Archive for March, 2006

March 31, 2006: 5:51 pm: Daily Scripture

Colossians 4:2-6
2 Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. 3 Don’t forget to pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to preach about his secret plan that Christ is also for you Gentiles. That is why I am here in chains. 4 Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should. 5 Live wisely among those who are not Christians, and make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be gracious and effective so that you will have the right answer for everyone.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Have you ever grown tired of praying for someone to receive Christ as their Savior? Paul tells us we should be devoted and to be alert in our prayers. But sometimes it seems like they will never be answered. Our faith should not faultier if the answer comes slowly. We do not always understand how God works, but we can know that He does. We may not always see all that He is doing in the life of the one we are praying for, but we can trust that He will work in that persons life because of our prayers. He loves the person we are praying for more than we do, and it is His desire that they know of His love. Thank Him for the small steps you see in answer to any prayer you have. When you feel tired of praying, know that God is present, always listening, and will always answer our prayers. We may not “feel” it and it may not happen as we had hoped but it will always happen in ways that God knows are best.

Have a God Day!

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March 30, 2006: 6:30 pm: Daily Scripture

2 Corinthians 1:3-7
3 All praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the source of every mercy and the God who comforts us. 4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 5 You can be sure that the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. 6 So when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your benefit and salvation! For when God comforts us, it is so that we, in turn, can be an encouragement to you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. 7 We are confident that as you share in suffering, you will also share God’s comfort.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Many think that when God comforts us, our troubles should go away. But if that were always so, people would turn to God only out of a desire to be relieved of pain and not out of love for Him. We must understand that being “comforted” can also mean receiving strength, encouragement, and hope to deal with our troubles. All throughout the Old Testament, the Jewish nation continued to disregard God’s commandments. They would do as they please and worship all kinds of other gods and then when they got into trouble they would call on God to save them. The problem was, when they came to God they never acknowledged their sin and only wanted God to help them and not to turn from their sin and serve Him. Too often we expect God to help us in our time of trouble even though we have ignored Him in our times of prosperity. This seems to be the cry of America at this time. Many are asking, “How could God allow so much tragedy all over the world”? They forget that Americans have asked God to leave their schools, leave their businesses and many churches have also asked Him to leave. And then they are surprised when He does. Americans have depended on our own skills and abilities and only turn to God in times of trouble. And He will hear us and help us if we admit our sins and then turn from them. Don’t use God for what you think you need, but serve Him out of a heart that is truly grateful for what He has done for you.

Have a God Day!

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March 29, 2006: 6:09 pm: Daily Scripture

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, it may be whatever it is you need, but 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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March 28, 2006: 6:36 pm: Daily Scripture

Philippians 1:12-19
12 And I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. 13 For everyone here, including all the soldiers in the palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ. 14 And because of my imprisonment, many of the Christians here have gained confidence and become more bold in telling others about Christ. 15 Some are preaching out of jealousy and rivalry. But others preach about Christ with pure motives. 16 They preach because they love me, for they know the Lord brought me here to defend the Good News. 17 Those others do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely, intending to make my chains more painful to me. 18 But whether or not their motives are pure, the fact remains that the message about Christ is being preached, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice. 19 For I know that as you pray for me and as the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me, this will all turn out for my deliverance.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Paul knew what his priority for life was and that is what he focused on while he was in prison. He was looking at the purpose for his life and not on the circumstances. Because he understood that the priority was to reach the lost for Christ, he could be joyful. Paul put God first in every situation and God gave him peace. He was focused on what really mattered, he was looking at the eternal and not just the external. He was sharing Christ with those who did not know Him and he was encouraging other Christians to live boldly for Christ. When we are faced with problems and trials, put God first and see what a difference it will make. Proverbs 3:6 tells us, “In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your effort with success.” Is there a need that wakes you up at night and keeps you up because you can not see an answer? Try putting God first, read His Word and believe it. Then apply it to your need and keep on trusting that God will work all things out for your good according to His purpose. Keep your focus on His promises and not on what you see and He will fill you with peace and show you the answer.

Have a God Day!

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March 27, 2006: 6:15 pm: Daily Scripture

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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March 24, 2006: 6:23 pm: Daily Scripture

John 15:4-8
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.

Are you connected to the vine? If the answer is yes, then you should also be connected to the other branches. It is impossible to be connected to Christ Jesus without being connected to other Christians. You relationship with God is not done alone. We need other Christians to be strengthened and to keep us moving toward our goal of righteousness. And they need what we have to offer to keep them focused on Christ. God never intended that we serve Him alone. We are all part of the body of Christ with Him as our head. And being connected to another group of Christians is not an option. Do you have Christians friends that can help you with spiritual issues that come up? What is your connection to Christ through others? Are you worshipping regularly with other Christians? If not then you will wither and die because you can not be connected to the Vine without being connected to other branches. Find a Bible teaching church and become involved with service and find Christian friends to help you with your walk with Christ.

Have a God Day!

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March 23, 2006: 6:23 pm: Daily Scripture

Matthew 25:19-30
19 “After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money. 20 The servant to whom he had entrusted the five bags of gold said, ‘Sir, you gave me five bags of gold to invest, and I have doubled the amount.’ 21 The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’ 22 “Next came the servant who had received the two bags of gold, with the report, ‘Sir, you gave me two bags of gold to invest, and I have doubled the amount.’ 23 The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together! 24 “Then the servant with the one bag of gold came and said, ‘Sir, I know you are a hard man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. 25 I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth and here it is. 26 “But the master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy servant! You think I’m a hard man, do you, harvesting crops I didn’t plant and gathering crops I didn’t cultivate? 27 Well, you should at least have put my money into the bank so I could have some interest. 28 Take the money from this servant and give it to the one with the ten bags of gold. 29 To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who are unfaithful, even what little they have will be taken away. 30 Now throw this useless servant into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

We must not make excuses to avoid doing what God calls us to do. We see from this parable that all of us are given something from God. We all have talents or abilities to do something for Him. And we all placed into positions of responsibility no matter what it is. It is not an excuse to compare ourselves to others and say, “I will never be able to do that!” It doesn’t matter what someone else is doing, you are called to work where you are and with what you have. You will not be judged on someone else’s position or talents, but on your own. So start with where you are. Are you married? Start with loving your spouse and giving them what they need according to what the Word of God teaches. Do you have children? Then start by loving them and teaching them the love of God. Are you working at a job? Than start by working that job as if God were your employer. Are you part of a church? Then do something in that body to help it become strong. Even if it is washing dishes or scrubbing toilets, do it as if you were doing for Him. Because in all of these positions you are doing it for Him. So you see no one will have an excuse on that Day when you are before Him. Start with where you are and do it as if it was for Him and He will say to you. “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

Have a God Day!

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March 22, 2006: 5:37 pm: Daily Scripture

James 1:19-27
19 My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. 20 Your anger can never make things right in God’s sight. 21 So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the message God has planted in your hearts, for it is strong enough to save your souls. 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. 26 If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are just fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. 27 Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles, and refuse to let the world corrupt us.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Paul emphasizes the purpose of faith is to bring salvation and James emphasizes the results of faith are a changed life. We are not saved by works but we are saved for works. We can measure the effectiveness of our Bible study and prayer time by the effect they have on our attitude and behaviors. Because we are freed from sin, we can do whatever we desire. And if we are freed from sin, we only desire to do the will of God. We are free to live as God intended for us from the beginning. We live and move and have our being because of God’s Spirit in us. We desire to please Him and therefore we control the aspects of our sinful nature that are contrary to the Word of God and He bless us for it. It is not us but God in us that sets our spirit free to choose to have a positive attitude and to behave according the Word. We care for others as God cares for them and we are not corrupted by the world. This is faith in action, this is Christ in us. Guard your attitude and actions well and do not be controlled by your sinful nature but be controlled by the Holy Spirit.

Have a God Day!

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March 21, 2006: 6:42 pm: Daily Scripture

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 making sinful situation. God does not take people using His system for making money and 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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March 20, 2006: 6:46 pm: Daily Scripture

2 Timothy 1:6-9
6 This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 8 So you must never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. And don’t be ashamed of me, either, even though I’m in prison for Christ. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the proclamation of the Good News. 9 It is God who saved us and chose us to live a holy life. He did this not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan long before the world began-to show his love and kindness to us through Christ Jesus.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Timothy was experiencing great opposition to his message about Christ and Paul urged him to be bold. We like Timothy must also be bold in our message about what Jesus Christ has done for us. When we allow people to intimidate us, we neutralize our effectiveness for God. The power of the Holy Spirit in us can help us over come our fear of what some might say or do to us, so that we can tell them about the grace of Christ. There will be no excuses when we stand before Him for the things we did or did not do. If God has lead someone into your life, it is for a purpose. It is for the purpose of telling them about the love of God and the gospel of Christ. That is the purpose of the life of all who believe and serve Him. God will lead people into our lives for this purpose. And it is our mission to bring this information to those around us. We do this through living a holy life and by telling them about what Christ has done for us. It is only through our witness that they will see Him. It is only in living for Him that they will believe. Others will serve Him when they see Him in you. You do not have a spirit of fear, but One of power, love and self discipline living in you. Work with the Spirit of God and do not let the sprit of this world hold you down. Because greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.

Have a God Day!

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