July 28, 2015: 12:40 am: Daily Scripture

Jeremiah 8:4-6

4 “Jeremiah, say to the people, ‘This is what the Lord says: When people fall down, don’t they get up again? When they start down the wrong road and discover their mistake, don’t they turn back? 5 Then why do these people keep going along their self-destructive path, refusing to turn back, even though I have warned them? 6 I listen to their conversations, and what do I hear? Is anyone sorry for sin? Does anyone say, ‘What a terrible thing I have done’? No! All are running down the path of sin as swiftly as a horse rushing into battle!”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Jeremiah prophesied for about 21 years before the Babylonians came to destroy Jerusalem and took the Jewish people into captivity.  God had given them plenty of time to change their ways.  God had repeatedly told them, “Obey Me, and I will be your God, and you will be my people. Only do as I say, and all will be well.”  But even though they still followed the rituals of worshiping Jehovah, they also had many other gods and also worshiped them.  At this time in history it is known that the Jews also worshiped a god that required them to sacrifice their own children and they did.  All the while they were still thinking they were safe from harm, because they keep up the appearance of worshiping the God of Jacob.  Most people who fall down realize that they are headed in the wrong direction.  It only makes sense for them to get up and change directions. But the Jews at this time were living sinful lives by choice and deceiving themselves that there would be no consequences.  They had lost perspective concerning God’s will for their lives and had minimized their sin.  If we continue too long in sin, the same thing will happen.  The longer we stay in sin that we know is sin, the greater the chance we will stay there regardless of what the consequences will be if we continue on.  That is why it is so important to stop and move in a different direction the minute the Spirit of God speaks to our heart about sin.  And you know what sin He is referring to in your life that you just do not want to give up.  God is saying to you today to stop and move back to Him or else you will suffer the consequences of the sin.  God has set into motion the consequences of sin and one of them is our ability to hear Him.  The longer we stay in sin, the less we will hear His voice.  Don’t let this happen, as soon as you know it is sin, stop and move back to the One and the only One who save you. He can have no fellowship with sin and sin will keep you from growing in faith in Him.

Have a God Day!

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July 27, 2015: 12:14 am: Love

Luke 6:37-41

37 “Stop judging others, and you will not be judged. Stop criticizing others, or it will all come back on you. If you forgive others, you will be forgiven. 38 If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving-large or small-it will be used to measure what is given back to you.” 39 Then Jesus gave the following illustration: “What good is it for one blind person to lead another? The first one will fall into a ditch and pull the other down also. 40 A student is not greater than the teacher. But the student who works hard will become like the teacher. 41 “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? 42 How can you think of saying, ‘Friend, let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log from your own eye; then perhaps you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

A forgiving person demonstrates that they understand their own sinfulness and have received God’s forgiveness.  When we realize how great our sin is, no matter what it is, we will be able to move forward in freedom to forgive those who have wronged us.  If we are critical rather than compassionate, we will receive criticism.  If we treat others generously, graciously, and with compassion these qualities will come back to us.  If we rationalize our own sin by pointing out the sin in others, we have not understood the forgiveness God has given us through Christ Jesus.  It does not matter that your neighbors sin is “worse” than yours, you still have sinned and need God’s forgiveness as much as the greater sinner.  By putting a level of wickedness on our sin, we put ourselves above others and God does not see it this way.  Our standard of measure is always God.  And no one can measure up to His perfection.  So all sin is evil in God’s eyes and all sin, no matter how great or how small, is sin against God. If we minimize our sin, we do not make changes and so we keep on sinning.  But if we view every wrong attitude and action as a serious offense against God, we begin to understand what living for Him is all about.  To live without faith is hopeless, to express sorrow for your sin without change is hypocritical.  Everyone is sorry for their sin when they are caught. But only those who understand how great all sin is will make changes in their life that will reflect Christ living in them.  Being sorry for sin is not enough.  Repentance demands a change of mind and heart that result in changed behavior.  Seek to know Him and seek to understand how great His sacrifice was for your sin and your heart will reflect through your behavior the changes God has made in your life.

Have a God Day!

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July 24, 2015: 12:12 am: God in us

Jeremiah 1:4-10
4 The Lord gave me a message. He said, 5 “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my spokesman to the world.” 6 “O Sovereign Lord,’ I said, “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!” 7 “Don’t say that,” the Lord replied, “for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. 8 And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and take care of you. I, the Lord, have spoken!” 9 Then the Lord touched my mouth and said, “See, I have put my words in your mouth! 10 Today I appoint you to stand up against nations and kingdoms. You are to uproot some and tear them down, to destroy and overthrow them. You are to build others up and plant them.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

God knew you before you were formed in your mother’s womb.  And He knew how you would respond to His love.  He thought about you and planned for you.  He has also called you to a work.  We are all “appointed” by God to do a work for Him and it should be done to the glory of God. If you do not hear a specific call or task, as Jeremiah had, then seek to fulfill the mission common to all believers–to love, obey, and serve God.  We are all called and there are no excuses.  Jeremiah felt he was too young to taken seriously.  Do not allow feelings of inadequacy keep you from obeying God. He gave you an assignment and He will give you the power to accomplish it.  He will not always keep you from the storms and trails of life, but He will provide what you need to tell and show others His love.  All are called; there are no exceptions to serving Him, if you love Him.  Seek His direction through His Word and know that He is with you and do not be afraid to tell others what He has done for you!

Have a God Day!

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July 22, 2015: 9:19 pm: Prayer

Luke 6:12-16

12 One day soon afterward Jesus went to a mountain to pray, and he prayed to God all night. 13 At daybreak he called together all of his disciples and chose twelve of them to be apostles. Here are their names:
14 Simon (he also called him Peter),
Andrew (Peter’s brother),
James,
John,
Philip,
Bartholomew,
15 Matthew,
Thomas,
James (son of Alphaeus),
Simon (the Zealot),
16 Judas (son of James),
Judas Iscariot (who later betrayed him).
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Throughout the Gospel writers note that before every important event in Jesus’ life, He took time to go off by Himself and pray.  Jesus was preparing to chose His inner circle of disciples.  He had many disciples (learners), but He choose only 12 to become apostles (messengers).  The apostles were His inner circle to whom He gave special training and whom He sent out to build His Church. Christ needed to know the Father’s will completely in this matter and took time to pray through the night.  He had a direct connection to the Father to know His will in this matter, just as we have a direct connection to the Father because of what Christ did for us.  If He needed to spend a lot of time to know the Father’s will how much more do we?  Do you take the time to know what direction God would have you go?  Do not use prayer for a way to try and control what God does for you; it is a way for you to put yourself under His control.  There is a big difference.  Sometimes we do need to go a certain direction until God directs us differently, but most of the time we need to wait until we hear from Him until we move.  Follow the example Christ gave and take the time to know what the Father would have for you to do.

Have a God Day!

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July 20, 2015: 12:02 am: Daily Scripture

Mark 11:22-24
22 Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God. 23 I assure you that you can say to this mountain, ‘May God lift you up and throw you into the sea,’ and your command will be obeyed. All that’s required is that you really believe and do not doubt in your heart. 24 Listen to me! You can pray for anything, and if you believe, you will have it. 25 But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

One of the most asked questions is  “Why doesn’t God answer my prayer?”  With all assurance, I can say that God hears all prayers, but not all requests get the answer wanted.  But all do get answered.  It is just not always in the way we want.  God is continually working all things out according to His purpose, His design and His time.  Our request may not fall into what He has intended or our request may not be good for us.  They may not take us the direction that He wants us to go.  There may be unforgivness in our hearts towards someone that needs to be dealt with before God will meet our request.  Jesus is telling us that for our prayers to be answered the way that we want, we must first believe that God is there.  We must be a believer in Him. And we must have faith that He hears us and will give us the object of our request if it is for the good of His Kingdom.  Take your focus off of the request and put it on Him.  When you come before Him give it to Him and then focus on Him and His will and not on the request.  Trust that He will work out for you the request according to His will and have faith that His will is best in the situation. If you are praying for healing, not all will be healed as we all have to die at some point and usually of an illness.  So relax in His care and know that He is with you and is working all things out for the glory of His will and that is what is best for you.

Have a God Day!

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July 17, 2015: 1:51 am: Your mind

2 Corinthians 10:3-6

3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

This text tells us that Satan targets his attacks on our minds. We know that because Paul is talking about “arguments”: “the knowledge of God,” and “taking every thought captive.” Our freedom in Christ begins in our mind: we must learn to think differently.  When Satan attacks a Christian’s mind, he starts building strongholds.  This is a place that he can operate from and he wants to set up permanent residence about this issue in your mind. He will get a grip on the your mind until you begin to think there is no way to overcome the problem, no way to save your marriage, no way to become effective for Christ, no way your child will be saved. Whenever you say, “There is no way or it can’t be done,” you are looking at a stronghold in your mind that Satan has set up to prevent you from receiving victory or becoming effective for Christ. Satan can whisper things in your ear that you think are in your mind, but he cannot make you continue to think about it or make you do it. You are responsible for what you do with the thought after he places it in your mind.  If you continue to think the thought that is contrary to God, even if it is a good thought, he can set up a stronghold in your mind to keep you in bondage. Our weapons against such attacks are: prayer, reading the Bible, obedience to God, meditation on His Word, fasting and service. These weapons can prevent strongholds, but we must pull down the ones Satan already has set up in your mind. This can be done by recognizing them when they come up and by loosing Satan’s hold through prayer. Matthew 16:19 says, “And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” We are to pull down these strongholds and stop thoughts planted by Satan or our own rebellious thoughts by recognizing them.  Pray for wisdom from God to do so and rebuke the thought. Focus on what God can do in your situation and think on Him and His power to take care of your problem. Ask God for wisdom to know what you are thinking is good and building your relationship with Him.

Have a God Day!

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July 16, 2015: 7:56 pm: Millennium

Isaiah 11:1-9
Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot-yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root. 2 And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him-the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. 3 He will delight in obeying the Lord. He will never judge by appearance, false evidence, or hearsay. 4 He will defend the poor and the exploited. He will rule against the wicked and destroy them with the breath of his mouth. 5 He will be clothed with fairness and truth. 6 In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard and the goat will be at peace. Calves and yearlings will be safe among lions, and a little child will lead them all. 7 The cattle will graze among bears. Cubs and calves will lie down together. And lions will eat grass as the livestock do. 8 Babies will crawl safely among poisonous snakes. Yes, a little child will put its hand in a nest of deadly snakes and pull it out unharmed. 9 Nothing will hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain. And as the waters fill the sea, so the earth will be filled with people who know the Lord.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

This is a description of the Millennial rule of Jesus Christ as King of the world.  After the Tribulation (God’s judgment on the earth for rejecting Christ) and the Second Coming of Christ, Jesus will live and rule the world for 1000 years.  Isaiah saw this time in a word from God and wrote about it over 2600 years ago.  Many today look to this time to come after we get things right here on earth. They quote Revelation 21:5 which states, “And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making all things new!” This verse is talking about the time after God judges the world.  The world will go through a terrible time as stated in Isaiah 13:11-13, “I, the Lord, will punish the world for its evil and the wicked for their sin. I will crush the arrogance of the proud and the haughtiness of the mighty. 12 Few will be left alive when I have finished my work. People will be as scarce as gold-more rare than the gold of Ophir. 13 For I will shake the heavens, and the earth will move from its place. I, the Lord Almighty, will show my fury and fierce anger.”  Things are not going to get better, they are only get to worse!  So much more worse, that those who live through it will think that what happened on 9/11/01 was a picnic! Don’t be fooled into thinking that God will not do what He said He would.  Judgment is coming for those who reject the One true Branch and that is Jesus Christ the Son of God who died to free us from sin.  Only those who accept His free offer will escape the coming judgment of this world.  It will not get better it will only get worse.  God will make all things new, but only after He has rid the world of evil!  Trust Him today and believe Him that the blood of Christ is all you need to be accepted by God.  Then go and be used by Him to bring others with you into His kingdom!

Have a God Day!

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July 15, 2015: 8:28 pm: Prayer

1 Samuel 17:31-51

32 “Don’t worry about a thing,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight this Philistine!” 33 “Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There is no way you can go against this Philistine. You are only a boy, and he has been in the army since he was a boy!” 34 But David persisted. “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep,” he said. “When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, 35 I go after it with a club and take the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. 36 I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! 37 The Lord who saved me from the claws of the lion and the bear will save me from this Philistine!” Saul finally consented. “All right, go ahead,” he said. “And may the Lord be with you!” 38 Then Saul gave David his own armor-a bronze helmet and a coat of mail. 39 David put it on, strapped the sword over it, and took a step or two to see what it was like, for he had never worn such things before. “I can’t go in these,” he protested. “I’m not used to them.” So he took them off again. 40 He picked up five smooth stones from a stream and put them in his shepherd’s bag. Then, armed only with his shepherd’s staff and sling, he started across to fight Goliath. 41 Goliath walked out toward David with his shield bearer ahead of him, 42 sneering in contempt at this ruddy-faced boy. 43 “Am I a dog,” he roared at David, “that you come at me with a stick?” And he cursed David by the names of his gods. 44 “Come over here, and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and wild animals!” Goliath yelled. 45 David shouted in reply, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord Almighty-the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! 47 And everyone will know that the Lord does not need weapons to rescue his people. It is his battle, not ours. The Lord will give you to us!” 48 As Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him. 49 Reaching into his shepherd’s bag and taking out a stone, he hurled it from his sling and hit the Philistine in the forehead. The stone sank in, and Goliath stumbled and fell face downward to the ground. 50 So David triumphed over the Philistine giant with only a stone and sling. And since he had no sword, 51 he ran over and pulled Goliath’s sword from its sheath. David used it to kill the giant and cut off his head.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Many times our problems seem as big as Goliath did to David.  And sometimes they are, but God is always bigger.  When David faced this giant, he went forward in the name of God and he remembered the other times God had delivered him from other giants.  David remembered the lion and the bear he had killed while protecting his father’s sheep.  Remembering how God had given him past victories gave him strength to face this new one.  David did not go out as others thought he should but went out with what he had.  And God gave him victory.  What makes you think God will not do the same for you?  Has not God given you victory over past problems?  Stop and think about what He has done for you in the past. Whatever you are facing today, God will be with you and He will give you victory.  It may be peace, it may be joy, whatever it is you need God will provide.  Philippians 4:6 tells us, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”  When you face a problem, remember what God has done in the past for you.  When you thank Him, you remember and remembering God’s grace gives you strength to face the problem today. Go forward remembering what God has done for you and you will move forward into the victory He has already given.  Don’t let your giants take away the joy of victory that God has already given.  The giants of today are the praise reports of tomorrow.

Have a God Day!

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July 13, 2015: 8:54 pm: God in us

Psalms 91:1-7
1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” 3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence. 4 He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. 5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, 6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you.
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

When we see ourselves as created beings and we see God as our creator, we can understand how He can protect us.  But before we know He can protect us, we have to know that He wants to and that He loves us enough to do so.  We must have faith in our mighty God to know that He has the ability and the concern to keep us from danger.  God is our refuse and He is our strength in times of trouble.  It is because of His love for us that God will protect us.  He keeps us safe from the evil that is around us.  We put our trust in Him to protect our relationship with Him from all of the evil that would separate us from Him.  It is not protection from disease and death in this world, but protection of our place with Him. Sometimes, He will protects us from physical and emotional harm in this world, but that is only for His propose in your life. He is more interested in your relationship with Him than in your comfort in this world.  And all that He does for you is for His purpose and for His plan for your life. It is your trust in Him that keeps you safe, because you believe Him.  Believe that He cares for you and will keep His promises.  What fear are you facing today that you need to trust that God will keep you from?  Make Him your refuge and your shelter and He will keep you from harm even if you have to walk through the valley.

Have a God Day!

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June 26, 2015: 11:31 pm: Grace

Matthew 21:12-17

12 Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the merchants and their customers. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the stalls of those selling doves. 13 He said, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a place of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves!” 14 The blind and the lame came to him, and he healed them there in the Temple. 15 The leading priests and the teachers of religious law saw these wonderful miracles and heard even the little children in the Temple shouting, “Praise God for the Son of David.” But they were indignant 16 and asked Jesus, “Do you hear what these children are saying?” “Yes,” Jesus replied. “Haven’t you ever read the Scriptures? For they say, ‘You have taught children and infants to give you praise.'” 17 Then he returned to Bethany, where he stayed overnight.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

People came from all over the world to make sacrifices for their sin at the Temple in Jerusalem.  Some came from very long distances.  Travel was difficult and they could not always bring animals for the sacrifice with them, so they had to purchase them when they got to Jerusalem.  The Jews and the Gentiles saw an opportunity to take advantage of these people by selling the animals at an inflated price.  When Jesus entered the Temple, He came into the Court of the Gentiles.  This is where the money changers were and they were Gentiles.  People wanting to purchase an animal had to have the correct currency and this is where the money changers also took advantage of them.  These money changers cheated ignorant people by not giving them a fair exchange.  The Temple and God’s system for forgiveness had been turned into a money making opportunity for Jews and Gentiles alike.  This is why Christ became so angry and why He came in and turned over all of their tables to stop this sinful practice.  People had made God’s grace into a profit by making a sinful situation.  This is not God’s way, He will judge all those who do so very harshly.   We are still seeing this today, when so called preachers use religion for financial gain.  And Christians do it when they do not grow in Christ and use it to only save themselves. There are those who accept His offer of grace and are saved, but never do anything with it.  They never grow to become more like Him and never do His work.  Don’t use what God has given just for your own benefit, He never intended for you to keep what He gave you.  Use it for His purpose and for His glory.  Tell others about what He has done for you and seek to live His will.  Do not become complacent in your salvation.  It is a tremendous gift and was given at a tremendous cost.  He saved you for a purpose and that is to tell others of His love.

Have a God Day!

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