Archive for January, 2012

January 31, 2012: 8:30 pm: Sanctification

Matthew 11:25-30 25
Then Jesus prayed this prayer: “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding the truth from those who think themselves so wise and clever, and for revealing it to the childlike. 26 Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way! 27 “My Father has given me authority over everything. No one really knows the Son except the Father, and no one really knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” 28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.” Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Many of us today want to know how to lighten our load.  Christ gave us the formula in His Word. First, turn to Him, second give up control, and third trust Him and follow. He said, “Come to Me.”  There is no peace outside of Christ.  It is very difficult for the world to see this, but those who know Him have His Word and we can trust Him to keep His Word.  But many Christians are still living with one foot in Christ and one foot in the world.  There will be no peace for those who do not come completely to Him. To take up the yoke of Christ is to give up control to Him.  The yoke is a symbol of partnership.  Christ is right next us, yoked with us to help us with our load.  A yoke is also a symbol of guidance. Yoked with Christ, we can only move in His direction and at His pace.  But we must give Him first place and give up our control.  Which always leads us to trust Him.  If we let Christ guide and control us, we trust Him.  Without trust, we cannot follow.  What is your load today?  Are you giving it to Christ and letting Him decide the direction you will go?  If not, then you are not trusting Him.  Go before Him and confess to Him and ask for direction and understanding, so your load can be lifted.

Have a God Day!

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January 30, 2012: 6:15 pm: Sanctification

Matthew 5:27- 27

“You have heard that the law of Moses says, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 So if your eye-even if it is your good eye-causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your hand-even if it is your stronger hand-causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.” Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

The Old Testament law stated that it was wrong for a person to have sex with anyone but the person they were married to. (At that time in history it did not need to be stated that men marry women and women marry men. It was also law not to have sex with someone of the same sex.)  But Jesus is saying here that to have the desire to have sex outside of marriage was a sin. Jesus emphasized that if the act was wrong, then so is the intention. To be faithful to your spouse with your body but not your mind is breaking a very vital trust in your marriage. Jesus is not condemning the natural interest in the opposite sex or a healthy sexual desire for your spouse, but the deliberate and repeated filling of one’s mind with pictures and images that would be evil if acted out.  It is the concentrating on these images and the thoughts of them that are sin.  It is evil and will lead to division and disharmony in your marriage.  It is dishonest and it is adultery to seek these images and think on them.  Jesus knew what we would be facing today with the accessibility of every image through the Internet. He knew what would be happening today. If you struggle with Internet pornography, but have never acted out your fanaticizes, it is still sin.  And it will destroy you as all sin leads to destruction and separation from God.  Seek God’s grace and turn from your sin and seek help.  You will need someone else who has gone through what you are going through to help you overcome it.  The stronghold that Satan has set up in your mind, with your permission, will be difficult to break. But it can be done because ALL things are possible through Christ.  But He is the answer and He is the only answer.  Do not wait. Do it today.

Have a God Day!

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January 27, 2012: 7:20 pm: God in us

Proverbs 2:2-11 2 Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. 3 Cry out for insight and understanding. 4 Search for them as you would for lost money or hidden treasure. 5 Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God. 6 For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. 7 He grants a treasure of good sense to the godly. He is their shield, protecting those who walk with integrity. 8 He guards the paths of justice and protects those who are faithful to him. 9 Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair, and you will know how to find the right course of action every time. 10 For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy. 11 Wise planning will watch over you. Understanding will keep you safe. Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Wisdom comes in two ways: It is a God-given gift and also the result of a sincere search. Wisdom’s starting point is God and His Word revealed, the source of all knowledge and understanding. In that sense it is a gift from God.  We have His Word, and we have His revealed will in the Bible.  It is a gift to all who will read and obey.  But He also gives wisdom to those who seek it through His Word. But it takes effort to find and use it.  It is when we take the information about living in this world and apply it to our lives that wisdom is revealed.  True wisdom and knowledge are God’s but He will reveal them to those who are seeking for His glory.  It is in the understanding of His Word, and in the obedience of that Word that wisdom comes.  What are you doing to attain His wisdom through the given Word?  Are you seeking to know Him and apply His Word through obedience?  This should be your focus, if you claim to be His.  Search your heart and start today to make His wisdom your purpose. God tells us His mercies are new every morning, so move forward today and forget your failures from yesterday.  True wisdom can be yours if you seek the treasure of good sense that comes from God.

Have a God Day!

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January 26, 2012: 7:35 pm: Sanctification

Proverbs 1:1-7

These are the proverbs of Solomon, David’s son, king of Israel. 2 The purpose of these proverbs is to teach people wisdom and discipline, and to help them understand wise sayings. 3 Through these proverbs, people will receive instruction in discipline, good conduct, and doing what is right, just, and fair. 4 These proverbs will make the simpleminded clever. They will give knowledge and purpose to young people. 5 Let those who are wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. And let those who understand receive guidance 6 by exploring the depth of meaning in these proverbs, parables, wise sayings, and riddles. 7 Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Only fools despise wisdom and discipline. Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

In this age of information, knowledge is plentiful, but wisdom is scarce.  Wisdom means far more than simply knowing a lot. It is a basic attitude that affects every aspect of your life. The foundation of knowledge is to fear the Lord, to honor and respect God, to live in awe of His power, and to obey His Word. The will of the Lord should be the controlling principle for your understanding of the world, your attitudes, and your actions.  Because our actions speak louder than our words, we should be mindful of every thing that we do.  Measuring what we do to the attitudes and actions of Christ.  People around us will see Christ in us more by what we do than what we say.  Most people know more than they live, and Christians are no better.  Start applying the things you know are true and you will be truly wise.  Pick one truth from the Word of God and apply it to your actions and see what a difference it will make in your witness of Christ in you.

Have a God Day!

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January 25, 2012: 10:03 pm: Daily Scripture

Psalms 150 1
Praise God in his heavenly dwelling; praise him in his mighty heaven! 2  Praise him for his mighty works; praise his unequaled greatness! 3  Praise him with a blast of the trumpet; praise him with the lyre and harp! 4  Praise him with the tambourine and dancing; praise him with stringed instruments and flutes! 5  Praise him with a clash of cymbals; praise him with loud clanging cymbals. 6  Let everything that lives sing praises to the Lord! Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Although the Bible invites us to praise God. we often aren’t sure how to go about it. Here, several ways are suggested: by singing, dancing, or playing musical instruments.  Music and song were a very important part of Old Testament worship.  David introduced music into the Tabernacle and Temple services. The music was loud and joyous as evidenced by the list of instruments in this scripture.  Are you praising God with joy and singing? It should be a part of what you do everyday.  God enjoys His people and He enjoys our praise.  Not because He needs it, but because we do.  When we praise Him, we focus on Him and not on ourselves or our problems.  Praising God brings us into right focus with who He is and what our purpose is.  We are His people and we are to praise Him.  It is an act of obedience and brings us great peace.  Make it a part of what you do daily to show your love for Him.

Have a God Day!

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January 24, 2012: 8:17 pm: Sanctification

1 Peter 2: 9 But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are a kingdom of priests, God’s holy nation, his very own possession. This is so you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. 10 “Once you were not a people; now you are the people of God. Once you received none of God’s mercy; now you have received his mercy.” 11 Dear brothers and sisters, you are foreigners and aliens here. So I warn you to keep away from evil desires because they fight against your very souls. 12 Be careful how you live among your unbelieving neighbors. Even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will believe and give honor to God when he comes to judge the world. Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Even though it has been over 2000 years, one thing we know is that Jesus Christ will return.  We do not know the time, but we do know He will come again.  Many did not believe He was coming the first time and more people today do not believe He is coming again.  But those who know Him, know He will keep His Word.  Are you telling others that He is coming?  Are you letting the world know that you believe He is going to return?  If not that may be one thing that is hindering your growth in Christ.  There are two seas in the area around Israel.  One is the Sea of Galilee and the other is the Dead Sea.  The Sea of Galilee has water coming into it and the Jordan river flows out of it.  So this sea is alive with plants and fish.  It is a sea which people can make a living.  But the Dead Sea is just that dead.  The Jordan river flows into it, but there is nothing flowing out.  There are no plants or fish.  It provides no life around it.  Are you like the Dead Sea with everything coming in and nothing going out?  If you live for Christ and learn more about Him, but don’t share what you know, then you are only receiving and not giving.  You need to receive and then give to remain alive.  Psalm 96:2 tells us, “…Each day proclaim the good news that he saves.” Start by just letting people know what God has done in your life.  Tell them the blessings He has given you and how your life has changed.  Let the love of God flow out of you and well as in and it will make a difference in your life.

Have a God Day!

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January 23, 2012: 8:29 pm: God in us

Deuteronomy 8:1-5 “Be careful to obey all the commands I am giving you today. Then you will live and multiply, and you will enter and occupy the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors. 2 Remember how the Lord your God led you through the wilderness for forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would really obey his commands. 3 Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people need more than bread for their life; real life comes by feeding on every word of the Lord. 4 For all these forty years your clothes didn’t wear out, and your feet didn’t blister or swell. 5 So you should realize that just as a parent disciplines a child, the Lord your God disciplines you to help you. Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

We are more than just a body, we also have a spirit and a soul.  Our spirit is the part of us that is in unity with God when we become His child through salvation.  Our spirit is immediately connected to God forever.  Our soul is the part of us that we must work out our salvation as stated in Philippians 2:12, “…work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” Our soul is our mind, our will and our emotions.  But our body is the part of us that will not wait for anything.  When we are hungry, we must eat, when we thirst, we must drink, and when we are tired we must sleep.  Our bodies do not see anything outside of the needs.  Without food, water or rest we would die.  So we all meet the needs of the body.  It is a fact of life and can not be ignored.  But God is telling us not to forget the other parts of us.  “Real life comes by feeding on every Word of God.”  God is speaking to the other parts of us our soul and our spirit often go hungry.  Our spirit needs to be feed by learning the Word of God and spending time in worship to Him.  Feeding our soul takes a little more work and requires that we apply what we have leaned in the Word.  In other words we live the Word.  Whenever we learn a truth and then apply it or make it a part of what we do, we are feeding our spirit and our soul.  Most Christians can tell you a lot about what is in the Word, but do not apply it to their lives. They know more than they live.  Our mind, our will and our emotions, must each be worked on individually and feed with truth and that truth must be applied into each areas of our soul.  The Word is full of instructions from God on how to think, feel and surrender our will to Him and others.  When we eat food, it is taken in, but it is also digested and becomes a part of us.  God is telling us to do the same for the spirit and the soul.   Start by taking in or eating the Word of God and then digest it or make it a part of what you do and who you are.

Have a God Day!

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January 20, 2012: 9:23 pm: Sanctification

2 Corinthians 13:3-6 3 I will give you all the proof you want that Christ speaks through me. Christ is not weak in his dealings with you; he is a mighty power among you. 4 Although he died on the cross in weakness, he now lives by the mighty power of God. We, too, are weak, but we live in him and have God’s power-the power we use in dealing with you. 5 Examine yourselves to see if your faith is really genuine. Test yourselves. If you cannot tell that Jesus Christ is among you, it means you have failed the test. 6 I hope you recognize that we have passed the test and are approved by God. Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Do you regularly consider your walk in Christ?  Are there areas that you need to improve to show those around you that Christ does live in you? Examination of your Christian life should be done regularly.   Lamentations 3:40 states, “Instead, let us test and examine our ways. Let us turn again in repentance to the Lord.”  Regular examination of how you are doing representing Christ is one way to stay focused on His will.  An unexamined life can kill spiritual passion in your walk with Him.  Go before Him and simply ask, “Lord are there areas in my life that do not represent You?”  Take the time on a regular basis to ask Him this question.  He will show you areas that you need to grow.  There is no way anyone of us will ever get it completely right.  All of us will need to ask this question and turn from our will to His.  No one living for Christ in this world will never have to ask this question.  We all fall short of living completely in His will.  Paul tells us that to pass the test others should be able to see that Christ is with you.  That means living His way, doing His will and seeking His direction. Always!  Since we will never accomplish this feat in this life, it will always be something we work on.  You will never reach a point where you know all there is to know about Him and live in His will always.  So move forward to make this your number one priority, to be more like Him. This is not a point of discouragement, but encouragement because we know that, “He will complete the good work He has started in you” Then go to His Word and find out what that means.

Have a God Day!

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January 19, 2012: 9:12 pm: Sanctification

Matthew 13:11-13 11 Then he explained to them, “You have been permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others have not. 12 To those who are open to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But to those who are not listening, even what they have will be taken away from them. 13 That is why I tell these stories, because people see what I do, but they don’t really see. They hear what I say, but they don’t really hear, and they don’t understand.” Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Why would Jesus say that those who understand will be given more understanding, but those who don’t listen will have even what they have taken away? Jesus was not hiding His truth from sincere seekers because those who are receptive to spiritual truth listen and understand.  But those who do not want to hear the truth of God’s Kingdom would not be able to hear what Jesus is saying.  And because their hearts are hardened to Him even what they had will be taken away.  Not by God, but by their own hardness and their own refusal to know Him.  For those who are open to God and to what Christ has to say there is a responsibility to use it and grow to know Him more.  But for those who reject Jesus, their hardness of heart drives away or renders useless even the little understanding they have.  God does not take it away, their own refusal to believe does.  God is always available to anyone who believes Him, but for those who reject Him because of their own pride, He is not. Where is your heart today?  Do you believe Him?  If so then seek to know more of Him so you can grow in His love to become the person you are in Christ. For understanding is yours!

Have a God Day!

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: 12:20 am: Daily Scripture

Matthew 12:33-36 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.

These are very powerful words spoken by our Lord.  Often we do not realize the power of the spoken word in our lives.  Every word we say is being recorded and one day we will have to give an account of all that we have said.  Our minds can not comprehend this time, but God has said it will happen.  So what do we do now to not regret what we say.  Jesus reminds us that what we say reveals what is in our heart.  And what is in our heart is what is in our mind and what is put into our mind.  But we can only change what is our heart if God has done a circumcision of our heart.  We need to allow God to cut away that which is not needed from our minds and those desires that will only harm us.  It starts at our acceptance of His work on the cross and letting Him save us from our sins.  Then we fill our mind with His truth from His Word.  Then we think and meditate on His Word.  As He fills our mind and thoughts, God will change our attitudes and intentions to conform to His.  As He fills us and we focus on Him, what we say and what we do will reflect God in our lives.  To change what we say, we need to change what we think and believe.  Only God can change us and only God can deliver us from ourselves and our words. Let God perform a cutting away of all that is not of Him in your heart today.  Go before Him and seek to know what God would remove from you today and then fill the void with His truth found only in His Word.

Have a God Day!

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