Archive for June, 2007

June 29, 2007: 6:04 pm: Daily Scripture

Numbers 7:89
89 Whenever Moses went into the Tabernacle to speak with the LORD, he heard the voice speaking to him from between the two cherubim above the Ark’s cover-the place of atonement-that rests on the Ark of the Covenant. The LORD spoke to him from there.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Numbers can be a very difficult book to read and I read through it every time I get a new Bible.  My prayer is for the Lord to help me get through it, so I can get to the good stuff.  I love all of the stories about the people of God.  But this time, I asked God to speak to me directly through this book and this is the verse He gave me.  Imagine actually hearing the voice of God as Moses did.  He was just a flawed human, like you and me.  He was not any greater or any less, but yet God spoke directly to him.  But even with the actual hearing of the voice of God, what we have today is greater yet.  God actually lives in us, giving us power to become like Him.  If Moses had this available to him, he would have chosen to be a Temple instead of just hearing God in the Temple.  God has given to everyone who believes the ability to approach Him at anytime and to hear His voice within us.  How awesome!  God lives in me!  I have access to Him anytime I want because of the sacrifice Jesus Christ gave for me.  Moses had to be cleansed and go through many rituals before he could approach God and he was one of a few who could be in the presence of God.  Today, anyone can come to God the Father, anytime we want through Jesus Christ.  Moses would have chosen what we have today over what he had then.  Never cease to praise Jesus Christ because what we have today is powerful, life changing and miracle receiving.

Have a God Day!

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
June 28, 2007: 5:58 pm: Daily Scripture

Numbers 6:22-27
22 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 23 “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them: 24 “The LORD bless you and keep you; 25 The LORD make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; 26 The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.’ 27 So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them.”
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

This is the blessing God instructed the priests to give to the people of Israel so the world would know they belonged to Him.  God was looking for a people to bless.  He wanted them to be strong in faith, and contented under His care. He wants the same for us today.  The priests were instructed to speak the blessing over the people.  Their words were powerful and spoke the wisdom of God.  Our words today can speak the same blessing or cursing those around us.  So many times we do not realize the power of our words that we speak about others.  We can bless their life or curse it by what we say.  Be very careful about what you say about others.  If we speak evil, such as, “So and so is stupid and lazy,” we are speaking a curse over them.  This is even more true of our children, even if they do not hear what we say they will be influenced by our words about them.  We should always be careful about what we say about others and we should always try to speak good about them.  “So and so is working hard at improving.”  What ever it is, your words have power.  So speak this blessing over those you know and see what God can do in their lives. 

Have a God Day!

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
June 27, 2007: 6:34 pm: Daily Scripture

Galatians 5:16-25
16 So I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is just opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite from what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, and your choices are never free from this conflict. 18 But when you are directed by the Holy Spirit, you are no longer subject to the law.  19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, 20 idolatry, participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other kinds of sin. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.  22 But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Paul describes the two forces fighting within those who belong to Christ Jesus.  We have the Holy Spirit living in us, directing us to be like Christ and we have our sinful nature pulling us into sin.  These forces are not equal; the Holy Spirit is God and has all power.  But He will not override our own desire, so if we desire to sin, we can and many times do.  We all have evil desires, we can’t ignore them.  In order for us to be directed by the Holy Spirit, we must deal with them.  They must be crucified with Christ.  The Holy Spirit will transform us into His image as we trust Him more and more.  We take our desires before Him and nail them to the cross and ask Christ for help and guidance.  The Spirit produces His fruit in us and we depend on Him. When we join our life to Christ, the fruit of the Spirit become a byproduct of Christ in us.  As a result, we fulfill His intentions for us and that is to love God first and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.  If you want more fruit of God in your life, then nail your evil desires to the cross of Christ and seek to become more like Him.

Have a God Day!

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
June 26, 2007: 6:08 pm: Daily Scripture

Galatians 2:17-21
17 But what if we seek to be made right with God through faith in Christ and then find out that we are still sinners? Has Christ led us into sin? Of course not! 18 Rather, I make myself guilty if I rebuild the old system I already tore down. 19 For when I tried to keep the law, I realized I could never earn God’s approval. So I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ. 20 I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. So I live my life in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I am not one of those who treats the grace of God as meaningless. For if we could be saved by keeping the law, then there was no need for Christ to die.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Paul knew from studying the scriptures that he could not be saved by keeping God’s law.  Because we have all been infected by sin, we cannot keep God’s law perfectly.  The law given by God to the nation of Israel was a pointer directing them to the perfect sacrifice that was to come.  Jesus Christ was that perfect sacrifice because He was fully human and fully God and was without sin.  Because He was human, he could die.  And He went freely to the cross to take the penalty for our sins, so that we could be free from the power of sin and death.  But we have to accept His death for us.  Even though Jesus died for every sin ever committed and every sin ever to be committed, we do not receive that forgiveness unless we accept His act of love.  And when we do accept, we are crucified with Christ.  Now Christ lives in us.  We continue to live in our earthly bodies, but we are trusting in the Son of God who now lives in us.  God has provided a way of salvation that depends completely on Jesus Christ and not our own efforts.  And it is by His power that we are able to live for Him and we are able to keep His Word.  Do not treat the grace of God meaningless, God provided a Way for us to be reconciled to Him.  Accept His Way and then live for Him, as He lives in you.

Have a God Day!

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
June 25, 2007: 6:24 pm: Daily Scripture

Psalm 119:4-13
4 You have charged us
   to keep your commandments carefully.
5 Oh, that my actions would consistently
   reflect your principles!
6 Then I will not be disgraced
   when I compare my life with your commands.
7 When I learn your righteous laws,
   I will thank you by living as I should!
8 I will obey your principles.
   Please don’t give up on me!
9 How can a young person stay pure?
   By obeying your word and following its rules.
10 I have tried my best to find you-
    don’t let me wander from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart,
    that I might not sin against you.
12 Blessed are you, O LORD;
    teach me your principles.
13 I have recited aloud
    all the laws you have given us.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Hiding God’s Word in our hearts is a deterrent to sin. Memorize the Word of God to keep Him in your mind.  And as we allow the Word to work in our lives, it is planted deeper into our hearts. It is our plea for God not to give up on us.  God has given us a map and directions to follow.  He has told us if you do this, then this will happen.  We are not saved from the consequences of our sins but we are saved from the judgment.  God will always forgive our sins, if we confess them to Him. 1 John 1:9 tells us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  Even though we are not saved by works, we are saved for works.  Which means once we understand salvation, God expects us to keep His commands.  We are to work at understanding His map and live the way that Christ Jesus did when He was here on earth.  Because we will never live without sin is not an excuse to not even try.  God expects us to know Him and to become more like Him.  This is our mission, this is our goal.  If you are not working at becoming more like God, you are becoming less like Him.  Hide the Word of God in your heart and make the effort to be more like Him every day of your life.

Have a God Day!

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
June 22, 2007: 6:19 pm: Daily Scripture

Hosea 10:12
12 I said, ‘Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of my love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.’
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Hosea repeatedly used illustrations about fields and crops.  Here he is comparing a stony field to our stony hearts.  But this field has been plowed and is no longer hard.  And this is what happens to our heart when we submit to the Lord.  The hardness of our hearts can be broken by acknowledging our sin and receiving God’s gift of forgiveness.  The Holy Spirit comes in and plows the hardness of our heart.  This process happens layer by layer and the work will not be done until we are with Him.  It is not a once and for all process.  We allow sin back into our lives and our hearts will become hardened again.  We will need the continued work of the Holy Spirit as long as we live on this earth.  But as a mature Christian, we understand this and we keep seeking God to expose those areas of our life that are not completely submitted to Him.  God will gently work with us to impart His righteousness to us.  This helps us to understand Philippians 1:6 more, “And I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again.” Repent from your sins and let the Holy Spirit continue the work of sanctification in your life.

Have a God Day!

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
June 21, 2007: 6:19 pm: Daily Scripture

Jeremiah 29:8-14
8 The LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says, “Do not let the prophets and mediums who are there in Babylon trick you. Do not listen to their dreams 9 because they prophesy lies in my name. I have not sent them,” says the LORD. 10 “The truth is that you will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13 If you look for me in earnest, you will find me when you seek me. 14 I will be found by you,” says the LORD. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and bring you home again to your own land.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Thousands of years later, people are still seeking what the future holds from every source except God.  More people are going to every other god to learn what is in the future for them.  But God the Father has always been very clear about what the future holds for all of us.  He has laid out a very detailed map.  And today that map is still the most published Book in the world.  These words spoken through Jeremiah so many years ago are still relevant today for each and every one of us.  God knows what our future holds, He know what the future of the world holds.  And for those of us who acknowledge Him as Lord, the future always looks good because we will be with Christ.  For those who will not accept His great gift of love, the future is uncertain.  God wants only the best for you and He will make it happen in all circumstances.  Even in our suffering God is working for our good.  It is always difficult to see that when we are in pain, but our faith can remain strong because we have His Word on it. In the struggles you face, repeat this promise given to us by God our Father and trust that Christ Jesus has already suffered and knows exactly what you are going through.  Look to no other source than God and the Word that He has given us.

Have a God Day!

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
June 20, 2007: 6:38 pm: Daily Scripture

1 Timothy 6:6-12
6 Do you want to be truly rich? You already are if you are happy and good. 7 After all, we didn’t bring any money with us when we came into the world, and we can’t carry away a single penny when we die. 8 So we should be well satisfied without money if we have enough food and clothing. 9 But people who long to be rich soon begin to do all kinds of wrong things to get money, things that hurt them and make them evil-minded and finally send them to hell itself. 10 For the love of money is the first step toward all kinds of sin. Some people have even turned away from God because of their love for it, and as a result have pierced themselves with many sorrows.  11 O Timothy, you are God’s man. Run from all these evil things, and work instead at what is right and good, learning to trust him and love others and to be patient and gentle. 12 Fight on for God. Hold tightly to the eternal life that God has given you and that you have confessed with such a ringing confession before many witnesses.
The Living Bible, (Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1997.

Is it a sin to have money?  Many will try and tell you that it is, but it is your attitude toward money that can become the sin.  Paul tells us it is our love of money that is the sin.  This is so true of many of the things God has given us.  God intended us to use and enjoy all of the good things of this world, as long as we understand that every good thing comes from Him.  1 Corinthians 10:26 tells us, “For the earth and every good thing in it belongs to the Lord and is yours to enjoy.”  Taking a vow to poverty is taking a vow to be in a place to have few good things from God in your life.  As long as we understand that everything belongs to God and that every good thing comes from Him, we will not let the love of those things become first in our life.  This takes all the pressure off of us.  It is by God’s provision that our needs will be met.  This does not mean we sit back and do nothing, it means we understand that God is provider of all and we are to use the skills He has given us to provide for ourselves and our families.  It is understanding that God is owner and we are care takers.  It is following His commands by tithing and giving gifts beyond the tithe for the work of God.  Someone has to give to supply others to go out and preach the Good News.  Rejoice in the good things God has given and remember to praise the One who has given it to you to enjoy!

Have a God Day!

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
June 19, 2007: 6:08 pm: Daily Scripture

Mark 9:33-37
33 After they arrived at Capernaum, Jesus and his disciples settled in the house where they would be staying. Jesus asked them, “What were you discussing out on the road?” 34 But they didn’t answer, because they had been arguing about which of them was the greatest. 35 He sat down and called the twelve disciples over to him. Then he said, “Anyone who wants to be the first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.”  36 Then he put a little child among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes my Father who sent me.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

God’s great paradox is; we are called to a life of faith where elevation comes through being humbled, blessing comes through denying self, and we receive and gain our lives by laying them down.  This lesson for the disciples is relevant for us today.  When Jesus chose His inner circle of disciples, He did not go to the religious leaders, who were very educated in the scriptures.  Instead He went to the uneducated, the ignorant.  More than likely the disciples did not even know how to read when Jesus chose them.  Everything about the coming of the Savior was very humble.  He never demanded to be treated as God or as the King He really was.  During His ministry, He never had a home nor did He accumulate wealth.  Instead Christ showed us a way to live according to the love God offers to us. We are to give up our “right” to have our way.  Only by dying to self will we ever understand the love of God given to us through Christ Jesus.  Only by denying ourselves will we ever receive the only thing that will matter on the Day when we stand before God. The next time you find yourself in a difficult situation, think about giving up your “right” to have your way.  Chose to give it up and humble yourself.  Seek to act as Jesus would by denying yourself and allowing the Holy Spirit to work through you.
 
Have a God Day!

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
June 18, 2007: 5:50 pm: Daily Scripture

Mark 12:28-31
28 One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the discussion. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” 29 Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. 30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ 31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

The heartbeat of our mission is to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, all our soul, all our mind and all our strength.  This is what we were created for and this is why Jesus came to die for us, so that we could have access to God the Father to know Him and to receive His love.  How far are you from God today?  When you find yourself in a situation that you know only God can help, how far do you need to run to Him?  Is He with you always, so when you turn, you do not need to go far?  Or when you need Him, do you have far to run to find Him?  Always know that it is you who have put the distance between you and not Christ.  In Matthew 28:20 He states, “And know this; I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  When we find ourselves separated from God, we have not been keeping this commandment given to us by Jesus.  Loving God with all of our being should be our first priority.  This does not mean selling everything and going off into the jungle.  But it does mean that from wherever we are, He is first in our life.  God is first when we know Him by His Word and by spending time with Him.  How far do you need to run when you turn to Him?  If it is too far, remove the gap by loving the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength!

Have a God Day!

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version