Archive for February, 2014

February 24, 2014: 8:28 pm: God in us

2 Timothy 1:9-14

9 It is God who saved us and chose us to live a holy life. He did this not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan long before the world began-to show his love and kindness to us through Christ Jesus. 10 And now he has made all of this plain to us by the coming of Christ Jesus, our Savior, who broke the power of death and showed us the way to everlasting life through the Good News. 11 And God chose me to be a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of this Good News. 12 And that is why I am suffering here in prison. But I am not ashamed of it, for I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return. 13 Hold on to the pattern of right teaching you learned from me. And remember to live in the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus. 14 With the help of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard what has been entrusted to you.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Serving like Jesus means we are grateful. Every skill, every ability is God given. The air we breathe is a gift from God. Serving God as Christ means we are to understand that everything comes from God and we are just administrators of everything. That includes the gifts He has given us. They are not to be used for our own gain but to edify the body of Christ. If you are not using your God given abilities to serve those who love Him, you are denying yourself the blessing of giving. Sometimes, we feel our gifts are not good enough or we are not ready to serve. But we should take what we have now and start to use it. God does not expect perfection, He expects action. God does not use perfect people because there aren’t any. Start today with what you have even though it is not what you think it should be. Show how grateful you are to God by using what He has given you for His purpose. God will bless your effort and will bless those who receive because of your obedience.

Have a God Day!

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February 21, 2014: 6:30 pm: God in us

Hebrews 12:1-4

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterward. Now he is seated in the place of highest honor beside God’s throne in heaven. 3 Think about all he endured when sinful people did such terrible things to him, so that you don’t become weary and give up. 4 After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

The Israelites were instructed by God to remove every person, idol and temple before they moved into the Promised Land. God did not want them to mix into their group with people who worshiped idols. He knew they would soon take on the pagan beliefs and rituals and break the first commandment. He told them if they did not obey that He would do to them what was intended for the pagans. But they did not obey and suffered greatly for it later. God tells the same thing to us today. Before we can become the righteousness of Christ, we have to remove every sin that weighs us down. Hebrews gives us a long list of those who have done so. They were not perfect people, but they did strip off every sin that kept them from doing the will of God. What sin is weighing you down today? What is keeping you from being all that God intended? As the Spirit speaks to your heart about a certain sin that needs to be removed, listen to that Voice. Move into obedience and experience the power of God that only comes with the action of obedience to Him. Do not make the same mistakes again. Grow into the child of God that you are.

Have a God Day!

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February 20, 2014: 10:08 pm: Christian Love

James 3:13-18

13 If you are wise and understand God’s ways, live a life of steady goodness so that only good deeds will pour forth. And if you don’t brag about the good you do, then you will be truly wise! 14 But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your hearts, don’t brag about being wise. That is the worst kind of lie. 15 For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and motivated by the Devil. 16 For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and every kind of evil. 17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no partiality and is always sincere. 18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of goodness.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Living the wisdom that comes from heaven is not an option for those who belong to Christ Jesus. We are to set aside or crucify those desires of our old nature that want to live in jealousy and selfish ambition. Galatians 2:19 tells us, “I have been crucified with Christ. I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. So I live my life in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” But we also forget the first part of the wisdom of heaven and that is purity. It is living in peace and mercy, but also not tolerating sin in our lives. If wisdom is applied knowledge then we cannot continue to live outside of God’s love. Living the Word of God according to His direction is not an option. It is our desire if we love Him. And it is God who puts that desire in our hearts. The more we know Who He is and the more we know of His love for us, the more we will want to walk according to that love. We set aside our own desires to live for the desires of Christ Jesus according to His Word. And we live in peace and mercy. Giving to those around us what we have been so freely given by Christ.

Have a God Day!

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February 18, 2014: 7:31 pm: Grace

1 Chronicles 10:11-14

11 But when the people of Jabesh-gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 their warriors went out and brought the bodies of Saul and his three sons back to Jabesh. Then they buried their remains beneath the oak tree at Jabesh, and they fasted for seven days. 13 So Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord. He failed to obey the Lord’s command, and he even consulted a medium 14 instead of asking the Lord for guidance. So the Lord killed him and turned his kingdom over to David son of Jesse.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Saul was anointed by God to be the ruler of His people. But Saul was not faithful to God. He disobeyed God and relied on his own desires and not the will of God. But the men in this scripture are showing respect when they risked their lives to give Saul and his sons a proper burial. David also showed Saul respect even though God had told him that he would the ruler of God’s people. David waited for God’s timing and showed Saul respect many times. David could have killed Saul while he was still ruling and then taken over the kingdom. But David waited for God’s timing out of respect for the position God had put Saul. Even though Saul turned from God and made many mistakes, the people were still respectful of his position.

How easy it is to be critical of those in authority over us, focusing only on their weaknesses. We cannot excuse sin, but we should always respect their position, whether at work, at church, or in our government. God is in complete control of who He places in these positions and they will have to answer to God for errors made, but we should always show respect. It is so easy to sit back and see only the errors made and the weaknesses they have, but this is not of God. When we focus only what is wrong, we will not see the good. No one is perfect and all of us make mistakes. If we only look at what is wrong in others, we will be blind to what is wrong in us. Always respect those in authority and focus on their strengths. Build them up, do not tear them down. Remember that Christ has forgiven you of your sin and yet He still chose to love you. How can you not offer them same to others? Don’t find your self working against what God has ordained.

Have a God Day!

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February 17, 2014: 7:19 pm: Christian Love

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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February 13, 2014: 7:39 pm: Sanctification, Your mind

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 be 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 effective for 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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February 11, 2014: 7:11 pm: God in us

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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February 10, 2014: 8:04 pm: God in us

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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February 5, 2014: 6:12 pm: God in us

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 during 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. Peace of mind comes from 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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February 4, 2014: 8:31 pm: God in us

Mark 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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