Wednesday, March 31, 2010


"Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted." Hebrews 2:18

When you are going through a difficulty, how many people say they sympathize with you as if they have been through the same thing themselves but never have? How many people say that they understand but they really don't. Often people want to help you and comfort you but unless they have actually been where you are, all they can do is have compassion for you, try to encourage you and pray, but they are "standing on the outside looking in". They don't know what it actually feels like. They haven't walked that way before, they haven't gone through the same ordeal, they don't understand what you are going through.

While people often try to help us when we are going through something, sometimes they fall short because they haven't gone through it themselves so they really can't relate. But I want to remind you this morning that whatever you are going through, whatever temptation you are facing, whatever trial you are in, there is one who does understand, there is one who can truly sympathize, there is one who has walked that same path and He has the power to help you. His name is Jesus.

He was tempted in every area we are tempted in. He faced the same trials we face. He knows what it is like to feel sadness, rejection, ridicule, separation, be forsaken, have demands placed on you... He faced it all. He faced it all when He walked among us as a man. He went through all that we go through and He overcame it.

So whatever it is that you are going through, Jesus has "been there and done that". He knows how you feel. He knows what you are going through. But He also knows how to rise above it, how to handle it, how to be victorious in it. Because He knows and because He has walked through it, He has the power as you look to Him to help you overcome it as well.

Have a great day. Some may sympathize with you, others may try to comfort you, but Jesus knows exactly what you are going through and has the power to help you make it through it.

For further reading:
Hebrews 4:15
John 16:33
Isaiah 53:3,4

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


"Pray without ceasing." 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Such a short verse but a very powerful one. There is power in prayer. But sadly many think that prayer is a particular formula or a position. Prayer is neither, it is an attitude of communion with the Father based on your trust in Him.

Jesus taught us this by example. He prayed all the time. He lived in the place of prayer. He stayed in constant communion with the Father, not just in the times when He would depart into a solitary place to pray.

Have you examined your prayer life lately? Can you call it a "prayer life" (a life of prayer)? Do you only pray at certain times, certain places and in certain situations? Is your prayer time confined to once or twice a day, or on Sunday's only? Do you pray all the time about everything? Do you talk to God on a continual basis?

Prayer is such a wonderful privilege that we have been given. It's an invitation given to us by a holy God, the Creator of the universe to come and make our requests known and have fellowship with Him. How awesome is that! He invites us to come and talk to Him- about everything and at any time, and all the time.

Have a great day. Are you talking advantage of the privilege that you have been given to have communion with God through prayer?

For further reading:
Mark 1:35; 6:46
John 11:41-43
Matthew 26:41
Hebrews 11:6

Monday, March 29, 2010

"I Will Rejoice"

"This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24

"We will rejoice". I am going to make this personal today- "I will rejoice". And when I think about it, I have every reason to rejoice, even if I am going through trying times and difficulties.

Today, I will rejoice because God will supply all my need. Every need I have- spirit, soul and body- He will see to providing it for me. I will rejoice because God does not change even if I change or the situations of my life change. Therefore, I can trust His faithfulness to me in every area of my life. I will rejoice because of His promises to me that I can count upon because He does not lie. I will rejoice because His goodness and mercy follows me everywhere I go. I will rejoice because I know that I am not going through this day alone- He will never leave me nor forsake me. I will rejoice because He gives me all things that pertain to life, because His strength is made perfect in my weakness, because He gives me His peace, because He gives me wisdom from above and because He will direct my steps before me. I will rejoice because I know that no matter what the enemy throws my way or how he comes against me, I already have the victory because of Jesus.

So you see, we have every reason to rejoice. Therefore, when you are tempted to be fearful, when confusion begins to cloud your thoughts, when you find yourself wanting to get discouraged, depressed, worried or anxious, remember that the One who made the day is walking with you throughout the day, is providing for you today, is going before you today and is watching over you today.

Have a great day. I can rejoice today no matter what happens as long as I keep my focus on the One who made the day and not on what comes my way today.

For further reading:
Philippians 4:19
Hebrews 13:5,8
Malachi 3:6
Hebrews 10:23
Titus 1:2
Psalm 23:6
2 Peter 1:3
2 Corinthians 12:9
John 14:27
James 3:17
1 Corinthians 15:57
Proverbs 3:6

Friday, March 26, 2010

"Sunshine Suddenly"

"And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm." Mark 4:39

When I got out of my vehicle to go into the recovery center yesterday, it was raining, the clouds were very grey and it was stormy. An hour later when I started to leave, the rain had stopped, the clouds had rolled away and the sun was shining brightly. How amazing, the day looked totally different than it had only a short while ago. As I noticed the transformation, the thought came to mind that our lives are often like this. We can be in the midst of a "storm" one minute than have "sunshine" the next.

The day itself was a beautiful reminder to me that the storms of life don't last forever. They do come to an end, and they can come "suddenly" like the physical weather changed yesterday. I thought the weather had set in and it was going to be like that all day, but it wasn't. Often when we look at our storms, especially if we have been in them any length of time, we begin to feel as if they will never stop or let up. But I have good news for you-- they don't last forever and they can cease when you least expect it.

The other good news is that Jesus is with you in the storm. More good news- Jesus still speaks to the storms and they have to obey. He still knows how to turn the situation. He can still change storms into sunshine. Don't be discouraged or fearful, don't lose hope or faith there is always sunshine after the storm.

Have a great day. It may be stormy now, but sunshine can come suddenly.

For further reading:
Mark 4:35-41
Psalm 118:24
Psalm 107:29
Luke 8:23,24

Thursday, March 25, 2010

"The World"

"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Mark 16:15

Just because you may not have the opportunity to travel overseas and preach the gospel does not exempt you from sharing it with others. "Go ye into all the world" does not necessarily mean taking it to foreign lands, although they are included. "All the world" also means "all the world"- in your homeland and abroad.

"The world" consist of wherever you are. You have a "world" on your job that needs to hear the gospel. There is "the world" in your family and among your friends. There is "a world" sitting behind bars, in a recovery center, in nursing homes and on the streets. There is a "world" that we are surrounded by as we go about our daily activities. This "world" is in the grocery store, the doctor's office, the restaurant and in our place of employment-- it's wherever you find people.

"The world" doesn't mean just a geographical location. It's wherever you find "every creature". It is wherever there are people who need the gospel. That's "the world". So you and I have no excuse for not fulfilling the commission because everywhere we find ourselves is "the world".

Have a great day. "Your world" is part of "the world" that needs to hear the gospel.

For further reading:
Matthew 10:7; 22:9
Acts 5:42; 10:42
Luke 14:23

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"Do They Know?"

"I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God." Isaiah 43:12

I heard a story about this guy who was a Christian and had a job that he worked at for years before anyone even knew he was a Christian. What is wrong with that picture? How can you work in a place day after day, year after year and no one have any idea that you are a Christian? As we said a few days ago, everything we do is reflective of our walk with Christ- it is inseparable.

I am not suggesting that you get a bull horn and make a loud announcement that you are a Christian. What you are will be evident by the way you conduct yourself, by your lack of compromising your belief in certain situations, by your speech, by your integrity, by the way you treat others, by your work ethics, by showing compassion, and so on.

Some people's defense is that they are "letting their lights shine, and lights don't do anything but shine". There is nothing wrong with that- we are to let them shine, people should "see" Christ in us. But that is only half of our witness- they should also "hear" something from us. We are called "witnesses". There are more scriptures that tell us to be vocal with our faith than there are that tell us to demonstrate it only. We have to do both- we can't help but do both.

Do people around you, do your acquaintances, does your family, do those people you rub shoulders with day in and day out know that you are a Christian? The reason we should let them know (be more vocal- not obnoxious) is not about "us". It's about lifting Christ up before them so that they might come into a relationship with Him.

Have a great day. Others should be able to tell that you are a Christian if you are around them for any length of time, and if they can't... why?

For further reading:
Isaiah 43:10; 44:8; 52:7
Acts 1:8
Mark 16:15
Romans 10:13-15
Matthew 10:7,8
Romans 1:16

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

"With You Everywhere"

"...lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen." Matthew 28:20b

It seems as though the Lord has me frequently talking about the fact that He doesn't not leave, forsake or abandon His people. This morning I am impressed to talk about it again. My mind was thinking about the various people in the Bible, the things they went through and the places they found themselves in. Each one had their own trials, each one had their own testing, each one went through difficulties, but in each situation in life they were never alone- the Lord was with them.

Look at Abraham- he journeyed to a strange country away from family or friends, but the Lord was with Him. Noah lived during the time of the greatest outpouring of God's judgment, yet he didn't go through it alone- God was with him. Joseph was enslaved and imprisoned in a foreign country, but the Lord was with Him too. Daniel and his friends were taken captive and forced to serve their enemy- they weren't alone either, the Lord was with them. Because of King Saul's pursuits David was forced to live on the run and in caves. Yet, he was never alone, the Lord was right there with him. Then there was also Moses who lived in Egypt and in the wilderness- he wasn't alone, God was with him also.

How comforting to know that it doesn't matter where you are or the circumstances that brought you to that place, you are not alone. The Lord is with you whether it is in your own home or enemy territory. He is with you whether you find yourself in a place by your own choice or against your will. He is with you wherever you may be. He is not restricted by space. There are no boundaries placed on God- although men try to draw a line to keep Him out or from coming any closer. He is with you everywhere you go.

Let this word encourage you this morning if you are in one of those places-- you are not alone. And even if you are not, read this word, hide its message in your heart, get the truth of it deeply embedded in your spirit because you never know if, or when, you might be.

Have a great day. You are not alone,

For further reading:
Genesis 12:1
Genesis 6:11,12,17-19
Genesis 39:1,2
Daniel 3:25
Exodus 3:1-4
1 Samuel 18:12
Hebrews 13:5

Monday, March 22, 2010

"Not Separated"

"Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men." Isaiah 29:13

What I am about to say is not political, but I do have to say it to make my point. I was watching the news the other day and one of the senators was asked about a particular issue that was to be voted on that he was in agreement with. The news anchor asked him about his faith/religion and how because of his faith could he be in agreement. His comment was that when he is conducting his duty as a senator he does so under the guidelines of "separation of church and state". Therefore, he can have a certain religious belief under his faith and a different action to perform his job. In short, he was saying that the two are separate and have nothing to do with each other.

I brought this up because there needs to be some clarification concerning a person's faith and what he does. There is no separation of what you believe and what you do. What you do is determined by your values that are shaped by your faith. You can't check your faith in at the door like you do your coat. It is not something that you "take off" and "put on" depending on the situation. Your faith is who you are. I cannot separate myself from being who I am. I am a Caucasian female seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day- all the time- and everywhere I go. The same applies to my faith in Christ. I am a Christian everywhere I go and all the time.

This is what has happened in the church. This is why we aren't the light and salt in this world that Jesus said we were to be. We act one way in church and another way everywhere else. We have tried to separate our Christianity from other areas in our lives--- you can't do it. I am a Christian no matter where I am, who I am with, what the situation is, regardless of whether it is popular or not. I am a Christian whether I am at home, on my job, on the playing field, at the grocery store, in church, etc.

If you are a Christ, it goes much deeper than your surroundings. It goes much deeper than your physical location. It goes much deeper than just your church affiliation. Your faith is "encoded on your 'spiritual DNA'". It is who you are. And that is something you cannot separate yourself from. The only way to do so is if you choose to go against it.

Have a great day. If you are truly a Christian, then you are a Christian everywhere you go all the time. You can't separate who you are from what you do.

For further reading:
Matthew 5:14
James 2:20
Mark 8:33,34
Acts 17:28
1 John 4:17

Friday, March 19, 2010


"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7

I have heard this scripture repeated several times over the last few days through different people. This morning as I was praying for a word to share with you, I heard it again. So when the Lord repeats Himself He is trying to tell us something.

Fear does come. It comes in many ways and many forms. It comes through a threatening report. It comes when we lose our jobs, when our health breaks, when our marriage is on shaking ground. It often comes unexpectedly and when we least expect it. It comes on a bight, sun shiny day as well as in the dark and trying times. It tries to attach itself to us. It tries to defeat us. Its goal is to destroy us.

We are living in a time of uncertainties, we never know what we might wake up to. Uncertainty is a breeding ground for fear. BUT, it is also a breeding ground for faith. The times when you aren't certain about what may happen should increase your faith instead of making you fearful. These times are opportunities to draw near to the Lord and develop your faith. Abraham faced an uncertainty, and the unknown, when God called him to leave his father's house and just begin walking. Did Abraham know where he was going? Did he know what was ahead? Was his path clear to him? Did he fear or did he have faith?

Faith remembers that God is still in control, it remembers that He doesn't leave you nor forsake you, it remembers that He is the provider. Faith remembers that God is trustworthy and loves you. Faith remembers who God is and His faithfulness to His promises. Fear does not! Whatever you are going through, no matter how uncertain it may be, you can either give into fear and let it steal, kill and destroy; or you can give into faith and let it give you peace, joy and grace.

Have a great day. Uncertain times in our lives are a breeding ground for either faith or fear. Which will it produce in you?

For further reading:
Genesis 12:1
Hebrews 11:8
Psalm 23:4
Psalm 27:1
Psalm 118:6
Isaiah 43:1,2

Thursday, March 18, 2010

"Voices- Part 2"

"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before." Philippians 3:13

Yesterday when we talked about all the voices that are out there, we neglected to talk about the voices from the past. None of us are perfect, or have lived perfect lives. I am sure that we all have done things in the past that we shouldn't have done, aren't proud of or regret. Because the devil is the accuser he often brings up our past and tries to use it against us. He reminds us of the mistakes we made. He reminds us of the thing that haunts us. He won't let you forget it. He comes to steal, kill and destroy. He wants to destroy your peace of mind and your future by not letting you forget "what you did".

If you know Jesus as your Savior, your past is forgiven. It doesn't matter how bad you have been, how much evil you have done, what horrible thing lies in your past. I am not saying that you may not be having to face some consequences for what you did, but Jesus washed away the guilt and condemnation of that thing, and all your sins. So don't let the enemy try to put it back on you.

The Lord's plan for you is to give you a hope and a future. Living in the guilt of the past will rob you of that future. It will rob you of abundant living. It will keep you defeated-- and the enemy knows that. He wants to stop you so that you can't go forward. But you don't have to let him. If you have been "tormented" by those "voices from the past", it is time today to get free from their guilt. Give them over to Jesus once and for all. Receive His word that says you are forgiven instead of the word of accusation from the devil.

Have a great day. Don't listen to the voice of accusation concerning your past- they are lies. Listen to the voice of Jesus- His words are the words of truth.

For further reading:
Psalm 103:12
Romans 8:1
Jeremiah 29:11
John 10:10

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


"There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification." 1 Corinthians 14:10

We are living in a time when we are bombarded by "voices". They come from every direction- through the news media, through various forms of entertainment, through close acquaintances, through the internet and many other places and people. It seems as if the voices are being intensified, and the truth is, they are.

Daily we have to deal with these voices, among which are the voices of humanistic wisdom, logic, reason and man's opinions. We have to battle the voices of fear and discouragement, lies and deception. There is also the voice of pride, selfishness, anger, frustration, criticism, confusion and condemnation. From the time we wake up in the morning, until we go to bed at night, and even after we go to bed those voices continue speaking to us through our thoughts.

Many voices are helpful and we should listen to them. We should heed those that are warnings. But the enemy is trying to use the "voices" to cause us to miss God's voice and stop hearing Him altogether. Remember in the Garden of Eden, Eve heard the "voice" of the serpent and his enticing words and gave into his "speech". She listened to his "voice" and ignored the "voice" of the Lord which had already spoken to them not to eat from the tree.

Satan has no new tricks, he keeps using the same ones over and over again. He wants you to listen to these other voices. He wants you to heed them and stop listening to the voice of God. For this reason it is imperative that you spend quiet time alone with the Lord each and every day. You must pull yourself away and listen to the voice of the Lord- listen to Him through reading His word, through prayer and by His Holy Spirit. He is speaking as much as the other voices are, He just isn't speaking as loudly- His is more of a "still, small voice".

Have a great day. There are a lot of voices out there, but the voice of the Lord is the main one we need to be listening to, but if you aren't spending time with Him you aren't hearing His voice.

For further reading:
Genesis 3:2-8
Proverbs 7:21
Colossians 2:4
1 Kings 19:12
Matthew 11:15
Mark 1:35

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"Abundant Living"

"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." John 10:10

Jesus is the giver of life, because He is Life. He gives us eternal life. Those who put their trust and faith in His redeeming work at the cross will live forever with Him in heaven and never die. But He also gives us abundant life before that time comes in the "here and now".

While abundant life is a gift from God, it is something that is "walked" out each day in our lives. It is walked out by living in obedience to God's commands. I enjoy abundant life when I live according to the dictates of God's word. His word is a place of safety. It establishes boundaries that keep me protected- protection is part of abundant living. His word is a place of peace. Walking in His word brings peace of mind and heart. Having peace is having abundant life.

Abundant life is not some "feeling" it is the "state" of the believer that comes as a result of a wonderful promise/provision from the Lord, but it is manifested in our lives as long as we stay within the confines of God's word.

Have a great day. Abundant life is a gift from God but we have to walk in His word in order to enjoy it.

For further reading:
John 14:6
Romans 6:23
John 11:25
Isaiah 26:3
Psalm 119:165

Monday, March 15, 2010

"In Disguise"

"And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light." 2 Corinthians 11:14

I received a message on my Face Book warning about a virus that was going around. It disguises itself in two ways- by saying it comes from a friend and by appearing to be a YouTube video. This warning made me think about our adversary, satan, who does the same thing.

Often his attacks against us aren't "out in the open"; he comes to us in disguise. He always presents himself and his destructive plans as something they are not. He did this back in the Garden of Eden. Disguised as a serpent he beguiled Eve into disobeying God.

What's the disguise? He often comes as something "familiar", something unsuspecting, something that we may even feel comfortable around. Like friends and familiar- he will use them to come against us. He comes as an "angel of light". He comes as a wolf in sheep's clothing. He comes in the form of entertainment, something that looks "tall, dark and handsome", something that seems so innocent, something that may have pleasure attached to it.

Why the disguise? So that we won't recognize him. If he were to come against us in a way that was easily recognizable- like Goliath came out against David on the battlefield- we would defeat him. He knows that we have power over him through Jesus Christ. But if you don't recognize your enemy how can you defeat him?

It is no secret or big mystery that satan comes many ways, and all his ways are through deceptive disguises. That is not the main point this morning. The main point is- do you recognize him when he does? It may not always be easy to spot a "fake", but it is possible. And it is possible for us to spot him when we stay in God's word- which exposes all that is false- and keep an open ear to the Holy Spirit's warnings.

Have a great day. We don't have to be deceived by satan's disguises. He can't hide behind a disguise from God and if we stay close to God through reading His word, prayer and listening to the Holy Spirit, he can't hide from us either.

For further reading:
1 Peter 5:8
Matthew 7:15
Hebrews 11:25
Genesis 3:13; 2 Corinthians 11:3
Ephesians 6:12
Luke 10:19

Friday, March 12, 2010

"Fitness Conscience"

"For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come." 1 Timothy 4:8

People have become very health and fitness conscience. So much so that it's become a million dollar industry. People spend hours at the gym working out. They spend big bucks on diet programs. Fitness trainers are more in demand. This is a good thing. We need to be more health conscience. We need to take care of our bodies- especially if we are Christians because they are the temple of God's Holy Spirit.

But on the other hand it concerns me when I see people who are more concerned about taking care of their body than they are their soul. Our body houses our soul so we should keep it healthy, but what thought are you giving to your soul which is eternal. Do you spend more time taking care of the outside than the inside? Are you feeding your body the proper nutrients that it needs yet you are starving your spiritual man? Are you making sure your body receives plenty of exercise but you have not exercised your faith in Jesus Christ to receive salvation?

I hope I have made it clear that we should eat right, exercise, get plenty of rest, have a healthy lifestyle and take care of our bodies, but at the same time what have you profited if you have neglected the most important part of you. We are a spirit, soul and body, therefore, each one needs our attention and care, but the part of you that will live on forever requires the most attention.

Have a great day. Don't neglect your eternal soul, and take care of your body.

For further reading:
Mark 8:36
1 Corinthians 6:19; 3:16,17
2 Corinthians 4:16
Hebrews 9:27

Thursday, March 11, 2010


"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." 2 Timothy 3:16

Not only is "all" scripture inspired by God, but "all" scripture is profitable for us. It is profitable to those who will heed its words and obey them- "all" of them. There is no profit when we "pick and choose" the ones we like. The word of God is not like a "buffet" at a restaurant that you can pick your favorite food and leave the rest.

I see so many Christians who live their lives like that. They only choose to apply to their lives the commandments that make them feel good, that make them comfortable, that fit into their lifestyle or that don't get in the way of their agenda, but they leave off the others. They leave off the "thou shalt not's" when it conflicts with something that they want to do. They leave off the ones that call for personal sacrifice in areas that they aren't willing to surrender. They leave off the ones that go against the standard that they have set for themselves. They leave off the scriptures that take away their right to do their own thing.

The profit that is in the scriptures comes as you meet the conditions that are in them. If you aren't meeting the conditions because you have discarded them from your life, if you ignore them and choose to replace them with "your will", if you neglect them, then you will not gain the profit that is within them. Because as I have already said, the profit comes from heeding, obeying and living our lives by them.

Have a great day. All scripture is profitable, but only as we choose to obey, adhere to and allow our lives to be governed by them.

For further reading:
John 5:39; 15:7
James 1:22
Proverbs 4:20-22
Matthew 7:26

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

"All The Need"

"But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19

Aren't you glad for God's promise to supply all your need, regardless of what it is? We have needs in every area of life- spiritual, physical, emotional, material, etc. I am glad that the Lord didn't say He would take care of only my spiritual need, or just my physical need, and so on. I am also glad that His promise to meet all my need was not a "one time" offer- like a coupon, once you use it the offer was no longer good.

For example: I had a spiritual need- salvation- and He made a way through His Son Jesus Christ at the cross to meet my need. But He is also continuing to take care of the spiritual needs that I have- the need for transformation into His image, the need for help in denying myself, the need for the Fruit of the Spirit to be produced in me, the need to learn how to yield to the Holy Spirit's guidance in my life. The same is true for our physical needs- sickness often strikes more than once. Material needs are the same way- they come on a daily basis. All of our needs make a "repeat performance" in our lives. But when they do, the promise still remains.

Whatever your need is today, it doesn't matter how many times you have gone to God with this same need, you can still go to Him with it again. His promise to supply it is still in force.

Have a great day. We don't exhaust His offer to supply our need no matter how many times we need Him to meet them.

For further reading:
Exodus 16:21
Matthew 6:8,11
James 1:5

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

"Always Means Always"

"Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen." Matthew 28:20

"I am with you always." What a comforting thought! This is not just wishful thinking, this isn't just hope so, this isn't just a verse, but it is a promise from God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit. It's a promise that means just what it says-- "I am with you always!"

What does always mean? It means, simply, "always". It doesn't mean some of the time, part of the time, 99% of the time. It doesn't mean in the good times only. It doesn't mean just in times of sunshine, prosperity, blue skies. It means in times of darkness, distress, trials and tribulation. In means in times of want, need, suffering, pain, conflict, opposition. It means when you face the giants, the furnace, the roaring lions. It means when you are in the wilderness as well as the valley, the desert and the mountaintop. It means He is with you in the storm, in battle, in the depths of the sea, when it is so dark that you can't see. It also means when you are in the pig pen or the prison as well as the palace.

The dictionary definition of always is this: every time; on every occasion; without exception; all the time; continuously; uninterruptedly; in any event; at any time; forever. I think that pretty much sums it up. The Lord is with you always- not only when you feel like He is, and not only when your world seems to be at peace, and not just when you have a need that only He can meet. But He is with you ALWAYS!

Hold on to that "truth" because you won't always "feel" like He is there. Therefore, you need to make this truth an anchor for your soul and the bedrock of your confidence, so that you won't feel persuaded to believe at certain times that He is not there.

Have a great day. He is with you always-- all the time and forever.

For further reading:
Joshua 1:5; 3:7
Hebrews 13:5
Proverbs 18:24
Psalm 23:4

Monday, March 8, 2010

"Two-Fold Intimacy"

"And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply." Genesis 1:28a

I want to talk about having intimacy with Christ this morning. One of the comparisons that the Bible uses to describe our relationship with the Lord is that of a husband and a wife. There is an aspect of that relationship that is shared only by the two of them- it's intimacy. When we think about intimacy, we usually think about one side of it. We usually think about the pleasure that it brings to us. But intimacy is not just about us receiving pleasure, it has a "practical" purpose as well-- reproduction.

When God gave Adam and Eve the command in the Garden of Eden to be "fruitful and multiply", this command would be fulfilled through their time of intimacy together. Was intimacy strictly about them? Was it given only to satisfy a desire in them? Was it given for their pleasure alone? As we can see from the command that it had a two-fold purpose- pleasure and reproduction.

Our intimacy with the Lord has a two-fold purpose as well. Intimacy is the avenue through which something is "produced". Many Christians aren't "producing" anything because they are not having intimacy with the Savior. Intimacy translated means-- time alone with Him. It's time when we shut the world out and get alone with Jesus. It's time when we sit at His feet lavishing our love on Him through worship and praise. It's time when we sit still and quiet in His presence and allow Him to share His heart with us. It's in those times where something is "received' from Him that will "produce" something in our lives.

There is no other way to become "fruitful"- it comes through intimacy. And what is produced in us is for a purpose-- so that we will have something to "bring forth" in this world. Without intimacy- time alone with Him in His presence- we have nothing to "bring forth"- no love, no joy, no revelation, no peace, and so on.

Our intimacy with Christ is not just strictly about the pleasure we receive from being in His presence. It is also so that He can place something in our hearts that will make us fruitful and cause us to multiply.

Have a great day. Intimacy- time alone in His presence- produces something in us that we can't receive anywhere else or in any other way, so that we can be fruitful and multiply.

For further reading:
Colossians 1:9-11
Matthew 10:8b; 6:6
Mark 4:34; 1:35

Friday, March 5, 2010

"Stay Obedient"

"And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering:" Genesis 4:4

When we are living for and serving the Lord, we don't always see instant rewards to our obedience and act of service. This is when the accuser of the brethren comes and tries to tell us, "What's the use? There is no profit in what you are doing. Look at you, you are making all these sacrifices for God and they are to no benefit. God doesn't even notice."

Don't buy into his lies. I want to encourage you this morning that God does take notice of your faithful obedience. He sees and knows exactly what you are doing, even when it seems that He doesn't.

The blessing comes to those who are faithful and remain faithful. So continue to remain faithful in your giving of time, money and talents to the Lord. Stay faithful in what He has called you to do. Don't disregard your obedience to His word. Your obedience is your highest form of worship. And the Lord is seeking those who will worship Him, not only in spirit but in truth-- by being obedient to His word. Besides if He never blessed you for even one act of obedience, He has blessed you with more than you could have ever hoped for when He blessed you with eternal life through the sacrifice of His own Son.

So, "keep on keeping on". Remain faithful in your obedience to the Lord. Your labor is not in vain, you will be rewarded. And remember that we don't serve Him and sacrifice our lives in obedience for Him based on what He "will" do for us in return. We base it on what He has already done for us. "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." (John 3:16)

Have a great day. God always honors those who honor Him through their obedience.

For further reading:
1 Corinthians 15:58
John 4:23,24
Ecclesiastes 11:1
Matthew 25:14-26
Genesis 4:1-7
2 Timothy 4:7,8

Thursday, March 4, 2010

"New Paths And Old Paths"

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

The Israelites were getting ready to go into the promised land and make it there new home. These were people who had either lived in Egypt or the wilderness their entire lives. They were getting ready to leave familiar surroundings and enter into a new place- a place they had never been before. They didn't know what to expect, they didn't know what lie ahead of them, they didn't know what might come their way, they didn't know what they might face. But before they entered the Lord gave them this word of encouragement and promise- "I will be with you wherever you go."

Life takes us down many roads, including places we have never been before as well as old familiar paths. The promise that the Lord made to the Israelites is the same promise He makes to us today- "I will be with you". Perhaps you are embarking on a new venture today, remember, the Lord is with you. Perhaps your path today is a familiar one, one you have been down many times, you aren't excluded, He is with you also.

He was with the children of Israel everyday the entire forty years they were in the wilderness. What a wonderful thought! God didn't leave them out there by themselves. He didn't abandon them. He didn't say,"You got yourselves into this mess, so I will see you in forty years". No, He was with them every minute of every day- He placed His "tent" right there in the middle of their tents.

Are you on a "new" path today? Are you going down the path of divorce or maybe you are a newly wed? Are you getting ready to have your first child and are a little nervous? Are you starting a business or moving into a new position? Are you stepping out in faith to answer the call of God? Are you relocating to another city, which means new friends, new surroundings, perhaps a new school? Be encouraged and comforted this morning, the same God who has been with you in the old familiar places promises to be with you still-- wherever you go.

Have a great day. Whether we walk down old familiar paths or brand new ones, we don't walk them alone... the Lord is with us wherever we go.

For further reading:
Joshua 1:5; 3:7
Hebrews 13:5
Numbers 2:17
Matthew 28:20

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

"You Have To Do It"

"Then said the Lord unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no." Exodus 16:4

While the children of Israel were in the wilderness for forty years the Lord provided bread (manna) for them daily. Each morning when they woke up they were to go out and gather it. "They" were to gather it. God did not gather it for them. He didn't place it in their pots and vessels. He provided it but it was up to them to gather it.

Why do we think, or act like, God is going to do it all for us and we have no part to play in the matter? For example, God gave us His word- the Bible- but it is up to us to read it so that we will know what is written within its pages. God isn't going to just supernaturally put all this Bible knowledge in your mind. Also when we are in a battle, God is the one who gives the victory and provides the weapons, but we have to go out and fight. God didn't just supernaturally strike Goliath dead when he came out and taunted the army of Israel. Yes, God did bring the giant down, but David had to go out and face him, he had to pick up the weapon he was provided, he had to take the sword and cut his head off.

I could go on and on with example after example this morning to explain the point, but you know what I am saying. God provides everything that we need but we have to do something too. Even though the manna was on the ground, it wasn't going to get into their houses unless they went out and picked it up. There are some things that you are waiting on God to do for you but He isn't going to do them. He has already done what He is going to do, the rest is up to you.

Have a great day. God provides all we need but we have to do our part in receiving what's provided.

For further reading:
2 Timothy 2:15
Matthew 10:7
1 Samuel 17

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

"Wake Up"

"So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not." Jonah 1:6

Most of us remember the story of Jonah from our childhood. Before Jonah was swallowed up by a big fish there was a terrible storm that threatened to destroy the ship and drown all aboard. The sailors did all they knew to do- they threw cargo overboard to lighten the load and they all called up their gods to save them. All, that is, except Jonah. Jonah was in the bottom of the boat asleep unaware of the plight that was going on around him.

The captain of the ship went to Jonah and woke him up. He asked him a very honest and sobering question, "How can you sleep at a time like this? Get up and pray to your God! Maybe he will have pity on us and keep us from drowning." (CEV) This is a question and plea that is being sounded to the church today- "How can you sleep at a time like this?"

I feel like the church, as a whole, is "asleep" and "unaware" of what is going on around us. The definition of sleep also means to be inactive, numb, indifferent. Far too often we are caught up in our own little world that we don't even notice that those around us are in trouble. We don't notice, or care, that they need help, they need an answer and they need peace.

Jonah had these sailor's answer. He knew what the problem and the solution was. When he finally woke up and told them the truth, these men turned to Jonah's God and peace came into their lives.

Now, I know that the storm became calm when they threw Jonah overboard, I am not saying that is the solution. What I am trying to say is that when we "wake up" and get involved in reaching those around us who are hurting, who are confused, who are in trouble, who are facing life threatening situations, and when we reach out to them with the truth of God's word, their lives can turn around and instead of death they can find life.

Have a great day. Are you asleep in the boat while the rest of humanity is trying to save themselves? Wake up, you have their solution.

For further reading:
Jonah 1
Matthew 25:35-45
Luke 10:33-35

Monday, March 1, 2010

"Love Who?"

"By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." John 13:35

Love is the identifying factor in a Christian's life. It is what separates us and identifies us with Christ. Love reflects God's nature and character in our lives. It is also a commandment from Him for us to live by. That being the case, who are we to love?

We are to love God. We are to love our neighbor. "And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself." (Luke 10:27)

We are to love our "brothers"- those in our natural family, and those in our "spiritual" family- the family of God. "And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also." (1 John 4:21)

We are to love our enemies. "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." (Matthew 5:44)

We are to love one another-- each other; whoever that may be. "This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you." (John 15:12)

So, we are to love God, love our neighbor, love our family, love the family of God, love our enemies and love each other. No one is excluded in our love. We can't pick and choose who we will and won't love.

You may be thinking about a person that you "can't" love; you might know someone who is "hard" to love; you might even feel that a certain person doesn't "deserve" love.. it doesn't matter, it doesn't exempt you from loving them. The key to loving people is to first love God. When we love Him, then His love is what flows from us- not our own- to those we deem unlovable. It has to be His love that we love them with because His love is the only one that is unconditional. If He loved us when we were His enemy, when we were unlovable, when we didn't love Him, when we didn't deserve to be loved, then we should let His love do the same thing through us that it did for us.

Have a great day. We can't pick and choose who we want to love, God's command is to love everyone!

For further reading:
1 Thessalonians 4:9
1 John 4