Archive for August, 2008

August 29, 2008: 2:27 am: Daily Scripture

Ephesians 5:15-20
15 So be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise. 16 Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days. 17 Don’t act thoughtlessly, but try to understand what the Lord wants you to do. 18 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, let the Holy Spirit fill and control you. 19 Then you will sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, making music to the Lord in your hearts. 20 And you will always give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

One of the keys to success in our lives is to live what we know.  Many of us know a lot of things but only live a small portion of our knowledge.  Wisdom is applied knowledge.  It is very easy to take the path of least resistance and let our emotions and feelings dictate how and what we will do.  Our behavior shows what is controlling us.  It is too easy to just do what “feels” good and only those things that give us pleasure.  This is the aspect of a child.  It is adult to do the things that are not fun or easy but need to be done anyway.  So it is with our walk with God.  Christianity is not the easy road.  We must die to self and let Christ live through us.  We must be Christ to the world.  This means living the things we know.  The Holy Spirit controlled Christian is the Christian at peace.  This doesn’t mean we never fail it only means we keep learning and living what we have learned.  Take a small step today and apply one thing you know is true.  Focus on that one small thing every day and see what a difference it will make in your life.

Have a God Day!

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August 28, 2008: 7:44 pm: Daily Scripture

Mark 13:14-27
14 “The time will come when you will see the sacrilegious object that causes desecration standing where it should not be–reader, pay attention! “Then those in Judea must flee to the hills. 15 A person outside the house must not go back into the house to pack. 16 A person in the field must not return even to get a coat. 17 How terrible it will be for pregnant women and for mothers nursing their babies in those days. 18 And pray that your flight will not be in winter. 19 For those will be days of greater horror than at any time since God created the world. And it will never happen again. 20 In fact, unless the Lord shortens that time of calamity, the entire human race will be destroyed. But for the sake of his chosen ones he has shortened those days.  21 “And then if anyone tells you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah,’ or, ‘There he is,’ don’t pay any attention. 22 For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform miraculous signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones. 23 Watch out! I have warned you!  24 “At that time, after those horrible days end, the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give light, 25 the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of heaven will be shaken. 26 Then everyone will see the Son of Man arrive on the clouds with great power and glory. 27 And he will send forth his angels to gather together his chosen ones from all over the world–from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

The “sacrilegious object that causes desecration” refers to the statue of the Antichrist in the Temple of God that the Antichrist will set up during the Tribulation.  Antichrist will betray the Jews he has signed a 7 year treaty with halfway through and set himself up to be the god of this world.  Christ is giving instructions to us about His Second Coming in this scripture to prepare us for His return.  As He tells us in verse 26 that everyone will see the Son of Man arrive on the clouds.  There have been similar sacrilegious object that caused desecration throughout history and because of those events; people believe that Christ has already come again.  In 168 B.C. Antiochus Epiphanes came into the Temple of God and sacrificed a pig to Zeus on the Temple altar.  And in A.D. 70 the Romans completely destroyed the Temple and then placed an idol on the site.  But do not be deceived because Christ is very clear that this event would take place right before His Second Coming.  When He comes again, no one will need to tell you because everyone living in the world at that time will know He has returned.  No one will need to be told.   We know that there is still a lot of evil in this world, so Christ is not sitting on the throne of this world.  And the Jews are not worshipping in the Temple in Jerusalem, so Christ has not returned yet. These events are still in our future.  But we must be prepared for His return at any minute.  This means living Christ to the world around you and becoming His image in our life.  Waiting and watching for His Second Coming will keep you living for Him and will continue the process of sanctification in you.

Have a God Day!

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August 27, 2008: 4:57 pm: Daily Scripture

Zechariah 6:9
9 Then I received another message from the Lord: 10 “Heldai, Tobijah, and Jedaiah will bring gifts of silver and gold from the Jews exiled in Babylon. As soon as they arrive, meet them at the home of Josiah son of Zephaniah. 11 Accept their gifts and make a crown from the silver and gold. Then put the crown on the head of Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest. 12 Tell him that the Lord Almighty says: Here is the man called the Branch. He will branch out where he is and build the Temple of the Lord. 13 He will build the Lord’s Temple, and he will receive royal honor and will rule as king from his throne. He will also serve as priest from his throne, and there will be perfect harmony between the two.14 “The crown will be a memorial in the Temple of the Lord to honor those who gave it–Heldai, Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Josiah son of Zephaniah.’ 15 Many will come from distant lands to rebuild the Temple of the Lord. And when this happens, you will know my messages have been from the Lord Almighty. All this will happen if you carefully obey the commands of the Lord your God.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Many read this scripture and wonder what God was doing with the people of Israel. Throughout all of scripture God gives us clear directions on how to live in this world.  In the Old Testament, it was sometimes very specific to the event at hand and in the New Testament, it is very specific to living and applies to all individuals who will hear the voice of God and obey it.  Zachariah is writing about the fact that the Messiah, the Branch, would come as both King and as High Priest.  The anointing of the two will be in one Person.  Jesus Christ will fight to win our battles for us and the will of God the Father will be worked through us by the power of the Holy Spirit in us.  This is the function of Christ now as He sits on at the right hand of God the Father.  When He comes back to earth again, He will visibly be our King and also our High Priest. God is saying to all those who believe and obey that He will fight our battles.  He has all authority in this world and He can bring a miracle from resources you do not know about.  But we have a role to play in the filling of God’s promises and that is obedience.  “All this will happen if you carefully obey the commands of the Lord your God.”  Whatever your need today, trust that God has provided an answer and a way to meet your need.  Read and study His Word and then believe and obey.  God is Jehovah-jireh, He will provide.

Have a God Day!

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August 26, 2008: 6:14 pm: Daily Scripture

Romans 10:9-13
9 For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. 11 As the Scriptures tell us, Anyone who believes in him will not be disappointed. 12 Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They all have the same Lord, who generously gives his riches to all who ask for them. 13 For anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

When the Word of God and the words of our lips link up, we have a special connection to the power of God. When we speak the promises from the Word of God, we are speaking His truth with every sentence and the power of God is released to work in our behalf. It is with our words that the our beliefs are planted deep in our hearts.  There is power in our spoken word as there is power in the Word of God.  When we are pressed on all sides, all we need to do is speak the name of Jesus and we are in His presence.  Speak His promises and they belong to us.  It is the confession of our mouths that saves us.  If we believe and do not speak, do we really believe?  Not according to the Word of God. Speak your faith in Christ and see what a difference it will make in your life and in the lives of the people you speak to.

Have a God Day!

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August 25, 2008: 6:23 pm: Daily Scripture

Philippians 3:12-21
12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection! But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven. 15 I hope all of you who are mature Christians will agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. 16 But we must be sure to obey the truth we have learned already. 17 Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example. 18 For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their future is eternal destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and all they think about is this life here on earth. 20 But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. 21 He will take these weak mortal bodies of ours and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same mighty power that he will use to conquer everything, everywhere.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Are you everything that God knows you can be? If you are then you are dead! Not one of us will achieve perfection in this life. But that does not mean we do not keep on working toward that goal. Jesus Christ started this work in you when you were saved by faith. He will complete the work one day but until that day, we are to keep allowing His Spirit to live Christ through us. God will keep revealing to us areas of needed growth. We are to keep moving toward the goal of becoming more like Christ and this means removing more and more of ourselves until there is nothing left. God will not come to us and demand perfection. All He wants is for us to be obedient to His work in us. Listen to what the Spirit of God is telling you today. What layer of self needs to be peeled off and discarded?  When you complete that layer, there will always be another to be removed. When we are with Him in Heaven, the work will be complete but until then keep peeling.

Have a God Day!

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August 22, 2008: 5:53 pm: Daily Scripture

Zephaniah 3:14-20
16 On that day the announcement to Jerusalem will be, Cheer up, Zion! Don’t be afraid! 17 For the Lord your God has arrived to live among you. He is a mighty savior. He will rejoice over you with great gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will exult over you by singing a happy song. 18 I will gather you who mourn for the appointed festivals; you will be disgraced no more. 19 And I will deal severely with all who have oppressed you. I will save the weak and helpless ones; I will bring together those who were chased away. I will give glory and renown to my former exiles, who have been mocked and shamed. 20 On that day I will gather you together and bring you home again. I will give you a good name, a name of distinction among all the nations of the earth. They will praise you as I restore your fortunes before their very eyes. I, the Lord, have spoken!
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Zephaniah is telling us about the day when Christ will rule on earth.  God is not done with Jerusalem and even though it may look bad for the Jewish nation today, God is not done.  His promises for this city will happen.  And just as God returned His people to Jerusalem before the first coming of Christ, so He has returned His people to this city before Christ comes again. After the Babylonian exile, the Jewish nation returned to the homeland and rebuilt the temple.  It was almost 500 years afterwards that Christ came as a Babe to save the world.  Today the Jewish people are again back in their homeland and the temple will once again be rebuilt before Christ returns again. This time He is coming as Judge, the Lion of Judah. But we can rejoice with gladness because we have His Word that God rejoices over us with gladness and with His love He will calm our fears.  Christians are His people both Jews and Gentiles, anyone who accepts His gift of grace will be calmed by His love.  No matter what is happening today.  So rejoice that God is in control and know that we have His Word that He will come again. He did it once, He will do it again!

Have a God Day!

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August 21, 2008: 5:20 am: Daily Scripture

Numbers 13:30-33
30 But Caleb tried to encourage the people as they stood before Moses. Let’s go at once to take the land, he said. We can certainly conquer it! 31 But the other men who had explored the land with him answered, We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are! 32 So they spread discouraging reports about the land among the Israelites: The land we explored will swallow up any who go to live there. All the people we saw were huge. 33 We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. We felt like grasshoppers next to them, and that’s what we looked like to them!

14:1 Then all the people began weeping aloud, and they cried all night. 2 Their voices rose in a great chorus of complaint against Moses and Aaron. We wish we had died in Egypt, or even here in the wilderness! they wailed. 3 Why is the Lord taking us to this country only to have us die in battle? Our wives and little ones will be carried off as slaves! Let’s get out of here and return to Egypt! 4 Then they plotted among themselves, Let’s choose a leader and go back to Egypt!
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Why is it that a dog will always return to it’s vomit (Proverbs 26:11) and Christians who have lived in Egypt, want to return? Looking back it is always easier to want what we have known, even it has not always been the best.  And sometimes the idea of functioning under faith in a God we can not see, sends us running back to the world, we were saved out of. Because we can not see with our limited senses what God is doing in our lives, we doubt and fear. We see ourselves as grasshoppers in a land of giants.  The battle is lost before it began. The Israelites with this mind set died in the wilderness because of their lack of faith and vision. Focusing on what we can do under our own power will destroy the work God has set before us.  We need to have the attitude of Joshua and Caleb who stated in Numbers 14:9, “The Lord is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!”  When you are comparing what you lack to what others have, you function under intimidation and not confidence.  Let Proverbs 3:26 (For the Lord will be your confidence, And will keep your foot from being caught) be your determination to move forward.

Have a God Day!

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August 20, 2008: 5:55 pm: Daily Scripture

Romans 5:1-6
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. 3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us-they help us learn to endure. 4 And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation. 5 And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. 6 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

There is a two sided reality to living a life for Christ. On one hand, we are complete in Christ when we accept His free gift of grace by faith. Because of our faith, we are given the highest privilege of sharing God’s glory.  On the other hand, we are continually growing to become more like Christ. We have the status of royalty and the duties of slaves. We experience both the presence of Christ and pressure of sin. While we enjoy the peace that can only come from being made right with God, we also struggle with temptation and pain.  Remembering our double nature in this world will keep us from becoming discouraged while we continue to work with Christ to complete this process.  We keep our eyes focused on Him and the prize of eternity with Him.  Remember, we are friends of God and that He is working to draw us closer to Him and not to condemn us for our mistakes.  God is slowly building our confidence and character for higher responsibilities for the work of His kingdom. Remember who you are in Christ and let the power of the Spirit of God within you lead you through your trails and temptations to become the royalty you are.

Have a God Day!

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August 19, 2008: 5:26 pm: Daily Scripture

Habakkuk 2:9-14
9 “How terrible it will be for you who get rich by unjust means! You believe your wealth will buy security, putting your families beyond the reach of danger. 10 But by the murders you committed, you have shamed your name and forfeited your lives. 11 The very stones in the walls of your houses cry out against you, and the beams in the ceilings echo the complaint. 12 “How terrible it will be for you who build cities with money gained by murder and corruption! 13 Has not the Lord Almighty promised that the wealth of nations will turn to ashes? They work so hard, but all in vain! 14 For the time will come when all the earth will be filled, as the waters fill the sea, with an awareness of the glory of the Lord.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Today many live in fear of war, financial disaster and disease. Terrorist attacks are on everyone’s mind. This world has nothing to offer but pain and destruction. And yet many continue to trust in the things that their hands have made. Idolatry may seem like a sin that modern people do not commit. But it is not just bowing down to idols, it is trusting in what one has made. If we trust in what we have made, we are trusting in our own power as creator and sustainer.  If we say we worship God but put our trust in bank accounts, homes, businesses and governments, than we are idolaters. We must live above the circumstances of this world and everything it has to offer.  It is all corruptible and will someday be gone.  The only thing that will last is the love that flows through us from God the Father. Habakkuk 2:4 states, “Look at the proud! They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked; but the righteous will live by their faith.”  Do not put your trust in the gifts God has given you.  Recognize the Giver and put your trust in Him and Him alone.  Do not let your feelings be controlled by the events happening in the world today but by faith in God’s ability to direct all things according to His purpose and His ability to give you strength.

Have a God Day!

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August 18, 2008: 6:55 pm: Daily Scripture

Matthew 7:1-5
Stop judging others, and you will not be judged. 2 For others will treat you as you treat them. Whatever measure you use in judging others, it will be used to measure how you are judged. 3 And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? 4 How can you think of saying, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First get rid of the log from your own eye; then perhaps you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Isn’t it always easier for us to see what is wrong in someone else than in ourselves?  Families are very good at this.  We like to fix what is wrong in our loved ones before we fix ourselves.  Sometimes we can be like the group of turkey vultures I saw once.  They were grouped by the road as I was driving and suddenly one of them jumped in front of a truck and was wounded.  I watched the others quickly go to him.  I thought, how nice that they care about their brother.  But to my horror, they went to finish him off so they could eat him!  Then I thought I’ve been to some family reunions like that.  It seems even Christians are better at judging others when they are down instead of looking at what is wrong in their own life.  We judge those getting divorced while our own marriage is in a shambles.  Or we say the sick must have sinned, while we continue in our own secret sin.  These words of Christ are for the church more than they are for the world.  As Christians we should be taking care of our own sin and not judging or trying to fix those around us.  Be very careful, as Christ has warned us.  We will be judge by Him with the same measure that we used to judge those around us.  I want the smallest measure of judgment when I stand before Him. (Christians stand before Him for a judgment of our works, not sin.)  Whenever I want to judge or fix, I think about what needs fixing in my life first and if there is nothing there, then I can go forward with judgment.  I have never reached that point and none of us will, which tells us we have no right to judge.

Have a God Day!

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