Friday, December 6, 2019

HOW SNAKES LOST THEIR LEGS




The Lord God then asked the woman, “What have you done?” “The snake tricked me,” she answered, “and I ate some of that fruit.”  So the Lord God said to the snake: “Because of what you have done, you will be the only animal to suffer this curse— For as long as you live, you will crawl on your stomach and eat dirt. 

Genesis 3:13-14 - CEV

In the January 2018 edition of the magazine called "Scientific American" there is an article titled:

How Snakes Lost Their Legs

This well respected journal claims that there is now fossil record of snakes with legs.  I don't want to be an "I told you so," but I learned that when I was not much more than three years old and went to Sunday school each week!

Here is the dilemma.  Do you believe what the Bible says because science can confirm it to be true?  Or do you believe what the Bible says even if science has not yet be able to establish God's Word as true!  Science is not the standard of truth!  The Word of God is the standard of truth!  

Scientists are sometimes able to discover that the Bible is actually true!  When they do, it may bring some closer to a point of faith in God!  But if you only believe what the Bible says if science is able to confirm it, you will miss most of the message God has for you!

Don't build your faith on the findings of science.  Let your faith provide science with many wonderful things to investigate!

"Lord Jesus, may my Faith be built on what You have said and not just on what science can prove.  Thank you Lord for telling us thousands of years ago that snakes had legs!  Praise Your Holy Name, now and forever.  Amen."






Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Your Damascus Road




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About noon I saw a light brighter than the sun. It flashed from heaven on me and on everyone traveling with me.  We all fell to the ground. Then I heard a voice say to me in Aramaic, “Saul, Saul, why are you so cruel to me? It's foolish to fight against me!”  “Who are you?” I asked. Then the Lord answered, “I am Jesus! I am the one you are so cruel to.  Now stand up. I have appeared to you, because I have chosen you to be my servant. You are to tell others what you have learned about me and what I will show you later.”  The Lord also said, “I will protect you from the Jews and from the Gentiles that I am sending you to.  I want you to open their eyes, so they will turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then their sins will be forgiven, and by faith in me they will become part of God's holy people.” 

Acts 26:13-18 - CEV

When Jesus appeared to Saul on the road to Damascus, the light was so bright that Saul became blind to the world around him.  

After Jesus rose from the grave He appeared only to those who would tell others about Him! (Acts 10:38-41)  When a man or woman sees the resurrected Christ, he or she has a story to tell!  And what a story it is!  It is the story of light overcoming the darkness!  It is the story of life doing away with death!  The story of Jesus on earth began in Bethlehem the night that He was born, and it will not end until He returns and takes His people home!  

When Jesus shows Himself to you, you will be blinded by the Light!  Like Saul whose name was changed to Paul, the purpose of your life will change!  Instead of running after the things that "light up your life," you will seek to reflect the light of Jesus to everyone you meet.  

The story of Charlie is real.  Charlie mentioned Jesus to everyone he met.  I heard his grandson tell me that once Charlie saw a man high up on a ladder as the man worked.  Charlie called out to the man and asked "Do you know Jesus?"  The man said "yes" and Charlie shouted a word of approval and walked away! Charlie is now with Jesus in Eternity after spending more than 90 years on this earth telling others about the Light of Christ!

In a sense, all Christians have a "Road to Damascus Moment" when Jesus shows Himself to them and calls them to tell others about Him!  If you have not yet seen Jesus, ask Him to show Himself to you today!

"Lord Jesus, give me the courage to tell everyone I meet today about You!  May Your Holy and Righteous Name be praised now and forever.  Amen."


Saturday, November 30, 2019

Do You See Jesus?




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God gave the Holy Spirit and power to Jesus from Nazareth. He was with Jesus, as he went around doing good and healing everyone who was under the power of the devil.  We all saw what Jesus did both in Israel and in the city of Jerusalem. Jesus was put to death on a cross.  But three days later, God raised him to life and let him be seen.  Not everyone saw him. He was seen only by us, who ate and drank with him after he was raised from death. We were the ones God chose to tell others about him. 

Acts 10:38-41 - CEV


After Jesus came out of the grave He appeared only to those who would ultimately tell others about Him.  Everybody did not see Him!

Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene when she came to the tomb.  He appeared to all the disciples, except Thomas on that day in a closed room.  

That is the same as it is today.  Even though Jesus returned to Heaven and sat down on the throne on the right side of God, those who follow Him still see Him working in the world every day!

There are worship songs which cry out to 
God with a desire to see Jesus!  Seeing Jesus happens when you walk in faith and trust Him in everything.  When you obey Jesus, you will see Him!  

When the Bible is the Lighthouse on the shore of your life and it shows you the way to walk every day, you will see Jesus over and over again during your day!

If you don't see Jesus, stop and turn your heart back to Him and ask Him to show you the path your day should take!  When you take the way He shows you, you will see Him working in everything!

"Lord Jesus, open my eyes to see You today.  Show my heart the way You want me to walk today and every day for the rest of my life here on earth!  May Your Holy and Righteous Name be praised now and forever.  Amen."

Friday, November 22, 2019

The Spirit Will Give You The Words




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But before the end comes, the good news must be preached to all nations.  When you are arrested, don't worry about what you will say. You will be given the right words when the time comes. But you will not really be the ones speaking. Your words will come from the Holy Spirit.  Brothers and sisters will betray each other and have each other put to death. Parents will betray their own children, and children will turn against their parents and have them killed.  Everyone will hate you because of me. But if you keep on being faithful right to the end, you will be saved. 

Mark 13:10-13 - CEV

Many places in the world have laws against proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  If you tell others about Jesus while in those countries you may be arrested for doing it.  If that happens to you, these verses say you don't need to worry about how to respond to the charges.  The Holy Spirit will give you the Words to mount your defense!

Of course, that does not mean that you will be released and the charges dropped.  But it does mean that you will continue doing the Will of God if you use the Words of the Holy Spirit to respond.

Don't forget that a large part of the New Testament was written by men who were in prison!  

But don't you need to prepare a defense against the charges?  The answer to that is no.  You simply need to spend your time deepening your relationship with Jesus!  Then the Words you speak will come straight from His Spirit!

Ponder this:  A man can tell others about Jesus without a having a relationship with the Lord Himself!  If you do that and do not have the Holy Spirit in your heart, there is no promise of His help after you are arrested!  You are not a Christian because you tell someone else the message.  You are a follower of Jesus Christ because of your faith in Him and your willingness to be obedient to Him in everything you do. 

Check your own heart to see if you indeed have the Holy Spirit living in you before you boldly proclaim the message that may land you in prison!

If you are already there and are struggling for comfort from the Lord, go back to square one and give your heart to Jesus.  Ask Him to be the Lord of your life in everything, and receive His Holy Spirit!  Then you will be ready to live with His Power leading your every step and every Word you speak!

"Lord Jesus, help me to draw closer to You today and every day.  Give me the Words to speak and the thoughts to think whether I am in prison or I am free.  May Your Holy and Righteous Name be praised now and forever.  Amen."   

  

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Eyes of Eternity




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Jesus asked, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man answered, “Master, I want to see!”  Jesus told him, “You may go. Your eyes are healed because of your faith.” At once the man could see, and he went down the road with Jesus.

Mark 10:51-52 - CEV

Jesus healed the blind man and did for him the one thing that Bartimaeus could not do for himself!  The only thing Bartimaeus did was to embarrass himself by crying out to Jesus in public and asking Jesus to have pity on him!

After he was healed, Bartimaeus "went down the road with Jesus."  His physical eyes were opened that day, and of course would be a wonderful blessing for the rest of his life here on earth.  But the most important thing that happened to Bartimaeus was that he became a follower of Jesus.  When you follow Jesus, your spiritual eyes are opened and will stay open for Eternity!

Every man who does not know Jesus Christ is blind!  You may see perfectly with their physical eyes, but you live in Spiritual Darkness!

When Jesus passes by your way, cry out to Him no matter who is there and might hear you!  And when Jesus asks you what you want from Him be quick to let Jesus know that you want to see with the Eyes of Eternity!

"Lord Jesus, open the Eyes of my heart and let me see as You see.  Give me the courage to proclaim to all what You have done for men and tell them that You still heal the eyes of those who are blind! May Your Holy and Righteous Name be praised now and forever.  Amen."

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Sunrise in Your Heart




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If we claim to be in the light and hate someone, we are still in the dark.  But if we love others, we are in the light, and we don't cause problems for them.  If we hate others, we are living and walking in the dark. We don't know where we are going, because we can't see in the dark.

1 John 2:9-11 - CEV

When the lights go out, everything changes!  If you live in a place where electricity is plentiful enough for you to keep the lights on after dark in your house, you know what I am talking about.  A disruption in your electricity makes life much more difficult.

When I was a child and grew tall enough to reach the light switch, I thought it was a "great joke" to turn the lights out on a dark night!  My parents quickly told me that darkness is not a joke!

If you are walking in the light of Jesus Christ and filled with His Holy Spirit, you are living a glorious life.  It is the one Jesus planned for you to live on this earth.  But if you chose then to hate someone, even one person, you turn out the lights in your life!  Darkness will come upon and you may not even notice that darkness!  

Spiritual darkness is not a joke!  When you love everyone, even your enemies, you turn on the lights in your heart and you will know where you are going.  When the lights are out, you don't where you are going!

If I were Satan, I would try to get followers of Jesus to hate just one person.  That will flip the switch and turn off the Light in your life!  If there is someone that you hate, darkness is coming upon you.  Replace that hate with the Love of Jesus and watch the "Sunrise in Your Heart."  

"Lord Jesus, reveal to me whether or not there is hate in my heart.  If there is, please help me to repent and replace it with Your Love!  Praise Your Holy and Righteous Name, now and forever.  Amen."

Monday, November 18, 2019

The Last Brick in the Wall



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I pray that God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ will be kind to you and will bless you with peace!  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 1:2-6 - CEV

Imagine that you are still alive on the Day that Jesus Christ returns to earth!  On that Day the last person to hear the Gospel of Jesus will consider the message, have an opportunity to accept the Lord, and then Jesus will come!

When the job of telling others is complete, Jesus Christ will return!  The thing that you and I can do to hasten the return of the Lord is to tell someone about Him today!  The message that Jesus died to wipe out sin and it's consequences must be proclaimed!  There will be a final heart who embraces the call of Jesus and then the Trumpet will sound.  

That person may be on your spiritual radar.  You may be the one to deliver the final invitation to accept Jesus Christ!  If you are destined to play that role in the culmination of all things, your name will be included in the final chapter of the Story of Jesus!

Truthfully, no one knows how important their role is in the completion of God's work on earth!   When you tell someone about Jesus, you may be putting the final brick in the wall of the Story of Eternal Redemption for all who will accept it!  

"Lord Jesus, help me to remember that You want me to play a role in the completion of Your work here on earth!  Every time I tell someone about You today remind me that this may be the Last Brick in the Wall!  Lord Jesus, may Your Name be praised now and forever.  Amen."  

And if you are not a follower of Jesus, you may be that last brick! 




Saturday, November 16, 2019

Eternal Torture




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I saw another angel. This one was flying across the sky and had the eternal good news to announce to the people of every race, tribe, language, and nation on earth.  The angel shouted, “Worship and honor God! The time has come for him to judge everyone. Kneel down before the one who created heaven and earth, the oceans, and every stream.”   A second angel followed and said, “The great city of Babylon has fallen! This is the city that made all nations drunk and immoral. Now God is angry, and Babylon has fallen.”  Finally, a third angel came and shouted: Here is what will happen if you worship the beast and the idol and have the mark of the beast on your hand or forehead.  You will have to drink the wine that God gives to everyone who makes him angry. You will feel his mighty anger, and you will be tortured with fire and burning sulfur, while the holy angels and the Lamb look on.  If you worship the beast and the idol and accept the mark of its name, you will be tortured day and night. The smoke from your torture will go up forever and ever, and you will never be able to rest. 

Revelation 14:6-11 - CEV

These are some of the most disturbing verses in all the Bible.  They promise that those who "worship the beast and the idol and accept the mark of its name" will be tortured while the holy angels and the Lamb watch!  That is a gruesome picture of the horrible fate of those who reject Jesus!

When it comes to "torture" those of us in the Western World have decided that we "are better than that."  We don't torture our enemies, but God does!  Right now, you may even be churning inside and upset with me for bringing these verses to your attention.  The usual way to deal with them is to read them rapidly and go on to what comes next!

We reject torture, even when it is used to extract "life saving" information to stop a terrorist attack or other terrible threat!  But God, according to these verses will use "torture" as eternal punishment for those who reject Him!  The hardest part of this description is that the "holy angels and the Lamb" will watch!

I have prayed about what to say next about this terrible situation!  When you reject Jesus Christ, you separate yourself from God and all His blessings!  Perhaps the "torture" is the simple fact of being cut off from everything that comes from God!  God is the author of all Good, so if you are getting nothing from Him, your continual state of existence will be all Bad!  Pain will rule in everything.  No joy will step into your life.  In fact your "life" will be death and not life.  

When you remove yourself from the presence of God, everything you experience will be the opposite of God!  That is the perfect definition of "Torture."

Your existence will have no love, no compassion, no peace, no rest, no joy, no grace, no forgiveness, no beauty, no wellness, no trust, no understanding, no mercy and absolutely nothing that is GOOD!  God will have to do nothing to you to immerse you in Eternal Torture!

Eternity, out of the presence of God will be more terrible than you could ever imagine!  Turn to Jesus now and remove the possibility of Eternal Torture!  Jesus will give you Eternal Life instead!

"Lord Jesus, make me afraid of facing Eternity without You.  I need You now and I will need You forever.  May Your Holy and Righteous Name be Praised Now and Forever.  Amen."



Monday, November 11, 2019

Waiting For and On Jesus




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Christ did not have to offer himself many times. He wasn't like a high priest who goes into the most holy place each year to offer the blood of an animal.  If he had offered himself every year, he would have suffered many times since the creation of the world. But instead, near the end of time he offered himself once and for all, so he could be a sacrifice that does away with sin.  We die only once, and then we are judged.  So Christ died only once to take away the sins of many people. But when he comes again, it will not be to take away sin. He will come to save everyone who is waiting for him. 

Hebrews 9:25-28 - CEV

If you were a waiter at a five star restaurant, your job would be complicated.  Not only would you serve the food and take away the dishes, but you would "watch and wait" as you are ready to respond to any of the wishes of those you are serving!

Waiting for Jesus to return is not a passive activity of watching the sky and hoping that it will be today.  We not only wait for Jesus, we also wait on Jesus!  We look for His face not just to see it, but more importantly to see His expressions.  Is He wanting you to do something for or even say something to this person you have encountered today?  

In His face you can see if the Lord is pleased with the next step you intend to take.  In His face you can see what He thinks of every thought that you allow to stay in your mind.  

When you wait for and on Jesus, your day is busy beyond your imagination.   Ask the question: "Is this what Jesus wants me to do today?" 

When you are "Waiting for Jesus" you are watching for Him to let you know what He needs! When you respond with obedience, peace that goes beyond understanding and the joy of Heaven itself will fill your heart!

"Lord Jesus, may I wait for and on You today and every day for the rest of my life.  Praise Your Holy Name, now and forever.  Amen."

Sunday, November 10, 2019

All About Others




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Don't be controlled by your body. Kill every desire for the wrong kind of sex. Don't be immoral or indecent or have evil thoughts. Don't be greedy, which is the same as worshiping idols.  God is angry with people who disobey him by doing these things.  And this is exactly what you did, when you lived among people who behaved in this way.  But now you must stop doing such things. You must quit being angry, hateful, and evil. You must no longer say insulting or cruel things about others.  And stop lying to each other. You have given up your old way of life with its habits.  Each of you is now a new person. You are becoming more and more like your Creator, and you will understand him better.

Colossians 3:5-10 - CEV

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, have you given up your old way of life with its habits?  Or are you still controlled by your body?

Before you turn your life over to Jesus Christ and become His disciple your life is all about you!  What you seek every day is some way to make yourself happy.  You want to be famous and prosperous.  You want those things that satisfy your desires.  In your "world" you look for position and power!  It is the same self centered existence that you first had as a baby, seeking and crying for everything your body wants!

But Jesus came to make you free from a life that is all about you!  When Jesus pours His life into your  heart you have awakened within you the desire to live for others and not for yourself!  It is not the approval of other men that you seek, but rather the approval of God as you set about to be a blessing to people God created in His own image!

When your life is all about "others," you will become more and more like Jesus.  Then, you will better understand the One who Created you!  Your priority list for life should have God first, others second, and yourself last!  That will happen as you become the new person Christ made you to be!

"Lord Jesus, help me today to understand You more as I put You and other people before my own desires.  May Your Holy and Righteous Name be praised now and forever.  Amen."


Friday, November 8, 2019

Open Carry the Holy Spirit





You can be certain that in the last days there will be some very hard times.  People will love only themselves and money. They will be proud, stuck-up, rude, and disobedient to their parents. They will also be ungrateful, godless,  heartless, and hateful. Their words will be cruel, and they will have no self-control or pity. These people will hate everything good.  They will be sneaky, reckless, and puffed up with pride. Instead of loving God, they will love pleasure.  Even though they will make a show of being religious, their religion won't be real. Don't have anything to do with such people.
 2 Timothy 3:1-5 - CEV

For many years I have read these verses and thought that they are talking about TODAY! When men and women rebel against God, no matter what age they live in, the way they live is basically the same.
 
But there will be something special about the "Last Days."  The times will not just be hard, but they will be very hard!  Love for others will disappear and love of money will grow large!
  
The description of those who live without Jesus in the Last Days is frightening.  They will be proud, stuck-up, rude, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, godless, sneaky, reckless, heartless, puffed up with pride, and hateful of everything that is good.
As a follower of Jesus Christ, your job is to bring the Good News of the Cross to those who live in the Last Days!  

Recently, the President of Mexico was quoted in the news as saying that the way to defeat the Drug Cartels in Mexico is with "Hugs and not bullets!"  This was in the wake of the murder of nine American women and children on the way to a family celebration.  I believe that the only way to defeat the Drug Cartels is with the credible threat of overwhelming military power!

In the same way, those who are living in rebellion against God and all that is good, probably will not respond to "hugs."  But they will consider the Word of God when they see His Almighty Power displayed in the lives of those who follow Jesus!
 
If you want to win others to Jesus in these Last Days, let His Power be seen in your life as you walk fully controlled by the Holy Spirit!  Let all those who are led by Satan see for certain that God's Guns are bigger than the guns of the Devil!  
           
"Lord Jesus, give me the courage to stand against the Enemy of all that is good and right by Your Mighty Power alone and not by my own strength!  
May I "Open Carry" Your awesome power and never conceal it!  And may Your Name be Praised now and forever.  Amen."

     

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Hang On for the Ride!



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When Jesus saw that a crowd was gathering fast, he spoke sternly to the evil spirit that had kept the boy from speaking or hearing. He said, “I order you to come out of the boy! Don't ever bother him again.”  The spirit screamed and made the boy shake all over. Then it went out of him. The boy looked dead, and almost everyone said he was.  But Jesus took hold of his hand and helped him stand up.  After Jesus and the disciples had gone back home and were alone, they asked him, “Why couldn't we force out that demon?”  Jesus answered, “Only prayer can force out this kind of demon.”

Mark 9:25-29 - CEV

How often do you pray?  Those who follow Islam pray five times a day!  Jesus said that His followers should pray without ceasing!  

The christian who does not pray is like a farmer who puts his hand to the plow, but does not hook up the horse to the plow!  If he leaves the horse in the barn and attempts to show his neighbors how powerful he is by plowing the field with his own strength, he will fail!  

When you pray, the power of Almighty God comes to plow the ground before you.

When God is pulling your plow, you can stop pushing and just hang on for the ride!  You will be right there and see Him break up the hard hearts of those who had previously decided not to follow Him!  

Prayer in and of itself is not powerful!  You can pray to the Sun or the Moon and Stars and nothing will happen.  It is not the "act" of prayer that works, but rather the One to whom you are praying!  Prayer unleashes the Power of God in the world around you!  

I don't remember who said it, but the quote is this: "When a christian prays something will happen that would not have happened if he had not prayed!"

When you put your hand to the plow today, instead of spending your time pushing the plow, bow your heart before the Lord and PRAY!

"Lord Jesus, You are the Power behind every Prayer!  You, Jesus are all I need for every situation in this life and Forever.  Praise Your Holy and Righteous Name, now and always.  Amen."

Monday, November 4, 2019

Satan Wants to Impeach Jesus




At this, the angel said, “Lord All-Powerful, for seventy years you have been angry with Jerusalem and the towns of Judah. When are you ever going to have mercy on them?”
The Lord’s answer was kind and comforting.  So the angel told me to announce:
I, the Lord All-Powerful, am very protective of Jerusalem.  For a while I was angry at the nations, but now I am furious, because they have made things worse for Jerusalem and are not the least bit concerned.  And so, I will have pity on Jerusalem. The city will be completely rebuilt, and my temple will stand again.  I also promise that my towns will prosper—Jerusalem will once again be my chosen city, and I will comfort the people of Zion.

Zechariah 1:12-17 CEV

The Bible tells us much about ourselves, and it tells us about God!  If you want to know what God is like, read the Bible.  If you want to know what God "likes," read the Bible.  God can be pleased with you and the way you are living, and He can be "furious" with the nations!
God did not create this earth and everything on it, and then walk away and watch to see how we would do.  I suppose some people don't even think God watches what goes on here on earth.  They think He will have a Day of Judgement on which He will then find out what happened!  That is not the God of the Bible!
God is the Creator and the daily sustainer of life on earth.  He notices when a sparrow falls to the ground and dies.  He knows the number hairs you have on your head.  God knows your heart and everything about it.  And God is waiting and longing for you to know His Heart!  That is the desire of Jesus Christ and the reason why He has not yet brought the End of Days upon us!
As a follower of Jesus, you have a front row seat to the greatest battle in all of human history!  Satan wants to "impeach" Jesus and take Him out of power in your life.  But Jesus wants to bring you to a place of Eternal success and unimaginable Joy and Peace!
Jesus paid the price for everyone's sin when He died on the Cross!  All that is left is for you to turn your heart to Jesus so that His death will be credited to your account! 
"Lord Jesus, thank You for doing for mankind what we cannot do for ourselves!  You are worthy of all Praise and Glory and Honor now and forever, Amen!"   

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Biblical Not Political Correctness




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Be cautious and hide

    when you see danger—
    don’t be stupid and walk
    right into trouble.
13 
Don’t loan money to a stranger
    unless you are given something
    to guarantee payment.
14 
A loud greeting
early in the morning
    is the same as a curse.
15 
The steady dripping of rain
and the nagging of a wife
    are one and the same.
16 
It’s easier to catch the wind
or hold olive oil in your hand
    than to stop a nagging wife.

Proverbs 27:12-16

The wisdom of the Bible Book of Proverbs is wonderful, but it is also sometimes "politically incorrect."  Who would dare speak publicly today about a "nagging wife?"

Political correctness is simply a consensus of society about what you can and cannot say without being offensive to a majority of the people.  I have a serious warning to those who hold to being politically correct.  Often, being politically correct means that you are being Biblically incorrect!  Biblical incorrectness may not offend the world around you, but it does offend the God who created you!

Let the words you speak be guided by the God who made you rather than the world around you who uses their own foolishness for the standard of wisdom!  

Some good examples of the way this world wants to pull you away from the standard of God are these:

God made you as either a man or a woman, and you do not have a choice in the matter!

God is not the author of the statement: "All religions are the same.  It doesn't matter what you believe, as long as you do!"

God did not design marriage as a temporary relationship, which you should expect to only last a short time before you move on to the next one!

God did not say that the "pursuit of happiness" is the greatest purpose in life!

Don't be afraid to be Biblically Correct even if you are not Politically Correct!  Learn the ideas of God from the Bible and speak the Words of God no matter what the consequence here on earth!

"Lord Jesus, may the Words of my mouth and of course the meditation of my heart always please You!  May Your Holy Name be praised now and forever.  Amen!"


Saturday, November 2, 2019

Hold on to Your Freedom



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Christ has set us free! This means we are really free. Now hold on to your freedom and don't ever become slaves of the Law again. 

Galatians 5:1 - CEV

A much used phrase, now many years ago was "Freedom is Not Free."  There is a great price that is paid for your Freedom!  

Most people believe that those who break the law should be in prison!  That may be true, but there is a deeper truth when it comes to your relationship with God!  When you refuse to be obedient to God and break His Law of Love, you are already in Prison because of your Sin!  Prison and bondage is not where you go because of your sin, it is where you are when you sin.  As you choose rebellion against Jesus Christ, you open the door to prison and walk in all by yourself!  

When you turn your heart to Jesus, He sets you free and you are really free!  But this verse in Galatians warns us: "hold on to your freedom!"

Satan tried to lure the Children of Israel to return to Egypt after they had been set free.  It is a universal temptation.  After someone, or even a nation has been set free from bondage there will be the temptation to give up that freedom for the false promise of peace and security.  At this very time, the United States is being drawn toward the idea that things would be better if Government were in control of all aspects of our lives!  It is a lie that will not allow us to remain a free people!

If Jesus has set you free from a specific sin, that has controlled your life, hold on to that freedom and don't let go of it, not even for one-second!  You could not have set yourself free, but you can return to the bondage that still calls your name!  Don't ever answer that call!

"Lord Jesus, You have set me free from Sin and Death and every snare of the Devil!  Help me to hold on to that Freedom today and every day for the rest of my life.  May Your Holy and Righteous Name be praised now and forever.  Amen."

Friday, November 1, 2019

When God Tells Your Story




You were dead, because you were sinful and were not God’s people. But God let Christ make you alive, when he forgave all our sins.
God wiped out the charges that were against us for disobeying the Law of Moses. He took them away and nailed them to the cross. There Christ defeated all powers and forces. He let the whole world see them being led away as prisoners when he celebrated his victory.
Colossians 2:13-15
Jesus suffered and died on the Cross, but when Jesus did this it was Satan who was defeated!  For Jesus, the Cross was a victory celebration!  
Somewhere it says that Jesus went to the Cross for the "joy" that was set before Him.
Perhaps it is a difficult truth to grasp, but you can find joy in suffering for Jesus.  Jesus found joy in suffering for you.  
If you are being attacked on all sides with temptation and threat, remember that Satan would have no interest in you if you were not a valuable asset in God's Family!  
There is no shame and there is great joy in putting on the armor of God and doing battle with the Enemy of all that is Righteous and Good!  You must know that since Jesus conquered death, even death cannot harm you!
Even if you lose your life in the struggle, as many have, imagine kneeling before the Father and hearing Him say "Well Done" as He tells the hosts of Heaven your story!  
As a follower of Jesus, your life here on earth is all about being obedient to and pleasing Him!  Nothing else matters!  Jim Elliot, a missionary who gave His life for Jesus said: "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose."  
"Lord Jesus, when I reach the moment before You take me from this earth, may I experience the Joy of the Cross!  Help me to live each moment knowing that I am pleasing You, Lord Jesus in every way!  May Your Holy and Righteous Name be praised now and forever.  Amen!"
  

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

DO IT NOW



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My friends, the Lord loves you, and it is only natural for us to thank God for you. God chose  you to be the first ones to be saved. His Spirit made you holy, and you put your faith in the truth. God used our preaching as his way of inviting you to share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. My  friends, this is why you must remain faithful and follow closely what we taught you in person and by our letters. God our Father loves us.  He treats us with undeserved grace and has given us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope. We  pray that our Lord Jesus Christ and God our Father will encourage you and help you always to do and say the right thing.

2 Thessalonians 2:13-17  CEV

According to these verses it could be accurately said that in some sense the Thessalonian christians were the "first ones to be saved."  And that must have been a remarkable experience for them. Peace and joy and all the other fruit of the Spirit filling their hearts and minds like they had never known or even seen before.  

But there will come a day when the last person to accept Jesus Christ turns his or her heart over to the Lord!  The Door to Heaven is now open because of the Blood of Jesus, but on a day that God has decided there will be no more opportunity to accept the Lord and be saved!  No one knows when that day will come, and it will arrive with terrifying finality!  The Door will shut and you will be lost if you don't know Jesus!

Put every other priority in your life aside and let your heart run to Jesus!  If you choose to ignore Him, you will regret it forever!  This is an EMERGENCY call and nothing else matters.  Don't put Jesus in a "Something to do tomorrow" list!

Move Jesus to the top of your TO DO LIST and give your heart to Jesus now!  Don't wait until tomorrow or a more convenient time!  That time may never come! When you leave this life you don't want your list for tomorrow to include "Accepting Jesus."

"Lord Jesus the only thing that matters for the rest of my life is whether or not I accepted You as my Lord and Savior! May Your Holy and Righteous Name be praised now and forever, Amen." 

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Knowing About God?




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They know about God, but they don't honor him or even thank him. Their thoughts are useless, and their stupid minds are in the dark.  They claim to be wise, but they are fools.  They don't worship the glorious and eternal God. Instead, they worship idols that are made to look like humans who cannot live forever, and like birds, animals, and reptiles.  So God let these people go their own way. They did what they wanted to do, and their filthy thoughts made them do shameful things with their bodies.  They gave up the truth about God for a lie, and they worshiped God's creation instead of God, who will be praised forever. Amen. 

Romans 1:21-25 - CEV

What do you know about God?  And if you know anything about Him, do you honor Him and thank Him?  If you do not, these verses warn that you will eventually give up the truth about God and accept a lie!  

You can know everything there is to know about God and still spend eternity separated from Him!  It is not enough that you have mastered all the available facts about God.  Knowing "about" Him is not the same as "Knowing" Him!  

At the age of 6 my parents enrolled me in a school that provided Bible classes every day.  I attended that same school for 16 years and, if my math is correct had close to 3,000 hours of Bible study along with all my other education!

But I never remember, even one class about the personal relationship with Jesus that is essential to walking with Him!  Please understand I am not criticizing the Bible classes.  They gave me so very much useful and precious information about Jesus.  But they did not actively encourage me to commit to my daily walk with Him!  

It doesn't matter how much to know about Jesus, if you don't know Him, it will all be for nothing!  Bible knowledge is wonderful because it gives you the vocabulary of Heaven so you can speak with Jesus in His native language!  Truthfully, the more you know Jesus, the more you will want to know about Him, but simply knowing about Him is not enough!

"Lord Jesus, I want to know You, not just know about You!  May all I know about You help me to know You better today and every day for the rest of my life.  Praise Your Holy Name, now and forever.  Amen."   


Friday, October 25, 2019

Wisely Using Time




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Our Lord, in all generations you have been our home.  You have always been God— long before the birth of the mountains, even before you created the earth and the world.  At your command we die and turn back to dust, but a thousand years mean nothing to you! They are merely a day gone by or a few hours in the night.  You bring our lives to an end just like a dream. We are merely tender grass that sprouts and grows in the morning, but dries up by evening.  Your furious anger frightens and destroys us, and you know all our sins, even those we do in secret.  Your anger is a burden each day we live, then life ends like a sigh.  We can expect seventy years, or maybe eighty, if we are healthy, but even our best years bring trouble and sorrow. Suddenly our time is up, and we disappear.  No one knows the full power of your furious anger, but it is as great as the fear that we owe to you.  Teach us to use wisely all the time we have. 

Psalms 90:1-12 - CEV

I have passed the 70 year mark in my life, but not yet reached 80.  These verses clearly say that the amount of time we have here on earth is decided by God and not by our wisdom or strength.  My goal in life should not be "living as long as possible," but rather I should seek to "use wisely all the time I have."

The idea of retirement is not one you find in the Bible.  Why should someone with the most experience and likely, most wisdom remove themselves from serving in relevant positions of leadership?

The longest recorded life in the Bible was a man named Methuselah, who lived 969  years.  But as far as we know that was his greatest achievement.  In all those years nothing is recorded about what he did that was worthy of mention.

Jesus lived 33 years before the Crucifixion.  But, of course the significance of His life had nothing to do with how long He lived.  Jesus fulfilled every expectation God had for His life.  Jesus never sinned and then He submitted Himself to die on the Cross so that we could live with Him forever in Heaven!

If you are listening to or reading these words, you have this moment to Glorify God by what you  Think, Do or say!  Use this moment wisely, and if God Wills you will have opportunity to use the next moment in time the same way!  

"Lord Jesus show me how to use this moment and every moment for the rest of my life so that You will be glorified in all of them!    May Your Wonderful Name be praised now and forever!  Amen."




Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Kingdom Within You






Some Pharisees asked Jesus when God's kingdom would come. He answered, “God's kingdom isn't something you can see.  There is no use saying, ‘Look! Here it is’ or ‘Look! There it is.’ God's kingdom is here with you.” 

Luke 17:20-21 - CEV

Some translations of these verses say that God’s Kingdom is in you, not just with you.  As a follower of Jesus Christ, Jesus is the King of your life and you are His loyal subject.  And all of that, is going on in your heart, all the time.  

How do you know that you are a genuine Christian?  You know by what is happening in your heart!  If your actions are based on how you want to appear to others and not on what your heart desires because you belong to Jesus then something is wrong.

If the Kingdom of God is within you, then Jesus, through the Holy Spirit living in your heart will be directing your steps, words and actions every day!  If you are not a citizen of the Kingdom you can pretend to be part of the Kingdom and some will be deceived, but not the Lord!

“Lord Jesus, may the focus of my heart be on You and doing Your Will as Your Kingdom lives within me.  May Your Spirit come into my heart and rule my life, now and forever.  Amen”