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