Friday, August 17, 2018

The Real Rock

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Come to Jesus Christ. He is the living stone that people have rejected, but which God has chosen and highly honored.  And now you are living stones that are being used to build a spiritual house. You are also a group of holy priests, and with the help of Jesus Christ you will offer sacrifices that please God.  It is just as God says in the Scriptures, "Look! I am placing in Zion a choice and precious cornerstone. No one who has faith in that one will be disappointed." You are followers of the Lord, and that stone is precious to you. But it isn't precious to those who refuse to follow him. They are the builders who tossed aside the stone that turned out to be the most important one of all.  They disobeyed the message and stumbled and fell over that stone, because they were doomed.

1 Peter 2: 4 - 8

There is a movie actor and professional wrestler  who is called "The Rock." He is not the first man of power who used that name.  Jesus Christ is the real "Rock of Ages."  Jesus is the Cornerstone that holds the whole building together.  Jesus is more than a powerful man.  Jesus is also a powerful God, and of course the only true God!  

Men may be impressed with your physical strength.  God is impressed when you let His Spirit live in your heart and work His Will through your life! God wants to use you as a "spiritual rock" to be part of His "spiritual house."  

You are part of what God is doing in the world when you let the Holy Spirit have His way with you!  Giving your heart to Jesus is only step one on the road to Heaven!  When you choose to be used by God to accomplish His Will on this earth, He becomes the King of your life and the Ruler of your heart!

"Lord Jesus, use me today to do what You want done on this earth.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen."

Thursday, August 16, 2018

In His Sweet Arms

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My friends, we want you to understand how it will be for those followers who have already died. Then you won't grieve over them and be like people who don't have any hope.  We believe that Jesus died and was raised to life. We also believe that when God brings Jesus back again, he will bring with him all who had faith in Jesus before they died.  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.  Encourage each other with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4: 13 - 18

If you are a follower of Jesus, have you ever secretly hoped that you would still be alive when the Lord returns?  Then you would not have to die.  The fear of death can make you very interested in the "Second Coming" of Jesus.

Well, you say, "I would like to see the Return of Jesus and not already be gone when it happens!" But remember that these verses say that everyone who has faith in Jesus before they die will be at the "Second Coming."  Those who have already died will return with Him.  Those who have not will go  up to be with Him forever.  

The fear of death is not a good reason to desire to remain until the Lord returns.  The best reason for wanting to stay on this earth until Jesus returns is not complicated.   Be ready every day to fulfill His purposes in these Last Days!  Ask Jesus to use you today to put one more piece of the puzzle in place before He returns!  Be willing to be the hands, and feet and mouth of Jesus today.  As a follower of Jesus, do not fear death today.  But rather fear the possibility of saying, "No" to His leading.  If you are His obedient and faithful servant when He is ready for you to come, you will pass from this life and rest in His Sweet arms for Eternity.  

"Lord Jesus, I do look forward to Your Second Coming.  It doesn't matter whether I am still here at the time or I return with You.  What a Glorious Day that will be.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen."

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Infected With Faith!

The Apostle Paul wrote this:

At last, when I could not wait any longer, I sent Timothy to find out about your faith. I hoped that Satan had not tempted you and made all our work useless.  Timothy has come back from his visit with you and has told us about your faith and love. He also said that you always have happy memories of us and that you want to see us as much as we want to see you.  My friends, even though we have a lot of trouble and suffering, your faith makes us feel better about you.  Your strong faith in the Lord is like a breath of new life.  How can we possibly thank God enough for all the happiness you have brought us?

1 Thessalonians 3: 5 - 9

Faith is like a disease!  Now don’t misunderstand.  Sickness is bad, but faith is good.  Faith is like being ill because faith is contagious.  When one person is infected with the flu, it usually spreads to others.  Sometimes it spreads to many others.

The only way to keep from catching the flu is to stay away from those who already have it or find some way to be vaccinated against it.  

The only way to keep from being “Infected with Faith” is to stay away from those who are men and women of faith or let dead and dying christianity vaccinate you against it!  When you expose yourself to those who believe in Jesus, He draws you to Himself and you feel His pull on your heart.

You can get sick because someone coughs in your face.  But most of the time you are just around the person enough to catch the illness through being exposed to their breath.  One way to protect yourself from getting sick is to wear a mask over your face to keep out the germs.  

I would like to encourage you to take off whatever mask you are wearing to protect yourself from Jesus Christ.  Breathe in the Holy Spirit and His Word and give your whole heart to Him.  Then your heart will burn with the fever of following Jesus and your faith in Him will be incurable! 

“Lord Jesus, thank You for showing me how to be infected with Faith in You.  May I breathe in more of Your Spirit and Word today and every day.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Walking in the Shoes of Jesus!

We have not stopped praying for you since the first day we heard about you. In fact, we always pray that God will show you everything he wants you to do and that you may have all the wisdom and understanding that his Spirit gives.  Then you will live a life that honors the Lord, and you will always please him by doing good deeds. You will come to know God even better.

Colossians 1: 9 - 10

When you do what God wants you to do, He is happy about that.  When you refuse the Will of God in your life, God is sad.  

Doing God’s Will and living a life that honors Him gives you the opportunity to know God even better! 

There is an old saying that you should not judge a man until you “walk a mile in his shoes.” 

When you live a life that pleases God and you do His Will you are walking in the shoes of Jesus!  When you do that you will get to know God better and better!

Make it your goal that today that you will walk in the steps of Jesus!  That way will lead you to the Cross and, of course the Peace and Joy of an Eternity with the Lord!

“Lord Jesus, I do want to be obedient to everything You want me to do.  I do want to walk in Your Shoes today.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Monday, August 13, 2018

Prayer or Money

The LORD is disgusted by gifts from the wicked, but it makes him happy when his people pray.  The LORD is disgusted with all who do wrong, but he loves everyone who does right.

Proverbs 15: 8 - 9

Years ago there was a rich man who, according to some, gave 90 percent of everything he made to God.  He kept only 10 percent of what he earned.  Surely, God was pleased with this man’s giving.

These verses basically say that God is disgusted with a man’s gifts if the man’s heart is not right with the Father!  If you try to gain favor with God by giving, even large sums of money or things to Him, it will not work.

Jesus Himself, who pleased God more than any other man, did not accumulate great wealth or give large gifts to God.  One place in the Bible it says that Jesus didn’t even have the money to pay a tax that was due.  And of course, Jesus and His disciples didn’t have money to feed the crowd of 5000.

But listen to this! When God’s people pray it makes Him happy!  God would rather hear what is in the hearts of His children than to have all the money in their pockets!  When you tell God what is in your heart, you bless Him! God is only interested in your treasure because it tells Him where your heart is.

As a child of God, when you do right and pray you  bless your Heavenly Father.  If you were the richest man in the world and gave God everything you had, would that please Him?  He would still be disgusted with your gifts if that is all you gave Him.  But when a child of God prays and gives his heart to God, that child blesses the Father!

“Lord Jesus help me today to take time away from something else in my day to spend that time with You.  I do so need to tell You, Lord what is in my heart!  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Secrets in Your Heart

If the LORD can see everything in the world of the dead, he can see in our hearts.

Proverbs 15: 11

The world of the dead is a great mystery even to those who follow Jesus!  The Bible tells us many things about what happens after you die. But the “only God knows” answer is still appropriate for a large number of questions about Heaven.

Much about the future is still a closely held secret in the Heart of God.  And we can know His secrets only if He chooses to tell us!

Human beings foolishly think that they can hide things in their hearts, even from God!  The writer of Proverbs tells us that God can see in our hearts! 

What “secrets” do you have in your heart that you think even God doesn’t already know?  How can the Holy Spirit be comfortable in a heart that is trying to hide something from God?  

It is time to tell God all the things that you are trying to hide, but He already knows!  That is called confession.  The next step is to clean out your heart of all the secret things that should not be there.  That is called repentance. 

A good “Heart Cleaning” will make it a wonderful place for the Holy Spirit to dwell.  And you will be at peace!

“Lord Jesus, show me today the things in my heart that should not be there.  And give me the courage to repent so that my heart will be a comfortable place for the Holy Spirit.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Are You Wrestling With God?

Afterwards, Jacob went back and spent the rest of the night alone. A man came and fought with Jacob until just before daybreak.  When the man saw that he could not win, he struck Jacob on the hip and threw it out of joint.  They kept on wrestling until the man said, "Let go of me! It's almost daylight." "You can't go until you bless me," Jacob replied.  Then the man asked, "What is your name?" "Jacob," he answered.  The man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob. You have wrestled with God and with men, and you have won. That's why your name will be Israel."  Jacob said, "Now tell me your name." "Don't you know who I am?" he asked. And he blessed Jacob.  Jacob said, "I have seen God face to face, and I am still alive." 

Genesis 32: 24 - 30a

When Jacob wrestled with God, he did not win the match because he was stronger and more able than the Almighty!  Jacob prevailed because God allowed it.  But God wounded Jacob’s hip  and left him limping from the encounter.

When you choose to wrestle with God you allow your own stubborn will to rule instead of the leading of God’s Spirit.   You will not come away without “limping” in some way.

When God shows up in your life you can choose to listen to Him and obey or you can choose to wrestle with God.  

You may be wrestling with lots of things in your life, but it is very foolish to let God be one of them!  When God shows up, surrender to Him before you do anything else!

“Lord Jesus, give me the wisdom today to choose You and to give in to Your every desire.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Friday, August 10, 2018

Pray Like Daniel

Darius divided his kingdom into a hundred and twenty states and placed a governor in charge of each one.  In order to make sure that his government was run properly, Darius put three other officials in charge of the governors. One of these officials was Daniel.  And he did his work so much better than the other governors and officials that the king decided to let him govern the whole kingdom.  The other men tried to find something wrong with the way Daniel did his work for the king. But they could not accuse him of anything wrong, because he was honest and faithful and did everything he was supposed to do.  Finally, they said to one another, "We will never be able to bring any charge against Daniel, unless it has to do with his religion."  They all went to the king and said: Your Majesty, we hope you live forever!  All of your officials, leaders, advisors, and governors agree that you should make a law forbidding anyone to pray to any god or human except you for the next thirty days. Everyone who disobeys this law must be thrown into a pit of lions.  Order this to be written and then sign it, so it cannot be changed, just as no written law of the Medes and Persians can be changed."  So King Darius made the law and had it written down.  Daniel heard about the law, but when he returned home, he went upstairs and prayed in front of the window that faced Jerusalem. In the same way that he had always done, he knelt down in prayer three times a day, giving thanks to God.

Daniel 6: 1 - 10

If you have ever heard the rest of this story, you know that Daniel spent a night in a pit with hungry lions as the result of refusing to stop praying to God!    This story is about  a man choosing to be obedient to God rather than the King.  

Daniel could have thought that to stop praying for only thirty days would not have done any harm.  He wasn’t required to pray to the King.  The law simply said obedience to that law meant that Daniel could not pray to God for those days!  The law did not require that Daniel denounce his faith in God.  It did not even insist that he stop telling others about God.  All he would have to do is to stop praying to God for a month.

When Daniel went home and prayed that day, he had heard about the law, and surely the penalty, which was to be thrown into a pit of lions!  

So I would ask this question: “Is your prayer time with God so precious and wonderful that you would not give it up for one day, even if you had to spend that night in a pit of hungry lions?”

One lesson from this story is that when you pray  everyday it can be so fulfilling and marvelous that you would not quit, even if someone threatened your life!  

Daniel had a one on one, personal conversation with Almighty God, every day!  He would not give it up for a month, a week, or even one day!

“Lord Jesus, help me today to have a time of prayer like Daniel had withYou!  Touch my heart, my mind and my life like You did his!  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Sin Justice and Judgement

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But I tell you that I am going to do what is best for you. That is why I am going away. The Holy Spirit cannot come to help you until I leave. But after I am gone, I will send the Spirit to you.  The Spirit will come and show the people of this world the truth about sin and God's justice and the judgment.  The Spirit will show them that they are wrong about sin, because they didn't have faith in me.  They are wrong about God's justice, because I am going to the Father, and you won't see me again.  And they are wrong about the judgment, because God has already judged the ruler of this world.  I have much more to say to you, but right now it would be more than you could understand.

John 16: 7 - 12

Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to His followers after He returned to the Father.  Because of the Holy Spirit living in them, Christians can know the way that God wants them to go each day!

But the Holy Spirit also came with a serious message for all those who are not followers of Jesus!  

The Holy Spirit came to indwell Christians but also to show the people of this world the truth about sin, God’s justice and judgment.

He shows the world that they are wrong about all three of these.

A man or woman who does not have faith in Jesus will not be able to see and know the truth about sin, God’s justice or judgement.  All the wisdom and knowledge in this world without faith in Jesus, as my grandmother used to say, simply makes a person an “Educated Fool!”

Turning your heart to Jesus Christ is the missing piece in your Puzzle of Life.

“Lord Jesus, help me today to have faith in You.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Sitting on the Throne With Jesus

I correct and punish everyone I love. So make up your minds to turn away from your sins.  Listen! I am standing and knocking at your door. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and we will eat together.  Everyone who wins the victory will sit with me on my throne, just as I won the victory and sat with my Father on his throne.  If you have ears, listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.

Revelation 3: 19 - 22

What will it be like to sit with Jesus on His throne?  I don’t think I have ever heard anyone talk about that.  We know that we will stand before Jesus’ throne and praise Him forever.  But what does it mean that we will “sit with Him” on His throne?

The picture that comes to my mind is that of a child who is sitting on the lap of his father.  Some businesses have a “Bring Your Child to Work” day so that fathers and mothers can let their children see exactly what their parents do at work.

I think Jesus does the same thing when He let’s us sit on His throne!  We will be able to see Eternity itself through the eyes of Jesus.  

We will also worship Him forever and fall down before Him.  But there will be that special part of Eternity while we sit with Jesus on His throne.  Image when Jesus will reach out His Hand to you and pull you up on His throne with Him!  

“Lord Jesus, there is so much about You that we have never even imagined.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Monday, August 6, 2018

No Pity on Angels or Men

God did not have pity on the angels that sinned. He had them tied up and thrown into the dark pits of hell until the time of judgment.  And during Noah's time, God did not have pity on the ungodly people of the world. He destroyed them with a flood, though he did save eight people, including Noah, who preached the truth.  God punished the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and this is a warning to anyone else who wants to sin.

2 Peter 2: 4 - 6

Did you know that the first sin did not happen in the Garden of Eden?  That was where the first man and woman sinned, but disobeying God did not begin with Adam and Eve.  

The Bible does not tell us the story of the “First Sin.” Angels sinned before Adam and Eve joined in the rebellion.  God’s Word does tell us the story of the remedy for sin in the human race.  Jesus Christ bled and died on the Cross so that men and women could escape the penalty of their sins and become one with Christ forever!

These verses from 2 Peter say that God does not have pity on angels or people who sin.  If you ask for God’s pity because of your sin, you will not get it!  If you ask for His Mercy and Grace because of the Blood of Jesus you will be transformed into the very image of God’s Son and live with Him forever!

Your problem with sin is not a matter of self control.  After Adam and Eve sinned every human being was born with a nature that loves to sin, and they do it.  You can’t fix sin by the determination of  your will.  The sin problem can only be eliminated by the Blood of Jesus Christ.

“Lord Jesus, praise You now and forever for giving Your Blood to cover my sin.  Thank You Jesus for Your Mercy and Grace and Your love for me.  Amen.” 

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Real Beauty and Strength

If you are a wife, you must put your husband first. Even if he opposes our message, you will win him over by what you do. No one else will have to say anything to him, because he will see how you honor God and live a pure life.  Don't depend on things like fancy hairdos or gold jewelry or expensive clothes to make you look beautiful.  Be beautiful in your heart by being gentle and quiet. This kind of beauty will last, and God considers it very special.

1 Peter 3: 1 - 4

You don’t hear the term much any more, but it used to be called a “Beauty Shop.”  It is where women would get their hair cut and styled and they came out feeling more beautiful.  

But real beauty is not created by “fancy hairdos, gold jewelry or expensive clothes.”  The beauty that lasts is in your heart and God looks on it as very special!

The same thing is true with men.  Real masculinity is all about how much you are like Jesus!  

As you age on this earth, wrinkles and weakening muscles disappoint those who seek only earthly beauty and strength.  But growing old with Jesus in your heart is all about being truly beautiful for women and being stronger than ever before in the Lord as a man.

Remember that sickness and death are part of the Curse that came to the earth because of Sin!  There will be no Curse in Heaven!  Beauty and strength will be unlimited in Eternity with Jesus.  An old song once describe Heaven as a “Land where we will never grow old!”

“Lord Jesus, I do long for the Day when the Curse will be gone forever!  May Your Holy Name be praised now and forever.  Amen.”

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Comfort Me Like God Does

Praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! The Father is a merciful God, who always gives us comfort.  He comforts us when we are in trouble, so that we can share that same comfort with others in trouble.  We share in the terrible sufferings of Christ, but also in the wonderful comfort he gives.  We suffer in the hope that you will be comforted and saved. And because we are comforted, you will also be comforted, as you patiently endure suffering like ours.

2 Corinthians 1: 3 - 6

The Bible says that we suffer as followers of Jesus.  That truth is hard to accept.  Human beings want everything in life to be easy and for there to always be peace.  

But know for sure that God “always gives us comfort.”  

Given enough time, I will forget the pain in my life, but I never forget the comfort that comes from God and from others who love me!

Comforting others is a very important part of doing God’s Will on earth.  He comforts you in your troubles and He wants you to comfort others.  

Sometimes men become "comfortable" with a life of sin.  God will upset you in your sin and comfort you in suffering!  Set your heart to be comfortable with God and uncomfortable with sin!

Remember that comfort from God doesn’t mean that the suffering goes away immediately.  When God speaks to your heart Eternal Truth, as His child you will be comforted even while you feel the pain!  Then you can be like God in the life of someone else who is in trouble!

“Lord Jesus, praise You Lord for the Comfort You give that makes the pain of this life very small in comparison.  Thank You Jesus, now and forever.  Amen.”

Friday, August 3, 2018

One Person With Jesus

God will raise us from death by the same power that he used when he raised our Lord to life.  Don't you know that your bodies are part of the body of Christ? Is it right for me to join part of the body of Christ to a prostitute? No, it isn't!  Don't you know that a man who does that becomes part of her body? The Scriptures say, "The two of them will be like one person."  But anyone who is joined to the Lord is one in spirit with him.

1 Corinthians 6: 14 - 17

These verses teach that sexual immorality is wrong and should be avoided.  But there is a glorious truth here that we often overlook.  A man who joins his body with a prostitute becomes one person with her, a man or woman who is joined to the Lord is one in spirit with Him!  As it says, “The two of them will be like one person!”

When you give your heart to Jesus, God fills you with His Spirit, then you and Jesus become like one person!  The Bible says that Jesus is always “with you,” but it also says that Christ is “in you.”  And it says that He is your hope of Glory!

So the question I must ask each day is this: Not what Jesus wants me to do, but rather what does Jesus want to do through me today!  If I am joined to the Lord, the two of us are like one person!  That is why I can’t take the credit for doing good things.  The good that I do is Jesus working through me.  He often shows me to put my hand to a plow that is too hard for me to push.  I must realize that He never intended for me to use my strength to do it!

Your job is to willingly be His hands, feet, ears, and mouth ready for Him to use today.  Don’t forget that when you are weak, He is strong!

“Lord Jesus, what an amazing truth to know that You want me to be like one person with You.  May I see that again today.  Praise Your Holy Name, now and forever.  Amen.”

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Jesus Will Rescue You

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But I trust the LORD God to save me, and I will wait for him to answer my prayer.  My enemies, don't be glad because of my troubles! I may have fallen, but I will get up; I may be sitting in the dark, but the LORD is my light.  I have sinned against the LORD. And so I must endure his anger, until he comes to my defense. But I know that I will see him making things right for me and leading me to the light.

Micah 7: 7 - 9

Are you lost in the woods?   A few minutes ago you knew exactly where you were, but now confusion controls your thoughts.  Every step you take makes things worse.  You may accidentally find the way, but with every passing hour you lose hope of ever finding the path back home!  Then, at some point you give up all hope of being able to go home by your own designs and you stand still and wait for a rescuer.

That is what men do when they look up to Jesus and pray for Him to rescue them.   There is only one way Home that you can find on this earth.  The road to your Eternal Home is Jesus Christ.  He is the Way the Truth and the Life.  He said that no one comes to the Father except through Him.

So if you are burdened, confused, frustrated and overwhelmed with life itself, stand still and call out to Jesus!  He has been waiting for you to give up on everything else and trust Him to Save you!

When you trust Jesus everything in your life will change.  The Fruit of His Spirit will bathe you in character traits that will boggle the minds of people who don't know Jesus.  When God's Power is needed in any situation, He will enable you to display His Glory through your obedience!

If you are lost in the woods of this world, the Perfect Love of Jesus can heal your mind and take away the fear that paralyzes your life.  

"Lord Jesus, I need Your healing for my mind and Your peace in my heart.  I need You to rescue me today and one day take me Home where I can be with You forever.  Amen."