Archive for August, 2009

August 17, 2009: 6:14 pm: Daily Scripture

Isaiah 35:3-10
3 With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands, and encourage those who have weak knees. 4 Say to those who are afraid, “Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you.” 5 And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind and unstop the ears of the deaf. 6 The lame will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will shout and sing! Springs will gush forth in the wilderness, and streams will water the desert. 7 The parched ground will become a pool, and springs of water will satisfy the thirsty land. Marsh grass and reeds and rushes will flourish where desert jackals once lived. 8 And a main road will go through that once deserted land. It will be named the Highway of Holiness. Evil-hearted people will never travel on it. It will be only for those who walk in God’s ways; fools will never walk there. 9 Lions will not lurk along its course, and there will be no other dangers. Only the redeemed will follow it. 10 Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return to Jerusalem, singing songs of everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be overcome with joy and gladness.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Isaiah is writing about what the earth will be like after the Second Coming of Christ. He had a vision of perfection on the earth when Christ is Ruler. As Christians today, we are all on the Highway of Holiness. Our highway is the continuous process to become more like Christ. We continue forward and put our faith into action everyday and as we do, we become stronger and we become more of Christ. This passage from Isaiah gives us hope for the future and power for the present. As we learn and study more of the Word of God, we become empowered to live the righteousness of Christ in a world of sin. Matthew 7: 13, 14 tell us, “You can enter Gods 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. But the gateway to life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it.”  There is a highway that leads to eternal life with God, but only those who believe in the forgiveness of the Cross of Christ will ever find it. It leads to righteousness, truth and peace for those who are on it. When Christians are ruling with Christ during the Millennium, will I see you on the Highway of Holiness? The decisions you make today will determine. And only you can decide where you will be. Don’t delay, make Christ your priority and seek Him with your whole heart and meet me on the Highway of Holiness!

Have a God Day!

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August 14, 2009: 6:32 pm: Daily Scripture

Acts 17:27-31
27 “His purpose in all of this was that the nations should seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him-though he is not far from anyone of us. 28 For in him we live and move and exist. As one of your own poets says, ‘We are his offspring.’ 29 And since this is true, we shouldn’t think of God as an idol designed by craftsmen from gold or silver or stone. 30 God overlooked people’s former ignorance about these things, but now he commands everyone everywhere to turn away from idols and turn to him. 31 For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Only because of God do we exist. In God we have our being. Without Him we have nothing. Even the air we breathe is from Him.  Without God’s providence no one would have life. Too many do not realize this and as God has told us, “He has set a day for judging the world.” That day will come and all those who did not receive the gift of salvation through Christ Jesus will stand before Him and will be judged for their sins against Him. Those of us who do recognize and have received salvation will not stand before Him for judgment of sin. Christ took that judgment for us and only because of Him will we be saved from it. This is why Christians can have peace in this world of problems because we know Who holds the future in  and Who give us existence. It is Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior and He is the Lover of our soul.

Have a God Day!

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August 13, 2009: 6:27 pm: Daily Scripture

1 John 1:5-10
5 This is the message he has given us to announce to you: God is light and there is no darkness in him at all. 6 So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness. We are not living in the truth. 7 But if we are living in the light of God’s presence, just as Christ is, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from every sin.  8 If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. 9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.
 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

The statement that “God is light” means that God is perfectly holy.  In the dark, good and evil look alike; in the light they can be clearly distinguished.  Just as darkness cannot exist in the presence of light, sin cannot exist in the presence of a holy God.  If we want to have fellowship with God, we must put aside our sinful ways.  To claim that we belong to Him and then continue to sin is hypocrisy.  We cannot be a part of the Light and continue to live in sin if we want fellowship with God.  But, all of us sin and will continue to, so to have the presence of God with us, we must be cleansed from our sin.  At conversion all of our sin past, present, and future are forgiven.  Yet even though we are Christians, we still need to confess and turn from our sin, not to gain God’s acceptance but to remove the barrier to fellowship with Him.  To say we have no sin is to call God a lair and then there is no fellowship with Him.  And without fellowship with God, we have no relationship with Him.  And without a relationship with God, there is no growth, there is no sanctification.  We will stay who we are and not become more like Christ.  We can still be saved, but without the growth and fellowship, we will continue in our sin and grow further away from God.  Confess your sins and grow in your fellowship with God your Father through the work Christ Jesus did for you.

Have a God Day!

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August 12, 2009: 7:13 pm: Daily Scripture

Isaiah 49:24-26
24 Who can snatch the plunder of war from the hands of a warrior? Who can demand that a tyrant let his captives go? 25 But the Lord says, “The captives of warriors will be released, and the plunder of tyrants will be retrieved. For I will fight those who fight you, and I will save your children. 26 I will feed your enemies with their own flesh. They will be drunk with rivers of their own blood. All the world will know that I, the Lord, am your Savior and Redeemer, the Mighty One of Israel.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

It is important to remember that we are not at war with flesh and blood. Ephesians 6:12 tells us, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”  As a child of God, we are in a spiritual battle, sometimes for our own understanding and sometimes for the understanding of those in darkness. For our loved ones living in darkness, the words of Isaiah apply, they will be set free. God tells us that He will fight for those that we fight for and God will save our children. To penetrate the minds of those who live in darkness, we need to expose them to the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  We need to reach beyond the level of their flesh and blood and go into the battle where it is. And the battle is in their minds and while they are in darkness, the best way to reach them is on this battlefield. We pick up our sword and fight the enemy with his own weapons and bind those in darkness to the light of Christ. We continue to fight until they are no longer in darkness but living in the light of the love of God. All our prayers have a cumulative impact, for our prayers which are according to the will of God are NEVER without effect. So claim the promises of God and continue to fight for those you love who are in darkness and NEVER give up, for God will save your children!

Have a God Day!

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August 11, 2009: 6:05 pm: Daily Scripture

Jeremiah 15:19-21
19 The Lord replied, “If you return to me, I will restore you so you can continue to serve me. If you speak words that are worthy, you will be my spokesman. You are to influence them; do not let them influence you! 20 They will fight against you like an attacking army, but I will make you as secure as a fortified wall. They will not conquer you, for I will protect and deliver you. I, the Lord, have spoken! 21 Yes, I will certainly keep you safe from these wicked men. I will rescue you from their cruel hands.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Jeremiah had a difficult assignment from the Lord.  He lived at a time when all of Israel had turned away from God.  The nation was very open about worshiping any god they wanted, while they also continued to come to the Temple to worship God.  Jeremiah told them to turn from their evil or God would bring destruction on them.  He even told them it would be done by the Babylonians and they would be in exile for 70 years.  God had instructed Jeremiah to not marry or have children because of the coming destruction.  He was instructed to speak God’s truth to a people who were very wicked.  As Jeremiah came before the Lord, he spoke of his frustration at doing this work.  And God spoke to him stating to return to Him and not let the evil people influence him to do evil.  Here was a very devote man of God doing a very difficult thing at a very difficult time and yet God said to him, “Return to Me.”  He is saying the same to you today, “Return to Me.”  We all get discouraged serving the Lord, but we must remember it is His work; it is His mission we follow.  When others reject you because you belong to Him and serve Him, remember it is Christ they are rejecting and not you.  Stay connected to Him even if you are the only one to do so.  Others may say you are wrong, but do not let them influence you.  You are to influence them to God by your standard of right living, no matter how evil they are.  They will see Christ in you even if they do not turn to follow Him.  Your life will be a testimony to them about how God wants us to live. So continue to do what you know is right and your life will show His love to a world of evil all around you. 

Have a God Day!

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August 10, 2009: 6:10 pm: Daily Scripture

Romans 12:17-21
17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do your part to live in peace with everyone, as much as possible.  19 Dear friends, never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God. For it is written, “I will take vengeance; I will repay those who deserve it,” says the Lord. 20 Instead, do what the Scriptures say: “If your enemies are hungry, feed them.  If they are thirsty, give them something to drink, and they will be ashamed of what they have done to you.”  21 Don’t let evil get the best of you, but conquer evil by doing good.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

It is our nature to want to strike back when we have been the victim of evil.  We want them to hurt as much as we have been hurt.  But this is not our responsibility, it belongs to God.  God never wants us to repay evil for evil. Because He knows that when we do, we become evil. We become a judge and we now function outside of God.  He has told us that He will take vengeance and we need to trust Him to do it His way and in His time.  Remember that we are not above evil; we have done wrong to someone at some point in our lives.  We deserve to be punished for the things we have done.  But God in His grace has forgiven us by the Blood of Jesus Christ.  And don’t those who have done you wrong deserve the same?  We are to forgive and to love and let God deal with the vengeance.  But to forgive does not mean we are to continue to allow someone to keep abusing us.  We are to forgive, but we are also free to move on.  Do not let evil continue.  It is love to also be removed from a situation that is not healthy.  Ask God for direction and move in His will.  Forgive and love but do not allow evil to continue.

Have a God Day!

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August 7, 2009: 5:00 pm: Daily Scripture

Matthew 5:27-30
27 “You have heard that the law of Moses says, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 So if your eye even if it is your good eye causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your hand even if it is your stronger hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

What do you do when the thought to sin comes into your mind?  The first initial thought is not necessarily sin.  We are all faced with temptations every day of our lives.  And every sin that is committed started with a thought.  Sometimes these thoughts come from our own sinful nature, but sometimes the thought is planted by the enemy.  It does not matter where the thought came from.  Any evil thought can become a sin if it is allowed to grow.  Sin rarely happens spontaneously, it always comes to us as a thought.  First it is a thought, and then we justify our right to the thought and continue to think about it.  We have just stepped into sin.  Once we dwell on the thought and our right to the deed, follow through is not far ahead.  So, the initial thought is not the sin, it is dwelling on it and then to follow through with it.  That is why Christ stated that even thinking about another person in this manner is a sin.  We make up our minds to sin before the deed happens.  So your first thought is not the sin, but if you continue to dwell on it and justify it in your mind, now you have sinned.  Rebuke the thought and pray for understanding to keep your thoughts pure.  We are all going to think evil thoughts and as a child of God, we need to remember that and keep our thoughts pure.

Have a God Day!

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August 6, 2009: 4:53 pm: Daily Scripture

James 1:19-24
19 My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. 20 Your anger can never make things right in God’s sight. 21 So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the message God has planted in your hearts, for it is strong enough to save your souls. 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.

When the Word of God is readily accepted into the heart, there is change.  When it is fully understood how hopeless we are without Christ, there is true repentance.  Those who have become so accustomed to doing evil lose their desire to change.  And doing evil in the eyes of God is not the same as what we think. We think of people who do worse than we do, but God sees it differently. Matthew 12:30 state, “Anyone who isn’t helping me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.”  Anyone who is not serving God is against Him. God never rejects those who truly repent.  We see many who are sorry for their sin only because they are caught.  They have lost the ability to repent, but they are always the first to want the blessings of God and cry out to Him when they are in trouble because of their sin. If we are not careful, our attitudes and patterns of living can become so set that we will lose all desire to change and will no longer fear the consequences. Many cry out to God only because they want to be rescued and do not want to turn from their sin.  Make God your desire and keep looking into His Word so you will know what to do and you will not forget.  Repentance will change your heart and you will not have to repeat the same problems.  Make Christ Lord of your life and become His servant.  Recognize Who He is and give Him the glory for what He has done in your life.  Don’t turn away and forget what He has told you and you will receive more from Him.  More power to do His work and more love to serve Him.

Have a God Day!

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August 5, 2009: 4:53 pm: Daily Scripture

Luke 9:28-35
28 About eight days later Jesus took Peter, James, and John to a mountain to pray. 29 And as he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothing became dazzling white. 30 Then two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared and began talking with Jesus. 31 They were glorious to see. And they were speaking of how he was about to fulfill God’s plan by dying in Jerusalem. 32 Peter and the others were very drowsy and had fallen asleep. Now they woke up and saw Jesus’ glory and the two men standing with him. 33 As Moses and Elijah were starting to leave, Peter, not even knowing what he was saying, blurted out, “Master, this is wonderful! We will make three shrines-one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 34 But even as he was saying this, a cloud came over them; and terror gripped them as it covered them. 35 Then a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, my Chosen One. Listen to him.” 36 When the voice died away, Jesus was there alone. They didn’t tell anyone what they had seen until long after this happened.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Have you ever had such a wonderful experience where God touched you in a way that you never wanted to leave that place?  God works with each of us differently, but many of us have had a touch of God that has left us speechless.  Although we need to experience God in such a way, we need to come down off the mountain top and go back into the reality of our life.  Knowing that struggles await us in the valley may encourage us to linger on the mountain top. Yet staying on the mountain prohibits our ministering to others.  Instead of becoming spiritual giants, we soon become dwarfed by our self-centeredness.  Our desire to stay in the place that we experience God the most will only keep us from going back into reality and doing the work He has called us to do.  We need times of retreat and renewal, but only so we can return to minister to others.  Our faith must make sense off the mountain as well as on it.  Desire to have God fill you with overwhelming love, but then go out and share what He has done for you even though that may bring you into a world that is not pleasant because this is the will of God for you.

Have a God Day!

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August 4, 2009: 5:52 pm: Daily Scripture

Deuteronomy 10:17-21
17 “The LORD your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords. He is the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and takes no bribes. 18 He gives justice to orphans and widows. He shows love to the foreigners living among you and gives them food and clothing. 19 You, too, must show love to foreigners, for you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt. 20 You must fear the LORD your God and worship him and cling to him. Your oaths must be in his name alone. 21 He is your God, the one who is worthy of your praise, the one who has done mighty miracles that you yourselves have seen.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Once Christ resides in our hearts, we are to imitate Him in all that we do.  It is submission in our hearts as well as our bodies.  It is very difficult to claim to love the Lord with all your heart while being in conflict with the body of Christ.  A measure of our relationship with God is how we get along with others.  How we treat others will show the depth of our relationship with God.  If our hearts have been cleansed and made right with God, then our relationships with other people can be made right.  The body of Christ is Christ and how we treat each other should reflect the love He gives so freely to us.  We are to show that love to each other, as Christ shows it to us.  This is not always easy, but if we have received the love the God, then it will show in our relationships with others.   We don’t always like what we see others do, but we are to love them as Christ loves us.  Only through His power can this be accomplished, only a sanctified heart can be gracious and show the love received to those in the Church.  But by working with and for the body of Christ will show Christ to those outside the Church.  When your heart has been cleansed and you have been reconciled to God you will begin to see a difference in how you treat others.

Have a God Day!

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