Archive for June, 2006

June 15, 2006: 6:32 pm: Daily Scripture

Isaiah 53
1 Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness;
And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
3 He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
4 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
9 And they made His grave with the wicked–But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

How could an Old Testament person understand the idea of Christ dying for our sins and actually bearing the punishment that we deserve? But yet Isaiah wrote this prophecy over 600 years before Christ would come to the earth. The scripture is clear that God would come and take the punishment for all those who have turned away, which is all of us. The sacrifices Isaiah did only suggested this idea, but it is one thing to kill a lamb and something quite different to think of God’s chosen servant as the Lamb. But God was pulling aside the curtain to let the people of Isaiah’s day look ahead to the suffering of the future Messiah and the resulting forgiveness made available through His sacrifice. We have hindsight to see and know the identity of the promised Messiah, who has come and died for our sins. So it is easier today for us to believe than it was for those in Isaiah’s day. If you have not given your life to Jesus Christ today, you will have no excuse when you stand before Him. The Word given to us by God is clear.

Have a God Day!

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June 14, 2006: 6:02 pm: Daily Scripture

James 2:14-20
14 Dear brothers and sisters, what’s the use of saying you have faith if you don’t prove it by your actions? That kind of faith can’t save anyone. 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who needs food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Well, good-bye and God bless you; stay warm and eat well–but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? 17 So you see, it isn’t enough just to have faith. Faith that doesn’t show itself by good deeds is no faith at all-it is dead and useless. 18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” I say, “I can’t see your faith if you don’t have good deeds, but I will show you my faith through my good deeds.” 19 Do you still think it’s enough just to believe that there is one God? Well, even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror! 20 Fool! When will you ever learn that faith that does not result in good deeds is useless?”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Confession of sins and a changed life are inseparable. Faith without deeds is dead. Jesus had the harshest words to the respectable religious leaders, who lacked the desire for real change. They wanted to be known as religious authorities, but they didn’t want to change their hearts and minds. They wanted to “look” religious without having to make any changes to how they lived their lives. What people thought and their position in society were more important to them than having God change their lives. They have received all the reward they will get in this world. Turning from sin must lead to action, or it isn’t real. Following Jesus means more than saying the right words, it means acting on what He has said, even if you do not feel like it. Your feelings are irrelevant, what is in your heart will show by the actions you do. If Christ is really in your heart your deeds will show. Act Jesus to the world around you because of His love for you.

Have a God Day!

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June 13, 2006: 6:27 pm: Daily Scripture

Philippians 2:12-16
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. 14 Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

What do you think when you see a caterpillar? Do you think it is an ugly worm-like thing or do you see what has been coded within him from the start? Most people do not go out of their way to look at a caterpillar, but many will always stop and look at a beautiful butterfly. When we come to know Jesus Christ as our Savior, we are like the ugly worm. He has put everything inside of us to become Christ-like, but we are still unappealing on the outside. But everything we need to be like Christ is implanted in us at the point of salvation. We have to work out our salvation in our souls to become like the butterfly. Christ is in us, but without the right environment, He will not grow. All the caterpillar does is eat and eat and then he cocoons himself in the right environment and soon becomes the beautiful butterfly. We must also consume the Word of God and surround ourselves with His people to become like Him. Without eating or consuming the Word of God, we will not grow to become like Him. We remain undeveloped and unusable for Him. But when we consume His Word and become a part of His Body, we change into a beautiful vessel for His will. Where are you today in your journey to become more like Him? Are you still an ugly worm or are you consuming His Word and developing into Him? Everything you need is already in you to become like Christ, you just need to know His Word and join His body. For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure because of what He has done for you at salvation.

Have a God Day!

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June 12, 2006: 9:04 pm: Daily Scripture

Galatians 5:18-25
18 But when you are directed by the Holy Spirit, you are no longer subject to the law. 19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, 20 idolatry, participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other kinds of sin. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. 22 But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Which fruit describes your life they as stated here in Galatians? The Bible tells us that we will be known by our fruits. So what is in your heart will also show in your life. Once baptized into the Body of Christ, the Spirit of God now lives in you. As you allow the Spirit to work in your life, the fruit of God will become evident. But if your life is controlled by your sinful nature, those fruits will be evident. The sinfulness of the world and those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. When we come to Christ, His righteousness is imparted to us. We begin our journey to become like Christ. When we submit to the Holy Spirit of God, He begins the work in us. We are no longer a part of this world. We are in the world but not of the world. The Spirit will remove abrasive qualities from our character if we are under His control. Only the Holy Spirit can produce the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. When the Spirit is fully in control of a believer, He produces all of these graces in our lives. Submit to Him today and others will see Him in your life.

Have a God Day!

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June 5, 2006: 7:16 pm: Daily Scripture

Colossians 1:25-29
25 God has given me the responsibility of serving his church by proclaiming his message in all its fullness to you Gentiles. 26 This message was kept secret for centuries and generations past, but now it has been revealed to his own holy people. 27 For it has pleased God to tell his people that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. For this is the secret: Christ lives in you, and this is your assurance that you will share in his glory. 28 So everywhere we go, we tell everyone about Christ. We warn them and teach them with all the wisdom God has given us, for we want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ. 29 I work very hard at this, as I depend on Christ’s mighty power that works within me.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.)
1996.

How much of your life is under control of your “old nature” and how much is under control of “Christ in you?” How much room have you made for Christ in your life? If you are still struggling with sin or can not find time for God, then too much of your “old nature” is in control. Recognizing unacceptable behavior is the first step to surrendering them to the control of “Christ in you.” All of us have things in our life we are not proud of and realize we need to make some changes. The only time in our life when we do not need to improve or change is when we are dead. But until that time, there will always be a part of our “old nature” that will want to bring us down and away from what God has intended for us. His life in us is truly our only hope of changing the “old nature” in us. We must decrease and He must increase. This is a circumcision of the heart not just self-denial. When we change unacceptable behavior out of our own will power there will always be inner drives continually trying to sabotage our efforts. But when Christ lives in you and you have made room for Him by surrendering anything in your life that is not of Him, then you will have victory and joy because it is Christ in you that gives you the power. We do this by daily coming before God and opening ourselves up to His examination. We ask and allow God to reveal to us what direction we should take. We surrender completely to His control. It is a step by step process that will take the rest of your life, but it is worked at daily. As you move closer and closer to Him, His life will be lived in you and you will share His glory.

Have a God Day!

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