No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. (Psa 33:16-19 NIV)
Monday, March 31, 2014
Friday, March 28, 2014
- I know someone whose favorite response is, "Deal with it." (That is usually when he has done something someone has to "deal with".
Jesus said, "...everything that is hidden or secret will eventually be brought to light..." What comes to mind? Could that be inconvenient? Embarrassing? Even scary?
Better to "deal with it" now in private with God rather than other ways later. Aren't you glad we have that opportunity? (I know I am!)
"No one would light a lamp and then cover it up or put it under a bed. No, lamps are mounted in the open, where they can be seen by those entering the house. For everything that is hidden or secret will eventually be brought to light and made plain to all. So be sure to pay attention to what you hear. To those who are open to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But to those who are not listening, even what they think they have will be taken away from them." (Luke 8:16-18 NLT)
Thursday, March 27, 2014
Monday, March 24, 2014
Friday, March 21, 2014
Thursday, March 20, 2014
- Just saying, "Lord, I praise You." is not praising Him. Praise requires you to do something. Praise is defined as "the expression of approval or admiration for someone or something.", and, "the expression of respect and gratitude as an act of worship.".
So, what have you expressed to God lately?
O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory. Your unfailing love is better to me than life itself; how I praise you! I will honor you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer. (Psa 63:1-4 NLT)
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
- We can endure a lot when we have the understanding, encouragement, and support of those who love us. Even one makes a difference.
But when no one understands or even cares how we feel or what we have experienced... that is a very lonely feeling indeed.
Where do we find hope then? I know a way...
That's why he had to enter into every detail of human life. Then, when he came before God as high priest to get rid of the people's sins, he would have already experienced it all himself--all the pain, all the testing--and would be able to help where help was needed. (Heb 2:17-18 MSG)
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
- Can we intentionally forget something? Probably not; that concept is self-contradictory. However, there is something we can do.
We can retrain our mind to replace thoughts about one thing with another, in other words, train ourselves not to think about something. Though difficult, it is not self-contradictory, and I know it can be done.
God has forgiven and forgotten my past. If He has, so should I. This is how I deal with mine. I found it a good way to begin.
And the Holy Spirit also testifies that this is so. First he says, "This is the new covenant I will make with my people on that day, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts so they will understand them, and I will write them on their minds so they will obey them." Then he adds, "I will never again remember their sins and lawless deeds." Now when sins have been forgiven, there is no need to offer any more sacrifices. And so, dear friends, we can boldly enter heaven's Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. (Heb 10:15-19 NLT)
Monday, March 17, 2014
- Forgiveness is a decision, not a feeling. Do not confuse them. A feeling should not determine the decision; however, the decision can influence a feeling... eventually.
Conclusion: Decide to forgive even when you do not feel it.
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. (Col 3:12-15 NIV)
Friday, March 14, 2014
Thursday, March 13, 2014
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
- Would you think it absurd if I asked you to give me a one hundred dollar bill in exchange for a penny? Sure you would. You know better; you know what each is worth.
Yet, people make more absurd exchanges every day. They abandon Spirit things to obtain flesh things--infinite, eternal value exchanged for insubstantial, temporary value. Every day.
Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, "Does this offend you? What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. (John 6:61-63 NIV)
Monday, March 10, 2014
- When facing overwhelming odds, what do you do when the natural, logical thing to do does not work or has no possibility of success?
Jehoshaphat took a huge risk and did what was militarily and strategically illogical: He sent the "praise team" ahead of his soldiers.
Did it make sense? No. Was it right? I would say so! The enemy was defeated and it took three days to carry off the spoil.
After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: "Give thanks to the LORD, for his love endures forever." As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. (2 Chr 20:21-22 NIV)
Friday, March 7, 2014
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
- If you have never felt that you failed "so bad so often" that there was no hope for a future, I am truly glad for you. If, however, you struggle with that feeling, I understand because I have been there.
I learned from experience: I cannot fail enough to cause God to give up on me. Not possible. I can give up on myself, but He will not.
If you are at that hopeless point, trust His grace, mercy, and unlimited, unconditional love. For me, it felt like it was all I had left. (More than "felt"--it was.) I discovered it was all I needed.
Then I said, "My destruction is sealed, for I am a sinful man and a member of a sinful race. Yet I have seen the King, the LORD Almighty!" Then one of the seraphim flew over to the altar, and he picked up a burning coal with a pair of tongs. He touched my lips with it and said, "See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven." (Isa 6:5-7 NLT)
Monday, March 3, 2014
- "There are very few certainties... but one of the absolutes is that we will experience hardship and stress at some point." - Dr James C. Dobson
I think of prayer as a "pressure relief valve" when the pressure of stress rises: it keeps me from blowing up. It reminds me that I am not alone and that I do not have to handle everything by myself.
And another thing: Did you know God cares about how you feel today?
"Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man." (Luke 21:34-36 NIV)
Sunday, March 2, 2014
- It is easy to hide things from other people. Very easy. We do that.
We hide things from ourselves too--more often than we realize. We usually do not do it consciously or intentionally. But we do it.
We cannot, however, hide anything from God. Not even the deepest, most private things. But we try anyway, and He loves us anyway.
Look at them! They try to hide things from the LORD. They think he will not understand. They do their evil things in darkness. They tell themselves: "No one can see us. No one will know who we are." You turn things upside down. You think the clay is equal to the potter. You think that something that is made can tell the one who made it, "You did not make me!" This is like a pot telling its maker, "You know nothing." (Isa 29:15-16 ERV)