Wednesday, October 31, 2018

"What Time Is It?

"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." Galatians 6:9

This is not the time to become or grow weary. It is not the time to give up, shut up, back up. It is not the time to turn back, look back, retreat back. It is time to seek the Lord more, pray more fervently, fast often, keep pressing forward, to persevere and not faint. It is time to walk more closely to Him than ever, to hold His word in high esteem, to be holy, to lay aside every weight of sin that would so easily beset you. It's time to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, strength and mind. It's time to abide in Him, hide His word in your heart, meditate on it and obey it. It's time to cast down your idols, your agenda, your selfish wants and desires, your self-centeredness and materialism. It's time to come out from among the world and separate yourself from the philosophies of the world, their mindset, their wisdom. This is the time to stand- on His word, on His promises, having on the full armor.

It's time to stop being conformed to the world and be transformed by God's word. It's time to stop being fleshly minded, worldly minded, religious minded and start being Kingdom minded. It's time to honor what God honors, rebuke what God rebukes, esteem what God esteems, love what God loves, hate what God hates. It's time to put His agenda, His values, His commands above your own or those of the world around us. It's time to decrease so that Jesus might increase.

The things that we see happening in our world are the things that Jesus said, "When you see them happening, look up because our redemption is drawing near". Because of the lateness of the hour and the nearness of His return it is time to make sure we get our "houses" (lives) in order. When He returns we don't want to be caught like the five foolish virgins. Therefore, it is time to wake up and make sure you have oil in your lamps.

Have a great day. It's time to do that which tends to eternal life and not to do that which doesn't.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

"He Heals All"

"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." Isaiah 53:5

Yesterday as I was praying for a friend who needs a healing the Lord revealed something about Himself that you probably already knew, and I guess I did, but never quiet looked at it that way. My friend was diagnosed with a certain illness. As I was praying that the Lord would heal her of that illness, I was praying His word about Him being the Healer and with His stripes we are healed. I was reminding the Lord Jesus that He took stripes on His body for her healing. Then I realized that at the time when He bore those stripes they had never heard about some of the diseases that we have today. There were diseases back then- issues of blood, palsy, leprosy, etc.- but what about Lou Garrett's disease, IBS, AIDS, diabetes, etc.? These diseases were unknown at that time.

This is the wonderful, awesome thing about God. Even before these diseases were known to mankind, they were known to Him. He saw them afar off and provided healing for them as well. He took stripes on His back to heal us of diseases that weren't even discovered yet! Let me confirm that. One of the names of God is Jehovah- Jireh, which not only means God is Provider, but it also means that He is the God who sees ahead and makes provision for. Even before the foundation of the world God saw ahead mankind's need for a Savior so He sent His Son to pay the price so that we could be saved. (He saw ahead and made provision for.) Even on the cross Jesus' heart was filled with joy because He saw ahead in time and saw those of us who would now have a way of access into His presence through His shed blood. At the cross, His blood was shed not only for those who were living then or had already lived, but it was shed for future generations yet to be born- for you and me who were afar off.

Because God is not divided- you cannot separate who He is- He is Healer and He is Provider and He is the God who sees ahead. Therefore, in the past He saw those in the future who would need a Savior, but He also, in the past, saw those who would need a Healer to heal them of future diseases. And at the cross those stripes He bore took care of the diseases that had already existed, that existed then and that would exist in the future and He provided healing for them. So take heart... they are all covered... even the ones that are yet to be discovered! He is the Great Physician!

Have a great day. He took care of everything- every sin issue, every disease--- past, present and future!

Monday, October 29, 2018

"Big Signs"

"Bow thy heavens, O LORD, and come down: touch the mountains, and they shall smoke." Psalm 144:5

Bow the heavens, come down, touch the mountains and make them smoke- sounds to me like the Psalmist was asking for a display of God's awesome power in his situation. Have you ever been there? Desiring God to "rend the mountains", "send forth lightening", "shake the foundations of the earth" on your behalf? There are some situations that we go through that are so big, so trying, so difficult, so overwhelming, so impossible that we feel it will take all the power God has to intervene in the situation-- it will take nothing less than some great miraculous sign.

God has great power (all powerful)- beyond what we can comprehend. He does move in great and mighty ways- pulling down mountains, parting seas, sending fire from heaven, opening the ground up. But He does not always work like that in our situations. He doesn't have to, there is as much power in even the "thoughts" of God as there are in His "hand".

Jesus asked the people if it was easier to say "take up thy bed and walk, or thy sins be forgiven thee?". There was no "rending of the mountains" for this man, yet he received two miracles in Jesus' one word- salvation and healing. It is just as easy for God to do the miraculous through one word. God can move powerfully in your situation and He doesn't always have to do it through some great sign- He can just "breath" on it and it can change. He can meet the need through something as miraculous as putting money in a fish's mouth or by simply laying it on the heart of someone to bless you. He can give you confirmation through the miraculous watering of a fleece or simply by speaking, "Go" to your spirit. He can move through fire, through an earthquake, through the wind... or through a still small voice. His ways are so far above our ways and He will move on your behalf in the "best" way. If He doesn't "bow down the heavens" but chooses to move in another way- even a "small and simple way"- it is still God's great power at work and it is nothing less of a miracle.

Have a great day. God will move on your behalf in the best way- it may come through a great big manifestation or through one single word.

Friday, October 26, 2018

"Embrace The Word"

"... thy word is truth." John 17:17b

I was awake very early this morning and the Lord began to speak to me something that He wanted me to share with you. It will not be a lengthy message this morning but one to the point.

He said that in light of the day we are living- with all the uncertainties, conflicts, confusion- we must be sure to embrace His word and hold it closely to our hearts. His word is the truth that will keep us. It will keep us from falling into error. It will keep us in peace. It will be an anchor for our souls. It will lead us on the right path.

It was as the Israelites listened to God's word (believed it and embraced it) concerning applying the blood to the doorposts of their houses that they were saved and the death angel passed them by. Listening to God's word- applying it, following it, embracing it, giving it first place- is just as critical to our well being- mostly our spiritual well being and the well being of our souls.

Have a great day. Embrace God's word and hold on to it tightly. It's the only sure and solid foundation in a time when everything else looks like shifting sand.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

"I Am"

"And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you." Exodus 3:14

When the Lord revealed Himself to Moses out of the burning bush, He identified Himself as "I AM". He didn't say "He WAS" or "He WILL BE". He identified Himself in the present tense. God is the God of the NOW. He's not just God who was in your past and He isn't God who is way off in your future somewhere. He is the God of the here and now.

Now He is what you need. Now He is Savior, Lord, Redeemer, Deliverer. He is the God who heals now. He is the God who meets and supplies needs now. He is the God who makes a way now. He has said that is He a present God- a present help in time of trouble- so it's time we start taking Him out of our past and bring Him into our present. It's time we stop always looking forward to the day "when", and start looking to Him now.

Where have you put God? Is He stuck in your past- all you can do is reminisce about what He used to do, or what He did once upon a time? Have you placed Him somewhere in your future- one day He'll heal me, one day He'll meet the need, etc. Yes, I know that God has a plan, a season and a timing for some things to happen, but there are so many other things that God desires to do for us now and He would do if we would bring Him into our present situations.

Have a great day. He is a present God who desires to move on your behalf in the present.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

"Reason Or Excuse?"

"The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing." Proverbs 20:4

I had a very wise old minister tell me one time that there is a difference between a "reason" and an "excuse". We may or may not have a good reason as to why we did or didn't do something. But an excuse is not necessarily a good reason- usually it's something that we use to try to justify what we don't want to do. Excuses, more often than not, are "convenient".

We tend to have more excuses than reasons when it comes to neglecting spiritual matters. We can always come up with an excuse as to why we can't read our Bibles- (I'm too tired). Usually that's only an "excuse" because we aren't too tired to stay up half the night watching television or playing computer games. How about getting up to pray? (It's too cold; it's too early.) That's more of an excuse than a reason because it's not too cold or too early to get up and travel to a doctor's appointment, or go to the once a year flea market, or go to our morning exercise class. How about church attendance? (Sunday is my only day to sleep in; I don't like the songs they sing; nobody talks to me at that church.) You tell me- reason or excuse? What about other areas? What keeps you from doing what the Lord has called you to do? Is it a reason? Or is it an excuse? When it comes to doing the will and plan of God, we have no excuses or reasons not to. If it's a real "reason" standing in the way, He knows how to remove it, rearrange it, cause it to work for good to accomplish it. If it's an excuse, He knows the difference, and it won't work on Him either.

Excuses are a "dime a dozen", you can always find one. I tend to think that the sluggard in the verse above had a good reason not to plow- it was cold. (In my limited knowledge of farming you plant in spring and fall not in winter when it's cold.) What happened was he used so many excuses not to plow and plant that his excuses caused him to put it off for so long that when he finally decided to do it it was too late. If you keep making excuses you can find yourself missing the opportunity and then it will be too late. Too many people do this with their eternal souls. They give one excuse after another why they won't be saved- or, not "right now" but will do it later. Later may be too late.

Have a great day. Is your "reason" really an "excuse"?

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

"What About Job's Wife?"

"Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die." Job 2:9

When you read the story of Job, did you ever wonder why God didn't allow Job's wife to be taken from him? After all, he lost all his livestock, his servants, his children and his health- he lost everything except his wife. Of all the things that the Lord could have left him with, why did He leave a wife that was anything less than edifying, why leave him with someone who was going to discourage him by encouraging him to curse God and die? Why didn't He at least leave him with someone who could help comfort him, someone who would minister to him, someone who would pray with him and help lift his burden?

The answer is not clear until you look at the end of the book. "He had also seven sons and three daughters." (Job 42:1) When God restored everything that Job lost, the restoration included children. Let me ask you a question: How was God going to give Job back children without someone to bare those children? God kept Job's wife because she was the instrument through which part of Job's restoration and his blessing was going to come.

It makes me think about Paul's thorn in the flesh. Paul prayed for it's removal but God didn't remove it. What seemed as a "bad" thing to Paul was actually an instrument used by God to bring something greater into Paul's life.

Sometimes those things that we think are a "curse" in our life, sometimes those things that we think the Lord should take away, sometimes those things in our lives that look like they are against us, are actually the very thing that God is going to use to bring a blessing into our lives through. Job's wife was part of the restoration process. The thorn in Paul's flesh was an instrument to cause the power of Christ to rest upon him. That thing in your life that you think is a hindrance or obstacle to God's plan for your life may actually be part of the process to bring about God's plan for your life.

Have a great day. What looks like a curse, may actually be the thing that brings the blessing.

Monday, October 22, 2018

"Position Process"

"... from glory to glory..." 2 Corinthians 3:18
While I was thinking about God telling Abraham to leave his home and travel to an unspecified place and how he had obeyed God, I thought about a greater test of obedience that laid before him in the future--- the sacrifice of his son. If Abraham had not passed this first test he would not be ready for this test involving his son.

God's plan for us is a plan that involves process. We want everything now, we don't want to wait, we want to jump right to the top, we want the big first. That is not the way God operates in our lives. He starts us off at the bottom and we start the process of moving to the top. He starts us with small then He gives us bigger. He gives us milk to drink before He gives us meat to eat. He starts us low and goes high. He starts us off slow and then goes faster. He starts us with baby steps before we start running. He starts us off with little before He moves us to more. He starts us with few before He gives us many. "...thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things..." (Matthew 25:21)

Moses' first encounter with God was on the desert floor, then he went up the mountain and met Him. Joseph started off as a slave in Potaphar's house, then he was promoted to the palace to rule Egypt. David faced a lion and a bear, then he was ready to face the giant. The three Hebrews faced the trial of leaving their homeland before they faced the furnace trial. Daniel set as a student in the king's palace as a prisoner before he sat as a ruler in that nation. Esther was a captive before she became a queen. Are you getting the picture?

We are all in a process. If you will remember that it will help you when you get frustrated that you aren't seeing bigger, more, better, much. Remember that God's process goes from down to up, small to large, little to much, less to more.

Have a great day. Don't get discouraged in the process. We all have to start somewhere and God's somewhere to start starts us low.

Friday, October 19, 2018

"Apply The Truth"

"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32

If the truth makes us free, then why are so many who hear the truth of God's word still not free? Freedom comes first as we RECEIVE the truth. It doesn't just come automatically. It doesn't come if you reject it. It's like soap. Soap has the power to cleanse. If you are dirty, you can take soap and water and wash away the dirt, grim, perspiration and impurities on your body, but if you don't "apply" it to your body you will remain dirty. It's not the soap's inability to clean you, it's your lack of use.  Secondly, freedom comes as we APPLY the truth to our lives.

The Pharisees are a prime example of this. They had the truth- they had the written word of God. But they also had the living word of God--Jesus. Jesus walked and talked with them but yet they still stayed in bondage- bondage to religious traditions, to pride and arrogance, to deception and self righteousness. Jesus, who is THE Truth, walked among them, testifying of God's word and power to set free and they still remained in bondage because they rejected what He said in exchange for their own teachings and and sinful desires.

God's word is powerful, it can and will set captives free, it will bring us into liberty, it will show us the way to eternal and abundant life, but only as we RECEIVE IT and APLY IT to our lives. If we don't, then we will remain in bondage and we won't walk in freedom.

Have a great day. Truth received AND applied sets us free- "Thy Word is Truth".

Thursday, October 18, 2018


"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones." Proverbs 17:22

I was talking with a dear sister in the Lord last night. She was sharing with me about how her body is going through lots of pain, it just seems as though her body is "breaking down"- she is having one physical problem after another. She also shared with me about the stress she is under at work. We have talked on several occasions and I have been amazed at what she is going through at work- the work load, the late hours, the criticism and hateful comments from fellow employees. I told her it was no wonder her body is manifesting all these physical problems-- a broken spirit dries the bones (produces death).

Stress will effect your body. We were not designed to carry the loads that we are being put under daily. God never intended us to have to shoulder the weight of the world. We should have peace, joy, tranquility surrounding us. Oh, I know that we have tribulations and problems in this life, but how much of it is "self inflicted"; how much can be avoided if we would make a few simple adjustments and cut out some unnecessary things that help put us under more stress?

I want to encourage you- as I did her- get out from under the stress. Let go of the "extra" things as much as you possibly can. But the main thing I want to say is--- Praise, Praise, Praise! Get some praise music, turn it on, sit down, listen to it, and sing along with it, get your focus solely on the Lord. Let the praise of God renew your mind and refresh your body. The praise lifts your heart and spirit and actually puts "moisture" (life) back into your bones. Praise produces a merry heart (a light heart), and a merry heart is like a medicine.

Have a great day. Give the stress you are under a good dose of praise.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

"Just Consider The Lilies"

"And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:" Matthew 6:28

As I woke up this morning, the first thing I did was ask the Lord what to write to you this morning. He spoke as clearly as a bell to me and said these words, "You have a heavenly Father who loves you and promises to be with you "even into the end of the world". He is there with you, watching over you whether you feel like He is or not, whether you see Him and even if you don't see any evidence that He is there." The second thing He said to me for you this morning He said in a song. Oh, my, I can't tell you how long it's been since I heard this song--- literally years. I want to sing it to you this morning, but it's not from me, it's from your heavenly Father to you.

Consider the lilies; they don't toil or spin,
But there's not a king with more splendor than them.
Consider the sparrows; they don't plant nor sow,
But they're fed by the Master who watches them grow.

We have a Heavenly Father above
With eyes full of mercy and a heart full of love.
He really cares when your head is bowed low;
Consider the lilies, then you will know.

May I introduce you to this Friend of mine
Who hangs out the stars, tells the sun when to shine.
And kisses the flowers each morning with dew,
Oh, but friend, He's not too busy to care about you!

We have a Heavenly Father above
With eyes full of mercy and a heart full of love.
He really cares when your head is bowed low;
Consider the lilies, then you will know.
Consider the lilies, then you will know.

If you ever doubt the Father's love, if you begin feeling as though He does not care, when you feel so alone, when you wonder if He is listening, if you doubt His ability to take care of you, if you begin to feel like He's not even there and He's left you, consider the lilies. Go look at the flowers, the trees, the grass that grows, even the weeds and remember that God watches over them and gives them everything they need to grow. He sees them at each stage of their life- beginning, middle and end. If God watches over the lilies, then He watches over you... you are of MUCH more value to Him than the lilies are.

Have a great day. Consider the lilies.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

"It Is Not Impossible"

"Which turned the rock into a standing water, the flint into a fountain of waters." Psalm 114:8

According to the laws of nature and the laws of physics it is impossible to turn a rock into water or flint into water. A rock has a solid form and water is a liquid. A rock is unbending, unyielding, firm, substantial. Water is free flowing, it's shapeless taking on the form of whatever it comes in contact with, very yielding, fluid. They are two completely opposites. It is also impossible for water to "stand up". It doesn't take an educated person to know this- even children know this is impossible. The only way it could ever happen was if the God who can do the impossible steps into the picture. And when He does- nothing becomes impossible.

The Lord wants to encourage you this morning by reminding you that it doesn't matter how impossible the situation you are going through looks, He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He turned a rock into water once, He can do it again. He did it in the past to meet the need of His people, He can do it again to meet your need. He can do it--- there is nothing impossible for Him!

Have a great day. He can turn your rock into water.

Monday, October 15, 2018

"The Truth About Salvation - part 5"

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9
We have been talking about what true salvation involves.  Jesus taught us that we must be born-again.  Once we are born-again we come alive spiritually and take on the resemblance of our Heavenly Father.  If there is no change in us then our salvation is doubtful.  If we are no different, if we still are living a lifestyle of sin, then it is evident that there has been no new birth taken place within us. 
Having said all that, let me say this-- I have been talking about becoming a brand new person and the "old things" in our life passing away and living a brand new life.  But this doesn't mean that we won't make mistakes, fall, give in to temptation, nor ever commit a sin again, miss the mark or mess up.  I have not been talking about an occasional "relapse", I have been talking about a habitual lifestyle of sin. 
So, yes, there may be times we fail and even sin, this is what I want to address this morning.  What do we do when this happens?  Do we give up?  Do we quit and walk away from our relationship with the Lord?  I used the scripture a few days again from Hosea that tells us that people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.  I want to give you knowledge concerning this today.  
This is an issue that is dear to my heart because I remember as a young person giving my heart and life to the Lord but then I would find myself in a situation of temptation and wind up compromising and giving into the sin.  Because I didn't know what God's Word said I thought that I had "blown it"; I thought that I had "lost" my salvation.  Because I didn't know the truth and how to handle this "failure" based on God's Word, I gave up and turned around and left my relationship with the Lord and lived a "wasted" life for years-- all because I didn't know the truth. 
The truth is, though we fall we are not utterly cast down.  If we go to God and confess our sin and ask for His forgiveness-- He will.  He is not sitting there condemning us because we sinned.  The Bible tells us that He is ready to forgive.  He is waiting for us to come to Him.  And when we do, He will embrace us just like the father embraced the prodigal son when he returned home.  
Have you sinned?  Have you fallen?  Have you missed the mark?  Did you disobey the Lord?  Then don't turn away from Him, turn to Him.  He does not condemn you.  He has not turned His back on you.  He will not cast you out.  He knows you are weak at times.  He knows that you aren't perfect.  He is right there drawing you to Himself because He loves you.  He loves you so much that while you were a sinner (living in sin and separation from Him) He sent His Son Jesus to die for you.  Do you think that He would do anything less than love and forgive you now that you have been born-again and become His?  He longs to restore you and your relationship with Him-- let Him.
Have a great day.  There is a difference in having a lifestyle of sin and committing an occasional sin.  But the Lord loves you and will forgive you of both.   
Scriptural references:
John 3:7
1 John 3:9
Luke 15:11–32
Hosea 4:6
Psalm 37:24; 86:5
Romans 8:1

Friday, October 12, 2018

"The Truth About Salvation - part 4"

"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world."  Titus 2:11,12

I hope that through these past few devotionals you are seeing the truth about salvation.  There are not enough good deeds that we can do to save us- just ask the rich young ruler.  There are not enough religious duties we can perform that will make us right with God-- just ask Nicodemus.  We can't just believe in the existence of God and that will give us eternal life-- even the devils believe and tremble.  We have to be born-again-- that's what Jesus said.  We have to be born of God.  We have to come back alive spiritually.  We have to receive salvation by the grace of God as a free gift.  We have to posses the Kingdom of God within us.  And when we are saved by grace through faith, when we are born-again, when we have received eternal life through the way that God has provided-- not our own-- our lives will be a reflection of that salvation. 

Now, having said all that let me say this:  that doesn't mean that we may not make mistakes after we are saved.  It doesn't mean that there might not be times when we are tempted to sin and give in.  There are times when our flesh gets weak and we get weary and do those things we should not do.  We have an enemy that is always working against us to steal, kill and destroy-- the devil.  Our own flesh wants to pull us back into sinful habits.  That is not what I have been talking about.  

What I am talking about, just so you will be clear on the subject once and for all, is that if we have had a true salvation experience, we no longer practice sin.  We no longer do it by habit.  We should no longer be "cussing like a sailor", "shacking up" with someone we aren't married to, having sex outside of marriage-adultery, holding grudges and unforgiveness, full of hate, gossiping, drunkenness, loving evil, stealing, cheating, and so on. 

If we have had a true salvation experience we have now come into a relationship with the Lord.  We have been reconciled to Him.  We are no longer rebels against Him.  We want to live a life that is pleasing to Him, we want to live godly, we want to have communion and fellowship with Him.  We love Him and want our lives to honor and glorify Him. (This automatically comes with a true born-again experience because we become a "new" person.)  

If we have had a true salvation experience it doesn't mean that we won't ever "mess up" again, but it means that when we do, we will have remorse in our hearts and repentance because of it.  It means we will not habitually keep doing it.  We will not want anything to hinder our relationship with the Lord.

Have a great day.  Do you still love to do the things you used to do before you "got saved"?  Or do you love the Lord and want to do the things that please Him? 

Scripture references:
 Luke 18:18–30
John 3
James 2:19
Luke 17:20-21
1 Corinthians 6:9,10

Thursday, October 11, 2018

"The Truth About Salvation - part 3"

"We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not." 1 John 5:18

Yesterday we said that God's criteria for salvation was to be born-again. This is the whole sum of it all.  This is where most "miss it" concerning their salvation.  They believe in God.  They do religious duties and acts.  They profess to be Christians.  But they have never been born-again.

When God created mankind, He created him in His image.  He breathed His breath into man and made him a living soul.  When man sinned, death came upon mankind. (The wages of sin is death. Romans 6:23a)  He died spiritually.  God's image was marred.  Fellowship with God was broken.  Man became his "own boss"-- living as he desired, following his own agenda, doing his own "thing", fulfilling whatever his lustful desires wanted.  So, in reality, we are "dead men walking".  Our spirits "died".  So we have to be "born-again" in order to "come back to life". (The gift of God is eternal life. Romans 6:23b)

When we repent of our sins-- humble ourselves before God, acknowledge our sins, have true regret and remorse over our sins accompanied by the commitment to change, and look to Jesus as the only way of forgiveness for our sins-- we are then born-again.  We have now come "back to life".  God breathes into us a "second time".  His image/nature/character is restored in us.  His "DNA" comes back alive in us. 

So, this is the key:  we are born of God.  We take on His nature-- which is holy, righteous, etc.  We are no longer sinners-- we have been saved by grace.  The "old man" has died and the new man has come alive.  We become a new person.  (If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, old things pass away and all things become new. 2 Cor. 5:17)  We are changed.  We don't do what we once did.  We don't live like we once lived.  Sin is not our nature any more, therefore it should not be our lifestyle. (Whoever is born of God, does not sin.) This is what concerns me-- when there is profession of salvation but no lifestyle change.  Nothing is any different in those who profess to be saved.  They keep living for sin and self.  
When I was born-- when my mother gave birth to me-- there were characteristics, traits and even physical features that I had that were evidence of who my parents were.  I look like them.  I have the same mannerisms as them.  I carry myself like they do.  As I get older, I think I have "become my mother".  I respond, think, talk and so on just like she did.  The same should be true of those who profess to be Christians.  The very word means "to be Christ-like".  This doesn't mean we have physical features like His.  It means we look like Him in actions, deeds, speech, works, our attitudes, our treatment of others, where we go, what we do, how we respond, etc. etc. etc.  There should be no doubt that He is our "Spiritual Parent"-- because we bear a resemblance to Him.   

Have a great day.  When you were born, you resembled your parent/parents.  When you are born-again, you should resemble your Heavenly Parent.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

"The Truth About Salvation- Part 2"

"Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again."  John 3:7

I heard a man recently, in talking about salvation, say that it doesn't matter what you believe just as long as you are sincere in your belief.  Where on earth did he come up with that conclusion!  But I don't think he is alone in his thinking.  This concerns me for the souls of those who believe the same way.  This is not what the Bible says at all.  God has a different opinion on the subject.  

You can be sincere in your belief and be sincerely wrong.  The things that I am writing about are not meant to bring condemnation-- Jesus didn't come to bring condemnation, but salvation.  My desire is to sound a wake-up call and teach the truth so that people will truly know that they are saved when they leave this earth.  And are saved according to the Lord's definition of salvation, not their own.  Eternity never ends.  You don't want to leave this temporary world/life and go out into eternity not truly knowing Jesus as your Savior.  This is why it is so important that your belief is in line with God's requirements.

Nicodemus was a Pharisee-- kind of like a modern day preacher.  He taught the law.  He lived by the law.  He followed every command to the letter.  He was a good man from all accounts.  He even recognized that Jesus had to come from God.  But Jesus let him know quickly that he had to be born-again to be saved.  All his religious knowledge, all his adherence to the law, all his titles and positions in the "church", all his good deeds and works, even his belief system didn't save him and give him eternal life.   

The criteria for being saved and entering into heaven when we die is defined by the Lord as being "born-again".  So, what does it mean to be born-again?  Nicodemus didn't know either.  When God created man in the Garden of Eden he was "born".  God breathed the breath of life in him and he became a living soul.  When man sinned against God, he died-- spiritually.  We became dead in trespasses and sin. To enter into eternal life, and heaven, we have to come back to life-- we have to be born-again.  How do we get born-again?  Through faith in Jesus Christ.  (Back to the Garden of Eden again for a moment.)  When Adam discovered he was naked-- a sinner.  He tried to cover it up with fig leaves.  It didn't work.  The same for us.  We can't cover our sins by our own means.  God covered them with animal skins.  God covers, forgives and takes away our sins through the shed blood of the spotless Lamb-- Jesus.  When we turn to the Lord, when we repent of our sins, when we put our trust and faith in what Jesus did to save us, then we are born-again.     

Have a great day.  Are you born-again?  Or just religious?

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

"The Truth About Salvation"

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge...."  Hosea 4:6a

Yesterday I asked the question, "Are you saved?" or "Do you just think you are?".  When I was growing up, you knew beyond a doubt that you either were or weren't.  There was no question to it.  And you knew why you were or weren't.  The reason there was no doubt, either way, is because I grew up in a time where there was solid foundational teaching of the truth of God's Word.  We were taught that it was black or white, right or wrong, truth or error, hot or cold, heaven or hell, and you either were saved or you weren't.  And we were taught that there was only ONE way to be saved. 

Today it isn't that way.  There is so much teaching that are "gray areas", compromising the truth of God's Word.  People are taught situational ethics, compromise, all love and no justice, all ways lead to God, just believe and you will be saved, just go to church and you will go to heaven, sin is only a concept, there is no eternal hell only heaven and we all are going there.  There are no absolutes being taught (for the most part), only a weak, fluffy gospel that tells you what you want to hear and makes no demands on you to live a true Christ-experience lifestyle.  As a result, people are believing everything but the truth and are perishing as a result. 

This alarms and concerns me.  The Bible says that people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.  The Lord has burdened my heart about this.  I hope, as long as the Lord directs me to address this subject each day in the devotional, to help enlighten, by the power of Holy Spirit, the eyes of your understanding so that you will know beyond a doubt that you are saved and not discover too late that you aren't.  You don't want to go through life believing that you are saved and then later when you stand before the Lord you hear Him say the most horrible words ever spoken, "Depart from Me, I never knew you.". 

The Lord God loves you and He doesn't want any to perish.  He gave His only begotten Son Jesus to die for you so that you will have eternal life.  Eternal life doesn't just automatically come to us because Jesus died for our sins.  His death was the payment/punishment that we owed and the salvation that came through it was a gift. (John 3:16)  But there is something that we must do in order to receive that gift. If we don't know what that is, we will perish.  Only the truth will set us free.  Only knowing the truth will save us. 

Have a great day.  We have to know the truth or we will perish.     

Monday, October 8, 2018

"Are You Saved?"

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."  John 3:16
Please people, get saved!  Turn your life over to Jesus.  Let Him come into your life and wash your sins away and give you eternal life.  So many think that it is well with their souls and that they are "all right" with God.  Sadly, on that day when we all stand before the Lord there will be "weeping and gnashing of teeth" because they will discover then that it is not well. They will hear Jesus speak those ominous words-- "Depart from Me, I don't know you".  At that time it will be too late! There will be no more chances.  No more opportunities to get right.  No time left to make a change. 

There was a song we used to sing as children and one of the verses said, "If you're saved and you know it, then your life will surely show it".  So, where is the "showing" of it in the lives of many who profess to be saved, be a Christian, or be born-again?  The only difference between the way they "used to be" before they got "saved", the only difference between them and the way the world acts, talks and conducts themselves is the fact that they say they are a Christian.  Many think "belief" in God/Jesus is enough.  Many think that because they attend church or serve in the church that this is what saves them.  Many think that their good deeds and acts of kindness make them a Christian.  Some think because they were raised in church or a Christian home they are saved.  None of those things make you right with the Lord... or save you!  Faith in Jesus Christ and surrender to His Lordship over your life is what saves you. 

Have you made Jesus Savior and Lord of your life?  Are you living for Him?  Do you know beyond a doubt that it is well with your soul?  He loves you and died for you so that you can be saved from your sins and have eternal life.  He made the way for you.  Will you give your life to Him today?

Have a great day.  Are you truly saved?  Or just think you are?    

Friday, October 5, 2018

"It's Amazing"

"What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?" Psalm 8:4

We know that God, because He is God, is more awesome and amazing than we can truly fathom. But this morning I want to tell you what's "THE" most amazing thing about God.

It's not His mighty power or His ability to do the impossible. It's not His great strength. It's not the fact that He can speak into nothing and create everything. It's not the fact that He rides upon the wings of the wind, or uses the earth as a footstool, or causes the small hills to leap and jump at His presence. Neither is it the fact that He calls all the stars in all the galaxies by name. The most amazing thing about God is not that He knows the number of hair on my head and keeps a running total because each day the number changes. It's not because God can see so far ahead into the future that He knows the day of your death before you were even born. The most amazing thing about Him is not His miracle working power. It's not even the fact that He is present everywhere all at the same time.

The most amazing thing about God is the fact that He loves me!!! That is more amazing than anything that He is or does. The fact that God would even notice me, that He would love me, and care for me- I who am made lower than the angels- is more than I can comprehend. I am totally amazed when I think of how sinful, how rebellious, the enemy I was to God, how I fought against Him, how I am the least of the least, wretched man that I am, so undeserving of this wonderful God to even look in my direction, much less love me- yet He does. That is the most amazing thing you will ever realize about God.

The fact that He loves this unlovable person is amazing in and of itself, but that He would go further than that by giving His life for me- it's not only amazing, it's mind boggling! We may never be able to figure it out, we know we certainly don't deserve it, we may never understand it, but God who is Omni, who is the Creator, the King of glory, the True and Living God, the one who is worshipped and adored by all the host of heaven...takes note of me and pushed everything out of the way to reach me with His love.

Have a great day. I have used the word "me" this morning, but it includes "you"- He love you.  It's amazing that He even wants to have anything to do with us but He does! That's the most amazing thing about God.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

"Positioning You"

"By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went." Hebrew 11:8

We always marvel at the faith that Abraham had in God. Can you imagine what it was like to pack up everything he had and leave his home, his family, his job, his familiar surroundings, all his friends just because God told him to do so. And if that wasn't a great enough act of faith, God didn't even tell him where he was going. God said to leave but He didn't say where to go! While I marvel at his trust in God to just "go", I have missed another great truth in this verse.

Read the verse again, did you hear what it says? The place that God was sending him to was the place that he was going to receive for an inheritance. Abraham did not know that at the time. He didn't have a clue that where God was leading him was going to become his. God was positioning him for a blessing, he was positioning him to step into his destiny by telling him to leave the place he was.

What would have happened if Abraham had been like some of us? What if he had argued with God? What if he had decided that God was being unreasonable not to tell him up front where to go? What if he hadn't gone because God wouldn't tell him "why"? What if he had decided not to go until God gave him all the details? What if he had disobeyed God? What if he had reasoned it out as to why he couldn't go? If Abraham had not gone look at what he would have missed. Look at the plan of God that he would have forfeited.

Trusting and obeying God is a whole different story when he spells everything out for you and gives you every little detail- the what and the why. I wonder if that's really faith? If we had been in Abraham's position we would have had no reservations in going if God had told us that the place He was sending us was going to belong to us. But when He doesn't tell us about the blessing or the reward that's attached to what He tells us to do, would we be as willing to go, would we be reluctant or would we be disobedient?

Have a great day. When God tells you to do something, you may not understand it, but it just might be that He is positioning you for something greater.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

"For This"

"Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised..." Psalm 48:1a

There is a song that most of you are familiar with, it's entitled, "For Every Mountain". There is a line in the song that says, "For this I give you praise". I want to talk about the "this" this morning. What is "this" that you give God praise for?

I have a long list of "this". For waking me up this morning- for "this" I give Him praise. For waking me up with a sound mind, with a roof over my head, with food in my cupboard- for "this" I give Him praise. For writing my name in the Lamb's book of life, for forgiving all my iniquities, for healing all my diseases, for choosing me, for loving me, for dying for me, for rescuing me, for redeeming me from the curse of the law, for paying the ransom for my sins-- for "this" I give Him praise! For His loving-kindness, His tender mercies, His grace, His faithfulness to me, His peace that settles my heart and mind, His joy that is my strength, His strength that is made perfect in my weakness- for "this" I give Him praise. For hearing my prayers and answering them, for never leaving me nor forsaking me, for wisdom, for revelation knowledge, for the indwelling Holy Spirit, for an ear to hear what the Spirit says, for making me an heir and joint-heir, for allowing me the privilege of serving Him- for "this" I give Him praise. For my family, for my friends, for those that encourage me in the faith, for those who hold my hands up, for those who put an arm around me, who pray for me when I am cast down- for "this" I give Him praise. For being the glory and lifter of my head, for daily loading me with benefits, for being my shield and buckler, for not letting any weapon formed against me prosper, for the victory that overcomes the world, for making me more than a conqueror, for His word, for His armor, for every good an perfect gift- for "this" I give Him praise.

I have to stop, there is not enough space on this note or time to tell of all that I give Him praise for. My "this" turns into "these" quickly. Think about the "this" in your life and take the time to give Him praise for it. My "this" praise list far outweighs my "this" problem list. As a matter of fact, when I start making my "this" praise list, the "this" problem list automatically begins to shrink because it will never be bigger than my God's ability to take care of that list.

Have a great day. For "this" I give Him praise!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

"He'll Answer Your Call"

"He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him." Psalm 91:15

I happen to be one of those people who love technology. The advancements are amazing. But they can also be a "pain". For example, when I try to call a place of business with a question, like the bank to check my account balance, or the phone company, even technical support for my software programs, I get an automated "voice" that proceeds to tell me to listen to a menu and press the number that best suits my need. Once I press that button, another "voice" then proceeds to give me another menu. This is an almost endless process. (Honestly, I don't think most places even hire "real, live" people any more). This happens to me when I try to get support online too, each contact screen takes me to another one which eventually leads me back to the first screen and I still haven't been connected with a real person to talk to. And we all know that there are just some questions that a "machine" cannot answer.

Having said all that, I am SO glad that when we go to God with our questions, needs or problems, He does not proceed to give us a menu with specific buttons to press for our special need. Each time we "call" upon Him, we have no doubt that we are going to get to talk to HIM personally and directly-- not a machine, not a representative, not an automated system. He said, "Call unto me and I will answer thee." (Jer. 33:3)

Isn't it comforting to know that God Himself will "get on the line" and talk to us. How wonderful that we can go directly to Him with our need. We can have confidence that we will get Him the first time we call and not be rerouted through a hundred different menus. It's not a "pain" or a long trying process to get to talk to God. Everything that would hinder us from being able to talk to Him was removed out of the way through Jesus Christ at Calvary. So whatever you need this morning, He stands ready and waiting to answer your call.

Have a great day. We may not be able to talk to a real person to answer our questions, but we will always be able to reach God when we call upon Him.