Archive for January, 2010

January 29, 2010: 6:06 pm: Daily Scripture

Romans 10:5-17
5 For Moses wrote that the law’s way of making a person right with God requires obedience to all of its commands. 6 But the way of getting right with God through faith says, “You don’t need to go to heaven” (to find Christ and bring him down to help you). 7 And it says, “You don’t need to go to the place of the dead” (to bring Christ back to life again). 8 Salvation that comes from trusting Christ which is the message we preach is already within easy reach. In fact, the Scriptures say, “The message is close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart.” 9 For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. 11 As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who believes in him will not be disappointed.” 12 Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They all have the same Lord, who generously gives his riches to all who ask for them. 13 For “Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? 15 And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” 16 But not everyone welcomes the Good News, for Isaiah the prophet said, “Lord, who has believed our message?” 17 Yet faith comes from listening to this message of good news the Good News about Christ.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

For anyone who confesses with his mouth that Jesus is Lord and that God raised Him from the dead will be saved. But saved from what? What are we heading to that we need to be saved from? Our sin always separates us from God. And a life without God is a life headed toward eternity without God. The Law was given to show our sin. No one could keep the Law perfectly, all of us have failed. And if we have failed on one point, we have failed in all. So God’s plan has always been to send His Son to take our place for the judgment of breaking the Law of God. We couldn’t do it for ourselves because of our sin. But a Man without sin could die for all sin. When Jesus Christ died on the cross, He was God and He was Man and He was without any sin at all. He was perfect by the power of the Holy Spirit in Him. And when He died, He died for every sin that was ever committed and every sin that would ever be committed. So, forgiveness is there for all, but unless you believe it, you will not receive it. For anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. But we have to believe it and then receive it to make it true for us, even though it is there for all. Do not delay, believe and receive the grace of God given to all who will believe.

Have a God Day!

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January 28, 2010: 6:26 pm: Daily Scripture

1 Corinthians 12:3-11
3 So I want you to know how to discern what is truly from God: No one speaking by the Spirit of God can curse Jesus, and no one is able to say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. 4 Now there are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but it is the same Holy Spirit who is the source of them all. 5 There are different kinds of service in the church, but it is the same Lord we are serving. 6 There are different ways God works in our lives, but it is the same God who does the work through all of us. 7 A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church. 8 To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another he gives the gift of special knowledge. 9 The Spirit gives special faith to another, and to someone else he gives the power to heal the sick. 10 He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and to another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to know whether it is really the Spirit of God or another spirit that is speaking. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, and another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. 11 It is the one and only Holy Spirit who distributes these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Anyone can claim to speak for God, and the world today is full of false teachers who do. Paul gives us a test to help us discern whether or not a message is really from God. Does the message confess that Jesus Christ as Lord? When we become a Christian, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in us, and we are born into God’s family. Christians all received the same Spirit. No one born of the Spirit can claim anything other than Jesus Christ as Lord. If someone claims to have a word from God, but cannot say, “Jesus Christ is Lord” then the word is not from God. So when someone comes to you claiming the Word of God, test it to see if it is true. Do they claim that Jesus Christ is God and that He was a Man who gave His perfect life in our place so we could be reconciled to God? If so they are a part of the family of God and are a brother in Christ. This is the true test. We may all have different interests and gifts, but we are all united by the same Spirit. The Spirit of Christ Jesus.

Have a God Day!

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January 27, 2010: 5:31 pm: Daily Scripture

Matthew 14:13-21
13 As soon as Jesus heard the news, he went off by himself in a boat to a remote area to be alone. But the crowds heard where he was headed and followed by land from many villages. 14 A vast crowd was there as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. 15 That evening the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and it is getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16 But Jesus replied, “That isn’t necessary you feed them.” 17 “Impossible!” they exclaimed. “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish!” 18 “Bring them here,” he said. 19 Then he told the people to sit down on the grass. And he took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and asked God’s blessing on the food. Breaking the loaves into pieces, he gave some of the bread and fish to each disciple, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate as much as they wanted, and they picked up twelve baskets of leftovers. 21 About five thousand men had eaten from those five loaves, in addition to all the women and children!
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

We often feel that our contribution to Jesus is meager. We feel that we have nothing to offer or what we do have is not big enough. We compare what we have to give with what others are giving and feel we do not measure up. So, we feel that what we have is not good enough to give. But Christ sees things differently. The talents and skills we have are exactly what He has given to us and when we say they are not good enough, we are saying that God did not do it right. We are not to judge what God will do with what we offer in service to Him. He will take whatever it is and use it for His good. He will multiple it for His purpose. Just because we cannot see the end result is no excuse for not offering what we have for His purpose. He will multiple our talents and gifts when we bring them to Him for use. So do not hold back from serving the body of Christ just because what you have is small and does not seem important to you. Let Christ decide what to do with your offering and you believe Him and step out in faith. Believe that He gave you the offering in the first place and give it back to Him.  It is your act of service that counts and not the size of what you have to give.

Have a God Day!

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January 26, 2010: 6:47 pm: Daily Scripture

Matthew 12:33-37
33 “A tree is identified by its fruit. Make a tree good, and its fruit will be good. Make a tree bad, and its fruit will be bad. 34 You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. 35 A good person produces good words from a good heart, and an evil person produces evil words from an evil heart. 36 And I tell you this, that you must give an account on judgment day of every idle word you speak. 37 The words you say now reflect your fate then; either you will be justified by them or you will be condemned.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

The old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” is not true. Words will hurt you. The words that you say and the words that are said to you will affect you. So, we need to be careful of what we say and how we say it. Christ tells us that what is really in a person’s heart will come out in what they say. A good heart will produce good words and an evil heart will produce evil. If you have the Spirit of God living in you by accepting Christ as Lord and Savior, then you have a good heart. That means giving control of your life to God, and as you do this, His words will come through you. You cannot hide what is really in your heart, it will come out in what you say. If you are growing more in the Lord than it will be reflected in what you say.  As you spend time with Him and read His Word, you will reflect more of Him in what you say. This is our mission as followers of Christ, to become more like Him. It will show in what you say. Do not get discouraged if you do not show Him all the time. Just recognize your error, ask for forgiveness and continue on according to His Word. Your words have more power than you know, so use them to declare who God is making you into and not who you are at the moment of failure. Continue to speak the truth and it will be reflected in your behavior.

Have a God Day!

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January 25, 2010: 5:33 pm: Daily Scripture

James 1:22-25
22 And remember, it is a message to obey, not just to listen to. If you don’t obey, you are only fooling yourself. 23 For if you just listen and don’t obey, it is like looking at your face in a mirror but doing nothing to improve your appearance. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you keep looking steadily into God’s perfect law the law that sets you free and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Reading the Word of God is an important element in your walk with Christ. But it is more than just reading; it is understanding and applying it that makes it real to our lives. We must turn what we read into experience. Many life-giving concepts in the Word become powerful, personal truths you will never forget when those concepts become experiential in your life. Faith does indeed come by hearing the Word, but faith grows by experiencing the Word. Faith and experience turn hope into reality. In order for the Word of God to be real in our lives, we must know it, understand it, and experience it. This comes only by applying the truths we know from the Word of God to situations in our lives. An example would be, feeling a complete sense of peace, when your life is in extreme turmoil. When you are uncertain of what tomorrow will bring or even if there will be a tomorrow, you rest in peace, knowing that God cares about you and will make all things work for good according to His purpose because you love Him. This comes only from knowing the Word and then applying it to your situation. Grow your faith muscle by taking the Word and making it real in your life. Take one small verse and apply it to a situation in your life and see if the Word of God is true. God will not disappoint you as you step out in faith.

Have a God Day!

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January 22, 2010: 6:00 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 entire Old Testament system of sacrifices could not help a sinner unless he brought his offering with an attitude of repentance and a willingness to confess his sin. Today, because of Christ Jesus death on the cross, we do not have to sacrifice animals.  But it is still vital to confess sin, because confession shows realization of sin, awareness of God’s holiness, humility before God, and a willingness to turn from the confessed sin.  Even the death of Christ would be of little value to us if we do not repent and turn from our sin. It is the knowledge of our sin that brings us to Christ and it is the knowledge of our sin that shows us the grace of God. Knowing and receiving the grace of God is the start of our walk with Him. For those who are saved by grace, unconfessed sin will keep the power of God from fully working in your life.  For those who have not accepted Christ, it will keep them separated from God.  Do you want anything between you and God when you go to Him in prayer?  Unconfessed sin will keep a barrier between you and Christ, so remove it. Take the unconfused sin in your life directly to God through Christ Jesus and confess it to Him. Always start prayer with confessing any known or unknown sin.  Then you will be free to receive His grace and power from the Holy Spirit working in you to turn from that sin and to become more like Jesus. He will also give you the desire to serve Him and power to walk in obedience.

Have a God Day!

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January 21, 2010: 7:24 pm: Daily Scripture

Matthew 14:15-21
15 That evening the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and it is getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.”  16 But Jesus replied, “That isn’t necessary you feed them.”  17 “Impossible!” they exclaimed. “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish!”  18 “Bring them here,” he said. 19 Then he told the people to sit down on the grass. And he took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and asked God’s blessing on the food. Breaking the loaves into pieces, he gave some of the bread and fish to each disciple, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate as much as they wanted, and they picked up twelve baskets of leftovers. 21 About five thousand men had eaten from those five loaves, in addition to all the women and children!
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

After Jesus feed over 5000 men and many more women and children, they wanted to make Him King of Israel. The crowds had been following Jesus and He was healing them and now he feed them food. Many were there not because they believed He was the Son of God, but because He gave them provisions and healed them. They did not belive because of Who He was but because of what He did. Imagine today if every believer received everything they ever prayed for instantly. The lines to get into church would be so long, there would not be enough churches to hold them. Many would come not because of their love for God but because they could get what they wanted. God does not want us to come to Him because of what He can do for us, He wants our hearts because we love Him for what He did for us. This is the true test of our faith; will we continue to believe even in our pain and sorrow? Don’t let your unanswered pray turn you away from the love of Christ. He has a plan in mind for you and may use your bad circumstance to bring you to a greater place. Trust in Him and believe not because of what He can do for you but because you know of His love for you. Make your relationship with Jesus Christ the most important thing in your life even in your sickness or pain. It is your heart and love He wants because you know He first loved you.

Have a God Day!

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January 20, 2010: 5:53 pm: Daily Scripture

Matthew 18:21-35
21 Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” 22 “No!” Jesus replied, “seventy times seven!” 23 “For this reason, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. 24 In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. 25 He couldn’t pay, so the king ordered that he, his wife, his children, and everything he had be sold to pay the debt. 26 But the man fell down before the king and begged him, ‘Oh, sir, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ 27 Then the king was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt. 28 “But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment. 29 His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient and I will pay it,’ he pleaded. 30 But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and jailed until the debt could be paid in full. 31 “When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him what had happened. 32 Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ 34 Then the angry king sent the man to prison until he had paid every penny. 35 “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters in your heart.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Forgiving those who have sinned against us is not easy, but it is not an option.  We are to forgive others as God has forgiven us.  There is not one of us who does not have some deep pain from someone who has done us wrong.  We may be perfectly innocent and they may be perfectly wrong in what they did, but it still does not let us off the hook.  We must forgive them for our sake and not for theirs.  When we harbor unforgiven, we have blocked our direct connection to God.  Our prayers will hit the ceiling.  When we realize this, we must forgive and move on.  The same is true if we have harmed or sinned against another.  Paul tells us that we must go immediately to that person and say you are sorry and ask for forgiveness.  What they do with your request is up to them, but you have done what you can.  We have a responsibility on either side to either forgive or seek forgiveness.  It only hurts you to hold onto resentment and the memory of the pain that sinned caused.  Forgive and forget and then move on.  Life is full of hurts and pains and this will not be the last time someone sins against you.  Open the door for the Spirit of God to come in and fill you with His grace and then fill your heart with peace.  Let it go and give it to God.  He will hear your prayers and you will receive His peace.

Have a God Day! 

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January 19, 2010: 5:51 pm: Daily Scripture

Philippians 2:12-17
12 And I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News. 13 For everyone here, including all the soldiers in the palace guard, knows that I am in chains because of Christ. 14 And because of my imprisonment, many of the Christians here have gained confidence and become more bold in telling others about Christ. 15 Some are preaching out of jealousy and rivalry. But others preach about Christ with pure motives. 16 They preach because they love me, for they know the Lord brought me here to defend the Good News. 17 Those others do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely, intending to make my chains more painful to me.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

There are many mornings I get up and don’t feel like reading the Word. Many times, I don’t feel like praying for a loved one or a need. I just don’t feel like obeying God all the time. That is why Paul’s word to the Philippians is so helpful. God helps us desire to obey Him and then gives us the power to do what He wants us to do. And it is always for my benefit to obey God. He doesn’t need my prayers He doesn’t need me to know His Word. I am the one who benefits from obedience. The secret to a changed life is to submit to the power of God within you. Often it is in doing God’s will that we gain the desire to do it. And a transformed life is a powerful witness to the work God can do in a life surrendered to Him. So do the will of God without complaining and live your life in joy following the instructions God has given you. And as you step out in faith, God will increase your wisdom and knowledge of Him and will work His will through you.

Have a God Day!

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January 18, 2010: 5:33 pm: Daily Scripture

Ephesians 6:10-18
10 A final word: Be strong with the Lord’s mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil. 12 For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms. 13 Use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In every battle you will need faith as your shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed at you by Satan. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 Pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all Christians everywhere.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Is this scripture very familiar to you? Does your mind automatically go to Ephesians 6 when you think of the armor of God? If not then you need to put on more of the armor of God. The Word of God will come alive to you as you become more familiar with it. Then when you are faced with a problem or concern, the Word automatically comes to your mind. When you need healing you think of Isaiah 53:5, “And by His stripes we are healed.” Or when you are stressed and need a touch from God you think of Philippians 4:6 “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.” Or you are telling someone how to be saved and you think of Ephesians 2:8, “God saved you by His special favor when you believed And you can’t take credit for this,” it is a gift from God 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” This is how we fight against our defeated enemy, Satan. Christ has won the battle and Satan is completely defeated. But even though we are assured victory, we must engage in this struggle until Christ returns. Satan will not stop trying to turn us away from God or make us ineffective Christians. And because he is a supernatural being, we must fight him with the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit in us. God has provided this for us but God will not pick up the sword of truth and fight for us, we must pick it up ourselves. Study and know God’s Word and be prepared to fight off discouragement, despair and any other fiery dart Satan may throw at you.

Have a God Day!

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