Archive for December, 2009

December 31, 2009: 6:49 pm: Daily Scripture

James 1:19-27
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. 26 If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are just fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. 27 Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles, and refuse to let the world corrupt us.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Paul emphasizes the purpose of faith is to bring salvation and James emphasizes the results of faith are a changed life.  We are not saved by works but we are saved for works. We can measure the effectiveness of our Bible study and prayer time by the effect they have on our attitude and behaviors. Because we are freed from sin, we can do whatever we desire. And if we are freed from sin, we only desire to do the will of God. We are free to live as God intended for us from the beginning. We live and move and have our being because of God’s Spirit in us. We desire to please Him and therefore we control the aspects of our sinful nature that are contrary to the Word of God and He will bless us for it.  It is not anything in us but God in us that sets our spirit free to choose to have a positive attitude and to behave according the Word. We care for others as God cares for them and we are not corrupted by the world. This is faith in action, this is Christ in us. Guard your attitude and actions well and do not be controlled by your sinful nature but be controlled by the Holy Spirit.

Have a God Day!

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December 30, 2009: 5:57 pm: Daily Scripture

Ezekiel 25:6-7
6 “And the Sovereign Lord says: Because you clapped and stamped and cheered with glee at the destruction of my people, 7 I will lift up my fist against you. I will give you as plunder to many nations. I will cut you off from being a nation and destroy you completely. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Chapters 25-32 of Ezekiel are God’s words of judgment on nations surrounding Israel that laughed when Israel fell to the Babylonians.  God judged them not only because of their delight in the destruction of Jerusalem, but they had also failed to acknowledge the one true God or fulfill His purpose for them.  The Ammonites were judged for their joy over the desecration of the Temple (25:1-7), the Moabites because they found pleasure in Judah’s wickedness (25:8-11), the Edomites because of their racial hatred for the Jews (25:12-14), and the Philistines because they sought revenge against Judah for defeating them in battle (25:15-17).  If any of this sounds familiar it is because we are living the same scenario today. The Palestinians danced with joy at the attack on the World Trade Center on 9-11.  And many Moslems cheered when thousands of Americans died that day.  God’s judgment will fall on them and the time is coming soon. Americans are not God’s chosen people, but we support them and that is why this attack happened and why it will happen again.  And just as God judges these nations, God will judge those who come up against His people. Even if it is America.  Do not look for things to get better in the Middle East or for the terrorist attacks to stop on the USA.  It will only get worse in the Middle East and we will be under continual attack until the Lord returns for His Church.  So learn a lesson for what God has already done in the past because it will happen again.  And God always keeps His Word. God’s Word to the children of Abraham in Genesis 12:3 states, “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. All the families of the earth will be blessed through you.”  Those who support the nation of Israel will be blessed, but those who curse her will be cursed.

Have a God Day!

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December 29, 2009: 5:52 pm: Daily Scripture

Ephesians 5:15-20
15 So be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise. 16 Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days. 17 Don’t act thoughtlessly, but try to understand what the Lord wants you to do. 18 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, let the Holy Spirit fill and control you. 19 Then you will sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, making music to the Lord in your hearts. 20 And you will always give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

When someone is drunk with wine, we say they are under the influence of alcohol. People do and say things they would not normally do or say; because of the influence alcohol has on their thinking. And the way we think is displayed in our behavior. So a person who would never sing in public. will suddenly sing out in a crowd when they are under the influence of alcohol. They would be doing something contrary to their normal behavior. Paul is telling us to not be drunk with wine, but to be “drunk” with the Holy Spirit. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness and temperance. I don’t know about you, but these things do not come naturally to me. In fact, these attributes do not come to any of us by nature. We are all self centered and want our own interests. When we have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God in us, we are then under His control and our behavior then becomes contrary to what is normal for us. This is what Paul is telling us to do. Be filled with the Holy Spirit of God and be under His influence. Then the life of Christ can be evident in our lives to those around us. Do something you would not normally do, give control to Him and let His behavior become yours.

Have a God Day! 

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December 28, 2009: 5:47 pm: Daily Scripture

1 Corinthians 13:8-13
8 Love will last forever, but prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will all disappear. 9 Now we know only a little, and even the gift of prophecy reveals little! 10 But when the end comes, these special gifts will all disappear. 11 It’s like this: When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child does. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now. 13 There are three things that will endure-faith, hope, and love-and the greatest of these is love.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

God has given us spiritual gifts so that we may be able to build up His Church and strengthen fellow Christians. But there will come a day when we will see everything with perfect clarity. We will see with the eyes of Christ. But in this world the glass is cloudy and our vision is limited. God has given us His Spirit and spiritual gifts to build us up and help us see more clearly. When we are with God, we will no longer need these spiritual gifts because we will be made perfect.Paul offers this glimpse of the future to give us hope that one day we will be complete when we are with Him. This truth should strengthen our daily walk. We don’t have all the answers now, but one day we will. Faith is our foundation, hope is our attitude and love is our action. You are free to love completely because you understand that God loves you.

Have a God Day!

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December 24, 2009: 2:32 am: Daily Scripture

Luke 2:1-20
1 At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. 2 (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. 4 And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. 5 He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. 7 She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them. 8 That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. 9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior-yes, the Messiah, the Lord-has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” 13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others-the armies of heaven-praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” 15 When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” 16 They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. 17 After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. 18 All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, 19 but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. 20 The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

We have all heard how God sent His Son to come to the earth as a baby.  But did you ever stop to think about the way He came?  He came to the lowliest of the lowly.  He came to an unclean place to unclean people.  He came in complete humility and yet the angels sang.  Because it wasn’t by human standards, but by God’s.  And our power, our strength, our wealth do not matter to God.  He wanted to come to all of mankind and not just those who thought they were worthy.  Because really, none of us is worthy. If He had come in great grandeur and wealth and power, only those who had these things would have received Him. But He came in the greatest humility, so all could accept and receive Him.  Shepherds at that time in Jewish history were considered very unclean.  In fact, they were not allowed in the Temple, because of their odor.  They were not allowed to testify in court because they were considered so low.  And yet the angels came to them first to tell the Good News of God becoming Man.  Jesus Christ is the complete fulfillment of all that God has promised for all people.  So none of us has a reason to reject His Gift of love, but many will because of the way He came.  Many do not want to lower themselves to level that Christ arrived. But it is not about us, it is about what God gave to us.  So put aside all that you think you know about God and think about how He came and then meet Him there.  Because it is only there that you will find Him and He is waiting for you.

Merry Christmas!

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December 23, 2009: 5:47 pm: Daily Scripture

Isaiah 26:1-8
Our city is now strong! We are surrounded by the walls of God’s salvation. 2 Open the gates to all who are righteous; allow the faithful to enter. 3 You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you! 4 Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock. 5 He humbles the proud and brings the arrogant city to the dust… Its walls come crashing down! 6 The poor and oppressed trample it underfoot… 7 But for those who are righteous, the path is not steep and rough. You are a God of justice, and you smooth out the road ahead of them. 8 Lord, we love to obey your laws; our heart’s desire is to glorify your name.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

What if peace came in a bottle and was a pill you could swallow. Think of what people would pay to have it. Only the very rich would be able to afford it. Many would sell everything to have it; others would steal, lie or cheat to get it. But we don’t have to buy it or steal it; God gives it freely to those who trust Him. It does not come without a cost however, we must die to self. To have perfect peace you have to be willing to say, “Not my will but Yours.” Obedience to God is the key to obtaining peace in this world. It takes complete and total surrender to our God who loved us enough to send His only Son to take our place on the cross for our sins. How much do you think about Christ? How much of your day is He in? How much of your time is God centered? If you are lacking peace in your life, take a look at who sits on the throne of your life, you or God. Your answer will decide your peace.

Have a God Day!

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December 22, 2009: 6:28 pm: Daily Scripture

James 1:19-27
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.  26 If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are just fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. 27 Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles, and refuse to let the world corrupt us.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

When we know that Christ could return at anytime, we tend to live our lives a lot differently. We are more inclined to live as Christ lived and to tell others of His love. Keeping His return in our thoughts will affect our actions. When we know we will have to stand before Him and receive rewards for our work here in this world, we become doers of His Word. James is telling us to not just be hearers of His Word but to put it into action. The recipe to applying God’s Word in our lives is to start with reading His Word obediently, then we follow God’s Word exclusively believing God’s Word totally and to study God’s Word continually. Proverbs 30:5 states, “Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.” We are to walk submissively according to the Word of God because every word from God is without error. Some argue that man has added to it, but God has been in control of His Word from the beginning. If you start to pick the parts of His Word that you think are true and throw out those that you think are not, you put yourself in His place and become the author. All of God’s Word is for us to listen and obey. Anything that is added or taken away by man is not of God and will come under His judgment. Pray for His Spirit to guide you when you read and He will teach you as you walk in obedience.

Have a God Day! 

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December 21, 2009: 6:30 pm: Daily Scripture

1 Timothy 4:7-10
7 Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Spend your time and energy in training yourself for spiritual fitness. 8 Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important, for it promises a reward in both this life and the next. 9 This is true, and everyone should accept it. 10 We work hard and suffer much in order that people will believe the truth, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and particularly of those who believe.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

It seems that physical fitness is the “in” thing these days. It is good for your health to be physically fit, but the Word of God tells us it is more important to be spiritually fit. And just as physical fitness takes time and work, so does your spiritual fitness. It will not happen without time and work. There are three steps to getting spiritually fit and keeping yourself there. 1.) Take time to be with God every day. Looking at the life of Jesus, He often withdrew and prayed. In fact, He did not make a move without knowing what the Father wanted Him to do. How can we, who only have a small measure of His Spirit in us expect to do any less. And yet we do. We need God’s constant direction and we can only know what it is by spending time in His Word and talking to Him. 2.) Give a tithe every week. Matthew 6:21 states, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” If everything is God’s and He ask us to return 10% to Him, the rest is under our stewardship. Put God first with your money and He will take care of all the rest. 3.) Get together with other believers regularly. We should get into the habit of meeting together to encourage each other. It is more difficult to serve God outside of His body. Do these three things and you will become spiritually fit and then your treasure will be in heaven and not in this world.

Have a God Day!

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December 18, 2009: 5:36 pm: Daily Scripture

Philippians 3:7-11
7 I once thought all these things were so very important, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. 8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I may have Christ 9 and become one with him. I no longer count on my own goodness or my ability to obey God’s law, but I trust Christ to save me. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. 10 As a result, I can really know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I can learn what it means to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11 so that, somehow, I can experience the resurrection from the dead!
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Paul at the end of his life still had the ambition to know more of Christ. Today some saints give the impression that they have complete knowledge and they only need to polish their halo every morning and are ready to take off at any moment. Yet Paul, the greatest missionary the world has ever seen, said at the end of his life, “My ambition is still to know Christ his person and the power of his resurrection.” If Paul felt this way, then how much more should we? As long as we live in this world, there will be more to know about Christ and His love. We will never “arrive” this side of heaven. That means we never stop working at becoming more like Him. We never stop working for Him, no matter what our circumstances are. Any Christian, who sits back and does nothing for God, does not understand the power of the Spirit living in them.  We are not saved by works but we are saved for works. Never stop growing in your relationship with Christ and the work you do for Him will never stop. His will for you will be a constant motivation for you to live for God.

Have a God Day!

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December 17, 2009: 5:50 pm: Daily Scripture

1 Corinthians 12:18-31
18 But God made our bodies with many parts, and he has put each part just where he wants it. 19 What a strange thing a body would be if it had only one part! 20 Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. 21 The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” 22 In fact, some of the parts that seem weakest and least important are really the most necessary. 23 And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect from the eyes of others those parts that should not be seen, 24 while other parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together in such a way that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. 25 This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other equally. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. 27 Now all of you together are Christ’s body, and each one of you is a separate and necessary part of it. 28 Here is a list of some of the members that God has placed in the body of Christ:
first are apostles,
second are prophets,
third are teachers,
then those who do miracles,
those who have the gift of healing,
those who can help others,
those who can get others to work together,
those who speak in unknown languages.
29 Is everyone an apostle? Of course not. Is everyone a prophet? No. Are all teachers? Does everyone have the power to do miracles? 30 Does everyone have the gift of healing? Of course not. Does God give all of us the ability to speak in unknown languages? Can everyone interpret unknown languages? No! 31 And in any event, you should desire the most helpful gifts.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

The body of Christ can be compared to smooth stones in a river.  Before the stones were in the river, they broke off from a larger rock and the edges were very jagged.  But once the stone fell into the river it joined all of the other stones and together they each had their rough edges smoothed.  As they tumbled along in the river they each worked together to make them all smooth stones and they became useful to all those who used the river for life.  The body of Christ is a place where we can go to get the rough edges of our life smoothed.  God works through our lives to help each other become a useful vessel for His love, for His work.  And only by being a part of a larger body of Christ can we have our rough edges smoothed.  This is how God’s plan for our lives works.  He never meant for you to be alone or serve Him alone.  Being a part of a believing body of His people will help to make you into a useful vessel for the work God has called you.  Are you part of His body? If you are severing God alone, you are not a part of His body.  And even though many bodies of believers are not perfect, join them anyway.  Because without being a part of a corporate group of believers, you cannot walk in obedience to Him.  And if you are not walking in obedience to Him, you will have a difficult time staying connected to Him.  So find a church that believes in salvation through Christ and join them in worship and working for Christ.

Have a God Day!

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