Thursday, January 31, 2013

Grace for your spirit February 1, 2013

Grace for your spirit
Not forsaking our own assembling together, as the habit of some, but encouraging one another;  Hebrews 10:25

Yes I know about the ball game on Sunday.  What time is it again?  I'm not sure if I am going to be able to go or not.  I'll try.  I remember we used to go all the time, but we knew people who were playing back then.  Now I don't know many players and I've kind of lost interest.  Is the team any good this year? It's been a pretty hard week and I may be too tired to go.  I saw on the news last night that there is some bad weather coming in.  One of the kids has the sniffles, and they are prone to pneumonia.  We hate to get them out in the cold.  For the last game, the weather cleared up at the last minute so we went camping instead. I did hear from grandma, but I can't remember if they are coming over this weekend or not.  Have they ever replaced those hard benches at the stadium?  That public address announcer sure is loud. He hurts my ears.  How long does the game last anyway?  It seems like it gets longer all the time.  Do I want you to buy tickets for me?  No, I don't think so.  If I don't get there, that money would just be wasted.  Thanks for the reminder.  I'll try and see you there.  Sound familiar?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Grace for your spirit January 31, 2013

Grace for your spirit
But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.  I Thessalonians 5:21-22

If I have to ask if my shirt is clean enough, it probably is not.  If I have to ask if I am too close to the edge of a cliff, I probably am.  Too close to the line is dangerous.  Am I always arguing with people who try to help me?  Would I feel uneasy if someone saw me doing this what I'm doing?  Can I give thanks to God for the opportunity He has provided for me?  Alarms should be going off telling us that we need to reexamine our actions and turn from every form of evil.  Let's take another look at His word, and then our behavior.  Examine things carefully to do the right thing.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Grace for your spirit January 30, 2013

Grace for your spirit
But the wicked are like the tossing sea, for it cannot be quiet, and its waters toss up refuse and mud.  there is no peace, says my God, for the wicked.  Isaiah 57:20-21

World disasters have caused us to learn to new word recently.  The word is "tsunami".  It is a seismic sea wave caused by an underwater earthquake, or underwater volcanic eruption.  The result is a gigantic sea surge that destroys and covers the earth with mud and refuse.  We can't see the start, but we suffer the consequences.  Wickedness in our world is much like that.  The eruptions of the wicked bring about horrible results for everyone.  Those in their way cannot be quiet, for there is no peace in sin.  Let's place our "tsunami buoys" all around us to give us warnings soon enough to escape.  The word of God is our best warning against such destruction.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Grace for your spirit January 29, 2013

Grace for your spirit
But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.   II Timothy 4:5

If we cannot decide when, where or why to worship the LORD,  we will barely do what the scriptures ask us to do.  If we don't know if we want to study, pray, and fellowship, we will never be fueled to fulfill our ministry God has for us.   The salvation of lost souls, the strengthening of weak,and the growth of the church is dependent on commitment and work.  When we sit back and wonder why the church is not growing, and when somebody is going to do something, is somebody wondering the same thing about us?  We all have some sobering decisions to make, don't we?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Grace for your spirit January 28, 2013

Grace for your spirit
But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.  Matthew 24:36

As human beings living on earth, we are slaves to times and dates.  If we met someone who was unconcerned about what time it is, what day it is, what month is it, or what year it is, we would think they were strange.  As slaves, we can conclude that God is a slave to time as well.  Is God controlled by Mayan calendars, signs on earth, and predictions of the end?  If timing of the end is not the concern of angels, nor Jesus, it shouldn't be our business either.  Let's resolve to serve God with all our hearts and not be concerned about playing the odds of being right on the right day

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Grace for your spirit January 25, 2013

Grace for your spirit
For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure it is in you as well.  II Timothy 1:5

Some of us who were raised in tradition of regular Bible studies, can take Bible knowledge for granted.  We may have learned of the great stories of faith before we were out of grade school. Stories of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, the judges, kings, and prophets.  These helped form the faith within us instilled by our parents and teachers.  Timothy had it, and we may, but it is few and far between.  The other day I mentioned the story of Jonah to some men to make a point, and was surprised to hear that they never heard that story.  Let's not assume anything including the sacrifice of Christ.  Let's get into the word and make it come alive.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Grace for your spirit January 24, 2013

Grace for your spirit
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.  Hebrews 11:6

In this great chapter on faith, God defines faith, tells how we show we have faith, and gives a long list of those who lived to prove it.  From Noah through the prophets we see a long list of examples of those who came to God seeking, believing, and trusting in the rewards that would follow.  If we doubt Him and doubt His rewards, we are unlikely to seek Him, or please Him.  Let's get back to the basics.  Believe, trust, and seek with all our hearts, and live to prove it.  God will be pleased

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Grace for your spirit January 23, 2013

Grace for your spirit
Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.  Hebrews 4:16

What are some of the signs that our spirit is growing cold.  In times of trouble and temptation, we may forget that we have a great high priest who understands our weaknesses.   We forget that He sympathizes with our lives and can help.  Therefore we don't  draw near to Him with confidence.  In fact, we often run and hide from Him.  He is the throne of grace and mercy, and we will find help in our time of need.  How is our prayer life?  Are we bold and assured that Jesus can help?  Well, He can when we open up to Him.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Grace for your spirit January 22, 2013

Grace for your spirit
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose trust is the Lord.  For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends his roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, and it will not anxious in the year of drought, nor cease to yield its fruit.  Jeremiah 17:7-8

This is almost identical to the first Psalm and is representative of many passage about fruitfulness.  When the supply of water to plants, crops, and trees are plentiful, they can overcome many external enemies.  The same is a picture of our spiritual fruitfulness.  If we wonder why we aren't growing spiritually, we need to check our supply line to spiritual nourishment.  Trust in the Lord and He will supply all our needs to prosper

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Grace; for your spirit January 21, 2013

Grace for your spirit
Be anxious for nothing, but with prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.  Philippians 4:6

Often when we are in trouble, we hide in pain.  As we hide in pain, we can cause pain for others.
A man called a house and a little boy hiding in a closet answered with a whisper; "Hello. No my mother is busy.  No my dad is busy too. The police are hear but they're busy.  The firemen are here, but they're busy too.  Why are all of them busy?  They are all looking for me!"  Let's not let our worries and our troubles overwhelm us and cause pain for others. May we let our troubles be made known to God and He will give us relief.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Grace for your spirit January 18, 2013

Grace for your spirit
And Jesus said to them, "Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees."  Matthew 16:6

Leaven is a foreign substance that changes whatever it is combined with.  With dough, the leavening is yeast that changes the lump into bread.  In our world we have bad leaven and good leaven.  When we are leavened with the influence of Christ, we will be improved.  When we allow the bad influences to be mixed in our lives, it will bring about a very negative result.  Jesus warns us who to avoid the things that hurt us.  In His days, the Pharisees and the Sadducees represented toleration of sin and sidestepping the Law.  In our days, it can be many things that keep us from Christ.  Let's watch out for whatever keeps us from victory in Jesus.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Grace for your spirit January 17, 2013

Grace for your spirit
Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves to the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or obedience resulting in righteousness?  Romans 6:16

Paul understood that he had been set free from the law of sin and death, the bondage of the Law, the devil, and the wrath of God.  While he had been set free from that bondage, he clearly understood that he was now a bond slave of the one who had set him fre, Jesus Christ.  We may all yearn to be completely free, but in reality we will always be slaves to one or the other. Either slave to sin and the devil, or slave to Christ and His righteousness.  May we thank God, He has given us the opportunity in Christ to make the right choice

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Grace for your spirit January 16, 2013

Grace for your spirit
Then all the people tore off the gold rings which were in their ears and brought them to Aaron.  He took this from their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool and made it into a molten calf; and they said "This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.,  Exodus 32:3-4

Anytime we are dissatisfied with God and want to find another source, there will always be someone to help us build our idols. An idol is anything that comes between us and God.  It could be anything or anybody.  Sometimes it is even religion.  In this case one of their religious leaders, the brother of Moses, supplied them with their idol and made it for them.  How did the crowd respond?  When the preacher says it is right, and the vocal ones shout that it is right, it must be right.  Right?  Wrong!  Anything we substitute for the Living God is the wrong way.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Grace for your spirit January 15, 2013

Grace for your spirit
Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people for he was standing above all the people; all the people stood up.  Then Ezra blessed the Lord the great God.  All the people answered "Amen, Amen! while lifting up their hands; then they bowed low and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground.    Ezra 8:5-6 

What a wonderful picture of respect.  Respect for God, respect for His Word, respect for His teachers, and respect for each other.  These people were just back captivity in Babylon caused by their lack of respect, and they were ready to pay attention.  It seems that sometimes we take the study of God's Word so casually.  When the word is opened and read today, phones are ringing, conversations exchanged and any number in interruptions.  Let's make a new commitment of respect for God's Word and let that respect flow over our teachers and brethren.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Grace for your spirit January 14, 2013

Grace for your spirit
Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people assembled around Aaron and said to him, "Make us a god who will go before us;  Exodus 32:1

Impatience promotes idolatry.  It is the tendency of mankind to want immediate gratification.  If we can't get it from God, we will find another source.  While Moses was on Mt. Sinai for forty days receiving the commandments of God, the people became impatient.  Ironically, while Moses was receiving the first command of "No other gods' before Me", they were already building one at the base of Mt. Sinai.  Patience certainly is a virtue.  When we combine it with trust and faith in God, it will be our best guard against building our own idols.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Grace for your spirit January 11, 2013

Grace for your spirit
The fruit of righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise wins souls.  Proverbs 11:30

Jesus said that if we abide in Him, the vine, we will bear much fruit.  Galatians said that if we walk by the Spirit we will have the fruits of the Spirit.  If the world will know us by the fruit we bear, what is that fruit?  As a branch connected to the vine, we give access to the tree of life for a world lost in sin.  May we show the fruit of His Spirit in all we do, and may that give us the wisdom to lead, feed, and win souls to Christ.  Do our lives lead anyone to the tree of life?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Grace for your spirit January 10, 2013

Grace for your spirit
As He was getting into the boat, the man who  was demon-possessed, was imploring Him that he might accompany Him.      Mark 5:18'

Jesus was confronted by a man who was demon possessed.  Jesus called that demon out of that man which healed his body and spirit.  The man was so grateful that he wished to go with Jesus and help Him.  Jesus stopped him, and told him to go home to his people and tell everyone what great things the Lord has done for him, and how He had mercy on him.  When the Lord delivers us from our sins and we become His disciple, there are two paths for us to take.  We certainly will come and follow Him, but we will also go and make disciples with the good news.  Let's follow Him to worship, and go into our world to serve Him.  Both paths show we are grateful for His grace.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Grace for your spirit January 9, 2013

Grace for your spirit
But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, "Lord do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone?       Luke 10:40

Is there room for both Martha and Mary in the kingdom?  We all have gifts that differ in serving the Lord.  In this story Martha was working in the kitchen to serve, while Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to His words.  Some may have the gift of service, another may have the gift of teaching.  Whatever gift we have, let's resolve to do it with all our hearts without complaint.  One thing that will diminish our gift to the Lord is grumbling and complaining.  Take a look at Romans 12:3-8, find our gift, exercise our gift, and work it with joy.  Yes, there is room in the kingdom.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Grace for your spirit January 8, 2013

Grace for your spirit
But Jesus said, "Let the little children alone, and so not hinder them from coming to Me, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.  Matthew 19:14

The tragic killings of so many children in Connecticut shocks us all.  So many senseless deaths is hard to handle.  In fact many more children are killed everyday in our country by angry parents and sexual deviants.  All these events are caused by evil and sin among us.  I'm glad we can still be shocked and disgusted by such horror.  As we mourn the death of these twenty, nearly 4,000 children are aborted every day in the United States.  It has become so common place that most of us are completely unaware of the slaughter of the unborn, who are children too.  These little ones are not political or religious footballs, they are living souls.  Could we every reach a place where the killing of school children is so common place that it isn't even noticed?  Evil does have a way to overcome us. Turning the world to Jesus is the only solution.  Let's all pray together for relief, and pray for the children.  May the new year be kinder to us al

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Grace for your spirit January 7, 2013

Grace for your spirit
Truly truly I say to you.Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.   John 3:3

Death is a separation.  When we die physically, we separate our earthly bodies from our spirit.  When we die spiritually, our soul is separated from God.  The separation from God is the death we have the opportunity to avoid.  When we are born again of the water and the Spirit, we are born twice, but will only die once.  If we fail to be born again, and are only born once, we will die twice.  First death in this life, and the second death separation from God eternally.  For those who have been washed in the blood of the Lamb, the second death has no power.  Let's be born again and we will see the kingdom of God.  That's what I want to see, don't you?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Grace for your spirit January 4, 2013

Grace for your spirit
Please run now to meet her and say to her, "Is it well with you?"  Is it well with your husband?  Is it well with your  child?"And she answered, "It is well". II Kings 4:26

This Shunammite woman is riding "full blast" to the Mt. of the prophet Elisha.  She has just left her son dead at home.  When she is asked if all is well, she answered that it is well.  This is a picture of confident faith.  She has such faith that Elisha will make all things well, she has already counted it as well.  It is that faith that few people understand.  When our world is falling apart, it is the trust in knowing that God will make it right.  Her faith was rewarded and her son's life was restored. The old hymn, "It is well", is a picture of that faith. In the face of great loss, H.G. Spafford wrote, "Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, It is well with my soul."  Teach us Lord.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Grace for your spirit January 3, 2013

Grace for your spirit
For "the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you".  Romans 2:24

Blasphemy is an evil utterance against God.  It is a horrible thing to do, but it makes it even worse when the so-called people of God cause it to occur by ungodly living.  In the passage, the religious leaders are being judged because they teach righteousness, but live evil lives.  This kind of behavior separates everyone from God.  The first time is saw this referred to in the Bible was in connection with King David in II Samuel 12:14.  David was guilty of adultery and murder and still sitting on the throne judging others.  When these things came to light, God's enemies blasphemed against God.  How about us?  Do we teach righteousness and live like the devil?  What are people saying about the God we are supposed to be serving?  Let's repent and seek His grace and forgiveness immediately.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Grace for your spirit January 2, 2013

Grace for your spirit
When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate, and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.  Genesis 3:6

There used to be a anti drug theme, "Just say NO!"  I always thought it should be "Just say NO, and Run!"  If we let the devil and temptation hang around long enough, bad will start to look good.  If Eve would have quit looking at the tree and told the devil to get lost, the outcome might have been much different.  Our need for immediate gratification is strong.  Take a minute and google the "Marshmallow Experiment". When we leave what we should not have around, we face difficult challenges.  Jesus' words are best. "Satan, be gone!"