Thursday, February 28, 2013

Grace for your spirit February 28, 2013

Grace for your spirit
So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded of you, say, "We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done."  Luke 17:10

It is natural for us to think who we are and what we do is very important.  We like to achieve and receive recognition for our achievements.  It is not uncommon for people to believe they can please God and be saved because of good works.  The right view for us to have as servants of God is a slave mentality.  As slaves, we have no rights, only privileges. Our rewards come only from what God has made us in Christ Jesus.  He is our righteousness and our accomplishment.  Let's yield the glory to Him

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Grace for your spirit February 27, 2013

Grace for your spirit
But Barnabas took hold of him and brought him to the apostles, and described to them house he had seen the Lord on the road, and that he had talked to Him, and how at Damascus he had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus.  Acts 9:27

Barnabas had proven to be a great encouragement to everyone around him.  He led by example and got fully involved.  When Paul was first converted, he needed help.  Barnabas didn't send him, but he took hold of him and brought him with a personal recommendation to the apostles.   Often new people in the church are just like Paul.  The need someone to take hold of them, introduce them, recommend them, and bind them to the body.  Let's' get to know those who are new among us.  We may have found a great Christian worker for the future if they are properly nurtured.  Let''s be an encourager.  Let's be a Barnabas.

Grace for your spirit February 26, 2013

Grace for your spirit
Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow.  You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then fades away.  Instead you  ought to say, "If the Lord wills we will live and also do this or that."  James 4:14-15

If we aren't careful, it is possible for us to think we are in charge of our lives.  We make our plans for today and tomorrow without any regard for the Lord in our lives.  Before we start our day and make our plans, it is  best to check with Him who knows all things.  Do you remember when church people would often say, "Lord willing, I will be with you?"  It would be nice if we knew the Lord's will, and included His name in all our plans.
The one who can make our paths smooth need to be at the beginning of all our plans.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Grace for your spirit February 25, 2013

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

Jesus calls us all to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind, and to love our neighbor as ourselves.  He said that all the law and the prophets hang on these two principles.  It also appears that the good we receive from Him come from these principles as well.  We certainly want God to cause all things to work together for good in our lives, but who will receive that good?  Notice, those who love God, and are called according to His purpose.  When we need good things to come into our lives, let's tune up our spiritually lives to be in His love and His purpose

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Grace for your spirit February 22, 2013

Grace for your spirit
The conclusion, when all has been heard, is : fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.  For God will bring every act to judgment.  Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

Philosophers ask the question, Why? They answer the question with "Why not", or "Because".  That is the answer of someone who doesn't know why.  As Christians, we should have a definite answer when someone asks, "why are we here?"  We are here to fear, respect and love God by keeping His commandments.  This is for everyone, but everyone doesn't know it. We were all created in His image to reflect His image, and declare that image to a lost world. The next time someone wants to know why they were born, or what is their purpose, have your answer ready.  Fear God and keep His commandments.  

Grace for your spirit February 21, 2013

Grace for your spirit
I observe that you are very religious in all respects.  For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an alter with this inscription, TO AN UNKNOWN GOD,    Therefore, what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you.  Acts 17:22-23

False worshipers don't serve the same idols every day..  As we search the panorama of things to worship, we can always find something or somebody to be our source. We usually pick the shiniest thing to be our god.  Religion and superstitions can move us from one god to another. The men of Athens had many such focuses of worship.  Each day they could pick the god they needed today.  We still suffer from the same troubles today.  Anything that comes between us and God is an idol, and there often are so many things. God demands to be first and only.  When we exalt God, and honor Christ, focusing on Him, it will take our eyes off the panorama and onto our Savior.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Gracce for your spirit February 20, 2013

Grace for your spirit
For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep, and was laid among his fathers and underwent decay.  Acts 13:36

When we walk through a graveyard, we usually see the date of birth and the date of death.  In between there is a short dash. The dash is our life.  What will that dash say about us?  I can imagine that someday people will be able to scan that dash with their phones, and get history our lives.  God has a purpose in life for all of us.  How are we doing in fulfilling that purpose?  I once had a friend who told me on his gravestone there would be no dates, just the simple inscription, "Jesus is the way"  That by life and death, he would magnify the name of Christ.  We will all die some day.  The question is, will we have served our purpose for God?

Monday, February 18, 2013

grace for your spirit February 19, 2013

Grace for your spirit
You are My friends if you do whatsoever I command you.  John 15:14

Jesus developed a friendship relationship with disciples. Their friendship lasted because they stayed in touch, and were sensitive to one another's needs. I remember some of the friends I had in school, and at graduation exercises we told each other we would remain friends, staying in touch.  Did you do that?  How's is that going for you?  We call, write, facebook for a while, and then one day as interests change we slip away. If we were on facebook with Jesus, would He de-friend us?  Last Sunday at church services we sang, "What A Friend We Have In Jesus".  I wondered, are we singing the truth?  Let's keep that friendship fresh starting righ now.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Grace for your spirit February 18, 2013

Grace for your spirit
Yet with respect to the promise of God, he did not waiver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was also able to perform.  Romans 4:20-21

The significance of Abraham in history began with his faith and trust in a God who he knew very little about.  God promises to him seemed crazy from a human standpoint.  God promised him when he was 75 years old that he would become the father of many nations and all the nations of the earth would be blessed by his family.  He never had his first child until he was nearly 100 years old.  God also gave him righteousness as a gift.  It all worked because he did not waiver, but grew stronger in faith everyday.  He gave glory to God believing that God could perform what He promised.  His standard of faith is our standard of faith when we walk in the steps of Jesus.  What about our faith?  Does it waiver? Is it stronger?  Is God glorified by it?  Trust is the key.  Let's reach for it.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Grace for your spirit February 15, 2013

Grace for your spirit
For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father's house will perish.  And who knows whether you have attained royalty for such a time as this?  Esther 4:14

Esther was a Jewish girl plucked from obscurity and elevated to Queen of Persia.  She was given title, riches, and all the beauty treatments possible.  Suddenly she found herself at a crossroad.  She could act to help save  her people, but it might cost her everything including her life.  Her uncle reminded her that maybe, just maybe, the providence of God has placed her there to save her people, and save herself.  Most of us have been blessed beyond all our dreams.  Did we ever stop to consider God might have given us those blessing so we can use them to accomplish good?  Will be play it safe, or will we use our resources to accomplish God's will?  Caution:  Doing nothing for the Lord's work is not playing it safe.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Grace for your spirit February 14, 2013

Grace for your spirit
Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy: is does not boast and is not proud.  I Corinthians 13:4

In this great chapter on love, it goes on to say that love does not dishonor others, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. It does not delight in evil, but rejoices in truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres and never fails.  Does our love for others fit within those parameters, or is our love more about us that others?  On this Valentine's day, it is nice to remember someone who loves us, and we love them.  Let's try something else today.  Let's find someone who is unlovable, and expects nothing, and do something nice for them.  See which one is more satisfying

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Grace for your spirit February 13, 2013

Grace for your spirit
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both steadfast and sure, and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us.  Hebrews 6:19-20

How many times during the day do we say, "I hope so".  That hope is usually based on uncontrollable variables, or we would say, "I know so".    The hope we have in Christ Jesus, really qualifies as a "know so". Our hope is steadfast and sure and anchored to Jesus who waits for us in heaven.  The verses just before this tells us why we can be sure.  God's purpose for our lives is unchangeable, and He never lies.  His purpose and plan always has been to save our souls and bring us home.  When we are anchored in God's promises, we can know our destiny.  When we're asked next time if we are saved, don't say "I hope so".  Say "Yes, I know so".

Monday, February 11, 2013

Grace for your spirit February 12. 2013

Grace for your spirit
Keep deception and lies far from me, give me neither poverty nor riches; Feed me with food that is my portion.  Proverbs 30:7

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when at first we practice to deceive.  That old phrase reminds us that one lie leads to another, to another, and we get deeper in every time.  Like bouncing a check for $20.00.  It doesn't bounce back alone.  It comes back with a $20.00 charge from the store, and another $20.00 charge from the bank.  We couldn't face reality with truth, and now we are three times deeper and still owe the original $20.00.  The store hates us, the bank hates us, and we hate ourselves.  May we commit to happy with the portion we have from God.  Let's avoid the deception to get more and end up hurting ourselves.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Grace for your spirit February 11, 2013

Grace for your spirit
The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries riches and pleasures of this life, and bring forth no fruit to maturity.    Luke 8:14

A man was in the hospital doing well until his friend came for a visit.  Suddenly he started getting worse.  He couldn't talk, so he scratched this note to his friend, "You are standing on my air supply".  When a plant is choked off from nourishment, it will die.  When a life loses its oxygen, it will die, and when a spiritual being loses a connection to Christ, the spirit will die.  Here the Bible mentions worries, riches, and pleasures, but ours could be anything.  Anything or anybody can cut us off.  With diligence, we all can grow to be mature in the vineyard of the Lord. The devil will continue to plant thorns in our garden.  We need to dig them out continually.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Grace for your spirit February 8, 2013

Grace for your spirit
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope.  Jeremiah 29:11

The prophet Jeremiah was warning God's people of a great disaster on the horizon.  Jerusalem and their nation was going to fall, and they would be taken away in captivity.  They didn't know it because they weren't listening.  As things fell apart, this would be an important promise for them to remember.  God certainly did have a hope for them beyond their troubles.  It is also an important promise for all of us as well, when we are experiencing troubles.  God is faithful, and He has plan for us.  Let's keep our eyes on the Lord and not on the circumstances surrounding us today.  There is a brighter tomorrow walking by faith

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Grace for your spirit February 7, 2013

Grace for your spirit
But Moses' hands were heavy.  Then they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it;  and Aaron and  Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other.  Exodus 17:12

The children of Israel was just out of Egypt a few days when they were attacked by Amalek.  The people had already wore Moses out with their complaining.  They griped in Egypt, at the Red Sea, about water, about food, and Moses' leadership.  Moses was wore out and fearful when the people needed him the most.  When he held him hands up, Israel prevailed. When he dropped them, Amalek started winning.  Fortunately, two came to his aid and saved the day.  How often do we wear our preachers, leaders, and teachers out, and then when we need them the most, they are too weary to fight?  Will anyone step up and hold up their hands for victory?  If it depends on me, will it be?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Grace for your spirit February 6, 2013

Grace for your spirit
But Peter said, "Why has the Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back some of the price of the land.  Acts 5:3

Ananias and his wife lost their lives that day trying to deceive.  They lied to everyone about their giving in order to feel important and spiritual.  Satan has so many way to control our hearts and help us do wrong.  I wondered, how many ways do we lie to the Holy Spirit?  Do we say we're not worried, but we are?  Do we boast that we are not afraid, but we are?  Do we brag that we are never angry, but we ado?  Might we say we have forgiven, when we have not?  Do we claim we are completely a disciple, when we are really holding back?  When we lie to God and men tp make ourselves look spiritual, the devil is pleased and in control.  Let's be honest before God and enjoy the refreshment that comes in the presence of the Lord.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Grace for your spirit February 5, 2013

Grace for your spirit
Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, "I will never desert you nor will I forsake you."  Hebrews 13:5

The grass may look greener on the other side of the fence, because it may be over the septic tank, and it still needs to be mowed.  More importantly than the downside of the greener grass, why are we always focusing on it.  When our focus is always on the other side of the fence, it reveals that we are not content with what we have been given.  It also may reveal that our that our god may be riches.  Money is not the root of all evil, but the love of moneys brings about all kinds of evil. It is perfectly fine to own things, but when things own us, that's where the evil comes.  Trust in the Lord.  His record is flawless.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Grace for your spirit February 4, 2013

Grace for your spirit
Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.  Proverbs 4:13

We've all heard the phrase, "If all else fails, read the instruction".  Why is it we never remember that until we have failed so many times?  If we have time to do things over three of four times, we probably have time to read the instructions and do it right first time.  One of my first jobs was assembling toys and bicycles in a retail store.  Many times I had to take everything apart and start over with the instructions.  Life can be dangerous when we dive into the unknown without guidance.  Our creator gave us an instruction book.  Hold on to it tightly.  Our lives depend on it. Don't leave home without it.