Archive for July, 2009

July 31, 2009: 5:45 pm: Daily Scripture

James 1:22-25
22 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.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Living a pure live before the Lord is not a quest for perfection as much as it is a quest for freedom from those things that prevent us from living effectively for Christ. The Word has a powerful way of opening up to us the things we need to change.  But it will also confirm the things we are doing right. As we look at our lives in comparison to Christ we realize how far we have to go, but we also can see times when He is reflected in our lives. This is the function of the Word through the power of the Holy Spirit. We measure our conduct and character against the Lord Jesus and then allow God to shape us into His likeness. It is more than just knowing. James 2:19 tells us that, “Even the demons believe and tremble!” It is applying what you know to how you live. It is a message to obey. So when you understand the Word, remember it and let your behavior reflect what you believe.

Have a God Day!

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July 30, 2009: 5:39 pm: Daily Scripture

Luke 9:23-27
23 Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross daily, and follow me. 24 If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life. 25 And how do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose or forfeit your own soul in the process? 26 If a person is ashamed of me and my message, I, the Son of Man, will be ashamed of that person when I return in my glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels. 27 And I assure you that some of you standing here right now will not die before you see the Kingdom of God.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

What part of your life is not fully dedicated to Jesus?  Do you walk in obedience in some parts better than others?  Take a look and examine your life in Christ and see what areas need to given over to Him.  Some people do a great job when they are around other Christians and in church on Sunday, but put them in a situation at work and you would never know that Christ is the Lord of their life.  What good does it do if others cannot see Christ in you at all times.  If you look too much like the world who will know that you are not of this world.  It cannot be both ways.  Jesus demands 3 conditions to be called His.  You must be willing to deny self, to shoulder your cross daily and to follow Him.  Does this describe your walk with Christ?  If not then you need to ask Him to show you what areas you need to change.  All of us will need to keep working at this until we die, no one will ever fully be complete in their walk with Christ, but we can improve. Start by asking yourself, “What is the most important thing in my life?”  If you say Christ, but it does not show, then you are only fooling yourself. Ask again and do not be ashamed to say what it is, but bring it before Christ and seek His wisdom in helping you to make Him first.  If you are ashamed of Him, He will be ashamed of you when you stand before Him.  Start today and do a little self examination.  Ask yourself who or what the most important things in your life are and if it is not serving Christ, then start today to put Him first.

Have a God Day!

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July 29, 2009: 5:17 pm: Daily Scripture

Luke 9:1-6
One day Jesus called together his twelve apostles and gave them power and authority to cast out demons and to heal all diseases. 2 Then he sent them out to tell everyone about the coming of the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 3 “Don’t even take along a walking stick,” he instructed them, “nor a traveler’s bag, nor food, nor money. Not even an extra coat. 4 When you enter each village, be a guest in only one home. 5 If the people of the village won’t receive your message when you enter it, shake off its dust from your feet as you leave. It is a sign that you have abandoned that village to its fate.” 6 So they began their circuit of the villages, preaching the Good News and healing the sick.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

The truth about Jesus is that He is both God and man, both spiritual and psychical.  The salvation He offers is both for the soul and the body.  When Jesus sent His disciples out, He sent them out to save, but also to heal the sick.  He is concerned about every aspect of our lives, both the physical and the spiritual.  When a person is hungry, they are not going to be concerned about their soul until they are fed.  When a person is physically hurting, they are not going to hear God over the pain.  It is impossible to minister effectively to one type of need without considering the other.  Christ taught this throughout His entire ministry.  A little later after this, Christ feed 5000 men and their families with only 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish.  He had been teaching them and they were too hungry to walk back to town.  What physical need is keeping you from hearing the voice of God today?  What need has become bigger than your need for Jesus?  God cares about that need and He is going to touch you both physically and spiritually, but it is a matter of trusting Him.  Do you believe He cares about every aspect of your life?  Do you believe He will heal you?  Move forward as if you have your answer from God and He will make it a reality.  Bring your need before Him and leave it with Him.  Because only He can provide everything that you do need.  Trust in His Word and trust Him because of what He has already done in your life for both the physical and the spiritual.

Have a God Day!

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July 28, 2009: 5:32 pm: Daily Scripture

Hebrews 12:1-4
Since we have such a huge crowd of men of faith watching us from the grandstands, let us strip off anything that slows us down or holds us back, and especially those sins that wrap themselves so tightly around our feet and trip us up; and let us run with patience the particular race that God has set before us. 2 Keep your eyes on Jesus, our leader and instructor. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterwards; and now he sits in the place of honor by the throne of God. 3 If you want to keep from becoming fainthearted and weary, think about his patience as sinful men did such terrible things to him. 4 After all, you have never yet struggled against sin and temptation until you sweat great drops of blood.
The Living Bible, (Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1997.

God’s ability to love, forgive, and cleanse sinners is incredible. And yet we see cleansed Christians return to sin after receiving the grace of God? We confess, He purifies and forgives…every time…and in every way. But because we still have our old nature within us, those in Christ can sin again. It is difficult to understand why God left us to deal with our old nature and the new nature of Christ within us.  It is a question of faith, will we trust that God knows what He is doing with every detail of our lives?  When we sin, we choose our own wisdom over God’s. Most Christians know what to do we just need to do it. The incredible benefit of this life in Christ is the power of the Holy Spirit within us.  Romans 8:9 tells us, “You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you.  And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.” Suddenly, we can do something we could never do before. We can, with the power of the Spirit of God within us, dispose of sin like old clothing.  To say we have Jesus in our life, and the Holy Spirit’s power, yet claim we can do nothing about habitual sin is absurd.  Taking on the righteousness of Christ needs to become a habit. We need to strip off every sin that holds us back from becoming all that God intends for us.  And we can do that because we have His Word that we can and the proof is His Spirit in us. Confess your sin before God and remove it from your life and become Christ in the flesh to your world.

Have a God Day!

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July 27, 2009: 5:53 pm: Daily Scripture

Matthew 7:7-11
7 “Keep on asking, and you will be given what you ask for. Keep on looking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And the door is opened to everyone who knocks. 9 You parents-if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? 10 Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! 11 If you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Jesus is telling us to persist in pursuing God. He was talking about pursuing a relationship with Him.  For those who seek to know God there is the reward of knowing Him.  But knowing God takes faith, focus, and follow-through. And Jesus assures us we will be rewarded with relationship to Him.  But we cannot give up in our efforts to seek God.  There is always more of Him and we should always be seeking to know Him more.  We will never get to the point of knowing all there is to know about God, so never stop seeking. Outside of Christ, nothing exist, so what more would we need. But God knew we had needs while living on this earth.  In a previous verse, He had just said not to worry about your food or clothes, because God will supply what we need.  It may not be what we want, but it will always be what we need. Sometimes God knows we are praying for “snakes” and does not give us what we ask for, even though we persist in our prayers. But as we seek more of Him, we will learn to trust His will for everything in our lives.  When seeking an answer in prayer, fist seek the Word of God to find out if it is contrary to His Word, and then seek to find out if it is contrary to His will.  If not, then never give up, because God will give you your request in His time.  Salvation for those we love who do not know Him is a perfect example of a prayer that we should never give up on.  God will move in the lives of non-believers if we pray.  But our first pursuit is to know Him, then for our daily needs and then for those “things” that we think we need.

Have a God Day!

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July 24, 2009: 6:22 pm: Daily Scripture

1 Kings 19:10
10 Elijah replied, “I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I alone am left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.” 11 “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Only those who are in Christ will hear from Him.  The Holy Spirit however, is working on those who don’t know Him to bring them to salvation, but they do not always know His voice.  John 10:27 says, “My sheep recognize my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” Do you hear from God?  Does He speak to you about your life?  If you are in Christ and you do not hear His voice, then you are not listening because He is speaking.  As with Elijah, God speaks in the small still voice inside of you.  It is a gentle whisper in your ear. And those who follow Him know His voice.  If you are not hearing from God, then you need to stop and listen.  Take time to listen.  Slow down to spend quiet time with Him every day.  Reading His Word is a good place to hear the voice of God. Eliminate the distractions in your life that are preventing you from taking time every day to communicate with God. Get away by yourself and read His Word and then thank Him for His love.  He wants to know what is on your mind, speak to Him as you would speak to a good friend. Then listen to Him when He does speak to you.  Sometimes it will be strengthening, and sometimes you will feel His disapproval of something you need to change.  God is always there to lead and guide you, but it will not be a mighty rushing wind that will knock you down, so you have to stop.  The voice of God will be that small still voice and you will know it is Him.

Have a God Day!

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July 23, 2009: 5:54 pm: Daily Scripture

Philippians 4:4-9
4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again-rejoice! 5 Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. 6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. 8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, let me say one more thing as I close this letter. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned from me and heard from me and saw me doing, and the God of peace will be with you.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

There are too many days when I need to read the direction Paul has given us in Philippians 4.  When I am stuck on a problem, or I am focusing too much on the cares of this world, that I have no control over, I pray for peace.  But I want to experience God’s peace. A peace that is far more wonderful than my human mind can understand.  When I stop trying to control the events around the problem, and I focus on God, He always calms my heart and mind.  And Paul has given us the recipe for God’s peace. First rejoice if for no other reason than the fact that Christ is coming soon and the problem will be nothing on that Day. If we remember all that God has done in the past, if we think on these things, then God’s peace will cover and protect our hearts and minds. Next we need to thank Him for all He has done for us.  If God answered prayer and worked out circumstances in the past, why would you worry that He will not do it again?  Tell God what you need.  Lay it before Him and then thank Him for the answer.  Fix your thoughts on the things that are worthy of your time. think only about positive and true things that are worthy of praising God.  But it takes practice.  Practice rejoicing, thanking, thinking on the goodness of God. It does not come naturally and you will have to move in this direction many times.  But God will protect and guide you.  And most important you will experience God’s peace.  Rejoice in His love, give Him thanks, and think only on what is true and your problem will fade in the light of His love!

Have a God Day!

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July 22, 2009: 6:33 am: Daily Scripture

Philippians 3:13-14
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.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

What is the one thing in your life that you will not compromise?  Many of us are like a weed in the wind letting the world push us around any direction it wants.  But Christ has asked us to a higher standard and He is asking us to draw a line in the sand.  We are to stand up and say, “I will not be a part of this world, but am looking forward to my home with Him.” We need to put off what is politically correct if it goes against the Word of God.  We need to look forward to what He has called us to and not compromise our beliefs because they are not popular with the world.  This is a difficult thing to do.  You may lose some friends, you may lose a job. But what are they worth in the light of Christ?  It is difficult to move forward when you are looking behind you.  Forget what you were and be what you are in Christ.  Make this the one thing in your life that you will not compromise and see what God will do through you.  Determine ahead of time what you will do and what you say and then you will not be got off guard.  When you make the decision before the situation, you always behave what you believe.  But you have to make the decision ahead of time.  Decide not to give in to what the world believes and study the Word of God to know what He says and you will not fail.  Forget your mistakes in the past and determine to move forward in the light of His love and His Word.

Have a God Day!

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July 21, 2009: 6:28 am: Daily Scripture

1 Corinthians 10:12-13
12 If you think you are standing strong, be careful, for you, too, may fall into the same sin. 13 But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

God will sometimes allow us to be tempted to see if our heart is turned toward Him.  There will be things the come into our lives that are not of God and if we turn toward them, they will lead us away from God.  When these situations come into our life, they do not wear a big red flag saying they are a temptation.  Satan is more subtle than that and he will always come to you in your weakest area and when you are at your weakest.  When Satan was allowed to tempt Christ, he came when Christ was weak from hunger.  He will come to us when we are tired, frustrated and overworked.  The temptation is not sin, but can lead to sin.  We need to be alert as Satan is like a roaring lion as stated in 1 Peter 5:8,9: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith…”  We need to remember that the roaring lion was the old one the rest sent out to scare the prey into the jaws of the others who still had teeth to kill.  A lion seeking prey will not may any noise, but the older one would to scare the prey. Satan is like the roaring lion, he has no teeth, but he can scare you into death, if you choose to give in to the temptation before you.  God will keep you from being tempted beyond what you can stand, so there is never any excuse to give in.  We need to remember this and to pray for wisdom to see the temptation for what it is.  It is an old toothless lion trying to scare us into death.  Resist him and stand steadfast in your faith in Christ.

Have a God Day!

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July 20, 2009: 6:18 am: Daily Scripture

1 Corinthians 1:24-30
24 But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the mighty power of God and the wonderful wisdom of God. 25 This foolish plan of God is far wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is far stronger than the greatest of human strength.  26 Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes, or powerful, or wealthy when God called you. 27 Instead, God deliberately chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose those who are powerless to shame those who are powerful. 28 God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important, 29 so that no one can ever boast in the presence of God. 30 God alone made it possible for you to be in Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made Christ to be wisdom itself. He is the one who made us acceptable to God. He made us pure and holy, and he gave himself to purchase our freedom.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

When God reveals to us the requirement for sanctification, the inner struggle begins. Our “wisdom” always stands in the way. There is always something inside of us that pulls with resentment against the requirements of being a follower of Jesus Christ. Justification is by faith alone, but sanctification will require action on our part. We must be willing to set aside our “wisdom” for God’s. The greatest wisdom of this world is but foolishness to Him.  God alone makes it possible for us to receive His grace.  And when Christ becomes our salvation, we enter into the realization that sanctification is the holiness of Christ Jesus imparted to us.  Not because we are wise or have done anything to deserve it but because of His love for us. Then any work that comes out of our lives is because of Christ in us.  It is His patience, His love, His faith, His purity, His goodness that is displayed through our lives.  It is not us imitating Him but “Christ in us.” So we can not boast about anything we have done, but only about what Christ has done through us. We are only a willing vessel. Set aside the struggle within you that resists to take on the righteousness of Christ and accept that God will do the work in you and through you for His purpose.

Have a God Day!

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