Archive for September, 2009

September 16, 2009: 5:50 pm: 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.  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 don e through us.  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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September 15, 2009: 5:34 pm: Daily Scripture

2 Peter 1:5-10
5 So make every effort to apply the benefits of these promises to your life. Then your faith will produce a life of moral excellence. A life of moral excellence leads to knowing God better. 6 Knowing God leads to self-control. Self-control leads to patient endurance, and patient endurance leads to godliness. 7 Godliness leads to love for other Christians, and finally you will grow to have genuine love for everyone. 8 The more you grow like this, the more you will become productive and useful in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But those who fail to develop these virtues are blind or, at least, very shortsighted. They have already forgotten that God has cleansed them from their old life of sin. 10 So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Doing this, you will never stumble or fall away.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

We are saved by faith and not by works, but once saved; God starts to make us into His image so we can be a useable vessel for His work. God gives us the tools to become His righteousness but we have to pick them up and apply them. The tools are His promises. We must believe that His promised benefits will improve our life. God will not make us walk a holy life; we have to apply the benefits of His promises to do so. Once we apply His promises by faith, we operate under the power of the Holy Spirit.  Every promise of God starts with our faith and then requires action on our part.  Once we step into action, the power of His Spirit enables us to complete the work.  Applying faith to His promises produces moral excellence, self-control, endurance and love. Take the first step, know what the Word of God promises and then apply those promises to your life and see what a difference it can make.

Have a God Day!

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September 14, 2009: 5:44 pm: Daily Scripture

Jeremiah 12:3-6
3 But as for me, Lord, you know my heart. You see me and test my thoughts. Drag these people away like helpless sheep to be butchered! Set them aside to be slaughtered! 4 How long must this land weep? Even the grass in the fields has withered. The wild animals and birds have disappeared because of the evil in the land. Yet the people say, “The Lord won’t do anything!” 5 Then the Lord replied to me, “If racing against mere men makes you tired, how will you race against horses? If you stumble and fall on open ground, what will you do in the thickets near the Jordan? 6 Even your own brothers, members of your own family, have turned on you. They have plotted, raising a cry against you. Do not trust them, no matter how pleasantly they speak.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Jeremiah is before the Lord asking for direction in dealing with a faithless nation.  He has repeatedly told them that God would send judgment if they did not turn back to God.  But they refused to listen.  When Jeremiah questioned God because of the trouble he faced, God asked how he ever expected to face big challenges if the little ones tired him out. Times of trouble can be useful in anyones life if they learn and grow from it.  Troubles will reveal who you really are.  But if you cannot deal with small troubles, how will you deal with large calamities when they come your way?  God wants you to not complain about your problems, but to learn and be strengthened from them.  The trouble you face today is training you to be strong for more difficult situations you will face in the future.  Learn and grow strong according to the Word of God in all that happens in your life and you will be able to deal with what is yet to come. 

Have a God Day!

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September 11, 2009: 5:49 pm: Daily Scripture

Isaiah 53
1 Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? 2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him. 3 He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. 4 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted . 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed . 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all . 7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth . 8 He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken . 9 And they made His grave with the wicked–But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.  10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. 11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

How could an Old Testament person understand the idea of Christ dying for our sins and actually bearing the punishment that we deserve? But yet Isaiah wrote this prophecy over 600 years before Christ would come to the earth. The scripture is clear that God would come and take the punishment for all those who have turned away, which is all of us.  The sacrifices Isaiah did only suggested this idea, but it is one thing to kill a lamb and something quite different to think of God’s chosen servant as the Lamb.  But God was pulling aside the curtain to let the people of Isaiah’s day look ahead to the suffering of the future Messiah and the resulting forgiveness made available through His sacrifice.  We have hindsight to see and know the identity of the promised Messiah, who has come and died for our sins.  So it is easier today for us to believe than it was for those in Isaiah’s day. If you have not given your life to Jesus Christ today, you will have no excuse when you stand before Him. The Word given to us by God is clear.

Have a God Day!

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September 10, 2009: 5:43 pm: Daily Scripture

Jeremiah 8:4-6
4 “Jeremiah, say to the people, ‘This is what the Lord says: When people fall down, don’t they get up again? When they start down the wrong road and discover their mistake, don’t they turn back? 5 Then why do these people keep going along their self-destructive path, refusing to turn back, even though I have warned them? 6 I listen to their conversations, and what do I hear? Is anyone sorry for sin? Does anyone say, ‘What a terrible thing I have done’? No! All are running down the path of sin as swiftly as a horse rushing into battle!”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Jeremiah prophesied for about 21 years before the Babylonians came to destroy Jerusalem and took the Jewish people into captivity.  God had given them plenty of time to change their ways.  God had repeatedly told them, “Obey Me, and I will be your God, and you will be my people. Only do as I say, and all will be well.”  But even though they still followed the rituals of worshiping Jehovah, they also had many other gods and also worshiped them.  At this time in history it is known that the Jews also worshiped a god that required them to sacrifice their own children and they did.  All the while they were still thinking they were safe from harm, because they keep up the appearance of worshiping the God of Jacob.  Most people who fall down realize that they are headed in the wrong direction.  It only makes sense for them to get up and change directions. But the Jews at this time were living sinful lives by choice and deceiving themselves that there would be no consequences.  They had lost perspective concerning God’s will for their lives and had minimized their sin.  If we continue too long in sin, the same thing will happen.  The longer we stay in sin that we know is sin, the greater the chance we will stay there regardless of what the consequences will be if we continue on.  That is why it is so important to stop and move in a different direction the minute the Spirit of God speaks to our heart about sin.  And you know what sin He is referring to in your life that you just do not want to give up.  God is saying to you today to stop and move back to Him or else you will suffer the consequences of the sin.  God has set into motion the consequences of sin and one of them is our ability to hear Him.  The longer we stay in sin, the less we will hear His voice.  Don’t let this happen, as soon as you know it is sin, stop and move back to the One and the only One who save you. He can have no fellowship with sin and sin will keep you from growing in faith in Him.

Have a God Day!

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September 9, 2009: 5:38 pm: Daily Scripture

Jude 17-23
But you, my dear friends, must remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ told you, 18 that in the last times there would be scoffers whose purpose in life is to enjoy themselves in every evil way imaginable. 19 Now they are here, and they are the ones who are creating divisions among you. They live by natural instinct because they do not have God’s Spirit living in them. 20 But you, dear friends, must continue to build your lives on the foundation of your holy faith. And continue to pray as you are directed by the Holy Spirit. 21 Live in such a way that God’s love can bless you as you wait for the eternal life that our Lord Jesus Christ in his mercy is going to give you. 22 Show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. 23 Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. There are still others to whom you need to show mercy, but be careful that you aren’t contaminated by their sins.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

The “last times” or “last days” started when Jesus left this world.  It is the period of time between the end of His first coming and the beginning of His second coming. We live in the last days. John is warning us to live close to God because there will be false teachers who would try and pull us away from God. He tells us not to take witnessing lightly for it is a matter of life and death. We are to hate sin, but we must witness to and love the sinner. For we must remember that we were on our way to Hell when Christ saved us.  Once we were lost and without the Light of Christ within us. And no one is any better than any other person. We all have sinned and all of us need the saving grace of Christ Jesus. So we have common ground with all around us. Make sure your footing is secure and grounded in the love of God when you reach out to the unsaved.  Because it is easy to be pulled into their sin if you are not. Remember, you are a child of the King and need to influence them for Christ and don’t allow them to influence you to sin. Christ is coming soon and He stated He would come like a thief in the night.  No warning will be given.  The trumpet will sound and the dead in Christ will rise ahead of those who are alive and are in Christ.  Christ will be our judge and He will separate the goats from the sheep.  Be prepared, be a child of the Living God!

Have a God Day!

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September 8, 2009: 5:59 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.

Why do cleansed Christians return to sin after receiving the grace of God? God’s ability to love, forgive, and cleanse sinners is incredible.  If we confess, He purifies and forgives…every time…and in every way. But even cleansed people 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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September 7, 2009: 5:54 pm: Daily Scripture

Luke 6:37-41
37 “Stop judging others, and you will not be judged. Stop criticizing others, or it will all come back on you. If you forgive others, you will be forgiven. 38 If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving-large or small-it will be used to measure what is given back to you.” 39 Then Jesus gave the following illustration: “What good is it for one blind person to lead another? The first one will fall into a ditch and pull the other down also. 40 A student is not greater than the teacher. But the student who works hard will become like the teacher. 41 “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? 42 How can you think of saying, ‘Friend, let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log from your own eye; then perhaps you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

A forgiving person demonstrates that they understand their own sinfulness and have received God’s forgiveness.  When we realize how great our sin is, no matter what it is, we will be able to move forward in freedom to forgive those who have wronged us.  If we are critical rather than compassionate, we will receive criticism.  If we treat others generously, graciously, and with compassion these qualities will come back to us.  If we rationalize our own sin by pointing out the sin in others, we have not understood the forgiveness God has given us through Christ Jesus.  It does not matter that your neighbors sin is “worse’ than yours, you still have sinned and need God’s forgiveness as much as the greater sinner.  By putting a level of wickedness on our sin, we put ourselves above others and God does not see it this way.  Our standard of measure is always God.  And no one can measure up to His perfection.  So all sin in evil in God’s eyes and all sin, no matter how great or how small, is sin against God. If we minimize our sin, we do not make changes and so we keep on sinning.  But if we view every wrong attitude and action as a serious offense against God, we begin to understand what living for Him is all about.  To live without faith is hopeless, to express sorrow for your sin without change is hypocritical.  Everyone is sorry for their sin when they are caught. But only those who understand how great all sin is will make changes in their life that will reflect Christ living in them.  Being sorry for sin is not enough.  Repentance demands a change of mind and heart that result in changed behavior.  Seek to know Him and seek to understand how great His sacrifice was for your sin and your heart will reflect through your behavior the changes God has made in your life.

Have a God Day!

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September 4, 2009: 5:42 pm: Daily Scripture

Jeremiah 1:4-10
4 The Lord gave me a message. He said, 5 “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my spokesman to the world.” 6 “O Sovereign Lord,’ I said, “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!” 7 “Don’t say that,” the Lord replied, “for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. 8 And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and take care of you. I, the Lord, have spoken!” 9 Then the Lord touched my mouth and said, “See, I have put my words in your mouth! 10 Today I appoint you to stand up against nations and kingdoms. You are to uproot some and tear them down, to destroy and overthrow them. You are to build others up and plant them.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

God knew you before you were formed in your mother’s womb.  And He knew how you would respond to His love.  He thought about you and planned for you.  He has also called you to a work.  We are all “appointed” by God to do a work for Him and it should be done to the glory of God. If you do not hear a specific call or task, as Jeremiah had, then seek to fulfill the mission common to all believers–to love, obey, and serve God.  We are all called and there are no excuses.  Jeremiah felt he was too young to taken seriously.  Do not allow feelings of inadequacy keep you from obeying God. He gave you an assignment and He will give you the power to accomplish it.  He will not always keep you from the storms and trails of life, but He will provide what you need to tell and show others His love.  All are called; there are no exceptions to serving Him, if you love Him.  Seek His direction through His Word and know that He is with you and do not be afraid to tell others what He has done for you!

Have a God Day!

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September 3, 2009: 5:38 pm: Daily Scripture

Psalm 26:1-8
1 Declare me innocent, O Lord, for I have acted with integrity; I have trusted in the Lord without wavering. 2 Put me on trial, Lord, and cross-examine me. Test my motives and affections. 3 For I am constantly aware of your unfailing love, and I have lived according to your truth. 4 I do not spend time with liars or go along with hypocrites. 5 I hate the gatherings of those who do evil, and I refuse to join in with the wicked. 6 I wash my hands to declare my innocence. I come to your altar, O Lord, 7 singing a song of thanksgiving and telling of all your miracles. 8 I love your sanctuary, Lord, the place where your glory shines.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

In this psalm David talks about his righteousness. We can also have perfect righteousness in Christ Jesus. 1 Corinthians 1:30 tells us, “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. He has been made unto me righteousness as well as redemption.” We can stand complete in Him, acceptable to God because of what Christ has done for us. That is what it means to pray in His name. It is to present His work, His merit, and who He is with our requests. This is a marvelous psalm that speaks of David’s walk. David committed a great sin, but David did not continue to live in sin. What David did once, the king of Babylon did every day. David’s sin stands out like a lump of coal in a snowman because the rest of David’s life was an example of godliness. He became a measuring stick for the kings who followed him. Every king was judged by whether or not he walked in the steps of his father David. If he followed David’s example, he was accepted and proclaimed a good king. You and I can also walk in the example David left for us.  We have all sinned greatly against God, but do not let it prevent you from serving Him or living Him.  Move forward knowing that with God’s forgiveness, you have the righteousness of Christ.

Have a God Day!

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