Archive for September, 2011

September 12, 2011: 5:15 pm: Daily Scripture

Hebrews 11:1-6
What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see. 2 God gave his approval to people in days of old because of their faith. 3 By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen. 4 It was by faith that Abel brought a more acceptable offering to God than Cain did. God accepted Abel’s offering to show that he was a righteous man. And although Abel is long dead, he still speaks to us because of his faith. 5 It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying-“suddenly he disappeared because God took him.” But before he was taken up, he was approved as pleasing to God. 6 So, you see, it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that there is a God and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Faith is the conviction based on past experience that God will be who He said He was and that He will do the things He said He would.  Without faith it is impossible to please God.  He wants our complete faith in Him.  We do not always see all that God is doing in our lives or around us.  But His Spirit is always working in us to make us more like Christ.  If we are open to Him.  Being open means trusting Him and knowing Him.  We have the evidence of what has been done in the lives of those who loved Him in His Word.  All we have to do is read and we will see that God is a God of His Word.  As we read about those in the past who trusted Him, we can be strengthened.  God does reward those who seek Him.  The reward is knowing of His love and having peace in our lives.  Faith means trusting in God and doing what He wants, regardless of the circumstances or consequences.  What are your trusting today?  Are you trusting in your own ability to provide or are you trusting in a God who can do more than you can understand?  Outside of God there is no peace and there will be nothing but what the world can give.  Do you really want to put your faith in a world that has never been able to deliver anything but pain?  Read about all of the people who trusted God and see what a difference it made in their lives.  He can do the same for you, but not without faith.

Have a God Day!

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
September 9, 2011: 9:31 pm: Daily Scripture

Ephesians 4:17-24
17 With the Lord’s authority let me say this: Live no longer as the ungodly do, for they are hopelessly confused. 18 Their closed minds are full of darkness; they are far away from the life of God because they have shut their minds and hardened their hearts against him. 19 They don’t care anymore about right and wrong, and they have given themselves over to immoral ways. Their lives are filled with all kinds of impurity and greed. 20 But that isn’t what you were taught when you learned about Christ. 21 Since you have heard all about him and have learned the truth that is in Jesus, 22 throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception. 23 Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes. 24 You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God’s likeness-righteous, holy, and true.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

When you look back over the last year do you see a progression of change toward better thoughts, attitudes and actions? Change may come slowly, but it must come if Christ is truly living in you. We know Christ is in us if we are becoming more like Him, even if it is at the pace of a snail. Accepting Christ’s gift of salvation is both a one time decision and a daily conscious commitment. Our old way of life before we believed in Christ is completely in the past. We must put off the old nature that is driven by self interest and greed and put on the new nature, which is Christ Jesus living in us. We have a new direction and a new nature. Is it showing? If not, go before the Father and ask Him to teach you, to show you how to live Christ. Learn more about God’s Word and then pray for the Holy Spirit’s power in your life to move you forward to becoming more like Christ. Because in Christ, we know the best is yet to come.

Have a God Day!

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
September 8, 2011: 7:22 pm: Daily Scripture

Romans 3:21-28
21 But now God has shown us a different way of being right in his sight-not by obeying the law but by the way promised in the Scriptures long ago. 22 We are made right in God’s sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done. 23 For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet now God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins. 25 For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God’s anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us. God was being entirely fair and just when he did not punish those who sinned in former times. 26 And he is entirely fair and just in this present time when he declares sinners to be right in his sight because they believe in Jesus. 27 Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on our good deeds. It is based on our faith. 28 So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

When by faith we believe in the work done by Jesus Christ, we are declared not guilty by God. He then gives us the righteousness of Christ. Only by faith do we receive the righteousness of Jesus Christ. It is available to all and there is not one person who is not able to receive what God has given us. But all will not receive, only those who believe, only those who have faith in God’s plan laid out in His Word. Living in this world of sin and darkness it is hard to “feel” this righteousness. Even as Christians we struggle against our old nature and turn to our own ways and sin against God. Sometimes, we “feel” so far away from God, it is difficult to believe it is so easy to be forgiven. It never ceases to amaze me how the faithfulness of God holds true. No matter how far we have turned from Him, no matter what our sin, His love is always available for us. Jesus Christ stands in the gap and takes the punishment for our sin. The pure wonder and joy of the simple truth of the Gospel is truly amazing.

Have a God Day!

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
September 7, 2011: 7:59 pm: Daily Scripture

Psalm 91
1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”
3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence.
4 He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you.
8 Only with your eyes shall you look, And see the reward of the wicked.
9 Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
10 No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
11  For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways.
12  In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
13  You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
14  “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
15  He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him.
16  With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation.”
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

This is one of my favorite Psalms when I need to “feel” the presence of the Lord.  Sometimes when we are going through a very dark and long valley all we need is to know that God is with us.  The Psalms are an excellent source of comfort for our “feelings” when we are troubled.  God has heard it all before!  And He can take any of our frustrations and fears.  Just express to Him what you are going through.  He already knows and cares and is there with you in the valley.  He has been with you the entire time and He is not unaware of your pain.  It is in your trusting in His plan that you grow in the valley of your pain.  Trust that God knows what He is doing and that He is with you and will bring the situation to be used for your good because you love Him.  Keep Him as your focus and remember that you will not always be in the valley.  You will not always “feel” this way.  Use your head and think about the things God has already done for you and thank Him.  Praise Him in your despair and thank Him for the opportunity to grow in your faith.  Dwell in the secret place of the Most High and stay in His shadow.  Only there will you find rest and peace.

Have a God Day!

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
September 6, 2011: 8:13 pm: Daily Scripture

1 Timothy 4:7-16
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. 11 Teach these things and insist that everyone learn them. 12 Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you teach, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity. 13 Until I get there, focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them. 14 Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received through the prophecies spoken to you when the elders of the church laid their hands on you. 15 Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress. 16 Keep a close watch on yourself and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right, and God will save you and those who hear you.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

In our society, a lot of emphasis is placed on physical fitness, but spiritual fitness is even more important.  Our physical health is susceptible to disease and injury, but our faith can sustain us through when our bodies can no longer function as they should.  To train ourselves to be godly, we must develop our faith by using God-given abilities in the service of His church.  Highly skilled athletes lose their abilities if their muscles aren’t toned by constant use.  We will also lose our spiritual gifts if we don’t put them to work.  Our talents are improved by use, and failing to use them will also cause them to waste away from lack of practice and use.  Everyone of us has been given gifts (talents) to be used for God’s purposes in this world.  God has a function for everyone in His kingdom.  If you are not sure what your gifts are, ask Him.  Seek His Word and know Him.  He will lead you to the work before you.  Then use what He has given you to do His work.  Practice your skill and know His Word and you will become strengthened in times of trouble.

Have a God Day!

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
September 2, 2011: 6:38 pm: Daily Scripture

2 Corinthians 4:16-18
16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. 17 For our present troubles are quite small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever! 18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Our troubles should not diminish our faith.  There is a reason and a purpose for our suffering, even though we may not see it at the time of pain.  God is more interested in our spiritual growth then our physical comfort.  He is not the author of our pain and troubles, but He does use them to grow us into the image of His Son.  So we never give up, we continue on being renewed every day.  Our ultimate hope when we are experiencing terrible illness, persecution, or pain is the realization that this life is not all there is.  There is life after death and this life is lived in preparation for that life.  What we learn now will determine what we do then.  And these bodies will not live forever, but each of us in Christ will receive a new body that will.  This is the goal we keep our eyes on and remember when we suffer that He suffered too.  The focus to keep us in our deep pain is to remember that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! (Philippians 4:13)

Have a God Day!

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
September 1, 2011: 8:51 pm: Daily Scripture

Job 2:4-10
4 Satan replied to the Lord, “Skin for skin-he blesses you only because you bless him. A man will give up everything he has to save his life. 5 But take away his health, and he will surely curse you to your face!” 6 “All right, do with him as you please,” the Lord said to Satan. “But spare his life.” 7 So Satan left the Lord’s presence, and he struck Job with a terrible case of boils from head to foot. 8 Then Job scraped his skin with a piece of broken pottery as he sat among the ashes. 9 His wife said to him, “Are you still trying to maintain your integrity? Curse God and die.” 10 But Job replied, “You talk like a godless woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” So in all this, Job said nothing wrong.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Many people think that believing in God protects them from trouble, so when trouble comes, they will question God’s goodness and justice.  But the message of Job is that you should not give up on God because He allows you to have bad experiences for His purposes.  Faith in God does not guarantee prosperity and lack of faith does not guarantee troubles in life.  If this were so, people would believe in God simply to get blessed and avoid pain.  God is capable of rescuing us from any kind of suffering, but He may allow suffering to come for a purpose we cannot understand.  It is Satan’s strategy to get us to doubt God when trouble comes. Job is showing us a perspective that is broader than seeking our own personal comfort. God is not always interested in our comfort, He is interested in our becoming more like Him.  And if that means we have to go through some pain, it will happen.  Our focus should always be on His will and not our comfort.  God is interested in everything that happens to us, but He wants our faith in Him to come from a heart that loves Him and not a heart that gets what it wants.

Have a God Day!

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version