April 17, 2017: 9:03 pm: Your mind

John 15:1-8
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 3 You have already been pruned for greater fruitfulness by the message I have given you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful apart from me. 5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who parts from me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you stay joined to me and my words remain in you, you may ask any request you like, and it will be granted! 8 My true disciples produce much fruit. This brings great glory to my Father.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Conflicts and trouble in this life are a part of what everyone experiences. But sometimes there are Christians who keep on struggling with the same issues over and over. It would appear they are stuck, but what is actually happening is they are trying to fight a spiritual battle in their own strength. Lack of victory in the life of a child of Christ shows a lack of understanding of the divine resources available. It is the inability to move beyond the problem, the inability to get past the failure that keeps you in spiritual defeat. If Satan can keep you focused on the problem and keep you focused on your pain, he can keep you from being usable for God. And this position is a place of discomfort. You are not really sure what the problem is, but you just don’t feel like life is going your way. Or sometimes you are in extreme pain and fail to look to the One who can move you beyond your failures. Satan’s plan is so subtle and so deceiving you don’t even notice that he is keeping you in a perpetual circle of frustration that keeps you from growing in God and being at peace in your heart. You are apart from Christ. There is no evidence of fruit, peace, joy or patience. You still belong to Him, but you are ineffective for Him. For the child of God this is not a very good place to be, because you will only struggle here and will continue to have your heart and mind stabbed with the darts of the enemy. And Satan has you right where he wants you, ineffective for Jesus Christ. Victory is found in dependence on God. Only when you turn to Him will you get out of the rut of pain you are in. Go back to Him and to His people. There is strength in being connected to Him through His body. Don’t fight Satan with your power, you have none. The answer is only through the Word of God. And it takes an angel to fight an angel. So turn to Christ and ask for spiritual help to get you moving forward for His purpose. Jesus said He would never leave us and He never will, so He is always there waiting to hear from you and mold you into a useful vessel for His love. Only doing His work, for His purpose, and through His power will you find peace.

Have a God Day!

 

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
April 6, 2017: 9:57 pm: Sanctification

Philippians 2:12-16
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. 14 Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

What do you think when you see a caterpillar?  Do you think it is an ugly worm-like thing or do you see what has been coded within him from the start?  Most people do not go out of their way to look at a caterpillar, but many will always stop and look at a beautiful butterfly.  When we come to know Jesus Christ as our Savior, we are like the ugly worm.  He has put everything inside of us to become Christ-like, but we are still unappealing on the outside.  But everything we need to be like Christ is implanted in us at the point of salvation.  Even though our spirit is now connected to God and we are saved, the working out our salvation in our soul (mind, will, and emotions) needs to become the butterfly.  Christ is in us, but without the right environment, He will not grow.  All the caterpillar does is eat and eat and then he cocoons himself in the right environment and soon becomes the beautiful butterfly.  We must also consume the Word of God and surround ourselves with His people to become like Him.  Without eating or consuming the Word of God, we will not grow to become like Him.  We remain undeveloped and unusable for Him.  But when we consume His Word and become a part of His Body, we change into a beautiful vessel for His will.  Where are you today in your journey to become more like Him?  Are you still an ugly worm or are you consuming His Word and developing into Him?  Everything you need is already in you to become like Christ, you just need to know His Word and join His body. For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure because of what He has done for you at salvation.

Have a God Day!

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
August 13, 2016: 1:54 am: Daily Scripture

Matthew 5:17-20
17″Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18″For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19″Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20″For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

It had always been God’s intention to send Jesus Christ to the cross for our sin. It was not something new He thought of at the last minute to compensate for the way things were going. Nothing from God’s plan for man has ever changed. Nor will it ever. He will return again just like He said He would. But it may not be everything that we think. Just like His first coming was not what the Jews thought it would be. Even though they had the scriptures to teach them, they thought that His first coming would be something different. But there was nothing in the Law or the Old Testament that Christ did not fulfill and nothing that He changed.

When you read the Word, your understanding is filtered through your past experiences of life. You put what read into what you know. This is why you should pray for the wisdom of God to open your heart and your mind to understand what God wants you to know. Pray for discernment to know how the scripture you are reading is speaking to your life. Then apply what you have read. True wisdom is application of what you know. Only through understanding and applying the Word of God can you be effective for His kingdom. Jesus said in Matthew 4:17, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” The kingdom of God is living what you know to be true about Him. In the kingdom of God His will is always done. It is never questioned, but always understood and done. Live your life in the kingdom of God by doing the will of God from what you know about His Word.

Have a God Day!

 

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
March 25, 2016: 11:11 pm: Daily Scripture

Ephesians 4: 29-32
29 Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption. 31 Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, 32 and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Is there a difference in how you speak to strangers, or people you work with than there is in how you speak to those you love? How is it that we can be one way with people we hardly know and yet be so different with those we love the most? I have to say, when I look at my own behavior and the way I speak to my family, it is at times very different than how I would speak to people I know. I have at times spoken very harshly, sometimes even very cruelly to the ones I love the most, but would never, ever speak that way to friends or acquaintances. Why such a discrepancy? That is why this verse in Ephesians spoke to me as it was being preached by my pastor. Those times where evil came out of my mouth to those I love and how it grieved the Holy Spirit within me, cut through me like a double edge sword. That was the intent of the Word; God wanted me to know how my behavior was a cause of pain for Him and for those I love. The light of His truth opened my eyes to my lack of letting God’s presence fill me with His love. There is no situation, no cause, no reason to, “Let evil come out of my mouth.” God reveals His truth through His Word, so examine your life and look at how you treat all people, especially those you love those most. Put away all bitterness and wrath, no matter how “justified” you feel you may be. There is never a reason to speak evil against anyone. Work to always be aware of the presence of God in you. You must practice it, and know His Word before you can live it.

Have a God Day!

 

 

 

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
March 21, 2016: 7:31 pm: Daily Scripture

Matthew 9:1-8
Jesus climbed into a boat and went back across the lake to his own town. 2 Some people brought to him a paralyzed man on a mat. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “Take heart, son! Your sins are forgiven.” 3 “Blasphemy! This man talks like he is God!” some of the teachers of religious law said among themselves. 4 Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why are you thinking such evil thoughts? 5 Is it easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven’ or ‘Get up and walk’? 6 I will prove that I, the Son of Man, have the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, take your mat, and go on home, because you are healed!” 7 And the man jumped up and went home! 8 Fear swept through the crowd as they saw this happen right before their eyes. They praised God for sending a man with such great authority.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

God is more interested in making us spiritually healthy than He is in making us physically healthy. The bodies we live in our decaying and dying more and more every day and will eventually go back to the dust they are. But our spirit will live forever either in heaven or in hell. And even though God wants our bodies to be healthy, He is more interested in a healthy soul (your mind, will and emotions). If you are praying for physical health today, keep on praying because that is what you should do. But seek spiritual health first because that is more important. That is why Jesus told this man his sins were forgiven before He physically healed Him. If you have not receive the healing of your body, trust God that He is doing a work in your soul and that is more important to Him. Trust that He will heal your body but also know that He is more interested making changes in your heart and wants your focus to be on Him and not on your body. God can heal your body but more important, He can heal your soul and give you right standing with God the Father. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and then all of these things will be given to you!

Have a God Day!

 

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
March 18, 2016: 7:30 pm: Love

2 Corinthians 9:3-5
3 We are human, but we don’t wage war with human plans and methods. 4 We use God’s mighty weapons, not mere worldly weapons, to knock down the Devil’s strongholds. 5 With these weapons we break down every proud argument that keeps people from knowing God. With these weapons we conquer their rebellious ideas, and we teach them to obey Christ.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

The proud arguments and strongholds that Paul is talking about are within our minds. They are the wrong teachings we have been taught about God. Parents and teachers have influenced what we think of God. Right or wrong, everything we have learned about God is programmed in our minds. Sometimes we need to be de-programmed. If we see God as a judgmental disciplinary that is just waiting for us to do wrong so He can punish us, then we may have trouble accepting His unconditional love. God has given us a clear picture of Himself and His love through Jesus Christ. Our picture of Him is skewed by our past experiences and interaction with those in authority over us. These are strongholds in our minds that need to be torn down and replaced with the truth. That is why Paul is telling us we can not fight this with human weapons but must use spiritual weapons. Ephesians 6:11 tells us, “Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil.” Satan will use these false perceptions of God in your mind to keep you from receiving all that God has intended for you. We need to break these strongholds down with the truth of God. The truth is in God’s Word. Know His Word. And ask God to tear down these strongholds and fill your mind with His truth.

Have a God Day!

 

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
March 17, 2016: 8:07 pm: Christian Love

Isaiah 49:24-26
24 Who can snatch the plunder of war from the hands of a warrior? Who can demand that a tyrant let his captives go? 25 But the Lord says, “The captives of warriors will be released, and the plunder of tyrants will be retrieved. For I will fight those who fight you, and I will save your children. 26 I will feed your enemies with their own flesh. They will be drunk with rivers of their own blood. All the world will know that I, the Lord, am your Savior and Redeemer, the Mighty One of Israel.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

It is important to remember that we are not at war with flesh and blood. Ephesians 6:12 tells us, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” As a child of God, we are in a spiritual battle, sometimes for our own understanding and sometimes for the understanding of those in darkness. For our loved ones living in darkness, the words of Isaiah apply, they will be set free. God tells us that He will fight for those that we fight for and God will save our children! To penetrate the minds of those who live in darkness, we need to expose them to the Light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We need to reach beyond the level of their flesh and blood and go into the battle where it is. And the battle is in the their minds and while they are in darkness the best way to reach them is on this battlefield. We pick up our sword and fight the enemy with his own weapons and bind those in darkness to Light of Christ. We continue to fight until they are no longer in darkness but living in the Light of the love of God. All our prayers have a cumulative impact, for our prayers which are according to the will of God are NEVER without effect. So claim the promises of God and continue to fight for those you love who are in darkness and NEVER give up, for God will save your children!

Have a God Day!

 

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
March 16, 2016: 8:06 pm: Christian Love

Romans 12:6-13
6 God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out when you have faith that God is speaking through you. 7 If your gift is that of serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, do a good job of teaching. 8 If your gift is to encourage others, do it! If you have money, share it generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. 9 Don’t just pretend that you love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Stand on the side of the good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. 11 Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically. 12 Be glad for all God is planning for you. Be patient in trouble, and always be prayerful. 13 When God’s children are in need, be the one to help them out. And get into the habit of inviting guests home for dinner or, if they need lodging, for the night.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Paul is giving final instructions to the Christians of Rome. They were living in a city where it was illegal to be Christian and Paul is telling them to live above the sin that is all around them. One of the questions they asked was, “How long should we keep praying?” Paul tells them to be patient when in trouble and to always be prayerful. In other words, never stop praying. This still applies to Christians today. We are always to pray or be communicating with our Lord. But in regards to a specific prayer, we stop asking when we receive an answer from God. But then we always move onto the next need. And since we will always have needs, we never stop praying. But prayer is more than just asking God for what we need; it is spending time with our Lord. He wants our worship and love. Matthew 6:33 tells us, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” When we put God first in our lives, all of the other things will be given to us. The other things we need. So, do the work given to you by God with the gifts He has given you and never stop praying. Love the Lord your God with all of your heart and all of your mind and love your neighbor as you love yourself. Demonstrate your love through the actions you do and the love of God in you will show in your life to all people around you.

Have a God Day!

 

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
March 15, 2016: 9:35 pm: Sanctification

Matthew 14:13-21
13 As soon as Jesus heard the news, he went off by himself in a boat to a remote area to be alone. But the crowds heard where he was headed and followed by land from many villages. 14 A vast crowd was there as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. 15 That evening the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and it is getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16 But Jesus replied, “That isn’t necessary you feed them.” 17 “Impossible!” they exclaimed. “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish!” 18 “Bring them here,” he said. 19 Then he told the people to sit down on the grass. And he took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and asked God’s blessing on the food. Breaking the loaves into pieces, he gave some of the bread and fish to each disciple, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate as much as they wanted, and they picked up twelve baskets of leftovers. 21 About five thousand men had eaten from those five loaves, in addition to all the women and children!
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

We often feel that our contribution to Jesus is meager. We feel that we have nothing to offer or what we do have is not big enough. We compare what we have to give with what others are giving and feel we do not measure up. So, we feel what we have is not good enough to give. But Christ sees things differently. The talents and skills we have are exactly what He has given to us and when we say they are not good enough, we are saying that God did not do it right. We are not to judge what God will do with what we offer in service to Him. He will take whatever it is and use it for His good. He will multiple it to His purpose. Just because we cannot see the end result is no excuse for not offering what we have for His purpose. He will multiple our talents and gifts when we bring them to Him for use. So do not hold back from serving the body of Christ just because what you have is small or does not seem important to you. Let Christ decide what to do with your offering and you believe Him and step out in faith. Believe that He gave you the offering in the first place and give it back to Him.

Have a God Day!

 

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
March 11, 2016: 9:48 pm: Daily Scripture

Isaiah 40:27-31
27 O Israel, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles? How can you say God refuses to hear your case? 28 Have you never heard or understood? Don’t you know that the Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth? He never grows faint or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. 29 He gives power to those who are tired and worn out; he offers strength to the weak. 30 Even youths will become exhausted, and young men will give up. 31 But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Even the strongest person gets tired at times. We all experience periods of time when we are weary. Whether our fatigue is physical or emotional, we all go through times when we feel exhausted. Sometimes life does not treat us fairly and we feel zapped of all our strength. But God’s power and strength never diminish. He is never too tired or too busy to help and listen. His strength can be our source of strength, if we trust His Word. When you feel all of life crushing in on you and you cannot understand or go another step, remember that God is waiting and willingly to renew your strength. He has promised to always be with us and He will get us through any trial or problem that comes our way. Waiting on the Lord is the patient expectation that God will fulfill His promises in His Word and strengthen us to rise above all our difficulties. Completely trust in His Word and God will see you through any problem, trial or difficulty that comes your way. Look outside of your problem for the answer. As long as you are looking at the problem, you will not see the answer.

Have a God Day!

 

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version

Next Page »