Thursday, May 31, 2012

Grace for your spirit. June 1, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Do not store up for yourselves treasure on earth, where moth and rest destroy, and where theives break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasure in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where theives do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21

As we prepare to leave this world and meet our God, are we heading for our treasure or away from it ? From our treasures point of view, are we coming or going. If we have stored up our treasures on earth, we will have to leave it all behind, where it will be taken by others or destroyed. If we have lived for Christ, and laid up our treasures in heaven, when we die it will be our gain. Anything we invest in the kingdom of Christ and in those coming into the kingdom, builds up our treasure in heaven. Let's make an investment today. Where we invest our time, talents, and resources, will reveal where our heart really lives.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Grace for your spirit. May 31, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say rejoice! Philippians 4:4

In this part of his epistle, Paul give us the ingredients for living in productive peace with one another. He tells us to live in harmony with one another, to have a gentle spirit, not to worry, but be people of prayer. He encourages us to think positive and practice the things we have seen and heard of him. All of these things are accomplished much easier if we rejoice in the Lord always.. His word will lead us to rejoicing and affect the way we speak to one another. We used to sing this song at camp. One thing I always noticed about this song was it never seemed to have an ending. It just went on and one until it faded away. Let's not let it fade in our lives. Let's rejoice in the Lord Always, and again and again.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Grace for your spirit. May 30, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Then the king's face grew pale and his thought alarmed him, and his hip joints went slack and his knees began knocking together. Daniel 5:6

Have you ever been so afraid you thought you were going to pass out? All of the blood drains out of our faces, we feel weak all over, and our knees knock together. Been there, done that? This night in history, Belshazzar, king of Babylon literally saw the handwriting on the wall. He and his people were living in rebellion against God, holding God's people captive, and abusing their holy articles of worship. The words on the wall that night told Belshazzar that his kingdom was coming to an end immediately. Belshazzar needed to be afraid, for the wrath of God was about to come down on his head. It was too late for him to do anything, but it isn't too late for us. When we are living in rebellion in God, let's wake up and make changes before we see our "handwriting on the wall." Our day before the Lord is coming. Will it be wrath or joy?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Grace for your spirit. May 29, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me--to keep me from exalting myself II Corinthians 12:7

The Apostle Paul had so many wonderful things revealed to him, he might have become boastful about who he was and what he accomplished. To balance that possibility of arrogance, he had a problem. We don't know what it was, but it certainly bothered him, and he kept asking for God to take it away. God used that thorn in the flesh to make him powerful in so many other areas. He told Paul that his power would be perfected in his weaknesses. Often we may have troubles that seem to slow us down in our service to the Lord. Let's remember that God can use our shortcomings to display His power. Some people may think they don't have any thorns in the flesh and they can do everything on their own. Their arrogance is usually a thorn to everyone else. Let's learn to balance our thorns with His power.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Grace for your spirit. May 25, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing....Philippians 4:5-6

Do we want to be free from anxiety, fighting, and have peace? Four little words will help us with our challenge. "The Lord Is near." When we keep the Lord near to us, we will not need to have bold displays of strength, and we can be gentle to all. We won't have to be afraid, anxious, or worried, because with the prayer of thanksgiving, we can give our troubles to God. Remembering that the Lord is near will give us the walk of peace in every dark valley. As a kid, I had a big street tough cousin in Chicago. There was no dark alley that scared me when I was with him. Without him, I stayed inside. Our God is greater. "Yea though I walk through the valley and shadow of death, I will fear no evil for Thou art with me." I shall not want. Hallelujah!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Grace for your spirit. May 24, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Jesus answered and said to them, "Go and report to John what you hear and see. The Blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised uup and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me. Matthew 11:4-6

When John the Baptist was in prison, he begin to doubt if this Jesus he was following was the real thing or not. He wondered why he was in prison and if he should be searching for someone else. Jesus answered his questions with the power of the Holy Spirit working in Him. This was the proof to give John hope even in troubled times. There are people who would removed all the miracles and movement of the Holy Spirit out of the Bible. Then they can make Jesus anybody they want Him to be. Let's look to the power of His spirit to confirm that He really is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. It helped John the Baptist, and it sure helps us too. It will keep us all from stumbling.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Grace for your spirit. May 23, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:48

Do you ever get tired of people reading the Bible and then saying, "Well, it doesn't mean that?" Why would Jesus tell us that we need to be perfect like our heavenly Father, if He didn't mean it and think it could be accomplished? Jesus wants all of us to reach maturity, be complete, and attain perfection. We certainly cannot accomplish this with our own effort, but it can be done with God. When we understand the righteousness that comes from God in Christ, we can know His righteousness makes us righteous. With His righteousness greater than our sins, and His grace abounding, perfection comes from Him.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Grace for your spirit. May 22, 2012

Grace for your spirit
I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in Him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing. John 15:5

Jesus gives us a very simple picture from the vineyard, and applies it to our spiritual growth. The vine is the part of the plant that draws the nourishment from the earth and sends it out to the branches. If the branches are connected to the vine, they will most likely flourish. If the branch is somehow disconnected, the branch will wither and die. With the grapevine,once the branch is properly nourished, it will not only grow healthy abundant fruit, but the branches will begin to look like the vine. The analogy to the believer and Jesus is rather simple. In the kingdom, Jesus is the vine and supplies all the spiritual nourishment to His branches, that is us. When we stay connected we will bear much fruit, and at maturity we will begin to look like Jesus. Let's allow God to tend us and prune us, so we can make the journey to maturity bearing much fruit for the Lord

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Grace for your spirit. May 21, 2012

Grace for your spirit
But realize this that in the last days difficult times will come. for men will be lovers of self....II Timothy 3:1-2

Loving ourselves would seem to be a good thing, but in fact in can be very destructive. Loving ourselves puts us in the center of all things, usually way ahead of God and everyone else. It is the cause of both high self esteem and low self esteem. It most certainly leads to the vast list of sins that follows in these verses. Loving money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, gossips, without self control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure, rather than lovers of God. All that can come from a lover of self? The best esteem to have is Christ esteem. Make Him first in our lives, instead of holding just a form of godliness. It will help us get through the difficult days in this world.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Grace for your spirit. May 18, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Again Jesus spoke to them saying, " I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life. John 8:12

I love daylight savings time. In the warm months it is light until 9 or 10 and my neighborhood changes drastically. People spend more time outside without the fear of the things that take place in the darkness. In the dead of winter, people are locked in with their pajamas on and ready for bed at 6:00. Jesus gives us a spiritual light year around. We need have no fear of the deeds done in darkness, for He lights our path constantly. All we have to do is follow Him and we not only have light, but we can know we are on the way home with Him. Let's commit to walk in the light as He is in the light, and have fellowship with Him.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Grace for your spirit. May 17, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

An old proverbs says, "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." In all of creation, the first time God said things were not good, was when He said it is not good for man to be alone. They say married men live longer than single ones, although many married men say it just seems longer. Our spiritual journey was never meant to be alone either. That why God gave us the church. The word church literally means assembly, or the gathering of those called out. Jesus doesn't want any of us to be the "lone ranger", but rather be together to help pick up and be picked up. Let's commit to the assembly and to the gathering of the called out. It's not just what we can get, but what we can give.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Grace for your spirit. May 16, 2012

Grace for your spirit
This is the day which the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

We all want the Lord's blessings. We all want the prosperity that comes from His hand, and we all want to find favor in His eyes, but when will we want to give Him the honor and praise He deserves ? Many people rise early and slave all day for the almighty dollar, but don't have any time for the true Almighty God. They will often say that they rise early and labor six days and Sunday is their day. We need to remember that everyday belongs to the Lord. We serve at His pleasure, the one in whom we live and move and have our being. We have no days of our own. We need to serve Him honorably on all His days. Leaving the Lord's day out is not wise. Let's look at our priorities again, and determine who and what is first in our lives

Grace for your spirit. May 15, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Jesus said to them, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through Me. John 14:6

The religious will lead us to believe that there are many ways, and many roads that will lead us to God. Somebody once used this analogy. "We all drive different cars, on different roads, but as long as we all end up in the same garage, we will be O.K." That sound so good, and it can make people very happy right now. Unfortunately, when we stand in judgment, it will make us very unhappy. We need to speak the truth of Jesus, and not the things that make us popular. Let's get on the road to lead us to God according to His Son. In His way, His truth, and His life.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Grace for your spirit. May 14, 2012

Grace for your spirit
If you continue in My Word, then you are truly disciples of Mine, and will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. John8:31-32

Sometimes we can find ourselves being spiritual sprinters. We start out being hot disciples of Christ, but before long, our race is over. The best vindication of our true conversion is staying in the race, enjoying the race, helping others in the race, and celebrating at the finish line with Jesus. What good is it to be free for a partial run? Jesus needs us to be faithful until we die. For those who do, there is a crown awaiting. Let's be like Jesus. He stayed in His race for the joy set before Him. Let's run the same way.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Grace for your spirit. May 11, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Suffer hardship with me and a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No soldier in active service, entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so he may please the one who has enlisted him as a soldier. II Timothy 2:3-4

Hebrews 12 directs all of us to lay aside every encumbrance and the sin that so easily stops us, and run the race with endurance. One of the encumbrances that easily besets us is our entanglement with the world. We start or race, or enlistment in the army of Jesus with lofty goals and high hopes. For a few those goals turn into reality, and we become good soldiers of Jesus. Others trip up and fall by the wayside never seeing the finish line. What is the difference? Some are entangled in the world, others are entangled in the Word. When we get entangled with the Word, we find the secret of living above the entanglements that stop us. Jesus walked these roads before us. Let's fix our eyes on Him, and walk in His steps.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Grace for your spirit. May 10, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. John 6:35

When Moses led God's people out of Egypt and into the wilderness, feeding those millions became an immediate concern. God did what no one could imagine. Every night, a bread like substance ,called manna fell down from the heavens. It fed them and sustained them until they entered the promised land. Little did they know that the manna was a picture of Jesus who would come centuries later. Jesus would come down from heaven to meet our spiritual needs. He came to feed us and sustain us spiritually on our journey to our promised land. He provides for us everything that pertains to life and godliness. If we reject our spiritual manna, we won't be able to make it home

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Grace for your spirit. May 9, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Then Moses said to God," Behold I am going to the sons of Israel, and I shall say to them, The God of Israel has sent me to you. Now they may say to me, What is His name? What shall I say to them?" And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. and He said Thus shall you say to the sons of israel, I AM has sent me to you. Exodus 3:13-14

There are several names in the Hebrew language that translates God. Each name displays another aspect of His nature. The great I AM is the one God chose to give Moses. It is a representation of Jehovah, the ever present, all powerful,, all knowing Lord God. When Moses uttered that name before His people, they knew they were in the presence of great power. I wish we all would have that reverence for Him. When we do, we will follow Him out of our bondage and on to the promised land. May the power of His name, lead us, sustain us, and bring us to His glory.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Grace for your spirit. May 8, 2012

Grace for your spirit
When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars which Thou hast ordained; What is man that Thou dost take thought of him? Psalm 8:3-4

The current value of a human body is estimated to be $4.50. That is $3.50 for the skin and a dollar for everything else. Why would God take any thought of something with such little value? When we belong to Christ, with His divine nature living in us, we become participants with the Godhead, and are eternally blessed. God takes thought of us because we are His creation. We are much greater than the heavens, moon, and stars in the sight of God. Take God out of our lives, we're just worth a few bucks and change. With Him in us, our value is greater than the whole world.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Grace for your spirit. May 7, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Create in me a clean heart O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and sustain me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach trangressors Your ways, and sinners will be converted to You. Psalm 51:10-13

When we have completely "lost it", and have desire to get back doing the Lord's will, this Psalm of David may be just our prayer The guilt of King David's actions were eating him up, and he need to repent, reconnect with God, and get back to his callling of being King of Israel. Note the keys words, Create, renew, keep, restore, and sustain. When he accomplished this transformation, God was able to restore him to the king and teacher of Israel. What will it take for us? No matter what we might have done, we need some combination of reconnecting, so we will be able to teach others. We will have the Lord's blessing when we turn to Jesus and let Him reconnect us to God. Let's do it quickly. There are so many who need to be taught.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Grace for your spirit. May 4, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Trust in the Lord with all your heart. And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

Trusting in the Lord with all our heart is a two way street. We accept the rich benefits that He provides for us, and in turn we must to yield to Him in obedience. Christianity is by no means an independent walk. We walk with the Lord and allow Him to control us. Sometimes we find ourselves living like rebellious teens in our parents home. We demand independence and don't want any restraints, but at the same time, we are living with all the benefits given us. We sit in our room, watching and listening to our electronic devices. We drive cars, and have our hand out for a regular money drop. Parents don't like that attitude, and God doesn't like it either. Let's make Him Lord of our lives so the benefits will continue flowing.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Grace for your spirit. May 3, 2012

Grace for your spirit
As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up. So that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life. John 3:14-15

On Israel's journey to the promised land, they were so filled with rebellion that God sent a plague of poisonous snakes on them. Begging for relief, Moses was directed to put a bronze serpent on a standard and lift it up before them. If they looked at the serpent instead of the snakes, they would live. Centuries later God would use that example for us in relation to Jesus. If we dwell on our sins instead of looking up to Jesus, we will die in our sins. Jesus was lifted up on a cross for our deliverance. Three times in the gospel of John, Jesus is lifted up for our deliverance. God wants us to focus on our redeemer, not keeping dwelling on our sins that kills us. When we really believe that Jesus will deliver us, we won't have to keep an eye on those poisonous sins any more. Let's look up and live .

Grace for your spirit. May 2, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will lift you up. James 4:10

Earlier in this passage we are told that God is opposed to the proud, but give grace to the humble. The admonition is for us to draw near to the mighty God, and will humble our spirit. The Bible tells us that Moses was the most humble man on the face of the earth. Can you imagine him saying, "Boy, I sure am humble today. I wish all my friends could see me now." Or him saying, "I sure have become humble. I should get some kind of reward." If we want the grace of God to abound in our lives, and enjoy the blessing of being exalted by Him, then we will seek to be last, and let Him make us first. When we get too far away from God, often He can begin to look smaller, and we can think we are the important ones. Let's stay close to God. The short and long term benefits are wonderful.