Archive for July, 2006

July 31, 2006: 6:27 pm: Daily Scripture

Luke 11:23-26
23 “Anyone who isn’t helping me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me. 24 “When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, searching for rest. But when it finds none, it says, ‘I will return to the person I came from.’ 25 So it returns and finds that its former home is all swept and clean. 26 Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

The absence of evil does not mean that God is present. Because we can look at our life and say that we are not as evil as others do not mean that God is present in our lives. We must actively seek Him and actively do His will. Jesus is telling us that those who are not actually working for Him are actually against Him. We can not live ignoring Him and the work He has given to all of us. If we do, then we are against Him, even if we are living a “good” life according to the standards of the world. If we live according to laws of man, we are considering a good citizen. But Christ has said those who are not for Him are actually against Him. Too often many only cry out to God when they need help, but ignore Him when things are good. Doing what is right is more than simply believing all the right doctrines of God. It means living what we believe and walking in obedience to Him. What are you doing to show your faith in Him? James tells us faith without works is dead. Is God just a name you call when you are in trouble or is He the one you serve? You can not say you love Him without showing it. He is asking all those who say they are His to show it by walking in obedience to Him. That means knowing what He wants you to do. It means knowing His Word by living it. Are you helping Him today? Look at your life and examine it against His standard and move forward in action by doing His work.

Have a God Day!

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July 28, 2006: 6:11 pm: Daily Scripture

Philippians 4:4-9
4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again-rejoice! 5 Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. 6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. 8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, let me say one more thing as I close this letter. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned from me and heard from me and saw me doing, and the God of peace will be with you.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Uncontrolled anxiety will dominate your mind and make your life miserable. There is no question that life is very uncertain. Not one of us knows what the next day will bring. And the unknown in life can cause great pressure and lead us to worry. Especially with all that is happening in the Middle East at this time and with the terrorist attacks against Americans, many are becoming more anxious. But as a child of God, we are not to allow anxiety in our lives. It will come, but we are to rebuke it and not allow it to permeate our minds. It is a choice. We can decide to let all of the cares of this world pull us down into a state of mind that can not function or we can decide to not allow anxiety to become our focus. The Bible tells us to fix our thoughts on what is true. We have a choice to allow the anxiety to take over our thoughts or decide to let the truth of God’s Word saturate our minds. The direction we go will determine our actions. We will function and act as our thoughts direct us. If we are full of fear our actions will reflect that but if we are full of the truth of God’s Word, Christ will be reflected in our actions. When you wake in the night and fear fills your mind and heart until you can feel it in your throat, speak the Word of God. Repeat it over and over and let His Word fill your head. “If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

Have a God Day!

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July 27, 2006: 5:47 pm: Daily Scripture

Romans 7:15-25, 8:1-2
15 I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate. 16 I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong, and my bad conscience shows that I agree that the law is good. 17 But I can’t help myself, because it is sin inside me that makes me do these evil things. 18 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. 19 When I want to do good, I don’t. And when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway. 20 But if I am doing what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing it; the sin within me is doing it. 21 It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart. 23 But there is another law at work within me that is at war with my mind. This law wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin. 8 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.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Those in Christ are free from the power of sin. It no longer has control over us through the victory of Christ Jesus. But what should we do when we sin? There are two important keys things to focus on. First ask God to reveal the sin in your life and then confess it to Him. We can not come before the Father with any unconfessed sin; our prayers will not be answered. When you pray, there should be nothing between you and God. Second, when we sin or fail, refocus on God, deal with the problem, and then move on. It is in the past and is covered by the Blood of Christ. Psalm 103:12 tells us “As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.” God wants the cycle of sin, repentance, and forgiveness to strengthen us, not weaken us. The lessons we learn from our failures should make us better able to handle the same situation the second time around. Because God is eager to give us cleansing, forgiveness, and strength the only way to lose is to give up. The only true failure is not trying again. God will give us the victory over every sin in our lives if we confess, repent, and obey. When you sin again, and we all will, don’t allow it to stop you from doing the work of God. Don’t let your past sins keep you from telling others about the work Christ has done in you. Move on, you are as pure as Jesus Christ, when you are covered by His blood. You have the promise of God in Romans 8:10, “Since Christ lives within you, even though your body will die because of sin, your spirit is alive because you have been made right with God.”

Have a God Day!

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July 26, 2006: 2:55 am: 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.

As long as you are attached to the Branch of Christ Jesus, He will continue to require more fruit from you. You will never get to a point in your Christian walk where you have learned enough. Christ will always want you to grow more and to become more like Him. And you will never fully become Christ as long as you live in this world. You live in a corruptible body and it cannot produce pure fruit. But there is much to gain with what you have. And Christ will always urge you to do more, be more, give more and love more. When you stop pushing up the hill, you will roll backwards. And it is the power of the Spirit God within you that keeps you pushing up the hill. Life is the hill. This side of heaven you will never see perfection but as long as you are attached to the Branch, you w1ll cont1nue to grow. It is when you remove yourself from the Branch that you wither and die. Stay connected to the Branch by remaining a part of the Body of Christ. The body is made of many parts but Christ is the head and all have a function and purpose. Everyone is required to use what we have been given by Christ to further His purpose. The purpose of the Great Commission and that is that none should perish but all have the gift of life through Christ Jesus.

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July 25, 2006: 2:51 am: Daily Scripture

Isaiah 35:3-10
3 With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands, and encourage those who have weak knees. 4 Say to those who are afraid, “Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you.” 5 And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind and unstop the ears of the deaf. 6 The lame will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will shout and sing! Springs will gush forth in the wilderness, and streams will water the desert. 7 The parched ground will become a pool, and springs of water will satisfy the thirsty land. Marsh grass and reeds and rushes will flourish where desert jackals once lived. 8 And a main road will go through that once deserted land. It will be named the Highway of Holiness. Evil-hearted people will never travel on it. It will be only for those who walk in God’s ways; fools will never walk there. 9 Lions will not lurk along its course, and there will be no other dangers. Only the redeemed will follow it. 10 Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return to Jerusalem, singing songs of everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be overcome with joy and gladness.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Isaiah is writing about what the earth will be like after the Second Coming of Christ. He had a vision of perfection on the earth when Christ is Ruler. As Christians today, we are all on the Highway of Holiness. Our highway is the continuous process to become more like Christ. We continue forward and put our faith into action everyday and as we do, we become stronger and we become more of Christ. This passage from Isaiah gives us hope for the future and power for the present. As we learn and study more of the Word of God, we become empowered to live the righteousness of Christ in a world of sin. Matthew 7: 13, 14 tell us, “You can enter Gods Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad; and its gate is wide for the many who choose the easy way. But the gateway to life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it.” There is a highway that leads to eternal life with God, but only those who believe in the work of the Cross of Christ will ever find it. It leads to righteousness and truth and peace for those who are on it. When Christians are ruling with Christ during the Millennium, will I see you on the Highway of Holiness? The decisions you make today will determine. And only you can decide where you will be. Don’t delay, make Christ your priority and seek Him with your whole heart and meet me on the Highway of Holiness!

Have a God Day!

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July 24, 2006: 2:50 am: Daily Scripture

Good Morning!

Acts 17:27-31
27 “His purpose in all of this was that the nations should seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him-though he is not far from anyone of us. 28 For in him we live and move and exist. As one of your own poets says, ‘We are his offspring.’ 29 And since this is true, we shouldn’t think of God as an idol designed by craftsmen from gold or silver or stone. 30 God overlooked people’s former ignorance about these things, but now he commands everyone everywhere to turn away from idols and turn to him. 31 For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Only because of God do we exist. In God we have our being. Without Him we have nothing. Even the air we breathe is from Him. Without God’s providence no one would have life. Too many do not realize this and as God has told us, “He has set a day for judging the world.” That day will come and all those who did not receive the gift of salvation through Christ Jesus will stand before Him and will be judged for their sins against Him. Those of us who do recognize and have received salvation will not stand before Him for judgment of sin. Christ took that judgment for us and only because of Him will we be saved from it. This is why Christians can have peace in this world of problems because we know Who holds the future in and Who give us existence. It is Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior and He is the Lover of our soul.

Have a God Day!

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July 21, 2006: 6:58 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.

The statement that “God is light” means that God is perfectly holy. In the dark, good and evil look alike; in the light they can be clearly distinguished. Just as darkness cannot exist in the presence of light, sin cannot exist in the presence of a holy God. If we want to have fellowship with God, we must put aside our sinful ways. To claim that we belong to Him and then continue to sin is hypocrisy. We can not be a part of the Light and continue to live in sin if we want fellowship with God. All of us sin and will continue to, but to have the presence of God with us, we must be cleansed from our sin. At conversion all of our sin past, present, and future are forgiven. Yet even though we are Christians, we still need to confess and turn from our sin, not to gain God’s acceptance but to remove the barrier to fellowship with Him. To say we have no sin is to call God a lair and then there is no fellowship with Him. And without fellowship with God, we have no relationship with Him. And without a relationship with God, there is no growth, there is no sanctification. We will stay who we are and not become more like Christ. We can still be saved, but without the growth and fellowship, we will continue in our sin and grow further away from God. Confess your sins and grow in your fellowship with God your Father through the work Christ Jesus did for you.

Have a God Day!

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July 20, 2006: 5:59 pm: Daily Scripture

Isaiah 49:24-26
24 Who can snatch the plunder of war from the hands of a warrior? Who can demand that a tyrant let his captives go? 25 But the Lord says, “The captives of warriors will be released, and the plunder of tyrants will be retrieved. For I will fight those who fight you, and I will save your children. 26 I will feed your enemies with their own flesh. They will be drunk with rivers of their own blood. All the world will know that I, the Lord, am your Savior and Redeemer, the Mighty One of Israel.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

It is important to remember that we are not at war with flesh and blood. Ephesians 6:12 tells us, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” As a child of God, we are in a spiritual battle, sometimes for our own understanding and sometimes for the understanding of those in darkness. For our loved ones living in darkness, the words of Isaiah apply, they will be set free. God tells us that He will fight for those that we fight for and God will save our children. To penetrate the minds of those who live in darkness, we need to expose them to the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We need to reach beyond the level of their flesh and blood and go into the battle where it is. And the battle is in their minds and while they are in darkness, the best way to reach them is on this battlefield. We pick up our sword and fight the enemy with his own weapons and bind those in darkness to the light of Christ. We continue to fight until they are no longer in darkness but living in the light of the love of God. All our prayers have a cumulative impact, for our prayers which are according to the will of God are NEVER without effect. So claim the promises of God and continue to fight for those you love who are in darkness and NEVER give up, for God will save your children!

Have a God Day!

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July 19, 2006: 5:57 pm: Daily Scripture

Jeremiah 15:19-21
19 The Lord replied, “If you return to me, I will restore you so you can continue to serve me. If you speak words that are worthy, you will be my spokesman. You are to influence them; do not let them influence you! 20 They will fight against you like an attacking army, but I will make you as secure as a fortified wall. They will not conquer you, for I will protect and deliver you. I, the Lord, have spoken! 21 Yes, I will certainly keep you safe from these wicked men. I will rescue you from their cruel hands.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Jeremiah had a difficult assignment from the Lord. He lived at a time when all of Israel had turned away from God. The nation was very open about worshiping any god the wanted, while they also continued to come to the Temple to worship God. Jeremiah told them to turn from their evil or God would bring destruction on them. He even told them it would be done by the Babylonians and they would be in exile for 70 years. God had instructed Jeremiah to not marry or have children because of the coming destruction. He was instructed to speak God’s truth to a people who were very wicked. As Jeremiah came before the Lord, he spoke of his frustration at doing this work. And God spoke to him stating to return to Him and not let the evil people influence him to do evil. Here was a very devote man of God doing a very difficult thing at a very difficult time and yet God said to him, “Return to Me.” He is saying the same to you today, “Return to Me.” We all get discouraged serving the Lord, but we must remember it is His work; it is His mission we follow. When others reject you because you belong to Him and serve Him, remember it is Christ they are rejecting and not you. Stay connected to Him even if you are the only one to do so. Others may say you are wrong, but do not let them influence you. You are to influence them to God by your standard of right living, no matter how evil they are. They will see Christ in you even if they do not turn to follow Him. Your life will be a testimony to them about how God wants us to live. So continue to do what you know is right and your life will show His love to a world of evil all around you.

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July 18, 2006: 5:55 pm: Daily Scripture

Romans 12:17-21
17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do your part to live in peace with everyone, as much as possible. 19 Dear friends, never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God. For it is written, “I will take vengeance; I will repay those who deserve it,” says the Lord. 20 Instead, do what the Scriptures say: “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink, and they will be ashamed of what they have done to you.” 21 Don’t let evil get the best of you, but conquer evil by doing good.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

It is our nature to want to strike back when we have been the victim of evil. We want them to hurt as much as we have been hurt. But this is not our responsibility, it belongs to God. God never wants us to repay evil for evil. Because He knows that when we do, we become evil. We become a judge and we now function outside of God. He has told us that He will take vengeance and we need to trust Him to do it His way and in His time. Remember that we are not above evil; we have done wrong to someone at some point in our lives. We deserve to be punished for the things we have done. But God in His grace has forgiven us by the Blood of Jesus Christ. And don’t those who have done you wrong deserve the same? We are to forgive and to love and let God deal with the vengeance. But to forgive does not mean we are to continue to allow someone to keep abusing us. We are to forgive, but we are also free to move on. Do not let evil continue. It is love to also be removed from a situation that is not healthy. Ask God for direction and move in His will. Forgive and love but do not allow evil to continue.

Have a God Day!

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