jesus is the “perfect man” and you will be captivated by the sight of Him working in the world all around you!  

And when your mind is continually pondering the Majesty of Christ the things of this world will “grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”  Those words come from a worship song called “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.”

When you look for Jesus in everything around you and think about Him all the time, you will find that the pull of this world is greatly diminished and your walk with the Lord will dominate your life!

“Lord Jesus, let me see You today in what is happening around me.  And Jesus help me to keep you always on my mind!  Praise Your Holy Name, now and forever.  Amen.”

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Story of Your Faith?

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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.   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 that God had planned and built.

Even when Sarah was too old to have children, she had faith that God would do what he had promised, and she had a son.  Her husband Abraham was almost dead, but he became the ancestor of many people. In fact, there are as many of them as there are stars in the sky or grains of sand along the beach.

Every one of those people died. But they still had faith, even though they had not received what they had been promised. They were glad just to see these things from far away, and they agreed that they were only strangers and foreigners on this earth.  When people talk this way, it is clear that they are looking for a place to call their own.  If they had been talking about the land where they had once lived, they could have gone back at any time.  But they were looking forward to a better home in heaven. That's why God wasn't ashamed for them to call him their God. He even built a city for them.   Abraham had been promised that Isaac, his only son, would continue his family. But when Abraham was tested, he had faith and was willing to sacrifice Isaac, because he was sure that God could raise people to life. This was just like getting Isaac back from death.  Isaac had faith, and he promised blessings to Jacob and Esau.  Later, when Jacob was about to die, he leaned on his walking stick and worshiped. Then because of his faith he blessed each of Joseph's sons.  And right before Joseph died, he had faith that God would lead the people of Israel out of Egypt. So he told them to take his bones with them.

Because Moses' parents had faith, they kept him hidden until he was three months old. They saw that he was a beautiful child, and they were not afraid to disobey the king's orders.  Then after Moses grew up, his faith made him refuse to be called Pharaoh's grandson.  He chose to be mistreated with God's people instead of having the good time that sin could bring for a little while.  Moses knew that the treasures of Egypt were not as wonderful as what he would receive from suffering for the Messiah, and he looked forward to his reward.  Because of his faith, Moses left Egypt. Moses had seen the invisible God and wasn't afraid of the king's anger.  His faith also made him celebrate Passover. He sprinkled the blood of animals on the doorposts, so that the first-born sons of the people of Israel would not be killed by the destroying angel. 

Because of their faith, the people walked through the Red Sea on dry land. But when the Egyptians tried to do it, they were drowned.  God's people had faith, and when they had walked around the city of Jericho for seven days, its walls fell down.  Rahab had been a prostitute, but she had faith and welcomed the spies. So she wasn't killed with the people who disobeyed.  What else can I say? There isn't enough time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets.  Their faith helped them conquer kingdoms, and because they did right, God made promises to them. They closed the jaws of lions and put out raging fires and escaped from the swords of their enemies. Although they were weak, they were given the strength and power to chase foreign armies away.

Some women received their loved ones back from death. Many of these people were tortured, but they refused to be released. They were sure that they would get a better reward when the dead are raised to life.  Others were made fun of and beaten with whips, and some were chained in jail.  Still others were stoned to death or sawed in two or killed with swords. Some had nothing but sheep skins or goat skins to wear. They were poor, mistreated, and tortured.  The world did not deserve these good people, who had to wander in deserts and on mountains and had to live in caves and holes in the ground.

All of them pleased God because of their faith! But still they died without being given what had been promised. This was because God had something better in store for us. And he did not want them to reach the goal of their faith without us.

Hebrews 11: 1 - 41

These verses tell the stories of men and women of faith. What is the story of your faith and how would God put your story into Words? 

"Praise the Holy Name of Jesus, now and forever.  Amen."

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Whole Truth in 31 Words!

First of all, I ask you to pray for everyone. Ask God to help and bless them all, and tell God how thankful you are for each of them.  Pray for kings and others in power, so that we may live quiet and peaceful lives as we worship and honor God.  This kind of prayer is good, and it pleases God our Savior.  God wants everyone to be saved and to know the whole truth, which is,  There is only one God, and Christ Jesus is the only one who can bring us to God. Jesus was truly human, and he gave himself to rescue all of us.

1 Timothy 2: 1 - 5

Sometimes in a court of law you will hear someone promise to tell “the truth, the WHOLE TRUTH, and nothing but the truth.”  These verses from 1 Timothy clearly say that God wants everyone to be saved and to know the WHOLE TRUTH.  Then the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to put the WHOLE TRUTH in one verse.  And here it is: 1 Timothy 2:5!

There is only one God, and Christ Jesus is the only one who can bring us to God. Jesus was truly human, and he gave himself to rescue all of us.

There it is: The WHOLE TRUTH in 31 words!  Every other scripture in the Bible provides testimony to the oneness of God, the mission of Jesus to bring lost mankind to God and the sacrifice He made to rescue us from Hell!

Every other true thing affirms the reality of those 31 words and every false assertion attempts to deny them! 

If you are looking for a good verse to memorize, try 1 Timothy 2:5.  

“Lord Jesus, may the WHOLE TRUTH fill my heart and guide my life today and every day until You come!  Praise Your Holy Name, now and forever.  Amen.”

Friday, July 7, 2017

Impossible Promises!

God promised Abraham a lot of descendants. And when it all seemed hopeless, Abraham still had faith in God and became the ancestor of many nations.   Abraham's faith never became weak, not even when he was nearly a hundred years old. He knew that he was almost dead and that his wife Sarah could not have children.   But Abraham never doubted or questioned God's promise. His faith made him strong, and he gave all the credit to God.   Abraham was certain that God could do what he had promised.  So God accepted him,  just as we read in the Scriptures. But these words were not written only for Abraham.  They were written for us, since we will also be accepted because of our faith in God, who raised our Lord Jesus to life.  God gave Jesus to die for our sins, and he raised him to life, so that we would be made acceptable to God.

Romans 4: 18 - 26

A few verses earlier in Romans 4 Abraham is called the “Father of the Faithful.”   Abraham is described as someone who believed God even when what God had said was humanly impossible!

God expects His children today to have a faith that is just like the faith of Abraham.  Faith is not only believing in Jesus and in God, it is believing the promises that are IMPOSSIBLE!  So if you want to examine your own faith, ask yourself this question: What do I believe God will do that cannot be done without His Power being applied to the situation?  Those are the things that God sees as Faith!  Just believing that God exists is not enough.  The Bible says that only a "fool" would say "there is no God."  

“Lord Jesus, help me today to believe all Your promises even when they are humanly impossible!  Praise Your Holy Name Forever!  Amen.”

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Only One Worthy!

Herod and the people of Tyre and Sidon were very angry with each other. But their country got its food supply from the region that he ruled. So a group of them went to see Blastus, who was one of Herod's high officials. They convinced Blastus that they wanted to make peace between their cities and Herod, and a day was set for them to meet with him. Herod came dressed in his royal robes. He sat down on his throne and made a speech. The people shouted, "You speak more like a god than a man!"  At once an angel from the Lord struck him down because he took the honor that belonged to God. Later, Herod was eaten by worms and died.  God's message kept spreading.  And after Barnabas and Saul had done the work they were sent to do, they went back to Jerusalem with John, whose other name was Mark.

Acts 12: 20 - 25

I have never heard anyone say that this passage about Herod being eaten by worms and dying is their favorite part of the Bible!  There are many scriptures that don’t touch our hearts in a special way but are still very important, or God would not have put them in the Bible at all. 

The people were very impressed when Herod spoke.  What he said and how he said it caused them to elevate him to the status of a god!  But Herod did not deny it and was then struck down by an angel.  Later he got worms and died.

The same thing happened to Paul and Barnabas but their reaction was quick and very different.  They tore their clothes and shouted that they were just human beings and not gods!  Paul and Barnabas must have been seriously concerned about the angel who had struck down Herod for not denying that he was a god!

The warning of these verses is this: Be very careful how you handle praise from other men.  I believe that the safest path is to respond to praise by declaring that God is the one to be praised, and the only one worthy of praise, honor and glory! 

“Lord Jesus, may You be praised now and forever.  For You are worthy of all Praise, Honor and Glory!  Amen.”

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Place to Find God!

The LORD God took a handful of soil and made a man. God breathed life into the man, and the man started breathing.  The LORD made a garden in a place called Eden, which was in the east, and he put the man there.  The LORD God placed all kinds of beautiful trees and fruit trees in the garden. Two other trees were in the middle of the garden. One of the trees gave life--the other gave the power to know the difference between right and wrong.  From Eden a river flowed out to water the garden, then it divided into four rivers.  The first one is the Pishon River that flows through the land of Havilah, where pure gold, rare perfumes, and precious stones are found.  The second is the Gihon River that winds through Ethiopia.  The Tigris River that flows east of Assyria is the third, and the fourth is the Euphrates River.  The LORD God put the man in the Garden of Eden to take care of it and to look after it.

Genesis 2: 7 - 15

Where was the Garden of Eden?  Well the Bible clearly identifies the four rivers of Eden, but that only gives us an idea of the general location of the Garden of Eden.  

And there are lots of other places of Biblical significance that we cannot identify exactly where they are.  The location of the mountain where Moses got the Ten Commandments is uncertain. 

No one knows for sure where the Cross of Christ stood.  Even the tomb of Jesus is impossible to clearly pin point.  

You see, Christianity is not a “religion” of shrines!   It is rather a “relationship” of the Creator with His Creatures!  Jesus told the Samaritan woman in John 4 that the place of worship was no longer important, but rather the condition of the heart of the worshipper!  

So, if you are searching for a shrine or a special place to find God, you need to know that the place to find God is in your own heart after you give that heart to Jesus!  

“Lord Jesus, thank You for promising to be with me always so that I don’t have to search the world to find You!  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Marching Orders from God!

You have kept record of my days of wandering. You have stored my tears in your bottle and counted each of them.

Psalm 56:8

One of my favorite ways to spend days of vacation is to drive through the country with no destination in mind.  There is no need to hurry, since you cannot be late in arriving at the place you will spend the night.  For a few days it is very relaxing and certainly enjoyable.

Many people spend their entire lives wandering from day to day and place to place without ever having a destination in mind!  

Then there are those who have goals in life, but the direction of their lives is to simply own more things than anyone else.  

Perhaps the most noble of the “godless” are the ones who want to “change the world” and make it a better place!  They want to convince everyone that it is urgent that they change their lifestyle to make life on earth better for everyone.

Followers of Jesus are not wandering through this life.  They have a destination and a God given plan for every day.   

But if your life seems to be one of wandering from one day to the next as a child of God, you need to pause long enough to listen to God.  Ask Him for His directions for this day.  When you walk those steps it will be a day like no other!

“Lord Jesus, give me my “Marching Orders” for today, and show me the way to go each and every day for the rest of my time here on this earth.  Praise Your Holy Name forever.  Amen.”

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Christian Civil War!

My dear friends, remember the warning you were given by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.  They told you that near the end of time, selfish and godless people would start making fun of God.  And now these people are already making you turn against each other. They think only about this life, and they don't have God's Spirit.

Jude 1: 17 - 19

Today we are nearer to the End of Time than anyone has ever been before!  And we are seeing and hearing selfish and godless people making fun of God!  They think Christians are silly, stupid and ignorant for believing in Jesus.  For them “Jesus” is simply a “swear word” to be used out of anger or frustration! 

The World also wants followers of Jesus to turn against each other!  They want you to consider your understanding of Scripture to be totally correct and every other brother’s view to be some form of heresy!  Then the children of God will be at war with their brothers rather than waging spiritual warfare with Satan! 

If the saved is a group of believers who agree on “everything,” then Heaven bound Christians will be very, very few!  Certainly, we must believe the Word of God, but even as the Holy Spirit will help you understand the Scriptures, He will also do the same for other believers!  God will use the circumstances of your own life to give context to His Word!  If your life has been one of great pain and suffering, your understanding of suffering in the Bible will not be the same as a man or woman who has suffered very little!  

If you have many children, you will see the Fatherhood of God with greater understanding than a man who has none.  

Jesus wants us to end the “Christian Civil War” and love each other instead!

The point is this: Even though we see many things differently, our love for Jesus and our love for each other is One!  I believe it may only take a few seconds in Heaven to correct all my misunderstandings of God!  

Does this mean that everyone is a Christian and will be saved?  Certainly not!  If everyone is saved, to whom would you preach?  

“Lord Jesus, may peace come to Your children and may we love each other with the love that comes from You!  Praise Your Holy Name forever.  Amen.” 

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Tempted to Hate!

If we say we are his, we must follow the example of Christ.  My dear friends, I am not writing to give you a new commandment. It is the same one that you were first given, and it is the message you heard.  But it really is a new commandment, and you know its true meaning, just as Christ does. You can see the darkness fading away and the true light already shining.  If we claim to be in the light and hate someone, we are still in the dark.  But if we love others, we are in the light, and we don't cause problems for them.  If we hate others, we are living and walking in the dark. We don't know where we are going, because we can't see in the dark.

1 John 2: 6 - 11

 A very common sin that causes many followers of Jesus Christ to stumble along the way is “hate!”  You simply can’t walk in the light while harboring hate in your heart! 

One tactic of the “Powers of the Air” is to use our electronic media to graphically present the people that are easy to hate.  When you see and hear the stories of murderers, rapists, child abusers and terrorists, it is the normal human response for you to hate them!  If you allow yourself to respond as a “normal human” instead of viewing the situation as a child of God, you take one step into the Darkness!  

Some try to avoid indulging in hate by hiding from the world.  They reason that if they don’t know about the evil in the world around them, then they will not fall prey to the temptation to hate!  But how can they “Go into all the world” and preach the message of Jesus without knowing those who need to hear?  

So here is a simple idea.  When you watch, read or listen to the news today, make that a special time of prayer.  Pray for all those you would normally be tempted to hate!  Certainly, you can pray for the victims of the terrible crimes you hear about, but also pray for the ones who are guilty.  Remember, you will see no sin that is bigger than the Blood of Jesus.  

“Lord Jesus, show me today how to love those that I am tempted to hate!  May I walk in Your light as I declare the message of Your Salvation to all men.  Praise Your Holy Name forever.  Amen.”