Archive for February, 2012

February 29, 2012: 10:26 pm: Sanctification

Matthew 7:13-19
13 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose the easy way. 14 But the gateway to life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it. 15 “Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep, but are really wolves that will tear you apart. 16 You can detect them by the way they act, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit. You don’t pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles. 17 A healthy tree produces good fruit, and an unhealthy tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. 19 So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. 20 Yes, the way to identify a tree or a person is by the kind of fruit that is produced.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

What a person believes is displayed in their behavior. What you do cannot be separated from what you believe.  So those who walk in the Kingdom of God, do His will because they believe in Him.  Those who say they believe in Christ but do not walk in the Kingdom of God, do not believe His truth. The Kingdom of God is any place that His will is done.  The fruit that we grow cannot be separated from what we believe.  If we believe in Christ and are baptized into His family, we will grow the fruit of the Spirit as stated in Galatians 5:22, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control…”  Being in God’s family and believing in Him, will produce this fruit.  But we need to be in obedience to His will and that takes practice.  We must practice obedience to produce good fruit.  Those who do not walk in the Kingdom of God will not produce good fruit.  They may look good on the outside, but what they believe will show in how they live.  Are you living in the Kingdom of God by living in obedience to His Word?  Your life will show what you believe. Walk in His Kingdom, under His direction, through His power and you will glorify your Lord.

Have a God Day!

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February 28, 2012: 8:10 pm: Sanctification

Matthew 8:23-27

23 Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. 24 Suddenly, a terrible storm came up, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went to him and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” 26 And Jesus answered, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he stood up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly all was calm. 27 The disciples just sat there in awe. “Who is this?” they asked themselves. “Even the wind and waves obey him!”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Although the disciples had witnesses many miracles, they panicked in this storm.  As experienced sailors, they knew the danger, what they did not know was Who was sleeping on the boat. We often experience sudden storms in our life, where we cannot feel God’s presence.  Even though God has done many things for us in the past, we forget Who He is and what He can do.  When we truly understand Who God is, we realize He controls both the storms of nature and the storms of our life.  The same power that calmed this storm can calm the storm in your heart that you are going through right now.  God can change the circumstances, He can change the hearts of people, He can even change your heart.  Jesus is right there with you in the storm, even though it may feel like He is sleeping, He is with you.  Trust in His Word that tells you so and trust in His love that He is working out all things for His purpose in your life.  Take your eyes off the storm and look to the One Who can control storms of nature and the storms of your heart.

Have a God Day!

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February 27, 2012: 7:41 pm: Daily Scripture

1 Corinthians 12:1-11

And now, dear brothers and sisters, I will write about the special abilities the Holy Spirit gives to each of us, for I must correct your misunderstandings about them. 2 You know that when you were still pagans you were led astray and swept along in worshiping speechless idols. 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.

As we draw closer to the end of this age, Christians will need to keep focused on the work set before us. There is a lot of emphasis on world religions and not all religions lead to God. There will be more and more pressure to be inclusive and not say Christ is the only Way. It will become more and more politically correct to say everyone’s choice leads to the same God. After all don’t we all serve the same God? The answer is no! Outside of Jesus Christ, you have no relationship with God. We know Jesus was the Son of God and without sin and that He died in our place for our sins. Outside of this, there is no relationship with God. And it is only through the Spirit of God that anyone comes to know or say this. The evidence of our salvation is the presence of God within us and the gifts that He has given us through the Holy Spirit. Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” The test will come for all of us in the near future. Will you be able to take a stand and say what Christ stated to us in John 14?  When the time comes, the Holy Spirit will give you the power that you will need. Remember the Words of Christ in Luke 12: “But if anyone denies me here on earth, I will deny that person before Gods angels.” So use the gifts that God has given you and stand for Jesus Christ in these last days!

Have a God Day

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February 22, 2012: 9:51 pm: Daily Scripture

2 Peter 3:3-10

3 First, I want to remind you that in the last days there will be scoffers who will laugh at the truth and do every evil thing they desire. 4 This will be their argument: “Jesus promised to come back, did he? Then where is he? Why, as far back as anyone can remember, everything has remained exactly the same since the world was first created.” 5 They deliberately forget that God made the heavens by the word of his command, and he brought the earth up from the water and surrounded it with water. 6 Then he used the water to destroy the world with a mighty flood. 7 And God has also commanded that the heavens and the earth will be consumed by fire on the day of judgment, when ungodly people will perish. 8 But you must not forget, dear friends, that a day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. 9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise to return, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so he is giving more time for everyone to repent. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and everything in them will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be exposed to judgment.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

It is interesting to see that God does not get everything He wants.  As we look at Peter’s final instructions to the Church, he reminds us that God does not want anyone to die without knowing the saving grace of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants and He does not get what He wants.  This would be a good argument to use on your kids the next time they come asking.  Peter tells us that in the last days people will scoff and laugh at those of us waiting for the Lord to return.  These people will miss spending eternity with God.  They will perish in their sin because of their own choice not to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord.  And it will not be because they did not have a chance to know Him.  All have the same chance or it would not be righteous justice from God.  The Bible tells us that everything around us reminds us that God made the world, so no one will have an excuse, all will have had a chance to know Christ.  If we did not have all have a chance to know Him, how could God’s justice be perfect?  On the day of the judgment of the unrighteous dead, all present will agree that their punishment is fair and perfect.  As God can do nothing else.  But God does not want anyone to parish and go through this judgment; He wants all to know His perfect plan of reconciliation.  Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except through Him.  Don’t be a scoffer, but be prepared to meet Him when He comes.

Have a God Day!

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February 21, 2012: 7:03 pm: Sanctification

James 2:14-19 14

Dear brothers and sisters, what’s the use of saying you have faith if you don’t prove it by your actions? That kind of faith can’t save anyone. 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who needs food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Well, good-bye and God bless you; stay warm and eat well–but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? 17 So you see, it isn’t enough just to have faith. Faith that doesn’t show itself by good deeds is no faith at all-it is dead and useless. 18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” I say, “I can’t see your faith if you don’t have good deeds, but I will show you my faith through my good deeds.” 19 Do you still think it’s enough just to believe that there is one God? Well, even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror! 20 Fool! When will you ever learn that faith that does not result in good deeds is useless? Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Do you register your faith by a set of Christian teachings?  If so, then you faith is incomplete.  Faith has nothing to do with what we agree to, but has everything to do with what we know is true.  True faith transforms our conduct as well as our thoughts.  If your life remains unchanged after making a statement of faith in Christ, then you don’t truly believe the truth you claim.  We can not earn our salvation by serving and obeying God. But such actions show that our commitment to God is real.  Deeds of loving serve and obedience are not a substitute for, but rather a verification of our faith in Christ.  Jesus told us the poor would always be with us, but that is not an excuse to not do what you can to meet their needs. If you see a hungry person, feed them, or someone with a need you can meet, do it.  I believe that God brings people before us to see what we will do.  Will we give out of our abundance or will we walk away.  Do not walk away give because you believe Christ and because He gave to you.

Have a God Day!

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February 20, 2012: 7:20 pm: Daily Scripture

Hebrews 13:8-16

8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 9 So do not be attracted by strange, new ideas. Your spiritual strength comes from God’s special favor, not from ceremonial rules about food, which don’t help those who follow them. 10 We have an altar from which the priests in the Temple on earth have no right to eat. 11 Under the system of Jewish laws, the high priest brought the blood of animals into the Holy Place as a sacrifice for sin, but the bodies of the animals were burned outside the camp. 12 So also Jesus suffered and died outside the city gates in order to make his people holy by shedding his own blood. 13 So let us go out to him outside the camp and bear the disgrace he bore. 14 For this world is not our home; we are looking forward to our city in heaven, which is yet to come. 15 With Jesus’ help, let us continually offer our sacrifice of praise to God by proclaiming the glory of his name. 16 Don’t forget to do good and to share what you have with those in need, for such sacrifices are very pleasing to God.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Has your perception of Jesus changed?  Do you think He has forgotten your prayer request or forgotten your need?  If you have prayed for a need to be answered and it seems like He is not listening or you have a different opinion of God then you have changed.  Your attitude toward Him has changed.  You are the one who moved, not Him.  He never changes and His promises never change.  God is the same as He was the day He created the world.  And He will be the same the day this world ends.  Because we are so changeable, we think that God is also.  Don’t project your human attributes onto God.  He does not have the same feelings, thoughts or perceptions that you do.  He is always the same and even though He may express anger or sadness, does not mean that He changes.  So if He has given you a promise in His Word or through prayer, believe it.  Abraham, believed even though what God promised looked impossible.  But what is impossible for humans is always possible for God.  So don’t give up believing and remind God of His promise and move forward as if the thing has already happened.  Don’t get stuck in the rules of this world, but remember Who made the world and Who’s Word will stand even after this world is gone.

Have a God Day!

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February 17, 2012: 7:02 pm: Sanctification

Matthew 4:18-22
18 One day as Jesus was walking along the shore beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew fishing with a net, for they were commercial fishermen. 19 Jesus called out to them, “Come, be my disciples, and I will show you how to fish for people!” 20 And they left their nets at once and went with him. 21 A little farther up the shore he saw two other brothers, James and John, sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, mending their nets. And he called them to come, too. 22 They immediately followed him, leaving the boat and their father behind. Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Ever wonder why these men just dropped everything and went to follow Jesus?  Well, if you look at the Jewish system of training men, it is very simple.  Boys started their religious education at the age of 6 by the age of 10 they had to memorize the first 5 books of the Bible, referred to as the Torah. Those who showed promise moved up to the second level and until the age of 14 memorized the rest of the Old Testament a total of 39 books. Then the cream of the crop was selected again and went onto the next level of discipleship. Once chosen they would leave everything and follow a rabbi in everything he did.  At the age of 30 a disciple would typically leave his Rabbi and begin his own ministry accepting his own disciples.  So you see these men knew the system and had probably been rejected way back at an early age by the Jewish leaders.  They knew Jesus was a Rabbi and he was beginning his ministry according to Jewish tradition.  It makes more sense now why these men would be so enthusiastic about leaving and following Jesus. They were chosen. Then for 3 years these men followed and learn from Jesus.  He never rebukes His disciples for losing faith.  It was their ability to do what He asked them to do that He addressed. He is doing the same today with you and me.  It is our ability to not do what He asks that gets us into trouble.  Know His Word and then do His Word and you will go onto the next level as a ruler with Christ.

Have a God Day!

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February 16, 2012: 7:37 pm: God in us

John 12:44-50 44

Jesus shouted to the crowds, “If you trust me, you are really trusting God who sent me. 45 For when you see me, you are seeing the one who sent me. 46 I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the darkness. 47 If anyone hears me and doesn’t obey me, I am not his judge-for I have come to save the world and not to judge it. 48 But all who reject me and my message will be judged at the day of judgment by the truth I have spoken. 49 I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me gave me his own instructions as to what I should say. 50 And I know his instructions lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say!”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Just because this world rejects Jesus Christ and all that He is does not make it true.  No matter how much they believe Him to be just a man, does not make it true.  Man in his own self importance simply believes that if they believe something, it is true.  This is all a matter of pride.  People have too much pride to humble themselves and believe that Jesus Christ is the Light of this world, and the only Light.  So many today have decided against Christ as Lord, but they have made their own decision and we should not let that stop us from speaking the name of Christ, just because it may offend them.  Too bad!!!  We have just as much right to speak what we believe as they do.  So just because the world does not see the Light of this world, do not let their disbelieve influence you.  Stand for what you know is the truth.  God is simply confirming what so many have already decided and harden their hearts against Him.  It will not get easier; it will only get more difficult to speak about the grace of Jesus Christ.  And when those of us who speak and believe His name are suddenly removed from this world; they will get just what they wanted: a world without Christ and ruled by Satan himself.  At that time they will know.  So don’t get caught up in all the political correctness of not speaking the name of Jesus Christ because when He comes again, He is coming to judge those who denied Him.  Don’t be a goat and be separated from Him for eternity.  Boldly speak the name of Christ.

Have a God Day!

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February 15, 2012: 9:01 pm: Daily Scripture

Proverbs 21:1-5

The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lord; he turns it wherever he pleases. 2 People may think they are doing what is right, but the Lord examines the heart. 3 The Lord is more pleased when we do what is just and right than when we give him sacrifices. 4 Haughty eyes, a proud heart, and evil actions are all sin. 5 Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty. Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Sometimes people think what they are doing is right, but God see the motives of the heart behind the action. God discerns the intent behind the action.  Sometimes those doing right are really doing it for their own benefit. They want to look good or to look like they care, but inside their heart is only selfishness.  God can see beyond what appears.  Often we have to make choices in areas where the right action is difficult to discern.  We can help ourselves make the right decision by trying to identify our motives first.  We need to ask ourselves, “Would God be pleased with my real reasons for doing this?” God is not pleased when an action is done only to receive something for ourselves.  God is pleased when we do the right thing for His purpose.  It is only when we move under His direction for His purpose and use His power to accomplish the task that God is pleased.  Examine what you are doing now in His name and ask yourself if it is for Him or if it is for other reasons.  God will guide and direct you if seek His wisdom.  Move forward only when you can truly say it is for His glory.

Have a God Day!

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February 14, 2012: 7:13 pm: Sanctification

Luke 9:23-27 23
Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross daily, and follow me. 24 If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life. 25 And how do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose or forfeit your own soul in the process? 26 If a person is ashamed of me and my message, I, the Son of Man, will be ashamed of that person when I return in my glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels. 27 And I assure you that some of you standing here right now will not die before you see the Kingdom of God.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

What part of your life is not fully dedicated to Jesus?  Do you walk in obedience in some parts better than others?  Take a look and examine your life in Christ and see what areas need to given over to Him.  Some people do a great job when they are around other Christians and in church on Sunday, but put them in a situation at work and you would never know that Christ is the Lord of their life.  What good does it do if others cannot see Christ in you at all times.  If you look too much like the world who will know that you are not of this world.  It cannot be both ways.  Jesus demands 3 conditions to be called His.  You must be willing to deny self, to shoulder your cross daily and to follow Him.  Does this describe your walk with Christ?  If not then you need to ask Him to show you what areas you need to change.  All of us will need to keep working at this until we die, no one will ever fully be complete in their walk with Christ, but we can improve. Start by asking yourself, “What is the most important thing in my life?”  If you say Christ, but it does not show, then you are only fooling yourself. Ask again and do not be ashamed to say what it is, but bring it before Christ and seek His wisdom in helping you to make Him first.  If you are ashamed of Him, He will be ashamed of you when you stand before Him.  Start today and do a little self examination.  Ask yourself who or what the most important things in your life are and if it is not serving Christ, then start today to put Him first.

Have a God Day!

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