Archive for January, 2006

January 31, 2006: 6:44 pm: Daily Scripture

Matthew 7:7-11
7 “Keep on asking, and you will be given what you ask for. Keep on looking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And the door is opened to everyone who knocks. 9 You parents-if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? 10 Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! 11 If you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Jesus is telling us to persist in pursuing God. He was talking about pursuing a relationship with Him. For those who seek to know God there is the reward of knowing Him. But knowing God takes faith, focus, and follow-through. And Jesus assures us we will be rewarded with relationship to Him. But we can not give up in our efforts to seek God. There is always more of Him and we should always be seeking to know Him more. We will never get to the point of knowing all there is to know about God, so never stop seeking. Outside of Christ, nothing exist, so what more would we need. But God knew we had needs while living on this earth. In a previous verse, He had just said not to worry about your food or clothes, because God will supply what we need. It may not be what we want, but it will always be what we need. Sometimes God knows we are praying for “snakes” and does not give us what we ask for, even though we persist in our prayers. But as we seek more of Him, we will learn to trust His will for everything in our lives. When seeking an answer to pray, fist seek the Word of God to find out if it is contrary to His Word, and then seek to find out if it is contrary to His will. If not, then never give up, because God will answer in His time. Salvation for those we love who do not know Him is a perfect example of a prayer that we should never give up on. God will move in the lives of non-believers if we pray. But our first pursuit is to know Him, then for our daily needs and then for those “things” that we think we need.

Have a God Day!

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January 30, 2006: 6:00 pm: Daily Scripture

1 Kings 19:10
10 Elijah replied, “I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I alone am left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.” 11 “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Only those who in Christ will hear from Him. The Holy Spirit is working on those who don’t know Him to bring them to salvation, but they do not know His voice. John 10:27 says, “My sheep recognize my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” Do you hear from God? Does He speak to you about your life? If you are in Christ and you do not hear His voice, then you are not listening because He is speaking. As with Elijah, God speaks in the small still voice inside of you. It is a gentle whisper in your ear. And those who follow Him know His voice. If your are not hearing from God, then you need to stop and listen. Take time to listen. Slow down to spend quiet time with Him every day. Reading His Word is a good place to hear the voice of God. Eliminate the distractions in your life that are preventing you from taking time every day to communicate with God. Get away by yourself and read His Word an then thank Him for His love. He wants to know what is on your mind, speak to Him as you would speak to a good friend. Then listen to Him when He does speak to you. Sometimes it will be strengthening, and sometimes you will feel His disapproval of something you need to change. God is always there to lead and guide you, but it will not be a mighty rushing wind that will knock you down, so you have to stop. The voice of God will be that small still voice and you will know it is Him.

Have a God Day!

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January 27, 2006: 5:58 pm: Daily Scripture

Philippians 4:4-9
4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again-rejoice! 5 Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. 6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. 8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, let me say one more thing as I close this letter. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned from me and heard from me and saw me doing, and the God of peace will be with you.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

There are too many days when I need to read the direction Paul has given us in Philippians 4. When I am stuck on a problem, or I am focusing too much on the cares of this world, that I have no control over, I pray for peace. But I want to experience God’s peace. A peace that is far more wonderful than my human mind can understand. When I stop trying to control the events around the problem, and I focus on God, He always calms my heart and mind. And Paul has given us the recipe for God’s peace. First rejoice if for no other reason than the fact that Christ is coming soon and the problem will be nothing on that Day. If we remember all that God has done in the past, if we think on these things, then God’s peace will cover and protect our hearts and minds. Next we need to thank Him for all He has done for us. If God answered prayer and worked out circumstances in the past, why would you worry that He will not do it again? Tell God what you need. Lay it before Him and then thank Him for the answer. Fix your thoughts on the things that are worthy of your time. think only about positive and true things that are worthy of praising God. But it takes practice. Practice rejoicing, thanking, thinking on the goodness of God. It does not come naturally and you will have to move in this direction many times. But God will protect and guide you. And most important you will experience God’s peace. Rejoice in His love, give Him thanks, and think only on what is true and your problem will fade in the light of His love!

Have a God Day!

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January 26, 2006: 6:12 pm: Daily Scripture

Philippians 3:13-14
13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

What is the one thing in your life that you will not compromise? Many of us are like a weed in the wind letting the world push us around any direction it wants. But Christ has asked us to a higher standard and He is asking us to draw a line in the sand. We are to stand up and say, “I will not be a part of this world, but am looking forward to my home with Him.” We need to put off what is politically correct if it goes against the Word of God. We need to look forward to what He has called us to and not compromise our beliefs because they are not popular with the world. This is a difficult thing to do. You may lose some friends, you may lose a job. But what are they worth in the light of Christ? It is difficult to move forward when you are looking behind you. Forget what you were and be what you are in Christ. Make this the one thing in your life that you will not compromise and see what God will do through you. Determine ahead of time what you will do and what you say and then you will not be got off guard. When you make the decision before the situation, you always behave what you believe. But you have to make the decision ahead of time. Decide not to give in to what the world believes and study the Word of God to know what He says and you will not fail. Forget your mistakes in the past and determine to move forward in the light of His love and His Word.

Have a God Day!

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January 25, 2006: 6:15 pm: Daily Scripture

1 Corinthians 10:12-13
12 If you think you are standing strong, be careful, for you, too, may fall into the same sin. 13 But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

God will sometimes allow us to be tempted to see if our heart is turned toward Him. There will be things the come into our lives that are not of God and if we turn toward them, they will lead us away from God. When these situations come into our life, they do not wear a big red flag saying they are a temptation. Satan is more subtle than that and he will always come to you in your weakest area and when you are at your weakest. When Satan was allowed to tempt Christ, he came when Christ was weak from hunger. He will come to us when we are tired, frustrated and overworked. The temptation is not sin, but can lead to sin. We need to be alert as Satan is like a roaring lion as stated in 1 Peter 5:8,9: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith…” We need to remember that the roaring lion was the old one the rest sent out to scare the prey into the jaws of the others who still had teeth to kill. A lion seeking prey will not may any noise, but the older one would to scare the prey. Satan is like the roaring lion, he has no teeth, but he can scare you into death, if you choose to give in to the temptation before you. God will keep you from being tempted beyond what you can stand, so there is never any excuse to give in. We need to remember this and to pray for wisdom to see the temptation for what it is. It is an old toothless lion trying to scare us into death. Resist him and stand steadfast in your faith in Christ.

Have a God Day!

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January 24, 2006: 5:38 pm: Daily Scripture

1 Corinthians 1:24-30
24 But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the mighty power of God and the wonderful wisdom of God. 25 This foolish plan of God is far wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is far stronger than the greatest of human strength. 26 Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes, or powerful, or wealthy when God called you. 27 Instead, God deliberately chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose those who are powerless to shame those who are powerful. 28 God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important, 29 so that no one can ever boast in the presence of God. 30 God alone made it possible for you to be in Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made Christ to be wisdom itself. He is the one who made us acceptable to God. He made us pure and holy, and he gave himself to purchase our freedom.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

When God reveals to us the requirement for sanctification, the inner struggle begins. Our “wisdom” always stands in the way. There is always something inside of us that pulls with resentment against the requirements of being a follower of Jesus Christ. Justification is by faith alone, but sanctification will require action on our part. We must be willing to set aside our “wisdom” for God’s. The greatest wisdom of this world is but foolishness to Him. God alone makes it possible for us to receive His grace. And when Christ becomes our salvation, we enter into the realization that sanctification is the holiness of Christ Jesus imparted to us. Not because we are wise or have done anything to deserve it but because of His love for us. Then any work that comes out of our lives is because of Christ in us. It is His patience, His love, His faith, His purity, His goodness that is displayed through our lives. It is not us imitating Him but “Christ in us.” So we can not boast about anything we have done, but only about what Christ has done through us. We are only a willing vessel. Set aside the struggle within you that resists to take on the righteousness of Christ and accept that God will do the work in you and through you for His purpose.

Have a God Day!

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January 23, 2006: 5:32 pm: Daily Scripture

Numbers 13:30-33
30 But Caleb tried to encourage the people as they stood before Moses. Let’s go at once to take the land, he said. We can certainly conquer it! 31 But the other men who had explored the land with him answered, We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are! 32 So they spread discouraging reports about the land among the Israelites: The land we explored will swallow up any who go to live there. All the people we saw were huge. 33 We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. We felt like grasshoppers next to them, and that’s what we looked like to them!

14:1 Then all the people began weeping aloud, and they cried all night. 2 Their voices rose in a great chorus of complaint against Moses and Aaron. We wish we had died in Egypt, or even here in the wilderness! they wailed. 3 Why is the Lord taking us to this country only to have us die in battle? Our wives and little ones will be carried off as slaves! Let’s get out of here and return to Egypt! 4 Then they plotted among themselves, Let’s choose a leader and go back to Egypt!
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Why is it that a dog will always return to it’s vomit (Proverbs 26:11) and Christians who have lived in Egypt, want to return? Looking back it is always easier to want what we have known, even it has not always been the best. And sometimes the idea of functioning under faith in a God we can not see, sends us running back to the world, we were saved out of. Because we can not see with our limited senses what God is doing in our lives, we doubt and fear. We see ourselves as grasshoppers in a land of giants. The battle is lost before it began. The Israelites with this mind set died in the wilderness because of their lack of faith and vision. Focusing on what we can do under our own power will destroy the work God has set before us. We need to have the attitude of Joshua and Caleb who stated in Numbers 14:9, “The Lord is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!” When you are comparing what you lack to what others have, you function under intimidation and not confidence. Let Proverbs 3:26 (For the Lord will be your confidence, And will keep your foot from being caught) be your determination to move forward into the work God has set before you.

Have a God Day!

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January 20, 2006: 5:58 pm: Daily Scripture

Romans 5:1-6
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. 3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us-they help us learn to endure. 4 And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation. 5 And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. 6 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

There is a two sided reality to living a life for Christ. On one hand, we are complete in Christ when we accept His free gift of grace by faith. Because of our faith, we are given the highest privilege of sharing God’s glory. On the other hand, we are continually growing to become more like Christ. We have the status of royalty and the duties of slaves. We experience both the presence of Christ and pressure of sin. While we enjoy the peace that can only come from being made right with God, we also struggle with temptation and pain. Remembering our double nature in this world will keep us from becoming discouraged while we continue to work with Christ to complete this process. We keep our eyes focused on Him and the prize of eternity with Him. Remember, we are friends of God and that He is working to draw us closer to Him and not to condemn us for our mistakes. God is slowly building our confidence and character for higher responsibilities for the work of His kingdom. Remember who you are in Christ and let the power of the Spirit of God within you lead you through your trails and temptations to become the royalty you are.

Have a God Day!

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January 19, 2006: 5:56 pm: Daily Scripture

Matthew 11:25-30
25 Then Jesus prayed this prayer: “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding the truth from those who think themselves so wise and clever, and for revealing it to the childlike. 26 Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way! 27 “My Father has given me authority over everything. No one really knows the Son except the Father, and no one really knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” 28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Many of us today want to know how to lighten our load. Christ gave us the formula in His Word. First, turn to Him, second give up control, and third trust Him and follow. He said, “Come to Me.” There is no peace outside of Christ. It is very difficult for the world to see this, but those who know Him have His Word and we know Him. But many Christians are still living with one foot in Christ and one foot in the world. There will be no peace for those who do not come completely to Him. To take up the yoke of Christ is to give up control to Him. The yoke is a symbol of partnership. Christ is right next us, yoked with us to help us with our load. A yoke is also a symbol of guidance. Yoked with Christ, we can only move in His direction and at His pace. But we must give Him first place and give up our control. Which always leads us to trust Him. If we let Christ guide and control us, we trust Him. Without trust, we can not follow. What is your load today? Are you giving it to Christ and letting Him decide the direction you will go? If not, then you are not trusting Him. Go before Him and confess to Him and ask for direction and understanding, so your load can be lifted.

Have a God Day!

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January 18, 2006: 6:15 pm: Daily Scripture

Matthew 5:27-30
27 “You have heard that the law of Moses says, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 So if your eye-even if it is your good eye-causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your hand-even if it is your stronger hand-causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

The Old Testament law stated that it was wrong for a person to have sex with anyone but the person they were married to. (At that time in history it did not need to be stated that men marry women and women marry men. It was also law not to have sex with someone of the same sex.) But Jesus is saying here that to have the desire to have sex outside of marriage was a sin. Jesus emphasized that if the act was wrong, then so is the intention. To be faithful to your spouse with your body but not your mind is breaking a very vital trust in your marriage. Jesus is condemning not the natural interest in the opposite sex or healthy sexual desire for your spouse, but the deliberate and repeated filling of one’s mind with pictures and images that would be evil if acted out. It is the concentrating on these images and the thoughts of them that are the sin. It is evil and will lead to division and disharmony in your marriage. It is dishonest and it is adultery to seek these images and think on them. Jesus knew what we would be facing today with the accessibility of every image through the Internet. He knew what would be happening today. If you struggle with Internet pornography, but have never acted out your fanaticizes, it is still sin. And it will destroy you as all sin leads to destruction and separation from God. Seek God’s grace and turn from your sin and seek help. You will need someone else who has gone through what you are going through to help you overcome it. The stronghold that Satan has set up in your mind, with your permission, will be difficult to break. But it can be done because all things are possible through Christ. But He is the answer and He is the only answer. Do not wait. Do it today.

Have a God Day!

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