Archive for October, 2008

October 31, 2008: 7:41 am: Daily Scripture

2 Corinthians 4:6-17
6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed, 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death is working in us, but life in you. 13 And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak, 14 knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you. 15 For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.  16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

Our bodies are made from the earth and to the earth they will return.  But this is not who we really are.  The body that carries us around is just made of dust but our spirit will live forever.  We are just simple jars of clay and when we accept the gift of grace from Christ Jesus, we begin the process to be molded into the image of Him.  But this process can be long, difficult and painful.  We will encounter many obstacles to this process and most of them are of our own doing.  But even though we are pressed on all sides during this process, we are not broken, that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.  The process of becoming like Christ will only result in submitting our will to His.  It will result in having the mind of Christ in all that we do.  By the time this work is completed in us, we will be with Him, but yet we continue on toward the goal of becoming like Christ.  Until that day, we press on.  It is understanding that we are just made of dust and that the work is being done by God Himself in our lives.  And if it is a work of God, we can have faith that He will complete it and when we are pressed on all sides, we can have peace that He is working all things out for our good according to His purpose for our lives. 

Have a God Day!

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October 30, 2008: 7:40 am: Daily Scripture

Mark 4:1-11
Then Jesus was led out into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit to be tempted there by the Devil. 2 For forty days and forty nights he ate nothing and became very hungry. 3 Then the Devil came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, change these stones into loaves of bread.”  4 But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People need more than bread for their life; they must feed on every word of God.'”   Then the Devil took him to Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, 6 and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say, ‘He orders his angels to protect you. And they will hold you with their hands to keep you from striking your foot on a stone.'” 7 Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘Do not test the Lord your God.'”   8 Next the Devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him the nations of the world and all their glory. 9 “I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will only kneel down and worship me.” 10 “Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God; serve only him.'” 11 Then the Devil went away, and angels came and cared for Jesus.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Temptations are situations designed by Satan to get us to sin.  The temptation itself is not sin because as we read, Christ Himself was tempted. Because Jesus Christ was without sin, we can have assurance that when we are faced with temptation, it is not a sin until we follow through.  But Jesus also reminded us to keep our thought life in order.  He stated in Matthew 5:28, “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”  To be tempted is not sin, but to continue to think about the temptation is.  We should follow the example Christ gave us when are tempted.  We should resist the Devil and he will flee, as stated in James 4:7.  So when tempted to sin, remember that God never tempts anyone to sin.  It is either from Satan or from our own evil desires.  Resist it and stop thinking about it. And most important, remove your self from the situation.   Focus on good thoughts as stated in Philippians 4:8.  Remember that Christ gave us the example.  And God uses temptation to teach us to obey Him.  We always have a choice when faced with the desire to sin.  Choose to obey God and grow to become more like Christ.

Have a God Day!

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October 29, 2008: 7:31 am: Daily Scripture

Acts 17:24-28
24 “He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, 25 and human hands can’t serve his needs-for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need there is. 26 From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand which should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries. 27 “His purpose in all of this was that the nations should seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him-though he is not far from anyone of us. 28 For in him we live and move and exist. As one of your own poets says, ‘We are his offspring.'”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Are you serious about serving the Lord? Do you live and exist and move in Him? These are questions every believer should be asking themselves. Because Christ will one day ask it of you. And what will your answer be? You didn’t have enough faith or time or energy or you weren’t really serious about Him. Well, He is serious about you. He died that you might have life before you even knew you needed Him. As long as you have breath, the Holy Spirit of God will be urging you to know more and more of Him who died for you. Increase your faith by hearing the Word as stated in Romans 10:17, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”  Faith does come by hearing the Word, but faith grows by experiencing the Word. Until you put the Word into practice, it will only be words to you.  Move past just reading the Word into experiencing it. It’s like reading how to ride a bike but never actually doing it. You can read and read and understand it, but until you get out and actually ride the bike you will never experience it. You believe in the instructions and may even have seen it applied, but it is not real to you until you do it for yourself. Take one scripture verse and put it into practice and see how God will move in your life and how your faith will grow. Keep doing this and you will be serious about serving Him.

Have a God Day!

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October 28, 2008: 7:25 am: Daily Scripture

Deuteronomy 17:18-20
18 “When he sits on the throne as king, he must copy these laws on a scroll for himself in the presence of the Levitical priests. 19 He must always keep this copy of the law with him and read it daily as long as he lives. That way he will learn to fear the LORD his God by obeying all the terms of this law. 20 This regular reading will prevent him from becoming proud and acting as if he is above his fellow citizens. It will also prevent him from turning away from these commands in the smallest way. This will ensure that he and his descendants will reign for many generations in Israel.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

After the death of Moses in about 1400 B.C. God knew that the Israelites would eventually want a king and He is giving them instructions for that king to live by.  If this man stayed connected to God, he would rule justly.  In order to stay connected to God, the king had to read God’s laws daily.  At this time in history having the written word was like owning gold.  It just wasn’t available to everyone.  Only the priests had the Word of God and the people had to come to the priest to find out what God’s instructions were.  But God is telling them that the king should have his own copy and to read it daily.  As children of the King today, how much more do we need to read His Word daily to stay connected to Him?  The daily reading of God’s Word will keep us from becoming proud and will keep us connected to the One who saved us.  Accepting God’s grace through faith in Christ is where you start, but the life of Christ is lived daily by staying connected to Him.  If the king needed to read the Word daily over 3000 years ago, don’t you need it more today?  Take a few extra minutes each morning and meditate on His Word.  Move toward making this a habit and see what a difference it makes in your walk with Christ.

Have a God Day!

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October 27, 2008: 7:19 am: 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.

There is no person alive who can sit in perfect righteousness and say to another, “You need to change. What you are doing is wrong.”  Our standard to judge others is not our own lives.  Because we have no righteousness outside of Christ, we have no rule or measure to judge others.  The difficulty comes into the church when people live in blatant sin.  Then as a part of the body of Christ, we must stand up and say, “According to the Word of God this is wrong.”  It is at that point we must stand up. This would include adultery, homosexuality, theft, abuse of chemicals or others.  but what about those gray areas?  What about if we just don’t agree with someone or if we just don’t like them?  Then it is best to search what the Word of God states and follow the example Christ gave to us.  But we need to be very very careful, we need to be close enough to Christ to hear His voice, and then it is best to discuss our case with another Christian we know is devoted to the Word.  Only then we do move forward in correcting another.  But most of the time, we have too many of our own sins to deal with before we can go to another and judge them.  Our rule to remember is that Christ will use the same measure of judgment on us that we have used on others.  So be loving and kind to others in the same process of sanctification that you are in.  None of us will be perfect until the day we see Christ.  Until then the best thing you can do is to stay connected to the Source of love and let His love flow  out of you to all those imperfect people around you.  Love them as you would want them to love you and let Christ rule your heart and mind.

Have a God Day!

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October 24, 2008: 7:18 am: 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.

Are you standing on the edge of a great work of God in your life?  Is He asking you to move into a direction you have never gone before?  At some point in our walk with God, we will all answer yes to these questions.  God will never leave any of us at the point we are now.  He will always be working gently to expand our knowledge of Him, our trust in Him and our work for Him.  Our walk with Him is like a rock being pushed up a hill, as soon as we stop, it starts to roll backwards.  We need to be constantly pushing it up the hill.  When we are standing at the edge of growth in God, it can be very difficult to take that step of faith, because we cannot see the end result.  But remember Christ promised to be a light to our path.  So we can only see the next step in front of us and not what is at the end of the trail.  Moving out in faith can be difficult.  We can never fully understand how great His love for us is, so our puny little minds sometimes hesitate to move forward for Him out of fear.  God is telling us to grow our roots deep into Him because His love is so great; He will always lead us to what is good for us.  So when God asks us to move in a certain direction or do a certain thing, we can have perfect trust that He will give us the power to do it and to succeed.  It is a God thing, and only taking that step of trust will lead to growth.  Don’t hesitate, move forward if you hear the voice of God directing you.  If you hear Him, He is with you and will give you the power and the strength to succeed.  Trust Him to know what is best for you.

Have a God Day!

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October 23, 2008: 7:10 am: Daily Scripture

Matthew 2:9-12
9 After this interview the wise men went their way. Once again the star appeared to them, guiding them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! 11 They entered the house where the child and his mother, Mary, were, and they fell down before him and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 But when it was time to leave, they went home another way, because God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

The astrologers traveled thousands of miles to see the King of the Jews.  When they finally found Him, they responded with joy, worship, and gifts.  This is so different from the approach people often take today.  We expect God to come looking for us, to explain Himself, prove who He is and give us gifts. Hebrews 6:11 tells us, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”  We are to seek God and when we find Him, we are to worship Him for Who He is and not what He can do for us.  This is the essence of true worship–honoring Christ for Who He is and being willing to give Him what is valuable to you.  Do you daily worship the King of Kings?  Do you give Him what is valuable to you or is it just what is left over?  Give Him the best of your time, the first part of your day, give Him the best of your love because of Who He is and not because of what He can give you.  Worship God because He is perfect, just, and almighty Creator of the universe, and He is worthy of the best you have to give!

Have a God Day!

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October 22, 2008: 2:58 am: Daily Scripture

1 John 3:18-24
18 Dear children, let us stop just saying we love each other; let us really show it by our actions. 19 It is by our actions that we know we are living in the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before the Lord, 20 even if our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.  21 Dear friends, if our conscience is clear, we can come to God with bold confidence. 22 And we will receive whatever we request because we obey him and do the things that please him. 23 And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us. 24 Those who obey God’s commandments live in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Holy Spirit lives in us.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Our behavior verifies who sits on the throne of our hearts and minds.  And our behavior is a reflection of what we think.  And our thinking determines how we feel.  Maturity means we can behave outside of what we think and what we feel.  John is telling us that Christ is evident in our lives when our actions are in line with the Word of God, even if we don’t “feel” it in our hearts.  If you are living for God but don’t “feel” the power of the Spirit at work within you, act on your knowledge of the Word of God.  If you move forward and act on the truth of His Word, you will eventually “feel” it.  But our feelings are not as important as our actions.  God is greater than our feelings and He knows everything about us.  So take action on the instructions of the Word whether you “feel” like it or not and then you will know that you are living in His truth.  Show your love to God by your actions.  Remember, real love is an action not a feeling.  And it is our actions more than our words that tell others and God that we love them.

Have a God Day!

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October 20, 2008: 1:25 am: Daily Scripture

2 Thessalonians 1:3-6
3 Dear brothers and sisters, we always thank God for you, as is right, for we are thankful that your faith is flourishing and you are all growing in love for each other. 4 We proudly tell God’s other churches about your endurance and faithfulness in all the persecutions and hardships you are suffering. 5 But God will use this persecution to show his justice. For he will make you worthy of his Kingdom, for which you are suffering, 6 and in his justice he will punish those who persecute you.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Why do bad things happen to good people, those serving the Lord?  This is the questions so many people ask today.  Many outside of Christ say, “If there is a God why would He let this terrible thing happen?”  This often will keep them from coming to believe that God loves and cares of them.  Because there is sin our world, there is suffering, sickness and death for all people, those who love God and those who do not.  Pain and suffering come from three areas in this world. One is because there is sin and all of us will eventually die because of it.  Sin is evil and goes against God’s will.  Man has free will and many choose to do evil and many others suffer because of their evil choice.  The second circumstance that brings suffering is our own choices.  If we choose to smoke, we will eventually suffer.  If we choose to jump off a cliff, we will suffer.  These are very obvious choices that will lead to our suffering.  Others are not so obvious, but all of the choices we make in life have consequences either good or bad.  The third circumstance in life that brings suffering is our decision to serve Christ.  And that is what the Thessaloninas were suffering.  Paul had to leave Thessalonica very quickly because of persecution and so the believers he left behind also suffered greatly for their decision to serve Christ.  Many in this country do not suffer much because of their decision to serve the Lord.  But many around the world everyday are killed because they serve Him. 

Whatever your reason for suffering, God is not indifferent, uncaring, unjust or powerless to protect you.  Bad things happen and we may never know the reason why.  The consequences of sin (not our sin, but sin in the world) and our bad decisions are usually the reason for our suffering.  It is important to remember that even though we suffer, God is still in control and can use our suffering for our good, for those who love Him.  Your focus should remain on His Word and His love even though you do not understand the “why” of your pain.  Know that He is always with you and will never leave you, no matter what you are feeling or experiencing.  Just because you cannot understand or do not know the reason for the things that have happened does not mean that God is not with you.  Read the Psalms and see what others have suffered through and see how God worked in their lives.  And then trust that He will give you peace of mind and heart during your time of pain.

Have a God Day!

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October 17, 2008: 1:20 am: Daily Scripture

Matthew 13:11-15
11 Then he explained to them, “You have been permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others have not. 12 To those who are open to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But to those who are not listening, even what they have will be taken away from them. 13 That is why I tell these stories, because people see what I do, but they don’t really see. They hear what I say, but they don’t really hear, and they don’t understand. 14 This fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah, which says: ‘You will hear my words, but you will not understand; you will see what I do, but you will not perceive its meaning.  15 For the hearts of these people are hardened, and their ears cannot hear, and they have closed their eyes so their eyes cannot see, and their ears cannot hear, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and let me heal them.'”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Jesus was not hiding the truth when He spoke and He is not hiding the truth today.  Many think it some complicated formula that must be followed exactly as instructed and that only the wise will find the truth.  Movies and books do a lot to promote this misunderstanding.  They tell a story about a very unlikely person that has been “chosen” to know the truth.  Usually this truth saves the world.  But God does not work this way, He has opened His truth to all who are willing to listen.  To those who sincerely want to know Him, He will be found.  To others who put up the pretense of wanting to know Him, He will keep His truth from them.  He knows their true motive is themselves and not Christ.  Remember God knows all and knows the motive of every heart.  He knows who will accept Him and who will not.  He does not determine this, but He knows who will accept Him. And to those who will not accept His Gift of love, He will take away even what they do know of Him.  I believe that these people have already hardened their hearts against God and He is just doing what they want.  To anyone who truly does seek Him, He will be found.  And we will have an abundance of His knowledge and He will increase what we already have.  Not because we are better or have followed the “rules”, but because we are open to Him and truly wanted to know Him.  Spread His truth to all, but understand that not all will want to hear it.  Seek to know Christ more and He will give you more understanding.

Have a God Day!

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