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Showing posts from 2016

God's Will for You This New Year

    God’s Will for You This New Year

                                    Ephesians 6:6
Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;

This New Year has approached so quickly and some of us are most likely still reminiscent of all this past year’s pleasures, as well as it’s disappointments. A few are anticipating what great things God will do in our lives and others are fearful and apprehensive about the will of God for them. In order for Christians to know and do the Lord’s will, they need to understand we are all admonished to give praise and honor to God as true worshippers of Christ. We are to submit ourselves to God as a living and holy sacrifice which is acceptable to God as our spiritual service to Him.

In Romans 12:2, God asks us to prove, test, or discern what the will of God is for us. If we carefully evaluate Scripture, we can see we are to examine ourselves and trust the working of the Holy Spirit in us for direction.…

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…

Who's Missing Chrstmas?

            Who’s Missing Christmas?

                                          Luke 2:11
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”  

There will be many people this year that will miss Christmas for one reason or another. You may ask, “How can this be, with all the advertising and holiday spirit going on?” Even though many are “celebrating” Christmas, they don’t know what Christmas is truly about. For us who are Christians, we too can get caught up in the magic of the moment and forget about the One who came so long ago.

Sometimes, with the hustle and bustle of Christmas we become preoccupied with all the presents, the food and other fun activities. The innkeeper in Bethlehem, said, “There’s no room for you in the inn.” Was he being unsympathetic to Mary and Joseph? No! It was just too busy, too hectic for the innkeeper to take notice of them.

The angel of the Lord came to shepherds the night Jesus was born. Out of all the many people in Beth…

Lessons Learned from a Godly General

       Lessons Learned from a Godly General
Hebrews 13:6
So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. 

One general that has captured my interest and I might add, “my heart”, is the well known, General “Stonewall” Jackson. The love He had for his country was overwhelming though he truly was distraught over the North’s impending invasion. Jackson affirmed his allegiance to the Army of the Shenandoah and vowed to fight for God and country to the bitter end. Duty did not prevent him from acknowledging and proclaiming his religious convictions and many members of his brigade were quickly indoctrinated with Jackson’s infectious faith.

In reading the life of “Stonewall” Jackson, I realized what great conviction he had in serving God with boldness and without the fear of man. Whenever possible, General Jackson held to a strict schedule of Sunday worship, as well as Wednesday prayer meetings, which he would adhered to at all costs. One of the lo…

In the Storms of Life, Will Your Anchor Hold?

 In the Storms of Life, Will Your Anchor Hold?

                                    Hebrews 6:17-20
 . . .Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and       steadfast . . .

What storms in life are you dealing with at this moment? Are you in the storm of  life-threatening health issues and nothing seems to be going the way you thought it would? Are you in the storm of a marriage relationship so rocky it could come to the point of shipwreck, divorce? Are you in the storm of overwhelming financial loss and there’s no visible hope that you will see relief  tomorrow? Has a child gone astray that you have loved and nurtured in the ways of the Lord and now they have left the faith they were rooted in? How do you find peace in these storms and know that Jesus will never let you go? How do you turn painful memories into blessings and build a solid foundation of faith and trust? How do you receive daily strength and encouragement turning every agonizing heartache into experiencing Go…

God's Love, Endless and Certain

      God’s Love, Endless and Certain

                                        Romans 8:35
               Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?

George Matheson, known for the hymn, “O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go” wrote this beloved hymn in the midst of great sorrow. George, as a young man was already experiencing poor eyesight and in the years to follow, would leave him totally blind. He was determined to finish his education and at the age of nineteen enrolled in the University of Glasgow. There he would study Christian ministries but unfortunately, during his graduate studies, became permanently blind. To add to his saddened plight, his fiancee was unwilling to be married to a blind man and broke off their engagement returning the ring.

George never married because of his broken heart and severe pain of total rejection. His two sisters, who loved him dearly, stood beside him learning Greek and Hebrew along with him to help with his studies for ministry. When one of the sister…

Thanksgiving

                      Thanksgiving

                                I Thessalonians 5:18
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Well, Thanksgiving Day is almost here! Will our gratitude last beyond the afternoon nap? Is Thanksgiving—a one-time, get-it-out-of-the-way holiday that forces us to reflect on how blessed we are? Too quickly people resort back to being ingrates and complaining about what they don’t have. God’s will for us is to be thankful all the time and in all things. If we’re a believer that loves God with all our heart, soul and mind, then follow God’s will and be thankful!

“In every thing” carries an unlimited stipulation. It refers to everything that may take place in one’s life, except of course, personal sin. No matter what struggles or trials God will direct or indirectly allow into our lives, there is always a reason for thanking Him. I Peter 1:6-9 tells us that we are to rejoice when we have been grieved by various trial…

When Life Hurts

                     When Life Hurts
Galatians 6:2
Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
What does it mean to fulfill the law of Christ? Most Bible teachers say that the law of Christ is what Jesus stated in Mark 12:28-31, “. . . love the Lord your God with all your heart . . . soul . . . mind and . . . strength.’  . . . ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Are there things that you wish others knew and could understand when life brings real heart wrenching pain and your grief overpowers every dream you hold dear?  Sometimes people with good intentions say foolish and harmful things to those suffering. Words can wound an already broken heart to the point of devastation instead of giving hope and strength in an ongoing crisis.

Someone in sorrow needs for you to come along side and give them encouragement through a touch of compassion, and a tearful, tender heart (Romans 12:15). Even though the question, “How…

I Think on These Things

            I Think on These Things

                                  Philippians 4:8
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.

Is There An Intruder?
Is there an intruder in your house? Has he crept in unaware?
He’ll steal your joy, your peace, your love;
And rob you of blessings from above.

Is there an intruder in your heart?
He’s not welcomed there, nor entitled to any part.
He’ll try to move in and not let go,
Once you’ve given him the slightest control.

Is there an intruder in your mind?
He’s taken up occupancy and stolen your time.
What you thought about was neither lovely nor true;
“Being anxious for nothing,” has no meaning to you.

Is there an intruder you’ve allowed to come in?
Can it be the flesh you’ve no confidence in?
“Be strong in the Lord, and in the power…

Dwelling in Fear?

                    Dwelling in Fear?

                                        Isaiah 41:10
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. 


In light of Isaiah 41:10, Israel did not need to fear God’s judgment upon them but rather to trust in their God. For the LORD is trustworthy and His promises to restore the nation of Israel once again are true.

“My righteous right hand” refers to what is just and right and a place of honor and authority. God’s hand is faithful, one can rely on it and know that there’s security in times of trouble. Living life in fear is a hard place to be. The feelings of fear are intense whether they are real or assumed to be true. Both types of fear will have an affect on a person’s emotional, physical, and/or spiritual well being.

Fear triggers the release of adrenaline in the body which propels us to action. We’re faced w…

What Does It Mean to Blaspheme?

   What Does It Mean to Blaspheme?

Definition:According toBlack's Law Dictionary,blasphemy is “the written or oral reproach of God, His name, attributes, or religion.”

To blaspheme was a serious offense or crime according to the law God gave to Moses. The Israelite people were to worship God, obey Him and revere His Holy name (Leviticus 24:10-16). The name of God was not just a convenient label for mankind to use, but a symbolic representation of His divine character.

Jesus spoke of a type of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit which was committed by the religious leaders of His day. The situation, the Pharisees were eyewitnesses to Jesus’ miracles, but they attributed the work of the Holy Spirit to the presence of a demon (Mark 3:22-30). This was deliberate, insulting and a scornful rejection of the Holy Spirit of God. Blasphemy of this sort was unforgivable (Matthew 12:22–32).

The Pharisees, living in a unique time of history, had the Law and the Prophets, and the Holy Spirit of God …

In the Pit

                            In the Pit
                                       Psalm 40:1-3

Being in the pit is a place we have all been and even as God’s children will experience for some unknown period of time. Pits happen and they happen to everyone. There is no escaping the pit which approaches all of us. They come in all different shapes and sizes sometimes startling us with shocking news or at times, a rude awakening. I know, I am a survivor of multiple pits.

My pit began as a young girl being abused and feeling the guilt that never subsides. The pit of alcoholism dominating my home and then undergoing the imprisonment of a sibling. The heartache of young love mistreated, spousal assault and devastating divorce. Somehow the pits became more challenging with each difficult and perplexing situation, but still they came.

It didn’t matter whether I was a Christian or not. The pit was incomprehensible and demanding my attention. Ministry has it’s own pits for sure but, trying to help ot…

A Woman's Response to Submission

  A Woman’s Response to Submission

Ephesians 5:21-23
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. . .

The responsibility of all believers is to submit to one another. When we submit mutually to each other, we approach all of our relationships with humility, unselfishness, self-denial, and a desire to meet the needs of the other person. It is commanded that every Christian wife is to be in subjection to her own husband. This does not mean every woman is to be submissive to every man, but that submission is an attitude which shows a loving act of obedience and a willing spirit to submit to her husband. Submission is not the husband’s to command but for the wife to willingly and lovingly offer to her husband as unto the Lord–––who has given this command regardless of her husband’s personal worthiness or spiritual condition.

Do y…

Perspective in Pain

                   Perspective in Pain

                                   Psalm 55:4a
                      My heart is sore pained within me:

The story behind David’s heartache is found in I Samuel 13-18. Absalom, King David’s son, was overwhelmed by the pain and sorrow his half-brother, Amnon caused, when he took advantage of his sister, Tamar. In Absalom’s bitterness and grief, he plotted to kill Amnon. The sinful actions of Absalom continued to escalate into greater realms of bold defiance and revenge against his father––leading to his untimely death.

Though Ahithophel and Absalom appeared to have the upper hand in making David’s life hard, God is still in control. Things looked difficult for David, but through this troublesome time he learned to have a deeper trust in God. Trials and suffering should not drive us from God but to Him and His Word. The most valuable way we profit from adversity is in the deepening of our relationship with God. Through trouble we learn to trust in His …

Our Substitute

                          Our Substitute

                                           Isaiah 53:4-5

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

The name Isaiah means: Salvation of the Lord. Isaiah 53 is prophecy, a vision given to Isaiah 700 years before Jesus came. There have been many visions in the Bible, but none surpass the vision God gave Isaiah depicting the cross and all that would follow.

He left His Father’s throne above, So free, so infinite His grace;
Emptied Himself of all but love, And bled for Adam’s helpless race.‘Tis mercy all, immense and free!  For, O my God it found out me!

The Pharisees accused Jesus of being a blasphemer claiming to be equal with God and that God killed Him for His blasphemies. Surely, He didn’t die for His own sin, for Hi…

Consequences of Lying and Deception

     Consequences of Lying and Deception

                           Genesis 27 ~ The Beginning

Jacob’s deception and lying caused sever consequences in his life, something he would live with until his death. After Jacob deceived his aging father, he fled from the presence of his brother Esau, in fear of his life. Rebekah accepted responsibility for her wrong actions regarding Esau  and Isaac sent Jacob away to Laban’s home, Rebekah’s brother, Jacob would suffer consequences from his deception, being he would never see his mother again before her death.

Laban had two daughters; the name of the older daughter was Leah and the younger, Rachel. Jacob’s heart was definitely bent towards Rachel and he was willing to work seven years to provide a dowry to make her his wife. Unfortunately, Jacob, the deceiver, was about to be deceived himself. Local customs of the land required that the older daughter be married first and that meant Leah before Rachel. Fourteen years Jacob worked for Laban and e…

Adoption

                            Adoption

                                        Romans 8:15
"For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, 'Abba, Father!'"

When walking through the doors of a pregnancy help center, women are faced with three parenting options: to parent, to abort or adoption. Some have made up their minds before they enter the doors what the outcome of their pregnancy will be and others are looking for answers, strength to survive or a glimpse of hope. Most women, when presented with the alternative choice of adoption, make the statement, “I could never give my baby away.” They do not realize that adoption is a loving response and a positive parenting option.

Birthparents and/or birthmothers need to understand that after making their decision for adoption, they are fulfilling their parenting responsibilities by making sure their child’s needs are met before their own. This is …

How Do We Strengthen Our Homes?

How Do We Strengthen Our Homes?

                                  Matthew 18:21-22
"Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven."

What can we do to strengthen our homes?  Does the Bible have an answer for us? Keep in mind what God calls us to do, He enables and equips us to achieve. What is most important in our families that causes relationships to be sustained for the long haul? The answer, FORGIVENESS. Forgiveness is an undeserved and an unearned love that affirms to an offender that there is no anger, no hatred, no desire for vengeance, no retaliation necessary. The guilt has been removed and the blame is gone. This is the exact compassion that God demonstrates towards sinners. He grants to us a promise of unconditional love through His precious Gospel. Our reproach and humiliation have been removed and God’s…

My Little Children

                     My Little Children

                                          1 John 3:7
Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 

The Apostle John was an eyewitness of the life of Christ and knew Him intimately. John’s letter assumes that the readers are Christians with a knowledge of the glorious gospel and are desiring a personal relationship with Him. Unfortunately, these dear people were being confronted with a philosophy of religion that was inaccurate and filled with error. This false teaching was known as Gnosticism, mostly influenced by such philosophers as Plato. Such erroneous doctrine started to infect the early church and John wanted to expose the wrong teaching by encouraging believers with the Light of truth. Gnostics saw themselves as a privileged class elevated above everyone else by their higher and deeper knowledge of God. John is displaying his heart for the early Christians by bringing them …

Is Parenting Easy?

Is Parenting Easy?

  Proverbs 23:26
My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.

When you received the news that you were expecting your first child, your heart was most likely giddy with excitement. Your enthusiasm grew more and more with each day and a multitude of questions filled your mind. Can I be a good parent to this child that God has so graciously given me? Will I be someone my child can and will trust? How will I ever do this? God, will You please help me?

To set your mind as ease, there are no perfect parents that have ever existed or will at any time exist. If you think you must be that perfect parent, then you won’t need a perfect Savior to redeem you from your sins. As a parent, you will make plenty of mistakes in pursuing the roll of Mother or Father. You must remember that you have the Holy Spirit to guide, direct and comfort you through this life long journey.

Living the Gospel each day as you “parent,” will encourage you and strengthen your fait…

Slavery to Freedom to Bondservant

   Slavery to Freedom to Bondservant

                                 I Corinthians 7:22
Forhe that is calledinthe Lord,beinga servant,isthe Lord'sfreeman:likewisealsohe that is called,beingfree,isChrist'sservant.

There have been many forms of slavery written about in our history books, including the enslavement of people recorded in Scripture. The Bible does not condemn slavery altogether seeing that the Bible gives instructions on how to treat a slave or bondservant (Colossians 4:1). During Bible times, slavery was sometimes pursued to aid and assist people struggling to stay alive. They would sell themselves to provide for their families or to get out of debt.

We suffered a great Civil War here in our country because of the unfavorable practice of slavery. This harmful action was directed towards the color of a person’s skin rather than their specific need for economic assistance. Men, women and children were taken from their homes unlawfully and forced to become slaves. They…

The Rich Fool

                      The Rich Fool
Luke 12:13-21
“. . . And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. . . But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. ”

It's important to acknowledge that all the things we have in this world come from God. What we have is for this life only and we will not be able to take it with us. Wealth creates all kinds of choices as the parable indicates. A man had more than he needed. He spent all of his time just trying to decide what to do with his crops. He was allowing the material things he had to consume his soul.

Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, "Master, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me." This man was definitely greedy and covet…

Self-Righteous

                         Self-Righteous

Luke 18:9-14
"And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:  Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. . ."

Pharisees were one of the most respected people in society. Everyone thought the Pharisees were very righteous men. They were typically self-righteous and legalistic, flaunting their own "good works" before others to make themselves appear superior. Jesus referred to them many times as hypocrites.

In Luke 18:9-14, the Pharisee made the wrong conclusion in his comparison between himself and the tax collector. The Pharisee was unaware of his own sins, but very aware of others’ sins. This is very characteristic of a self-righteous person. The Pharisee was depending on his works and feeling that they gained him favor with God. He made himself righteous in the sight of men, but God knew his heart.

Righteousness is not…

The Gift of Memory

                   The Gift of Memory

                                  Lamentations 3:21
              This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.

Our memory can sometimes be servants to hopelessness and despair. When we are faced with circumstances beyond our control, our mind can think up dark and despairing predicaments from   past situations. It can be like a dark cloud hanging over us raining down unwanted thoughts. When this happens we are at times unable to, “cast down imaginations...bringing every thought into captivity” ( 2 Corinthians 10:5) KJV.

The same memory that brought Jeremiah to despair brought him life and comfort again when he, remembered where he found true hope. The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; for they are new every day. There is no need for one to live in a state of despair, for truth can transform bad memories into His divine comfort. The memory that may have brought so many dismal and gloomy things into a believ…

Our Highest Focus

                 Our Highest Focus

  Ecclesiastes 12:13
 ". . . Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. "

Is there true satisfaction in the things of this world? Are some of man’s greatest and most notable achievements only efforts ending in emptiness and pride? It has been incredible what man has accomplished, yet God is rarely given the acknowledgment due His name. The theme and purpose of the book of Ecclesiastes is revealed through the reflections and experiences of just one man, King Solomon. He was the wisest man that ever lived and declared he had seen everything “under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:14).  In his conclusion to the whole matter, Solomon, determined that man’s existence was filled with futility and hopelessness. All that he had sought after in his pursuit of the real meaning of human life was meaningless.

The apostle Paul wrote about all he had accomplished religiously before he was confronted by Christ on the road to Damascus (Ph…

Seeking Sinners

                      Seeking Sinners

                                         Luke 15:1-7
Thendrew nearunto himallthepublicansandsinnersfor to hearhim. AndthePhariseesandscribesmurmured,saying,"This manreceivessinners,andeats withthem." Andhe spakethisparableuntothem,saying, . . .

Tax collectors of Jesus day were hated and despised by the Jews, mainly because they were usually fellow Jews working for Rome. Jesus was seen eating with “publicans,” another name for tax collectors or tax gatherers which the Pharisees and scribes complained about. Tax collectors were always under the suspicion of being extortioners (the practice of obtaining something, especially money, through force or threats) and they probably were guilty in most instances.

When Jesus was seen having dinner at a tax collector’s house named Matthew, along with other sinners, the Pharisees questioned Jesus’ choice of companions. Jesus’ response: “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. . . . I have …

Without Complainng

                Without Complaining

  Philippians 2:14-16
Do all things without murmuring or disputing, . . .

To do all things without grumbling or arguing is a command given by God, but rarely obeyed by most Christians. How often have you found yourself complaining against His gracious provisions? The word murmuring used in the King James Version of the Bible is an expression of thanklessness and disobedience to God. It is that low muffled tone of voice directed towards God or others in a negative light. Usually this is because something has happened that is irritating or disagreeable and we are not pleased by this disruption in our lives.

Paul is not all together talking about the Philippians’ murmuring against God Himself, but quarreling with one another within the church. When quarreling begins in the church, the world’s view of the church and of Christ begins to wane. Christians are to bring the light of the Gospel to those who are lost and in bondage to sin, not their complaints.

We…

No Confidence in the Flesh

No Confidence in the Flesh


Philippians 3:2-11
"...rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have noconfidence in the flesh..."

Paul encourages the Philippians to worship God and have no confidence in their flesh. He gives a religious run down of his attributes prior to salvation and refers to himself as being a righteous man, “blameless,” which was, useless or rubbish, compared to the surpassing value of knowing Jesus Christ. To know Christ was not an intellectual knowledge but it was to know Him through the experience of faith, “For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6). In trusting Christ, Paul was turning his back on Judaism and Phariseeism and then he literally, “suffered the loss of all things,” to gain Christ.

Paul desired a sincere personal intimacy and deeper knowledge of Christ. He realized the Supreme power of His resurrection, and …

Suffering for His Sake

               Suffering for His Sake

Philippians 1:27, 29 
Onlylet your conversation be asit becomeththe gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;...For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to sufferforhissake;

Paul, in his writings, mentioned more than once the sufferings of the Philippian Christians. The honor of knowing Christ as personal Savior is a privilege, as is suffering for His sake. If we suffer for Christ’s sake, we are to consider it a gift from Him. We are to strive together for the Gospel’s sake, not strive against one another. We are to be of one spirit and one mind, standing fast against any opposition the enemy my bring (Matthew 5:11-12).

Paul encourages the people to conduct their lives as citizens of heaven. When we realize that the world around us may only see the Gospel b…