Archive for February, 2006

February 28, 2006: 6:23 pm: Daily Scripture

Matthew 13:11-13
11 Then he explained to them, “You have been permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others have not. 12 To those who are open to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But to those who are not listening, even what they have will be taken away from them. 13 That is why I tell these stories, because people see what I do, but they don’t really see. They hear what I say, but they don’t really hear, and they don’t understand.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Why would Jesus say that those who understand will be given more understanding, but those who don’t listen will have even what they have taken away? Jesus was not hiding His truth from sincere seekers because those who are receptive to spiritual truth listen and understand. But those who do not want to hear the truth of God’s Kingdom would not be able to hear what Jesus is saying. And because their hearts are hardened to Him even what they had will be taken away. Not by God, but by their own hardness and their own refusal to know Him. For those who are open to God and to what Christ has to say there is a responsibility to use it grow to know Him more. But for those who reject Jesus, their hardness of heart drives away or renders useless even the little understanding they have. God does not take it away, their own refusal to believe does. God is always available to anyone who believes Him, but for those who reject Him because of their own pride, He is not. Where is your heart today? Do you believe Him? If so then seek to know more of Him so you can grow in His love to become the person you are in Christ. For understanding is yours!

Have a God Day!

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February 27, 2006: 6:12 pm: Daily Scripture

Matthew 12:33-36
33 “A tree is identified by its fruit. Make a tree good, and its fruit will be good. Make a tree bad, and its fruit will be bad. 34 You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. 35 A good person produces good words from a good heart, and an evil person produces evil words from an evil heart. 36 And I tell you this, that you must give an account on judgment day of every idle word you speak. 37 The words you say now reflect your fate then; either you will be justified by them or you will be condemned.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

These are very powerful words spoken by our Lord. Often we do not realize the power of the spoken word in our lives. Every word we say is being recorded and one day we will have to give an account of all that we have said. Our minds can not comprehend this time, but God has said it will happen. So what do we do now to not regret what we say. Jesus reminds us that what we say reveals what is in our heart. And what is in our heart is what is in our mind and what is put into our mind. But we can only change what is our heart if God has done a circumcision of our heart. We need to allow God to cut away that which is not needed from our minds and those desires that will only harm us. It starts at our acceptance of His work on the cross and letting Him save us from our sins. Then we fill our mind with His truth from His Word. Then we think and meditate on His Word. As He fills our mind and thoughts, God will change our attitudes and intentions to conform to His. As He fills us and we focus on Him, what we say and what we do will reflect God in our lives. To change what we say, we need to change what we think and believe. Only God can change us and only God can deliver us from ourselves and our words. Let God perform a cutting away of all that is not of Him in your heart today. Go before Him and seek to know what God would remove from you today and then fill the void with His truth found only in His Word.

Have a God Day!

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February 24, 2006: 6:10 pm: Daily Scripture

Ephesians 3:14-19
14 When I think of the wisdom and scope of God’s plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, 15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. 16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit. 17 And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

As we read and study the Word of God, He reveals more of Himself to us. The more open we are to Him, and the more we believe and walk in obedience, the more of God we will find. This is the work of the Holy Spirit within our minds. We read a scripture we have read many times before and suddenly, you get it. It is like a light bulb going on in your mind as you see a truth you never saw before. As your roots go deeper into the soil of God’s love, you understand more and more about Him. Wisdom comes from truth found and then acted upon and then experienced. Someone can tell you that the light switch will chase away the darkness and you can understand this, but unless you flip the switch, you will still be in darkness. Acting on the knowledge gives you the experience of that truth. God’s love can only be revealed and planted deep into our hearts as we experience it our lives. Act upon the truth of God’s Word as it is revealed to you and experience a greater understanding of His love for you.

Have a God Day!

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February 23, 2006: 6:30 pm: Daily Scripture

Galatians 6:7-10
7 Don’t be misled. Remember that you can’t ignore God and get away with it. You will always reap what you sow! 8 Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful desires will harvest the consequences of decay and death. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. 9 So don’t get tired of doing what is good. Don’t get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time. 10 Whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone, especially to our Christian brothers and sisters.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

The Holy Spirit will grow His fruit in our lives as we allow Him more control over our hearts and minds. The fruit of the Spirit is evidence of His presence. Learning His word and His way is the key to reaping the fruit of the Spirit in our character. The work of becoming more like Christ should be our goal if we are a part of His body. As we allow more of Him in our lives, our behavior will show it. Revelation 19:8 tells us,”She is permitted to wear the finest white linen.” (Fine linen represents the good deeds done by the people of God.)” The Lion of Judah will search the minds and hearts of the people He judges and He will give to each one according to their works. This is not a judgment for sin, but of the work did in His name. Our reward will be the fine linen we will wear for eternity. We will all reap what we sow. And those who are baptized into the family of Christ have the Spirit of God in them and will produce the fruit of the Spirit. Denying the flesh and this world and then allowing the Spirit of God to work in our lives will be evident in our works. Remember we are not saved by works but we are saved for works! What is evident in your life today? Do others see love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, or self-control? If the Sprit lives in you, then walk in the Spirit. Against such the is no law.

Have a God Day!

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February 22, 2006: 6:26 pm: Daily Scripture

Proverbs 21:1-5
1 The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lord; he turns it wherever he pleases.
2 People may think they are doing what is right, but the Lord examines the heart.
3 The Lord is more pleased when we do what is just and right than when we give him sacrifices.
4 Haughty eyes, a proud heart, and evil actions are all sin.
5 Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Sometimes people think what they are doing is right, but God see the motives of the heart behind the action. God discerns what the intent was. Sometimes those doing right are really doing it for their own benefit. They want to look good or to look like they care, but inside their heart is only selfishness. God can see beyond what appears. Often we have to make choices in areas where the right action is difficult to discern. We can help ourselves make the right decision by trying to identify our motives first. We need to ask ourselves, “Would God be pleased with my real reasons for doing this?” God is not pleased when an action is done only to receive something for ourselves. God is pleased when we do the right thing for His purpose. It is only when we move under His direction for His purpose and use His power to accomplish the task that God is pleased. Examine what you are doing now in His name and ask yourself if it is for Him or if it is for other reasons. God will guide and direct you if seek His wisdom. Move forward only when you can truly say it is for His glory.

Have a God Day!

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February 21, 2006: 6:22 pm: Daily Scripture

Romans 8:1-4
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death. 3 The law of Moses could not save us, because of our sinful nature. But God put into effect a different plan to save us. He sent his own Son in a human body like ours, except that ours are sinful. God destroyed sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. 4 He did this so that the requirement of the law would be fully accomplished for us who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Are you dealing with condemnation over past events in your life? Does the memory of past failures keep you from moving forward? If so, then you are dealing with guilt that does not come from God. Satan is using past failures in your life to keep you from becoming what God knows you are. God would never condemn you, but He gently convicts you. God deals gently to show us areas of our life that need to be changed. He exposes what is wrong to make you better. Satan will beat you over the head again and again to make you feel bad about a past wrong to make you bitter. You only need to ask God once for forgiveness. If you are repeatedly asking God to forgive the same past sin, that is Satan working in your life to keep in bondage. If you can not move beyond a past sin, it is not God who brings it to your mind it is the enemy. Once a sin is brought before Christ, it is forgiven, there is no condemnation for those who belong to Him, only grace. That doesn’t mean we do not need to make some changes to prevent from going back into that sin, but does mean that we are forgiven. God will not keep you in bondage over past mistakes. Move forward and once a sin is laid on the cross do not pick it up again. Move forward in the direction of one who has never committed that sin. God’s plan for your life is freedom from sin, not bondage to it. Recognize condemnation as being from the enemy and not from your loving Father.

Have a God Day!

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

Galatians 4:3-7
3 And that’s the way it was with us before Christ came. We were slaves to the spiritual powers of this world. 4 But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. 5 God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. 6 And because you Gentiles have become his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, and now you can call God your dear Father. 7 Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, everything he has belongs to you.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Christians are those who believe inwardly and live outwardly the life of Christ. We have received forgiveness and eternal life from God our Father. We are no longer slaves to sin. We have been freed by the blood of Jesus. Having received the gift of forgiveness and eternal life, we are now daily challenged to live that life with His help. The power of His Spirit in us enables us to become like Christ. Until that day when Christ is fully developed in us, we will continue to struggle against sin. It is the temptation to sin from the world that calls us to come back, but we have the power within us to overcome it. Sin holds no power over us because we are children of God. Remember your position when faced with temptation to sin. You are not a slave but a child of the King!

Have a God Day!

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February 10, 2006: 5:49 pm: Daily Scripture

2 Corinthians 13:3-6
3 I will give you all the proof you want that Christ speaks through me. Christ is not weak in his dealings with you; he is a mighty power among you. 4 Although he died on the cross in weakness, he now lives by the mighty power of God. We, too, are weak, but we live in him and have God’s power the power we use in dealing with you. 5 Examine yourselves to see if your faith is really genuine. Test yourselves. If you cannot tell that Jesus Christ is among you, it means you have failed the test. 6 I hope you recognize that we have passed the test and are approved by God.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Do others know that you are a Christian? Maybe you need a spiritual checkup. You should be actively seeking to grow closer to God on a daily basis. Paul challenges us to see if our faith is genuine. To know for sure is to have others see Christ in you. If your Christianity does not show, you are hiding it and Christ is not your center. Christ has unlimited resources to give you inner strength through His Holy Spirit. And He wants to be at home in your heart so your roots go deep into God’s love. Then your relationship with Christ will show to those around you. You will want to display His love because of His presence in you. Test yourself and see what place Christ holds in you heart. If you say you belong to Him, do not be ashamed to tell others.

Have a God Day!

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February 9, 2006: 5:54 pm: Daily Scripture

Philippians 3:12-21
12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection! But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be. 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. 15 I hope all of you who are mature Christians will agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. 16 But we must be sure to obey the truth we have learned already. 17 Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example. 18 For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their future is eternal destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and all they think about is this life here on earth. 20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. 21 He will take these weak mortal bodies of ours and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same mighty power that he will use to conquer everything, everywhere.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Are you everything that God knows you can be? If you are then you are dead! Not one of us will achieve perfection in this life. But that does not mean we do not keep on working toward that goal. Jesus Christ started this work in you when you were saved by faith. He will complete the work one day but until that day, we are to keep allowing His Spirit to live Christ through us. God will keep revealing to us areas of needed growth. We are to keep moving toward the goal of becoming more like Christ and this means removing more and more of ourselves until there is nothing left. God will not come to us and demand perfection. All He wants is for us to be obedient to His work in us. Listen to what the Spirit of God is telling you today. What layer of self needs to be peeled off and discarded? When you complete that layer, there will always be another to be removed. When we are with Him in Heaven, the work will be completed but until then keep peeling.

Have a God Day!

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February 8, 2006: 6:18 pm: Daily Scripture

Proverbs 16:1-9
1 We can gather our thoughts, but the Lord gives the right answer.
2 People may be pure in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their motives.
3 Commit your work to the Lord, and then your plans will succeed.
4 The Lord has made everything for his own purposes, even the wicked for punishment.
5 The Lord despises pride; be assured that the proud will be punished.
6 Unfailing love and faithfulness cover sin; evil is avoided by fear of the Lord.
7 When the ways of people please the Lord, he makes even their enemies live at peace with them.
8 It is better to be poor and godly than rich and dishonest.
9 We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

If the final outcome of our plans is in the hands of the Lord, then why should we plan at all? As a child of Christ, there is an understanding that there must be a partnership between our efforts and God’s control. He wants us to use our minds, to seek the advice of others, and to plan. Nevertheless, the results are up to Him. As we fill our minds with His Word, and we seek the counsel of those who love Him, we also seek His will for everything in our life. But we move forward in the direction we seek until we hear differently from God. Our guide is His Word and anything that is contrary to His Word is not the direction we should go. As you live for Him, ask guidance as you plan, and then act on your plan as you trust in Him to guide you. It is maintaining a delicate balance between trusting God as if everything depended on Him, while working as if everything depended on you. God wants you to move into action today. If you have given the goal to God move forward into that plan and your action will show your faith while God determines your outcome.

Have a God Day!

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