Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Before Your Next Breath




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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

After you hear about Jesus, how long should you wait to tell someone else about the Good News of Jesus Christ?  The Philippian christians began telling other people about Jesus on the very day they heard it themselves!

God began the "good work" of encouraging them to tell others about the Lord!  That "good work" won't be finished until the Day that Jesus returns!  So if today is the Day and Jesus will return this afternoon, there are still people who need to hear the Gospel this morning!  It may indeed be that there will be those who come to Christ and then before their next breath the trumpet will sound! 

So instead of looking to the sky to catch the first glimpse of the Second Coming, look around you to catch the attention of someone who is not yet ready to hear the Trumpet Sound!  Fishing for men does not stop until Jesus touches down on that amazing day!

"Lord Jesus, show me someone today who needs to hear about Your Love and give me the courage to speak Your Words to their heart.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen."

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Hate List



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You were far from God. But Christ offered his life's blood as a sacrifice and brought you near God. Christ has made peace between Jews and Gentiles, and he has united us by breaking down the wall of hatred that separated us. Christ gave his own body to destroy the Law of Moses with all its rules and commands. He even brought Jews and Gentiles together as though we were only one person, when he united us in peace.  On the cross Christ did away with our hatred for each other. He also made peace between us and God by uniting Jews and Gentiles in one body.

Ephesians 2:13-16

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, He wants you to love your enemies.  That is an amazing thing to think about.  By definition, enemies are not loved by each other.  "Hate" is the word that the world uses for enemies, not "Love."

So we take the first step in the loving, two way relationship that will happen when our enemies also turn to Christ!  If you want to be like Jesus then you will love those who are still your enemies, just like Jesus did.  The Good News of Jesus Christ is that all men and women are loved by God, loved by Jesus and loved by those who walk through this life, filled with the Holy Spirit.  

If you want to examine your own faith and determine whether or not you are a "real" Christian, you must look at your love for those who hate you.  The Bible also says that people will know that you are a Christ follower by your love!

Some people use and recommend having a "prayer list."  It is a list of the names of people for whom you are praying.  But I am afraid too many followers of Jesus also have a "Hate List." It may not be very long, but it too often does exist.

The truth is that if you are like Jesus your "Prayer List" will included everyone on earth and your "Hate List" will have no names on it! If you have a "Hate List" begin today to move all those names to your prayer list of people you love!  

"Lord Jesus, thank You for making peace on earth. Help me today to love and not hate every person on this earth.  Praise Your Holy Name, now and forever.  Amen."


Saturday, March 16, 2019

This Morning's Testimony




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I ask the glorious Father and God of our Lord Jesus Christ to give you his Spirit. The Spirit will make you wise and let you understand what it means to know God.


Ephesians 1:17

When you meet someone, only once you usually don't proclaim to others that you know them.  I have met a few people who were well known in the world, but my one time encounter did not give me the right to say, "I know him!"

I have met a man who was the president of a country, a movie star, a rather famous singer, and many other people who were well known for the lives they lived.  But none of those meetings gave me the right to say that I know those people.

"Knowing" someone means much more than a one time meeting.  Knowing God means much more than meeting Him once!  When someone gives their "testimony" about when they met Jesus many years ago, it does not mean that they really know Him!  Knowing Jesus is not a one time meeting.  Knowing Jesus is an ongoing relationship that lasts until you leave this world and beyond!

If you know Jesus, your every day is involved with Him.  He is on your mind when you wake in the morning.  You think about Him as you walk through your day, and He is the last thing you ponder as you lay down to sleep at night.  

Of course, meeting Jesus the first time is important and you will remember it, but being with Jesus every day is what your life is all about!  When you "give your testimony" and tell about the first time you met Jesus, be sure and include the story about your meeting with Him this morning!

"Lord Jesus, help me today to know more about what it means to know You and the Father.  Praise Your Holy Name, now and forever.  Amen."


Thursday, March 14, 2019

The Great Eraser



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The Scriptures say, "God accepted Abraham because Abraham had faith in him."  Money paid to workers isn't a gift. It is something they earn by working.  But you cannot make God accept you because of something you do. God accepts sinners only because they have faith in him.  In the Scriptures David talks about the blessings that come to people who are acceptable to God, even though they don't do anything to deserve these blessings. David says, "God blesses people whose sins are forgiven and whose evil deeds are forgotten.  The Lord blesses people whose sins are erased from his book."

Romans 4:3-8

I don't remember how old I was, but there was a time in my early education when my teachers told me that I could write with a pen instead of a pencil!  The problem with pen and ink, of course is that you cannot erase it!  Of course not being able to erase something you have written is a good thing if your writing is praise worthy!

When a man or woman sins that sin is written in God's Book! Yes, your sin is written in permanent ink that no man can erase!  After you sin, it doesn't matter how many good things you do, you cannot erase even one act of rebellion against God!  

Even if you change and never sin again, that sin is still in your history, story and memory as long as you live!  The Good News of Jesus Christ is that, on the Cross Jesus erased your sin!  It is not simply forgiven, it is erased from God's Book!  

Because of Jesus, your sin is not "history."  Your sin is forever erased!  With Jesus there is no record of your sin in God's Book!  Jesus is "THE GREAT ERASER."

"Lord Jesus, because of You and Your sacrifice there is no record of my sin!  May You be praised now and forever.  Amen."   

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Jesus Paid the Full Price




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God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it.  Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.  For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, “ ‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” ’  “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.”  When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”  Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2:32-38

It is important for every believer to recognize that we are not saved by our own works, but by the Blood of Jesus.  So why didn't Peter answer the question on Pentecost about what they should do by saying that they should do nothing?  If Peter was a preacher in our day, would he not have said, "Jesus did it all, you must do nothing?"

It certainly is true that Jesus did it all.  But it is not true that you must do nothing.  Nothing you do can provide even a tiny part of the price of your salvation, but without repentance and baptism there is no Biblical promise of forgiveness of sins!  

The illustration is certainly not perfect, but if you have a lottery ticket with all the winning numbers, but you never turn that ticket in to collect your prize you will not receive it.  

If you try to "be saved" without doing what the Bible tells you to do, should you be surprised if Jesus says "I never knew you" on the Day of Judgment.

Please understand that I am not trying to enter the "debate" about these things.  Whatever you believe about them is between you and the Lord.  But remember that He is the one who inspired the writers of the Bible to speak about them.

"Lord Jesus, I do want to be obedient to You in everything.  Thank You for paying the full price for my salvation! May Your Holy and righteous Name be praised now and forever.  Amen."


Monday, March 11, 2019

All You Can Eat Fish Dinner!




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When Jesus saw the large crowd coming toward him, he asked Philip, "Where will we get enough food to feed all these people?"  He said this to test Philip, since he already knew what he was going to do.  Philip answered, "Don't you know that it would take almost a year's wages just to buy only a little bread for each of these people?"  Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the disciples. He spoke up and said, "There is a boy here who has five small loaves of barley bread and two fish. But what good is that with all these people?"  The ground was covered with grass, and Jesus told his disciples to have everyone sit down. About five thousand men were in the crowd.  Jesus took the bread in his hands and gave thanks to God. Then he passed the bread to the people, and he did the same with the fish, until everyone had plenty to eat.  The people ate all they wanted, and Jesus told his disciples to gather up the leftovers, so that nothing would be wasted.

John 6:5-12

There is a Chinese Restaurant not far from my house which has an "all you can eat" buffet.  You pay one price and you can eat until you have had all you want.

Jesus provided the most famous "all you can eat" meal.  Five thousand people ate until they were full  because the five loaves of bread and two fish passed through the hands of Jesus and were blessed by Him!

This same miracle happens every day as two fish produce hundreds of offspring who do the same.  A hand full of barley seed can sprout and after only a few more times of planting the seed that comes there will be plenty to make enough barley bread to feed five thousand men or more.  Don't believe the lie that there are too many people in the world for God to feed!

These verses clearly tell us  that God can take what you have and provide what you need as it passes through the hands of Jesus.  If you want to be blessed, or be a blessing to others give your "two fish and five loaves" to Jesus and let Him pass out the blessings!

"Lord Jesus, take my fish and loaves and use them to feed those who are hungry for You!  And may Your Holy Name be praised now and forever. Amen."





Saturday, March 9, 2019

The Eyes of the Poor


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If you mistreat the poor, you insult your Creator; if you are kind to them, you show him respect.

Proverbs 14:31


Have you ever wondered why there are so many poor people in the world?  With the riches of Eternity at His disposal God could distribute enough wealth to the poor of this world to wipe out every bit of poverty.

Some people blame God for withholding riches from the poor, just as some blame God for not healing all the sick people in this world!  

So does poverty serve a purpose in the world, and if so what is it?  According to Proverbs 14:31 when poor people are treated well God is honored, not insulted.  And when you are kind to the poor God is shown respect.  

If you have prayed "Lord, I want to see Your face," then look at the face of a beggar and know that God is seeing you through the eyes of the poor!  Remember, Jesus Himself said that He did not have a place to lay His head!  (Luke 9:58)

"Lord Jesus, may I see Your face today and honor You when I do!  Help me know how to be kind to the poor in this world.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen."



Thursday, March 7, 2019

The Ultimate Obligation!





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The Lord wants you to obey all human authorities, especially the Emperor, who rules over everyone.  You must also obey governors, because they are sent by the Emperor to punish criminals and to praise good citizens.  God wants you to silence stupid and ignorant people by doing right.  You are free, but still you are God's servants, and you must not use your freedom as an excuse for doing wrong.  Respect everyone and show special love for God's people. Honor God and respect the Emperor.

1 Peter 2:13-17

When Daniel disobeyed the King and continued to pray to God even though the King had commanded him not to do it, was he not contradicting what the Holy Spirit said in these verses?

When disobedience to the Emperor is based on obedience to God, there is no question that it is the right thing to do.  But disobedience to the Emperor based on political party, economic philosophy, or simply the fact that you don't like the leader is clearly wrong!  

Jesus followers in the New Testament time continued to proclaim the Gospel even though the leaders had ordered them not to do it!  In fact, if no one opposes what you are doing for Jesus, you need to re-examine your efforts.  Satan will oppose what the Holy Spirit is leading you to accomplish!

There are plenty of "Orders from the Emperor" that need to be disobeyed today!  Governments today often tell people when and where they can or cannot pray!  They are told not to meet for worship and they are told not to tell other people about Jesus.

Even though there are lots of examples of God's people disobeying the "Emperor" we are not told to speak evil of or dishonor him!  God used Pharaoh to accomplish His purposes and He will use your leaders to do the same!  

"Thank You Jesus that obeying Your Word is the Ultimate Obligation that I have as a human being.  May Your Name be praised now and forever.  Amen."



Wednesday, March 6, 2019

The Legacy of Abel




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Faith makes us sure of what we hope for and gives us proof of what we cannot see.  It was their faith that made our ancestors pleasing to God.  Because of our faith, we know that the world was made at God's command. We also know that what can be seen was made out of what cannot be seen.  Because Abel had faith, he offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. God was pleased with him and his gift, and even though Abel is now dead, his faith still speaks for him.

Hebrews 11:1-4

A very wise man once told me that leaving a large estate of property and money is not the best thing you can leave for your children.   

The best thing to pass on to your children and to those who knew you well is an example of faith and obedience to God.  

God was pleased with Abel and his sacrifice.  Abel trusted God and had faith in Him.  That pleased God.  Abel was obedient and sacrificed the thing that God wanted.  

Faith and Obedience are both desired by God.  If you have faith in God but do not obey Him, God will not be pleased.  If you do not trust the Lord but attempt to be obedient to His commands, He will not be happy.

An old song said it well.  "Trust and Obey, for their is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to Trust and Obey."

May it be said of you that God is pleased with both your Faith and your Sacrifice.  Abel left a legacy for all of us that is more valuable than all the gold and silver in the world!  

"Lord Jesus, may I leave those who come after me an example of faith in You and obedience to Your every command.  Praise Your Holy Name, now and forever.  Amen."

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Living in a War Zone




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Don't forget all the hard times you went through when you first received the light.  Sometimes you were abused and mistreated in public, and at other times you shared in the sufferings of others.  You were kind to people in jail. And you gladly let your possessions be taken away, because you knew you had something better, something that would last forever.  Keep on being brave! It will bring you great rewards.  Learn to be patient, so that you will please God and be given what he has promised.  As the Scriptures say, "God is coming soon! It won't be very long.

Hebrews 10:32-37

There are many people around the world who are living in a "War Zone."  You may be one of those whose life is consumed with the need to stay safe and avoid the dangers of the conflict that is raging all around you.  The war, the sounds of war and the need to avoid becoming a casualty of that war take most of your time during the day and night!

Every follower of Jesus Christ is living in a War Zone!  It is the war between Good and Evil, Righteousness and Unrighteousness, Jesus and Satan!  The final outcome of that War was decided on the Cross of Calvary, but the battle rages until the final return of Jesus to harvest His people!

If you consider yourself to be a Christian and see no evidence of the war in or even around your life, then that may be a serious warning sign that something is very wrong!  

Perhaps, instead of being a soldier in God's Army, you are just a child playing war games with your friends.  All of the troops in the Army of Jesus Christ engage the Enemy in the deadly conflict.  We are all called to be "front line" soldiers!

If won't be very long until Jesus returns and the war will be over!  Be ready for His return and engage the Enemy today!  

"Lord Jesus, thank You for winning the War by Your sacrifice on the Cross.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen."

Monday, March 4, 2019

Vacation with God




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The promise to enter the place of rest is still good, and we must take care that none of you miss out.  We have heard the message, just as they did. But they failed to believe what they heard, and the message did not do them any good. Only people who have faith will enter the place of rest. It is just as the Scriptures say, "God became angry and told the people, 'You will never enter my place of rest!' " God said this, even though everything has been ready from the time of creation.  In fact, somewhere the Scriptures say that by the seventh day, God had finished his work, and so he rested.  We also read that he later said, "You people will never enter my place of rest!"  This means that the promise to enter is still good, because those who first heard about it disobeyed and did not enter  Much later God told David to make the promise again, just as I have already said, "If you hear his voice today, don't be stubborn!"  If Joshua had really given the people rest, there would not be any need for God to talk about another day of rest.  But God has promised us a Sabbath when we will rest, even though it has not yet come.  On that day God's people will rest from their work, just as God rested from his work.

Hebrews 4:1-10

After a hard day at work, most people have a special place they can rest, relax and enjoy their own "place of rest."  

God has a "place of rest."  And God has promised that those who have faith in Him will enter His Place of Rest!  It is amazing that God lets His people work with Him, and I think it is even more amazing that He allows His people to rest with Him!  God's place of rest is where His people will be with Him forever.

Some people on this earth are blessed with the opportunity to go on vacation!  They get away from their normal responsibilities and rest for a time!  In God's place of rest, those who have faith in Jesus Christ will be on an Eternal Vacation!  Absent from your schedule will be the frustrations,  oppositions, worries, inabilities, and every other negative thing that bothers you here on earth! 

The most amazing vacations on this earth are the ones when you were a small child and your parents took you on vacation.  Your job was to go along and enjoy the ride!  Your father took care of everything!  He made sure you had something to eat and a place to sleep each night.  In my family it was my mother who would tell us all about the sights we were seeing along the way.  It was a wonderful time that you hoped would never end.

Your Vacation with God is the same.  He will take care of everything, provide everything, and tell us all about the sights on the way. And the best part is that your Vacation with God will never end!

"Lord Jesus, I do look forward to being in Your Place of Rest.  Thank You for the wonderful, eternal promise of being on 'Vacation with God.'  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen."

 

Sunday, March 3, 2019

You Didn't Build That




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My friends, God has chosen you to be his holy people. So think about Jesus, the one we call our apostle and high priest!  Jesus was faithful to God, who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in serving all of God's people.  But Jesus deserves more honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house deserves more honor than the house.  Of course, every house is built by someone, and God is really the one who built everything.

Hebrews 3:1-4

President Obama made the words "You didn't build that" well known and certainly controversial.  I think he was trying to say that everyone has help from someone else in making accomplishments in this life.  And, of course, that is true.

These Words from Hebrews 3 are very humbling.  They say, "God is really the one who built everything."  When I was a little boy and my mother was teaching me about God she told me that God made everything.  I remember asking her if God made the telephone.  She explained that a man made the telephone, but God gave the man the ability and intelligence to put it together!

What good thing have you done in this life that you would have been able to accomplish without God?  If you can play beautiful music on a piano, remember that it is God who gave you ten fingers with which to play!  If you can run faster than anyone else on earth, don't forget that God formed your legs while you were still in your mother's womb.  If you can sing like no other man or woman, never forget that God Himself crafted your vocal cords and gave you ears that can direct you to sing exactly the right note!

The pride and arrogance of a "self made man" are a real temptation for those whose accomplishments are many.  God is the One who made you, and He has a purpose for your life in this world.  

If His purpose for you today is to deliver a cup of cold water to a thirsty human being, then there is no greater thing you could do!  When you lift up your hands to praise God, offer up those hands to work for Him today!  When you do that you will begin to see the miraculous power of God working all around you and even through you!

"Praise Your Holy and Righteous Name, now and forever.  Amen."








Friday, March 1, 2019

Good Times Will End




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You are cruel, and you forget the coming day of judgment.  You rich people lounge around on beds with ivory posts, while dining on the meat of your lambs and calves.  You sing foolish songs to the music of harps, and you make up new tunes, just as David used to do.  You drink all the wine you want and wear expensive perfume, but you don't care about the ruin of your nation.  So you will be the first to be dragged off as captives; your good times will end.

Amos 6:3-7

The decade of the 1920's was called, even at the time, the Roaring Twenties.  It was a time of prosperity around the world.  No one knew that the stock market crash of 1929 was on it's way and that the "Good Times" would come to a sobering end!  The Great Depression was the "hangover" after the intoxication of the Roaring Twenties!

These verses from Amos 6 warn of  "good times" based on wealth and prosperity coming to an end while no one cares about the ruin of the nation.  Amos gave that warning to the nation of Israel  years  before Jesus was born. 

The fruit of economic success can be wiped out in one day!  No one can avoid the Day of Judgement by becoming wealthy!  

For those who reject Jesus Christ, your "Good Times" will end.  Earthly riches will all be destroyed, but Heavenly wealth will last forever! Before deciding how rich you are, check your account in Heaven!

"Lord Jesus, thank you for providing all I need in this world and the next.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen."


Thursday, February 28, 2019

Ready to Face God?




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Now, Israel, I myself will deal with you. Get ready to face your God!  I created the mountains and the wind. I let humans know what I am thinking. I bring darkness at dawn and step over hills. I am the LORD God All-Powerful!

Amos 4:12-13

Are you ready to come face to face with God?  That is what will happen to every human being when they leave this earth.  

If you don't see God now and if you don't believe in God now, there will be a day, a final day when you will know for certain that God Almighty is real and that Jesus Christ was the only hope you had on this earth!

If you come face to face with Jesus now, you will be ready to come face to face with God on the Day of Judgement.  You will not be blessed if you don't meet Jesus before you meet God!  

Jesus is the only way to encounter God and live forever.  If you want to be ready to meet God at the Day of Judgement, then meet Jesus while you are still alive on this earth!  Call out to Jesus, come to Jesus, trust in Jesus, and give your heart to the One who gave His life for you!  

"Lord Jesus, may I know You better today, so that I will be ready to meet God and live with You forever!  Praise Your Holy Name, now and always!  Amen."


Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Climate Change




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God punished the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and this is a warning to anyone else who wants to sin.  Lot lived right and was greatly troubled by the terrible way those wicked people were living. He was a good man, and day after day he suffered because of the evil things he saw and heard.  So the Lord rescued him.  This shows that the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their sufferings and to punish evil people while they wait for the day of judgment.

2 Peter 2:6-9

Climate change, formerly called Global Warming is very high on the priority list of millions of people around the world.  They want us to sacrifice everything to "save the world."  Some make dire predictions about the effects of Climate change, including the end of the world in 12 years!

But I can say with great confidence that the world will not end in 12 years because of human pollution!  If the world ends at that point in human history it will be because God Himself has chosen that year to be the time for the End!

Very high on God's priority list, and it is more important than saving the earth from pollution, is saving the lost from the consequences of their sins! 

Frankly, it is rather arrogant to believe that human beings can control the global thermostat.  But God can turn up the temperature on earth, or turn it down at any time He chooses to do so.  

The Bible clearly says that God rescues the righteous and punishes the wicked, even here on this earth!  If a world wide disruption of the climate happens and even kills many people, remember that it happened at least once before during the time of Noah.  

The best way to stop the terrible suffering that may come because of Climate Change is to turn to God and repent!  If the people of Sodom and Gomorrah had done that, their story would have ended quite differently.

"Thank You Jesus, for rescuing Your people from suffering and for punishing the wicked of this world as they wait for the Day of Judgment.  I pray that every wicked man and woman on earth today will hear about Your love, turn away from sin and give their hearts to You.  Praise Your Holy and Righteous Name, now and forever.  Amen."











Sunday, February 24, 2019

The Great Escape




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We have everything we need to live a life that pleases God. It was all given to us by God's own power, when we learned that he had invited us to share in his wonderful goodness.  God made great and marvelous promises, so that his nature would become part of us. Then we could escape our evil desires and the corrupt influences of this world.

2 Peter 1:3-4

Do you struggle with sin?  Often it is the same sin over and over.  You think you have finally put that sin out of your life, and then it comes back!  Sometimes its comes back stronger than ever before.  How do you finally get rid of that sin?

These verses in 2 Peter chapter 1 tell us the answer to and solution for the addiction of sin.  God does not sin and when His nature becomes a part of you, you will not sin either!  It really is that simple and that profound.  

You will be like Jesus.  It was the nature of God in Jesus Christ that enabled His human flesh to always say no to Satan!  The Holy Spirit living in your heart will do the same for you.  

A victorious life on this earth is one that is filled with the Nature of God and controlled by the Holy Spirit Himself!  That man or woman will be able by the power of God to escape evil desires and the corrupt influences of this world!

Any other way of self discipline or personal rehabilitation will ultimately fail!  Unless you are empowered by God to overcome evil, you will not overcome it!

"Lord Jesus, thank You for making a way for me to live as You did and have the Victory because of Your Precious Blood!  Praise Your Name Now and Forever.  Amen."

Saturday, February 23, 2019

The First Thing To Do




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The next day, John was there again, and two of his followers were with him.  When he saw Jesus walking by, he said, "Here is the Lamb of God!"  John's two followers heard him, and they went with Jesus.  When Jesus turned and saw them, he asked, "What do you want?" They answered, "Rabbi, where do you live?" The Hebrew word "Rabbi" means "Teacher."  Jesus replied, "Come and see!" It was already about four o'clock in the afternoon when they went with him and saw where he lived. So they stayed on for the rest of the day.  One of the two men who had heard John and had gone with Jesus was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter.  The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother and tell him, "We have found the Messiah!" The Hebrew word "Messiah" means the same as the Greek word "Christ."

John 1:35-41

Satan spreads disease like the Holy Spirit distributes the Gospel.  When one infected person comes in contact with a person who does not yet have the disease the sickness often spreads to that person.

When one Holy Spirit convicted person makes even casual contact with someone who doesn't know Jesus, the urge to tell the un-evangelized person about Jesus is often uncontrollable!  

Why is evangelism so hard in my part of the world?  Perhaps it is because, unlike Andrew, the brother of Peter, men and woman are trying to spread the Gospel without ever meeting Jesus themselves!  Once you meet the Lord and encounter Him in your daily life, telling someone else about Jesus can be as easy as talking about the weather!  Will they believe you when you talk about the One who died for you?  Some will and some will not.  Closing the deal and making the sale is not our responsibility.  If you plant a seed and then stand there waiting for the plant to germinate and grow and finally the fruit to come, you will not plant many seeds or see much fruit.  

Some who plant the seed will never see the fruit of their labor.  They scatter the seed wherever they go and trust the Lord to make it grow and bring the fruit.

Just as it says in Colossians 1:6, " The good news is spreading all over the world with great success. It has spread in that same way among you, ever since the first day you learned the truth about God's wonderful kindness."

"Lord Jesus, may I be one who spreads the Good News of Jesus Christ all over the world.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen."


Friday, February 22, 2019

Beggar and Billionaire




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There was once a rich man who wore expensive clothes and every day ate the best food.  But a poor beggar named Lazarus was brought to the gate of the rich man's house.  He was happy just to eat the scraps that fell from the rich man's table. His body was covered with sores, and dogs kept coming up to lick them.  The poor man died, and angels took him to the place of honor next to Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried.

Luke 16:19-22

This story is certainly a warning to people who are rich.  You can be very successful in this world and go to Hell when you die!  

Often overlooked about these verses is the fact that the poor man who was sick, and had become a beggar went to a place of honor next to Abraham when he died.  So the very encouraging truth for many, many people is that you can be a total failure as far as the world is concerned and still be pleasing to God and honored in Heaven when you die! 

It is not a sin to be rich, but if you are living with the major focus of your existence an attempt to become the "rich man" you are missing so much that God has to offer!  

You can live a life pleasing to Jesus whether you are a beggar or a billionaire.  This story teaches the obvious truth that it is easier to please the Lord as a beggar than it is as a billionaire.  

If you are seeking power, wealth and status in life you will find that all these things will wage war against your relationship with Jesus!

If you are seeking Jesus, you can please Him as a beggar eating the scraps from the rich man's table!

"Lord Jesus I do want to seek You and only You in this life.  You are the only success I need!  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen."

Thursday, February 21, 2019

In God We Say We Trust?




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Israel, I, the LORD All-Powerful, was very angry with your ancestors. But if you people will return to me, I will turn and help you.  Don't be stubborn like your ancestors. They were warned by the earlier prophets to give up their evil and turn back to me, but they paid no attention.

Zechariah 1:2-4

Ancestor veneration or ancestor worship is still alive and well in Asia.  Perhaps that is why the culture in China has lasted so very long.  When you worship those who came before you, you certainly must live the way, and do the things they did. Change does not come easily. 

In the West, we do the same thing, just a little differently.  We would never claim to worship our ancestors, but we do follow their example in the way we live, even in the things they did that we're wrong.  

The United States is proclaimed to be an "In God We Trust" country, but consider how we have lived for even the past 100 years.  I have been alive for almost 73 of those years and can tell you that having a "personal, active and interactive relationship with Jesus Christ" for most of my growing up years was considered to be strange, if not insane.  If God "talks to you" even today, it certainly makes you a fringe part of normal society.   Even if you look at some of the movies from the 40's and 50's God will be there, but not as an active or important part of the plot.  Even some of the most G rated presentations ignored God altogether.  Where was God in "Leave it to Beaver," or "Father Knows Best?"

The problem is that today we are about to be swept down the drain of a political philosophy that denies God completely.  The only way to stop the certain death of a way of life that gives men and women the freedom to choose how they will live is to "give up our evil and turn back to God." Freedom and Liberty are from God, not from the Devil.  

For a short time to come, those who love God and hate evil may be able to keep our way of life by voting.  But when the number of those who hate God and love evil grows into a majority.  One election will change everything!  

Don't seek to make us into the country that would please the Founding Fathers.  Rather seek the approval of God Almighty in the way we live as a nation on this earth!  When we do that the future will be bright and America will be Better than Ever.

I know that many of you who read or listen to these blogs do not live in the United States, but the principle is true for your country as well.  Give up your evil and turn back to God!

"Lord Jesus, thank You for dying for the sins of the whole world.  May we glorify your Name in what we do every day, and may we as nations of people glorify You as well.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen."

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

When You Say the Name of Jesus




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Then the angel told me, "Put this in writing. God will bless everyone who is invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb." The angel also said, "These things that God has said are true."  I knelt at the feet of the angel and began to worship him. But the angel said, "Don't do that! I am a servant, just like you and everyone else who tells about Jesus. Don't worship anyone but God. Everyone who tells about Jesus does it by the power of the Spirit."

Revelation 19:9-10

If you are a Christian you may have found it difficult sometimes to tell another person about Jesus.  Even speaking the name of Jesus to another person can seem awkward at best.  

Here is a good test.  Determine that you will say the name of Jesus to the person running the cash register the next time you are at the grocery store.

These verses in Revelation 19 tell us that in order to tell someone about Jesus you need to do it by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Telling the story of Jesus stirs up the Enemy of all that is good and right.  Satan sees it as a personal challenge when you start talking about the Lord!  

When you tell someone about Jesus Christ, you will be attacked by the Devil!  Unless you are moving in the power of the Holy Spirit that attack will be at least painful and potentially debilitating.  

But if you are armed with the Sword of the Spirit and He is living in your heart, you will be able to withstand every attack from the Enemy. Then you will find yourself comfortable in the battle of telling others about the Lord Jesus Christ!

"Lord Jesus, fill me with Your Spirit so I can do battle as I tell everyone I meet about You.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen."

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Welcome Speech to Heaven



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Imagine yourself taking the ultimate, cosmic tour and when the bus stops you look out of the window and hear the tour guide say these words!

"You have now come to Mount Zion and to the heavenly Jerusalem. This is the city of the living God, where thousands and thousands of angels have come to celebrate.  Here you will find all of God's dearest children, whose names are written in heaven. And you will find God himself, who judges everyone. Here also are the spirits of those good people who have been made perfect.  And Jesus is here! He is the one who makes God's new agreement with us, and his sprinkled blood says much better things than the blood of Abel."

Hebrews 12:22-24

The moment you arrive in Heaven you will begin part two of a never ending life.  Life on this earth is simply the first drop of rain in a flood much bigger than the one that floated Noah's ark!

In Heaven you are going to see thousands and thousands of angels celebrating and you will find all of God's dearest children!  You will know who they are because their names are written in Heaven.

God is there!  Those who have been made perfect are there.  And most importantly, for those of us who are the children of Adam, Jesus is there!  He is the One who shed His blood to bring us the New Agreement that made it possible for every human being in Heaven to be there!

By the way these verses from Hebrews 12 are not describing an imaginary place.  If you believe in Jesus and give your heart to Him, you will hear the Welcome speech to Heaven after you take your last breath on this earth!

"Lord Jesus, thank You for making a place ready for me to be with You, forever in Heaven.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen."

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Slaves to the Work




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That same day the king gave orders to his slave bosses and to the men directly in charge of the Israelite slaves. He told them: Don't give the slaves any more straw to put in their bricks. Force them to find their own straw wherever they can, but they must make the same number of bricks as before. They are lazy, or else they would not beg me to let them go and sacrifice to their God.  Make them work so hard that they won't have time to listen to these lies.

Exodus 5:6-9

The Children of Israel were slaves in Egypt.  When Moses and Aaron asked Pharaoh to let the people go, his response was to make them work even harder and to find their own straw for the bricks.

The king said that his purpose was to "make them work so hard that they won't have time to listen" to God!

The truth is that you don't have to be a slave in Egypt to find yourself working so hard that you don't have time to listen to God.  One of Satan's tricks is to either make you a literal slave who doesn't have time to listen to God, or a slave to the work itself with the same result.  Some call it a "workaholic."  You become addicted to work like someone is addicted to alcohol.

It is not the "work" that God wants from you, it is rather a relationship! 

You see, you can work for someone and not know them!  Many people spend long hours working without ever knowing their employer as a friend.  

When you work for Jesus, He is first of all your friend!  If you work for Him, but don't know Jesus as a friend, I am afraid you will be terribly disappointed in the end.  

But if you know Jesus and spend lots of time relating to Him, the work He wants you to do will not be overwhelming!

If you don't know Jesus, moving a mountain is a monumental task.  If you do know the Lord, one word can cast that mountain into the sea!

"Lord Jesus, may Your Power work through me today to accomplish Your will.  May Your Holy and Righteous Name be praised now and forever.  Amen."


Wednesday, February 13, 2019

You Are The Villain




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The LORD said: Ezekiel, son of man, the people of Israel are complaining that the punishment for their sins is more than they can stand. They have lost all hope for survival, and they blame me.  Tell them that as surely as I am the living LORD God, I don't like to see wicked people die. I enjoy seeing them turn from their sins and live. So if the Israelites want to live, they must stop sinning and turn back to me.

Ezekiel 33:10-11

Do you enjoy a movie in which the "Bad Guys" get "what is coming to them?"  Or would you rather see one where the villain changes and becomes a hero?  God doesn't enjoy stories of justice in which the death of a sinner is the final chapter!

The soul purpose of Jesus coming to this earth was to change your story into one of triumph rather than tragedy!  

The sobering and sometimes shocking truth of the Gospel is that you are not a "Good Guy" in your story!  You are the villain who will die unless the Blood of Jesus Christ is applied to your wicked heart!

But when you are washed in the Blood of the Lamb, your wickedness is wiped out by His Righteousness!  

So if you have never given your heart to Jesus, don't try to convince yourself that you are really a good person.  You are not good unless His Blood has been applied to your heart!  Then you are now and forever will be like Jesus Christ!

"Thank You Jesus for changing me into someone who can be like You.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen."

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Ears of My Heart!




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If you have ears, listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. I will let everyone who wins the victory eat from the life-giving tree in God's wonderful garden.

Revelation 2:7

I only have one ear that works.  A few years ago my right ear became totally deaf.  Frankly, it was a very "big deal" to not be able to tell the direction from which a sound was coming.  With only one working ear I also cannot appreciate Stereo music.

But even with only one ear I can still listen to what the Spirit of God is saying.  In fact, the Spirit can speak clearly to someone who is deaf in both ears!  

There is a big difference between my physical ears and the ears of my heart.  I listen to the Holy Spirit with the ears of my heart!  When my heart is deaf, it is not because of a loud noise or an illness.  When my heart cannot hear it is often because of sin.  Sin takes away my ability to hear the Spirit as He speaks to my heart! 

Repentance is the hearing aid of your heart!  When you repent of your sin, the message of God for your heart begins to come through, loud and clear!  

It is also hard to hear God when the volume of the noise of this world is turned up loud.  Repent of your sin and turn down the world so you can hear the Lord today!  If you refuse sin and carefully listen you will hear Him!  

"Lord Jesus, help me today to hear what Your Spirit is speaking to my heart.  Praise Your Holy Name, now and forever.  Amen."

Monday, February 11, 2019

The Final Solution



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I tell you that people will come here from cities everywhere. Those of one town will go to another and say, "We're going to ask the LORD All-Powerful to treat us with kindness. Come and join us." Many people from strong nations will come to Jerusalem to worship me and to ask me to treat them with kindness. When this happens, ten people from nations with different languages will grab a Jew by his clothes and say, "Let us go with you. We've heard that God is on your side." I, the LORD All-Powerful, have spoken!

Zechariah 8:20-23

When an atheist becomes a believer the change is dramatic but not complete.   Atheists don't know what is the explanation for everything, but they are "sure" that it is not God!

But the journey to faith is only beginning when you go from total disbelief to an "oh my God, You are real" perspective on life!  This is where you need to be reminded of the verse that says the demons believe and tremble. And certainly Satan believes in God!  Satan is by no means an atheist.

So now you know that God is real.  What are you, my friend going to do about it?  Some people are satisfied to stop at the point of just believing in God.  Frankly, it is not hard to come to a point of believing in the existence of God.  Look at the stars on a cloudless night, or look at a beautiful flower and try to believe that all that grandeur is just an accident of time!  To believe such a thing is really unthinkable. The handiwork of God screams at all the senses of men every where and every day!

Obedience to God is the final solution for your eternal dilemma.  When you step onto the road of doing what God tells you to do, it is then that Relationship with the Almighty becomes Reality.  

If you have come to the point of believing in God, take the next step of being obedient to His Word in every way!  Then your Reality will be a Relationship with Jesus Christ!

"Thank You Jesus for making it possible for sinful fallen human beings to know You and to live with You forever.  Praise Your Name, now and always. Amen."

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Silent Before the Lord




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City of Zion, sing and celebrate! The LORD has promised to come and live with you. When he does, many nations will turn to him and become his people. At that time you will know that I am a prophet of the LORD All-Powerful. Then Judah will be his part of the holy land, and Jerusalem will again be his chosen city. Everyone, be silent! The LORD is present and moving about in his holy place.

Zechariah 2:10-13

When my six children were little we would play games while traveling in the car.  Sitting still for hours with no physical exercise was hard for them.  We played games like counting red cars, or even a harder game today of counting white horses.  My favorite game was "The Quiet Game."  The winner was the one who could keep quiet the longest!

I loved "The Quiet Game," but the kids were not so excited about it.  They would always figure out that their parents had gotten tired of the noise.

Did you know that sometimes God wants you to be quiet before Him? 

Of course, there are times when you should lift up your voice and praise God with everything in you. But there are also times when being quietly in God's presence is the most appropriate thing and is pleasing to Him.

When you are quiet before the Lord, you can see what He is doing.  When you are still in His presence you can hear His voice even when it is a whisper.  When you are quiet, your heart is available for the Holy Spirit to lead and direct.

The Lord says both "Sing and Celebrate" and "Be Silent" before Him.  

"Lord Jesus, teach me how to be quiet while standing, sitting and bowing before You!  And while I am silent may I hear Your voice and see Your face!  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen."



Saturday, February 9, 2019

Faith Makes Men Equal



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Faith in Christ Jesus is what makes each of you equal with each other, whether you are a Jew or a Greek, a slave or a free person, a man or a woman.  So if you belong to Christ, you are now part of Abraham's family, and you will be given what God has promised.

Galatians 3:28-29

On July 4, 1776 the founders of the United States signed the Declaration of Independence which says: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

The Bible does not specifically say, but if men and women are "Created Equal" we quickly lose that equality by the circumstances of life.  Some children are born into poverty, and some into wealth.  Some children are healthy and well fed and some barely get enough to stay alive.  Whatever "equality" we had when we took our first breath quickly disappears!

Equality of Birth always changes or goes away, but Equality of Faith remains forever!  Because of your Faith in Christ Jesus you are equal to every other man or woman of Faith!  People who believe in Jesus are brothers and sisters in the same family and are equal because they have the same Father!  

There is only one way to make all men equal in this world.  That way is Faith in Jesus Christ! 

Today women strive to be equal to men.  People of color work hard to be recognized as equal to those whose skin is not as dark.  The poor want to equally share with the rich in the wealth of this world.

Ultimately efforts at equality among men will often fail.  The Declaration of Independence did not make men equal, but the Declaration of Dependence on Jesus Christ will make you equal with all others who have Faith in Jesus!

"Lord Jesus, help me today to have even more Faith in You than I have ever had before.  May Your Holy and Righteous Name be praised now and forever.  Amen." 







Friday, February 8, 2019

Darkness of Hate?



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My dear friends, I am not writing to give you a new commandment. It is the same one that you were first given, and it is the message you heard.  But it really is a new commandment, and you know its true meaning, just as Christ does. You can see the darkness fading away and the true light already shining.  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 2:7-11

The temptation to hate other people is very strong.   I believe most of the "news broadcasts" in the western world are an organized effort to encourage you to hate other people.  Today the news media is very bold about telling you who to hate!  

If you are affiliated with one political party, you are told why you should hate all of the people of the other party!  It goes far beyond politics.  If we are fans of one sports team we find ourselves "hating" those who support our rivals! 

According to these verses in 1 John, when we start hating the lights go out in our lives and we walk in the dark!  Satan wants to make you walk in the dark!  

Truthfully, there is no good reason to hate another human being.  Jesus said to love, even your enemies!  

Check your heart and see if there is anyone that you hate.  If there is someone you hate, you can turn back on the lights in your life by deciding to love instead of hate!

"Lord Jesus, may I walk in the Light today and be done with the Darkness of Hate!  Praise Your Name now and forever!  Amen."





Friday, February 1, 2019

A Frightening Parallel





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God said, "Ezekiel, do you see what horrible things Israel's leaders are doing in secret? They have filled their rooms with idols. And they say I can't see them, because they think I have already deserted Israel.  But I will show you something even worse than this."  He took me to the north gate of the temple, where I saw women mourning for the god Tammuz.  God asked me, "Can you believe what these women are doing? But now I want to show you something worse."  I was then led into the temple's inner courtyard, where I saw about twenty-five men standing near the entrance, between the porch and the altar. Their backs were to the LORD's temple, and they were bowing down to the rising sun.  God said, "Ezekiel, it's bad enough that the people of Judah are doing these disgusting things. But they have also spread violence and injustice everywhere in Israel and have made me very angry. They have disgraced and insulted me in the worst possible way.  So in my fierce anger, I will punish them without mercy and refuse to help them when they cry out to me."

Ezekiel 8:12-18

Aren't you glad that you did not live in Israel when God told Ezekiel how bad it was going to be because of their national sins!

"God's chosen people" decided to turn away from God and worship idols while they engaged in all kinds of behavior that God hated! God's response was to say, "I will punish them without mercy and refuse to help them when they cry out to me."

There is a frightening parallel today with the nation who printed "In God We Trust" on their money and then proceeded to turn away from recognizing Him in any way.  

There have now been joyful celebrations because in at least one State it is now legal to abort a baby even one second before the baby is to be born! Also, the press secretary to the President of that country said that God's will may have been involved in the President being elected.  The reaction has been a national roar of laughter that anyone would think that God would care!

I don't know how to say this with enough seriousness!  God still cares when He is ignored, ridiculed, mocked and disobeyed!  God cares when men and women turn from faith in Him and run toward the "pleasures" of this world.  And God still has the power to meet out His judgment on any nation that rebels against Him.  

Printing "In God We Trust" on the currency of a nation and then celebrating the slaughter of the children of that country cannot go unnoticed by God!

Pray for Revival and let the fire begin in your heart!

"Lord Jesus, the Day of Your Return is closer now than ever before!  May we refuse to wander back into the world as we wait to see Your Holy Face.  Praise Your Name now and forever.  Amen."