Friday, December 31, 2010

"He Is There"

"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty." Revelation 1:8

With the new year on the horizon, for many this will be a day of reflection. They will look back over the past year and recall the events that took place in their lives. Some of those memories will bring them joy, some will bring them pain. Some people will look back over the past year with regret and remorse because they did not accomplish the things they had planned to do. Some are glad the year is over and they now have the opportunity for a "fresh start". Others have high hopes for the coming new year. Then there are those who would love to keep holding on to this year. The past year, for most, has had its "ups" and "downs"- mainly because that is the way life is-- full of ups and downs, highs and lows, disappointments and joys, victories and defeats.

None of us know what the new year holds in store. It may be filled with nothing but blessings, or it may be filled with nothing but grief and heartache. Regardless of what lies ahead, there is one thing that we can rest assured of and it is what we said yesterday- Jesus will still be the same. The ups and downs, highs and lows of life don't affect Him. He will be as faithful to us in the coming year as He was in the previous one. He will still love us, be with us, guide us and meet our needs.

So as you look ahead, you have no reason to fear or be anxious about what might lie ahead. You aren't facing it alone. Keep your eyes fixed and your heart stayed upon the Lord. He is the Beginning and the End (the Alpha and Omega). That means that He will not only be there at the beginning and end, but He will also be right there in the middle (everyday), so we have nothing to be anxious about. Trust Him, keep close to Him. Walk with Him.

Have a great day. Do not be anxious about the coming new year, you won't be facing it alone.

For further reading:
Hebrews 13:8
Psalm 23:4
Matthew 28:20
Philippians 4:6,7

Thursday, December 30, 2010

"He's The Same"

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6

The verse above is one we usually quote during Christmas and Christmas is now past. But I want to remind you that just because the "holiday" has pasted, it does not change or minimize the One whose birth we were celebrating. His name is still called Wonderful- He is wonderful beyond description.

He is still the great Counselor today, as He has always been. He is your Counselor today to guide and direct you in the way you should go.

He is still God-- the Mighty God, who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all you can ask or think. There is nothing too difficult or impossible for Him. He is not that helpless baby that was wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. He is the victorious, conquering King. He conquered death, hell and the grave. He conquered sin's dominion over us. And He reigns forever, there is no end to Him- He is from everlasting to everlasting.

And today He is still the Prince of Peace. He not only has peace but He is peace and all peace originates in Him. If you need peace He will give it to you. And it won't be a fleeting peace, but an establishing peace that will settle your heart and mind.

So don't stop singing your Christmas carols that exalt and magnify who He is. Don't reserve your reading of certain passages of scripture to only on certain occasions. Lift Him up and exalt Him everyday!

Have a great day. He still is who He has always been!

For further reading:
John 14:27
Ephesians 3:20
Hebrews 13:8
Malachi 3:6
Psalm 90:2

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

"One Or Two Kings?"

"And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end." Luke 1:33

This morning I woke up with the "Hallelujah Chorus" repeating over and over in my thoughts. Especially the words- "and He shall reign forever and ever." Jesus was, is and will always be the reigning King of kings and Lord of lords. And one day the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of the Lord. There is no doubt that at the end of the ages He will establish His throne among men and it will be settled forever exactly who He is. But until that day comes, what about now? Is there any question in your heart and mind that He is the King? Does He reign supreme in your heart and life? Does He occupy the throne of your life? His reign reaches throughout all heaven. His reign will reach throughout the whole earth. But does His reign reach throughout your life and include every area of your life?

Earthly kings reign over certain territories and countries. Their reign is limited by geography. Have you limited the Lord by allowing Him to rule only certain areas of your life and the others you have reserved for self to rule? I have never seen a country that was ruled by two kings- there is only one. There can only be one or else you will have conflict, chaos and confusion. Did I just describe your life- conflict, chaos and confusion? Perhaps there lies your answer- two kings!

If you try to be the ruler of your own life and at the same time try to make the Lord the ruler, it will never work. Having two kings will not work. Having two rulers will not work. Having two leaders will not work. Having two heads will not work. When a king conquered a country, the old king was dethroned and this new king set up his throne. At salvation you "surrendered" to the rule of this "new" King- Jesus. He is now enthroned and self must be dethroned. You can't have two kings ruling over your life.

Have a great day. How many kings are ruling over your life?

For further reading:
Revelation 11:15; 19:16
John 3:30
1 Timothy 6:15,16

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

"Stop Struggling"

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

Are you burdened? Loaded down with cares? Struggling under the weight of some situation? Why? You have an invitation from the Creator of the Universe, the God of glory, the Lord of lords to come to Him and exchange your heavy burden for His light one.

We live in a world that is full of trials and difficulties, things don't always go the way we would like for them to. There are hardships that come into our lives. But we aren't left alone to struggle with them on our own. We aren't left to try to solve our own problems and find our own solutions. The Lord is our helper. He is our strength. He is our problem solver. He has and is our answer.

Today, stop struggling. Accept His invitation. Go to Him. Cast your care upon Him. Let Him give you peace. Let Him give you rest. I am speaking to someone specially right now-- it is time you stop carrying that burden; it is only weighing you down. All your struggling over it hasn't helped; all your plans to solve it haven't worked; all your tears haven't relieved it or changed it. It is time to give it to the Lord and let Him give you His rest.

Have a great day. Why are you struggling with that heavy burden? The Lord wants to give you rest from your struggle.

For further reading:
Matthew 11:28-30
1 Peter 5:7
John 14:27; 16:33

Monday, December 27, 2010


"Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is." Mark 13:33

Sometimes we aren't watching where we should be because we are preoccupied watching other things. I remember watching some of the western movies on television when the enemy would surround the house and shoot at the ones inside the house. Those in the house would be stationed at every window- not just the ones in the front. They kept a watch on the back and both sides of the house to make sure the enemy did not gain access any where. Each person was appointed their post to watch. Had they been preoccupied with something else besides guarding the window they were stationed at, the enemy would have slipped through an unguarded window opening.

I believe the Lord is saying to us this morning that we are too preoccupied looking in the wrong directions and not focusing on the one that is really important. We have become busy watching so much that is unimportant that we are not watching for the things that are most important. The shepherds were keeping watch over their flocks by night when they received word from the angels of the Messiah's birth. They were watching where they should have been watching and received the invitation. If the watchman on the wall is watching what he should be watching, the enemy will be spotted before he can make it into the city. If the owner of the house is watching out for the safety of his household and not preoccupied watching other things the thief cannot come in. If the five foolish virgins had been watching the oil in their lamps they would not have missed the wedding fest. If Peter had been watching in prayer instead of sleeping, he would not have fallen into the temptation to deny Christ.

Are you watching in the right direction this morning? Are you watching the important things- eternal things? Are you preoccupied watching those things that only pull you further away from Christ? Are you watching for the enemy? Are you watching for the Lord's return? Are you watching your life to make sure it is pleasing to the Lord? Just where and what are you watching?

Have a great day. Are you watching for the things that are eternal, or preoccupied with watching the things that are only the cares of this life?

For further reading:
Ephesians 6:18
Luke 12:37; 2:8
Matthew 24:43; 25:1-3

Friday, December 24, 2010

"Is There Room?"

"And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn." Luke 2:7

When Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem and could find "no room", it wasn't during the Christmas season- there was no Christmas yet. The people were living life as usual, they were going about their business, it was just another day to them. That means that in their everyday activities there was "no room" for Jesus.

Many people tend to "make room" for Jesus on certain holidays- like Christmas and Easter. They make room for Him on Sundays. They make room for Him when things are falling apart in their lives. From ministering at the drug and alcohol recovery center I have discovered that some make room for Him while they are in a recovery program or when they are in jail or prison only. But what about the rest of the year? What about the days when there isn't a holiday that acknowledges Jesus' birth, death or resurrection? What about Monday, or the rest of the week? What about when you get out of a rehabilitation program? What about when things are going well in your life? What about in your everyday affairs? Do you make room for Him then?

If you only make room for Jesus during center times of the year or only when you are in certain situations, then you too have made "no room" for Him. If you aren't making room for Him 24/7, 365 days a year, then He has "no room" in your life. The "room" that He desires in your life is one where He can "abide", not just visit on occasion, not just vacation at, not just make a stop at while "passing through". He desires to abide in your life all the time. He wants to have a place of permanent dwelling in you. Does He have that?

Have a great day. If the room you make for Jesus in your life is only on certain occasions or at certain times, then He has NO ROOM in your life.

For further reading:
John 14:23; 15:4
Luke 2

Thursday, December 23, 2010

"Come To Him"

"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night." Luke 2:8

The first people who received the invitation to come see the new baby that was born in a manger were shepherds. Think about it, the shepherds were invited to come and see the "Good Shepherd". The next group were the wise men- we refer to them as the kings. They followed the star and these kings laid eyes upon the King of kings.

This was no ordinary baby. He is infinitely more than we can comprehend. He is the Good Shepherd, the King of kings, Lord of lords, Healer, Savior, Deliverer, Redeemer, Provider, Creator, Ruler of the Universe, with a name that is above every name. He is God.

When He came, He did not just come for one group of people, but for all men. He came for the shepherds and the kings. He came for the rich and the poor. He came for the downcast, outcast and the well to do.

Whoever you are this morning, you can come to Him. He invites you to come to Him today. He will receive you just as the shepherds and kings were received when they came to where He was. Whatever you need, He is it. He is El Shaddai- the All Sufficient one.

Have a great day. The invitation is still given to come to where this indescribable God is no matter who you are.

For further reading:
Isaiah 9:6
Matthew 11:28
John 7:37

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

"Add A Conjunction"

"Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all." Psalm 34:19

One of the things I like most about David was his faith. In the Psalms when he would express his need or his concern about a situation, he would not stop there, he would always come back with a "statement of faith"- as in the verse above. For example, he didn't say, "Many are the afflictions of the righteous (period)." and just stop there. He knew that wasn't the end of it. He knew that there was hope even in a bad situation. Therefore, he added the conjunction "but" and then made what I call a "statement of faith". "BUT the Lord delivers him out of them all."

So many times we look at a situation and are temped to put a "period" on it- "I lost my job (period)"; "My children are rebelling (period)"; "The doctor's report was bad (period)"; etc. Instead we need to remove the "period" and add a conjunction. "I lost my job, BUT the Lord is my Provider, my God shall supply all of my need"."; "My children are rebelling, BUT the Lord will keep that which I have committed to Him."; "The doctor's report was bad, BUT all things work together for my good and I will not fear for the Lord is with me, the Lord is my Healer".

Often we have hopeless situations that come into our lives, but we don't need to place a "period" on them, we need to add a conjunction and a "statement of faith" because there is hope with the Lord. We are not at the mercy of our bad reports. When Jesus was crucified, the disciples saw Him die on the cross and placed a "period" on what had just happened. They looked at the situation and lost hope, gave up and became fearful. They shouldn't have placed a "period" on it, they should have place a conjunction there instead because the cross was not the end of it, there was a resurrection day coming. "And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him." (Mark 16:6)

You may be in a "hopeless" place today. It may look like there is a "period" on the situation, BUT don't stop there, add your "statement of faith", trust the Lord, get His word on the situation, it isn't over until He says it is over, look to the One who gives hope and supplies all your need.

Have a great day. Don't put a "period" on the situation, step out in faith and add a "conjunction" and "statement of faith".

For further reading:
Psalm 18:18; 37:17; 118:13
Philippians 4:19

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

"Open The Doors"

"Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in." Psalm 24:7

When I define what a gate is and what a door is, I define them both the same way and also differently. The same in that they both are entrances. When they are opened they are the means in which to enter into some place. But when they are locked, access is denied. The difference comes in where they are positioned. A gate will get you into the yard and closer to the house, but a door will get you into the house and also into individual rooms within the house.

This morning is your life like a gate or a door? Is it closed or opened? And I am referring primarily to giving Jesus access. Do you only open the "gate" to your life to Him? In other words, do you allow Him to come "close" but not come in? Is your life like a "door"? Then the question arises- is it shut or opened so that He can come in and dwell on the "inside". Let's go a step further. Inside a house are many doors to other rooms. Does He have the liberty to move freely from room to room, or does He find "locked doors" and denied access into certain areas of your life?

"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." (Revelation 3:20) Jesus doesn't want access only through the "gate". He doesn't want to come close but still be at a distance. He wants access into the "house". He wants to be "in" your life- not on the "outside". And He wants to come in and make your life His dwelling place- not a vacation home, not just a place of retreat, and not just as a visitor. Does He have that kind of access into your life? Is the door wide open or shut to Him? Or is He perhaps in the house, but not allowed liberty throughout the whole house? Open the "gate" and open the "door" and the King of glory shall come in.

Have a great day. Are all the "doors" of your life opened to Jesus?

For further reading:
Psalm 24

Monday, December 20, 2010

"Who's Teaching You?"

"Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies." Psalm 27:11

Who better to teach you His ways but the Lord Himself. We run from meeting to meeting seeking out those who will teach us the word of God and often neglect to let Him be our teacher. One of the reasons why we have been blessed with the Holy Spirit's presence in our lives is so that He can teach us, lead us in the truth, reveal Jesus to us and show us God's will. Yet, we seek out "people" to teach us and won't seek His instruction.

Don't misunderstand, the Lord has given us ministers in the body of Christ to help us and teach us. But even so, when we have listened to the teachings of men we still need to ask the Holy Spirit to guide us in the truth of the word we have heard. Paul, the greatest apostle to preach the gospel, commended the men of Berea because they listened to his teaching but then went to God's word for themselves to confirm that what Paul taught them was the truth.

We are living in the time that the Bible calls the "last days". We have been warned that in those last days there would arise teachers who would teach false doctrine in order to deceive us. They will preach messages that the people want to hear. They will compromise and water down the gospel. They will preach after their own wisdom and intellect. They will preach messages that appeal to the flesh and neglect the spirit. Am I saying that you can't listen to anyone? No, but I am saying that we can't "believe" and "receive" everything we hear and not check it out for ourselves. There are a lot of true ministers preaching the uncompromised truth of God's word, but at the same time there are those who aren't. We need to know the difference. We are at a time when we don't need to receive everything we hear, every time we hear it, from every person we hear it from. We need to take what we hear (especially when in doubt) before the Lord and ask for the Holy Spirit to show us what is right and what is wrong, what is truth and what isn't.

Have a great day. Is man alone the one who is teaching you God's word or does the Lord teach you by His Spirit also?

For further reading:
John 16:13
1 Peter 2:1-3
Acts 17:10,11
Ephesians 4:11-13
2 Timothy 3

Friday, December 17, 2010

"What Are We Teaching?"

"Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord." Psalm 34:11

What are we "teaching" in Christendom? What are we teaching to our children concerning our faith? What are we teaching to those who sit in our churches, read our books or watch us on television? What are we teaching them about the "person" of God? About who Jesus is? About our relationship with Him? About our responsibility toward that relationship?

Are we teaching the whole truth, compromise or a watered down gospel? Are we teaching them that He is a "Santa Claus" who lives to fulfill our every desire? Are we teaching that it is about worshipping Him and not about the fulfillment of self-centered desires? Do we teach that we are here to do His bidding and will, not Him to do ours? Do we preach grace and mercy without accountability? Do we teach about the blessings only and neglect to talk about the consequences of disobedience? Are we teaching about holiness, purity or the fear of the Lord? Does our teaching revolve around material blessings or eternal life? Are we preaching a gospel of comfort and ease which allows people to neglect keeping their lamps full and wicks trimmed? Does what we teach provoke anyone to have the desire to be hot and on fire for the Lord instead of cold or lukewarm?

It looks like I have spent the whole time just asking questions this morning. But it is so important that we examine "what" we are teaching. The right teaching tends to life, the wrong tends to death. This is not a light thing. There is more to it than this temporary life here on earth. There is an eternity that awaits us all, and if the instructions on how to have life in eternity aren't clear then those receiving the "instructions" are going to become lost and not reach that destination. So, again, let us examine whether what we are teaching... eternity is at stake.

Have a great day. What are you teaching? Is it the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

For further reading:
Revelation 3:16
Matthew 25:6-8; 15:9
2 Timothy 4:2-4; 3:1-7
John 6:63
Titus 2:1

Thursday, December 16, 2010

"Not For Me"

"He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" Romans 8:32

There is one thing I have noticed when talking with people about healing, deliverance and even salvation. Most believe that God can heal them, many believe that He has the power to deliver them, and others know that it is not too hard for God. But, while they believe that God can do it, they don't believe that He will do it for them. It reminds me of the leper who came to Jesus, "And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean." (Matthew 8:2)

The problem does not lie in God's ability, it often lies in our belief that He really wants to do it. Perhaps it is because we don't believe that we are good enough or worthy of the Lord's blessings. Perhaps we feel that what we are going through is God's will so we won't step forward to receive more from Him. There are as many different reasons as there are people.

What was Jesus' reply to the leper? "And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed." (Matthew 8:3) The Lord is always willing to do good to us. He desires to give us good and perfect gifts. He won't withhold any good thing from those who walk uprightly before Him.

Am I saying that every one who is not healed or delivered or is in need doesn't believe that He can and wants to? No, but I am saying that in many cases we just simply don't believe that He wants to do it for us. We have to get past the idea that God does it for others but it is not meant for Him to do it for me. God loves you and cares deeply for you. He desires to give you abundant life. He desires to show you His wonderful compassion and great power. Why wouldn't the goodness and mercy of God be for you? You are His child. And if He sent His Son and gave Him up for you, then why won't He bless you in your need as well?

Have a great day. Whatever the need is that is in our lives, we should stop thinking that God can do it... but not for me.

For further reading:
Psalm 84:11
John 10:10
James 1:17
Luke 12:32; 11:13

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"Overcome Evil"

"Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12:21

Evil is always present and it is constantly trying to overcome you and destroy you. And when it comes to your life it will either conquer you or you will conquer it. But it is up to you as to who wins- you or evil.

The verse above gives us a choice: either overcome it or be overcome by it. When you read this verse in context it is dealing with those who are our "enemies"- those who come against us, those who sin against us, those who mistreat us, those who take advantage of us, those who abuse us. How do we overcome evil and not allow it to overcome us? The answer is found in the second half of the verse- "overcome evil with good". What does that mean? It means that if someone sins against you, forgive them and give no place to revenge, malice or bitterness. It means if your if your enemy is hungry give him something to eat, if he is thirsty give him something to drink. It means to treat others the same way you would want them to treat you, and in a way that is pleasing to the Lord. It means applying the teachings of God's word to the situation you are faced with. By doing so, you will heap "coals of fire" upon their heads. In other words, you will be allowing the convicting power of the Holy Spirit to have room to work in their lives and you will be freeing yourself up from allowing anger, guilt and hate to consume you.

If you are living on planet earth you will face "evil". Are you going to let it conquer and destroy you, or are you going to conquer it? There is only one way to overcome it- by doing good. And doing "good" translates into: doing what the word of God commands you to do when faced with the evil.

Have a great day. There is only one way to overcome evil and it is with good.

For further reading:
Romans 12
Proverbs 25:21,22
Matthew 5:44

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

"Seven Times"

"Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments." Psalm 119:164

When I read this verse, my fist thought was-- that's a lot of times a day to praise the Lord. Then my next thought was-- do I praise Him seven times a day? The more I thought about it and broke it down, praising Him seven times a day would mean (based on the number of hours I am up in a day) that I praise Him at least once every other hour. So, when you look at it that way, seven times a day is really not hard to do.

When you stop and praise the Lord each and every time He does something for you, you can well exceed seven times a day. As a matter of fact, instead of walking out the verse above ("I will praise Thee seven times a day") you start walking in this verse instead- "I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth." (Psalm 34:1)

The truth of the matter, when it comes to praising the Lord, is that it is not about the number of times we praise Him. There is no "acceptable" or "non-acceptable" number, and there is no "required" number of times we should praise Him. The number of times we praise Him doesn't make us more or less spiritual. It is not about keeping count. It is just about "praising Him". We praise Him because He is worthy. We praise Him when things are good and when they are bad. We praise Him in the daylight and in the night time. It is about having a heart that is filled with praise and gratitude-- and ours should always be.

Have a great day. It is not about the number of times we praise Him- there is no keep score card. Our lives should be a "living praise" to Him.

For further reading:
Psalm 109:30; 135:1;103:1; 115:18

Monday, December 13, 2010

"Privilege of Relationship"

"Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near." Isaiah 55:6

"Seek the Lord"-- when? "While He may be found". "Call upon Him"-- when? "While He is near". Have you ever thought about just how truly amazing it is that God allows Himself to be "found" by us, or that He brings Himself "near" to us as well? When you really stop and think about it, it is in-comprehensible that He desires to have anything to do with us, or that He desires to have a relationship with us. The Psalmist had this to say about it. "When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour." (Psalm 8:3-5)

Seeking the Lord, drawing near to Him, having a relationship with Him is nothing to be taken lightly. Yet, so many Christians seem to be so casual in their relationship with Him. We take for granted that He is always going to be there so we don't commune with Him until we are in trouble and need His help.

It is only because of His great love, mercy and grace that we can even have any dealings with Him, much less a personal relationship. The point is, we don't deserve, and are so undeserving, to have any interaction with the Lord, yet it is a privilege that He has afforded us. So the question then is, what will we/you do with this privilege. Will you take it for granted? Will you neglect it? Or will you embrace it and take advantage of every opportunity to seek Him and draw near to Him?

Have a great day. A relationship with the Lord is a privilege that He affords us, not one that we deserve... so what are you doing with this privilege?

For further reading:
James 4:8
John 15:15; 1:12

Friday, December 10, 2010

"Who Are You, Lord?"

"And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks." Acts 9:4,5

Let's look this morning at the life of Saul (Paul). If ever there was a religious person he was one, and had the credentials to prove it. "Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless." (Philippians 3:5,6) Paul served his religion well even defending it to the point of persecuting those who did not follow it. But he didn't know "who" he was following. When he had an encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus (while on his way to fulfill his religious duties), he had to ask Him, "Who are you?"

A person can be regular in their church attendance, serve in different areas of the church, do all those things we consider religious, follow a religious code, be involved in certain religious practices, fulfill their religious duties and still not know who Jesus is? Saul claimed to serve God but he didn't know the one he was serving. "Who are you, Lord? I am Jesus whom you are persecuting."

Are you one of those people this morning? You faithfully attend church; you are involved in all its activities; you support it with your giving, yet that is all it is to you- religious ritual, duty and obligation. Your religious service means nothing if you don't know the one you are serving. Saul didn't know Jesus, therefore, his religious service meant nothing and it was ill-directed. Do you know Jesus? Do you know who He is? Do you have a personal relationship with Him?

Have a great day. It is possible to serve a religious code of ethics- church attendance, giving, etc.- and still not know Jesus.

For further reading:
Acts 8:1-3
Matthew 7:21-23
Mark 7:5,6

Thursday, December 9, 2010

"The Good Part"

"But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her." Luke 10:42

We use the term the "good part" to describe many things. When I would read to my daughter when she was little, she would want me to get to the "good part" of the story. When sharing exciting news with someone, we can hardly wait to tell them the "good part" of our news.

When I think about all that the Lord has done for me, I think about His wonderful grace and mercy. I think about the blessings that He sends my way. I think about His goodness and faithfulness towards me. But that is not what is the "really good part" of my salvation experience. The "good part" is that not only are my sins forgiven and I have eternal life, but I have a relationship with the Lord. That is the "good part" of Christianity.. or should I say, "the best part". Knowing that I am His child and that I can come to Him; knowing that I can walk and talk with Him; knowing that I have the privilege to worship Him; knowing His embrace; having fellowship with Him-- that is the "good part".

He could have just save us then left us to be on our own, but He didn't. He saved us and then brought us into His family and in right relationship with Himself. He didn't put us aside, He made us His children and friends. Again, to me that's the "good part" of this wonderful gift of salvation.

Are you experiencing the "good part"? Do you just live a "saved life" or are you enjoying a personal- one on one relationship with the Lord? Is your salvation just religious experience and ritual, or do you have intimate communion with the Lord each day? Salvation is so wonderful, it is given to us by the grace of God. But, again, the best part of our salvation is that we get to be close to Him.

Have a great day. There are many "parts" to our salvation, but the "best part" is that we get to have a relationship with the Lord.

For further reading:
John 1:12; 15:15
2 Corinthians 5:19

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

"First Priority"

"And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils." Mark 3:14,15

Doing the work of the Lord may not always be a good thing. Let me explain. When it takes you away from the Lord Himself, it certainly is not the best thing. His first priority, will and plan for your life is to "be with Him". Even ahead of the works. The works that we do in service for the Lord- the ministry, the labors, fulfilling the call He has placed on our lives- is of great importance. Jesus did the work of the Father while He was here on earth and did not neglect it- and neither should we. But the work should always remain secondary and first place given to our relationship with God. When I read the verse above, this is the picture that I get. Jesus ordained the twelve (look at the order in which these verses were written), first- "that they should be with him", second, that they might go and do the works of the Kingdom. Besides how can you be effective at doing His work unless you are spending time with Him and seeking Him first. Again, Jesus always made sure that He had time alone with the Father first and then went and did the works.

When it came to serving the Lord or drawing near into His presence, we are told that drawing into His presence is the better of the two- it's the "good part". (Remember the story of Mary and Martha.) Even Paul, one of the greatest evangelist, said his goal was "to know Him", and he was constantly pressing toward that mark- knowing Him is the prize of the high calling.

I am not suggesting that we don't do the work of the Lord, works are a demonstration of our faith, they are part of our calling, they need to be demonstrated to the world, and they glorify God. I am just reminding you that He is more important than what you do for Him. Spending time with Him is more important than spending time working for Him. Getting to know Him is more important than serving Him. Jesus came to reconcile us back into right relationship with God. And that was because He loved us so much that He wanted us to be with Him and where He was.

Have a great day. Doing the works of the Lord is good, but spending time with Him is better, and the first priority.

For further reading:
Matthew 6:33
Philippians 3:10;14
2 Corinthians 5:19
John 14:3
Luke 10:38-42

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

"I Don't Understand It"

"He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." 1 John 5:12

I hear so many people say that the Bible is hard to understand. Perhaps there is a small amount of validity to that because the words of the Bible are spirit and life. Being spirit they are not discerned by the natural man. But I also think people use this as an excuse when it comes to reading and applying the Bible to their lives.

Its words aren't that hard to understand. They can't be because Jesus said that we have to become like children to enter into the kingdom of heaven- children understand the "plain and simple". Since God's word is part of it, it has to be "basic" enough for a child to understand it. For example, what is so hard to understand about the verse above. It seems pretty "cut and dry", "black and white". It tells us that if we have the Son we have life, if we don't have the Son we don't have life. What is hard to understand when it says, "Do not steal, do not commit adultery"? How hard is it to comprehend when it says,"If you say you love God and hate your brother you are a liar"? Or what about, "Don't let the sun go down on your wrath; ask and receive; treat others the way you would want them to treat you; if your enemy is hungry feed him"?

The problem doesn't always lie with the "understanding" of what God's word says, it problem lies with the "doing" of what it says. Understanding that it says not to take revenge is pretty clear, but the ability to practice it may be harder when you have been done wrong. That is where our dependency on God comes in. We need His strength and grace to help us apply the teachings that we do understand.

We don't need to make excuses for not obeying the word of God by saying that we don't understand it. It is understandable and what we don't understand, God will help us to understand if we ask.

Have a great day. God's word is not hard to understand, but doing it is often what's hard.

For further reading:
Romans 12:20
Matthew 18:3
1 Corinthians 2:14
John 6:63

Monday, December 6, 2010

"Just Stand"

"Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." Ephesians 6:13

Some times the only course of action you can take is to "just stand". When you have said all that can be said, when you have done all that you can do, when you have prayed all you know to pray, when you have fasted, when you have bound and loosened every thing that you are aware of, then you have reached the place where you have to "just stand".

At that point all you can do is just stand- stand on God's faithfulness, stand on His promises. When we know He has truly spoken to us, but we don't see any evidence or hope of the fulfillment of His word, we have to just stand. God is faithful. He is not a man that He should lie. He remains faithful even when we aren't. His word will not pass away. It will not return to Him empty. It will accomplish what He sends it to do.

Have you reached that place? There seems to be nothing else you can do? Then "just stand". Stand in faith on God's promises. Rest in Him. Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.

Have a great day. When you have done all you can do, then "just stand".

For further reading:
2 Timothy 2:13
Exodus 14:13
Hebrews 10:23

Friday, December 3, 2010

"Pray And Trust"

"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Hebrews 11:6

Often the advice we give to others, or is given to us, when they are going through a situation is- just pray about it. That is not bad advice, we should pray. We need to acknowledge God as our source of help and bring Him into our situation- we can't solve our own problem, or do it on our own, we need Him. We need His counsel, His strength, His wisdom, His answer.

Recently, I was talking with someone who has been going through a very trying time and I keep telling that person to pray about it-- ask God to guide you and intervene on your behalf. After I got off the phone with that person, having repeated to them again this same advice, the Lord spoke to my heart and said, "Prayer and trust are not the same thing." Anyone can pray but it doesn't mean that there is trust (faith) behind their prayer. We need to pray, but just praying about it is not enough- we must trust Him to answer. It's one thing to "pray" to God for the answer, it is another thing to "trust" God for the answer. Prayer has to be coupled with faith.

We need to pray. We need to talk to God about our need. We need to ask Him to send the needed provision. But we also need to trust Him to do so. When you pray, are you also trusting Him to answer? Or are you praying in hopes that He will do something on your behalf in answer to your prayer?

Have a great day. When you are praying about God sending provision to meet your need, are you just praying or are you trusting Him to do it?

For further reading:
Hebrews 11:1; 4:2
Mark 11:24
John 16:24
Matthew 7:7

Thursday, December 2, 2010

"The Parade"

"And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it." Colossians 2:15

During this time of year there are a lot of parades. We just had a full day of Thanksgiving parades. Throughout the week many towns will be hosting their Christmas parades- my town will have theirs tonight. Almost everyone loves a parade. Some parades are more spectacular than others. Some are simple, some are elaborate. Some have many floats, some have lots of bands, some feature various other things. Most all of them have a theme.

I enjoy watching the parades. (I mostly enjoy watching my granddaughter watch them.) I have to be honest though, when it is cold, I avoid going out to watch them- then a nice home house is more appealing to me than the parade. There was a "parade" that was held a couple of thousand years ago that I wish I could have attended. There were no elaborate floats, no bands, no cars, no horses, no singing, yet there has never been one to top it. It was a parade of two- just two participants.

This parade was the one that the Father organized. It too had a theme. Its theme was Jesus' victory over satan. It was held in the courts of heaven, before all the spirit world- angels, principalities, demons, powers. Each time I read the verse above, that is the picture that comes to mind-- Jesus leading satan by a rope around his neck, parading His victory over him for all to see.

This morning, may I remind you that Jesus is the Victor, satan is the loser! Jesus defeated him and had a parade to prove it. So don't let the devil make you think that he has won and that he is more powerful. Jesus won! He is All-Powerful. He got the victory and He got it on the devil's own playing field. So you should be having a "parade" of your own now. A parade of praise and thanksgiving to Jesus. A parade to remind the devil that he is defeated and has no power over your life any longer because of Jesus' victory!

Have a great day. Jesus defeated the devil and then had a parade to prove it.

For further reading;
Psalm 98:1
1 John 3:8
Ephesians 1:22
Matthew 28:18
2 Corinthians 2:14

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

"Redeem The Time"

"Redeeming the time, because the days are evil." Ephesians 5:16

Am I the only one who is finding it hard to believe that it is December already? We are gearing up for Christmas and it seems like we just celebrated Christmas! Where did the year go?! The days keeping moving along faster and faster. Time seems to be accelerated- it is the end of the week before you know it. Time certainly waits for no one.

In light of that fact, what should we be doing with our time? A man once told me that "time is the stuff that life is made up of". How true. And once it is gone it is gone, never to be regained again. We can't call back the years, the days or even the last minute. That being the case, we need to make a practice of redeeming the time that we have.

To redeem the time basically means to use our time wisely and buy up every moment that we have. As the saying goes, "Only one life, 'twill soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last?" When we as Christians think about redeeming the time, we shouldn't be thinking only of the moment and what is done in this life. We should think in terms of eternity. This life will pass, but there is an eternity that awaits all of us. And what we do now has a bearing on eternity. Therefore, not only do we need to "buy it up" but also invest it wisely- in such a way were we will reap eternal benefits.

Are you redeeming the time or wasting it? Are you squandering it on things that are valueless? Do you let the hours pass through your fingers by using them on selfish, self-centered gain and entertainment? Are you taking advantage of the time by doing something that will bring eternal benefits? Are you using your time to honor and glorify God- the One who gives you time? Examine your life and see just how much time you spend on things that only waste it and things that are productive- especially eternally productive.

Have a great day. Redeem the time by buying up every opportunity to invest in eternity.

For further reading:
Colossians 4:5
Amos 9:13
Matthew 6:19,20
Romans 12:11
Proverbs 18:9

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"Show It"

"For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light." Ephesians 5:8

In a children's song that we used to sing when I was going up, there is a line that says, "If you're saved and you know it, then your life will surely show it".

Even as a child I was taught that what I do and say should match. Nowadays, we don't seem to put much emphasis on that anymore. In most Christian circles the emphasis is on the "profession" instead of the "lifestyle". The Bible preaches that the emphasis should be on the lifestyle. The Bible talks about holy living, shunning evil, presenting your body as a living sacrifice, being the temple of the Spirit, denying self, imitating the Father, and so on.

"If you're saved and you know it, then your life will surely show it". I just wonder when I hear people say that they are a Christian but they live like the devil. Where is holiness? Where is righteous living? Where is morality? Where is integrity? They curse, they cheat, they commit adultery, they are involved in sinful habits, they are hardhearted and unforgiving.

"If you're saved and you know it, then your life will surely show it". If you are truly saved then there should be no doubt in the minds of those who know you. (And not just because you say you are saved.) If you are truly saved there will be evidence in your lifestyle to attest to that fact. If you are truly saved it will be reflected in what you do. Your whole nature is different. Your attitude will change. Your speech will reflect it. Your likes and dislikes will not be the same. You have been translated from darkness to light. There is a different way of living when you live in the light then there was when you lived in the dark.

Have a great day. "If you're saved and you know it, then your life will surely show it".

For further reading:
Matthew 7:16-20
1 Peter 1:16
Ephesians 4:24; 5:1
2 Corinthians 7:1
1 Thessalonians 4:7

Monday, November 29, 2010

"Selective Hearing"

"He that hath ears to hear, let him hear." Matthew 11:15

Have you ever heard the term "selective hearing"? There are several men that I know who have selective hearing... if you don't believe me, just ask their wives. They have earned this title because they seem to hear only what they want to hear. Actually, men aren't the only ones who do that, they just seem to be better at it.

I wonder if we don't all have selective hearing when it comes to listening to God. We tend to pick and choose what we want to hear from Him and what we don't. We are "all ears" when He tells us good things and what we want to hear. We listen attentively when He speaks blessings and prosperity to us. But when He tells us something we don't want to hear, when His words tell us to deny ourselves or His answer to our question is either "no" or "wait", we stop listening.

Husbands may get away with selective hearing when it comes to listening to their wives. Wives may get away with it when it comes to listening to their husbands. We all may get away with it when it comes to listening to others, but when it comes to listening to God it won't work. It is always in our best interest, regardless of whether we want to hear what He is saying or not, to listen attentively to Him. Listening to all He has to say is imperative to our spiritual well being, to our relationship with Him and our very life.

We may pick and choose who we want and don't want to listen to, we may pick and choose what we want and don't want to hear, but when it comes to listening to the Lord, we really don't have a choice.. we must hear what He says.

Have a great day. We cannot afford to have selective hearing when it comes to hearing what the Lord is saying.

For further reading:
Exodus 15:26
Proverbs 4:20
Jeremiah 17:23
1 Corinthians 14:21

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"Giving Thanks"

"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." 1 Thessalonians 5:18

I wanted to talk about the subject of giving thanks to the Lord this morning because here in the United States we will be celebrating our holiday of Thanksgiving tomorrow. For me personally, as it should be with all Christians, every day is a day of thanksgiving to my Lord for all His goodness that He has bestowed upon me.

When I say that every day is a day that I give thanks to God, doesn't mean that every day is always a "good" day for me. Some days are filled with temptations, heartaches, trials, problems, attacks of the enemy, and suffering. But our thanksgiving is not reserved only for those days when things are going well, when there is plenty to take care of my needs, when I am not facing spiritual battles, when I have no problems. Our giving of thanks to God should never be influenced by what we are going through. What I mean by that is we should not stop being thankful when things are going bad, and not give thanks only when things are going good.

If you are going through difficulties, don't let those things dictate your thanks to God. We should give Him thanks in everything- it didn't say to give Him thanks "for" all things, but "in" all things. Don't let your circumstance stop you from giving Him thanksgiving. Don't let your trials stop you. Don't let your problems stop you. Don't let anything stop you or steal your thanksgiving and praise to the Lord.

Have a great day. Don't let anything steal your thanksgiving to God.

For further reading:
Psalm 18:49; 30:4,12; 100:4
Colossians 2:7

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"Stolen Crown - pt 2"

"Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." Revelation 3:11

"That no man take thy crown." Yesterday we addressed this warning not to let any man take (steal) our crown. We said there were two main ways that our crown could be "stolen" from us. The first we talked about was through hurt and offense. Many have turned away from the Lord because of something that someone else did to them and they are blaming God for it.

This morning I want to talk about the second way. Our crown can be taken from us through deception. "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils." (1 Timothy 4:1) The devil is a master deceiver- he was at the very beginning in the Garden of Eden and he still will be at the end; the Book of Revelation tells us that. He comes to us with lies that are wrapped up in beautiful packages. Those lies appeal to the flesh- they tell us what we want to hear. They sound like the answer, they sound like the truth, they seem to "make sense" but they are a mixture of what is true and what is false. Therefore, it makes the whole thing false. "A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump." (Galatians 5:9)

Beware of what you hear. It may sound right, but does it line up with God's word. Does scripture back it up? Just because it is a popular teaching, just because it is taught by well known respected people, just because everyone else is teaching it, just because it is the newest thing coming down the pike, doesn't mean that it is the truth. In the Book of Acts it is recorded that when Paul was in Thyatira that a young lady followed them proclaiming that they were sent from the most high God to show them the way of salvation. That sounded good, that was their mission, but the young lady was demon possessed and being influenced by demons. Am I saying that everything we hear is false and inspired by demons? Of course not, but I am saying that it doesn't matter how good or how popular the teaching sounds, it doesn't necessarily mean that it is the truth or that it is from God.

We have been given strict warnings in the scriptures, especially concerning the last days, to be on guard and not be deceived. "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." (2 Timothy 4:3,4) If ever there was a time when this was true it is now. So many don't know what they believe, why they believe what they believe, or they believe anything and everything. That is detrimental to our spiritual well being. It can steal our crown of life.

How do we keep that from happening? Jesus said that when we know the truth it will set us free - free from deception. And what is this truth that will set us free? "Thy word is truth".

Have a great day. Don't let anyone steal your crown of life by deceiving you into believing that what is false is the truth.

For further reading:
Acts 16:16-18
2 Timothy 4:1-4
John 8:32; 7:17
Matthew 24:24

Monday, November 22, 2010

"Stolen Crown- Part 1"

"Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." Revelation 3:11

"That no man take thy crown". What is this crown that He is talking about? It is the eternal blessedness that will be given as a prize to the genuine servants of God and Christ- who have endured to the end, who have fought the good fight and finished the race; it is the reward of righteousness. Literally, it is the "crown of life".

Can it be taken from us? Evidently, or He would not have issued us this warning. Since it is possible and we are warned to protect it, just how can our crown be "stolen"? There are two main ways that I want to talk about. I will cover one this morning and the other in the morning (if the Lord is willing and He delays His coming).

We know that the thief is the one who comes to steal, kill and destroy. He is ultimately behind the scheme to steal our crowns. The word for "man" here- "let no man"- is translated: nobody, no one, nothing, not anything. So the warning is not to let anything or anyone take your crown- including those people who satan uses to try to do it.

The first way I want to talk about this morning is through hurt and offense. I have seen people who were on fire for the Lord, active in their church, witnessing for Christ, following His teachings and example, turn from God and have nothing more to do with Him because someone in the church said something or did something to them. These people may have talked bad about them, they may have rejected them, they may have been hypocritical in front of them, they may have turned their back on them in their time of need and as a result this person got offended, got their feelings hurt, got angry and no longer attends church or follows the Lord. The have become bitter, resentful, pious and unforgiving. But sadly, they are "taking it out on God" as if He was the one who did it to them. They are blaming Him for what someone else did. They are taking it out on Him by not attending His house any more, by not following His commands, by living in unforgiveness, by no longer worshipping Him.

How to guard against our crown being taken from us? "And this know, that if the good man of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through." (Luke 12:39) First, don't be ignorant- know that offenses are going to come and the enemy is out to destroy you anyway he can. Second, when he does come, realize that it is him and not the person. Thirdly, since we have the responsibility to not allow our crown to be taken, go to God immediately with the offense (don't let it linger), submit the hurt to Him, ask for His strength and grace to "turn the other cheek" (or do whatever is needed), forgive that person, use your spiritual weapons to fight the real enemy behind it.

Are you that person that I am talking about? If so, then you need to return to the Lord. Please don't keep staying away from Him because of what someone else did. Go to Him and ask Him to restore you to fellowship with Him and the body of Christ. Repent for holding on to a grudge, anger, bitterness and unforgiveness. Ask for His forgiveness so that you can be forgiven as well. The bottom line is do whatever you have to do to make it right with God so that your crown of life is not taken from you. Nothing else matters, and nothing else is more important.

Have a great day. Don't let any one take your crown because of hurt or offense.

For further reading:
Matthew 10:22; 6:14,15
Ephesians 6:12,13
2 Timothy 4:7,8
1 Timothy 6:12
John 10:10

Friday, November 19, 2010

"Heavy Laden"

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

Are you heavy laden this morning? Are you carry a burden? Are you loaded down with cares? Do you feel like you are being buried alive by the weight that you are under? Then I want to bring you a message of hope this morning.

You don't have to continue to carry that heavy burden. You have an invitation from Jesus to bring it to Him. And not only did He give you an invitation to bring it to Him, He also gave you the opportunity to make an exchange. You can exchange your heavy one for His light one.

But there is a condition-- you have to make the choice to come to Him with it. You have to make the choice to receive His light one in place of your heavy one. There is no need for you to carry around that burden any longer. He invites and is waiting for you to come to Him and let Him take it, give you rest, and replace it with His light one which is love, joy and peace.

Have a great day. Are you tired of carrying around that heavy burden? Jesus invites you to bring it to Him.

For further reading:
Matthew 11:28-30
1 Peter 5:7
John 14:27

Thursday, November 18, 2010

"God Has A Plan"

"Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life." Genesis 45:5

Are you going through a situation this morning that you can't figure out? Are you wondering how you are going to make it? Are you fearful of the outcome? Do things look hopeless? Are you wondering how you are going to get out of it? Be encouraged this morning. You may not understand it, you may not have it under control, you may not be able to figure it all out, but you don't have to-- God has a plan.

When the Israelites were hemmed in between the Red Sea and Pharaoh's army, they didn't know what they were going to do but God had a plan. He planned to open up the sea, bring them to safety and destroy their enemy at the same time. When Daniel was thrown into the lion's den, he didn't know what the outcome was going to be, but God had a plan. He planned to shut the lions' mouths and protect him. When the three Hebrews were thrown into the fiery furnace, God had a plan. He planned to be with them in the fire and keep the flame from kindling upon them. When Paul was cast into prison, God still had a plan. A plan to give Paul revelation and insight about Himself to share with us through His written word. When Joseph was betrayed by his brothers, God had a plan. His plan was to save the nation of Israel. When mankind fell in the Garden of Eden and brought sin and death into the world- God had a plan. His plan was to send a Savior- His own Son.

Whatever you may be going through this morning don't worry, don't fret, don't be anxious or fearful because while you may not understand it all or see anything good--- God has a plan. His plan may be to reveal who He is to you in a greater way than ever before. It may be to work out His likeness in you. His plan may be to use what you are going through as a testimony to someone else. Who knows what His plan may be- His ways are not our ways and neither are His thoughts our thoughts. But know this-- things don't just happen, our trials are not in vain and when they come- God has a plan. And His plan is to "work all things together for your good".

Have a great day. When you don't understand it, when you can't figure it out, when you don't know what you are going to do, just remember-- God has a plan so don't worry.

For further reading:
Isaiah 55:8,9
Romans 8:28

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"Do It Now"

"Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." Matthew 4:7

Yesterday we talked about how our thoughts and emotions are connected. I shared a personal experience with you of how the enemy tried to attack me and use my thoughts to manipulate my emotions. I also shared how I overcame and got victory- which was by immediately doing something about those thoughts.

The key to victory over the attack of the enemy, over temptation, over thoughts that pull us down is to take care of and deal with it immediately. You can not just ignore the devil. You can't try to sweep the temptation under the rug an expect it to go away. You can't pretend that it isn't there. You can't try to just "stop up your ears". You have to do something about it and the sooner the better.

Jesus never ignored the devil. He dealt with him each and every time he came to tempt Him. In the wilderness Jesus dealt with him in each of the three temptations. When the devil tried to use Peter to keep Jesus from going to the cross, He dealt with it right then and there. Through His example we learn that we must too.

Are you ignoring the enemy? Are you just turning your back on him hoping he will go away? Or are you dealing with him through prayer and through your spiritual weapons? You have been given everything you need to be victorious over him. So don't ignore him, face him, use your authority over him. And remember that through Christ you are more than a conqueror.

Have a great day. When you are in the temptation, that is the time to deal with it.

For further reading:
Matthew 16:23
Romans 8:37
Matthew 4:1-11

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


"Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:5

I was talking with someone on the phone yesterday and when we hung up, I felt like I wanted to cry. The person didn't say anything mean to me, but what they said and the attitude in which they said it triggered something in me that was hurt. I knew that these feelings I was having was something I shouldn't entertain so I immediately went to prayer. What I was feeling was "self pity" so I needed to take authority over it so that it not "take over" me and cause me to act that day in a way that would be un-Christ like. So I went to prayer. I started praying against what I was feeling- binding and loosening everything I could think of, committing it to God, putting on the armor and capturing my thoughts. I then got victory and was able to move on.

The whole reason why I shared this is because before I got up from prayer the Lord spoke a word to me. I want to share it with you. He said, "Don't let your thoughts manipulate your emotions". The dictionary define manipulate as: to manage or influence skillfully; to negotiate, control, or influence. What I was feeling was the emotion of self pity. What happened was when I heard what the other person was saying, my mind begin to conjure up some thoughts- why did they say that, why did they talk to me like that, what did I do wrong, I was only trying to help, etc. Those thoughts didn't just come to me, but they began to manipulate (influence- hoping to control) the way I felt.

Your thoughts are powerful. They do trigger your emotions. If you don't think so, why is it then when you think happy thoughts you start feeling joy and when you think sad thoughts you get sad, or when you think about how someone did you wrong you get angry. Your thoughts manipulated your emotions- the way you feel.

This is why the Bible has so much to say about our thoughts. They are powerful and they will manipulate the way you feel if you let them. When your thoughts lead to anger, self pity, fear, envy, anxiety, guilt, jealousy, etc. (these are all emotions), you need to capture those thoughts and cast them down. Refuse to entertain them. Don't allow them to stay. Renew your mind with God's word. Submit yourself to God. If you don't you will live on an emotional roller coaster.

Have a great day. "Don't let your thoughts manipulate your emotions."

For further reading:
Romans 12:2
Hebrews 4:12
Ephesians 6:10-17
2 Timothy 1:7

Monday, November 15, 2010

"Faith Walks"

"For we walk by faith, not by sight." 2 Corinthians 5:7

I read a quote this weekend by Dr. Tony Evans that really spoke to my heart. It said, "We are commanded to walk by faith, not talk by faith." What it spoke to me was that it is one thing to profess that we have faith and it is another to actually have it. Anyone can "talk" faith. It is easier to "say" something than it is to actually "do it". But true faith walks. It does something. It is an action, not just a profession.

For a Christian, faith is more than just what you say, but it is what you do. At the Last Supper Peter made a profession of faith, "Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples." (Matthew 26:35) But before the night was over we find Peter denying he even knew Jesus. "And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee. Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew." (Matthew 26:73,74)

Look at the life of Peter again. Remember when he and the disciples were in the boat and Jesus came walking on the water? Peter spoke up and said, "And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus." (Matthew 14:28,29) What Peter said- his "profession" of faith- was put to the test. His words were not the real evidence of his faith- his action was.

James puts it this way. "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works." (James 2:17,18) Again, anyone can "talk" faith, but the proof of real faith is in the "walk".

Have a great day. True faith walks... not just talks.

For further reading:
Matthew 14:25-32; chapter 26
Hebrews 10:22-24

Friday, November 12, 2010

"No Advantage"

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

"Lest Satan should get an advantage of us." How do we keep satan from getting the advantage over us? A couple of days ago we talked about being obedient in all things. "For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things." (2 Corinthians 2:9) We said that our obedience to God dethrones self and places Him as Lord of our lives, it is the proof of our faith, and the sign of our love for Him. It is also the way that we keep satan from getting an advantage over us.

All disobedience is sin. Sin is the open door to the devil and the avenue by which he gains access into our lives. Remember back in the Garden of Eden? Adam's sin gave satan access in the earth. Sin waits at the door to gain access into our lives. "If thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door." (Genesis 4:7)When we disobey, it gains access, therefore, so does satan. When he gains access, he doesn't come alone. He brings with him lies, guilt, condemnation, shame, bitterness, pride, fear, etc. If we listen to his accusations over our failure and fall into sin and begin to believe them, it weakens our faith. This is how he gains the advantage over us.

The best way to keep him from getting the advantage over us is through obedience. Obedience keeps the door shut and him out. It is possible to be obedient. God has given us all the weapons we need to resist the temptations, He has given us His Word, He has given us His Spirit, Jesus already defeated the devil, He won the victory over sin on our behalf and God gives us His grace so we can stand. Another way to keep satan from getting the advantage over us if we do sin, is through faith. That means go to God immediately, confess your sin and believe what God says about your forgiveness. When you believe what God says, you can't believe what satan says... therefore, he does not have any advantage over you.

Have a great day. Disobedience opens the door to sin which gives satan the advantage over us. But obedience keeps the door shut.

For further reading:
1 John 1:9; 3:8
Genesis 4:7
Ephesians 6:10-20
Colossians 2:15

Thursday, November 11, 2010

"Having Your Way"

"Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." Philippians 4:11

These words were spoken by a man who had been shipwrecked three times, beaten with rods three times and left for dead, always in peril everywhere he went and was cast into prison. They weren't spoken by someone who lived a life of ease, got everything he wanted and enjoyed things always going his way. Yet did you notice his attitude? I am sure if he had had his way he would have rather not had to sit in a dark prison dungeon, or been beaten, or been mocked, or lived in peril, or gone through any of the hardships he went through.

The fact of life is: we don't always get what we want. Things don't always go the way we plan or hope. We don't always get our way about everything. As I just said, that's a fact of life, so that is not the issue. The issue is "attitude". What happens when you don't get your way? How do you handle it? What type of attitude do you exhibit? How do you respond in those times? Do you pout? Do you get angry? Do you curse? Do you throw things? Do you let everyone know it? Do you make life miserable for those around you? Do you look for ways to try to manipulate the situation until you get your way?

We all want our way- that is part of our selfish, centered-nature, fallen nature. But when we come to Christ and are born again we become a "new creation"- old things are passed away, all things become new. We now have a "new life"- the life of Christ. It is no longer I, but Christ living in me. Paul exhibited what that means. He was one who was used to getting his way, but when he met Christ things changed and it was no longer about him getting his way. Later he penned these words, "I have learned... to be content."

Having a Christ-like attitude doesn't just automatically happen, it comes through a process of yielding, surrendering and submitting to God, through letting His word govern our lives, through denying our flesh, through renewing our minds, through letting the Holy Spirit change us.

Again, let me repeat- you are not always going to get your way about everything. But when you don't what kind of attitude are you going exhibit? One that is selfish, focused only on what you want? Or one that is Christ-like and will glorify Him?

Have a great day. It isn't about whether you get what you want or not, it's about your attitude when you don't.

For further reading:
2 Corinthians 11:23-28; 5:17
Galatians 2:20
Colossians 3:3-10

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"Obedient In All Things"

"For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things." 2 Corinthians 2:9

Did you hear what this verse said? ("Whether ye be obedient in all things.") Do we strive to be obedient in "all" things- in "all" the commandments of the Lord? Or do we tend to "pick and choose" the ones we want to obey. Do we ignore and neglect the ones that we don't like and keep the ones that suit us? Let's face it, we don't always like to do what we are told to do, even if it is the Word of God that is telling us to do it.

For example, who really likes to forgive those who have hurt them? But we are commanded to do so. Do we like to obey the commands that tell us to "turn the other cheek" or "go the second mile"? Do we readily obey the commands to "love our enemies" and "bless those who curse us"? What about the giving of our tithes? Do we give them without question when the bills are more than the income? Do we try to justify our disobedience and make excuses for it when it is something that we don't want to do?

Obedience doesn't always come easy. It often goes against our desires. Obedience to God's commands places God on the throne and dethrones flesh/self putting it under submission- and our flesh doesn't like that, it wants to rule. But even though it may not always be easy to do, our obedience is the proof of our faith and the sign of our love for the Lord. "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone." (James 2:17) "If ye love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15)

Check your obedience level this morning. Do you obey the Lord in all things? Or do you pick and choose what you do and don't want to obey? Are there areas of obedience that you are struggling with? Are there times you hesitate and delay to obey? If so, don't try to justify disobedience, don't try to ignore the command, instead ask God to forgive you and then ask Him to give you the grace and strength that you need to obey.

Have a great day. Where is your obedience level at this morning?

For further reading:
1 Samuel 15:22
John 15:10
James 2:17-22
Matthew 5:39,43,44
Mark 11:25,26
Malachi 3:10

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

"Believe Who He Is"

"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Hebrews 11:6

The other morning the Lord spoke something to my heart that I want to share with you this morning. He said that we sing about how great He is and how nothing is impossible or too difficult for Him and we quote the verses that say the same, but when we come to Him we must believe that He is who He is and that He will answer.

There is a difference between a head knowledge and a heart knowledge of God. There is a difference in a mental belief and having a confidence that is deep rooted within your heart. That belief is unshaken when the storms of life come, when the day turns to darkness, when the seas roar and the threat of destruction is looming over you.

This heart knowledge of God is quiet different from that of the disciples when they were in the boat during the storm and were in fear of drowning. They woke Jesus up and He rebuked the storm and saved them from what they thought was sure death. Do you remember how they responded to Jesus' calming of the storm? "And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?" (Mark 4:41) They didn't begin to rejoice and sing the "Hallelujah Chorus". They didn't fall on their knees and worship Him. They didn't even say, "Thank You, Jesus". They started talking among themselves wondering just who this man was and they marveled that He had stopped the storm.

The disciples had been with Jesus day in a day out. They had heard His teachings. They were abandoning all and following Him. But did they really believe He was who He was? "He that cometh to God must believe that He is". If so, why did they wonder who He was? "What manner of man is this?" When they called out to Jesus to save them, they were amazed that He did it and how He did it. Did they ask but not really believe He would answer? "He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."

What about you? Do you have a head knowledge of God but not a heart knowledge? Do you just sing about His greatness but not really believe that He is great? Do you quote the verses but they haven't gotten into your heart and produced real faith? Do you really believe that He is who He says He is or are you still wondering if He really rewards those who diligently see Him? Jesus told His disciples that they were "faithless" but He didn't give up on them. He continually revealed Himself to them and their faith eventually came to the place where they had no doubt about who He was... so much so that they all willing laid down their lives for Him because of their faith in who He was. We can come to that kind of faith also.

Have a great day. Do you really believe He is who He is?

For further reading:
Mark 4:35-41; 9:23-25; 7:6

Monday, November 8, 2010

"Breakfast Foods"

"But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Matthew 4:4

Let's talk about breakfast a little this morning. Here in the United States we have a wide variety of breakfast foods to choose from: pop-tarts, cereal, biscuits, toast, bagels, pancakes, eggs, bacon, oatmeal, donuts, etc. A lot of people prefer to eat something that they can grab with one hand as they go out the door. Me personally, I am not a breakfast eater- I much prefer to eat later in the day. But when I do eat breakfast, I don't want just a bowl of cereal or a pastry, I want a "real" breakfast. Being from the South that means grits, eggs, sausage and homemade biscuits with fruit preserves. That's the kind of breakfast that sticks to your ribs and goes with you throughout the day.

Why did I bring this up? Too many Christians are trying to live on a "spiritual" diet of "cold pastries" and "cereal bars". What do I mean by that? They are trying to grow spiritually and go throughout the day on something that has no "spiritual nutritional" value to it.

The purpose for eating breakfast or any other meal is so that our bodies will receive nutrition and be physically strong. When we feed it the right things, it will be. When we feed it the wrong things, it won't. Likewise, the same thing happens when you feed your "spirit man". Feed it the right thing and it will grow and be strong. Feed it the wrong thing and it won't. And just because it comes packaged as "the Word of God" doesn't mean that it will give you "spiritual nutrition". There's lots on the grocer's shelves that comes labeled as "breakfast" foods but they only fill you up for the moment, they don't give you the nutrition that you need to be strong. So you have to be careful and "eat" the Word of God that is not watered down, compromised, and full of "fluff". You have to feed it more than a gospel that is focused on material things, blessings, a life of ease and self gratification. It takes feeding your spirit man on the rightly divided truth of God's word if you are going to grow and be spiritually healthy.

Have a great day. Are you feeding your spirit man a quick fix meal that has no nutritional value or something that will make it strong and healthy?

For further reading:
Luke 4:4
2 Timothy 2:15; 4:2-4; 3:14-17

Friday, November 5, 2010


"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal." Matthew 6:19,20

There is a philosophy in the world that says, "Get all you can, and can all you get". The world is "money minded" and "money hungry". You have heard the expression, "Money makes the world go 'round". Sadly, this same way of thinking has wound up in the church. Money does help make life a little easier when you have enough to pay the bills and put food on the table. The lack of it has been the source of many marital problems. Wanting to have enough to meet your needs is not wrong. But money and riches should never be the focus of the followers of Jesus.

The argument in Christianity on the subject is that Jesus taught about having wealth; Jesus had a treasurer so He must have had money; and so on. But we forget that He also taught verses like the ones above. He taught us that we can't serve God and mammon both. He taught us that the most important treasures and the ones to be sought after were the ones that are eternal and certain- treasures/riches in heaven. (And by the way, His treasurer turned out to be Judas the one who betrayed him into the hands of those who crucified him. And he betrayed him for more money.)

When Jesus spoke the words above He didn't stop there, He added a warning. "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (verse 21) He warned us that preoccupation with money, a desire to have treasures, the longing to be rich can be a snare that will capture our heart and take it prisoner. If your heart is captured by something (whatever it may be) instead of God, then He doesn't have it. And if He doesn't have it, how can you love Him with all your heart?

Wherever your treasure is, there will your heart be also. If your treasure is in temporary riches- that is where you will find your heart. If it is in eternal ones, than that's where you'll find it.

Have a great day. Where does your treasure lie? That is where you will find your heart.

For further reading:
Deuteronomy 30:19
Proverbs 15:16
Matthew 6:24,25
Luke 12:13-23
James 2:5,6

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"What's In Your Heart?"

"O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." Matthew 12:34

The scriptures tell us that we should love the Lord with all our heart. How do we know whether we do or not? How do we know what has our heart? How do we know what consumes our heart? One way is by examining our lives to see if we are obeying His commandments and doing our best to keep them, walking in them and letting them be the governing factor of our lives. Because if we love Him we will keep His commandments.

Another way to know is by listening to yourself when you talk. What comes out of your mouth? Our verse above tells us that whatever our heart is full of is what will come out of our mouth. If you are full of love for God it will come- you will hear it in the things that you say. If you are full of bitterness, envy, hurt, it too will come out in your conversation. It is so easy to tell where people are just by listening to what they are saying. Like wise, it is just as easy to know where we are by what we are saying. This means that if you aren't sure what is filling your heart, all you have to do is listen to yourself for a while and you will soon discover what it is.

I know people who all they talk about is money- getting their next dollar, how to keep what money they have. I know others that talk about nothing but their ex-spouse and what wrong they did to them. There are those also who talk about their illnesses, aches and pains all the time. And the list goes on. Don't misunderstand me, it is not wrong to talk about these things I have mentioned, but when it becomes your whole conversation and the only thing you talk about all the time, then it means this is what has your heart.

By listening to yourself you will get a pretty good idea of what really has your whole heart.

Have a great day. If you really want to know what is in your heart... just listen to what you are saying.

For further reading:
Deuteronomy 6:5
Matthew 22:37
John 14:15
Luke 6:45
Malachi 3:16

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

"No Third Choice"

"Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season." Hebrews 11:25

It all boils down to choice. You choose to either accept Jesus as Savior or you don't. You choose to either serve God or not. You choose to obey Him or disobey Him. You choose to allow Him to have the Lordship over your life or you choose to let something else have it. You choose to have a relationship with Him or not. There are only two chooses ever where the Lord is concerned- for or against Him.

Moses, in our verse above, had to make one of two choices- either suffer with the people of God or enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. There was no "third" choice- he couldn't do both. And neither is there a third choice for us. The scriptures make that plain- either be hot or cold; serve God or mammon; blessings or cursing; life or death.

What choice are you making today? In your daily affairs and situations are you choosing to obey the Lord or not? Are you choosing to put Him or self first? Are you choosing to apply His word to the problems you face or try to handle them yourself? Are you choosing your own agenda or His agenda? Are you following your own plan for your life or the plan He has laid out for you? Like we have said, there are only two chooses to chose between. There is not a third one- you can't have it both ways. It is either God's way or your own way, but not both.

Have a great day. There are two choices that lay before you, which one are you choosing? Yours or God's?

For further reading:
Revelation 3:16
Matthew 6:24
Joshua 24:15
Deuteronomy 30:19

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

"Red Alert"

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." 1 Peter 5:8

The dictionary defines a red alert as: the highest level of alert when an attack by the enemy seems imminent; or more generally a state of alert resulting from imminent danger. When a nation is under red alert, it does not let its guard down for one minute. It keeps a watchful eye in every direction and takes special note of anything out of the ordinary or that looks suspicious. One moment of carelessness or being lax and letting their guard down could cause serious problems or even worse a fatal situation.

Keeping a high level of alertness is something that the Christian should do daily. We are always in danger of an attack by our enemy- the devil. He has one purpose and goal in mind- steal, kill and destroy. He goes throughout the whole earth looking for those who are ignorant and unaware of his tactics. He looks for those who are not being watchful. He seeks out those who are being distracted by other things- the cares of this world, material possessions, pursing their own agenda, following their own dreams- so he can sneak up on them and them not notice him.

Since we have an enemy we must maintain a high level of awareness and not allow ourselves to be distracted or stop watching altogether. We must keep our "spiritual radar" on at all times- we must be discerning. We must stay on guard and not let down our guard. We must not underestimate our enemy but remember how cunning and deceptive he is. I am not talking about living in fear or having overly preoccupied thoughts about the devil. I am talking about remembering that we are in a spiritual war and have a very real enemy, who although he has been defeated, will still try to destroy you.

It isn't time to let down our guard. It is time to be more vigilant than ever before and more watchful than ever before. "But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up." (Matthew 24:43)

Have a great day. You should be and stay on "red alert" spiritually because your enemy is looking for opportunities to attack and destroy you.

For further reading:
2 Corinthians 2:11; 11:14
John 10:10
2 Timothy 2:4
Ephesians 6:11

Monday, November 1, 2010

"Finding Answers"

"And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain." 1 Corinthians 3:20

Our thoughts, our understanding, our reasoning apart from God is in vain. This is a fact that is repeated over and over in the Bible. Yet, we are constantly trying to "plot our own course" through life. We are continuing leaning to our own understanding. And always trying to "figure things out".

No matter how hard we try, there will always be things that we don't understand. We will always have questions. We will always seek for answers. There is nothing wrong with wanting answers, it just depends on where you are going to get the answers.

Some people seek to find answers within themselves. Others seek to find them through knowledge and education. Some think their answer lies within their material possessions- an abundance of them is the answer to all their problems. There are those who consult different sources of divination such as the horoscope, physic hotlines, fortune tellers, Ouija boards, etc. to find their answers. Many think that the government has the answers. Others spend their time going from one person to another seeking out answers-- and you don't have to go very far to find someone who thinks they have all your answers.

The reality of it is that we don't have all the answers. It makes no difference how well educated we are, how smart we are, how much common sense we have, how many resources are available to us, we just don't have what it takes. But that doesn't leave us hopeless and helpless, wandering through life with no answers. There is someone that we can go to to find the answers we need. It's the Lord. He is the All-Knowing and All-Wise One. There is no answer hidden from Him. He even knows the answer before the question is asked.

So this morning let me ask you, "Where do you go to find answers for your life?" Do you look within yourself? Do you go from person to person, resource to resource, or do you go to God and His word to find them? Going to the wrong source will always leave you empty and unanswered. Going to the right source will give you the right answers. That right source is the Lord.

Have a great day. The answer to all your questions is found in Jesus.

For further reading:
Proverbs 16:25; 3:5,6
Jeremiah 10:23; 33:3
Psalm 94:11
1 Corinthians 2:10-12

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"God's Thoughts"

NOTE: I am leaving this morning to go out of town, so there won't be a Coffee Break sent out the rest of the week. May God bless you all with a truly wonderful week and may He be highly exalted in your life each and every day. Love and blessings!

"For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God." 1 Corinthians 2:11

Everyone of us have thoughts. And the thing about our thoughts is that they are private. No one but ourselves know what we are thinking unless we choose to share them with someone else. The Bible tells us that God has thoughts also and no one knows what He is thinking either unless He chooses to share it.

Do you ever wonder what God thinks about? (Let me make something perfectly clear before we start- I am in no way saying that I understand the thoughts of God, know everything He is thinking, or can understand His thoughts. But there are some things that I know are on His mind because the Bible tells me what they are.)

So what does God think about? He thinks about YOU! He thinks about how much He loves you. That is what was on His mind when He sent His only begotten Son Jesus into the world to save us from our sins. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." (John 3:16,17) At the cross, you were on His mind. Thoughts of you and me having the opportunity of living with Him forever if He would endure the suffering of the cross, far out weighed the pain that was engulfing His body. "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Heb. 12:2)

He thinks about the plans that He has for you- plans to give you blessings, hope and a future. "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." (Jeremiah 29:11-KJV) "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (NIV)

There is no doubt that God is thinking about you, and He thinks about you all the time. What do you think about? Is He the subject of your thoughts? Do you think about Him? Do you think about His goodness that He bestows on your everyday? Do you think about His grace? Do you think about His will and purpose for your life? Do you think about what you can do to bless Him? Or are your thoughts more self-centered and self- absorbed? Do you think about everything and everyone else besides Him? Just what do you think about?

Have a great day. What does God think about? He thinks about you. What do you think about? Is it Him?

For further reading:
Isaiah 49:14-16; 55:7,8,9
Philippians 4:8
Psalm 10:4

Monday, October 25, 2010

"Guard Your Heart"

"Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God." Hebrews 3:12

When the Lord gives us a warning in His word, it would definitely do us good to pay attention to what He is saying. His warnings are always for our benefit. Above is one of those warning. What is the warning? The warning is- in a nutshell- "guard your heart". Be careful not to allow it to become unbelieving.

He uses the example of Israel here to teach us what He means. In verse ten He tells us that they were always going astray from Him in their hearts. The heart is the "heart of the matter". The Bible tells us that God is after our hearts. It tells us that with our hearts we believe unto salvation. The greatest commandment is that we love the Lord with all our heart.

They didn't guard their hearts. They allowed unbelief to come in even after they had seen all the miracles that He had done for them. They tempted Him to do more after He had already given them everything they needed- their hearts were full of discontent. When He tried to take them into the promised land, they did not believe that He was able to do it. They believed what they saw instead of what He said. They also wanted God to fulfill their every desire and follow their plans- when, where and how they wanted things to go.

Are you following in their footsteps? Are you listening to the accusations of the enemy against God? Are you tempting Him? Are you listening to the negative reports when He has already given you His word on the matter? Are you dissatisfied with what God is doing? Are you trying to make Him conform to your plans and do things your way? Then beware and on guard, you are on your way to having a "straying heart" and a straying heart strays away from God. And when it strays away from God there are consequences. (Just ask those Israelites who did not enter into the promised land.) Or are you guarding your heart from unbelief?

How do we keep from departing/straying from the Lord? How do we keep from having an evil heart of unbelief? By guarding our heart. We do that by keeping it clean and pure before Him. That is done through faith. Believe what He says. Cleave to Him no matter what. Trust Him no matter what the situation looks like. Follow Him and allow Him to do the leading. Renew your mind with His word. Hide His word in your heart. Refuse to listen to the accusations of the enemy. Be content where you are at the moment but keep seeking Him. Let His word establish peace in your heart. Be led by the Spirit and not your own flesh or selfish desires. Remember, the just live by faith, not by sight... and not by our wants and desires.

Have a great day. Guard your heart from unbelief so that you don't depart from the Lord.

For further reading:
Proverbs 4:23
Psalm 51:10; 119:11
Romans 12:2
Hebrews 3:1-2; 13:5
2 Corinthians 5:7
Galatians 5:16
Philippians 4:11