Saturday, December 31, 2016

Old Things--New Things Dec.31

Old Things—New Things

Whoever is a believer in Christ is a new creation. The old way of living has disappeared. A new way of living has come into existence.” 
[2 Cor.5:17, GWT].

What was the old way of living?

One view of life says there are three main motivators:
1)   Wanting to be a part of the crowd.
2)   Pleasurable sexual activity at all costs.
3)   Self-interests stimulators.

in Christ, these get changed from:
1)   Wanting love from crowd to loving God toward group.
2)   Selfish sexual pleasure to Christlike creativity.
3)   Self-centered drive to other centered, innovative persuaders.

The old things have passed and become new.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Idols Dec.30


Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” [1 Jo. 5:21, NKJV].

What is an idol today?

The Amplified Bible expands on the concept of idols when it adds to the verse, “false gods, from anything and everything that would occupy the place in your heart due God, from any sort of substitute for Him that would take first place in your life.”

We are to be careful how we love who and what.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Every Christian Significant Dec.29

Every Christian Significant

“Instead, as we lovingly speak the truth, we will grow up completely in our relationship to Christ, who is the head. He makes the whole body fit together and unites it through the support of every joint.” [Eph.4:15-16, GWT].

Just as every body part, like joints, fit together, all believers are joined together like one body or family.

We all have our important part.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

No Complete Failure Dec.28

No Complete Failure

Nevertheless, He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good . . .” [Acts 14:17, NKJV].

Whatever work we attempt for the kingdom of God, we have to remember: that we may gather where others have sown or we may sow for others to gather.

Regardless, God is never without His witness here on earth. We may not do all we can, but if we are trying to glorify God with Biblical intent, He will not count us failures.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Eternal Hope Dec.27

Eternal Hope

You, oh Lord, are my refuge! You have made the most high your home, No harm will come to you . . . he will put his angels in charge of you to protect you in all your ways.” [Ps.91:9-11, GWT].

The psalmist is looking out on a scene of much failure but reminding us of eternal hope.

In a day of multiple crises, we are still to live as people of hope.

Monday, December 26, 2016

A Questionable Question Dec.26

A Questionable Question

In the book of John 5:1-9 is a situation when Jesus asks a man if he wants to be healed. The man had been an invalid for 38 years.

What kind of question was that?

As you review the scripture, evidently the man had excuses for not getting healed, like someone else always got ahead of him while dipping in the healing waters of a pool.

So, Jesus asks him as he does us: Are you willing to give up any excuses and become totally well?

Thankfully, the man said yes---and so should we.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Total Surrender Dec.25

Total Surrender

“The love of God invades me,
The peace of God pervades me,
The will of God persuades me,
I am totally His.”

    E.S. Jones

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Earthly Calamities Dec.24

Earthly Calamities

I can show you a child who is mentally ruined because of a mother’s drug use.

I know a young man whose intelligence would have sent him far but brutality of war crushed his mind.

I know a man who made a fortune but at sixty, a crooked partner wiped him out.

I know a woman who was forced to an abortionist and then her man left her.

I know parents who placed their little blind girl in foster care because they could no longer cope.

Jesus did not show us how to explain all catastrophes of earth. He did show us how to bear the thought of them.

Then Jesus said, Father forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing.” [Luke 23:34, GWT].

Friday, December 23, 2016

God Cares Dec.23

God Cares

Through his glory and integrity he has given us his promises that are of the highest value. Through these promises you will share in the divine nature because you have escaped the corruption that sinful desires cause in the world.” [2 Pe.1:4, GWT].

Dwight L. Moody, in his book Heaven, said, “I do not believe there has ever been a tear shed for sin since Adam’s fall in Eden to the present time, but God has witnessed it.”

If there is any sigh or cry that comes from a burdened heart today, God will hear it.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Two Traits from Above Dec.22

Two Traits from Above

Since you were brought back to life with Christ, focus on the things that are above---where Christ holds the highest position.”
[Col.3:1, NIV].

1)   Wisdom, the ability to know when to speak and when to be quiet.

2)   Mercy, the practice of forgiving the non-deserving.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Believe and Pray Dec.21

Believe and Pray

There is not much that indicates we are to wait passively by before the Spirit of God can move in our lives. We are to reach out in faith and accept what gifts the Spirit can offer.

Jesus said to them . . . That’s why I tell you to have faith that you have already received whatever you pray for, and it will be yours.”
[Mark 11:22-24, GWT].

“. . . Our faith will be regarded as the basis of our approval of God--each of us who believe in the one who brought Jesus, our Lord, back to life.” [Ro.4:24, GWT].

The scripture is not some deceptive mind game promoting something that isn’t so. The promise is the practice of faith turns to a fact of the resurrection and the fact turns to our emotional well-being and our well-being turns to character building as prayer is answered.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

How Holy Spirit Works Dec.20

How Holy Spirit Works

The Apostles had a single purpose as they devoted themselves to prayer. They were joined by some women, including Mary (the mother of Jesus), and they were joined by his brothers.”
[Acts 1:14, GWT].

The Holy Spirit blesses when the right relationships occur.

How is the Holy Spirit given to those who ask?
1)   A time happens of drawing near by knowing God’s word.
2)   A nearness leads to a mutual self surrender.
3)   Out of self surrender, a faith emerges.

4)   Trust continues to grow as constant adjustment of character occurs.

A Call to the Beyond Dec.19

A Call to the Beyond

“Now dear children, live in Christ. Then, when he appears we will have confidence, and when he comes we won’t turn from him in shame.”  [1 Jo. 2:28, GWT].

As believers, our calling is continually to the beyond, the transcendence, the going beyond ourselves.

Life remains comforting to know to whom and where we belong. 

Growth after Death Dec.18

Growth after Death

Dear friends, now we are God’s children. What we will be isn’t completely clear yet. We do know when Christ appears we will be like him because we will see him as he is.” [I Jo. 3:2, GWT].

Heaven is eternity and a very long time. Will we keep growing throughout heaven?

In our Christian growth, do we start in heaven where we left off here?

Could it be that we may only take to heaven what we have learned from here?

In God’s economy, every individual will continue growth where supposed to be. God is not slack concerning His promises.

Friday, December 16, 2016

No Church in Heaven Dec.17

No Church in Heaven

An amazing scripture reveals there is no church in heaven as we know it.

The twelve gates were twelve pearls . . . the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. I did not see a temple in the city, because the lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.”
[Rev. 21: 21-22, NIV].

Can you imagine our arriving in heaven and walking through a pearled gate into a realm where there is no structure as we know it?

We enter a realm where God, Jesus and Spirit are all around, a dimension of no boundaries, no physical hurts or pleasures, only unlimited spiritual bodies that can stand in the unending presence of God Almighty.

We may need an eternity to adjust.

Satan Can Never Be Saved Dec. 16

Satan Can Never Be Saved

Some people just think if Satan could be saved then all the problems would go away. Everyone could just go to heaven and all would be happy. God is God, why can’t He do that?

Yes, God is God and can do whatever he wants.

And yet: “But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin.” [Mk.3:29, NIV].

The damning action is in the word blaspheme.

It means to curse, censure, and swear against.

In the very beginning, Genesis 3:1-4, when the serpent lied to Eve and basically accused God of lying, he swore against the heavenly Father and caused a curse upon humanity.

Jesus’ sacrifice broke the curse for humanity, but not Satan because God cannot contradict Himself by going against Mark 3 truth.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Comfort in Knowing Dec.15

Comfort in Knowing

Oh Lord, you have examined me and know me,
You alone know when I sit down and when I get up,
You read my thoughts from far away,
You watch me when I travel and when I rest,
You are familiar with all my ways,
Even before there is a single word on my tongue, you know all about it Lord.” [Psalm 139:1-4, GWT].

Relax in the comfort that God truly knows us and accepts us anyway.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Self Condemnation Dec.14

Self Condemnation

Whenever our conscience condemns us, we will be reassured that God is greater than our conscience and knows everything.”
[1 John 3:20, GWT].

God is not as interested in putting us to shame as He is in bringing us full salvation.

Jesus bore the shame of the cross and cancelled any condemnation by conquering death.

So, believers should trust his grace and not live by disapproval and self fault finding.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Seek the Light Dec.13

Seek the Light

But if we live in the light in the same way that God is in the light, we have a relationship with each other. And the blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from every sin.” [1 John 1:7, GWT].

Jesus is the one who illuminates all wisdom and understanding for his followers. That is the light that shows our way in every situation when we look for it. And the amazing truth exists that all believers are in a fellowship one to another.

Those believers who do not get along with each other are not seeking the proper light.

Monday, December 12, 2016

First Step---Temptation Dec.12

First Step—Temptation

“And coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives . . . When He came to the place He said to them, Pray that you may not enter temptation.” [Luke22:39-40, NKJV].

Granted, temptation is not sin.
So the tendency is to think temptation then is ok. No. The problem is temptation is just the first step toward sin action, not away from it.

Jesus is saying to replace any temptation with a conscious and active prayer life. When praying, thinking and dwelling on Christ, temptation has no chance.

The gap between earnest prayer and worldly events lets in a temptation exposure.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Seeking Versus Assuming Dec.11

Seeking versus Assuming

And I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock and it will be open to you.” [Luke 11:9, NKJV].

Because we are believers, we sometimes assume God knows our desires and He does because He is all knowing.

But sometimes, He wants us to seek His way in the world of activity.

In those instances, seeking out values assuming. 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Safe in Christ Dec.10

Safe in Christ

“I am now trusting you to God and to his message that tells how kind he is. That message can help you grow and can give you the inheritance that is shared by all God’s holy people.”
[Acts 20:32, GWT].

Being a believer does not always keep us from harm, but we have the promise of the message of the good news in Christ. 

We have the promise of kingdom growth that is good as any of who are considered the holy saints.

Trust in God’s kindness.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Receiving Grace Dec.9

Receiving Grace

But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” [Acts 20:24, NKJV].

The scripture is teaching us that an individual needs to learn how to accept God’s grace, how to receive it because it gives hope and joy to finish your purpose in this life.

God’s grace provides us knowledge, humility, energy, and hope for fallen world.

Every believer has a purpose, a kind of ministry to a hurting world.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Stand Firm Dec.8

Stand Firm

If you declare that Jesus is lord, and believe that God brought him back to life, you will be saved. By believing you receive God’s approval, and by declaring your faith you are saved. Scripture says, Whoever believes in him will not be ashamed.” [Ro, 10:9-11, GWT].

The verse says, “You ARE saved” when you have declared Jesus, believed he came back from the dead, and expressed your faith. We receive God’s approval whether we earn it or not.

The result is we should confess Christ with our mouths before humanity ever chance we get.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Judging Too Soon Dec.7

Judging Too Soon

The Apostle Paul makes an important point when he says,
Therefore, don’t judge anything before the appointed time. Wait until the Lord comes. He will also bring to light what is hidden in the dark and reveal people’s motives. Then each person will receive praise from God.”   [1Cor.4:5, GWT].

One of the ways the lord comes now is with the Holy Spirit influence. Let the Holy Spirit do any cross examining when it comes to people’s motives.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Is Sin Really Bad? Dec.6

Is Sin Really Bad?

Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” [John 3:20, NIV].

Why is sin so bad?

1)   Sin tricks us; tastes good going in, then turns bitter which means it changes our values, what we hold important.
2)   Sin changes the center of our being. We tend to turn against anything that doesn’t please us.
3)   Sin twists any God given talents toward selfish goals.

All of the above lead to a deadening of one’s spirit.

Monday, December 5, 2016

No Escape Dec.5

No Escape

“. . . Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees which is hypocrisy . . . For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known.” [Luke 12:1-2, NKJV].

The Pharisees were people who thought they could hide certain immoral ideas. They could represent any person who tries to go against a moral universe.

The truth is Jesus is the reality that permeates morality. In other words truth is grounded in the whole universe so that no one can get away with breaking reality without negative consequences.

The universe is made for us to harmonize with it, not go against its principles. In this sense, God nor the universe will trick us. It is we who try to trick them.

Amazing Revelation Dec.4

Amazing Revelation

This is the written account of Adam and his descendants.
When God created humans,
He made them in the likeness of God.
He created them male and female.
He blessed them and called them humans when he created them.”
[Genesis 5:1-2, God’s Word Translation, GWT].

He (Jesus) created all things in heaven and in earth, visible and invisible.” [Col. 1:16, GWT].

An amazing truth comes to us . . . that since we are made in the image of God and Jesus made all things . . . when Jesus came to earth, he was actually us in the form of what we ought to be.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

More Treasures Dec.3

More Treasures

But gather and heap up and store for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust nor worm consume and destroy, and where thieves do not break through and steal.” [Mt 6:20, AMPBT].

Other treasures stored and searched for in heaven:
1)   Jesus love that soothes and heals.
2)   Kindness allowing others to get the credit.
3)   Peace that rests in God’s abundance.

By giving yourself to Christ in humility, reserves the revelation and permission to ask.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Heavenly Treasures Dec.2

Heavenly Treasures

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.” [Col.3:1, NKJV].

The Amplified translation interprets the above as “seeking heavenly treasures.”

Is there anything more precious than gold? Are there rich treasures in heaven we can seek and find?

Yes, there are because, for example, genuine peace is golden.

Since the Colossians verse states Jesus being on the right hand of the Father, heavenly treasures come through him. There remains richness in:
1)   Specific traits of Jesus, like his kind of love.
2)   Hope for the believer; we belong to heaven.
3)   Joy greater than happiness, an ecstasy beyond our imagination.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Possessions Dec.1


From the fullness of his grace, we have all received one blessing after another.” [John 1:16, NIV].

Some theologians might say that God has to limit our possessions in order to teach us humility.

There may be some benefit in that, however, God is bigger than that approach for at least two reasons.
1)   The fullness of His Grace is beyond our imagination. We can trust his largeness.
2)   His grace actually gives us a sense of humbleness and a sense of enough possessions, at the same time, when we keep the faith.

Anything beyond is again His Grace extended.