Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Prayer of Epaphras!

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Your own Epaphras, who serves Christ Jesus, sends his greetings. He always prays hard that you may fully know what the Lord wants you to do and that you may do it completely.  I have seen how much trouble he has gone through for you and for the followers in Laodicea and Hierapolis.

Colossians 4: 12 - 13

When you study the lives of Bible characters there are some who are almost  never included in the list of notables.  Epaphras is one of them.  He was mentioned twice in the book of Colossians and once in the book of Philemon.  All we know is that he was a follower of Jesus who was in jail with Paul because of his faith.  But Paul tells us in Colossians 4 about how Epaphras prayed, and I suppose that since they were in jail together Paul heard his friend as he petitioned the Father.  Paul says that Epaphras prayed hard that the Colossian Christians would know what the Lord wants them to do and that they would do it completely!

If there is someone you know and love, and perhaps you say that you really don't know how to pray for them, then the prayer of Epaphras would be totally appropriate.  Pray that your friends will know what the Lord wants them to do and that they will do it completely.  There is no better way to address the throne of Heaven with your concerns for others.  And of course, there is no better way to pray for yourself!

"Lord Jesus, show me today what You want me to do and help me to do it completely.  May Your Name be Praised now and forever.  Amen."

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Road of God's Will!

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From Paul, chosen by God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from Timothy, who is also a follower.  To God's people who live in Colossae and are faithful followers of Christ. I pray that God our Father will be kind to you and will bless you with peace!  Each time we pray for you, we thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  We have heard of your faith in Christ and of your love for all of God's people, because what you hope for is kept safe for you in heaven. You first heard about this hope when you believed the true message, which is the good news.  The good news is spreading all over the world with great success. It has spread in that same way among you, ever since the first day you learned the truth about God's wonderful kindness.

Colossians 1: 1 - 6

Paul was already chosen by God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus before Paul chose to be a follower of the Lord!  God's plans for Paul were amazing to say the least.  He was the first one to spread far and wide the Gospel of Jesus to the Gentiles.

When you look at the history of Christianity up until this very day, the truly great men and women are the ones who chose Jesus and then asked Jesus what He had planned for their lives!  Paul could not have imagined the work that God had planned for him.  And the same is true for everyone who turns their heart to Jesus.

So instead of trying to find "a way" the serve Jesus, ask Him to show you "the way" He planned for your life!  It may not seem important to other men, but if you are walking in the steps that Jesus prepared for you, then there is no more glorious road you can use in your journey through life!  

When Paul began to walk in the Way of the Lord, the good news spread all over the world and that is still happening as men and women choose the Road of God's Will!

"Lord Jesus, thank You for having a plan for my life and for the grace to let me know what it is!  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen."

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Second Wind of the Spirit!

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The angel who explained the visions woke me from what seemed like sleep.  Then he asked, "What do you see?" "A solid gold lampstand with an oil container above it," I answered. "On the stand are seven lamps, each with seven flames.  One olive tree is on the right side and another on the left of the oil container.  But, sir, what do these mean?"  Then he asked, "Don't you know?" "No sir," I replied.  So the angel explained that it was the following message of the LORD to Zerubbabel: I am the LORD All-Powerful. So don't depend on your own power or strength, but on my Spirit.  Zerubbabel, that mountain in front of you will be leveled to the ground. Then you will bring out the temple's most important stone and shout, "God has been very kind."

Zechariah 4: 1 - 7

When you depend on your own power and strength to deal with any  challenge in your life, you are not depending on the Spirit of God!  When I was much younger I really enjoyed running.  If you are or have ever been a runner you know that it can be addicting.  It is a very pleasurable experience to be able to run a few miles every day.  

And when you run there is a point where you get what is sometimes called a "Second Wind."  Suddenly, and without warning you are able to breathe better and what had been a great burden becomes a pure joy!  

The Bible says that the Holy Spirit is like the wind.  And when He fills your heart and takes over the control of your life, what had been a great burden becomes a pure joy!  And the mountain that you see in front of you will be leveled to the ground!

So if you have a mountain in your life that has stopped you from moving on with the Lord, it is time for you to depend on the Spirit of God for everything!  Then, you will feel the Second Wind of the Holy Spirit and watch that mountain be leveled to the ground!

"Lord Jesus, I want to depend on Your Spirit's strength in my life today and every day, as long as I live on this earth.  Praise Your Holy Name, now and forever.  Amen."

Friday, February 23, 2018

God Watches Birds!

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Every animal in the forest belongs to me, and so do the cattle on a thousand hills.  I know all the birds in the mountains, and every wild creature is in my care.  If I were hungry, I wouldn't tell you, because I own the world and everything in it.  I don't eat the meat of bulls or drink the blood of goats.  I am God Most High! The only sacrifice I want is for you to be thankful and to keep your word.  Pray to me in time of trouble. I will rescue you, and you will honor me.

Psalm 50: 10 - 15

Did you know that "Bird Watching" is a God-like activity.  God watches the birds and He feeds them as well.  God not only watches birds, but "every wild creature" is in His care.  Knowing that truth helps me know why it is really wrong to mistreat or abuse animals!  

God also watches and cares for you.  He knows everything about you, including the number of hairs on your head.  If God did not care for you, I believe you would not be able to take your next breath!  So according to Psalm 50, the only sacrifice that God wants from you is for you to be thankful for His care and for you to keep your word to Him!  

Spend some time today counting the blessings that God has given you and those you love.  Also look around at the animals that God knows, and remember that He knows each and every one!

God always keeps His Word and if you are to be like God, then you will keep your word as well!  

"Lord Jesus, show me how to be more like You today and everyday!  Praise Your Holy Name, now and forever.  Amen."

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Billy Graham's Message!

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The LORD said, "Ezekiel, son of man, I want you to stand up and listen."  After he said this, his Spirit took control of me and lifted me to my feet. Then the LORD said:  Ezekiel, I am sending you to the people of Israel. They are just like their ancestors who rebelled against me and refused to stop.  They are stubborn and hardheaded. But I, the LORD God, have chosen you to tell them what I say.  Those rebels may not even listen, but at least they will know that a prophet has come to them.  Don't be afraid of them or of anything they say. You may think you're in the middle of a thorn patch or a bunch of scorpions. But be brave and preach my message to them, whether they choose to listen or not.

Ezekiel 2: 1 - 7

Have you ever wondered why some men are considered to be "better preachers" than others?  Now that Billy Graham has passed away you will hear lots of comments about his life and about why he was such a "powerful" preacher.  The power of preaching is in the message not the messenger!  The Apostle Paul did say that "he became all things to all men" so that he might win some to Jesus, but God clearly told Ezekiel to preach the message whether or not anyone believed it.  

Billy Graham was powerful because of the Message he delivered, not because of how he delivered it!  When you praise a man because of how eloquent he is in proclaiming the Message of the Gospel of Jesus, you are like people praising a man who warned of a fire in their building for being eloquent and persuasive.  If such a man were to receive the highest award for his service to other men by warning them to get out, no one would even think to mention how well the man could speak and how convincing he was with his arguments!  

The powerful message of Billy Graham was this: You have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, but because of the sacrifice of Jesus you can repent and be forgiven of those sins and live forever with Jesus in Heaven!  

He said that over and over again to millions of people!  That is the powerful, saving message that everyone needs to hear and you don't need to be Billy Graham to deliver it!  Thank God for the life of Billy Graham, but thank Him most of all for Jesus!

"Jesus, You are the Power needed in every life on this earth.  You are the Power to bring us to Glory with You forever.  May Your Name be praised now and always!  Amen!"

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

False God of Luck!

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What will I, the LORD, do if any of you reject me and my holy mountain? What will happen to you for offering food and wine to the gods you call "Good Luck" and "Fate"?  Your luck will end! I will see to it that you are slaughtered with swords. You refused to answer when I called out; you paid no attention to my instructions. Instead, you did what I hated, knowing it was wrong.  I, the LORD God, will give food and drink to my servants, and they will celebrate. But all of you sinners will go hungry and thirsty, overcome with disgrace.  My servants will laugh and sing, but you will be sad and cry out in pain.

Isaiah 65: 11 - 14

Did you know that Good Luck is not a Fruit of the Holy Spirit.  Luck is not part of the blessed life for those who follow Jesus.  Wishing someone "Good Luck" is the world's way of saying "God bless you" without recognizing God as the Creator of all there is.  These verses in Isaiah 65 say that "Good Luck" is a god, a false god.  

There is not a random force in the world that causes things to happen by chance.  The Good you see around you comes from the Mind and Heart of God Almighty and the Evil in the world comes from Satan!  One of the most cunning lies of Satan is that the good things in your life have nothing to do with God's blessings, and that the bad things that come upon you are not prompted by Satan!  The Enemy of all that is Good and Holy wants to deceive you and make you believe that God is just an idea and not the ruler of Everything!

So I would strongly suggest that you change your vocabulary from "Good Luck" to "God bless."  There is no such thing as "Good Luck" but there certainly are blessings from God!  And by the way the greatest blessing from God is Jesus Christ Himself.  

"Lord, I thank You for all the blessings You give to Your people, but most of all I thank You for Jesus who brings all Your blessings to those who make Him the Lord of their lives!  May Your Name be Praised Now and Forever.  Amen."

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Nothing Has Changed!

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I have stumbled, and worthless liars I don't even know surround me and sneer.  Worthless people make fun and never stop laughing.  But all you do is watch! When will you do something? Save me from the attack of those vicious lions.  And when your people meet, I will praise you and thank you, Lord, in front of them all.  Don't let my brutal enemies be glad because of me. They hate me for no reason. Don't let them wink behind my back.  They say hurtful things, and they lie to people who want to live in peace.  They are quick to accuse me. They say, "You did it! We saw you ourselves."  You see everything, LORD! Please don't keep silent or stay so far away.  Fight to defend me, Lord God, and prove that I am right by your standards. Don't let them laugh at me or say to each other, "Now we've got what we want! We'll gobble him down!"  Disappoint and confuse all who are glad to see me in trouble, but disgrace and embarrass my proud enemies who say to me, "You are nothing!"  Let all who want me to win be happy and joyful. From now on let them say, "The LORD is wonderful! God is glad when all goes well for his servant."  Then I will shout all day, "Praise the LORD God! He did what was right."

Psalm 35: 15 - 28

King David sounds like a 21st Century politician.  His opposition was trying to accuse him of things he did not do, spread lies about him, and hate him for no reason.  They said they saw him do something that he did not do, and the list goes on and on!    

So if you listen to the news from the United States today, you will find that nothing has changed since the time of King David.  There are true and false accusations today just as there were then.  So how do you know today what is true and what is a lie?  How do you judge the accusations you hear and know whether or not they are true?  

Here the simple and yet very profound answer to that question.  In the End truth will win and lies will be exposed!  You can trust Jesus and rest in the peace of knowing that His Holy Spirit will be with you as you seek truth in everything!  And as you struggle through the turmoil of your life, know that in the End everything will work together for good to those who are followers of Jesus!

"Lord Jesus, thank you for being the Truth and for exposing the lies that can only come from the Enemy of all that is Good and Right and Holy!  Praise Your Name now and forever.  Amen."

Monday, February 19, 2018

In God I Trust

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This is the LORD's message for his rebellious people: "You follow your own plans instead of mine; you make treaties without asking me, and you keep on sinning.  You trust Egypt for protection. So you refuse my advice and send messengers to Egypt to beg their king for help.  You will be disappointed, completely disgraced for trusting Egypt.  The king's power reaches from the city of Zoan as far south as Hanes.  But Egypt can't protect you, and to trust that nation is useless and foolish.  This is a message about the animals of the Southern Desert: You people carry treasures on donkeys and camels. You travel to a feeble nation through a troublesome desert filled with lions and flying fiery dragons.  Egypt can't help you! That's why I call that nation a helpless monster.  The LORD told me to write down his message for his people, so that it would be there forever.  They have turned against the LORD and can't be trusted. They have refused his teaching and have said to his messengers and prophets: Don't tell us what God has shown you and don't preach the truth. Just say what we want to hear, even if it's false.

Isaiah 30: 1 - 10

The United States of America prints the words "In God We Trust" on their money.  The desire to acknowledge God on its coins came in the midst of the most difficult time in U.S. history, the Civil War!  When a nation or a man or woman trusts in Almighty God blessings will come and when they stop trusting in God the blessings will vanish!

According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury"  at the U.S. mint "could make no changes (in what is printed on the coins) without the enactment of additional legislation by the Congress."  The Congress of the United States would have to make a new law to take "In God We Trust" off of the money!

But no law would need to be made for you to take "In God I Trust" off your heart!  Trusting in God is the essence of the walk of faith with Jesus.  But when you trust in anyone or anything other than God, you will be "disappointed and completely disgraced."  

Make sure that "In God I Trust" is printed on your heart, but even more importantly actually trust God in every situation of your life.  Every time you are tempted to run to Egypt for help remember to only go to Egypt if God Himself sends you.

"Thank You Jesus that I can trust in You for everything.  There is nothing in my life that is beyond Your ability to be my source and supply.  May Your Name, Jesus be praised now and forever.  Amen."

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Think About the Baby and Not the Birth Pains!

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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.

Isaiah 24: 1 - 16a

There will be a day when the destruction of the earth will proceed just as it did in the days of Noah.  Only this time it will not be destroyed by flood waters.  God is going to twist the earth out of shape and turn it into a desert!  There will be no joy on planet earth except for one group of people.  Those who know Jesus Christ and seek to follow Him will be heard joyfully praising the majesty of the Lord.  

For those who are disciples of Jesus, the destruction of the earth will signal the soon and glorious return of Jesus!  All over the world the sounds of praise will be heard as Christians know for certain that their future is not tied to this earth!  So for those who are worried about air pollution and climate change, I would say this: This earth is destined to be destroyed and replaced by a new one that will remain forever!  That is what God has said and that is what He will do!  You cannot change what God has predicted, but you can become part of the group that will be joyfully praising God through it all!  

As we approach that time of terrible suffering on earth, think about the Baby, not the birth pains!  Followers of Jesus will experience unspeakable joy when Jesus returns!

"Lord Jesus, help me today to praise Your Holy Name as I hear and see all the tragedy in the world around me.  And help me to encourage everyone I meet today to seek You and Your will for them. May You Lord be praised now and forever.  Amen."

Friday, February 16, 2018

His Nature in My Heart

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I pray that God will be kind to you and will let you live in perfect peace! May you keep learning more and more about God and our Lord Jesus.   We have everything we need to live a life that pleases God. It was all given to us by God's own power, when we learned that he had invited us to share in his wonderful goodness.   God made great and marvelous promises, so that his nature would become part of us. Then we could escape our evil desires and the corrupt influences of this world.

2 Peter 1: 2 - 4

Many years ago there was a popular chorus that we would sing in worship.  The words were, "To be like Jesus, to be like Jesus, all I ask to be like Him."  I thought that "being like Jesus" meant that I would act like Jesus did and ask the question "What would Jesus do" before making any decisions in my life.  It certainly does mean those things, but it means much more.

In 2 Peter 2:4 it says that "His nature would become part of us."  That is an amazing statement and a marvelous mystery.  The very nature of God is transplanted into your heart.  The very best man or woman in this world is a clay pot covered with a layer of gold so that there is the appearance of being a solid gold vessel!  Children of God have their human nature tendencies replaced by the nature of God Himself!  That is how you will be able as a follower of Jesus to stand against the temptation that comes at you every day.  A "born again" believer in Jesus Christ doesn't just look like a solid gold vessel, he or she actually is what they appear to be!  

God has given you His very nature so that you can "escape your evil desires and the corrupt influences of this world."  You are able to resist temptation, not because of how strong you are, but rather because of who He is and the fact that His nature is a part of your heart!  

"Lord Jesus, thank You for putting Your nature in my heart so that I may grow more like You every day.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen."

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Shine Like a Star!

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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 - 3

When you hear the story of a successful person, you will almost always hear about someone else who inspired them to greatness!  This person is often called a role model.  You look at the life of another man or woman and try to live your life like they are living theirs.  

When your goal in life is to please God, then you will lead others to do the same thing.  Truthfully, the most important thing you can do in life is to please God!  If God is pleased with you, then you need not concern yourself with anything else.  When God approves of how you are living your life, it does not mean that the world will agree with God.  In fact, those who are not Children of God will probably think you are wasting your life.  Some will even think you are insane because you not only pray to God, but you believe that He speaks to you about His will for the things you do!

If you encourage other men to please God in how they live their lives, then you will see them turn their hearts to Jesus and be saved!  The saved are those who please God!  And those who lead others to be pleasing to God will shine like the stars in the sky!

"Lord Jesus, may I be pleasing to You today, and may I lead others to do the same.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen."

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Ark of God's Love!

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Christ died once for our sins. An innocent person died for those who are guilty. Christ did this to bring you to God, when his body was put to death and his spirit was made alive.  Christ then preached to the spirits that were being kept in prison.   They had disobeyed God while Noah was building the boat, but God had been patient with them. Eight people went into that boat and were brought safely through the flood.  Those flood waters were like baptism that now saves you. But baptism is more than just washing your body. It means turning to God with a clear conscience, because Jesus Christ was raised from death.  Christ is now in heaven, where he sits at the right side of God. All angels, authorities, and powers are under his control.

1 Peter 3: 18 - 22

In these verses the Bible compares the waters of the great flood to the waters of Baptism.  The flood waters both took the lives of all living land creatures and lifted the Ark of Noah above the waters so that he, his family and the animals in the Ark were saved from death!  Now, here is the part of these verses that I find difficult to understand.  They say that after Jesus died He preached to the spirits of those people who died in the flood!  

I think this is one of the things in the Bible that I will never understand this side of Heaven.  I don't see any other Scripture talking about people being able to "come to Jesus" after they die.  It even says that once we die then comes the "judgment."  

So here is the lesson for my life.  I must believe in and trust Jesus and every Word I find in the Bible, even though I know that I cannot fully understand the Truth of God!  I am not able to know everything and I am not able to understand everything.  What I am able to do, and this I must do, is to love Jesus and trust Him with all my heart as I obey every Word that comes from Him!

The mysteries of God are great, even for those who love Him and can be called His children, but the love of God is the greatest thing of all!  And that love, which comes from the Father is poured out on His children through the Blood of Jesus!  

"Thank You Jesus that one day we will in Heaven understand all mysteries.  But thank You even more that right now here on earth we can live in the Ark of Your Love.  Praise Your Holy Name, now and forever.  Amen."

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Echo the Voice of God!

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The people said to Jesus, "Abraham is our father!" Jesus replied, "If you were Abraham's children, you would do what Abraham did.  Instead, you want to kill me for telling you the truth that God gave me. Abraham never did anything like that.  But you are doing exactly what your father does." "Don't accuse us of having someone else as our father!" they said. "We just have one father, and he is God."  Jesus answered: If God were your Father, you would love me, because I came from God and only from him. He sent me. I did not come on my own.  Why can't you understand what I am talking about? Can't you stand to hear what I am saying?  Your father is the devil, and you do exactly what he wants. He has always been a murderer and a liar. There is nothing truthful about him. He speaks on his own, and everything he says is a lie. Not only is he a liar himself, but he is also the father of all lies.

John 8: 39 - 44

God cannot tell a lie and Satan cannot tell the truth!  That is the fundamental difference that men can see between Jesus and the Devil.  Everything you hear from God is true and everything you hear from the mouth of Satan is a lie!

So when your mouth utters words that are true you are speaking like God does and when you lie, even a "little white lie" you are acting like the Devil.

I suppose that is why the very first step away from righteousness is when a child begins to lie to his or her parents.  As you often hear today "it is not the crime, but rather the cover-up" that is the problem. Lying is the way all men, who don't know Jesus try to cover their sin.  But when you know the Lord, there is no need to lie about your sin because the Blood of Jesus has you covered!

So as you live this day, remember to guard your words and never speak words that are not true!  When you lie, you are being like the Evil One.  But when you speak the truth your words echo the voice of God!  

"Lord Jesus, help me today to guard my words so that I will always speak as You do and not like Satan!  Praise Your Holy Name, now and forever.  Amen."

Monday, February 12, 2018

Living Testimony

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A lot of people came when they heard that Jesus was there. They also wanted to see Lazarus, because Jesus had raised him from death.  So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus.  He was the reason that many of the Jewish people were turning from them and putting their faith in Jesus.

John 12: 9 - 11

Lazarus was a great evangelist!  Because of Lazarus many people were believing in Jesus.  If Lazarus were to establish a "School of Evangelism" he would say that all you have to do to win people to Jesus is to get sick and die and let Jesus raise you back to life in front of everyone!  When dead people live again everyone pays attention!

Truthfully, that is still the way to draw people to Jesus. When you, being dead in your sins are resurrected to life by the power of Jesus Christ and those around you see it happen, they will want to know how such a thing can be!

Then your testimony about Jesus will not be one that you have to tell, but rather a testimony of life itself!  You see, there is a noticeable difference between a man who is dead in his sins and a man who is alive in Jesus Christ!  The dead man displays none of the real fruit of the Spirit, but the Living man has Joy, Peace, Long suffering, Kindness, and all the other amazing characteristics that only come from the Spirit of God.  

How will you know if your testimony of life is drawing men to Jesus?  You will know, if the enemies of Jesus are planning to kill you like they planned to kill Lazarus.  If no one wants you dead, then consider the possibility that you are not yet alive!  

"Lord Jesus let me know for sure today that I am indeed alive in You and being a testimony of life to all those around me.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen."

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Resurrection After the Crucifixion!

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One of the council members was Caiaphas, who was also high priest that year. He spoke up and said, "You people don't have any sense at all!  Don't you know it is better for one person to die for the people than for the whole nation to be destroyed?"  Caiaphas did not say this on his own. As high priest that year, he was prophesying that Jesus would die for the nation.  Yet Jesus would not die just for the Jewish nation. He would die to bring together all of God's scattered people.  From that day on, the council started making plans to put Jesus to death.  Because of this plot against him, Jesus stopped going around in public. He went to the town of Ephraim, which was near the desert, and he stayed there with his disciples.  It was almost time for Passover. Many of the Jewish people who lived out in the country had come to Jerusalem to get themselves ready for the festival.  They looked around for Jesus. Then when they were in the temple, they asked each other, "You don't think he will come here for Passover, do you?"  The chief priests and the Pharisees told the people to let them know if any of them saw Jesus. That is how they hoped to arrest him.

John 11: 49 - 58

Jesus did not incorrectly believe that people in the world wanted to put Him to death.  That is what they wanted to do, and that is what they did when they nailed the Lord to the Cross!  What the World did not know is that it was God's plan for Jesus to die on the Cross in order to pay the price for the sins of the World! 

I believe that even today, all the evil in the world is ultimately used by God to accomplish His Will on the earth!  Satan's secret plans today are all known by the Holy Spirit and He is able to work them together for good.  

When Jesus told us to take up our cross and follow Him, He meant that we would certainly suffer as His followers.  But the cross we carry will not defeat us, even as His Cross did not defeat Him.  In fact, the cross that we bear is an important way that we walk in His steps.

So when you look around and see great evil in the world today, remember that God is still in the business of overcoming evil with good!  Unrighteousness will be swallowed up by the righteousness of Jesus which is still working in the lives of those who follow Him.  Don't fear those who want to do you harm!  Fear God and watch for the Resurrection after the Crucifixion!  

"Lord Jesus, give me peace in the storms of this life, as I know for certain that You have already won the victory over every evil!  May Your Name Jesus be praised now and forever.  Amen."

Saturday, February 10, 2018

God Appointments!

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The woman said, "I know that the Messiah will come. He is the one we call Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us."  "I am that one," Jesus told her, "and I am speaking to you now."  The disciples returned about this time and were surprised to find Jesus talking with a woman. But none of them asked him what he wanted or why he was talking with her.  The woman left her water jar and ran back into town. She said to the people, "Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! Could he be the Messiah?"  Everyone in town went out to see Jesus.  While this was happening, Jesus' disciples were saying to him, "Teacher, please eat something."  But Jesus told them, "I have food that you don't know anything about."  His disciples started asking each other, "Has someone brought him something to eat?"  Jesus said: My food is to do what God wants! He is the one who sent me, and I must finish the work that he gave me to do.

John 4: 25 - 34

For Jesus, doing the will of God was like eating food when you are hungry.  While His disciples had gone into town to buy food Jesus was having a "God Appointment" with a woman from Samaria.  When God orchestrates His will to intersect with the ordinary events of your day you have an opportunity to have a "God Appointment" and experience the satisfying of a most amazing Holy Hunger!  

Are you hungry to do the Will of God?  Do you seek at every moment of your life to do the thing that God has planned for that specific time?  Do you believe that every minute of your day has a God inspired opportunity for you to do His Will?  

If you believe those things, then your day becomes an amazing adventure of looking for the "God Appointments."  Is the person working at the checkout counter waiting for you to say just one word of encouragement that will draw them closer to Jesus?  Is there a note or text message or email that you can write which will accomplish something for God?  Whatever happens during your day may be and probably is an open door for you to walk in the steps of Jesus.

"Lord Jesus open my eyes to see the "Samaritan woman" in my life today.  Fill me up with the food of doing Your Will in everything that happens.  And may Your Holy Name be praised now and forever.  Amen."   

Friday, February 9, 2018

Fingerprints of Jesus!

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When Jesus was born in the village of Bethlehem in Judea, Herod was king. During this time some wise men from the east came to Jerusalem and said, "Where is the child born to be king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."

Matthew 2: 1 - 2

The star that the wise men saw must have been seen by many other people, but the others did not recognize that it was the Star of Bethlehem and they did not seek to find Jesus!  But these men who were wise, let everyone see their wisdom as they sought to find the Christ and worship Him!

The Star of Bethlehem was indeed a very special star, but the Bible says that all the heavenly bodies "declare the glory of God."  So if you are wise, you will look out your window at the sky and let that view prompt you to seek Jesus!  

You may be rich and famous, you may be highly educated with many degrees after your name, but if you don't seek Jesus, you are not wise!  Like the woman who was healed when she touched the robe Jesus was wearing, you will have your life changed by coming in touch with the Lord Jesus Christ!  

Look for Jesus in everything you see today.  Listen for Jesus in everything you hear!  The fingerprints of Jesus are on everything in Creation! If you want to be wise, seek Jesus today!

"Lord Jesus, help me today to see You in everything!  Give me wisdom to run after knowing You and to look for You in every "barn in Bethlehem!"  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen."

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Obedience and Understanding!

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I am Jesus! And I am the one who sent my angel to tell all of you these things for the churches. I am David's Great Descendant, and I am also the bright morning star.  The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" Everyone who hears this should say, "Come!" If you are thirsty, come! If you want life-giving water, come and take it. It's free!  Here is my warning for everyone who hears the prophecies in this book: If you add anything to them, God will make you suffer all the terrible troubles written in this book.  If you take anything away from these prophecies, God will not let you have part in the life-giving tree and in the holy city described in this book.  The one who has spoken these things says, "I am coming soon!" So, Lord Jesus, please come soon!  I pray that the Lord Jesus will be kind to all of you.

Revelation 22: 16 - 22

These last seven verses of the New Testament give us both a marvelous Word of encouragement and a stern warning.  If you hear His call on your life and come to Jesus, you will be able to drink life-giving water that is free!  That water will keep you alive with Him forever!

But if you add to the Word of God, He will make you suffer terrible troubles.  And if you don't believe the Word that He has given for you and reject even part of His Word, He will not let you take part in the life-giving tree and the Holy City!

It is a very serious matter, how you handle the Word of God! Don't approach the Bible with the attitude of: "If I understand it, then I will believe it!"  Rather embrace every Word that comes from the mouth of God and rejoice when and if the Holy Spirit gives you understanding.  

Don't make it your goal to be the disciple with the most understanding.  Your desire should be obedience to every Word that comes from the mouth of God!  And by the way, when you obey His Word, usually understanding will come!  

"Lord Jesus, help me today to seek to be obedient to all of Your Word.  And may I add nothing to it, or take away anything from it.  May Your Name be praised now and forever.  Amen."