Archive for April, 2006

April 14, 2006: 11:17 pm: Daily Scripture

1 John 1:5-10
5 This is the message he has given us to announce to you: God is light and there is no darkness in him at all. 6 So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness. We are not living in the truth. 7 But if we are living in the light of God’s presence, just as Christ is, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from every sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. 9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Relationship is the legal binding connection you have when you are justified by faith in Christ Jesus. Intimate fellowship is the close association you have with Christ because have gotten to know Him so well. Salvation is to enter into God’s family. Fellowship is to enter into God’s favor. John is teaching us what it means to fellowship with God. Everyone is part of a family here on earth, but not all have intimate fellowship with their siblings or parents. Christians are a part of the family of God and are on their way to heaven but not all have intimate fellowship with Christ. Because God is light and in Him there is no darkness, we must join Him in the Light to be in fellowship. We do this by confessing our sins before Him and then we follow His leading. When we chose to believe His Word by faith, we enter into fellowship and joy. When we enter into sin, we step out of fellowship with God. Get to know the God of your salvation and understand the joy and peace that comes from walking every step in the Light.

Have a God Day!

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April 13, 2006: 11:11 pm: Daily Scripture

Titus 2:11-15
11 For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. 12 And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with self-control, right conduct, and devotion to God, 13 while we look forward to that wonderful event when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. 14 He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing what is right. 15 You must teach these things and encourage your people to do them, correcting them when necessary. You have the authority to do this, so don’t let anyone ignore you or disregard what you say.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

As Christians we enjoy certain freedoms that the world does not understand. We are free from the power of sin and death. But we must exercise this freedom carefully by understanding that this freedom means we have made the choice of responsible behavior. We are instructed to turn from sinful pleasures and to live in this world with self control. That is so contrary to what we hear on TV or read in magazines. This world would have us believe that if it feels good, do it. But our devotion to God leads us to understand that the sins of this world will offer pleasure for a moment but ultimately lead to death. It is the power of God in us that gives us this freedom to overcome the temptation to believe what the world is saying. As we look forward to the Groom returning for His bride, we can stay focused on the work He has set before us. Christ gave His life to free us from every kind of sin, so we must tell others about this freedom and not let the world around us pull us into sin.

Have a God Day!

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April 12, 2006: 5:19 pm: Daily Scripture

Luke 10:11-24
11 To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: A man had two sons. 12 The younger son told his father, I want my share of your estate now, instead of waiting until you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons. 13 A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and took a trip to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money on wild living. 14 About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. 15 He persuaded a local farmer to hire him to feed his pigs. 16 The boy became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything. 17 When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, At home even the hired men have food enough to spare, and here I am, dying of hunger! 18 I will go home to my father and say, Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, 19 and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired man.20 So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long distance away, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. 21 His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. 22 But his father said to the servants, Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger, and sandals for his feet. 23 And kill the calf we have been fattening in the pen. We must celebrate with a feast, 24 for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Just as the father would not come to his wayward son while he was in the pigpen, so God will not join us in fellowship when we are in darkness. Because He is light and there is no darkness in Him at all, we must come to Him. He can not join us in fellowship while we are in darkness. Now, this does not mean He is not with us because Romans 8:39 tells us that there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God. While we are darkness, His Spirit is working to bring us back into fellowship with God. But for us to have a relationship and to know Christ intimately, we must be in the Light. This means confessing our sins before Him and listening to His voice as we continue our process of sanctification to become like Him. If we step into sin and step into darkness, we are still saved, but have halted the process of sanctification. We will not grow to become more like Christ while we are in sin. As the earthly father waited for the son to return, so Christ waits for us to return from sin. He did not go out looking for him and did not come and pull him out the pigpen but waited for the son to return on his own. He had to want to return, just as we must want to become like Christ. Christ will not come and make us return. Sin always separates us from Him, and so we must come before the Father and confess any sin. To continue in the process of becoming more like Christ turn away from sin and desire to become like Christ.

Have A God Day!

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April 11, 2006: 5:11 pm: Daily Scripture

Good Morning!

Matthew 23:23-24
23 “How terrible it will be for you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest part of your income, but you ignore the important things of the law-justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but you should not leave undone the more important things. 24 Blind guides! You strain your water so you won’t accidentally swallow a gnat; then you swallow a camel!”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Many Christians today do not tithe. Many only give as they want, but they are missing out on a tremendous blessing from God. The argument is that tithing was only for the Old Testament times, because it was not taught in the New Testament. But as you read this scripture today you can see that Jesus Himself stated that, “You should tithe…” Those who do not tithe use 2 Corinthians 8:11, “…give whatever you can according to what you have,” as the scripture that supports not having to tithe. But Paul was not talking about tithing; he was referring to an offering that was above the tithe that the Corinthians were giving to other Christians who were going through hard times. When we have the Word of Jesus Christ stating we should tithe, why would you question it. Tithing is only giving back to God what He has already given to us. Malachi 3:11 states, “…”if you do, say the Lord Almighty, ‘I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in!’…” If you find yourself operating under a closed window of heaven you will be lacking and struggling financially. If this is you, then start tithing 10% of all the money you receive and tithe on the gross, not the net. If you say that you can not afford to tithe, the Word of God says that you can not afford not to. God tells us to test Him and see if He will not pour such a blessing that you will not be able to contain! Tithing is for all Christians today because Jesus gives us the directive that we should! And if you love Him you will open Him.

Have a God Day!

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April 10, 2006: 5:48 pm: Daily Scripture

Hebrews 1:1-4
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterward. Now he is seated in the place of highest honor beside God’s throne in heaven. 3 Think about all he endured when sinful people did such terrible things to him, so that you don’t become weary and give up. 4 After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

What are the obstacles in your life that are preventing you form being all that God intended? What distractions are keeping you too busy so you have no time to read His Word to spend time in prayer? If the devil can not make you sin, he will make you busy. But the truth is that nothing should stand between you and Jesus Christ. If you find yourself unable to answer these question this morning, than you are too busy and Christ is on the back burner of your life. If you say you love Him then feed on Him through His Word and time with Him. How would your spouse feel if you kept telling them you loved them, but never talked to them or spent any time with them? You would soon find yourself alone. Why would you think your relationship with Christ would any different? You can not know Him if you do not spend time with Him. Don’t let the distractions of life keep you from what is truly important. A lot of things are not necessarily wrong, but they are just not necessary. 2 Timothy 2:4 warns us, “And as Christ’s soldier, do not let yourself become tied up in the affairs of this life, for then you cannot satisfy the one who has enlisted you in his army.” Take time today to examine your life with Christ and ask Him to show you what distractions are keeping you from becoming more like Him. Maybe you need to say, “no” more to all the busyness or maybe you are in too much debt and that is taking all of your time and energy. Matthew 11:28 states, “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.” What ever is keeping you from Him remove it and make Him your priority in all that you do. Only with Christ driving the bus of your life will you find joy and peace.

Have a God Day!

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April 7, 2006: 5:24 pm: Daily Scripture

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!

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April 5, 2006: 6:00 pm: Daily Scripture

Romans 1:18-20
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.

How could a loving God send anyone to hell, especially someone who has never heard about Christ? This is a common argument of those who know about Him, but chose not to accept Him. Most of us have heard this at one time or another. But the truth written by Paul takes away this argument because all people has an inner sense of what God requires and that He exists. But they chose not to live up to it. Knowing who Jesus Christ is does not make you right with Him. It is in the knowing and believing and then the living that shows that you believe. The moral standards of most people are better than what they live. But they always expect others to live up to their standard even though they do not themselves. They think the power is in the knowing. Those who know Christ, accept Him and then live Him are those who live in His kingdom. Don’t be fooled! When the day comes for God to judge your response to Him, no excuse will be accepted. If you suppress the truth you know about God in order to live your own way, you will have no excuse. Because it is not in the knowing, it is in believing and if you believe your behavior will show it. Do you live what you know is true? If not, ask God to give you the power to live what you know before you know anymore. Take the knowledge you have of Him today and apply it to your life, then seek to know Him more. It is more important to live Him than to know about Him.

Have a God Day!

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April 4, 2006: 5:30 pm: Daily Scripture

Revelation 19:1-6
After this, I heard the sound of a vast crowd in heaven shouting, “Hallelujah! Salvation is from our God. Glory and power belong to him alone. 2 His judgments are just and true. He has punished the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her immorality, and he has avenged the murder of his servants.” 3 Again and again their voices rang, “Hallelujah! The smoke from that city ascends forever and forever!” 4 Then the twenty-four elders and the four living beings fell down and worshiped God, who was sitting on the throne. They cried out, “Amen! Hallelujah!” 5 And from the throne came a voice that said, “Praise our God, all his servants, from the least to the greatest, all who fear him.” 6 Then I heard again what sounded like the shout of a huge crowd, or the roar of mighty ocean waves, or the crash of loud thunder: “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

God is highly exalted above all His creatures. His moral perfection stands in contrast to evil people and nations. God is perfect and without sin and everything He does is perfect, even if it is judgment against sin. He is sinless in all His motives and actions, so He is in perfect control of His power, judgment, love and mercy. His holiness is our yardstick for morality. Because God is holy and without sin, we can trust that what He does is perfect. People today do not realize that God will judge them for every action and word. But because they do not see it when they do it, they think it will not happen. They think that whatever they want to believe is good enough simply because they believe it. But because they do not believe in the only Way of salvation does not make it any less true. Because they can not see it in their own minds, they think it is not true. God is holy and because He is holy, He can tolerate no sin. Not even a tiny amount, so all sin is evil in God’s sight and must be judged. For those coming before Him without the Blood of Lamb will face eternal separation from Him. There is not one person who will not stand before Jesus Christ and only those He calls friend, those cover by His Blood will enter into the presence of the Father. Remember God is holy and without sin and He will judge all sin someday. What you believe or don’t believe does not make it true just because you believe it. Look for the truth in the Word of God because there is only one truth and that is Jesus Christ.

Have a God Day!

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April 3, 2006: 5:27 pm: Daily Scripture

Isaiah 43:1-7
But now, O Israel, the Lord who created you says: “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. 2 When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. 3 For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I gave Egypt, Ethiopia, and Seba as a ransom for your freedom. 4 Others died that you might live. I traded their lives for yours because you are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you. 5 “Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I will gather you and your children from east and west 6 and from north and south. I will bring my sons and daughters back to Israel from the distant corners of the earth. 7 All who claim me as their God will come, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

God does not want you to be afraid of the future. God holds your life in His hands and everything that happens to you is God filtered. Know that your situation has gone by God and He has approved of it. It is either for you benefit or for your growth. So when you are going through the valley and life has not been kind, remember that God knows exactly what you are going through and He is with you. Look for the opportunity to grow stronger in your relationship with Him. The stronger you are in your faith in Him, the more use you will be to Him in the Kingdom. Every good thing and every bad thing has a purpose in your life. Look for the good to come out of each terrible situation. Yes, take the time to heal, but do not stay there, go forward into the work that God has ordained for you. Take time to listen and learn what God has for you in each difficult situation, but it was not meant for you to stay there. Move ahead and move into His plan. As God told Jeremiah, He tells you, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” If God has a plan for you, how can stay in your pain and let it consume you? Move forward knowing that He is with you and He will show you each step you are to take. Trust Him! He is your Lord and He will not let you stay in the valley of your pain because that is not His plan for you. His plan is to use your pain to help others. Go forward knowing this and trust that He will guide you. You will never forget, but you can forgive and be used to make a difference.

Have a God Day!

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