I remember when I was dating Linda. I always enjoyed getting a message from her; whether it was a short note, a letter, or a message on the answer machine. Continue reading
It’s time once again to make those annual promises and pledges you never keep – New Year’s resolutions!
I have nothing against anyone that wants to improve themselves. Eating better, exercising, quit smoking, learn Spanish, start painting, or start saving money are all worthy resolutions. Continue reading
What would you willingly give up for another person?
I know some people that have given a kidney or bone marrow to help someone. But my question leans more towards what lifestyle would you give up to help someone.
Would you give up drinking and never touch another drop if it would rid your mom of Alzheimer’s?
Could you give up bacon or seafood if you knew it would cure a child you know of leukemia?
What about church? Would you never miss another service if it made grandma well again?
What are you willing to give up for your children or spouse to insure they are happy and safe?
The things you say you would give up are the things that Jesus did give up!
He never got drunk, never committed adultery, and never ate bacon or seafood. He did not lie, steal, murder, or back talk His parents.
He was never jealous or envious. He did not cuss or take God’s name in vain. He never missed the opportunity to worship God with others in a synagogue or Temple.
And He did this all for YOU!
Then He did something else!
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Cor 5:21
Jesus took upon Himself the sinful things you weren’t willing to give up so you could be made whole.
So you could be made perfect.
So you could have a more abundant life!
So you could have eternal life with Him in heaven someday!
Paul testifies of the things he was willing to give up after he accepted Jesus as his Savior.
I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; Phil 3:8-9
Abba, on this Thanksgiving Day I am reminded of what I am most thankful for – that you gave up the opportunity to sin so that I can live. In Jesus name, YES&AMEN
I finally made an appointment with the optometrist! My eyes have changed slightly so I am getting new frames and lenses.
When the doc was checking my eyes he wanted to see what my vision was without glasses. So he projected the big, big letters on the wall and asked me if I could read them.
I asked him, “What wall?”
Yes, I am nearsighted and would not dare do anything, like driving, without my glasses.
“There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Rom 3:18
But my physical eyesight is not in proportion with my spiritual sight. Even if I were blind I would still believe in my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Even with perfect vision, I would still trust Him to supply my needs.
Nearsighted, farsighted, or astigmatism has no effect in changing how I see God.
we walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Cor 5:7-8
Abba, I am thankful for optometrists that can help me see better. I ask that You bless me more to be a spiritual optometrist so I may help others see You better. In Jesus name, YES&AMEN
Now the rest of the acts of Rehoboam, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 1 Kings 14:29
Can you imagine having every act you do chronicled? A chronicle is like a daily journal or a diary.
It’s one thing for you to write about yourself, “Dear Diary, I was awesome today! …”
It’s another thing to have someone else writing about you with your good days – AND YOUR BAD DAYS!
In the case of most rulers, their people were only allowed to mention the victories and great accomplishments with long paragraphs of praise. The losses of war and the agonies of defeat were given a mere mention.
But you don’t have a choice of how your life is written up. God is keeping a record of everything.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 2 Cor 5:10
Your deeds will follow you – even what you say!
I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. Matt 12:36
But Jesus says,
“Behold, I make all things new.” Rev 21:5
Trusting in Him as your Lord and Savior will erase the past –
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Cor 5:17
Accept Jesus as Savior and change what is recorded about you.
Abba, thank You for Your grace and mercy that wipes away my horrid past. Thank You for the fresh start in Jesus. YES&AMEN
Last night the unusual happened. Our speaker at church had given testimony and read from God’s word.
It was wonderful.
She then said she wanted to read from another book – a children’s book of bedtime stories.
She picked it up and thumbed over a few pages.
“Once upon at time,” she began, “there were three little pigs!”
She went on to tell the story of houses of straw, wood, and brick.
Then she wanted to tell of one more story of a house.
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. Matthew 7:24-25
The funny thing to me is during the Three Little Pigs I found myself saddened by the plight of the two that were eaten by the big bad wolf.
Then I remembered how much I had enjoyed baked ham earlier that afternoon.
I have built my house on the foundation of Jesus Christ, the Rock.
I am not concerned about the foundation. But I am taking great care at what I build on it. (1 Cor 3:10-13)
Abba, You are my Rock. In Jesus name, help me to build rightfully on the Foundation. YES&AMEN
2 Cor 9:7 God loves a cheerful giver.
I experience it. My children experienced it – the act of giving.
When I grew up and could buy and give a gift. I felt so good to buy my parents or Linda’s parents something for anniversaries, birthdays, and Christmas.
My children have felt the same joy with giving to us.
The ability to give comes with hard work and talent; the harder you work, the more you earn, the more you can give.
He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 2 Cor 9:6
In the world of agriculture it takes hard work to sow bountifully – to plant many seeds. It’s easy to plant one or two seeds and gather the harvest from them. It’s easy to keep the weeds away from one or two.
Plant an acre of seeds and it’s a totally different story. You will have to work hard to plant and to keep invasive predators and plants under control. You will work hard to gather the harvest but what a bountiful harvest you will have.
You have worked very hard and have more than you need. What a joy to give to someone else! You have become a cheerful giver.
And so it should be in church. You work hard to earn your pay but what a joy it is to give and see your church prosper and change the community. What joy to see your missionaries be blessed by your giving.
You become the cheerful giver.
Abba, though the sacrifice of Your Son has cost you much and it must have grieved You so – You must also have great joy at the response of sinners that have found the forgiveness in what was done. I for one thank You for giving. I pray I may do the same for others – give of myself. In Jesus’ name, YES&AMEN
Heb 7:1-2 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all,
I admit that tithing was required under the Law of Moses but Abram and Jacob practiced it before the Law demanded it.
Giving to support the work of God is supported by God and by His people.
God doesn’t move backwards but forward; He doesn’t lower the standard but raises it. He didn’t move from the blood of bulls and goats down to the blood of chickens or squeezing blood from a turnip – He moved the standard up and gave the blood of HIS OWN SON!
So if God once demanded 10% from His people, do you think He would now be happy with 5% or 1%?
But you do how you feel led to do! The early church did and they did not limit themselves.
Acts 4:34-for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, 35 and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.
But you do how you feel led to do!
2 Cor 9:7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.
Abba, I don’t want to give just 10%. In Jesus’ name, I want to give all I have for Your service. I want to do it cheerfully. I know Your blessings for me will far out-weigh any anything I can give back. YES&AMEN
2 Cor 12:2 such a one was caught up to the third heaven. Continue reading