Friday, July 31, 2015

July 31, 2015

Isaiah 53:6  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned - everyone - to his own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. (ESV)

This verse lets none of us off the hook.  It says we have all gone astray.  And the sad, but good, news is that Jesus paid the price for all of us.  The sadder scenario is that there are those who don't except the forgiveness He bought with His precious blood.
Even if you are a believer - take time right now to thank Him for all He has done for you.  Afterall, He paid a debt he did not owe and I had a debt I could not pay.  Praise Jesus!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

July 30, 2015

Psalm 42:1  As a deer pants for flowing steams, so pants my soul for you, O God. (ESV)

In this sweltering heat I find myself panting for water and refreshment.  This verse convicted me that I do not always pant after God and the refreshment He offers.  This reminds me of  Nehemiah chapter 8 where the people are asking for the Word of God and listens to it being read for hours.  Many of us get upset if our preacher goes over 20 minutes.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

July 29, 2015

Galatians 6:18  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen.

I once was told the difference between Justice, Mercy, and Grace was:
Justice is getting what one deserves.
Mercy is not getting what one deserves.
Grace is getting what one doesn't deserve.

Think about it.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28, 2015

Deuteronomy 1:21  See, the LORD your God has set the land before you.  Go up, take possession, as the LORD, the God of your fathers has told you.  Do not fear or be dismayed. (ESV)

According to this, the Lord set before the people what He wanted them to have; however, it indicates there seems to be a responsibility to "take possession" of it.  I have decided that there are many promises that God has given us, but go unclaimed because we are afraid to take possission of them.  Ask the Lord what it is He has in store for you, and then see if you need to step out in faith and take it.

Monday, July 27, 2015

July 27, 2015

I Thessalonians  5:19  Do not quench the Spirit. (NKJV)

I love this verse!  It gives us probably some of the best advice found in the Bible.  If we would let the Holy Spirit have His way in our lives, we would be unbelievable!!   God's will would be followed;  we would be working with God, in step with Him.

I think, instead, we let our clocks be our God and dictate what we do, where we do it, and when.

I remember a funny situation.... I was working at a retreat and was in charge of keeping the schedule moving.  A lady came to me right before one of the speakers took the platform and told me that this particular woman really listened to the Spirit and was Spirit led and would speak according to what the Spirit was saying.  But then her next sentence was," But don't let her go past 2:15, or we will be behind schedule.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

July 26, 2015

John 1:4  In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.  (NKJV)

Do you understand that life is in Jesus.  Some people who think about becoming a Christian try to put it off because they think they will miss out on life.  This couldn't be further from the truth.  Life begins with Jesus.

That life, once in you, will light your path on a daily basis.  That light will shine into the dark places and expose them as sin, so you can confess and deal with it.  The light will also expose darkness in the world as you live daily.  That will more than likely cause you to want to pray more.

Life begins and ends with Jesus Christ.  Don't miss out on a beat of it!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

July 25, 2015

Psalm 139 :13  For thou hast possessed my reins; thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.(KJV)

God formed you in your mother's womb.  Wow!  If that doesn't make you feel good, I don't know what will.  Today is my husband's birthday, and I thank God he formed him in his mother's womb.  
Surely, you have someone you can say the same about.  If so, take time to thank God for that right now.

Friday, July 24, 2015

July 24, 2015

II Corinthians 5:17  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.  (NKJV)

If you have any kind of past at all, you may find this verse hard to believe wholeheartedly.  We tend to think God has changed us some, but to believe we are brand new sounds extraordinary.  Well, maybe that is because God is extra - ordinary!!!!

Don't waste another second thinking that your past is still part of who you are - if you are a Christian. Instead stop and praise God, from whom all blessings flow.  Behold you are brand new - wow, now that feels good.  Love it and embrace it.  Live today like you believe it!!!!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

July 23, 2015

Hebrews 11:6  But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.  (NKJV)

How are you in the "faith" department?  Take time and sincerely place your faith on a scale from 1-10.  Then ask yourself why you are where you are?  It can be good or bad.  Sometimes it is hard for us to face the truth that we are indeed men and women of little faith.

On the other hand, maybe one of your gifts is faith.  If so, share it with others.  Your faith can be contagious!  We all love to be around people of great faith..... it is so encouraging.

If your faith is less than you desire it to be, seek out one who has a lot of it and hang out together on a regular basis. You may be surprised how it will affect you.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

July 22, 2015

Galatians 1:10  For do I now persuade men, or God?  Or do I seek to please men?  For if I still please men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.  (NKJV)

Isn't it easy to fall into the trap of pleasing men?  Afterall, we live in this world with others.  Our jobs require us to be supportive of authority.  However, there is a difference if you have an overall tendancy to want to please men more than God.  We know when it happens.  It often is nothing more than peer pressure.  There are examples of peer pressure throughout the Bible.  It always turns out ugly.

Don't yield to men, when they are in opposition to God and His will.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

July 21, 2015

II Timothy 3:12  Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.  (NKJV)

Ouch!  This is not a popular verse which everyone wants to memorize.  It is true, and remember the truth shall set you free.  Probably the sooner we learn that persecution is part of following and identifying with our Lord, the better off we will be.  I know if we understand it, the less likely we will be completely knocked off our feet when it comes our way.

Maybe we should commit this verse to memory.  But then tuck it away in your heart for future reference.

Monday, July 20, 2015

July 20, 2015

Acts 16:25  But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. (NKJV)

Too often, we Christians depend on our circumstances to dictate our rejoicing in the Lord.  In the case above - Paul and Silas chose to rejoice regardless of their circumstances.  The next time you think you are in a bad way, let your second thought be that you will choose to rejoice anyway!  He deserves our praise at all times.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

July 19, 2015

Psalms 37:4 Delight yourself also in the Lord, nd he shall give you the desires of your heart.  (NKJV)

You know I have heard preachers preach that this verse means that if you delight yourself in the Lord, He will give you what you wants.  I don't think that is necessarily so.  I think that when one delights him/herself in the Lord - the Lord gives us "new" wants and desires according to His will.  Think about it, and see if you can recall your wants (priorities) changing after coming to know the Lord.

Friday, July 17, 2015

July 17, 2015

Psalm 6:4  Turn, O Lord, deliver my life; save me for the sake of your steadfast love.  (ESV)

Did you notice that the reason the Psalmist gives for saving him is not of his own making, but because of His (God's) steadfast love?  It is always because of God's love and grace we are saved. The truth is - if it depended on our steadfast love, we would be in deep trouble.
Take time to thank God right now for His steadfast love.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

July 16, 2015

II Samuel 24:10  But David's heart struck him after he had numbered the people.  And David said to the LORD," I have sinned greatly in what I have done.

When was the last time your heart stuck you because of your sin?  Did you recognize it, agree with God and confess it?  or... did you do as so many of us do-  called it by some other name than sin?  Perhaps you justified or rationalized it.  Life goes so much smoother when we face the sin head on and give it to our God.  He is waiting to forgive you.
Take a moment and think back to the last time your heart was struck.  Give to the Lord.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

July 14, 2015

Luke 5:27-28  After this he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth.  And he said to him,"Follow me."  And leaving everything, he rose and followed him. (ESV)

To follow Jesus sounds easy enough, but leaving everything doesn't sound so easy.  It is too comfortable to hang on to our circumstances, our things, and our own agendas.  I think this is what causes some people to not follow Jesus, but I found with salvation I was given a new heart.  And with that new heart I received new priorities and wants.

I can't say I have left everything, but following Him is easier every step I take.

Monday, July 13, 2015

July 13, 2015

Isaiah 1:18  "Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool." (ESV)

The first thing that strikes me in this passage is that the Creator of the Universe invites me to reson with Him.  That says to me that I have the freedom to put questions before Him, bring my concerns to Him, work through my thinking on something with Him.  This is just one of many indicators that He is a very personal God, and He wants an intimate relationship with me.

The rest of the verse is mind-boggling.... especially when I consider my past and the sins of my youth.  Only God can take them and wash them thoroughly so that there is no trade left.  It is hard to understand, but He encourages us to reason with Him and trust Him.  I am so thankful that God is not only reasonable, but supernatural, so that He can accomplish all He promises in this verse.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

July 12, 2015

Psalm 18:1 I love you, O LORD, my strength.  (ESV)

Do you love the Lord?  Is He your strength?  These may seem like silly questions to be asking, but we could be taking certain things in our Christian walk for granted.  When is the last time that you could feel the love of the Lord and you whispered back to Him - "I love you too."
Have you recently felt worn out and lacking strength?  Was your very first thought that you needed to run into the everlasting, always- open, arms of the LORD?  Or did you look to man's remedy to strengthen you?

I don't know about you, but when I am honestly assessing some of these issues, I come up short.
Tell the Lord right now how much you love him, and relax in His arms and let Him love on you and give you strength.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

July 11, 2015

Joshua 4:1  When all the nation had finished passing over the Jordan.....(ESV)

When I read this, I noticed God waited until all the nation was safe before He made His next move.  That is always God's heart.  He wishes none to perish.  Oh, that we felt the same.  Maybe we would be a little more aggressive when it comes to evangelizing.  God, give us a heart for the lost that matches Yours.

Friday, July 10, 2015

July 10,2015

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

The thing I love to ponder in this verse is that at the beginning of time... God already was.  It is so hard to understand how God could be forever, both in the past and in the future.  He is timeless.  However, this makes it easier to understand how He can be not only timeless, but also unchangeable.  It gives Him an atribute of stability.  In these days when things are so relative... God is NOT.  He is an absolute.  Why don't you study the various absolutes to be found in the Word of God and embrace them, and stand on them.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

July 9, 2015

Ezra 3:11  And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the LORD, "For he is good, for his steadfst love endures forever toward Israel." (ESV)

Do you believe God is good?  Do you believe all good and perfect gifts come from God?  If you don't, you should.  This week has been amazing...

Bad weather was forcast for an outside concert, but God changed the weather to perfect.
At the concert God allowed the group to play my very favorite song.
We wrote a grant for our church for $25,000, but God saw fit to give us $50,000.
When I took my car in to have the radio replaced last month, I inadvertently forgot my CD that was in it.  I thought it was long gone, but God had the dealership call me today and say they received my CD in the mail today from the place they had sent the faulty radio.

Is God good or what?   Yes!!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

July 8, 2015

Proverbs 26:18-19  Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, "I am only joking!" (ESV)

As I was reading this, it just reminded me of all the times I have heard students say hateful things to other students, or even teachers, and then thought is was sufficient to say, "just kidding."

We have to be careful as we speak to others.  Many of us use sarcasm, but intend it to be humorous rather than hurtful.  And the written word is even harder to understand the nuances.  In this electronic world of communications we can easily be misconstrued.  I probably pray more about the use of my tongue than anything else.

Isn't interesting that in Solomon's day the problem was prevalent enough to be written about in the Word of God?  Consider your words carefully.  Once they leave your lips, it is very hard, if not impossible, to make amends for them.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

July 7, 2015

Joshua 1:8  This book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will hav good success. (ESV)

This week in Sunday School we were talking about what is success? And how does one achieve it?
There was a lot of discussion and definitions, but when we read this verse we all agreed that we are not normally encouraged to be successful by reading and meditating on the Word of God.

I am not sure how many self help books would sell if this was their message; however, it is what God's Word says, so we need to believe it.

You want to be more successful?  Get into the Word now and oftern!

Monday, July 6, 2015

July 6, 2015

Esther 4:14b And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this? (ESV)

What situation do you find yourself in, today?  What position are you in right now; and you wonder why?

Could it be that the Lord has put you exactly where you are for such a time as this?
Do you find yourself in something that appears to be floundering or dying?  Could the Lord have put in that very position as a hospice caretaker?  
Always give the Lord an opportunity to speak to you and show if you are exactly where He wnts you, even if it doesn't make sense to you.  It may just be you are there for such a time as this.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

July 5, 2015

Proverbs 23:22  Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.  (ESV)

On a very personal note, my father passed away 35 years ago on this date.  The last thing he said to my husband before he died was, "Get Jody to church."  Now, I know there are all kinds of people in church who aren't saved, but this was father's way of telling me to find the Lord.
I know this in my heart.  So, I am very thankful I listened to my father, who did indeed give me life in more than just the physical realm.

I misss you Daddy, terribly!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

July 4, 2015

Psalm 33:12  Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.  (ESV)

Enough said!

Friday, July 3, 2015

July 3, 2015

I Thessalonians 4:11  (But we urge you brothers) ... to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you.  (ESV)

I love this verse.  Paul is urging us right along with the Thessalonians to live a simple, quiet life (no drama), mind our own business (don't be nosy gossips), and to work with our hand (so we won't be so idle that we can find ourselves in trouble).

What good advise we find in the above Scripture.... surely you know those people whose lives are full of drama, or they are always sticking their noses in the business of others and have plenty of time on their hands.  The wear me out just thinking about them.

It is my prayer for you and for me that we might enter into the lifestyle Paul is encouraging in this verse.  I know we will have happier, more productive lives.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

July 2, 2015

Colossians 3:23  Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.  (ESV)

This is the key to happier employers and employees!  I often hear how people hate their jobs or their bosses, and make many excuses for their performance at work being less than stellar.

The problem is that we don't view who the real Boss is.  If we undertake all jobs as if unto the Lord, we are bound to be a better worker.  Likewise, if we are in a position of supervisor or boss, and we are to treat our employees the way the Lord would have us treat them, we will be better supervisors.

It is all about - Who is your boss?  Our performance will indicate the answer to this question, even if our lip service says otherwise.  Ouch!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July 1, 2015

Philippians 4:5  Let your reasonableness be know to everyone.  The Lord is at hand; (ESV)

If people were polled about you and your behavior, would you most likely be described as unreasonale or reasonable?  That idea is a little scary to me.  There are times I am very unreasonable, and I hate it afterwards.  The thing that hurts is that it is very hard to make up for those times when we are unreasonable.

I remember in the classroom, when I was unreasonable, I would late really beat myself up.  Again, we see how practical God is - He simply tells us to be reasonable to everyone.  I think the key is to think before one opens his/her mouth.