Friday, July 31, 2015

Grace for your spirit July 31, 2015

Grace for your spirit
Many, O Lord my God, are the wonders which Thou hast done. and Thy thoughts toward us;  there is none to compare with Thee; if I would declare and speak of them, they would he too numerous to count.  Psalm 40:5

As the song goes, "When upon life's billows you are tempest tossed, when you are discouraged thinking all is lost.  Count your blessings".
Remember how He has lifted us.  Recall how He has made our steps firm, and put a new song in our mouth.  When we remember how we can been rescued in the past, it will help us to be assured of His present and future presence.  Count your blessings if you can, and if you will

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Grace for your spirit July 30, 2015

Grace for your spirit
For through the grace given to me I say to every man among  you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.  Romans 12:3

God has given to each of us a measure of faith and gifts of grace equipping us to serve.  Two things will kill our service.  Thinking of ourselves too highly as those who don't need help.  Also, thinking of ourselves too lowly, and avoiding the gifts He has for us.  It is better for us to have sound judgment and let God decide what gifts we need. Almost every prophet at first rejected God's call thinking they were too much or too little for the job.  If our first answer is "Who me?", let's  yield to God so we may end up saying, "Here am I, send me!"

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Grace for your spirit July 29, 2015

Grace for your spirit
Therefore be imitators of God as beloved children.  Ephesians 5:1

It is refreshing to see a father and his children walking in love and enjoying their lives.  Some children want to be like their fathers so much that they learn all about what they do.  How fathers love to hear their children say, "I want to be like you, dad."  Our Father in heaven feels the same way.  He immerses us with His goodness, and desires that we be like Him.  When we truly know God and His love for us, you will hear us saying to Him, "I want to be like You, God.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Grace for your spirit July 28, 2015

Grace for your spirit
And He said "Who told you that you were naked?  Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?"   The man said, "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.  Genesis 3:11-12

Adam, Eve, and God had the perfect fellowship in the Garden of Eden. They could live transparent lives because there was no sin in them. Their community was destroyed in one day by the devil.  When they chose the devil over God, and Adam blamed that woman, and God, the sweet fellowship was shattered.  Now they were naked and afraid.  Our marriage, our family, and our church community, can live in perfect harmony until sin destroys it.  When we can no longer be honest with God and each other, we avoid everyone.  Jesus can restore our fellowship when we trust in Him.  He is able.  Let's not miss that opportunity.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Grace for your spirit July 27, 2015

Grace for your spirit
The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows those who take refuge in Him.  Nahum 1:7

Israel had been oppressed by the Assyrians for many years, and the God seemed to be silent.  Even though Israel had brought this oppression on themselves, it still hurt.  Nahum was God's answer to all parties involved.  Vengeance against Assyria and relief for Israel.  When we are struggling, and feeling oppressed by some troubles, we may be asking, "Where Is God?"  Let's still commit to take refuge in Him. He is good, He knows when we trust in Him, and He will come to relieve us in due time.  If we give up on God, what real alternatives do we have ?

Friday, July 24, 2015

Grace for your spirit July 24, 2015

Grace for your spirit
Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God.  Revelation 3:2

Martin Neimoller, a Protestant Pastor wrote this famous piece from a German concentration camp during World War II. 
"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Socialist.  Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Trade Unionist.  Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.  Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me."
As we sleep, our American liberties, and Christian freedoms are eroding, What will it take to wake us up and put us into action?  Let us stand up for Jesus and His Church while we still can.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Grace for your spirit July 23, 2015

Grace for your spirit
Therefore, from now on, we recognize no man according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.  II Corinthians 5:16

When we look at people, it is difficult not to make judgments and assumptions from what we see and know.  We may know something about their reputation, or be affected by their ethnic background, or their religious influences.  We need to look deeper with spiritual eyes to see the new creature Christ has created.  As Christ died, we all can die to our past and rise to walk in a new life.  Christianity is about tearing down dividing walls, and reconciliation in Christ.  Let's help tear them down, not rebuild new ones.  The gospel really is for all.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Grace for your spirit July 22, 2015

Grace for your spirit
Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.  I Corinthians 16:13-14

It is possible for us to be great students of the Bible, be given many talents and gifts, be fully equipped to serve, and still fall down in our Christian walk.  All the text of I Corinthians illustrated this truth with the trouble they experienced.  No matter how well equipped we are, personal preparation is essential.  Let's practice being alert, firm in faith, strong in our stand, filled with love.  Combining these with our gifts will give us victory in Jesus.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Grace for your spirit July 21, 2015

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

I got an email last week with the subject line,"It's not too late to sign up for forgiveness."  It turns out it was a seminar at religious school, but the topic certainly got my attention.  There is most certainly forgiveness available to everyone who signs up for it.  The free gift of righteousness in Christ Jesus pays our entry fee.  Forgiveness and righteousness is available to all, it is a free gift, and there is still plenty of room left in His kingdom.  Indeed, it is not too late now, but it is a limited time offer.  Don't miss it.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Grace for your spirit July 2, 2015

Grace for your spirit
Therefore, I shall always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with   you.   II Peter 1:12

Peter thought it was right to stir people up a little and remind them of eternal truths.  Sometimes people never got it in the first place, sometimes the fog has rolled in and everything is cloudy, and sometimes we just forget due to lack of use. I have long experienced what I call the "Indiana Huh".  Tell someone something  that they clearly should have heard, but it did not compute, and you may get a "HUH". Unless we catch the "huh" and repeat our words, they are likely lost.That is why we all need reminders until the "Huh" changes to "Amen".

Friday, July 17, 2015

Grace for your spirit July 17, 2015

Grace for your spirit
God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it?  Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?  Numbers 23:19

I saw a bumper sticker once that read, "God said it, I believe it, That settles it."  Hebrews tells us that God cannot lie and He never changes His purpose..  We have to deal with people all the time that lie and never come through on their promises.  They usually gain and we often lose. When God says He will be there for us, we can always believe it. The question is, will we be there for Him?

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Grace for your spirit July 16, 2015

Grace for your spirit
And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even to death.  Revelation 12:11

Many people spend their lives trying to figure out how to escape the claws of the devil.  God gives us a three step solution that worked in the past and will still be effective.  First of all, we must be washed in the blood of Jesus, the Lamb.  Second, develop a testimony for Jesus, and let those words fill our lives and mouths.  Finally, self denial carrying His cross even unto death.  Loving our own lives will lead us away from Jesus and back into the clutches of the devil.  Let's not go that way.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

grace for your spirit July 15, 2015

Grace for your spirit
No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other.  You cannot serve both God and money.   Matthew 6:24

Mark Twain once joked that this was the verse the prevented a man from having more than one wife at a time.  "Two Masters"  Truly the verse is about trying to serve God and money.  When money and the world becomes our "god", that there is no time or energy for The Lord God of Heaven.  When we lay up all our treasures on earth,  it diminishes our energy to lay up eternal treasures.  Let's choose our heavenly bank where there is no chance of "hackers".

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Grace for your spirit July 14, 2015

Grace for your spirit
As the appearance of the rainbow on a rainy day, so was the appearance  of the surrounding radiance.  Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord.  Ezekiel 1:28

From the time God showed Noah the rainbow after the flood, and into what John saw in the Revelation, the rainbow is an enduring  symbol of promise and hope.  As the colors of Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet never change, so are God promises.  R.O.Y. G. B.I.V. are our reminders of those colors.  Three sisters were lost in the mountains last week.  When they were found, they remarked that the rainbows, followed by the Sun, was their encouragement from God each day.  The next time the Sun pushes away the rain, look up for His renewed promises.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Grace for your spirit July 13, 2015

Grace for your spirit
Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offering and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord?  Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice   I Samuel 15:22

King Agag returned from battle with sacrifices that he was told to destroy.  He viewed sacrifices as more important that obedience.  King David realized the same thing in Psalm 51, when he stated the a broken spirit and contrite heart is what God wants.  Obedience and repentance cannot be replaced with sacrifice.  The world teaches us that if we give and sacrifice enough, we can live any way we choose.  Let's not make ourselves kings of our own behavior.  May we make obedience and repentance our sacrifices of praise.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Grace for your spirit July 10, 2015

Grace for your spirit
But when He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.  John 16:13

The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, are always in total unity and agreement.  When the spirit of  truth comes to mankind, it will always match up with the words of Jesus and the commands of God.  God's Word, containing the words of Jesus, is the perfect source to prove that what is being revealed to us is really from God.  There are many false spirits in this world.  Being skilled in the Word of God is the perfect lie detector.  Don't leave home without it.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Grace for your spirit July 9, 2015

Grace for your spirit
For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, contention quiets down.  Proverbs 26:20

Want to keep the fire going?  Pile on more wood.  Want to keep the contention boiling, fuel the fire by whispering evil thoughts into the ears of others.  Help everyone to keep talking and stirring up contention, and the fight never ends.  Cut the fuel, cut the anger, and the contention will soon die down.  Let's not fuel the fire and be part of the problem. Remember what Smokey the Bear said, "You can prevent forest fires."

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Grace for your spirit July 8, 2015

Grace for your spirit
And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers; and there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel  Judges 2:10

One of the greatest challenges for every generation is passing on the faith, and dedication.  The Christians race is not a sprint, nor a marathon.  We have the challenges of a relay team.  Someone passed the baton to us.  Now we run our leg of the race with a view of the next pass.  If we drop the baton, it is hard to get back into the race. Dropping it spiritually can produce evil and rebellion, and punishment from the Lord.  Let's run with a view of making that spiritual pass to the next generation.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Grace for your spirit July 7, 2015

Grace for your spirit
So Paul stood in the midst of Areopagus and said, "Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious on all respects.....I also found an altar with the inscription, "TO AN UNKNOWN GOD".  Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you.   
Acts 17:22-23

In Athens, Greece, the Apostle Paul found himself among the intellectual learners of the world. Around him were all the images of idolatry to every god in Greek Mythology.  Paul knew that the God of Heaven and Jesus our redeemer is greater than all human knowledge, and all religion, so he did to hesitate to stand up for God preaching the good news.  Sometimes we may be intimidated by intellectuals and the super spiritual, but don't be.  Paul was successful, and we can be too when we stand up for Jesus.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Grace for your spirit July 6, 2015

Grace for your spirit
But without your consent, I did not want to do anything, that your goodness should not be as it were by compulsion, but of your own free will.  Philemon 14

Paul did the right thing when he met Onesimus, the runaway slave.  He led him to Christ.  Paul did the right thing when he sent him back to Philemon, so Onesimus could make things right with his former master. Paul had the power to do anything, but he knew only the right thing would make things right.  It was the right thing for Onesimus, Philemon, and the church at Colossae to heal, forgive, and unite.  This reunion orchestrated by Paul would accomplish all of these.  Let's do the right thing so things will work our right for us too.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Grace for your spirit July 3, 2015

Grace for your spirit
Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.  II Corinthians 3:17

The 4th of July celebration is all about liberty and freedom.  It is important that we never forget that liberty and freedom are based on the Spirit of God.  America was established to honor His presence in our lives.  Israel was led to their promised land, but soon a new generation came that did not know the Lord, nor did they know the mighty works that had brought them there.  It seems that with each generation, we wander farther and farther away from the commitment to God that made our country great.  With our flags and fireworks, may we not forget to give God the glory maintaining His Spirit among us.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Grace for your spirit July 2, 2015

Grace for your spirit
What shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh has found?  Romans 4:1

Abraham had many experiences and conversations with God. He left his home, moved his family, received promises, received circumcision, had a son named Ismael, and a son named Isaac, went to sacrifice Isaac, all on his journey to be the father of the Jewish nation.  If we could have interviewed him, what would he says was the #1 thing he learned along the way?  I think he would say, "Righteousness is a free gift from God based on our trust in Him. We cannot earn His favor by doing good works."  What have we learned along the way?  If we haven't learned the same thing, let's start our search again.  God has our gift of righteousness reserved for us all.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Grace for your spirit July 1,2015

Grace for your spirit
There is one who scatters,  yet increases all the more.  And there is one who withholds what is justly due, but it results only in want. The generous man will be prospered, and he who waters will himself be watered.  Proverbs 11:24-25

Look around for proof of this truth.  In our communities, the business people who give back to their employees and the community are the businesses that prosper.  In the church community,  those who give of their time, talent, and resources, always have plenty left for themselves and others.  Many still think that the key to success is looking out for #1 and hoarding what is ours.  God will always refill the buckets of the generous for another day.  Test Him and see how it works.