Sunday, January 21, 2018

Suffer in His Footsteps!

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Servants, you must obey your masters and always show respect to them. Do this, not only to those who are kind and thoughtful, but also to those who are cruel.   God will bless you, even if others treat you unfairly for being loyal to him.  You don't gain anything by being punished for some wrong you have done. But God will bless you, if you have to suffer for doing something good.  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: 18 - 23

Following in the footsteps of Jesus means that you will suffer.  The crucifixion of Jesus was not the only time that He suffered.  The Bible says that Jesus was "despised, rejected, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief."  Following Jesus is not the way to escape suffering here on earth.  It is just the opposite.  When you choose to follow Jesus, you are guaranteeing that you will suffer in many ways!  

Jesus suffered and died to pay the price for sin, but why must those who follow Him suffer as well?  The answer to that question is simple, but it is also quite sobering.  When you put your feet in the footsteps of Christ you will find that the Evil that caused Him to suffer is still there waiting to attack you as well.  Jesus defeated Satan's ability to condemn you before the Father by taking the penalty for your sin, but He did not eliminate the Devil from the equation of life!  That will come later.

Sometimes Jesus does calm the storms of life, but He also enables you to walk on water in the midst of the storm!  When you walk with Jesus through this life, you will be blown about and suffer, but you will not sink and drown!

"Lord Jesus, show me how I must suffer today for being Your disciple!  And Lord, give me the strength to walk through the storms of this life with You at my side!  Praise Your Holy Name, now and forever.  Amen."

Saturday, January 20, 2018

War and Peace!

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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

The very nature of "fallen man" is that he declares war on God!  Every human being who is the son of Adam sets his life in full opposition to God and the Will of God.  When you were born, you became a member of the family of man and you were enlisted into the army of opposition to the Creator!  Unredeemed men have no other choice.  Since our father Adam and our mother Eve stepped outside the bounds of obedience to the will of God, every man and woman has followed them to certain death!

But Jesus came to planet earth to redeem for God those who were lost and dying because of sin and to make Peace with God for those who turn their hearts to Him!  Many soldiers over the course of the history of earth have experienced war that suddenly becomes peace.  A major battle is won or a peace treaty is signed and the war is no more!  Those who were fighting just to stay alive can put down their weapons and enjoy the lack of conflict!

Because of Jesus and His Blood you do not have to be at war with God!  His Blood allows everyone who turns their heart to Him to enjoy Peace with God forever!  Of course, even when you are at Peace with God, there will be, until Jesus returns, the problem of Satan and his forces trying to undo you and destroy your Peace.  But all Satan can do to you is to make you uncomfortable here and perhaps kill your body.  Beyond that the Enemy cannot touch your Eternal Peace with Jesus!  That is why, in-spite of all the problems on this earth, as a disciple of Jesus Christ you can rejoice even today!

"Lord Jesus, thank You for reminding me that I have Peace with God because of You!  Give me an opportunity to share that wonderful news with someone today!  Praise Your Holy Name now and always!  Amen."

Friday, January 19, 2018

To Be Continued!

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We are not like Moses. His face was shining, but he covered it to keep the people of Israel from seeing the brightness fade away.  The people were stubborn, and something still keeps them from seeing the truth when the Law is read. Only Christ can take away the covering that keeps them from seeing.  When the Law of Moses is read, they have their minds covered over with a covering that is removed only for those who turn to the Lord.

2 Corinthians 3: 12 - 16

You can read the Bible from cover to cover and still be blind to the Truth that God has put in the Scriptures.  It is not the words themselves that enlighten your mind, but Jesus, who is the Word become flesh who opens your eyes to the light!

It is not how much you read your Bible, but rather how you read it that makes the difference.  If you want to be in control of your life and the "Captain of your own ship," then the Bible will simply be a book of good advice and a lot of very interesting stories.  But when you turn your heart to Jesus and let Him direct your path every day, then the Bible will explode with deep veins of God's wisdom and a view into Eternity itself!  With Jesus in charge, reading Scripture becomes an adventure far more amazing and enjoyable than any story you might read elsewhere!

It is the reason for the joy and wonder you see on the face of a follower of Jesus.  Instead of reading about Jesus and about Heaven, the one who gives his life to Jesus sees the Lord and the Glory of what comes next in the timeline of Eternity!  

When a you read a story that is part of a series, it is sometimes concluded with the words "To Be Continued!"  That is how it will be with your life, if you follow Jesus!  Your life will end on this earth, but your story will be continued!

"Lord Jesus, open my eyes today to truths I have never seen before.  I want You to be the Captain of my ship now and forever.  Praise Your Holy for all Eternity.  Amen."

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Jasmine Believers!

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I am grateful that God always makes it possible for Christ to lead us to victory. God also helps us spread the knowledge about Christ everywhere, and this knowledge is like the smell of perfume.  In fact, God thinks of us as a perfume that brings Christ to everyone. For people who are being saved, this perfume has a sweet smell and leads them to a better life. But for people who are lost, it has a bad smell and leads them to a horrible death. No one really has what it takes to do this work.  A lot of people try to get rich from preaching God's message. But we are God's sincere messengers, and by the power of Christ we speak our message with God as our witness.

2 Corinthians 2: 14 - 17

Do you have a favorite aroma or smell?  Maybe it is a meal your mother prepared when you were a child.  Or perhaps you like the fresh odor after a warm summer rain.  I think for me it is the fragrance of a Jasmine flower.  When I smell Jasmine my mind goes far away and long ago when my wife and  I and our oldest daughter lived for a time in Asia. 

When God created the Jasmine aroma, He must have been very pleased with it and knew that men and women would like it as well! 

Men fear the loss of senses like hearing or sight, but if you lost your sense of smell you would suffer as well. 

Did you know that a man or woman filled with the Holy Spirit and living a life that is Glorifying to God has a strong aroma coming from their life?  For other followers of Jesus that smell is wonderful and beautiful, but for those who are lost the smell is bad.  That is why you should not be surprised if those who don't know Jesus persecute the people who do know Him!  

And you should be concerned if no one is offended by your faith!

"Lord Jesus, I do not desire that my life offend anyone, but give me the courage not to deny my relationship with You to make peace with the world around me.  Praise Your Holy and Precious Name now and forever.  Amen."

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

This is Not a Drill!

If I live, it will be for Christ, and if I die, I will gain even more.   I don't know what to choose. I could keep on living and doing something useful.   It is a hard choice to make. I want to die and be with Christ, because that would be much better.   But I know that all of you still need me. That's why I am sure I will stay on to help you grow and be happy in your faith.

Philippians 1: 21 - 24

For 38 minutes the citizens of Hawaii thought that they were under a nuclear attack!  The false alarm message plainly told them that "This is not a drill!"  The error induced panic across the state and serious concern around the world!  There was no missile headed for Hawaii, but everyone became painfully aware that if it had not been a false alarm at least thousands of people would have been killed, because there was no credible plan.  Quite simply, no one believed that such a thing could actually happen and so they were not prepared.

When the End of the World comes it will be the same!  Most people do not believe that such a thing is going to happen and have not made preparations for it.  Whether or not you will be here when the End of the World happens, only God knows.  But you will be here when the end of your life arrives and you breathe your last lung full of air!  Have you made plans for that Day?

The only way to be ready for the Day you leave this earth is to know the One who created you and order your life according to His Will.  Simply put, it is God's Will that you make Jesus Christ the Lord of your life today and trust in His Blood to take away your sins so that you can live with Him forever!  Then for you, like the Apostle Paul it will be better for you to pass from this life and come into the presence of Jesus for all Eternity!

"Lord Jesus, make me ready for Your return or my departure from this life, which ever one comes first.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen."

Monday, January 15, 2018

Spirit Controlled and Self-Controlled!

The Spirit and your desires are enemies of each other. They are always fighting each other and keeping you from doing what you feel you should.  But if you obey the Spirit, the Law of Moses has no control over you.  People's desires make them give in to immoral ways, filthy thoughts, and shameful deeds.  They worship idols, practice witchcraft, hate others, and are hard to get along with. People become jealous, angry, and selfish. They not only argue and cause trouble, but they are envious. They get drunk, carry on at wild parties, and do other evil things as well. I told you before, and I am telling you again: No one who does these things will share in the blessings of God's kingdom.  God's Spirit makes us loving, happy, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled. There is no law against behaving in any of these ways.  And because we belong to Christ Jesus, we have killed our selfish feelings and desires.

Galatians 5: 17 - 24

The secret of being "Self-Controlled" is to first be "Spirit-Controlled."  When you obey the Spirit of God and the directions He speaks to your heart, you will be able to be loving, happy, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle and self-controlled.  

If you are simply reading a list of rules you want to obey, or you are paying attention to character traits you want to copy, you will fail because in and of yourself you do not have the power to live like that.  But when you are filled with the Holy Spirit and you willingly allow Him to direct your life, you will find that He gives you the power to live above the World and experience what many call the "Victorious Christian Life."

Don't be fooled!  Satan will tell you that you have everything you need without the Holy Spirit.  In fact, he will tell you that you are much better than everyone else!  He will try to deceive you and make you believe that you don't need the Holy Spirit in your heart.  When you believe that, you will be destined to fail.  But when God's Holy Spirit is at home in your heart your destiny is Heaven and a Glorious Eternity with Jesus Christ!  

"Lord Jesus, may Your Holy Spirit live in my heart today and may I be obedient to even the smallest desire that He has!  Praise Your Holy Name now and Always!  Amen."

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Everyone is a Slave!

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.  You used to be slaves of sin. But I thank God that with all your heart you obeyed the teaching you received from me.  Now you are set free from sin and are slaves who please God.  I am using these everyday examples, because in some ways you are still weak. You used to let the different parts of your body be slaves of your evil thoughts. But now you must make every part of your body serve God, so that you will belong completely to him.  When you were slaves of sin, you didn't have to please God.  But what good did you receive from the things you did? All you have to show for them is your shame, and they lead to death.  Now you have been set free from sin, and you are God's slaves. This will make you holy and will lead you to eternal life.

Romans 6: 16 - 22

Being a slave is not the problem!  You will be a slave, but because of Jesus you can choose your Master!  We have been taught to believe that slavery is always forced upon a person, and that it is always evil!  Actually, both of those ideas are wrong.  

Slavery is the normal life condition of mankind!  Every man or woman born on this earth will be a slave to something or someone!  The slavery that is so objectionable to the world is the kind that is forced upon a person and about which they have no control.  That kind of slavery is a small percentage of the world’s population.  

Slavery that is not forced upon you and is not evil is when you are a Slave of God!  You see, if you are not under the control of Jesus Christ and led by His Spirit, then you will be a slave of your own human desires and the “sin” that so easily takes hold of your life!  But if you choose Jesus Christ as your Master, you will enjoy the blessings of being led by the Holy Spirit from now to Eternity!  

“Lord Jesus, I choose again today to be Your slave.  Order my steps according to Your Wisdom and Love.  Praise Your Holy Name now and for all Eternity.  Amen.”

Saturday, January 13, 2018

The Ultimate Example!

Has anyone believed us or seen the mighty power of the LORD in action?  Like a young plant or a root that sprouts in dry ground, the servant grew up obeying the LORD. He wasn't some handsome king. Nothing about the way he looked made him attractive to us.  He was hated and rejected; his life was filled with sorrow and terrible suffering. No one wanted to look at him. We despised him and said, "He is a nobody!"  He suffered and endured great pain for us, but we thought his suffering was punishment from God.  He was wounded and crushed because of our sins; by taking our punishment, he made us completely well.  All of us were like sheep that had wandered off. We had each gone our own way, but the LORD gave him the punishment we deserved.  He was painfully abused, but he did not complain. He was silent like a lamb being led to the butcher, as quiet as a sheep having its wool cut off.  He was condemned to death without a fair trial. Who could have imagined what would happen to him? His life was taken away because of the sinful things my people had done.

Isaiah 53: 1 - 8

When the World looked at Jesus hanging on the Cross they did think that God had ordained the event, but they believed that Jesus Himself deserved the punishment!  There was no clue for the average observer of the Crucifixion that Jesus was dying for the sins of the World!

Today, when we see a “righteous man” unjustly persecuted we want to relieve his suffering and punish those who are responsible for such a miscarriage of justice!  But the Crucifixion of Jesus is the ultimate example of God using the evil intentions of Satan and unrighteous men to accomplish His ultimate purpose on earth and in Heaven.

So as you look around and see evil in the world, you can know for certain that God can and will use every evil perpetrated before Heaven and on earth to accomplish His righteous Will until that Glorious Day when Jesus returns!

“Lord Jesus, help me today to see the wonderful blessings that You are giving men, even through the evil we see all around us.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Friday, January 12, 2018

Are You a Grape?

I looked and saw a bright cloud, and someone who seemed to be the Son of Man was sitting on the cloud. He wore a gold crown on his head and held a sharp sickle in his hand.   An angel came out of the temple and shouted, "Start cutting with your sickle! Harvest season is here, and all crops on earth are ripe."   The one on the cloud swung his sickle and harvested the crops.  Another angel with a sharp sickle then came out of the temple in heaven.  After this, an angel with power over fire came from the altar and shouted to the angel who had the sickle. He said, "All grapes on earth are ripe! Harvest them with your sharp sickle."  The angel swung his sickle on earth and cut off its grapes. He threw them into a pit where they were trampled on as a sign of God's anger.  The pit was outside the city, and when the grapes were mashed, blood flowed out. The blood turned into a river that was about two hundred miles long and almost deep enough to cover a horse.

Revelation 14: 14 - 20

According to these verses, when the end comes there will be two kinds of people on earth.  There will be the ones who are part of the “Crops” and the ones who are “Grapes.”  When the Crops get ripe Jesus Himself will harvest them from the earth and it will be Glorious!  The Grapes will be gathered by an angel and will then be trampled on as a sign of God’s anger!

The bottom line to this analogy is simple.  You don’t want to be a Grape!  And it is very interesting that Jesus gathers the Crops first and then the Grapes get harvested!  There is not enough time or room here to discuss what is the difference between being a Grape or one of the Crops.  I would just suggest that you search the Scriptures for the answer.  

Here is one simple thought about what it means.  If your heart is set against God and His Son Jesus Christ, you are a Grape!  If you refuse to trust Jesus and let Him be the Lord of your life and everything you do, you are a Grape!

“Thank You Jesus for the promise that You will come and gather Your followers to be with You forever in Heaven.  May Your Name be Praised now and for all Eternity.  Amen.”

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Real Star Wars!

At the sound of the seventh trumpet, loud voices were heard in heaven. They said, "Now the kingdom of this world belongs to our Lord and to his Chosen One! And he will rule forever and ever!"   Then the twenty-four elders, who were seated on thrones in God's presence, knelt down and worshiped him.   They said, "Lord God All-Powerful, you are and you were, and we thank you. You used your great power and started ruling.  When the nations got angry, you became angry too! Now the time has come for the dead to be judged. It is time for you to reward your servants the prophets and all of your people who honor your name, no matter who they are. It is time to destroy everyone who has destroyed the earth."

Revelation 11: 15 - 18

For about a generation now, millions of people have been fascinated with the “Star Wars” fictional stories about the Force and an imaginary interstellar conflict!  The latest episode in the series of movies is proving to be less captivating than the others and fewer people are flocking to the theaters.  But, it is only a fictional story!

Did you know that there is a non-fiction version of “Star Wars” that is going on in the Cosmos right now and that you and I are in the cast of characters! The Real Star Wars is between the forces of Satan and those who through the righteousness of Jesus Christ are destined to spend Eternity with Jesus in Heaven!  The story line of the Real Star Wars is about Satan rebelling against God and enticing the first two human beings to sin against God and disobey the command to not eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil!  Ever since that fateful day every man and woman ever born on earth has sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God!

The Bible tells us the end of the Real Star Wars story because Jesus gave Himself so that we might not spend Eternity in Hell, separated from God!

The “Force” being with you is precisely what Jesus promised for those who believe in Him.  And Jesus said He would be with you always, even to the end of the world!

“Thank You, Jesus for winning the victory over Satan and the demons of Hell so that I might live with You forever in Heaven.  Praise Your Holy Name now and for all Eternity to come.  Amen.”

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

God's Secret Agent!

When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.  I noticed that the seven angels who stood before God were each given a trumpet.  Another angel, who had a gold container for incense, came and stood at the altar. This one was given a lot of incense to offer with the prayers of God's people on the gold altar in front of the throne.   Then the smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God's people, went up to God from the hand of the angel.  After this, the angel filled the incense container with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth. Thunder roared, lightning flashed, and the earth shook.

Revelation 8: 1 - 5

This is a remarkable section of scripture.  It tells us that the prayers of God’s people are mixed with incense and then are offered up on a golden altar in front of the Throne of God!  If you were standing there by the Throne I wonder if you could hear all the prayers that come to God in that amazing setting!  You may be in your prayer closet here on earth when you utter your praise and petition to God, but according to these verses your prayer comes up before Him in front of the angels in the Throne Room!  

Then an amazing thing happens!  The cup that contained the incense that was mixed with your prayers is filled with fire from the altar and then thrown down on earth!

My understanding of this is simply that the things that God does on this earth are at least influenced by the prayers of His people!     

So when you pray remember that your prayer comes up before God with all the other prayers of your brothers and sisters in Christ and is mixed with the incense from the golden cup!  Then fire from the golden altar is poured out on the earth!  

As a follower of Jesus you are, in a sense God’s secret agent here on earth and when you pray, you are sending an intelligence report to Heaven!  God wants to know what you see around you on this earth and what you think about it.  And don’t forget God desires that you pray without ceasing as you continually inform the Father about things here on earth!

“Lord Jesus, give me a new understanding today about how important it is for me to pray!  May Your Name be praised now and forever. Amen.” 

Monday, January 8, 2018

You Were in the Mind of God!

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You, LORD, are the only true and living God. You will rule for all time. When you are angry the earth shakes, and nations are destroyed.   You told me to say that idols did not create the heavens and the earth, and that you, the LORD, will destroy every idol.   With your wisdom and power you created the earth and spread out the heavens.   The waters in the heavens roar at your command. You make clouds appear-- you send the winds from your storehouse and make lightning flash in the rain.   People who make idols are so stupid! They will be disappointed, because their false gods are not alive.   Idols are merely a joke, and when the time is right, they will be destroyed.   But you, Israel's God, created all things, and you chose Israel to be your very own. Your name is the LORD All-Powerful.

Jeremiah 10: 10 - 16

The basic debate between the righteous and the unrighteous is not about “good and evil.”  It is rather about who is the Creator of all things!  Those who are opposed to God and His Ways say that the earth and even life itself was the accidental result of a cosmic explosion of unknown origin!  They call this “foolish speculation” science.  They also say that believing in a Creator God is the real foolishness!

Many times “scientists” do discover truths that God has hidden from the very beginning.  But they often refuse to give God the Glory for what they have found and turn back to their “theories” without firm evidence.  

The temptation to not honor God is also a problem for every man.  When you look at the sky at night you see evidence of the Creator God.  When you enjoy a beautiful rose and smell it’s delightful aroma you are tempted to ignore the One who designed and created the rose!  

Instead of spending your time criticizing others for not recognizing God as the Creator of everything there is, use the moment you see anything around you to remember that God is the One who made it!  

“Lord Jesus, You are the One who imagined everything there is, and then You Created the things that Your mind saw!  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Saturday, January 6, 2018

A Worthy Custom!

The LORD says: My servant will succeed! He will be given great praise and the highest honors.   Many were horrified at what happened to him. But everyone who saw him was even more horrified because he suffered until he no longer looked human.   My servant will make nations worthy to worship me; kings will be silent as they bow in wonder. They will see and think about things they have never seen or thought about before.

Isaiah 52: 13 - 15

Yesterday I was visiting with my Amish neighbor Dan.  In the flow of the conversation I told Dan my middle name, and then ask him what his middle name was.  He told me something I had never heard before.  Dan said that Amish people don’t have middle names, only middle initials.  Dan’s initial is “B” because his father’s name was Ben. Every Amish man or woman has a middle initial which comes from the name of their father. 

When you become a follower of Jesus Christ, you have a new name added to your old one.  I really wish we had the custom of writing the name “Christian” before or after our name like we do the title “Doctor” or “Professor.”   Then, like the Amish your full name would tell the world around you who Father is!

“Lord Jesus, may I bow before You today as You show me things I have never seen and tell me things I have never heard before.  May Your Holy Name be praised now and forever.  Amen.”

Friday, January 5, 2018

Make My Life Great Again!

The LORD always does right, and so he wanted his Law to be greatly praised.   But his people were trapped and imprisoned in holes with no one to rescue them. All they owned had been taken, and no one was willing to give it back.   Why won't his people ever learn to listen?   Israel sinned and refused to obey the LORD or follow his instructions. So the LORD let them be robbed of everything they owned.   He was furious with them and punished their nation with the fires of war. Still they paid no attention. They didn't even care when they were surrounded and scorched by flames.

Isaiah 42: 21 - 26

The United States of America was founded in the full recognition of the God of Heaven.  Not unlike Israel the US has been blessed greatly when it stands firm in “Trusting in God” and has suffered greatly when it did not!

I would say to the whole world that the secret of this nation that has a serious problem with millions of people wanting to leave their homelands and come to America, even illegally is this: “In God we trust” is printed on our money!  When we trust in God we are blessed and when we trust in anything else, including ourselves our blessings begin to evaporate!

We were a great nation and will be a great nation again when we Trust in God!  Our greatness does not come from a political party, a President, a well armed military, or smart fiscal decisions.  

The same is true for every human being on earth!  When anyone trusts in God they will be blessed, but when you trust in anyone or anything else the blessings of God will fly away from your life.  

“Lord Jesus, I want to be great again, not for my glory, but for Yours.  I want everyone who sees my life to know that You are the God of Heaven and that You bless those who give You their lives and walk in the shadow of Your love.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Your Burning Bush!

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One day, Moses was taking care of the sheep and goats of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian, and Moses decided to lead them across the desert to Sinai, the holy mountain.  There an angel of the LORD appeared to him from a burning bush. Moses saw that the bush was on fire, but it was not burning up.  "This is strange!" he said to himself. "I'll go over and see why the bush isn't burning up." When the LORD saw Moses coming near the bush, he called him by name, and Moses answered, "Here I am."  God replied, "Don't come any closer. Take off your sandals--the ground where you are standing is holy.

Exodus 3: 1 - 3

When God speaks to you about important matters in your life, it is a very big deal!  In fact, when God spoke to Moses out of the burning bush, even the ground around the bush was holy!

But you can know this for certain: When God speaks to you about anything, the fact that He is speaking to you is the most important thing of all!  God could have created man and then remained quiet as human beings attempted to figure out the purpose of life and how they should live it.  

Some have said you should only pray about important matters because God does not deal with the mundane things in your life.  The truth is however, that God in involved in every beat of your heart and every breath you take!  God is not a God who is far away, but He is very near!  When Jesus said “I am with you always” He was not speaking figuratively!

I sincerely believe that God will speak to you and me about even the ordinary things in life, if we will but listen!  When God speaks, even the most insignificant day becomes a burning bush experience for you!

“Lord Jesus, help me today to listen for Your voice and to look for my burning bush as I walk with You through the wilderness of this life!  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Patience of Abraham!

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No one is greater than God. So he made a promise in his own name when he said to Abraham, "I, the Lord, will bless you with many descendants!"  Then after Abraham had been very patient, he was given what God had promised.

Hebrews 6: 6 - 8

The Bible is clear that Abraham was a man of great faith.  As a follower of Jesus Christ the faith of Abraham is still certainly an important example of how you should follow God by being obedient to His every Word.  

But what about the patience of Abraham?  God told Abraham what would happen in his life, and then Abraham had to wait for years and years for the fulfillment of God’s promise. The Bible says that Abraham was very patient!  

Great faith can be seen in a moment of time, when you respond to God’s request and lift the knife to sacrifice that which is most important in your life.  But patience always takes time.  In fact, patience takes a lot of time! That is the very essence of being patient and waiting for God’s promise.

So, if you have great faith, you should thank God for giving you faith like father Abraham’s.  But when you know you have faith, then you must pray for patience.  

“Thank You Jesus for giving me faith to believe in and trust in You.  But Lord, I also pray for the patience to wait for the fulfillment of Your promises in my life.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Monday, January 1, 2018

Find New Strength!

The holy God asks, "Who compares with me? Is anyone my equal?"   Look at the evening sky! Who created the stars? Who gave them each a name? Who leads them like an army? The LORD is so powerful that none of the stars are ever missing.   You people of Israel, say, "God pays no attention to us! He doesn't care if we are treated unjustly." But how can you say that?   Don't you know? Haven't you heard? The LORD is the eternal God, Creator of the earth. He never gets weary or tired; his wisdom cannot be measured.   The LORD gives strength to those who are weary.   Even young people get tired, then stumble and fall.   But those who trust the LORD will find new strength. They will be strong like eagles soaring upward on wings; they will walk and run without getting tired.

Isaiah 40: 25 - 31

When I was younger I was always amazed at the energy of a 2 year old child.  Now I am amazed at the strength and stamina of a 42 year old man!  Getting old is certainly a matter of getting weaker in physical strength, but hopefully stronger in spiritual power through the Holy Spirit!

These verses clearly state the promise that when a man or woman trusts God, he or she will find NEW STRENGTH!  That new strength will enable you to soar with eagles as well as walking and running without getting tired!

Just imagine what you could accomplish if your body never got tired, no matter how much you worked!  This promise is not about never getting physically tired, but about never getting tired of obeying the Voice of God!  When you trust in God and obey His every Word, you will find NEW STRENGTH every day!

“Lord Jesus, help me to trust in You today so that I may find the NEW STRENGTH that only comes from trusting You!  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.”