Monday, April 30, 2012

Grace for your spirit. May 1, 2012

Grace for your spirit
I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. John 10:11

No wonder that Psalm #23 is so loved and remembered. The Lord really is our shepherd. We don't want for anything under His care. Jesus certainly showed us the face of the good shepherd as He walked on this earth. He leads us to green pastures, and guides us to quiet waters, as He provides for our needs, and helps us face the deepest valleys, He never leaves us nor forsakes us. As He compares us to sheep, we realize how helpless we really are without Him. He opens and closes the door to protect us. He comes looking for us when we stray, and He never leaves us in tough times. Because He did lay down His life for His sheep, all His sheep can live eternally by His side. Jesus showed Himself as the Great I AM. The everlasting God, who has the power to complete all He has promised. Praise the Lord for such a great shepherd.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Grace for your spirit. April 30, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Jesus said to her, " I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies. and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this? John 11:25-26

Jesus made this statement in the home of Mary and Martha. Their brother Lazarus had just died, and they were very upset that Jesus had not been there to help him when he needed Him the most. They repeatedly told Jesus that if He had been there it wouldn't have happened. Jesus was trying to give them the long view of eternity life. He was trying to remind them that what happens today is not forever. Many of us have stood by the grave of a loved one and asked, "Where were you Jesus when we needed you the most?" It is then we need to remember that the separation from this life most certainly is not the end of life. When we are born again, we are born never to be separated from Him again. This is the comfort we have as Christians, and the comfort we have to give. Let's give it.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Grace for your spirit. April 27, 2012

Grace for your spirit
And there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks Ephesians 5:4

Jesus told those who were worried about being defiled by what they ate, to consider something more important. What comes out of the mouth is what defiles a man. It shows what is in our hearts and minds. It is one thing to tell everyone that we are a new man in Christ, and another to live in such a way to prove it. Many proclaim their faithfulness, and then arise to abuse and assault others with course words. When we a new creation in Christ, as new citizens of His kingdom, we will have a new conversation. New man, new heart, new mind, new mouth. May we use our words for praise and the giving of thanks as we should.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Grace for your spirit. April 26, 2012

Grace for your spirit
But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing II Corinthians 2:14-16

As we journey through life, we all have some kind of aroma. The powder of victory, or the agony of de-feet. It is good to hear that we smell nice, and a little embarrassing to be reminded that we stink. When we are cleansed by the power of the Holy Spirit, our fragrance should be the knowledge of Him in our lives. To those who are being saved, that aroma should be a sweet fragrance. As we make our journey through life, may we be able to hear the compliments that we really smell nice today, and to be affirmed that we smell like victory in Jesus

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Grace for your spirit. April 25, 2012

Grace for your spirit
But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints Ephesians 5:3

It is so easy to be desensitized about sin in this dark world we live in. First, we watch TV and movies filled with immorality. Next we find ourselves talking with people who are involved in impure relationships. Before we know it, we are keeping fellowship with immoral people and identifying with them. From there we are one step away from crossing the line into immoral impure activities. We need to once again take Barney Fife's advise. We need to "nip it in the bud." Let's not let such activities to be named among us. We need to take a strong stand, so we will not slip into this sin ourselves. If we don't stand for something, we will fall for anything. Let's stand firm.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Grace for your spirit. April 24, 2012

Grace for your spirit
So Jesus said to them, "For a little while longer the Light is among you. Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes. Jn 12:35

When we are out walking in unfamiliar territory, it is best to be back before dark. There are many dangers of walking in darkness, including injury and getting lost. It is foolish to get in such a place without a light. Jesus was always trying to get His followers to walk in the light. Often they didn't realize that He was the true light, and if they didn't stay close to Him darkness would overtake them quickly. The same is true today for us. When we have been lost and wandering in the woods, it is great to see the lights of home on the horizon. Let's head for the light, stay in the light, and not wander off again.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Grace for your spirit. April 23, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. I Corinthians 6:19-20

A little boy whittled a boat, sanded it, painted it, put a sail on it, and went to play with it at the lake. A sudden burst of wind took it out of his reach and out of sight. Sometime later, he saw his boat in the window of the local toy store. Somebody had found the boat and sold it to the store. The little boy went home, raided his piggy bank, and bought the boat from the store. As he walked down the street hugging his boat, he exclaimed, "I made this boat, I lost this boat, and now I've bought it back. This is really my boat". It is a picture of our relationship with Christ. He made us, we got away from him, and He bought us back with His precious blood. We have been bought with such a price, and we belong to Him. May we learn to glorify God in all our actions. Let's allow Him in own us and dwell in our bodies every day.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Grace for your spirit. April 20, 2012

Grace for your spirit
And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise. Galatians 3:29

There is lots of interest in genealogies and family heritage these days. A great family tree can help some to feel significant. The prominent Jews would often argue with Jesus about their connection with the great father of the Jews, Abraham. As a person from the tribe in Judah, Jesus was also of the lineage of Abraham. We may be looking for a great family tree in this world, but the greatest family tree of all is in the family of Jesus Christ. When we are children of the promise, then we are spiritually of the family of Abraham, and heirs of all the promises given to him. We may not enjoy family reunions in this world, but we won't want to miss our spiritual reunion in heaven

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Grace for your spirit. April 19, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; II Peter 1:10

Whenever I stumble and fall, it is not a happy time. When I start down, I am little more than a physics experiment of mass, speed, and collision. I usually recount my last few steps to determine how it all happened. The same is true with a spiritual fall. This verse calls for us to look back at our last few steps to practice the right things, so we won't stumble again. God calls us to add to our faith, virtue,knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. To keep increasing these so we may not be short-sighted and blind on our path. Let's take special note of this fall. We might stumble again, but let's not let it happen in the same place.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Grace for your spirit. April 18, 2012

Grace for your spirit
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But the one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in what he does. James 1:23-25

Remember the ugly evil witch who talked to her mirror every day? She repeated asked the mirror, "Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the fairest of them all.? She was somehow hoping a miracle would take place and the mirror would say, "YOU ARE !" Perhaps, she should have made some adjustments in her appearance before she asked again. That may be our place in life when we hear the word of God, but don't do what it says. We know we are living an ugly life, but are willing to do what God directs to repair our appearance. We leave the mirror of His Word, and forget we need to make changes. Without change, every time we look in the mirror, things will be the same. Let's start hearing and doing His Word, and our next stop at the mirror will be more enjoyable. Jesus can improve our "face value."

Monday, April 16, 2012

Grace for your spirit. April 17, 2012

Grace for your spirit
No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it. I Corinthian 10:13'
II Peter 2:9 tells us that the Lord knows to rescue the godly from temptation. The Lord is ready, willing, and able. Let's not try to be the "lone ranger" and fix everything ourselves. Yes, we all are tempted, but God is faithful and He is in charge. From His perspective He is able to know what we can endure, and able to help us through it. Jesus came to earth, was tempted in all things without sin, so He could come to our aid when we are tempted. Rest easy, Jesus has walked this road before us, and for us. We don't have to walk that lonesome valley by ourselves. Praise the Lord

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Grace for your spirit. April 16, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Behold, I am insignificant; what can I reply to Thee? I lay my hand over my mouth. Job 40:4

Job had suffered more than anyone should. He had lost everything without any explanation. He had heard from his wife, he had heard from his friends, but he had not heard anything from God. Near the end of the book, he starts to tell God "a thing or two" to see if he can't get things straightened out. It was then that God answered him and puts him in his place. Ever heard the expression, "open mouth, insert foot"? Job learned it and lived it that day. Often when times get tough, we might think we need to straighten God out too. It is then we need to humble ourselves before the mighty hand of God. Next we will probably need to put our hand over our mouth before the foot goes in. Let's be patient, and as Job learned, the blessings we need will eventually be ours to enjoy.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Grace for your spirit. April 13, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen Ephesians 3:20

Do we leave any room for God in our prayers? Are we so fixed on our prayer list that we miss many blessings that are available? We can ask for the things we think we need, but God is infinitely more able to know our needs, and knows what will really help us. He sees the pitfalls and opportunities that are ahead for us, and when we allow His power to dwell in us, He will be there for us. It really does give Him the glory when we allow our prayers to be open to His will. Let's not be satisfied with Him filling our lists. Let's let Him fill up His list for us. There are abundant blessings available beyond what we could think or ask. Do we trust Him enough? Let's find out.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Grace for your spirit. April 12, 2012

Grace for your spirit
But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines brighter and brighter until the full day. The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know over what they stumble. Proverbs 4:18-19

This is a great word picture for anyone walking in unfamiliar territory. When we are in the dark, stumbling and falling is a very real hazard. The light of dawn gives us better vision for our walk. The higher the sun gets into the sky, the easier it is to see our way. Who would choose to walk in darkness when we could choose the brightness of full day? It is wonderful promise that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. We do not have to walk in darkness and stumble because He lights our day and lights our way. Light is for the righteous and darkness is for the wicked. May His grace light us with His righteousness and His light. Everyday we all walk on unfamiliar paths. We should all welcome His light.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Grace for your spirit. April 11, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Keep watching and praying, that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Matthew 26:41

When Jesus delivered this message to His closest disciples, they had no idea how important it would be for them. While they should have been watching and praying, they were sleeping instead. Trouble was just around the corner with the arrest of Jesus. They thought they were prepared for anything, but they didn't know how tough it would be. Trouble may be just around the corner for us today. Our spirit may be willing, but our flesh is weak too. Let's not assume that we are strong enough for any challenge. May we make a new commitment to stay alert, watch, pray, and be aware of the temptation to doze off. Trials and temptations can overtake us, but Jesus can supply us with the grace to overcome. Let's watch and pray in troubled and peaceful times.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Grace for your spirit. April 10, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Therefore since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Hebrew 12:1

When the children of Israel were in the wilderness between Egypt and Canaan, God provided a cloud to guide their way. Many times rebellious people wished to go another way, and it turned into destruction. They needed to "run with the cloud, not the crowd." Jesus told us that broad is the way that leads to destruction and there are many who will find it. The way of the righteous is a narrow way, and there are few on that narrow road. Which road is best? "Run with the cloud, not with the crowd." . In chapter 11 of Hebrews, we see a whole list of people who walked by faith and were rewarded. Those people are our cloud of witnesses for the kind of faith we should have. The world does not have such faith and they are falling. We really need to "run with the cloud, not with the crowd." That cloud will constantly remind us of the way we need to run in order to win.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Grace for your spirit. April 9, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Then Abijah stood on Mount Zemaraim which is in the hill country of Ephraim, and said Listen to me, Jeroboam and all Israel: Do you not know that the LORD God of Israel gave the rule over Israel forever to David and his sons by a covenant of salt? II Chronicles 13:4-5

In Numbers 18:19, God spoke to Aaron about the blessings for the priesthood of Israel. God told him He would bless them with a covenant of salt. It was His blessing to them that they might be special and helpful to others. Here, the King of Judah spoke to the King of Israel with a warning during this civil war between the Northern Israel and Southern Judah. He said, "Beware, we are the salt of God." The salt of Judah would be victorious. It is interesting that in the new covenant that Jesus called His disciples the "salt of the earth" in Matthew 5:13. It is the promise of Jesus that we might heal, preserve, and make things better for mankind. It is His promise that He will be with us as long as we are the salt we should be. Let's keep our salt from mixing with the elements of the world that would make us useless and tasteless. All Christians are priests in Christ's kingdom. Let's claim that covenant of salt.. .

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Grace for your spirit April 6,, 2012

Grace for your spirit
But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He had been done, and the children who were shouting in the temple "Hosanna to the Son of David", they became indignant. Matthew 21:15

The crowds were shouting to Jesus, "Save us" they were praising Him like a King. Why then would the chief priests of God become indignant? One would think they would be the most excited. In fact, Jesus was their competition. They wanted the people to come to them for solutions. When they sent Him to the cross, it was partly because of envy. When the king made his entry into Jerusalem some were filled with joy, and others filled with anger. May the majesty of Christ;s resurrection fill us with joy, and may that joy overflow with praise and thanksgiving. Happy Easter celebration to everyone.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Grace for your spirit April 5, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Say to the daughter of Zion. Behold your king is coming to you, gentle and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden. Matthew 21:5

The day Jesus sent his disciples out to find him this colt, it must have been a very exciting day for them. Ever since they had left their homes and their jobs, they had been very kingdom oriented. The were searching for their king, and they had hoped that this Jesus would be the expected one. The unfolding of the prophecy in Zechariah 9 was coming to pass. Riding in on a colt was the prediction. It would be a sign of humility, peace, and royalty in the line of David. It was the beginning of the triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The laying down of the cloaks, the palm leaves, and shouting of Hosanna would follow the throngs that day. Little did most of them know that there would be a cross before a crown, but indeed they were saluting their coming King. What will we do today to honor our King? Will it be exciting?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Grace for your spirit. April 4, 2012

Grace for your spirit
And the things that you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. II Timothy 2:
Once in a while, someone might ask us where we were "ordained into the ministry". Or by what authority do we preach and teach. The dictionary defines ordination as investing ministerial or sacred functions, and to confer holy orders upon someone. Every Christian's ordination begins with the great commission of Matthew 28:19-20 to disciple, baptize, and teach others, and is carried down through the generations by II Timothy 2:2. We are all saints and priests in God's kingdom, ordained to preach the good news of Jesus Christ We could call it our 2-2-2 ordination after the thought of II Timothy 2:2 There is your ordination and mine, straight from Jesus and passed down through the ages. Let's preach on. We have His holy marching orders

Monday, April 2, 2012

Grace for your spirit. March 3, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as light in the world. Philippians 2:14-15

This passage follows an admonition for us to have the attitude that Christ had in the world. For all of us to work out what God has worked in us, so through our lives, people might see the beauty of Jesus living in us. Jesus has been described as light and love, and as His disciples we should be light and love as well. Our actions need to prove that we are children of God, blameless and innocent in a crooked world. When we achieve that, we will appear as lights in a dark place. I think we would all agree that it is impossible to reach those goals if we are always grumbling and complaining. If you follow Israel in their journey to the promised land, the one thing that hurt them the most was murmering, griping, disputing, and complaining. Let's not miss our entry into our promised land. Finding anyone who says, "Can't complain" and really means it, is quite refreshing.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Grace for your spirit April 2, 2012

Grace for your spirit
And he answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." And He said to him, "You have answered correctly; Do this and you will live." But wishing to justify himself, he said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" Luke 10:27-29

We know God's law tells us to love our neighbor, but often we don't. Then we wonder, who is our neighbor? Is there some people we must love and some we don't need to love? . If we can define who our neighbor is, it will help us to justify our unloving behavior. If our neighbors are people we like, and people that treat us well, then we're OK. Jesus answered the question by telling us the story of the Good Samaritan. Whoever we have the opportunity to help and serve is our neighbor. Whether we are their neighbor, and they like us is not the issue. It is our place to be their neighbor and love them. Let's show the mercy that has been shown to us. Then we will truly live the abundant life.