Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May 31, 2016

Jude 24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy...

Do you know this One who is ABLE to keep you from stumbling?  It is Jesus Christ.  He not only is able to keep us from stumbling, he is willing.  I don't know about you, but I stumble through life more often than not, it seems.  Yet, according to this promise, no matter how badly I stumble Jesus is able to keep me from continuing in that way of life.  

Then, as if that is not enough, the verse promises us that Jesus will present us before God, the Father, as blameless.  WOW!  That is too much to wrap my brain around, for I know how I deserve blame for all my blunders.  But if I am covered by the blood of Jesus, God will look upon me and see a white robe of righteousness.  

If this verse doesn't give you ample reasons to praise Jesus, I don't know what will.  Praise Him now and praise Him often.

Monday, May 30, 2016

May 30, 2016

Proverbs 23:21  for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags.

I find it interesting that this verse attaches these two sins with lack of revenue.  It may be that it is referring to the cost of a great deal of food and drink can cause poverty, but I think there is more to the verse than that.  I think the person who is consistently drunk or constantly eating will not be very employable.  Both drinking and overeating can wear the body down, deplete energy and make one lethargic - not a good recipe for a good employee.

Just worth thinking about.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

May 29, 2016

I Thessalonians 5:9  For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.

This verse seems to be a no-brainer, but why do we so often think God is against us and is out to get us.  God's plan all along was that we would be saved and spend eternity with Him.  It would behoove us to remember this the next time we feel like everything is going wrong and we want to blame God.

Our destiny is heaven bound!!!   Remember it is not God's will that any should perish.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

May 28, 2016

Psalm 119:105  Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Thinking about this verse - a lamp to my feet would not illumine a huge area.  A light to my path, again gives me the idea that it is just enough to see where my feet are headed.  It doesn't sound as if this picture is of a huge light showing me my destination.  It sounds like the Lord expects me to take one step at a time, and being led solely by His light.

How awesome it would be to be that dependent upon the Lord.  Why are we?  Why do we want to see the destination always before we are willing to take another step.

Are you heading somewhere, but not sure where?  No problem, if you are watching where the Lord is leading you step by step.  This really is an encouraging thought.

Friday, May 27, 2016

May 27, 2016

Exodus 33:18  Moses said, "Please show me your glory."

Moses is talking to God again, like in yesterday's devotion.  If you are familiar with this passage, then you know that God places Moses in the cleft of a rock and says He will pass by and Moses shall see His back - after God passes by.

I think this is a beautiful picture of how so many times it is when we look BACK on the situation that we see God's glory in it.  We often cannot comprehend it as we are in the midst of it, but just like this Scripture - after the situation is past, we see God's glorious hand in it.

Oh, to see it when I am in the midst of it all!!!!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

May 26, 2016

I Kings 10:14  Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was 666 talents of gold.

I have often wondered if the number 666 in this verse has any symbolic meaning as to the trap that gold has for many of us.  God does so much with numbers in the Bible, it seems that this exact number ought to strike a chord with us.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

May 25, 2016

Exodus 33:13  Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight.

I have thought for years that this is a wonderful, but puzzling, verse in the Scriptures.  It is what I would call a circular comment.  On the surface, it sounds like it doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but upon deeper reflection, I think we find a great truth of God.

Grace and God always come before anything we can do.   I believe Moses found himself in a position of knowing that he has found favor in God's sight (but at this point doesn't know how) so he attempts to find the favor.  He thinks it must be a result of getting to know God better.  That can be true, but I think Moses has - by the grace of God - found favor in His sight.  God plants the favor first, then that creates a yearning in our soul for more.

The problem is then we feel like if we do something we can get more - when in reality that is why grace is defined as unmerited favor.  Think about it.  Next time you find yourself in God's grace - just thank Him and praise Him.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

May 24, 2016

Romans 7:21  So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.

Isn't that the truth!   It seems to me that at those times when I have been in the Word, praying diligently, listening to the Lord and ready to go out into this world and walk in obedience - it is like the author of Romans says - Satan and his devices are not far off.  He is crouching, ready to pounce.  We are told in Scripture that we need to be aware of Satan's tactics.  One of them is to jump us and cause us to stumble, especially when we are close to walking in obedience.  It is as sure as the law.

Monday, May 23, 2016

May 23, 2016

Deuteronomy 27:18  "Cursed be anyone who misleads a blind man on the road."

I personally think this is a wonderful verse for preachers and evangelists to remember.  When we are talking and ministering to the blind (in faith), it is important that we tell them like it is.  Christianity is not a name it and claim it philosophy.  It does not mean all your problems will go away.

When we are eager to lead people to Christ, we must be careful to not mislead them by misrepresenting Christ to them.  I have seen too many people fall away when the going gets tough, because someone told them the walk of a Christian was a piece of cake with no problems.

Think it over.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

May 22, 2016

Psalm 4:4  Be angry and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent.

This verse reminds us that we can be angry, but the challenge is to not sin in our anger.  I think the rest of the verse gives us some good advice.  Rather than to gossip or talk about the sin with others, the verse tells us to ponder in our own hearts at night when we lie down.  The "be silent" part helps us to not spread rumors about whatever it was that made us angry.

If we were to consider our anger silently before bed and before the Lord, we might not be so quick to act upon our anger.  Give it a try.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

May 21, 2016

Isaiah 25:1  O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure.

There is much to be said about this verse :   first, can you say that the Lord is your God?  If so, tell Him.  Will you exalt Him?  Will you lift Him high above all else in your life? in your word? in your priorities?  Will you praise His name - that name at which every knee will bow?  Why not bow now in addition to later.   Can you attest to the wonderful things He has done?  And not just the things in your life, but in the world itself?  Do you realize that He has plans?  Have you gotten into His word and seen how it all will end?  Have you experienced in your life how faithful He is and dependable?  If so, tell Him today.

Take this verse and turn it into not only a reason to dig into His word, but to a prayer of affirmation of your love for Him.

Friday, May 20, 2016

May 20, 2016

Hosea 6:1a  Come, let us return to the LORD; for he has torn us, that he may heal us.

This is a difficult concept to understand, but because everything the Lord does is motivated out of love, there are times He must tear us down in order to heal us.  You see, our well-being is of the utmost importance to our Loving Father.

I challenge you to continue reading the Bible with the commitment that you will not give up on a verse until you can see the Lord's love revealed in it.  Try it.  It will change the way you see the Scriptures.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

May 19, 2016

Proverbs 21:9  It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.

Ouch!  This Proverb can be quite convicting on those days that I know I am being quarrelsome.  You know what I mean.  You are almost looking for a fight.

As a picture a corner of the housetop, I picture a hot, stuffy place of discomfort.  When put like that, I realize my quarrelsome ways must be pretty uncomfortable to my husband.  It is not often that I am quarrelsome, but this verse shows me that once is too often.  I need to continue to pray for that gentle, quiet spirit the Word describes.

Does anyone know what I mean?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

May 18, 2016

Psalm 51:13  Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.

Read the whole Psalm and you will find this is David's Psalm of confession after his sin with Bathsheba.  He starts out knowing that all he can ask of God is mercy at that point.  He knows he needs cleansing.  He also state that he realizes that his sin is against God, Himself.  But what I love about this Psalm is that he also knows that once God has cleansed him, forgiven him, and created a clean heart in him - he will once again be able to minister to others (verse 13).  He will learn from his mistakes and be equipped to help others.

We need to realize this too, when it comes to our sins that eat at us all day long.  The sooner we confess and accept God's forgiveness and cleansing - the sooner we will be able to get back into ministry.  Think about it.  Don't waste valuable time wallowing in the mire.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

May 17, 2016

Ecclesiastes 12:13  The end of the matter, all has been hear.  "Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man."

Isn't it interesting how we try to complicate things?  The "Preacher" tells us after all his searching - the bottom line is fear God and do what He says.

I am not saying it is an easy task, but I do think we spend way too much time wondering what God's will for our lives is, when He has repeated it over and over in His Word.  He gives commands from the heart of a loving father, and we, as his loving children, should obey.  There is not a whole lot of difference between this and how we expect our children to obey their parents.

Monday, May 16, 2016

May 16, 2016

Acts 2: 36-38 (verse 38)  Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

We are at the time of Pentecost ( at least in the year of 2016) and as I have studied it, I think it is important that we see this is the birth of the church.  It deserves a birthday party.
The invitation would look like this:

For:  the Church
Gifts:  no need the Father has given us the gift of the Holy Spirit
Sing:  Happy Birthday to the Church
Party favors - bring a noisemaker ( your voice) to proclaim the mighty works of God
Refreshment - wine (the new wine)

I suggest we get drunk on the new wine of the Holy Spirit and get caught driving under the influence of the Holy Spirit.  Let's hope there is enough evidence to get us convicted.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

May 15, 2016

Proverbs 6:10  Go to the ant, O sluggard, consider her ways, and be wise.

We are currently studying the seven deadly sins in one of our Bible Studies.  It was very interesting to me that sloth is considered one of them.  In my studies I also discovered that according to the Medieval theologians, who came up with the list, that they considered sloth one of the top two- deadliest sins.  As I have been studying the Word of God on this subject, I discovered there is quite a little bit God has to say about the sluggard; the above verse being one example.

Ants are considered hard workers and very diligent in their effort to make things happen.  I decided before I am so quick to get mad at these persistent ants and want to rid myself of them, I should take God's advice and consider what model workers they are.  Perhaps they do have a lesson to teach us.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

May 14, 2016

II Samuel 8:27  For you, O LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, have made this revelation to your servant, saying, "I will build you a house." Therefore your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to you.

Even if you are not familiar with this part of the narrative of how God promised to build a house for David, you can see that because David had heard from the Lord, he had courage to pray to him a certain way.

I think it is very important we will always find that God initiates the conversation.  He always comes first, Alpha and Omega, even in our dialogue.  Once we get into the Word or prayer, and we hear God's loving voice, we gain the courage to pray not just mediocre prayers, but bold prayers.

On the occasions that I have felt far from God or that my prayers weren't making it through the ceiling of my prayer chamber, I have found that I have not been in the Word of God or silently listening for Him to speak to me.  Be still and know that He is God, and that will embolden you to prayer mighty prayers of faith.  Try it!

Friday, May 13, 2016

May 13, 2016

Luke 6:49  But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation.

You are probably very familiar with this passage.  Jesus warns us that without a solid foundation, our house (lives) will sink.  Just as Jesus tells us that He is the way, the truth and the life----- we know He is the foundation.

As I look around and see so many disturbing things going on in the news, both globally, and in my own backyard, I can't help but wonder if the problem doesn't lie in the fact that we are not giving a good foundation for our children to build upon.

Even though I know it is never too late to accept the Lord, I know it is not prudent to put it off as we rear our kids.  We need to do everything possible to help with laying the foundation in those lives we touch on a daily basis.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

May 12, 2016

John 14:2  In my Father's house are many rooms.  If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?

I had an aha moment this week as I looked at this verse.  I was reading a commentary about it and realized something I had never before considered.  As I had previously pondered what Jesus did to prepare a place for us - I pictured Him getting a place ready, I don't know how, but probably like I prepare my home for guests.

What I realize now is that considering when Jesus was saying this to His disciples, He prepared a place for us by his death, resurrection and ascension.  Wow!   That really struck me.  Think about it.

PS my other error in thinking was - we will not be a guest in heaven; it is our home!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

May 11, 2016

Deuteronomy 28:1  And if you faithfully obey the voice of the LORD your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.

Isn't this a great verse for our country to think about?  As we consider the upcoming election and the candidates- it seems we should also be aware of what God's word has to say.  We are not meant to compartmentalize our beliefs and our way of life. Consider what who will be good for our country. God will probably bless America even more as America blesses Him.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

May 10, 2016

Deuteronomy 6:4-9  (verse 4-5)  Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.  You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart  and with all your soul and with all your might.

We talked in Bible Study recently that if we could get this from our head to our heart, it could make all the difference in the world.  We decided that if we could love God with all our heart, soul, and might - loving our neighbor would not be a problem.

We took the challenge to memorize these verses, meditate on them, and put them into practice.  Are you up for a challenge?  Join us.

Monday, May 9, 2016

May 9, 2016

Proverbs 27:1  Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.

This can be a sobering thought.  I am a planner, and love nothing more than to know what I am doing tomorrow (hour by hour) and the day after.  I learned the hard way not to put too much stock in my plans.

 Eleven years ago, it was the end of the school year and I was marking off the days on a calendar and had plans made for June and July.  On May 6th, I woke up and found my husband unresponsive.  To make a very long story short, he had bacterial meningitis.  We spent all of June and July in the hospital, along with August, September and October. Needless to say that was not in my plans.

The good news is that my husband is still alive and doing well.  The Lord does know what plans He has for us, and we need to always be ready to respond to His plans rather than ours.

I think it is okay to plan, but don't put them in stone.  Give the Lord room to change them.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

May 8, 2016

Just some thoughts on Mother's Day .....

In the Bible we find our first mother, Eve, having a heart of hope with her new baby boy, Cain.
She later has to endure the heartache of losing a son, really both of them after Cain kills Abel.
Sarai - has a heart of desperation when she offers her handmaid to her husband to have children.  The loss of Isaac's mother left a gaping hole that was only filled by finding a wife.  Then there is the mother who gives her life for a child - Benjamin's mom did this.  There is the mom who gives her child away, because she thinks it is best for the child - Moses's mom knew this heartache.  Ruth, after losing her husband and sons, describes herself as empty (hearted).  Hannah wanted a child so badly she prayed as she was deeply distressed.  Bathsheba only got to enjoy her child born to her and David for seven days - a heart of mourning.  We sometimes forget Job's wife lost those children too.  She didn't know God had told Satan not to kill her husband.  She had a heart of anger.  Finally, the teenager who is carrying a baby out of wedlock, Mary.  She ends up standing by the cross experiencing the worst heartache of all - burying one of your children.

But I have decided motherhood, despite all the heartaches, is well worth it.  It reminds me of the song popularized by Garth Brooks - The Dance.......Yes, my life is better left to chance.  I could have missed the pain but I'd  had to miss the dance.

Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

May 7, 2016

Luke 12:15b  "for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."

Boy, try to tell that to today's society!

One just needs to watch a little television to see in the commercials, that our wealth defines us.
And it promises several things:  bring us joy, give our lives new meaning, make us feel complete, pay for our mistakes, bring us our heart's desire, solve our problems, and make us whole again.

This all sounds great, but did you notice that wealth makes the same promises as Jesus makes?  That is the problem.  Wealth can disguise itself as our savior.  OUCH!

Jesus doesn't have a problem with the wealthy, but sometimes the wealthy has a problem with Jesus!

Friday, May 6, 2016

May 6, 2016

Ezekiel 36:26  And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you.  And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

Have you had a heart transplant?  That is what the Lord promises us.  It can either be a slow gradual awareness you get, or it can be as specific as if you just came out of surgery.  Either way, you will never be the same.

I remember the first indicator of my new heart was my priorities drastically changed.  They began to align with the Lord's.  Get a heart checkup.  It is one of the most obvious ways to see if the Lord is working in your life.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

May 5, 2016

Luke 9:20  Then He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"  And Peter answered, "The Christ of God."

This may be a very familiar verse to you; however, it is probably the most important question you will ever need to answer.  Who do you say Jesus is?

If you haven't settled this in your heart, don't put it off.  Get into His word and see who He really is.  Decide before it is too late.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

May 4, 2016

Psalm 25:7  Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O LORD!

I love this verse in the Bible because I made some pretty stupid mistakes in my youth, and I don't desire that the Lord should remember and dwell on them.  Instead, I like the psalmist, would prefer the Lord remember me in accordance with his steadfast love for me.  Not that I deserve it, but to show others the goodness of the Lord.

I am so thankful that His mercies are new every morning!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

May 3, 2016

Deuteronomy 33:27  The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms.

Do you realize you could be resting in the everlasting arms of Almighty God?  That sounds like a wonderful place to be, but did you notice you have to make God your dwelling place.  That sounds easier than it is.  I don't know about you, but this week has been a rough one for me.  I can think of no better place than to be resting in God's loving arms.  I need to just give in and let God enfold me in His love.  How about you?

Monday, May 2, 2016

May 2, 2016

John 15:3  Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.

You know that we are told that the Word is living, so we shouldn't be surprised that it acts like a scrubber and cleanses us.  Just sitting and reading the Word of God has a lasting effect on us.  It contains wisdom and principles which have the capacity to change our lives.  The above Scripture says the word was spoken to us.  As you read the Word, do you listen for God's voice?  We should.  We should not be content to get up from being in the Word until we have heard from our Lord.

He has never failed to show up and speak to me when I have quietly remained in His presence.  Give it a try.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

May 1, 2016

Proverbs 3:5  Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

This is a great deal harder than it sounds.  We think we understand so much in this world and in our situations; when really more often than not, we have a skewed view.  This is why there must be so many verses in the Bible warning us to not trust ourselves.  Our hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked.

Are you trusting in the Lord today?  Have you given Him all the situations you have found yourself in?  Are you trusting Him to get you through the misunderstandings and hardships you encounter?

It is not easy, but it works!!!  Take some time to talk to the Lord, and tell Him you are placing everything at His feet (and not to take it back).