Archive for April, 2007

April 30, 2007: 5:13 pm: Daily Scripture

Matthew 5:3-12
3 God blesses those who realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is given to them. 4 God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 God blesses those who are gentle and lowly, for the whole earth will belong to them. 6 God blesses those who are hungry and thirsty for justice, for they will receive it in full. 7 God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God. 9 God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God. 10 God blesses those who are persecuted because they live for God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. 11 God blesses you when you are mocked and persecuted and lied about because you are my followers. 12 Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted, too.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gave to us God’s way of living in this sinful world. To live for God means giving up your own rights in order to serve others. This is always contrary to the what the world teaches. But Jesus was not of this world, He is from heaven and if we belong to Him, we are not of this world. We live in the world but we are not a part of it. The Beatitudes are a code of ethics for the followers of Christ and a standard of living for us. They contrast the Kingdom values with the values of this world. They teach us the real meaning of faith and they show how the Old Testament expectations can be fulfilled in the Kingdom of God. The Beatitudes do not promise pleasure or earthly prosperity but promise a blessing from God. To be blessed by God means to experience hope, joy and peace. This is independent of our outward circumstances. No matter what is happening to us or around us, as a follower of Christ we can know joy, hope and peace. The direction given us by Christ still applies today, study the Beatitudes, know them by heart and then ask God to work them within you to show them to the world.

Have a God Day!

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
April 27, 2007: 6:25 pm: Daily Scripture

1 Corinthians 15:21-28
21 So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, Adam, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man, Christ. 22 Everyone dies because all of us are related to Adam, the first man. But all who are related to Christ, the other man, will be given new life. 23 But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised first; then when Christ comes back, all his people will be raised. 24 After that the end will come, when he will turn the Kingdom over to God the Father, having put down all enemies of every kind. 25 For Christ must reign until he humbles all his enemies beneath his feet. 26 And the last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For the Scriptures say, God has given him authority over all things. (Of course, when it says authority over all things, it does not include God himself, who gave Christ his authority.) 28 Then, when he has conquered all things, the Son will present himself to God, so that God, who gave his Son authority over all things, will be utterly supreme over everything everywhere.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

The work of Christ, yet to come, is to defeat all evil on earth. First, He defeated sin and death on the cross, and in the end He will defeat Satan and all evil once and for all time. World events may seem out of control, and justice may seem to have vanished, but God is still in control. He is allowing evil to remain for a time until He can send Jesus to earth again. God is giving sinners time to come to Him out of love and not judgment. The end will come when God’s timing is ready and Satan will have no more authority to ruin the lives of the deceived. Christ will defeat him and present to God the Father a perfect world. Let the knowledge of the coming King give you peace in these times of uncertainty.  God is still on the throne!

Have a God Day!

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
April 26, 2007: 6:18 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. The crowds had been following Jesus and He was healing them and now He feeds 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. This is the true test of our faith; will we continue to 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!

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
April 25, 2007: 6:08 pm: Daily Scripture

1 Peter 3:13-22
13 Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t be afraid and don’t worry. 15 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if you are asked about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. 16 But you must do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak evil against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. 17 Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong! 18 Christ also suffered when he died for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners that he might bring us safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit. 19 So he went and preached to the spirits in prison 20 those who disobeyed God long ago when God waited patiently while Noah was building his boat. Only eight people were saved from drowning in that terrible flood. 21 And this is a picture of baptism, which now saves you by the power of Jesus Christ’s resurrection. Baptism is not a removal of dirt from your body; it is an appeal to God from a clean conscience. 22 Now Christ has gone to heaven. He is seated in the place of honor next to God, and all the angels and authorities and powers are bowing before him.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

As Christians, we should always be prepared to give an answer for our hope. Witnessing should always be done with gentleness and respect. Respect the other persons beliefs but always be prepared to explain why you believe the way you do. Never fear doing so, because this is your testimony. Explain the way you were and the way you are now because of Christ in you. Never argue and never force your beliefs onto someone else. But always be prepared to show kindness and respect for all people. Today it is more crucial than ever to know the Word to defend your relationship with Christ. The focus is on “religion” but not on Christ. Many are “spiritual” but do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ. There are two kinds of people in the world; those who are going to heaven and those who are not. Knowing the way to be saved, does not save you, you must make it your own by believing and accepting the work of Christ. Do not let you knowledge of His love for this world go unstated. Be prepared through knowing the Word and prayer to explain why you are going to heaven. 

Have a God Day!

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
April 24, 2007: 5:13 pm: Daily Scripture

Psalms 1
1 Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with scoffers.
2 But they delight in doing everything the Lord wants; day and night they think about his law.
3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season without fail. Their leaves never wither, and in all they do, they prosper.
4 But this is not true of the wicked. They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind.
5 They will be condemned at the time of judgment. Sinners will have no place among the godly.
6 For the Lord watches over the path of the godly, but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL:Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Christianity is not a set of rules you follow to make you closer to God, it is based on a relationship with the Living God. Relationship always comes first and is most important. Once a relationship is developed with Christ, service will follow. Once we are in service to our God, then we also walk in obedience. The very essence of Christianity is relationship. Without relationship, you can not know or understand the message of Christ to this world. Jesus Christ did not come to make us obey the law, He came to fulfill the law and thereby make us right with God. It takes faith to believe that salvation is free and does not require anything of us except to believe. But without faith, there is no relationship, there is no salvation. Once we are made right with God, service for Him is a result of that relationship. We want to obey Him because of His love for us. And once we have a relationship with God, He gives us the power and desire to live in obedience to Him. This is the key to true fulfillment and true joy and peace. Peace that can only come through knowing Christ Jesus.

Have a God Day!

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
April 23, 2007: 5:19 pm: Daily Scripture

Psalm 34:8-10
8 Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who trust in him! 9 Let the Lord’s people show him reverence, for those who honor him will have all they need. 10 Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the Lord will never lack any good thing.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Trusting God when nothing seems to happen is difficult. But is harder to live with the consequences of taking matters into your own hands. Resist the temptation to think that God has forgotten you. Have patience and courage to wait for God to act. It is easier to live in need of answer than to live in regret of a bad decision. Any decision to move outside of God’s will can lead to consequences that can last a life time. Look what happen to Abraham when he and Sarah decided not to wait for the child God promised and took matters into their own hands. Abraham had a child with Sarah’s hand servant and the world still suffers for the conflict between her children and the children of the promised child Isaac. The Jews and the Moslems will never have peace until Jesus returns. Wait for the good thing that God will do and do not lose faith while wafting for God to move. The answer that God will bring is better than anything you can do on your own.

Have a God Day!

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
April 20, 2007: 5:21 pm: Daily Scripture

Jonah 3:1-5
Then the Lord spoke to Jonah a second time: 2 “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh, and deliver the message of judgment I have given you.” 3 This time Jonah obeyed the Lord’s command and went to Nineveh, a city so large that it took three days to see it all. 4 On the day Jonah entered the city, he shouted to the crowds: “Forty days from now Nineveh will be destroyed!” 5 The people of Nineveh believed God’s message, and from the greatest to the least, they decided to go without food and wear sackcloth to show their sorrow.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Jonah had run away from God but was given a second chance to participate in God’s work. God sent him to Nineveh to do His work, not Jonah’s. After being in the belly of a fish for 3 days Jonah finally repented of disobeying God and did what God had instructed. You may feel disqualified from serving God because of past mistakes. Or you may feel unworthy to do God’s work because you are not perfect. But serving God is not an earned position. No one qualifies for God’s service, but God still asks us to carry out His work and do His will. The Word of God is for everyone and those who call Him Lord are all called to obey Him. Obedience means doing His will and doing His will means doing His work. His work is telling others about the salvation of Christ and building each other up to maturity in Christ. God wants your obedience out of a heart that loves Him. He does not want to condemn you. Romans 8:1 states, “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” So move forward in obedience to Him and get to know Him more and you will hear His voice directing you to action. If we obey God, He will lead us. No one is exempt from His work, no matter how unqualified you feel. Your feelings have nothing to do with it. It is your act of obedience that God will use to do His work.

Have a God Day!

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
April 19, 2007: 5:13 pm: Daily Scripture

Philippians 2:12-18
12 Dearest friends, you were always so careful to follow my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away you must be even more careful to put into action God’s saving work in your lives, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. 13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey him and the power to do what pleases him. 14 In everything you do, stay away from complaining and arguing, 15 so that no one can speak a word of blame against you. You are to live clean, innocent lives as children of God in a dark world full of crooked and perverse people. Let your lives shine brightly before them. 16 Hold tightly to the word of life, so that when Christ returns, I will be proud that I did not lose the race and that my work was not useless. 17 But even if my life is to be poured out like a drink offering to complete the sacrifice of your faithful service (that is, if I am to die for you), I will rejoice, and I want to share my joy with all of you. 18 And you should be happy about this and rejoice with me.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Paul is talking about working out their problems which they had in the church and working out the problems in their own Christian lives. He is not there to help them and is not sure that he ever will be there again because he is in a Roman prison. So he tells them to work out their own salvation. Paul instructs them and us that God works out that which He had worked in. If God has saved you, He has saved you by faith plus nothing. Your spirit is in perfect communion with God. He will never accept any kind of good works for salvation. But after you are saved, God talks to you about your works. This is the actions of your soul which is your mind, your emotions and your will. The salvation that He worked in you by faith is a salvation He will also work through you by sanctifying your soul. You are saved for good works for the Kingdom of God. God puts the desire in you and your mind thinks His thoughts and you will to do His will and your emotions are surrendered to Him. When you stand before Jesus, He will not ask about your sin, it has been covered by His Blood, but He will ask you what did with the gifts He gave you. Did you surrender your soul to Him? Did you become Christ through your thoughts, will and emotions?

Have a God Day!

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
April 17, 2007: 4:45 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 and desires 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 knowledge 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.

Have a God Day!

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
April 16, 2007: 4:58 pm: Daily Scripture

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 regardless of what the world is saying!

Have a God Day!

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version