Sunday, September 30, 2012

Grace for your spirit October 1, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints.  And this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord andto us by the will of God.  II Corinthians 8:4-5

The Christians in the church at Philippi had a great distinction.   It was not because the were big, rich, or powerful, but because of their faithful generosity. In Paul's collection for the needy in the world, he didn't expect too much out of them, but they surprised him greatly.  They begged to give more and surpassed anything expected of them.  What was their secret?  They had first given themselves to the Lord and to the mission in the world.  What is our goals?  Wouldn't it be great if we were noted for surpassing all expectation because of our faithfulness and generosity?  Yes it would

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Grace for your spirit September 28, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.   I Corinthians 11:1

We are commissioned as Christians to disciple, baptize, and then teaching them all things that has been commanded of us.  When we lead a soul to Christ, there is often a feeling by that new convert, to follow our example and imitate the things we say and do.  This is where we need to be careful, because a new Christian will seldom rise above the commitment and service that we show to them. Until they get grounded in the scripture, and established in the fellowship, we are their scripture and fellowship.  How will they do walking in our steps?  Let's tune up our walk in the truth, so souls can follow us to find their way to fulfillment in Christ.  What a shame it is that people would fall away from Jesus while following us.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Grace for your spirit September 27, 2012

Grace for your spirit
For My people have committed two evils; They have forsaken Me, the fountains of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water.  Jeremiah 2:13

God's people were on a long slippery slide of unfaithfulness that was going to land them in Babylonian captivity.  Where had they gone wrong?  They were drinking in the wrong information.  They were nourished by the evil world instead of the living God.  This word picture analogy is perfect.  Fountains of living stream water is good, pure, and tasty.  Water from a cistern is stale, contaminated and nasty.  Also cisterns leak and are often dry when we need them.  God's people had become addicted to cistern nourishment and were dying of thirst.  How about us?  Are we drinking the living water of Jesus, or from the polluted water of the world.  Those two evils will cause our death as well.   There is still time for us to refresh. Let's do it together.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Grace for your spirit September 26, 2012

Grace for your spirit
You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.  I John 4:4

With the Spirit of God living in us, we are always a majority over whatever the devil can throw at us.  We can overcome the false prophet, the anti-Christ, and every temptation, when we remember who we are and what we have in Christ.  When Eljjah stood on Mt Carmel against Baal and the 450 prophets representing Baal, he did not stand alone. Elijah knew that with God, he was the majority.  Shortly after that he forgot that and ran in fear proclaiming that he was all alone.  We can have a lapse like that too.  Let's stay in scripture, prayer, and fellowship, so we don't have those times when we think the evil of the world is greater.  With God's grace, we can avoid those times

Grace for your spirit September 25, 2012

Grace for your spirit
In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes,  Judges 21:25

When Israel moved into the promise land, they were governed by Judges.  Most of the Judges were corrupt and evil, leaving the people to live as they pleased.  There really was a king in Israel in those days, but He was ignored.  That King was God.  Because they refused to acknowledge God as King, they made themselves king of their lives.  As Christians today, we have been transferred into the kingdom of Jesus.  When we walk after the Spirit of Christ, we are aware that we cannot be king of our own lives.  When we make ourselves king, we cannot be part of His kingdom.  As subjects of His kingdom, let's make a commitment to do His will, and enjoy the path to success.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Grace for your spirit September 24, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled.  Luke 14:23

When the Master sent forth the great invitation to the great feast, mostly all He received was excuses.  He instructed  His servants to go quickly, seeking and searching with great enthusiasm and working hard to get them to come in until His  house was filled.  This is a great picture of our reality today as well.  Most people won't come to Jesus, they must be brought,  Most will not study, they must be taught.  Finally, most people will not just accept Christ, they must be won.   Brought, taught, and won;  Is there any time for that kind of activity in our schedule?  If we quit polishing our gold calves, and get off our brains, we might have a lot more time and energy for the lost.  Let's go quickly and compel.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Grace for your spirit September 21, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Consider your ways!  You have sown much, but harvest little;  you eat, but there is not enough to be satisfied; you drink, but there in not enough to become drunk;  you put on clothing, but no one is warm enough; and who earns, earns wages to put into a purse with holes.  Haggai 1:5-6

God's people had been provided with everything they needed to rebuild the temple following its destruction.  Instead, they decided to use the materials, time, and motivation to build their own houses and let the temple lie in waste. Difficult times came their way just before the prophet came to remind them that their priorities were all wrong.  Whenever our harvest is little, and we feel like our purse has a hole in it, we want to blame somebody.  Usually we choose the economy, the government, or even God.  We can't imagine that we have brought our troubles on ourselves.  Perhaps these times should used to give us a new perspective about our priorities.  Are we using His blessings for ourselves or our will?  Let's make a new commitment to putting Him first.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Grace for your spirit September20, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith;  examine yourselves!  Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you-unless indeed you fail the test?  II Corinthians 13:5

When we were students in school, did you ever notice the different responses to the announcement of an upcoming test?  The good students in the class seemed to be happy about the test.  They knew it was a tool to help them know how well they were learning the material.  The rest of us joined in a group moaning for the tragedy that was on the horizon.  How we are responding to the testing of our faith, may be an important indicator of our strength in Christ.  A test now and then is good preparation for that final exam when we stand in front of God at the judgment day.  Let's keep up day by day to avoid the "cramming session" when the trumpet sounds.  

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Grace for your spirit September 19, 2012

Grace for your spirit
But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.  Matthew 18:6

When we are around little ones, are they an irritation or an opportunity for us?  A little one might be a child, a new convert, or even someone who is down and out.  Any of those need a stepping stone more than a stumbling block.  In our mind when they are an irritation, we are more likely to cause them to stumble.  If we only have the effort to be a stumbling stone, God has a stone reserved for us.  I've seen a millstone, and believe me, I don't want to swim with it.  Let's start helping our little ones.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Grace for your spirit September 18, 2012

Grace for your spirit
If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.  John 14:3

Jesus spoke these words of comfort the night before He went to the cross.  What did He mean?  Some think He meant He was going to build Heaven and then return to bring us there.  Perhaps the meaning was more immediate.  When Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, He prepared a place for us in His body.  With our place in His kingdom, we have a special place in this world, and in Heaven eternally.  God could speak Heaven into existence in a second, but it took the victory in Jesus to make a place for you and me.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Grace for your spirit. September 17, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set you mind on the things above, not on the things that are on the earth. Colossians 3:2

There is an old gospel hymn that says, "Kneel at the cross, give your idols up, look unto realms above. Turn not again to life;s sparkling cup, Trust always in His love." Jesus rose from the grave to victory, We rise from the waters of baptism, to walk in our new life. Jesus ascended back to the Father, and we trust we will rise to meet Him someday too. Everything is up. When we look down and around, all we will see is things to drag us away. Historians look back, philosophers look in, but Christians look up.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Grace for your spirit. September 14, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. I Peter 5:8

The devil is always our adversary. He always wishes to see us devoured and destroyed. This is not a job that he handles alone. We can give him help by not being of sober spirit and alert. The things that keep us from being alert are often evil associations, rebellious spirits, boredom, separations, lack of study, and failure to pray. These kind of things get us off the alert status and vulnerable. We think we will hear a roaring lion and can get ready at the land minute. Unfortunately, the lion prowls when he is seeking to devour, and devil sneaks up on us too. We will never hear the roar until it is too late.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Grace for your spirit. September 13, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven Matthew 5:16

There are so many things we can do to let our lights shine before men. It may be a kind word, or a helping hand in the name of the Lord. It could be a label pin or a bumper sticker than indicates our devotion to Jesus. It might be reading our Bible on a break at work. It's just wonderful when our light illuminates another. Recently someone made a nice remark about my email address, "graceforyourspirit", and asked what it was about. I had a chance to talk about God's grace, and today there is one more person reading this column. We all receive grace everyday, so let's give some back. It gives glory to our Father.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Grace for your spirit. September 12, 2012

Grace for your spirit
But go, tell His disciples and Peter,, "He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see Him, just as he told you. Mark 16:7

Peter was certainly down in the dumps after he denied Jesus three times on His way to the cross. He wept bitterly and may have not considered himself a disciple anymore. When the word went out to meet Jesus, there was a special call for Peter. A little like Ron Riegel who was playing in the 1929 Rose Bowl. He picked up a fumble and ran the wrong way in front of 71,000 laughing people. He refused to take the field in the second half until the coach reminded him that the game was only half over. Jesus did the same thing for Peter. He still had time for a big comeback, and he was successful. Do we think it is over for us? Let's get back into the game. It is time for our comeback with our coaches encouragement.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Grace for your spirit. September 11, 2012

Grace for your spirit
But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. For of the heart comes evil thought, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts false witness, slanders. Matthew 15:18-19

Freudian psychology concluded that we are all evil, and unless we have a buffer, all of that evil will come out, and if were are to communicate in a civil manner, the "Id" must be tamed. It is a poor substitute for the solution given us by Jesus. He knows we have evil in our hearts, but He doesn't just wish to buffer what comes out of our mouth, but rather to change our hearts and remove the evil. When He transforms our heart, our mouths will follow. It is not what we put in our mouths that defile us, but how we what comes out

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Grace for your spirit. September 10, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you give Me no water for My feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. Luke 7:44

Jesus set at the table with people who thought they were religious and noble servants of God. Such people would never notice a servant who was washing the feet of Jesus. This woman had many sins, and her forgiveness made her grateful and moved her to service. The noble apostles and Pharisees didn't think they needed forgiveness. Jesus wanted Peter to see this woman and follow her example instead of being led by the Pharisees. May we be people who feel great forgiveness and let that motivate us to see humble servants and be humble servants.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Grace for your spirit. September 7, 2012

Grace for your spirit
Now the sons of Eli were worthless men; they did not know the LORD. I Samuel 2:12

At this time in Israel, the people looked to their Judges for guidance. Eli was one of the Judges and was given the challenge to raise and train Samuel. Unfortunately for the time being, Eli and his sons were in charge. His sons were worthless, immoral, and did not know the Lord. It was a disastrous combination that ruined Israel. We can relive the disasters of history, when we do the same things. When we allow our churches to be ran by worthless, immoral people who do not know the Lord, congregations will die. Unaware disciples can let unprincipled leader destroy the church. We must study the scriptures and accept nothing less than what God calls for in our leaders. Are we doing anything to secure leadership for our future?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Grace for your spirit. September 5, 2012

Grace for your spirit
When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise. Proverbs 10:19

Ever hear the expression, "we gave him just enough rope to hang himself?" Most of the time that rope is our own words. For most people, if they talk long enough, eventually their own words will show their transgressions. The wise disciple is directed to be quick to listen and slow to speak. Better to sit silently and let everyone think we are a fool, than to open our mouths and remove all doubt. We have been given two ears and one mouth. Let's use them proportionately and speak wisely.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Grace for your spirit. Septembe 4, 2012

Grace for your spirit
So Jesus said to them, "Children, you do not have any fish, do you?" They answered Him, "No." And He said to them, "Cast the net on the right-side of the boat and you will find a catch." So they cast, and then they were not able to haul it in because of the great number of fish. John 21:5-6

When Jesus first men His fishing apostles, they couldn't catch any fish either. With His blessing, they became fishers of men. Now, after His death and resurrection, they went back to fishing, but still couldn't catch anything until they had the blessing of Jesus. Jesus was there to deliver them a message. The message was "quit your day jobs." You won't' be catching any fish without me anyway. Their fishing for souls career was about to kick into high gear. Jesus has a great career opportunity for all his disciples. "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men."