Monday, June 30, 2014

Grace for your spirit June 30, 2014

Grace for your spirit
For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves?  Is it not the one who reclines at the table?  But I am among you as the one who serves.  Luke 22:27

From the world's point of view, the people who have the chief seats at the table, are the greatest ones.  As a child watching from the second table, I looked forward to the day I would be big enough, and important enough, to move to the big people's table.  We didn't know that the greatest in the room were the ones who served.  Jesus needed to teach that message repeatedly.  Most of the principles of His Kingdom are just the opposite of what the world teaches.  Indeed those who serve will be first, as Jesus showed us all.

Grace for your spirit July 1, 2014

Let Your ear now be attentive and Your eyes open to hear the prayer of Your servant which I am praying before You now, day and night, on behalf of the sons of Israel Your servants. Nehemiah 1:6

Nehemiah's world was coming apart.  His homeland and his people were in great distress and he was stuck 1000 miles from home without any power to help.  He really needed his spirit to be quieted, his mind to be opened, and a door of opportunity to help.  On this occasion of monumental prayer, he begged the Lord to be listening and attentive. God's words tells us that we can separate ourselves from God so he cannot hear nor reach, but also promises that His ears and eyes can be quickly opened by our humble pleas.  God heard, and God opened the way for Nehemiah to be successful.  When we face the mountains in our lives, God can do the same for us when we approach Him in a humble way.  Let's not forget when we need to pray, to ask God to be attentive, hear our prayers, and open the doors for us too.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Grace for your spirit June 27, 2014

Grace for your spirit
Submit therefore to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from  you. James 4:7

What is our plan for dealing with the challenges of the devil in our lives? Is it fright, flight, or fight?  Looking at the example of Jesus in Matthew four gives us our best insight.  Jesus was approached by the devil in the wilderness.  Jesus was confidently equipped with the Word of God. He did not run from the devil, nor bow in fear.  He used the Word to fight the devil's challenges.  He submitted Himself to God, He resisted the devil, and the devil went away.  Our time for basis training is "always".  When we study the Word of God with a goal of devil resisting, God will equip us for victory too.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Grace for your spirit June 26, 2014

Grace for your spirit
But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.  Romans 8:37

In this world conquerors come and they go.  They seldom defeat all their enemies, and those enemies come for them.  Only one kingdom conquered all enemies and will never be defeated.  That is the kingdom of Jesus Christ.  (Daniel 2:44) In his kingdom, we can conquer sin, death, and sorrow.  In addition, there is nothing that can separate us from the kingdom and that status.  We are more than just conquerors, we are conquerors with Jesus forever.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Grace foro your spirit June 25, 2014

Grace for your spirit
All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight; but the Lord weighs the motives.  Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established.  Proverbs 16:2-3

Whenever we build a building, or build a business, our plans must be submitted to the proper authorities for approval.  Everyone has a tendency to think their ideas are perfect, but usually that is not totally true.  Approval from a higher perspective is best in the long run.  It is even more important in building our spiritual lives.  Let's commit our plans to the Lord for His perspective and guidance.  This is the only way to establish our life to end with victory.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Grace for your spirit June 24, 2014

Grace for your spirit
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.  II Corinthians 5:21

Everyone likes a get a great deal on a purchase.  Whether its a yard sale, house purchase, or a great trade in on a car, we tell everyone about our good fortune.  God has the greatest deal ever for us.  God will trade us our sin that condemns, for His righteousness that saves. Most of us would gladly trade debt for cash, so let's not delay in the ultimate eternal deal God has for us in Christ. His righteousness will always exceed our sin, so this deal never goes away.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Grace for your spirit June 23, 2014

Grace for your spirit
I considered my ways and turned my feet to your testimonies.  I hastened and did not delay to keep your commandments.     Psalm 119:59-60

On safety patrol in grade school, we sang a song called "Stop, Look, & Listen".   It instructed all to stop to look, look to see, see that the street is clear.  We were instructed to take care before we put our feet into the street, and then hurry to get safely to the other side.  That is good advice in our Christians walk.  Consider our way before we step, and then walk carefully and quickly in the will of God.  Over and over again in scripture we are told to "be careful how we walk".  Walk worthy.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Grace for your spirit June 20, 2014

Grace for your spirit
Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.  Colossians 3:16

All summer long, we are treated to a Community Band performance down by the riverside.  It is truly amazing,. A large group of musicians from all over the area, get their music, practice one night, and every other Saturday night, they "rock"  They love music, they love playing together and it shows.  Isn't that what our worship services should be?  We have a group that loves the Lord, loves each other, and when we come together worship breaks out.  What is on the inside comes out with joy.  Let's go with it. It is contagious!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Grace for your spirit June 19, 2014

Grace for your spirit
Hear my cry, O God; Give heed to my prayer.  From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.  Psalm 61:1-2

An old hymn from 1873 said, "O sometimes the shadows are deep, and rough seems the path to the goal; and sorrows, sometimes how they sweep, like tempests down over the soul. O then to the rock let me fly, to the rock that is higher than I."  Some things never change. These words are as true today as they were then.  We will perish if we try to find victory in our mess.  We need to look up, fly up, and find victory in the Rock.  God calls us to higher ground and victory in Jesus.  Let's mount up with wings like eagles.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Grace for your spirit June 18, 2014

Grace for your spirit
Fathers, do not provoke  your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.  Ephesians 6:4
In my generation, we have went from "Father knows Best", to "Father Knows Zilch".  We all need to remember that need to be building bridges for the next generation.  I think this poem helps.
An old man, going a lone highway, came, at the evening, cold and gray, To a chasm, vast, and deep, and wide, Through which was flowing a sullen tide.The old man crossed in the twilight dim; The sullen stream had no fear for him; But he turned, when safe on the other side, And built a bridge to span the tide.
“Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim, near,“You are wasting strength with building here; Your journey will end with the ending day; You never again will pass this way; You’ve crossed the chasm, deep and wide- Why build you this bridge at the evening tide?
The builder lifted his old gray head: “Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said, “There followeth after me today, A youth, whose feet must pass this way.This chasm, that has been naught to me, To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be. He, too, must cross in the twilight dim; Good friend, I am building this bridge for him.”

Monday, June 16, 2014

Grace for your spirit Jun3 13, 2014

Grace for your spirit  HAPPY FATHER'S DAY
Luke 15: A fun look at the parable of the prodigal son.
Feeling footloose and frisky, a feather-brained fellow forced his fond father to fork over the farthings. He flew far to foreign fields and frittered his fortune, feasting fabulously with faithless friends.
Finally facing famine and fleeced by his fellows-in-folly, he found himself a feed-flinger in a filthy farmyard. Fairly famishing, he fain would have filled his frame with foraged food from the fodder fragments. "Fooey, my father’s flunkies fare far fancier." The frazzled fugitive fumed feverishly, frankly facing facts.
Frustrated by failure and filled with foreboding he fled forthwith to his family. Falling at his father’s feet, he floundered forlornly, "Father, I have flunked and fruitlessly forfeited family favor…" But the faithful father, forestalling further flinching, frantically flagged the flunkies to fetch forth the finest fatling and fix a feast.
The fugitive’s fault-finding frater frowned on the fickle forgiveness of former folderol. His fury flashed—but fussing was futile. The far-sighted father figured, "Such filial fidelity is fine, but what forbids fervent festivity—for the fugitive is found! Unfurl the flags. With fanfares flaring, let fun and frolic freely flow. Former failure is forgotten, folly forsaken. Forgiveness forms the foundation for future fortitude."

Grace for your spirit June 16, 2014

Grace for your spirit
To the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever.  Amen   Jude 25

The epistle of Jude is a encouragement for us to stand firm in the face of the ungodly.  There are many things we can do to help us stand firm with apostasy all around us, but they will seldom work without our total devotion to God.  When we acknowledge our sovereign God, and make Jesus our Lord, giving them glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, we can find victory in Jesus.  Loving God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind, is our best line of defense.

Grace for your spirit June 17, 2014

Grace for your spirit
Thus says the Lord, "Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears; for your work will be rewarded," declares the Lord, "And they will return from the land of the enemy."  Jeremiah 31:16

As Jeremiah received the word about Jerusalem's future, he gained the title of "the weeping prophet."  His Lamentations express his sorrow over the fate of his beloved children.  He often felt his ministry was worthless and wasted.  God encouraged him to stand tall.  As God, told Isaiah, "His word never returns void without accomplishing its purpose.  We may feel like Jeremiah sometimes.  As our efforts seem to be wasted, let us listen to His encouragement, and believe we are building a road back for the return of many.  May we keep on keepin' on without despair

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Grace for your spirit June 12, 2014

Grace for your spirit
The cords of the wicked have encircled me, but I have not forgotten Your law.  Psalm 119:61

The cords of the wicked will always be around us.  Sometimes they can squeeze and choke us.  The difference will be, whether we remember or forget God's law in our distress.  God's law is our life preserver when we are drowning and being dragged to the bottom.  It is unlikely that we can learn these precepts during our distress.  That is why gathering all the knowledge and wisdom right now is so important. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge.  Fear of the Lord is the beginning of our escape.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Grace for your spirit June 11, 2014

Grace for your spirit
Give and it will be given to you.  They will pour into your lap a good measure--pressed down, shaken together, and running over.  For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.  Luke 6:38

Alexander the Great was once approached by a beggar, and Alexander gave him some gold coins.  A man told Alexander that copper coins would have been sufficient to give a beggar.  Yes, Alexander replied, but it wouldn't be a fit gift from a king.  As children of the King of Kings, we have been blessed in so many way.  Do our gifts and generosity reflect our royalty, or do we give back like beggars?  Let's give like we have much more coming, because we know we do.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Grace for your spirit June 10, 2014

Grace for your spirit
I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.  I Corinthians 3:6

We may have a plant, plenty of water, and even a large box of "Miracle Grow" and still never grow the plant.  Unless the plant is in the soil, the water applied, and the fertilizer used, the plant will never bloom or bear fruit.  God is most certainly our spiritual Miracle Grow. He can make us grow, bloom, and bear fruit when He is applied to lives.  Plants usually come with instructions for care.  We come with instructions for care too. It is the Bible.  Apply generously and regularly.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Grace for your spirit June 9, 2014

Grace for your spirit
And they sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, "Great and marvelous of Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty;  Revelation 15:3

Here is a great scene in heaven revealed to us all.  The redeemed are singing and praising their marvelous God.  The song they sing is of Moses and the Lamb.  Moses was the great deliverer that brought God's people our of bondage to the promised land.  The Lamb of God is Jesus Christ, the great deliverer who brought all His people out of sin, and into the promised eternal reward in heaven.  They lift up the deliverers and lift up the God they served.  May our songs and lives lift up our deliverer before we meet Him in heaven.  That will certainly help get us there some day.