Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Openness to Believers Nov.30

Openness to Believers

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective,” [James 5:16, NIV].

It is difficult today to know who and where to make any formal confession.

But I do think part of the intent of this scripture is to encourage believers to be open and honest with each other. Sometimes that is painful but also necessary.

We should also do honesty with a prayerful attitude, not one of condemnation or corrective goals. Leave sin forgiveness in the hands of the Holy Spirit.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Delight in Christ Nov.29

Delight in Christ

“You on the Lord rely,
So safe shall you go on;
Fix on His work your steadfast eye,
So shall your work be done.

No profit can you gain
By self-consuming care;
To Him commend your cause,
His ear attends the softest prayer.”
       --John Wesley

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” [Psalm 37:4, NIV].

Monday, November 28, 2016

Remember My Promise Nov.28

Remember My Promise

When through the deep waters, I call you to go,
The rivers of woe shall not you overflow.
For I will be with you, your troubles to bless,
And sanctify to you your deepest distress.
[Unknown author]

Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me (Jesus).” [John 14:1, NIV, my parenthesis.]

D.L.Moody's Chart Nov.27

D.L. Moody’s Chart

Something to think about.

Gold       Jesus
Lands     Angels
Houses   Dead Friends
Pleasure Crowns
Honor     Tree of Life
Business  River of life
Dress      Harps
Rum       Song/Psalms
Fast Horses [cars] Purity

My Father’s house has many rooms. . .” [John 14:2, NIV, 2011].

Have a Need? Nov.26

Have a Need?

As a believer, do you have a need?

Take on an armful of trust today because---
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” [Phil. 4:19, NIV, 2011].

Wow! “according to the riches of his glory.”


Giving All Nov.25

Giving All

And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” [Luke 14:27, NIV, 2011].

In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciple.” [Luke 14:33, NIV, 2011].

Cross bearing is not always easy to interpret these days.

One of my teachers said maybe we should look at the Cross of Calvary with Jesus on it and ask him if we could help carry one of the little crosses he has hanging on the big one.

Sometimes we not only have to carry a special kind of cross, but also be engaged in a discipleship that is willing to give all we can.

Give something away today.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Outrun God Nov.24

Outrun God

I’m concerned too many believers are trying to run ahead of God with their decision making.

A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.” [Mt.10:24, NKJV].

Today, wait on the instructions from the Lord and Master.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Remarkable Daughters Nov.23

Remarkable Daughters

“. . . stayed at the house of Phillip the evangelist, one of the Seven. He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied.” [Acts 21: 8-9, NIV].

Phillip was one of the original seven ministers (deacons) chosen who were filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 6).

Notice his amazing children.

Never underestimate God’s power with daughters or women.

Faith in Non-Answer Nov.22

Faith in Non-answer

I know, many persons wonder why God is not clearer in answered prayer.

Many responses have been made about the subject.

But I still like to cling to:
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us . . .” [2Pe.3:9, NKJV].

And sometimes, living with the non-answer grows our faith in ways we do not realize until some time has passed.

Keep the faith.

Which Door? Nov.21

Which Door?

There are many doors in life: my glass embedded front door,
swinging kitchen door, door of birth, and door of death.

Someone may enter through your front door- - -

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” [John 10:10, NKJV].

But most significant door let in a Savior.

Eyes of the Heart Nov.20

Eyes of the Heart

I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints . . .” [Eph.1:18, NIV].

What gives glory to God?

His Son, Creation, the Gospel, Redemption, Love and every believer, all magnify His glory.

N.T. Magnificent Seven Nov.19

N.T. Magnificent Seven

Acts 6:3-7, “Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit. . .” [NIV].

Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit.
Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism.

These were the original magnificent seven ministering deacons from the New Testament.

No Fear Nov. 18

No Fear

I woke one dark night. A wave of fear rushed over me. It centered on a fear of death. I couldn’t breathe. I envisioned a coffin, smothering, trapping me. I became a small sniveling boy, couched in a corner of a dark house of my youth, scared, alone, feeling unloved and lost.

But just as suddenly another wave washed over me. It said, “You are loved and love throws out fear. Trust in your savior. You win if you die. You win if you live.”

Then peaceful sleep overtook me.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” [1Jo.4:18, NIV. And I would say, “Not yet.”]

I continue to pray for respect for Him of whom I am not afraid.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Burning Hearts Nov.17

Burning Hearts

“Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus . . . They asked each other, Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” [Luke 24:13-32, NIV].

An ironic story here is two strangers start witnessing to Jesus and did not know it was him.

How often are we a witness and do not realize who sees us?

Cause for Christian Joy Nov.16

Cause for Christian Joy

Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the lord and were added to their number.” [Acts 5:14, NIV].

Joy comes when:

Gospel heard makes believers.

Believers share all they can.

When converts include all ages and genders.

When souls brought into kingdom, heaven rejoices.

No Earthly Issues Nov.16

No Earthly Issues

Jesus had no ambition, so he was never jealous.

He had no possessions, so nothing to worry about.

He gave up his reputation, so didn’t have to fight.

He considered himself less than least, so none could humble him.

He was already broken, so He could not break again.

“Jesus called out with a loud voice, Father, into your hands I commit my spirit. When he had said this, he breathed his last.” [Luke 23:46, NIV].

He chose to conquer death his own way, the way of the heavenly Father.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Some Say "I'll Wait" Nov.15

Some Say “I’ll Wait”

Too many people are saying they will wait awhile before doing what God wants. It is a risky approach to life.

So you also must be ready, because the Son of man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” [Mt.24:44, NIV].

The unexpected is an unbiased intruder, like death can catch a person totally off guard.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Do Circumstances Rule? Nov. 14

Do Circumstances Rule?

I have heard people say:
I can’t live a full Christian life in my family.
I can’t live like that in my school.
I can’t live like that in my business.
I can’t live like that in my politics.

And yet:

For the pagans run after these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom . . .” [Mathew 6: 32-33, NIV].

Forgive Everyone? Nov.13

Forgive Everyone?

One of the hardest scriptures to understand is Matthew 6:14-15.

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

I think it is significant that Jesus said this right after giving the model prayer [Mt.6:9-13].

So, if someone truly says and feels the model prayer, the Holy Spirit can help that individual do the hard forgiving.

However, sometimes we may have to be like the Apostle Paul and turn another over [1 Cor. 5:4-5].

Too Many Hypocrites Nov.12

Too Many Hypocrites

Verse 11“It is written: “‘As surely as I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.

Verse 12,”So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.” [Romans, NIV].

Look not at hypocrites, but look in the mirror.

Cursed Fig Tree Nov.11

Cursed Fig Tree

Why would Jesus curse an innocent fig tree? [Mark 11:12-14; 21]

The scripture says when Jesus was hungry, he came to the tree and found only leaves, no fruit.

The scene may have a simple meaning.

First, the tree wasn’t innocent. It had not done its job.

Second, when a lost person is hungry for spiritual food, the lost needs to find a believer who can offer spiritual sustenance. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Notice the Right Thing Nov.10

Notice the Right Thing

A marathon runner started fiddling with his shorts as he ran. He lost his stride and got behind another and lost the race.

“Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. [Philippians 4:5, NIV].

Gentleness implies we as believers are supposed to be yielding. On the other hand, are we supposed to give in to everything? Are we not also supposed to be aggressive, especially with Christ’s love?

How do we balance aggression and yieldingness?

One approach is to pay attention to the issues that challenge our Christian principles and not worry about the little things that do not matter.

Quit adjusting our shorts and win the race.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Calling All Comfort Nov.9

Calling All Comfort

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,
Who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. [2 Cor.1:3-4, NIV, 2011].

The Apostle Paul used the Greek word parakeleo meaning comfort or counsel. It is the idea of walking alongside someone in trouble. The word is used over 100 times in the New Testament. The concept is clear: Any Christian may be called upon to offer comfort and calm to another at any given moment.

These are the times we must soothe those around us that God is still in control.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Losing Our Inheritance Nov. 8

Losing Our Inheritance?

Because of peculiar circumstances, when my earthly father died, I lost any of my inheritance from him.

As believers, we are to trust in a larger fact about inheritance.

We have been born into a new life which has an inheritance that cannot be destroyed or corrupted and can’t fade away. That inheritance is kept in heaven for you, since you are guarded by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed at the end time.” [1Peter1:4-5, GWT].

Nothing can remove our inheritance God has given through His Son.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Solid Christian Growth Nov.7

Solid Christian Growth

If as believers in Christ, we concentrate and add:

Integrity of values [things we hold important] to faith practice,
Pump our values with Bible knowledge,
Fasten knowledge with self-control,
Lace self-control with stamina [keeping on---keeping on],
Add Christ-like qualities [Sermon on Mount concepts] to our stamina,
Insert Christ-likeness into our affection,
Grow Christian affection into God love,

Then your knowledge and growth in Christ is productive. [2Peter1:3-8, NIV.].

Sunday, November 6, 2016

No Alibi Nov.6

No Alibi

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities---his eternal power and divine nature---have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” [Ro.1:20, NIV].

God is never without His witness in the whole universe.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Rough Times Ahead Nov.5

Rough Times Ahead

I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none will make you afraid.” [Leviticus 26:6, NKJV].

And while this was written to a different people under different circumstances, God still offers the promise through His Son Jesus.

Peace doesn’t write the music itself, but creates the language within which the musical outcomes make sense.

Peace doesn’t create the attitude itself, but designs the language which can be shared to make future sense. Christ is the language.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Unshaken Kingdom Nov.4

Unshaken Kingdom

“At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, ‘Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” [Heb.12:26, NIV].

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful. . .” [Heb.12:28, NIV].

Here the idea is the earth and heavens will tremble and quiver at the voice of God. But the magnificent promise is to the believers that the kingdom given us will not be shaken. It will endure everything for all time.

Thank you, Lord, for the everlasting Kingdom.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Grieving the Spirit Nov.3

Grieving the Spirit

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you are sealed for the day of redemption.” [Eph.4:30, NIV].

How do we grieve the Holy Spirit?

Earlier verses 20-29 of Ephesians chapter 4 mentions “putting off the old self”, that part of us that is dishonest, speaking unwholesome things about others, stealing, having anger and bitterness.

We are to make conscious effort not to let the old us overshadow the new person in Christ. It is still our free will decision to work on attitude.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Fruit Tree in Graveyard Nov.2

Fruit Tree in Graveyard

A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any . . . For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. . .” [Luke 13:6-7, NIV].

This would be like planting a fruit tree in a graveyard.

Fruitless Christians are out of place.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Subtlety of Sin Nov.1

Subtlety of Sin

Someone saw a rat caught in a trap by its tail.
It kept eating the cheese.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” [Rom.6:23, NIV].