Archive for January, 2015

January 30, 2015: 7:38 pm: Daily Scripture

Romans 1:18-20

18 But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who push the truth away from themselves. 19 For the truth about God is known to them instinctively. God has put this knowledge in their hearts. 20 From the time the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky and all that God made. They can clearly see his invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

How could a loving God send anyone to hell, especially someone who has never heard about Christ? This is a common argument of those who know about Him, but choose not to accept Him. Most of us have heard this at one time or another. But the truth written by Paul takes away this argument because all people has an inner sense of what God requires and that He exists. But they choose not to live up to it. Knowing who Jesus Christ is does not make you right with Him. It is in the knowing and believing and then the living that shows that you believe. The moral standards of most people are better than what they live. But they always expect others to live up to their standard even though they do not themselves. They think the power is in the knowing. Those who know Christ, accept Him and then live Him are those who live in His kingdom. Don’t be fooled! When the day comes for God to judge your response to Him, no excuse will be accepted. If you suppress the truth you know about God in order to live your own way, you will have no excuse. Because it is not in the knowing, it is in believing and if you believe your behavior will show it. Do you live what you know is true? If not, ask God to give you the power to live what you know before you know anymore. Take the knowledge you have of Him today and apply it to your life, then seek to know Him more. It is more important to live Him than to know about Him.

Have a God Day!

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January 29, 2015: 7:13 pm: Return of Christ

Revelation 19:1-6

After this, I heard the sound of a vast crowd in heaven shouting, “Hallelujah! Salvation is from our God. Glory and power belong to him alone. 2 His judgments are just and true. He has punished the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her immorality, and he has avenged the murder of his servants.” 3 Again and again their voices rang, “Hallelujah! The smoke from that city ascends forever and forever!” 4 Then the twenty-four elders and the four living beings fell down and worshiped God, who was sitting on the throne. They cried out, “Amen! Hallelujah!” 5 And from the throne came a voice that said, “Praise our God, all his servants, from the least to the greatest, all who fear him.” 6 Then I heard again what sounded like the shout of a huge crowd, or the roar of mighty ocean waves, or the crash of loud thunder: “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

God is highly exalted above all His creatures. His moral perfection stands in contrast to evil people and nations. God is perfect and without sin and everything He does is perfect, even if it is judgment against sin. He is sinless in all His motives and actions, so He is in perfect control of His power, judgment, love and mercy. His holiness is our yardstick for morality. Because God is holy and without sin, we can trust that what He does is perfect. People today do not realize that God will judge them for every action and word. But because they do not see it when they do it, they think it will not happen. They think that whatever they want to believe is good enough simply because they believe it. But because they do not believe in the only Way of salvation does not make it any less true. Because they cannot see it in their own minds, they think it is not true. God is holy and because He is holy, He can tolerate no sin. Not even a tiny amount, so all sin is evil in God’s sight and must be judged. For those coming before Him without the Blood of Lamb will face eternal separation from Him. There is not one person who will not stand before Jesus Christ and only those He calls friend, those cover by His Blood will enter into the presence of the Father. Remember God is holy and without sin and He will judge all sin someday. What you believe or don’t believe does not make it true just because you believe it. Look for the truth in the Word of God because there is only one truth and that is Jesus Christ.

Have a God Day!

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January 28, 2015: 6:51 pm: Your mind

Isaiah 43:1-7

But now, O Israel, the Lord who created you says: “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. 2 When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. 3 For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I gave Egypt, Ethiopia, and Seba as a ransom for your freedom. 4 Others died that you might live. I traded their lives for yours because you are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you. 5 “Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I will gather you and your children from east and west 6 and from north and south. I will bring my sons and daughters back to Israel from the distant corners of the earth. 7 All who claim me as their God will come, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

God does not want you to be afraid of the future. God holds your life in His hands and everything that happens to you is God filtered. Know that your situation has gone by God and He has approved of it. It is either for your benefit or for your growth. So when you are going through the valley and life has not been kind, remember that God knows exactly what you are going through and He is with you. Look for the opportunity to grow stronger in your relationship with Him. The stronger you are in your faith in Him, the more use you will be to Him in the Kingdom. Every good thing and every bad thing has a purpose in your life. Look for the good to come out of each terrible situation. Yes, take the time to heal, but do not stay there, go forward into the work that God has ordained for you. Take time to listen and learn what God has for you in each difficult situation, but it was not meant for you to stay there. Move ahead and move into His plan. As God told Jeremiah, He tells you, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” If God has a plan for you, how can you stay in your pain and let it consume you? Move forward knowing that He is with you and He will show you each step you are to take. Trust Him! He is your Lord and He will not let you stay in the valley of your pain because that is not His plan for you. His plan is to use your pain to help others. Go forward knowing this and trust that He will guide you. You will never forget, but you can forgive and be used to make a difference.

Have a God Day!

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January 27, 2015: 8:25 pm: Sanctification

Colossians 2:13-15

13 You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ. He forgave all our sins. 14 He canceled the record that contained the charges against us. He took it and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ’s cross. 15 In this way, God disarmed the evil rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross of Christ.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

For those who believe, the penalty of sin died with Christ on the cross. God has declared us not guilty and we no longer live under the control of sin and death. But God does not take us out of this sinful world; we are to live as Christ Jesus did with God fully in control of His life. Jesus Christ functioned fully as a Man with a complete filling and power of the Holy Spirit under the complete direction of the Father. At salvation, our sinful nature is subdued and God imparts to us the righteousness of Christ. We now have the Holy Spirit of God living in us and working His plan to make us like Jesus. Before we were saved, we were slaves to our sinful nature, now we just have to surrender it to God. He has freed us from the power of sin and death. Even though we still have desire to sin, we are no longer under sins control. We can seek the power of God to overcome. God never promised us that we would not desire to sin, only that He has made a way for us not to. 1 Corinthians 10:1 tells us, “But God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” God has a way of escape, we just have to choose it.

Have a God Day!

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January 26, 2015: 8:06 pm: God in us

Hebrews 11:1-6

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

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

Have a God Day!

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January 23, 2015: 8:34 pm: Sanctification

Ephesians 4:17-24

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

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

Have a God Day!

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January 22, 2015: 8:53 pm: God in us

Romans 3:21-28

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

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

Have a God Day!

 

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January 19, 2015: 8:53 pm: God in us

Psalm 91

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

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

Have a God Day!

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January 16, 2015: 7:41 pm: Grace

1 Timothy 4:7-16

Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Spend your time and energy in training yourself for spiritual fitness. 8 Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important, for it promises a reward in both this life and the next. 9 This is true, and everyone should accept it. 10 We work hard and suffer much in order that people will believe the truth, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and particularly of those who believe. 11 Teach these things and insist that everyone learn them. 12 Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you teach, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity. 13 Until I get there, focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them. 14 Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received through the prophecies spoken to you when the elders of the church laid their hands on you. 15 Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress. 16 Keep a close watch on yourself and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right, and God will save you and those who hear you.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

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

Have a God Day!

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January 15, 2015: 7:59 pm: Grace

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

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

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

Have a God Day!

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