Archive for December, 2006

December 22, 2006: 7:11 pm: Daily Scripture

Good Morning!

1 Corinthians 12:1-11
And now, dear brothers and sisters, I will write about the special abilities the Holy Spirit gives to each of us, for I must correct your misunderstandings about them. 2 You know that when you were still pagans you were led astray and swept along in worshiping speechless idols. 3 So I want you to know how to discern what is truly from God: No one speaking by the Spirit of God can curse Jesus, and no one is able to say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. 4 Now there are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but it is the same Holy Spirit who is the source of them all. 5 There are different kinds of service in the church, but it is the same Lord we are serving. 6 There are different ways God works in our lives, but it is the same God who does the work through all of us. 7 A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church. 8 To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another he gives the gift of special knowledge. 9 The Spirit gives special faith to another, and to someone else he gives the power to heal the sick. 10 He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and to another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to know whether it is really the Spirit of God or another spirit that is speaking. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, and another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. 11 It is the one and only Holy Spirit who distributes these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

As we draw closer to the end of this age, Christians will need to keep focused on the work set before us. There is a lot of emphasis on world religions and not all religions lead to God. There will be more and more pressure to be inclusive and not say Christ is the only Way. It will become more and more politically correct to say everyone’s choice leads to the same God. After all don’t we all serve the same God? The answer is no! Outside of Jesus Christ, you have no relationship with God. We know Jesus was the Son of God and without sin and that He died in our place for our sins. Outside of this, there is no relationship with God. And it is only through the Spirit of God that anyone comes to know or say this. The evidence of our salvation is the presence of God within us and the gifts that He has given us through the Holy Spirit. Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” The test will come for all of us in the near future. Will you be able to take a stand and say what Christ stated to us in John 14? When the time comes, the Holy Spirit will give you the power that you will need. Remember the Words of Christ in Luke 12: “But if anyone denies me here on earth, I will deny that person before Gods angels.” So use the gifts that God has given you and stand for Jesus Christ in these last days!

Have a God Day!

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
December 21, 2006: 7:11 pm: Daily Scripture

Romans 15:1-6
We may know that these things make no difference, but we cannot just go ahead and do them to please ourselves. We must be considerate of the doubts and fears of those who think these things are wrong. 2 We should please others. If we do what helps them, we will build them up in the Lord. 3 For even Christ didn’t please himself. As the Scriptures say, Those who insult you are also insulting me. 4 Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. They give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises. 5 May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other each with the attitude of Christ Jesus toward the other. 6 Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Waiting patiently for the promises of God to come to pass, can be very difficult for our little pea brains to comprehend. As humans, we have a difficult time seeing beyond our own hand. And many today do not even try. There are so many adults who just satisfy their wants as quick as they can. They think only of themselves and do not give a thought to any one else around them. For many today it is difficult to understand that being an adult means doing the things we do not like to do and doing them cheerfully! But even the most mature person has a difficult time with patience. And patience is always hardest when we need it most, but it is key to achieving our goals. Only through God can we shine through with patience when we need it. It is by the power of the Holy Spirit that we bring our needs before Christ and trust that He will meet them. This is what gives us patience to overcome our need. It is by His strength and His power we mature and reach our goals. Remember to put your trust in Him first when you find yourself in need of a little patience especially during the Christmas season. If we keep Jesus first in our heart and minds, we will find the patience to do all of the work we need to do to celebrate His birth!

Have a God Day!

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
December 20, 2006: 6:41 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.

These disciples had Jewish concepts and their thought patterns had been governed by the Old Testament. He is telling them now that the nation Israel is not the genuine vine. Their identification with the Jewish nation and the Jewish religion is not the essential thing. “I am the genuine vine.” The important thing now is for the disciples to be related to Jesus Christ. That was revolutionary! Our Lord used a marvelous figure of speech, and He made it very clear that it is not your identification with a religion or a ceremony or an organization that is essential. We are to be identified with Christ! We are in Christ by the baptism of the Holy Spirit the moment we trust Christ as our Savior and are born again as a child of God.
J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.

Have a God Day!

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
December 19, 2006: 4:11 am: Daily Scripture

2 Peter 3:3-10
3 First, I want to remind you that in the last days there will be scoffers who will laugh at the truth and do every evil thing they desire. 4 This will be their argument: “Jesus promised to come back, did he? Then where is he? Why, as far back as anyone can remember, everything has remained exactly the same since the world was first created.” 5 They deliberately forget that God made the heavens by the word of his command, and he brought the earth up from the water and surrounded it with water. 6 Then he used the water to destroy the world with a mighty flood. 7 And God has also commanded that the heavens and the earth will be consumed by fire on the day of judgment, when ungodly people will perish. 8 But you must not forget, dear friends, that a day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. 9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise to return, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so he is giving more time for everyone to repent. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and everything in them will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be exposed to judgment.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

It is interesting to see that God does not get everything He wants. As we look at Peter’s final instructions to the Church, he reminds us that God does not want anyone to die without knowing the saving grace of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants and He does not get what He wants. This would be a good argument to use on your kids the next time they come asking. Peter tells us that in the last days people will scoff and laugh at those of us waiting for the Lord to return. These people will miss spending eternity with God. They will perish in their sin because of their own choice not to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord. And it will not be because they did not have a chance to know Him. All have the same chance or it would not be righteous justice from God. The Bible tells us that everything around us reminds us that God made the world, so no one will have an excuse, all will have had a chance to know Christ. If we did not have all have a chance to know Him, how could God’s justice be perfect? On the day of the judgment of the unrighteous dead, all present will agree that their punishment is fair and perfect. As God can do nothing else. But God does not want anyone to parish and go through this judgment; He wants all to know His perfect plan of reconciliation. Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except through Him. Don’t be a scoffer, but be prepared to meet Him when He comes.

Have a God Day!

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
December 18, 2006: 2:05 am: Daily Scripture

James 2:14-19
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.

Do you register your faith by a set of Christian teachings? If so, then you faith is incomplete. Faith has nothing to do with what we agree to, but has everything to do with what we know is true. True faith transforms our conduct as well as our thoughts. If your life remains unchanged after making a statement of faith in Christ, then you don’t truly believe the truth you claim. We can not earn our salvation by serving and obeying God. But such actions show that our commitment to God is real. Deeds of loving serve and obedience are not a substitute for, but rather a verification of our faith in Christ. Jesus told us the poor would always be with us, but that is not an excuse to not do what you can to meet their needs. If you see a hungry person, feed them, or someone with a need you can meet, do it. I believe that God brings people before us to see what we will do. Will we give out of our abundance or will we walk away. Do not walk away give because you believe Christ and because He gave to you.

Have a God Day!

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
December 15, 2006: 6:17 pm: Daily Scripture

Hebrews 13:8-16
8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 9 So do not be attracted by strange, new ideas. Your spiritual strength comes from God’s special favor, not from ceremonial rules about food, which don’t help those who follow them. 10 We have an altar from which the priests in the Temple on earth have no right to eat. 11 Under the system of Jewish laws, the high priest brought the blood of animals into the Holy Place as a sacrifice for sin, but the bodies of the animals were burned outside the camp. 12 So also Jesus suffered and died outside the city gates in order to make his people holy by shedding his own blood. 13 So let us go out to him outside the camp and bear the disgrace he bore. 14 For this world is not our home; we are looking forward to our city in heaven, which is yet to come. 15 With Jesus’ help, let us continually offer our sacrifice of praise to God by proclaiming the glory of his name. 16 Don’t forget to do good and to share what you have with those in need, for such sacrifices are very pleasing to God.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Has your perception of Jesus changed? Do you think He has forgotten your prayer request or forgotten your need? If you have prayed for a need to be answered and it seems like He is not listening or you have different opinion of God then you have changed. Your attitude toward Him has changed. You are the one who moved, not Him. He never changes and His promises never change. God is the same as He was the day He created the world. And He will be the same the day this world ends. Because we are so changeable, we think that God is also. Don’t project your human attributes onto God. He does not have the same feelings, thoughts or perceptions that you do. He is always the same and even though He may express anger or sadness, does not mean that He changes. So if He has given you a promise in His Word or through prayer, believe it. Abraham, believed even though what God promised looked impossible. But what is impossible for humans is always possible for God. So don’t give up, on believe and remind God of His promise and move forward as if the thing has already happened. Don’t get stuck in the rules of this world, but remember Who made the world and Who’s Word will stand even after this world is gone.

Have a God Day!

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
December 14, 2006: 6:40 pm: Daily Scripture

Matthew 4:18-22
18 One day as Jesus was walking along the shore beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew fishing with a net, for they were commercial fishermen. 19 Jesus called out to them, “Come, be my disciples, and I will show you how to fish for people!” 20 And they left their nets at once and went with him. 21 A little farther up the shore he saw two other brothers, James and John, sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, mending their nets. And he called them to come, too. 22 They immediately followed him, leaving the boat and their father behind.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Ever wonder why these men just dropped everything and went to follow Jesus? Well, if you look at the Jewish system of training men, it is very simple. Boys started their religious education at the age of 6 by the age of 10 they had to memorize the first 5 books of the Bible, referred to as the Torah. Those who showed promise moved up to the second level and until the age of 14 memorized the rest of the Old Testament a total of 39 books. Then the cream of the crop was selected again and went onto the next level of discipleship. Once chosen they would leave everything and follow a rabbi in everything he did. At the age of 30 a disciple would typically leave his Rabbi and begin his own ministry accepting his own disciples. So you see these men knew the system and had probably been rejected way back at an early age by the Jewish leaders. They knew Jesus was a Rabbi and he was beginning his ministry according to Jewish tradition. It makes more sense now why these men would be so enthusiastic about leaving and following Jesus. They were chosen. Then for 3 years these men followed and learn from Jesus. He never rebukes His disciples for losing faith. It was their ability to do what He asked them to do that He addressed. He is doing the same today with you and me. It is our ability to do what He asks that gets us into trouble. Know His Word and then do His Word and you will go onto the next level as a ruler with Christ.

Have a God Day!

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
December 13, 2006: 7:39 pm: Daily Scripture

John 12:44-50
44 Jesus shouted to the crowds, “If you trust me, you are really trusting God who sent me. 45 For when you see me, you are seeing the one who sent me. 46 I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the darkness. 47 If anyone hears me and doesn’t obey me, I am not his judge-for I have come to save the world and not to judge it. 48 But all who reject me and my message will be judged at the day of judgment by the truth I have spoken. 49 I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me gave me his own instructions as to what I should say. 50 And I know his instructions lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say!”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Just because this world rejects Jesus Christ and all that He is does make it true. No matter how much they believe Him to be just a man, does not make it true. Man in his own self importance simply believes that if they believe something, it is true. This is all a matter of pride. People have too much pride to humble themselves and believe that Jesus Christ is the Light of this world, and the only Light. So many today have decided against Christ as Lord, but they have made their own decision and we should not let that stop us from speaking the name of Christ, just because it may offend them. Too bad!!! We have just as much right to speak what we believe as they do. So just because the world does not see the Light of this world, do not let their disbelieve influence you. Stand for what you know is the truth. God is simply confirming what so many have decided and hardening their hearts against Him. It will not get easier; it will only get more difficult to speak about the grace of Jesus Christ. And when those of who speak and believe His name are suddenly removed from this world; they will get just what they wanted: a world without Christ and ruled by Satan himself. At that time they will know. So don’t get caught up in all the political correctness of not speaking the name of Jesus Christ because when He comes again, He is coming to judge those who denied Him. Don’t be a goat and be separated from Him for eternity. Boldly speak the name of Christ and wish anyone you want: Merry Christmas!

Have a God Day!

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
December 12, 2006: 5:31 pm: Daily Scripture

John 12:3-8
3 Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with fragrance. 4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples the one who would betray him said, 5 “That perfume was worth a small fortune. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.” 6 Not that he cared for the poor he was a thief who was in charge of the disciples’ funds, and he often took some for his own use. 7 Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did it in preparation for my burial. 8 You will always have the poor among you, but I will not be here with you much longer.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Judas often dipped into the disciples’ money bag for his own use. Quite likely Jesus knew what he was doing, but never did or said anything about it. It seems odd that the Son of God would not address sin in His own group, but God had a bigger purpose to fulfill. And sometimes when we sin God does not stop us from doing so. When we choose to sin, we are choosing to step outside of His love and guidance and we choose to go against His will. God doesn’t step in and always stoup us. It is the condition of the heart that determines our obedience and if God always came in and stopped us from sinning, we would not sin because of His interference, and not because we knew it was wrong. Sometimes we have to go down a road of sin to understand His love for us. It is not always the best way to go, but it is our decision. We can read His Word and learn how others have sinned and lost, but sometimes we are hard hearted and need to learn the hard way. God has given us many examples of the downfalls of sin and many examples of how living His will keeps us safe in His love. But we are stubborn people and some never learn. So the next time you are tempted to sin remember it is a decision of your heart to disobey God. And God may let you go down a wrong road to learn of His love, but it is not without pain and struggling. You don’t have to feel the flame of fire burn you to know that others have died from it. Just because God does not stop you, does not mean He approves of what you are doing. So learn to know His will by knowing His Word and then live it as He did.

Have a God Day!

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
December 11, 2006: 6:11 pm: Daily Scripture

2 Samuel 12:13-25
13 Then David confessed to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan replied, “Yes, but the Lord has forgiven you, and you won’t die for this sin. 14 But you have given the enemies of the Lord great opportunity to despise and blaspheme him, so your child will die.” 15 After Nathan returned to his home, the Lord made Bathsheba’s baby deathly ill. 16 David begged God to spare the child. He went without food and lay all night on the bare ground. 17 The leaders of the nation pleaded with him to get up and eat with them, but he refused. 18 Then on the seventh day the baby died. David’s advisers were afraid to tell him. “He was so broken up about the baby being sick,” they said. “What will he do to himself when we tell him the child is dead?” 19 But when David saw them whispering, he realized what had happened. “Is the baby dead?” he asked.”Yes,” they replied. 20 Then David got up from the ground, washed himself, put on lotions, and changed his clothes. Then he went to the Tabernacle and worshiped the Lord. After that, he returned to the palace and ate. 21 His advisers were amazed. “We don’t understand you,” they told him. “While the baby was still living, you wept and refused to eat. But now that the baby is dead, you have stopped your mourning and are eating again.” 22 David replied, “I fasted and wept while the child was alive, for I said, ‘Perhaps the Lord will be gracious to me and let the child live.’ 23 But why should I fast when he is dead? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him one day, but he cannot return to me.”24 Then David comforted Bathsheba, his wife, and slept with her. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon. The Lord loved the child 25 and sent word through Nathan the prophet that his name should be Jedidiah–beloved of the Lord–because the Lord loved him
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

David confessed and repented of his sin, but God’s judgment was that his child would die. The consequences of David’s sin were irreversible even though the sin had been forgiven. When God forgives us and restores our relationship with Him, He doesn’t eliminate all the consequences of our wrong doing. If He did, we may be tempted to say to ourselves before we enter into a sin, “If this is wrong, I can always just ask God’s forgiveness.” We must remember that by entering into sin, we may be setting into motion events with irreversible consequences. God wants our obedience because of His love for us not because we will be punished if we sin. That small voice inside of you is God directing you out of a sin situation. Do not ignore Him, He is trying to keep you safe. It is better to live a life without regrets, than to live a life saying, “if only I hadn’t ____.” We can all fill in the blank, but the key is learning from our mistakes and learning from the mistakes of others. David repented from his sin, examine your own heart and let God reveal to you areas of your life that need to changed.

Have a God Day!

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version