Thought For Today

April 14, 2021

When No One’s Looking… Who Are You?

David said in Psalm 34:8 “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him.”

In Matthew chapter 5, the Lord Jesus Christ gives us beatitudes—attitudes that ought to be. Not platitudes but attitudes that deal with Christian character. They are a blueprint for happiness, a blueprint for your character. They’re foundation stones for building your home and your life.

The beatitudes don’t say, “Blessed is what you have,” or “Blessed is what you do,” but “Blessed is what you are.” Your reputation is what others think about you, but character is what God knows about you.

Friend, let’s face it, all of us are going to die, and when you do, you’ll leave behind all that you have and all that you’ve done. But you’ll take with you all that you are. It’s character that is so important. That’s why it’s more important to seek blessedness than happiness.

It has well been said that a child rejoices in what he has, a youth rejoices in what he does, but an adult rejoices in what he is. The more mature you are as a Christian, the more you will rejoice, not in what you have or what you do, but in what you are through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Find your self-worth in what you do…realize it’s not what you have…Confess it before the Lord…Meditate on the attitudes you ought to have…if you don’t know what that is try getting on your knees…God will give you wisdom to know…

April 13, 2021

Matthew 5:16 instructs us to  “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

When God redeemed us through the precious blood of Jesus Christ, our eternal future was assured forever. And as we live as strangers in an alien world, where Satan has become the god of this world for a season, we are blessed indeed for it is God who works in us, both to do His Will and to do to His good pleasure.

In other words the good works that we do in spirit and truth are not our own good works, for by ourselves we can do nothing that is worthy of God’s praise. The good work that we do is the new-life of Christ within us, that is working through us. It is the new, born-again life of Christ that we received when we were born from above, that carries out any good works that we do so that others may see our good works and glorify our Father Who is in heaven. Indeed we have this light in earthen vessels, to demonstrate that the good works that we do are from God, and not from us.

Christ is the true Light that came into the world when we trusted Him as Saviour. He is the light and life of God who filled our human spirit with His Own pure light. God desires that all His children will grow into spiritual maturity.

Let us seek to grow through humble obedience to His Word…our baby life will grow in grace and in a knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ…that we may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God…you will soon see HIS power that is at work within you…find out what God wants you to do with your new power…a good place to do this would be on your knees…

April 12, 2021

Mark 9:23 “Jesus said to him, If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes”

Jesus Himself said that if we can believe, everything becomes a possibility. As we ask for the things that we need from God, we have a responsibility in this equation, too. If we can believe, all things are within our grasp. If we can hang on to hope, we can receive. If we can keep the faith, we will find the answer.

As Christ-followers, we sometimes stumble over this obstacle. We stop believing and begin to endure. We stop believing that the situation will improve, and we simply endure the circumstances that trap us in their grip. We stop believing in a better government and endure the flawed machine that is now in place. We stop believing for better schools and send our children to the institutions that exist.

The temptation is to stop believing that the church can make a difference. We stop believing that the Gospel has the power to change the world. We stop believing that God has the ability to improve our emotions, our relationships, our health, or daily lives. We stop believing in the promises of God as alive, true, and available to us. We have laid down the weapons of our faith. We have lost our fighting spirit.

So stir up your faith again! Throw off the apathy that threatens to suck you into the undertow. Bolster your belief in our mighty God. Do not hope that God might answer your prayer; believe that He inclines to hear your slightest whisper and then dispatches a response before the words have left your mouth. Do not hope that an answer may emerge from the fog of confusion; trust in Jesus as the Answer to every question, the Way Maker, and the Mountain Mover! All things are possible to them that believe.

Do not just believe that God can…declare that God will…Declare that His blessings are alive….Declare that His words are true…Declare that He is the Answer to every conundrum…Believe that He is rising up on your behalf…Believe that He is coming to your rescue…Believe that He defends you in the fight…Believe that His generosity is coming your way…if you can believe it God will do it…but only if your desire is honorable and in His Will…If God always did what you asked He wouldn’t be God…you would…better get on your knees and make sure your wish is part of His master plan…

April 11, 2021

Philippians 2:9-11 “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”

I realize this Thought For The Day is very similar to the one for yesterday but exalting The Lord demands the greatest part of our total existence because that is not only what we are to be doing in this world but for all of eternity.  It should never cease.

When God saw the extent of Jesus’ sacrifice, our verse for today tells us that He exalted Him. He elevated and extolled Him. He gave Him a name that is above every other name. There is no one above Him or beside Him.

At the sound of that name, every knee in heaven bows. The book of Revelation tells us how the twenty-four elders will fall down before the Lamb. All the angels pause to revere the Great High Priest, the Victorious One.

At the name of Jesus, every knee on earth will bow. Every human being on earth will bow their knee to Him. Each person will choose to honor His sacrifice and humbly serve Him here and now or will be forced to bow to Him later. He who sits on the throne of a kingdom that has no end. Everyone will worship the Almighty One, the Author and Perfecter of our faith.

At the mention of that name, every knee under the earth will bow. Every power and every principality that was already defeated at Calvary will submit to the Alpha and Omega, the Lord of All. Jesus is now at the right hand of God in heavenly places. He is far above these powers and principalities, all power, all might, and dominion, and every name that has been named not only in the present, but in the time that will come.

As Joshua of old declared in Joshua 24:15: “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve”.

Paul told the Ephesians in Ephesians 1:20-22 “God has put everything under Jesus’ feet.”

It is not a matter of if…it’s a matter of when…knees will bend…that’s every created being will one day…let us confess that He is indeed the Lord of lords…He is incomparable and unrivaled…let Him know that you know…a good place to do that is on your knees…

April 10, 2021

Jesus Christ stretched out His arms and gave all that He had to give at Calvary. He emptied Himself to pay the price for our sin. His blood washed over our sins and set us free. In our lives, that sacrifice demands a proper posture and a proper proclamation.

The Apostle Paul instructed the followers at Philippi the proper way to respect The Lord God when he told them in Philippians 2:9-11 “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”

As today’s verse signifies, our proper posture is a bowed knee in reverence to His name. That bending of the knee is an outward symbol of an inward work – a bowing of the heart that recognizes our deep need for Him and humbly accepts Him as Savior and Lord.

Our proper proclamation is the confession that Jesus Christ is Lord. Paul assured us in Romans 10:9 that “if we believe it in our hearts, if we confess with our mouths that God raised Jesus from the dead, we shall be saved”. The word that saves us is as close as the tongue in our mouths, as near as the heart in our chests. This word of faith – boldly said right out loud – welcomes Jesus in and sets things right between us.

Our bowed heads and surrendered hearts acknowledge that He gave Himself in our place for a debt that we could not repay. How amazing that we will never receive what we truly deserve – mercy! Instead of being slaves to sin, He has given us power over it. Instead of condemnation, He gives us confidence to approach Him boldly. Instead of death, we are raised to life eternal.

Our bent knees and proper proclamation pay homage to our King of kings in recognition of a battle that He waged, for an enemy that He vanquished for us. How amazing that we receive what we could never deserve in our own puny efforts – grace! He made it possible for us to become co-inheritors with Him of all that heaven has to offer. His very presence enriches and enlivens our days.

Bow your knee…Surrender your heart…Speak the welcoming words that make Him Lord…His sacrifice merits the proper posture and proclamation that position our hearts with His…We bow in reverence…we boldly confess that Jesus Christ is Lord…what are you waiting for…are you on your knees yet…

April 9, 2021

In the Acts Of The Apostles Acts 5:30 we hear Paul telling Jesus’s followers that “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree” because they wanted some demonstration that Jesus was really sent to be The Messiah.

Freedom comes at the expense of sacrifice. Thomas Jefferson once said, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” His statement has been proven true from Valley Forge to Afghanistan. Citizen soldiers raised their hands and swore to protect and defend this nation against all enemies foreign and domestic.

The Apostle Paul taught his followers in Galatia as told in Galatians 3:13 that “God loved us so much that He sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to become the sacrifice for the sin that separated us from Himself. Jesus humbled Himself, wrapped Himself in flesh, and obediently went to Calvary. He became cursed for us by hanging on a tree. The Lamb of God shed His Blood to wash away our sins.” His sacrifice bought our freedom. When we were captives to sin, He paid the ransom that released us.

Unlike the tree of liberty that is watered with the blood of patriots, Hebrews tells us over and over that Jesus made this sacrifice “once for all” in Hebrews 7:27; 9:12; 10:10. Jesus, our High Priest, entered the Most Holy Place – not with the blood of goats or calves – with His own Blood to suffer once for all. Every separation, the barrier that sin had erected between us and God, was destroyed.

At the moment that Jesus died, the veil of the Temple was torn from top to bottom. This veil separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the Temple. The veil itself was about 60 feet tall and six inches thick. It prevented people from entering the presence of God unworthily. The Holy of Holies housed the Ark of the Covenant, and it was there that God’s presence presided. It was there that the High Priest entered – only one time a year – to make atonement for the sins of the people.

As Jesus breathed His last, God Himself tore the veil from the top down. No more separation! No more barrier! We now have direct access to the Father because Jesus bought our freedom once for all. As the Blood and water flowed, as the light and the love rushed from the Holy of Holies, a new covenant was born. Jesus Himself is our Mediator.

The Cross truly became our Tree of Liberty..There, once for all, He purchased our salvation…He suffered and shed His Blood…His sacrifice bought our freedom…Oh, what a Savior…if that doesn’t drop you to your knees what will it take…

April 8, 2021

The Apostle Peter in 1 Peter 5:7 was teaching followers just how much God loves them when he said they should always be “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”

We should never worry about our safety as Isaiah 41:10 instructs us saying “do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

We don’t even need to worry about tomorrow asJesus taught in His Sermon On The Mount recorded in Matthew 6:34 saying “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” 

We shouldn’t ever worry about our necessities in life as Matthew 6:25-27 instructs us “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.”

What happens when you worry? You bring tomorrow’s difficulty into today. God didn’t give you grace for tomorrow’s difficulties. He only gives you grace for today.

When you reach into tomorrow’s troubles, you overload today’s circuit. Worry doesn’t take the sorrow out of tomorrow, it takes the strength out of today. Then, when you meet tomorrow, you’re out of breath because you’re already overloaded from today. Worry, therefore, does not make you ready for the future; it really makes you unready.

Worry will eat your lunch…It’ll eat your breakfast and dinner, too…Confess your worries as sin…because they are sin….Put your concerns at the throne of Almighty God…trust Him to provide…tell Him your needs…a good place to do that would be on your knees right now…are you there yet…

April 7, 2021

In 1 John 2:22-23 The Apostle addresses those whose ideas about The Trinity – especially God The Father and God The Son – are distorted when he says “Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also”

In today’s verse, the apostle John has harsh words for anyone who denies the Father and the Son, for anyone who rejects Jesus as the Christ. He declares that person antichrist – not the Antichrist, as the man who will rise up against God in Revelation – but one who exhibits a spirit that rejects God and His plan. Those who are not for Christ have pitted themselves against Him in an antichrist attitude (Matthew 12:30).

John goes on to say in John 4:2-3 that the spirit of the Antichrist already abounds in the world around us. Most of us would never blatantly deny Jesus, but can an antichrist attitude subtly invade our thoughts and the manner in which we live our lives?

When we refuse to read the Word of God to pick up the latest bestseller instead, what does this omission say? When we reject Jesus’ admonition to give and hoard every resource as if it were ours and not His, where have we placed our trust? When the Bible instructs us to pray without ceasing, and we fly through our days without giving Him a thought, how deep is this relationship that we claim? When we stand against His instructions, when we deny what He requests, isn’t this, in essence, against Christ? When we know right, and we do not choose to do right, it is antichrist.

We can easily point an accusing finger at the spirit of Antichrist in the culture all around us, but every time we choose to fall back on comfort rather than take a stand for conviction, the antichrist attitude wins again. Every time we excuse corruption rather than speak against it, every time we soften the message of the Gospel rather than proclaim it unashamedly, antichrist wins. When we hide His light, when we do not stand in the day of evil, when we are more concerned with public opinion than honoring God, we bow to the antichrist attitude.

If we are for Him, if we are on His side, let us cast off our lukewarm lives…Let us fully embrace all that He requires…Let us deny ourselves…Let us choose to sacrifice our will for His…Let us embrace the responsibilities as well as the rights of a life hidden in Christ…Let us let Him know we are for Him…a good place to do that would be on your knees…

April 6, 2021

The Apostle Paul when preaching to the Church in Ephesus urged them in Ephesians 3:19 to more fully appreciate the love of God and to be more like Him saying “I pray that you know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God”

French philosopher, Blaise Pascal, alluded to a God-shaped hole inside of each one of us in his work, Pensees. Augustine, in his Confessions, declared that “our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you.”

We can find ourselves attempting to fill that aching void with the obligations, pleasures, and busyness of this life. We earn advanced degrees. We pursue careers with single-minded ambition. We devote ourselves to the health and welfare of our children. We aspire and achieve more and more, yet never seem to arrive. We often are left exhausted and empty by the pursuit. We can become so full of ourselves that there is no room for the God we claim to serve.

Will we deny our own ambitions to serve Jesus? There is a place of surrender where our will is exchanged for His, where we submit to His purposes, where we are filled with the fullness of God. We may need to draw boundaries, to be stingier with our “yes” to lesser things. 

When we pour out our lives to Jesus, we find ourselves empowered and energized by the Holy Spirit…When we co-labor with Christ things begin to happen…His plan is brought to fruition in our lives…Along the way, we find love, joy, peace, and goodness…Let us be filled with the fullness of God Himself…A good place to get filled is on your knees praising God and giving Him thanks and asking Him how you can serve…

April 5, 2021

We find ourselves in the middle of an all-about-me culture. We live out our lives in selfies and social media. This is me waking up. This is me eating breakfast. This is me working out. This is me arriving at work. This is me walking. This is me talking. This is me. This is me. This is me.

We are urged in 1 Peter 2:17 to “Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king”.  Believe it or not it is not always all about you or me.

We climb into the car in our garage and drive to work where we sit in a personal cubicle and stare at a computer screen all day. On the way home, someone loads our groceries that we ordered online into the back of the car. We drive home, raise the automatic garage door, glide into the garage, and hit the button to close out the world. In an increasingly larger world, we have become ever more isolated and self-centered.

The Christian community to which we belong runs counter to our culture. We are adopted into this diverse, loving, noisy, happy, and sometimes messy family. We are called to love and unity, discipline and celebration. We are to live in an affectionate relationship. We gather to encourage one another with songs and scriptures. We restore those who fall. We reach out to those who are thirsty and hungry. We laugh with those who rejoice. We break bread and build bridges. We erase barriers and ease the burdens of those who are bowed down.

In this all-about-me world, we should place the spotlight squarely on Jesus Christ…It is all about His will and His way…He alone deserves center stage in our lives…He alone sits on the throne of our hearts…His mission is our mission…keep your doors, your hands, and your hearts open to those who need healing and hope…include yourself too…you are invited…there is a place for you here…Come and stay…Welcome home….

April 4, 2021

Although Jesus cried out from the cross as he was about to die “IT IS FINISHED”, He didn’t mean everything was finished – just His death for our sins.  He had much left to do.  He was going to heaven to make a home for us and coming back to take us there as foretold in Thessalonians 4:16-17 declaring “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

Acts 1:11 questioned the disciples “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven”

Since the day that Jesus ascended, disappearing in the clouds over Jerusalem, the eyes of believers have scoured the sky. Could this be the day that Jesus Christ returns in glory? Even though the world and the church – even Jesus Himself – do not know the day or the hour when He will return, we can be assured, now more than ever before, that Jesus is coming soon.

When He comes, may He find you faithful.

When He comes, may He find you working in the fields to bring souls to salvation.

When He comes, may He find you shining His light and His love.

When He comes, may He find you serving one another with gladness.

Until He comes, child of God, put on the whole armor of God. Stand for right in the day of evil. Tear down anything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. When the world takes to the streets, may we take to our knees until God heals our land. When the world clamors for their rights, may we take up our crosses to follow Christ with all our hearts until the day of His return.

May our eyes never cease to search the skies until the day our faith becomes sight…

April 3, 2021

Everyone has to answer to someone, that is, everyone except God Almighty, because He is sovereign.   Jesus told us this in Romans 14:11 when He declared “For it is written: As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God”

In this country, we are blessed by the sacrifices of brave Americans who have served before we arrived and others who continue to serve in arenas around the world. The liberties and the freedoms we enjoy were not purchased by our own actions but rather by others who were willing to take a stand in our stead.

Our grandfathers, fathers, aunts, cousins, and the friends who sat next to us in class are the individuals who sacrificed so we could continue to live in liberty. Freedom is the result of sacrifice.

In the almost 250 years that this nation has existed, we have not grasped the fullness of this freedom. In all of our history, our stories past, our painful pages, our difficult years, in all of the blood shed and the sacrifices made, we still do not understand what we have in our freedom.

The Bible reveals the same truth: freedom is the result of sacrifice. Jesus’ death on the cross bought us freedom from the weight of our sins, from guilt, and the shadow of death. He paid the price for our restored relationship with the Father, for our future, and our resurrected hope.

Responsibility for freedom begins and ends with us. Choosing to be responsible is a personal choice. If we do not choose well, we forfeit liberty. Choose this day whom you will serve. Will you choose to submit your life to Christ, the One Who bought and paid for it? Will you bow your knee to the only One worthy? And will you rise to fight for those who have not grasped the freedom available to all? Will you stand? Will you speak? Freedom is the result of sacrifice.

Someone fought…Someone died…Someone stood…Someone spoke…Someone sacrificed…Freedom is not the liberty to do exactly what we want…Freedom is the freedom to do exactly as we should…exercise freedom responsibly…protect freedom for the coming generations…you are going to need God’s help…Now would be the time for you to get on your knees and start talking with Him…

April 2, 2021

So just why is it that we believe that The Blood Of Christ was necessary for our Salvation?  Well, Jesus said so, that’s all there is to it, and that’s enough for me!  It was His decision and His alone.  God is sovereign!!!

We are told in Hebrews 9:22 that “according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.”

The idea that sacrifice is the purchase price of freedom is not new. In the book of Genesis, we grieve as Adam and Eve hide in humiliation after eating the forbidden fruit. God, in His mercy, sacrificed an animal to cover their nakedness and shame.

In the book of Exodus, we watch as God set His divine plan in motion to free His chosen people. As the Israelites packed their bags and prepared to walk out of Egypt after four hundred years of cruel slavery, God commanded a curious thing. Each family was to sacrifice a spotless lamb and apply its blood over the doorpost. God set apart and spared His own at the sight of that dark stain.

Later, as the Israelites wandered in the wilderness, God demanded that an animal be sacrificed, that its blood be poured on the altar for the cleansing of their sin. The blood was the means by which the Israelites could experience communion and relationship with God.

For those of us who did not belong to the nation of Israel, we stood outside of this arrangement that God forged with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and his descendants. Before the cross, we were far away from God, outside of this covenant, and without hope in the world.

But Jesus Christ was our Hope! “He came as the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the earth” according to Revelation 13:8. When John the Baptist looked up and saw Him, he cried out, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” in John 1:29. Jesus came as the sacrifice for our sin.

When He went to Calvary, He shed His blood “once for all when He offered up Himself” as He is quoted in Hebrews 7:27. What the blood of goats and calves could not do, His blood accomplished. He “obtained eternal redemption” for us we are instructed in Hebrews 9:12. Because of that sacrifice, every barrier, every separation, has been torn in two. We now have bold access to the Father!

We now have freedom to enter where we could not go before…to receive what we could not claim…we have hope…we have salvation…we have life…Jesus, the Lamb of God, paid the purchase price for our liberty….His is the sacrifice that won our freedom…how can we ever thank Him…we can’t…but we can try…a good place to do that would be on your knees…

April 1, 2021

We are told by John The Revelator just who our true leader is when he declares in Revelation 19:16 “And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS”

“Jesus is coming again! His return is imminent!” Those phrases have resounded throughout my life – from childhood through adulthood. Over and over, they rang out as an alarm and as a promise. As we look at the world around us, they take on greater urgency. As Bible prophecy is fulfilled in daily headlines, with confidence I say, “Jesus is coming soon!”

He Who is called Faithful and True, the King of kings and Lord of lords will split the eastern sky and return for His faithful bride, for a Church that is without spot or wrinkle. This time, He will not visit us as a lowly babe in a humble manger or as a suffering Savior, a Lamb led to slaughter. The One Who is faithful to redeem you is coming in power and great glory. The One who is faithful to provide for your every need is coming to reign from His throne for a thousand generations. The One Who is faithful to heal you is returning with healing in His wings to restore the nations.

The Fairest of Ten Thousand will shine like the noonday sun. The Bread of Life will restore the broken. The Lamb of God will bring peace. The Lion of the Tribe of Judah will rule from the city of Jerusalem. Out of His mouth will come a two-edged sword with which He will destroy the enemies of Israel. He will cast the antichrist and the serpent of old into the lake of fire. He will set his foot on the temple mount, split the eastern gate, establish His throne, and of His kingdom, there will be no end!

Most assuredly, Jesus is coming…When He returns, will you be found waiting and watching…Will you be found alert and about the Father’s business…Will you be found a faithful follower…will you be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air…you be with Him forever…We are told to “Look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near” in Luke 21:28…

March 31, 2021

For those who don’t know if God hears their prayers or will even answer them, please read 1 John 5:14 where The Apostle John says “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”

Jesus created quite a ruckus in the Temple after being hailed with a hero’s welcome when He arrived in Jerusalem. He drove out the money changers. He turned over their tables. He reprimanded them sharply. Afterwards, Matthew 21:14 tells us that “the blind and the lame came to Him there in that holy place, and He healed them”.

That seems fitting to us, the perfect place for Jesus to perform miracles. However, in Jerusalem, tradition dictated that the blind and lame – anyone who had a physical impairment – were not allowed to enter the Temple. Their imperfection denied them the right to be admitted to the very place where they could receive healing.

Jesus broke through the barriers, tore through the tradition to welcome the hurting. Can you imagine the crush of the crowd? Can you see their eager faces? Here, where they had only found rejection and resistance, Jesus reached out to heal blind eyes and lame limbs. Those who had never seen before received their sight. Those who had never walked went running and leaping and praising God. The Temple walls must have resounded with exuberant shouts. Tears of joy and gratitude must have wet their cheeks.

Throughout Scripture, we see Jesus reaching out in welcome:  sharing a meal with tax collectors, pulling a child onto His lap, touching a leper, plucking Peter out of the sea, taking a dead girl’s hand, smearing mud on a blind man’s eyes.  He welcomed their questions and their complications, their illnesses and infirmities.

He is still reaching, still welcoming. His arms are open. His eyes are smiling. No fear of rejection here. “We can boldly approach the throne of grace with full confidence to obtain mercy and grace” as we are promised in Hebrews 4:16. We are surrounded by the spiritually blind, those who have overlooked the important and cannot see what is needful. We are surrounded by the spiritually lame, those who may see what they need but are too hindered to get to it. We can bring them to the throne, too – with full confidence of acceptance and love. 

Make sure you share the promise with all…we would all be without hope if we didn’t know the promise…give thanks all the time for the promise Jesus brought into this world…make it a regular time everyday..on your knees is a great place to do it…are you there yet…

March 30, 2021

Ezekiel The Prophet tells us in Jeremiah 20:9 “Then I said, ‘I will not make mention of Him, nor speak anymore in His name.’ But His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could not.”

This is an often misunderstood piece of scripture that, until you have personally felt the need to shout your praises to The Lord, you will not know what he was feeling.

Ezekiel was consumed with passion for the Lord. His zeal could not be contained. Even when he tried to control himself, the words burst past the barrier. Are you full of fiery faith? Or has your faith become so bland, benign, and boring that it is met with yawns?

When someone asks about Jesus, we must be ready to share the life, truth, and hope that has revolutionized our lives. Share the kind of Savior that no one can ignore. Proclaim a Redeemer that no one can forget. Leave them in no doubt that He is everything.

We were dead, lost in sin, bound for hell, but He rescued us. He saved us, set us free. Where there was sorrow, He gave us joy. Where there was weakness, He became our strength. When we were alone and lonely, He became our Friend. When we only deserved judgment, He extended mercy.

Jesus Christ is not some powerless, dead historical figure. He is alive. He is present. If you are thirsty, He is the Living Water. If you are hungry, He is the Bread of Life. He protects. He intercedes. He fills us up. He satisfies our souls. He is awesome in strength and mighty in power.

He is the Lamb of God. He is the Lion of Judah. He is the Indescribable Gift. He is our Great High Priest. He is our Mediator. He is our Hope. He is our Peace. He is our Burden Bearer. He is our Good Shepherd. He is our Refuge. He is our Strength. He is our Rock. He is our Sword. He is our Shield. He is our Way Maker. He is our Miracle Worker. He is our Wonderful Counselor. He is our Everlasting Father. He is Lord of lords. He is King of kings. 

There is no one beside Him…no one above Him…none like Him…an ever-present help in time of trouble…He is great and greatly to be praised…If we refuse to praise Him, the rocks will pipe up in our place (Luke 19:40)…Stir up the embers within, and blaze forth His glory…a good place from which to do that would be on your knees…

March 29, 2021

As Christians we should never experience despair which means being without hope.  Because we know Christ, we have eternal hope in our hearts and should always be ready to tell others about the joy that brings. 1 Peter 3:15 says “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear…”

Are you always ready to give a reason for the hope that is in you? We have found our hope in Jesus. Hope for salvation and strength, protection and perseverance, for safe haven and stability. 

This hope anchors our souls for today and gives us bright expectation for tomorrow. How do we explain the reason for this overflowing hope?

In Matthew 21, Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on the back of a young colt. An exultant crowd lined the streets shouting “Hosanna!” and threw down their coats and tree branches to line his path. Thousands of Jews from the then-known world had traveled to the city to celebrate Passover. The crowds were moved by this joyful parade. “Who is this?” they asked curiously. The multitudes answered correctly, but “just the facts” did not amount to the whole truth.

This is Jesus, a prophet. That was a fact, but it was not the whole truth. Hundreds of prophets roamed Jerusalem at that time. Some of them enjoyed fame; others ministered in anonymity. To call Jesus a prophet was to classify Him and assign Him a place among a faceless mass of others.

He is from Galilee, a city in Nazareth. That was a fact, but it was not the whole truth. Nazareth was a hill country town in northern Israel. It was not Jerusalem, which was known as a religious center. It was not Athens, which was known as an intellectual center. It was not Rome, which was known as a political center. Creator of all…but they attempted to give Him a mailbox.

We live in a world that still wants to know Jesus. They do not know that He is more than a prophet. They don’t know the peace He brings to a tormented heart, the joy that He brings to those who are without strength. They don’t know the burdens He can lift, the yokes He can destroy, the chains He can break. When they ask, are you ready to give a reason for the Hope inside you?

Be careful not to make this great, big, beautiful Savior a small thing…Beware of putting Jesus in a box…it only gives opportunity for people to put a lid on it and push it aside…Be ready to make it all about Him…all about the Hope that fills our every waking moment..Hope that promises an even brighter tomorrow…we have many thanks to offer Him…better get started right now…are you on your knees yet…

March 28, 2021

James 5:15-16 commands and encourages us with these words “And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

Few pains cut so deep as that of the Christian parent whose child has wandered far from God. We raised them in the fear and admonition of the Lord, but they have rejected the faith of their youth. We trained them in the way they should go, but they have forsaken that path for their own. Like the father of the prodigal son, our eyes scan the road each day, looking for signs of our child’s return from a far country.

Too often, we run to their rescue. We defend and debate. We coax and cajole. We aid and abet. Instead, with hearts full of faith, we can relinquish them to God’s hands. We can trust His good heart towards them. He alone can stir up a hunger and thirst for righteousness. He knows how to arrest their attention. Even if their hearts are broken, He will collect all the pieces and give them brand-new hearts. Even in utter desolation, He can restore and return the years the enemy has stolen. He knows how to capture their hearts again.

Now, more than ever, we should be full of faith for our children. We do not give in to despair or defeat. Every prayer will be a sharp, pointed arrow targeted to bring down the evil schemes of the enemy in the lives of our children. Now is the time to pray in faith without doubting as we are instructed in James 1:6. Now is the time to hold on tight to God with both hands. Now is the time to open our hands and release our children into His hands.

He will whistle, and our children will come running to be set free according to Zechariah 10:8-9. In Isaiah 43, God encourages us to trust Him – don’t be afraid. He is in our corner. He will round up our scattered children and pull them in from the east and the west. He will send orders to the north and south to send back our sons from distant lands and our daughters from faraway places. “I want them back, every last one who bears my name, every man, woman, and child whom I created for my glory, yes, personally formed and made each one” Jesus said in Isaiah 43:5-7.

Be full of faith…stand in the gap for your beloved sons and daughters…don’t give up…don’t back down… As long as you have breath…pray for their joyous return…now would be a good time to fall on your knees and do just that…

March 27, 2021

David gratefully states in Psalm 130:5 “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope.”

Incorruptible, infallible, inerrant – those are some impressive words that perfectly describe the Word of God! Scholars have dissected and debated it for centuries.  Men and women were beheaded, exiled, burned at the stake, banished from their homelands, and labeled heretics so we may have the privilege of studying this sacred Scripture.

This Word has withstood the flames of the trial; it has been tried and been found true. Cynics have mocked it for centuries, but it has silenced its scoffers. It has been debated in classrooms, diluted in pulpits, and misused by scheming men. For all of the abuse leveled at it, the Word of God endures. It is sharper than a two-edged sword. Like a surgeon’s scalpel, it cuts through everything – all of our doubts and defenses – to open us up to believe and receive what God says. It exposes and sifts, analyzes and judges the very thoughts and purposes of our hearts. No one is impervious to its truth. Just like Hebrews 4:12 claims “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.”.

When we ingest it, this Word comes to abide in us.  It takes root in our hearts to make us strong according to I John 2:14. It establishes and steadies. The Psalmist declared that God’s words were “sweeter than honey” in Psalm 119:103.  Jeremiah devoured the words of the Lord and declared them “a joy and a delight” in Jeremiah 15:16. In Job 23:12 Job said that he “treasured God’s word like his daily bread”.

Isaiah assured us of that in Chapter 40:8 saying “the grass may wither, and the flower may fade, but the Word of the Lord endures forever”. It will stand for eternity. Every jot, every tittle, every comma, every period, every letter, every line, every word – all will be fulfilled in Christ. No deception can be found in its pages.

Like Job…hunger after God’s words like the food that is necessary for life itself… Like Jeremiah, gobble them up…Take joy in all the discoveries and the mysteries that you unravel…Find the character and the promises of God in His Word…Allow its truth to become the bedrock foundation of your life…Allow that truth to transform your mind, your heart, and your very life…just ask Him…a good place to do that would be down on your knees…are you there yet…

March 26, 2021

Another commandment we often ignore was quoted by The Apostle Paul in Thessalonians 5:18 repeating what Jesus said “in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Here we are – miles away from Thanksgiving! Months away from turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. Many miles and months to go before the calendar turns, before the leaves turn, and before we turn to a table laden with scrumptious bounty and surrounded by those whom we love the most.

For the Christian believer, Thanksgiving is not just a holiday that we tick off our to-do lists the third week of November each year. Thanksgiving – gratitude – should be hardwired into our DNA, rooted in our hearts, and evident in our everyday lives.

In today’s verse, the apostle Paul instructs us to give thanks in every single thing. It’s easy to breeze over that verse with a confident, “Of course!” But are we giving thanks in everything? When we are satisfied and safe, happy and healthy, praises roll easily off our tongues. What about the other times though?

Paul practiced what he preached. The book of Acts tells us about a particularly tough time for this Christ-follower. In the town of Philippi, Paul and Silas were attacked, stripped, beaten with rods, thrown into jail, and restrained in stocks. That’s a bad day! Deep in the night, a sound reverberated through the prison cells as the other inmates listened. Was it crying, complaining, kvetching? No, it was the triumphant strains of praise, prayer, and the singing of hymns recalled in Acts 16.

Paul had figured out how to be content. In poverty or prosperity. Whether famished or full, abased or abounding, thanksgiving flowed from his grateful heart. He recognized his Source in every situation and shared it with us in Philippians 4:13 saying “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.

Our thankfulness demonstrates to God that we trust Him more than the affairs of the world in which we live. In everything – not for everything – but in every condition, under every circumstance, through every situation, give thanks to God.

In the big moments, give thanks. In the small, seemingly insignificant moments, give thanks. On the good days when everything goes according to plan, give thanks. On the bad days when everything seems against you, give thanks.

Consider your past…give thanks that God carried you through it…when you are overwhelmed in the crisis give thanks that God will never abandon you to cope alone…when you consider all of your tomorrows, give thanks that God goes before you to smooth the path…in everything and for everything always give thanks…are you on your knees yet…that’s the best place to do it…

March 25, 2021

Galatians 2:20 Inspires us with the reality that once we accept Christ as our savior He will take control.  The apostle Paul says “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

The reality of this Christian life, as the hymn proclaims, is “joy unspeakable, full of glory,” and “the half has never yet been told!” Because Christ lives in us, we overflow with His life. This present life is not the one we once endured, but a sins-washed-away, guilt-free, arms-wide-open, I’m-a-brand-new creation kind of life. All the old has gone, and His life has flooded in to fill every nook and cranny with lavish love, perennial peace, and jubilant joy. We should radiate that life.

Jesus proclaimed Himself the life in John 14:6 saying “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”. He brings His great big presence to so fill our hearts that it must spill out into our lives. Paul pointed out in Acts 17:28 that “in Him we live and move and have our being”.  Amazingly enough, He lives in us, moves on us, and works through us.

No matter the circumstances around us, “the joy of the Lord is our strength” as we are taught in Nehemiah 8:10. Too many of us are living a “someday out there” life. When things get better or when we get through this rough patch or when we all get to heaven, “someday out there,” we will live our best lives. This is a right-now kind of salvation! This is the in-the-moment life of Jesus working on the inside. When the clouds open over our heads, pop up the umbrella of joy, and dance in the rain. Under His protection and provision, we still live with gladness and contentment. Jesus inside of us brings all that He is to bear on all that we experience.

With that Life comes power. Power to live with joy. Power to live with peace. Power to live with laughter. Power to live with self-control. Power to live with hope. Dynamite power on the inside of us – impacting our families, our communities, and our world.

Jesus Christ is alive..The King of kings…the Lamb of God slain…conquered death, hell, and the grave to bring life everlasting…No need to wait and see…No need to postpone…He is alive…He is life…And He lives in us…We are filled with Life, full of life, and carrying that Life to the world…Live…let The Lord know how much His love and care mean to you…a good place to start might be down on your knees…right now…

March 24, 2021

Luke tells us in his book of The Bible, Luke 15:10, that it’s party time in Heaven when another soul has booked a reservation to come there someday! He said “Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Whenever one individual on this earth professes Jesus Christ as Savior, the angels in the presence of God rejoice. Imagine a sinner who bows his head to whisper a “yes” to Jesus, “the Friend to sinners” according to Matthew 11:19. Consider how God might lean down to catch that desperate plea, how all around the throne, activity ceases and silence reigns as He smiles a “yes” in response. And at that final amen, all of heaven erupts in a party of praise! Innumerable angels shout for joy as one more receives a Savior that is worth having.

Do you ever take time to think about heaven? John the Revelator describes in Revelation 7:9-10 “a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’”. Beyond the mysterious creatures, the crystal river, the thundering horses, and the Lion of the tribe of Judah, do you ever think of the people who might stand next to you before the Great Throne?

A nomad with stars in his eyes who believed the promise of God. A young upstart who felled a giant with one smooth stone. A woman of ill repute who hung a scarlet cord in her window. A frightened maid who unflinchingly said, “Let it be to me.” A brazen professor who nailed 95 Theses to a door. A frail woman who reached out her hand to lepers. These shadowy figures who helped to shape our faith – their faces and philosophies, their doctrines and disciplines, their treatises and tenets, their hearts and hopes – will emerge from the mist to sing the song of the redeemed alongside us.

And, of course, there will be those even closer to our hearts. A grandfather who prayed for the generations to follow. That parent who sang hymns of deliverance over her children. The lovingly-anticipated child who never knew his mother’s embrace. The pastor who sacrificed for his little flock.

Consider that moment when all those faces around you turn to the Lamb who was slain for our sins…when the great song of redemption bursts from our lips in glorious praise…when the angels revel in silence as that melody rolls through heaven..and our faith finally becomes sight…all because one Man emptied Himself and was obedient even to death on the cross…Jesus is a Savior worth having…are you on your knees giving thanks yet…now would be the time…

March 23, 2021

The main thing you have to do to be assured that you will go to heaven when you die is summed up in one sentence in Romans 10:9-10 where in very simple terms it says“that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

Jesus is a Savior worth having. He is so rare that no other like Him has ever existed. He is so capable that nothing is impossible for Him. He is so reliable that He has never disappointed one person who chose to trust in Him. He is so loving that when everyone else has given up on you, when no one else sees any good thing in you, He reaches out His hand and says, “I choose this one.” He is so good that, if you have not accepted Him as Savior, He is waiting with outstretched arms.

Today’s verse tells us how to become a child of God, to accept Him as Savior. If you believe in your heart that Jesus exists, that He came to die on the cross to forgive your sins and that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. If you acknowledge Him in your heart and say it out loud, Jesus can be yours.

You may think that this is an impossibility, but the Bible tells us in John 3:15 that “whoever believes in Him will not be lost, will not perish, but will find eternal life”. Whoever believes…every single person who looks up to Him, trusting and expecting, will gain a real life, an eternal one.

No matter what you have done…where you have been…whom you have let down…what you have gone through…what others say about you…as long as you want Him…He wants you…Find out for yourself the magnitude of His goodness…the unsearchable depths of His love…down on your knees would be a great place to start…are you there yet…

March 22, 2021

Psalm 5:11 reminds us that He can be trusted to always be there for us no matter what we are going through.  David said “But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name be joyful in You.”

Jesus is a Savior worth having, One worth praising. He is not angry with you. His welcome mat is always out. His porch light is always on. His face is turned towards you. He does not tire of you or find you too needy. He knows your name. “His thoughts toward you are too many to count” we are told in Psalm 139:17. His plans for you are good, and He is orchestrating every detail of your life to draw you closer and to make you shine like a star in the sky. He loves you.

When you sat in the ashes of a broken life, He loved you. When you were surrounded by the consequences of a thousand bad choices, He loved you. When you were stripped of dignity, He saw you clothed in majesty. When you were certain of your nothingness, He gave everything to call you His. While you were a sinner, He loved you. At the lowest point of your life, God loved you so much that He sent His only Son to die for you. Jesus took your place. He became the substitute, the sacrifice, for you. The IOU with your name scrawled across it. He drove a nail through it, signed it in blood, and paid the debt in full. He gave all to bring you near.

Does your heart thrill at the thought of Him? For those who profess faith in Christ, those who have asked Him to abide in their hearts, those who have received this Savior worth having, He merits our gratitude, our soul’s best song. If it had not been for the Lord on your side, where would you be? David instructed in Psalm 150:6, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!”.

Take a moment to celebrate all that Jesus is to you…all that He has done for you…all that He has given to you…take a deep breath – oh wait, that came from Him too…so did your beating heart…it keeps time because He set it in motion…pour out your gratitude to Him…are you on your knees yet…what are you waiting for…

March 21, 2021

Zephaniah 3:5 is all about HOPE.  It says “The Lord is righteous in her midst, He will do no unrighteousness. Every morning He brings His justice to light; He never fails…”

Jesus is a Savior worth having. Many people measure the value of something based on its reliability. Is it of good quality? Will it perform consistently? Can I trust it? If you have ever owned an old jalopy, you quickly come to appreciate the value of dependability!

We live in a shifting-sand world. A man’s word is no longer his bond. Contracts and legal clauses are required to seal the deal; mere handshakes no longer suffice. Promises seem made to be broken. Conflicting voices make guarantees they do not deliver. The ground beneath our feet can be unstable and insecure. Stories are slanted. Perspectives are perverted. Expectations are exhausted. Vows are violated.

If you are weary of the disappointment, consider the Rock (Deuteronomy 32:4). “In Jesus, we find the stability, the solid ground beneath our feet.” “ In Him, we live in a kingdom that cannot be shaken” (Hebrews 12:28). Across the centuries, “no person who ever put their trust in Him found themselves disappointed or without hope” (Isaiah 49:23). “He will not walk away. He will not turn His back” (Hebrews 13:5). “He is not fickle. He does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17). “He is the tried and true, utterly reliable, the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

We can take Him at His word. “Heaven and earth will disappear, but His word will remain forever” (Matthew 24:35). “His promises to us are always “Yes” and “Amen” (II Corinthians 1:20). His amen is a “truly,” a “let it be so.” John the Revelator called Jesus the “Amen, the Faithful and True Witness” (Revelation 3:14). He is proven. We can trust Him.

Unwavering…secure…dependable…trustworthy…Jesus is a Savior worth having…We find shelter under the shadow of His wings (Psalm 17:8)…He holds us lovingly, safely in His hand, and nothing nor no one can snatch us away (John 10:28)…We can count on His welcome…His smile…His good heart towards us…He never falters…He never fails…If you aren’t on your knees yet to give him thanks, you need to be…

March 20, 2021

Ephesians 3:20-21 taught us to pray with great expectation saying “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen!”

Jesus is a Savior worth having. When it comes to determining the value of something, people often base their estimation on what it can do. Why choose many things when we can choose one thing with a multitude of functions? We want an impressive array of applications and capabilities. The more things something can do, the greater its value to us and the greater its impact on our lives.

Consider, for instance, our smartphones. Only a few decades ago, our phones were affixed to our kitchen walls. Today, we all carry one in our pockets or purses. No longer are they simply tools to communicate, they boast a variety of practical applications. They capture photos, allow us to pay bills online, order a birthday gift, or check into our home security systems. We find them invaluable, irreplaceable.

If it is a multitude of applications you seek, Jesus has the answer you need. As today’s verse Ephesians 3:20-21 indicates, “He is able to do anything that we could ask or even think to ask. And then, He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above even those things. Even more than those things that have entered our limited brains, He comes to give those things we are unaware we will need, that we have not been able to articulate, all that we need for abundant life.”

He has created each one of us with divine destiny, with a Godly purpose. When we accept Him as Savior (yet another gift!), we say yes to all those plans that He has for us. And when we run up against those God-sized tasks and realize that we do not have what it takes…look at today’s verse. The power that we need is already working inside of us. He does not leave us helpless. As we are going about His work, He will fill us up with joy and peace. And above all? We are completely, utterly, unquestionably loved. He knows our names, our thoughts…even the number of hairs on our heads (or not!).

All things become possible through Jesus…The very best that we can imagine is Jesus just getting started…Oh, what He can do for us…Oh, what He has already done for us…He removes the limits…Jesus is a Savior worth having…maybe you should get down on your knees to thank him…

March 19, 2021

Jesus is a Savior worth having. When it comes to something worth having, people want to know its worth. What is its value and how can we determine it? Often, the worth of something is dependent on its rarity. How available is it? How many exist? Can it be duplicated?

If you travel to Paris to visit the Louvre Museum, you might wander into the gift shop where you can purchase a poster of the Mona Lisa. You will only spend a few dollars because thousands of reproductions have been printed. However, if you went to the curator of the museum and asked to place a price on the original painting, you might experience a serious case of sticker shock. Many experts estimate that the work of art is priceless.

Jesus Christ is an original, a treasure beyond measure. No one like Him graced the planet before, and until He returns to set His foot on the Mount of Olives, no one ever will again. In I Timothy 2:5-6 Paul declared that “there is only one God and one Mediator between God and men, and that is the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all”. In Matthew 16:16 Peter declared that “there is no other means of salvation, that His is the only name by which we are saved.” He passionately proclaimed that “Jesus is the Christ, the long-awaited Messiah”.

Our Savior cannot be duplicated. He is irreplaceable. There is no substitute or alternative. This is wonderful news! Oftentimes, if given a multitude of options, we choose unwisely; we make the wrong choice. Here, we find no margin for error. We can choose with confidence.

For every person that needs deliverance from sin…Jesus. For every person who needs the pain of the past erased…Jesus. For those who need the weight of guilt lifted off their shoulders…Jesus. For those who need the chains of bondage broken off of their lives…Jesus.

Only He can step into your yesterdays and erase the regrets…He is the only One who sets us free…He is the Lamb for sinners slain…He is the cornerstone precious and elect…He is the One Who died in our place…He is the One Who conquered the grave…He has been given the name above every name…at that name every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess that He alone is Lord over all…Jesus is a Savior worth having…if you don’t know that yet you better get back down on your knees…

March 18, 2021

The Bible is clear when it declares in Acts 4:12 “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

We live in a world that places a premium on options. We like having choices. In fact, we are convinced that the more options presented to us, the better able we are to make the best decision. Our culture is consumed with preferences and having it our way.

Think about ordering a simple breakfast. Coffee? Would you like that black, with sugar or creamer, decaffeinated? How would you like those eggs: hard-boiled, scrambled, poached, over easy, sunny side up? Toast: white, wheat, multigrain? Breakfast meat, anyone? Your choice: bacon, ham, sausage patties or links, or steak.

Every day, the average person makes dozens of decisions. Our society affords us the luxury of many choices. We are so addicted to choices that we are offended when options are not available. However, that privilege can be abused. We become so accustomed to options that we begin to create choices where none truly exist.

The Pew Research Center released a poll of thousands of Americans. When asked if there is more than one way to heaven, 80 percent of Americans said yes. Forty percent of those claimed to be church-going Christians. Eight out of 10, under the age of 25, claimed that multiple religions offered multiple ways to find eternal life. They also believe that neither Satan nor hell exists. God, however, is not sitting on the throne, scouring poll results, and making adjustments to His plans based on our preferences.

God, in His infinite grace and mercy, has offered us ONE option when it comes to salvation. The only choice is Jesus Christ. No viable alternatives exist. Acts 4:12 is very clear and requires no explanation when the scripture says “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved”. When it comes to salvation, there is no other option.

In John 14:6 Jesus told the disciples, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me”  Jesus did not speak on His own authority, but that of the Father (John 14:10). He did not create this claim or argument. God had already said in Isaiah 43:11, “I, even I, am the Lord, and besides Me there is no savior.” And again in Hosea 13:4, God says, “For there is no savior besides Me.”

No alternatives…No Plan B…No other options…Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation….He alone is the beloved Son of God…the Alpha and Omega…the Author and Perfecter of our faith…if this isn’t clear enough you haven’t been on your knees long enough…better get back on them until you understand…it will save your life…

March 17, 2021

The Apostle Paul told everyone Ephesians 4:4-6 “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”

Jesus longs for all of the members of His church, His body, to become one just like He and the Father are one. We have an enemy who is just as determined to wreak havoc on our unity with one another. In John 10:10, his goals are clearly stated. “He has come to steal anything that pertains to life” – our relationship with Jesus, our marriages, our prosperity, our health. He has come to kill – our dreams, our purpose, our children’s futures. He has come to destroy – our peace, our joy, our very lives. He exults in driving us away from God and away from one another.

He knows that if he can disrupt the unity in the body of Christ, he can staunch the flow of blessing in the church (Psalm 133:3). He knows that, if he can sow doubt and discouragement, he can set us against the one true Source of help. As long as he can divide us, he wins. However, if we ever unite, if we ever band together, if we ever decide that it will be God’s will and not our own, Satan can do nothing about it. He will stand helpless in the face of the church victorious. He is indeed a defeated foe.

You and I have the authority of God’s Word. We have the authority of His blood. We have the power to pull down every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. These mighty weapons He has given empower us to wage supernatural war against the enemy who seeks to divide, isolate and overtake us. Jesus has come to lead us into abundant life.

We know better…let us do better…we know the Word of God…let us apply it…until we seek unity, we will not accomplish it…until we are willing to sacrifice for our brothers and sisters, we will not be joined as one…God can accomplish anything when we stand together in unity…let’s join our hearts, our minds, and our hands…together we stand…divided we fall…let His blessings flow freely…His peace, power and prosperity will pour out…turn your cup up…It is Jesus’ great desire that we be one…

March 16, 2021

We are taught throughout The Bible that The Lord wants us to be “The Body” of Christ.  In order to be a single body and serve Him well as such, we must serve with peace and harmony together and this is summed up in one word – “Unity”.  The disciples of Jesus did this very well as stated in Acts 4:32 saying “Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul”.

Solomon pulled no punches in the Proverbs 6:16-19 where he flatly declares that “there are six things that the Lord hates, seven things that He loathes”. Every single one of those detestable things inhibits walking together in unity.

God hates:

A proud look. Conceit, comparison, and competition are the enemies of unity.

A lying tongue. The words that proceed from our mouths come from our hearts (Matthew 15:18). If lies, deceit, manipulation, and exaggeration pour from our lips, there is no basis for trust, no foundation upon which to build relationship. Lying destroys unity.

Hands that shed innocent blood. A man raises his hand against his wife. A lone gunman walks into a crowded theater. Children are sold into slavery. Everywhere abuse occurs, where innocent lives are poured out, where blood is spilled, life is diminished and destroyed. Separation and disconnection — not unity — preside.

A heart that devises wicked plans. The Joker and Lex Luthor might come to mind when we think of wicked plans. While global domination may not figure into our future, any plan that leads us away from God’s plan— a secret tryst, an illicit social media post, a dishonest business transaction — is evil. Such scheming leads us away from unity.

Feet that are swift to run to evil. Moral depravity pulls at us from every side. No need to plan – how easily our feet slide down this slippery slope. Sin — evil — always leads to broken relationship with God and with those we love here on earth. Those who hurry to pursue their own wicked desires break off unity.

A false witness who speaks lies. In a specific context, someone who perpetrates untrue statements about another can lead to unfair judgments and imprisonment for the victim. In a broader sense, slander and gossip can initiate and perpetuate untruths against another that lead to ruin. Marriages break up. Partnerships dissolve. Reputations are destroyed. False witnesses inhibit freedom and sabotage unity.

One who sows discord among brothers and sisters. The very word “discord” indicates conflict, friction, hostility and disagreement. Most of us say, “Well, I would never!” But it only takes a small spark — one eye roll, one raised eyebrow, one pointing finger, one whispered accusation, one well-placed insult — to stir up a conflagration that rages for years. Discord burns unity to the ground.

Look around…see the disunity in your relationships with spouses…co-workers…fellow Christians…examine your own heart…look for the practices above that have driven a wedge…God has provided a way back…repentance leads to restoration…repentance begins on your knees…

March 15, 2021

1 John 3:16 reminds us of Jesus’ love for us saying “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”

Many people today suffer from serious “I” problems. They have a chronic condition that plagues their everyday lives. It manifests itself in some persistent symptoms:

-The way that “I” want it.
-The way that “I” see it.
-The way that “I” think.
-The way that “I” feel.
-The way that “I” want to do things.

Christians often trip over that “I” issue. Real unity requires real sacrifice, but “I” is the enemy of unity. “I” demands its own way. “I” refuses to budge. “I” never prefers another. “I” is only interested in his own comfort or her personal agenda. Paul warns Timothy to be certain that church leaders are not self-willed in Titus 1:7, and Peter warns against false teachers who are self-willed, insolent egoists who despise true authority in II Peter 2:10-11. Self-will sabotages unity. Self-will refuses to submit to God, our true authority, and refuses to sacrifice to promote unity within the family of God.

Self-will makes unity impossible. As long as our preference takes priority over our purpose, unity will be impossible. The body of Christ can be divided by preferences: “I didn’t like the song selection” or “His sermon was too long.” Churches split over issues as unimportant as the color of the carpet. When we finally put “I” aside and come into the sanctuary to gather in HIS name, to lift up HIS Son, to read HIS word, and to worship in HIS presence, preferences are forgotten as we remember that our purpose is all for HIM.

When brothers and sisters in Christ dwell together in unity, God commands His blessing in that place as David tells in Psalm 133:3. Where unity exists, the blessing of God is guaranteed. Those blessings come when we sacrifice our will for His, where we lay down our lives for others. The wind of the Holy Spirit blasted into the upper room as 120 believers cried out as one voice declares Acts 2:1-4. Three thousand people rushed to salvation when Peter stood, with the eleven disciples beside him, to preach the Gospel in Acts 2:14. A lame man went running and jumping when Peter and John shared what they had in Acts 3:8.

“I” must submit to Him…Self-will must succumb to sacrifice…His purpose must take priority over our preferences…Only then will He command His blessing…Only then will His anointing and power rush from the throne of heaven to fulfill His purposes through us…are you on your knees yet…can you hear Him yet…united we stand divided we fall…

March 14, 2021

The simplest definition for sin is anything you might do that is against God’s will.  This is much more difficult to understand than you might realize.  For example, let’s say you want to go to Africa to teach lost tribes about Christ but God wants you in lower Manhattan comforting the homeless.  If you go to Africa – even though it is a very worthy cause – you have sinned.  Starting to see the point about why you need to know God’s will for you?

God has a plan for all of us just like He told the prophet in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

You might think you have a better plan – and very earnestly pray to God to change His plan – but if you could do that – as one great preacher I once heard say – “God wouldn’t be God – you wouldbe”.

For whatever it is that God wants you to do He will provide whatever you need to get it done.  The book of Hebrews 13:20-21 promises that “Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

To know the will of God is the highest – and most necessary – of all wisdom…living in the center of God’s will rules out all falseness of religion and puts the stamp of true sincerity upon our service to God…you can be miserable with much, if you are out of His will; but you can have peace in your heart with little, if you are in the will of God…you can be wretched with wealth and fame, out of His will; but you can have joy in obscurity, if you are in the will of God…you can have agony in good health, out of His will; but you can be happy in the midst of suffering, if you are in God’s will…you can be miserable and defeated in the midst of acclaim, if you are out of His will; but you can be calm and at peace in the midst of persecution, as long as you are in the will of God…The Bible reveals that God has a plan for every life…if we live in constant fellowship with Him, He will direct and lead us in the fulfillment of that plan…the best place to hear God tell you about his will for you is on your knees…are you there yet…

March 13, 2021

In the Bible, to be at the right side “is to be identified as being in the special place of honor”.  In ancient times, a person with high or highest rank stood to the king’s right side. Even today, a person may be called someone’s “right hand man” or “wingman” when he or she serves as the closest person to another leader. An example of this can be found in Genesis 48:13-14 where Jacob blessed the child who would receive a greater blessing with his right hand. The right hand of God likewise relates to this concept of someone being right next to God, acknowledging both authority and closeness to Him.

God told Isaiah in Isaiah 41:9-10 “I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Leave everything in God’s hands and eventually you’ll see that God’s hands are in everything. If we look back over our lives we can readily see where God was right in the middle of every celebration of joy and every devastating crisis we faced.  God affirmed this to be true in Isaiah 66:2 when He told Isaiah that “My hands have made both heaven and earth; they and everything in them are mine. I, the Lord, have spoken! “I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts, who tremble at my word”.

No need to fear or be dismayed, because the presence of God is pronounced and personal. He strengthens and helps His children by His Spirit and upholds those He loves by His totally trustworthy right hand. Jesus died and committed His spirit to His Father so He might fulfill the promises of God salvation for all who believe and the sufficiency of His grace to name two. Faith unfolds by leaving everything in God’s hands and by beholding His hands in all things.  

The joy of leaving everything in the Lord’s hands is seeing the Lord’s hand in everything. An answer of “no” today, becomes God’s better answer of “yes” tomorrow. everyone. 

What do you hold, even loosely that you need to place in the hands of your heavenly Father? A child, a hurt or an opportunity that is slipping away? Place your fear in the hands of the One whose hand calmed the sea, and He will calm your heart. Leave your hurt in the hands of the One whose hand gave sight to the the blind, and He will heal your wounded heart. Put your financial desires in the hands of the One who owns everything, and He will give you peace and security. 

Put your personal view in the hands of the One whose perspective is perfect and He will give you clarity. By faith we can leave everything and everyone in the Lord’s hands and begin to look for His hand at work everywhere all the time.

March 12, 2021

We are taught by David in Psalm 133:1 that we are meant to live together in peace and harmony when he said that we should “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”

We live in a world divided. All around us, people are separated by suspicion, rivalries, differing opinions, and struggles for justice. Even in the church pews, we find division and fractures. Evidences of this brokenness are all around us.

On the night that He died, Jesus prayed gentle words over the disciples. The focus of His prayer was the unity of believers – both then and now. Even as He and the Father were one, He asked that the disciples – the body of believers, His church – would be one unified in heart and mind and action.

Jesus’ mission here on earth was one of reconciliation. He came to reconcile us to God through His death and resurrection. He came to reconcile us to one another as members of the same body, His church. Yet, here we are a few thousand years later divided into denominations and separated by schisms.

The Bible gives no indication that heaven caters to a specific sect or preferred persuasion. Jesus will not assign us to gated communities based on how we choose to worship on earth. Baptist? The neighborhood behind that wall. Pentecostal? The neighborhood beyond this wall. Catholic? The neighborhood on the east side. A narrow way exists that leads to one gate; His name is Jesus. When we finally and gratefully enter in through that gate, we will encounter people there that we sought to exclude with our criticism and our condemnation. 

Jesus laid down His life so that we would be one – with the Father and one another. What could we lay down to promote unity within this body of believers? To whom could we extend the hand of fellowship? When could we speak tender words to dispel tension? Where could we seek the similarities and disregard the differences? The Spirit within us calls out for peace and unity.

Paul urged the church at Ephesus in Ephesians 4:3 to “Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.”

Thank Jesus for His gift of reconciliation…pray for unity in the body of Christ…surrender to God’s will so that peace may begin with you…be an instrument to tear down whatever divides and destroys relationship among believers…experience God’s power, grace and glory as you dwell in unity…Eternity lasts a long time…

March 11, 2021

Contentment is finding joy in what we already have in our lives, feeling or showing satisfaction with our possessions, status, or situation. It’s being happy without trying to find fulfillment in acquiring more material possessions.

Happiness is generally defined as the experience of frequent positive thoughts, such as joy, interest or pride. Contentment is generally defined as a longer lasting, but a deeper feeling, of satisfaction and gratitude.

If you feel content, you’re satisfied and happy. The content of a book, movie, or song is what it’s about: the topic. This word has two main meanings. The first has to do with being pleased and satisfied (feeling content) or making someone else feel happy and at peace with things (contenting them).

Paul reminisced in Philippians 4:12 that “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”

The Apostle Paul passed this advice along to his protege, Timothy, in 1 Timothy 6:7-8 “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.”

When you find yourself unhappy with someone or something, pause…stop buying stuff you don’t need…show people you appreciate them….practice gratitude…learn to enjoy simple things…things that don’t cost money…live in the moment…a good place to find contentment is on your knees giving thanks To God that your heat comes on when its cold…that your refrigerator is full…that your children still come back home to visit…that your spouse shares prayer time and devotions with you…if you don’t feel contentment with these things…you need to stay on your knees until you do…

March 10, 2021

What do you hang your hat on every day to help you face the times we live in today?   Did your bank account keep you from catching the Corona Virus?  Did your perfect attendance in Sunday School last year keep your roof from being blown off during that last hurricane?

The Apostle Paul said in Romans 8:31 “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”   What hope resides in this promise from The Bible!!! When it seems that everything is working against us – a deadly virus, enforced isolation, supply shortages, loss of income – God is right beside us.

Not one ounce of defeat can be found in this verse or the ones before and after it. Paul agrees in Romans 8:18-25 that yes, “we will suffer in this world, but it is nothing compared to the glory that awaits. We look with eager anticipation for what God will do on our behalf.”

Paul wrote in Romans 8:26 that yes, “we will experience weaknesses, but the Spirit will help us”

The Psalmist declared in Psalm 119:71 that “it was good that he had been afflicted because he learned to trust in God’s Word”.  Paul had learned to “run to the secret place of the Most High, and to dwell under the shadow of the Almighty” as he recalled in Psalm 91:1.

The sun comes up and we are breathing, so God has a purpose for us. For the person who might be feeling overwhelmed or defeated, turn to the Lord for His provision and peace.

God is for us…God is in our corner…God is championing us…God created us to be more than conquerors…God made us in His image to be like Him…pretty good role model don’t you think…

March 9, 2021

What is sin? Some call it “errors” or “mistakes” or “poor judgment.” This may be a good starting point, but as we learn more about God and the Bible, we see that it’s something much more serious. Sin is falling short of the perfect standard God has set. Simply put, sin is anything that is against The Will Of God.

By our very nature, we are all falling short of His standard. We are all guilty. We have all sinned against Him.

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans in Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” and Romans 6:23 declares that the “wages of sin is death”. But the good news is that in Matthew 1:21 we are told the angel announced to Joseph that the Child in Mary’s womb should be called “Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins”.

David was unsure whether he would even knew for sure when he had sinned.  In Psalm 139:23-24 David asked God to “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my thoughts; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.”

Avoiding sin requires change.  “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference” are familiar words of the “Serenity Prayer” penned by American theologian, Reinhold Niebuhr. To anyone who has ever struggled with change, it can prove exceedingly difficult, and like Neibuhr, we know that it requires courage.

Even Paul, battle-hardened apostle though he was, declared in Romans 7:19 himself a wretched man. “For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I do”.

The first step towards change is admitting the issue. While it sounds simple enough, we recognize our humanity. We blame; we avoid; we ignore; we justify; we put off the inevitable. Whining about what we wish to change is futile. Ignoring what we are afraid to change leaves us powerless.

We cannot change what we will not confront. Often, calling the issue for what it is – putting a name to it – brings it out of the darkness into the light of Jesus’ love, and it breaks the power of it to harm. 

Satan does his best work under cover of night. When we bring our situations boldly to the throne of grace, Satan’s lies drop powerless in the presence of God’s absolute truth.

Once we confront it, change requires commitment, a stepping out by faith. We don’t have to do this alone.  First Corinthians 3:9 refers to us as “co-laborers with Christ”. He does not leave us to confront and change on our own. When we come to the end of our puny self-discipline, His “strength is perfected in our weakness” according to 2 Corinthians 12:9. He supernaturally accomplishes what we are helpless to address in our own strength. With Paul the apostle, we can then proclaim, as he did in Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.

Is there conflict in which you are engaged? That secret sin with which you struggle…that situation from which you cannot escape…in the power of Christ you can confront it today…call it by name…bring it into the light…rise up like a warrior intent on victory…do not let the fear of change diminish the plans God has for you…He alone gives power to overcome…talk to Him…are you on your knees yet…

March 8, 2021

When was the last time you blamed God for something bad that happened to you?  Was it days ago?  Hours?   Minutes?  Probably not even several minutes but just a few if you are honest with yourself.  Just reading this Thought For The Day invokes memories of some bad event that you think was all God’s fault.  You are not alone.  We all have those thoughts because we are all human.  Anything bad that happens has to be someone else’s fault – right?

JOB UNDERSTOOD WOUNDS. The words he used to describe them were more than patronizing platitudes and theoretical proverbs. He’d been there and back again. He could write about intense inner suffering in the first person because of his own massive ocean of pain.

No one would deny that the man called Job who was described in Job 1:3 as “the greatest of all the men of the east” had earned the right to talk about suffering first hand.  He had earned that title through years of hard work and honest dealings with others. His very name was a synonym for integrity and godliness. Therefore, nobody begrudged his wealth.

Then, without announcement, adversity thundered upon him like an avalanche of great, jagged rocks. He lost his livestock, crops, land, servants, and—can you believe it?—all ten of his adult children. Soon thereafter he lost his health – his last human hope of earning a living. 

Please, right now, stop reading, close your eyes for sixty seconds, and put yourself in the skin of that good man—crushed beneath the weight of all that adversity.

The Old Testament book that bears his name records an entry he made into his journal soon after the rocks stopped falling and the dust finally settled. JOB 1:21 tells us that with a quivering hand, the utterly broken man from Uz wrote: “The LORD gave me what I had, and the LORD has taken it away. Praise the name of the LORD!”

Following that immortal statement comes this amazing analysis: In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God.

How could anyone handle such a series of grief-laden ordeals without blaming God? Think of the aftermath: bankruptcy, pain, ten fresh graves . . . the loneliness of those empty rooms. Yet we read in JOB 1:22 that “he worshiped God, he did not sin, nor did he blame God as the cause of his catastrophe”.

Now, why? Why didn’t he? At the risk of oversimplifying the situation, consider three reasons: Job claimed God’s loving sovereignty; he counted on the promise of resurrection; and he acknowledged his limited understanding.

When under an avalanche of hard situations remember what you just read…be like Job…hang on tight…trust The Lord…He’s there for you too…

March 7, 2021

When God opens a door, it should bring peace, not confusion. That’s not to say that open doors won’t be scary at times, but you can still have peace in Him.

It isn’t a matter of if God opens doors, it’s the matter of which doors He opens and if we are willing to walk through the door. Other times we may not understand what God is doing but if we are willing to do His will, then we must walk by faith and not by sight.

When God opens doors in our lives don’t try to close them because of the trials, which are sometimes required. No one can close an open door that God has for you so have confidence in the Lord. If it’s God’s will it will be done. Remember – He always has a plan. 

Watch out as well for doors that God closes.  Some doors are not God’s will for you to enter and God closes them for your protection. God knows everything and He knows if you’re on a path that leads to danger.

When God opens a door He will never cause you to compromise or contradict His Word. Many times God will confirm His will through His Word and through others such as godly counsel.

Usually you know it’s an open door from God when you have to rely on Him. Some people try to do things by the arm of the flesh, but when it’s God’s will we must ask Him to bless the work of our hands. We must ask Him to strengthen us and help us daily.

When it’s an open door you know that it is God who is really at work. Once again remember that the Holy Spirit will give you an uneasy feeling if He wants you to keep a door closed.

Keep on knocking on God’s door. Sometimes the door is a little cracked open and God just wants us to persevere in prayer. When the time is right He will fully open the door.

Pray to God continuously to know His will…rely on the Holy Spirit…it will tell you if something is God’s will…allow the Spirit to guide your life…sometimes we don’t see the door God just opened because we’re still looking at the one He just closed…

March 6, 2021

Does Anyone Care?  Do you?  How easy it is to drift into the background and get lost from sight and memory of those who once loved you so much.

On an icy January morning, in a twenty-five-cent-a-night flophouse, a shell of a man who looked twice his age staggered to the washbasin and fell. The basin toppled and shattered.

He was found lying in a heap, unclothed and bleeding from a deep gash in his throat. His forehead was badly bruised, and he was semiconscious. A doctor used black sewing thread that somebody had found to suture the wound. All the while the bum begged for a drink. A buddy shared the bottom of a rum bottle to calm his nerves.

He was dumped in a paddy wagon and dropped off at Bellevue Hospital, where he would languish, unable to eat for three days . . . and die. Still unknown.

A friend seeking him was directed to the local morgue. There, among dozens of other colorless, nameless corpses with tags on their toes, he was identified. When they scraped together his belongings, they found a ragged, dirty coat with thirty-eight cents in one pocket and a scrap of paper in the other. Enough coins for another night in the flophouse and five words, “Dear friends and gentle hearts.” Almost like the words of a song. Why would a forgotten drunk carry around a line of lyrics? Maybe that derelict with the body of a bum still had the heart of a genius. For once upon a time, long before his tragic death at age thirty-seven, Stephen Foster had written songs that literally made the whole world sing, such as “Camptown Races” and “Oh! Susanna!”

There are many forgotten lives on this earth. Some are in prison. Some in hospitals. Some in nursing homes. And some silently slip into church on Sunday morning, terribly confused and afraid. 

Until someone steps in and, in love, rebuilds a life, restores a soul, rekindles a flame that sin snuffed out, and renews a song that once was there, these forgotten souls drift all around us until the day The Lord mercifully takes them home. Read carefully God’s penetrating perspective:

Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies.  Hebrews 13:3 asks us the question “Can you put yourself into the pain of those who suffer? Can you pause long enough to show the love of Christ to them?”

Well…can you put yourself in someone else’s place so you understand what they feel…the way they feel…how often they feel lost and forgotten…are you on your knees yet…God will show you who needs your love and attention… if you will but listen…

March 5, 2021

In Romans 8:37 The Apostle Paul declares “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”

Warrior…Winner…Whiner…Wimp…

We all know people who fit neatly into these categories. When you start  pointing fingers be sure you point at yourself too!

We celebrate warriors. We enjoy winners. We are irritated by whiners. Who has any use for a wimp? Each of these people earn the title. While they may be greatly different, they have one thing in common: they earned the title they wear based upon how they responded to struggle.

A winner is not crowned as champion until she overcomes the struggle. A warrior demonstrates valor only when he endures the adversity of battle. We recognize the whiner right away when trouble breaks out and the complaining commences. The wimp invariably puts her faith in fear, her head in the sand, and waits for someone else to solve the problem. The common denominator is struggle.

Job assured us in Job 5:7 that struggle is inevitable pointing out that “Yet man is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward”. The headlines shout at us – global conflict, economic inequities, political stalemates, racial strife, class discrimination. No shortage of struggles exists.

On the home front, you may be wrestling with questions that seem to have no answers. You may be staring at a zero balance wondering when provision will come. You may be contending for a marriage that seems shattered beyond restoration.

John 16:33 assures us that “In this world, we will have trouble”. How will you respond? Will you engage like a warrior? Complain like the whiner? Or ignore it like the wimp? Rise up, and be what God created you to be – a winner!

Jesus Christ bought you with His blood, so you are able to stand and declare, “I am more than a conqueror!” You were born to win. When you came to faith in Jesus, an amazing transformation occurred as described in 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new”. Regardless of the circumstances or the person that you once were, the day that you received Him by faith, you were born to win.

Through Him, you are a warrior not a weakling…a winner not a loser…a vanquisher not a victim…the battle belongs to you…you are a chosen champion…you were born to win…rise up and stand on your own two feet…

March 4, 2021

Romans 8:20-21 tells us that “Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.”

Nowhere on earth is truly safe. One couple moved from California to Missouri to avoid earthquakes only to be killed in a tornado. Natural disasters occur every single day—wildfires, earthquakes, floods, landslides, tornados, hurricanes, blizzards, and all the rest. On average, natural disasters kill 60,000 people globally each year. The Bible teaches in Genesis 3:17 that “when Adam and Eve sinned, a curse fell over the earth”. Romans 8:22 further states that “Since then, the entire creation has groaned and labored as with birth pangs”. 

That’s why Jesus came, in order that we might have hope, suffering at Calvary and rising from the dead. He came to free us from the curse of sin and to provide eternal protection from the disasters of life. One day He will create new heavens and a new earth, free from natural disasters, death, disease, drought, and sin.

Our God rules over every area of life, including natural disasters. We can trust Him who died for us and who will one day soon establish His new creation for all eternity.

The Bible presents both the reality of human suffering and death along with hope for a better future.

Life is tough…the world is not fair…we can’t make the curse go away…only God can do that…it’s why He’s God and we aren’t…

March 3, 2021

James 1:17  teaches that “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows”.  In other words, God The Father is the source for every good thing we have and He can be counted on to always provide them.

The Bible says that our Heavenly Father gives us the gift of eternal life in Romans 6:23; the gift of salvation by grace through faith in Ephesians 2:8; and the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit in Acts 2:38. Romans 4:17 says, “He gives life to the dead”, and Romans 8:11 promises “life to our mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells within us”.

We serve a kind and gracious God…He gives us good gifts…the most indescribable is Jesus Christ…all He wants is our faith and love…He gives us so much and expects so little in return…doesn’t quite seem fair…but then again…that’s what grace is all about…without it you couldn’t afford God’s gifts…

March 2, 2021

King David spoke from experience in Psalm 27:14  when he urged us to “Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!”

Scripture referring to waiting on The Lord or patience occurs from a minimum of 127 times to a maximum of 164 times in The Bible depending on the translation.  The average from all translations is about 141, which is closer to the NKJV number.

The promises of God’s Word may take longer to come to pass than your impatient self wants, but if you wait on the Lord, The Bible teaches that “He will strengthen your heart and keep His promises. He who began a good work in you is faithful to complete it. He will make a way where there seems to be no way. He is the God who can do exceedingly abundantly above all that you could ask or think. He’s the One who said that when you call on Him, He will answer you and show you great and mighty things that you know not. He’s the One who said that He will provide your every need according to His riches in glory. He’s the One who brings you peace that surpasses understanding and joy in the midst of great sorrow. He is called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.”

1 Samuel 13:13-14 shares the consequence for not waiting on God as Samuel tells King Saul: “You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time.” Instead, the Lord sought a new King to replace Saul.

During the waiting season, God will ask you to be still…so be still and wait on the Lord…He is God…Be still and watch Him work…He is in control…He just might know exactly what He is doing without your help…

March 1, 2021

Isaiah 66:9 tells of God promising the Israelites that He would not let all of their pain and suffering be for naught but that He would make for them a new nation.  He said “In the same way I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born”.

This promise was found to hold true throughout many painful things we experience in our lives as well. A baby being born for instance.

God did not promise us a life without pain but He promised us His grace and mercy would be sufficient to endure it.  Lamentations 3:22-23 tells us that “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”

We are also taught, and our life experiences prove, that all things have a reason and purpose. In Romans 8:28 Paul declares “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

The Apostle Paul knew these things to be true as he preached in Romans 8:18 “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”

Throughout The Bible we are encouraged by God’s promises to take care of us as David said in Psalm 34:18 speaking from experience “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” and in Psalm 147:3 “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

But of all the scripture that speaks to our pain and suffering and what God will do to help us endure, the best promise of all is that ultimately it will all be ended as John says in Revelation 21:4 “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

It’s ok..cry out to God when you hurt…He is always listening…always caring…always merciful…no pain no gain…

February 28, 2021

We are told in Luke 11:1 the story about when Jesus taught his disciples to pray as He often did. The story goes “Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”  The disciples had watched Jesus pray many times before but probably didn’t know for sure what He was doing, thinking, or saying.

None of us just wake up one day as a prayer warrior; just like the disciples, we have to learn to pray too. The disciples saw very clearly what was happening in the ministry of Jesus. They saw Him walking on water after He had spent the night in prayer. They noticed that when He prayed, the fishes and the loaves were multiplied and fed thousands. They heard what He said when He drove out a demon—that “this kind” only comes out when you fast and pray. If the disciples knew they needed to learn to pray, don’t you think we should learn, too?

How was it that Christ in John 14:12 had the confidence to say, “He who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do”? He could say that because He had taught the disciples to pray. 

When you learn to pray like Jesus prayed you can walk in the power of the anointing that gave Him the ability to move heaven and earth…when you learn how to live the life of “greater things than these shall you do,” you have the chance to turn the world upside down…enter into the power and the privilege you have when you learn to pray…are you on your knees yet..get ready to move those mountains that need moving…

February 27, 2021

Each of us is different—utterly unique. There’s no other person on earth like you, nor has there ever been, nor will there ever be! Of the billions of people on the world’s stage from Creation to the return of Christ, only one person is like you—and it’s you. Jesus wants to use your strengths and weaknesses, your idiosyncrasies and quirks, your gifts and talents, your abilities and disabilities. 

This very message was told to Esther in The Old Testament in Esther 4:14 “For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

David knew he was made special by God and for a special purpose as he declared in Psalm 139:14 “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;  your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

James 1:17 says “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights”   You are a gift from above…you are one of God’s perfect gifts.

We are uniquely created by God to serve Him…we should never bemoan the way we are…Let Him control every part of your life…ask Him to work through you to His glory…get ready…you’ll know when the moment comes…all you have to do is be willing and available…God qualifies the called…He doesn’t always call the qualified…you are one of God’s Perfect Gifts…

February 26, 2021

Take a moment to consider all that God has done. Everything in your life is the Lord’s doing. Your salvation is by grace through faith, the gift of God that no man can boast. It is the Lord’s doing. Every ounce of success you’ve ever known is not because you are so amazing. It’s because God has given you the strength to succeed and the mind to achieve. It is the Lord’s doing. Every struggle you’ve made it through, every battle you’ve ever won is not because you are so brilliant in strategy or so capable. It’s because God has a plan to protect you and pull you through that storm and bring you to the other side. It is the Lord’s doing, and He is greatly to be praised!

Psalm 118:23 reminds us that  “This was the Lord’s doing; It is marvelous in our eyes.”

Child of God, you don’t have to wait for the mountain to move or the crooked place to be made straight before you can start rejoicing in the joy of your salvation, before you can start celebrating the great things that God has done. Ephesians 3:20 describes God as “him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us”.  Psalm 145:3 further declares that “Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.”

When God does something, man does not deserve one ounce of credit…all glory, all praise, and all honor are to Him alone…there are things that happen in our lives that we can’t make sense of…we do the best we can…it is not enough…so God took over…don’t try to make heads or tails of it…get on your knees and tell God “This is the Lord’s doing!”…do you understand…are you on your knees yet…God does not like to be taken for granted…

February 25, 2021

The hurt of feeling alone isn’t new to our day. Indeed, the pain of isolation echoes off the pages of the ancient book of Ecclesiastes. Often attributed to King Solomon, the book captures the sorrow of those who seem to lack any meaningful relationships. The speaker lamented that it’s possible to acquire significant wealth and yet experience no value from it because there’s no one to share it with.

But King Solomon also recognized the beauty of companionship, writing that friends help you accomplish more than you could achieve on your own; companions help in times of need; partners bring comfort; friends provide protection in difficult situations.

Solomon in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 teaches that “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

“It can be an affliction more harrowing than homelessness, hunger or disease,” wrote Maggie Fergusson in The Economist’s 1843 magazine. Her subject? Loneliness. Fergusson chronicled the increasing rates of loneliness, irrespective of one’s social or economic status, using heart-wrenching examples of what it feels like to be lonely. 

Loneliness is a significant struggle…God created us to share the benefits of friendship…when you’re feeling alone, God will help you form meaningful connections with others…you will find encouragement in the reality that as a believer you are never truly alone…Jesus’ Spirit is always with you…

February 24, 2021

You and I have probably read Genesis 1:16 many times in our lives and truly believe it when it says “And God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also.”  But, did you ever see the significance not of what God did but how significant – or should I say insignificant – it was in His mind.

One of the qualities of God we don’t focus on very often is just how modest He is.  We don’t picture God Almighty quite the way we should because we are so overwhelmed and amazed at His awesome wisdom, power, and strength that we don’t associate adjectives like “modest” with Him.

With so much of the scripture throughout The Bible describing in great detail God’s unbelievable accomplishments such as creating everything – that’s everything mind you – and in six days – one would think when He tells us that He created 100 million zillion stars with enough energy to burn for 100 million zillion years to light the heavens for 100 million zillion miles in every direction, He might actually show a little more pleasure and pride of accomplishment with what He did. But no.  He basically said “Oh, by the way – just in case you didn’t notice – I created the stars too when I had a spare moment.  Almost like an afterthought.

Genesis 14-19 describes the fourth day of the creation week, during which God created the sun, moon, and stars.  The sun and moon are pictured as two great lights, one each to govern—or “rule”—the day and the night. 

This verse ends with tremendously underwhelming and profound understatement: “He made the stars also.” Given what we know of the immense universe surrounding us, this is the most awesome and incredible display of power that has ever or will ever exist. The idea that God created the whole expanse of our universe in a day, with a word, should astound and humble us. Not only does our view of the heavens help us track time, it is also intended by God to provoke us to worship Him, through the immensity and beauty of what He has made as David declares in Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard”.

February 23, 2021

Faith is the source for everything we have and hope to have.  Hebrews 11:1 defines faith by saying “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”  Romans 10:17 explains where faith comes from by saying “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Mark 5:36 tells us that Jesus said “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”  In other words Jesus said that if we have faith He can and will give us courage.

With God’s protection and guidance, we should be able to conquer our fears and live a life full of determination.  It is God that commands us to have courage, for that means having faith and confidence in Him. Through scripture, we can find the courage God desires us to have. 

Deuteronomy 31:6-8 teaches us to “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Finally, David said in Psalm 56:3-4 “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.  In God, whose word I praise— in God, I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” David simply told us that when he was afraid all he had to do was trust The Lord and he would be given courage for whatever he had to face.  

Let us be thankful that our courage will always rise to the level of our faith in The Lord…our faith will always rise to the level of our love for The Lord…our love for The Lord will always rise to our level of time in His Word…and faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God…

February 22, 2021

When we think about God being a trinity – God The Father, God The Son (Jesus), God The Holy Spirit, we sometimes tend to have an easier time relating to Jesus, God The Son, because we can visualize what He might have looked like. 

Hebrews 1:3 tells us a little bit about Jesus saying “The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven.” 

There is just something about the name of Jesus!  His Name is the most beautiful of all names.  This verse shows us that Jesus radiates God’s very glory, and He expresses the very character of the Father.  John 14: 9 says that Jesus said ”he who has seen me has seen the Father.”

The reason this is so important is that many times we do not fully understand God, because we have never seen Him.  But when we look into the Gospels and we read about Jesus, He shows us who God the Father is.  You see, Jesus was a healer, and a provider.  He let John lay His head on His chest.  Jesus is the One that calmed the storms and raised the dead.  He is the One who promised those that believe in Him that we will have eternal life.

When we understand that to look at Jesus is to see the Father, we know that the Father will heal us, and the Father will calm the storms in our lives.  He will provide for our needs, and He wants us to lay our heads near His heart and rest in Him.  You see, the Father loves us just like Jesus does.  The Father and Jesus are one, and the great love that Jesus showed by going to the cross to die for you and me is the same love that the Father in heaven has for us.

Jesus said not to pray to Him…we are to pray to our Father in heaven…in His Name…and He will answer us.  So today, get to know the Father…He loves you and cares for you…to know Him is to know life…enjoy His presence in your life…each and every day…

February 21, 2021

There are many trials we are going to face in this life where we just have to hold on and endure it until it passes just as a sailor lashes his body to the mast of a ship during a storm.

You know what we can’t do? We can’t fight anxiety by convincing ourselves there’s nothing to fear because there is! We could make a long list of rational fears very quickly. It won’t take long for us to whip up an anxious whirlwind of worry.

And how about the morning of your precious friend’s surgery to remove cancer. Right on the day when one of our worst fears is realized. Are you anxious? Worried for the outcome? 

You may not have a mast handy to which you can lash yourself but you can cling to the Word of God.  In every storm He is our anchor. Following Christ means lashing your whole self to Him as a sailor lashes his body to the mast of a ship during a storm.  You don’t need to worry about being able to hold on because He promised He would hold on to you!

Oh, to be near Jesus in a storm!  He is so good and so calm it would make us feel good, safe, and secure just looking at Him! 

Remember Peter and the boys when they were caught in a storm?  Mark 4:38-41 tells the story “And they woke Him and said to Him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’ And He awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be Still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was great calm. He said to them, ‘Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?’ And they were filled with great fear and said to another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” 

When they found themselves about to go down, they cried out to Jesus. They knew their own limits – but were surprised to find there is no limit to peace from the One who commands even the wind and sea to obey. 

We can’t always enjoy fair winds and calm seas. Storms will come but we have hope because  Psalm 145:14,17-19 promises us that “The Lord is faithful in all His words and kind in all His works. The Lord upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down. The Lord is righteous in all His ways and kind in all His works. The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him; He also hears their cry and saves them.”

In looking back at your Christian journey so far, when did you experience the most spiritual growth? For many of us, it was during seasons of great discomfort enduring the storms of life. Jesus tells us in John 16:33 that we “will encounter difficulties in the world”, but that doesn’t mean we should just go about our life with resignation, waiting for something awful to happen.

 Hebrews 12:1-2 reminds us to “run … the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus”.

We should try to think of waiting as an act of endurance…something that makes us more like Christ…remembering that endurance looks different for each of us…increasing in prayer…seeking wise counsel…giving thanks….

February 20, 2021

For anyone that has ever attended church or been around Christians for any length of time, you must surely have heard talk about the Romans Road & the ABC’s Of Salvation.  Today’s Thought For The Day is intended to make you stop and think about what you know, what you believe, and what you may need to do to make sure you know that you know you will be going to heaven when you die.  If I am “Preaching to the choir”, so to speak, this will provide you information to share along with your testimony to make sure others, whom The Lord puts in your path, can have the same sweet assurance which you have that they can go to heaven too!

As a means of getting started, just what is it we are talking about here?  Salvation is deliverance from danger or suffering. To save is to deliver or protect. The word carries the idea of victory, health, or preservation. Sometimes, the Bible uses the words saved or salvation to refer to temporal, physical deliverance, such as Paul’s deliverance from prison in Philippians 1:19 when he said “For I know that as you pray for me and the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me, this will lead to my deliverance.”

More often, the word “salvation” concerns an eternal, spiritual deliverance. When Paul told the Philippian jailer what he must do to be saved, he was referring to the jailer’s eternal destiny.  This is recorded in Acts 16:30-31 when the jailer asked “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” and Paul answered “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”

What are we saved from? In the Christian doctrine of salvation, we are saved from “wrath,” that is, from God’s judgment of sin. Our sin has separated us from God, and the consequence of sin is death as told in Romans 6:23 that “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Biblical salvation refers to our deliverance from the consequence of sin and therefore involves the removal of sin.

Who does the saving? Only God can remove sin and deliver us from sin’s penalty as we are told in  Titus 3:5 that God “saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.”

How does God save? In the Christian doctrine of salvation, God has rescued us through Christ like The Bible tells us in John 3:16 that “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Specifically, it was Jesus’ death on the cross and subsequent resurrection that achieved our salvation. Scripture is clear that salvation is the gracious, undeserved gift of God and is only available through faith in Jesus Christ as we are instructed in Acts 4:12 that “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

How do we receive salvation? We are saved by faith. First, we must hear the gospel—the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Then, we must believe—fully trust the Lord Jesus to be your savior. This involves repentance, a changing of mind about sin and Christ and calling on the name of the Lord as as follows.

A definition of the Christian doctrine of salvation would be “The deliverance, by the grace of God, from eternal punishment for sin which is granted to those who accept by faith God’s conditions of repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus.” Salvation is available in Jesus alone and is dependent on God alone for provision, assurance, and security.

So what is “The Romans Road To Salvation”?  The Romans Road to salvation is a way of explaining the good news of salvation using verses from the Book of Romans. It is a simple yet powerful method of explaining why we need salvation, how God provided salvation, how we can receive salvation, and what are the results of salvation.

We are all sinners. The first verse on the Romans Road to salvation is Romans 3:23, ”For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” We have all sinned. We have all done things that are displeasing to God. There is no one who is innocent. Romans 3:10-18 gives a detailed picture of what sin looks like in our lives. 

The penalty for sin is hell.  The second Scripture on the Romans Road to salvation, Romans 6:23, teaches us about the consequences of sin – “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” The punishment that we have earned for our sins is death. Not just physical death, but eternal death!

Jesus died to pay for our sins.  The third verse on the Romans Road to salvation picks up where Romans 6:23 left off, “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:8 declares, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus Christ died for us! Jesus’ death paid for the price of our sins. Jesus’ resurrection proves that God accepted Jesus’ death as the payment for our sins.

We must confess our sins.  The fourth stop on the Romans Road to salvation is Romans 10:9, “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

We must call on The Lord.  Because of Jesus’ death on our behalf, all we have to do is believe in Him, trusting His death as the payment for our sins – and we will be saved! Romans 10:13 says it again, “for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”.  Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins and rescue us from eternal death. Salvation, the forgiveness of sins, is available to anyone who will trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

So just what does this mean to you?  The final aspect of the Romans Road to salvation is the results of salvation. Romans 5:1 has this wonderful message, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Through Jesus Christ we can have a relationship of peace with God. Romans 8:1 teaches us, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Because of Jesus’ death on our behalf, we will never be condemned for our sins. Finally, we have this precious promise of God from Romans 8:38-39, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

I know this is a long read…but eternity is a lot longer…where you will spend it and where your family and friends will spend it depends on you…

February 19, 2021

There is much scripture teaching us how to be good and righteous.  The Bible contains more than 400 commandments, rules, and precepts for living the way God intended us to live.

At The Last Supper Jesus summed up everything into three things He wanted us to do after He was gone.   “Love one another as I have loved you, Forgive one another as I have forgiven you, and Remember me.”  We go from one extreme to another – all of which is good – but there is another piece of scripture in Romans 12:9-21 that establishes a Christian’s Rules For Daily Living in plain and simple terms:

Romans 12:9-21
9 Be sincere in your love for others. Hate everything that is evil and hold tight to everything that is good. 
10 Love each other as brothers and sisters and honor others more than you do yourself. 
11 Never give up. Eagerly follow the Holy Spirit and serve the Lord. 
12 Let your hope make you glad. Be patient in time of trouble and never stop praying. 
13 Take care of God’s needy people and welcome strangers into your home.
14 Ask God to bless everyone who mistreats you. Ask him to bless them and not to curse them. 
15 When others are happy, be happy with them, and when they are sad, be sad.
16 Be friendly with everyone. Don’t be proud and feel that you know more than others. Make friends with ordinary people.  
17 Don’t mistreat someone who has mistreated you. But try to earn the respect of others, 
18 and do your best to live at peace with everyone.
19 Dear friends, don’t try to get even. Let God take revenge. In the Scriptures the Lord says, “I am the one to take revenge and pay them back.”
20 The Scriptures also say, “If your enemies are hungry, give them something to eat. And if they are thirsty, give them something to drink. This will be the same as piling burning coals on their heads.”
21 Don’t let evil defeat you, but defeat evil with good.

Anyone can read this and understand how to live from day to day…no Bible Commentary required…no message from the pulpit to interpret…no self taught online lessons to study…just Paul’s words to the Romans based on what God had revealed to him…

February 18, 2021

Proverbs 3:5 teaches us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding”.  But do we really know what that means or even requires for us to accomplish?

If the Internet has given the world anything, it is an abundance of the ridiculous. There is no shortage of grumpy cats, dancing babies, and fake news. Foolishness is glorified. Yet the world still longs for wisdom. Parenting tips. Marriage advice. Leadership principles. Personal growth. Life hacks. Fancy words describing one thing – wisdom.

Proverbs 3:15  says “wisdom is more precious than rubies”.  James 1:5 further tells us that “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.”

So are we willing to pay? Talk is cheap. Wisdom costs. Wisdom is only words if not applied. Words become wisdom when they are internalized and the heart changes. And that is a sacrifice only a few are prepared to make. 

Mark 12:30 teaches us to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.”

The key to getting wisdom from God is to fully trust Him, love Him, and obey Him.

Trust is a deteriorating quality in today’s world. Coworkers play office politics because they cannot trust one another’s motives. The public doesn’t trust the government and vice versa. We have apps on our phones to check on the safety of our homes and bank accounts. We’ve learned how not to trust.

In the midst of a world where trust can be so difficult, you have every reason to fully trust the God whom you serve with your whole heart. When you see how He gave His only begotten Son to forgive and cleanse sinners, who sets free those who believe in Him and gives them everlasting life, you can declare as Romans 8:31 does that “If God is for me, who can be against me?”

I’ve learned that the faster we trust the Lord, the farther we can go. The delay between us receiving His blessing and His willingness to pour it out is the time it takes for us to trust that His promise is true. 

The less time we spend worrying about what if and what will be…the less strength we waste in our own effort…the more we are able to accomplish…God’s goodness is poured out the quicker we trust Him…

February 17, 2021

Romans 8:28 is one of the most memorized and quoted verses in the New Testament because it promises “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  This Scripture brings comfort, direction, and hope to Christians every day. Sadly, it’s also one of the most misquoted and misunderstood verses in the Bible. There are three things about this popular verse you may never have noticed.

First, Romans 8:28 includes Loving God and Being Called to His Purpose.  To understand the truth of this scripture quote, we can’t just quote the part of the verse we like: “And we know that in all things God works for the good…” and skip the rest, “of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” 

Romans 8:28 is a promise for believers. Real believers. Those who are living for Christ. Not those who claim to believe in God but are living like the devil. 

This verse says to those who love God and are doing their best to obey his commands, “Even though bad/sad/evil/wicked things will touch your life, I (God) will use them to ultimately bring about good, both in your life and in the world.”

Joni Eareckson Tada, an inspirational speaker, author, and singer, is a quadriplegic who has been confined to a wheelchair for more than 40 years. When people ask her why God allows suffering, she often says, “God allows what he hates to accomplish what he loves.” And what does God love? For people to enter into a relationship with himself and become more like him. Joni’s life and ministry are a stunning testimony of how God can use a tragedy like a paralyzing diving accident to impact the lives of millions.

Second, Romans 8:28 doesn’t mean all things will be good.  No matter how rose-colored our glasses are, there’s nothing good about cancer, sex trafficking, or death. Until Jesus returns and conquers Satan once and for all, sin will continue to drag its poisonous tentacles across our world, damaging and destroying everything in its wake.

The truth of Romans 8:28 reminds us that although sin and Satan are powerful, God is more powerful; He is able to redeem and restore anything for our good and his glory. All things may not be good, but God can and will use all things for good.

Third, the Importance of the Verse following Romans 8:28 “For those God foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers”

A wise Bible teacher once told me, “God allows everything into our lives for one of two purposes—either to bring us into a relationship with himself or, if we already know him, to make us more like His Son.” 

We find perhaps the greatest comfort of Romans 8:28 in the first three words, “And we know.” Adrian Rogers, in the Billy Graham training seminar, “Rising Above Your Circumstances,” said, “This is not conjecture, this is not happenstance, this is not perhaps, this is not maybe; this is ironclad certainty. ‘We know that all things work together for good.’” 

As long as we live in this world, people will attempt to reconcile God’s sovereignty with humanity’s suffering. 

Romans 8:28 assures us that no suffering is wasted…God is always at work for our good and his glory…When we cannot comprehend why trials come and struggle to imagine that anything good can come from them, we can rest in the security that God is still in control…always has been…always will be…because of this, we can have hope…

February 16, 2021

Oftentimes we get together and talk about things we’d like to change in the world. When we see the conditions of morality in this nation and the current direction our country is headed, and we know that many churches are abandoning the truth of God’s Word to be politically correct, it’s easy to feel hopeless because we don’t feel as though we have the ability, the power or the strength to make a difference. The reality is that not much will change until we talk to Someone who can change things. Regardless of how corrupt our world has become, the truth remains that this earth is the Lord’s and all its fullness. God is still on His throne, and He still governs the affairs of men.

Jeremiah 33:3 reminds us that God said “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”

So if we want to see change, we need to talk to the One who can change it. Paul told us in Philippians 4:6-7 “don’t be anxious, but through prayers and supplications let your concerns be made known to God.”

The only One who has the ability to change the direction of this nation is not running on a party ticket…the only One who has the ability to fix what is broken in your world is the One who created it…the only way to speak to Him is when you pray…don’t you think it’s time to pray…humble yourself…call on Him…let Him show you something great and mighty…

February 15, 2021

Job 37:5 says “God thunders marvelously with His voice; He does great things which we cannot comprehend.”

When we see what God does, we should marvel and give Him praise. When was the last time you just stood awestruck at God? It’s one thing when you see the waters of the Red Sea part, and then take the tambourine and dance and praise Him for His wonders. When you see Jericho’s walls fall or Goliath slain, it’s easy to be awestruck by God’s greatness.

But when was the last time you just closed your eyes in your everyday life, took a deep breath, and said, “My God, how great Thou art?” When’s the last time you got up to walk and thanked God that you could go to church? Or, you used your fingers and thanked God that you could turn the pages of your Bible? Or, you saw the birth of your new born grandchild and thanked God that He gave you the ability to see it? Or, you heard something wonderful and thanked God that He gave you the ability to hear it? 

When was the last time you said, “God, life is marvelous in my eyes, the way You’ve created this world, the way You’ve protected me and provided for me, and all the wonderful things that You’ve done?”…now would be a good time…on your knees…head bowed…in awe of what He has prepared you to do…

February 14, 2021

Many of us misinterpret the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:26 when he tells the church in Ephesis “Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath.”  It is easy to misread and think the apostle says “DO NOT  be angry…”   There is nothing wrong with a little righteous indignation when used in the proper way at the proper time.   

Remember the story of Jesus in the temple with the money changers?  That story is told in Matthew 21:12 where it says “And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons.”   Sounds kind of mad to me…

God’s Word tells us to be “slow to wrath” in Proverbs 14:29 and James 1:19. There’s nothing that will do more damage to your relationships than unwanted, unwarranted anger.

If you are given to anger, let me tell you a couple of things the Bible says, and it won’t be flattering.  

First, the Bible says you are foolish. Ecclesiastes 7:9 says, “anger rests in the bosom of fools.”

Second, you have a weak character. Proverbs 16:32 says, “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.” Uncontrolled anger is like throwing a rock into a wasp nest.

If you have a short fuse…confess it to the Lord…ask yourself what need is not being met…give that need to the Lord…

February 13, 2021

Romans 10:17 states explicitly just how important the The Bible – The Word Of God – is to our relationship with God.  It declares “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”  Faith to believe God’s word is the very essence of receiving the promises that He says we can have. 

We often take our Bibles for granted. But have you ever considered how astounding it is that the God of the universe cared enough about humanity to give us His written Word so we could know Him? The Scriptures record God’s thoughts, words, desires, and purposes as well as His interventions in human history. The climax of His revelation is encompassed in the coming of His Son as our Savior, His plan of redemption, and Christ’s future return as King of Kings.

Amazingly, the Scriptures were compiled from the writings of more than three dozen people, recorded over period of about 1,400 years! Each book of the Bible reflects its human author’s personality, background, and vocabulary, yet every word was inspired as God Himself spoke through each writer (2 Peter 1:20-21). What’s more, though written by multiple hands over multiple centuries, Scripture is a cohesive compilation: Its message is consistent in truth, purpose, and prophecy.

Without God’s Word, we would know very little about Him and nothing about redemption. So never take your Bible for granted. Each time you open it, you are hearing God’s voice speaking directly to you. Take advantage of this privilege and read it regularly.

Philippians 4:8 urges us to not just read The Word but to absorb The Word admonishing us by saying “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things.”

David said in Psalm 1:1-2 that “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night.”  He knew how much God wants us to love The Word.

Though the Lord surely wants you to talk to Him about what is going on in your life—your struggles and victories, your praises and your hurts—He also wants to talk to you.   Prayer is when you talk to God…Meditation is when you listen to God…

February 12, 2021

“Love your neighbor as yourself” was often taught by Jesus as He said in Mark 12:31.   Who among us wouldn’t agree with that statement?

When you’re sitting in a pew on Sunday and your pastor teaches that concept, you, along with everyone else, probably nod your head in agreement. When you’re having quiet time and happen upon that verse, do you feel confident and slightly proud of yourself? Of course you love your neighbor. God told you to.

It’s easy, right? Well, yes—until it’s not because reality is rarely as simple as the theoretical. I love the idea of loving my neighbor, truly. I profess love and try to live in such a way as to practice it. I want to offer to others what God gave so freely to me.

But when you look, literally around your neighborhood, what do you see? Houses you pass every day filled with people you’ve never seen. People to nod at as we drive past, but whose names we do not know. Houses that are suddenly empty, and we can only assume someone passed away because maybe your impression was that an elderly man once lived there, but we’re not even sure.

What kind of neighbor does this make us? I’m not wanting to beat myself—or you—up, but the truth is, we all make mistakes when trying to love our neighbor. Even if we mean well, even if we’re intentional about reaching out, there are likely things each of us could do better. 

Billy Graham summed it up perfectly in one of his devotions.  Dr. Graham said that this age in which we live could hardly be described as conducive to a sensitivity of the needs of others. We have developed a veneer of sophistication and hardness. Abraham Lincoln once said, characteristically, “I am sorry for the man who can’t feel the whip when it is laid on the other man’s back.” Much of the world is calloused and indifferent toward mankind’s poverty and distress. This is due largely to the fact that for many people there has never been a rebirth. The love of God has never been shed abroad in their hearts. Many people speak of the social gospel as though it were separate and apart from the redemptive Gospel. The truth is there is only one Gospel. We must be redeemed, we must be made right with God before we can become sensitive to the needs of others. Divine love, like a reflected sunbeam, shines down before it radiates out. Unless our hearts are conditioned by the Holy Spirit to receive and reflect the warmth of God’s compassion, we cannot love our fellowmen as we ought.

Jesus was asked in Matthew 22:35-40 “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Next to loving God we learn that the next most important love we share is between each other.

When we consider how to love our neighbors, sometimes we forget about the second part, which is loving ourselves. The quote, and Jesus’ command, after all, is to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” Which means that in order to love our neighbors as best we can, we must love ourselves. Self love is a continuous process, and often a hard one. 

Jesus commanded us to love God, love ourselves, and love our neighbors…let’s honor him by doing these things because he loves us…use his love for us to inspire love within ourselves for ourselves and for those around us..loving communities are valuable…especially in times of crisis…like we are going through now…

February 11, 2021

What if I told you that tomorrow our world was coming to an end. What would become important to you? Would you seek to buy more stuff? Would you spend the time catching up on your favorite TV show? Most likely, you would spend time with those you love or even begin sharing Jesus with anyone you could find.

The truth is that no one except God Himself knows when “The End” will come as it is written in 2 Peter 3:10 “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”

While it may not be tomorrow (even though it is possible), the bible shares with us that one day everything we know will change. There will be no more money to collect, or a career to build or earth to stand on. The only things that will remain are those things that are eternal.

While money may someday be burned up, when we give money to the Lord, it changes lives for eternity. On the same note, our careers will not last forever, but when we take the time to witness to a co-worker, we have just helped form a relationship that will last forever. God has created us to be eternal beings. Our greatest purpose is to love God and enjoy Him forever. What’s great about that is that we don’t have to wait to fulfill that purpose. As we start loving God and loving others, we begin sowing into eternal things and forever changing our world.

The change we see around us serves to keep things the same. Biologists call this “stasis.” That might sound contradictory, but think about it for a moment. A baby is born – that’s change. The baby grows into a child and then a young adult. That’s more change. In the end, though, a new generation is born to replace the last generation, and things are as they were. It’s the cycle of life, common to all living things.

What’s more, the interrelated life cycles of all living things complement each other. Plants use sunlight and carbon dioxide to make oxygen and food, which are needed by the animal kingdom and human beings. Each generation of living things reproduces after its own kind, helping to keep this balance in tune.

The change we see all around us was designed by the Creator to renew the creation so that it might remain stable – the same. We can truly say that the more things change, the more they stay the same. However, this state of affairs will not go on forever. One day – and perhaps soon – the world will end. The Son of God, Who was the instrument of our creation and the instrument of our salvation, will return. Are you ready to meet Him?

If you have never accepted God’s grace you will never experience true peace in your life. Jesus Christ says in Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him.”

The Bible promises eternal life to all who receive Christ as it is written in 1 John 5:11-13 “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. I write these things to you who believe.”

If you have not asked Jesus into your life you can receive Jesus Christ right now by faith through prayer. Prayer is just talking with God. He knows your heart, so don’t worry about getting your words just right. You could simply say “Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive you as my Saviour and Lord. Thank you for forgiving me of my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.”

It’s not too late…be ready when Jesus knocks…listen – there may be someone at your door right now…see who it is…welcome them in…it may change your life for all eternity…

February 10, 2021

In the Bible, there are many times that God provided protection for His people from natural storms. While we still seek shelter from physical storms today, we can look to scripture for encouraging words during the symbolic storms of our life. Times of grief and despair can be represented by storms as moments to endure until the sunny days of happiness and safety arrive. 

The Bible provides wisdom and guidance to get through the storms of our lives and follow the path of God through difficult times as told in Psalm 107:28-31 reading “Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.”

Are you facing an enormous storm in your life? Do your circumstances seem overwhelming? Do you fear the future? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, it is important that you remember that God is bigger than your circumstances. The Bible assures us in Joshua 1:9 “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go”

It’s important to have faith in God even when you’re dealing with any storm in life, but this can be especially difficult when you’re anxious or fearful. This is easier said than done when you think of all the things around that can insight fear and despair. Being anxious-natured can make your problems feel colossal and cause us to lose sight of the one thing that can pull us through – our Father in Heaven. 

The truth is, we have hope through the promises of God that we can find directly in Second Corinthians 12:9 where God tells the apostle Paul “‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

God will give you strength when you’re dealing with the storms of life. When it comes to dealing with life’s circumstances, know that there are certain things outside your control, so don’t focus on changing every little thing. Instead, identify, celebrate and embrace what you can learn from the situation. Instead of dwelling on the “what ifs” and the negatives of a given situation, focus on the power you have within yourself to define your own happiness; living one day at a time and enjoying one moment at a time. When you let go of the little things, you can see life in an entirely new way.

Psalm 91:1-2 reminds us that “Whoever goes to the Lord for safety, whoever remains under the protection of the Almighty, can say to Him, ‘You are my defender and protector. You are my God; In You I trust.’”

God isn’t always trying to teach us something new in our trials and hardships. Sometimes, God wants to unlearn certain habits, patterns and behaviors that hold us back from being our happiest. He also wants us to trust in Him as our protector and a guide for growth. When you can accept hardships as pathways to peace, not looking at circumstances as forms of defeat but as opportunities for growth and strength, our lives can then be transformed.

In Psalm 57:12 David pleads “Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in You my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by.”

God has taught and continues to teach many things through life’s storms. He is teaching us how to live out of His strength by walking after His Spirit. Through faith, you will find your identity in Christ, which will calm the pounding waves that make you feel fearful, desperate or worthless. Jesus accepts us for who we are in Him rather than how we perform. This truth will calm your soul in the midst of life’s storms as David in Psalm 46:1 proclaimed “God is our shelter and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.”

We are called to this Earth for a specific purpose, with a specific purpose, even when we don’t always know what that purpose is. What we should always focus on is the fact that we are safe with God and that He is in control. Learn to accept that you can’t control or change certain life circumstances, so we need to relinquish control. The only thing you can change in life is you. Have the courage to acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses. Take an honest look at yourself and acknowledge that you’re not perfect and work on what you can. This is the first step on the journey of change within.

None of the storms you will go through in life will be enjoyable. They can cause much pain. Yet, even in our regrets, God comforts us with His faithfulness. Whatever battle you are in, you stand victorious when you trust in God. 

One great way to combat the storms of life is to pray…the great thing about prayer is that it can help us channel a hope that we didn’t even know we could access…so let the power of prayer work on your life…watch incredible things happen…are you on your knees yet…

February 9, 2021

The book of Lamentations, probably written by the prophet Jeremiah, is a dark but beautiful book that reflects the pain of injustice and human loss. It’s filled with crushing emotions: anger, desperation, fear, loneliness, hopelessness. 

If you are personally wounded when reading Lamentations, you may feel strangely understood and comforted knowing you are not alone and that God is always near.   In Lamentations 3:22-23 Jeremiah recognizes that “His compassion never ends. It is only the Lord’s mercies that have kept us from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his loving-kindness begins afresh each day.”

David knew God was looking out for him saying in Psalm 28:6-7 “Praise be to the Lord, for he has heard my cry for mercy. The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.”

Do you ever feel like the world is hungering for more of God’s justice, mercy and love? These three things that the world seems to be lacking are mentioned time and again throughout the entire Bible as both a description of God’s character and a call to action.  God is just. He is merciful. He is love.  And He asks us to be the same.

God knew that evil in the world would cause us to divide against each other, hold grudges, hate our neighbors and selfishly turn a blind eye when people are hurting. But He wanted more for us, and He encourages us to live above the ways of the world.

What might the world look like if we followed God’s call for Justice, Mercy and Love? 

Scripture frequently mentions the mercy God provides for sins we commit…if we are willing to repent…nobody is perfect…He knows we have all fallen short of his glory…His mercies are new every morning…

February 8, 2021

What do you do when you’re distressed and helpless to help yourself?  Do you call a friend and hope he answers the phone?  Maybe he will and maybe he won’t.  Our lives are so full we can’t always be there when someone needs us.

David had many occasions to cry out for help as King Saul chased him relentlessly across the land seeking to kill him out of a jealous rage.  David knew who he could call and who would always be there to answer his call as he said in Psalm 145:18 “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.”  He not only knew God would answer his call but that it didn’t matter when he called as he said in Psalm 55:16-17 “As for me, I call to God, and the Lord saves me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice.”

David never took God’s help for granted.  He always asked and never just assumed that God would help.  David often pleaded to God as he did in Psalm 4:1 begging “Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer” and in  Psalm 143:1 sobbing “Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief. Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.”

David’s prayers were consistent, respectful, thankful, and unassuming.  We can take a lesson from Psalm 17:6-8 where David says “I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer. Show me the wonders of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes. Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.”

What struggle today has you on the brink of brokenness? You’ll never feel the comforting touch of God’s mercy until you impound restraint and let a little tenderness run loose. He feels all your sorrows—and wants to carry them for you. Remember what the psalmist wrote about our merciful Father saying “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears.” 

Call on God when you need him…you’ll never wear out your welcome…you’ll never need to worry He might be too busy…just make sure you’re not too busy to call Him…

February 7, 2021

We’ve all grown up with phrases that instruct us to do things correctly such as

* Anything worth doing is worth doing right.

* If you don’t have time to do it right the first time where will you find time to do it over?

* There is order in the universe – it must be maintained. (My favorite)

We are instructed throughout The Bible to do things properly and correctly just as 1 Corinthians 14:40 says “Let all things be done decently and in order.”

We are also encouraged by the scripture to urge and help each other to do what they are supposed to do and to do it the way it should be done. Hebrews 10:24-25 repeats this saying “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another”.  1 Thessalonians 5:11 reiterates the same advice instructing us to “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”

When we work to serve The Lord, in whatever He has called us to do, we are guided to work together as a team in perfect harmony. 1 Corinthians 12:13 reminds us that “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.”  

We are also urged by the apostle Paul to avoid those who would upset team harmony and cause division in Romans 16:17 where he says “I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.”

Paul also reminds us that we are especially empowered by The Lord to do all these things when he wrote in 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

Are you doing what you should..the way you should…when you should…as a team player would…if not, you may be giving up your opportunity to get into the game at all…

February 6, 2021

In Psalm 145:3 David proclaims to all who would hear that “Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise! No one can measure his greatness.”

Because David was one of the worst sinners in The Bible but considered by God to be “a man after His own heart” David shouts his thanks to God from many of the Psalms in The Old Testament such as in Psalm 100:5  where he proclaims “For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” and in Psalm 145:21 saying “My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord. Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever.” and Psalm 34:6 where through tears of joy he reminisces “This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.”

When was the last time you praised The Lord…for your salvation…for your family…for your calling to serve Him…for eyes to read His Word and the heart to understand it…for anything more than a sunny Saturday to play golf…are you on your knees yet…it is never too late to start…

February 5, 2021

Think back to when you were a small child. Were you ever afraid?  Sure you were.  Everything was new to you and you learned at a very young age that new and unfamiliar things tend to make you anxious and afraid.  This continues all through life.

Aren’t we blessed to have a Lord that understands how we feel and is committed to taking care of us just like He did for Joshua when He told him in Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

David looked to The Lord for his protection just like he said in Psalm 34:4-5 saying “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.”

David truly believed this because he said in Psalm 16:8 “I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.” David often reminded himself of this as he did in Psalm 118:6 repeating “The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.”

When Psalm 16:8 says “I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.” that is the best place for you to be…that’s where your mother and dad were when you were afraid…right beside you…hand in hand…ready to face the world…regardless of the direction from which it comes…

February 4, 2021

Every day is new.  God made things that way for a good reason and we need to realize that with any new thing we get, whether a new car, new game, or new spouse, we need to learn all about it and how best to get the value out of it for whatever God intended.  We need to trust God every day to show us how to make the best of the day and get the value from it that he intended by showing us the way we should go.  Psalm 119:49-50 quotes David telling God how much his hope in God means when he says “Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope. My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.”  Then David passes his experience on to us in Psalm 31:24 where he says “Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.”

No one likes turbulent times, but until we reach heaven, they will be a part of our life. The underlying foundation for understanding the storms we encounter is found in Psalm 103:19. No matter what the apparent source is, God ultimately directs every situation, because His sovereignty rules over all.  In Jeremiah 29:11 God reassures us when He says “For I know the plans I have for you,plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

He uses storms to bring us to repentance. Sometimes we create chaotic conditions with our own sinful choices. Yet like Jonah, we’ll discover that the Lord is always with us—even in our disobedience—drawing us back to Himself. 

Storms are a regular, beneficial, and meaningful part of our lives but they never last.  Psalm 30:5 reminds us that “weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”

Storms serve a purpose and then life goes on.  God never lets anything happen that does not glorify His master plan for us.

He uses storms to grow us spiritually. Trials force us to rely on God’s strength rather than our own. We learn to endure, persevere, and submit to the Father so He can make us more like Christ.

He uses storms to reveal Himself to us. Turbulent times give us a more accurate perspective of God and the way He works. Sometimes this understanding comes when we look back on a storm and see how He brought us through. Then we realize His strength was sufficient and His purpose was good.

Take comfort in knowing that God controls your storms, and His mighty power and unfailing love govern whatever comes your way.

An old Elvis Presley song should be our plea to the The Lord every day…you may not know the song but you know the feeling…and you know who he’s talking to…

When the storms of life are raging – Stand by me…
When the storms of life are raging – Stand by me…
When the world is tossing me like a ship out on the sea
Thou who rulest wind and water – Stand by me…
When I’m growing old and feeble – Stand by me…
When I’m growing old and feeble – Stand by me…
When I do the best I can and my friends misunderstand
Thou who never lost a battle – Stand by me…
Thou who never lost a battle – Stand by me…

February 3, 2021

“What?  Me sing?  I can’t sing.  I would die if I thought anyone heard me sing.”  Does this thought fill your mind when you sing to The Lord?  If so, you are not alone!  Less that 10% of us actually feel confident enough to sing solo in public!   

The Bible speaks often of praise and worship through singing to The Lord.   Psalm 100:1-2 says “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.  Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.“  Ephesians 5:19 also reminds us that we should be “speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord.”

So what does this mean to those of us who “can’t carry a tune in a bucket”?  The answer is just do it.  If it pleases The Lord, just do it.  We need to do it because it pleases God and not because it pleases us.   Psalm 95:1 instructs us to “Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.”

So do what David did when he said in Psalm 104:33 “I will sing to the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.”

Guess what?   God doesn’t care how you sound…He only cares about what comes out of your heart…not what comes out of your mouth…He only asks for a joyful noise…not a sweet sound…

February 2, 2021

In life, we sometimes face circumstances that are simply out of our control. Very often, no amount of our own planning or efforts can alleviate the struggles or even prevent such trials from happening. The enemy wants nothing more than to keep us enslaved to feelings of deep anxiety and crippling fear. Such feelings are just a few of the enemy’s most powerful tactics against God’s people. Yet we have weapons too – the Word of Truth and the power of prayer. Through prayer, we can stand strong in the power of God’s truth.

He is greater. Always. And He gives us the power to live courageously, boldly, and fearlessly while our surroundings tempt us to be anxious and afraid. His truth whispers sure and strong to the deepest core of our spirits in Isaiah 41:10 where God asked that we “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”

When He said “I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” God promised to uphold us. More than that, He promises to uphold us with His righteous right hand. That means, when you lose your footing, He’s going to be there to hold you up, if you’ll trust in Him…regardless of your circumstances.

Discouragement is probably the greatest attack of Satan in our lives. He uses discouragement to his advantage because it is extremely powerful.  It can cause people to quit on something that God has told them to do, it can cause sickness, it can lead to sin, it can lead to atheism, it can lead to bad decision making, and more. 

Don’t let discouragement stop you…if God is holding you up not even Satan can knock you down…do not worry about His hand…it’s holding yours not yours holding His…

February 1, 2021

The dictionary defines heartbreak as “crushing grief, anguish, or distress.” In today’s world, the term brokenhearted usually describes someone who has suffered a failed relationship or loss of a loved one. A search of the internet makes it appear as though almost all heartbreak comes from divorce or being dropped by a lover. But a broken heart may be brought on by a myriad of causes such as disappointment in a child’s lifestyle, loss of possession, loss of job, etc. Whatever the cause, the pain of a broken heart can be enormous.

The Bible teaches that our God is a God of love, mercy, and grace and when our heart is broken we need all three.

Psalm 34:18 states specifically that God cares for us by reminding us that “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

Psalm 147:3 further promises that “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

The events in Job’s life may be the earliest biblical record of heartbreak. In one day Job lost his children, almost all worldly possessions, his health, and his means of livelihood. What was Job’s response? Job 1:20-21 says “Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD’”. Job grieved. Yet, he worshiped God and remained faithful. Although he had doubts as to God’s goodness in these terrible events, through the trial he grew closer to God through God’s revelation of Himself. 

Job learned what all believers can learn through heartbreak…God is faithful and good and trustworthy…your broken heart can be mended too…God made it…He can fix it…

January 31, 2021

Genesis 1:27 says “God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God, he created them; male and female he created them.”

David realized it was God by whom he was made and is quoted in Psalm 139:14 “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” 

We are further reminded by David in Psalm 139 that “God made all the delicate, inner parts of my body. He knit me together within my mother’s womb. I was made wonderfully complex. God knew me as He was painstakingly designing me with much loving care.”

We didn’t just evolve into what we are. We have been created and designed with a purpose. And the blueprints of you are similar to other human beings but they’re not exactly the same. You are unique—and so are we all.

The human body is a unique design of multiple systems that all work intricately together. The cardiovascular system gives you the energy to move. The muscular system gives you the ability to move, lift, and hold things. The digestive system processes food into energy and discards waste. The immune system keeps you healthy. The hormonal system determines your gender. The eyes cause you to see. The nose lets you smell. The tongue and mouth let you eat and taste. The ears enable you to hear. And your skin enables you to feel textures. You have the ability to encounter an incredibly diverse world with an equally amazing diverse body!

Then you were also blessed with a brain so you can think, process, and create. Isaac Asimov said the brain is “the most complex and orderly arrangement of matter in the universe.” Your emotions help you to relate to other people and feel compassion.

All of these systems (plus many more) were uniquely designed to make you who you are.   

Maybe…just maybe…God knew what He was doing after all…

January 30, 2021

Philippians 4:7 promises each of us peace in whatever circumstance we find ourselves by reminding us that “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Psalm 4:8 proclaims that the peace we get from God is so calming and restful that “In peace I will both lie down and sleep, For You alone, Lord, have me dwell in safety.”

The Bible is filled with encouragement that can bring peace in the middle of struggles, worries, and fear. If we ask God, He promises us HIS peace “that passes all understanding”! When we take time to step back from the pressure of life and come into the presence of God, He is able to speak promises of hope and comfort over our circumstances. 

The best thing you can do when you are filled with anxiety and worry is to find a quiet place to pray, read Scripture, and listen to encouraging worship music. God wants you to have a life lived to the fullest and that includes being at peace. You experience the peace of God when you come to Him in humility and accept the blessings He wants for you through Jesus Christ. 

Do you feel His peace and presence yet…are your eyes getting heavy…enjoy your nap…God is watching out for you…peace is not the absence of storms but the presence of God…

January 29, 2021

No one likes turbulent times, but until we reach heaven, they will be a part of our life. The underlying foundation for understanding the storms we encounter is found in Psalm 103:19 when David claims “The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places…”. No matter what the apparent source is, God ultimately directs every situation, because His sovereignty rules over all.

He uses storms to bring us to repentance. Sometimes we create chaotic conditions with our own sinful choices. Yet like Jonah, we’ll discover that the Lord is always with us—even in our disobedience—drawing us back to Himself.

He uses storms to grow us spiritually. Trials force us to rely on God’s strength rather than our own. We learn to endure, persevere, and submit to the Father so He can make us more like Christ.

He uses storms to reveal Himself to us. Turbulent times give us a more accurate perspective of God and the way He works. Sometimes this understanding comes when we look back on a storm and see how He brought us through. Then we realize His strength was sufficient and His purpose was good.

Take comfort in knowing that God controls your storms…His mighty power and unfailing love govern whatever comes your way…peace is not the absence of storms but the presence of God…

January 28, 2021

In Psalm 145:14 David says “The LORD upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.”

How great is the love of God that doesn’t leave us in such a pitiful state lying on the ground.  He holds up all who fall – ALL.  That means ME!  That means YOU!

What we tend to take for granted is that in order for Him to pick us up, He has to be there, right there, watching all along. He saw. He sees. He knows. He is right where we are, ready to comfort us and deliver us. He doesn’t shame or scold or punish, He simply lifts us up so that we can start fresh again.

Psalm 37:24 reminds us that “though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.”

When we’re broken and scattered in our huddled mess, lying and sobbing in a heap on the ground, He effortlessly reaches down and holds us up. Our messes are never too difficult for His love to redeem. Our wounds are never too deep for His grace to heal. Our sin is never too great for His mercy to forgive.

He is always waiting to forgive. Always ready to heal. Always there to lift us up. 

Hebrews 4:16 says “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

We don’t have to whisper. We don’t have to wonder. His word says that we can approach Him with confidence and know that He will mercifully and graciously help us in our time of need.

No matter where you are, no matter the struggles you face that have knocked you to the ground or frozen you in your tracks…God hasn’t forgotten you…He hasn’t left you behind…He hasn’t stopped loving you…He is always close enough to take your hand…He is never more than an arm’s length away…

January 27, 2021

Mornings have always been a special time for God and very important when dealing with us His children.

We are reminded by Psalm 118:24 that “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it”. This means that no matter what the day brings, it was brought to us by God and we are to make the best of it and believe that God knew what He was doing when He made it.

With God each day is a fresh start. No matter what the previous day brought, the new day promises to bring better. Psalm 30:5 promises that God’s actions in our lives yesterday – painful as they might have been – are past by proclaiming that “his anger endureth but a moment; weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”

God has a storehouse of love and mercies for us that never runs empty. It is refilled every morning as described in Lamentations 3:22-23 that declares “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning.”

King David said in Psalm 5:3 “In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.”

David is a wonderful example of a man of prayer, who trusted the Word of God. His prayer life was regular, systematic, orderly and faithful – and he prayed with expectation that God would answer his prayers. Morning by morning we are told in The Bible that he directed his thoughts to the Lord, and lifted up his voice in prayer and praise to the God of his salvation. Day by day he discovered that God’s mercies were fresh and new every morning, for he knew that the Word of the Lord endures for ever and ever.

Too often we have a perception of how God will answer our prayers and when our petitions should be answered.. but God’s ways are not always our way.. and His timings do not always coincide with our eager expectations – but His way and His timings are always the best for each life, for He knows the way we should take. Let us reflect the prayer-life of David, who was an example of a man who prayed regularly, systematically, faithful and expectantly, and who cried: “In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice; in the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.”

No matter what today holds for you…whether joyful or painful…it will not endure…tomorrow is a fresh start…a fresh lesson is coming…get a good night’s sleep…

January 26, 2021

Psalm 91:4-6 Tells of The Lord’s promise to protect us by saying “He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.”

Psalm 3:3 further promises that The Lord will raise us up when we are pressed down when David says “But thou, O Lord, are a shield about me; my glory, and the lifter up of my head”.

David was fleeing from a massive army, sent by his own son, Absalom. It was only through the influence of an ally that this army did not rush on him in a vulnerable moment (2 Samuel 17:15–16). Pretty much everyone was writing David’s situation off as hopeless (Psalm 3:1–2). And yet, as he had in the past, David successfully overcame his enemies’ threats and taunts by trusting in the Lord.

He addressed the Lord as a shield around him, his glory, and the lifter up of his head. Just as a shield protects a warrior from swords, arrows, darts, and spears, so David envisioned the Lord protecting him from his enemies. This is the same confidence David expressed as a youth, when he confronted Goliath. At that time, 1 Samuel 17:45–47 says he called out to Goliath, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand…For the battle is the LORD’S, and he will give you into our hand”.

Why does your head need lifting today? Is it hung in guilt or shame? Is it pressed down by those who seek your destruction? Or, is it just too weak to lift because of sickness or depression?

God does not discriminate. If you are His child because you trust Him as your savior, He will be with you to hold your head up too…regardless of why…regardless of how long…

January 25, 2021

Psalm 34:18 reminds us that “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”

This is who we are: the brokenhearted and crushed in spirit. And this is the truth, whether we are aware of it or not: The Lord is near us.

That is not the way we always think. When is God closest to us? We tend to imagine that it is in times of ecstasy. People go to churches where they can “rock out,” raising their hands and jumping up and down, hoping through movements and mantras to get themselves into an altered state of joy. I don’t fault them for that; we all need joy, wherever we can find it.

Some would say that God is closest to us when we are in awe of the beauty of creation—standing on a mountaintop, looking into the Grand Canyon, watching the crashing waves, seeing the sunset from Block Island. Others might say God is closest to them in family moments—in the faces of grandchildren, in the grasp of a newborn’s fingers, in the comfortable embrace of your life partner. Some find God closest when a miracle happens—when someone is healed after we pray for them, when money shows up unexpectedly, when a car crash doesn’t happen somehow.

But this psalm offers us something different: God is near us when we are brokenhearted. It doesn’t always feel like that, does it? Sometimes we think God is absent, playing hooky, as if God had turned his back on us. C. S. Lewis said after his wife died that he could hear the door closing and the lock being double-bolted. There are plenty of other psalms where the poet cries out, “Where are you God? Do not be so far from me. How long will you hold back from helping me?”

The Bible is honest that this is sometimes our human experience: We feel that God is far away. But Psalm 34:18 counters this with a description of where God really is: God is near to the brokenhearted.

Is it true? Do you think it is? Ask yourself: When have you felt God’s nearness most clearly? If you are honest with yourself, I bet the times you were touched most fiercely by God’s nearness were not times of ecstasy or beauty or family joy. I bet the times you felt God’s presence with you most clearly were times when you were broken, times when there was no one else, times when your world was falling apart. That’s when God showed up right in the middle of your broken heart: “I’m here. I love you. I will never leave you.”

Do you feel him yet? Is He close? If you don’t yet, you can be sure you will…life is hard…God is on the way…

January 24, 2021

God told us to set aside one day out of seven for a very good reason: He knew we needed it. If we work all the time, not only will we wear out physically, but we’ll also neglect our relationship with God.

This is why one of the Ten Commandments says, “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God” (Exodus 20:9-10). (The word “Sabbath,” incidentally, comes from an old Hebrew word that means to cease or stop doing something.)

This also is why we observe the Sabbath best when we use it for both rest and worship. Our bodies need rest, and that’s why the Old Testament decreed, “Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest” (Exodus 34:21). But our souls also need renewing—and that’s why the Sabbath also should be a time for worship and instruction in God’s Word. Jesus regularly attended worship on the Sabbath (e.g., Luke 4:14-16).

I’m afraid we’re in danger of forgetting this commandment today—but when we do, we pay a price both physically and spiritually. Instead, God loves us, and He wants to bless us by giving us rest and restoring our souls. May this be true every week for you—and every day. 

We are meant to serve the Lord in community, not just on our own. It is also a public witness to the claims of Christ. Our praise proclaims Him Lord and Savior, Healer and Baptizer, ever-present Friend, and soon coming King! True corporate or public worship is one of the most evangelistic things the church can do! Public worship helps Christians to achieve a deeper understanding of the Bible, the life of Jesus and Christian teachings. It also enables those who receive Holy Communion to welcome Jesus into their hearts.

Public worship does not mean you have to be present in a church building. That building is not the church – we are!!! Public worship may be in an elegant cathedral or a bench in the park. According to The Bible, Public Worship is “wherever two or more are gathered in My Name says The Lord”. This can be with your family around the breakfast table at home, in your room at the hospital with friends, or in a nursing home from your bed where you are a permanent shut-in. When we know Christ, every day is an opportunity to love Him and serve Him more.

People don’t miss church because they live too far from the building…they miss church because they live too far from God…

January 23, 2021

Fears, anxieties, regrets. We all have them. Maybe they are little ones. Maybe they’re regrets like wishing you’d gone to your friend’s wedding. You really let her down. Or maybe they are bigger ones that latch onto you and never let go.

Do you have a burden so big you think only you can, or should, carry it? Are you scared about something that threatens your stability and faith?

What does it look like to give our burdens to God? And what truths and verses can we cling to in times of crisis?

In Matthew 11:28, Jesus tells us that we can come to him when we are weary. That we take his yoke upon us. That means he will bear the weight of what weighs us down. God tells us that his yoke is easy and his burden is light. Regrets and fears, on the other hand, weigh us down till we can no longer look up.

Psalm 55:22 tells us we can cast our cares on the Lord and he will sustain us.

Romans 8:32 tells us that God did not spare His most valuable possession, but instead, He gave him up for us. And if God gave us Jesus, how can we believe anything we ask God even compares to that?

Titus 3:5 tells us that we could not get to heaven because of the righteous things we had done, but because of God’s mercy, he saved us.

Matthew 14:13 tells us that Jesus slipped away from the crowds and got alone in a boat. Jesus sought comfort and guidance from his heavenly Father, as we’re encouraged to do.

Matthew 14:23 tells us Jesus went up on the mountain by himself to pray. Luke 5:16 refers to Jesus slipping away to the wilderness to pray. And in Mark 14:35 he brought a few of his disciples with him and went on a little further to pray.

If God’s own Son found the need to talk to God, how can we think we can get through our lives without prayer…

January 22, 2021

God definitely has a plan for our lives. In Jeremiah 29:11 God says “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

All we have to do to let God’s will be done in our lives is, as Micah 6:8 reminds us, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

All God wants from us for performing His perfect will in our lives is to be thankful for what He does. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 instructs us to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

God’s will for our lives has reason and purpose. It is through scripture, where we can find meaning and principles discerning God’s will. if you are interested in knowing God’s plan for your life, then you must learn to walk with God. You need to develop a relationship with Him. Christianity is all about a relationship and spiritual connection rather than just religion. You will cultivate that relationship best by spending time in His Word, taking time for prayer, and taking every opportunity you can to be involved in church and small group Bible study opportunities. When you seek these disciplines in your life, God will begin the first steps to revealing His plan to you.

Many times when we say we are seeking God’s will, what we are really wanting to say to God is this: “OK, God, here’s what I’m planning to do. Now I need you to rubber-stamp this, all right?” I must tell you that this is not really effective in finding His true will. Before God will begin to reveal His will to you, you must be committed to doing whatever it is that He desires for you to do. Seek God’s will and plan for your life through obedience, prayer, and listening to the Holy Spirit.

God will likely be slow to show you His plan if He knows you will likely not do that plan anyway…

January 21, 2021

As our nation has just gone through yet another highly divisive election season, our tendency can be to draw firm lines between ourselves based on which candidates we supported, and that can in turn lead to personal dislike for one another, anger towards those who lead, and eventually division.

As Christians, we are to live in a fine balance; standing for that which is true while seeking unity among ourselves whenever possible, standing firm in the faith while showing grace to those who do not, holding our leaders accountable while praying for their wisdom and well-being.

We are to learn from the words of Ezekiel 22:30 where God said “I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.” 

We are to be those who stand in the gap, who lift up our nation with all it favors and faults before the throne of God, and pray that He continues to work in our midst.

R.C. Sproul said “There is not one piece of cosmic dust that is outside the scope of God’s sovereign providence.” This includes our nation, government, and we the people…

God has always been in control, is now, and always will be. Pray for our leaders whether you like them or not…

January 20, 2021

Our purpose in life is the very meaning of our existence and without knowing this we often suffer ignorant of our own significance. We fall prey to the illusion that our lives don’t matter and we have no connection or impact on the world around us. The Bible offers many insights into man’s purpose on Earth and living within a meaningful mission.

Psalm 139:16 tells us that God knew everything about our entire life on this earth before we were even formed in the womb where David says “God’s eyes saw my unformed body and all of my days ordained for me were written in His book before one of them came to be.”

Jeremiah 29:11 further states that God said “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Proverbs 19:21 also reminds us that it is God’s plans and not ours that will determine what we do in this world where it says “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”

Ephesians 2:10 says we are made to do good things, all of which are outlined before we are even created by reminding us that “we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Psalm 138:8 instructs us that God’s plan will be accomplished in our lives when David said “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.”

There are many more statements, precepts, and directives in God’s Word that promise us that God does indeed have a plan for us, it is a good plan, it will be accomplished, and that we will be enabled to perform our part.

We should never pray for God to change what is happening in our lives but to help us understand it, show us what we should do to make it happen, and help us to see the good that will come from it. 

If we could pray to God and get Him to change His mind then He wouldn’t be God…we would…

January 19, 2021

Exodus 23:25 clearly states that God promises that if we “Worship the LORD your God, his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you…”

Jeremiah 30:17 further tells us that God said “I will restore you to health and heal your wounds” 

Isaiah 41:10 also tells us that God said “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

The Bible speaks often of miraculous healing through the work of Jesus Christ and faith in God. Our Lord is able to provide comfort and healing for you and your loved ones.

When you are overwhelmed with health problems, bad news, or relationship struggles, the Word of God can be your source of supernatural help. Don’t give up! God promises greater things in store – a future filled with promise and hope! 

There is no other book on earth that makes so many promises we can count on to be true than our Holy Bible. The Bible is the most sold book in the history of the world…and yet the most dusty from lack of use…maybe it’s time to do a little dusting…

January 18, 2021

The Will Of God and His plan for our lives always works for the best. We are reminded in Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

Hebrews 12:6 says “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” Like the old saying goes “No pain, no gain”.

Sometimes God’s Plan involves training and training is often painful and exhausting. Olympic athletes train for years and run 1000’s of miles just to prepare themselves for the ultimate test of running the 100 yard dash! All those years and miles for less than 10 seconds of fame! Almost all of this Olympic training is done in silence and alone. The athlete’s trainer certainly won’t be running all of those miles of training along side their future star but it doesn’t mean they aren’t running beside them in spirit.

God may be silent but he is not absent. Matthew 1:23 says, “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). When you hear God’s silence and feel his absence, trust his presence. … God is with us and God is active even when God is silent…

January 17, 2021

Have you ever stopped to think about your thoughts?

“Let’s face it,” Billy Graham wrote. “In the course of a day, all sorts of thoughts lodge themselves in our minds—some good, some not so good. Those thoughts can, in turn, give birth to all sorts of worries and anxieties; they may even lead us to do things that are wrong or destructive.”

The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 10:5 that Christians have the ability to “take every thought captive to obey Christ”. In other words, your thoughts don’t have to be random, and they don’t have to control you. With practice and God’s help, you can control your thoughts by meditating.

Some Christians are wary of or reject meditation, on the grounds that the roots of meditation lie in non-Christian influences such as Buddhism but meditation is biblical. Joshua 1:8 says “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”

While meditation has been widely used in eastern spirituality for centuries, there is nothing inherently non-Christian about the practice of meditation, and, it is increasingly being accepted as a mainstream practice in the promotion of well-being and mental health. Without knowing it, you have enjoyed many periods of sweet meditation. Think back to the last funeral you attended for a very close relative or friend. While the comforting music was played and the fond remembrances were shared, did you not slip into a place in your mind when you and the deceased were enjoying good times in the past? You were meditating. Maybe not voluntarily, but you were meditating. It was a time of meditation that promoted comfort and healing didn’t it?

Christian meditation is nothing more than a time of peaceful focus on God, His Love, His Mercy, and His Grace. Christian meditation can focus on a single word, or as I prefer, a collection of verses from the Bible along with pictures and graphics that promote thanksgiving, devotion, and a desire to grow closer to God and to serve Him.

Think about it…if your mind is full of thoughts from God’s Word, where will Satan find room to store the evil thoughts that tempt you to sin…

January 16, 2021

Matthew 4:4 tells of when Jesus was led into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan. This was the ultimate showdown – Satan vs God – high noon. Jesus had no weapons of defense except The Word Of God. When Satan tempted Jesus to prove that He really could make a miracle by turning stones into bread Jesus said “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”

If you are a child of God, you are engaged in the same spiritual warfare that Jesus Christ faced in the wilderness temptation after His baptism (Matthew 4:1–11). The devil tried to get Jesus to question the Word of God, and that’s exactly what he’ll do with you. Jesus did not enter into a debate with Satan, but to each accusation, He answered, “It is written…” He spoke the Word of God, and finally He declared, “Away with you, Satan!” That being the weapon Jesus used, you need to do the same.

You drive the enemy out of your life by speaking the Word. When he tries to come into your finances, you drive him out by saying, “My God shall supply all my needs according to His riches in glory.” When he comes against your household, you say, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” When he comes against your marriage, you declare, “What God has brought together, let no man put asunder.” When he comes against your physical body, you say, “By His stripes, I am healed.” When he comes against your children, you declare, “No weapon formed against them will prosper.” You have power to drive the enemy out of your life in Jesus’ name!

God’s Word is your most powerful weapon…keep your weapon loaded with lots of memorized scripture…be quick on the draw…aim for the heart…

January 15, 2021

The Will Of God always works for the best. We are reminded in Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

It is God’s will that leads us out of one door He just shut and into another door that He just opened. The journey from door to door is more often than not very difficult and strewn with pain and suffering. We have to rely on God’s mercy and grace to make our way.

God has a rich supply of mercy and grace that we can tap into by simply doing what Hebrews 4:16 instructs when it says “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

By praying and approaching the Throne Of Grace we are promised by 2 Corinthians 9:8 that “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.”

By following God’s Will and seeking His Mercy and Grace we are encouraged by 1 Peter 5:10 that “after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”

Grace and Mercy are always mentioned together throughout The Bible because we always need both. They go hand in hand. Grace without mercy is not any more useful than grace without mercy…we need both…aren’t you glad He has enough to go around…

January 14, 2021

Romans 8:28 tells us “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” This is often very difficult to see in the trials and tribulations that come our way every day but when we look back, many times – not always – but many times, we can see how some difficulty caused us to take a different path and discover rewards we did not anticipate.

Psalm 118:24 is often misunderstood when it says “This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice, and be glad in it.” This a verse we often say to give thanks for a good day we are having, but on the contrary, this verse is God’s directive for us to make the day He is giving us a good day regardless of how terrible we perceive it to be.

Look for the opportunity in a difficulty you are given today and you might – just might – be able to rejoice and be glad in it…

January 13, 2021

Isaiah 55:8-9 Tells us that God is way more smarter than we are and so much more so that even when explained to us we still don’t always understand. God said “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;” which reinforces the fact that we need to just let God come up with the best plan.

Even further, Psalms 27:14 tells us to “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart.” If we don’t understand how God is working to accomplish His Will then how can we even hope to expect how long it should take. Slow down and give Him some time.

The story of Jonah and the whale is a perfect example of this lesson.

Many people say that Jonah was the wayward prophet, but he wasn’t wayward; he was stubborn. God spoke to him specifically that he was to go to Nineveh and tell the people to repent. But Jonah was so prejudiced against the people of Nineveh that he said, “God, I’d rather die than do that,” and so he bought a ticket to a boat going the opposite direction. Some people would say that the ensuing storm that God sent was His judgment on Jonah, but the storm was actually God’s grace. Sometimes difficult times are God’s way of getting our attention, and Jonah knew why it was happening. But even then Jonah did not fall on his knees and say, “Lord, forgive me. Make the weather better, and we’ll turn the boat around.” He was so stubborn that he preferred being thrown overboard. Now that’s hardheaded!

Some people also mistakenly say that Jonah’s being swallowed by a big fish was God’s judgment rather than His grace. But in His mercy, God waited three days for Jonah to finally say, “I will sacrifice to You with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay what I have vowed.” That was all of grace and miracle-working power.

Don’t mistake trouble for judgment when it’s really God’s grace…

January 12, 2021

Joshua 1:9 says “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” This is but one example of many found in The Bible where God offers a plan, the hope and confidence to carry out the plan, and His protection while the plan unfolds and reaches full implementation.

As God’s plan for our life continuously unfolds throughout our entire life in this world, He is constantly closing one door just as He opens another.

Don’t miss the next step of God’s plan for your life because you are always looking behind at the door that just closed instead of ahead for the one that may have just opened…

January 11, 2021

When I was a little boy my father used two words, “Be Still”, to handle many situations from correction to comfort.

If I was misbehaving he might say “Be Still!” in a stern tone which meant that if I continued doing what I was doing there would definitely be corrective and probably painful, action forthcoming.

If there was a terrible thunderstorm in progress that frightened us children so badly we shivered in fear, he might say “Be still…” in a gentle and comforting tone which meant not to worry he would take care of everything and that there was nothing to fear.

When God says “Be still” it covers all situations because He is saying that He is in control and nothing is going to happen that he cannot take care of.

So when you are troubled or in doubt or fear, be still…He is God…aren’t you glad…

January 10, 2021

Romans 10:9 says “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” The Plan Of Salvation is so simple that many lost souls just can’t believe that all they have to do to go to heaven when they die is to admit that they are a sinner, believe that Jesus died on the cross to pay for their sins and arose from the tomb on the 3rd day, and then confess their sins and just call on The Lord.

For many nonbelievers that have made the decision to trust Jesus Christ as their Lord & Savior, the part of The Plan Of Salvation that they struggle with most is just how they are to call on the name of the Lord.

Praying to The Lord is merely talking to Him respectfully like you would anyone else. It does not need to be flowery language with lots of words but merely the most simple and straight forward conversation you can offer with as few words as needed to let God know your need. The most simple and effective prayer offered in The Bible was when Peter saw Jesus walking on the water and asked if he could to. Jesus told him to come on and walk on the water to Him. Peter started out very well but when he took his eyes off of Jesus he started to sink and was in fear of drowning. Peter didn’t compose an eloquent 5 minute long prayer to ask Jesus to save his life – he just said “Lord save me!!!”. Jesus saved Peter and you can use the same 3 word prayer and Jesus will save you too.

Just keep it simple when you talk to God…He is not impressed with the great oration that comes out of your mouth…He is impressed with the great feeling that comes out of your heart…

January 9, 2021

Numbers 14:18 says “The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion.” and Proverbs 17:9 reminds us that Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends. What good advice and straight from The Word Of God!

We can only have peace in this world if we listen to Hebrews 12:14 that warns us to “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”

To forgive requires the highest form of love…To love requires the highest form of forgiveness…Sometimes we must forgive ourselves before we can forgive others…It takes a strong person to say they are sorry but an even stronger person to forgive…Jesus did and you can too…

January 8, 2021

As we enter into a new year there is always excitement about what a new year might bring. Maybe a new job, a new home, a new baby. There is so much to anticipate that we can hardly contain our excitement and anticipation of the rich and glorious beginnings that await us.

2 Corinthians 5:17 says “When anyone becomes new in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

If you want the most excitement imaginable you only need to do one thing. If you don’t already know Christ as your Savior then you can make that decision right now and everything you are and everything you will ever be will be brand new just like 2 Corinthians 5:17 says.

1 Corinthians 2:9 tells of one of God’s greatest and richest promises when it says “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”

What are you waiting for? Even if you already know Christ yourself, you could be telling someone else who doesn’t know for sure if they are going to heaven just how they can too, and you will share in their joy…

January 7, 2021

The apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things.”

Some Christians are wary of or reject meditation, on the grounds that the roots of meditation lie in non-Christian influences such as Buddhism.

While meditation has been widely used in eastern spirituality for centuries, there is nothing inherently non-Christian about the practice of meditation, and, it is increasingly being accepted as a mainstream practice in the promotion of well-being and mental health. Without knowing it, you have enjoyed many periods of sweet meditation. Think back to the last funeral you attended for a very close relative or friend. While the comforting music was played and the fond remembrances were shared, did you not slip into a place in your mind when you and the deceased were enjoying good times in the past? You were meditating. Maybe not voluntarily, but you were meditating. It was a time of meditation that promoted comfort and healing didn’t it?

Christian meditation is nothing more than a time of peaceful focus on God, His Love, His Mercy, and His Grace. Christian meditation can focus on a single word, or as I prefer, a collection of verses from the Bible along with pictures and graphics that promote thanksgiving, devotion, and a desire to grow closer to God and to serve Him.

Pray to God first so He knows your need and then meditate so He can tell you what to do. Make prayer and meditation a part of your daily fellowship with God. Keep your pen and paper handy…

January 6, 2021

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Are you feeling kind of insignificant and unimportant?

The Bible actually has many passages that tell us what God has to say about our worth and our value in His eyes. Genesis 1:26-27 says “we are made in His image, the very image of God.” Psalm 139:13-16 says “we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and all the days of our lives were written in God’s book before we were ever born”, confirming God’s prior knowledge and plan for our lives. Ephesians 1:4 says “God chose His children before the foundations of the earth were ever formed”, and in Ephesians 1:13-14 we’re told “we are God’s own possession, chosen for the praise of His glory, and that we have an inheritance in heaven with Him as His children.”

But notice the wording in each of the above phrases: “are made,” “are fearfully and wonderfully made,” “were written,” “God chose His children,” “we are God’s own possession,” and “we have an inheritance.” These phrases all have one thing in common: they are things done to us or for us by God. These are not things we have done for ourselves, nor have we earned or deserved them. We are, in fact, merely the recipients of “all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). Therefore, we can conclude that our worth is not really of the “self” at all; rather, it is worth given to us by God. We are of inestimable value to Him because of the price He paid to make us worthy—the death of His Son on the cross.

Since The Bible teaches “God chose His children before the foundations of the earth were ever formed”, then He’s been thinking about us for a long, long, time. I’d say that makes us pretty important don’t you think…

January 5, 2021

A New Year’s resolution is a promise a person makes for the new year. Regardless of what resolution you commit to, the goal is to improve life in the coming year. Resolutions can come in many forms. Some people make a promise to change a bad habit, such as quitting smoking or eating less junk food.

It seems that every new year we spend the first few weeks trying to sort through the numerous resolutions we have made – both past and present – and trying to come up with a plan to carry them out.

WARNING: Take care that you don’t try to outrun God. He already has a master plan that was created before He created this universe or anything in it and His plan is going to be carried out no matter what you seek to do with your own plan.

God’s will for our lives has reason and purpose. It is through scripture, where we can find meaning and principles discerning God’s will. if you are interested in knowing God’s plan for your life, then you must learn to walk with God. You need to develop a relationship with Him. Christianity is all about a relationship and spiritual connection rather than just religion. You will cultivate that relationship best by spending time in His Word, taking time for prayer, and taking every opportunity you can to be involved in church and small group Bible study opportunities. When you seek these disciplines in your life, God will begin the first steps to revealing His plan to you.

Many times when we say we are seeking God’s will, what we are really wanting to say to God is this: “OK, God, here’s what I’m planning to do. Now I need you to rubber-stamp this, all right?” I must tell you that this is not really effective in finding His true will. Before God will begin to reveal His will to you, you must be committed to doing whatever it is that He desires for you to do. God will likely be slow to show you His plan if He knows you will likely not do that plan anyway.

Seek God’s will and plan for your life through obedience, prayer, and listening to the Holy Spirit and He will reveal His will to help you gain a better understanding of His plan for your life.

We are to pray to HIM that He will show us our role in His plan and for the strength and ability to fulfill our part in it. He promised He would in Isaiah 41:10 that says “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Slow down and be patient. Let go and let God. He already has a plan. He doesn’t need another one…His plan might – just might – be better than yours…

January 4, 2021

For most of us the New Year resolutions we make each year require a price to pay – usually in either money or physical discomfort – maybe an expensive gym membership so we can lose weight or a lot of sweat and strain to exercise enough at the gym to lose the weight.

Why not make this the year you really do get into The Word. It won’t cost you a penny and it will give you peace and rest. Whether you’re studying the Bible with the goal of pursuing God’s plan for your life or you are studying Chemistry notes to pass your class, the Bible offers much wisdom! When it comes to our pursuit of knowledge, God’s Word gives us the encouragement and inspiration we need to keep going!

Joshua 1:8 says it all when it tells us to “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

Philippians 4:8 teaches that meditation is a Biblical directive from God: “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things.”

Christian meditation on The Word is nothing more than a time of peaceful focus on God, His Love, His Mercy, and His Grace while reading your Bible…

January 3, 2021

Let’s make peace a resolution for this new year whether it be world peace or just peace with our next door neighbor.

“If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.”
Romans12:18

The Hebrew word for peace, šālôm, includes the notions of totality or completeness, success, fulfillment, wholeness, harmony, security and well being. What a world this would be to live in this new year if we could all just agree to strive to seek these sweet blessings for each other…

January 2, 2021

As we start this new year we should try our best to be obedient to God and do whatever is in His Will. Here are a few pointers to help you start every day. They are not man’s inspiration but inspired by God Himself…

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 
1 Corinthians 10:31

“Keep yourself pure”
1 Timothy 5:22

“act justly and love mercy and walk humbly with God.”
Micah 6:8

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”
Matthew 28:19

January 1, 2021

Psalm 19:7-8 says “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.”

Romans 10:14 says “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?”

Matthew 28:18-20 is The Great Commission – That which we are all commanded to do for The Lord. It says “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: [20] Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.”

It may be a new year but you have the same job you need to perform for The Lord…

December 31, 2020

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Words of wisdom from Charles Stanley: Have you ever considered that our omnipotent God can communicate with us in any way He pleases? We may expect Him to speak audibly or send an angelic messenger, but He won’t be limited to a certain method of communication. Instead, it is our responsibility to learn how to perceive His voice.

Today our Father speaks to us primarily through His Word. The Scriptures are fully reliable because the Holy Spirit of God literally breathed His truth upon the minds of men, who recorded it precisely (2 Timothy 3:16).

So often when trouble strikes, we turn to some friend or counselor. That is good, for the Father does speak through godly men and women. But the first place we should turn is to His Word.

God has given us this Book so that we might know Him. If you pick up the Bible only when you have a question or emergency, then you won’t have a true picture of who the Lord is or what He wants you to know. Scripture is a treasure trove of God’s thoughts. Spend time there every day—starting today—to discover new truths and insights.

December 30, 2020

When we have a need or reason to speak God’s Word we shouldn’t try to rely on our memory recall but The Holy Spirit’s direction.

Luke 12:12 says “for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” and Matthew 10:20 further says “For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.”

We must try to remember that when we speak The Word we are not speaking for ourselves but for God who breathed The Word in the first place…

December 29, 2020

God’s Word advises us to use our time wisely because He knows that there are many things in life that can distract us from what truly matters. Do not waste your time so that you look back with regret – you do not know what tomorrow holds!

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.”
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

An unknown author wrote To realize the value of ONE YEAR, ask a student who has failed his or her exam.  To realize the value of ONE MONTH, ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.  To realize the value of ONE WEEK, ask an editor of a weekly.  To realize the value of ONE DAY, ask a daily wage laborer.  To realize the value of ONE HOUR, ask two lovers who are waiting to meet.  To realize the value of ONE MINUTE, ask a person who has missed the train.  To realize the value of ONE SECOND, ask a person who has survived an accident.  To realize the value of ONE MILLISECOND, Ask the person who has won a silver medal in the Olympics.

December 28, 2020

Job 9:10 tells us that God is a miracle maker when it says “He does great things past finding out, yes, wonders without number.”

John Hagee helps us to remember that God truly is a miracle maker.

Albert Einstein once said, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Too many claim to have never seen a miracle when, in reality, we experience too many to count!

To look into the face of a newborn baby is to witness a miracle. Two cells united to become a living soul. Over the course of nine months, those cells multiplied into trillions of cells that created a baby that looks like her parents.

In Psalm 139, David proclaims that God knit him together in his mother’s womb, that he is fearfully and wonderfully made. Every time we look in a mirror, we gaze at the miraculous handiwork of the Creator. There never has been – and never will be – anyone on earth exactly like you. You are a one-of-a-kind masterpiece designed and crafted by God.

Speaking of earth, consider these facts. Planet earth spins on its axis over a thousand miles an hour. Every 24 hours, earth completes a 360-degree rotation. We hurtle through space at 67,000 miles per hour – faster than a bullet flies and 87 times faster than the speed of sound. Even on a lazy day, we travel over a million miles.

Are you paying attention? How much proof do you need? God’s wonders are without number, His miracles too many to count!

December 27, 2020

John 14:12 says “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.”

Did Jesus really say what it sounds like He said? John Hagee addressed just that question in his devotion this morning by explaining:

Jesus’ claim that we would do greater works than He did seems quite preposterous when we consider all the works that He did!

Greater things than turning water into wine, healing incurable diseases, and raising the dead? Fueled by the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit, He assured us that we will do greater than these!

Every miracle consists of two parts: God’s part and our part. Jesus commanded the man who had been sick for 38 years to get up, pick up his bed, and walk. He was healed immediately (John 5:8)!

Jesus urged the man with the withered hand to stretch out the useless limb. When he obeyed, it was fully restored (Matthew 12:13).

Jesus told the blind man to go wash in the pool of Siloam. When he splashed the water on his eyes, he came back seeing (John 9:7).

When the wine ran out at the wedding where Jesus was a guest, His mother instructed the servants to do what Jesus said. She trusted Him to help His friends.

When we demonstrate our faith by our actions, we will do greater works…When we listen and obey, the best is yet to be…

December 26, 2020

I will never forsake you or abandon you.” 
Hebrews 13:5

Heavenly Father, please strengthen our hearts, and remind us to encourage one another when the troubles of life start to overwhelm us. Please guard our hearts against depression. Give us the strength up to rise up each day and fight against the struggles which seek to weigh us down. Amen.

There is comfort in knowing God has promised to always be with us and that we should never feel alone. 2 Corinthians 1:4 says “He comforts us whenever we suffer. That is why whenever other people suffer, we are able to comfort them by using the same comfort we have received from God.”

Do you know someone that could use a little comfort today? Make a difference in someone’s life…you don’t always need to speak to give comfort…sometimes just holding a hand and sitting quietly is enough…


December 25, 2020

John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Our Christmas celebration speaks of God’s heart-stopping, breathtaking love story to us. It opens like this: “For God so loved the world….”

In a cave in Bethlehem, to a virgin named Mary, Jesus was born. He lived in poverty and was raised in obscurity. He did not travel extensively.

In infancy, He startled a king. In childhood, He puzzled the religious scholars in the temple. In manhood, He commanded the course of nature, walking on water and silencing the storm.

He never wrote a book, but all the universities combined cannot contain His wisdom. He never wrote a song, but innumerable anthems proclaim His glory. He never founded a college, but His students outnumber them all.

He never practiced medicine, but He has healed more bodies and broken hearts than all the doctors and psychiatrists together. He never mustered an army, but His soldiers march on today.

He was crucified on a cross, but He still lives in the hearts of millions. Satan could not stop Him. Death could not defeat Him. The grave could not hold Him. He stands at the highest pinnacle of glory – proclaimed by God, acknowledged by angels, adored by saints, and feared by demons, as the reigning King and Lord of all – a Savior worth celebrating!

Without The Cross, the birth of Jesus would have been irrelevant…

December 24, 2020

John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

If God loved us so much that He sent His only son into this world to die for us, don’t you think we can offer a few hours of our time and a few plates of our food to those on the streets with nowhere to go, nothing to eat, or anyone to eat it with…Be God’s gift to someone today…

December 23, 2020

The Apostle Paul said in Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth”

King David said in Psalm 119:11 “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.”

If God’s Word was so important to the greatest evangelist that ever lived and the most powerful king that ever lived, don’t you think it might be good enough for you too…

December 22, 2020

Philippians 4:8 instructs us to forever be in The Word when it says “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

There are so many nuggets of truth and wisdom contained in the pages of The Bible that we would need more than a lifetime in this old world to find them all…when you read don’t forget to meditate to better understand what you are reading…your journey through The Bible is a marathon…not a race…

December 21, 2020

In Matthew 25:40 Jesus taught “The King will say, “I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!”

In his morning devotion today, Chuck Swindoll pointed out a simple gift we can give this Christmas that may be the least expensive but most valuable gift we can find when he said:

“WHAT IN THE WORLD can I give to ______ this Christmas?” Sound familiar? Sure, it’s probably the most frequently asked question every Yuletide season. In our pocket of society where pampered affluence is rampant, we are often at a loss to know which gift to buy. For some people (especially those who “have everything”) the standard type of gift won’t cut it. Nothing in the shopping mall catches our fancy.

I have a suggestion. It may not seem that expensive or sound very novel, but believe me, it works every time. It’s one of those gifts that has great value but no price tag. It can’t be lost nor will it ever be forgotten. No problem with size either. It fits all shapes, any age, and every personality. This ideal gift I suggest you give during the season is yourself. That’s right, give some of yourself away.

Give an hour of your time to someone who needs you. Give a note of encouragement to someone who is really down. Give a hug of affirmation to someone in your family. Give a visit of mercy to someone who is laid aside. Give a meal you prepared to someone who is sick. Give a word of compassion to someone who is going through a difficult season. Give a deed of kindness to someone who is easily overlooked.

The most meaningful gifts we give this Christmas won’t be wrapped in shiny paper with a perfectly tied bow—they’ll be wrapped in tender expressions of Christ’s mercy and love…

December 20, 2020

Romans 12:12 — Verse of the Day for 12/12/2016

Romans 12:12 provides excellent guidelines for living. There is joy in hope. With a little hope we can face life’s challenges head on and not cower in fear of what the unknown might bring.

Since we are made in the image of God and since God is the perfect embodiment of patience, we have that same patience in us to endure moments of affliction because we are encouraged by Psalm 30:5 that says God’s anger “endureth but a moment” and that “weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning”.

And, lastly, through faithful prayer, we are assured by Hebrews 4:16 that teaches “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

December 19, 2020

If you are feeling on edge, worried, or anxious you are not alone! Uncertainty quickly leads to fear and fear erodes away at our faith. Fear can be powerful. In fact, fear is one of satan’s most used tactics to get us to doubt God. We have the power to overcome anxiety and fear with God’s promises. Despite what we feel, we need to remind ourselves that God is in control. When everything around us feels out of control, we can allow Scripture to prove to us that God has been, is, and will be sovereign over our lives and world. He is our peace and comfort.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.  As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:8-9

This passage assures us that God knows what He’s doing, His thinking is different than ours when it comes to what is best for us and His ways – and everything He allows – are so much higher and better than ours. Despite what we see around us, we can take a pause and refocus on what really matters. Let the “big things” become little in the hands of God. 

Let go and let God…

December 18, 2020

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.
1 Peter 4:10-11

Thanksgiving is not just a day in November but should be celebrated year round – especially st Christmas! During this Christmas season let’s praise God for what we have and what we have to look forward to and how we might use those blessings to help others. The Bible teaches that we are blessed so that we can bless others. Remember that we are just the hands at the end of God’s arms…

December 17, 2020

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
Matthew 6:25-27

Find comfort and peace through Scripture that promises you hope and a future. Fear, worry and anxiety are all weapons of Satan to keep us from experiencing the full life that God has for us. These emotions can overwhelm us and keep us paralyzed. Learn how to live free from worry and anxiety by meditating on the Word and casting your cares upon Jesus!

December 16, 2020

Quotes About Christian Suffering. QuotesGram

God will tenderly comfort you when you undergo these same sufferings . . .
2 Corinthians 1:7

Another bit of insight learned from Billy Graham’s devotion today addresses a question many Christians ask God almost every day. The question, “Why must the righteous suffer?” is as old as time. There is only one place that we can find an answer, and that is in the Bible. You do not need to study the Scriptures long to learn why sinners meet reverses and anguish. They are apart from God. Their sorrow is the result of their sins. But why do Christians suffer?

Scripture teaches that many Christians suffer so that they may fellowship with others who are in affliction. Only those who have known sorrow and suffering can have fellowship with those in affliction. The Word of God also teaches that Christians suffer in order that they might glorify God in their lives. The Bible further teaches that Christians suffer in order that God might teach them lessons in prayer. Also, Christians suffer in order that God might bring them to repentance.

December 15, 2020

Inspirational Quotes about Life Struggles & Lessons with Pictures - Photos  | Facebook

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28

Nothing happens in this world that God cannot stop. The Devil is not on the same level with God. The only things the Devil is allowed to do are the things that will help God accomplish His plan for our lives.

When you pray, don’t pray for God to change His plan for you…Pray for Him to reveal to you your role in His Plan and help you carry it out…If you could change His mind He wouldn’t be God…You would be…

December 14, 2020

Tears are words the heart can't express. | PureLoveQuotes

You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.
Psalm 56:8

Chuck Swindoll gives us food for thought in his devotional this morning when he said:

Did you know that God takes special notice of those tears of yours? Psalm 56:8 says He puts them in His bottle and enters them into the record He keeps on our lives. How comforting!

This time of year, we must be especially sensitive to those who’ve recently suffered the loss of a loved one, the breakdown of a lifelong marriage, the pain and embarrassment of financial collapse, or the heartbreak of a wayward son or daughter. People everywhere are hurting. The holidays only exacerbate the pain. Loneliness intensifies. So does stress. Don’t be afraid to shed tears with someone who’s experienced the deep sorrow of grief. Tears are a gift from the Lord…share them with those you love…they may be the best gift you have to offer this Christmas…

December 13, 2020

May God's richest blessings be yours today and always. May His grace abound  toward you, may His love c… | Good morning quotes, Daughter love quotes,  Names of jesus

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant,equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Hebrews 13:20-21

God blesses us so that we can serve Him and be a blessing to others…who will you bless this Lord’s Day?

December 12, 2020

Jeremiah 29:11 gives us encouragement that we are included in God’s Master Plan when it says “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future“.

Isaiah 43:2 promises us that God will take complete care of us as we live out our role in His Master Plan when it says “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze“.

Finally, knowing that we are imperfect, God promises in 1 John 1:9 that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness“.

December 11, 2020

40 Famous and Inspirational Jesus Christ Quotes and Sayings -

We have God’s promise that we will not always struggle in this world. Jesus said “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

God has prepared an eternal home where we can enjoy His rest forever. Jesus said “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. 

God has also promised that our eternal home with Him will be free of the curses in this world where we live now. The Bible says “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.

December 10, 2020

Inspirational Christmas Quotes with Beautiful Images - Christmas  Celebration - All about Christmas

God gave the perfect gift of love. First, John 3:16 says “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.” Second, John 15:13 says “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Finally, Romans 5:8 says “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

God loves you and there’s nothing you can do about it…

December 9, 2020

Matthew 5:44 says ” love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” and 1 Peter 3:9 says “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary…pay them back with a blessing.”

This is what we should do if we are to be like God and are made in His own image.

Let us be thankful and be glad that God, in His infinite mercy, doesn’t repay our evil with evil and our insults with insults. The Bible teaches that God is Love…He not only forgives…He forgets!

December 8, 2020

James 4:7 says “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”  We may be powerless to defeat the devil but The Bible teaches that we don’t have to defeat the devil but we only need to resist the devil and then we can trust God to take care of the rest...

December 7, 2020

Don't despond; depend - Psalm 27:14 {Memory verse} - Do Not Depart

It’s hard waiting on God’s promises without growing weary in well-doing, grouchy, impatient, or losing faith. … During the waiting season, God will ask you to be still. Just be still and wait on the Lord and know that He is God. He will want you to be still and watch Him work; after all, He is in control and not you.

December 6, 2020

raul vallente on Twitter: ""Behold, I am the Lord , the God of all ...

Because Philippians 5:13 says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” and because God said nothing is too hard for Him and because we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us therefore nothing should be too hard for us either…

December 5, 2020

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:8-9

December 4, 2020

Get daily inspiration with BrainyQuote | Engadget

For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
1 Timothy 6:7-8

December 3, 2020

So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
Isaiah 55:11

December 2, 2020

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
1 Timothy 6:6-7

December 1, 2020

Whether you preach in a pulpit, teach toddlers in Sunday School, or share God’s love with your next door neighbor, teach The Truth, The Whole Truth, and nothing but The Truth…

November 30, 2020

With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Blessed art thou, O Lord: teach me thy statutes.
Psalm 119:10-12

November 29, 2020

Psalm 95:1-6 urges us to “Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.”

November 28, 2020

Make every day from now on a day of Thanksgiving…Colossians 3:17 reads “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

November 27, 2020

Make every day a Thanksgiving Day.  It’s not the day of the year that matters, it’s the thoughts, gratitude, and thanks in our hearts!!!

November 26, 2020

Let us be sure and give thanks today for the turkey on the table but let us not forget that the most important blessing we should give thanks for is yet to come…our home in Heaven…

November 25, 2020

No matter what we have, we want more. For what are you thankful?

-Can you walk, talk, and hear the sound of my voice? Did you see the sun this morning drive back the fog or paint the hills on the distant horizon?

-Is there someone, anyone in this vast world of people, who cares quite deeply for you, someone who would mourn your death, who would, indeed, miss you should you be swept off Planet Earth?

-Do you have a family? Are you surrounded by one or two individuals, whether they are blood relatives or very close friends, who are family?

-Can you read?

-Do you have at least one friend? Is there at least one person who understands and loves you—warts, bumps, flaws, and blemishes?

-Do you have a change of clothing, a second pair of shoes, enough food to last for a week? If so, you are in a minority in our world.

-Most important of all—has God revealed Himself to you in such a way that you know when you die, you will spend eternity in the home Jesus went to prepare for you? Do you have a Bible that tells you of God’s nature and character, and do you rejoice that He has included you in His family?

A final thought: He who has no gratitude can never be on speaking terms with God. The Bible is a photo album of God’s gracious gifts to us. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have in your life, focus on what God has provided and lift your heart in rejoicing, giving thanks for the abundance of blessings God has poured out in your life. Focus on the blessings!

November 24, 2020

In a few days we will celebrate Thanksgiving…maybe not quite the way we might have gathered in the past due to the coronavirus… but it’s not about the gathering to eat but the gratefulness in our hearts for what we have.   It was Billy Graham who reminded us that it is the custom of many Christians to bow their heads in public places and give thanks for the food that has been placed before them but many waiters and waitresses tell him that when they saw him and his family bow their heads, it was the first time they had ever seen that happen in their restaurant.

Millions never pause to give a word of thanks to God for the food provided. Few homes have a moment of thanksgiving at the beginning of the meal or at any other time of the day. Even at Thanksgiving time only a minority will pause and give thanks to God.

Thanksgiving is recognition of a debt that cannot be paid. We express thanks, whether or not we are able otherwise to reimburse the giver. When thanksgiving is filled with true meaning and is not just the formality of a polite “thank you,” it is the recognition of dependence.

Be thankful everyday.  God is good.

Published by Pastor Dave Winstead

I am the Family Care Pastor at Harvest Baptist Church in Burlington, NC.

132 thoughts on “Thought For Today

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