Archive for June, 2011

June 30, 2011: 8:07 pm: Daily Scripture

Galatians 3:26-29
26 So you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have been made like him. 28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female. For you are all Christians-you are one in Christ Jesus. 29 And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and now all the promises God gave to him belong to you.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Some Jewish males started each day by praying, “Lord, I thank you that I am not a Gentile, a slave or a woman.” Faith in Christ transcends these differences and makes all believers one in Christ.  Because all believers are His heirs, no one is more privileged than or superior to anyone else.  For Paul to say there “is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female,” was a revolutionary statement.  He was going against the belief of the day.  Christianity removed all the social barriers.  He could have added rich or poor, young or old and healthy or sick.  God removes all of these barriers that man has made.  All are equal in Christ Jesus.  Do not allow your preferences to separate you from people who may be different than you.  God has removed the barriers, why should you put them up again?  Remember that Christ died for all people and it is not up to us to judge who would be more worthy of His love.  All are worthy and all people are loved by God. All do not love Him, but that does not remove His love for them.  If God loves them, how can we do any less?  Show the love that God so freely gives to you to those you come in contact with each day.

Have a God Day!

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June 29, 2011: 8:59 pm: Daily Scripture

Galatians 5:16-25
16 So I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is just opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite from what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, and your choices are never free from this conflict. 18 But when you are directed by the Holy Spirit, you are no longer subject to the law.  19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, 20 idolatry, participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other kinds of sin. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.  22 But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Paul describes the two forces fighting within those who belong to Christ Jesus.  We have the Holy Spirit living in us, directing us to be like Christ and we have our sinful nature pulling us into sin.  These forces are not equal; the Holy Spirit is God and has all power.  But He will not override our own desire, so if we desire to sin, we can and many times do.  We all have evil desires, we can’t ignore them.  In order for us to be directed by the Holy Spirit, we must deal with them.  They must be crucified with Christ.  The Holy Spirit will transform us into His image as we trust Him more and more.  We take our desires before Him and nail them to the cross and ask Christ for help and guidance.  The Spirit produces His fruit in us and we depend on Him. When we join our life to Christ, the fruit of the Spirit become a byproduct of Christ in us.  As a result, we fulfill His intentions for us and that is to love God and our neighbor as we love ourselves.  If you want more fruit of God in your life, then nail your evil desires to the cross of Christ and seek to become more like Him.

Have a God Day!

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June 28, 2011: 6:53 pm: Daily Scripture

Psalm 119:4-13
4 You have charged us to keep your commandments carefully.
5 Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your principles!
6 Then I will not be disgraced when I compare my life with your commands.
7 When I learn your righteous laws, I will thank you by living as I should!
8 I will obey your principles. Please don’t give up on me!
9 How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word and following its rules.
10 I have tried my best to find you- don’t let me wander from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
12 Blessed are you, O LORD; teach me your principles.
13 I have recited aloud all the laws you have given us.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Hiding God’s Word in our hearts is a deterrent to sin. Memorize the Word of God to keep Him in your mind.  And as we allow the Word to work in our lives, it is planted deeper into our hearts. It is our plea for God not to give up on us.  God has given us a map and directions to follow.  He has told us if you do this, then this will happen.  We are not saved from the consequences of our sins but we are saved from the judgment.  God will always forgive our sins, if we confess them to Him. 1 John 1:9 tells us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  Even though we are not saved by works, we are saved for works.  Which means once we understand salvation, God expects us to keep His commands.  We are to work at understanding His map and live the way that Christ Jesus did when He was here on earth.  Because we will never live without sin is not an excuse to not even try.  God expects us to know Him and to become more like Him.  This is our mission, this is our goal.  If you are not working at becoming more like God, you are becoming less like Him.  Hide the Word of God in your heart and make the effort to be more like Him every day of your life.

Have a God Day!

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June 27, 2011: 5:57 pm: Daily Scripture

2 Timothy 1:6-9
6 This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 8 So you must never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. And don’t be ashamed of me, either, even though I’m in prison for Christ. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the proclamation of the Good News. 9 It is God who saved us and chose us to live a holy life. He did this not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan long before the world began-to show his love and kindness to us through Christ Jesus.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Timothy was experiencing great opposition to his message about Christ and Paul urged him to be bold. We like Timothy must also be bold in our message about what Jesus Christ has done for us.  When we allow people to intimidate us, we neutralize our effectiveness for God. The power of the Holy Spirit in us can help us over come our fear of what some might say or do to us, so that we can tell them about the grace of Christ.  There will be no excuses when we stand before Him for the things we did or did not do.  If God has lead someone into your life, it is for a purpose.  It is for the purpose of telling them about the love of God and the gospel of Christ.  That is the purpose of the life of all who believe and serve Him.  God will lead people into our lives for this purpose.  And it is our mission to bring this information to those around us.  We do this through living a holy life and by telling them about what Christ has done for us.  It is only through our witness that they will see Him. It is only in your living for Him that they will believe.  Others will serve Him when they see Him in you.  You do not have a spirit of fear, but One of power, love and self discipline living in you.  Work with the Spirit of God and do not let the sprit of this world hold you down.  Because greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.

Have a God Day!

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June 23, 2011: 6:56 pm: Daily Scripture

Hosea 10:12
12 I said, ‘Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of my love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.’
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Hosea repeatedly used illustrations about fields and crops.  Here he is comparing a stony field to our stony hearts.  But this field has been plowed and is no longer hard.  And this is what happens to our heart when we submit to the Lord.  The hardness of our hearts can be broken by acknowledging our sin and receiving God’s gift of forgiveness.  The Holy Spirit comes in and plows the hardness of our heart.  This process happens layer by layer and the work will not be done until we are with Him.  It is not a once and for all process.  We allow sin back into our lives and our hearts will become hardened again.  We will need the continued work of the Holy Spirit as long as we live on this earth.  But as a mature Christian, we understand this and we keep seeking God to expose those areas of our life that are not completely submitted to Him.  God will gently work with us to impart His righteousness to us.  This helps us to understand Philippians 1:6 more, “And I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again.” Repent from your sins and let the Holy Spirit continue the work of sanctification in your life.

Have a God Day!

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June 22, 2011: 7:54 pm: Daily Scripture

Jeremiah 29:8-14
8 The LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says, “Do not let the prophets and mediums who are there in Babylon trick you. Do not listen to their dreams 9 because they prophesy lies in my name. I have not sent them,” says the LORD. 10 “The truth is that you will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13 If you look for me in earnest, you will find me when you seek me. 14 I will be found by you,” says the LORD. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and bring you home again to your own land.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Thousands of years later, people are still seeking what the future holds from every source except God.  More people are going to every other god to learn what is in the future for them.  But God the Father has always been very clear about what the future holds for all of us.  He has laid out a very detailed map.  And today that map is still the most published Book in the world.  These words spoken through Jeremiah so many years ago are still relevant today for each and every one of us.  God knows what our future holds, He know what the future of the world holds.  And for those of us who acknowledge Him as Lord, the future always looks good because we will be with Christ.  For those who will not accept His great gift of love, the future is uncertain.  God wants only the best for you and He will make it happen in all circumstances.  Even in our suffering God is working for our good.  It is always difficult to see that when we are in pain, but our faith can remain strong because we have His Word on it. In the struggles you face, repeat this promise given to us by God our Father and trust that Christ Jesus has already suffered and knows exactly what you are going through.  Look to no other source than God and the Word that He has given us.

Have a God Day!

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June 21, 2011: 8:46 pm: Daily Scripture

1 Timothy 6:6-12
6 Do you want to be truly rich? You already are if you are happy and good. 7 After all, we didn’t bring any money with us when we came into the world, and we can’t carry away a single penny when we die. 8 So we should be well satisfied without money if we have enough food and clothing. 9 But people who long to be rich soon begin to do all kinds of wrong things to get money, things that hurt them and make them evil-minded and finally send them to hell itself. 10 For the love of money is the first step toward all kinds of sin. Some people have even turned away from God because of their love for it, and as a result have pierced themselves with many sorrows.  11 O Timothy, you are God’s man. Run from all these evil things, and work instead at what is right and good, learning to trust him and love others and to be patient and gentle. 12 Fight on for God. Hold tightly to the eternal life that God has given you and that you have confessed with such a ringing confession before many witnesses.
The Living Bible, (Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1997.

Is it a sin to have money?  Many will try and tell you that it is, but it is your attitude toward money that can become the sin.  Paul tells us it is our love of money that is the sin.  This is so true of many of the things God has given us.  God intended us to use and enjoy all of the good things of this world, as long as we understand that every good thing comes from Him.  1 Corinthians 10:26 tells us, “For the earth and every good thing in it belongs to the Lord and is yours to enjoy.”  Taking a vow to poverty is taking a vow to not be in a place to have anything above God in your life.  As long as we understand that everything belongs to God and that every good thing comes from Him, we will not let the love of money become first in our life.  This takes all the pressure off of us.  It is by God’s provision that our needs will be met.  This does not mean we sit back and do nothing, it means we understand that God is provider of all and we are to use the skills He has given us to provide for ourselves and our families.  It is understanding that God is owner and we are care takers.  It is following His commands and tithing and giving gifts beyond the tithe for the work of God.  Someone has to give to supply others to go out and preach the Good News.  Rejoice in the good things God has given and remember to praise the One who has given it to you to enjoy!

Have a God Day!

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June 20, 2011: 9:39 pm: Daily Scripture

Galatians 2:17-21
17 But what if we seek to be made right with God through faith in Christ and then find out that we are still sinners? Has Christ led us into sin? Of course not! 18 Rather, I make myself guilty if I rebuild the old system I already tore down. 19 For when I tried to keep the law, I realized I could never earn God’s approval. So I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ. 20 I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. So I live my life in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I am not one of those who treats the grace of God as meaningless. For if we could be saved by keeping the law, then there was no need for Christ to die.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

How have we been crucified with Christ? Legally, God looks at us as if we had died with Christ. Because our sins died with Him, we are no longer condemned (Colossians 2:13-15). Relationally, we have become one with Christ, and His life becomes ours. Our Christian life began when, in unity with Him, we died to our old life (Romans 6:5-11). In our daily life, we must regularly crucify sinful desires that would keep us from following Christ.  This is also dying with Him (Luke 9:23-25).

But the focus of Christianity is not dying but living. Because we have been crucified with Christ, we also have been raised with Him (Romans 6:5). Legally, we have been reconciled with God (2 Corinthians 5:19) and we are free to grow into Christ’s likeness (Romans 8:29). And in our daily life, we have Christ’s resurrection power to help us to remove and refuse sin (Ephesians 1:19-20).  We no longer are alone, for Christ lives in us, He is our power for living and our hope for the future (Colossians 1:27).

Have a God Day!

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June 16, 2011: 8:53 pm: Daily Scripture

Mark 9:33-37
33 After they arrived at Capernaum, Jesus and his disciples settled in the house where they would be staying. Jesus asked them, “What were you discussing out on the road?” 34 But they didn’t answer, because they had been arguing about which of them was the greatest. 35 He sat down and called the twelve disciples over to him. Then he said, “Anyone who wants to be the first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.”  36 Then he put a little child among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes my Father who sent me.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

God’s great paradox is; we are called to a life of faith where elevation comes through being humbled, blessing comes through denying self, we receive and gain our lives by laying them down.  This lesson for the disciples is relevant for us today.  When Jesus chose His inner circle of disciples, He did not go to the religious leaders, who were very educated in the scriptures.  Instead He went to the uneducated, the ignorant.  More than likely the disciples did not even know how to read when Jesus choose them.  Everything about the coming of the Savior was very humble.  He never demanded to be treated as God or as the King He really was.  During His ministry, He never had a home nor did He accumulate wealth.  Instead Christ showed us a way to live according to the love God offers to us. We are to give up our “right” to have our way.  Only by dying to self will we ever understand the love of God given to us through Christ Jesus.  Only by denying ourselves will we ever receive the only thing that will matter on the Day when we stand before God. The next time you find yourself in a difficult situation, think about giving up your “right” to have your way.  Choose to give it up and humble yourself.  Seek to act as Jesus would by denying yourself and allowing the Holy Spirit to work through you.

Have a God Day!

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June 15, 2011: 9:32 pm: Daily Scripture

Matthew 14:25-33
25 About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came to them, walking on the water. 26 When the disciples saw him, they screamed in terror, thinking he was a ghost. 27 But Jesus spoke to them at once. “It’s all right,” he said. “I am here! Don’t be afraid.”  28 Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you by walking on water.”
29 “All right, come,” Jesus said.  So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. 30 But when he looked around at the high waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.
31 Instantly Jesus reached out his hand and grabbed him. “You don’t have much faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” 32 And when they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped.  33 Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Living in this world is like walking on water.  The storm rages around us with so many problems and hurts.  So many people are hurting today because of sin in the world.  Not necessarily their sin, but because there is sin in this world.  As we come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we begin our walk with God in us.  We are walking on water with Christ as our head.  But all around us the storm rages.  We are not unaffected by the storm and sometimes experience the rage.  We start to sink when we take our eyes off Jesus.  When we begin to look at ourselves and the entire storm around us, we begin to sink into the water.  We loose our perspective of who we are as a child of God.  When our focus is on ourselves and our pain, we hinder our relationship with Christ.  So keep Jesus Christ as your focus and remember that He has called you to be in the world but not of it.  So even though we have to walk through the storm of this life, we do not have let it sink us.  It is only as we keep God first in our lives that we experience His blessings and peace.  If you find yourself sinking into despair as Peter did, look to the One who can keep you afloat.

Have a God Day!

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