Thursday, June 21, 2012

Grace for your spirit. June 22, 2012

Grace for your spirit
I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth. I Timothy 3:16

Jesus is depending on His disciples to spread His light and love in the world. God has left us a pattern for Christians living, Christians worship, and the continuation of His kingdom. The church needs to be well versed in God's will, and skilled at carrying out His will in a dark world. The church is meant to be the pillar and support of truth. We must have "pillars" so the "caterpillars" can crawl in. If the "pillars" crumble, what can there be for the :caterpillars"? How is our conduct? If we can't claim our spot to hold up the truth, let's start a new construction project right away.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Grace for your spirit. June 21, 2012

Grace for your spirit
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

None of us will go through life with only good things happening to us. There will be loss, there will be trials, and there will be trouble. How can we balance the bad things that happen with our faith in God? When we love God and are called according to His purpose, the bad things will always work for good. We need to wait on the Lord to balance the bad with the good, for His purpose in our life. If we choose to reject God and His purpose, bad things will surely come, but they won't' work for good. As faithful Christians, when someone remarks about a bad thing that happened to us, our answer is, "how do you know?" Good will come.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Grace for your spirit. June 20, 2012

Grace for your spirit
But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. I Timothy 6:9

The wisdom of God and the experience of age teaches us that no one can have it all. When we decide to put our entire focus on a worldly pursuit, it will cause us to lose sight of everything else. The love of money really is the root of all sorts of evil. The temptation to give up everything for it is sometimes overpowering. People will give up their families, their religion, and their own good sense when they are obsessed by it. These are the foolish and harmful desires that plunge us into ruin. The only thing we can focus on completely and find success in every area of our lives is Jesus Christ. When we focus on Him ,our blessings, our families, our religion, and our own good sense can be a part of our lives.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Grace for your spirit. June 19, 2012

Grace for your spirit
The Lord said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job? For there is not one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man fearing God and turning away from evil. And he still holds fast his integrity, although you incited Me against him to ruin him with cause."

God's word informs all believers that we are at war with the devil. When we choose to keep the commands of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus, the devil declares war against us. It is a serious problem in that so many Christians never realize they are at war, until they are a casualty of war. If you have considered the struggle of Job, that was one of his problems. The devil declared war on him, but it took him a long time to figure out what was happening to him. In the end of it all, he trusted in the Lord and the Lord gave him victory. Let's put on the whole armor of God and prepare for attack. It is the best way to victory.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Grace for your spirit. June 18, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord', will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven will enter. Matthew 7:21

When we used to see someone who did something that was slightly uncoordinated, we would ask if they could "walk and chew gum at the same time." God is searching for the coordinated disciples. Ones who can talk the talk, and walk the walk at the same time. He certainly wants to confess Him as Lord, but not just talk. He encourages us to walk worthy of this heavenly calling. That is the will of our Father. Our Bible study should not just be academic exercises, but on the job training.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Grace for your spirit. June 15, 2012

Grace for your spirit
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith. II Timothy 4:7

Unfortunately, we are conducting way too many funerals these days for who Tom Brokaw called "The Greatest Generation". Those who lived through depression, wars, and loss, may have been the greatest generation for the church as well. Trusting in the Lord, they seemed to express a satisfaction, and optimism that is hard to find today. This poem is how I see the generation that raised me. I hope and pray we can all get there.
I've never made a fortune and it's probably too late now.
But I don't worry about that much, I'm happy anyhow.
And as I go along life's way, I'm reaping better than I sowed.
I'm drinking from the saucer 'cause my cup has overflowed
I haven't got a lot of riches, and sometimes the going's tough.
But I've got loved ones around me, and that makes me rich enough
I thank God for his blessings, and the mercies, He's bestowed.
I'm drinking from the saucer, cause my cup has overflowed.
I remember times when things went wrong. My faith wore somewhat thin.
But all at once the dark clouds broke, and the sun peeped through again.
So God, help me not to gripe about the tough rows that I've hoed
I'm drinking from the saucer cause my cup has overflowed.
If God gives me strength and courage, when the way grows steep and rough.
I'll not ask for other blessings, I'm already blessed enough.
And may I never be too busy to help others bear their loads.
Then I'll keep drinking from my saucer,
Cause my cup has overflowed

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Grace for your spirit. June 14, 2012

Grace for your spirit
But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Matthew 5:44-45

The command from Jesus is clear. Don't be like the ungodly. Love and pray for your enemies and those who persecute you. If we made a list of our enemies and those who persecute us, the list is probably very short, thankfully. What if we made a list of people who we really don't like and don't like us? That list might be quite long. Could it be that the list of those people, could become our enemies and persecute us? What would happen if we went one step beyond His command, and prayed for those we just don't like? Could those prayers help us and them with a little rain and sunshine? Might we be a better son? With prayer, the list of those we just don't like, and don't like us, might be getting shorter, and we will be feeling better. Willing to try?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Grace for your spirit. June 13, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting. He who goes to and fro weeping carrying his bag of seed, shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him. Psalm 126:5

God's word teaches us the law of the harvest. We will reap what we sow. If we sow to the flesh, we will reap corruption. If we choose to sow to the Spirit, we shall from the Spirit reap eternal life. It is more difficult to sow to the Spirit, and may even cause weeping at times. God's Word promises us that the sacrifice is worth it. When we sow in tears, we will reap with joy. Too many have sowed to the flesh with joy, and then had the pain of reaping corruption with tears. When we use the Word of God as our guide, we will come before Him rejoicing with a great harvest.

Grace for your spirit. June 12, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Then Peter answered and said to Him. Behold, we have left everything and followed You; what then will there be for us? Matthew 19:27

Do we ever have that same question for God? Have we truly risked our time, talents, and resources to follow the Lord? Are our lives, fortunes, and sacred honor really on the line for His kingdom? Do we sometimes feel like we are Abraham, Moses, Daniel, and Esther,and the apostles all rolled into one? If we think our sacrifice is too great, we need listen to the answer Jesus gave Peter? Jesus said we would all receive 100 times more in this life plus eternal life to come. With all the promises God gives us for our sacrifices, we should be looking around for something else to give, instead of complaining of how much we have sacrificed. Let's make a renewed commitment for Him and ourselves.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Grace for your spirit. June 11, 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. Proverbs 16:7

Jacob dreaded the day that he would cross paths with his brother Esau. He had stolen his brother's birthright and fully expected that Esau would want revenge. In the meantime, Jacob had been serving the Lord. When Esau was coming, Jacob took preventive action. He humbled himself, prepared for action, prayed, and sacrificed. To Jacob's surprise, the healing had already taken place. Esau sought no revenge and was satisfied with what he had. It turns out that God had healed the relationship for them with time and blessings. May we not let past faults and fears keep us from relationships with others. Perhaps the Lord has already healed our breach. Let's set our goals to be pleasing to the Lord, and let Him heal our enemies.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Grace for your spirit. June 8, 2012

Grace for your spirit
And she said to them, "According to your words, so be it." So she sent them away, and they departed; and she tied the scarlet cord in the window. Joshua 2:21

Rahab the harlot of Jericho was an excellent example of faith at work. She had heard of the power of God's people, and she believed that they would overrun her city. She hid the spies of Israel and helped them leave safely. Before they left she developed her plan for the survival of herself and her family. The spies promised that if she tied the scarlet cord in her window, when the city fell, they would be saved. She not only was saved from destruction, but she ended up in the genealogy of Jesus. Many people develop a survival plan when the storms of life come to save their families. Let's work out a plan to save our families spiritually, so we can all be with Jesus forever. Let's have faith and put it to work today.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Grace for your spirit. June 7, 2012

Grace for your spirit
As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. Genesis 50:12

The life of Joseph had many ups and downs. His father loved him most, but his brothers hated him the most. His God given dreams so irritated his brothers, that they sold him into bondage at age 17. He was falsely accused and left in prison in Egypt, but he was always faithful. All the positives and negatives worked together to put him in a position to save his family from starvation during a severe famine. His dreams kept coming and eventually they gave him power and insight to save the world. Romans 8:28 tells us that God causes all things to work together for good to those love Him and are called according to His purpose. Joseph is the proof of that promise. When we stay faithful, God can cause it to work for us too

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Grace for your spirit. June 6, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Behold I have made your face and hard as their faces, and your forehead as hard as their foreheads. Like emery as harder than flint I have made your forehead. Do not be afraid of them nor dismayed before them, though they are a rebellious house. Ezekiel 3:8-9

When God commissioned Ezekiel to warn His people about their coming destruction, it came with the warning. "You speak the same language, but they will not listen nor understand you. They are hardheaded." God told him he needed to "butt heads" with them without fear until they would listen and take heed. We all know people who are hardheaded and will not listen to warnings. When words that are soft and sweet won't work, maybe it is time to "butt heads" When we get through to them, they will thank us that we got their attention.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Grace for your spirit. June 5, 2012

Grace for your spirit
A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyratira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul. And when she and her household had been baptized, she urged us saying, "If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and stay. Acts 16:14-15

When the apostle Paul answered the Macedonian call and came to Philippi, his first meeting was with a group of women. The Lord chose the first convert in Europe to be a Gentile, business woman. when He opened her heart. Talk about tearing down walls. The home of a Gentile woman, would be the first center of evangelism and fellowship. The first apostles might have skipped this opportunity not wishing to teach women, Gentiles, and slaves. The power of the Lord exploded in this city with long term benefits for the church and Paul's mission. Let's be careful not to ignore those whom the Lord has touched. When the Lord has opened the door of opportunity, and opened the hearts of people, may we not be the ones who close it.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Grace for your spirit. June 4, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you have received from us, instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more. I Thessalonians 4:1

When we were in school, people would often ask about our goals Most would say something like, "Get a good job, be successful, and be happy. Now when people ask us the goals for our personal life, family life, occupational life, and church life, wouldn't it be great that our answer for all of those would be the same? To please God, to excel in our walk more and more, and be entirely at His disposal in everything. Let's try that answer on for size. What is our goal for my family? Please God. Goals for my job? Please God. Goals for our church? Please God. Now there is the answer that will lead to success and happiness forever.