Archive for May, 2008

May 30, 2008: 5:06 pm: Daily Scripture

Psalm 73:16-26
16 So I tried to understand why the wicked prosper. But what a difficult task it is!
17 Then one day I went into your sanctuary, O God, and I thought about the destiny of the wicked.
18 Truly, you put them on a slippery path and send them sliding over the cliff to destruction.
19 In an instant they are destroyed, swept away by terrors.
20 Their present life is only a dream that is gone when they awake. When you arise, O Lord, you will make them vanish from this life.
21 Then I realized how bitter I had become, how pained I had been by all I had seen.
22 I was so foolish and ignorant-I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you.
23 Yet I still belong to you; you are holding my right hand.
24 You will keep on guiding me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth.
26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Pride is any attitude that elevates our effort or abilities above God’s or treats with disdain His work in us.  So many times in this world it looks like the wicked prosper, while we struggle.  But those in the Lord can also become full of pride and worship the created things instead of the Creator.  Anything that takes first place in your mind, thoughts and actions is above God in your life.  The Psalmist is telling us what happens to those who are full of pride.  As he compared his life in the Lord to those outside of God, he saw them prosper and his life was full of trouble.  But God points out that those outside of God and who prosper in this life, will only be swept away by terrors.  God is talking about the final separation from Him that comes to those who put their trust in the things He has created.  Christians can also get caught up in pride of the blessings that God has given them.  Guard your heart and thoughts and remember that all things come from God and it is by His provision that you have anything.  When we take on the attitude of everything belonging to God, we give up our pride in what we have.  Desire Jesus more than anything on earth no matter what is going on with your health, your job, or your family.  Keep Jesus the center of your life and the Giver of all that you have and your attitude and actions will be in the right place.  God does not object to self confidence, healthy self esteem, or good feelings about our accomplishments. He objects to the foolish attitude of taking full credit for what He has done for you. Keep God the strength of your heart and realize the attitude of pride when it comes upon you.  The success of the ungodly will be the only pleasure they have, and if they do not turn to Christ, they will be eternally separated from Him.  But He is yours forever!

Have a God Day!

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May 29, 2008: 5:05 pm: Daily Scripture

Ephesians 4:25-31
25 So put away all falsehood and “tell your neighbor the truth” because we belong to each other. 26 And “don’t sin by letting anger gain control over you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a mighty foothold to the Devil. 28 If you are a thief, stop stealing. Begin using your hands for honest work, and then give generously to others in need. 29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. 30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he is the one who has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

It is very important for those who belong to God to understand that it is our responsibility to lay down the old and pick up the new. That means we change our attitudes and behaviors. God transforms our desires, our character, and our nature, but we must change our behavior. As we lay down the past and pick up the new we are laying down evil and picking up good.  God will give us all the tools, but we must put them into action by the way we live our lives.  God will not make us do anything, He will only give us the direction, desire and power to do so. Philippians 2:13 tells us, “For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey him and the power to do what pleases him.”  Once transformed by the power of Christ, we are given the desire and the power to do His will. But we are the one who must put it into action.  We take the step, we say the words, we give to the needs around us. If we say we belong to God, but do not change our behavior, we do not fully understand the purpose God intends for those who love Him.  Move forward into the power given to you by the One who died for you and let the world see that love given to you by the way you live your life. 

Have a God Day!

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May 28, 2008: 5:36 pm: Daily Scripture

Good Morning!

Ephesians 4:17-27
17 With the Lord’s authority let me say this: Live no longer as the ungodly do, for they are hopelessly confused. 18 Their closed minds are full of darkness; they are far away from the life of God because they have shut their minds and hardened their hearts against him. 19 They don’t care anymore about right and wrong, and they have given themselves over to immoral ways. Their lives are filled with all kinds of impurity and greed.
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. 25 So put away all falsehood and “tell your neighbor the truth” because we belong to each other. 26 And “don’t sin by letting anger gain control over you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a mighty foothold to the Devil.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

There should be a difference between the way Christians and non-Christians live.  Because those of us in Christ are full of His light, the world should see His light in our lives by the way we live.  Our old way of life before we knew Christ is completely in the past.  We should put it behind us like old clothes to be thrown away.  We can not move forward in Christ when we are looking back.  Life in Christ can not be lived while looking in the rear view mirror.  We must look forward and see ourselves as the person Christ knows we will become regardless of our past.  We are to be separate and live as Christ did.  The world should see the difference.  We are not to be driven by our old desires and impulses.  We must put on the new nature, head in a new direction and have the new way of thinking that the Spirit of God within us have given us.  Look to His Word for direction on how to live.  Our attitudes and behaviors should reflect the Sprit of God that is in us.  Don’t live as the ungodly do, who are hopelessly confused because they have refused to believe God.  Live as you have been taught.  Since you have believed in Christ, let Him continue to transform you into the new creation that you are.

Have a God Day!

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May 27, 2008: 5:27 pm: Daily Scripture

John 21:15-17
15 After breakfast Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.”
“Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.
16 Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.”
“Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.
17 Once more he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was grieved that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know I love you.”
Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Many Christian read this passage and do not understand.  Why would Christ question Peter so when He knew that Peter loved Him?  It is not a question just for Peter, but is a question for all those who say they love Him. All who respond to the call of Christ are given gifts from the Lord.  Ephesians 4:7 explains, “However, he has given each one of us a special gift according to the generosity of Christ.”  Christ expects us to use these gifts to follow His command to complete the great commission given in Matthew 28:18, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”  The verse does not end there but continues on with instructions to teach the disciples they make, “Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.”  Christ is calling Peter to go out and make sure that His sheep are feed the Bread of Life.  We are all also called to “feed” each other.  As part of the Body of Christ, we are to edify and strengthen each other in our walk with Christ.  We are responsible to other parts of the Body of Christ to help and strengthen.  It is not enough just to bring people into the Body of Christ, but once a part of the Body, we are responsible to each other.  Are your feeding your brothers and sisters in Christ?  If not, read more of Ephesians to understand the gifts that God has given you and then pray for God to give you wisdom.  Move forward into your assignment to strengthen a brother or sister in Christ. God will provide opportunities to do so, we just need to be able to see His work when we are called.  And we are all called and we are all responsible to “feed” His sheep.

Have a God Day!

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May 26, 2008: 5:12 pm: Daily Scripture

1 Corinthians 15:45-49
45 The Scriptures tell us, “The first man, Adam, became a living person.” But the last Adam-that is, Christ-is a life-giving Spirit. 46 What came first was the natural body, then the spiritual body comes later. 47 Adam, the first man, was made from the dust of the earth, while Christ, the second man, came from heaven. 48 Every human being has an earthly body just like Adam’s, but our heavenly bodies will be just like Christ’s. 49 Just as we are now like Adam, the man of the earth, so we will someday be like Christ, the man from heaven.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

As we live in our earthly bodies, we are like Adam, made of dust.  But as a Christian we are also in the process of becoming like Christ.  Because of the love God has for us, He wants us to be like His Son.  God knows every detail of our lives that will bring us to this end.  And that is the only assignment that God will grade when we stand before Him.  How much like Christ did we become while we lived in this sinful world.  God the Father loves the Son so much that He wants all of His children to conform into His image.  This is the only goal God has for our lives.  When God tells us 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.” He is telling us that becoming like Christ is His only purpose for all those who love Him.  And everything that happens to us, God will work to this end.  Nothing else we do will matter, as all things will work for our good to bring us to the purpose that God has for our life, to be like Christ.  Everything we do and everything we are is to be focused on becoming like Him Who died for us and not staying like the dust we are. God loves us so much, just like He loves the Son because we His body, we are joint heirs with Christ if we are in Him.  If we are a part of Christ we share the same DNA and God will stop at nothing to make us into His image.  One day we will be like Him.  All of our life is directed towards this goal.  Becoming like Christ is God’s purpose for us and we should be mindful of this at all time.  Just as we are mindful of our earthly presence, we should be mindful of the heavenly presence that lives in us to accomplish the will of the Father, for us to be like Christ.

Have a God Day!

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May 23, 2008: 5:46 pm: Daily Scripture

Ephesians 3:14-21
14 When I think of the wisdom and scope of God’s plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, 15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. 16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit. 17 And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God. 20 Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope. 21 May he be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages. Amen.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

One of the greatest weapons Satan brings against Christians is discouragement. There is so much pain and suffering in this world, we all wonder when it will end. Sometimes the cares and problems of this life can be so overwhelming that we lose track of who we are or better yet who we belong to. Discouragement is a normal response to pain in our lives but it can also be a tool for Satan to pull us away from God. When we are hit hard with pain in this life, we become physically drained. Emotionally we are on edge at all times. It is like our nerves are exposed on the surface and even the smallest task can set us off into a fit of anger. Mentally we forget what God has brought us through and the prayers He has answered. Spiritually we lose intimacy with the One who loves us the most. God is the One who knows every detail about us and yet still loves us with a love that we can not comprehend. Paul is writing to let us all know that unless we are rooted in God’s love we will be tossed around by the pain of this life and forget how much God loves us.  God’s love is what will get us through the tough times. If we are rooted and grounded in the Word of God and God’s people, there will be nothing that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God. We have His Word!

Have a God Day!

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May 22, 2008: 5:20 pm: Daily Scripture

Mark 4:13-20
13 “But if you can’t understand this story, how will you understand all the others I am going to tell? 14 The farmer I talked about is the one who brings God’s message to others. 15 The seed that fell on the hard path represents those who hear the message, but then Satan comes at once and takes it away from them. 16 The rocky soil represents those who hear the message and receive it with joy. 17 But like young plants in such soil, their roots don’t go very deep. At first they get along fine, but they wilt as soon as they have problems or are persecuted because they believe the word. 18 The thorny ground represents those who hear and accept the Good News, 19 but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for nice things, so no crop is produced. 20 But the good soil represents those who hear and accept God’s message and produce a huge harvest-thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

When we receive the Word of God into our hearts, it can be life changing. But Christ warns us that Satan will try to steal from us what God has planted.  The first thing he will do is immediately bring doubt and confusion into your mind.  The second thing Satan will do is bring a circumstance that will discourage you.  If you don’t recognize what is happening and fight against him, the Word planted in your heart will not grow and you will stumble over and over again without ever receiving what God has promised.  Christ is warning us that Satan comes with lies and half truths and discouraging circumstances to keep us from receiving the promises of God.  If you are not growing in your walk with Christ look at what is happening with the Word planted in your heart.  Don’t let Satan steal it from you. 

Receiving the Word of God into your life is more than just reading, it is speaking the Word, meditating on the Word and then to acting on the Word. Paul wrote in Philippians 1:6 that he was “confident in this very thing:–this one thing, this one truth– that “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until that Day.”  The Word of God in your life and brought to the harvest stage of producing “seed” will change your life.  But you must take that Word and speak it, meditate on it and then act on it for it to grow and produce the crop that God intended.  But while it is growing in your heart, Satan will try to steal it from you.  Beware of him and rebuke him in the name of Jesus and take what God intended for you.  God has so much He wants you to know and so much He wants you to receive, but you need to keep His Word on your lips, in you mind and in your actions before it can grow into the promise.

Have a God Day!

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May 21, 2008: 5:13 pm: Daily Scripture

Psalm 18:1-6
1 I love you, LORD; you are my strength.
2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.
  He is my shield, the strength of my salvation, and my stronghold.
3 I will call on the LORD, who is worthy of praise, for he saves me from my enemies.
4 The ropes of death surrounded me; the floods of destruction swept over me.
5 The grave wrapped its ropes around me; death itself stared me in the face.
6 But in my distress I cried out to the LORD; yes, I prayed to my God for help.
  He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry reached his ears.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

For those who lift up their voice in praise to God there is comfort.  God hears the cries of His people.  Sometimes our circumstances are so overwhelming that we do not know what to pray.  God hears the silent cry of our heart when we praise Him.  As we make Christ our focus in praise, we release God’s healing and anointing over our lives.  Even before we knew Him, He was focused on bringing us to Him through salvation.  We are the apple of His eye and nothing gives Him greater joy than for us to praise Him.  When your situation is not what you wanted and the pressures of this life are pulling you down, praise the One who is the strength of your salvation.  Sing, speak, sign, whatever you do, praise God.  Because of His love for us, He is worthy of our praise.  And when we praise Him, we find strength, joy, healing and peace, no matter what our circumstances.  So when the future looks dark and there does not seem to be a way out, look to the One who can open the door of His light on you and lead you to peace.

Have a God Day!

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May 20, 2008: 4:04 pm: Daily Scripture

James 1:5-8
5 If you need wisdom-if you want to know what God wants you to do-ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking. 6 But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to answer, for a doubtful mind is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 People like that should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 They can’t make up their minds. They waver back and forth in everything they do.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

When there is a choice between knowledge and emotion, emotion wins.  People will always choose emotion over wisdom.  They would rather “feel good” than understand.  When we go to church, we do not want to hear about what it is we need to change, we want to “feel good.”  But where is the learning and where is the process of righteousness if all we do is “feel good?”  How can we be in the will of God if we do not know what that is?  In order for us to move forward becoming more like Christ, we need to know what that is.  Each of us has changes we need to make in our lives.  It will always be that way.  The only person who does not need to change is dead.  Sanctification begins at salvation, but is completed at death.  How will we know what it means to show those around us who Christ is if we do not know ourselves?  Seek to know more of who God is and how He is working in your life.  Seek wisdom and not just the “feel good” message.  Seeking God and His wisdom for your life will ultimately be the best place to be.  It will give the most joy in the long run and not just a “feel good” moment.

Have a God Day!

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May 19, 2008: 6:46 pm: Daily Scripture

Luke 21:20-24
20 “And when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then you will know that the time of its destruction has arrived. 21 Then those in Judea must flee to the hills. Let those in Jerusalem escape, and those outside the city should not enter it for shelter. 22 For those will be days of God’s vengeance, and the prophetic words of the Scriptures will be fulfilled. 23 How terrible it will be for pregnant women and for mothers nursing their babies. For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. 24 They will be brutally killed by the sword or sent away as captives to all the nations of the world. And Jerusalem will be conquered and trampled down by the Gentiles until the age of the Gentiles comes to an end.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL.  Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Christ is instructing His disciples of the coming destruction of Jerusalem and the fate of the Jewish people. Jerusalem was completely destroyed in 70 AD and the Jewish people were scattered around the world. They have been brutally treated by the Gentiles since that time. The children of Abraham were chosen to be the vehicle that God would use to bring restoration to the world. But that did not happen, most chose to reject Christ and crucified Him. Christ is telling the Jewish nation that the time is coming for the Gentiles and is actually the age we are living in now. At this time in history, most of the world hears about salvation through Jesus Christ from Gentiles. The Christian church was started by Jews, but continued on through Gentiles. But the age of the Gentiles is fast coming to an end. We know this because after 2500 years, Israel became a nation under Jewish control again. Luke records the words of Christ telling us about His Second Coming. Jesus Christ came the first time to save; He is coming the second time to judge. Christ goes on to warn us in Luke 21:34 & 35, “Watch out! Don’t let me find you living in careless ease and drunkenness, and filled with the worries of this life. Don’t let that day catch you unaware, as in a trap. For that day will come upon everyone living on the earth.” This is what we need to know for our lives today. We need to be watching and waiting for Him to return. As we take this attitude, we become more Christ centered and less self centered. When we know and are aware that Christ is coming again, our focus changes and there is more urgency to tell others about Him. Search the scriptures for yourself and seek what God would have you understand about His return.

Have a God Day!

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