Monday, February 17, 2020

Powerful and Kind




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Trust God, my friends, and always tell him each one of your concerns. God is our place of safety.  We humans are only a breath; none of us are truly great. All of us together weigh less than a puff of air.  Don't trust in violence or depend on dishonesty or rely on great wealth.  I heard God say two things: “I am powerful, and I am very kind.” The Lord rewards each of us according to what we do. 

Psalms 62:8-12 - CEVUK

Asking God to give you something is only one aspect of prayer.  There is much more.  I believe those who follow Jesus should fill each day with frequent times of telling God "each one of your concerns."  

Satan wants us to let our "issues" lead to worry and gossip instead of pouring our hearts out to God.  When we tell God about the turmoil in our hearts His response is: “I am powerful, and I am very kind.”   

The truth is, God is the only One who can fix everything that troubles you!  When you sincerely desire to honor God and be an obedient follower of His, you can know for certain that His response to your problems will be powerful and kind! 

There is much more to say about prayer!  But for sure, prayer should fill every waking moment of every day!  Offer up to God every situation in your life and let Him apply His power and kindness to all that concerns you!

"Lord Jesus, may I go to bed every night with You in my heart and wake every morning with You on my mind.  May Your Name be praised now and forever.  Amen." 






Thursday, February 13, 2020

What Christ is Thinking




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But God has given us his Spirit. That's why we don't think the same way that the people of this world think. That's also why we can recognize the blessings that God has given us.  Every word we speak was taught to us by God's Spirit, not by human wisdom. And this same Spirit helps us teach spiritual things to spiritual people.  That's why only someone who has God's Spirit can understand spiritual blessings. Anyone who doesn't have God's Spirit thinks these blessings are foolish.  People who are guided by the Spirit can make all kinds of judgments, but they cannot be judged by others.  The Scriptures ask, “Has anyone ever known the thoughts of the Lord or given him advice?” But we understand what Christ is thinking.

1 Corinthians 2:12-16 - CEVUK

My wife and I have been married for more than 50 years!  It has been, and continues to be an adventure in learning to understand the mind of our mate!  In her ability to think, she is strong where I am weak.  She hears things that never register in my mind.  She sees much that I have no innate ability to see.  I continue to be intrigued with her attraction to accomplish tasks that for me seem impossible!  But the longer I know her the more I know of how she thinks!

The mind of Jesus Christ is impossible for the world to understand!  They cannot know what Jesus thinks about anything.  In fact, the thoughts of God seem to be only foolishness to those who have not invited Jesus into their hearts!  But when we give ourselves to Jesus, the Holy Spirit helps us to understand what Christ is thinking!  Then everything around us and even beyond us begins to make sense.  

Before you have faith in Jesus you are blind to the thoughts of God, but with faith comes eyes able to see and know the Mind of Christ. 

"Lord Jesus, help me today to see everything around me the way You see it.  And Lord, give me the ability to know what You are thinking!  May Your Holy and Righteous Name be praised now and forever.  Amen." 
   


Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Live Only for God



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When Christ died, he died for sin once and for all. But now he is alive, and he lives only for God.  In the same way, you must think of yourselves as dead to the power of sin. But Christ Jesus has given life to you, and you live for God.

Romans 6:10-11 CEVUK

The death of Jesus Christ was not the End of His life!  Jesus walked through the tunnel of death and came out the other side! 

Death is not the final destination for followers of Jesus!  

If you are a follower of Jesus, death will still knock on your door and at some point you will walk through that door.  Christians may appear to be dying like everyone else, but for Christ followers it is quite different!  Those who depend on Jesus on this earth will continue to depend on Him and  live with Him forever in Heaven!  

These verses in Romans 6 say that Jesus Christ lives only for God.  And they say that after we become followers of the Son of God we too can live for God!  The purpose for your life here on earth is to do the Will of the One who created you and fulfill His desires for your life!  With the power of the Holy Spirit surging through your heart, mind and body you can take on the tasks that He has for you today!

Make it your purpose today to live "Only for God" in everything you do, say and even think!  Then the Will of God will become everything to you in every way!  

"Lord Jesus, help me today to live only for God.  May Your Will be my life today!  Praise Your Holy and Righteous Name now and forever.  Amen."  

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Adam Disobeyed but Jesus Obeyed





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Everyone was going to be punished because Adam sinned. But because of the good thing that Christ has done, God accepts us and gives us the gift of life.  Adam disobeyed God and caused many others to be sinners. But Jesus obeyed him and will make many people acceptable to God.  The Law came, so that the full power of sin could be seen. Yet where sin was powerful, God's gift of undeserved grace was even more powerful.  Sin ruled by means of death. But God's gift of grace now rules, and God has accepted us because of Jesus Christ our Lord. This means that we will have eternal life. 

Romans 5:18-21 - CEV

Adam disobeyed God and caused many people to become sinners!  Jesus obeyed God and made it possible for many to become righteous in the Eyes of God!  

That first sin by Adam awakened within every descendent of father Adam the desire to sin and eat the forbidden fruit!  At some point early in life everyone yields to temptation and is changed into the image of fallen Adam.  

When a man or woman turns to Jesus Christ and begins a walk of Faith in the steps of Jesus, the war is on between flesh and Spirit!  In that war, sometimes the battle will be furious, but the Spirit will win and in fact has already won because of the Blood of Jesus!  

The nature of man was changed when Adam sinned.  Before that sin, Adam did not know good and evil.  But the sacrifice of Jesus changes the basic nature of man back to what Adam had before the "Fall" for those who accept Him and walk according to His will.

Men and women who try to become worthy of Eternal Life with Jesus by "self discipline," "self-help," "keeping the rules," or any way other than depending on the Blood of Jesus Christ will fail!  

Jesus Christ paid the price for you to enter Heaven and live with Him forever.  When you come to Jesus, He will give you rest forever!

"Thank You Jesus for making it possible for me to live with You always!  May I spend all the time I have left here on earth praising You and walking according to Your Holy Will!  May You, Jesus be praised now and forever.  Amen."   

Sunday, February 9, 2020

WE SHOULD BE WARNED




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Some godless people have sneaked in among us and are saying, “God treats us much better than we deserve, and so it is all right to be immoral.” They even deny we must obey Jesus Christ as our only Master and Lord. But long ago the Scriptures warned that these godless people were doomed.  Don't forget what happened to those people the Lord rescued from Egypt. Some of them did not have faith, and he later destroyed them.  You also know about the angels who didn't do their work and left their proper places. God chained them with everlasting chains and is now keeping them in dark pits until the great day of judgment.  We should also be warned by what happened to the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and the nearby towns. Their people became immoral and committed all sorts of sexual sins. Then God made an example of them and punished them with eternal fire.

Jude 1:4-7 - CEV

I hear it often today.  People who claim to be "followers" of Jesus Christ saying that obedience to Christ is not "essential." 

Certainly, Jesus paid the full price for our salvation and nothing we do can be credited to that account.  But refusing to obey the Lord is a step too far in recognizing His Grace and Mercy!  

If you want to obey Jesus in everything He said, some today will brand you as a legalist!  If you believe you "must" be obedient to the Lord, they will say you are trusting your obedience for your salvation!  

These men like to condemn others by pretending to know the motives of their hearts and their hidden thoughts.

If Satan cannot turn you into an open follower of the Devil, then he is more than content to persuade you to say you love Jesus but be disobedient at every turn!   

If you believe that your obedience is the source of your salvation, you are wrong!  But if you believe that you can be saved and live a life of willful rebellion against the Lord Jesus, you are also quite mistaken!  

"Jesus said to his disciples: If you love me, you will do as I command."  John 14:15 - CEV

"Lord Jesus, give me the courage to listen only to Your Word and not to those who would distort what You have plainly said.  May Your Holy and Righteous Name be Praised now and forever.  Amen." 

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Key to Eternity



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The men who had carried the twelve rocks from the Jordan brought them to Joshua, and they made them into a monument.  Then Joshua told the people: Years from now your children will ask you why these rocks are here.  Tell them, “The Lord our God dried up the Jordan River so we could walk across. He did the same thing here for us that he did for our people at the Red Sea, because he wants everyone on earth to know how powerful he is. And he wants us to worship only him.”

Joshua 4:20-24 - CEV

When the Children of Israel escaped from Egypt the Lord did not tell them to set up a memorial.  But when they entered the Promised Land 40 years later He told them to use 12 large stones from the Jordan River to set up a monument.

Somewhere in my yard is a small rock that really is not a rock.  It is molded plastic made to look like a rock with a small door on the bottom.  Inside that "rock" is a key to my house.  If I lose my keys or even accidentally lock myself out of the house I can find the "rock" and get back inside the safety of my home.

Jesus is the Stone that holds the key to my life!  In Jesus I find eternal peace and safety.  When I realize that I am lost I run to Jesus who is the Rock that holds the key to everything!  

The Israelites set up 12 stones as a memorial when they crossed into the Promised Land.  But for your journey into the Promised Land of Heaven you only need one stone!  And that stone is Jesus!

"Lord Jesus, remind me again today that all I need to enter the Promised Land is You.  In You, Jesus I find the Key to Eternity!  May Your Holy and Righteous Name be praised now and forever.  Amen."  


Tuesday, February 4, 2020

The Bible Speaks to Every Situation



Finally, Sanballat sent an official to me with an unsealed letter, which said: A rumor is going around among the nations that you and the other Jews are rebuilding the wall and planning to rebel, because you want to be their king. And Geshem says it's true! You even have prophets in Jerusalem, claiming you are now the king of Judah. You know the Persian king will hear about this, so let's get together and talk it over. I sent a message back to Sanballat, saying, “None of this is true! You are making it all up.” Our enemies were trying to frighten us and to keep us from our work. But I asked God to give me strength.

Nehemiah 6:5-9

Solomon once said that there is "nothing new under the sun." Political intrigue supported by lies and rumors were common even in the days of Nehemiah the prophet. He was rebuilding the "wall" around Jerusalem and his enemies wanted desperately to stop him! But Nehemiah refused to be diverted from the task at hand and ignored the rumors and intimidation.
If that story sounds familiar in today's world, go and read the book of Nehemiah for yourself!
The point that I want to make is this: God's Word will speak to every situation in the life of a man or woman who is trying to follow Jesus Christ! Ask the Lord to lead you to the scripture that will give you direction for your situation. Every Word in the Bible was put there for a specific purpose, and there is no life circumstance that God ignored in His Word!
So take the thing that troubles you and present it to God in prayer and then search the Bible to find the passage that will speak to your need. You can know for sure that when God inspired the writers of scripture to pen those Words, He knew that you would need to hear them!
"Lord Jesus, lead me to the Words that You sent from Heaven to direct my steps today! Thank You for every Word of the Bible and thank You for speaking to my need this day! May Your Holy and Righteous Name be praised now and forever. Amen."

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

He Was Not a Murderer




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Those people who are telling you to get circumcised are only trying to show how important they are. And they don't want to get into trouble for preaching about the cross of Christ.  They are circumcised, but they don't obey the Law of Moses. All they want is to brag about having you circumcised.  But I will never brag about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of his cross, the world is dead as far as I am concerned, and I am dead as far as the world is concerned.  It doesn't matter if you are circumcised or not. All that matters is that you are a new person. 

Galatians 6:12-15 - CEV

Some people "come to Christ" without letting go of the stuff that ruled their lives before that time!  There were Jews who wanted to follow Jesus, but they required circumcision on everyone who came to Him.  

They feared getting "into trouble" for preaching about the Cross of Christ!  

Have you ever had great trouble because you told other people about Jesus?  Perhaps you are carefully crafting the message of Jesus so that no one is offended by the gospel.  

When a man is standing on the edge of a great chasm is it better to point out the beautiful view or warn him not to step off of he edge?  Spiritually you must do both.  If you only tell someone about the glory of Heaven but never warn him about the Eternal Danger of disobedience to Jesus,  he may step off into Hell!

Be ready for the trouble that will come to you because you preach the message of Jesus Christ to other men.  It doesn't matter if men think you are a "wonderful person."  What does matter is whether or not those who hear the message receive Jesus and because of that they become "new people" in Christ!

There is a man who took a knife and a saw and cut a large hole in my chest!  He was not a murderer, he was the surgeon, who by God's grace and mercy saved my life!  Opening your heart and mind to Jesus can be just as painful, but with even better results!

"Lord Jesus, make me today into the New Person You created me to be!  May Your Holy and Righteous Name be praised now and forever.  Amen."




Tuesday, January 28, 2020

You Can Defeat the World




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If we believe Jesus is truly Christ, we are God's children. Everyone who loves the Father will also love his children.  If we love and obey God, we know we will love his children.  We show our love for God by obeying his commandments, and they are not hard to follow.  Every child of God can defeat the world, and our faith is what gives us this victory.  No one can defeat the world without having faith in Jesus as the Son of God. 

1 John 5:1-5 - CEV

The world around you is a tremendous force pressing in on you all the time!  The world wants you to live your life according to the standards of the world, not according to the teachings of Jesus Christ.  

The message of Jesus calls you away from the world, and the call of the world pulls you away from Jesus!  That struggle will not cease until you are free from your earthly body and are securely in the presence of Jesus or permanently separated from Him!  

These are the words of 1 John 5:4, "Every child of God can defeat the world, and our faith is what gives us this victory."

You can win the struggle against the world!  But there is only one way to win it.  You can defeat the world by your faith in Jesus Christ.  The world may tell you one thing and Jesus will tell you the opposite.  If you trust Jesus and have faith in Him you will defeat the world and be able to stand against its temptations!  

From the time you first become aware of the need to choose between Good and Evil until the day you take your last breath the struggle will continue here on earth.  Until you hear about Jesus and choose to be a Christ follower you will be pummeled by the world.  But after you accept Jesus and walk in daily obedience to Him, He will give you the experience of defeating the world by having faith in Him!

If you are a Christian but are being defeated at every turn in your life, turn back to Jesus and trust Him to give you directions for every step you take in life!  Faith in Jesus will defeat the world!  

"Lord Jesus, I trust You today to lead me in being able, by Your power to defeat the world and its powerful influence on my life!  Give me the faith to trust You more today, and every day.  Praise Your Holy and Righteous Name now and forever.  Amen."

Monday, January 27, 2020

No Time for Evil



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My dear friends, we are already God's children, though what we will be hasn't yet been seen. But we do know when Christ returns, we will be like him, because we will see him as he truly is.  This hope makes us keep ourselves holy, just as Christ is holy.  Everyone who sins breaks God's law, because sin is the same as breaking God's law.  You know Christ came to take away our sins. He isn't sinful, and people who stay one in their hearts with him won't keep on sinning. If they do keep on sinning, they don't know Christ, and they have never seen him. 

1 John 3:2-6 - CEV

Small children look forward to being "bigger."  In elementary school we imagine what it will be like to be in Junior High, and then High School.  At some point in our teen years we begin thinking about what it will mean to be an adult.  

Men and women who know Jesus Christ and follow Him can let their minds and hearts focus on what it will be like when Christ returns!  These verses from 1 John tell us that we will be like Him, because we will see Him as He truly is.  

When Jesus comes or when you die and leave this world you will be changed and become like Jesus!  But that change begins the minute you turn your heart to Jesus and begin a life of obedience!  The Words of Jesus become your marching orders for the day!  The Love of Jesus fills your heart and you begin to see lost men and women as He does!

Sin is crowded out by a life filled with good works and holy thoughts!  You have no time for evil in word or deed!

When Jesus comes He will finish the transformation needed in your life.  If you are nearly perfect on that Day, He will complete the process of making you into the perfect likeness of Jesus.  If you have just begun the walk of faith you will also be changed to be like Jesus!

There is a commercial for a medical procedure in the United States which claims that they can reshape someone's body and remove all their excess fat in one day.  When Jesus returns He will transform every one of His followers in the "Twinkling of an eye!"

"Lord Jesus, I do look forward to the day that I will be completely like You and see You as You really are!  May Your Holy and Righteous Name be praised now and forever.  Amen."   

Monday, January 6, 2020

The Frog is Dead



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While the Pharisees were still there, Jesus asked them,  “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose family will he come from?” They answered, “He will be a son of King David.”  Jesus replied, “How then could the Spirit lead David to call the Messiah his Lord? David said,  ‘The Lord said to my Lord: Sit at my right side until I make your enemies into a footstool for you.’  If David called the Messiah his Lord, how can the Messiah be a son of King David?”  No one was able to give Jesus an answer, and from that day on, no one dared ask him any more questions.

Matthew 22:41-46 - CEV

Human beings love to think about, talk about and try to understand and explain the mysteries of God!  That is the very activity that got us all in trouble as Eve matched wits with the Devil and lost the debate!

To suppose that you can grasp and understand the Mind of God about any matter is indeed foolish!  The Holy Spirit may reveal to you many things of God, but your mind is like a tea cup trying to hold an ocean of truth!  You may stand on the beaches of Eternity, but the sand between your toes is all you personally experience!  

Don't be proud that you know about the "theologies" of those who have a higher Intelligence Quotient that most of us.  Those men will fall down before Jesus just like the rest of us when they see His face and are confronted with the Truth of His Eternal Majesty!  

Spend your time being obedient to the Word of God instead of trying to dissect it!  Remember, the frog on the dissecting table is already dead, or soon will be!

"Lord Jesus, may I be obedient to Your Word, even the things of Scripture that I do not, and maybe cannot understand!  May Your Holy and Righteous Name be praised now and forever.  Amen."