Archive for April, 2012

April 30, 2012: 7:23 pm: Return of Christ

Daniel 6:16-22
16 So at last the king gave orders for Daniel to be arrested and thrown into the den of lions. The king said to him, “May your God, whom you worship continually, rescue you.” 17 A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den. The king sealed the stone with his own royal seal and the seals of his nobles, so that no one could rescue Daniel from the lions. 18 Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night fasting. He refused his usual entertainment and couldn’t sleep at all that night. 19 Very early the next morning, the king hurried out to the lions’ den. 20 When he got there, he called out in anguish, “Daniel, servant of the living God! Was your God, whom you worship continually, able to rescue you from the lions?” 21 Daniel answered, “Long live the king! 22 My God sent his angel to shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, for I have been found innocent in his sight. And I have not wronged you, Your Majesty.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

If you read the whole story behind Daniel being in the lions’ den, you will see his enemies tried to kill him by preventing him from praying to God.  But Daniel did pray, the Word states in Daniel 6:10 “…He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God.” Daniel was a praying man, but notice that prayer did not keep him from getting thrown into the lions’ den  Christians sometimes think, because I pray, nothing bad should happen to me.  That is not necessarily true.  Because you pray, you are not alone if something bad does happen.  There is a big difference.  God is not interested in your physical or emotional or financial comfort, He is interested in you becoming more like Him.  He is interested in what matters for eternity.  And what matters for eternity is how much you allowed the Spirit of God in you to overcome the evil nature also in you.  Who is ruling in your heart will determine your behaviors and actives.  And God is interested in not what you accumulate, but in who you bring to heaven with you.  These are the things that God will work out in your life for His purpose.  So if you are going through something bad right now, don’t stop praying, don’t stop believing, know that He is with you to bring through the problem to make you more into His image so you are more usable for Him.

Have a God Day!

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April 27, 2012: 9:35 pm: Return of Christ

Isaiah 41:8-16
8 “But as for you, Israel my servant, Jacob my chosen one, descended from my friend Abraham, 9 I have called you back from the ends of the earth so you can serve me. For I have chosen you and will not throw you away. 10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. 11 “See, all your angry enemies lie there, confused and ashamed. Anyone who opposes you will die. 12 You will look for them in vain. They will all be gone! 13 I am holding you by your right hand-I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, ‘Do not be afraid. I am here to help you. 14 Despised though you are, O Israel, don’t be afraid, for I will help you. I am the Lord, your Redeemer. I am the Holy One of Israel.’ 15 You will be a new threshing instrument with many sharp teeth. You will tear all your enemies apart, making chaff of mountains. 16 You will toss them in the air, and the wind will blow them all away; a whirlwind will scatter them. And the joy of the Lord will fill you to overflowing. You will glory in the Holy One of Israel.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Centuries ago the Church took on the belief that because Israel had rejected Jesus Christ as their Savior, that God was done with the Jews.  And all of His promises to them now belonged to those who believed in Christ.  This is just not true and never has been.  God never goes back on a promise He has made.  Someday the Jewish people will recognize Christ as their Savior and many do today.  The Church today is comprised of Gentiles and Jews.  But what God is telling the Israel is that they will become a nation again and that He is not done with them. Christ will come back one day and rule as their King.  We have seen this become true right before our eyes and Israel became a nation again in 1948 after over 2600 years of being ruled by others and then in 70 A.D. when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and scattered all of the Jews around the world.  But God was still working to bring them back and we are witness to this.  So we should be in support of Israel as brothers who do not know the truth of Christ yet.  God is still working to protect them and will continue until He is ruling on this earth as their King.

Have a God Day!

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April 26, 2012: 6:48 pm: Sanctification

Hebrews 1:14
14 But angels are only servants. They are spirits sent from God to care for those who will receive salvation.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

This verse tells us that there is a whole invisible world going on all around us that many are not aware.  But those in Christ have His Word and we should be aware of this and not only be aware but be prepared to do battle in this invisible world.  For Ephesians 6:12 tells us, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”  There is a very fundamental principle, which is that for everything visible, something invisible corresponds to it.  In other words, what is happening in your walk with Christ is being effected by what is happening in the invisible world around you.

Angels are spiritual beings that were created by God for His purposes.  They are servants and are used by God to minister to those who are in Christ.  But there are also fallen angels that followed Satan when he rebelled against God.  There is no redemption for fallen angels. They had their chance and now because they have chosen to rebel against God along with Satan, they will be separated from God for eternity.  But they do not want you or any other human to get salvation.  They can’t make you lose you salvation once received, but they can try and draw you away from Him to make you ineffective for Christ thereby preventing you from becoming victorious or bringing anyone else to Him.  So they are working all around you to keep you miserable and not useful for the Kingdom of God.  Being aware of what is happening, makes you more useful to Christ for the purpose of prayer and for the purpose of moving beyond your stumbling blocks.  Satan would have you stay in a situation that keeps you from growing in Christ.  But you can move forward because Christ has provided a way for you.  He has provided you knowledge and the power of the Holy Spirit in you to move forward.  So pick up your sword of prayer and use the power of the Spirit of God in you and His angels to prevent Satan from having any more victory in your life by keeping you from moving forward for God.  Start today and pray for discernment of the lies Satan is telling you. Move off of that problem that has kept you bound for too many years and start making a difference for God in His Kingdom.

Have a God Day!

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April 25, 2012: 9:20 pm: Sanctification

Isaiah 35:8-9
8 And a main road will go through that once deserted land. It will be named the Highway of Holiness. Evil-hearted people will never travel on it. It will be only for those who walk in God’s ways; fools will never walk there. 9 Lions will not lurk along its course, and there will be no other dangers. Only the redeemed will follow it. 10 Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return to Jerusalem, singing songs of everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be overcome with joy and gladness.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Are you on the Highway of Holiness today?  Are you heading toward God or way from Him?  If you are not actively working to be more like Him, you are moving away from Him.  Even though you may claim Him as your Savior, you can still be moving away from Him.  When we stand before Christ, He is not going to judge us for sin, which is covered by His Blood for those who accept Him, but He is going to look at your life.  How useful were you for Him to work through.  Did you grow smaller and Christ grower larger in you to the point where others saw Him in you?  That is what we all need to be asking ourselves.  Our standard is Christ and we do not measure up to anything else.  Being on the Highway of Holiness is to be in Christ and working for His purpose under His direction and with His power.  It is a process and will continue until we are with Him.  Examine your life today and seek to do His will in all that you do and be on the Highway of Holiness.

Have a God Day!

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April 24, 2012: 10:10 pm: Return of Christ

Mark 13:14-27
14 “The time will come when you will see the sacrilegious object that causes desecration standing where it should not be reader, pay attention! “Then those in Judea must flee to the hills. 15 A person outside the house must not go back into the house to pack. 16 A person in the field must not return even to get a coat. 17 How terrible it will be for pregnant women and for mothers nursing their babies in those days. 18 And pray that your flight will not be in winter. 19 For those will be days of greater horror than at any time since God created the world. And it will never happen again. 20 In fact, unless the Lord shortens that time of calamity, the entire human race will be destroyed. But for the sake of his chosen ones he has shortened those days. 21 “And then if anyone tells you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah,’ or, ‘There he is,’don’t pay any attention. 22 For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform miraculous signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones. 23 Watch out! I have warned you! 24 “At that time, after those horrible days end, the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give light, 25 the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of heaven will be shaken. 26 Then everyone will see the Son of Man arrive on the clouds with great power and glory. 27 And he will send forth his angels to gather together his chosen ones from all over the world-from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Jesus had a lot to say about His Second Coming.  He wanted to warn His disciples about the things that would happen after He left them.  The 13th chapter of Mark is all about the end times.  He starts with the destruction of the Temple and then moves forward to the days we are in now.  The days before the Tribulation or judgment of God against a world who has rejected Christ. But what He is talking about in verse 14 is the middle of the Tribulation when Antichrist sets himself up to be the god of the world.  The Jews realize that they have signed a peace treaty with the Devil, because they thought he was their Messiah.  They come to this knowledge and now have to flee Jerusalem.  Christ warns them it will be difficult because the world will be in great turmoil heading into even greater turmoil. In fact, if God does not cut those days short, all people would die.  But He will and it will only be for 7 years for sake of those who come to know Him as Savior during the Tribulation.  He is saying to all of us today to be warned and do not be fooled because no one will need to tell you that Jesus Christ has returned because all those alive at the time will see Him all over the world.  He will return to a world of darkness because Satan is in control of the entire world.  But there will be those who know Him and He will gather them up to protect them from His judgment on those who served the Antichrist.  Today we are at the time just before the beginning of the Tribulation and Christ warned that there would be wars far and near and famine, but that these were just the beginning of the horror to come when Satan is the king of the world.  So take comfort in knowing that you belong to Him and that you will not have to go through His judgment because you have accepted Him as your Savior. To read more about this go to my Blog and download the Bible study I have put together on the book of Revelation.

Have a God Day!

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April 23, 2012: 9:53 pm: Sanctification

Psalms 118:19-28
19 Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will enter into them, I will give thanks unto Jehovah. 20 This is the gate of Jehovah; The righteous shall enter into it. 21 I will give thanks unto thee; for thou hast answered me, And art become my salvation. 22 The stone which the builders rejected Is become the head of the corner. 23 This is Jehovah’s doing; It is marvellous in our eyes. 24 This is the day which Jehovah hath made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. 25 Save now, we beseech thee, O Jehovah: O Jehovah, we beseech thee, send now prosperity. 26 Blessed be he that cometh in the name of Jehovah: We have blessed you out of the house of Jehovah. 27 Jehovah is God, and he hath given us light: Bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar. 28 Thou art my God, and I will give thanks unto thee: Thou art my God, I will exalt thee. 29 Oh give thanks unto Jehovah; for he is good; For his lovingkindness ‘endureth’ for ever.
The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.

Are you joyful today? Do you have many days of joy? Everyday is a day that the Lord has made and as His child you are to be full of joy. Because you are on your way to heaven and have the righteousness of Christ is reason to have joy. Having joy is not laughing all day and being happy about your circumstances in life. Christ was not happy while He was on the Cross, but He did have the joy of the Lord knowing that He was in God’s will and knowing what was to come because He was obedient. Joy is a decision you make. It is impossible to have joy without peace. Peace is knowing that God is in control and that all things will work for your good according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). It is trusting that God is your Father and that you are safe in His love, no matter what the storm of life may bring. Do not let the Satan steal your joy from you.  He knows that if he can steal your joy, you will not live a victorious life. Make the decision today to trust that God gave you this day and to be glad in it. He is your God and thank Him for He is good and you are His child.

Have a God Day!

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April 20, 2012: 9:50 pm: Sanctification

John 12:3-8
3 Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with fragrance. 4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples the one who would betray him said, 5 “That perfume was worth a small fortune. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.” 6 Not that he cared for the poor he was a thief who was in charge of the disciples’ funds, and he often took some for his own use. 7 Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did it in preparation for my burial. 8 You will always have the poor among you, but I will not be here with you much longer.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Judas often dipped into the disciples’ money bag for his own use.  Quite likely Jesus knew what he was doing, but never did or said anything about it.  It seems odd that the Son of God would not address sin in His own group, but God had a bigger purpose to fulfill.  And sometimes when we sin God does not stop us from doing so.  When we chose to sin, we are choosing to step outside of His love and guidance and we chose to go against His will.  God doesn’t step in and always stop us.  It is the condition of the heart that determines our obedience and if God always came in and stopped us from sinning, we would not sin because of His interference, and not because we knew it was wrong.  Sometimes we have to go down a road of sin to understand His love for us.  It is not always the best way to go, but it is our decision.  We can read His Word and learn how others have sinned and lost, but sometimes we are hard hearted and need to learn the hard way.  God has given us many examples of the downfalls of sin and many examples of how living His will keeps us safe in His love.  But we are stubborn people and some never learn.  So the next time you are tempted to sin remember it is a decision of your heart to disobey God.  And God may let you go down a wrong road to learn of His love, but it is not without pain and struggling.  You don’t have to feel the flame of fire burn you to know that others have died from it.  Just because God does not stop you, does not mean He approves of what you are doing.  So learn to know His will by knowing His Word and then live it as He did.

Have a God Day!

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April 19, 2012: 9:46 pm: Sanctification

Luke 16: 16-17
16 “Until John the Baptist began to preach, the laws of Moses and the messages of the prophets were your guides. But now the Good News of the Kingdom of God is preached, and eager multitudes are forcing their way in. 17 But that doesn’t mean that the law has lost its force in even the smallest point. It is stronger and more permanent than heaven and earth.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

John the Baptist’s ministry was the dividing line between the Old and New Testament.  With the arrival of Jesus came the realization of all the prophets’ hopes. The life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ were the fulfillment of the Law.  It did not negate the Law, but fulfilled and continued the Law.  That means that what was true about the Law is still true today.  Not the parts added to it by the Jews, but the original laws given to them by God.  The 10 Commandments are just as relevant today as they were when God wrote them on stone.  The same is true with what we do with the money God has given us to manage.  Many Christian’s today say that since the death of Christ we are no longer required to give a tenth of what we have.  But Christ Himself stated in Matthew 23:23, “…You should tithe, yes, but you should not leave undone the more important things.”  Just as we should not steal or not commit adultery, we should tithe.  The Words of Christ leave us with a clear picture, “But that doesn’t mean that the law has lost its force in even the smallest point.”  Study the Word and then study your own behavior and see if you need to change.  Seek to know His Word and your heart will seek to do His will in all areas of your life.

Have a God Day!

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April 18, 2012: 9:36 pm: Sanctification

Luke 15:25-32
25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home, he heard music and dancing in the house, 26 and he asked one of the servants what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother is back,’ he was told, ‘and your father has killed the calf we were fattening and has prepared a great feast. We are celebrating because of his safe return.’ 28 “The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him, 29 but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve worked hard for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. 30 Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the finest calf we have.’ 31 “His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you and I are very close, and everything I have is yours. 32 We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!'”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

The father forgave his son out of love for him.  But his brother refused to forgive because he was bitter about the injustice of it all.  Life is just like that, some seem to get more favor than others even though they do not deserve it.  But it is not about what we deserve or even about being fair.  There is no fairness in life.  The sooner you learn that the sooner you will be able to go on with what you have to deal with.  Even though life is not fair, God is.  His love is the same for every person in this world no matter what they have done or not done.  To us this is not fair, because we may have done more “good” than others and yet God loves them just as much as He loves those who do His will.  God rejoices greatly over any sinner when they voluntarily come to His love.  That is what He wants.  It is not that He does not rejoice over those who walk in His love, because He does, it is just that there is great joy throughout all of heaven when someone comes to God of their own will.  It does not matter what they have done.  Even Hitler or Bin Ladin would receive the same love and mercy, if they truly repented and accepted God’s love.  How easy it is to resent God’s gracious forgiveness.  But if our self-righteousness gets in the way of rejoicing when others come to Jesus, we are no better than the Pharisee of Christ’ day.  Who do you need to forgive today?  Go to God first and then go to them if you can and let it go!  Rejoice that God loves them as much as He loves you.  After all, there are people that you have hurt and they need to forgive you.  None of us is without sin, no matter how small or how great.  Forgive and rejoice over those whom God loves.  Wouldn’t you want the same from those who look at you as the greater sinner?

Have a God Day!

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April 17, 2012: 9:18 pm: Sanctification

Matthew 16:15-23
15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 “And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ. 21 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. 22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” 23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

What voice are your hearing today?  Are you hearing from God and walking in obedience to that voice?  Or are you hearing from your enemy who would keep ineffective for Christ?  It is not important which voice you hear, but which voice you obey.  Just as God speaks to all of us, so Satan also speaks to us.  Only his purpose is to keep you ineffective for God or to completely turn you away from Him.  Satan would have you dead if he could.  Peter was walking with Christ and yet Satan whispered in his ear and Peter acted on that voice.  Notice that Jesus did not rebuke Peter, but the voice he had listened to.  Shortly before Peter had heard the voice of God and acted on it, as Christ told him that the truth he stated was not revealed to him by Peter’s own wisdom, but came from God the Father.  These verses show us that we will walk with Christ, but yet will hear from our enemy.  We need to be able to discern where the voice we hear is coming from.  God will keep us safe in His care as we turn to Him and walk in obedience to His Word.  But we need to know the Word to obey it.  Pray for discernment as you walk with Christ to know where the voice is coming from that you hear.  If it is from God obey it, if it is from Satan rebuke it.  God will lift you up but Satan will tear you down.  You have the power of the Spirit of God living within you, use that power to hear His voice and act on His will.  Your connection to Christ is only as strong as your understanding of Him.  Hear what He is saying to you today and then go and walk according to that Word.

Have a God Day!

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