Saturday, May 31, 2014
Friday, May 30, 2014
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self- seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Cor 13:4-7 NIV)
Thursday, May 29, 2014
- Salespeople are taught to stop talking when they feel they have the sale. Inexperienced ones frequently talk themselves out of a sale!
We should apply that wisdom when we share our faith. We should speak as the Holy Spirit leads, then be quiet and let Him do His job.
Several days later Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was a Jewess. He sent for Paul and listened to him as he spoke about faith in Christ Jesus. As Paul discoursed on righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, "That's enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you." (Acts 24:24-25 NIV)
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
- To "rationalize" has been defined as "an attempt to explain or justify (one's own or another's behavior or attitude) with logical, plausible reasons, even if these are not true or appropriate."
We have all done it at times. Even to God.
And remember, no one who wants to do wrong should ever say, "God is tempting me." God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else either. Temptation comes from the lure of our own evil desires. These evil desires lead to evil actions, and evil actions lead to death. So don't be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God above, who created all heaven's lights. Unlike them, he never changes or casts shifting shadows. (James 1:13-17 NLT)
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
- Difficult times for us? Yes. God is able? Absolutely, without a doubt. We need the cover of your prayers especially now.
It was important for Peter then--prayer made the difference between life and death for him. It is important for us now.
He had the apostle James (John's brother) killed with a sword. When Herod saw how much this pleased the Jewish leaders, he arrested Peter during the Passover celebration. But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him. Then the angel told him, "Get dressed and put on your sandals." And he did. "Now put on your coat and follow me," the angel ordered. So Peter left the cell, following the angel. But all the time he thought it was a vision. He didn't realize it was really happening. (Acts 12:2-3,5,8-9 NLT)
Monday, May 26, 2014
- For our U.S. readers: Today is Memorial Day, a day set aside to remember those who died in active military service. We also honor all who serve: Thank you for your service.
- This is true: God is the Judge. We are not.
So... why do we act like the judge of others so often?
Don't speak evil against each other, my dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize each other and condemn each other, then you are criticizing and condemning God's law. But you are not a judge who can decide whether the law is right or wrong. Your job is to obey it. God alone, who made the law, can rightly judge among us. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to condemn your neighbor? (James 4:11-12 NLT)
Friday, May 23, 2014
- Ever heard of a "check-up from the neck up"? A tech might say, "Run a self-diagnostic routine." Both of which can be other ways to say, as William Shakespeare said, "To thine own self be true...".
We all need to be honest about what we are doing and why. It's hard, though, being really, truly, brutally honest with ourselves and God.
Balaam had to learn the lesson the hard way. Personally, I would rather not have to argue with a donkey before I turned from my own reckless, headstrong path...
Then the LORD opened Balaam's eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown. The angel of the LORD asked him, "Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me. The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If she had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared her." (Num 22:31-33 NIV)
Thursday, May 22, 2014
- Fear of rejection: it is one of the "big ones". For many, it is one of the more paralyzing fears to deal with. It can hinder us from doing or saying things we should, stop relationships before they begin, and so much more.
Do you think it is a significant reason we fail to share Jesus with others as often as we could? I think so...
But like any fear, it can be overcome. Feeling safe and loved in a secure relationship is a good place to begin--essential, in my opinion. We can have that kind of relationship with Jesus.
They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. They seized Peter and John, and because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day. But many who heard the message believed, and the number of men grew to about five thousand. (Acts 4:2-4 NIV)
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
- Does it hurt when someone fails to keep their word? Sure it does!
So, how do you think God feels when we fail to keep our word to Him? Think He feels hurt? Yes, He forgives us, but He has feelings.
Aren't you glad He always keeps His word and doesn't hold a grudge?
"The LORD has kept the promise he made. I have succeeded David my father and now I sit on the throne of Israel, just as the LORD promised, and I have built the temple for the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel. (2 Chr 6:10 NIV)
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
- I know people who are dependable, but no one who is absolutely faithful, always, in everything, in every way.
For us humans, that is impossible. We all fail at some time in some way or another. It is just a fact: we are not perfect.
But there is One who is...
"I know what the dream means," Joseph said. "The three branches mean three days. Within three days Pharaoh will take you out of prison and return you to your position as his chief cup-bearer. And please have some pity on me when you are back in his favor. Mention me to Pharaoh, and ask him to let me out of here. Pharaoh's cup-bearer, however, promptly forgot all about Joseph, never giving him another thought. (Gen 40:12-14,23 NLT)
Monday, May 19, 2014
Friday, May 16, 2014
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham's descendants. For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. (Heb 2:16-18NIV)
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
we really need the cover of your prayers right now. It is important. Thank you!
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope--the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, (Titus 2:11-13 NIV)
Monday, May 12, 2014
- I have known people who were so regretful of their past, they could not receive the future God had for them. They felt unworthy, and so they remained in a captivity that God had not imposed on them.
I have also known people who "stole" people's futures by constantly reminding them why they were unworthy of any good thing God had for them because of what they had done. This kept them in captivity.
Both are wrong, in my humble understanding. He forgives and restores. He does not rescind the calling on our lives or take back the gifts He has given. He remakes us just like the broken pot in Jeremiah's vision. He gives us a "hope and a future" (Jer. 29:11).
Then the word of the LORD came to me: "O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?" declares the LORD. "Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. (Jer 18:5-8 NIV)
Friday, May 9, 2014
Thursday, May 8, 2014
- These verses have very special meaning to me. They describe the man I used to be, and God used them to change my life. I will share more on that one day, but for now, think about this:
- These words were written to people who love and obey God.
- They affirm that Believers are sometimes "in the dark".
- They instruct us what to do in dark times: Trust God.
- They contain a stern warning and the consequences if abandon trust in Him and go our own way without His direction.
- These words were written to people who love and obey God.
Who among you fears the LORD and obeys the word of his servant? Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God. But now, all you who light fires and provide yourselves with flaming torches, go, walk in the light of your fires and of the torches you have set ablaze. This is what you shall receive from my hand: You will lie down in torment. (Isa 50:10-11 NIV)
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
- A powerful statement: "You alone have the words that give eternal life." That makes Jesus' words the most significant ever spoken.
We have them recorded in the Bible, available in a book and other media, via our phones and computers, on websites, and more.
But how often do we read them? And when we do, do we really make them part of our lives? Or are they just words on a page that we read out of obligation, expectation, habit, or ritual?
Think about it.
At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, "Are you going to leave, too?" Simon Peter replied, "Lord, to whom would we go? You alone have the words that give eternal life. We believe them, and we know you are the Holy One of God." (John 6:66-69 NLT)
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, "Come over to Macedonia and help us." After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. (Acts 16:9-10 NIV)
Monday, May 5, 2014
Whenever Jehudi had read three or four columns of the scroll, the king cut them off with a scribe's knife and threw them into the firepot, until the entire scroll was burned in the fire. The king and all his attendants who heard all these words showed no fear, nor did they tear their clothes. (Jer 36:23-24 NIV)