Friday, December 25, 2015

The Birth in Bethlehem


The Birth in Bethlehem
Matthew 2:1-11 

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,  Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him...

The little town of Bethlehem was a small village 5 or 6 miles outside the city of Jerusalem.  Wise men, magi, from the East came to worship Him who is called, “King of the Jews.” The exact number is not written but is thought to be three from the idea that there were three gifts given. It is not told how God caused the magi to know that the King of the Jews had been born, only that He gave them the sign of His star in the east.

Herod, the king, asked the wise men to search for the Child diligently and when they had found Him, bring back news so he too, could come and worship Him. Herod didn’t want to worship Jesus but wanted to kill the Child whom he thought was a potential threat to his throne. 

Scripture makes it known that the magi fell down and worshipped Jesus and not Mary giving Him treasures of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Gold throughout history has always been considered the most precious of metals and a symbol of material value and wealth.  Frankincense was a costly, magnificent smelling incense, that was used only for the most special of occasions. Myrrh was a perfume, not quite so expensive as frankincense, but yet, very valuable and used with other spices in the preparation of bodies for burial, even Jesus (John 19:39).

What life changing events our God designed for the world to behold and embrace. Imagine a star moving in the heavens, guiding men from a far off country to follow this phenomenon, then falling down and worshiping the Child, while presenting Him with costly gifts fit for a King. 

Lord, I am amazed  that You orchestrated such a magnificent birth.

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Espoused Wife


The Espoused Wife
Matthew 1:16,18 
 And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.  Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.  


It is written in Scripture that Mary was Joseph’s espoused wife. This was a binding marriage that could only be terminated by divorce. Though the betrothed couple were regarded legally as husband and wife, the physical union had not yet taken place. Prophecy was being fulfilled before their very eyes and yet, there were those who would never believe that Mary had done things right. Stoning was the legal action prescribed for adultery (Deuteronomy 22:23-24). Joseph being a “just man,” a true believer in God, had every right to stone her according to the law or put her away by a legal divorce.

What a good and faithful husband Joseph was to Mary in not putting her away. He listened to the angel which came to him in a dream and he obeyed. True faith trusts in God even when things appear very perplexing and are extremely troublesome. Mary was highly favored of the Lord and relied on Him when life seemed terribly difficult and trying. 

Though we have not been chosen to carry the Christ Child, we can be confident that His purpose for our life is worthy of our giving thanks and knowing that in His sovereignty all things concerning us work together for our good (Romans 8:28). We can center our attention on the person of Christ and not on the difficulty of the situation. We can thank God Mary’s heart was centered on obeying the Lord and by faith trusted Him with the prophecies foretold long ago. “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign; Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).

Lord, thank You for Your great love in giving to us Jesus, the Christ Child.


Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Christmas Depression


Christmas Depression

Psalm 42:11 
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

As we read Psalm 42, notice the psalmist is struggling with some depression and feeling isolated from God. His feelings of isolation may have come from an absence of fellowship with God or discouragement from others. Whatever the cause, the feelings are real and recorded for our benefit. This time of year can bring depressing thoughts of loneliness and despair. Not being able to spend time with loved ones, during the Christmas season, can become extremely overwhelming to those alone. 

I remember the first Christmas I spent without my husband. We were opening presents with the grandchildren on Christmas morning. I recall thinking, “I’m doing so well, I haven’t even cried this morning.” My children brought out a gift that my husband had purchased for me while he was still living. Then I cried! The realization of someone being in heaven and still giving gifts was overpowering and huge. The act of kindness shown by my children made me truly thankful for their love and concern for their mother. It was a Christmas I will never forget.

Riding upon the storms of life, with Christ as your anchor, will without a doubt give you strength to endure. Knowing you have complete access and pleasure in His presence is most definitely the cure for sorrow. When you rely upon yourself for help and strength, you may begin to sink in the midst of the storm. But, when you hold on to the promises of God, He keeps your head above the billowing waves and comforts your aching heart. Don’t let Christmas bring anything but joy and gladness to your heart. Set your affections on the things above and allow your mind to ponder the glorious gospel of Christ (Colossians 3:2).

 Lord, may I keep my heart and mind fixed upon You with a thrusting for the true and living God.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Surviving Troubles


Surviving Troubles
Philippians 4:6-9 KJV
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus...  

Most people can't cope with life because life to them is just existing or filled with too many problems. Some of these miserable people don't like their families, they don't like the one they're married to and, they don't like their jobs, or themselves. They live an unhappy life with nothing ever changing for them.

Everyone has problems but the question is, how do you deal with your problems? Do you break down or fall apart when things happen to you that you don’t understand? Do you get angry, or pout inwardly when hard times come? Have drugs, alcohol, overeating, or other things been your way of escape? The Biblical answer is that it is God who is at work in you to do His will for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). The Apostle Paul learned the secret of surviving trouble and the secret to victory. He was so secure in knowing that God was in control he could sing in jail and stand boldly before the Greeks on Mar's Hill declaring his faith without hesitation. Paul stood in confidence before Felix, Festus, and Agrippa with his life in their hands, fearlessly.

Paul taught that you are to pray about everything and specifically with a thankful heart. When any burden arises, you are to ease your mind by prayer, seeking wisdom and direction to lead you through the trial victoriously. Prayer is making not only your desires known before God, but also your hurts. Prayer will keep you from sinning during your trials and from sinking under the load of them. Peace is a calming affect without confusion or anxiety and brings satisfaction to your soul. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee” (Isaiah 26:3).

Lord, thank You for prayer that brings perfect peace to my troubled heart.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Giving Thanks Always


Giving Thanks Always
Ephesians 5:20 
Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

The giving of thanks is a good thing and is to be a part of our daily walk with Christ. We are sometimes guilty in failing to thank God for all the things He has done for us. It seems so simple to set a little time aside every day and just thank Him, but we forget.  We don't forget to ask Him for things we need, we only forget to thank Him for all that He has already done.

It is important to keep God first in our lives and first in the giving of thanks for all things. The believer’s relationship to God is so critical and the Apostle Paul is exceptional in reminding Christians to be thankful to God for all things. (I Thessalonians 5:18) We are to be thankful for our salvation and the work that Christ has already begun in and through us. (Philippians 1:6)

Scripture teaches us that the angels spend time thanking God around the throne and will do so for ever and ever. (Revelation 4:9) If the angels are thankful to God for who He is, should we be any less thankful? His great love, immense mercy, and matchless grace shown to us deserves an attitude of praise and thankfulness. Our Lord spent time thanking God for the things He had done so often. There are many illustrations of our Lord giving thanks in the Bible some publicly as well as privately. Christ’s life was a perfect picture of true thankfulness to God for who He was and what He had done. He thanked God openly and with great passion. 

If you are a Christian, you have much to be thankful to God for, most importantly; that you know the King of Kings, and will spend eternity with Him.

Lord, I am thankful for Your love and for opening my eyes to see how selfishness and  ungrateful I have been.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Peace of God


Peace of God 
Colossians 3:15-16 
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Paul is encouraging believers to live their lives experiencing inner peace while expressing a thankful heart towards Christ. When one dwells or meditates on the Word of God and then gives praises to His name, it brings honor to who He is and exalts the supreme sacrifice He has made for sinful man. To let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts means, walking in the Lord and growing in our so great salvation. And earnestly urging each other to consider every thought, word and deed lived out. We are to sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, making beautiful melody in our hearts to the Lord, who gives to each Child of God such immense benefits (Psalm 103:2-5).

Friend, be aware of a false peace that can come into the heart of any believer. This false peace will delay a Christian from seeking after true peace because they believe they’ve already received it. When we disobey God purposely or even unintentionally, God’s peace departs. Can you think of a time when a man of God disobeyed the Lord’s command and was able to go to the bottom of a ship to sleep? Yes, Jonah was that man. In his disobedience, Jonah was at peace in his disobedient decision until God brought a great storm into his life. When our hearts are not at peace with God, it makes it hard to sing praises to Him or be in harmony with those we love. Prayer and surrender to the will of God brings true peace to the heart and praises from our lips to Him who is worthy to be praised. 

Lord, I will trust Your care of me and rest in Your perfect peace .

Friday, November 13, 2015

There is a Purpose for Every Season


There is a Purpose  for Every Season
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven... 

Are you struggling with the season of life God has purposed for you? Maybe you have asked God, “Why is this happening and what is the reason or purpose for this?”  The battle going on inside of you is for control and it started at the very beginning of your Christian life. Submitting your life to someone, namely God, could sound impossible at times.

Each one of us is in a season of life that God has prepared for us. A time or purpose in our lives that we can trust God in, whether it be a season of pain and heartache, or a season of change and growing. All have their purpose and we as Christians must trust God in His divine plan for us in that season of our life.

To trust God in times of trouble is difficult and we would in no way want to say that it’s not. But, knowing that He has a purpose for the times of adversity in our lives is a matter of trusting God by faith. Faith is a fruit of the Spirit which we find in Galatians 5:22. The Holy Spirit makes the Word of God come alive in our hearts and creates in us the faith needed to allow Him to rule in our lives. We cannot give way to feelings of anxiety, depression, or fear but, we must trust God even though we do not feel like doing so.

Has God ever lied to you or not kept His promises? Are not His mercies new every morning and His compassions unending (Lamentations 3:22-26)? If you are being stubborn and think you’ll never submit to anyone or anything, you are wrong, you will always be submitting to someone or something. Not submitting to the will of God for your life can be an extremely unfavorable decision to make.

Lord, may I trust You in every season of my life. 



Friday, November 6, 2015

God's Divine Plan


God’s Divine Plan
Ephesians 5:21-23 KJV
Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 
The prevailing spirit of all relationships should be one of submission. “Wives, submit  yourselves unto your own husbands." There is a limit to what is suitable in the role of submission. It does not mean that a woman submits to her own husband in things that dishonor God. In Acts 5:29, the apostles said when commanded not to preach, “We must obey God and not men.” If circumstances reach a point where you are faced with dishonoring God, you have to choose to obey God rather than man.  
Do you have a husband who is trying to you, either because he's unsaved or he's a disobedient believer? Dear one, all the more reason to be submissive and demonstrate to him a meek and a quiet spirit. This is a picture of a virtuous woman and demonstrates a respectful kind of behavior towards him. Remember to adorn your heart with the imperishable quality of a gentle spirit which is precious in the sight of God (I Peter 3:4).
Respond to your husband submissively, as if you were responding to Jesus Christ. When a wife does not submit, there is separation from the plan of God causing the relationship between the husband and wife to be dysfunctional. God, in His infinite wisdom, has created the body to respond to the head and has designed the husband to be the head of the wife. When you see a body that does not respond to the head, it is not normal. Likewise, when a wife does not respond to her husband properly, it is against God’s design. When you submit to your husband, you are conforming to the will of God.
Lord, I submit to Your authority in obeying and submitting to my husband.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Why Are We Tempted?


Why Are We Tempted?

James 1:13, 14 
Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:  But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed..

Why is it so difficult to say no to temptation and “yes” to God? Why is temptation so attractive and powerful? Couldn’t God eliminate the devil? Just think, if Satan were gone, we could resist temptation much more easily. Isaiah 55:8,9 says; “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.” 

Why do we experience temptation? What is the purpose behind it all? Could it be God’s method of testing our loyalty and our love? We cannot say we love someone until we have had to make some hard choices on their behalf. God uses our sins to show us His grace and power. “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, for His power is perfected in our weakness and gives us strength to overcome sin’s control.

So, what sin is it that keeps holding you captive? Is it an obvious one: drunkenness, adultery, gluttony, homosexuality, an addiction of any kind? Maybe it is a very private sin, the one in your mind: pride, fear, bitterness, envy, anxiety, jealousy, or hatred. Whatever it is, God can deliver you from that sin. God will provide for you the way of escape–––that you may be able to endure the temptation (I Corinthians 10:13). The Lord knows how to rescue the godly from their trials no matter how difficult.

Lord, Your grace is enough to strengthen me through any trial.





Friday, October 23, 2015

Sacrificial Love


Sacrificial Love

John 15:13 KJV
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Short summary of the novel, “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens:

The year is now 1789. The peasants in Paris storm the Bastille and the French Revolution begins. The revolutionaries murder aristocrats in the streets, and Gabelle, a man charged with the maintenance of the Evrémonde estate, is imprisoned. Three years later, he writes to Darnay, asking to be rescued. Despite the threat of great danger,  Darnay departs immediately for France.

Sydney Carton, a look-a-like to Darnay, also has traveled to Paris because of the selfless love that he has for Lucie Manette. He resolves to sacrifice himself to save Lucie’s husband's life.  He drugs Darnay and exchanges places with him, having Barsad carry Darnay out of the prison to safety. Carton dies in Darnay's place at the hand of Madam Guillotine. Sydney Carton’s final quote: “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest I go to than I have ever known.” Though this is only a novel, the truth of “agape” love is shown by the sacrificial giving of one’s life for another, without thought of return. 

The true meaning of love, as defined in Biblical terms, has been corrupted, stained in our English language. Most often, people that have said that they are in love, are really infatuated with what they think love may be.  Is love that touchy-feely sensation a person has when he or she is with a familiar person? According to the Bible, love isn’t what we feel, but what we do. The Lord loved us enough to die for us and pay our sin debt while we were sinning against Him. This shows that true biblical love is not about emotion. God chose to love us and His love was not based on our meriting it in any way.

Lord, thank You for a love so great that You sacrificed Yourself for sinful man.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Self-Control, a Fruit of the Spirit


Self-Control, a Fruit of the Spirit

Galatians 5:22-23 
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Though self-control is last on the list of fruit, it is certainly not the least of them mentioned. Temperance, self-control is the ability to live with restraints. The world today tells us to: do your own thing and be free of all control. But, we, as Christians, are instructed to demonstrate self-control that we may be like Christ. It is possible for the old nature to imitate some of the fruit of the Spirit, but the flesh, our old nature, can never produce the fruit of the Spirit. When the Spirit produces fruit in our lives, God gets the glory, but when the flesh does the work, we become proud of ourselves when complements come our way.

We must remember that fruit is produced so it can be shared, not admired, or put on a shelf as a display. People all around us are starving for love, and are hungry for all the other wonderful characteristics of the Spirit that we can share with them. They know we have something they lack, therefore, we do not bear fruit for our own pleasure, but for the benefit of others. This is truly a labor of love, that Christ may be praised and glorified.

Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit working in your life as a Christian. Scripture tells you to examine yourself, whether you are in the faith (1 Corinthians 13:5).  Putting yourself to the test to see if you are a true believer, is crucial! Do you recognize that the Lord of Heaven, Jesus Christ, dwells in you? If the Spirit of God does not have residence in your life, there is no fruit of self-control or any other godly characteristic. Trust Christ today, believe that Christ did for you what you could never do for yourself.

Lord, may You be glorified through the godly characteristic of self-control.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Sweet Song of Praise


Sweet Song of Praise
Psalm 8:1,9 KJV
O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.  O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!

What comes to mind when we hear His name?
Is it the Sweetest Name We Know
   Is there strength and power, and joy of heaven,
  That comforts our troubled soul? 

  How sweet the name of Jesus sounds,
 To a heart so filled with pain; 
   It soothes the aching broken heart 
And heals the wounds of shame.

  O, Lover of our burdened soul, 
 Our never ending Friend,
       Though weak and weary, bruised from sin, 
Your forgiveness has no end.

       May we lift our voices to heaven’s throne, 
Of the matchless worth of Christ, 
    Our Prophet, Priest, and Glorious King, 
Our Sustainer and Giver of life.

  O LORD, our Lord, 
      What eternal excellence is given to Thy name,
       The sweetest song of highest praise,
            Will be to His precious name.

                                                      by Dianna Moffitt Carroll

David, in his songs of praise to God, expresses such loving words of devotion and proclaims His name as excellent and above all other names. He extols the Savior’s name and the matchless worth of who He is. Why should we praise the name of Jesus and give all honor to His name? Because He is worthy to be praised and His greatness is unsearchable in heaven above and on the earth beneath. “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name” (Hebrews 13:15 KJV). 

There is a well of strength hidden in the praises we sing and give to our Lord. Though our hearts are heavy at times and we don’t know what to do, we can meditate upon, “O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!” He is our JEHOVAH-ROPHE, the God who heals; our JEHOVAH-EL ROI, the God who sees; our JEHOVAH-SHALOM, the Lord of peace and our Mighty God in need. He is there to defend, comfort and guide us; throughout our anxious days. Don’t let the songs of praise be mere words written with ink, but let the sweetest name ever sung–– bring healing to the soul. For then we’ll discover the marvelous privilege of getting to know, the One whose name is exalted above every name and at the name of JESUS, every knee shall bow (Philippians 2:10).

Lord, may I praise Your name with a heart of thanksgiving.

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Conscience


The Conscience

Acts 24:16 KJV
 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.

Have you ever found yourself feeling guilty for no apparent reason you knew of and immediately went to the Word of God for instruction and comfort? “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me...” (Psalm 139:23,24). Examining guilt feelings in the light of Scripture, along with prayer, is definitely the cure for a guilty conscience. A person who conceals his sin will not prosper, but the one who confesses and forsakes sin, will have compassion (Proverbs 28:13). After spending time searching your heart through prayer and reading God’s Word, did you realized that Satan, known as, “the accuser of the brethren” (Revelation 12:10), tried to discourage you with his lies (John 8:44)? Christians need to understand that guilt appears when sin is prevalent in the life of a believer, but also, when one is not trusting God with a clear and well-advised conscience. The conscience must be persuaded by the Word of God, not by feelings.

In the Christian life, one’s conscience can be driven by an inadequate understanding of scriptural truths and these can produce guilt, shame, and misunderstood feelings. The deceitfulness of sin is dangerous to the believer because it hardens the heart and keeps you from the truth of the Gospel(Hebrews 3:13). The human heart grows more susceptible to temptation, pride, and every other kind of evil, when sin has deceived and defiled the conscience. God has written His law on man’s heart so, when man violates his conscience, it results in guilt, regret, and doubt, a signal to your soul’s well-being. A person with a good conscience is doing the will of God from the heart. This produces true joy, everlasting assurance, and ultimate peace in the heart of the believer.

Lord, I pray I will live before You and before men, with a good conscience.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Children


Children
Psalms 127:3 KJV
Lo, (behold, observe) children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.

The starting place for training children is to teach them to honor their father and their mother. We have all seen children scream at their mother or father in the store when they did not receive what they wanted. That is not a picture of honoring a parent. The mommy/daddy relationship is the first relationship a child will experience and must be the first moral principle a child needs to learn. “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land ...” (Exodus 20:12). This is the only command with a promise.

Ephesians 6:1 says, “Children, obey your parents...” Obedience does not come naturally to anyone because of Adam’s sin (Romans 5:12). Therefore, parents are faced with two major obstacles in training their children: first, the world they live in and second, their own sinful nature. As children grow into their teen years, rebellion can surface. The entertainment world has taken the place of parents teaching the Word of God in the home and they grow up with the idea that sin is fun and exciting. (Parents, be mindful of what your children are watching. Not all programs are wrong to watch but some will affect them later in life). 

Children most definitely need encouragement and caring instruction. They need correction whether it be corporal punishment, (spanking), or loving verbal instruction with the loss of something they enjoy. Parents cannot afford to be passive or inconsistent because children need a parent’s good example to inspire them. Parents need to be careful not to crush the spirit of a child with excessive discipline and being to eager to punish. They can cause a child to become angry when they are pressured to achieve, but are never encouraged or comforted when they fail. This is a sure way to provoke a child to frustration and maybe even rebellion.

Lord, give me wisdom to train my children to obey.


Friday, September 18, 2015

Love is Not Proud


Love is Not Proud
I Corinthians 13:4,5 KJV
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up...seeketh not her own...


Pride cannot coexist with godly love. Christian love is not arrogant or focused on one’s self, but is centered on others. In pride, we become the objects of our own love. In humility, we learn to love others. A person with godly love is not concerned with benefiting himself. The only thing love sees is the need of someone else.

When the Good Samaritan stopped to help the man in need on the road to Jericho, he didn’t concern himself with; “Jews do not associate with Samaritans” (John 4:9). The Good Samaritan did not care how it looked to others. He was there to help someone in distress  (Luke 10:30-37). His humble focus on someone else’s need was the illustration Jesus used in teaching that we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. We must be reminded of the most important commandments, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Mark 12:30-31).

Pride and self-centeredness draws the heart away from caring for someone else. Selfishness  may think; “I need help myself. Why should I help them when I’m having difficulty too?” Romans 12:10 says, “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another.” We are to be devoted to one another showing the world the conviction and view of a true Christian.  Love is never boastful or “puffed up” because pride is hurtful and wounds people.  “Only by pride comes contention” (Proverbs 13:10).  All that pride ever does is breed contention, strife and disharmony. Humble people haven’t got anything to argue about because they give of themselves, caring for others with an unconditional heart of love.

Lord, help me to love others unconditionally.

Friday, September 11, 2015

What Fills Your Mind?


What Fills Your Mind?
Philippians 4:8 KJV
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 

Do you consider the above verse to be highly important in your life? What thoughts occupy your mind and become more critical than anything else? Your thought life will determine how much you love God, and also, to the extent you will love others as yourself. Your life today is a result of your thinking yesterday and your life tomorrow will be determined by what you think today. “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:...” (Proverbs 23:7a KJV).

A healthy thought life comes out of a close relationship with Christ: reading His Word, praying and being obedient to what the Bible instructs. This is essential! As a believer, you need to be sure your ideas about God are accurate, biblical, and true. Inaccurate and unbiblical thoughts about God can block the power of God in your life. If you are to love God with all of your mind, your thinking must be sound. 

When you view yourself through the lens of God’s Word, you can replace the negative, self-defeating thoughts with His truth. Whenever you find yourself thinking of yourself as useless or worthless, as a failure, a hopeless cause or a looser, remember what is TRUE about you. “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's (I Corinthians 6:20 KJV).

The power to think biblically is the power to live biblically. Don’t waver in your faith being tossed to and fro thinking negative and unfruitful thoughts. The Apostle Paul taught in Philippians 4:8 that Christians are to meditate on things that are true, honest, just, etc., for in human weakness God’s grace will shine forth in His power and strength. 

Lord, help me to keep my mind stayed on You.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Waiting


Waiting
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.

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 for 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 loosing 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 for the will of God honors Him and gives Him time to have His way. This truly is the highest expression of faith and will bring to the soul, perfect rest. Quietly waiting on the Lord, allows you to know Him, and His depth of love. You’d truly never know what it means in II Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for thee” if your pain would quickly flee. 

“So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still, Wait.”

(Unknown Author)

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




Friday, August 28, 2015

Testing, Makes Us Fit for Use


Testing, Makes Us Fit for Use
Job 23:10 KJV
But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

When working with a horse that has never been ridden, trainers will lead a horse into a round pen to assist them in training. A horse that is not broken is not useable. The testing (training) in the round pen will either cause the horse to trust the trainer, or rebel against him. The purpose in utilizing a round pen in training is to help produce a horse that is fit for use.

To teach a horse to accept ridding gear, the trainer will rub the bridle on the face and neck of the horse. He will put the reins on his ears and let the horse feel every part of the bridle. As the trainer encourages the horse with soft words and gentle pats, it assures the horse that he is safe from harm. Sometimes, a horse will rebel during this conditioning time and the trainer will cause the horse to run in the round pen to get his attention. The horse needs to understand that when he does not obey or yield, there are consequences for his wrong decisions. The consequence being: running in circles in the round pen. When the horse gets tired of running, the trainer will stop him with his body position prompting the horse to come towards him. (One of the distinctive qualities a horse trainer must possess, while training an unbroken horse especially, is trust–––the horse must trust the trainer).

As our Lord has us in the round pen of life, we too, are running until we tire of our rebellious life and look to Him. The Lord’s encouraging words sooth our hearts and make us feel safe in His care. All of the testings, and trials of our faith are what is needed to bring us to the point of brokenness. In brokenness, we are ready for the Master’s use (2 Timothy 2:20-21).

Lord, help me to trust You in testing.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Is There Power in Jesus' Name?


Is There Power in Jesus’ Name?

Philippians 2:9-10 KJV
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

Reverend E. P. Scott was a missionary, living in India during the 1800s. The Holy Spirit of God prompted him to go into a remote village to share the Gospel of Christ. He set out on this adventure alone; against the advice of his fellow missionaries.  He was determined to share the power of the Gospel with a dangerous savage tribe.

Several days into his journey, Scott was surrounded by a large group of warriors; each one pointing a spear towards his heart. Expecting to die, he made a decision to use his last few moments to glorify God and stir something within the hearts of his captors. He took out his violin (which he always carried on him), closed his eyes, and began to play and sing All Hail the Power of Jesus Name, in the native language of the warriors.

After singing the first verse, the second, the third, and then beginning the fourth, Rev. Scott realized he was still standing, and that all around him was peace and quiet. He opened his eyes and saw every spear lowered. The mighty warriors were standing before him with tears in their eyes. Throughout the remainder of his life, Scott spent much time with this tribe, sharing the love of God.

The name of Jesus has the power to save and to change lives forever. The name of Jesus Christ carries all the preeminence and authority that God gave to it. We know that God the Father, raised Jesus from the dead, and gave Him a name, “Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:" (Ephesians 1:21). 

Lord, I acclaim the mighty power in the name of “Jesus” alone.