Archive for June, 2006

June 30, 2006: 6:27 pm: Daily Scripture

Jeremiah 8:4-6
4 “Jeremiah, say to the people, ‘This is what the Lord says: When people fall down, don’t they get up again? When they start down the wrong road and discover their mistake, don’t they turn back? 5 Then why do these people keep going along their self-destructive path, refusing to turn back, even though I have warned them? 6 I listen to their conversations, and what do I hear? Is anyone sorry for sin? Does anyone say, ‘What a terrible thing I have done’? No! All are running down the path of sin as swiftly as a horse rushing into battle!”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Jeremiah prophesied for about 21 years before the Babylonians came to destroy Jerusalem and took the Jewish people into captivity. God had given them plenty of time to change their ways. God had repeatedly told them, “Obey Me, and I will be your God, and you will be my people. Only do as I say, and all will be well.” But even though they still followed the rituals of worshiping Jehovah, they also had many other gods and also worshiped them. At this time in history it is known that the Jews also worshiped a god that required them to sacrifice their own children and they did. All the while they were still thinking they were safe from harm, because they keep up the appearance of worshiping the God of Jacob. Most people who fall down realize that they are headed in the wrong direction. It only makes sense for them to get up and change directions. But the Jews at this time were living sinful lives by choice and deceiving themselves that there would be no consequences. They had lost perspective concerning God’s will for their lives and had minimized their sin. If we continue too long in sin, the same thing will happen. The longer we stay in sin that we know is sin, the greater the chance we will stay there regardless of what the consequences will be if we continue on. That is why it is so important to stop and move in a different direction the minute the Spirit of God speaks to our heart about sin. And you know what sin He is referring to in your life that you just do not want to give up. God is saying to you today to stop and move back to Him or else you will suffer the consequences of the sin. God has set into motion the consequences of sin and one of them is our ability to hear Him. The longer we stay in sin, the less we will hear His voice. Don’t let this happen, as soon as you know it is sin, stop and move back to the One and the only One who save you. He can have no fellowship with sin and sin will keep you from growing in faith in Him.

Have a God Day!

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June 29, 2006: 6:45 pm: Daily Scripture

Jude 17-23
But you, my dear friends, must remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ told you, 18 that in the last times there would be scoffers whose purpose in life is to enjoy themselves in every evil way imaginable. 19 Now they are here, and they are the ones who are creating divisions among you. They live by natural instinct because they do not have God’s Spirit living in them. 20 But you, dear friends, must continue to build your lives on the foundation of your holy faith. And continue to pray as you are directed by the Holy Spirit. 21 Live in such a way that God’s love can bless you as you wait for the eternal life that our Lord Jesus Christ in his mercy is going to give you. 22 Show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. 23 Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. There are still others to whom you need to show mercy, but be careful that you aren’t contaminated by their sins.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

The “last times” or “last days” started when Jesus left this world. It is the period of time between the end of His first coming and the beginning of His second coming. We live in the last days. John is warning us to live close to God because there will be false teachers who would try and pull us away from God. He tells us not to take witnessing lightly for it is a matter of life and death. We are to hate sin, but we must witness to and love the sinner. For we must remember that we were on our way to Hell when Christ saved us. Once we were lost and without the Light of Christ within us. And no one is any better than any other person. We all have sinned and all of us need the saving grace of Christ Jesus. So we have common ground with all around us. Make sure your footing is secure and grounded in the love of God when you reach out to the unsaved. Because it is easy to be pulled into their sin if you are not. Remember, you are a child of the King and need to influence them for Christ and don’t allow them to influence you to sin. Christ is coming soon and He stated He would come like a thief in the night. No warning will be given. The trumpet will sound and the dead in Christ will rise ahead of those who are alive and are in Christ. Christ will be our judge and He will separate the goats from the sheep. Be prepared, be a child of the Living God!

Have a God Day!

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June 28, 2006: 6:48 pm: Daily Scripture

Psalm 26:1-8
1 Declare me innocent, O Lord, for I have acted with integrity; I have trusted in the Lord without wavering. 2 Put me on trial, Lord, and cross-examine me. Test my motives and affections. 3 For I am constantly aware of your unfailing love, and I have lived according to your truth. 4 I do not spend time with liars or go along with hypocrites. 5 I hate the gatherings of those who do evil, and I refuse to join in with the wicked. 6 I wash my hands to declare my innocence. I come to your altar, O Lord, 7 singing a song of thanksgiving and telling of all your miracles. 8 I love your sanctuary, Lord, the place where your glory shines.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

In this psalm David talks about his righteousness. We can also have perfect righteousness in Christ Jesus. 1 Corinthians 1:30 tells us, “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. He has been made unto me righteousness as well as redemption.” We can stand complete in Him, acceptable to God because of what Christ has done for us. That is what it means to pray in His name. It is to present His work, His merit, and who He is with our requests. This is a marvelous psalm that speaks of David’s walk. David committed a great sin, but David did not continue to live in sin. What David did once, the king of Babylon did every day. David’s sin stands out like a lump of coal in a snowman because the rest of David’s life was an example of godliness. He became a measuring stick for the kings who followed him. Every king was judged by whether or not he walked in the steps of his father David. If he followed David’s example, he was accepted and proclaimed a good king. You and I can also walk in the example David left for us. We have all sinned greatly against God, but do not let it prevent you from serving Him or living Him. Move forward knowing that with God’s forgiveness, you have the righteousness of Christ.

Have a God Day!

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June 27, 2006: 6:26 pm: Daily Scripture

Hebrews 12:1-4
Since we have such a huge crowd of men of faith watching us from the grandstands, let us strip off anything that slows us down or holds us back, and especially those sins that wrap themselves so tightly around our feet and trip us up; and let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before us. 2 Keep your eyes on Jesus, our leader and instructor. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterwards; and now he sits in the place of honor by the throne of God. 3 If you want to keep from becoming fainthearted and weary, think about his patience as sinful men did such terrible things to him. 4 After all, you have never yet struggled against sin and temptation until you sweat great drops of blood.
The Living Bible, (Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1997.

Why do cleansed Christians return to sin after receiving the grace of God? God’s ability to love, forgive, and cleanse sinners is incredible. If we confess, He purifies and forgives…every time…and in every way. But even cleansed people can sin again. It is difficult to understand why God left us to deal with our old nature and the new nature of Christ within us. It is a question of faith, will we trust that God knows what He is doing with every detail of our lives? When we sin, we choose our own wisdom over God’s. Most Christians know what to do. We just need to do it. The incredible benefit of this life in Christ is the power of the Holy Spirit within us. Romans 8:9 tells us, “You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.” Suddenly, we can do something we could never do before. We can, with the power of the Spirit of God within us, dispose of sin like old clothing. To say we have Jesus in our life, and the Holy Spirit’s power, yet claim we can do nothing about habitual sin is absurd. Taking on the righteousness of Christ needs to become a habit. We need to strip off every sin that holds us back from becoming all that God intends for us. And we can do that because we have His Word that we can and the proof is His Spirit in us. Confess your sin before God and remove it from your life and become Christ in the flesh to your world.

Have a God Day!

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June 26, 2006: 6:19 pm: Daily Scripture

Luke 6:37-41
37 “Stop judging others, and you will not be judged. Stop criticizing others, or it will all come back on you. If you forgive others, you will be forgiven. 38 If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving-large or small-it will be used to measure what is given back to you.” 39 Then Jesus gave the following illustration: “What good is it for one blind person to lead another? The first one will fall into a ditch and pull the other down also. 40 A student is not greater than the teacher. But the student who works hard will become like the teacher. 41 “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? 42 How can you think of saying, ‘Friend, let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log from your own eye; then perhaps you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

A forgiving person demonstrates that they understand their own sinfulness and have received God’s forgiveness. When we realize how great our sin is, no matter what it is, we will be able to move forward in freedom to forgive those who have wronged us. If we are critical rather than compassionate, we will receive criticism. If we treat others generously, graciously, and with compassion these qualities will come back to us. If we rationalize our own sin by pointing out the sin in others, we have not understood the forgiveness God has given us through Christ Jesus. It does not matter that your neighbors sin is “worse’ than yours, you still have sinned and need God’s forgiveness as much as the greater sinner. By putting a level of wickedness on our sin, we put ourselves above others and God does not see it this way. Our standard of measure is always God. And no one can measure up to His perfection. So all sin in evil in God’s eyes and all sin, no matter how great or how small, is sin against God. If we minimize our sin, we do not make changes and so we keep on sinning. But if we view every wrong attitude and action as a serious offense against God, we begin to understand what living for Him is all about. To live without faith is hopeless, to express sorrow for your sin without change is hypocritical. Everyone is sorry for their sin when they are caught. But only those who understand how great all sin is will make changes in their life that will reflect Christ living in them. Being sorry for sin is not enough. Repentance demands a change of mind and heart that result in changed behavior. Seek to know Him and seek to understand how great His sacrifice was for your sin and your heart will reflect through your behavior the changes God has made in your life.

Have a God Day!

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June 23, 2006: 6:35 pm: Daily Scripture

Jeremiah 1:4-10
4 The Lord gave me a message. He said, 5 “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my spokesman to the world.” 6 “O Sovereign Lord,’ I said, “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!” 7 “Don’t say that,” the Lord replied, “for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. 8 And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and take care of you. I, the Lord, have spoken!” 9 Then the Lord touched my mouth and said, “See, I have put my words in your mouth! 10 Today I appoint you to stand up against nations and kingdoms. You are to uproot some and tear them down, to destroy and overthrow them. You are to build others up and plant them.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

God knew you before you were formed in your mother’s womb. And He knew how you would respond to His love. He thought about you and planned for you. He has also called you to a work. We are all “appointed” by God to do a work for Him and it should be done to the glory of God. If you do not hear a specific call or task, as Jeremiah had, then seek to fulfill the mission common to all believers–to love, obey, and serve God. We are all called and there are no excuses. Jeremiah felt he was too young to taken seriously. Do not allow feelings of inadequacy keep you from obeying God. He gave you an assignment and He will give you the power to accomplish it. He will not always keep you from the storms and trails of life, but He will provide what you need to tell and show others His love. All are called; there are not exceptions to serving Him, if you love Him. Seek His direction through His Word and know that He is with you and do not be afraid to tell others what He has done for you!

Have a God Day!

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June 21, 2006: 6:40 pm: Daily Scripture

Luke 6:12-16
12 One day soon afterward Jesus went to a mountain to pray, and he prayed to God all night. 13 At daybreak he called together all of his disciples and chose twelve of them to be apostles. Here are their names:
14 Simon (he also called him Peter),
Andrew (Peter’s brother),
James,
John,
Philip,
Bartholomew,
15 Matthew,
Thomas,
James (son of Alphaeus),
Simon (the Zealot),
16 Judas (son of James),
Judas Iscariot (who later betrayed him).
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Through out the Gospel writers note that before every important event in Jesus’ life, He took time to go off by Himself and pray. Jesus was preparing to choose His inner circle of apostles. He had many disciples (learners), but He chose only 12 apostles (messenger). The apostles were His inner circle to whom He gave special training and whom He sent out to build His Church. Christ needed to know the Father’s will completely in this matter and took time to pray through the night. He had a direct connection to the Father to know His will in this matter, just as we have a direct connection to the Father because of what Christ did. If He needed to spend a lot of time to know the Father’s will how much more do we? Do you take the time to know what direction God would have you go? Do not use prayer for a way to control what God does for you; it is a way for you to put yourself under His control. There is a big difference. Sometimes we do need to go a certain direction until God directs us differently, but most of the time we need to wait until we hear from Him until we move. Follow the example Christ gave and take the time to know what the Father would have for you to do.

Have a God Day!

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June 20, 2006: 4:45 pm: Daily Scripture

Psalm 119:1-8
1 Happy are people of integrity, who follow the law of the Lord.
2 Happy are those who obey his decrees and search for him with all their hearts.
3 They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in his paths.
4 You have charged us to keep your commandments carefully.
5 Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your principles!
6 Then I will not be disgraced when I compare my life with your commands.
7 When I learn your righteous laws, I will thank you by living as I should!
8 I will obey your principles. Please don’t give up on me!
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Have you ever felt like crying out to God, “Don’t give up on me!” How do we stay pure in a filthy world? We can not do it on our own. So many times I am like Paul in Romans 7:18 & 19, “I know I am rotten through and through so far as my old sinful nature is concerned. No matter which way I turn, I can’t make myself do right. I want to, but I can’t. When I want to do good, I don’t. And when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway.” The only way to become like Christ is to know Him and spend time with Him. The more we hang out with Him, the more we become like him. If you hand out in a smoke shop, you will smell like smoke, but if you hang out in a flower shop, you will smell like flowers. Where you spend time will show in your behavior and attitude. Spend time with Christ and you will know Him and act like Him. Keeping His Word in our hearts is a deterrent to sin. But it is more than just knowing or memorizing the Word, we must put it to work in our lives. If we have experienced something first hand, we are more likely to remember and learn from it. Take the time to learn from the map God has given us to become like Him and be His righteousness to this world. Determine in your mind that you will follow the Lord in all you do and say. And when you stumble, and you will, just pick yourself up and start again.

Have a God Day!

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June 19, 2006: 6:02 pm: Daily Scripture

2 Timothy 3:14-17
14 But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. 15 You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. 17 It is God’s way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

The Word of God is more than a road map to righteous living. It is our source of power in time of need. The entire Bible has been given to us by our Father to help and guide us in a world of sin and darkness. But no Christian is stronger than his or her knowledge of the Word of God. It is a lamp to our feet showing us the next step, every step of the way. It keeps us on the right path that leads to living a victorious righteous life in Christ. After we have accepted the grace of God through Christ Jesus, we are no stronger that our understanding of Him through His Word. And His Word only becomes real to us when we know it and apply it. It is in the applying of God’s Word that we find the truth of it. Knowing the Word alone is not enough, but it must be lived day to day in our lives. Do you know the Word? Good now start living it. If you do not know the Word, then start to read and study it. God will guide and direct you and He will show you how to live it. For it is only in living a righteous life in a sinful world that Christ will show through you. And this comes only through knowing Him, knowing His Word and then living His Word through the power of Him in you.

Have a God Day!

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June 16, 2006: 7:31 pm: Daily Scripture

Luke 4:1-4
Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit to go out into the wilderness, 2 where the Devil tempted him for forty days. He ate nothing all that time and was very hungry. 3 Then the Devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, change this stone into a loaf of bread.” 4 But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People need more than bread for their life.’
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Sometimes what we are tempted to do isn’t wrong in itself. Turning a stone into bread wasn’t necessarily wrong. The sin was not the act but in the reason behind it. Satan was trying to get Jesus to take a shortcut, to solve Jesus’ immediate problem at the expense of His long-range goal, to seek comfort at the sacrifice of His discipline. Satan often works that way, persuading us to take action, even a right action, for the wrong reason or at the wrong time. The fact that something is not wrong in itself does not mean that it is good for you at a given time. Many people sin by attempting to fulfill a legitimate desire outside of God’s will or ahead of His timing. First seek His direction and then pray to know where the thought is coming from. Is it a whisper in your ear from the enemy or it is your own selfish needs speaking? God will give you wisdom to discern the difference and to hear His voice clearly, if you are seeking Him. Always know His Word and seek to hear His voice and He will make you path straight and be a Light onto your steps.

Have a God Day!

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