Friday, August 29, 2014

Grace for your spirit August 29, 2014

Grace for your spirit
Then the Lord said, "You had compassion on the plant for which you did not work and which you did not cause to grow, which came up overnight and perished overnight.  Jonah 4:10

If there was a another chapter of Jonah, do you think he got bitter or better ?  He already had shown that he loved plants more than people; even more than doing God's will.  Jonah wasn't concerned about 120,000 lost souls, but he really loved that plant.  I'd like to think this comparison got through to him, and he went back to Israel a better man. A prophet ready to help his people.  How about our concerns? Choosing between pets, plants, and people, do people finish a distant third? Let's start changing our preferences to line up with God's priorities.  Jesus 1st, Others 2nd, Yourself last.  That's how to put real J-O-Y in our lives.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Grace for your spirit August 28, 2014

Grace for your spirit
The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.  Philippians 4:9

It is not what we eat but what we digest that makes us strong;
It is not what we gain but what we save that makes us rich;
It is not what we read but what we remember that makes us learned;
And it is not what we profess but what we practice that make us Christians!  How do we find the way to peace?  Practice, practice, practice.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Grace for your spirit August 27, 2014

Grace for your spirit
For I was ashamed to request from the king troops and horsemen to protect us from the enemy on the way, because we had said to the king, "The hand of our God is favorably disposed to all those who seek Him, but His power and His anger are against all those who forsake Him."  Ezra 8:22

Ezra faced a thousand mile journey leading the people back to Israel. Many obstacles would be faced on the trip.  He had a king who was ready willing and able to help them, but first He would ask God to keep His promises.  He went to God first.  God opened the doors and paved the way, and got the glory.  When we walk in the will of God, He promises to open the doors and pave the way for us too.  We should be ashamed to ask the world and the government to bail us out before the have asked God.  Can we trust in Him or will we be ashamed? Let's give Him the glory.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Grace for your spirit August 26, 2014

Grace for your spirit
Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.    I Timothy 4:12

In the next few verses God gives us a list of things that will keep us faithful, and keep us being a good example.
1)Give attention to public reading of Scripture, exhorting, and teaching.
2)Do not neglect spiritual gifts we have.
3)Take pains and be absorbed and show your progress to all
4)Pay close attention and persevere.
Do this to ensure salvation for yourself and those who hear you.
When someone wants an example of a believer, may they see it in us

Monday, August 25, 2014

Grace for your spirit August 25, 2014

Grace for your spirit
Then they burned the house of God and broke down the wall of Jerusalem, and burned all its fortified buildings with fire and destroyed all its valuable articles.  II Chronicles  36:19

When Jerusalem was conquered by Babylon, in one sweep the work of Moses, Joshua, David, Solomon, and all the faithful in between were destroyed.   Moses freed them from bondage, Joshua conquered the land, David established a kingdom, and Solomon built the temple. All this was gone due to the unfaithfulness of God's people. Are we destroying or building up the church we have received?  Let's not let the small things become the big things that tear us down.  Let's be faithful in all we do.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Grace for your spirit August 22, 2014

Grace for your spirit
But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.   Hebrews 11:16

We don't see much talk about a heavenly home in the Old Testament. It seemed all of their focus on was their earthly promised land. However, those who had great faith in God understood that they were strangers on this earth, and desired a heavenly home where they could be with God.  They knew the heart of God and God prepared a place for all who are near to His heart.  When we begin to understand God, we will take our eyes off our worldly pursuits, and seek the eternal city that He has prepared for us in heaven too.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Grace for your spirit August 21, 2014

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 and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity.  Luke 8:14

The seed pictured in these parables is the Word of God.  When it grows among thorns it can be choked off easily. The thorns are the weeds of worry, riches, and pleasures.  Most of our lives will never be blessed with no weeds.  Most of us will have seeds and weeds.  Our seed is not destined to fail because we have weeds.  We need to recognize our thorn problem and make a special effort to thrive.  Let's not give up because our soil isn't everything we always wanted. Instead, let's have strong resolved to nurture the seed over the weed. God can give us victory, and make us fruitful.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Grace for your spirit August 20, 2014

Grace for your spirit
You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God?  Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.  James 4:4

Physical adultery is being sexually involved with another while we are married. It is simple, condemned in the Bible, and yet more and more accepted everyday.  Spiritually adultery is being friends of the world, while we pretend to be joined with Christ.  That is simple, condemned in the Bible, and yet more and more accepted everyday too.  We cannot be BFF's (best friends forever) with the world and Jesus at the same time.  Let's choose today whom we will serve, and make it God. If we can't make a clear choice, we will become an enemy of God.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Grace for your spirit August 19, 2014

Grace for your spirit
Then Moses said to the Lord, "Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue."  Exodus 4:10

Welcome to the "Who Me?" Club.  God calls into service, and we answer, "Who Me?"  Moses couldn't talk, Gideon was the least in his family, Isaiah had unclean lips, Jeremiah was too young, and Paul was afraid.  Complaints about our limitations, only delay the miracle God can do in our lives to complete His will.  All of these guys got over it. When will we?  I hope we all will meet some faithful people who won't take NO for an answer.  May we be motivated to say, "Yes Lord," instead of majoring in excuse making.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Grace for your spirit August 18, 2014

Grace for your spirit
He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type.  Hebrews 11:19

Did you even wonder why Abraham didn't hesitate when God asked him to sacrifice his son of promise on an altar?  Abraham and God were friends, and Abraham knew God would treat him right in all things.  Plus, if he was to actually kill Isaac, God could raise him from the dead.  In fact, Abraham did receive Isaac back when God spared his life.  It was examples like this that made Abraham our model of faith and righteousness, that we can all find in Christ.   Faith is trust.  I hope we all have it, and it leads us to a life of faith and and works.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit
Philippians 4:23

Friday, August 15, 2014

Grace for your spirit August 15, 2014

Grace for your spirit
The king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes.  Proverbs 21:1

When we were kids playing down by the creek, we enjoyed putting our hands in the water to change the flow of the stream. In the same way, God can change the hearts of kings when His hand is in it.  Many times in Bible history, a kings would stand in the way of someone's success.  They would pray for help, and God would change the hearts of those kings.  With that change, obstacles would fall.  Whatever obstacles we face today, God can change the flow of circumstances as easily as we used to change the flow of water in the creek.  Let's trust in God to turn our stumbling blocks into stepping stones.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Grace for your spirit August 14, 2014

Grace for your spirit
Then he went up to Bethel; and as he was going up by the way, young lads came out from the city and mocked him and said to him, "Go up, you baldhead; go up, you baldhead!  II Kings 2:23

Elisha had just witnessed his mentor Elijah, fly up to heaven in a chariot of fire.  He now had to fill the shoes of the great prophet of Israel to help the people.  The people mocked him saying, "If you're like Elijah, fly up too, baldy."  Elisha cursed them and two she-bears came out of the woods and tore them up the lads.  It was God's way to establish the words of His prophet, and the blessings and curses that came from him.  Unless they respected Elisha, he would not be able to help them. There is no profit in persecuting the prophets of God.  That applies today as well. Let's respect God's Word and His messengers.  It will work out better for all of us.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Grace for your spirit August 13, 2014

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

The apostle Peter questioned Jesus about what they would gain and what they would lose by being His disciple.  It is human nature for us to keep one eye on our physical things and one eye on our spiritual things. Unfortunately, often we end of with both eyes on our physical things. Jesus encourages us to keep both eyes on Him instead, and He promises to take care of the physical things of life for us.  What will be the outcome of that choice?  He promises that we will end up with many times as much in this life, plus eternal life as well.  If we believe Him, and believe His words, let's live with that faith.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Grace for your spirit August 12, 2014

Grace for your spirit
In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation--having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise.  Ephesians 1:13

When we purchase property, we might leave a deposit to guarantee we will return to close the deal.  That is called "earnest money". 
When we obey the gospel of our salvation, God promises us that we are heirs of His Spirit.  God seals that promise with a portion of His Spirit as a pledge that Jesus will return to redeem us.  The Holy Spirit dwelling in us today is God's guarantee to return and close the deal. May that assurance give us confidence in our Christian walk.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Grace for your spirit August 11, 2014

Grace for your spirit
Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.  Colossians 1:12

Do you ever feel disqualified to be a member of the Lord's church? Sometimes we can feel we aren't worthy and aren't good enough to share in His inheritance.  Well, we are half-right.  We are never good enough, or worthy on our own, but God has rescued us, transferred us, and delivered us by grace into His Son Jesus.  That qualifies us to share in His inheritance even on our worse day.  Let's give thanks to Him today and every day.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Grace for your spirit August 1, 2014

Grace for your spirit
Another of the disciples said to Him, "Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father." Jesus said to him, "Follow Me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead."  Matthew 8:21

Does this seem like a harsh answer to a simple request?  Jesus knew that the man had deeper motives.  If he waited until his father died, he would enjoy his inheritance, and then he would follow with a back up plan.  Jesus was calling for his total devotion, trusting in God for everything.  Jesus called His disciples to deny self, take up his cross, and follow Him.  At some point, we all must decide whether we want Jesus or we want our "stuff". Let's choose Jesus as our plan, and our only plan.