Thursday, March 29, 2012

Grace for your spirit. March 30, 2012

Grace for your spirit
They said to me, "The remnant there in the province who survived the captivity are in great distress and reproach and the wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates are burned with fire." When I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I was fasting and praying before the Lord of heaven. Nehemiah 1:3-4

Have we ever found ourselves in a bad situation and wanted to do something but could not? Then we needed to pray, but couldn't find the words? .The prayer of Nehemiah in chapter one gives us guidance and hope. Nehemiah was troubled, and everything seemed to be out of his control. He began to pray and the prayer of chapter one actually covers 4 months. In that time of prayer, his spirit was quieted, his focus was sharpened, and his plans were made. God never spoke to Nehemiah directly but opened the door of opportunity, and made him successful in the things that troubled him. Studying the prayers of the Bible can be very enlightening and the best therapy available. God bless us in our search for solutions and answers. Which of us couldn't use a quieted spirit, a sharper focus and plans that gave us success.?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Grace for your spirit. March 22, 2012

Grace for your spirit
So Isaac lived in Gerar. When the men of the place asked about his wife, he said, "she is my sister", for he was afraid to say "my wife" thinking, "the men of the city might kill me on account of Rebekah for she is beautiful". Genesis 26:6-7

I wonder where he learned that? Back in Genesis 20, when following the travels of Abraham and Sarah, we learned that they were ready for trouble. Since Sarah was beautiful, they were afraid someone would try to steal her and kill Abraham. They came up with that story. "She is my sister" Their faith just went so far, and they had this plan for the rest of the time. Like father like son. Now Isaac is using the same story for his wife. If these patriarchs had married ugly women, would their faith have sustained them without lying, or would they lie about other things? That sad heritage of lying to get what they wanted was passed on for many generations. They gained a little with it, but they lost so much more. What are we passing along to our next generations? Faith or deceit?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Grace for your spirit. March 21, 2012

Grace for your spirit
I tell you that he will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth? Luke 18:8

God wants us to be persistent in our pursuit of His help. In this chapter Jesus tells a parable about a women who is seeking protection from an unrighteous judge. Because she is persistent, the judge helps her, even though he doesn't care anything about her.In contrast,the Lord is ready to help us if we are persistent enough to keep approaching Him. Plus He really cares for us. Will we pursue Him, or quit in despair? Look around. All around us we see examples of people are quitting and have lost heart. Churches are lifeless and closing their doors all around us. Things are falling apart in many areas, and the Lord needs us to seek His help and His justice. The question Jesus asked has merit to be asked of us today. When Jesus returns, will he find faith on the earth? The answer to that question may depend on the decisions we make today. Decisions to be faithful and encourage it in others. Let's make the decision for Christ today

Monday, March 19, 2012

Grace for your spirit. March 20, 2012

Grace for your spirit
For he was aware that the chief priests had handed Him over because of envy. Mark 15:10

This problem with Jesus and the Pharisees was of little interest to Pilate the governor. He wanted to wash his hands of the whole matter. He could see the real problem. The Pharisees were envious of the wisdom and popularity of Jesus. People were dumping them, and they felt He needed to go. It is sad because the Pharisees were God's people and should have received and supported the Son of God with enthusiasm. Instead, they hated Him, and became enemies with God. They thought they could turn the tide by killing Him, and all they did was kill themselves. Envy seeks to get rid of our adversary and ultimately we are the ones destroyed. Cain envied Abel, and Cains 'life was ruined. Joseph's brothers envids him, and they ended up in trouble. Saul envied and hated David. Saul lost his kingdom and David ended up on the throne. Shakespeare wrote that we should beware of the "green-eyes monster" of envy. It will always eat us alive. May we live and learn from God's holy word.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Grace for your spirit. March 19, 2012

Grace for your spirit
The Lord's bondservant must not be quarrelsome, but kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition...II Timothy 2:24-25

This is God's plan to convert the world. It is His plan to bring repentance and the knowledge of God that will change mankind for the better. As Christians we are bond-servants of the Lord and subject to His guidance. If we are quarrelsome, hateful, will not teach, not patient, and not gentle, how will we ever reach the place we can correct those who in opposition to God. If the world follows our example, will we lead them to Jesus or the devil? As we walk with the Spirit and by the Spirit, we need to put on that new man in Christ. When we let that new man correct our carnal nature, then we will be able to focus on teaching and leading others to the joy of being the new man in Christ.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Grace for your spirit. March 16, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling, my steps almost slipped. For i was envious of the arrogant. as I saw the prosperity of the wicked. Psalm 73:1-3

God is good all the time, but unfortunately we are not. Like Peter walking on the water. While his eyes were on the Master, he was all right, but when he looked at the waves, he started to sink. When we start focusing on the arrogance of the wicked and their prosperity, we step off the path of safety into a large pothole. Proverbs 23 says, "Do not let your heart envy sinners, but live in the fear of the Lord always" If our religious doctrine does not acknowledge God as Lord of all, and it does not help us conform to godliness, and gives way to the lusts of the flesh, we have the wrong religious doctrine. When we allow His righteousness to make us righteous, our slipping and stumbling will be less all the time. Let's set a goal of being pure in heart for our God.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Grace for your spirit. March 15, 2012

Grace for your spirit
I wrote something to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not accept what we say. For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this, he himself does not receive the brethren either, and he forbids those who desire to do so and puts them out of the church III John 9-10

Christ set the ultimate example for us all in how to find victory. Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up. Jesus did exactly that. Humbled to the point of death, and God exalted Him highly. The secret to finding JOY is in priorities. J.esus 1st, O thers 2nd, Y ourself last. J>O>Y. God wants us to place ourselves last, and He will make us firsts in His time, and His way. Pushing to be first, like Diotrephes, criticizes authority, and eliminates all who don't agree. The church is meant to be inclusive, not exclusive. Let's get out of the way.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Grace for your spirit. March 14, 2012

Grace for your spirit
So for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation to everyone who believes... Romans 1:15-16

When Jesus left us with His Great Commission, all disciples became His evangelists. An evangelist is literally someone who proclaims the good news. The free gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus is truly good news. In order for the good news to be effective it must be proclaimed. It is unlikely that we will proclaim it unless we believe it is the power of God to salvation, believe that it is for everyone, and are eager to see the good news change the lives of people. If that gospel will be proclaimed from generation to generation, we also must protect it against the attacks of the devil, and promote it among all believers. When we truly become eager to do these things, it will evident that our church is on fire for the Lord. Paul sacrificed greatly to get this gospel to Rome. What are we willing to sacrifice where God has planted us?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Grace for your spirit. March 13, 2012

Grace for your spirit
I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. Matthew 16:19

The keys to the kingdom were first delivered to Christ's apostles, and have then been passed down to faithful men and women over the generations. Today, Christ's followers hold the keys to the kingdom. The key that opens the doors is the good news of Jesus. Last year a movie entitled "The King's Speech" was the #1 movie. It chronicled the challenges of King George VI of England. As King of England, he needed to speak up against the tyranny of Germany with World War II looming. Unfortunately, King George could not speak. He overcame all his obstacles to deliver, The King's Speech, and rally the United Kingdom against Hitler. Our King, Jesus Christ, needs us to deliver HIs speech against the forces of the devil. We have His speech before us, and we must determine to overcome every obstacle to make sure it is delivered. Go ye, means go me.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Grace for your spirit. March 12, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Roam to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem. and look now and take note, and seek in her open squares, If you can find a man, If there is one who does justice, who seeks truth, then I will pardon her. Jeremiah 5:1

With doom immediately on the horizon, Jeremiah is given the formula to save Jerusalem. If he could find one man who knew what was right and did what was right, God would pardon the city. He couldn't. We face doom on the horizon today, and we need the faithful to stand up and be counted. In our churches, can we find one person who truly knows what is right and does it? One person who will give someone a ride to worship services. One person who will visit the sick and feed the poor. One person who will volunteer to teach a Bible class, and study with a lost soul to lead them to Jesus. These things are right and they need to be done, but is there anyone willing to do it? Once there was a church made up with four people. Anybody, Somebody, Everybody, and Nobody. When a job needed to be done, Anybody could do, Somebody should do it. Everybody could do it. But in the end Nobody did. It is time to come alive. Can we hear our storms forming on the horizon. One person can change the course. Will it be us?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Grace for your spirit. March 9, 2012

Grace for your spirit
You have heard that it was said, "An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth, but I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. Matthew 5:38-39

If we decided to execute judgment like practiced under the Old Law, it would only leave us with a lot of blind, toothless people. If we retaliate on someone throwing rocks at us with throwing rocks at them, we become like them.. They started it and we finished it, but Is that the godly way? Jesus knew that hitting back was not the way to change people. His concept is not hitting back but rather turning the other cheek and going the extra mile. The word of God tells us that "Vengeance is Mine" says the Lord. Since vengeance belongs to God, then it is not our right to take it. Turn the other cheek and smile. God has a better way for us..

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Grace for your spirit. March 8, 2012

Grace for your spirit
When a man's ways are pleasing to the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. Proverb 16:7

Time and time again in the Bible, we see the power of God working in many ways. In Genesis 26,King Abimelech didn't have any use for Isaac until he realized that that the Lord was blessing him greatly. Then he decided it would be in his best interest to make a covenant with the man the Lord loved. Nehemiah; had all kinds of opposition building the walls of Jerusalem. After completing the job in 52 days, his enemies realized that God's hand was with him, and the opposition ceased. Paul wrote that we should not be alarmed by our enemies but stand firm. When we stand firm and faithful, it is the best way to bring peace into our lives and theirs. Let's keep our lives pleasing to the Lord, and leave our enemies to Him.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Grace for your spirit. March 7, 2012

Grace for your spirit
For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Matthew 5:46-47

Jesus gives us a big challenge in His" Sermon on the Mount". When it comes to the ways we treat others, are we any better than the scum of the world? He compares His disciples to the crooked tax collectors of the day, and to those who don't know God at all. Are we just like them? What are we really doing more than others. Let's make a list. Do we only love those who love us? Do we greet only our brothers? Are we in any way different than the worldly? We all need to start focusing on our heavenly Father. Let's all draw up to be more like Him, and quit challenging ourselves to be just a little bit better than the worldly. May we strive for that maturity, completeness, and perfection only found in Christ

Monday, March 5, 2012

Grace for your spirit. March 6, 2012

Grace for your spirit
But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. Matthew 12:36-37

I saw a movie once entitled, "What the deaf man heard". A boy grew up in a community where no one knew him. He pretended he could not hear or speak to protect himself as a boy. With the assumption that he was a deaf mute, he was privy to the conversations of everyone in the town, no matter now rotten they were. One day, he spoke and they all realized they were in deep trouble. We need to be careful about the things we say. God hears and so do others of which we may not be aware. Our words most certainly reveal to everyone, what is in our hearts. We can declare ourselves justified or condemned by the words coming out of our mouths. How will we do in the court of public opinion, and ultimately before the judgment seat of Christ? Let's clean up our hearts and our mouths, so we have to worry about who's listening today

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Grace for your spirit. March 5, 2012

Grace for your spirit
I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things to draw away the disciples after them. Acts 20:29-30

Jesus, our good shepherd, admonished us to be faithful sheep. To let Him shepherd us, and stay in the sheepfold unless He guides us to safe pastures. Sheep are weak and vulnerable outside the fold, and predators attack. Many of our congregations are like that now. Churches made weak by unfaithfulness are vulnerable too. Predators hear our cry, like weak and wounded sheep, and come to attack, divide, and destroy. We need to keep Jesus at the door of our sheepfold, and strengthen ourselves to the attacks that are ahead. They might come from outside the church or even from our own people. Our strength comes in prayer, study and fellowship support. Let's not be a statistic on the church obituary list.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Grace for your spirit. March 2, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. I Peter 5:7

I will never forget the first time I went out to feed the chickens. I walked through the barnyard dropping the chicken feed as I walked. It wasn't very long until every chicken my grandma had was pecking me to death. I didn't think I would make it out alive. I soon learned that the best way was to throw the chicken feed far away, and watch the chickens run another way. It is a good rule for dealing with our anxiety and cares. If we walk close to our anxiety and our troubles, they will peck us to death. We need to learn to cast our cares far away on to God. He will take care of our troubles because He cares for us and in the mean time they won't peck us to death