Sunday, June 23, 2019

Faith, Obedience and the Place of Rest




Who were those people that heard God's voice and rebelled? Weren't they the same ones that came out of Egypt with Moses? Who were the people that made God angry for forty years? Weren't they the ones that sinned and died in the desert? And who did God say would never enter his place of rest? Weren't they the ones that disobeyed him? We see that those people did not enter the place of rest because they did not have faith.

Hebrews 3:16-19

How does not having faith in God keep you from resting well at night? When you put your head on the pillow for the night, you must trust something or someone if you are to sleep well. If you are wealthy, you will probably buy an expensive security system to warn you if there is any trouble headed your way.  
Once I met a man who was a Registered Nurse and made more than 100,000 dollars a year sitting in the room next to a billionaire as he slept, just in case he had any trouble during the night!
Trusting in God keeps you calm when trouble comes during the day and enables you to sleep peacefully at night. Faith assures you that the Hand of God Himself must permit any trouble that would come your way!
Not trusting God is the first step as you walk through the doorway of disobedience! Without faith and obedience you will not find the “Place of Rest” here on earth or in Heaven!
Listen to God, not so you can “understand” Him or His Word. Hear God so you can obey Him! Obey God and enter His place of rest!
“Lord Jesus, thank You, Lord that we can trust You even while living here on earth and can obey Your every desire! May Your Holy and Precious Name be praised now and forever, Amen!”

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Temple of the Holy Spirit



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Let all the world be silent--the Lord is present in his holy temple.

Habakkuk 2:20

It must have been an awesome experience to be in Jerusalem when God was in His temple!  
Once I visited Washington D.C. and toured the White House where the President of the United States lives, but the President was not in the White House that day. I stood at the door of the Oval Office and saw the desk of the President, but he was not there. I do know that my visit would have been much more meaningful if the President had been home that day!
The Bible says that you as a follower of Jesus Christ are the Temple of the Holy Spirit. He lives in you! His presence is a powerful reminder and expression of the Power of God in the world. When you have God’s Spirit living in your heart, there is nothing you need that He cannot accomplish. The is no wisdom that is not available from Him as you walk in His will!
There is no miraculous application of His Power that is beyond His ability to accomplish!
Even though God was present in Jerusalem in His Temple people would turn to worship idols and ignore God and His Word!
As a follower of Jesus Christ, remember that the Holy Spirit wants to live in your heart and be in control of your life! He also wants to empower you to do the work of God in the world around you! There is an old hymn that says “Let Him Have His Way With You!” When you do that you will be walking with Jesus every day!
“Lord Jesus, thank You for sending the Holy Spirit and letting me be the Temple where He lives. May Your Holy and Righteous Name be praised now and forever, Amen.”

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Hiding From or Running To God



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From east to west, the powerful LORD God has been calling together everyone on earth. God shines brightly from Zion, the most beautiful city. Our God approaches, but not silently; a flaming fire comes first, and a storm surrounds him. God comes to judge his people. He shouts to the heavens and to the earth, "Call my followers together! They offered me a sacrifice, and we made an agreement." The heavens announce, "God is the judge, and he is always honest." My people, I am God! Israel, I am your God. Listen to my charges against you. Although you offer sacrifices and always bring gifts, I won't accept your offerings of bulls and goats. Every animal in the forest belongs to me, and so do the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds in the mountains, and every wild creature is in my care. If I were hungry, I wouldn't tell you, because I own the world and everything in it.

Psalm 50:1-12

Who owns the world? It is not Satan! God declares in Psalm 50 that He owns the world and everything in it! Satan created nothing. He is not the author of anything good.

The world system is under the control of Satan and he wants to control your life as well. The Devil can do many things, but he cannot keep you from turning your heart to Jesus Christ! Satan has no power to stop you from responding to the call of Christ. When Adam and Eve sinned and turned away from God, God called out to Adam and asked the first man “where are you.” Of course, Adam was hiding from God when he heard the Call of God!

In the presence of God, there are only two human activities. The first is "hiding from God" and the second is "running after God!" You will do one or the other. If you are not seeking God, then you will be seeking to hide from Him!

If you choose to pursue God and run to the Heavenly Father, you must first come out of your hiding place and call His Holy Name!

“Lord Jesus, help me today to stay out of the hiding place that I so often seek to keep me away from You. May Your Name be praised now and forever, Amen.”

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Parable of the Beach Walker




God was kind and let me become an expert builder. I laid a foundation on which others have built. But we must each be careful how we build, because Christ is the only foundation. Whatever we build on that foundation will be tested by fire on the day of judgment. Then everyone will find out if we have used gold, silver, and precious stones, or wood, hay, and straw.
1 Corinthians 3:10-12

There once was a man who would get up early every morning and walk the beach on the shore of a vast ocean! After making that walk for many days, he looked down and saw a glimmer of sparkling light from something partially hidden in the sand. When he reached down and grabbed the colored rock that was reflecting the morning sun he found a precious jewel of great worth and beauty!
He kept looking and looking, but never found another one that day.
But the next day was a different matter. As he walked and enjoyed the cool ocean breeze and the first hint of the warmth from the sun, he looked down and there was another gem, just waiting for him in the sand! As the days went on the man gathered a large collection of extremely valuable jewels. Actually, their worth was beyond measure.
The man never sold the jewels, but he did give some of them away to those who took the time to inquire! Some said the man was very foolish because he could have sold the jewels and become very wealthy. Others said the early morning beach walker was deceiving them and that his story about how he found them must have been a lie.
But the man with many sparkling jewels paid no attention. Why would he want to exchange the precious things that he found for money or even food? He always had enough money to buy food and pay for his place to stay, so he chose to keep the gems and yes give them away when he could.
Of course, I am talking about you and your time walking the beach on God’s vast Ocean of Truth. If you are only looking for “precious gems” to sell and make yourself rich, you will fail. But if you are looking to spend time with God and listen to His voice in the crashing waves and feel His touch in the soft ocean breeze, you will sometimes see the sparkling light in the sand below your feet!
“Lord Jesus, when I walk with You, I find precious stones of truth that are beyond compare. Show me more today of Your riches scattered in the path before my eyes! Praise Your Holy Name now and forever, Amen!”

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Stampede of the Ants




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 from our good friend Epaphras. He works together with us for Christ and is a faithful worker for you. He is also the one who told us about the love that God's Spirit has given you.

Colossians 1:6-8

What is the “truth about God’s wonderful kindness?” And how does the “good news” spread all over the world?
Proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ is more than a plan, a system, or a “purposeful dissemination” of the message to the farthest points on earth. “Mission work” is what happens when a follower of Jesus moves from one place to another.
It is a little like a colony of ants. I have watched some very tiny ants discover a crumb of cookie on my desk and not only enjoy the morsel themselves, but soon, yes very soon my whole desk will be swarming with ants! The ant who discovers the small piece of cookie hurries back and tells the rest of the ants what he has found. Then there is almost a stampede to the food!
We might call that a “revival” when it comes to the Gospel!
In today’s computer age, we call it “going viral.” If one person tells two others about Jesus and they do the same, it would only take 33 generations of that process to reach every person on the face of the earth with the Gospel. That could happen in a very short period of time!
But if even 1000 missionaries were the only means of spreading the message of Jesus, it would take them a very long time and maybe even never get done!
Remember, as a follower of Jesus Christ you are part of a chain of those who tell others about Him. If you only tell two others about Jesus in your whole life, that may be enough to saturate the earth with the Gospel!
Of course, if you love Jesus you won’t stop at telling only two. You will become overwhelmed with the joy of spreading the Good News of God’s great kindness and love!
“Lord Jesus, I pray that all men may see and hear the Wonderful News of What You did for all mankind! May your love Jesus be spread all over the world today! May You be praised now and forever, Amen!”

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Salvation is not a Theological Imponderable




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"First of all, I ask you to pray for everyone. Ask God to help and bless them all, and tell God how thankful you are for each of them.  Pray for kings and others in power, so that we may live quiet and peaceful lives as we worship and honor God.  This kind of prayer is good, and it pleases God our Savior.  God wants everyone to be saved and to know the whole truth, which is: There is only one God, and Christ Jesus is the only one who can bring us to God. Jesus was truly human, and he gave himself to rescue all of us."

1 Timothy 2:1-5

God is the ultimate intelligence in all of Eternity!  He is capable of everything there is and even more.  His understanding is complete and beyond our ability to even think about.
  
There are some teachers who try to make the promises of God to be beyond the simple understanding of a human being.  They say that only those who have been previously selected by God can be saved.  And they tell you that if you have not been selected you cannot respond to the Good News of Jesus Christ and be saved.

If God has limited the reach of the Blood of Jesus, then God desires for us something that He has made to be impossible.

Don't be fooled by any teaching that limits the scope and power of the Cross and Blood of Jesus Christ!  Salvation is not a theological imponderable for the intellectual elite to discuss and dissect!  The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a simple message for simple people to believe and receive the Joy of the Lord as they journey on the Road to Eternity! 

"Lord Jesus, may I believe and receive Your every Word and trust that You want everyone to be saved!  Praise Your Holy Name, now and forever, Amen!" 

Monday, June 10, 2019

Christians Are Not Actors




I thank Christ Jesus our Lord. He has given me the strength for my work because he knew that he could trust me. I used to say terrible and insulting things about him, and I was cruel. But he had mercy on me because I didn't know what I was doing, and I had not yet put my faith in him. Christ Jesus our Lord was very kind to me. He has greatly blessed my life with faith and love just like his own. "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." This saying is true, and it can be trusted. I was the worst sinner of all! But since I was worse than anyone else, God had mercy on me and let me be an example of the endless patience of Christ Jesus. He did this so that others would put their faith in Christ and have eternal life. I pray that honor and glory will always be given to the only God, who lives forever and is the invisible and eternal King! Amen.

1 Timothy 1:12-17

The Apostle Paul is the best example of how God uses your terrible past to make your life a powerful proclamation of His great love and mercy!

Jesus is not looking for “good people,” who join His team and make Him look good to everyone else! Jesus is looking for the worst among us, so He can change them into the very best they can be! The Bible even says that our righteousness is like filthy rags. On your own, you “fall short of the Glory of God!”

If you study the Bible and read about Jesus so you can learn to “act like Jesus,” then your life is only an “act” and you are an actor! But if you give everything you have and are to Jesus and turn away from your sins, He will transform your heart and let you “be like Jesus.” The difference is dramatic. When you “are like Jesus” instead of just “acting like Jesus” everyone will know that you truly met the Lord and are becoming more like Him every day!

If you consider yourself “too bad” to become a Christian remember this: You cannot be too bad to give your heart to Jesus, but you can consider yourself too good to need His Blood as a sacrifice for your sins!

“Lord Jesus, use my terrible sin to show every being in all the Cosmos how great, wonderful, loving and merciful You are, were and ever will be! Praise Your Holy Name, now and forever, Amen!”

Saturday, June 8, 2019

A LIGHT FOR THE NATIONS!




Now the LORD says to me, "It isn't enough for you to be merely my servant. You must do more than lead back survivors from the tribes of Israel. I have placed you here as a light for other nations; you must take my saving power to everyone on earth."

Isaiah 49:6

The first practical electric light became a reality 140 years ago. Thomas Edison invented a light bulb that could last as long as 1200 hours without burning out. Then he worked on the problem of how to get electric power to the bulbs that would ultimately cover the earth!

Thomas Edison was a great inventor, but what he did was merely a copy of the Light Distribution that God invented long before Edison came on the scene! Bringing light to a dark world is what Jesus came to do! He is the light of life. Without Jesus everyone is in darkness!

And when you turn your heart to Jesus, you become “a light for other nations” and you can take the Saving Power of Jesus to “everyone on earth.”

When you tell someone about Jesus, they not only hear the message, but they also see the light! When you accept Jesus Christ into your heart, the Power of God brings light to your life and helps you see everything in life differently.

“Lord Jesus, without You I was blind and in darkness! But Jesus You are the light of the world and You are willing to shine through me on everyone I meet today! May the Glory of Your light be seen by all men everywhere! Praise Your Holy Name now and forever, Amen!”


Friday, June 7, 2019

Old and Gray and Safe





"You survivors in Israel, listen to me, the LORD. Since the day you were born, I have carried you along. I will still be the same when you are old and gray, and I will take care of you. I created you. I will carry you and always keep you safe."
Isaiah 46:3-4
What has God done for you? We are often encouraged to consider what we can do for God, but perhaps we should stop long enough to think about what He has done for us!
God created a planet which was not too hot or too cold. He put oxygen on it so we could breathe, and water to drink, along with fruits and vegetables and other food to eat. He made animals to help us work the land and for companionship. God gave us families so we could enjoy loving relationships and learn more about the Father, Son and Holy Spirit!
Without God’s constant provision for life itself we would not be able to live even an hour on this earth!
God has also given us a purpose for living this life. My purpose is to yield to the leading of the Holy Spirit with every action I take every day!
On the day that you were born, God cared for you and protected you from harm. And on your last day on this earth He will do the same! Some people believe that a new born baby is not important and is unworthy of protection by law. Often they believe the same thing about those who are old.
If you believe God has forgotten you, take a long slow breath and thank Him for it!
“Lord Jesus You have not only created me, but You have given me everything I need for life here on earth, and forever with You in Heaven. May Your Holy and Righteous Name be praised now and forever, Amen!”

Thursday, June 6, 2019

I Met the Serpent in My Garden




"I invite the whole world to turn to me and be saved. I alone am God! No others are real. I have made a solemn promise, one that won't be broken: Everyone will bow down and worship me. They will admit that I alone can bring about justice. Everyone who is angry with me will be terribly ashamed and will turn to me.

Isaiah 45:22-24

Hell is not the enemy camp of Satan! There will not always be a war of Good vs Evil that rages across the cosmos. Hell will be a place where men and women who rejected Jesus, and although ultimately bowed the knee to Almighty God and worshipped Him, will spend Eternity, separated from God.

The power of Satan will come to a complete end. No longer will he speak enticing words, seeking to turn men’s hearts away from God. The war between Good and Evil will be over.

It is indeed hard to imagine what it will be like to live with only pure thoughts and no temptation to sin. I suppose the closest we can get to understanding that is remembering what it was like to be a very small child. I do remember thinking “everyone was nice” and I couldn’t imagine that anyone had evil motives in what they did. But then I met the serpent in my garden and joined the rest of humanity in stepping into the “knowledge of good and evil.” In today’s world that tree grows everywhere and even little children are eating the fruit as they join lost humanity on the road to Eternal destruction!

Remember, if you spend Eternity in Hell you will certainly know why and you will regret that you rejected Jesus Christ! But if you still have even one breath left, you can turn to Jesus and give your heart to Him! Then you simply ask Him to tell you what to do every minute of every day for the rest of your life here on earth.

“Lord Jesus, I want to worship You today and never stop as long as there is forever! May Your Holy and Righteous Name be praised throughout Eternity, Amen.”

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Blessing of Forgetting

I wipe away your sins because of who I am. And so, I will forget the wrongs you have done.

Isaiah 43:25
          

In a few days I will be 73 years old!  In some ways that doesn’t seem possible.  It took a long time, but I have become the person I pitied when I was young.  I thought it must be a bad thing to be old and grey and be weaker and even quite forgetful.
            
But now that I am old and grey, weaker and forgetful, I have come to realize something of the beauty of being old!
            
I may have forgotten lots of facts, but my mind is awash in remembered feelings!  I remember the love of my mother and her tenderness when I was a child.  I remember how I felt about my father who still impresses me in my memory.  And I remember my early childhood feelings about God.  “God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for our food” may have been a memorized prayer, but I was reminded every meal about the goodness and greatness of God!
            
When you wake up one morning, look in the mirror and discover that you are old, don’t fret.  God will help you remember what you need to remember and, praise His Name, He will help you forget the things that need to be forgotten!
           
The Bible says that God remembers our sin “no more.” So as we grow more and more like Him we will forget our sin as well.
          
"Lord, You have blessed me with a wonderful forgetfulness of my sins, and also with the blessing of always remembering Your amazing and everlasting love.  May Your Name be Praised now and forever, Amen."

Monday, June 3, 2019

The Third Word of I AM



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I'll strengthen my people because of who I am, and they will follow me.  I, the Lord, have spoken!

Zachariah 10:12

What God does is always because of who He is!  God told Moses that He is the "I AM."  "I AM" is an incomplete sentence!  There is a third Word that comes after the first two.  As a follower of Jesus, your life is one of discovering what that Word is, or perhaps more accurately Words!

God is truth, light, love, peace, and the list goes on to infinity! The Nature of God is bigger than Eternity itself and He fills that forever with the fragrant essence of who He is!

 If you have a question, God is the answer.  If you are in need God is the provision to erase and fulfill that need.  If your heart is tempted to hate, God is the love that will overwhelm and cast out all hate!  If you are ignorant, God is all the knowledge that you lack!

Sorrow, sadness, grief and pain are all swallowed up in the Glory of God Himself and His Son, Jesus!  His Spirit blossoms in your heart and then produces the fruit that nourishes all who are willing to take and eat!

Men were drawn away from God by the Devil who encouraged them to disobey Him and eat of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil!  But now the Spirit of God draws all men back to Him through the Blood of Jesus, as they taste the Fruit of the Spirit and give their hearts to Jesus!

"Lord Jesus show me more today who you are!  Fill my heart with wonder and praise for Your Holy and Righteous Name, now and forever, Amen!"