August 20, 2014: 3:22 am: Love

Mark 9:33-37

33 After they arrived at Capernaum, Jesus and his disciples settled in the house where they would be staying. Jesus asked them, “What were you discussing out on the road?” 34 But they didn’t answer, because they had been arguing about which of them was the greatest. 35 He sat down and called the twelve disciples over to him. Then he said, “Anyone who wants to be the first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.” 36 Then he put a little child among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes my Father who sent me.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

God’s great paradox is; we are called to a life of faith where elevation comes through being humbled, blessing comes through denying self, we receive and gain our lives by laying them down. This lesson for the disciples is relevant for us today. When Jesus chose His inner circle of disciples, He did not go to the religious leaders, who were very educated in the scriptures. Instead He went to the uneducated, the ignorant. More than likely the disciples did not even know how to read when Jesus chose them. Everything about the coming of the Savior was very humble. He never demanded to be treated as God or as the King He really was. During His ministry, He never had a home nor did He accumulate wealth. Instead Christ showed us a way to live according to the love God offers to us. We are to give up our “right” to have our way. Only by dying to self will we ever understand the love of God given to us through Christ Jesus. Only by denying ourselves will we ever receive the only thing that will matter on the Day when we stand before God. The next time you find yourself in a difficult situation, think about giving up your “right” to have your way. Choose to give it up and humble yourself. Seek to act as Jesus would by denying yourself and allowing the Holy Spirit to work through you.

Have a God Day!

 

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August 19, 2014: 12:58 am: Grace

Matthew 14:25-33

25 About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came to them, walking on the water. 26 When the disciples saw him, they screamed in terror, thinking he was a ghost. 27 But Jesus spoke to them at once. “It’s all right,” he said. “I am here! Don’t be afraid.” 28 Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you by walking on water.” 29 “All right, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. 30 But when he looked around at the high waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. 31 Instantly Jesus reached out his hand and grabbed him. “You don’t have much faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” 32 And when they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. 33 Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Living in this world is like walking on water. The storm rages around us with so many problems and hurts. So many people are hurting today because of sin in the world. Not necessarily their sin, but because there is sin in this world. As we come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we begin our walk with God in us. We are walking on water with Christ as our head. But all around us the storm rages. We are not unaffected by the storm and sometimes experience the rage. We start to sink when we take our eyes off Jesus. When we begin to look at ourselves and the entire storm around us, we begin to sink into the water. We loose our perspective of who we are as a child of God. When our focus is on ourselves and our pain, we hinder our relationship with Christ. So keep Jesus Christ as your focus and remember that He has called you to be in the world but not of it. So even though we have to walk through the storm of this life, we do not have let it sink us. It is only as we keep God first in our lives that we experience His blessings and peace. If you find yourself sinking into despair as Peter did, look to the One who can keep you afloat. Reminds me of this song by Bryan Duncan

Have a God Day!

 

 

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August 18, 2014: 2:26 am: Your mind

James 1:12-18

12 God blesses the people who patiently endure testing. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. 13 And remember, no one who wants to do wrong should ever say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else either. 14 Temptation comes from the lure of our own evil desires. 15 These evil desires lead to evil actions, and evil actions lead to death. 16 So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God above, who created all heaven’s lights. Unlike them, he never changes or casts shifting shadows. 18 In his goodness he chose to make us his own children by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his choice possession.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Temptation comes from evil desires within us, not from God. God will never tempt anyone to sin. It begins with an evil thought and becomes sin when we dwell on the thought and then put it into action. It is like a snowball rolling downhill, sin grows and becomes destructive the more we think about it and then do it. The best way to stop a temptation is before it becomes stronger in our mind by putting the thought out. We stop it before it grows and becomes an action. The thought is not the sin unless we continue to dwell on it. We can resist the temptation to sin by turning to God for strength and choosing to obey His Word. 1 Corinthians 10:13, tells us, “When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.” God will always make a way of escape; no one will be forced to give in to temptation and sin. It is completely our decision. So when temptation comes into your mind, as a thought, remember God has made a way of escape and turn to Him to show you. Trust God and He will help you.

Have a God Day!

 

 

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August 11, 2014: 10:11 pm: God in us

John 15:5-14

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. 9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey me, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! 12 I command you to love each other in the same way that I love you. 13 And here is how to measure it-the greatest love is shown when people lay down their lives for their friends. 14 You are my friends if you obey me.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

These are some of the most powerful words spoken by our Lord. He clearly tells us to be connected to Him. Anyone who is not connected to Him is lost. Apart from Christ we can do nothing. Jesus not only tells us to stay connected to Him but He tells us how. His words are to remain in us. We start by reading His Word, and then we study it and remember it. We think about it and make His Word the way we live. Our lives are lived in obedience to His Word. Jesus then goes on to tell us that if His Word lives in us, we will have great joy. He didn’t tell us we would not have problems but that we would have joy. If your life is lacking a little joy today, look at your connection to Jesus Christ. Maybe you are a branch that is a little severed, or maybe you have broken away completely. You can still be grafted back to Christ by coming to Him and asking for His help. Confess your sin and turn back toward Him. The answer is here. Read the Book of John and pray, ask God for wisdom and He will give you peace. Peace that only comes from knowing that you are connected to the one true Branch of God.

Have a God Day!

 

 

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August 8, 2014: 10:06 pm: God in us

James 1:22-25

22 And remember, it is a message to obey, not just to listen to. If you don’t obey, you are only fooling yourself. 23 For if you just listen and don’t obey, it is like looking at your face in a mirror but doing nothing to improve your appearance. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you keep looking steadily into God’s perfect law-the law that sets you free-and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Our ability to fully understand the truth of God is greatly flawed. Each of us has our own preconceived ideas about who God is and how He works. Some of our understanding comes from how other people have treated us. If you did not have a loving earthly father, it will be difficult for you to fully trust that our heavenly Father loves you. It will be difficult but not impossible. There are no obstacles from our past that God cannot overcome. Our ability to understand God’s love is not perfect, but His love is. As we listen and read God’s Word it penetrates our minds and hearts. As we obey the Word it begins to grow and take root. The more we understand and the more we obey the deeper the roots. God nourishes the garden of His Word in our hearts as we move in trust. We trust His Word to be true even though we cannot fully understand it. We know His truth is perfect and trust Him to love us and meet our needs. When the Word becomes clear to you, move in obedience to that Word and let your roots grow deep. The more you obey, the more truth will be revealed to you by the Spirit of God.

Have a God Day!

 

 

 

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August 7, 2014: 9:24 pm: God in us

Numbers 9:15-23

15 The Tabernacle was set up, and on that day the cloud covered it. Then from evening until morning the cloud over the Tabernacle appeared to be a pillar of fire. 16 This was the regular pattern-at night the cloud changed to the appearance of fire. 17 When the cloud lifted from over the sacred tent, the people of Israel followed it. And wherever the cloud settled, the people of Israel camped. 18 In this way, they traveled at the LORD’s command and stopped wherever he told them to. Then they remained where they were as long as the cloud stayed over the Tabernacle. 19 If the cloud remained over the Tabernacle for a long time, the Israelites stayed for a long time, just as the LORD commanded. 20 Sometimes the cloud would stay over the Tabernacle for only a few days, so the people would stay for only a few days. Then at the LORD’s command they would break camp. 21 Sometimes the cloud stayed only overnight and moved on the next morning. But day or night, when the cloud lifted, the people broke camp and followed. 22 Whether the cloud stayed above the Tabernacle for two days, a month, or a year, the people of Israel stayed in camp and did not move on. But as soon as it lifted, they broke camp and moved on. 23 So they camped or traveled at the LORD’s command, and they did whatever the LORD told them through Moses.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

The Israelites traveled and camped as the Lord guided them. They did not make a move before the cloud did. When you follow God’s guidance, you know you are where God wants you to be. So many times we are looking for God to guide us into what we should be doing next or where we should be going, but every one of us is at some place right now. Instead of praying, “God, where do you want me to go?” ask, “God what do you want me to do while I’m right here?” Direction from God is not moving you from one place to another or one job to another; it is understanding that He has a purpose to use you right where you are now. It doesn’t matter if you are in the valley or on top of the mountain; God has a purpose for you right where you are. Begin to understand God’s purpose for your life by doing His will right where you are at this moment!

Have a God Day!

 

 

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August 6, 2014: 9:15 pm: Sanctification

2 Corinthians 12:8-10

8 Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. 9 Each time he said, “My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me. 10 Since I know it is all for Christ’s good, I am quite content with my weaknesses and with insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

We do not know what the thorn was to Paul, but we do know that it was a hindrance to his ministry. God told Paul no, He would not remove the thorn stating that, “My power works best in your weakness.” It kept Paul humble, reminded him of his need for constant contact with God, and benefited those around him as they saw God work in his life. When we are strong in abilities or resources, we are tempted to do God’s work on our own, and that can lead to pride. When we are weak, allowing God to fill us with His power, then we are stronger than we could ever be on our own. We need to know that even the abilities we have are God given and we can do nothing apart from Him. Only His power will make us effective for Him and will help us do work that has lasting value. Only those things done by His direction and through His power will last. Our weakness is His strength, if we will honor God as the source of everything we are and the power behind everything we do.

Have a God Day!

 

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August 5, 2014: 9:12 pm: Sanctification

Deuteronomy 10:12-16

12 “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you? He requires you to fear him, to live according to his will, to love and worship him with all your heart and soul, 13 and to obey the Lord’s commands and laws that I am giving you today for your own good. 14 The highest heavens and the earth and everything in it all belong to the Lord your God. 15 Yet the Lord chose your ancestors as the objects of his love. And he chose you, their descendants, above every other nation, as is evident today. 16 Therefore, cleanse your sinful hearts and stop being stubborn.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Don’t we all want to know what the Lord requires of us? What makes this Old Testament scripture applicable today? Aren’t we under the blood of Christ and therefore do not have to follow Old Testament Law? The only change in the Law after Christ was the way to be cleansed from sin. The offering for sin has always been blood. This is God’s standard and it is not open to debate. When Christ died for our sin, He made the final sacrifice for us. He went to the altar in heaven and made the final blood sacrifice, His own, but this did not negate what God wants of us. God has always wanted our love and worship. He has always wanted us to obey Him and do His will. Many times in the Old Testament, God stated that He was sick of the sacrifices of the Jewish people because they were so deep into sin against Him. In Isaiah 1:11 He stated “‘I am sick of your sacrifices,’ says the Lord.” God has always wanted us to be connected to Him through love and obedience. It has not changed today. Yes, we are saved by faith and not by works, but there is much to do after salvation. It doesn’t end there. It is only the beginning. The work just begins. The process of sanctification will take us a lifetime. What does God require of you? The answer is simple, “He requires you to fear him, to live according to his will, to love and worship him with all your heart and soul, and to obey the Lord’s commands and laws that I am giving you today for your own good.”

Have a God Day!

 

 

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August 4, 2014: 11:35 pm: Love

Romans 1:18-25

18 But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who push the truth away from themselves. 19 For the truth about God is known to them instinctively. God has put this knowledge in their hearts. 20 From the time the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky and all that God made. They can clearly see his invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

God has revealed Himself plainly in the creation of the world for all people to see. From just looking at the earth and the sky, we know there is a God. Even though all people have an inner sense that there is a God, many chose not to acknowledge Him. No one standing before God will have an excuse for not believing in Jesus Christ. Every person born has knowledge of God because God has put that knowledge in all people.

As a child of God our moral standards are always higher than our behavior. In other words, we all know what is right, but do not always do it. For those of us under the Blood, we will have to answer to Him for all that we knew about Him and did not live. Standing before Him, all will regret that more was not done when we had the chance. Because once we leave this world, there are no more chances. Thank God for His patience, He knows we are only dust and is patience in working with us to work out our sanctification. The key is to keep moving forward, to keep growing to become more like Christ. So even though we may take one step backwards, we are taking two steps forward. We keep on moving and growing and becoming more of Christ to the world around us.

Have a God Day!

 

 

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August 1, 2014: 11:27 pm: God in us

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, but God’s power and strength never diminish. He is never too tired or too busy to listen and help us. Only in His strength are we strong. When you feel that life is crushing you and you cannot go another step, remember that you can always call on God to renew you in strength. Only in God can you find new strength and soar through your problem with His help. Trusting God will keep you from growing weary as you face the problems that life can bring. Cry out to God and wait for Him to move in your heart and mind. He may change your circumstances or He may change you, but either way, God will hear you and He will answer you with strength and peace. Trusting in Him will keep you safe in His love and keep you from sin.

Have a God Day!

 

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