Archive for September, 2007

September 14, 2007: 6:28 pm: Daily Scripture

Hebrews 12:1-4
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterward. Now he is seated in the place of highest honor beside God’s throne in heaven. 3 Think about all he endured when sinful people did such terrible things to him, so that you don’t become weary and give up. 4 After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

The Israelites were instructed by God to remove every person, idol and temple before they moved into the Promised Land.  God did not want them to mix into their group with people who worshiped idols.  He knew they would soon take on the pagan beliefs and rituals and break the first commandment.  He told them if they did not obey that He would do to them what was intended for the pagans.  But they did not obey and suffered greatly for it later.  God tells the same thing to us today.  Before we can become the righteousness of Christ, we have to remove every sin that weighs us down.  Hebrews gives us a long list of those who have done so.  They were not perfect people, but they did strip off every sin that kept them from doing the will of God.  What sin is weighing you down today?  What is keeping you from being all that God intended?  As the Spirit speaks to your heart about a certain sin that needs to be removed, listen to that voice.  Move into obedience and experience the power of God that only comes with the action of obedience to Him. Do not make the same mistakes again.  Grow into the child of God that you are.
 
Have a God Day!

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September 13, 2007: 6:25 pm: Daily Scripture

Mark 11:12-21
12 The next morning as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus felt hungry. 13 He noticed a fig tree a little way off that was in full leaf, so he went over to see if he could find any figs on it. But there were only leaves because it was too early in the season for fruit. 14 Then Jesus said to the tree, “May no one ever eat your fruit again!” And the disciples heard him say it.  15 When they arrived back in Jerusalem, Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the merchants and their customers. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the stalls of those selling doves, 16 and he stopped everyone from bringing in merchandise. 17 He taught them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a place of prayer for all nations,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.”  18 When the leading priests and teachers of religious law heard what Jesus had done, they began planning how to kill him. But they were afraid of him because the people were so enthusiastic about Jesus’ teaching. 19 That evening Jesus and the disciples left the city.   20 The next morning as they passed by the fig tree he had cursed, the disciples noticed it was withered from the roots. 21 Peter remembered what Jesus had said to the tree on the previous day and exclaimed, “Look, Teacher! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Jesus gives us an example of a living parable.  The fig tree represented the Jewish nation at that time.  They showed all promise of being committed to God but produced nothing.  They looked really good to those around them, but their hearts were empty.  Their commitment was to themselves and not to the will of God.  This was further displayed when Christ entered the temple and drove out all of the money changers.  Their focus was not to worship God but to make a profit from all the people who had come to sacrifice to God.  The people coming from all over had to have the right money to buy animals.  They were being taken advantage of and charged more than fair market price to exchange their money and buy animals for sacrifice.  It was the Jews who were doing this in the Temple.  They looked like they were serving God but were really serving themselves.  Is you Christian walk like the beautiful fig tree, full with leaves but no fruit?  Don’t let your Christian walk be like the Jews in Christ’ time, be like the tree that is so full of fruit, it just drops off!  If you are not the same person at home as you are at church then you are not living your faith.  Do the will of God by producing the fruit of the Holy Spirit in your life. Talk to God every day, get to know Him by reading His Word and then live what you have learned.

Have a God Day!

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September 12, 2007: 6:21 pm: Daily Scripture

1 Corinthians 15:54-58
54 When this happens-when our perishable earthly bodies have been transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die-then at last the Scriptures will come true:
    “Death is swallowed up in victory.
55   O death, where is your victory?
     O death, where is your sting?”
56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. 57 How we thank God, who gives us victory over sin and death through Jesus Christ our Lord!
58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and steady, always enthusiastic about the Lord’s work, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Serving like Jesus means being faithful until the end.  Life now is not all there is, we are being prepared to live for eternity.  As a born again believer in the work of Jesus Christ on the cross, you will live forever with Him.  But until that time, we are to remain faithful to the work of Christ.  Nothing we do is too small for Christ.  If Christ has called you, do it with enthusiasm and faithfully.  Nothing done for Christ is a waste of time.  He will not forget the work you do in His name.  If you even give a drink of water to a worker of Christ, you have given it to Christ. The true story is told of an usher years ago feeling like the work he did was not important.  At a revival meeting, he noticed two young boys come in and there was no place for them to sit and they turned to leave.  He went over to them and found them a seat.  At the service those two young boys committed their lives to Jesus Christ.  One of those boys was Billy Graham.  That usher because of his work will have a reward waiting for him because of all the millions of people that came to the Lord through the preaching of Billy Graham.  Don’t ever think what you do is too little, just do it for Him and remain faithful to His call.

Have a God Day!

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September 11, 2007: 6:18 pm: Daily Scripture

2 Timothy 1:9-14
9 It is God who saved us and chose us to live a holy life. He did this not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan long before the world began-to show his love and kindness to us through Christ Jesus. 10 And now he has made all of this plain to us by the coming of Christ Jesus, our Savior, who broke the power of death and showed us the way to everlasting life through the Good News. 11 And God chose me to be a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of this Good News.  12 And that is why I am suffering here in prison. But I am not ashamed of it, for I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return.
13 Hold on to the pattern of right teaching you learned from me. And remember to live in the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus. 14 With the help of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard what has been entrusted to you.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Serving like Jesus means we are grateful.  Every skill, every ability is God given.  The air we breathe is a gift from God.  Serving God as Christ means we are to understand that everything comes from God and we just administrators of everything.  That includes the gifts He has given us.  They are not to be used for our own gain but to edify the body of Christ.  If you are not using your God given abilities to serve those who love Him, you are denying yourself the blessing of giving.  Sometimes, we feel our gifts are not good enough or we are not ready to serve.  But we should take what we have now and start to use it.  God does not expect perfection, He expects action.  God does not use perfect people because there aren’t any.  Start today with what you have even though it is not what you think it should be.  Show how grateful you are to God by using what He has given you for His purpose.  God will bless your effort and will bless those who receive because of your obedience.

Have a God Day!

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September 10, 2007: 6:13 pm: Daily Scripture

Matthew 20:25-28
25 But Jesus called them together and said, “You know that in this world kings are tyrants, and officials lord it over the people beneath them. 26 But among you it should be quite different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must become your slave. 28 For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served but to serve others, and to give my life as a ransom for many.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Being a child of God means learning to serve like Jesus served.  First we must be available.  If you read about a lot of the miracles Jesus did, He was always on His way to do something else.  But He made Himself available to those who called on Him with a need.  He was willing to be interrupted to do the will of God the Father.  To be like Christ means being willing to be interrupted by the Spirit of God to minister to a need.  It may mean giving up your plan and changing direction.  To be like Christ, we should be willing to forget our needs to meet the greater need of our neighbor.  All around us there are people in need.  Be open to the pain around you and be willing to serve as Jesus served.  Do it because you love Him and because He served you first when He died for your sin. 

Have a God Day!

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September 7, 2007: 6:09 pm: Daily Scripture

Ephesians 2:8-10
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. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Because we are saved by God’s special favor, we become His masterpiece.  We are a new creation when we accepted Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior.  It is nothing we have done or can do that saves us from eternity without God.  It is because we believed God.  Once saved, we have a work to do.  We did not get our salvation by working for it but once we are saved, God has a work for us to do.  Our purpose is to serve God by serving others.  God made us to make a difference in this world.  The work we do here is preparation for the work He will have us do in eternity.  1 Peter 4:10 states, “Each one should use whatever gift he’s received to serve others.”  There is no way we can serve God if we do not serve others.  That is our purpose as God’s children.  We are to give to others what He has given to us.  If you are not doing something for the body of Christ, you are doing nothing for God.  Look at the abilities He has given you and start doing a work for others.  God will work through your effort to bless you and those you help.

Have a God Day!

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September 6, 2007: 6:07 pm: Daily Scripture

Romans 7:18-25
18 I know I am rotten through and through so far as my old sinful nature is concerned. No matter which way I turn, I can’t make myself do right. I want to, but I can’t. 19 When I want to do good, I don’t. And when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway. 20 But if I am doing what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing it; the sin within me is doing it.  21 It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart. 23 But there is another law at work within me that is at war with my mind. This law wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Are there days you feel this scripture more intensely?  Sometimes, we just can’t do anything right or at least it feels that way.  Thank God, He understands.  God knows that our best intentions are just that.  So many times we fail more than we succeed.  But the key is that at times, we do succeed.  We don’t always fail and that is what we need to remember.  I love what Paul writes, he is so in touch with himself and he has helped me so many times.  When life is taking you down a road of failures, remember that others have been there too.  And there is hope; we are not destined to always fail.  God understands that we are just made of dust and many times we fail.  But when we take our pain and failures to Him, He will work out all things for our good because we love and trust Him.  The answer really is Jesus Christ; it is only through Him that any of us will have victory.  Only through Christ Jesus will any of us be sanctified.  Remember who you are the next you fail and then get up and continue on.

Have a God Day!

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September 5, 2007: 5:59 pm: Daily Scripture

2 Corinthians 4:16-18
16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. 17 For our present troubles are quite small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever! 18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Our troubles should not diminish our faith.  There is a reason and a purpose for our suffering, even though we may not see it at the time of pain.  God is more interested in our spiritual growth then our physical comfort.  He is not the author of our pain and troubles, but He does use them to grow us into the image of His Son.  So we never give up, we continue on being renewed every day.  Our ultimate hope when we are experiencing terrible illness, persecution, or pain is the realization that this life is not all there is.  There is life after death and this life is lived in preparation for that life.  What we learn now will determine what we do then.  And these bodies will not live forever, but each of us in Christ will receive a new body that will.  This is the goal we keep our eyes on and remember when we suffer that He suffered too.  The focus to keep us in Christ during our deep pain is to remember that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! (Philippians 4:13)

Have a God Day!

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September 4, 2007: 5:57 pm: Daily Scripture

Romans 8:15-17
15 So you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should behave instead like God’s very own children, adopted into his family calling him “Father, dear Father.” 16 For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are God’s children. 17 And since we are his children, we will share his treasures for everything God gives to his Son, Christ, is ours, too. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Since we are children of God, we are to share the suffering that Jesus Christ suffered.  But if we share His suffering, we will also share His glory.  When Christ hung on the cross people passing by hurled insults at Him and mocked Him, even the criminal hanging next to Him cursed Him.  This added to the suffering Christ was already going through.  But He did not lash out at them; He did not come back with a response to their insults.  Instead He prayed for God the Father to forgive them.  Today we suffer as Christ did when others hurt us, when others sin against us.  There is not one Christian alive who has not had someone hurt them.  It doesn’t matter if the hurt was malicious or not, the pain we feel is real.  God uses these experiences to teach us to forgive.  Just as He forgave us of our sins, we are to forgive others who sin against us.  It doesn’t matter if they meant to hurt you or not, you are to forgive them, just as God has forgiven you.  This is hard to do and it is suffering, just as Christ suffered.  But you are to do no less than then He did.  And if Christ can pray for forgiveness for those who purposely hurt Him, how can you do less.  Pray for those who hurt you and forgive them and then forget the deed.  God will give you the strength to do it and He will allow you to share the glory of Christ.

Have a God Day!

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