Monday, August 31, 2009

"Weapon Of Fear"

"What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee." Psalm 56:3

One of the biggest weapons the enemy uses against us is fear. He tries to make us afraid at every turn and in every area. Fear of failure; fear of what people think about us; fear of losing our job; fear of getting a disease; fear of other people; fear of not being accepted; and the list goes on. We see that weapon so clearly manifested in the day in which we are living. People are afraid concerning the economy. They are fearful with the spread of flu and diseases.

If you are a child of God, you have nothing to fear. I didn't say that fearful situations wouldn't arise. I didn't say that they weren't real and don't exist. I did say that no child of God should fear evil or evil tidings when they come. What do we have to fear? The Lord is with us. He is bigger and greater than the enemy. He is our provider. He is our Healer. He gives grace and strength. He meets and supplies our every need. He never leaves us nor forsakes us. He is with us when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death. He is with us in the lion's den. He is with us in the furnace. He is with us in the good times and the bad times. He is with us in the dark, in the light, when facing a mountain, a river, a pit. In all that happened to Joseph, I never read once where he was afraid. When taken into captivity, Daniel and the three Hebrew children were fearless. Moses was not afraid when he stood before Pharaoh. David did not fear the giant.

Why were none of them afraid? They trusted in the Lord. They put their faith during "fearful" times in the Prince of Peace. We have nothing to be afraid of either as long as our faith is in Him and not in something or someone else. "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength." (Isaiah 26:3,4)

Have a great day. You have nothing to fear if your trust is in the Lord.

Friday, August 28, 2009

"Your Weakness"

"And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature." Luke 19:3

Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus but couldn't. His problem wasn't the crowd, it was his own weakness. The crowd didn't prevent him from being able to see Him- although it posed a slight hindrance- but it was his height that was the real hindrance. He was a short man and could not see over the crowd.

We tend to blame others for our "inability" to see the Lord. We tend to point fingers at someone else if we aren't as close to the Lord as we should be or desire to be. When they fell in the garden, Adam and Eve both tried to blame someone else because their relationship with the Lord was broken. Granted, sometimes people make it more difficult to serve the Lord. For example, if your spouse isn't serving the Lord, if you're a young person and your parents aren't serving Him, they will, in some cases either discourage you or forbid you to pursue your service to Him. But more times than not, it's no one else's fault- it is our own.

What is standing between you and the Lord this morning? What is standing in the way of your relationship with Him? What is standing in the way of your "seeing" Jesus? Zacchaeus's little stature stood between him and the Lord. For you perhaps it's bitterness or unforgiveness toward someone. Perhaps you are angry with the Lord because you feel as though He "betrayed" you because He didn't come to your rescue in a situation. Perhaps guilt or even pride is holding you back. We have to examine ourselves and look within our own lives. That is where the main hindrance usually lies. But we can't stop there. If we truly desire to know who He is, to serve Him, to have a relationship with Him, then we are going to have to follow the example of Zacchaeus. He found a way around his own weakness- he climbed a tree to make him taller so that he could see Jesus.

Our way around it is to simply "confess" it. Acknowledge your weakness to God. Acknowledge what it is that is hindering you to Him. Once Zacchaeus climbed that tree, nothing hindered him any more. Jesus saw him and told him to come down because He was going to his house. When we do the same, Jesus will say the same to us- "come down" (that weakness is no longer a hindrance), "I am coming to your house" (we will have the fellowship/relationship we desire).

Have a great day. Our own weaknesses often prevent us from "seeing" Jesus.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

"Good Suffering"

"For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing." 1 Peter 3:17

Nobody like to suffer, especially when they didn't do anything wrong. If I do something wrong and suffer for it, though I don't like it, I accept it- I brought it on myself by my own actions. But what about suffering for doing something right, for doing something good, for doing something moral? How do you handle it then- when you suffer for well doing?

From the beginning of time, people have suffered- and not because they always did something bad but also for doing something good. The Old Testament saints as well as the New Testament saints suffered because they did what was right- refusing to do what was wrong. Many Christians in other countries today are suffering because they preach the gospel of Jesus Christ- what's bad or evil about that. We are beginning to see it in our country. I get emails all the time about Christians being under attack. They are being fined, being sent to jail, being mocked, being rejected- not for doing something evil, but because they stood for the truth and for righteousness.

God's thoughts toward suffering is so foreign to the way we look at it. While none of us like to suffer, we don't mind it as much if we deserve it, but if we don't deserve it because we didn't do anything wrong- well, that's a different story. When God looks at suffering, He would prefer that we suffer for doing what's right instead of for doing what's wrong.

We might possibly see an increase of this in the future- false and unjust accusations when we are doing something good. If so, how will you act and react? How will you handle suffering? Will you handle it well only if it is justified? Will you handle it with grace and in a way that reflects the Christ in you? Will you handle it like the sinners? Will you handle it like Christ, our example? "But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled. Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ." (1 Peter 3:14,16) "Who, when he [Jesus] was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously." (1 Peter 2:23) "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." (Matthew 5:11,12)

Have a great day. How do you handle suffering when it is not justified?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


"And they gathered it every morning, every man according to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted." Exodus 16:21

All the coffee drinkers I know don't drink leftover coffee, they always pour out the leftover coffee and make a "fresh" pot each day- and throughout the day. They say that there is something about fresh coffee that is more palatable. Isn't it that way with everything? Vegetables and fruit just taste better when you pick them fresh from the tree or vine. The fresher something is the better- it tastes better, it smells better, it is more enjoyable.

If such things as fruits, vegetables, meats, etc. are so much more enjoyable when they are fresh, wouldn't it stand to reason that spiritual things are as well. So why do we settle for what's been leftover when it comes to spiritual things? We want fresh produce and coffee but are content to eat the leftovers from last week's church sermon for the next week or month or longer.

Does that describe you this morning? Are you eating and drinking something that was left over from the last time you attended church or some conference? There was a reason why God sent "fresh" manna everyday to the children of Israel while they were in the wilderness. There was a reason why He told them to gather it each morning. There was a reason why He said not to leave any leftovers. There was a reason why the leftovers stunk and bore worms.
God desires that we have a fresh word from Him each day, a fresh touch of His presence, a fresh revelation from His Spirit, a fresh anointing to go out into the world and reach humanity for Him.

Which one are you? The one who partakes of the fresh "manna" each morning, or the one who tries to live on what's leftover?

Have a great day. Are you settling for reheated leftovers? Fresh is always better, especially when it relates to spiritual things.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"Warning Signs"

"They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all." Luke 17:27

When asked what would be signs of His return, Jesus told us certain signs to look for. We are seeing those signs fulfilled. I believe with all my heart that the return of the Lord is on the horizon. It won't be long. In saying that, I am not saying that it will happen tomorrow- but it might- but it also might be a few more years. Even at that, time is passing so quickly, years seem no longer than months any more.

Even with all the warning signs, even with all the prophecies, even with all the alarms that are being sounded, even with all the events that are being fulfilled, I am alarmed at the number of people who are ignoring them. Multitudes just aren't listening. They aren't heeding the warnings. They are going on with life as usual. They are still "eating, and drinking", and living life like it's some big party that will never end.

Because they are not heeding, they are not making preparation for their souls. Instead they are mocking and making fun of those who are sending out the cry, "Prepare the way of the Lord". It has been my experience from just living on earth that you don't ignore warnings. We have a siren that goes off in our town that alerts us to a tornado- we don't ignore it, but instead we seek shelter. When the fire alarm goes off, we don't ignore it either, we exit the building. When driving down the street and I hear a siren, I don't go ahead and cross through the intersection, I wait for the police car or ambulance to cross first. The consequences for ignoring these warnings can be fatal.

If we heed these physical warning signs to protect our lives, why we are neglecting the warning signs to protect our souls? We certainly can't say that we haven't been warned. We are being warned. What are you doing with the warnings? Are you heeding them? Are you making preparation for your eternal soul because of them? Are you ignoring them and not making sure that it is well with your soul? As in the day of Noah when the flood came upon the earth, those who heeded the warning- Noah and his family- were saved. Those who didn't perished. Which group do you want to be in? Heeding brings the blessings of safety and eternal life. Ignoring brings the consequences of destruction and death.

Have a great day. There are many warnings signs and if you are wise you will heed them.

Monday, August 24, 2009

"Darkness Is Light"

"Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee." Psalm 139:12

"The darkness and the light are both alike to thee." It doesn't make how dark it may be outside, it doesn't prevent God from being able to see what is happening. He sees in darkness just like He sees in the light. He sees just as well in the dark as He does in the light- it's all the same to Him. How encouraging! If He can see in natural darkness as if He were looking at the light of day, then He can see the "dark" times we go through as if they were light.

The darkness of your trial doesn't hid you from God's view. The veil of darkness that you feel you are behind does not shroud you from His view. He sees in darkness. He sees you this morning. The confusion, the heartache, the pain, the weakness, the distress, the sorrow doesn't block you from His view. Though what you are going through may be dark, it is not too dark for His eyes to penetrate through.

You may be going through a "dark" period. You may feel as if the darkness is so dense that you are hid from even God's sight. Take comfort this morning, you aren't. He sees you. You are not hid from His sight by the things you are going through. Nothing is hid before Him, everything is open and naked in His sight-- even you. Elijah was hiding in a dark cave of despair, but God saw him. The darkness did not hide him. You dark "cave" does not hide you either.

Have a great day. God sees just as well in darkness as He does in light.

Friday, August 21, 2009


"Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices." 2 Corinthians 2:11

A couple of weeks ago my husband killed a copperhead snake in our yard. He showed it to me and told me to be very cautious around the yard and pay attention to my surroundings. These snakes are small, very well camouflaged and very poisonous. Last night I dreamed that I was in our garden. I was picking the squash and as I was pulling back the leaves to get to them, there he was- a copperhead snake. He was well hid. The way he was coiled caused him to look like several dead leaves laying beside the plant. If my husband had not showed me what they look like and told me to be cautious and careful, I never would have seen him. And of course it could have been fatal for me. In my dream I was glad that I had heeded my husband's warning.

We have an adversary who is out to destroy us. He doesn't always come right out in the open plainly visible. He lies in wait to attack us under a camouflaged covering. He came to Eve in the form of a serpent, but the Bible says that he also comes as an angel of light. In the appearance of an angel of light he often blends right into "religious" surroundings. It is often hard to distinguish him from the real. This is why we need to know what he "looks like". This is why we need to know his characteristics. This is why we need to know what type of tactics he uses in his pursuit to destroy us.

My husband showed me what this snake looked like, he told me what their habits are, he told me what type of areas that they like to stay in, he told me which places to be especially careful in because this snake could easily hide in them and not be spotted. The word of God does for us what my husband did for me. It reveals the devil's real character. It tells us how to detect him. It tells us what to look for and look out for. It exposes him so that he becomes more visible and unable to deceive us. Take heed to God's word concerning your adversary. Don't think that you can't be deceived. Don't think that you'll always be able to easily spot him. He is there and he lies in wait to give you a deadly "bite". But the word of God will keep you safe if you'll listen to it and pay attention to its warnings.

Have a great day. Our adversary is often very well camouflaged, but God's word shines the light of exposure on him so that he isn't hid any longer.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8,9

In the movie, "Lilies of the Field", during the scene where all the people had joined together and were working diligently to build the chapel, a local business man who owned the building supply store asked another man a question. The man that he asked was not a believer in Christ. The business man asked him why the people were doing this, why were they giving their time, their resources, their energies to help build this chapel. He told him that it was because of their faith and they wanted to pass on their faith to their children and give them a place so they could grow in their faith. Then the business man asked the nonbeliever why he was doing it- why was he helping? This is the point of this morning's message. His reply was-- you know I don't believe. I don't believe that there is something else out there after this life, but just in case I am wrong, just in case there is something, I am doing this for insurance.

The nonbeliever was helping build the chapel- giving of his time and resources to do some "righteous" work so that when his life was over and he discovered that there was a heaven and a hell out there he would be safe because of the work that he did. Your good works are not an insurance policy. They don't secure you a place in heaven. They don't save you from hell. You can build churches, you can give monies to the church, you can go to church, you can teach Sunday school, and countless other "righteous" works but they are not your guarantee that you'll be saved. "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost." (Titus 3:5)
If our works insure us a place in heaven, or escape from hell, then the rich young ruler had nothing to worry about. This man was a "worker"-- he kept the law, he supported the work of the temple. Yet he went to Jesus and asked Him what to do to be saved. If his works had been enough to insure his eternity he would not have left Jesus sorrowful. And Jesus would not have made the statement indicating that this young man did not have eternal life.

There is no eternal life insurance policy. You can't pay enough premiums through doing good works. But there is an "assurance". There is assurance of eternal life when we put our faith in God's gift of eternal life that was given to us through His Son Jesus. Jesus is the way that leads to eternal life and delivers us from eternal death. Works are not the way, they don't secure anything.

Have a great day. You can't buy eternal life insurance, but you can have assurance of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"Finish Line"

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us." Hebrews 12:2

I have been so amazed at how many of God's people are going through something. In some groups that I am involved in everyone is facing some sort of trial or difficulty. Almost everyone is going through some sort of sickness, tragedy, financial problems, marriage difficulties, and the list goes on.

This morning I want to take a moment to encourage you in your trying times. The Bible says that we are in a race. As you know, in any race there is a finish line. Every runner is aiming for the finish line so that he can obtain the prize. Brothers and sisters, our finish line is in view and it's getting closer and closer everyday. We have more of the race track behind us than is in front of us. The enemy is trying to weary us and cause us to quit and give up. He doesn't want us crossing the finish line. Each one of us who does is another one that he wasn't able to stop and destroy.

Keep running this morning. Don't let the length of the race, don't let the obstacles that have been thrown onto the track stop you. You have come too far and you don't have much further to go. Keep your eyes looking straight ahead, keep running with patience, keep looking to the Lord for strength when you get weak, lean upon His all sufficient grace to sustain you. Pray until you get your "second wind" and keep going. How sad to be only a few "feet" away from the finish line and quit.

Have a great day. The finish line is in view... keep your eyes upon it.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

"Garbage Barge"

"For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." Hebrews 5:13,14

I'm running a little late this morning, dosed back off to sleep and when I did I dreamed some strange dreams. One was very short. My three year old great nephew and I were outside standing under a tent and down the street came what appeared to be an eighteen wheeler truck. Knowing how he loves "big trucks" I pointed it out to him so he could see it. Knowing also how "rambunctious" he is I was concerned that he would want to run out to it. So I grabbed him and held him close while we watched it pass by. But instead of it passing by, it started turning into the street that was to the side of us. Also it wasn't a "big truck" it was more like a huge barge loaded down with trash and garbage. As it tried to make the turn I noticed that the wheels were coming closer and closer to us. With my nephew already in my arms I started carrying him in the opposite direction away from the 'truck' to a safer area so that he would not be ran over. I was more concerned about his safety than mine because I understood the situation- if you stay there you will get ran over- he didn't so it was up to me to protect him and get him to safety.

It may have seemed like an odd dream, but out there in the world are a lot of "big trucks" carrying lots of "trash and garbage" that are trying to "run over" our children. It's up to us to watch for them, to protect them, to show them the dangers that are trying to destroy them and help them get to a place of safety. The devil wants our children, he wants our youth, he wants our adults and senior citizens, he wants us so that he can destroy us.

We must be on guard. What may seem like something harmless in the beginning, what may look like something desirable - like big trucks are to my nephew- may in actuality be a garbage barge trying to run us over. Be discerning. Watch and pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten the eyes of your understanding so that you will see and know what is truth and what isn't. Not only is the devil after our natural children, he is after those who have received Christ but are still babes and children spiritually speaking. So those of us who are more mature should help bear the infirmities of those who are still weak and help watch for their souls.

These garbage barges are everywhere, we just don't need to mistake them for something else, for something that is not harmful. We need to see them as they really are with the filth that lies within them and the danger that is attached to them. It's only when we see the danger that we can help get those who don't to safety.

Have a great day. Be discerning and help watch for those who aren't.

Monday, August 17, 2009

"Whose Servants?"

"Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" Romans 6:16

Jesus said that no one could serve two masters- it was impossible because he would wind up loving one and hating the other. Trying to serve two masters is also illustrated in Revelation by the term lukewarm. It is impossible to be hot and cold at the same time. How do we know if we are trying to serve two masters? How do we know if we are trying to serve someone or something else other than the Lord? If we profess Christ, if we have truly had a born again experience, if we are endeavoring to serve the Lord, then are their times when we turn our attention to serving something else besides Him? How do we know?

The answer lies in the verse above. In this verse Paul was addressing the church, the believer, the Christians, those who profess Christ to help them to continue in their service to Christ. So, how do we know? "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey?" In other words-- whatever you are yielding to becomes your master and you become its servant. If you aren't serving Christ at all, then you are a servant of sin and it is your master. If you are living for the Lord but in a moment of temptation you give in to sin, then at the moment you yield to the temptation, whatever it may be, you are serving it not Christ- you can't serve both.

Again, how do you know? In the moments that you yield to your flesh and give in to your desires putting them above the commands of God's word and His desires, you are serving something else besides Him. Serving Christ is not a one time thing. It is done day by day, moment by moment, and it is done by yielding to Him in everything- in every choice, in every decision, at each point of temptation. So the answer is found in the "yielding". Whatever you yield to is what you are serving.

Have a great day. Whatever you yield to is what you are serving, and you can't serve more than one master at a time. So who are you serving?

Friday, August 14, 2009

"A Penny"

"And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward." Matthew 10:42

Don't wait for "big" ways in which to show God's love. Don't always be waiting for God to use you in some big, noteworthy way. Too often we won't make a move or do anything for the Lord because we are waiting for Him to use us to do something big or great. We miss opportunity after opportunity to do good and glorify Him because we decided that some act was too small or insignificant to bother with.

Jesus often used things that were small by man's estimation. He used a little boy's small lunch that consisted of a couple of small fish and a few small loaves of bread. He compared the kingdom of God to a pearl, a coin, a mustard seed- which He Himself said was the smallest of seeds. He took note of the widow's one little mite that she put in the offering above all the riches that the others were giving. He told of the story of the shepherd who went looking for one little lost sheep. Moses had just a small rod/stick in his hand- it was not a huge stick, it wasn't a branch or a log, it wasn't a whole tree- but God used it to part the Red Sea.

If my dad saw a penny laying on the floor, he would always bend down and pick it up. His philosophy was- pennies make dollars. A penny is a small amount and most people would walk over it reasoning to themselves, "It's only a penny. What can you get for a penny?", but put enough of them together and you can acquire several dollars. Little acts and deeds done for the Lord can produce great things and have a big effect on others. Just one little word spoken at the right time can bring restored hope and peace to someone who is hurting. A smile can make someone who is feeling down lifted up. A pat on the back brings great encouragement to those who are feeling like failures. A cup of cold water can bring refreshing to a thirsty man.

Are you like the person who steps over the penny? Do you think that it is too small to be concerned with? Are you waiting to do some bigger thing? Then you are missing the opportunity to do something great because little things add up to something big.

Have a great day. Don't step over the penny because Jesus often uses the small things.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

"My Life Story"

"When Christ, who is our life..." Colossians 3:4a

For weeks there has been a song that periodically keeps coming to my mind. I want to sing it for you this morning. Let me prepared you first. It is not a Christian song, it's a song from the past and there is only one line that keeps repeating itself. Let me also say that God can use anything that He chooses- even a worldly song- to get His message across. The song says, "If anyone should ever write my life story. For whatever reason there might be. Oh, you'll be there between each line of pain and glory. 'Cause you're the best thing that ever happened to me."

If your life story were to be written, what would it say? What would it reveal about you? What would be included in it? Would Jesus be in it? Would people know that He was "the best thing that ever happened to you"? Would they be able to say they saw Jesus in the good times of your life and in the bad times, in times of pain and times of glory, in times of trials as well as in times of blessings?

In this song the theme and focus was on a person that the writer considered to be the best thing that had ever happened to them. Let me ask you another question- if the story of your life was never written, would anyone still know that Jesus is the best thing, the greatest thing, the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to you just by the way you live your life and conduct yourself?

Just where is He in your life? Is He there at all? If He isn't, He can be- repent of your sins and invite Him into your life as Savior and Lord. If He is, is He the theme of your life? Is He the focus of your life? What would be said about you if the story of your life was written? What is being said about you now in regard to your relationship with Jesus?

Have a great day. Where is Jesus in your life story?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"False Labels - Part 2"

"And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him, and said unto him, The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour." Judges 6:12

Yesterday we talked about the fact that just because something is labeled one thing doesn't necessarily mean it is what the label says it is. I used the example of my automatic dishwasher. The label says that it is the "Quiet Pack", but it is any thing but quiet while it is running. We compared that analogy to those people who profess to be Christians but their actions don't back up their claim- they only have a label of Christianity, but it's a false label.

This morning I want to talk again about "false labels" but I want us to look at the subject in a different area- the labels other people put on us. When I read the account of Gideon, I immediately label him a coward. When the Lord called him, he was threshing wheat in a wine vat so that the enemy would not see him. He was fearful of the enemy so he was doing his work in hiding. I am not alone in my estimation of Gideon because I have heard many sermons refer to him the same way.

People, even in our own families, are always labeling us. They label us by what we do and even by what we have done in the past. They did it in the Bible: Mary Magdalene, who was possessed of seven devils; Jephthah, the son of a harlot; Matthew, the tax collector; Jesus, the son of a carpenter, etc. Some of the labels given to us by other people may have been true in the past, but when we have come to Christ those labels change. We are no longer the people we once were.

People remember what you do, and some of them won't let you forget it. Just like with Gideon, we labeled him a coward based on past performance. The labels that people give you are not the ones that count. It's the label that God places on you that really matters. God labeled Gideon a might man of valor so that was Gideon's true label. This morning other people may be labeling you according to your past, but their label is false. Who you really are is who God says you are- the label He places on you. And His label is a true label, not a false one.

Have a great day. They may still label you by what you once were, but it's the label that God places on you that is the true label.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"False Labels"

"And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" Luke 6:46

A few years ago I had to replace the automatic dishwasher in my kitchen. I went to the store and found one that was called a "Quiet Pack". Supposedly it meant that it didn't make any, or much, noise while it was running. I had seen these "quiet" models advertised on television and thought that I would get one since I had to replace it anyway. Let me tell you something about that dishwasher-- it is anything but quiet!!! If I run it at all, I run it during the middle of the night because it is so loud that you can hear it all over the house when it's running.

Just because something has a label doesn't mean that it is what the label says it is. There are many people who wear the label "Christian" but their conduct is any thing but Christ like. They may profess to be a Christian, but the proof is in their actions. Just like my dishwasher- its label "professes" to be quiet but when it goes into action it is totally the opposite.

Do your actions portray something different than what you are professing? Are you labeled as a Christian but don't act like one? Do you say you are a Christian but you don't walk in love, you have no joy, are always tearing people down with your comments, you aren't following Jesus? Then all you have is a label and no proof to back it up.

A label doesn't make it so. There could be a dozen labels on my dishwasher that make claims of being a quiet running one, but when you turn it on and it makes a lot of noise, the label means nothing, it makes a false claim. You can wear a dozen or more labels that make claims to Christianity- church member, sing in the choir, give to missions, have been baptized, etc, etc- but if you don't back up what you profess with the actions that support the claim, then your profession is nothing more than a false label.

Have a great day. The proof of something is not in the label it has, but in the actions that back up the claim.

Monday, August 10, 2009

"Don't Receive What You Hear"

"And as he talked with them, behold, there came up the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, out of the armies of the Philistines, and spake according to the same words: and David heard them." 1 Samuel 17:23

There was a war going on between the Israelites and the Philistines. For forty days Goliath would stand before the Israelite army and threaten them. King Saul and the soldiers would shrink back in fear each time his threats came. None of them would go out and fight him- they were all too afraid. One day while David was there Goliath came out and made his threats again. David's response was different than that of the other Israelites. While they were all fearful at hearing his words, David was not. Instead, he wanted to go out and fight him.

Here we have two different reactions to Goliath's threats- David's and the Israelite army. David acted with courage and trust in the Lord. The Israelite army acted in fear and unbelief. They both heard the same words. They both heard the same threats. They both heard the taunts and accusations of the enemy, yet, their reaction was different. Why? What made the difference?

The difference was- David did not receive the giant's words, the soldiers did. They listened and believed them, therefore, they were afraid. Fear would not let them go out to fight him and so they hid in the bushes. David heard what he said also but he did not receive it. He did not take his words to heart. He did not believe them. Instead he believed God's words and placed them above the words of Goliath.

There are many voices out there. The enemy has one and he will use it to speak to you. He speaks words of fear, accusation, condemnation, doubt and confusion. But his words only effect us if we receive them by believing them. And if we believe them, they will cause us to react the same way the army did-- in defeat.

When the enemy "speaks" to you, you may hear what he says, David did, but don't accept what he is saying. Reject it. Turn your attention to what God says instead. Listen to God's word and your reaction will be like David's- "Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel." (verses 45,46)-- one of victory!

Have a great day. You may hear what the enemy is saying, but don't receive it.

Friday, August 7, 2009

"Jesus Helpless?"

"When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost." John 19:30

As an on-looker in the crowd watching Jesus' crucifixion, you may have thought that Jesus was at the mercy of the angry crowd. You may have thought that He was helpless, a poor victim with no power over what was happening to Him. But you would have thought wrong. From Gethsemane, to Pilate's judgment hall, to the cross, Jesus was in complete control- the crowd wasn't, Pilate wasn't, the priests weren't.

Remember Jesus said that His hour was come. He also said that this was the cause/reason why He came into the world. He told Pilate that he could have no power over Him if it weren't given to him from heaven. He also said that He could call legions of angels to take Him down from the cross. In the garden when Peter pulled out his sword, Jesus told him to put it up instead of fighting to keep them from taking Him. No, Jesus wasn't powerless over what was happening to Him- He was in control of the situation the whole time. "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father." (John 10:17,18)

He was in control even to His last breath- He gave up the ghost. He bowed His head and died when His reason for coming was finished. His reason for going to the cross was to carry out a plan that He and His Father had devised before the foundation of the world- the plan to redeem mankind, to give us eternal life, to give us access to the Father, to reconcile us back to the Father, to provide a way that we could be saved from our sins and come into right relationship with Him. When the plan was accomplished, when the way had been made, when every element of the plan was provided, He cried out for all to hear- "It is finished", then gave up the ghost and died.

So never think that Jesus was helpless to save Himself like those onlookers who made the same accusations- He saved others, He couldn't save Himself. He could have saved Himself. He could have stopped it before it proceeded that far. But because He, not the crowd, was in control, He went through with it until it was finished. When He said, "It is finished", their plan was finished, the way to the Father was finished, it was completed and there was nothing left to do.

This morning, Jesus finished His task. He has provided everything you need to have eternal life and abundant life. He did it all for your sake and on your behalf. He finished His part. Have you done yours in order to benefit from what He did? Have you received Him as Savior and Lord?

Have a great day. Jesus was never out of control of the situation, and He remained in control until it was finished.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

"They Are Waiting"

"How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?" Romans 10:14

Let me share a portion of a dream I had yesterday with you. Another person and I had just purchased a house to use in the ministry. I found out that when we went to purchase it that there had been a lot of drug activity taking place there. During the course of the dream this other person and I went back to the house. As we went into a particular bedroom that I knew belonged to a certain young woman, I wondered where she was, she should have been there. This young woman had been involved in many things and suddenly a fear for her life came over me. I began searching for her throughout the room. The room was in total disarray and clutter was everywhere. The person with me also began looking. We looked under the bundle of cover on the bed, under the bed, in the corners of the room, closet, etc. Then I finally found her between the bed and the wall. She was lying on the floor wrapped up in a blanket. As I uncovered her, she began to cry and said these words to me, "I was hoping you would come. I have been laying here since yesterday waiting for you to come. I was waiting for you to come and hoping you would." As she said those words to me she was crying tears of desperation and hope.

As I was praying yesterday morning, the Lord brought this portion of the dream back to me and began to speak to me about it. I want to share with you what He said to me because it's a word for you too. He told me that people are out there in a world of confusion. The are living in disorder and chaos. They are wrapped up in sin... and they are waiting for us to come! They aren't just waiting, they are hoping that someone will come. They are waiting for someone to come and share the message of hope, deliverance and healing with them. They are waiting for someone to come and bring them the words of life. They are, deep down inside, hoping that someone will come and bring them the answers they are desperately needing. They are hoping someone will come and show them love, acceptance, mercy and the way to peace that they are longing for.

The "someone" that they are hoping will come and waiting for to come is us... the church, the body of Christ, the believer, those who are already saved. We are the ones who are commissioned to go seek them out. We are the ones who have been sent out into the world to compel the lost to come in. For too long we have been the ones doing the waiting, waiting on them to come in. We have it all wrong, we are the ones who have been commanded to "go".

The words of the young lady in my dream make my eyes swell up with tears. I can remember the desperation, the longing, the desire, the hope that was in her voice- it was so real. Her tears were also tears of joy because she was not disappointed, her hope became reality-- I did come. The reality of the dream is that the dream is reality. They are out there and they are waiting for us to come, and hoping that we will.

Have a great day. Who is hoping that you will come and find them?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

"Polite Or Rude"

"I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way." Psalm 101:2a

A friend and I were talking the other day about our relationship with the Lord and our desire to be closer to Him, etc. She made the statement concerning fellowship with Him that was very eye opening. She commented that we try to be polite people and practice good manners... except when it comes to the Lord.

She further explained what she meant with the following example. When we are talking with someone and another person comes up or wants our attention we don't let them just interrupt our conversation. We treat the person we are talking to with respect and give them our attention. We usually continue our conversation and let the person interrupting wait their turn. I wonder why we do the opposite with the Lord? We will be in a conversation with Him and other people, or other things, approach us wanting our attention and most of us give it to them. We cut our prayer short. We get up in the middle of our prayer to start talking to the interrupter. We turn our back on the Lord and answer the other person.

I had never thought about it that way until my friend pointed it out. We don't use "good manners" toward the Lord. In fact we are often "rude" to Him. The rudeness shows itself when we allow the interruptions, when we fall asleep in the middle of our conversation with Him, by hanging up on Him before the conversation is over, by dominating the conversation never giving Him time to get a word in and by not giving Him our undivided attention.

Am I describing you this morning? I am sure it describes all of us at some time or other. It's something we need to consider. It's something we need to ask ourselves-- am I being rude to the Lord concerning our conversations? If we are, then we need to make some changes. If there is ever anyone who deserves our "polite manners" it's the Lord. We may not always be polite to one another. We may at times even be rude to others. But that should never be the case in our dealings with the Lord. He is the last one we should ever practice rude behavior toward.

Have a great day. In light of what we have talked about, are you being "polite" or "rude" to the Lord?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

"The Unlikely"

"And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: " Hebrews 11:32

Have you ever paid attention to who is listed in the "Hall of Faith"? Gedeon was a coward. Samson was unwise and liked the women. Jephthae made rash vows. David was an adulterer and murderer. Barak was fearful. The people listed there are not people that we would consider worthy of recognition. They are the kind of people that we would cast off as "losers". While we might not have added their names to the list, God did.

Aren't you glad that God takes the weak, the foolish, the fearful, those that we deem as failures and turns them into wise, mighty, powerful, faithful, victorious, winners! There aren't any of us, or them, that deserve to have our names in a list of those who have great faith no matter how great we may appear or how highly we are thought of by others. The faith that we have to do exploits like these did - "Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions. Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. (verses 33,34) - comes for God. It is His faith that is imparted to us that makes us more than conquerors and able to accomplish any great task. "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20)

You may be feeling pretty weak this morning. You might be feeling like a failure. You might feel like a loser. You might feel unworthy. But be encouraged because that makes you a candidate for God to be able to do something great in you and through you.

Have a great day. We may feel like failures in our own estimation, other people may look at us as failures, but even if we are, God can take us and make something great out of us that will be a testimony to His greatness.

Monday, August 3, 2009

"Pampering The Weak"

"...the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." Matthew 26:41b

In the natural when something is weak, we tend to give it a little extra attention. When my body is feeling weak, I give it rest and don't push it any further so that it can regain strength. When my muscles are weak, I work a little harder to try to make them stronger. Anything that is weak is given more support to help make it strong. The scriptures even tell us to support the weak and bear their infirmities. So when we meet someone who is struggling through weakness, we should come to their aid and help them. Husbands are told to give honor to their wives acknowledging that she is weaker in strength than he is.

Our flesh is weak, but in dealing with it, the opposite is true. We don't come to its aid. We don't build it up. We don't support it and try to make it stronger. Instead we are to take that "weak" flesh and work at making it weaker- weaker to the point where it finally dies. We are to deprive it of those things that give it strength. We are to neglect it. We are to pay it no attention. We aren't to give in to its desires and cravings, wants and wishes.

Our time and attention should be spent in making the spirit stronger, in developing it, in giving it the extra attention that it needs to become so strong that it's the ruling factor in our lives- ruled and led by the Holy Spirit. But for most this "weak flesh" has become the stronger one because we spend too much time pampering it instead of denying it, while our spirit gets weaker and weaker through neglect.

Which one is getting the extra attention in your life? Is your weak flesh getting stronger because you spend more time giving in to it, which in turn makes it stronger, and less time denying it? Or are you working on building your spirit up so that it can become the stronger one?

Have a great day. Which ever one- flesh or spirit- you give more attention, care and time to will become the stronger one in your life.