Friday, August 31, 2018

"Wait Patiently"

I will not be sending out the Coffee Break devotional next week.  I am taking a vacation.  Be blessed.

"Wait Patiently"
"I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry." Psalm 40:1

"I waited patiently for the LORD." That is almost unheard of any more: waiting for the Lord, and waiting patiently for Him. We tend to always be in a hurry. We don't want to wait for anything. We want whatever it is at the moment we want it. This attitude runs over into our prayer life and relationship with the Lord. We tend to treat Him the same way. We don't want Him to make us wait for anything- the answer, the blessings, the provision.

Then when we do wait for Him- allowing Him to move in His time, according to the council of His own wisdom and by His sovereignty- we don't do a very good job of waiting patiently. Most of our impatience comes because we feel the "crunch" of deadlines, the pressure of the situation or the demands of others who want an immediate answer. There are mornings I feel the pressure of "time" to get the devotional out. I know I shouldn't wait too late because of the ones who want to read it before they go to work or school, so when I look at the clock and it's getting late I need Him to answer me then.

Let me remind you, and myself, that He knows all about our deadlines, our pressures, our schedules and what time it is. He knows when to give us the answer. We live our lives by a clock- time is always staring us in the face- but He doesn't and isn't moved by the clock. A day to Him is like a thousand years to us, and vice versa. He doesn't even own a clock but His timing is always so perfect.

Stop being so anxious, stop being in such a hurry, stop fretting because it is taking God one minute longer than you want it to take. Learn to wait on the Lord, and learn to wait patiently. Patiently waiting is called "rest", and "rest" is called "trust", and you can trust Him to do anything and everything at just the right time.

Have a great day. Do you wait on the Lord? How do you wait?

Thursday, August 30, 2018

"Expect Results"

"And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them." Acts 3:5

God's word is full of conditions and promises. When we meet the conditions, we should expect to receive the promises. When we seek Him first, we should expect Him to meet all our need. (Matt. 6:33) When we acknowledge Him in all our ways, we should expect Him to direct our steps. (Proverbs 3:6) When we give, we should expect to receive. (Luke 6:38)

The reason that we don't receive- in some cases- is because we don't ask. (James 4:2) And often we don't ask because we don't expect God to answer. Then there are times when we might ask but don't receive because we don't expect to receive. It's the attitude that says-- I knew it wouldn't work. Faith and expectation go hand in hand-- and the just live by faith. We should live in a state of expectation based on the faithfulness of God to His word. "For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise." (Hebrews 10:36)

The beggar at the gate beautiful expected something when he asked. Blind Bartimaeus expected something when he cried the more loudly to Jesus. The centurion expected something when he sent his servant to Jesus. Abraham expected God to provide a sacrifice when he took his son in obedience up the mountain. Jacob expected a blessing when he wrestled with the angel all night. Moses expected to "see" God when he followed God's instructions and went back up the mountain. The woman with the issue of blood expected to be heal when she touched the hem of Jesus' garment.

Are you having a hard time in the area of "expectation"? Do you have unbelief? Are you not sure that you'll receive the promise after having met the condition? Then there is a prayer that you should pray. "Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief". (Mark 9:24)

Have a great day. Expect results-- "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." (1 Cor. 15:58)

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

"Attention Required"

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us." Hebrews 12:1

Each evening the program that I use to protect my computer will run a scan to see if there is anything that is harmful to my computer's operation hiding somewhere. Once it is finished it will list any possible threats. At times it will let me know that some low risk cookie that has been detected-- it shows up under the heading of "Attention Required". When this happens, I have to take the necessary action to get rid of the risk that could cause a potential problem if left unattended.

I wonder if there are things in our lives that come under the heading of "Attention Required". How many things- wrong attitudes, ill feelings, fears, undisciplined areas, besetting sins, unholy thoughts, etc.- do we have "hiding" in us that are potential "hazards" to our souls. Are there areas that the Lord has shown you that need some attention? Do they seem so small and insignificant- not worth the bother? We are told in the word of God that a little leaven leavens the whole lump and the little foxes spoil the vines. On my computer if these threats are left unattended they can cause problems, or a possible "crash" eventually. In our lives if these things are left unattended they can cause our lights to be hid, our salt to lose its savor, our hearts to become hard, our love to grow cold, or worse, our relationship with the Lord to be hindered.

This morning let the Holy Spirit do a "system scan" on your heart to see if there is anything that is a hinderance to your Christian walk and growth in the Lord. ("Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts. Ps. 139:23) If there is don't "hit the ignore button", give it the needed attention required and let the Lord "clean" it up. You will "function" much better-- it's called abundant life.

Have a great day. Is there something in your life that requires attention?

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

"That's Childish"

"Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died." John 11:21

The Lord is often accused of "not caring"- not caring about us, what we are going through, what is happening in our lives. Basically, that is what Martha and Mary said to Jesus, "You don't care". They reasoned in their minds that if He really did care about Lazarus, and them, He would have come when they first called Him- four days ago while Lazarus was still alive.

Just because He doesn't "show up" when you want Him to, or think He should, is never an indication that He does not care. On the contrary, He was well aware of what was going on with them. He was more aware than they realized- He knew Lazarus was dead before a messenger was ever sent to Him. As a matter of fact, the Bible doesn't record that they sent word to Jesus telling Him of Lazarus' death. (Perhaps they decided not to send word to Him, after all, if He had cared about them He would have come while Lazarus was still alive and there was "hope", but He didn't so why send for Him now.)

If the Lord doesn't do what we want Him to do or answer our prayers when and in the way we want them answered, we start playing what I call "childish" games with Him- we don't talk to Him, we ignore Him, we make accusations to Him, we don't read His word, we don't pray or praise Him for a while. It's almost like we are "trying to get back" at Him or "get even" with Him.

If this is the attitude that you get when He doesn't "show up" when and how you desire, then you need to repent and stop it. His ways are not our ways. His thoughts are so much higher and wiser than ours. He knows what He is doing. He sees the whole picture. He was aware of what was going on with Lazarus and He was desirous to do a greater work than just healing him. Did He care about Lazarus and his sisters? You answer the question. Does He care about you? Answer that one too.

Have a great day. He does care so don't act "childish" if it looks like He doesn't.

Monday, August 27, 2018

"Long Distance"

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

The Lord wanted me to remind you this morning that He is not a "long distance" God- He is near. He is not a God that is afar off. He hasn't left and gone to the other side of the universe, He hasn't taken a trip to a distant land, He is here. He is as near as your next breath. He is near enough to be aware of what you are going through. He is near enough to see your pain, your hurt, your grief. He is near enough to see the scars from past wounds. He is near enough to have a close look at your heart. He is near enough to hear the thoughts and intent of your heart. He is near enough to see your tears and hear your cries. He is near enough to know even those things that are deep and hidden away in secret in your life.

Because He is near enough to be aware of everything that is going on in your life, He is also near enough to touch you at the point of your need. He is also near enough to wipe away your tears. He is also near enough to embrace and hold you close to Himself. He is also near enough to speak a word to your heart- a word of comfort, strength, peace, healing.

Stop putting Him so far away. He isn't. He is near and will be even nearer to you if you'll let Him.

Have a great day. He is not a long distant (far away) God- He is very near.

Friday, August 24, 2018

"Down And Out"

"Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul." Psalm 86:4

Ever feel down- discouraged, depressed, just don't think you can make it or go on? Has your soul lost its joy? Does sadness feel your heart? You can't stay like that.  You can't stay in that condition because it only gets worse. You need some "joy". Joy lifts you up. It's your strength. It wipes away depression, it brings fears into submission. Joy gives you a whole new outlook. It assures you of victory.

If you have lost your joy this morning, if you need a fresh touch of joy, if you are feeling "down and out" then you need to go to the Lord and "lift your soul up to Him". Ask Him to "rejoice your soul". Ask Him to give you your joy back. Ask Him to touch your life and remove the heaviness. Too often we will stay in these "conditions" when there is help available to us. Too often we go around with no joy, no peace, no direction, no strength, because we don't turn to God and ask Him for what we need. Don't spend another day like this. You have not because you ask not. When you ask you will receive. When you come to Him He'll not send you away empty handed. When you call out to the Lord He will answer you. When you lift up your soul to Him to fill you with joy, He will.

Have a great day. Don't spend one more day feeling "down and out", lift up your soul to the Lord and let Him restore your joy.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

"Defeated Devil"

"Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven." Luke 10:20

Jesus told His disciples not to rejoice that the devils were subject to them, but rather that their names were written in the Lamb's Book of Life. I rejoice in the fact that my name is in the Book of Life... I thank Jesus for it everyday. I never want to take my salvation for granted because I know where I would be without Him. If Jesus had not paid the sacrifice for my sins I would still be lost and on my way to hell... and rightfully so. He did not have to come and die for me, He could have left me in my sins, but He loved me so much that He gladly, and with great joy, went to the cross in order to redeem me from the wages of sin.

Having said all that, while I rejoice that my name is written in the Book of Life, I am thankful that the devils are subject to us. I am thankful that Jesus has given us victory over them. I am thankful that I don't have to worry about them, they are not stronger than I am, they are not more powerful, they are not victorious and I do not have to fear them... they are defeated! Jesus defeated their "leader" at the cross. He gave him a "head blow". (Genesis 3:15) Jesus made a triumphant show of him openly before all principalities and powers. In the name of Jesus I have authority over them, and have been given authority to cast them out of lives that they are tormenting and holding in bondage.

Jesus has given you power and authority over the devil and his fallen angels. Don't let them intimidate you. Don't let them make you think that they are the more powerful ones. Don't listen to, or believe, their lies, their accusations, their threats, their deceptive persuasions. They are not greater than you are, because the Greater One lives inside of you. Walk in the authority over them that the Lord has given you. The Bible says they are "under our feet" because they are under Christ's feet-- that means they are not above us. One preacher put it this way... he is a "toe level" devil. "And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church." (Ephesians 1:22) "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you." (Luke 10:19)

Have a great day. It is all right to give Jesus praise for defeating Satan on your behalf.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

"All The Armor"

"Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." Ephesians 6:11

The Lord impressed on me the other day that we must be sure to put on the "whole" armor-- all of it. He has equipped us with every piece for every battle in every area of life. If we put on all of it we will be able to stand against any and all of the enemies plans, strategies and devices. This is reconfirmed in verse 16- "Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked." When we take up the shield of faith we are able to quench "all" the fiery darts of the wicked.

The word this morning is simply this: make sure you put on "all" the armor so that you will be protected from head to toe. Be sure to put on "all" the armor so that you can stand against "all" the enemy's attacks- no matter which direction they come from. Don't leave off any part of it- you leave yourself unprotected in that area if you do. The weapons the Lord has given us are mighty but they must be used and we must be fully clothed in them.

Have a great day. Be sure to put on "all" the armor.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

"The Mouth"

"Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer." Psalm 19:14

If you have a mouth and can speak, it's because God gave it to you. Therefore, what should you do with it? Should you use it to tear down or build up? Should you use it to bless or to curse? Should you use it to speak kind words or cruel hurtful words? Should you use it to criticize or encourage? Should you use it to speak truth or lies? Should you use it to accuse or to comfort? Should you use it to help or hurt? Should bitterness be in it, should anger come out of it? Should it be used for both good and evil? Blessings and cursing? Faith and fear? Pride or humility? Should you use it to glorify God or exalt self? Should it be used to praise the Lord and to witness for Him?

What should your mouth be used for? If He gave you your mouth and you belong to Him then all of you-- your mouth included-- belongs to Him. So that means that you need to speak only what glorifies Him, only what He puts in it, only what He would say, only what would please Him. Sadly, that is not always the case. We often use our mouths as a weapon against one another. We use them to glorify the enemy when we talk like he does. Our mouths are not always like a pleasant stream bringing words of refreshing. They don't always bring healing. They often do more damage-- especially in an already bad situation.

Pay attention today to how you use your mouth. Notice what words come out of it. Who do they sound like, who do they glorify, who do they help or who do they destroy? Are they pleasing to God? Would it be something that He would say? Would it be something that He would want to hear coming from them? If you aren't using it for His glory, then what does that say about your thankfulness that He has given you a mouth to speak?

Have a great day.  God gave you your mouth, it belongs to Him... are you using it for Him?

Monday, August 20, 2018

"Don't Be Confused"

When my granddaughter celebrated her first birthday, she was given a small cake for her to “play/eat” by herself. (It’s just a strange first birthday tradition that most of us have adopted.) As they gave her the cake, you could tell she didn’t really know what to do with it. When they helped her a little and she finally put her hands in it, she gave a whine a couple of times with a look of “wonderment” on her face.

Her reaction was as if she was confused about the whole thing. Even as young as she was, she already has a pretty clear concept of “no, no”. What was before her was usually a “no, no” but now she was being encouraged, “yes, yes”. I can only imagine what was going on in her little mind. “Why isn’t this a ‘no, no’ now? Am I going to get in trouble for this? Why are my parents wanting to put my hands in the cake?, etc.”

Life can be like that for all of us at times- especially in the day and age we live in. What was “taboo” yesterday is accepted and applauded today. Yesterday you were “marked” and heard whispers behind your back for certain behavior, today it’s the norm. Yesterday morals were important, integrity was encouraged, your word was your bond, marriage was honorable, immorality was unacceptable and carried consequences. Boy, have times changed! Just the opposite is true.

The rules keep changing, standards keep dropping, absolutes keep falling, the boundaries keep being moved and there are no limitations, so people stay in a constant state of confusion about what is right and what is wrong; what they should and shouldn't do.  Since things keep changing, they adopt the idea that whatever they want to do is acceptable, so they make their own rules.

There is no need for us to be confused. Society may change, men’s opinions may change, peoples values may change, society may flounder, but God does not change. I am not confused over the message (changing messages) the world sends out because I know what God says about the issues. He is very clear and He has not changed them. What was sin to Him yesterday is still sin to Him today. What He called wrong yesterday is still wrong today. What He called unacceptable yesterday is still unacceptable today—and vice versa. It’s very plain and very clear, no need for confusion, just stick with God and you will always know what’s right and what’s wrong… regardless of who says otherwise.  God's established rules and boundaries are eternal... they never change. 

You don't have to be confused when society keeps changing the rules to fit the lust and desires of their own hearts... this can be confusing as to what is right and what is wrong.  But God doesn't change.  Neither does His rules, laws and boundaries.  You will be on safe, solid ground and walk in peace if you stick with them.  

Have a great day.  Confusion comes from following the world's ever changing rules and opinions.  Peace comes from following what God says is right and wrong.

Friday, August 17, 2018

"Don't Forget"

"But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." Revelation 21:8

There is a chorus- part of it- that has been going over and over in my thoughts for a couple of days. It goes: "If it had not been for Jesus, where would I be? I'm so glad that the Lord saved me." If Jesus had not saved me, I know exactly where I would be... and I don't like to think about it. I mentioned to some friends that I have been thinking about the Lake of Fire and the horror that the souls who wind up there are going to face. One lady said, "I'm not going to be there." I agree, thanks to the mercy of God, and the forgiveness of sins that came through the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, I'm not going to be there either-- in this I greatly rejoice.

But at the same time, I can't forget about the eternal damnation that those who don't know Christ will face. While I don't like to think about where I would be without Christ's salvation I have to remember lest I forget and don't warn the wicked man to turn from his wicked way. We need to remember what it is that we are saved "from" as much as what we are saved "to".

Jesus saved me from my sins. He saved me from the wages of sin- eternal death. He pardoned my transgressions and forgave my iniquities. He took the sentence of death for me so that I could receive a full pardon. When the day comes that all men will stand before God, I don't have to fear that I'll hear the words, "Depart, from Me, I never knew you". My hope and confidence on that day will be in the atoning blood of Jesus- the sacrificial Lamb who takes away the sins of the world. He saved me from the punishment-- eternal separation from God, eternal torment in a lake of fire that will never, never be quenched and has no way of escape. He has saved me from my appointment with the wrath of God.

Have you forgotten? Have you forgotten what He saved you from and where you were headed? Have you forgotten that those who don't know Him as Savior are still heading there? Have you forgotten that if they aren't warned to turn then they will not escape eternal death and damnation? Have you forgotten that it's your job to warn them to flee from the wrath to come, to get right with God, to confess their sins and turn to God in repentance? I can never forget what the Lord did for me when He saved my soul- I am eternally grateful. But I can't forget either that there are still souls heading to a place of eternal torment if they aren't warned to turn. If I am as truly grateful for my salvation, as I say I am, then I won't forget to warn them so that they can enjoy the peace that comes from knowing it is well with your soul.

Have a great day. Don't forget about what awaits those who don't turn to Christ for salvation.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

"Light Bulbs"

"Let your light so shine before men..." Matthew 5:16

When you go to the store and buy a light bulb, is it shining in the box? Do you have to cover it up to keep it from shining in your place of storage before you are ready to place it in the room? A light bulb doesn't shine until it's plugged into the power source. We are like light bulbs-- we are suppose to shine in this dark world so that men can locate where they are (lost) and how to find the way to walk. When the light bulb is manufactured, it is designed to be a light bulb and its purpose is to shine. When we came to Christ in repentance and He made us into a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17), He designed us to be "light bulbs" for the purpose of shining. Even though we are light bulbs, we don't shine unless we are "plugged" into the power source.

Many Christians each day are trying to "shine" but aren't because they are not "plugged in". Just because I'm a "light bulb" doesn't mean I am shining, I have to be connected to the power source. "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world:" (John 8:12a) When Moses left the camp and went up the mountain into the presence of God, there was nothing extraordinary about him- he looked like everyone else. But when he came down off of the mountain- after being in the presence of God- the Bible says that his face shone so brightly that he had to hide it under a veil in order for the people to be able to look at him. (Exodus 34) What happened to Moses? Why did he come back looking different? What caused his face to shine like the sun? He was "plugged in" to the power source.

You may be a light bulb but aren't shining--- and you aren't going to shine unless you get plugged in. The way you do that is by getting into the presence of God. We also learn from the story of Moses that it doesn't just happen in a minute or two. He was there forty days. No, you don't have to tarry for forty days in a mountain to get plugged in so that you will shine. But it does take more than that ten minutes you give Him in the car on the way to work. It does take more than just getting in His presence once a week on Sunday mornings. It does take more than a "microwave" moment while on the run. I can partially screw a light bulb into the socket but it still doesn't have a connection. It may look like it's plugged in but it's not so it still won't shine. Are you shining today? Are you plugged in? If you aren't you won't shine. Or is there a loose connection? If there is you won't shine.

Have a great day. You are a light, but you aren't shining unless you are plugged into the presence of the power source-- Jesus.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

"Satan Doesn't Change - Part 2"

"Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you." Luke 10:19

Yesterday we talked about recognizing the devil when he comes to steal, kill and destroy.  We said we can recognize him because he doesn't change-- he uses the same weapons and tactics over and over again.  But recognizing that it is him is not the end of it.  After you recognize that it's him, you have to then make a choice--- are you going to let him plant his fear, discouragement, bitterness, anger, unbelief, deception, condemnation, guilt, etc., in your heart or are you going to take your God-given authority over him?

You can't stop him from coming with his accusations and temptations, but you can stop him from planting them in your heart.  You have heard the proverbial saying-- you can't stop the birds from flying over your head but you can stop them from building a nest in your hair.  Same is true, spiritually speaking.  You can't stop the devil from attacking you, you can't stop everything thing from happening to you, you can't stop temptations, but you can stop them from happening "in" you.  In other words, you have the choice of whether or not what happens to you will build a "nest" or not.

The devil is trying to build a "nest" in your heart-- a nest of all the things we have already named.  You don't have to let him.  You don't have to roll over and play dead.  You don't have to give up.  You don't have to be defeated.  You, as a born-again child of God, have been given power and authority over the devil. Jesus already got you the victory over him.  Jesus already defeated the devil.  A bird trying to build a nest in my hair is no match for me-- I am bigger, more powerful, smarter and wiser. Well, the devil is no match for the Jesus inside of you, He is bigger and more powerful-- greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4) You have been given power and authority over all his powers. 

The devil doesn't change in his tactics.  Neither does he change in position-- he is already defeated, therefore, he can never change into a winner!!!  So, what are you going to do?  Allow him to build a "nest" of anger, bitterness, guilt, fear and so on in your heart?  Or are you going to forbid him through the authority that you have in Jesus Christ-- the One who has already defeated the devil! 

Have a great day.  Are you going to let the devil build a "nest" in your heart or are you going to take your God-given authority over him and stop him?   

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

"Satan Doesn't Change"

"Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." John 8;44

I don't really like to talk about the devil because he doesn't deserve for us to waste our breath on him and he is a defeated foe, but the Bible says that we aren't ignorant of his devices so I must talk about him this morning in order to make you aware of his devices so that when he comes you will recognize that it is him and not fall prey to his schemes to steal, kill and destroy you.

The devil is the same as he has always been- his character hasn't changed. Jesus said he was a murder and liar from the beginning and he still is today. In the Garden of Eden- back at the beginning- he was a deceiver. In the Book of Revelation he is still called the deceiver at the end of time. (Revelation 20:10) Because he doesn't change- he has no new tricks in his bag- we can expect him to come against us the same way he always does-- with lies, deception, accusations, confusion, fear and questions to plant doubt. He came to Jesus in this same way when he tried to tempt him in the wilderness. He tried to deceive Jesus with the word of God. (Imagine trying to deceive The Word with the word.) He told Jesus lies, and tried to get Him to fall for his accusations.

Just because he is defeated doesn't mean that he gives up- he still thinks he can win and he still thinks the same weapons he has always used will still work. They only work if we are ignorant of them. They only work if we don't recognize them. They only work if we aren't aware of what they are. Once we realize that these are his weapons, each time he tries to use them on us we will recognize them and know their source. Once we know the source then we know what to do about it.

Have a great day. Satan is a defeated foe who does not change-- his methods, his weapons, his schemes, his devices, his character and his nature are always the same-- so he is easy to recognize. So don't fall for them.

Monday, August 13, 2018

"Unashamed Love"

"For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels." Luke 9:26

I was walking down the aisle at one of the stores in town and I noticed a woman headed my direction with her cart. In her shopping cart was a little girl- probably between one and two years old. I knew immediately that the little girl was this lady's granddaughter. How did I know? Because the lady was leaning over her cart close to the little girl making funny faces and silly noises at the child. (That was a dead give away that she was the grandmother.) It's amazing how grandchildren can turn even the most poised, dignified adults into silly "clowns". Like I told someone, they can sure make you look "stupid".

I brought this up because the woman looked so ridiculous and silly but she didn't care- what her granddaughter thought was all that mattered to her. When it comes to the grandchildren, you don't care what people think about your behavior-- you just love those precious little people and want to communicate your love to them, put smiles on their faces and happiness in their hearts. Honestly, you just can't help yourself, they bring it out in you. Back to why I mentioned this. I couldn't help thinking-- wouldn't it be great if we had the same attitude about our love for Jesus. How many of us are ashamed to show our love for Him? How many of us really don't care what others think about us where Jesus is concerned? How many of us hold back or are reserved because we are embarrassed for others to know that we love Jesus? How many of us give too much attention to what other people think, instead of being more concerned about what Jesus thinks?

How much pleasure and joy would we bring to the heart of the Savior if we lavished our love on Him unashamedly? Think about it, while there is nothing wrong with a grandparent being unreserved in showing their love for their grandchild-- it's natural-- it is "unnatural" for us to be ashamed to display our love for our Savior and Lord .

Have a great day. Are you unashamed to display your love for someone that is close to you, but yet you're ashamed for anyone to see that you love Jesus?

Friday, August 10, 2018

"Night Is Light"

"If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me." Psalm 139:11

It's pretty dark when your light is like night--- you can't get much darker than that. When it's that dark, you get disoriented. It's hard to tell where you are and in what direction you are heading. You can't see anything so that you can get your bearings. The darkness hides any familiar landmarks. It engulfs you and presses on you- overwhelming and overtaking you. You can actually feel it- it becomes tangible and real, no longer an inanimate object. It is so thick that you can't even see what is right in front of your face. It leaves you in a state of confusion.

Does that describe where you are this morning? Are you going through a dark time of trials and problems? Does it seem as if there is no glimmer of light to give you any consolation or hope? Read the next verse: "Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee." (verse 12) While the darkness may be so thick that it is hiding everything from your sight, it isn't hiding it from God's sight. On the contrary, night shines to Him just like the day does- there is no difference; He can see in both.

The darkness can't hide anything from God and it can't hide Him. Darkness can never "cover up" God- He will always shine through it- darkness can't hide light, and He is Light. So keep your eyes on Him. Set your eyes in an "upward" direction-- you have to do this by faith. Fix your eyes on Him, He is your orientation, He is your landmark. He will help you get your bearings. He will give you "night vision". He will turn you in the right direction and guide you through it. There is no darkness so dark that He can't bring light into it.

Have a great day. He will bring light into your darkness... no matter how dark it is.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

"Abundant Living"

"Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour." John 12:27

Jesus did not come to give you an easy life or to take away your problems. He came to give you eternal life. We do people an injustice when we tell them that once they come to Christ they won't have any more problems and their life is going to be problem free from then on. That is far from the truth. Jesus told us that we would have tribulation in this world. The Bible also tells us that "many are the affliction of the righteous". Look at the saints of old, and the New Testament saints. Paul said that he was "often" in perils. His goal was to "know Christ.. and the fellowship of His suffering." He later summed it up like this, "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." (2 Timothy 3:12)

Yes, Jesus did say that He came that we might have life- abundant life. But abundant living is not the absence of problems. It's not the absence of pain, heartache, grief, calamity, tribulations. Instead, it's peace, grace, strength, joy, and the promise of His presence when you go through problems. Abundant life doesn't mean you won't face the furnace- it means that the fire won't kindle upon you. Abundant life doesn't mean that you won't be "thrown to the lions", it means that they won't devour you. Abundant life doesn't mean that you won't walk through the valley, it means that when you do He will be with you and His rod and staff will comfort you. Abundant life doesn't mean that you might not encounter some "thorns in the flesh", it means that when you do His grace will be sufficient. Abundant life doesn't mean that you won't have trials and tribulations, it means that you can have victory over them and come out on top instead of on bottom..."Be of good cheer for I have over come."

If He was going to take away all our problems, when He saved us He would have gone ahead then and taken us home because as long as we live on planet earth we will have problems. But He left us here and gave us the assurance that we won't face them alone. When He promised us abundant life, that promise included in it everything that we would need to live in peace and victory when the problems come.

Have a great day. Abundant life is not the absence of problems, but a promise from the Savior that we'll have everything we need to make it through the problems.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

"Morning To Night"

"To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night." Psalm 92:2

God is good to us all day long- morning to night. In the morning we awake to His lovingkindness. It was His lovingkindness that woke us up, that allowed us to see another day, that put breath in our bodies, that kept us alive through the night. At night, when we come to the end of the day, we are greeted by His faithfulness. We can look back throughout the day and see how faithful God was to us. He met and supplied all our need, He was with us all day long, He led us through the day, kept us protected, gave us strength and grace. He was faithful to give us every good and perfect gift.

The first verse of this Psalm says, "It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High." As you begin this day, look for a moment at His lovingkindness and give Him praise for it. When you come to the end of the day, reflect back over His faithfulness and give Him thanks. All day long you will continue to see His lovingkindness and faithfulness- morning to night. So when you do, take note of it and give Him thanksgiving and praise.

Have a great day. It was the lovingkindness of the Lord that woke you up this morning, and His faithfulness will see you through the day.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

"Remember God"

"I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands." Psalm 143:5

Recently we have been talking about how wonderful God is- His goodness, faithfulness, greatness, His character and attributes. It's no doubt that we are living in the last days-- perilous times. Daily we are bombarded with bad reports, discouraging news, fearful events. We hear of wars and rumors of wars. There is talk of economic clasp, famine, disease, pestilence. In light of what we see and hear happening in the world, and the personal trials we face, we must keep our focus on the Lord. We must daily remind ourselves of who we serve, of who we have placed our trust and confidence in, of who holds our lives in the palm of His hand.

God is still God regardless of the world's chaos. God is still faithful to meet and supply all our needs. God is still a good God in spite of bad things that happen around us-- and to us. God is still greater than the devices of the enemy. Don't let your hearts be troubled- don't let them be fearful, worried or anxious. Remember who God is-- remember His greatness. Remember that He is watching over the events of mankind. He hasn't forsaken you. He knows all- He knows where you are, what is going on, what the outcome will be, when it will end.

When you are tempted to fear because of the events and trials taking place around you, stop and instead meditate on who God is- wonderful, faithful, all powerful, all knowing, etc. Meditate on what He has done for the saints of old- David and the giant, Sarah and her barren womb, Joshua at the walls of Jericho, Noah and the ark, the three Hebrews and the furnace, the widow's meal and oil, the disciples in the boat, the raising of Lazarus. Meditate on what He has done for you- saved your soul, redeemed you from the curse of sin, written your name in the Book of Life, made you His child, created you and put breath in your body, woke you up this morning, gives you your daily bread, put His Spirit within you. As you meditate on who God is and His great works how can you stay fearful?

Have a great day. Keep your heart and mind fixed and stayed on the Lord. Lift Him up (remind yourself of who He is) and fear and worry can't stay around you.

"My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice." Psalm 63:5-7

"I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings. Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God?" Psalm 77:11-13

"The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing." Zephaniah 3:17

Monday, August 6, 2018

"He Is Faithful"

"Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations." Deuteronomy 7:9

What does it mean to be faithful? It's simply defined as: worthy of trust; one that can be relied on. If ever there was a true definition of God, I believe it's this one. He is worthy of our trust-- all our trust. He is reliable. You can stake your entire life on Him and His faithfulness. In the Book of Revelation we discover that "Faithful" is even one of His names. "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war." (Revelation 19:11)

He isn't just faithful in one area, but in all areas of life. He isn't just faithful for a season, but He is eternally faithful- His faithfulness endures forever. He isn't just faithful when things are going good, but He is faithful when things are going bad, when things are falling apart, when problems arise, when night comes, when all others forsake you, when the storms rage, when the lion roars, when the bad report comes.

David found Him faithful when he stood before the giant. Sarah found Him faithful when she conceived a child in her old age. Daniel found Him faithful in the lion's den. The three Hebrews found Him faithful in the furnace. Joseph found Him faithful in the prison. Noah found Him faithful in the flood. Ruth found Him faithful in a foreign land. He was faithful to them and to many others throughout all generations. We can put our trust and confidence in Him knowing that because He does not change He will be faithful to us as well.

Have a great day. God's faithfulness does not change. Therefore, we can place our complete hope and trust in Him.

"God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord." (1 Cor. 1:9)
"Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it." (1 Thes. 5:24)
"But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil." (2 Thes. 3:3)
"Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)" (Hebrews 10:23)
Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator." (1 Peter 4:19)

Friday, August 3, 2018

"The Great God"

"Thou shewest lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: the Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, is his name." Jeremiah 32:18

Often we forget just how great and mighty God is. I wanted to remind you this morning that He is not a weak God. He is mighty and powerful. His power has not diminished with time. He has not gotten old and feeble. He has not changed. He is still able to speak a world into existence. He is still able to part a sea. He is still able to fight battles and win. He is still more powerful than the enemy. He can still bring down giants, walls, quench the fires of furnaces, shout lion's mouths, send manna from heaven and water out of a rock. He can still feed thousands with a handful. He can still heal the sick, open the eyes of the blind, open the ears of the deaf, straighten limbs, and forgive sins.

How is it that we think that He is any less GOD?! We can't even comprehend GOD-- what that means or who He is. He spoke into nothing and created everything. He holds everything together by the power of His word. He sees the smallest sparrow when it falls. He sees each blade of grass as it withers. He can count the number of grains of sand on the seashores. He calls each star by name. He tells the ocean where to stop so it doesn't daily flood the earth.
Don't let what you see, hear or feel; don't let the mountain you are facing; don't let the impossibility of the situation you are going through; don't let those who are negative-- lessen the power and might of God. He is powerful and mighty whether you believe He is or not.

Have a great day. He is a great and powerful and mighty--- Almighty--- God!!!

"Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee. Great in counsel, and mighty in work: " Jeremiah 32:17,19
"The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power.." Nahum 1:3a
"Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us." Ephesians 3:20
"Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle." Psalm 24:8

Thursday, August 2, 2018

"The Lord Is"

"The Lord is..." Psalm 23:1a

One of God's names is El Shaddai- the God who is all sufficient. He is and has everything we need.

The Lord is my strength when I am weak. The Lord is my rock- my firm foundation. The Lord is my healer. The Lord is faithful to me. The Lord is the one who meets and supplies all my needs. The Lord is my help in time of trouble. The Lord is the glory and lifter of my head. The Lord is my strong tower of refuge. The Lord is my shelter in the time of storm. The Lord is my peace. The Lord is my habitation. The Lord is my hiding place. The Lord is the lover of my soul and captain of my salvation. The Lord is my wisdom. The Lord is the giver of every good gift. The Lord is grace and comfort. The Lord is my shepherd. The Lord is the one who fights my battles. The Lord is the one who gives me victory and causes me to triumph over my enemies. The Lord is the one who helps me run through a troop and leap over a wall. I could go on forever declaring who He is and what He does and never exhaust the list. He is so infinitely great, awesome and wonderful.

While God is "all this" (and much more) He desires to be it to you personally. What "is" He to you today? Is He your Savior and Lord? Is He the one you look to for help? Is He your strength? Is He your provider? Is He personal to you?

Have a great day. He is more than we can fathom or comprehend... and the greatest thing is that He wants to be it to us.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

"God's Goodness"

"I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living." Psalm 27:13

It seems like most of our attention is given to our problems and our conversations usually center around the bad things or trying situations that are happening. There is nothing wrong with acknowledging a problem. But this morning I want to talk about the goodness of the Lord. Do we spend as much-- or more-- time talking about God's goodness as we do the problems?

God is good. He is good no matter what is happening. He is good when everything else is bad. He is good in the daytime and in the night time. He is good in the times of rain and sunshine. God is good in times of plenty and times of lack. God is good when all is well and when it's not. God is good in times of peace and in times of war. God is good in times of sickness and in times of health. God is good everyday, not just at certain times. God is good even when I'm not. God is good when the mountain is before me. God is good when the lions roar. God is good when I am rejected by men. God is good even when the furnace is hot. God is good in the valley. God is good on the mountain. God is good in green pastures. God is good in the wilderness. He is good when I have problems and He is good when I don't. Need I say more??

God is good and we need to spend more time meditating on and talking about God's goodness then we do on the things that are happening around us. That's part of... "His praise shall continually be in my mouth." Which do you spend more time talking about--- your problems or His goodness? If we would do the latter, perhaps some of our problems would not seem as big.

Have a great day. Meditate on the goodness of the Lord today.