Archive for August, 2011

August 17, 2011: 7:47 pm: Daily Scripture

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

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

Have a God Day!

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August 16, 2011: 9:17 pm: Daily Scripture

Matthew 5:17-20
17″Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18″For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19″Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20″For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

It had always been God’s intention to send Jesus Christ to the cross for our sin.  It was not something new He thought of at the last minute to compensate for the way things were going.  Nothing from God’s plan for man has ever changed.  Nor will it ever.  He will return again just like He said He would.  But it may not be everything that we think.  Just like His first coming was not what the Jews thought it would be. Even though they had the scriptures to teach them, they thought that His first coming would something different.  But there was nothing in the Law or the Old Testament that Christ did not fulfill and nothing that He changed.

When you read the Word, your understanding is filtered through your past experiences of life.  You put what read into what you know.  This is why you should pray for the wisdom of God to open your heart and your mind to understand what God wants you to know.  Pray for discernment to know how the scripture you are reading is speaking to your life.  Then apply what you have read.  True wisdom is application of what you know.  Only through understanding and applying the Word of God can you be a part of His kingdom.  Jesus said in Matthew 4:17, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” The kingdom of God is living what you know to be true about Him.  In the kingdom of God His will is always done.  It is never questioned, but always understood and done.  Live your life in the kingdom of God by doing the will of God from what you know about His Word.

Have a God Day!

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August 15, 2011: 6:26 pm: Daily Scripture

Colossians 3:1-5
Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits at God’s right hand in the place of honor and power. 2 Let heaven fill your thoughts. Do not think only about things down here on earth. 3 For you died when Christ died, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 And when Christ, who is your real life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory. 5 So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Allowing your mind to worry about your problems will lead you to sin.  Concentrating your thoughts on the things of this world is contrary to the new life Christ died to give you.  As new creation in Christ, you are to think on the things of heaven.  Keeping your mind focused on the things of God will keep you from focusing on the things of this world that you have no control over.  It is your thoughts that will determine your successes and your thoughts that will lead you to failure.  Whatever is in your mind will become your destiny.  If you think only on what is wrong in your life, you will never move beyond your fears.  But if you think on what the Word of God has given you, you will become what Christ intended you to be.  He died to give you life, you are to live to become Christ to the world.  Worry will rob you of time, energy, and success. Put to death the thoughts that lead to worry about your problems.  Instead think on the truth of the Word of God.  Banish the thoughts from your mind that lead you to despair.  Read what God has promised you and believe that it will happen.  Consider it done when you bring your need before God and do not take it back.  Jesus Christ is your real life and He died to give it to you.  Do not waste your time worrying. Let the Word of God fill your thoughts and pray about everything.  God will hear you and He will give you what you need to become the person He intended you to be.  It is by His power and by His truth that you will be free from wasting your time worrying.

Have a God Day!

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August 12, 2011: 8:54 pm: Daily Scripture

Philippians 4:11-13
11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. 12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

God is able to give us everything we need, even though He does not give us everything we want.  God has given us so much; there has never been a generation of people who have had so much.  Yes, there are still many poor in this country and this world, but most of the people reading this message are extremely blessed.  But even though we have so much, many are not satisfied.  The more we have the more we want.  This attitude is contrary to the Word of God, and is not what Jesus did when He was here.  He had nothing, no home, no job, no family, and yet He had everything. To become like Christ, we need to practice an attitude of gratitude, we need to practice being content with what we have.  Look at the needs of others around you and find someone you can help.  Do it in the name of Christ with no expectation of anything in return.  Practice doing this and always give your tithe and offerings first.  Walking in obedience to God in this way will change your heart to one of thankfulness and praise for your God who provides for you.  Instead of thinking about what you do not have, thank God for what you do have.  After all, our most important possession is free and available to everyone, eternal life through Christ Jesus.

Have a God Day!

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August 11, 2011: 6:58 pm: Daily Scripture

Philippians 3:12-14
12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection! But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven. 4 Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again– rejoice! 5 Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. 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.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

The goal of a Christian is to become like Christ. This is a struggle for most Christians. But if we would acknowledge the growth we have achieved through Christ, then we would act and feel more like Him. It is not the work that we do, but the work of Christ done in us. We would act more like Christ if we would focus on the progress of sanctification instead of the perfection of Christ. Our goal is always to be like Him, but it is completely unattainable in this human body.  But the process of sanctification is within our reach. Clearly there is a lot of work yet to be done in all of us, but every person who belongs to Christ has made progress. As we look back at what we were before Christ, we will see big changes. Christ is working within all who belong to Him. The key is to keep learning more about Him and letting go of more of self. As we fill our mind and our speech with the things of God, there will little room for the negative things of this world. Speak the truth of your growth and focus more on Christ and you will grow more each day to become like Him.

Have a God Day!

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August 10, 2011: 8:07 pm: Daily Scripture

2 Corinthians 4:6-17
6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed, 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death is working in us, but life in you. 13 And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak, 14 knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you. 15 For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.  16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

Our bodies are made from the earth and to the earth they will return.  But this is not who we really are.  The body that carries us around is just made of dust but our spirit will live forever.  We are just simple jars of clay and when we accept the gift of grace from Christ Jesus, we begin the process to be molded into the image of Him.  But this process can be long, difficult and painful.  We will encounter many obstacles to this process and most of them are of our own doing.  But even though we are pressed on all sides during this process, we are not broken, that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.  The process of becoming like Christ will only result in submitting our will to His.  It will result in having the mind of Christ in all that we do.  By the time this work is completed in us, we will be with Him, but yet we continue on toward the goal of becoming like Christ.  Until that day, we press on.  It is understanding that we are just made of dust and that the work is being done by God Himself in our lives.  And if it is a work of God, we can have faith that He will complete it and when we are pressed on all sides, we can have peace that He is working all things out for our good according to His purpose for our lives.

Have a God Day!

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August 9, 2011: 8:09 pm: Daily Scripture

Matthew 4:1-11
Then Jesus was led out into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit to be tempted there by the Devil. 2 For forty days and forty nights he ate nothing and became very hungry. 3 Then the Devil came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, change these stones into loaves of bread.”  4 But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People need more than bread for their life; they must feed on every word of God.'”   Then the Devil took him to Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, 6 and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say, ‘He orders his angels to protect you. And they will hold you with their hands to keep you from striking your foot on a stone.'” 7 Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘Do not test the Lord your God.'”   8 Next the Devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him the nations of the world and all their glory. 9 “I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will only kneel down and worship me.” 10 “Get out of here, Satan,” Jesus told him. “For the Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God; serve only him.'” 11 Then the Devil went away, and angels came and cared for Jesus.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Temptations are situations designed by Satan to get us to sin.  The temptation itself is not sin because as we read, Christ Himself was tempted. Because Jesus Christ was without sin, we can have assurance that when we are faced with temptation, it is not a sin until we follow through.  But Jesus also reminded us to keep our thought life in order.  He stated in Matthew 5:28, “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”  To be tempted is not sin, but to continue to think about the temptation is.  We should follow the example Christ gave us when are tempted.  We should resist the Devil and he will flee, as stated in James 4:7.  So when tempted to sin, remember that God never tempts anyone to sin.  It is either from Satan or from our own evil desires.  Resist it and stop thinking about it. And most important, remove your self from the situation.   Focus on good thoughts as stated in Philippians 4:8.  Remember that Christ gave us the example.  And God uses temptation to teach us to obey Him.  We always have a choice when faced with the desire to sin.  Choose to obey God and grow to become more like Christ.

Have a God Day!

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August 8, 2011: 8:20 pm: Daily Scripture

Acts 17:24-28
24 “He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, 25 and human hands can’t serve his needs-for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need there is. 26 From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand which should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries. 27 “His purpose in all of this was that the nations should seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him-though he is not far from anyone of us. 28 For in him we live and move and exist. As one of your own poets says, ‘We are his offspring.'”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Are you serious about serving the Lord? Do you live and exist and move in Him? These are questions every believer should be asking themselves. Because Christ will one day ask it of you. And what will your answer be? You didn’t have enough faith or time or energy or you weren’t really serious about Him. Well, He is serious about you. He died that you might have life before you even knew you needed Him. As long as you have breath, the Holy Spirit of God will be urging you to know more and more of Him who died for you. Increase your faith by hearing the Word as stated in Romans 10:17, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”  Faith does come by hearing the Word, but faith grows by experiencing the Word. Until you put the Word into practice, it will only be words to you.  Move past just reading the Word into experiencing it. It’s like reading how to ride a bike but never actually doing it. You can read and read and understand it, but until you get out and actually ride the bike you will never experience it. You believe in the instructions and may even have seen it applied, but it is not real to you until you do it for yourself. Take one scripture verse and put it into practice and see how God will move in your life and how your faith will grow. Keep doing this and you will be serious about serving Him.

Have a God Day!

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August 5, 2011: 7:46 pm: Daily Scripture

Deuteronomy 17:18-20
18 “When he sits on the throne as king, he must copy these laws on a scroll for himself in the presence of the Levitical priests. 19 He must always keep this copy of the law with him and read it daily as long as he lives. That way he will learn to fear the LORD his God by obeying all the terms of this law. 20 This regular reading will prevent him from becoming proud and acting as if he is above his fellow citizens. It will also prevent him from turning away from these commands in the smallest way. This will ensure that he and his descendants will reign for many generations in Israel.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

After the death of Moses in about 1400 B.C. God knew that the Israelites would eventually want a king and He is giving them instructions for that king to live by.  If this man stayed connected to God, he would rule justly.  In order to stay connected to God, the king had to read God’s laws daily.  At this time in history having the written word was like owning gold.  It just wasn’t available to everyone.  Only the priests had the Word of God and the people had to come to the priest to find out what God’s instructions were.  But God is telling them that the king should have his own copy and to read it daily.  As children of the King today, how much more do we need to read His Word daily to stay connected to Him?  The daily reading of God’s Word will keep us from becoming proud and will keep us connected to the One who saved us.  Accepting God’s grace through faith in Christ is where you start, but the life of Christ is lived daily by staying connected to Him.  If the king needed to read the Word daily over 3000 years ago, don’t you need it more today?  Take a few extra minutes each morning and meditate on His Word.  Move toward making this a habit and see what a difference it makes in your walk with Christ.

Have a God Day!

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August 4, 2011: 7:56 pm: Daily Scripture

Matthew 7:1-5
“Stop judging others, and you will not be judged. 2 For others will treat you as you treat them. Whatever measure you use in judging others, it will be used to measure how you are judged. 3 And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? 4 How can you think of saying, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? 5 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.

There is no person alive who can sit in perfect righteousness and say to another, “You need to change. What you are doing is wrong.”  Our standard to judge others is not our own lives.  Because we have no righteousness outside of Christ, we have no rule or measure to judge others.  The difficulty comes into the church when people live in blatant sin.  Then as a part of the body of Christ, we must stand up and say, “According to the Word of God this is wrong.”  It is at that point we must stand up. This would include adultery, homosexuality, theft, abuse of chemicals or others.  but what about those gray areas?  What about if we just don’t agree with someone or if we just don’t like them?  Then it is best to search what the Word of God states and follow the example Christ gave to us.  But we need to be very very careful, we need to be close enough to Christ to hear His voice, and then it is best to discuss our case with another Christian we know is devoted to the Word.  Only then we do move forward in correcting another.  But most of the time, we have too many of our own sins to deal with before we can go to another and judge them.  Our rule to remember is that Christ will use the same measure of judgment on us that we have used on others.  So be loving and kind to others in the same process of sanctification that you are in.  None of us will be perfect until the day we see Christ.  Until then the best thing you can do is to stay connected to the Source of love and let His love flow  out of you to all those imperfect people around you.  Love them as you would want them to love you and let Christ rule your heart and mind.

Have a God Day!

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