Archive for December, 2008

December 16, 2008: 5:15 pm: Daily Scripture

Ephesians 6:10-18
10 A final word: Be strong with the Lord’s mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil. 12 For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms. 13 Use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 stand your ground, putting on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In every battle you will need faith as your shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed at you by Satan. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 Pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all Christians everywhere.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Christians face a powerful army whose goal is to make us fail. When you believe in Christ, these beings become our enemies, and they try to turn you away from God and back into sin. If they can not do this, they will try and make you a weak ineffective Christian. When this happens, you are not living under the authority that Christ died to give you. Satan does this by controlling your thoughts. He sets up strongholds in your mind that prevent the truth from setting you free. A stronghold is any thought that is contrary to the Word of God and you believe. Most of the time, you will not even know a stronghold is set up in your mind. The only way you will know there are strongholds in your mind is when you are not living a peaceful productive Christian life. This is when you put on the whole armor of God and fight against Satan. Strongholds are when you say to yourself, “I’ll never be able to overcome this sin, I don’t think I am saved, I can’t live the way Jesus did,” Knowing and standing on the truth of God’s Word is the only way to fight the enemy. These statements are strongholds of the enemy in your mind. They are wrong beliefs. The Word states, “I can do all things through Christ”, you are saved by the Blood of Christ and when you trust in the Lord with all your heart and His Word in your mind will help you stop these thoughts. This is truth; this is the armor of God. Believe in Him who died for your sin, not in the lies of this world.

Have a God Day!

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December 15, 2008: 5:30 pm: Daily Scripture

Philippians 3:12-16
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.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Paul used perfection to mean mature or complete, not flawless in every detail.  Those who are mature should press on toward the goal of becoming like Christ in attitude, thought and action.  Christian maturity involves acting on the knowledge that you have already received.  Remember wisdom is applied knowledge and we can always make excuses that we have so much to learn.  But acting on or applying the knowledge you already have of the Word is what God wants you to do.  Paul instructs you to live up to what you already know and live out what you have already learned. Forget your past mistakes and do not look back.  It is difficult to move forward if you are constantly looking back.  Keep working toward to the day when you will be all that Christ knows you are. 

Have a God Day!

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December 12, 2008: 5:23 pm: Daily Scripture

John 1:1-14
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

The Incarnation was the act of the pre-existent Son of God voluntarily assuming a human body and human nature.  Without ceasing to be God, He became a human being, He became the Man called Jesus.  He did not give up His deity to become human, but He set aside the right to His glory and power.  In submission to the Father’s will, Christ limited His power and His knowledge.  Jesus of Nazareth was subject to place, time and many other human limitations. What made His humanity unique was His freedom from sin.  In His full humanity, Jesus showed everything about God’s character that can be conveyed in human terms.  And every miracle Christ did was under the direction of the Father and with the power of the Holy Spirit.  He had a full measure of the Holy Spirit working through Him as a human. 

The deity of Christ is the point that every cult will focus on.  If an organization does not acknowledge the deity of Christ, they are outside of Him.  Look to this point before you belive anything anyone tells you.  If Christ was not fully God and fully human, He could not have died for our sins and there would be no reconciliation with God. He had to be fully human to die and He had to be fully God to be without sin. Jesus stated in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”  There is no other way to God except through Christ and all those outside of the grace of Christ will perish eternally.  We did not make the rules, God did and it is not for humans to decide what works and what does not.  God is our answer and only through Him will we be saved from our sins.  Don’t believe anything outside of Christ for the truth.  And look to what the Word of God states.  Put your trust in Him through His Word.

Have a God Day!

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December 11, 2008: 5:23 pm: Daily Scripture

James 5:16-18
16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results. 17 Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for the next three and a half years! 18 Then he prayed for rain, and down it poured. The grass turned green, and the crops began to grow again.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

As believers in Christ, all our sins are forgiven.  His death cleansed us from all sin.  Why do we then still confess our sins?  Confession is more than appropriating Christ’s forgiveness for what we have done wrong.  Confession is agreeing with God that our thoughts, words or actions are wrong and are contrary to His will.  It is an act of recommitting ourselves to do His will and repent of any acts of disobedience. Sin always separates us for God. so when we go to Him in prayer for our needs, we want nothing to separate us from The Father, so we confess our sins to Him.  Doing so does not mean we have lost our salvation, it simply means that we agree with God that we have stepped outside of His will. We do not have to confess sins that were previously confessed.  Confessing over and over again the same sin once confessed is not accepting God’s grace once given.  Once you confess a sin, leave it before God and do not go back to the sin by thinking about it.  Rebuke it from your thoughts and live under the grace God has given you.  Confession involves turning away from all known sin and asking God for a fresh start to live for Him.  And only He can give us the power to do so, but we must stay connected to Him.

Have a God Day!

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December 10, 2008: 5:29 pm: Daily Scripture

Esther 4:13-17
13 Mordecai sent back this reply to Esther: “Don’t think for a moment that you will escape there in the palace when all other Jews are killed. 14 If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. What’s more, who can say but that you have been elevated to the palace for just such a time as this?” 15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die. I am willing to die.” 17 So Mordecai went away and did as Esther told him.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Esther is the only book in the Bible that God is not called by name. Mordecai is Esther’s uncle and they are Jews in exile in Persia. Esther is very beautiful and Mordecai brings her to the palace to see if King Xerxes would select her to be his wife. He does and she is now in a position of power. Haman is over Mordecai and when Mordecai will not bow down and worship him, Haman plots to kill not only Mordecai but all the Jews. Mordecai goes to Esther and asks her to go to the king and plead their case but she is afraid because she can not approach the king unless he has summoned her. She could be put to death if she makes him angry. But Mordecai is a great man of God and he tells her that she was put in the palace for such a time as this! What a powerful witness. He is confident that if Esther will not step up to help, that God has another way to do so. This is the kind of faith that we need in our circumstances today. Even though we can not see a way out, God is in control and He will make a way. Read the entire book of Esther and see how God delivered the Jews. And believe God for the circumstances you are in today. He is the same God today that He was 2500 years ago.

Have a God Day!

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December 9, 2008: 5:36 pm: Daily Scripture

Colossians 3:12-17
12 Since God chose you to be the holy people whom he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 You must make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 And the most important piece of clothing you must wear is love. Love is what binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are all called to live in peace. And always be thankful. 16 Let the words of Christ, in all their richness, live in your hearts and make you wise. Use his words to teach and counsel each other. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. 17 And whatever you do or say, let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus, all the while giving thanks through him to God the Father.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Love is not just a feeling it is a decision to meet the need’s of another. Paul is saying we are to “put on” love. We are to act love to the people we come into contact with. It starts with our thinking and then leads to actions of love and then we “feel” love. This is true with any relationship you have and even with casual contact with strangers. The rule is to give love and you will then live in peace with all those around you. This does not mean that suddenly all differences of opinion disappear, but it does require that you work together despite your differences. To love does not mean you agree with everything someone else does. But you continue to offer loving acceptance and giving in spite of their weaknesses. Isn’t this what Christ offered to you? How can we give any less than what He gave to us? Living in love is truly letting the words of Christ, in all their richness, live in your hearts and makes you wise.

Have a God Day!

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December 8, 2008: 5:42 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 at least once a year.  I start in the beginning of each testament and read through to the end.  I rad 2 chapters in the Old and one in the New on most days.  My prayer is for the Lord to help me get through Numbers, 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 very few who could be in the presence of God.  Today, anyone can come to God the Father, anytime we want.  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!

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December 5, 2008: 8:30 pm: Daily Scripture

Ephesians 1:3-14
3 How we praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we belong to Christ. 4 Long ago, even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. 5 His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave him great pleasure.
6 So we praise God for the wonderful kindness he has poured out on us because we belong to his dearly loved Son. 7 He is so rich in kindness that he purchased our freedom through the blood of his Son, and our sins are forgiven. 8 He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.
9 God’s secret plan has now been revealed to us; it is a plan centered on Christ, designed long ago according to his good pleasure. 10 And this is his plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ-everything in heaven and on earth. 11 Furthermore, because of Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us from the beginning, and all things happen just as he decided long ago. 12 God’s purpose was that we who were the first to trust in Christ should praise our glorious God. 13 And now you also have heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. 14 The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us everything he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. This is just one more reason for us to praise our glorious God.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Understanding the grace of God is the beginning of salvation.  Grace is God’s loving favor given to those who belive Him. We can’t earn it, we don’t deserve it, but God gives it freely to those who believe Him.  No religious, intellectual, or moral effort can gain it, because it comes only from God’s mercy and love.  Without God’s grace, no one would be saved from the results of sin.  Death would be final and complete separation from God for eternity.  And for many death will be just that.  But for those who believe God, grace will be given and we have been redeemed from the slavery of sin and we are forever forgiven of our sin.  To receive the grace God so freely gives, we must acknowledge that we cannot save ourselves, that only God can save us, and that our only way to receive this loving favor is through faith in Christ.  The price was paid for our sin by the blood of Christ.  Only the blood can cover our sin and only Christ could give it.  Grace will save you from the destruction of complete separation from God, but only if you accept it.  Be covered by the blood of Christ today and freely receive what you do not deserve, the forgiveness of your sins.

Have a God Day!

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December 4, 2008: 8:27 pm: Daily Scripture

Mark 4:14-20
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.

We have heard many times that this parable represents the heart.  Many who hear the Word of God have hard hearts and some are very rocky, only a few are prepared to receive the Word.  But this parable can also represent four different times or phases in a Christian’s life.  Our heart can be like good soil and receive the Word of God and grow and produce a good crop.  But at different times in our life, our heart can be like the hard rocky soil and close the door to the Word we hear.  Hopefully we do not stay here, but go on to become good soil.  Or we can be like good soil to certain parts of God’s Word.  We may respond like good soil when God peaks to us about worship but respond like rocky soil when it comes to tithing.  We hear the Word of God, but respond differently to the different messages.  We should pray to be like good soil in all areas of the Word of God.  Our goal should be to be open to receive whatever direction God would take us through His Word.  Examine your heart when you read the Word and find out what kind of soil is receiving it.  If it is hard, let God do a little plowing to make it soft and ready to apply what you have received.

Have a God Day!

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December 3, 2008: 7:13 pm: Daily Scripture

Judges 16:28-30
28 Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me again. O God, please strengthen me one more time so that I may pay back the Philistines for the loss of my eyes.” 29 Then Samson put his hands on the center pillars of the temple and pushed against them with all his might. 30 “Let me die with the Philistines,” he prayed. And the temple crashed down on the Philistine leaders and all the people. So he killed more people when he died than he had during his entire lifetime.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

In spite of Samson’s past, God still answered his prayer and destroyed the pagan temple and the worshipers.  God still loved him.  And when Samson turned from his sin and turned to God, his relationship with God was restored. Samson prayed to God and God answered his prayer.  God did not turn away from Samson because he had sinned in the past, He heard him and He gave Samson victory over his enemies.

One of the side effects of sin in our lives is to keep us from feeling like praying.  But perfect moral behavior is not a condition for prayer.  Don’t let guilty feelings over sin keep you from your only  means of restoration.  No mater how long you have been away from Christ, He is ready to hear from you and restore you to a right relationship.  Every situation can be turned around if you are willing to turn to Him again.  Do not let your circumstances keep you from the One true source of love and forgiveness.  God will not turn from you because you have turned from Him.  He is always waiting for you.  That is the beauty of the love of God, it is always waiting for you.  Remember Ephesians 3:18, “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.”

Have a God Day!

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