Wednesday, July 31, 2019

"They Are Waiting"

"How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?" Romans 10:14

I want to share a portion of a dream I had a while back with you.-- Another person and I had just purchased a house to use in the ministry. I found out that when we went to purchase it that there had been a lot of drug activity taking place there. During the course of the dream this other person and I went back to the house. As we went into a particular bedroom that I knew belonged to a certain young woman, I wondered where she was, she should have been there. This young woman had been involved in many things and suddenly a fear for her life came over me. I began searching for her throughout the room. The room was in total disarray and clutter was everywhere. The person with me also began looking. We looked under the bundle of cover on the bed, under the bed, in the corners of the room, closet, etc. Then I finally found her between the bed and the wall. She was lying on the floor wrapped up in a blanket. As I uncovered her, she began to cry and said these words to me, "I was hoping you would come. I have been laying here since yesterday waiting for you to come. I was waiting for you to come and hoping you would." As she said those words to me she was crying tears of desperation and hope.

As I prayed about the dream, the Lord brought this portion of the dream back to me and began to speak to me about it. I want to share with you what He said to me because it's a word for you too. He told me that people are out there in a world of confusion. The are living in disorder and chaos. They are wrapped up in sin... and they are waiting for us to come! They aren't just waiting, they are hoping that someone will come. They are waiting for someone to come and share the message of hope, deliverance and healing with them. They are waiting for someone to come and bring them the words of life. They are, deep down inside, hoping that someone will come and bring them the answers they are desperately needing. They are hoping someone will come and show them love, acceptance, mercy and the way to peace that they are longing for.

The "someone" that they are hoping will come and waiting for to come is us... the church, the body of Christ, the believer, those who are already saved, true Christians. We are the ones who are commissioned to go seek them out. We are the ones who have been sent out into the world to compel the lost to come in. For too long we have been the ones doing the waiting, waiting on them to come in. We have it all wrong, we are the ones who have been commanded to "go".

The words of the young lady in my dream made my eyes swell up with tears. I can remember the desperation, the longing, the desire, the hope that was in her voice- it was so real. Her tears were also tears of joy because she was not disappointed, her hope became reality-- I did come. The reality of the dream is that the dream is reality. They are out there and they are waiting for us to come, and hoping that we will.

Have a great day. Who is hoping that you will come and find them?

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

"Polite Or Rude"

"I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way." Psalm 101:2a

A friend and I were talking the other day about our relationship with the Lord and our desire to be closer to Him, etc. She made the statement concerning fellowship with Him that was very eye opening. She commented that we try to be polite people and practice good manners... except when it comes to the Lord.

She further explained what she meant with the following example. When we are talking with someone and another person comes up or wants our attention we don't let them just interrupt our conversation. We treat the person we are talking to with respect and give them our attention. We usually continue our conversation and let the person interrupting wait their turn. I wonder why we do the opposite with the Lord? We will be in a conversation with Him and other people, or other things, approach us wanting our attention and most of us give it to them. We cut our prayer short. We get up in the middle of our prayer to start talking to the interrupter. We turn our back on the Lord and answer the other person.

I had never thought about it that way until my friend pointed it out. We don't use "good manners" toward the Lord. In fact we are often "rude" to Him. The rudeness shows itself when we allow the interruptions, when we fall asleep in the middle of our conversation with Him, by hanging up on Him before the conversation is over, by dominating the conversation never giving Him time to get a word in and by not giving Him our undivided attention.

Am I describing you this morning? I am sure it describes all of us at some time or other. It's something we need to consider. It's something we need to ask ourselves-- am I being rude to the Lord concerning our conversations? If we are, then we need to make some changes. If there is ever anyone who deserves our "polite manners" it's the Lord. We may not always be polite to one another. We may at times even be rude to others. But that should never be the case in our dealings with the Lord. He is the last one we should ever practice rude behavior toward.

Have a great day. In light of what we have talked about, are you being "polite" or "rude" to the Lord?

Monday, July 29, 2019

"The Unlikely"

"And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: " Hebrews 11:32

Have you ever paid attention to who is listed in the "Hall of Faith"? Gedeon was a coward. Samson was unwise and liked the women. Jephthae made rash vows. David was an adulterer and murderer. Barak was fearful. The people listed there are not people that we would consider worthy of recognition. They are the kind of people that we would cast off as "losers". While we might not have added their names to the list, God did.

Aren't you glad that God takes the weak, the foolish, the fearful, those that we deem as failures and turns them into wise, mighty, powerful, faithful, victorious, winners! There aren't any of us, or them, that deserve to have our names in a list of those who have great faith no matter how great we may appear or how highly we are thought of by others. The faith that we have to do exploits like these did - "Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions. Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens." (verses 33,34) - comes for God. It is His faith that is imparted to us that makes us more than conquerors and able to accomplish any great task. "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20)

You may be feeling pretty weak this morning. You might be feeling like a failure. You might feel like a loser. You might feel unworthy. But be encouraged because that makes you a candidate for God to be able to do something great in you and through you as you surrender to Him.

Have a great day. We may feel like failures in our own estimation, other people may look at us as failures, but even if we are, God can take us and make something great out of us that will be a testimony to His greatness.

Friday, July 26, 2019

"Pampering The Weak"

"...the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." Matthew 26:41b

In the natural when something is weak, we tend to give it a little extra attention. When my body is feeling weak, I give it rest and don't push it any further so that it can regain strength. When my muscles are weak, I work a little harder to try to make them stronger. Anything that is weak is given more support to help make it strong. The scriptures even tell us to support the weak and bear their infirmities. So when we meet someone who is struggling through weakness, we should come to their aid and help them. Husbands are told to give honor to their wives acknowledging that she is weaker in strength than he is.

Our flesh is weak, but in dealing with it, the opposite is true. We don't come to its aid. We don't build it up. We don't support it and try to make it stronger. Instead we are to take that "weak" flesh and work at making it weaker- weaker to the point where it finally dies. We are to deprive it of those things that give it strength. We are to neglect it. We are to pay it no attention. We aren't to give in to its desires and cravings, wants and wishes.

Our time and attention should be spent in making the spirit stronger, in developing it, in giving it the extra attention that it needs to become so strong that it's the ruling factor in our lives- ruled and led by the Holy Spirit. But for most this "weak flesh" has become the stronger one because we spend too much time pampering it instead of denying it, while our spirit gets weaker and weaker through neglect.

Which one is getting the extra attention in your life? Is your weak flesh getting stronger because you spend more time giving in to it, which in turn makes it stronger, and less time denying it? Or are you working on building your spirit up so that it can become the stronger one?

Have a great day. Which ever one- flesh or spirit- you give more attention, care and time to will become the stronger one in your life.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

"Present Yourself"

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." Romans 12:1

In the Old Testament God required that the priests bring Him a sacrifice and place it on the altar. They could not just bring any sacrifice. They could not go out and get the one that they wanted to bring to God. They had to bring the one that He had required, otherwise He would not accept it.

While the command to bring a bull, a goat, a lamb, etc. has changed, the requirements for the sacrifice have not. God still has a sacrifice that He will accept and one that He won't.

The Bible says that we are now the sacrifices- "living sacrifices". The question is, "Are we presenting ourselves to Him in a manner which is acceptable or unacceptable?" There are a lot of people within the church who are bringing the Lord the kind of sacrifice that they want to bring Him. They present themselves to Him through religious behavior. They present themselves to Him through lips that are full of pride, lies or profanity. They present themselves through their "talk" about Him, instead of personal knowledge of Him. Some present themselves through a sinful lifestyle. Even though they are "presented" to God, these are still unacceptable sacrifices.

There is one sacrifice that He requires and that's a "holy" sacrifice. Does your life represent one of "holiness"? Are you being a holy sacrifice? Do you worship the Lord in spirit and in truth? Do you give Him the glory, honor, reverence and respect that He deserves? Are you patterning your life after Jesus' example? Are you following His commandments and desiring to line your life up with them? Are you allowing the word of God to transform you? Are you having communion and fellowship with the Lord on a daily basis? Do you give Him first place in your life, relinquishing control to Him? Are you seeking to do His will and not your own?

One of two things happen when we present ourselves as those living sacrifices to God- He will either accept it or reject it. I don't know about you, but I want Him to accept mine. Therefore, I must make sure that I am living in a manner that pleases Him.... when I do, it will be.

Have a great day. What type of living sacrifice are you? A holy, acceptable one?

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

"Faith And Works"

"For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." James 2:26

There are times when we are to "be still and know that I am God". It's in those times that there is nothing we can do but wait on the Lord- wait on Him to move, wait on Him to intervene, wait on Him for the answer. But more often than not, are the times when we should be putting some works to our faith. As was the case with the woman with the issue of blood.

This woman had faith. She had the faith to believe that Jesus would heal her. She knew in her heart that He was, not only the healer, but her healer. She had no doubt. But her faith alone did not bring healing to her body. It was her faith accompanied by her actions. Faith acts. She could have taken her faith and set down waiting for Jesus to do something- waiting for a miracle to happen. If so, she would not have been healed.

She believed, no doubt about it, but she had to act upon her faith and get up and press through the crowd and reach out and touch the hem of Jesus' garment- no sitting there waiting for some supernatural thing to happen just out of the blue. Can God move in our lives like that? Yes, He can. Will He move in our lives like that? At times He will. Does He need us in order to make it happen? No, He can do it without our help. But faith without works is dead, so there will be times we have to put some works- some feet, some movement, some stepping out- along with our faith. Peter had to step out of the boat, the lepers had to go show themselves to the priest, the man had to go wash in the pool, Abraham had to go to the mountain with his son. The Bible is full of examples of faith with works.

If you are standing in faith this morning for an answer, the first thing you need to find out is- is this a time to be still and wait on the Lord, or is this a time to put some works behind your faith. Like I already said, it will more often be the latter.

Have a great day. Faith requires some action some of the time.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

"Pick And Choose"

"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Hebrews 4:12

When my granddaughter was little and would come to spend the night with us, I would pull out my children's illustrated Bible story book to read to her.  Of course we didn't get very far with the reading- she was more interested in the pictures. She loved ponies and puppies so all she wanted to do was turn the pages- back and forth- looking for puppies and ponies. I wonder how many of us are guilty of doing the same thing with God's word. You know- skipping the parts we don't like and turning to the ones we do like.

Do you skip over the commands in order to look for the blessings? Do you only want to hear the parts that tell you what God's responsibility toward you is but quickly turn past the passages that point out your responsibility toward Him? Do you overlook the verses that talk about sacrifice, self denial, repentance, taking up your cross? Are you more interested in reading about God's love but neglect to read about His justice? Do you like the promises but look past the conditions that you have to meet in order to receive the promises?

You can't divide the Word of God- you can't dissect it into pieces and take only the pieces you like. You can't receive some of it and reject the rest. You can't have the blessings and promises without the conditions. You can't have the glory without the suffering. You can't have the victory without the battles. You can't have it your way, picking out only what you want.

God gave us the "whole" word, we have to have all of it- what we like and what we don't like, what is good and what seems bad, the conditions and the promises, the do's and the don'ts, the blessings and the chastening, the sacrifice and the rewards. The whole Word of God works together for our benefit- every chapter, every verse, every word, every part.

Have a great day. It's like someone once said, "The Word of God is not a buffet; you can't pick and choose what you want".

Monday, July 22, 2019

"Suffering Savior"

"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

Of course this verse is talking about Jesus- He was wounded, bruised, chastened; other versions say He was pierced, punished, crushed. Whatever version you read this verse out of, it paints no "pretty picture". There was pain and suffering involved in what He went through at the cross. And what He went through was not for Himself. He wasn't punished for His own sins- He had none. He wasn't wounded for His own healing- He wasn't sick. He wasn't chastened for His own peace of mind- He is peace. It was all about us- we were the sinful ones. It was all for us- we were the guilty ones in need.

When you look at the picture of the cross, when you look at the blood shed, at the beating, at the reproach, at the shame, at the pain and agony, can you still live a "casual" life? Can you still be "on again; off again" in your relationship with Him? Can you take your salvation for granted- going days without having intimate time with Him reducing it to only a Sunday service? Can you continue to neglect the salvation that cost Him so much on your behalf?

He loved you so much that He was willing to be the suffering sacrifice for your sins so that He could have a relationship with you. Are you taking that relationship that cost Him everything for granted?

Have a great day. Examine your relationship with Him today. Can't you take time in His presence to drink from the cup and fountain of blessings that came to you because He drank the bitter cup of suffering?

Friday, July 19, 2019

"The Pain- Part 2"

"And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die." 2 Samuel 12:13

Yesterday we talked about how pain makes us aware that there is something not right in our body that needs attention, and if we ignore it it won't go away. We used this as an analogy to sin. Conviction alerts us to the fact that there is sin in our lives and we should not ignore it but give it our attention. I left you with this closing thought, "Ignoring pain won't make it go away. Ignoring sin won't make it go away either."

Someone replied with this statement, "You can even mask both temporarily, but that doesn't make them go away." That is so true. I finally wound up at the doctor with my hand. After giving me a diagnosis, he decided to treat it with an injection. May I tell you that the next day my hand was almost 100% better- the pain was gone, I had back full range of motion, I could barely tell I had an injury. But then two days later, the pain started coming back, the movement was limited and today it hurts.

The point? The injection "masked" the pain. The problem was still there even though it did not "feel" like it was. Masking it only "temporarily" deals with it. It's the same way with sin. You can "mask" it too. You can try to justify it, try to reason it away, try to make excuses for it, but it is still there. You may not "feel" it for a while. You may feel that you have peace in that area. You may feel that because it is "out of sight" that it has been taken care of, but it is still there. Don't think so? Ask King David.

David tried to "mask" it by sending Uriah to the front lines, by marrying Bathsheba, by raising their little child. He tried to hide it under the "crown"- he thought his "position" would take care of it. But it didn't, it was still there. How do we know it was still there? God sent the prophet Nathan to tell him so.

Two questions this morning: Are you ignoring your sin? Are you trying to "mask" it? Either way, it's still there, it hasn't gone away. It may "feel" like it has. It may "feel" better. But that "feeling" is false, it's just a mask. It hasn't healed it, it hasn't washed it away, it hasn't taken care of it. Only repentance- as was in the case of David- will take care of it. Repentance brings true healing. Stop ignoring your sin, stop trying to hide it under a "mask" because eventually it's "pain" will come back and you will have to deal with it sooner or later. Why not sooner?

Have a great day. A mask only covers up what's really there. Take the mask off and deal with the sin, then it will go away.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

"The Pain"

"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

A couple of weeks ago I hurt my hand. For the most part it has been all right, but certain movements would cause some severe pain. Even though the pain has subsided, and I am on the mends, if I strain it, or do a lot of repetitive movement or lift something heavy it will send me a "painful" reminder of the injury. The pain maybe mild or it might be a sharp shooting pain, but I know it when it happens.

My point to telling you this? Sin in the life of a believer should be like this. Even the slightest movement in its direction should cause a "pain"- a quickening and conviction in our spirits. We should "feel" it. We should be sensitive it to and well aware of its presence. I believe there is something wrong when we can continue to commit the act of sin and we don't feel any remorse, conviction and aren't repentant toward it. It can only mean that we have allowed our hearts to be hardened or our conscience sheered.

Pain is not necessarily a bad thing. It alerts us to the fact that something is not right. It is also a warning that there is a problem in the body that may need attention. We have been given a conscience and the convicting power of the Holy Spirit to "alert" us when there is a problem spiritually. We don't need to ignore its warning signals. When my hand is sending me a signal of pain, I try to rest it, wrap it to give it more support or do something that will help it.

Let me ask you, are you ignoring the warning signals that the Spirit is using to get your attention concerning a matter of sin in your life? Are you heeding His warnings? If I continue to ignore the signals my hand is sending I will only make it worse instead of better. Don't think you can ignore the warnings that are alerting you to sin and think that it's going to get better- it won't. These warnings have to be heeded and the sin issue has to be dealt with. It won't just "go away", it won't just "get better" on its own. You must confess it, repent of it, and turn from it. That is the only thing that will bring "healing" to the sin issue.

Have a great day. Ignoring pain won't make it go away. Ignoring the conviction of sin won't make it go away either.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

"Wandering Eyes"

"I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:14

In order to win the race a runner has to keep his eyes on the finish line. In order to hit the bull's eye the marksman has to keep his eyes on the target. In order to stay out of the ditch while driving you have to keep your eyes on the road. In order to cut a straight board a carpenter has to keep his eyes on the mark he has measured. In order to catch a fish you have to keep your eyes on the line and cork. It's the same in our walk with the Lord, in order to attain the prize we have to keep our eyes on the prize- our prize is the Lord Himself.

I caution you this morning to keep your eyes on Him. It is so easy to be distracted and look in another direction. There are so many things that vie for our attention. There are so many things that scream at us, "Look over here!". This life is full of cares that distract from that which is truly important. The temporary things demand our attention trying to cause us to stop looking at the eternal things.

We tend to go in the direction that we are looking- naturally and spiritually. So take note of where you are looking. Are you keeping your eyes on Jesus? Or are they wandering in other directions? Are they wandering off of the prize that is set before you? If so, turn your attention back upon the Lord, refocus your view and reposition your eyes. You can't reach it if you aren't looking at it.

Have a great day. Keep your eyes upon the Lord, don't let them wander.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

"The Plan Is Relationship"

"For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation." 2 Corinthians 5:19 (NLT)

Our plans may change but God's plans never change. His original plan in creating mankind was to have a relationship with us. And mankind had it for a while until Adam sinned against God through his disobedience. Adam's disobedience brought sin into the world, and sin brought man's separation from God. Even though man's sin separated us from God, broke our relationship with Him and made us His enemies, His plans for a relationship with us did not change.

In order to bring us back into His plan He sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross, to take the punishment for our sins and bring us back in right relationship with God. God didn't abandon His plan to have a relationship with us and Jesus went to the cross to make it possible. So all that's left now is us. What will we do with what He has planned for us? More personally, what will you do? Have you accepted His plan to have a relationship with you? Are you living in a relationship with Him? Do you call Him "Father"? Do you know Him in a personal way? Or are you still an enemy to Him? Are you rejecting Him, rebelling against Him, still living in sin?

How amazing that the Creator of the universe, the Holy God, the Almighty, Eternal, only True and Living God would want to have a relationship with us mere mortals, us frail creatures made from dust... I can barely comprehend it, but He does. Do you have that relationship with Him this morning? If not, you can. Jesus provided a way. Turn to Jesus and receive Him as Savior and Lord and you will come into a relationship with Him- a loving, wonderful relationship. If you have a relationship with Him already, don't neglect it or take it for granted, it cost Jesus everything for you to have it.

Have a great day. God's plan is to have a relationship with you, do you have one?

Monday, July 15, 2019

"Seek A Word"

"The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple." Psalm 119:130

When we are in a situation, we tend to want "a word from God". We pray accordingly, we ask others to pray, we seek out someone who will give us a word from God. There are times and there are matters that we need to hear from God personally in an "audible" way (so to speak). I am not making light of this need to hear and know, I am not belittling prayer, I am not criticizing or condemning anyone this morning- I seek out a word from God in these ways at times too. There are some answers that are only revealed to us by the Spirit as we seek Him in prayer.

But more of the answers that we need are found in God's word. If we would just go to it. Again, some answers aren't "spelled" out in His word and we need personal direction from Him. But so many are and we need to go to it. For example, I don't have to "get a word" about whether I should witness the plan of salvation to someone, the word commissions me to do so. I don't have to pray about whether I should forgive a certain individual, I am told to forgive others as my Father in heaven has also forgiven me. There are just some things that are spelled out in black and white in God's word and we don't need to seek to get "a word"- we have "the word".

God's word has our answers. Seek out the scriptures. Seek out its words of wisdom and guidance. And in the areas of personal direction that it is not clear and specific about, seek the Lord in prayer and ask others to pray with you.

Have a great day. Go to the word of God first for your answers- they are in there. But if not, pray about it and seek the Lord and He will direct your path.

Friday, July 12, 2019


"Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life." John 6:67,68

There is only one true source of life. There is only one true source of healing, strength, peace, deliverance, guidance. It's Jesus. He not only has the answer, but He is the answer to everything that we need. When Peter and the disciples answered Jesus' question, they were acknowledging that Jesus was the only true source that could meet their need. They were also saying that for that reason they were willing to do whatever it took to be close to Him- they were willing to follow Him- because they knew He was their answer.

Often we don't receive what we need from Him because we aren't willing to do what it takes. We aren't willing to "wait" upon Him until He answers. We aren't willing to "press in" a little further until we have touched the hem of His garment. We aren't willing to "cry a little louder". We aren't willing to "tarry" until His presence comes and fills our need.

If we would be more willing to do our part we would see more answers to more prayers. We would have a greater degree of peace. We would not be tossed to and fro, we would not be so easily shaken, we would have more victory in our lives. He is more than willing to touch us, to meet our needs, to extend His grace, give victory, to make Himself know. But we have to be willing to do whatever it takes to reach Him.

Have a great day. We want the answers but are we willing to do our part to get them.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

"Go Get A Drink"

"And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb." Revelation 22:1

What do you do when you are thirsty? You go get a drink of water. How refreshing water is- it's a thirst quencher. What do you do when you are feeling spiritually thirsty? You do the same thing. You go get a drink of water.

Are you feeling spiritually thirsty and dry? Then you need to go get a drink of living water. Where do you get it? At the throne of God. This morning come boldly before His throne of grace, you have been given access, and drink from those waters that are flowing from Him. Don't just get a small cup full either. Drink until you're full. Drink until your thirst is quenched. Drink until you can't hold another drop. It's a river that is flowing, not a stream, not a trickle, not a drip. There is plenty.

If you have been trying to satisfy your thirst through various sources- relationships, your career, finances, fame, even religious/church sources- it will still leave you dry and thirsty. There is only one true source that will quench and satisfy your thirst-- the river of life that proceeds from the throne of God. Take time to go get a drink today- it's freely flowing and is available to all who will come.

Have a great day. There is a river of life that proceeds from God which has the power to quench even the deepest thirst.... drink from it today.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

"Hear The Truth"

"Open rebuke is better than secret love." Proverbs 27:5

When I used to go to the recovery center and have church service, they would have something they called "feelings check". This particular week you could tell some of the clients were not "feeling" very happy.  They shared with me that they were unhappy with one of the counselors. Evidently, the day before she was honest with them about their problem and told them some things they didn't want to hear. I cautioned them to beware of people who always told them what they wanted to hear.

Someone who really cares about you will tell you the truth. They won't "sugar coat" everything just to make you feel better. If there is a problem they will let you know. This is what the Lord did where we were concerned. Jesus didn't come to earth and tell us how wonderful we were, on the contrary, He told us how sinful we were and in need of a Savior. He pointed out that we are sinners, that we were going astray, and that we were separated from the Father.

He never hesitated to tell the religious crowd that they were hypocrites, that they were blind leading the blind, or that they were in danger of the judgment. He spoke the truth to them- not the "praise" they wanted to hear.

His words were not to condemn us, they were not to destroy us, rather they were the words of truth spoken out of love. He loved us so much that He would come and tell us the truth, even though we don't always want to hear it.

Be open to hear the truth. It may not come wrapped up in a flowery package. It may not be sugar coated. It may not tickle your ears. It may seem hard, harsh and not easy to swallow. But remember, it's the truth that will make us free. Anything else will deceive us, does not really care about us and does not have our best interest at heart.

Have a great day. The truth is sometimes hard to swallow because it's not always what you want to hear, but it's what you need to hear.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

"Where's Your Bible?"

"Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart." 2 Corinthians 3:3

I carry a Bible around with me everywhere I go. I have them in my home and I keep one in my vehicle all the time. For a long time I even carried a pocket size one in my purse. I always want to have the scriptures "at hand" and near. But there is another place we should carry our Bibles that is more important than carrying them around physically. We should carry them in our hearts. We should have it hidden in our hearts so that if we can't get to a Bible, we still have God's word with us.

Not only should we carry His word around inside of us, but we should be "living Bibles" read by all men. Others should be able to "read" the Bible through us- through our lives, through our conduct, through our character, through our responses, our attitudes and so on. Question- are they reading His word through your life? Are you living according to its commands? Are you conducting your affairs in a manner that is instructed through its teachings? Are your dealings and treatment of others lining up with its precepts?

Some people like to "carry" their Bibles around for show. To them it's some sort of religious "status symbol"- they think it makes them look "spiritual". The truly spiritual person is the one who is being transformed by its words and looking more and more like its Author every day. Which group describes you?

Have a great day. Do you just carry your Bible around physically or do you carry it around in your heart?

Monday, July 8, 2019

"Error Messages"

"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Psalm 119:105

Have you ever been working on a project on the computer then all of a sudden, for seemingly no reason and without warning, an "error" message pops up? I have to be honest, I really don't like them. They either put my work on hold, or they hinder me or they make the project take twice as long. Sometimes they make me have to change my plan or they cause me to have to stop what I am doing altogether.

As I was thinking about these "error messages", it occurred to me that God's word is in a sense and in some ways an "error message". I can be going about the business of life and all of a sudden God's word "pops up" to me.  His word is letting me know that I am going in the wrong direction, that I need to change my course, I need to turn, I need to do something else, etc. While I don't like the "error messages" my computer sends me, I am so thankful for the "error messages" that God's word sends me.

Often, my plans need to be interrupted. The direction I am pursuing may need to change. We need the messages that God's word is giving us to keep us on the right track, to send us in the right direction, to keep us from sin, to turn us from the snare that the enemy has laid to destroy us, to keep us from falling, etc.

When God sends you an "error message" through His word, heed it- it's a warning to you. Don't keep trying to go forward. Don't continue to pursue what you are doing. Pay attention to it and be a doer of it.

Have a great day. Thank God today for His word that lets you know when there is something wrong.

Friday, July 5, 2019

"Don't Get Caught"

"That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish." Ephesians 5:27

All my life I was taught that the Lord Jesus will return and when He does return don't let Him find you somewhere where you shouldn't be. So therefore, there were certain places that we did not go for fear that He would return and that's where He would find us. You don't hear much teaching like that any more. It wasn't a bad teaching because if did promote the "fear of God" in our lives. There seems to be a lack of the "fear of the Lord" any more- it certainly isn't in the world, and it's not very evident in the church either.

I was thinking about this subject- where I don't want to be when He returns and what I don't want Him to catch me doing. As I thought about it, I felt like the Lord took it a step further. I was taught this in terms of my physical location- don't be caught in a bar room, in a casino, etc. But what about your "spiritual" condition? What about the things that go on inside of your heart? When He returns, I don't want Him to catch me in bitterness. I don't want Him to find me in a place of unforgiveness, a place of anger, a place of contention. I don't want Him to catch me having immoral thoughts, cheating, in lies, causing disunity or discord, in a state of complaining and murmuring, and so on.

When He returns, I want Him to find me in a place- physically and spiritually- that will glorify Him. I want Him to catch me walking in love, forgiving those who trespass against me, bearing the Fruit of the Spirit, being kind, gentle, tenderhearted, being a peacemaker. I want Him to find me with a pure heart and a clear conscience before Him.

If He were to return today, where will He find you? Where will your physical location be? But also where will you be on the inside, in the "hidden man"?

Have a great day. Be careful where you go, be careful what you do, be careful to deal with issues in your life that displease the Lord because you don't want Him to catch you in them when He returns.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

"Needs And More Needs"

"Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?" Jeremiah 32:27

Before I went to bed last night I was praying for various needs. I almost didn't know where to start. Each day I receive more and more prayer requests and become more aware of needs in individual lives. The needs are so numerous and great. Everyone has some sort of need. Some are going through grief because of the passing of a loved one. Some are having a problem in their relationships. Some are sick. Some have financial needs. Others need guidance in a decision they have to make. Then there are those who need to know Jesus as Savior and Lord. And the prayer list goes on and on. In short, we are a needy people and the needs just seem to keep multiplying. It would be easy to pray for hours upon hours and still have not adequately prayed for them all.

My next thought in prayer was that of thankfulness and encouragement as I remembered that it doesn't matter how great the needs or how many needs, God is big enough to handle them all! He does not get overwhelmed by all the needs. He doesn't take a step back and say, "There are just too many!" He doesn't get anxious as they come flooding in before His throne of grace. He doesn't wonder what to do about the amount or size of the needs. They don't become more than He can handle.

Keep carrying your needs before Him. Keep lifting them all up to Him. Don't let the size of the need or the amount of needs stop you. There is nothing and no amount too big, too hard or too difficult for Him to handle.

Have a great day. Take your needs to the Lord, He is not overwhelmed by them.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019


"We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves." Romans 15:1

The word "bear" has many different definitions and applications. I want to look at two this morning in regard to our dealings with others- especially those in the body of Christ.

1) Bear- to bear with; be patient or forbearing with. We are all at different levels, or stages, in our walk with the Lord. Some of us have been walking with the Lord longer than others. Some are new babes in Christ. Not all of us are strong in the faith, some are weak. Some of us walk in victory in certain areas, but seem to fall in others. Therefore, we need to learn to be patient with one another; remembering where they are along the way; and remembering where we are too, and where we have come from. "Bear with the infirmities of the weak."

2) Bear- to hold up; to support. Regardless of where we may be in our walk with the Lord, there are times when we all get weary. Moses was a mighty man of God, but when the battle continued to rage his arms got tired. Someone needed to help "bear" his burden and give him support. Like Moses, we all need help no matter where we are in our walk with the Lord. We are to bear the infirmities of the weak. We are to reach out and help our brothers and sisters. We are to encourage them to keep running the race that is set before them. We need to lift up their hands when they hang down. "Bear, hold up and support, the weak."

"And not to please ourselves". Each one of us are running a race and we have an individual responsibility to keep running toward the prize. You can't run this race for me and I can't run it for you. But this race isn't just about "me", it's about "us". If I am strong then I need to help you in your weakness, and vice versa. In other words, it is not just about me reaching the finish line, but it's about helping others to reach it too.

Have a great day. Be patient with and support one another so that we all might reach the goal.

Monday, July 1, 2019

"Fourth Man"

"He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God." Daniel 3:25

I woke up again this morning with another song on my heart. I know I must share it because I believe it is a word of comfort and strength to someone this morning who is going through the "fire". One line of the song keeps playing over and over in my mind. It says, "There's a fourth man standing in the fire. There's a fourth man standing in the fire. You're not alone. You're not alone".

The three Hebrews weren't just thrown into a fire, they were thrown into one that was seven times hotter than usual. It's one thing to be in a fire, it's another when the intensity of the fire has been doubled or tripled. This may be you this morning. It seems like your trials are coming in multiples- like Job, one after another. He couldn't get through one before another hit him, then another, and then another.

If this is you, I have good news that you need to hang on to during this time... "There's a fourth man standing in your fire. You're not alone". We don't often "see" the Lord walking with us in our trying times, but He's there. When the king looked into the furnace, he plainly saw Him and there was no question as to who the fourth man that he saw was- "and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God".

They were brought out of the furnace, you will be too. There will come a point that this/these trials will be over, but until then don't forget that you are not alone in them. Jesus has not left you- He never will. He has not forsaken you- He never does. He is with you always- even in the fire. He is beside you, walking with you through it. You are not alone.

Have a great day. You are not alone in your fire, and it's not a person that is with you... it's the very Son of God, Jesus Himself.