Friday, April 20, 2018

Free Indeed

Free Indeed
John 8:32,36 KJV
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed

Harriet Tubman was a black slave during the 1800’s. As a young girl, she was beaten and whipped by her various masters. She suffered a traumatic head wound when a slave owner threw a heavy metal weight intended for another slave. The damage to her head caused dizziness and pain throughout her lifetime.

After the Master of the plantation died, she heard a rumor that she was going to be sold the next day. Late that night Harriet slipped out into the darkness and began to run. Her father had told her, “If there’s no moon shining, feel for the moss on the trees, moss always grows on the north side.” Harriet made her way to the state of Pennsylvania where she was, “free.” Harriet was helped by the “Underground Railroad” which was not a railroad at all but a chain of people wanting to help those in slavery to be set free. 

Harriet made 19 trips back into dangerous situations to help free over 300 people from slavery. During this very difficult time in her life and in the lives of her family, a $40,000 reward was posted for her capture. She knew God was in charge and she continued to help all those she could until she died at the age of 93. In these many years of turmoil in her life, she was called, “Lady Moses” because of all the people she led out of slavery.

Being enslaved to another human is unthinkable but being a slave to your own sin is damning. Life without Christ is meaningless and ends in eternal death. Jesus has come to set the captives free and in Him, you are free indeed. If you don’t know Christ as your personal Savior, I pray you will put your faith in Him, the One who makes you free. 

Lord, thank You for the truth that makes me free.

The first battle of the Civil War began on April 12, 1861, at Fort Sumter. Harriet Tubman was freeing slaves long before the start of the Civil War and was noted in saying that there were two things that sustained her during this time: the pistol at her side and her faith in God. 

Friday, April 13, 2018

Waiting Patiently

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

I dislike waiting! Do you? Waiting to hear from someone you love, waiting in the doctor’s office, or waiting at the hospital for a doctor’s report. Waiting, waiting, waiting, and yet, God’s Word instructs us to wait. We as Christians need to learn to wait in faith for God to move on our behalf.

The word patient or patience is derived from the Latin word, “patientia” from “patior,” to suffer,  to endure. The Lord not only tells us to wait but to patiently wait on Him. The definition of the word patience is: “willingness to put up with waiting, pain, troubles, or hurts; calm endurance without complaining or losing self-control.” This explanation of the word patience is what God wants for us while we wait for His will in our lives. A willingness to wait and suffer if need be, without losing self-control, is most definitely the working of the Spirit of God. 

Abraham Lincoln said, “Nothing valuable can be lost by taking time. A man watches his pear tree day after day, impatient for the ripening of the fruit. Let him attempt to force the process, and he may spoil both fruit and tree. But, let him patiently wait, and the ripe pear at length falls into his lap!”  Don’t rush God with what He has in store for you.

Patiently waiting on God honors Him and gives Him time to work in our lives His way. This truly is the highest expression of faith and will bring to the soul, rest. Quietly waiting on the Lord, allows us to know Him, and His depth of love. We would truly never know what it means in II Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for thee” if our pain would quickly flee. Let us arm ourselves with the same mind as Christ as we wait patiently, and by faith, equip ourselves in prayer.

Lord, I know You have heard my cry, I will wait patiently for You.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Who's a Fool?

Who’s a Fool?
Psalm 14:1a 
The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”

The Bible has so much to say about being a fool. The word fool can mean, senseless, without reason or intelligence. A fool is someone who disregards God’s Word and whose heart continually turns towards foolishness. Fools do not always learn their lessons as seen in Proverbs 26:11, “As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.” Fools continue to do the same foolish things over and over again leading to their own destruction.

A fool hates knowledge, enjoys wicked devices and will cause themselves trouble with their proud speech. Foolish people have a quick temper, mock sin and bring grief to their parents. The Bible is very clear in warning individuals not to associate with fools, “Leave the presence of a fool, Or you will not discern words of knowledge” (Proverbs 14:7). If you walk with the wise you will become wise, but if you walk with those that are fools you will suffer the consequences of their folly––harm (Proverbs 13:20).

The most notable definition of a fool is found in Psalm 14:1 and 53:1 which gives an account of what the fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” Their ways are vile, corrupt and there is not one that does good. The meaning of the text is “sinful people do not believe in God.” It is a wicked thing to deny God, and the denial of God is often accompanied by a wicked lifestyle. As Christians, we should be exhibiting love and compassion towards those that have turned their hearts away from God and are demonstrating the behavior of a fool. Believers that walk in wisdom may be instrumental in turning a heart away from destruction to eternal salvation (James 5:20). The good news of the Gospel is that God’s forgiving grace is greater than all our sin (Romans 5:20).

Lord, may I walk in Your wisdom before a lost and dying world.

Friday, March 30, 2018

While on the Cross

While on the Cross
Matthew 27:51-54
And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain. . . and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose. . . Now when the centurion . . . saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God. 

Scripture records for us many supernatural phenomena which occurred while Jesus was hanging on the cross. The darkening of the sky was the first miraculous sign that preceded Jesus’ death. Christ was taking our place as the wrath of God was being poured out on His Son. Before Christ’s last breath, He cried out with a strong and loud voice giving His life over to the Father’s hands. A life not forced from Him, but freely given. The veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom at the moment of His death. Evidence that the Father had removed the barrier between God and sinful man. The redeemed would be forgiven forever by the once-for-all sacrifice of God’s perfect Lamb. 

An earthquake, so powerful that it split rocks in half at His death showing God’s divine judgment. The dead were raised from their graves. Many of the tombs around Jerusalem were opened and saints were raised from the dead. This proved Christ would conquer death, not only for Himself but for all saints of all the ages in the final great resurrection. 

Perhaps one of the most noteworthy miracles that took place at the moment of Jesus’ death was the conversion of the centurion, overseeing the crucifixion of Christ. His death was unlike any crucifixion the Roman Centurion or others nearby had witnessed. This man, Jesus, the One whom they called, “The King of the Jews,” was praying for those who crucified Him. Salvation, a wonderful miracle that occurs in the life of a sinner when they are “Saved by His wonderful grace.” 

Lord, my heart is filled with gratitude when I recall Your extreme sacrifice for me.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Why Are We Tempted?

Why Are We Tempted?

James 1:13, 14 
 Let no man say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”. . . But each one is tempted when he is drawn away (carried away) of his own lust and enticed (by his own desire).

Why is it so difficult for us to say no to temptation and “yes” to God?  Is temptation so attractive and powerful that we make decisions based on our lusts? God does allow us to be tested but does not tempt us to sin or indulge in the desire. I Corinthians 10:13 says, “. . . God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability . . . he will provide the way of escape . . . to endure it.” 

Why do we experience temptation? Temptations serve as a kind of test to prove the validity, depth, and strength of our faith. When the trials come, and they will, don’t be surprised, God has allowed it. The Apostle Paul wrote, “And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly, therefore, will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me(2 Corinthians 12:9). Experiencing God’s sufficient grace is certainly something we don’t deserve. His power is perfected in our weakness, in our temptation and He gives us the strength to overcome sin’s pull and devastating control.

What sin is it that keeps holding you captive? Is it: pornography, adultery, gluttony, homosexuality, an addiction of any kind? Maybe it’s a very private sin, the one in your mind: pride, fear, bitterness, envy, anxiety, jealousy, or hatred. God will provide the way of escape–––that you may be able to endure the temptation. The Lord knows that the flesh lusts against the Spirit; they are contrary to one another. This means you cannot do the things you want to do unless you are led by the Spirit (Galatians 5:17,18). Believers are engaged in a conflict and their earnest desire is that grace may obtain the victory.

Lord, Your grace is enough.

Friday, March 16, 2018

I Am Nothing Without Love

I Am Nothing Without Love
Read I Corinthians 13

We need to ask ourselves this question, “Are we loving?” That could be a hard question to answer. Maybe we should ask, “Are we patient? Are we kind? Are we trusting?” These types of questions are more a matter of the heart. Can we measure ourselves according to these qualities of love? The Word of God says, “If we don’t have love, we are nothing.” 

Jesus said in John 13:35 KJV, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” Making the choice to love others is a command given by our Lord to those who would call themselves Christians. 

The Bible never defines love but describes it. Love is an action word and love is only love when it acts. The true Christian is one who loves when he is hurt, wounded, or taken advantage of without seeking revenge. Abraham Lincoln made a lot of friends and he also made some enemies during our great Civil War. Edwin Stanton, Secretary of War, during President Lincoln’s administration was said to be; rude, explosive, dogmatic, and obstinate. Yet, Lincoln chose him for that particular job.

History teaches us though Stanton was rude and abrasive, he couldn't resist the patience that Lincoln showed him. Stanton couldn't resist the non-retaliating spirit of the man called, Lincoln. Love forgives seventy times seven when it has been wronged.  Long-suffering endures the insults and injuries of others and kindness pays them back only with deeds of goodness, and unfeigned love.

The night of Lincoln’s assassination, in the little room where the President's body was taken there stood Stanton. He was peering down into the silent face of the President in all its ruggedness and is reported to have uttered this famous remark, "Now he belongs to the ages." Stanton knew the kind of man President Lincoln was and appreciated the kind-hearted spirit he shared with those that served with him.

Lord, may I learn to share my love by what I do and not only by what I say.

Friday, March 9, 2018

God's Wisdom

God’s Wisdom
Romans 11:33-34 
O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counselor?

God is infinite (limitless) in wisdom and knowledge. He always knows what is best for us and He knows the best way to bring it to pass. God’s unlimited wisdom is shown through His Divine purpose. He not only knows what we need in our lives but when we need it. We most definitely can learn through the trials God has allowed in our lives. But we must recognize that His Word teaches all people will suffer some kind of adversity in their lifetime. 
Have you ever felt that your prayers seemed to go unanswered while you‘re experiencing the greatest trial in your life? Have you asked, “Is all that I am going through really good for me and will I be able to thank God for all that He’s brought into my life?” The Bible tells us that we are to give thanks for all things for they are the will of God (I Thessalonians 5:18). Whether we see or experience beneficial results in this life or not, we are still to trust God. In His love, He wills what is best for us and in His wisdom, He knows how to bring all things together for our good.

There are times when we question God’s ability to cause all things to come together for our best and debate within ourselves if these circumstances will be profitable. Have we missed the point in all that God has allowed? Have we missed the learning possess that God desires for us to grow through? Each circumstance in our life, whether we think it good or bad, is for the purpose of gaining knowledge, acquiring understanding and obtaining wisdom through God’s Word. In the Lord’s providential care for us, He orchestrates everything in life to accomplish His will even through suffering and pain. 

Lord, I trust Your wisdom in every circumstance of my life.