Sunday, May 31, 2015

May 31, 2015

Leviticus 5:11  But if he cannot afford two turtledoves or two young pigeons, he may bring two quarts of fine flour as an offering for his sin.  (HCSB)

If you are familiar with this chapter in Leviticus, then you know it deals with the requirements for a sin offering.  God is very specific about the requirements, but then he puts in this verse that makes an allowance for the poor.  I love the way God allows those who can't afford something to still be acceptable in His sight.  He later tells David rather than material offerings He prefers a contrite heart.

There is always a way where God is concerned.   After all He told us He is the Way!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

May 30, 2015

I Kings 8:22, 54.  Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in front of the entire congregation of Israel and spread out his hands toward heaven.   54- When Solomon finished praying this entire prayer and petition to the LORD, he got up from kneeling before the altar of the LORD, with his hands spread out toward heaven... (HCSB)

The prayer between these two verses is definitely worth reading.  It says a great deal about the LORD and His faithfulness to His people.  But what is so interesting to me is that Solomon begins the prayer  "standing" and by the end of it He has "fallen to his knees."  It makes a statement to me.  It is indicative of a humbleness that results from speaking with the Creator of the universe.  I love it!
Will you humble yourself and get on your knees and talk to your Father.

Friday, May 29, 2015

May 29, 2015

Psalm 119:18  Open my eyes so that I may contemplate wonderful things in Your instruction.  (ESV)

This is a great prayer to say before you begin reading God's Word.  If we go into the Word with our mind and eyes closed to what God has to say, we will come away frustrated.  Look for the wonder in His Word.

Every time I read God's Word with the expectation of hearing from Him, I am not disappointed.  He never fails to show up.  Give Him a chance today.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

May 28, 2014

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  (ESV)

Today as I was preparing my sermon for this coming Sunday (Trinity Sunday), I was struck by all the threes I find in the Bible.  I have read that the number 3 is a number of completion.  If you look at the first verse in the Bible we find the Trinity related in the Hebrew word for God (Elohim).  Then we see that this was the beginning of TIME, and the beginning of the heavens (SPACE), and the earth (MATTER).

Looking at these : time is made up of the past, present and the future.
   space is made up of depth, width, and height
   matter is made up of solid, liquid and gas.

The threes continue in man - body, soul and spirit.
It keeps on going.  I urge you to give it a look and study.

I have a lot more info than I need for Sunday's sermon.  Praise God!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

May 27, 2015

Psalm 139:13  For you formed my inward parts;  you knitted me together in my mother's womb. (ESV)

My mother was in her late 40's when she had me.  I was a surprise, and she didn't want to take me home from the hospital.  Daddy and the doctor finally convinced her she had to, and she came to love me and was always good to me.  I remember, more often than not, when I would get introduced they would refer to me as their little mistake.  Though I know they didn't mean it to be mean, the thought permeated my brain, until I started to believe it.  I carried this thought with me for several years.

I remember the day I read the above verse.  What a day that was for me! I realized I was no mistake.  God had intended for me to not only be born, but He and His wondrous hand had fashioned me in my mother's womb.  This changed my whole life.

I am so thankful for the Word of God and the truths it conveys to us.  I don't know what misconceptions you may be carrying about with you as extra baggage, but I urge you to get into the Word of God and find the truth.  His word is living and can change your life, and because of His love, it will be for your good.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

May 26, 2015

Psalm 5:3  At daybreak, LORD, You hear my voice;  at daybreak I plead my case to You and watch expectantly.  (HCSB)

The way this Psalm repeats the phrase "at daybreak," it literally means - day after day.  So, this person is daily praying to the LORD, and it is early in the morning.  What an awesome way to begin one's day.  One advantage of praying early in the morning is that you can put the day before the Lord.  You can tell Him the things you are up against in your day.  You can pray for others you might have to interact with during the day.  You can ask the Lord to have His good and mighty hand on your life for the day.  The list goes on and on, but the best part of the verse is the ending.....and watch expectantly.

Once you have placed your concerns and issues before the Lord early in the day, you can look heavenward and just wait on Him to intervene in your day!  What a great way to spend your day!

Monday, May 25, 2015

May 25, 2015

Mark 14:8a  She has done what she could. (ESV)

This passage is talking about when the woman anoints Jesus's head in Bethany before His burial.  Later in the passage it says that what she has done will be told in memory ( or as a memorial ) of her.

I was thinking about this yesterday as we were celebrating Memorial Day.  Generally in the Bible memorials followed big events such as Passover or when the Israelites crossed the Jordan and they were told to place 12 stones as a memorial.  This verse in Mark is speaking of a singular person doing what she could.  I believe this applies to our soldiers who lost their lives in their fight for freedom for our Country or others.  They did what they could and in many cases they gave all they could: their very lives.

Yesterday at church we tried to find ways to honor those who have served in the armed services, but it seems we can never do enough in light of what they did.  If you know someone who has served our country, I urge you to call them today and say, "Thank you."    And let's vow to never forget that our freedom was anything but free..... it cost some dearly.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

May 24, 2015

Psalm 127:1  Unless the LORD builds a house, its builders labor over it in vain; unless the LORD watches over a city, the watchman stays alert in vain. (HCBS)

What might you be doing that, on the surface looks like a labor of love, but because the Lord is not in it, it is going nowhere?  I think we do these kinds of things more often than we want to admit.  We oftentimes have a plan, execute the plan and then ask the Lord to join us and bless it.  A recent Bible study I was in indicated that thinking is exactly backwards.  We need to find out where the Lord is working and join Him.

Could this backward thinking be costing us time and effort?  Could it even cause us to be a little disgruntled with God for not enabling our success? (After all, one would think if it is a Christian activity he/she is involved in, then the Lord should not only be in it, but guarantee its success.)  Just as Moses told the Lord that if He wasn't accompanying the Israelites, then Moses wouldn't go, we need to have the same attitude - If the Lord is not in it, we don't want to be either.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

May 23, 2015

Luke 9:49  John responded, "Master, we saw someone driving out demons in Your name, and we tried to stop him because he does not follow us."  (HCSB)

Some things never change.  Today we have well-meaning Christians doing the same thing as John.  Because certain people don't do things according to our custom, we decide they need silenced.  I think if we aren't careful we can act similarly against other denominations.

I can think of nothing more hurtful to the Lord than division in His Body.  It is time we search for more ways in which to work together rather than pick each other apart.

The truth is:  when we get to heaven we will not be categorized by our denominations.  Finally, we will be the entire Body of Christ - complete and whole.

Friday, May 22, 2015

May 22, 2015

Psalm 25:7  Do not remember the sins of my youth or my acts of rebellion; in keeping with Your faithful love, remember me because of Your goodness, LORD. (HCSB)

I remember the first time I was introduced to this verse.  I was at a women's Bible study and we were singing praise before we started.  One of our praise songs was Psalm 25, which included this verse.  As we sang the words I started to tear up, and I realized that I had never thought of asking the Lord to forget the sins of my youth.  Heaven knows I hadn't forgotten them.  Immediately following the Bible study I went home and prayed these word back to the Lord.  I had such a sense of relief and a feeling of a huge weight being lifted off my shoulders.

I have always had a bent toward rebellion.  I can easily get caught up in a cycle that resembles that of the Israelites - first I rebel, then I repent, then God forgives me, then I have a period of obedience....only to be followed by rebellion.  I am so very thankful that God is faithful in His love for me and continues to draw me to Him via His forgiveness.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

May 21, 2015

Ecclesiastes 3:11  He has made everything appropriate in its time.  He has also put eternity in their hearts, but man cannot discover the work God has done from beginning to end. (ESV)

This verse follows the segment of chapter 3 that we often hear read at funerals.....a time to live, a time to die.....a time to plant, at time to uproot....etc.

Solomon, the author of Ecclesiastes, has a very cynical view of life.  He seems to think that everything man does is futile, and his works will die when he does.  So, it is no surprise that one can almost hear the above mentioned segment of chapter 3 read in a very sing-song manner.  However, when we get to verse 11, Solomon gives God credit for His appropriate timing of everything.  Then we come to a very interesting part of Scripture.... God has put eternity in our hearts.

I think another way to describe this is that when we are born, we are born with a hole, or longing in our very souls.  Those of us who are Christians are finally able to declare that God has filled that longing.  It is a place that only He can fill.  He is what makes us complete.

All the people in this world who do not know Christ are desperately searching for that something to fill that hole.  You name it, they try it, but nothing will satisfy that longing.  How very fortunate we, Christians, are to have a piece of eternity in our very hearts.

This is even more reason for us to want to share the Good News that we have.  Don't go to bed this evening until you have thanked God for filling your deepest desire, and then think of a way to share the hope you have with others who are still lacking that satisfaction that only a relationship with Jesus can bring.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

May 20, 2015

Isaiah 66:2  All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the LORD.  But this is the one to whom I will look:  he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.

To whom will the Lord look upon?  He who is humble...  I was once taught that humble is having the correct assessment of your worth. False humility is just another name for pride.  So, to have a greater or lesser opinion of yourself is still prideful.  Give it some thought.
                                                         He who is contrite in spirit....  contrite is to be humbly penitent.  So we are back to a correct assessment of yourself.
                                                         Finally, the person who trembles at God's Word....  I think this refers to having a correct assessment of God.

Just food for thought.  Worth considering if you want God to look upon you with favor.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

May 19, 2015

Psalm 96:7&8  Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength!  Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come into his courts!

I don't know if you are like me or not, but when I read verses like these I can become overwhelmed in trying to think how on earth can I give God the glory He deserves.  The bottom line is - we won't ever give God all the glory He deserves. Rather than letting that keep us from giving Him any, let's give what we can.

Give Him glory by doing an honest day's work.  Give Him glory by loving your children He gave you.  Give Him glory by being accountable to what is right.  Give Him glory by obeying His Word.
The list could go on and on......

Years ago my daughter gave me a grateful journal to record all my gratitude.  I think I might start a new journal giving God glory for everything I can think of.  No, I still won't be able to give Him all that He deserves, but I will getting a little closer.