Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Gods of the Amorites!



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The Midianites took almost everything that belonged to the Israelites, and the Israelites begged the LORD for help.  Then the LORD sent a prophet to them with this message: I am the LORD God of Israel, so listen to what I say. You were slaves in Egypt, but I set you free and led you out of Egypt into this land. And when nations here made life miserable for you, I rescued you and helped you get rid of them and take their land.  I am your God, and I told you not to worship Amorite gods, even though you are living in the land of the Amorites. But you refused to listen.

Judges 6:6-10

Sin is contagious!  When you live in a place where many people have the flu, you must be very careful or you will catch the flu yourself!

God's people were living in the land of the Amorites and in spite of specific warnings from God, they refused to listen and started worshiping the Amorite gods instead of worshiping God alone!

God does not want His people to give their love to anyone or anything else!  God is not willing to share His relationship with you with Satan!  God desires that you love Him and only Him!  

Temptation to sin is very strong when people who live around you sin and think nothing of it!  The oldest excuse for disobeying God is this: "EVERYBODY IS DOING IT!"  Don't judge your own actions by the culture in which you live!  The god's of the Amorites will tempt all men and women who look to other people for justification for their deeds!

So let the Word of God and a daily communion with Him establish your lifestyle!  Test everything you do by His Will and His Word and walk only in the ways of God!

"Lord Jesus, keep me from worshiping the gods of the Amorites!  May I please You every day and in everything I do.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen."

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Jesus Rescues Men





You were rescued from the useless way of life that you learned from your ancestors. But you know that you were not rescued by such things as silver or gold that don't last forever.  You were rescued by the precious blood of Christ, that spotless and innocent lamb.

1 Peter 1:18-19

Have you ever needed to be rescued?  Rescues are fun to watch for entertainment in a movie, but when your life is at stake, if the rescue doesn’t end well, they are definitely not “enjoyable.”


Did you know that today you either have been rescued or you need to be?  

If your forefathers did not tell you about Jesus Christ and your need for Him in your life, then you were taught a “useless way of life.”  Now don’t become offended or angry. 

You may be a “wonderful” person and have the best intentions, but without Jesus you have no power to really make a difference in this world.  

Imagine the most brilliant and talented person in the world stranded on a desert island and having no way to communicate with the outside world!  Until Jesus rescues you, your way of life is useless!

Even then you will soon find out that Jesus rescues men and women to use them for His purposes in the world.

Jesus has a design and purpose for your life!  When you turn your heart to Him, He will gladly show you the desires of His heart for you!  When Jesus rescues you He will show you a way of life that is not “useless.”  Jesus will show you how to make an Eternal Difference in this world and beyond!

“Thank You, Jesus for rescuing me from my “useless way of life.”  May my life now be useful to You every day and in every way!  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Blind to Everything But Jesus!





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As Jesus walked along, he saw a man who had been blind since birth.  Jesus' disciples asked, "Teacher, why was this man born blind? Was it because he or his parents sinned?"  "No, it wasn't!" Jesus answered. "But because of his blindness, you will see God work a miracle for him.

John 9:1-3

Sometimes we ask “stupid questions.”  I know I have been guilty of that.  The disciples asked Jesus if the man had been born blind because he sinned.  Such a question would assume that the man had sinned before he was born! I am glad Jesus didn't respond by pointing out how silly their question was.

Jesus said that the reason the man could not see when he was born was so other people could see God work a miracle for him later in his life!

Obviously the blind man did not know why he could not see.  God knew that there was a reason for his “disability.”  When the man’s lack of sight came face to face with Jesus, his disability gave way to God’s Glory!  

Don’t seek a miracle in your life.  Seek to be face to face with Jesus and trust Him to apply His power to your weakness in whatever way brings God the Glory He deserves!  He may take away your problem, or He may enable you to thrive and have victory in your life in spite of that burden!

“Lord Jesus, open my eyes today because I desire to see Your face as I stand before You.  May I be blind to everything else on earth except Your Precious Glory!  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Friday, January 11, 2019

I AM THE WOMAN


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Then early the next morning he went to the temple. The people came to him, and he sat down and started teaching them.  The Pharisees and the teachers of the Law of Moses brought in a woman who had been caught in bed with a man who wasn't her husband. They made her stand in the middle of the crowd.  Then they said, "Teacher, this woman was caught sleeping with a man who isn't her husband.  The Law of Moses teaches that a woman like this should be stoned to death! What do you say?"  

They asked Jesus this question, because they wanted to test him and bring some charge against him. But Jesus simply bent over and started writing on the ground with his finger.  They kept on asking Jesus about the woman. Finally, he stood up and said, "If any of you have never sinned, then go ahead and throw the first stone at her!"  Once again he bent over and began writing on the ground.  The people left one by one, beginning with the oldest. Finally, Jesus and the woman were there alone.  Jesus stood up and asked her, "Where is everyone? Isn't there anyone left to accuse you?"  "No sir," the woman answered. Then Jesus told her, "I am not going to accuse you either. You may go now, but don't sin anymore."

John 8:2-11

Jesus didn’t come to condemn men and women for their sin!  

This story is not really about a woman caught in the act of adultery.  The story is about me and it is about you!  

I stand before the world and before Jesus with my sin exposed!  I, like this woman was caught in the very act of disobeying God!

The world, like the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law of Moses screams for justice and not for mercy!  They wanted to see the woman stoned and they want to see me punished for my sin!

Whatever Jesus wrote on the ground, it seems those words caused the accusers to abandon their plan of retribution.

Then it was just Jesus alone with the woman.  He could have lectured her about her sin and told her how bad she was.  Instead, Jesus told her that He didn’t accuse her either!

Remember, Jesus is all about forgiving you, not accusing you!  Jesus knew that the sin the woman had committed was shortly to be covered by His own blood as He died on the Cross!

"Thank You Jesus for letting me know that I Am the Woman, and You are my Redeemer and Savior!  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Thursday, January 10, 2019

The World Wants Your Love



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Why do you fight and argue with each other? Isn't it because you are full of selfish desires that fight to control your body?  You want something you don't have, and you will do anything to get it. You will even kill! But you still cannot get what you want, and you won't get it by fighting and arguing. You should pray for it.  Yet even when you do pray, your prayers are not answered, because you pray just for selfish reasons.  You people aren't faithful to God! Don't you know that if you love the world, you are God's enemies? And if you decide to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.

James 4:1-4

It is impossible for a nation to be an ally with two nations who are at war with each other!  If you are a friend with one you will be an enemy of the other!  

It is the same with God!  The world is at war with God!  If you are a friend of the world, you cannot be a friend of God at the same time!  That is impossible.

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, the Enemy of all that is good and right will try to pull you away from Jesus and will encourage you to be a friend of the world!  If you are a lover of this world, the Gospel of Jesus will offend you in every way.  Jesus calls you to give up your love for the world and turn your heart to Him!  Jesus wants to snatch you from the arms of the world and embrace you in His love forever!

So how can I know which is true?  Am I an enemy of God or am I an enemy of the world?  Obedience is the answer.  If you obey the World then you love the World.  If you obey Jesus, then He has your heart!  

"Lord Jesus, show me today another way that I can be obedient to You!  May Your Holy and Precious Name be praised now and forever.  Amen."  

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

When God Forgets




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By his one sacrifice he has forever set free from sin the people he brings to God.  The Holy Spirit also speaks of this by telling us that the Lord said, "When the time comes, I will make an agreement with them. I will write my laws on their minds and hearts.  Then I will forget about their sins and no longer remember their evil deeds."

Hebrews 10:14-17

When you hear someone say, "I can forgive you, but I will never forget what you did" you can be sure that they are not being like God in their forgiveness!  When God forgives, He also forgets.

As men and women get older they become better and better at forgetting!  Being able to forget is a good thing.  The problem comes when you forget the wrong thing!  There is only one time the two words "God Can't" are said with complete and total accuracy and honesty!  Because of the Blood of Jesus, God can't remember my sin!  

Since God can, of courses do anything, perhaps it is accurate to say that God can't remember my sin because the Blood of Jesus removed my sin from history!  When the mind of God scans the history of my life, the sin that controlled me is gone, like a chapter torn out of a book!  

Remembering your sin is what Satan does, not God!  God looks and it is gone, but the Devil looks and sees the sin that Jesus has removed!  When you look at your life remember your walk with Jesus and the many ways He drew you to Himself.  Remember the Glory of God that is revealed every night in the Heavens!  To be like God you must remember everything that God remembers and forget everything He forgets!

"Thank You Jesus for making it possible for the Father to forget about my sin and remember no more my evil deeds.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen."

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Jesus Your Obsession!




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But Christ has shown me that what I once thought was valuable is worthless.  Nothing is as wonderful as knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have given up everything else and count it all as garbage. All I want is Christ and to know that I belong to him. I could not make myself acceptable to God by obeying the Law of Moses. God accepted me simply because of my faith in Christ.  All I want is to know Christ and the power that raised him to life. I want to suffer and die as he did, so that somehow I also may be raised to life.

Philippians 3:7-11

Planning for retirement is a "big deal" in the western world.  After you can no longer work, how will your needs be met?  So people are encouraged to spend lots of time and energy setting up their retirement plan!  We tell each other that retirement is the time to really enjoy life. 

But sometimes, even an "early retirement" plan is interrupted by an "early departure" from this world!  

Jesus is the only "life plan" that works forever!  There is no earthly tragedy which can abort your relationship with Jesus!  With Jesus, death itself will not be the "End" of life.  With Jesus, death will be the beginning of Eternal life and endless peace and joy!  

The perfect plan for your life is to know Jesus, and to know Him better every day!  Let knowing Jesus be the desire of your heart and the goal of your life!  When you become obsessed with Jesus in your life, then you will almost be to the point of giving Jesus the attention He deserves!

Paul, the Apostle said it best when he wrote the words, "All I want is to know Christ."  

"Lord Jesus, I confess that knowing You is more important than anything else in this world.  May I come to know You even better today than ever before!  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen."  


Monday, January 7, 2019

Tried and True




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I am shocked that you have so quickly turned from God, who chose you because of his wonderful kindness. You have believed another message,  when there is really only one true message. But some people are causing you trouble and want to make you turn away from the good news about Christ.  I pray that God will punish anyone who preaches anything different from our message to you! It doesn't matter if that person is one of us or an angel from heaven.  I have said it before, and I will say it again. I hope God will punish anyone who preaches anything different from what you have already believed.

Galatians 1:6-9

With some regularity, companies will advertise a "New and Improved" version of their product!  It is a way to entice people who already own one to buy the latest edition!

The Gospel today is the same as it was on the day that Jesus rose from the grave.  There is no "New and Improved" when it comes to the story of Jesus.  Theologians don't discover some new truth that makes our understanding of the Gospel superior to earlier generations.  

The Love of Christ applied to my desperate situation through His death the Cross as He makes a way for me to live with Him forever in Heaven is the beginning and end of the Gospel Story.  There is and can be nothing else!

If you are searching the Scriptures to find more, you will be certainly disappointed and perhaps even led astray.  The cliche "New and Improved" does not apply to the Gospel, but the phrase "Tried and True" does apply.  The Gospel has been TRIED by millions of men and women over the centuries and it is most certainly TRUE!

"Thank You Jesus that we don't have to keep looking for the latest version of the Gospel!  I know that Version 1.0 of the Gospel is all there is or ever will be!  May Your Name be praised now and forever.  Amen."   


Sunday, January 6, 2019

Worse than a Thorn Patch!




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I feel so empty inside-- like someone starving for grapes or figs, after the vines and trees have all been picked clean.  No one is loyal to God; no one does right. Everyone is brutal and eager to deceive everyone else.  People cooperate to commit crime. Judges and leaders demand bribes, and rulers cheat in court.  The most honest of them is worse than a thorn patch. Your doom has come! Lookouts sound the warning, and everyone panics.

Micah 7:1-4

The downfall of a nation is certain when people "cooperate to commit crime."  Of course, you can live as a faithful follower of Jesus Christ, even in a nation that is rebellious to God and ultimately doomed as a society!  That is a wonderful reality of the Gospel of Jesus!  

But the suffering, pain and heartache that comes to citizens of any nation that turns against God is real.  As a citizen of the United States, I suppose the most troubling sign that we are far down the path toward the judgement of God is that our elected leaders are actively encouraging our citizens to ignore and even break the laws that they wrote!  

Can Jesus's Followers remain faithful to Him even when their country falls apart?  Of course they can!  But it will be a time when every Christian must seek the Lord all the time.  When any society uses the Word of God as the model for it's laws and principles there are blessings that fall on all it's people, even those who don't know Jesus.  

No matter what happens in your nation, never turn your heart away from God.  And pray that the country in which you live will turn to God and honor Him again, or for the first time, if they have never before done that.

"Lord Jesus, it seems "the most honest" of the leaders in my country are worse than a thorn patch.  May Your Holy Spirit light a fire of revival and turn us back to You before it is too late!  Praise Your Holy Name, now and forever.  Amen."


                  

Thursday, January 3, 2019

New Life and New Body!




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The bodies we now have are weak and can die. But they will be changed into bodies that are eternal. Then the Scriptures will come true, "Death has lost the battle!  Where is its victory? Where is its sting?"  Sin is what gives death its sting, and the Law is the power behind sin.  But thank God for letting our Lord Jesus Christ give us the victory!  My dear friends, stand firm and don't be shaken. Always keep busy working for the Lord. You know that everything you do for him is worthwhile.

1 Corinthians 15:54-58

When a "Body Builder" works hard and is disciplined and persistent the results can be amazing.  I suppose you have seen the "before and after" pictures of the changes that can happen to a body.

But imagine waking up tomorrow morning with a body that has lost it's excess weight, has perfectly toned muscles and is young in appearance!  That is part of the promise for those who will live with Jesus forever in Heaven!  You will not only have a new life, but you will enjoy a new and eternal body!  It is hard to imagine.

Taking care of the body you have here on earth should simply remind you of the body that will be yours in Heaven.  It will be a body that will not die or ever grow old!

"Lord Jesus, thank You for the hope for a body that will never be sick, grow old or ever die!  May Your Name be praised now and forever.  Amen."




Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Sin is a Trap!




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My friends, you are spiritual. So if someone is trapped in sin, you should gently lead that person back to the right path. But watch out, and don't be tempted yourself.

Galatians 6:1

Sin is a trap! 

Often the trap is set with the promise of some blessing that turns out to be lie!  The first bate used in Satan's trap was the lie that after eating of the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, Adam and Eve would be like God!  

Being like God is not a bad thing! In fact, every Christ follower should make it a daily goal to be like Jesus, who was God in the flesh! But the trap of sin will lure you to be like God by listening to the "wisdom" of this world instead of the Word of God!

Remember that sinners are trapped and cannot by their own power free themselves from sin! Only the Blood of Jesus Christ can do that!  The caution of Galatians 6:1 is that we must watch out so we are not tempted as we lead others back to the right path!  

"Lord Jesus, open my eyes for the traps of Satan that line the road on my walk today!  Keep me from setting my foot in one of Sin's attempts to separate me from Your Love!  May Your Name be praised now and forever.  Amen."