"Call to me and I will answer you, and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. " Jeremiah 33:3

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"Why have you been standing here idle all day long?" Matthew 20:6 NASB

Why indeed? Why do some believers get up without fail and seek God in the morning? Why do they lay their petitions before Him and eagerly watch, anticipating His answer? Why do they set their alarms, forfeit some sleep and make themselves leave their warm bed to commune with their Lord? Because they are in love with the Lord Jesus.

Because they heard God calling them by name and they answered His call. Because they study God's Word and they believe every single word from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21 is truth. Their faith is built upon that truth and their lives are lived in obedience to that truth that has been revealed to them.

Most importantly, Gods Word has brought them into the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ and they know Him intimately, and nothing satisfies like Him! Nothing the world offers, absolutely nothing can compare to Him and the peace and the joy you experience just by being in His presence!

"O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!" Psalm 34:8. "As the deer pants for the water brook, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; when shall I come and appear before God?" Psalm 42:1-2.

Why is it while their brothers and sisters are laboring in God's vineyard, while they are harvesting fruit for Him and for His glory, some like these, stand idle? What is the difference; both are saved, both trusted in Jesus Christ as Savior, both groups will go to heaven, yet some will be about their Father's business and others well, they are taking care of their own business.

Stop allowing yourself to be complacent, don't be content with just sitting in a pew on Sunday mornings. Don't be content until you know Jesus, until you share your deepest feelings with Him, until He takes you by the hand and leads you to indescribable treasures in His Word!

Don't stand idle while others are drinking of the river of God's delights. Don't stand idle while the harvest fields are ripe; Go, tell the lost about Jesus before it is too late! Then you will begin to discover the dimensions of His love for you!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

"Turn all your anxiety over to God because He cares for you." GWT

Are you a worrier? Do you come from a long line of worriers? I'm confident that a parent who worries passes that trait onto their children. Just as fear is passed down from generation to generation. Do you realize that Scripture teaches us that worry and fear both are sins? And we thought that both were just signs that we were good parents!

The Bible says that we will know the truth (Gods Word) and the truth will set us free. John 8:32. So let's look at the Scripture to reveal the truth about worry. "Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And if worry can't accomplish a little thing like that, what's the use of worrying over bigger things?" Luke 12:25-26.

Worry can't change what we are worrying about and it cannot affect the outcome! But worry can develop into anxiety attacks, ulcers, headaches and lack of peace in our lives. Not the best return on investment. And if we declare that Jesus Christ is our Lord and we worry it brings no glory at all to Him.

Since every human being including believers have the propensity to worry how do we stop it? How do we keep from passing it on to the next generation? The Scripture has so many verses on worry but the three verses that have helped me the most and that I have personally seen help others are the following.

"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." Philippians 4:6-8 NLT.

Worry is focusing on the problem, prayer is focusing on Jesus the One who controls everything! Worry is trusting in our own strength, prayer is tapping into the strength of the Lord God Almighty! Worry is an affront to the Lord, prayer is honoring to Him. Worry is worldly, prayer is godly. Worry robs us of peace in our lives, prayer brings us to the Prince of Peace and in His presence is fullness of joy!

Hear this glorious promise and choose today to make it your own. "You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You!" Isaiah 26:3 NLT.

There is another reason that worry is sin because it chokes our fruit bearing! Luke 8:14 says in part; "...they are choked with worries...and bring no fruit to maturity."

We don't have to live our lives worrying, we are new creatures in Christ and if we put our faith and trust in Him, His peace will stand guard over our minds and hearts!

Remember: Jesus loves you...this I know.

Monday, February 27, 2012

"Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home." Luke 10:38 NASB

Today's title verse is Jesus in a home at the invitation of a woman named Martha. Interestingly we are not told whether or not Martha knew Jesus was coming and so she had made preparations, or did she listen to Jesus when He was in her village and and spontaneous asked Him to dine at her home. From the events that happened I am inclined to believe the latter to be true.

Martha had a sister who was also in the home and her name was Mary. We read about Mary in Luke 10:39 NLT; "Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord's feet, listening to what He taught." Clearly Mary's focus was not what could she do for Christ, but rather she desired to drink deeply of Jesus' teachings, she was hanging on to every word that fell from His lips. Mary was seizing the moment, Jesus was in her home and she would not be distracted from Him! I can just picture Mary, on the floor, legs tucked beside her, eyes focused like lasers on this amazing Teacher. She would not be denied time with Him.

On the other hand what was Martha doing? Luke 10:40 NLT; "But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, "Lord, doesn't it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me." In fairness to Martha, she lived in a culture where when you invited someone in who was traveling you were to feed them, give them something to drink and offer accommodations if they were not traveling on that day. But Martha was distracted by all of the preparations, of the meal she herself had planned. And not only distracted she was angry that her sister was sitting at Jesus feet, so angry was Martha that she interrupted Jesus teaching and asked Him to tell Mary to go help her!

I've heard the teachings on this story and they always excuse Martha's actions saying that she obviously had the spiritual gift of service. Sounds good but Jesus had not yet been crucified, or resurrected and the Holy Spirit had not yet been sent and He gives the spiritual gifts. So we can say Martha wanted to do something for her guest, so of course she chose to feed Him! What she didn't realize was the Man talking in her home was The Bread of Life. He was feeding Mary and she was savoring every morsel, sweeter than honey were His words! Martha was so intent on dinner preparations that she missed what she could have had. She too could listen to Jesus and still feed Him afterwards. She can always cook, she might never again have Jesus Christ in her own home.

How did Jesus react to Martha's request, was He on her side? Did He order Mary to go help Martha? Here is what He said in Luke 10:41-42 NLT; "But the Lord said to her, "My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her." Wow!

Okay, life application? Jesus is not passing through our village any time soon but we can certainly see how it applies to us in 2012. What distractions in my life are keeping me from sitting at the feet of Jesus and hanging on His every word? Distractions could be good things, such as preparing dinner for a guest. But how can food for the body ever compete against food for the soul? The answer is obvious. On one occasion Jesus' disciples asked Him in John 4:31-32 NASB; "Meanwhile the disciples were urging Him, saying, Rabbi, eat. But He said to them, I have food to eat that you do not know about." Jesus was not referring to food for the body, He was doing kingdom work with the woman at the well, His soul was fed in that. We must not allow the temporal things of earth no matter how appealing, to distract us from eternal kingdom work. That includes spending so much time on serving God, that there is no time left for spending time with God!

Jesus rebuked Martha for being worried and upset over things that don't even matter. Now there is a life application if I ever heard one, Jesus said there is only one thing worth being concerned about, and Mary found it, she was sitting at His feet. That was the lesson of Matthew 6:25-33; Jesus said quit worrying about what are you going to eat, or wear, your heavenly Father knows you need those things, He will take care of those things. We are to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness!

Do we ever get distracted, and worry and get upset over things that don't even matter? Then we can resolve this day to keep the first thing first, Jesus and His word and He will take care off all those "things" in our lives that rob our time with Him.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

"Jesus replied, If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, follow Me." John 21:22 NLT

Praise God for the lives of the people in the Bible. They were real, flesh and blood people, and God reveals their lives as they truly were. Their righteous acts are told, and their sins are revealed so that we can relate to them and make application for our lives based on the lessons learned from their lives.

My hands down favorite person in the New Testament is Peter. I thank God for the life of Peter, I have learned so much from his interactions with the Lord Jesus. Just the dialogue between them is so full of lessons that I can apply to my walk with the Lord.

How many times do I take my eyes off of Jesus and focus instead on the waves that represent the trial that I am in? And as I begin to go under those waves and I too cry out to Jesus and He immediately grabs hold of me and pulls me up. Matthew 14:27-31.

I too have told the Lord that I would gladly lay down my life for Him, only to be sifted later and fail miserably. Yet when I come to Him and confess my sin He forgives my sin and makes me whole again. And He never throws it in my face, He forgives and forgets, never again will He mention past sins! How comforting to know that Jesus is interceding for me, praying my faith will not fail, He never gives up on me. Luke 22:31-34.

I can relate to wanting to stay on the mountaintop with Jesus, I wasn't clever enough to offer to build a tabernacle but then again, I erected one in my mind. Mountaintop experiences with Jesus are wonderful but we don't live there, we go down in the valleys and do battle with the demonic forces. Luke 9:28-43.

I can share in the sheer delight that Peter must have felt when he declared that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God! There is a special joy in confessing Jesus Christ as Lord!! I can only imagine how wonderful it was to hear Jesus say, blessed are you, because flesh and blood did not reveal that to you but My Father which is in heaven! Matthew 16:15-17.

Sadly I can understand what prompted Peter to say, God forbid it Lord, this shall never happen to You! He didn't want His Lord to suffer, and be killed in Jerusalem. Jesus rebuke of His disciple was deliberately harsh for Peter's words were against God's will. Little did Peter understand at the time, that the reason Christ came to earth was to die for the sins of the world, Peter's sins, my sins. The life application I took away from this encounter was to make sure that I set my mind to be in agreement with God's plans and not my plans or mans plans. Matthew 16:21-23. We have to know Scripture to know God's plans.

Now to today's title Scripture, Jesus talking to Peter, tells him that he is not to concern himself with what God's plan was for someone else, focus on the plan He has for him. Life application, why do I concern myself so much with what God is doing in other people's lives, that is none of my business, my business is to follow God. I must not compare myself with others, for if my perception is that they are much closer to God than I, then I can be jealous of them or if my perception is that they are not very close to God then I can judge them in my heart, both options are sin.

Application; keep my eyes on Jesus for how can I follow Him if I am always looking at others?

Friday, February 24, 2012

"...But how much of that kind of persistent faith will the Son of Man find on the earth when He returns?" Luke 18:8 MSG

The title verse for today is at the end of a parable on the importance of persevering in prayer and never giving up. Over and over in Scripture we are told; do not lose heart, wait on the LORD, pray without ceasing, and we are to join fellow believers in their struggles by praying for them. We are to be fervent in prayer because it availth much, pray with our minds and in the Spirit, to be sober and vigilant in prayer and all the more as we see "the day" approaching!

Well,we are 2000 years closer to "The day of the Lord" than when these words were first spoken by Jesus. So in reality the above question is to the believers living on plant Earth in the 21st century, you and me! Is there the kind of persistent faith on the Earth that Jesus was speaking of?

If Jesus returned today would He find faith in the body of Christ? Would He find faith in my heart, in my life? In yours? Or have our hearts grown lukewarm to the things of God. Have we allowed the things of the world to harden our hearts to the kingdom of God? Have our hearts grown cold towards our First Love?

What priority does faith, prayer, reading God's Word in my daily quiet time with Him have in my life? If Jesus and the previous things mentioned are not number one in my life then I am in spiritual danger like the church at Laodicea! "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot..."Revelation 3:15.

Am I lukewarm in my faith? Have I gotten over being saved? Do I approach Scripture reading as a to do list or with excitement expecting God to speak to me? Am I lukewarm in prayer, or is it fervent? Am I watching and waiting for an answer? Has there ever been a day where I loved Jesus more that I do today? Do I obey His commands? Am I declaring Jesus Christ is Lord in the marketplace? Am I a witness to Jesus, sharing the gospel of Christ with the lost?

If you are not happy with your answers then do something about it today...repent, confess your sin and He will forgive you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. Pray for the Lord to; fill you with His Holy Spirit, to take your smouldering wick and set it on fire with an eternal flame, fill us with zeal for Jesus, fill us with love for Jesus, give us a heart like His with concern and passion for the lost in this world.

If Jesus came back to day would He find faith on earth? Faith comes by hearing the word of God and without faith it is impossible to please Him. We each know what we must do today, as long as we have today!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

"Now the parable is this; the seed is the word of God." Luke 8:11 NASB

Jesus spoke to the crowds through parables and then later He would explain the meaning of the parable to His disciples. The parable of the seed found in Luke 8:4-15 has always been one of my favorites.

In this parable the seed is the word of God and the four different soil examples refer to four different types of individuals and today I want to focus in on two of them.

"Other seed fell on rocky soil, and as soon as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture." Luke 8:6. Jesus explained it to His disciples this way in Luke 8:13; "Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away."

If the seed represents the word of God and it is joyfully received, then what happens when trials or temptations come along to cause it to wither away? Why is there no firm root that would enable it to stand fast in storms?

1 Corinthians 3:6 says; "I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth." Notice the progression, just as in crops, you sow the seed, you water it and God causes the growth. The missing piece in the above example is the watering. How many people hear the word of God and they receive it joyfully but they fall away because they never put down roots, they never had the moisture that comes from the living water of Scripture! Apollos was watering, if they had an Apollos to mentor them, to share the importance of being in the Word daily, they would have roots and not fallen away.

Luke 8:7,14; "Other seed fell among the thorns; and the thorns grew up with it and choked it out. The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life and bring no fruit to maturity." Please don't miss the thorns, worries, riches and pleasures of this life, the world will choke the Word and your life will never bear fruit to the glory of God. Scripture warns against loving the world and becoming attached to it in James 4:4; "You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God."

Life application? Drink daily and drink deeply from the Word of God. Guard against the lusts of the world, riches, so called pleasures and don't worry! Fix your eyes on the eternal things that will not fade away, bear fruit in your life and so bring glory to the Father.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power (making it active, operative, energizing, and effective); it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and (the immortal) spirit, and of joints and marrow (of the deepest parts of our nature), exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart." Hebrews 4:12 AMP

Today's title scripture is so powerful, so full of insight into the wonders of the living Word of God! The Bible is completely, wholly, unique, there is absolutely nothing else to compare it with, and there never will be. It is the best selling book ever, and that will never change. It's uniqueness lies in the author, every other book ever written was penned through a human being, its source was the human mind of man. The Bible was penned by forty writers in the space of 1600 years, but unlike all of the others it was God breathed, inspired by the Holy Spirit, its source is Divine, God spoke!

In the book of James 1:22-24 NLT "Don't just listen to God's Word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the Word and don't obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like." Scripture is indeed like a mirror but unlike conventional mirrors which reflect what we look like on the outside, the Bible reveals what you are on the inside, where no one but God alone can see.

That is why some avoid reading Scripture, they don't want to see themselves as they truly are! Sin will keep you from the Bible and the Bible will keep you from sin. If you are harboring unforgiveness you will be confronted with Matthew 6:14-15 ESV; "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."

If your struggle is with pride, you will read all through out Scripture that pride is abhorrent to God, He is opposed to the prideful but His grace is for the humble.Is money your idol? Jesus says that we cannot serve God and money, we will serve the one and hate the other. Judging others is confronted in the Word, after all who are we to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls and stand he will for the Lord is able to make him stand.

If you aren't in the Word sadly you will never know what God has planned for your life not just in eternity but right here, right now on planet earth. You won't know the depth of His love for you, you won't experience the joy that is found only in His presence. Fear, anxiety and doubt will fill your heart and mind and you will never know that you don't have to live that way! You will never know or experience the abundant life that the Lord Jesus promised.

Saddest of all you will never know here on Terra Firma, the One who died, rose and prays for you. You will never know the Lord Jesus Christ! He wants to have intimate fellowship with you! He is as close to you as your very breath, don't live your whole life with out knowing the One who loves you with a love that would take your breath away!

It is never too late to begin to get into the Scripture, it is only too late if you never try. If you are reading this you are alive only because He gave you today as a gift don't waste it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

"Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem." Luke 9:51

Christ our Lord steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, for Jerusalem, the betrayal, the suffering, the cross, the resurrection, the glory was why He came to our little blue planet and in 33 years He never once lost sight of Jerusalem.

What a beautiful life application for His followers, for how easily do we get distracted from our kingdom work for the Lord! Satan the accuser of the brethren, knows He cannot stop God's work but He knows that if He can get us distracted we will be of very little value to the Lord. He knows He has the best return on investment by distracting us with good things, for instance;

Church activities so wonderful, such blessings, great fellowship and if we aren't careful delightful distractions... We must make our agendas line up perfectly with God's agenda to assure that we are involved in what He would have us to do, and since HE is the one with the plan for our lives, HE is the one that knows where and when we are to spend our time.

We should never be willing to settle for good when God has planned the best for us! Beware the moment that your service for God leaves little time left for time alone with your Lord, may that be a place that you are never willing to go...

Monday, February 20, 2012

"So here's what I want you to do, God helping you; Take your everyday, ordinary life, your sleeping, eating, going to work, and walking around life and place it before God as an offering." Romans 12:1 MSG

Do you every consider your ordinary life to be a daily offering to God? How can that be, why is God interested in the mundane of our lives? He is interested in every aspect of our lives and He always will be because we belong to Him, He made us, He chose us, He calls us by name, and we were purchased at an extremely high price, Jesus Christ laid down His life for us so that we might have eternal life with Him.

It is easy to forget or even comprehend that a believer's body is not their own, we are bond slaves to Christ and He dwells within us through His Holy Spirit, making our bodies a sacred place because of His eternal presence! John 14:16-17; "I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth..."

Most people if they went to church this coming Sunday would be shocked and offended if they arrived and someone has sprayed graffiti all over the outside of the building. In the same way if we put tattoos all over our bodies, if we pierced with holes our skin, or cartilage, if we cut ourselves, or starved ourselves or lived in gluttony do you think God is offended? When Christ made the whip and overturned the money changers tables in the temple of Jerusalem, it was fulfilling the Scripture written of Christ that zeal for His Father's house will consume Him!

"The physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you. God owns the whole works. So let people see God in and through your body."
1 Corinthians 6:19b-20 MSG.

The most dangerous thing that we can do with our bodies that are the temple of the Holy Spirit is to use it to commit sexual sin! 1 Corinthians 6:18 MSG says; "There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for "becoming one" with another."

1 Corinthians 6:17 NASB says; "But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him."

"There's more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, "The two become one." Spiritually we are one with Christ, stay faithful, stay true, the bond is a mystery and our God is a jealous God. As Scripture says in 1 John 5:21 NASB, "Little children keep yourselves from idols."

We are to love the Lord our God with undivided hearts full of love for Him, glorifying Him with our heart, mind, words, deeds and bodies!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

"You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest commandment." Matthew 22:37-38

In the English language we have one word for love, so we love the Lord, we love our favorite sports team, we love our mate, we love our children, we love playing golf and we love going shopping and of course we love peanut butter. Is it any wonder that we don't have any concept of the love of God?

Most of us love conditionally, we love you when you make us happy, but not so much when we are disappointed or mad at you. How often have you heard,or maybe even said, I love you, I just don't like you right now? Not only are we born not knowing how to love as God defines it, we don't have Agape love or God's love in our D & A! Let's take a look at Scripture where God's love is revealed. The first one is a well known passage, used in many a wedding service, it is impossible to read it and not realize we don't begin to have love like that for God, for one another or even for ourselves.

"Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails." 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.

"The LORD your God is in the midst of you, a Mighty One, a Savior (Who saves)! He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest in silent satisfaction and in His love He will be silent and make no mention of past sins, or even recall them; He will exult over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17 AMP.

Doesn't it just blow you away to know that is the love of God? How do we get from what we call love to God's love? The answer is through Jesus Christ, through the new birth that Jesus talks about in John 3:1-21. When we are born again we are brand new, our sins are forgiven, and we have the love of God poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit! "For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love." Romans 5:5 NLT.

Father God thank You for filling us with Your love, may out hearts be on fire for You with Your love. We love because You first loved us. Forgive me Lord for my lukewarmness towards you and others. May we walk through the Holy Spirit in Your love for all. Teach us Lord to love as You love. In Jesus name we pray and receive by faith Your answer. Amen

Friday, February 17, 2012

"But Jesus said to them, "They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat." Matthew 14:16 AMP

In the study of God's Word over many years I have come to believe with all of my heart that the Lord never asks us to do anything that can be accomplished in our own strength!

Think about that just for a moment, allow your mind to consider the lives of many of your favorites in the Old and New Testaments, my mind always goes to Abraham, Elijah, Joseph, Moses, David, Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, John the Baptist, Peter, and of course Paul. That is leaving a ton of people out but that is my list. The only things that were done in their lives through the arm of flesh were their sins! Aren't you glad that in the Word of God there are hero's but they were flawed hero's just like today. They lied, ran for their lives, were prideful, murders, given to self-pity and doubters.

What did they have in common all these flesh and blood hero's of ours? They loved the Lord with all of their hearts, they were obedient in ways that boggle the mind, their acts of courage and bravery were over the top, miracle after miracle was performed in their lives and yet they resisted pride, how did they do that? Simple, they knew that everything that was good, over the top, miraculous was done by the hand of God working through them!!

That is why so little has been written in Scripture of their words, Abraham the Father of the faith, could not at least one book have been written that were the sayings of Abraham? We have more of the words of David than any other person in the Old Testament because the Psalms show us Davids humanity but more importantly the Psalms show us how to be real with our Lord, bare our souls to Him and love Him. Solomon's proverbs teach how to relate to one another. But what Scripture reveals the most is the Lord Jesus Christ! And the balance of Scripture is what God did in people's lives!

Back to today's title Scripture, why does God ask the impossible of us? Why would He ever ask us to do something that the arm of flesh could accomplish? What glory would that bring to God? Nothing! By the way that is what Jesus says in John 15:5 ESV; "...For apart from Me you can do nothing."

So the next time God asks you to do the impossible, say "yes Lord", for your obedience is all that is required of you, He is the One who will accomplish it through the power that works so mightily within us! And He alone receives the glory and honor, praise God!!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

"Call to Me in times of trouble. I will save you, and you will honor Me." Psalm 50:15 NCV

When a child of God calls out to Him in the day of their trouble, that voice is honoring Him! How blessed is the one whose God is the LORD! How blessed are we who call upon the name of our God!

"I love the LORD, because He hears my voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live!" Psalm 116:1-2 NASB.

How blessed forever are you who can proclaim Jesus Christ is my Lord and my Savior! Blessed for all of eternity are those whose sins have been forgiven! Blessed among those who dwell upon the earth are those whose eternal home is with the Lord Jesus!

Blessed and to be envied are those who are called by the Father, convicted by the Holy Spirit and made righteous through the blood of Jesus Christ!! How blessed are those who can know deep within their soul that they are never alone, for God is always with them!!

Blessed are those who are surrounded by the favor of God! Blessed are those who drink from the river of His delights! Psalm 36:8 NASB. Blessed are those who love His Holy Scriptures for He watches over His Word to perform it! Jeremiah 1:12 NASB. Blessed are those who know the truth, God's Word is truth, and the truth has sanctified and set them free!! John 8:32 and John 17:17 NASB.

I am so blessed, praise glory and honor be unto You, O God, my Strength and my Redeemer!!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

"Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, then go and sell your possessions and give the money to the poor. If you do this, you will have treasure in heaven. Then come and follow Me." Matthew 19:21 NCV

I remember reading one time; You will always be one step of obedience away from the next truth God wants you to learn about Him. I believe that. John 14:21 NLT, states the same truth of that statement. Jesus said; "Those who accept My commandments and obey them are the ones who love Me...And I will love them and reveal Myself to each of them." What an astonishing promise, Jesus Christ is promising to reveal Himself to His own! But this promise is conditional, we have to do something and that something is to know His commands which are found in the Scriptures and obey them.

Jesus told the rich young ruler from the title Scripture of today's post to go sell all he had, give it to the poor and come follow Him. Not many of us will ever hear that command from Jesus, but Jesus loved this young man and He put his finger right on the thing that was keeping him from following Jesus, namely his wealth.

I want to testify to the truth of John 14:21, it has happened in my life over and over, Jesus puts His finger on me and shows me what He wants me to do and in those times in which I am obedient I do indeed see Jesus in a way that I hadn't before and it is wonderful! Jesus commands are not hard, but if we are looking to our own strength to accomplish them then they are impossible. Jesus will enable us to do what He has commanded us to do, we take the first step of obedience and His power working within us accomplishes the command. So what are some of these things that we are commanded to do?

Some of the more well know ones are to tithe, to witness for Jesus Christ by talking to others about what Christ has done in our lives, and we share the gospel. Perhaps He is nudging us about getting up earlier so that we can begin our day with Him, once you commit to do that it truly becomes the joy of your heart, for those quiet moments spent with Him yield far more than you could ever realize!

And at other times He is the one speaking, when someone comes to your mind. I have learned that the hard way, He will place someone on my mind and I don't call or pray or write a card or even send a text or email, and I find out later that there was a reason He brought them to my mind, they were struggling or hurting or whatever, the point is when Christ brings someone to my mind now I always try to pray right then and then do the next thing, God knows who needs what, and He knows when they need it and that is when He speaks to us, I pray that I will never get over being in awe of Him and the way He is in the smallest details of our lives!!

God prompts us to fill a need in the church that we attend, or to volunteer our time or money to individual needs He makes us aware of. Since He is the one who gave us our talents and gifted us with a spiritual gift doesn't it stand to reason He knows where to place us in school, vocation, and in church? He wants to be involved and invited in to every aspect of our lives, nothing off limits to Him, I know it is beyond my understanding too, I'm just so grateful!!

I have saved the best for last the greatest commandment is; "YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND." And the second is this, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." Matthew 22:38-39. That means of course that if we are obeying the Lord to love Him, we will do all that He tells us to do for all of it is for our good! And to love your neighbor means that we do no harm, no gossip, and we are to forgive no matter what, it is not an option. That becomes easier when we stop to think about all the sin that Christ forgave us in our own lives.

To know Christ is to love Christ, to love Christ is to obey Christ.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

"But if you refuse to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve." Joshua 24:15

God Almighty, Creator of the heavens and earth, created man and God willed that man would be given freewill. In other words God gave man the power of choice in everything, including who man would choose to worship and serve! If you do not choose God make no mistake you will choose someone or something and the Bible calls those things idols. To choose yourself to worship, to have control of "your life" is to reject God, to serve money is to reject God, to choose power is to reject God. Choose wisely for it will not be for this very brief time on planet earth but rather for all of eternity!

Today is about standing up, showing up and speaking up, we have made our choice, we choose Jesus Christ and that choice carries with it responsibilities.

For instance what is Showing Up? Around the holidays people camp out over night, or sometimes for several nights waiting to get a free billboard size t.v.! The ones that show up first, the ones that are willing to inconvenience themselves are the ones who are rewarded. What about the ones that Show Up for Jesus? Following Jesus' Resurrection who was it that got to see Jesus and talk with Him first? Mary Magdalene and the other women, why were they rewarded? Because they showed up! They came early in the morning and instead of the body of their Lord they were greeted by an angel. They ran and told the disciples just as Jesus had instructed them and the disciples didn't believe them. When Jesus appeared to the disciples He rebuked them for their lack of faith and hardness of heart not to believe what the women had told them. Read Mark 16:6-14. Do we inconvenience our selves to get up early to meet with our Lord Jesus every morning, any morning?

What about Standing Up? David took a stand against the giant Goliath because he had dared to taunt the armies of the living God! The apostles stood up against the high priest and the chief priests and elders who ordered them to stop using the name of Jesus, they said, "we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard, we must obey God rather than men" The apostle Paul stood before kings and preached the Good News of Jesus Christ, everywhere he went he stood and proclaimed Jesus Christ the Messiah, the Savior! How am I Standing Up for Jesus? Do I proclaim Him as Lord before non believers or do I fear the reproach of man and stand by saying nothing?

Now about Speaking Up! Bartimaeus a blind beggar heard that Jesus was coming by and he yelled out to Jesus, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" There were many in the crowd that day that tried to shut him up, but Bartimaeus would not be denied or shut down by man he cried out all the more and Jesus heard him and called for him and healed him! Mark 10:46-52. There are people in our lives that will try to shut us up, but we like Bartimaeus must keep crying out for Jesus and He will hear and answer our petitions.

The other aspect of Speaking Up must be the in the witness of our mouth, confessing Jesus Christ as Lord to the world! Not just in witnessing but in proclaiming the truth of the Word of God! Jesus said that we as believers in Him are the light of the world and that we are to let our lights shine in such a way that God would be glorified. Light exposes things, lies, darkness, if we are not speaking up then we are hiding our light under a basket! Christians are not to be a stealth people, secretly serving God! Jesus said in Matthew 10:26-27, "Therefore do not fear them...What I tell you in the darkness speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim on the housetops." And again in Matthew 10:32-33 Jesus says; "Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven."

One last Up the most important Up of all it is Jesus promise to all who have believed in His name for salvation, redemption and forgiveness of sins. Jesus speaking in John 14:3, "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself, that where I am, there you may be also." 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18, "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be Caught Up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words."

So we must Stand Up, Show Up and Speak Up for at any moment we may be Caught UP!

Monday, February 13, 2012

"As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him." Acts 9:3 NASB

The most extraordinary things happen right in the middle of our otherwise ordinary days. I sat and thought of the extraordinary things that have happened in my life since I became a believer and every one of them just seemed to have been plopped down right in the middle of my ordinary days. God just "breaking in" as He did with Saul when he was traveling on the road to Damascus.

Of all the many times that I have witnessed and shared Jesus Christ with others I can only think of a handful that I knew about ahead of time. Most of them came in the middle of ordinary days, walking around a lake on Mothers Day, going on a shopping trip, at an airport, on a flight to San Francisco, at a roadside fruit stand, getting my hair done, dropping off flyers for a political candidate, in a WalMart, in a restaurant, in a parking lot, on the phone, in a bible book store, all of these and many others just ordinary days that God turned into extraordinary encounters.

But they didn't just happen, God has prepared me over the years in my daily quiet time. Countless times He has drawn my attention to a specific scripture that was just precisely what someone else needed later that day, and His Word performs extraordinary work that only the living Word of God can. Or He will begin to open my eyes to the questions of Jesus in Scripture and six months later it will become a devotional journal called The Quest; A personal journey through the probative and timeless questions of Jesus Christ. Another quiet time yielded the seeds for a book that I wrote for my grandchildren called Gabe and The Clubhouse Kids. A bible study named Call to Me was the result of years of just being in the Word and having the Lord open it up to me.

None of this is about me, it is all about the Lord and what He will do when we seek Him and meet with Him in His Word and in prayer. As I'm writing this post it is becoming so clear to me that without exception the extraordinary occurrences in my life all had their genesis in the ordinary quiet times spent with the Lord in His Word. In truth, using the word ordinary in conjunction with spending time with the Lord is an oxymoron!

For the most extraordinary thing that ever happens to anyone of us is that the God of all creation desires to meet with us, His creation! He speaks to us from His Word, He bends His ear to hear our prayers and He answers them! He wants to be involved in our ordinary lives and He has every right to show up anywhere and anytime He wills, and we are so blessed to be a part of what He is doing!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

"But he who sows righteousness gets a true reward." Proverbs 11:18b NASB

What if this Sunday in church the sermon was What Did You Do For God in 2011? With a subheading of What Will You Do For God in 2012?

I asked myself both questions and I wasn't happy with the things that I did that had eternal impact for the Kingdom of God! I'm speaking of the individuals that I shared Christ with,first of all I thank God for each and everyone that the Lord gave me the opportunity with,there is no greater joy in all the world than to see a soul saved! Yet I know there were many missed opportunities or opportunities that I didn't recognize.

God alone can save a soul, the Holy Spirit convicts them that they are sinners and believers get to share the Good News! How wonderful is that? God does all the work all we have to do is talk about our awesome Jesus!! We are told in 1 Thessalonians 4:1,10 that we as believers are to "excel still more!" There is no such thing as standing still for believers we are either moving forward or sliding backward, lets excel still more in 2012!

First lets go buy those seeds of righteousness; picture an entire side counter at your local Supercenter full of seed packets. You have set your mind to make this year count for Jesus in your life so you grab a cart and start reading the categories; Unceasing Prayer, Total Surrender, Faithfulness, Obedience wow, that one is huge and pricey it must really be important, it occupies prime real estate shelving across the entire side counter! Then you notice the side kick it has some interesting packages, Tongue Tamer with a skull and crossbones across the front, Log Remover for the eyes, ouch, you throw in three packages of that, Self-Righteousness this one comes with a guarantee that if ingested you throw up! The little package marked Pride comes with all kinds of evil side effects, and its free! No thank you!

If you are going to sow seed you need fertilizer and conveniently it is right across the aisle. Lets see the bags come in different types; Prayer Partners, Accountability Partners, Mentors, Bible Studies, Sunday School, Cell Groups, they all look good, choose wisely. Then you spot the largest bag in the store it must weigh 100 lbs and on the front it reads Holy Bible, you grab an associate and ask them to bring you a pallet full to check out. It's going to be a glorious year!!

See you in the Harvest Fields?

Friday, February 10, 2012

"I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture." John 10:9 NASB

There is a chain of fast food restaurants in California called In N Out burgers and as fast food goes they are pretty good. This really has nothing to do with the topic of today's post other than the name just wanted to give them a shout out.

I have read the title verse probably a hundred times and I never knew why Jesus was talking about going in and out, but I knew it was there for a reason, and that it had application for a believers life not just for sheep. One day the question came into my mind, who doesn't have the ability to go in and out at will? People who are in jail or prison cannot for they are held captive.

Then the Holy Spirit brought to my mind Isaiah 61:1,a prophecy regarding Jesus the Messiah. "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners." Wow! Liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners! Now this applies to people in a huge way and it is something believers in Jesus Christ can receive, freedom, liberty, the ability to go in and out at will!

Of course there are many kinds of captivity, and varieties of prisons. Sin applies to all people and it makes slaves of all. But Jesus conquered the power of sin on the cross, He broke its back and all who enter through Him, all who believe in Him as the risen Son of God and confess Jesus Christ as Lord receive forgiveness of sins but also freedom from the death grip that sin held over them! "Having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness." Romans 6:18.

What about the captivity of addicts? Drugs, alcohol, gambling, pornography just to name a few take away all liberty, held captive they are powerless to break free. But these are the very people Jesus came to deliver, He didn't come for the self righteous, He came for those that were sick, those who knew they were sinners. And to all who believe in Him He set free, so that they can walk at liberty and find good pasture.

What does the pasture represent? To a sheep it is food, all they need to thrive. To a person it is all we need to thrive; food, clothing etc. Matthew 6:31-34; "Do not worry then saying, "What will we eat? or What will we drink? or What will we wear for clothing? Your heavenly Father knows you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."

Psalm 119:45 NLT; "I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to Your commandments." Sometimes a child of God is held captive by their ignorance of who they are in Christ, because they don't know the Scriptures, they don't know the power of God and sadly that is a self imposed limitation. Jesus told a group of scholars that they were in error because they don't know the Scriptures or the power of God. Mark 12:24. We must know Scripture to know Christ.

The good news is we can all come to Christ Jesus and in Him we have liberty to go in and out and find pasture. Call out to Him now, today, and He will hear your voice and answer you. How do I know? Because I am a former prisoner of sin and now because of Christ, I come and go freely. I read these words in Scripture and I believed them and cried out to Him and He heard me and He will do the same for you. "Whoever will call on the name of the LORD will be saved." Romans 10:13

Thursday, February 9, 2012

"For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11 NASB

The Lord has a plan for each and everyone of His children and no two plans are alike! And in Scripture God has revealed His will that applies to all of His children alike. His commands and promises are all through out Scripture and in some of the epistles of the New Testament several elements of God's will for the body of Christ are grouped together. Today's example comes from 1 Thessalonians chapters four and five.

1 This is the will of God, your sanctification, abstain from sexual immorality
2 We are to stay alert and sober, wearing the breastplate of faith and love
3 Encourage one another and build one another up
4 Appreciate those who have charge over you in the Lord, pastors, teachers
5 Live in peace with one another

6 Warn those who are lazy
7 Encourage those who are timid
8 Take tender care of those who are weak
9 Be patient with everyone
10 Never pay back evil with evil

11 Strive to do good to each other and to all people
12 Always be joyful
13 Never stop praying
14 Be thankful in all circumstances
15 Do not stifle or quench the Holy Spirit

16 Do not scoff at prophecies
17 Examine everything carefully
18 Hold fast to what is good
19 Stay away from every kind of evil
20 Walk in a manner pleasing to the Lord

21 Excel still more in your life as a believer
22 Never ever settle in your pursuit of the knowledge of Jesus
23 Love one another
24 Put on the helmet of the hope of salvation
25 Share these things with other believers

All these are God's will for you in Christ Jesus!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

"My dear brothers and sisters, if someone among you wanders away from the truth and is brought back, you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins." James 5:19-20 NLT

Indifference hides its head in the sand, love compels action. Do you know someone who once walked with God, was on fire, actively involved and then something happened to them and you never see or hear from them again? Sadly how often does our concern result only in gossip for a few days and then we forget all about them.

The Bible says if someone wanders away from the truth and is brought back, whoever brings the sinner back will save that person from death, and bring about forgiveness of many sins.

The next time a person that you used to fellowship with or maybe they were in your Sunday school class, cell group or bible study group enters your mind, lift them up in prayer to the Lord and be prepared to be used by Him to contact them. Preferably face to face or over the phone, texting and email are great but they both definitely have their limitations.

Just the idea of contacting them brings various scenarios, how will they react, will they think I am judging them, or just snooping around in their business? Just make up your mind to show love to them and your willingness to subject yourself to their possible rejection will show them that you care.

I'm not saying that it is easy, the Christian life isn't easy but the way of the transgressor is really hard! Sometimes they listen and receive and other times they blow you off, either way they will one day know that you cared enough about them to reach out to them.

To stand by and do nothing is what the world is all about. A believer is to reach out in love and throw someone a life line when they are sinking.

God is revealing to me right now someone I need to call and after I post this that is exactly what I am going to do. I have no idea if this person will even talk to me, but God has put them on my heart and I must be obedient to Him.

What about you, as you have been reading this blog has a name or a face come to your mind? God is speaking...what are you willing to do?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me." Revelation 3:20 NASB

I am sure that many of you have seen the painting that pictures Christ on the outside of a door, knocking to gain entrance. I thought that was a picture of Christ knocking on the door of the heart of one who doesn't know Him, but no these words of Christ from today's title scripture were said to the church, believers in Laodicea who were guilty of lukewarmness towards God! Christ lovingly pursuing them and warning them of their condition.

We each one are as close to God as we choose to be! The reluctance or hesitation to draw near is never the Lord's it is ours. His will is and always has been since He created man to have an intimate, close relationship with His children. That is one reason why He created man in His image so that our spirit could worship Him and fellowship with Him! John 4:24; "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."

God is the one who always initiates all contact with us, He poured out His life's blood for the sins of the entire world, He loves us with a love that is outrageous in its magnitude, He forgives and forgets our sins and never does He bring them up to us! He watches over us, His eyes never leave us, His thoughts are toward us, He hears our prayers and He answers them and protects us in ways we probably will never know until we are with Him in Heaven.

We each one are as close to God as we choose to be! Ecclesiastes 12:6-7; "Remember Him before, the silver cord is broken...then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it." 2 Corinthians 5:8; "...absent from the body, to be at home with Lord." David wrote in Psalm 17:15 NLT; "Because I am righteous, I will see You. When I awake, I will see You face to face and be satisfied."

Meditate on the above three scriptures for a day or two. Are you comfortable with the idea of beholding your Savior face to face, today? Will you be looking at the One who is closer to you than any flesh and blood person, a cherished Friend with whom you have had sweet fellowship? Or will you be looking into the face of a stranger?

If you are reading this and you are not satisfied with your relationship with Christ, you've trusted and believed in Him for salvation but if you are honest you are lukewarm to Him, then choose today to draw near to Him in the Scriptures and in prayer and He promises He will draw near to you!

Monday, February 6, 2012

"The LORD now said to Moses, "Send out men to explore the land of Canaan, the land I am giving to the Israelites. Send one leader from each of the twelve ancestral tribes." Numbers 13:1-2 NLT

Moses sent out twelve leaders one from each of the tribes to go into Canaan and scout it all out and then come back and give all of Israel a report of the land that God has promised to give them. They were gone forty days and nights and ten men of the twelve reported in Numbers 13:35 AMP the following; "There we saw the Nephilim (or giants),the sons of Anak, who come from the giants; and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight."

Two of the leaders that were part of the original twelve came back with this report as written in Numbers 14:6,9 NLT; "Two of the men who had explored the land, Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, tore their clothing. Do not rebel against the LORD and don't be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the Lord is with us! Don't be afraid of them!"

How could twelve men go and scout the same land and come back with totally differing accounts of what they had seen? What caused the disparity in their reports? The ten leaders saw the very same things that Joshua and Caleb saw, or did they?

The ten approached the promised land as a land that they were responsible to conquer.

Joshua and Caleb approached the promised land as a land that God was going to give them as they came into it to possess it. They believed God's promise and they knew God was with them.

The ten saw the giants and because they believed and were relying on their own strength, they viewed the giants from their perspective and they were afraid. They felt like grasshoppers and they believed that was how the giants viewed them, as grasshoppers.

Joshua and Caleb saw the same giants but because they knew and believed that God was with them, they viewed the giants from God's perspective and it wasn't any contest! Now who looks like grasshoppers?

"Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, "We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we will surely overcome it. But the men who had gone up with him said, "We are not able to go up against the people, for they are too strong for us." Numbers 13:30-31 NASB

As believers in Christ we have choice to make when faced with giants, we can view our giant as something or someone we have to conquer, or we can view our giant as something or someone God our Mighty Warrior will give us victory over!

What giants are you facing; Poverty? Your God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory. Fear? Fear not for I am with you, do not anxiously look around you for I am your God. Cancer? Is anything too hard for God? Cancer is just a word to God. Our God is Sovereign: over fear, over poverty, over cancer, over Satan, over all of heaven and earth and He is Sovereign over your life and mine! God is for us, who can be against us? Nothing can separate us from His love, absolutely nothing, and no one can snatch us out of His hand!!! Everyone and everything is a grasshopper to God, there are no giants from His perspective and He is our Daddy and He loves us with an everlasting love!!!

Trials are part of life, keep your eyes on Jesus and you can walk on top of the waves of your storm! No matter how high the waves, no matter how fierce the wind, no matter how dark the skies, Jesus is always in complete control and His loving eyes are on you, He is praying for you and He is as close as your breath. Praise Him in the storm for one day you will hear Him speak to your storm and say, "Peace be still." And you will find yourself safely on shore with Him.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

"However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him." Romans 8:9 NASB

Today's title scripture is very clear if we do not have the Spirit of God, or Holy Spirit dwelling within us we do not belong to Jesus Christ. And it doesn't end there with the Holy Spirit dwelling within each believer we are also to be under His control! Ephesians 5:18 NLT says; "Don't be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit." In other words don't be controlled by alcohol for that has ruined many a life, instead yield control to the Holy Spirit of God and really live!

Back to Romans 8, we are also told in verse fourteen of this chapter; "For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God." So we are to be filled (by the way the verb for filled as found in Ephesians 5:18 is a present, active participle, we are to continually be filled, daily filled with the Holy Spirit. And now in Romans 8:14 we are to be led by the Spirit of God if we truly are sons of God. To be led means controlled and guided by the Spirit. So now let's look at an example of a son of God being led by the Spirit.

Acts 8:25-40 tells the story of one day in the life of a disciple named Philip. Philip was told in verse 26; "Get up and go south to the road that descends from Jerusalem to Gaza." This was a desert road. So Philip did as he was told and he saw a man who was a court official to Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, this man in the chariot was in charge of all the treasure of Queen Candace. Then the Holy Spirit said to Philip in verse 29, "Go up and join this chariot." Philip starting running and caught up to the chariot. He didn't ask why, he didn't ask what am I going to say, I don't even know this person...Philip started running.

As Philip caught up to the chariot he heard the official reading from Isaiah the prophet. Philip then asks the man do you know what you are reading? The man responds how can I unless someone guides me? With that opening Philip sat by the man in the chariot and beginning with that very scripture; "He was led as a sheep to slaughter; And as a lamb before its shearer is silent, So He does not open His mouth." Then Philip opened his mouth, and from this Scripture in Isaiah he preached Jesus to him!!

Jesus Christ is found in all the books of law and the prophets, as well as all the New Testament. The question is do I know the Scripture well enough that I could, like Philip began anywhere and lead them to Jesus? Philip didn't just leave the man in Isaiah, he brought him all the way to Calvary, the tomb and the resurrection of Jesus Christ!

There are so many other life applications for us in 2012; Philip didn't have to make friends with the man, he wasn't concerned about how this total stranger would react to someone sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with him, Philip wasn't even worried that this man wasn't just a stranger, he came from another nation and might not be open to the one God of the Jews. All Philip concerned himself with was to be obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit! He was being led by the Spirit and Philip trusted that the Spirit knew what He was doing.

As a result the Ethiopian saw water and asked if he could be baptized? Philip said "If you believe with all your heart, you may." To which the man replied; "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." So right then and there Philip and a total stranger who were put together by the Holy Spirit of God went together into the water and Philip baptized the Ethiopian!

Acts 8:39 says; "When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; and the eunuch no longer saw him, but went on his way rejoicing."

Now I ask you, could you ever design a day like that? No, neither could I but when we are filled with the Holy Spirit and obedient to do what He leads us to do, every day can be a day of wonder, a day of purpose, a day of surprise, a day you will never ever forget!

Friday, February 3, 2012

"Then those who feared the Lord spoke with each other, and the Lord listened to what they said. In His presence, a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared Him and always thought about the honor or His name." Malachi 3:16 NLT

Over the past ten years God has brought me into the blessings and sweet fellowship with the body of Christ in the church I now attend. I have never before experienced in such a profound way the love of Christ thru a body of believers! And I am so deeply grateful to Him for the incredible gift of the body of Christ and what it means to a believer. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ and you are not plugged into a church you are missing out on one of God's deepest blessings.

God never purposed that a disciple of Christ would go it alone. None of us is to be a spiritual lost sheep, God goes after all lost sheep to bring them into the safety of the rest of the sheep. We are never more vulnerable to attack by the enemy who does indeed go around as a roaring lion, seeking someone he may devour, as we are when we have not placed ourselves under the God appointed authority of the local church. Of course the local church must be one that confesses Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and proclaim the Word of God as inerrant. Salvation by Christ alone, sins forgiven through the blood of Christ, reconciliation with the Father through the resurrection of Christ.

Christian fellowship cannot be compared to friendships in the world. I realize that we can have friends in the world, and I have some but you can't begin to compare those relationships with those in the body of Christ. It goes way beyond eating, socializing and having fun... It is knowing that if you ever needed help, no matter what kind, you would have it. It is knowing that the other adults not only are watching over their own children but are also taking the responsibility to be good role models for all the other children and youth.

It is having people come along side when you are in the hospital, or you lose a loved one, or you are diagnosed with cancer, you are laid off from work, when your spouse decides they don't want to do this marriage thing anymore, or your child gets arrested for drinking or drugs. The things that separate most friendships in the world, serve to bring the body of Christ together on behalf of the one that is hurting, the one that needs prayers, they have your back you are never alone, except if you want to be.

God's spiritual gifts that are given when you are born again can be seen in any local body of believers. Gifts of service, organization, prophesy, giving, mercy, teaching, and exhortation. All different but given by the same Spirit, many members, one body in Christ and individually members one of another.

Our spiritual connection is the strongest connection there is because within that bond; over, around, and underneath holding all of us together is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Present in every gathering He promises to be there in our midst. I lived too long away from this blessing and I want to live the rest of my life in His presence among the body of believers!

Please, if you and your family do not have a church, where the Word of God is taught and Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior, where there are godly staff members, a wonderful children and youth ministry and a pastor that proclaims the truth, please ask God to direct your steps to where He would have you to go and He will! By the way good Bible studies for men and women and a 24/7 prayer room are huge pluses.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

"Then Moses said to God. Now they may say to me, What is His name? God said to Moses, I AM WHO I AM." Exodus 3:13-14 NASB

I love to write about or pray using the many names of God. My faith soars because as I say; Savior, I am reminded of my salvation. Healer, when He healed me of migraines and thyroid disease.

Deliver, when He drew me out of the pit of darkness and transferred me into the kingdom of His beloved Son. Good Shepherd, I shall never know want, I hear His voice and I follow Him. Mighty Fortress, when I fear I run there and I am safe in His loving arms.

Alpha and Omega, He began the good work in me and He will see it through until the end, He will complete what He started! The Beginning and the End, He always was, and forever will be, the same yesterday, today and forever!

The Bread of Life, He is the sustenance of my life and He gives me life eternal. The Son of God who came to take away my sin and the sin of the whole world. Redeemer, He paid the price that I could never pay, He redeemed me!

He is Holy God and I fear and worship Him! He is the Light of the World and in Him I have light. He is a Mighty Warrior and I am victorious in Him. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords and I bow my knees to His majesty and confess with my mouth; Jesus is Lord!

He is the Vine and I am a grafted in branch and I abide in Him for apart from Him I can do nothing! He is the Word, the living Word and His written Word dwells deeply and richly in my heart, and it is the delight of my heart. He is my Wonderful Counselor, He guides and directs my steps in the way I should go. He is Sovereign over all and that knowledge fills me with joy and hope.

He is the Lamb of God, a perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world, provided by God. He is the Lion of the tribe of Judah, whom shall I fear? He is the Prince of Peace and He reigns over my mind and heart and keeps them at peace.

He is the Way, the Truth and the Life and no one comes to the Father but by Him. For salvation comes through Jesus Christ alone. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved!

He is El Shaddai, Almighty God, and I love Him, because He first loved me. And He is Immanuel, God with me forever!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

"Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming." Matthew 24:42 NASB

False prophets, false teachers have been claiming for centuries that they are the Christ, others have falsely predicted the date of Jesus return to earth, and many who do not know the Word of God for themselves have been misled and even died as a result of false teaching.

Regarding Jesus second coming much has been written in Scripture. Jesus said in Matthew 24:30-31,36; "And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds,from one end of the sky to the other. But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone." Pay no attention when someone gives a date of the return of Christ, they don't know that they are deceived.

God wants His children to know what is going to happen before it does so that we may know that He alone is God! He wants us to know so that when certain things start happening we can know that Jesus Christ could come at any moment and we are to be ready. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words."

Scripture gives us warnings about things to watch for as in 2 Timothy 3:1-5; "But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. Holding to a form of godliness although they have denied its power. Avoid such men as these."

We are to be watchful, we are to be patient. James 5:7-8; "Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near."

In the last days people will mock believers and say when is He going to come? Nothing has changed He will never come. But Scripture says in 2 Peter 3:9-10,14-15; "The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless."

1 John 4:1-4; "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God; every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world."

"And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life." 1 John 5:11-12.