Monday, December 31, 2018

Guarantee of God's Eternal Blessings!

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Christ died to rescue those who had sinned and broken the old agreement. Now he brings his chosen ones a new agreement with its guarantee of God's eternal blessings!

Hebrews 9:15

The Law of Moses was all about proving to men that they were not capable of keeping that Law!  Every man and woman alive since the Garden of Eden has heard Satan whisper: "You broke it and you can fix it!"

And so we set about trying to deserve Heaven and avoid Hell by the good works that we do! Somehow we believe that if we do more good things than bad things God will open Heaven's doors and invite us in for Eternity! 

But here is a disturbing truth!  You cannot pay the price for your sins!  You have incurred a debt far greater than you have or could ever have the resources to pay!  Nothing you could ever do would satisfy the justice of God when it comes to your sin!  

But God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ solved the problem of your sin and mine.  When Jesus died on the Cross, He paid a price big enough to cover every sin ever committed!  If you go to Hell, it will not be because there was no way to pay for your sin!  You will go to Hell because you refused to accept Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for your sin.  

Don't spend your life trying to deserve Heaven!  Instead, turn your heart to Jesus and accept His free gift of salvation which comes with the Guarantee of God's Eternal Blessings!

"Thank You Jesus for doing for me and every man what we cannot do for ourselves.  May Your Holy Name be praised now and forever.  Amen."

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Pure Hearted Worshipers!

Run from temptations that capture young people. Always do the right thing. Be faithful, loving, and easy to get along with. Worship with people whose hearts are pure.

2 Timothy 2:22

Today many Christ Followers have a choice where they will worship God.  They can meet with a group across the street from where they live, or they can travel to another place to worship God with other believers!

If you have a choice, how should you make the decision about where to worship?  Many, if not most American christians decide where to worship based on the name the group uses to identify itself.  Of course, that is not always a reliable method of finding a “good church.”

Others will decide where to worship God based on apparent “success” because many people gather there.  

Here in 2 Timothy 2:22 Paul tells Timothy to “worship with people whose hearts are pure.”  In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said that those with "pure hearts" will see God!

So, if you have options about where to join others to worship God, choosing a congregation of pure hearted people will enable you, with that group to see God!

You will see God as He lives in the lives of others.  You will see God as you listen to His Word.  You will see God as you trust and obey the Word you hear!

The only way to find a group of people with pure hearts is to become a pure hearted person yourself!  Then you will see others with pure hearts and you will see God!

“Lord Jesus, give me a pure heart and a strong desire to see God every moment of each day!  May Your Holy and Blessed Name be praised now and forever.  Amen.”

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Eternal I Do

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God chose you, and we keep praying that God will make you worthy of being his people. We pray for God's power to help you do all the good things that you hope to do and that your faith makes you want to do.

2 Thessalonians 1:11

Did God choose you, or did you choose God?  The answer to that question is quite obviously both!  Your Eternal relationship with God depends on both things!  

I chose my wife, but she also chose me.  If I had not decided that I wanted to be married to her, that would have been the end of the story.  But if she had said "No" to my proposal, there would also have been no marriage!

In this life, there are two who want your devotion, heart and love!  Jesus wants you and has proposed that you give yourself to Him and live with Him forever in Heaven!  But the world also desires your affection!  Satan is proposing that you seek the things of this world and not the things of God! He wants you to share the eternal fires of Hell and die with him forever!

You cannot do both!  Either you will choose Jesus and respond to His love, or you will reject the Savior and seek the pleasures of this world.

Have you been chosen by God?  Most certainly!  The question is this: Will you choose Jesus or the World?  Everything for all Eternity depends on how you answer that question!

"Lord Jesus, I do accept Your proposal that I belong to You and live with You always in Heaven!  May Your Holy and precious Name be praised now and forever.  Amen."

Friday, December 28, 2018

Real God and Real People

God created men and women to be like himself. He gave them his blessing and called them human beings. This is a list of the descendants of Adam, the first man:  When Adam was one hundred thirty, he had a son who was just like him, and he named him Seth. Adam had more children and died at the age of nine hundred thirty.

Genesis 5:1-5

According to Genesis Chapter 5 from the day God began to number the years of Adam’s life until the Great Flood was 1656 years! Noah was born in 1056 and died in 2006 - of course these dates are from the day when men began to die!

With a pencil and a piece of notebook paper you can clearly figure these dates from Genesis 5! 

This chapter also says that Mathusaleh, the man who lived longer than anyone else, died the year of the flood!  It does not indicate whether or not Mathusaleh died in the flood!  

Remember that the Bible is not a fictional account.  It is about a Real God and Real People who interacted during the past several thousand years and about Jesus Christ who really came to give His life for the sake of all men who were lost because of Adam’s sin! 

“Lord Jesus, help me to remember that one day my name will be in the list of those who lived and died on planet earth!  It is my desire and my prayer that I will please You every day with every thought and action I take.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Jesus Walk on Me

Our God, you save us, and your fearsome deeds answer our prayers for justice! You give hope to people everywhere on earth, even those across the sea.  You are strong, and your mighty power put the mountains in place.  You silence the roaring waves and the noisy shouts of the nations.  People far away marvel at your fearsome deeds, and all who live under the sun celebrate and sing because of you.  You take care of the earth and send rain to help the soil grow all kinds of crops. Your rivers never run dry, and you prepare the earth to produce much grain.  You water all of its fields and level the lumpy ground. You send showers of rain to soften the soil and help the plants sprout.  Wherever your footsteps touch the earth, a rich harvest is gathered.

Psalm 65:5-11

The Garden of Eden was filled with beautiful, marvelous and amazing plants because God walked in the garden!  

Wherever God’s feet touched the earth the blessings of abundant life followed.  

Adam himself was created from the dust of the earth.  Then God breathed into Adam the breath of life! Is there any wonder that when God’s feet touch the ground a “rich harvest is gathered?” 

So, if you need blessings from God, simply ask Him to walk on your ground!  When God touches you, even with the souls of His feet, you will be blessed!

”Lord Jesus, may my life become a path for Your feet, so that I may receive the blessings of being touched by You.  Thank You for the Life that only comes from Your touch!  May Your Name Jesus be praised now and forever.  Amen.”

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Happily Ever After

If you love me, you will do what I have said, and my Father will love you. I will also love you and show you what I am like.

John 14:21

When a young man loves a young woman, but she does not love him, there are no “happily ever after” endings to the story.

But when he loves her and she loves him, there is the possibility of many years of wedded bliss with children and grandchildren to bless their relationship!  But without love going both directions the chain of love will be broken.

It is the same with you and Jesus!  Jesus loves you and even died for you.  But if you do not love Him there will be no Eternal relationship and a “Happily Ever After” for your story.  If you love Jesus your story will never end!

“Lord Jesus, help me to grow today in my love for You.  May my love for You never, ever end!”

Monday, December 10, 2018

Babylon Now or Later?

I saw another angel come from heaven. This one had great power, and the earth was bright because of his glory.

The angel shouted, “Fallen! Powerful Babylon has fallen and is now the home of demons. It is the den of every filthy spirit and of all unclean birds, and every dirty and hated animal.

Babylon's evil and immoral wine has made all nations drunk. Every king on earth has slept with her, and every merchant on earth is rich because of her evil desires.”

Then I heard another voice from heaven shout, “My people, you must escape from Babylon. Don't take part in her sins and share her punishment.

Her sins are piled as high as heaven. God has remembered the evil she has done.

Treat her as she has treated others. Make her pay double for what she has done. Make her drink twice as much of what she mixed for others.

That woman honored herself with a life of luxury. Reward her now with suffering and pain. “Deep in her heart Babylon said, ‘I am the queen! Never will I be a widow or know what it means to be sad.’

And so, in a single day she will suffer the pain of sorrow, hunger, and death. Fire will destroy her dead body, because her judge is the powerful Lord God.”

Revelation 18:1-8

Is the “Babylon” of these verses a real country, or is it just a symbol of those who may fit the description in whatever country?

It makes me sad to confess that my country, the United States fits the description of Babylon in most every way.  We have developed a deeply perverted base of evil that is exported to the rest of the world.  We now see advertisements that say you can become very rich by investing in the legal marijuana market!  

We are in nearly a half a century race to change illegal into legal and even the immoral into that which is acceptable and expected. 

Remember Sodom and don’t live like those whose offence to God was great and prompted Him to destroy them.  

Pray that we will discover that the Babylon of Revelation 18 was for a later time because we heard the Voice of God, repented and turned from our sins as a Great Revival spreads
through our land!

“Turn our hearts to You Lord Jesus.  And may Your Holy Name be praised now and forever.   Amen!”

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Confession and Forgiveness

If we say we have not sinned, we are fooling ourselves, and the truth isn't in our hearts.  But if we confess our sins to God, he can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away.  If we say we have not sinned, we make God a liar, and his message isn't in our hearts.

1 John 1:8-10

In the United States court system you are not required to testify against yourself.  You can remain silent and hope that no one will have testimony that will convince the jury that you are guilty.

But in the Eternal Justice system it does not work that way.  God has clearly stated that everyone who lives on this earth is guilty of sin!  The only man who ever lived without sin was Jesus!  

That means that the “best” person you know today is a sinner!  God’s justice system works like this: You confess your sins and because of Jesus, God forgives you and takes your sins away!  There is no other way to deal with your sins.  Every other method is doomed to fail!

Here is the sobering part.  Even if you never sin again for the rest of your life on earth, the sin you have already commited has doomed you to Hell!  Your only hope is to confess your sin and let the Blood of Jesus take it away!

“Lord Jesus, I am a sinner whose only hope of Salvation is Your Blood and Your wonderful and marvelous Grace.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever, Amen.”

Friday, December 7, 2018

Only By Faith

"But you cannot make God accept you because of something you do. God accepts sinners only because they have faith in Him."  

Romans 4:5

When you try to deserve the acceptance of God, you are living the impossible dream, because it will not happen. 

There is nothing you, or any man can do to make God open the gates of Heaven for you! It is only when you trust in Jesus Christ instead of trusting in yourself that your life will be pleasing to God! 

When you depend on your own good deeds to make God happy with you, you are on the doorstep of pride. 

When you trust in Jesus and His sacrifice for you, the gates of Heaven are unlocked and waiting for your arrival! 

“Thank You Jesus for doing what I could not do to make me acceptable to God. May Your Name be praised now and forever. Amen.”

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Jesus Knows It All

The whole city was in an uproar, and the people turned into a mob. They grabbed Paul and dragged him out of the temple. Then suddenly the doors were shut. The people were about to kill Paul when the Roman army commander heard that all Jerusalem was starting to riot.

So he quickly took some soldiers and officers and ran to where the crowd had gathered. As soon as the mob saw the commander and soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.

The army commander went over and arrested him and had him bound with two chains. Then he tried to find out who Paul was and what he had done.

Part of the crowd shouted one thing, and part of them shouted something else. But they were making so much noise that the commander could not find out a thing. Then he ordered Paul to be taken into the fortress.

As they reached the steps, the crowd became so wild that the soldiers had to lift Paul up and carry him.

The crowd followed and kept shouting, "Kill him! Kill him!"

Acts 21:30-36

The crowd demanded that Paul be executed just like the crowd had demanded that Jesus be crucified!  Paul knew well the story of the crucifixion.  It certainly must have crossed his mind that he might, that very day walk in the footsteps of Jesus to his own death. 

If you want Jesus to be the Lord of your life, you will experience a glorious relationship with the Father through Him.  But you will also suffer as He did.

Remember as you walk through your day that Jesus fully knows everything you are experiencing.  If you are suffering because of your sin, Jesus especially relates to that!  He did not sin, but Jesus suffered and died because of your sin and mine!

Don’t believe that since Jesus was perfect and never sinned, He does not understand everything we experience as human beings! 

“Lord Jesus, thank you for all the Joy and Pain of being a Christ Follower!  You are the only one who knows everything about me, both now and forever.  Amen.” 

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Proclaim the Gospel Here and Now!

Paul and his friends went through Phrygia and Galatia, but the Holy Spirit would not let them preach in Asia. After they arrived in Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not let them.  So they went on through Mysia until they came to Troas.  During the night, Paul had a vision of someone from Macedonia who was standing there and begging him, "Come over to Macedonia and help us!"  After Paul had seen the vision, we began looking for a way to go to Macedonia. We were sure that God had called us to preach the good news there.

Acts 16:6-10

Has God ever told you where not to preach the message of Jesus?  Jesus said to go into all the world and preach the Gospel, so why would Paul be directed not to preach in some places?

I believe it was because the Heart and Mind of God as well as His Hand are totally involved in orchestrating the spread of the Gospel around the world!  

If you ask for God’s direction in your life today, He will give it.  He will show you where to go and when to proclaim the message of the Gospel.  Your job is to keep your ears open to His voice and your heart willing to obey Him when He speaks!

These verses from Acts 16 clearly indicate that there wil be times when God may say “not here or not now.”  But as you keep listening for the direction of the Holy Spirit you will hear the Lord often say “speak the message here and now.” 

Set your heart on being OBEDIENT to every WORD that comes from God!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Wisdom and Words from God!

God gave Stephen the power to work great miracles and wonders among the people.  But some Jews from Cyrene and Alexandria were members of a group who called themselves "Free Men." They started arguing with Stephen. Some others from Cilicia and Asia also argued with him.  But they were no match for Stephen, who spoke with the great wisdom that the Spirit gave him.

Acts 6:8-10

Powerful speakers today sometimes use a device called a “Teleprompter.”  It is a clear screen that displays the words for the man to read, but the words cannot be seen by those in the audience.  Some people who are considered to be “great orators” are “ordinary and uninspiring" without a teleprompter.

As a follower of Jesus Christ you are promised a teleprompter called the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit will give you wisdom as you proclaim the message of Jesus.  He can even give you the exact words He wants you to use.

When  you depend on the Holy Spirit as you tell about Jesus you will discover that your words will have great power as they impact those who listen!

So today as you have opportunity to proclaim the message of Jesus, look for the Holy Spirit to give you the Words to say!  Then your proclamation will be like Stephen as you impart “Great Wisdom” from God! 

Monday, December 3, 2018

Obey the Commander!

Jesus answered, "My kingdom doesn't belong to this world. If it did, my followers would have fought to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. No, my kingdom doesn't belong to this world."  "So you are a king," Pilate replied. "You are saying that I am a king," Jesus told him. "I was born into this world to tell about the truth. And everyone who belongs to the truth knows my voice."

John 18:36-37

Mercinary soldiers involve themselves in battles for their own personal gain.  They fight because they will be paid for their effort.  They have no vested interest in the war!

If you are a follower of Jesus you are a soldier in a war that has been going on since the days of the Garden of Eden. And you have everything invested in the cosmic battle.  It is crucial that you bring the right weapons to the battle.  If you use the weapons of this world to fight, you will surely be defeated by the powers of Satan who is stronger than any human effort.

But if you use the weapons of war crafted by the Mind of God you can defeat any enemy including Satan himself!  

As a soldier for Jesus your job is to listen to His commands and obey every one of them.  Then you will be more than successful because Jesus has everything it takes to defeat Satan!  In fact, Jesus already defeated the Devil when He died on the Cross!  

Let the Word of God, which is the Sword of the Spirit fill your heart and mind as you hold it firmly in your hand for today’s battle!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

One With Jesus

Some Pharisees wanted to test Jesus. So they came up to him and asked if it was right for a man to divorce his wife.  Jesus asked them, "What does the Law of Moses say about that?"  They answered, "Moses allows a man to write out divorce papers and send his wife away."  Jesus replied, "Moses gave you this law because you are so heartless.  But in the beginning God made a man and a woman.  That's why a man leaves his father and mother and gets married.  He becomes like one person with his wife. Then they are no longer two people, but one."

Mark 10:2-8

It is a great mystery that two people, a man and a woman can marry and become one person!  How does such a thing happen and perhaps even more amazing is why?  

God could have enabled people to multiply on the earth without marriage.  But He chose the spiritual, physical and emotional intimacy of marriage as the means to spread the joy of living on planet earth to the generations that will follow.

When you become a Jesus Follower He promises that you will be filled with the Holy Spirit.  The Bible even says that you will have the Mind of Christ.  “Christ in you” will be your hope of Glory.

When a man and a woman become one person it is a picture of what happens to those who become One with Jesus.  When you are united with Christ loneliness is a thing of the past and new life results from your union with Him!  

God’s Art Gallery has many paintings that He created to show us about Life and Eternity.  The rest of your life here on earth gives you a daily opportunity to learn from God’s Masterful depictions of everything there is!

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Everyone Needs Jesus

The men taking care of the pigs ran to the town and the farms to spread the news. Then the people came out to see what had happened.

When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had once been full of demons. He was sitting there with his clothes on and in his right mind, and they were terrified.

Everyone who had seen what had happened told about the man and the pigs.

Then the people started begging Jesus to leave their part of the country.

When Jesus was getting into the boat, the man begged to go with him.

But Jesus would not let him. Instead, he said, "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you and how good he has been to you."

The man went away into the region near the ten cities known as Decapolis and began telling everyone how much Jesus had done for him. Everyone who heard what had happened was amazed.

Once again Jesus got into the boat and crossed Lake Galilee. Then as he stood on the shore, a large crowd gathered around him.

Mark 5:14-21

Why would Jesus not let this man who had been full of demons go with Him?  I think Jesus knew that the man’s testimony was powerful and he was ready to tell others about the Lord.  

The most powerful testimony is not what Jesus can do for someone else, or even what Jesus has done for other men.  The truly gripping proclamation is what Jesus has done for me!  No one can tell my story like I can.  

You may say “I don’t have a  terrible past with blatant and obvious sins.  So my testimony is not so powerful!”

Not so!  Before you came to know Jesus you may have looked good on the outside but you were filled with lies, deceit and death itself.  Your testimony may not be powerful because you are unwilling to admit how your sin had qualified you for Hell even though it was hidden from those around you.

My testimony is that there is no one who needs Jesus more than I do!  And that should be yours as well!

“Thank You Jesus for letting me know how very much I need You. There is no one, Jesus who needs you more.  Praise Your Holy Name.  Amen.”