Archive for June, 2009

June 16, 2009: 6:40 pm: Daily Scripture

Matthew 7:13-19
13 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose the easy way. 14 But the gateway to life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it. 15 “Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep, but are really wolves that will tear you apart. 16 You can detect them by the way they act, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit. You don’t pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles. 17 A healthy tree produces good fruit, and an unhealthy tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. 19 So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. 20 Yes, the way to identify a tree or a person is by the kind of fruit that is produced.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

What a person believes is displayed in their behavior. What you do cannot be separated from what you believe.  So those who walk in the Kingdom of God, do His will because they believe in Him.  Those who say they believe in Christ but do not walk in the Kingdom of God, do not believe His truth. The Kingdom of God is any place that His will is done.  The fruit that we grow cannot be separated from what we believe.  If we believe in Christ and are baptized into His family, we will grow the fruit of the Spirit as stated in Galatians 5:22, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control…”  Being in God’s family and believing in Him, will produce this fruit.  But we need to be in obedience to His will and that takes practice.  We must practice obedience to produce good fruit.  Those who do not walk in the Kingdom of God will not produce good fruit.  They may look good on the outside, but what they believe will show in how they live.  Are you living in the Kingdom of God by living in obedience to His Word?  Your life will show what you believe. Walk in His Kingdom, under His direction, through His power and you will glorify your Lord.

Have a God Day!

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June 15, 2009: 4:49 am: Daily Scripture

Matthew 14:25-31
25 About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came to them, walking on the water. 26 When the disciples saw him, they screamed in terror, thinking he was a ghost. 27 But Jesus spoke to them at once. It’s all right, he said. I am here! Don’t be afraid. 28 Then Peter called to him, Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you by walking on water. 29 All right, come, Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. 30 But when he looked around at the high waves, he was terrified and began to sink. Save me, Lord! he shouted. 31 Instantly Jesus reached out his hand and grabbed him. You don’t have much faith, Jesus said. Why did you doubt me? 32 And when they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Living in this sinful world for our Lord Jesus Christ is a lot like walking on water. We are asked by God to step out of the norm and step into the supernatural. We are asked to live pure and holy lives that go against everything this world believes. Walking with Christ is not what the world expects.  Lies and deceit are given by many but Christians are asked to return love for hate and to be the righteousness of Christ to the world. We might as well be walking on water because sometimes living for Christ is as supernatural.  We need to compare our walk in this life with Christ to Peter’s walking on the water. He was not alone, Jesus was right there with Peter as He is with us today. We need to keep our eyes on Christ as Peter did to keep on top of the water.  We need to keep our eyes on Christ to keep on top of the filth of this world.  If you are struggling in your walk with Christ, you need to look at your focus. Are your eyes on Christ or are they on the world of pain and sin around you. You will be able to stay afloat only with your eyes on Christ.

Have a God Day!

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June 12, 2009: 4:45 am: 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.

Have a God Day!

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June 11, 2009: 4:40 am: Daily Scripture

1 Corinthians 12:1-11
And now, dear brothers and sisters, I will write about the special abilities the Holy Spirit gives to each of us, for I must correct your misunderstandings about them. 2 You know that when you were still pagans you were led astray and swept along in worshiping speechless idols. 3 So I want you to know how to discern what is truly from God: No one speaking by the Spirit of God can curse Jesus, and no one is able to say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.  4 Now there are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but it is the same Holy Spirit who is the source of them all. 5 There are different kinds of service in the church, but it is the same Lord we are serving. 6 There are different ways God works in our lives, but it is the same God who does the work through all of us. 7 A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church.  8 To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another he gives the gift of special knowledge. 9 The Spirit gives special faith to another, and to someone else he gives the power to heal the sick. 10 He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and to another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to know whether it is really the Spirit of God or another spirit that is speaking. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, and another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. 11 It is the one and only Holy Spirit who distributes these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

As we draw closer to the end of this age, Christians will need to keep focused on the work set before us. There is a lot of emphasis on world religions and not all religions lead to God. There will be more and more pressure to be inclusive and not say Christ is the only Way. It will become more and more politically correct to say everyone’s choice leads to the same God. After all don’t we all serve the same God? The answer is no! Outside of Jesus Christ, you have no relationship with God. We know Jesus was the Son of God and without sin and that He died in our place for our sins. Outside of this, there is no relationship with God. And it is only through the Spirit of God that anyone comes to know or say this. The evidence of our salvation is the presence of God within us and the gifts that He has given us through the Holy Spirit. Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” The test will come for all of us in the near future. Will you be able to take a stand and say what Christ stated to us in John 14?  When the time comes, the Holy Spirit will give you the power that you will need. Remember the Words of Christ in Luke 12: “But if anyone denies me here on earth, I will deny that person before Gods angels.” So use the gifts that God has given you and stand for Jesus Christ in these last days!

Have a God Day

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June 10, 2009: 4:40 am: Daily Scripture

Romans 15:1-6
We may know that these things make no difference, but we cannot just go ahead and do them to please ourselves. We must be considerate of the doubts and fears of those who think these things are wrong. 2 We should please others. If we do what helps them, we will build them up in the Lord. 3 For even Christ didn’t please himself. As the Scriptures say, Those who insult you are also insulting me. 4 Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. They give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises. 5 May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other each with the attitude of Christ Jesus toward the other. 6 Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Waiting patiently for the promises of God to come to pass, can be very difficult for our little pea brains to comprehend.  As humans, we have a difficult time seeing beyond our own hand. And many today do not even try. There are so many adults who just satisfy their wants as quick as they can. They think only of themselves and do not give a thought to anyone else around them. For many today it is difficult to understand that being an adult means doing the things we do not like to do and doing them cheerfully! But even the most mature person has a difficult time with patience. And patience is always hardest when we need it most, but it is key to achieving our goals. Only through God can we shine through with patience when we need it. It is by the power of the Holy Spirit that we bring our needs before Christ and trust that He will meet them. This is what gives us patience to overcome our need. It is by His strength and His power we mature and reach our goals.  Remember to put your trust in Him first when you find yourself in need of a little patience especially during the Christmas season.  If we keep Jesus first in our heart and minds, we will find the patience to do all of the work we need to do to celebrate His birth!

Have a God Day!

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June 9, 2009: 5:29 pm: Daily Scripture

John 15:1-8
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 3 You have already been pruned for greater fruitfulness by the message I have given you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful apart from me. 5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who parts from me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you stay joined to me and my words remain in you, you may ask any request you like, and it will be granted! 8 My true disciples produce much fruit. This brings great glory to my Father.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

These disciples had Jewish concepts and their thought patterns had been governed by the Old Testament. He is telling them now that the nation Israel is not the genuine vine. Their identification with the Jewish nation and the Jewish religion is not the essential thing. “I am the genuine vine.” The important thing now is for the disciples to be related to Jesus Christ. That was revolutionary! Our Lord used a marvelous figure of speech, and He made it very clear that it is not your identification with a religion or a ceremony or an organization that is essential. We are to be identified with Christ! We are in Christ by the baptism of the Holy Spirit the moment we trust Christ as our Savior and are born again as a child of God.
J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.

Have a God Day!

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June 8, 2009: 3:34 am: Daily Scripture

2 Peter 3:3-10
3 First, I want to remind you that in the last days there will be scoffers who will laugh at the truth and do every evil thing they desire. 4 This will be their argument: “Jesus promised to come back, did he? Then where is he? Why, as far back as anyone can remember, everything has remained exactly the same since the world was first created.” 5 They deliberately forget that God made the heavens by the word of his command, and he brought the earth up from the water and surrounded it with water. 6 Then he used the water to destroy the world with a mighty flood. 7 And God has also commanded that the heavens and the earth will be consumed by fire on the day of judgment, when ungodly people will perish. 8 But you must not forget, dear friends, that a day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. 9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise to return, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so he is giving more time for everyone to repent. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and everything in them will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be exposed to judgment.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

It is interesting to see that God does not get everything He wants.  As we look at Peter’s final instructions to the Church, he reminds us that God does not want anyone to die without knowing the saving grace of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants and He does not get what He wants.  This would be a good argument to use on your kids the next time they come asking.  Peter tells us that in the last days people will scoff and laugh at those of us waiting for the Lord to return.  These people will miss spending eternity with God.  They will perish in their sin because of their own choice not to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord.  And it will not be because they did not have a chance to know Him.  All have the same chance or it would not be righteous justice from God.  The Bible tells us that everything around us reminds us that God made the world, so no one will have an excuse, all will have had a chance to know Christ.  If we did not have all have a chance to know Him, how could God’s justice be perfect?  On the day of the judgment of the unrighteous dead, all present will agree that their punishment is fair and perfect.  As God can do nothing else.  But God does not want anyone to parish and go through this judgment; He wants all to know His perfect plan of reconciliation.  Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except through Him.  Don’t be a scoffer, but be prepared to meet Him when He comes.

Have a God Day!

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June 5, 2009: 2:03 am: Daily Scripture

James 2:14-19
14 Dear brothers and sisters, what’s the use of saying you have faith if you don’t prove it by your actions? That kind of faith can’t save anyone. 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who needs food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Well, good-bye and God bless you; stay warm and eat well–but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? 17 So you see, it isn’t enough just to have faith. Faith that doesn’t show itself by good deeds is no faith at all-it is dead and useless. 18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” I say, “I can’t see your faith if you don’t have good deeds, but I will show you my faith through my good deeds.” 19 Do you still think it’s enough just to believe that there is one God? Well, even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror! 20 Fool! When will you ever learn that faith that does not result in good deeds is useless?
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Do you register your faith by a set of Christian teachings?  If so, then you faith is incomplete.  Faith has nothing to do with what we agree to, but has everything to do with what we know is true.  True faith transforms our conduct as well as our thoughts.  If your life remains unchanged after making a statement of faith in Christ, then you don’t truly believe the truth you claim.  We can not earn our salvation by serving and obeying God. But such actions show that our commitment to God is real.  Deeds of loving serve and obedience are not a substitute for, but rather a verification of our faith in Christ.  Jesus told us the poor would always be with us, but that is not an excuse to not do what you can to meet their needs. If you see a hungry person, feed them, or someone with a need you can meet, do it.  I believe that God brings people before us to see what we will do.  Will we give out of our abundance or will we walk away.  Do not walk away give because you believe Christ and because He gave to you.

Have a God Day!

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June 4, 2009: 1:58 am: Daily Scripture

Hebrews 13:8-16
8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 9 So do not be attracted by strange, new ideas. Your spiritual strength comes from God’s special favor, not from ceremonial rules about food, which don’t help those who follow them. 10 We have an altar from which the priests in the Temple on earth have no right to eat. 11 Under the system of Jewish laws, the high priest brought the blood of animals into the Holy Place as a sacrifice for sin, but the bodies of the animals were burned outside the camp. 12 So also Jesus suffered and died outside the city gates in order to make his people holy by shedding his own blood. 13 So let us go out to him outside the camp and bear the disgrace he bore. 14 For this world is not our home; we are looking forward to our city in heaven, which is yet to come. 15 With Jesus’ help, let us continually offer our sacrifice of praise to God by proclaiming the glory of his name. 16 Don’t forget to do good and to share what you have with those in need, for such sacrifices are very pleasing to God.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Has your perception of Jesus changed?  Do you think He has forgotten your prayer request or forgotten your need?  If you have prayed for a need to be answered and it seems like He is not listening or you have a different opinion of God then you have changed.  Your attitude toward Him has changed.  You are the one who moved, not Him.  He never changes and His promises never change.  God is the same as He was the day He created the world.  And He will be the same the day this world ends.  Because we are so changeable, we think that God is also.  Don’t project your human attributes onto God.  He does not have the same feelings, thoughts or perceptions that you do.  He is always the same and even though He may express anger or sadness, does not mean that He changes.  So if He has given you a promise in His Word or through prayer, believe it.  Abraham, believed even though what God promised looked impossible.  But what is impossible for humans is always possible for God.  So don’t give up believing and remind God of His promise and move forward as if the thing has already happened.  Don’t get stuck in the rules of this world, but remember Who made the world and Who’s Word will stand even after this world is gone.

Have a God Day!

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June 3, 2009: 1:52 am: Daily Scripture

Matthew 4:18-22
18 One day as Jesus was walking along the shore beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew fishing with a net, for they were commercial fishermen. 19 Jesus called out to them, “Come, be my disciples, and I will show you how to fish for people!” 20 And they left their nets at once and went with him. 21 A little farther up the shore he saw two other brothers, James and John, sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, mending their nets. And he called them to come, too. 22 They immediately followed him, leaving the boat and their father behind.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Ever wonder why these men just dropped everything and went to follow Jesus?  Well, if you look at the Jewish system of training men, it is very simple.  Boys started their religious education at the age of 6 by the age of 10 they had to memorize the first 5 books of the Bible, referred to as the Torah. Those who showed promise moved up to the second level and until the age of 14 memorized the rest of the Old Testament a total of 39 books. Then the cream of the crop was selected again and went onto the next level of discipleship. Once chosen they would leave everything and follow a rabbi in everything he did.  At the age of 30 a disciple would typically leave his Rabbi and begin his own ministry accepting his own disciples.  So you see these men knew the system and had probably been rejected way back at an early age by the Jewish leaders.  They knew Jesus was a Rabbi and he was beginning his ministry according to Jewish tradition.  It makes more sense now why these men would be so enthusiastic about leaving and following Jesus. They were chosen. Then for 3 years these men followed and learn from Jesus.  He never rebukes His disciples for losing faith.  It was their ability to do what He asked them to do that He addressed. He is doing the same today with you and me.  It is our ability to not do what He asks that gets us into trouble.  Know His Word and then do His Word and you will go onto the next level as a ruler with Christ.

Have a God Day!

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