Friday, December 2, 2016

"Only One Name"

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved".  Acts 4:12

There is no other name under heaven that will save you.  That means there is only one name that saves us.  It is not the name of Buddha.  It is not the name of Allah.  It is not the name of any of the one million other gods worshipped by mankind.  It is not the name of the Pope.  It is not the name of some television evangelist or any other religious organization or ministry.  It is not the name of a denomination.  It is not the name that is found in a title-- king, ruler, president, pastor, prophet, etc.  It is not the name of your pastor, overseer, bishop, deacon, etc.  It is not in the name of your service-- Sunday School teacher, singer, choir member, worship leader, church secretary, nursery worker and so on.  It is not in the name of your ministry-- prison outreach, homeless outreach, ministry to battered women, construction of orphanages, etc.  It is not the name of what others call you-- a good person, a helper, a righteous man, a godly woman, a servant, or any other accolade placed on you.

There is only one name that saves.  That name is the Lord Jesus Christ.  No other name will be recognized by the Heavenly Father when we stand before Him on the Day of Judgment.  You may try to impress Him with some other name, especially the name of your own goodness, but it won't work.  Jesus is the only name that saves.  

Some will say I am being intolerant.  Some will say I am being closed-minded.  Some will say I am being dogmatic.  Some will say that I am wrong to say that Jesus is the only name that saves.  Consider this, I live on a dead end street.  If I tell you the only way to get to my house is by getting on Dreamy Trail and following it to my house are you going to tell me I am wrong, that is not the only way?  There is no other way of getting here.  Are you going to tell me I am intolerant?  No, because this is a fact.  If you come to see me you have to come that way.  If you are going to enter into God's house you are going to have to come in one way and one way only-- through Jesus Christ.  Or you won't get in.

Have a great day.  Jesus is the only name that will save you.     

Thursday, December 1, 2016

"He Doesn't Condone It"

"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment".  Hebrews 9:27
 
There is so much false reasoning going on in the world, especially in regard to the Lord and spiritual matters.  I would like to address one of those this morning. 
 
A lot of people have the misconception that God is condoning what they are doing because He hasn't "struck them down".  They think the lack of something bad happening to them is God's sign of approval when they are living in sin and doing sinful things.  They reason that if God were unpleased with it He would do something bad to them.  That is not necessarily true.  
 
There are times when our sinful practices and lifestyle bring consequences-- we reap what we sow.  There are times when bad choices lead to bad consequences.  So, yes, sometimes we see the bad that is happening to us and think that it is God's way of judging what we are doing as wrong.  They conclude that this is God's judgment.  So, by the same token, when nothing bad is happening they conclude that the Lord is "all right" with what they are doing.
 
This is false reasoning.  He is never "all right" with sin.  But the judgment we face for our sins ultimately comes after we leave this life.  It will be what we face when we step into eternity.  This is what confuses people when they see the wicked prospering now and having a "good life".  The Bible says they have their reward.  This is all they get as for as what we consider a "good reward".  But their real reward will come after they die.  Then they will face the judgment and be "rewarded" accordingly.  This is when they will receive their punishment-- Depart from Me into everlasting hell fire. 
 
So, don't be deceived into thinking that just because nothing bad is happening to you while you are living in sin that it means God has put His stamp of approval on it.  He never puts a stamp of approval on sin.  Your "reward" will come later.
 
Have a great day.  Just because you are living in sin and nothing bad is happening to you doesn't mean that the Lord condones it.   
 
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Co
ffee Break is a morning devotional written by Lorraine Ezell
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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

"Frustration"

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee".  Isaiah 26:3
 
Most temptations and spiritual attacks come against us subtly.  If they came with flashing neon signs and loud shouts we would be more apt to recognize them for what they are.  But the enemy doesn't usually come like that.  He comes with a question-- "did God say?  If you are the Son of God turn these stones to bread".  He often comes with suggestions-- "if you eat it will make you wish like God".  He comes to try us in the everyday affairs and tasks of life.  I have become aware of one of the biggest weapons he uses--- frustration.  Frustration is defined as: the feeling of being upset or annoyed, especially because of inability to change or achieve something.

Lately, I have found myself battling this "weapon" every time I turn around.  Things don't go right.  Things aren't going according to plans.  Other people are changing your plans.  Things aren't always as you were told or appear to be as you understood them to be.  Your bank statement won't balance.  Your vehicle won't crank.  A major appliance breaks down.  You have a deadline and every hindrance imaginable is interfering with you meeting it.  You gave it your best and your best wasn't good enough.  You can't get anyone to cooperate with you or help you.  What you ask someone to do, they did it wrong now you have to go back and redo it.  You lose your job.  You can't seem to get over an illness.  You can't find your other shoe and you are running late.  All of these things when not going the way you want them too-- smoothly-- have a way of frustrating you. 

The reason we must guard against frustration is because it steals our joy and our peace.  Without joy we have no strength-- the joy of the Lord is our strength.  So we become weak and give into the frustration and start getting upset, annoyed, angry and worried.  We start loosing our temper and say and do things we shouldn't and that we will regret later.  When we lose our peace, confusion and frustration become our guide.  Therefore, we can't make wise decisions.  We can easily go in the wrong direction and do the wrong thing.  We are being led more by our emotions and own understanding therefore we are more apt to make mistakes and misjudge the situation.  At that point we are operating more in the flesh than in the spirit and can hide our lights under a basket and do things that are unbecoming to our Christian testimony.  

Be on guard for frustration.  Look to the Spirit of God to help you recognize this weapon and ask for His help in overcoming it so that it will not overcome you. 

Have a great day.  Don't get frustrated.      
 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

"Helper, Keeper and Preserver"

"The Lord is thy keeper..."  Psalm 121:5a

The Psalm that this verse is taken from only has eight verses in it.  Twice it lets us know that the Lord is our helper. Three times it talks about the Lord being our keeper.  And three times it tells us that He will preserve us.  So, the Lord is our helper, keeper and preserver.  

Some would said that if He is my keeper then why did this or that happen to me.  Why didn't He keep me from being hurt?  Why didn't He keep His hand on me in the difficult trial I went through?  Why didn't He keep me from losing everything?  Why didn't He deliver me, or heal me, or provide for me?  Why did/does bad things happen to me if He is my keeper?  The "keeper" should have "kept" it from happening.

The fact that the Lord did not keep you from some hardship doesn't change the fact that He is your keeper.  He doesn't always keep us "from" those times, but He keeps us "in" them.  If you noticed when the psalm said He was our keeper, it is "wedged" in between Him being our "helper" and our "preserver".  Helper is on one side and preserver is on the other side, and keeper is in between.  What the Lord is letting us know is that He will help us in our trials; He will keep us in our trials; and He will preserve us in our trials.  He will help us when we go through them.  He will keep us when we go through them.  He will preserve us when we go through them. 

Rejoice if you are going through a difficulty because the Lord will be there to help you make it through it.  He will keep you from being destroyed by it.  He will preserve you and not let it get the best of you-- you will make it through it.  Let Him help you, keep you and preserve you.

Have a great day.  The Lord will help you, keep you and preserve you in your time of trial and need.   

Monday, November 28, 2016

"Adapt To Change"

"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee..." 2 Corinthians 12:9a
 
My mother in law went to be home with the Lord on Thanksgiving Day.  She was in the hospital for two days prior to her passing.  While the family was at the hospital my granddaughter and I were at home getting ready for the holiday.  Within those two days our Thanksgiving plans were changed five times.  With all the change taking place it became a teachable moment for Lexi, and myself.  I want to share what we learned with you because life is full of changes.
 
Changes in life happen as a result of choices we have made.  Sometimes we go through changes that are out of our control.  Some changes happen because they are part of the cycle of life.  When they come, we have to learn how to adapt to them and handle them the correct way.   We have to learn to "go with the flow" of what is happening and not allow them to frustrate us, aggravate us, make us angry, worried or fearful.   
 
When God created the Chameleon lizard, He gave it the ability to change colors and adapt to its surrounding.  It seems so effortless for it to change and become a part of what is happening around it instead of being in turmoil.  Would the Lord do that for this tiny creature and not do the same for us?  No.  God has given us the ability to adapt to life changes through His Holy Spirit.  Is it always easy?  No.  Is it possible?  Yes.  The Holy Spirit will give us the grace and peace that we need to change and adapt.  We don't have to allow a change of plans to upset us when they happen.  If we will allow the Lord to help us through the change, we can make the transition in peace.
 
Have a great day.  The grace of God will help us to adapt with peace when life brings changes.