Archive for August, 2009

August 31, 2009: 5:30 pm: Daily Scripture

Luke 4:1-4
Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit to go out into the wilderness, 2 where the Devil tempted him for forty days. He ate nothing all that time and was very hungry. 3 Then the Devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, change this stone into a loaf of bread.” 4 But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People need more than bread for their life.'”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Sometimes what we are tempted to do isn’t wrong in itself. Turning a stone into bread wasn’t necessarily wrong.  The sin was not the act but in the reason behind it. Satan was trying to get Jesus to take a shortcut, to solve Jesus’ immediate problem at the expense of His long-range goal, to seek comfort at the sacrifice of His discipline.  Satan often works that way, persuading us to take action, even a right action, for the wrong reason or at the wrong time. The fact that something is not wrong in itself does not mean that it is good for you at a given time.  Many people sin by attempting to fulfill a legitimate desire outside of God’s will or ahead of His timing.  First seek His direction and then pray to know where the thought is coming from.  Is it a whisper in your ear from the enemy or is it your own selfish needs speaking?  God will give you wisdom to discern the difference and to hear His voice clearly, if you are seeking Him.  Always know His Word and seek to hear His voice and He will make you path straight and be a Light onto your steps.

Have a God Day!

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August 28, 2009: 6:46 pm: Daily Scripture

James 2:14-20
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.

Confession of sins and a changed life are inseparable. As is faith without deeds is dead. Jesus had the harshest words to the respectable religious leaders, who lacked the desire for real change.  They wanted to be known as religious authorities, but they didn’t want to change their hearts and minds.  They wanted to “look” religious without having to make any changes to how they lived their lives.  What people thought about them and their position in society were more important to them than having God change their lives.  They have received all the reward they will get in this world.  Turning from sin must lead to action, or it isn’t real.  Following Jesus means more than saying the right words, it means acting on what He has said, even if you do not feel like it.  Your feelings are irrelevant, what is in your heart will show by the actions you do.  If Christ is really in your heart your deeds will show. Act Jesus to the world around you because of His love for you.

Have a God Day! 

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August 27, 2009: 5:59 pm: Daily Scripture

Philippians 2:12-16
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. 14 Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

What do you think when you see a caterpillar?  Do you think it is an ugly worm-like thing or do you see what has been coded within him from the start?  Most people do not go out of their way to look at a caterpillar, but many will always stop and look at a beautiful butterfly.  When we come to know Jesus Christ as our Savior, we are like the ugly worm.  He has put everything inside of us to become Christ-like, but we are still unappealing on the outside.  But everything we need to be like Christ is implanted in us at the point of salvation.  We have to work out our salvation in our souls to become like the butterfly.  Christ is in us, but without the right environment, He will not grow.  All the caterpillar does is eat and eat and then he cocoons himself in the right environment and soon becomes the beautiful butterfly.  We must also consume the Word of God and surround ourselves with His people to become like Him.  Without eating or consuming the Word of God, we will not grow to become like Him.  We remain undeveloped and unusable for Him.  But when we consume His Word and become a part of His Body, we change into a beautiful vessel for His will.  Where are you today in your journey to become more like Him?  Are you still an ugly worm or are you consuming His Word and developing into Him?  Everything you need is already in you to become like Christ, you just need to know His Word and join His body. For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure because of what He has done for you at salvation.

Have a God Day!

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August 26, 2009: 5:31 pm: Daily Scripture

Galatians 5:18-25
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.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Which fruit describes your life they as stated here in Galatians? The Bible tells us that we will be known by our fruits. So what is in your heart will also show in your life.  Once baptized into the Body of Christ, the Spirit of God now lives in you.  As you allow the Spirit to work in your life, the fruit of God will become evident.  But if your life is controlled by your sinful nature, those fruits will be evident. The sinfulness of the world and those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. When we come to Christ, His righteousness is imparted to us. We begin our journey to become like Christ. When we submit to the Holy Spirit of God, He begins the work in us. We are no longer a part of this world. We are in the world but not of the world. The Spirit will remove abrasive qualities from our character if we are under His control. Only the Holy Spirit can produce the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. When the Spirit is fully in control of a believer, He produces all of these graces in our lives. Submit to Him today and others will see Him in your life.

Have a God Day! 

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August 25, 2009: 6:26 pm: Daily Scripture

John 12:31-33
31 The time of judgment for the world has come, when the prince of this world will be cast out. 32 And when I am lifted up on the cross, I will draw everyone to myself.” 33 He said this to indicate how he was going to die.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

When Jesus Christ died on the cross, the prince of this world, Satan was cast out and he no longer has full control of this world. He is limited by God as to what he can do. So that means that everything that happens is God filtered.  Meaning God controls everything that Satan does.  So why would God who loves us so allow the world to go through such devastation like hurricanes, war and suffering?  God is only allowing Satan to carry out what man has chosen and that pattern of destruction was set in place a long time ago when man chose sin over obedience to God.  When sin entered, man gave the world back to Satan and death entered. But with death comes destruction.  With destruction come all kinds of disasters.  As long as Satan is still allowed to cause pain, he will, until Gods purposes are fulfilled. And anywhere Satan causes pain, there is death. But for believers it is a different story.  The blood of Jesus not only purchased our eternal salvation, but it renders Satan powerless over those who believe in Christ Jesus.  That does not mean we are not affected by all of the disasters of this world or that we will not suffer pain, loss and physical death, but means that we are protected by God from spiritual death.  Satan cannot touch us or remove us from God’s love. Now that may not seem like a comfort when you’re going through suffering, but it is.  God will not leave you alone to go through any difficulty that He has allowed to happen in your life. But He will be with you and He will use it to make you more like Christ. But the choice is yours, either to allow God to use your sorrows to grow more like Him or you can become bitter and shut God out. What you choose does not change God, He still loves you and will protect you from separation from His love (Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”). That is peace you can cling to.  As this world becomes more uncertain, you can have perfect peace that Christ has promised to give us because He has cast the prince of this world out!

Have a God Day! 

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August 24, 2009: 6:29 pm: Daily Scripture

Colossians 1:25-29
25 God has given me the responsibility of serving his church by proclaiming his message in all its fullness to you Gentiles. 26 This message was kept secret for centuries and generations past, but now it has been revealed to his own holy people. 27 For it has pleased God to tell his people that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. For this is the secret: Christ lives in you, and this is your assurance that you will share in his glory.  28 So everywhere we go, we tell everyone about Christ. We warn them and teach them with all the wisdom God has given us, for we want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ. 29 I work very hard at this, as I depend on Christ’s mighty power that works within me.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.)
1996.

How much of your life is under control of your “old nature” and how much is under control of “Christ in you?”  How much room have you made for Christ in your life? If you are still struggling with sin or can not find time for God, then too much of your “old nature” is in control.  Recognizing unacceptable behavior is the first step to surrendering them to the control of “Christ in you.” All of us have things in our life we are not proud of and realize we need to make some changes. The only time in our life when we do not need to improve or change is when we are dead. But until that time, there will always be a part of our “old nature” that will want to bring us down and away from what God has intended for us. His life in us is truly our only hope of changing the “old nature” in us. We must decrease and He must increase. This is a circumcision of the heart not just self-denial. When we change unacceptable behavior out of our own will power there will always be inner drives continually trying to sabotage our efforts. But when Christ lives in you and you have made room for Him by surrendering anything in your life that is not of Him, then you will have victory and joy because it is Christ in you that gives you the power. We do this by daily coming before God and opening ourselves up to His examination.  We ask and allow God to reveal to us what direction we should take. We surrender completely to His control. It is a step by step process that will take the rest of your life, but it is worked at daily.  As you move closer and closer to Him, His life will be lived in you and you will share His glory.

Have a God Day!

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August 21, 2009: 6:45 pm: Daily Scripture

Luke 11:23-26
23 “Anyone who isn’t helping me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me. 24 “When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, searching for rest. But when it finds none, it says, ‘I will return to the person I came from.’ 25 So it returns and finds that its former home is all swept and clean. 26 Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

The absence of evil does not mean that God is present.  Because we can look at our life and say that we are not as evil as others do not mean that God is present in our lives.  We must actively seek Him and actively do His will.  Jesus is telling us that those who are not actually working for Him are actually against Him.  We cannot live ignoring Him and the work He has given to all of us.  If we do, then we are against Him, even if we are living a “good” life according to the standards of the world.  If we live according to laws of man, we are considering a good citizen.  But Christ has said those who are not for Him are actually against Him.  Too often many only cry out to God when they need help, but ignore Him when things are good.  Doing what is right is more than simply believing all the right doctrines of God.  It means living what we believe and walking in obedience to Him.  What are you doing to show your faith in Him?  James tells us faith without works is dead.  Is God just a name you call when you are in trouble or is He the one you serve?  You cannot say you love Him without showing it.  He is asking all those who say they are His to show it by walking in obedience to Him.  That means knowing what He wants you to do.  It means knowing His Word by living it.  Are you helping Him today?  Look at your life and examine it against His standard and move forward in action by doing His work.

Have a God Day!

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August 20, 2009: 5:48 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.

Uncontrolled anxiety will dominate your mind and make your life miserable. There is no question that life is very uncertain. Not one of us knows what the next day will bring. And the unknown in life can cause great pressure and lead us to worry. Especially with all that is happening in the Middle East at this time and with the terrorist attacks against Americans, many are becoming more anxious. But as a child of God, we are not to allow anxiety in our lives. It will come, but we are to rebuke it and not allow it to permeate our minds. It is a choice. We can decide to let all of the cares of this world pull us down into a state of mind that cannot function or we can decide to not allow anxiety to become our focus. The Bible tells us to fix our thoughts on what is true. We have a choice to allow the anxiety to take over our thoughts or decide to let the truth of God’s Word saturate our minds. The direction we go will determine our actions. We will function and act as our thoughts direct us. If we are full of fear our actions will reflect that but if we are full of the truth of God’s Word, Christ will be reflected in our actions. When you wake in the night and fear fills your mind and heart until you can feel it in your throat, speak the Word of God. Repeat it over and over and let His Word fill your head. “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.”

Have a God Day!

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August 19, 2009: 6:24 pm: Daily Scripture

Romans 7:15-25, 8:1-2
15 I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate. 16 I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong, and my bad conscience shows that I agree that the law is good. 17 But I can’t help myself, because it is sin inside me that makes me do these evil things. 18 I know I am rotten through and through so far as my old sinful nature is concerned. No matter which way I turn, I can’t make myself do right. I want to, but I can’t. 19 When I want to do good, I don’t. And when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway. 20 But if I am doing what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing it; the sin within me is doing it. 21 It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart. 23 But there is another law at work within me that is at war with my mind. This law wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin. 8 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Those in Christ are free from the power of sin.  It no longer has control over us through the victory of Christ Jesus.  But what should we do when we sin?  There are two important keys things to focus on.  First ask God to reveal the sin in your life and then confess it to Him.  We cannot come before the Father with any unconfessed sin; our prayers will not be answered. When you pray, there should be nothing between you and God. Second, when we sin or fail, refocus on God, deal with the problem, and then move on.  It is in the past and is covered by the Blood of Christ.  Psalm 103:12 tells us “As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.”  God wants the cycle of sin, repentance, and forgiveness to strengthen us, not weaken us.  The lessons we learn from our failures should make us better able to handle the same situation the second time around. Because God is eager to give us cleansing, forgiveness, and strength the only way to lose is to give up.  The only true failure is not trying again. God will give us the victory over every sin in our lives if we confess, repent, and obey.  When you sin again, and we all will, don’t allow it to stop you from doing the work of God.  Don’t let your past sins keep you from telling others about the work Christ has done in you.  Move on, you are as pure as Jesus Christ, when you are covered by His blood.  You have the promise of God in Romans 8:10, “Since Christ lives within you, even though your body will die because of sin, your spirit is alive because you have been made right with God.”

Have a God Day!

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August 18, 2009: 6:54 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.

As long as you are attached to the Branch of Christ Jesus, He will continue to require more fruit from you. You will never get to a point in your Christian walk where you have learned enough. Christ will always want you to grow more and to become more like Him. And you will never fully become Christ as long as you live in this world. You live in a corruptible body and it cannot produce pure fruit. But there is much to gain with what you have. And Christ will always urge you to do more, be more, give more and love more. When you stop pushing up the hill, you will roll backwards. And it is the power of the Spirit God within you that keeps you pushing up the hill. Life is the hill. This side of heaven you will never see perfection but as long as you are attached to the Branch, you will continue to grow. It is when you remove yourself from the Branch that you wither and die. Stay connected to the Branch by remaining a part of the Body of Christ. The body is made of many parts but Christ is the head and all have a function and purpose. Everyone is required to use what we have been given by Christ to further His purpose. The purpose of the Great Commission and that is that none should perish but all have the gift of life through Christ Jesus.

Have a God Day!

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