Sunday, November 19, 2017

Jesus and the Scroll

In the right hand of the one sitting on the throne I saw a scroll that had writing on the inside and on the outside. And it was sealed in seven places.  I saw a mighty angel ask with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?"  No one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or see inside it.  I cried hard because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or see inside it.  Then one of the elders said to me, "Stop crying and look! The one who is called both the 'Lion from the Tribe of Judah' and 'King David's Great Descendant' has won the victory. He will open the book and its seven seals."  Then I looked and saw a Lamb standing in the center of the throne that was surrounded by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb looked as if it had once been killed. It had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God, sent out to all the earth.  The Lamb went over and took the scroll from the right hand of the one who sat on the throne.  After he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders knelt down before him. Each of them had a harp and a gold bowl full of incense, which are the prayers of God's people.  Then they sang a new song, "You are worthy to receive the scroll and open its seals, because you were killed.  And with your own blood you bought for God people from every tribe, language, nation, and race.  You let them become kings and serve God as priests, and they will rule on earth."

Revelation 5: 1 - 10

Without the Cross of Christ, the Word of God would not apply to your life.  The scroll would be sealed and you would have no hope of living in Eternity and enjoying the bliss of Heaven forever!  Jesus is the only one who is able to connect you with God and His Word.  

Bible Study without Jesus is just another academic exercise!  Fellowship with other “believers” without Jesus is no more than a club.  Living a moral life without Jesus certainly has earthly benefits, but gives you nothing of Eternal value!

You see, it is only because of Jesus that the Words in the Scroll apply to your life!  When you read the Bible you can “claim the promises” because of Jesus and what He did.  The primary reason for “dead christianity” is because men and women try to approach God without Jesus!  It has never worked and it will not work today.

“Lord Jesus, You are the One who can open the Word of God in my life.  Only You can open the scroll and break it’s seals.  May Your Name be Praised and Glorified now and forever.  Amen.” 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Jesus Breathe on Me!

The LORD God took a handful of soil and made a man. God breathed life into the man, and the man started breathing.

Genesis 2: 7

Listening to the gentle wind reminds me of what it will be like to hear the breath of God!  The sound of breathing lets you know that life is there.  A beating heart and the sound of air entering and exiting the lungs both continually testify to the presence of life!

Man was made in the image of God and then God breathed His breath into man!  That is when Adam became a living being.  So the image of God was not simply a spiritual likeness of God.  God breathes and so do we!  The list of likenesses is long and maybe even unending.  God sees and we see.  God hears and we hear.  God has emotions and we certainly do as well.  God walks and talks and we do to.  

There is another time when the Bible tells us about the breath of God.  John 20:22 says that Jesus breathed on His disciples and said “Receive the Holy Spirit.”  That was after the Resurrection and Jesus was preparing them to be sent out to tell the world the Good News of Jesus!  

So if you are in need of Revival in your life.  If you have been deadened by the cares of this world, then ask Jesus to breathe on you today!

“Lord Jesus breathe on me as you did on the disciples after Your Resurrection.  I need today the life that can only come from Your Breath!  Praise Your Holy Name, now and forever.  Amen.”

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Best Day Ever!

I tell you for certain that if you obey my words, you will never die."  Then the people said, "Now we are sure that you have a demon. Abraham is dead, and so are the prophets. How can you say that no one who obeys your words will ever die?  Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?"  Jesus replied, "If I honored myself, it would mean nothing. My Father is the one who honors me. You claim that he is your God,  even though you don't really know him. If I said I didn't know him, I would be a liar, just like all of you. But I know him, and I do what he says.  Your father Abraham was really glad to see me."

John 8: 51 - 56

These verses give us a glimpse into the time when Jesus was in Heaven with God before He came to earth.  He was thinking about the time when Abraham entered Eternity and met Jesus in Heaven!  Jesus said that Abraham was really glad to meet Him.  

The Pharisees thought they were followers of God, but Jesus says they were not!  If they did not repent and become disciples of Jesus, they would not be glad to meet Him!  In fact, it will be the worst time ever for all of them as they hear the words “depart from Me, I never knew you” come out of His mouth.

Abraham met Jesus after he left this world, and you will too!  That meeting will either be the best thing that ever happened to you, or it will be the worst!  If you obey the Words of Jesus it will be the best!  Decide today to be an obedient disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ!

“Lord, help me to hear your voice so I can obey your every Word!  May that day when I meet You face to face be the Best Day Ever!  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Gift of God!

Jesus left Judea and started for Galilee again.  This time he had to go through Samaria,  and on his way he came to the town of Sychar. It was near the field that Jacob had long ago given to his son Joseph.  The well that Jacob had dug was still there, and Jesus sat down beside it because he was tired from traveling. It was noon, and after Jesus' disciples had gone into town to buy some food, a Samaritan woman came to draw water from the well. Jesus asked her, "Would you please give me a drink of water?"  "You are a Jew," she replied, "and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink of water when Jews and Samaritans won't have anything to do with each other?"  Jesus answered, "You don't know what God wants to give you, and you don't know who is asking you for a drink. If you did, you would ask me for the water that gives life."

John 4: 3 - 10

There are many people in the world today who are very much like the Samaritan woman.  They don’t know who Jesus is and they don’t know what God wants to give them.  

When Jesus asked the woman for a drink, it was because He wanted to give her something of eternal value.  Why would Jesus ask the Samaritan woman to give Him anything?  Well, that is what Jesus does with those who become His followers.  Jesus asks you to give Him something that you have and then He gives you something much greater!

All Jesus asks for from those who will follow Him is that they give Him everything they have and then He gives them Eternal Life in Heaven with Him!  Everything you have includes your time, money, energy, devotion, and everything else that you might call your own!  The wealth of the richest man on earth is like a grain of sand on the beach of Eternity, but Jesus wants it all.  Then in return He gives those who follow Him life everlasting and the unimaginable riches of Heaven!  

So if Jesus today is asking you for something, remember it is because He has something much greater that He wants to give you in return!

“Lord Jesus give me the water that will quench my thirst now and forever.  Praise Your Holy Name.  Amen.” 

Monday, November 13, 2017

See What God is Doing!

When the Jewish leaders saw the man carrying his mat, they said to him, "This is the Sabbath! No one is allowed to carry a mat on the Sabbath."  But he replied, "The man who healed me told me to pick up my mat and walk."   They asked him, "Who is this man that told you to pick up your mat and walk?"  But he did not know who Jesus was, and Jesus had left because of the crowd.  Later, Jesus met the man in the temple and told him, "You are now well. But don't sin anymore or something worse might happen to you."  The man left and told the leaders that Jesus was the one who had healed him.  They started making a lot of trouble for Jesus because he did things like this on the Sabbath.  But Jesus said, "My Father has never stopped working, and that is why I keep on working."  Now the leaders wanted to kill Jesus for two reasons. First, he had broken the law of the Sabbath. But even worse, he had said that God was his Father, which made him equal with God.  Jesus told the people: I tell you for certain that the Son cannot do anything on his own. He can do only what he sees the Father doing, and he does exactly what he sees the Father do.

John 5: 10 - 19

If Jesus could only do the things that He saw His Father doing, then we must see what God is doing before we will be able to do anything!  So, if you want to be like Jesus you will search the Scriptures and watch the world around you to see what God is doing.  Then as a follower of Jesus you will be able to do those things as well.

Let your focus be on God and look for what He is doing in the world.  Then you will know what you can expect to see Him do when you call upon His Name and ask Him to exercise His power through your life.  

If Jesus was limited by being able to do only those things that He saw the Father doing, then we must ask God to show us what He is doing.  Then you will begin to see the power of God working in your life!

“Lord Jesus, help me today to see what You are doing!  And give me the faith to pray for those things to continue!  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Blown About by the Holy Spirit!

Jesus answered: I tell you for certain that before you can get into God's kingdom, you must be born not only by water, but by the Spirit.   Humans give life to their children. Yet only God's Spirit can change you into a child of God.   Don't be surprised when I say that you must be born from above.   Only God's Spirit gives new life. The Spirit is like the wind that blows wherever it wants to. You can hear the wind, but you don't know where it comes from or where it is going.

John 3: 5 - 9

Now here is a point of common confusion about the Kingdom of God: Men and women are born into the Kingdom of God, they do not immigrate into it!  And an even greater misunderstanding is that some people think they can cross the border illegally and enjoy the blessings of Heaven!  

Being part of the Kingdom of God is a status that is obtained by invitation only!  Unless you are invited by Jesus to be part of His Kingdom you cannot get in!  But He invites all men! And when He does invite you, He lets you know that you must die to the old life you have been living.  It is not your “cleaned up” old man that goes to Heaven, it is rather the “brand new life” that comes because of the Holy Spirit!

And the life you live on this earth as a member of the Kingdom of God is blown about by the Holy Spirit!  You, literally don’t know where He will lead you today or tomorrow and you may not know why He took you yesterday to the place where you find yourself now!  

Being part of the Kingdom of God is the greatest adventure any man could imagine!  The way you travel through life is determined and directed by the Holy Spirit and empowered by God Himself!  

“Thank You Jesus for calling me to be part of God’s Kingdom. And thank You for another day of walking according to the direction of Your Holy Spirit.  Praise Your Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Friday, November 10, 2017

Know It All!

We don't know everything, and our prophecies are not complete.  But what is perfect will someday appear, and what isn't perfect will then disappear.  When we were children, we thought and reasoned as children do. But when we grew up, we quit our childish ways.  Now all we can see of God is like a cloudy picture in a mirror. Later we will see him face to face. We don't know everything, but then we will, just as God completely understands us.

1 Corinthians 13: 9 - 12

These verses are neatly tucked away in the middle of one of the most well known chapters of the Bible.  I Corinthians 13 speaks of love and how it is the greatest thing!  But verses 9-12 clearly state what we will know in Heaven and about our “understanding” there.  

While living here on earth, we do not know everything, but when we get to Heaven we will know everything!  Here on earth we make fun of people who think they “know it all.”  But followers of Jesus, when they get to Heaven will indeed “know it all!”  

You can add to that amazing truth that we will see God face to face and we will understand it all just as God understands us!  

Remember, you don’t get to Heaven by being a “KNOW IT ALL” here on earth, but when you get to Heaven you will know everything!  That my friend is beyond amazing!

“Lord Jesus, I know You and I know for certain that when I get to Heaven I will know everything else.  But here on earth all I need is to know You!  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Jesus,Take My Hand!

News about Jesus quickly spread all over Galilee.  As soon as Jesus left the meeting place with James and John, they went home with Simon and Andrew.  When they got there, Jesus was told that Simon's mother-in-law was sick in bed with fever.  Jesus went to her. He took hold of her hand and helped her up. The fever left her, and she served them a meal.

Mark 1: 28 - 31

Usually, when Jesus healed someone who was sick, the sickness was very serious.  In fact, more often than not the person was blind, deaf, a castaway because of leprosy, or even as it was in the case of His friend Lazarus, dead.

But Peter’s mother-in-law was simply in bed with a fever.  There is nothing in the story that implies she was about to die, or was even seriously ill.  But Jesus restored her health and took away the fever so she could serve Him and his disciples a meal!

Someone told Jesus about this unnamed servant who was sick, but no one in the story asked Him to heal her.    

The lesson in this story for me is this:  When something has you “sidelined” in your service of Jesus, reach out your hand and let Him left you to your feet and restore you to your place of ministering to the Lord.  

There is an old song which begins with the words: “Precious Lord, take my hand.  Lead me on and let me stand.”  No matter how bad you feel, reach out your hand to Jesus and let Him lift you to your feet!

“Lord Jesus, take my hand and lift me so I can continue to walk with You and serve You, today.  Praise Your Holy Name, now and forever.  Amen!”

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Reason for Every Season!

After John was arrested, Jesus went to Galilee and told the good news that comes from God.  He said, "The time has come! God's kingdom will soon be here. Turn back to God and believe the good news!"

Mark 1: 14 - 15

The Good News was and is very simple!  God’s Kingdom will soon be here.  In other words, the Kingdom of God comes to you when you believe on Jesus and let Him be the King of your life!

When you are in God’s Kingdom, Jesus is the one who sets the priorities for your every day.  Jesus is the one who gives you an example of how to face every situation in your life.  And when the Kingdom of God has come to your life, you owe your first and total allegiance to Jesus. 

Being a follower of Jesus Christ is not a part time occupation.  The name of Christian, when it is applied to you, means that everything about your life is focused on and controlled by the One who died so that your sins would be forgiven and you would be made fit for Heaven!  

Jesus is then the motive for your every action!  Jesus is then the reason for every season!  It is all about Him.

“Lord Jesus, help me today to let You be the King of my life!  Order my every step according to Your Will!  Praise Your Holy Name, now and forever.  Amen.”

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Blessing of the Rechabites!

Then the LORD told me to say to the people of Judah and Jerusalem: I, the LORD All-Powerful, the God of Israel, want you to learn a lesson from the Rechabite clan. Their ancestor Jonadab told his descendants never to drink wine, and to this very day they have obeyed him. But I have spoken to you over and over, and you haven't obeyed me!  You refused to listen to my prophets, who kept telling you, "Stop doing evil and worshiping other gods! Start obeying the LORD, and he will let you live in this land he gave your ancestors."  The Rechabites have obeyed the command of their ancestor Jonadab, but you have not obeyed me, your God. I am the LORD All-Powerful, and I warned you about the terrible things that would happen to you if you did not listen to me. You have ignored me, so now disaster will strike you. I, the LORD, have spoken.   

Then the LORD told me to say to the Rechabite clan: I am the LORD All-Powerful, the God of Israel. You have obeyed your ancestor Jonadab,  so I promise that your clan will be my servants and will never die out.

Jeremiah 35: 10 - 19

Recently, the President of the United States revealed that he has never had a drink of alcohol because his older brother had a problem with drinking and told him not to drink.  For many it was a rather shocking revelation and for others it was, frankly unbelievable.  But Jeremiah tells of a clan of people called the Rechabites who were told by their ancestor never to drink wine and they obeyed.  

The Lord said that we should learn from the obedience of the Rechabites.  He said the Rechabites obeyed their ancestor Jonadab, but God’s people don’t obey Him!  

The Rechabites could have decided to “update” the rules of Jonadab and modify the regulation of not drinking wine, but they did not!  For that example to God’s people Jeremiah was told to declare God’s blessing on the clan.  

The problem for us comes when we begin looking for the reason for the rules!  If you must know why God said this thing or that, then you open the door of your heart to declare that the rule makes no sense today and it is fine to ignore or change it!  But even the Words of God that make no sense to us must be obeyed for Him to be pleased!  Certainly, it is a blessing when we understand why God said a thing, but the greatest blessing is in obeying the Word that God has spoken!

“Lord Jesus, thank You for the blessings that come from obeying You, even when I don’t understand why!  May the blessing of the Rechabites be on my life and my family!  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Preach to Those Who Will Reject!

I, the LORD, was ready to answer even those who were not asking and to be found by those who were not searching. To a nation that refused to worship me, I said, "Here I am!"   All day long I have reached out to stubborn and sinful people going their own way.   They keep making me angry by sneering at me, while offering sacrifices to idols in gardens and burning incense to them on bricks.

Isaiah 65: 1 - 3

God has a message, even for those who are not seeking to know Him!  And if you are the one He asks to deliver that message to those who refuse to worship Him, the task may be dangerous indeed!

In this world, common sense tells us that to be successful in “selling” any idea it is wise to go to those who are seeking to know what you have to tell them.  But with the Gospel of Jesus Christ it is often that even those who need the saving Grace of Jesus most, are the ones who want it the least!  

To be very much to the point, you may lose your life in your attempt to bring Jesus to those who need Him!  But the Bible is clear that those who are killed for telling the message of Jesus will indeed be blessed!

So, if you sense the leading of the Holy Spirit to tell the story of Jesus, never ask whether or not those who hear will accept it.  Never consider how dangerous the task may be!  And never run away from the job as did the prophet Jonah.  

Remember that God wants every person who has ever been born to hear the message of Jesus!  So, there are many to tell who will reject Him, and as followers of Jesus we must tell them!

“Lord Jesus, give me the courage today to proclaim Your Good News even to those who will not accept Your love!  Praise Your Holy Name, now and forever.  Amen.”