Archive for September, 2006

September 29, 2006: 5:57 pm: Daily Scripture

James 1:22-25
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.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Reading the Word of God is an important element in your walk with Christ. But it is more than just reading; it is understanding and applying it that makes it real to our lives. We must turn what we read into experience. Many life-giving concepts in the Word become powerful, personal truths you will never forget when those concepts become experiential in your life. Faith does indeed come by hearing the Word, but faith grows by experiencing the Word. Faith and experience turn hope into reality. In order for the Word of God to be real in our lives, we must know it, understand it, and experience it. This comes only by applying the truths we know from the Word of God to situations in our lives. An example would be, feeling a complete sense of peace, when your life is in extreme turmoil. When you are uncertain of what tomorrow will bring or even if there will be a tomorrow, you rest in peace, knowing that God cares about you and will make all things work for good according to His purpose because you love Him. This comes only from knowing the Word and then applying it to your situation. Grow your faith muscle by taking the Word and making it real in your life. Take one small verse and apply it to a situation in your life and see if the Word of God is true. God will not disappoint you as you step out in faith.

Have a God Day!

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September 28, 2006: 5:50 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 entire Old Testament system of sacrifices could not help a sinner unless he brought his offering with an attitude of repentance and a willingness to confess his sin. Today, because of Christ Jesus death on the cross, we do not have to sacrifice animals. But it is still vital to confess sin, because confession shows realization of sin, awareness of God’s holiness, humility before God, and a willingness to turn from the confessed sin. Even the death of Christ would be of little value to us if we do not repent and turn from our sin. It is the knowledge of our sin that brings us to Christ and it is the knowledge of our sin that shows us the grace of God. Knowing and receiving the grace of God is the start of our walk with Him. For those who are saved by grace, unconfessed sin will keep the power of God from fully working in your life. For those who have not accepted Christ, it will keep them separated from God. Do you want anything between you and God when you go to Him in prayer? Unconfessed sin will keep a barrier between you and Christ, so remove it. Take the unconfused sin in your life directly to God through Christ Jesus and confess it to Him and then receive His grace. You will receive power from the Holy Spirit working in you to turn from that sin and to become more like Jesus. He will also give you the desire to serve Him and power to walk in obedience.

Have a God Day!

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September 27, 2006: 6:19 pm: Daily Scripture

Matthew 14:15-21
15 That evening the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and it is getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16 But Jesus replied, “That isn’t necessary you feed them.”
17 “Impossible!” they exclaimed. “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish!” 18 “Bring them here,” he said. 19 Then he told the people to sit down on the grass. And he took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and asked God’s blessing on the food. Breaking the loaves into pieces, he gave some of the bread and fish to each disciple, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate as much as they wanted, and they picked up twelve baskets of leftovers. 21 About five thousand men had eaten from those five loaves, in addition to all the women and children!
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

After Jesus feed over 5000 men and many more women and children, they wanted to make Him King of Israel. The crowds had been following Jesus and He was healing them and now he feed them food. Many were there not because they believed He was the Son of God, but because He gave them provisions and healed them. They did not belive because of Who He was but because of what He did. Imagine today if every believer received everything they ever prayed for instantly. The lines to get into church would be so long, there would not be enough churches to hold them. Many would come not because of their love for God but because they could get what they wanted. God does not want us to come to Him because of what He can do for us, He wants our hearts because we love Him for what He did for us. This is the true test of our faith; will we continue believe even in our pain and sorrow? Don’t let your unanswered pray turn you away from the love of Christ. He has a plan in mind for you and may use your bad circumstance to bring you to a greater place. Trust in Him and believe not because of what He can do for you but because you know of His love for you. Make your relationship with Jesus Christ the most important thing in your life even in your sickness or pain. It is your heart and love He wants because you know He first loved you.

Have a God Day!

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September 26, 2006: 6:30 pm: Daily Scripture

Matthew 18:21-35
21 Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” 22 “No!” Jesus replied, “seventy times seven!” 23 “For this reason, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. 24 In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. 25 He couldn’t pay, so the king ordered that he, his wife, his children, and everything he had be sold to pay the debt. 26 But the man fell down before the king and begged him, ‘Oh, sir, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ 27 Then the king was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt. 28 “But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment. 29 His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient and I will pay it,’ he pleaded. 30 But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and jailed until the debt could be paid in full. 31 “When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him what had happened. 32 Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ 34 Then the angry king sent the man to prison until he had paid every penny. 35 “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters in your heart.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Forgiving those who have sinned against us is not easy, but it is not an option. We are to forgive others as God has forgiven us. There is not one of us who does not have some deep pain from someone who has done us wrong. We may be perfectly innocent and they may be perfectly wrong in what they did, but it still does not let us off the hook. We must forgive them for our sake and not for theirs. When we harbor unforgiven, we have blocked our direct connection to God. Our prayers will hit the ceiling. When we realize this, we must forgive and move on. The same is true if we have harmed or sinned against another. Paul tells us that we must go immediately to that person and say you are sorry and ask for forgiveness. What they do with your request is up to them, but you have done what you can. We have a responsibility on either side to either forgive or seek forgiveness. It only hurts you to hold onto resentment and the memory of the pain that sinned caused. Forgive and forget and then move on. Life is full of hurts and pains and this will not be the last time someone sins against you. Open the door for the Spirit of God to come in and fill you with His grace and then fill your heart with peace. Let it go and give it to God. He will hear your prayers and you will receive His peace.

Have a God Day!

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September 25, 2006: 6:19 pm: Daily Scripture

Philippians 2:12-17
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.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

There are many mornings I get up and don’t feel like reading the Word. Many times, I don’t feel like praying for a loved one or a need. I just don’t feel like obeying God all the time. That is why Paul’s word to the Philippians is so helpful. God helps us desire to obey Him and then gives us the power to do what He wants us to do. And it is always for my benefit to obey God. He doesn’t need my prayers He doesn’t need me to know His Word. I am the one who benefits from obedience. The secret to a changed life is to submit to the power of God within you. Often it is in doing God’s will that we gain the desire to do it. And a transformed life is a powerful witness to the work God can do in a life surrendered to Him. So do the will of God without complaining and live your life in joy following the instructions God has given you. And as you step out in faith, God will increase your wisdom and knowledge of Him and will work His will through you.

Have a God Day!

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September 21, 2006: 5:58 pm: Daily Scripture

Ephesians 6:10-18
10 A final word: Be strong with the Lord’s mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil. 12 For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms. 13 Use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In every battle you will need faith as your shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed at you by Satan. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 Pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all Christians everywhere.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Is this scripture very familiar to you? Does your mind automatically go to Ephesians 6 when you think of the armor of God? If not then you need to put on more of the armor of God. The Word of God will come alive to you as you become more familiar with it. Then when you are faced with a problem or concern, the Word automatically comes to your mind. When you need healing you think of Isaiah 53:5, “And by His stripes we are healed.” Or when you are stressed and need a touch from God you think of Philippians 4:6 “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.” Or you are telling someone how to be saved and you think of Ephesians 2:8, “God saved you by His special favor when you believed And you can’t take credit for this,” it is a gift from God 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” This is how we fight against our defeated enemy, Satan. Christ has won the battle and Satan is completely defeated. But even though we are assured victory, we must engage in this struggle until Christ returns. Satan will not stop trying to turn us away from God or make us ineffective Christians. And because he is a supernatural being, we must fight him with the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit in us. God has provided this for us but God will not pick up the sword of truth and fight for us, we must pick it up ourselves. Study and know God’s Word and be prepared to fight off discouragement, despair and any other fiery dart Satan may throw at you.

Have a God Day!

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September 20, 2006: 6:29 pm: Daily Scripture

Ephesians 4:20-24
20 But that isn’t what you were taught when you learned about Christ. 21 Since you have heard all about him and have learned the truth that is in Jesus, 22 throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception. 23 Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes. 24 You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God’s likeness-righteous, holy, and true.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Our old way of life before we believed in Christ is completely in the past. We should put it behind us like old clothes to be thrown away. When we decide to accept Christ’s gift of salvation, it is both a one time decision, as well as a daily conscious commitment. We are no longer a slave to our old desires and are now free to live our life with the power of the Holy Spirit in us. The Spirit within us desires to please God and when we surrender to that Spirit within us, we please God. Our thinking is to be based on the truth of God’s word. When your past is paraded through your mind like an old movie, speak the truth of God’s Word, “Because you are a new person, created in Gods likeness-righteous, holy, and true.” If you allow your past to stay on your mind, you will feel the pain you were saved out of and your attitude will be one of defeat. But if you refuse to remember past failures and to think on what is true, then your attitude will be one of victory. The choice is yours and you have the power within you to throw off your old nature and put on the robes of righteousness given to you by Christ Jesus.

Have a God Day!

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September 19, 2006: 5:41 pm: Daily Scripture

Luke 1:28-38
28 Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” 29 Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. 30 “Don’t be frightened, Mary,” the angel told her, “for God has decided to bless you! 31 You will become pregnant and have a son, and you are to name him Jesus. 32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 And he, will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” 34 Mary asked the angel, “But how can I have a baby? I am a virgin.” 35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby born to you will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. 36 What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! people used to say she was barren, but she’s already in her sixth month. 37 For nothing is impossible with God.” 38 Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant, and I am willing to accept whatever he wants. May everything you have said come true.” And then the angel left.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House publishers, Inc.) 1996.

If we truly want God’s will, then we must be willing to accept the results of it, whether we can fully understand those results or not. When God tries to use us in a way that doesn’t fit into what we’ve learned as acceptable and humanly permissible, we tend to turn Him down. We have been taught by human standards and can only understand with limited understanding, so we may not be open to what God would have for us. We need to completely surrender to anything that God would direct us. This is total and complete dependence on Him and the direction of His Word. God will not ask you to do something that contradicts His Word. Mary didn’t understand what she was about to face and surely she must have been concerned about being an unwed, pregnant woman in a culture that would cast her out for being in such a state. And yet as she listened to Gabriel, her sprit made the choice to accept the will of God regardless of what would happen to her. Mary was as human as you and I and held no special power. She needed the grace of God to forgive her sins, just like anyone else. But she made a choice to go forth with God regardless of the natural human consequences and God blessed her greatly. Are you as willing as Mary was to allow God to work through you in anyway He chooses? Or are you still relying on your own human understanding to move forward? Hear what the Spirit of God is saying to you today and move out in faith to accomplish the work He wants to do through you. Be willing to do that thing you are not so sure of, but are sure that God is in it.

Have a God Day!

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September 18, 2006: 6:14 pm: Daily Scripture

1 Peter 1:17-21
17 And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites when he judges. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time as foreigners here on earth. 18 For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. 19 He paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. 20 God chose him for this purpose long before the world began, but now in these final days, he was sent to the earth for all to see. And he did this for you. 21 Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And because God raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory, your faith and hope can be placed confidently in God.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Because God is judge of all the earth, we dare not ignore Him or treat Him casually. We should not assume our privileged status as children of God gives us freedom to do whatever we want. Our fear is a healthy respect for the all-powerful God who could have just as well destroyed us all. But because of His love for us, He ransomed us with His Blood, and we are to be forever grateful to Him. Christ’s sacrifice for our sins was not an after thought. The plan had been set in motion by the all-knowing God long before the world began. Luke 22:20 states, “…This wine is the token of God’s new covenant to save you-an agreement sealed with the blood I will pour out for you.” What a comfort for those who love Him to know that He has always had and will always have everything under control. We can confidently place our trust in Him, as we respect Him for who He is.

Have a God Day!

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September 15, 2006: 10:26 pm: Daily Scripture

1 Corinthians 13: 11-13
11 It’s like this: When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child does. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now. 13 There are three things that will endure-faith, hope, and love-and the greatest of these is love.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

There are days when everything goes right and I feel like I can accomplish everything I do. I feel strong and confident. The Spirit of the Lord is in me and all around me. On other days, nothing goes right and I feel like a failure. I think and feel down and depressed. The weight of all of my problems is heavy on my shoulders. And the Spirit of the Lord is in me and all around me. My feelings do not change the truth of God. On both days, I am His child and He lives in me. It is my perception that changes and that decides if Christ will be seen in me or not. My feelings have nothing to do with the truth of God’s love for me. It is because we all have such limited vision and see through a cloudy glass. We can not see all of the supernatural power of God working all around us for our good. But the more we trust Him, the clearer the glass will become. We trust Him when we step out in faith and ignore our “feelings” and act on His truth. Knowing that our vision is limited will help you do this. We have to believe in His Word and trust Him that He will do as He has promised. And we have His promise in Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” So on the days I don’t “feel” Gods love and concern, I can still act like it.

Have a God Day!

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