Friday, August 31, 2018

Just Say Yes to Jesus!

God wants everyone to be saved and to know the whole truth, which is,  There is only one God, and Christ Jesus is the only one who can bring us to God. Jesus was truly human, and he gave himself to rescue all of us.

1 Timothy 2 : 4-5

The free will of man and the Glorious Sovereignty of God collide with an eternal tragedy for those who reject Jesus Christ!

How can Almighty God create a being who can oppose the Will of his or her creator?

Every human being born as a child of Adam and Eve has the amazing ability to refuse to fulfill the desire of God. They can take the road of sin and separation from God which delivers them to the fires of Hell forever.

You can say “No” to God and His glorious will for your life!  But you have also been given the ability to say “Yes” to the Creator of all there is!  When you say “Yes” to God and come to Jesus in faith with love in your heart for the One who saves you Eternal Bliss will be your reward!  

The advertising campaign of Satan is this: “JUST SAY NO TO JESUS.”  If you do that the Devil has won the battle for your heart!  But when you say “Yes” to Jesus, His blood cleans your heart and mind and makes you ready for Eternity!

“Lord Jesus, show me how I can say “Yes” to You today in everything I do!  May Your Name be praised now and forever.  Amen.”

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Fear Only God

Click here to listen to blog

When Peter came to Antioch, I told him face to face that he was wrong.  He used to eat with Gentile followers of the Lord, until James sent some Jewish followers. Peter was afraid of the Jews and soon stopped eating with Gentiles.  He and the other Jews hid their true feelings so well that even Barnabas was fooled.  But when I saw that they were not really obeying the truth that is in the good news, I corrected Peter in front of everyone and said: Peter, you are a Jew, but you live like a Gentile. So how can you force Gentiles to live like Jews?

Galatians 2 : 11-14

How could Peter, who had preached on the day of Pentecost need to be corrected for “not obeying the truth that is in the Good News?” 

It was the same old “fear of men” that had plagued Peter in the early morning hours of the crucifixion day.  Then he was afraid to be known as a follower of Jesus.  In these verses Peter was afraid of the Jewish Christians who were separating themselves from Gentile believers!

There are some very important lessons we can learn from Peter’s  failure.  First, don’t let the fear of men come between you and being fully obedient to the Lord.  Second, don’t let your culture and traditions separate you from other believers in Christ.

Also remember that something you did years ago can rear its ugly head and try to take control of you again.  I am sure Peter believed he had learned his lesson.   He must have thought that he would no longer be concerned about what other people think or do.

“Lord Jesus may I never be more concerned about what men think of me than I am about what You think!  May I worship and fear You and You alone.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Monday, August 27, 2018

Employee or Child?

Not everyone who calls me their Lord will get into the kingdom of heaven. Only the ones who obey my Father in heaven will get in.  On the day of judgment many will call me their Lord. They will say, "We preached in your name, and in your name we forced out demons and worked many miracles."  But I will tell them, "I will have nothing to do with you! Get out of my sight, you evil people!"

Matthew 7: 21 - 23

Calling Jesus Lord is not the same as allowing Him to be the Lord of your life! These verses are frightening because they say that you can call Jesus, Lord, preach in His Name, even force out demons and do many miracles and still go to Hell!

So you can work miracles for God and not be saved.  God employed the services of Pharaoh and prompted the king to do things that accomplished God’s purposes.  But Pharaoh was not pleasing to God.  He was not one of “God’s people.”  

It is the difference between employees and children.  Employees work for a man, but his children obey him!  It matters not how much you work for your employer.  Your work will not make you his child!  And, it doesn’t matter how much you work for God.  All those good deeds will not make you a Child of God!

Being a child is not a reward for what you have done or will do.  You don’t become a child by working.  And you don’t become a christian by doing good deeds.

Again, employees work, children obey!  The difference is dramatic.  If you have been seeking to be a worker for the Lord, you can do that without giving Him your heart and mind.  Make the choice to rather become His child by trusting Jesus as you are obedient to everything He says!  It is the Blood of Jesus that saves you and nothing else. When you are “born again” you stop being an employee of the Lord and become a child!  The difference is dramatic!

“Lord Jesus, I know that all my work for You means nothing if I am not Your child!  Help me to obey Your every Word today and always!  Praise Your Holy and Righteous Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Sewer of Satan

The angel showed me a river that was crystal clear, and its waters gave life. The river came from the throne where God and the Lamb were seated.  Then it flowed down the middle of the city's main street. On each side of the river are trees that grow a different kind of fruit each month of the year. The fruit gives life, and the leaves are used as medicine to heal the nations.

Revelation 22: 1 - 2

In many ways Indonesia is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever seen.  But there is a river flowing down the middle of Jakarta, Indonesia’s main street.  It is not crystal clear and it’s waters do not give life.  In fact, it is not a river at all.  The river in Jarkarta is an open sewer!  According to reports, 96% of the city has no real sewage system.  Raw sewage flows into that stream!

I once saw a man brushing his teeth in the water of that sewer.  The image still is vivid in my mind.  

The question I would ask is this: Are you drinking water from the River that Gives Life, or from the Sewer of Satan?   

The River that Gives Life comes from the throne of God.  It refreshes, sustains and strengthens those who drink from it’s water.  

The Sewer of Satan flows from every disgusting thing imaginable.  It brings disease and death to your heart and it rots every bone in your body. 

Remember, every time you give in to temptation you are dipping your water glass into the Sewer of Satan for a drink!  Drinking from a sewer is disgusting and will make you sick.  Giving in to temptation is disgusting and it will also make you very sick!

“Lord Jesus, may I have the strength and wisdom to drink only water that comes from You.  May I never again drink from the Sewer of Satan!  Jesus, praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Saturday, August 25, 2018

God's Bow and Arrow

Click here to listen to blog

Listen to my concerns, God, and protect me from my terrible enemies.  Keep me safe from secret plots of corrupt and evil gangs.  Their words cut like swords, and their cruel remarks sting like sharp arrows.  They fearlessly ambush and shoot innocent people.  They are determined to do evil, and they tell themselves, "Let's set traps! No one can see us." They make evil plans and say, "We'll commit a perfect crime. No one knows our thoughts."  But God will shoot his arrows and quickly wound them.

Psalm 64: 1 - 7

You may think that you have “terrible enemies” who have secret plots and fearlessly shoot and ambush innocent people.  It is not your imagination!  

If you have decided to follow Jesus there will be people who try to set traps for you. They think they can commit the “perfect crime.”  They believe “no one knows” their thoughts.

Evil is not just when someone gives in to temptation and steps off the path of righteousness. Disciples of Jesus are continually under attack. Evil gangs attempt to lead them from the way Jesus would have them go.  

But there are people who are given over to evil and have no desire to live a life that honors God. These people traffic in lies, deceit and slander. They are vicious in their attacks on righteousness. When light shines on their darkness they are exposed before everyone. The evil they embrace is then seen by all! 

Don’t pretend that all disagreements are honest differences in point of view. That does happen, but there are also conflicts that are fundamental good versus evil struggles! When that happens and you are a follower of Jesus, call out to God and ask Him to “Shoot His Arrows.”

“Lord Jesus, protect me today with Your strong arm and Your powerful Bow! May Your Holy and Righteous Name be praised now and forever. Amen.” 

Friday, August 24, 2018

Touch the Hand of Jesus

I think about you before I go to sleep, and my thoughts turn to you during the night.

Psalm 63: 6

What do you ponder as you are closing your eyes to sleep for the night? Do the regrets of the day fill your mind and trouble your heart? Are you filled with worry about things that you can’t control? Do your thoughts keep you awake for hours as you try to “get some rest” from the problems of this world?

Or do you focus your mind on the Lord? Close your eyes and imagine standing before Him in Heaven.  Then nothing on this earth below can disturb your peaceful heart.  Sometimes you begin to wonder if what you see in your mind is imagination.  Perhaps it is or reality disguised as imagination!

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ and are filled with the Holy Spirit, your thoughts of Heaven may come from the Holy Spirit in your heart. Even the possibility of such a thing brings peace to my heart!  

Let your mind step out of the boat of your five senses. Walk on the water of thinking about Heaven! When you do that the troubled thoughts of this world seem to fade away as you reach out and touch the Hand of Jesus!

“Lord Jesus, may I put You in the forefront of my mind as I close my eyes for the night. Give me thoughts that come from You even if they are pretending to be simple dreams! Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.” 

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Lord, What Are We Doing Today?

Click here to listen to blog

Timothy, my child, Christ Jesus is kind, and you must let him make you strong.  You have often heard me teach. Now I want you to tell these same things to followers who can be trusted to tell others.  As a good soldier of Christ Jesus you must endure your share of suffering.  Soldiers on duty don't work at outside jobs. They try only to please their commanding officer.

2 Timothy 2: 1 - 4

When someone asks you the question “What do you do for a living” the answer should always be “I try to please Jesus Christ.”  That should be the primary goal of your life!  When Jesus is pleased with your life, nothing else matters.  When Jesus is not happy with the way you are living you have a serious problem.  

My wife has a calendar that keeps a schedule of our commitments.  I often ask her in the morning, “What are we doing today?”  That is the best question to ask the Lord after you wake and are preparing for your day.

“Lord, what are we doing today?  Paul told Timothy to let You make him strong.  I am weak Lord.  Make me strong and able to do Your will today.  May I be the one You use today to do what You desire!  Praise Your Holy and Precious Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

True Happiness!

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.  His glorious power will make you patient and strong enough to endure anything, and you will be truly happy.

Colossians 1: 9 - 11

The Spirit of God gives wisdom and understanding to those who follow Jesus.  And He makes them patient and strong enough to endure anything.  Then these verses say, “and you will be truly happy.”

We often hear about the concept of “True Love.”  But what is “True Happiness?”  

How can you endure all kinds of sufferings and be truly happy at the same time?  As a Christian, your happiness does not come from your feelings and emotions!  Real Happiness comes from being obedient to God and knowing Him better every day.  

Sufferings always end for followers of Jesus.  But True Happiness with Jesus never ends!  If you Know Jesus, you can also know that suffering for Jesus is temporary.  But if You know Jesus, happiness with Him is a permanent state of being!  

“Lord Jesus, I know that You went to the Cross looking forward to the joy and happiness of the rest of Eternity.  Help me to endure my cross with that same view of my sufferings here on earth.  Praise Your Holy and Righteous Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Monday, August 20, 2018

It is What Happens!

Every time I think of you, I thank my God.  And whenever I mention you in my prayers, it makes me happy.  This is because you have taken part with me in spreading the good news from the first day you heard about it.  God is the one who began this good work in you, and I am certain that he won't stop before it is complete on the day that Christ Jesus returns.

Philippians 1: 3 - 6

Paul says the Philippians were spreading the good news from the first day they heard it themselves!  There was no “Evangelism Class” that equipped them to preach the Gospel to others.  They just repeated the message to everyone they knew or met!  And they did that starting on Day One of their life as a follower of Jesus.

 If everyone who hears the message of Jesus Christ tells the story of Jesus to two other people,  there will be more than one million hearers before that happens twenty times!  

Everyone who is born of a human mother and father grows up with a strong desire to reproduce.  It is built in to a man to desire the thing that causes new life to come.  

Everyone who is Born of the Spirit desires to see new life come!  Being Born Again happens when your heart is filled with the Spirit of God and you give control completely to Him.  

When you are united with Christ, you will see new life spring forth all around you.  It is what happens!

So, instead of trying to do God’s work in the world, simply be God’s man or woman.  Then you will see the fruit that comes from a serious and eternal relationship with Jesus!  The results will be amazing.

“Lord Jesus, help me to spread the message of Your love for men and women to everyone I meet this day and everyday until You return.  Praise Your Holy and Wonderful Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Laughing at Jesus!

While Jesus was still speaking, an official came and knelt in front of him. The man said, "My daughter has just now died! Please come and place your hand on her. Then she will live again."  Jesus and his disciples got up and went with the man.

When Jesus went into the home of the official and saw the musicians and the crowd of mourners, he said, "Get out of here! The little girl isn't dead. She is just asleep." Everyone started laughing at Jesus.  But after the crowd had been sent out of the house, Jesus went to the girl's bedside. He took her by the hand and helped her up.

Matthew 9: 18-19 & 23-25

More than 25 years ago I was the man whose daughter had "just died!"  My 16 year old daughter had been in an accident.  She died on the operating table while surgeons were trying to save her life.  I believed then and still do believe that my daughter is alive and well with Jesus.  But my daughter did not live again here on this earth.

Jesus got to the house of the man whose daughter had died.  He sent away the people who were there mourning her death.  Jesus told them that the little girl wasn't dead, but was asleep!  Then they laughed at Jesus!

I don't remember laughing at anything Jesus said.  At least, I never laughed out loud at the Words of Jesus.  But I am sure that I have laughed on the inside at the Words of Jesus that I knew were "not true" or at least were impossible!  How could I "go into all the world and preach the Gospel to everyone?"  How could I "be perfect as He is perfect?"    Jesus spoke Words that were not humanly possible.  Some people hear the Words of Jesus and don't believe that Jesus is Himself God in the flesh. They must think that He was not in His right mind!

As you mature in Christ, you will learn to trust what Jesus says, even if it makes no sense at all!  All your five senses may tell you one thing.  But when the Word of Jesus contradicts everything you see, hear, smell, taste or touch, He is right!  Trust Him now and trust Him forever!  You will never go wrong when you believe the Word of Jesus!

"Lord Jesus, help me Lord to believe every Word that comes from You even when all my senses tell me something else.  Praise Your Holy and Blessed Name now and forever.  Amen."

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Touch the Leper

Click here to listen to Blog

As Jesus came down the mountain, he was followed by large crowds.  Suddenly a man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus. He said, "Lord, you have the power to make me well, if only you wanted to."  Jesus put his hand on the man and said, "I want to! Now you are well." At once the man's leprosy disappeared.

Matthew 8: 1 - 3

Suddenly a man stood in front of me and stuck out what was left of his hand while asking for money.  Even though I was a follower of Jesus at the time, I didn’t follow Jesus in the way I responded to this man with leprosy.

I put my hand in my pocket and got some money, giving it to him as quickly as I could while hoping he would go away.  I did not touch him!

I was a young man at the time and now I am old.  But I still wonder what would have happened if I had reached out and touched the man instead of trying to get rid of him.  I will never know on this earth.

There are two significant things about this story in Matthew 8.  First, of course is that Jesus healed the man of his leprosy.  Second, Jesus put his hand on the man!  He touched him!

The lesson for me is profound.  I want to see the power of God work through me in the lives of others.  So I must speak the Word of God to them and be willing to “touch the leper!”  Touching a person who is filthy and diseased takes more faith than speaking to them!  

So determine today, to put your hand on the man you are telling about Jesus, even if he is a leper!  That is what Jesus did and He wants us to be like Him!

“Lord Jesus, give me the courage to touch other people with Your love, even when I don’t want to let You love them through me!  Praise Your Holy and Precious Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Friday, August 17, 2018

The Real Rock

Click here to listen to blog

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

Click here to listen to blog

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.”