Archive for August, 2015

August 17, 2015: 1:03 am: Love

Ecclesiastes 3:10-14
10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil-this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

What is this burden God has laid on the entire human race?  For those in Christ Jesus, we have God living in us.  This makes us righteous before Him.  We are not righteous because of what we have done, but because we believe what He has done for us.  But we also still have our sinful nature in us while we live in this world.  This is part of the burden we have.  All humans have the burden of our sinful nature.  But for those in Christ, we also have the Spirit of God in us.  So we have the privileges of royalty while having the duties of slaves.  While we live in this world, we know we have right standing with God the Father, yet we continue to sin.  This burden weighs heavily on the heart that does not understand the amazing grace of Christ.  God will make everything beautiful in its time, but until then we need to continue to know Him more and work out the sanctification of our souls. Our mind, will and emotions are subject to our sinful nature. And even though we continue to sin, our position in Jesus Christ does not change.  Nothing can ever separate us from His love and grace. Our mind may tell us different, but we can feed it the Word of God.  His Word cuts through any lie we may tell ourselves or that others may tell us.  So understand the burden God has placed on us all while understanding that nothing can ever remove you from the grace and love that God gave when Jesus Christ went to the Cross and you believed Him. Believe Him now in knowing that we may stumble, but we are never removed from His love!

Have a God Day!

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August 14, 2015: 8:20 pm: Prayer

Psalm 93

1 The Lord is king! He is robed in majesty. Indeed, the Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength.The world is firmly established ;it cannot be shaken.
2  Your throne, O Lord, has been established from time immemorial. You yourself are from the everlasting past.
3  The mighty oceans have roared, O Lord. The mighty oceans roar like thunder; the mighty oceans roar as they pound the shore.
4  But mightier than the violent raging of the seas, mightier than the breakers on the shore–the Lord above is mightier than these!
5  Your royal decrees cannot be changed. The nature of your reign, O Lord, is holiness forever.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

These Psalms are written by David, who is testifying that God’s laws or Word are irrevocable.  They are completely reliable and will not fail. Hebrews also states the same thing in Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” God rules over all of His creation according to His Word. And His Word is His constitution, and contains all of His legal degrees, by which He rules righteously.  Everything in existence is judged by His unchanging Word.  So if we know His Word, we know Him and how He operates in this world He created.  If we know His Word, we know He hears and answers prayer. So we can come bodily before Him and make our requests known to Him by reminding Him of past answers He has already given according to His Word.  So when your need seems impossible or when you are discouraged with sickness, financial problems or family fears–go boldly before the throne of God. Remind God of His Word and His past answers to prayer. Read and study His Word and know that according to His Word He will hear and answer your need. If God has declared it to be true, you can believe and stand on it.  You can rely on Him to hear you and meet your need according to His Word.

Have a God Day!

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August 13, 2015: 8:17 pm: Grace

Hebrews 10:22-25
23 Without wavering, let us hold tightly to the hope we say we have, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. 24 Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Do you ever have one of those times in your life that hope is the last thing you have?  Do you find yourself coming up short of the thing you need the most in times of difficulty?  Then you are not alone and neither was the early church the author was writing to.  Sometimes we think our hope is based on our ability to maintain it, but it is exactly the opposite.  Our hope is not based on our ability or our action.  It is based on Him Who is faithful. Most of the time we come up short of what we need to get us through, but He never comes up short.  He is always there to give us what we need, when we need it.  And He never gives us more than we need to get us through the next problem.  It is always just exactly what we need for the time.  When you find it is difficult to hope, look at what your focus is.  Is it the problem or is it God?  If you are constantly looking at the problem, you will stay in the problem.  Satan would like nothing more than to keep you always in the problem.  But God has the answer and He has the way. Hebrews 10:22 says, “…let us go right into the presence of God, with true hearts fully trusting him.”  Only when we draw near to God will He become our focus and the problem will not seem so impossible.  And do not neglect meeting together with other Christians.  If you draw away from His body, you are drawing away from Him.  So take a look at where your focus is in your problem today and turn your eyes on Jesus and His people.  They may not be perfect, but they will strengthen your walk with Him.  Step out of darkness and into the light of His love and you will see things a lot more clearly.

Have a God Day!

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August 12, 2015: 8:12 pm: Return of Christ

Matthew 25 1-13
1 “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 “Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 “Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, 4 “but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 “But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. 6 “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ 7 “Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. 8 “And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 “But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 “And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. 11 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12 “But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

When Jesus taught this parable, He was already here on earth.  He had already come once.  He was giving instructions on being prepared for His Second Coming. He is teaching us that each person is responsible for their own spiritual condition.  It will not matter how much you know about Jesus, but about how much you lived Him.  If you know Who He is but have never accepted His gift of love through His death on the cross, it will not matter that you believed He was coming again. The first step to salvation is to believe Him, the second step is to live Him.  Mess up that order and you miss Him.  You can’t be a part of Him through works without faith and you can’t be a growing part of Him thorough faith without works.  One shows no faith and the other shows, no obedience.  Because if you believe Him, you will live Him and obey Him.  The 10 virgins all knew Him and knew He was coming, but only 5 were prepared for Him.  The other 5 were not and did not get in.  Our spiritual condition cannot be bought or borrowed at the last minute.  It will do you no good if your father, mother, sister or friend knows and lives Jesus, if you do not yourself. Each of us must be ready for Him when He returns. We must have accepted His free gift of salvation and became a part of His Body.  Then grow to know Who He is through His Word and then go out and show you know Him by living what you know about Him.  Simply knowing is not enough.  Many will be at the door asking to come in, don’t be one of them. Be prepared today by accepting Him as Lord of your life and then join His body and walk in obedience to His Word.

Have a God Day!

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August 11, 2015: 8:05 pm: Prayer

Genesis 16:1-6
But Sarai, Abram’s wife, had no children. So Sarai took her servant, an Egyptian woman named Hagar, 2 and gave her to Abram so she could bear his children. “The Lord has kept me from having any children,” Sarai said to Abram. “Go and sleep with my servant. Perhaps I can have children through her.” And Abram agreed. 3 So Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian servant and gave her to Abram as a wife. (This happened ten years after Abram first arrived in the land of Canaan.) 4 So Abram slept with Hagar, and she became pregnant. When Hagar knew she was pregnant, she began to treat her mistress Sarai with contempt. 5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “It’s all your fault! Now this servant of mine is pregnant, and she despises me, though I myself gave her the privilege of sleeping with you. The Lord will make you pay for doing this to me!” 6 Abram replied, “Since she is your servant, you may deal with her as you see fit.” So Sarai treated her harshly, and Hagar ran away.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

The Word teaches us to pray in line with the will of God.  We are told by the Word that if we pray in line with God’s will, our prayers will be answered.  But have you ever received a promise from the Lord, as Abram did in Genesis, and not seen the results of that promise?  We pray for the promise to come to past, but don’t see it happening. It can be very frustrating to know that what you want is God’s will and yet you do not have it.  It is during these times that it is tempting to take matters into our own hands, to force the issue.  Most of the time when we do this it leads to sin.  When we know God has promised us an answer to our prayers and we know our request is in His will and do not see it happening as quickly as we would like, making it happen in our power and time will lead to sin.  Abram and Sarai found out the hard way that they could not make God move to their time table.  And Sarai ended up in an even more difficult situation than she had been.  Sometimes trusting God means waiting for His timing to work out the situation. He always knows exactly what we need and when it is the best time to give it.  It is the waiting that can cause us to sin and try to make it happen.  Seek to know not only His will, but His timing.  Both are as important and the timing of an answer is just as important as the will of God.  What are you waiting for God to do for you today?  If you have heard from God and know that the answer is His will don’t try to make it happen.  Trust that God will do what He said He would do and do it at the time He has appointed.  Don’t take matters into your hands or you may find yourself in a worse situation and it may cause you to sin.  Wait for God to work His plan in your life and the lives of those you love according to His time and God will answer you prayer.  He will save the one you are praying for, He will heal your disease, He will meet your need, and He will do it at just the right time.

Have a God Day!

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August 10, 2015: 10:10 pm: Daily Scripture

Matthew 21:1-22
18 In the morning, as Jesus was returning to Jerusalem, he was hungry, 19 and he noticed a fig tree beside the road. He went over to see if there were any figs on it, but there were only leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” And immediately the fig tree withered up. 20 The disciples were amazed when they saw this and asked, “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” 21 Then Jesus told them, “I assure you, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May God lift you up and throw you into the sea,’ and it will happen. 22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Why did Jesus curse the fig tree? This was not a thoughtless, angry act but He was actually acting out a parable for his disciples.  Jesus was showing His anger at the appearance of religion, but really nothing is there.  Just as the fig tree looked good from a distance, but was fruitless on close examination, so the lives of those in “religion” can look good, but there is no fruit of the Sprit of God.  If you only appear to have faith without putting it to work in your life, you are like the fig tree that withered and died because it bore no fruit.  Those who look good, but do not have a relationship with Christ will bear no fruit. For those today who appear to have faith, but have no relationship with Jesus Christ, there will no fruit and their faith will wither and die.  Christ wants genuine faith in Him and that means the fruit of the Spirit of God will be evident.  Don’t take what you see as substance or validity in Christ.  Look for the fruit of God produced in a persons life.  In your life and the lives of those you see, seek to see the evidence of the Spirit of God.  If He is there, there will be fruit. For those who “look” good, but do not have Christ, there will be no fruit.  For those in Christ and those who are a part of Him, they will reflect Him and show the fruit of Him in their lives.

Have a God Day!

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August 7, 2015: 9:59 pm: Daily Scripture

atthew 20:1-16
“For the Kingdom of Heaven is like the owner of an estate who went out early one morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay the normal daily wage and sent them out to work. 3 “At nine o’clock in the morning he was passing through the marketplace and saw some people standing around doing nothing. 4 So he hired them, telling them he would pay them whatever was right at the end of the day. 5 At noon and again around three o’clock he did the same thing. 6 At five o’clock that evening he was in town again and saw some more people standing around. He asked them, ‘Why haven’t you been working today?’ 7 “They replied, ‘Because no one hired us.’ The owner of the estate told them, ‘Then go on out and join the others in my vineyard.’ 8 “That evening he told the foreman to call the workers in and pay them, beginning with the last workers first. 9 When those hired at five o’clock were paid, each received a full day’s wage. 10 When those hired earlier came to get their pay, they assumed they would receive more. But they, too, were paid a day’s wage. 11 When they received their pay, they protested, 12 ‘Those people worked only one hour, and yet you’ve paid them just as much as you paid us who worked all day in the scorching heat.’ 13 “He answered one of them, ‘Friend, I haven’t been unfair! Didn’t you agree to work all day for the usual wage? 14 Take it and go. I wanted to pay this last worker the same as you. 15 Is it against the law for me to do what I want with my money? Should you be angry because I am kind?’ 16 “And so it is, that many who are first now will be last then; and those who are last now will be first then.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

This parable is not about rewards but about salvation. It is a strong teaching about grace, God’s generosity.  We should not resent those who turn to the Lord in the last moments of life.  No one deserves eternal life with God, no matter what they have done for Him.  There will be many people in heaven that we did not expect to see.  The criminal who died next to Christ did not serve Him during his life, but he accepted His grace and went to be with Christ in Paradise that day.  For those of us who have known of God’s grace for years and have served, our reward will be according to His will, and not according to what we have done.  Remember it is only those things done by His direction, through His power and for His purposes that we will be rewarded.  But to spend eternity with Jesus is the reward of all who believe in Him and accept His grace. no matter how long they believed.  Focus on your relationship with Him and not on what others are doing or have done.  You do what He is directing you to do and know that His love and peace are with you no matter how long you have known Him.

Have a God Day!

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August 6, 2015: 8:57 pm: Grace

Matthew 17:1-9
Six days later Jesus took Peter and the two brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain. 2 As the men watched, Jesus’ appearance changed so that his face shone like the sun, and his clothing became dazzling white. 3 Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appeared and began talking with Jesus. 4 Peter blurted out, “Lord, this is wonderful! If you want me to, I’ll make three shrines, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 5 But even as he said it, a bright cloud came over them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, and I am fully pleased with him. Listen to him.” 6 The disciples were terrified and fell face down on the ground. 7 Jesus came over and touched them. “Get up,” he said, “don’t be afraid.” 8 And when they looked, they saw only Jesus with them. 9 As they descended the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen until I, the Son of Man, have been raised from the dead.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Moses and Elijah were the two greatest prophets in the Old Testament.  Moses represents the law, or the old covenant.  He wrote the Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible), and he predicted the coming of a great prophet (Deuteronomy 18:15-19). Elijah represents the prophets who foretold the coming of the Messiah. Moses’ and Elijah’s presence with Jesus confirm Jesus’ messianic mission: to fulfill God’s law and the words of His prophets. Just as God’s voice in the cloud over Mount Sinai gave authority to His law, Gods voice at the Transfiguration gave authority to Jesus’ words.  Jesus came to complete the law not change it.  He was and is the completion of God’s plan to reconcile people to Himself.  Nothing is a surprise to God.  He knew all along that Jesus would come.  If God has everything under control why do you still doubt Him?  Trust that God’s plan is complete in your life just as it was in the coming of Jesus.  Just because you do not understand it, does not make it incorrect.  God’s plan in your life does not require that you perfectly understand it, you are just to trust Him and move forward as He directs.  If you are not hearing from Him today move forward until you do. God will be there to guide and direct you as you move out in faith in Him.

Have a God Day!

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August 5, 2015: 8:31 pm: God in us

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

1 There is a time for everything,
a season for every activity under heaven.
2 A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
3 A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to rebuild.
4 A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
5 A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
6 A time to search and a time to lose.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak up.
8 A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Solomon’s point is that God has a plan for all people.  God provides cycles of life, each with its own work for us to do. Although we will face problems and some of the times in our life will be hard to go through, God has a plan and a purpose for each time in our life. We should not make the hard times a barrier in believing in Him, but rather look at them as opportunities to know that without God, life’s problems have no lasting solution.  Only in Him will we find peace in our lives when we go through the hard times. The true secret to peace with God is to discover, accept, and appreciate God’s perfect timing.  The danger is to doubt or resent God’s timing.  This can lead to rebellion or moving outside of His will to make it happen.  Just as Abraham took God’s plan into his own hands and had a child with Hagar.  To this day we all suffer with this decision, as all of the children of Hagar are now the Arab nations that are against Israel.  We also struggle as the USA is sending soldiers over to wars to protect our independence.  Abraham could not wait for God’s timing and took matters into his own hands and we all suffer because of it.  So accept where you are today and know that God is in control and in His time it will happen.

Have a God Day!

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August 4, 2015: 8:29 pm: Grace

Matthew 19:27-30
27 Then Peter said to him, “We’ve given up everything to follow you. What will we get out of it?” 28 And Jesus replied, “I assure you that when I, the Son of Man, sit upon my glorious throne in the Kingdom, you who have been my followers will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will have eternal life. 30 But many who seem to be important now will be the least important then, and those who are considered least here will be the greatest then.”
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Jesus was talking to his disciples about their eternal reward.  Of course, they were thinking about what they would get on earth and did not understand that Christ was speaking about eternity.  In the Word, God rewards His people with His justice.  We may not always understand how God works in the lives of those who love Him.  We sometimes think that we should get an immediate reward for doing His will.  But God does not work that way.  Obedience and reward are not always linked.  If they were, good people would always be rich and healthy, and suffering would always be a sign of sin.  If material rewards always came to those who walked in obedience to God, we would be tempted to boast about the work we had done for Him that brought us our good fortune.  It would not be done out of love for Him, but out of what we could get.  Those who only wanted things, would do good work only to get and not for His purpose.  And if there was no sickness, or accidents there would be no death.  This is not the world we live in.  Sin is a part of each of us because we will all die.  God wants our service to Him to be out of love for Him and not because of what we can get. It is not the rewards of this life that are important, it is the things we will bring into eternity with us that will never fade.  That is only the work that we do for Him, under His direction and through His power for His purpose.  The only part we have is to be in obedience to Him and that does not guarantee we will have riches and health.  We do it because we love Him.  And then no matter what we have to live through in this world, we will know that we are secure in His love.

Have a God Day!

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