Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Grace for your spirit. March 1,, 2012

Grace for your spirit
On the contrary, who are you O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? Romans 9:20-21

The song "Have Thine own way Lord, have Thine own way. Thou art the potter, I am the clay." is a principle found in both the Old Testament and the New about letting God's hand control our lives. If you have every seen the skilled hands of a potter working with a lump of clay, the transformation is amazing. They stick their hands into the clay spinning on a wheel, and before you know it, you have a beautiful creation. It is a skill that most of us don't have. Watching it reminds us that we are but clay, the dust of the earth. Then God puts His hand on us and creates a vessel that He can use in His own way. If we are not the vessel we think we deserve to be, that is not for us to say. We are created to serve, not give back talk. Let's commit to being a useful pot, even if we are "cracked pots" from time to time. Our open mouth creates a giant hole that limits the use of our pot considerably. Let's keep it shut.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Grace for your spirit. February 29, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Behold, the Lord's hand is not so short that it cannot save; Nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He does not hear. Isaiah 59:1-2

In the mind of the unbeliever, everything is God's fault. Why doesn't God help us? Why doesn't He answer our prayers? The last time I needed Him, He left me flat. What's wrong with Him? This is a direct failure of not knowing God, not knowing His Word, and not understanding His will for everyone. He is able to save, and He is able to hear, but when we separate ourselves from Him, expecting Him to "bless our mess", He will not respond. God never ever moved. It is us who are always moving. Like the old married couple riding in the car. She said to him, "remember when we were young, and sat so close together riding down the road? Now, we are so far apart, what happened? The husband looked at the steering wheel and replied. "Well, I'm still in the same place, what about you? Yes, what about us? His arms are reaching out and is ears are listening. It is time for us to step up and speak up

Monday, February 27, 2012

Grace for your spirit. February 28, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house, and it fell and great was its fall. Matthew 7:26-27

Remember the song, "On Christ the solid rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand." I remember those jungle movies I saw as a kid. How scary it was to see someone stuck and sinking in the quicksand. Their only hope was to find someone to pull them out, and put them on solid ground. Their own struggle and effort only caused them to sink in deeper and deeper. Their only salvation came from the mercy of one outside the quicksand.. The words of Jesus in this "Sermon on the Mount", was the solid rock of truth. Those who rejected it would be building their lives on sand. When the rains, floods, and winds, would come, that house would fall. Those who would listen and build their house on the words of Jesus, would be like building a house on a rock. That is a house that will stand firm, and not go "splat". If we find our lives in a sinkhole, let's allow Jesus pull us out, and rebuild on the solid rock before it is too late. It is not enough to just be amazed at the words of Jesus. We need to build our lives on them too.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Grace for your spirit. February 27, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Adulteresses, do you not know that friend of the world is enemy of God? Therefore, whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God James 4:4

If someone insisted that we were enemies of God, we would probably object. We don't wish to be identified as enemies of God, but in fact many leave His camp to join the enemy. When we become a friend of the world, we create a division between us and God. The lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life, can drag us away from Him. How can we get back to being a friend of God? Jesus did the work for us when He died on the cross for our sins. The cross literally built a bridge over the chasm that separates us. Romans five should be a great comfort to us trying to get out of the enemy camp. It tells us that Christ died for us while we were yet enemies, so we could be reconciled to God. When reconciled, we can glorify God since we are saved by the life and death of Christ. We all sin and become enemies eventually. Let's be thankful Jesus already paved the road back in advance. Let's take that road with boldness and joy.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Grace for your spirit. February 24, 2012

Grace for your spirit
The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going becaue the darkness has blinded his eyes. I John 2:10-11

We can say we are walking in the light, but how we feel about our brother is the proof. It is obvious to everyone, although sometimes not obvious to us. We might say we can walk in the darkness and be fine, but we are not telling the truth. Eventually we will stumble and stub our toe on something. Jesus said all laws hang on two. Love the Lord your God, and love your neighbor as yourself. Why would we want to sidestep that truth, so we could hate someone and feel good about it? If we would, we are living in rebellion. Let's make every effort to line up with the Lord to obey, rather than try to figure out a way to get around His truth. Love your brother and walk in the light. That is the sure path to long term happiness. Light and love. You can't have one without the other

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Grace for your spirit. February 23, 2012

Grace for your spirit
And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. Matthew 6:28-29

Take a ride down the highways and behold the beauty of the flowers growing along the road. Many people wear themselves out trying to have a pretty flower garden, and don't do as well as those flowers that grow wild. If God cares for flowers,, why would we think that He would leave us on our own? When we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, everything we really need will be supplied to us. When we believe God will take care of what we wear, and eat, our minds are free to serve Him and help others. Let's step off the worldly treadmill and walk with Jesus

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Grace for your spirit. February 22, 2012

Grace for your spirit
"Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a son, and they shall call His name Immanuel." which translated means, "God with us." Matthew 1:23 The Word made flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory as the only begotten of the Father Jn 1:14

As the song goes, "Heaven came down and glory filled my soul." Christianity is about God reaching down and touching us. Religion is about us trying to reach up and touch God. As Paul told the Athenians, "You are very religious, superstitious, and ignorant. This time of year I get questions about Ash Wednesday and Lent. Ash Wednesday is religion. A day of transition from revelry to holiness. Lent is a forty day sacrifice to prepare for Easter. It is all religion and mocks the principle of living a holy life, honoring God every day. May we suggest being in Christ, walking after the Spirit, and leave the religion to hypocrites. Come out of the darkness and into the light.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Grace for your spirit. February 21, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Do not say, "Why is it that the former days were better than these?" For it is not from wisdom that you ask this. Ecclesiastes 7:10

When your sitting around with some people, it doesn't take long until someone starts talking about the "good ole days". It seems that when most people look at the good ole days, it is always with "rose-colored" glasses. We tend to forget about the troubles and trials, and just remember the fun. A careful remembrance will usually make us aware that we are better off now than at most times. More importantly, we need to be thankful for today and the opportunities we have to serve and Lord and others. It is wise to remember that our past is forgiven, our future is secure, and the present is just that; a present from God. This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Grace for your spirit. February 20, 2012

Grace for your spirit
The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with the worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity. Luke 8:14

In order for a plant to grow it must have the nourishment supplied through the root system. If you choke off the roots, the plant will fail to grow. The giant redwoods of California and the Bonsai trees of Japan were the same size at one time, but the stunting of the roots changed the potential of the Bonsai The Bonsai are 18" tall while the might Redwoods are hundreds of feet tall. The same is true with a Christian. When are life is choked with worries, riches, and the pleasures of life, we quit growing. Let's get the thorns out of our soil, so we can bear fruit for Jesus. Our master gardener knows how to get the job done. Let Him work on us.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Grace for your spirit. February 17, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. James 1:17

We ;should be thankful that we have loving Father in heaven who wants to bestow gifts on us. He loves us and those gifts are an expression of His love. As recipients of those gifts, we need to make sure we don't love the gifts more than the giver. Loving God is our focus and the gifts are a benefit of that love.. Once there were two kids with a dad that traveled a lot. Every time he came home, he brought them gifts. Soon they started hoping he would go away, so they would get more gifts on his return. Their greatest gift was their father's love, and they were missing it completely. Our greatest gift is the loving, abiding, presence of our Father. We should never hope that He would leave us alone so He would return with another gift for us. Let's love Him with all our heart, soul,, strength, and mind, and the gifts will take care of themselves

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Grace for your spirit. February 16, 2012

Grace for your spirit
That you be driven away from mankind and your dwelling place be with the beats of the field, and you be given grass to eat like cattle and be drenched with the dew of heaven; and seven periods of time will pass over you, until you recognize that the Most High is the ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes Daniel 4:25

Nebuchadnezzar was the king of Babylon and had taken God's people captive. Although he seemed like the enemy, God cared about him and was using him to do His will. He sent the king a prophet to help him. That prophet was Daniel, his interpreter of dreams. God repeatedly tried to humble Nebuchadnezzar with dreams, visions, and experiences. Like a captain trying to sink a boat in shallow water to keep it from going over the falls, God was trying to scuddle Nebuchadnezzar in shallow water to save him and his kingdom. Many of the revelations and experiences that come our way, may be God's way to stopping us while we are still in shallow water. They may be repeated warnings to keep us from disaster, and make us realize that God is really in charge. The sooner we notice, the better our lives will be

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Grace for your spirit. February 15, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose trust is in the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream, and will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor cease to yield fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8

In the garden, planting with access to water is the key to having a great yield of crops. In the spiritual realm, planting with access to the Lord is also the key to having a great spiritual yield. Trust in the Lord is the nourishment that brings forth great yields in good times and in bad. It will keep us from being anxious in bad times, and we will enjoy our lives. This verse should remind us of the very first Psalm. When we plant by the rivers of life, we will be blessed. Let's put our roots down with Jesus

Monday, February 13, 2012

Grace for your spirit. February 14, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Someone in the crowd said to Him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me. Luke 12:13

Jesus is preaching about the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit...a very important subject. This guy's mind is a thousand miles away in his brother's wallet. Are you listening mister? No, he was only waiting to talk. If he would have been listening to the words of Jesus, drinking in the influence of the Holy Spirit, his other problems would have taken care of themselves. Is that like us or not? The help that comes from the Lord is all around us. His word and His Spirit contains the answer to all of our problems, but we are on "mental vacation", looking for our own solutions. Like the bronze serpent in the wilderness recorded in Numbers 21:8-9, we focus on the wrong things. Focusing on the problem was death. Looking up at the solution was victory. Do we believe the God can supply us everything that pertains to life? Well then, let's start paying attention. Our answer is on the way

Grace for your spirit. February 13, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Then God said to him in the dream, "Yes I know that in the integrity of your heart you have done this, and I also kept you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her. Now therefore, restore the man's wife, for his a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. Genesis 20:6-7

This is a confrontation between Abraham and Abimelech. Abraham has lied, calling his wife his sister, and Abimelech innocently has taken her to be his wife. Abimelech does God's will restoring Abraham's wife and is directed to ask Abraham to pray for him in order to live. Is there something wrong with this picture? Abimelech is in the right, and Abraham is in the wrong. Shouldn't Abimelech be giving the prayer?. Even in this bad day for Abraham, God still honors His chosen prophet to be the mediator. In that, God establishes His rule through Abraham. It should be a great comfort to Christians today. We may be having our worse day in history, and find ourselves living in the shadow of the worldly, but as we walk with the Holy Spirit, God still honors us and wants us to pray for the worldly. Even on our worst day, God wants us to be His priest and prophet. Let's not let Him down, or those who need Him

Friday, February 10, 2012

Grace for your spirit. February 10, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Suddenly the fingers of a man's hand emerged and began writing opposite the lampstand on the plaster of the wall of the king's palace, and the king saw the back of the hand that did the writing. Then the king's face grew pale and his thoughts alarmed him, and his hip joints went slack and his knees began knocking together. Daniel. 5:5-6

Have you ever heard the term, "I saw the handwriting on the wall"? It is best understood by the story from ancient Babylon. The king of Babylon was about to be killed, Babylon overthrown and his kingdom finished;. The message came to them miraculously with the message written on the wall. The very experience scared the king, but the interpretation scared him even more. These idolaters had turned their back on God, and finally it was time to pay. That is true for us all. When we disobey God, there will always be a time to pay. We won't see such a miracle as this, but our message may come in a different way. Let's be sensitive about the message around us, and always be ready to meet the Lord. It will keep our knees from knocking together in troubled times.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Grace for your spirit. February 9, 2012

Grace for your spirit
As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. So Jesus said to the twelve, "You do not want to go away also, do you? Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. John 6:66-68

There is no other person to walk with besides Jesus. He helps our walk to strengthen us. Most of us are familiar with the poem "Footprints in the Sand." The story tells how Jesus carries us in our troubled times. There is another little known poem called, "Buttprints in the Sand." It says that Jesus does carry us, but there comes a time when we need to put forth a little effort on our own. The poems ends this way; "You disobeyed you would not grow. The walk of faith you would not know. So I got tired, I got fed up, and there I dropped you on you butt. Because in life there comes a time, when one must fight and one must climb. When one must rise and take a stand. Or leave their butt prints in the sand." Let's thank Jesus for the lift, but at the same time let's strengthen ourselves to stand firm against the evils of sin. Let's use His strength so at some point we can walk worthy of our calling in Christ. If we don't, someday we too may quit walking with Him in unbelief, as many have before us.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit
Philippians 4:23

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Grace for your spirit. February 8, 2012

Grace for your spirit
For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of the darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. II Corinthians 4:6

Christians have been referred to as being like the the earth's moon. We reflect the light that comes from the Son, and send it into a dark world. Beware,however because the moon also has a dark side. On the dark side there is no communication, and sometimes there is a total eclipse possible when all the world gets in the way and it is totally dark. We want to reflect without the world getting in the way, and avoid having a dark side that is hidden from the Son. The moon keeps rotating, so soon the dark side soon has the light of the sun. We too need to keep moving, and rotating towards God so the light of God's Son eventually finds all our dark places. Shine on.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit
Philippians 4:23

Monday, February 6, 2012

Grace for your spirit. February 7, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Now behold the Lord has let me live, just as He spoke, these forty-five years, from the time that the Lord spoke this word to Moses, when Israel walked in the wilderness; and now behold, I am eighty-five years old today. I am still as strong today as I was in the days Moses sent me; as my strength was then, so my strength is now, for war and for going out and coming in. Joshua 14:10-11

This is a conversation between the only two people who left Egypt and crossed over into the promised land. Caleb is speaking to Joshua, about their forty give years as fellow servants. For forty five years, under the most difficult circumstances, Caleb had been faithful, focused, determined, and willing to play second fiddle to Joshua. At 85, he still could go out to war and come in to counsel with the same strength. Do you remember 45 years ago? Whatever milestone we are reaching, it is good to evaluate our faithfulness, focus and determination. In many ways I am not as good at 65 that I was at 25, but I hope and pray that in some ways I might be better. We may not have everything we want, but let's not be discouraged playing second fiddle. Unless someone plays it, there can be no harmony. I am thankful the Lord has let me live and minister these forty years. I am sixty-five today and still kicking. Praise the Lord.

Grace for your spirit. February 6, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Peter said to Him, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water. And He said, "Come!"And Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. Matthew 14:28-29

The apostles were out in a boat on the Sea of Galilee in the middle of the night. When Jesus came walking on the water, their first response was fear. This was another chance for the apostles to stand up and be counted. Would they be water walkers or boat talkers?. I guess any of them could have come out on the water that day, but only Peter made the walk. When we are challenged to stretch our faith, will we be step out in trust or talk about the people who do? We usually won't learn much always staying our comfort zone. When the time comes that we can step out of that zone keeping our eyes on Jesus, we come to a new level of trust. We aren't able to paddle our way to the promised land, we need to walk with Jesus

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit
Philippians 4:23

Friday, February 3, 2012

Grace for your spirit. February 3, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. Colossians 3:23-24

It is very rare to meet a person who loves their job, loves their boss, and boasts that life is "just a bowl of cherries." For most people, they talk about life being "the pits" instead. As Christians,, God wants us to be the best employees and the best bosses ever, even when our circumstances are awful. How can we accomplish that? Remember that our ultimate boss in the Lord Jesus. As we walk, talk, and work, let's serve Him and give our very best.. A reward from Him is the best. Let's do whatever it takes, to remind us of that reality. We will be surprised how it will help our circumstances too. At home, at work, or whatever we do, let's do our work heartily for the Lord.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit
Philippians 4:23

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Grace for your spirit. February 2, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here am I." And He said, "Take now your son, your only son, whom you have, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering. Genesis 22:1-2

Ever since God called Abraham to leave his home and take is family to an unknown location, Abraham had struggled with his faith. Time and time again Abraham heard God's promises, questioned God's promises, and saw them fulfilled. Each test was a building block constructing Abraham's faith, and making him the father of the faithful. Now God sees His patience fulfilled. He once again asks Abraham to do something completely out of his reality, and Abraham said, Here am I. To kill and sacrifice the son of promise seems bazaar, but Abraham doesn't hesitate or complain. He now understands walking by faith, and reasons that God will make it all work out for good. It does work out and Abraham passes his most difficult test. May we learn from every challenge, even when we fail miserably. God is still building us, and constructing a disciple that will be able to pass the tests to come.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit
Philippians 4:23