Sunday, December 31, 2017

God's Sacred Highway!

Here is a message for all who are weak, trembling, and worried: “Cheer up! Don't be afraid. Your God is coming to punish your enemies. God will take revenge on them and rescue you."  The blind will see, and the ears of the deaf will be healed.  Those who were lame will leap around like deer; tongues once silent will begin to shout. Water will rush through the desert.  Scorching sand will turn into a lake, and thirsty ground will flow with fountains. Grass will grow in wetlands, where packs of wild dogs once made their home.  A good road will be there, and it will be named "God's Sacred Highway." It will be for God's people; no one unfit to worship God will walk on that road. And no fools can travel on that highway.  No lions or other wild animals will come near that road; only those the LORD has saved will travel there.  The people the LORD has rescued will come back singing as they enter Zion. Happiness will be a crown they will always wear. They will celebrate and shout because all sorrows and worries will be gone far away.

Isaiah 35: 3 - 10

When you become a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ and give your heart to Him, there is a special road for your journey through life.  It is called “God’s Sacred Highway!”

God’s people, those who are Saved by the Blood of Jesus are the only ones who can travel on that road.  Once you are on that highway, no one can snatch you back into the world from which you were saved.  When you are going through life and walking on “God’s Sacred Highway” you will be happily singing and celebrating because all your sorrows and worries are gone far away!

How do you find that amazing path through life?  Jesus, Himself said “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life!”  God’s Sacred Highway is Jesus Christ!  Call on Him today and set your feet on the Road to Heaven!

“Lord Jesus, thank You for making a way for me to walk at peace through this life no matter how troubled are the seas around me!  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Friday, December 29, 2017

Think About How God Feels!

The Lord has said: "These people praise me with their words, but they never really think about me. They worship me by repeating rules made up by humans.  So once again I will do things that shock and amaze them, and I will destroy the wisdom of those who claim to know and understand."  You are in for trouble, if you try to hide your plans from the LORD! Or if you think what you do in the dark can't be seen.  You have it all backwards. A clay dish doesn't say to the potter, "You didn't make me. You don't even know how."  Soon the forest of Lebanon will become a field with crops, thick as a forest.  The deaf will be able to hear whatever is read to them; the blind will be freed from a life of darkness.  The poor and the needy will celebrate and shout because of the LORD, the holy God of Israel.  All who are cruel and arrogant will be gone forever. Those who live by crime will disappear, together with everyone who tells lies in court and keeps innocent people from getting a fair trial.

Isaiah 29: 13 - 21

Do you praise God with your words, but never really think about Him? It is awesome to praise God for His Majesty and Power and all the other amazing attributes of God, but have you ever pondered how God feels about what is happening on the earth?  

As a father myself, I know that what my children do or don’t do can bring joy to my heart or tears to my eyes.  I wish I could resolve every issue that my children have.  God has declared Himself to be our Father in Heaven, and as the Father, He must feel our pain and sorrows as well as our joy!

When you worship God, don’t just think about all the might and grandeur of the Father, but also think about His love and how He sacrificed His Son Jesus for your sake and mine!  Think about how you can fill the Heart of God with Joy by obeying every Word He has spoken!

“Lord Jesus, help me today to think about God and how He feels and not just praise Him with words!  But I do Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Never Out of Wine!

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!"

Isaiah 24: 6 - 11

The first public miracle that Jesus performed was to turn water into wine at a wedding.  The celebration could not continue without the wine and the wine was running out.  

Isaiah 24 speaks of a time when people will shout in the streets, “We’re out of wine!”  The celebration of unrighteousness is totally dependent on the intoxicating wine of this world.  But there will be a time when the blessings of God that have always fallen on the righteous as well as the unrighteous will no longer be there for those who don’t follow Jesus Christ.

A time of terrible trouble will come on this earth, and those who don’t know Jesus will have no place to turn for more wine!  But those who have given their hearts to the Son of God will be sustained by the water of life that continually turns to wine in the life of a believer!  

As a Christian you may lose everything you own, your loved ones and even your life, but Jesus will be with you and will give you the wine you need to celebrate with Him forever!  The disciples of Jesus will never be out of wine!

“Lord Jesus, thank You for turning the Water of Life into Wine for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.  May Your Name be praised now and forever.  Amen.”

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Very Good Advice!

Don't waste your life chasing after women! This has ruined many kings.  Kings and leaders should not get drunk or even want to drink.  Drinking makes you forget your responsibilities, and you mistreat the poor.  Beer and wine are only for the dying or for those who have lost all hope.  Let them drink and forget how poor and miserable they feel.  But you must defend those who are helpless and have no hope.  Be fair and give justice to the poor and homeless.

Proverbs 31: 3 - 9

These verses sound like the author of them has been reading the New York Times.  The headlines have recently been filled with the names of men who are ruined because they have been chasing after women!  And the President of the United States says that he does not drink alcohol and has never been drunk. 

I continue to be amazed at how practical is the advice found in the Bible.  Why should kings and leaders not get drunk or even want to drink?  The answer is simple.  If an enemy were to plan an attack against a country and the King was known to overindulge in strong drink, they would plan the attack while the King was not able to function and make good decisions.

If you don’t know why chasing after women ruins a leader, I will let your mother tell you, or just ask your wife!  

The point is simply this: The Word of God was written by the One who created everything that  there is, so it would be perfectly understandable that His Word would address every issue of life, and it does!  

“Lord Jesus, thank You for giving us the wisdom and advice that comes straight from the Mind of God!  May Your Name be praised now and forever.  Amen.”

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Greater Blessing Than Praise!

Gold and silver are tested in a red-hot furnace, but we are tested by praise.

Proverbs 27: 21

When other people praise you, you are tempted to simply sit back and enjoy the complementary words.  What you may not realize is that when you are praised, you are tested like gold and silver in a fire.  

If you honestly listen to praise, you will see that praise from other people rarely if ever is completely true!  The man or woman they say you are is not the person you and God know you to be!  You know all your weaknesses and temptations, while other people do not!  Others may believe that you are the perfect person, but you know that you are simply a “sinner who is saved by the Grace of God” through the Blood of Jesus Christ.

A wise man once told me this: When someone praises you, forget about it!  But when someone criticizes you, think about it and ask yourself if there is any truth in those words.  If there is, then correct the error of your way!  

So then, criticism and correction can be a greater blessing in your life than praise!  

“Lord Jesus, thank You for loving me enough to show me how to be more like You and to empower me to change my life by Your Holy Spirit! You are the only one worthy of Praise and so I Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.” 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

No Harm At All!

After all, God chose you to suffer as you follow in the footsteps of Christ, who set an example by suffering for you.   Christ did not sin or ever tell a lie.   Although he was abused, he never tried to get even. And when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he had faith in God, who judges fairly.

1 Peter 2: 21 - 23

Imagine that the followers of Jesus had been able to “save Him” from dying on the Cross.  What if Peter and his sword had run off all those who wanted to arrest Jesus and turn Him over to the Romans who would crucify Him?  Of course, if Jesus had not died on the Cross and been raised to life we would have no hope of Heaven and an Eternal Life with Christ!  The compassion of Peter wanted to stop the crucifixion.  Thank God he was not able to keep Jesus from being crucified.  

Are we not doing the same thing when we try to legislate against the persecution of Christians?  If we stop all those who would persecute followers of Jesus, how will we suffer as we follow in the footsteps of our Lord?  

The truth is this: Those who make Christians suffer for their faith are doing them no harm at all.  In fact, it is just the opposite.  By causing disciples of Christ to suffer for their faith people in this world system are giving believers the glorious opportunity to live as Jesus did!

“Lord Jesus, give me the faith and strength to be willing to bear the cross You have prepared for me, that I may have the privilege of living as You did on this earth.  Praise Your Holy Name, now and forever.  Amen.”

Saturday, December 23, 2017

An Acorn Becomes an Oak!

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Our Lord Jesus told us that when he comes, we won't go up to meet him ahead of his followers who have already died.  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.

1 Thessalonians 4: 15 - 17

The preacher was standing beside an open grave making final comments before the body would be buried.  He then made a remark I have never heard anyone say at a funeral.  He said that if Jesus were to return at this very moment our dear friend “Ruth Anne” would come back to life right before our eyes, and then we would join her in meeting the Lord together in the sky!  

The next time you attend a funeral of a follower of Jesus, remind yourself that when Jesus returns His disciples will resurrect from the grave just like Jesus did! You see, you are an acorn and your New Body will be a mighty oak tree!  There is no oak that did not begin as an acorn and there is no human eternal New Body that did not begin as a baby here on earth.

When God creates a little baby and man aborts the process, it is an offense against the Almighty who makes every human to give Him glory and honor while living on this earth!

Here on earth you are an acorn, but as a follower of Jesus Christ you are destined to be a Mighty Oak!  

“Lord Jesus, remind me again today that You will return to this earth and that those who are followers of You will receive a New Body and live with You forever!  Amen.”   

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

John's First Trip to Heaven!

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After this, I looked and saw a door that opened into heaven. Then the voice that had spoken to me at first and that sounded like a trumpet said, "Come up here! I will show you what must happen next."  Right then the Spirit took control of me, and there in heaven I saw a throne and someone sitting on it.

Revelation 4: 1 - 2

John the Apostle, while still alive on this earth was allowed to walk through the door of Heaven and enter the Throne Room of God!  Was this just a “vision” or did John really go to Heaven and come back?  The Bible does not say that John’s visit to Heaven was something that he dreamed or otherwise imagined.  It simply says that the Spirit took control of him and he was “there in Heaven.”

There are people today who claim to have been also taken to Heaven for a while and then sent back to earth.  Are these stories real, or are they even possible?  

According to what John said in Revelation it is possible for someone to be taken to Heaven and then sent back to earth.  Whether or not those who make such a claim today are telling the truth, I suppose only God knows.  

But I do know this: Heaven is a real place.  God is real.  Jesus is real, as well as the Holy Spirit.  The power of God is real and can be seen all around you in all of His creation!  

The Devil began his temptation of the first man and woman by asking them if God really said that they should not eat of the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil. Questioning the reality of what God has said or done is the beginning step in every sin!  

You may not be taken to Heaven before you die like John was, but know for sure that if God wanted to take you there He certainly could!

“Lord Jesus, give me the faith to believe everything I read in the Bible and trust You in every way!  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever. Amen.”

Monday, December 18, 2017

Show and Tell Day!

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In certain ways we are weak, but the Spirit is here to help us. For example, when we don't know what to pray for, the Spirit prays for us in ways that cannot be put into words.  All of our thoughts are known to God. He can understand what is in the mind of the Spirit, as the Spirit prays for God's people.  We know that God is always at work for the good of everyone who loves him. They are the ones God has chosen for his purpose,

Romans 8: 26 - 28

They mystery of how God works in the hearts of His people will never be fully understood here on this earth!  

The purpose of God in your life is not simply to root out sin and purify your heart, although He does those things and does them well.  

The purpose of God is to invade your heart and life with His very presence and then use your human body the way He did the Body of Jesus while He was on this earth.

Jesus brought Glory to God by the way He lived and walked on this earth and you can as well!  Evangelism is not just telling someone the Gospel of Christ.  It is rather telling them and showing them what it is like to be a follower of Jesus!  For a Christian every day is “SHOW AND TELL” day!  You show them a life filled with the love of God and then you tell the world around you about Jesus who made your life possible!  

“Lord Jesus, thank You for sending Your Spirit to fill my heart with Your love and enable me to walk in it every day!  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Comfortable Before God!

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When we love others, we know that we belong to the truth, and we feel at ease in the presence of God.   But even if we don't feel at ease, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.  Dear friends, if we feel at ease in the presence of God, we will have the courage to come near him.   He will give us whatever we ask, because we obey him and do what pleases him.   God wants us to have faith in his Son Jesus Christ and to love each other. This is also what Jesus taught us to do.

1 John 3: 19 - 23

Do you feel at ease in the presence of God?  What is the difference in the man or woman who is comfortable in God’s presence and one who is not?  The difference is courage!  Yes, it does take courage to come before God Almighty and present your case about anything!  

If all you know of God is the terrible and awesome strength and power of God, then you will certainly be shy about stepping up to the podium of God’s Throne Room and speaking your mind!

But if you feel at ease in His presence because you love Jesus Christ His Son and you love other people, as well as obeying God and doing what pleases Him, then you will have the courage to address the Creator of all there is and let Him know what you think!

Powerful prayers come from people who are at ease in God’s presence.  Set your heart to be comfortable before God and then your prayer life will explode with God’s Almighty power!

“Lord Jesus, thank You that because of Your Blood which was shed on the Cross I can be comfortable before the Father.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Your Last Sin!

Even if you think you can stand up to temptation, be careful not to fall.  You are tempted in the same way that everyone else is tempted. But God can be trusted not to let you be tempted too much, and he will show you how to escape from your temptations.

1 Corinthians 10: 12 - 13

Temptation is the doorway to the prison of sin!  Once you enter those gates, the addiction of wrongdoing controls your life and keeps you locked up until someone sets you free! That someone is Jesus!

It is a glorious thing when Christ releases you from the chains that bind you to the suffering and misery handed to you by Satan!  But it is also wonderful when God shows you the way to escape the temptation itself and you never fall prey to that sin! 

The Bible says that everyone will sin, and if you are reading this, then you have already sinned in some way.  Make it your goal to escape temptation today and every day for the rest of your life!  You do need the Blood of Jesus to deal with the sin you have already committed, but you don’t need to sin any more!

At some point in your life you will sin for the very last time!  Pray that your last sin has already happened and set your heart to escape all the temptations that come for the rest of your life!  

“Lord Jesus, help me to say no to the temptations that will come to my life today!  And may Your Name be praised now and forever.  Amen.” 

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Hands Off the Wheel!

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Jews ask for miracles, and Greeks want something that sounds wise.  But we preach that Christ was nailed to a cross. Most Jews have problems with this, and most Gentiles think it is foolish.  Our message is God's power and wisdom for the Jews and the Greeks that he has chosen.  Even when God is foolish, he is wiser than everyone else, and even when God is weak, he is stronger than everyone else.

1 Corinthians 1: 22 - 25

For those who follow Jesus Christ, there is a daily recognition of the power and wisdom of God!  You see His power in the world around you as well as the power He exhibits in answer to your prayer!  Somehow we have decided that we should only pray for those things that cannot be accomplished by human strength and will.  When you do that you may be saying to God: “I can take care of most things in my life, but I do want You to help me when things are beyond my ability.”  

Certainly, God does show His power to do things we cannot do, but as in any loving relationship He can and will do things that you could do for yourself!  Does a husband only do for his wife things that she cannot do?  Of course not!  In fact, everything we do for Jesus, He could do for Himself and certainly better.  

So, today let your faith be testing by taking your hands off of the steering wheel of your life and let Jesus take control of even the simple things!  I know you will find the experience exhilarating and faith building!  When the power of God and the wisdom of God come together to guide your steps the result is more than amazing!

“Thank You Jesus for walking with me even in the ordinary times of my life.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Friday, December 8, 2017

Touched by the Love of Jesus

Isaiah was fearless enough to tell that the Lord had said, "I was found by people who were not looking for me. I appeared to the ones who were not asking about me."  And Isaiah said about the people of Israel, "All day long the Lord has reached out to people who are stubborn and refuse to obey."

Romans 10: 20 - 21

Abraham's first son, Ishmael is the father of those today in the Muslim world.  It is believed that Muhammad was a descendant of Ishmael.  Abraham then was the father of both Jews and Arabs.  So it might accurately be said that all the turmoil in the Middle East today is still a struggle between brothers.  

It is widely reported that the fulfillment of these verses in Romans 10 is happening today in the Muslim world.  Jesus is appearing to those who are not asking about Him.  Especially, in dreams many Muslims are seeing Jesus and coming to faith in Him by trying to find out who He is!  I would hesitate to suggest how many times this is happening, but the numbers are indeed staggering.

I can imagine that Abraham is pleased to see so many descendants of his oldest son turning their hearts to Jesus!  Perhaps Abraham is one of those in Heaven who is encouraging what may become an historic movement of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!  Even terrorists can be touched by the love of Jesus!

"Lord Jesus, help me to join you in loving those who are not seeking You.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen."

Thursday, December 7, 2017

You Will Obey Someone!

Don't let sin rule your body. After all, your body is bound to die, so don't obey its desires or let any part of it become a slave of evil. Give yourselves to God, as people who have been raised from death to life. Make every part of your body a slave that pleases God.  Don't let sin keep ruling your lives. You are ruled by God's kindness and not by the Law.  What does all this mean? Does it mean we are free to sin, because we are ruled by God's wonderful kindness and not by the Law? Certainly not!  Don't you know that you are slaves of anyone you obey? You can be slaves of sin and die, or you can be obedient slaves of God and be acceptable to him.

Romans 6: 12 - 16

Human beings, by their very nature are obedient!  We either obey our fleshly desires and lusts, or we obey God, who is the Creator of all there is!  Being obedient to the flesh is, of course also being obedient to Satan.  Disobedience to God means we are being obedient to Satan and the opposite is also true.

Every minute of the day thoughts will come into your mind and you must decide to be obedient to them or not!  If you spend much time reading and meditating on Scripture you will be able, with the help of the Holy Spirit to know whether or not your thoughts are a temptation to sin or a leading to be obedient to righteousness!  As you grow as a follower of Jesus Christ, your senses will be sharpened to know the difference between a prompting of the Holy Spirit and the pull of the Devil!

Don't be fooled to think that even though you are not being obedient to God,  you are not living in sin either.  That would be impossible.  You are either headed for Heaven because of the Blood of Jesus Christ or you are headed for Hell.  There is no other eternal destination for any man.  So as you are obedient today, choose Heaven and not Hell!

"Thank You Jesus for giving me the opportunity to be obedient to You in every decision I make today.  Show me the way and help me to walk in it.  Praise Your Holy Name, now and forever.   Amen."

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Encourage People to Please God!

Michael, the chief of the angels, is the protector of your people, and he will come at a time of terrible suffering, the worst in all of history. And your people who have their names written in The Book will be protected.  Many of those who lie dead in the ground will rise from death. Some of them will be given eternal life, and others will receive nothing but eternal shame and disgrace.  Everyone who has been wise will shine as bright as the sky above, and everyone who has led others to please God will shine like the stars.

Daniel 12: 1 - 4

Is there a difference in telling someone about Jesus Christ and in encouraging  a person to please God?  

Perhaps not, but there can be.  If the message you share is all about how a person can be saved from the fires of Hell and not have to suffer the consequences of their own sin, but leaves out the part about how they can please God by giving their hearts to Jesus and being obedient to God, then there is a big difference.  Heaven will not be filled with people who learned some “Spiritual laws” and qualified for Heaven by following a "plan of salvation," but had no heart for pleasing God!

I you lead a man or women to seek to please God, they will do the things the Bible says are "necessary" to be saved!  And according to these verses in Daniel 12 you will shine like a star and point the way to God!

“Lord Jesus, may my life be pleasing to God even as Yours was and is.  Help me to lead others to please God as well.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Timing of God!

At this time many of your own people will try to make this vision come true by rebelling against the king of the south, but their rebellion will fail.

Daniel 11: 14

When God says a thing will happen, you can be sure it will!  But the temptation of man is to use his own power or cunning to make the thing a reality before God’s perfect timing.  That is the truth behind many failures of Christians.  We see a thing that needs to occur and we even see in the Bible that it is according to God’s will and so we set our hearts, minds and human strength to make it so!  But then we fail!

Often what we miss is not the will of God, but rather His timing!  There is a time for everything under Heaven and there is a time for every thought of God to be seen among men as it becomes reality!  

The Cross of Christ was certainly the plan of God, but it had to occur when the time was right!  We even read in the Bible that at least one time Jesus slipped away from those who wanted to kill Him because it was not the right time.

So as you measure your steps today in following Jesus be sure and ask if the thing you are pursuing is the will of God, but also ask if it is time for it to happen!  If it is time, you will find even the most difficult task to be easy or if it is not God's time the simplest thing will be impossible!

When Jesus says “come” even you can walk on water!

“Lord Jesus, help me to see Your will today and when You want me to do it!  Praise Your Holy Name, now and forever.  Amen.”