Archive for April, 2009

April 30, 2009: 9:43 pm: Daily Scripture

Ephesians 4:17-24
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.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

As Christians, we all have the desire to surrender to the will of God, sometimes a very strong desire. But what does it really mean to throw off the “old nature” and put on the “new nature” of Christ that is now within you? How do we do this? It starts with a heart that has been restored. When we come to Christ there have been many events that have happened to us. We all have “baggage.” Most of it is not good and from these events we have learned how to deal with life. And most of what we have learned is contrary to the Word of God. We do this to protect ourselves from further pain. We have learned what to think, different attitudes and patterns of behavior from these events. All of this is not done consciously and most starts in childhood. Someone said something to us and now we think that is who we are. All of this is within every person when they come to Christ. He has to come in and restore your unresolved pain and unmet needs that come from your way of dealing with life. Your way of thinking, behaving and reacting has to be stripped away and Christ be allowed to come in and place within you His way of thinking, His way of behaving and His way of reacting. Most Christians are not willing to be stripped naked of their “old nature” in order for Christ to do this. There is no room for Him to work because we hold onto what we know. If you can relate to this scripture, God is talking to you about letting Him come in to renew your mind to the mind of Christ. Start by going before Him and telling Him you do not know how to do this, but are willing to let Him show you. Then bind your mind to the mind of Jesus Christ daily and loose your old way of thinking, behaving and reacting. Ask God to come in and make Himself at home in your heart and your mind, as you submit to taking on His nature.

Have a God Day!

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April 29, 2009: 9:41 pm: Daily Scripture

Philippians 2:5-11
5 Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. 6 Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God. 7 He made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. 8 And in human form he obediently humbled himself even further by dying a criminal’s death on a cross. 9 Because of this, God raised him up to the heights of heaven and gave him a name that is above every other name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

God wants you to have the same attitude that Christ had while He was walking as a human here on earth. Do not be afraid to offer yourself and God within you to those around you. God wants to use your arms to hug them. God wants to use your voice to speak words of wisdom and hope to them. God wants to use your heart to love them. We all need to create room in ourselves for that kind of boldness, wisdom and love. Jesus stretched Himself out to the hurting and those in need and had compassion on them. We should do no less. To have this kind of attitude, you need to see others as God sees them. If He values their potential, how can you judge them as worth any less? Realize there are times when you may be the only link they have to God. Be willing to get outside of your understanding and allow God to think through you and use you to meet the need of a hurting person. This will be having the attitude of Christ and will please the Father.

Have a God Day!

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April 28, 2009: 9:36 pm: Daily Scripture

Hebrews 4:14-16
14 We have a great high priest, who has gone into heaven, and he is Jesus the Son of God. That is why we must hold on to what we have said about him. 15 Jesus understands every weakness of ours, because he was tempted in every way that we are. But he did not sin! 16 So whenever we are in need, we should come bravely before the throne of our merciful God. There we will be treated with undeserved kindness, and we will find help.
The Contemporary English [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1995 by the American Bible Society.

Jesus Christ was tempted by Satan with every possibility for sin and did not give in. Christ felt every pull to sin that we feel. So He can completely understand our weaknesses. God the Father has never been in our place and even though He knows and understands our needs, He can not feel what it is like to be tempted or to be in physical or emotional pain. Christ felt pain and grieve and torture, He felt every aspect of life that we feel. Therefore, He can go to the Father to tell Him how we are feeling when we are in pain or we are tempted. He knows and completely understands because He has been where we are. So when we are in need we can come before the Father with Christ at our side to tell Him how it feels to be in our place and the Father hears us. 1 John 2:1 tells us, “But if you do sin, there is someone to plead for you before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who pleases God completely.” Jesus Christ pleases the Father because He was tempted on all aspects and did not sin. When you are tempted or are in need, go to the Father with Christ by your side and know that you are heard and that God will meet your need or supply a way out of the temptation.

Have a God Day!

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April 27, 2009: 5:07 pm: Daily Scripture

1 John 1:1-4
The one who existed from the beginning is the one we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is Jesus Christ, the Word of life. 2 This one who is life from God was shown to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and announce to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was shown to us. 3 We are telling you about what we ourselves have actually seen and heard, so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We are writing these things so that our joy will be complete.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

John is writing to second generation Christians who had not seen or had not been with Christ. They were moving away from fellowship with God and forgetting that Christ came to give us a relationship with Him and not mere knowledge of Him. As time moved forward many were coming to faith who had only heard about Christ and had not been with Him as John had been. That is us today as 21st century Christians. John was writing to those of us who would come to know Christ today. In order for us to have fellowship with Christ we have to have fellowship with the information the apostles left us. This is the Word that Christ gave to them in order for us to know Him. Intimate fellowship with God always brings joy regardless of our circumstances because our life is in Him and not in the situation. Jesus stated in John 10:10, “My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.” Move from mere knowledge about Christ to intimate fellowship with Him by knowing what was told to us from those who were with Him when He was a man. When we know His Word, we will know Him and we will have joy.

Have a God Day!

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April 24, 2009: 6:14 am: Daily Scripture

Galatians 5:16-26
16 So I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is just opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite from what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, and your choices are never free from this conflict. 18 But when you are directed by the Holy Spirit, you are no longer subject to the law. 19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, 20 idolatry, participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and
other kinds of sin. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. 22 But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. 26 Let us not become conceited, or irritate one another, or be jealous of one another.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

When we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, His Spirit puts into us the desires that are opposite to our sinful nature. These two forces are constantly at conflict within us. The choices we make show which one is in control of our desires. The actions we take show how much of Christ is in us. With every step we take, we show Christ to the world or we show self. When we submit to the control of the Holy Spirit of God within us, His righteousness comes through in our behaviors and actions.  When we allow our sinful nature control, the desires of our flesh come through. It is a choice we make daily and sometimes moment by moment to accept the freedom from sin that Christ died to give us or to let sin rule our lives. Paul shows us the results when the Spirit of God is in control and when our sinful nature is. Strength comes when we choose Christ and deny self. Righteousness comes when the Spirit of God controls our actions and the Word is lived in our lives. When you fail and let your sinful nature control your behavior, come before God and confess your weakness and allow His Spirit to minister to you and move forward under the power of Christ in you.

Have a God Day!

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April 23, 2009: 5:23 am: Daily Scripture

Good Morning!

Matthew 20:20-28
20 Then the mother of James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus with her sons. She knelt respectfully to ask a favor. 21 What is your request?
he asked. She replied, In your Kingdom, will you let my two sons sit in places of honor next to you, one at your right and the other at your left? 22 But Jesus told them, You don’t know what you are asking! Are you able to drink from the bitter cup of sorrow I am about to drink? Oh yes, they replied, we are able! 23 You will indeed drink from it, he told them. But I have no right to say who will sit on the thrones next to mine. My Father has prepared those places for the ones he has chosen. 24 When the ten other disciples heard what James and John had asked, they were indignant. 25 But Jesus called them together and said, You know that in this world kings are tyrants, and officials lord it over the people beneath them. 26 But among you it should be quite different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must become your slave. 28 For even I, the Son
of Man, came here not to be served but to serve others, and to give my life as a ransom for many.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Authority is given, not for self importance, ambition or respect but for useful service to God. Jesus described leadership from a new perspective, instead of using people, we are to serve them. His mission was to serve us by dying for our sin. He came not to take life but to give it. A real leader has a servant’s heart. Servant leaders appreciate the worth in others and realize that they are not above any job. If you see something that needs to be done, don’t wait to be asked, do it. Be the example of leadership that Christ showed to us.

Have a God Day!

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April 22, 2009: 5:21 am: Daily Scripture

Matthew 12:25
25 Jesus knew their thoughts and replied, Any kingdom at war with itself is doomed. A city or home divided against itself is doomed. 26 And if Satan is casting out Satan, he is fighting against himself. His own kingdom will not survive. 27 And if I am empowered by the prince of demons, what about your own followers? They cast out demons, too, so they will judge you for what you have said. 28 But if I am casting out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you. 29 Let me illustrate this. You can’t enter a strong man’s house and rob him without first tying him up. Only then can his house be robbed! 30 Anyone who isn’t helping me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me. 31 Every sin or blasphemy can be forgiven except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which can never be forgiven. 32 Anyone who blasphemes against me, the Son of Man, can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, either in this world or in the world to come.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

The Pharisees had blasphemed against the Holy Spirit by attributing the power by which Christ did miracles to Satan. The unpardonable sin is the deliberate refusal to acknowledge God’s power in Christ. It is a deliberate and irreversible hardness of the heart. It is unforgivable because they have gone so far from God, they will choose to never seek forgiveness. Whoever rejects the prompting of the Holy Spirit removes himself from the only power that can lead them to repentance and restoration with God. Believers should never worry about accidently committing this sin. Only those who have turned their back on God and rejected all faith have need to worry, and they will never worry about it.

Have a God Day!

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April 21, 2009: 5:18 am: Daily Scripture

Romans 8:35-39
35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death? 36 (Even the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. 38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away. 39 Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

The love of God revealed through Christ Jesus is all we need to know to be safe in that love.  For those who know Him and suffer today, there is power in knowing His love.  God is Who He is no matter where you are, no matter what you believe or don’t believe.  So why would you doubt His love when times are difficult?  Is it any easier to understand Him when things are going your way?  Revelation 19:10 states, “…For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus.”  The entire Bible gives a clear picture of Who Jesus Christ is, either leading up to Him or looking back.  And when you are going thorough trials and difficulties in this world He is the One who will sustain and keep you.  Why would you limit Him by not believing Him?  There is nothing that can ever separate you from His love even if you think it can.  It does not matter what you think or know, He is still the same and will never change.  So when there is suffering, go to the truth and find out what He will do for you.  He will keep you safe in His love and calm the storm in your life.  Either He will walk with you through it or He will change the storms path.  But He will never leave you.  So go to His Word and learn Who He is and trust His promises.

Have a God Day!

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April 20, 2009: 5:15 am: Daily Scripture

Mark 4:21-25
21 Then Jesus asked them, “Would anyone light a lamp and then put it under a basket or under a bed to shut out the light? Of course not! A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light will shine. 22 “Everything that is now hidden or secret will eventually be brought to light. 23 Anyone who is willing to hear should listen and understand! 24 And be sure to pay attention to what you hear. The more you do this, the more you will understand-and even more, besides. 25 To those who are open to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But to those who are not listening, even what they have will be taken away from them.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

The light of the truth about Jesus Christ in our lives should not be hidden.  If we say we love Him, we will obey Him and it will show.  Only as we put God’s teachings into practice will we understand and see more truth. The truth is always clear but our vision may be clouded because we have not applied other truth He has revealed to us.  Our ability to understand may be clouded by our disbelief and that we have not applied what He has already revealed. It is in the applying of God’s understanding that we learn and grow. James 1:22-25 states, “And remember, it is a message to obey, not just to listen to. If you don’t obey, you are only fooling yourself. 23 For if you just listen and don’t obey, it is like looking at your face in a mirror but doing nothing to improve your appearance. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you keep looking steadily into God’s perfect law-the law that sets you free-and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.”  As we understand His Word we should obey and walk in the truth of what we understand by applying it to our behaviors and attitudes. Our vision then becomes clearer to increase our understanding of more of God’s Word.  What truth has Christ revealed to you?  Apply it, obey it and walk in it and He will give you more understanding.

Have a God Day!

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April 17, 2009: 4:20 pm: Daily Scripture

Colossians 3:12-15
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.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Paul tells us the attributes of being a child of God are something we pick up and place on ourselves. Being like Christ is a choice we make every morning when we get up. Like we would pick up a coat and cover ourselves, we are to put on Christ. This is not in our nature.  It is not what we naturally do. Only with Christ in our hearts can we truly be holy people. To be holy means to be set aside for a purpose. Our purpose is be like Christ and forgive those who have sinned against us. The key to forgiveness is to remember how much God has forgiven you. Realizing God’s infinite love and forgiveness can help us love and forgive others.  Make the choice to put on the garment of Christ and extend to others what He has so freely given to you.

Have a God Day!

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