Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Grace for your spirit 5-31-17

Grace for your spirit
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account.  Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you. Hebrews 13:17

Obedience and submission are the foundations of Christians living.They help us to see our blind spots, and bind us together in fellowship. It applies to every relationship in life.  With God, between spouses, with children and parents, friends and neighbors, Christians brethren, and those who wish to guide us into all truth.  When we refuse to submit and obey, we will find ourselves on the short list to fail.  May we have the spirit to welcome  those who want to help us be faithful.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Grace for your spirit 5-30-17

Grace for your spirit
The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.  He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him;  He will also hear their cry and will save them.  Psalm 145:18--19

Do you remember when you were young and were trying something new and a little bit frightening?  Wasn't it comforting to look over and see mom and dad nearby, ready to help just in case?  Yes it was !  The Lord is like that all the time.  When we invite Him into our lives, He will always be near enough to hear our cry rush to our rescue.  Yes He is there, and yes it really helps.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Grace for your spirit 5-25-17

Grace for your spirit
And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness."  Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.  II Corinthians 12:9

The daily struggles and roadblocks for the apostle Paul, made him painfully aware of his weaknesses.  He repeatedly asked God to remove them from him, but God had a better plan for him.  God gave him grace so his weaknesses would be turned into power.  From that point on, Paul met his challenges with grace.  With those victories he could boast about his weaknesses, because he knew the victory would always be his with God.  God can and will do the same for us.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Grace for your spirit 5-24-17

Grace for your spirit
Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.  John 6:35

Throughout the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, God's people were supplied with manna: the bread of heaven.  By faith their lives were sustained.  They drank water flowing out of rocks supplied by the power of God.  In our spiritual journey to our promised land, God has supplied us with the bread of heaven; Jesus Christ himself.  Through the bread of life and His living water, we can be sustained to complete the journey safely.  By faith, our lives can be sustained as well.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Grace for your spirit 5-23-17

Grace for your spirit
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, know that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  James 1:2-3

The Bible tells us that Jesus, for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, and despised the shame.  The same pattern of faith works for us as well.  When we can see beyond our present trials to the joy and endurance they bring with Him, we can smile through the tribulations to ultimate victory.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Grace for your spirit 5-22-17

Grace for your spirit
In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid.  What can mere man do to me?  Psalm 56:4

Sometimes there is a  credibility gap in our Christian testimony.   We gather to praise the Lord, but don't trust Him for the really important things in life.  Then we spend our time afraid of how everything is going to work out.  When our trust matches our words of praise, we won't have to spend useless effort worrying about things.  That will give us more time for praise.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Grace for your spirit 5-19-17

Grace for your spirit
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.  I Corinthians 15:58

Sometimes we may feel that we are "between a rock and a hard place," in our Christian walk.  The church at Corinth suffered from division, immorality, liberty, worship perversion, and a basket load of other things.  After the apostle Paul addressed them all he gave a final encouragement.  Don't let these things stop you.  Hang in there.  Keep on keepin' on, your work is not in vain.  We need to take those words for ourselves.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Grace for your spirit 5-18-17

Grace for your spirit
and raised us up with Him; and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  Ephesians 2:6-7

There are three positions displayed for us in the book of Ephesians.  We are called to walk worthy, (4:1) and then stand firm (6:11)against the schemes of the devil.  When we walk worthy, and stand firm, God has reserved a special seat for us to sit in.  How wonderful it will be to be seated with Him in heavenly places.  Those seats are available for all who have walked and stood for Christ.  Let's start walking.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Grace for your spirit 5-17-17

Grace for your spirit
But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.  Luke 6:35

It is a great picture to see a father walking and his son is following him trying to step in the footprints of his dad.  God has left footprints through Jesus for us to walk in.  The greatest tribute we can give God, is the desire to be like Him.  When we love our enemies, do good and expect nothing in return, and are kind to the ungrateful, we are walking in our Father's footsteps. Sometimes matching those big steps are difficult, but at the end of the trail it is very satisfying and rewarding.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Grace for your spirit 5-16-17

Grace for your spirit
Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all.    I Timothy 4:15

Scripture encourages us to grow in many ways.  In this section it tells us to be an example of those who believe, publicly read scripture to exhort, teach, and use the gifts we have been given by God.  This verse shows us the intensity of our effort.  "Take pains, be absorbed, show your progress to all."  We all know the right thing to do, but most of us need to increase our intensity.  No pain, no gain.  Like physical exercise, the more effort we put out, the stronger we will become.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Grace for your spirit 5-15-17

Grace for your spirit
Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid;  For the Lord God is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation.  Isaiah 12:2

When many were turning back from following Jesus, He asked Peter if he was going to quit too.  Peter replied, "To whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life."   Everything that comes from God cannot be given by anyone else.  Salvation, confidence, strength, and joy, are the benefits of following Jesus.  When we start thinking about something else, or somebody else, we better think again.  Any alternatives we select will be a disappointment.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Grace for your spirit 5-12-17

Grace for your spirit
What more was there to do for My vineyard that I have not done in it?  Why,  when I expected it to produce good grapes did it produce worthless ones?   Isaiah 5:4

During the time of the prophets, God gave His people the very best, but they were not faithful nor productive.  Therefore, they lost their vineyard and their victory.   In the New Testament, Jesus told an identical parable about how God once again gave His people His best.  How did they respond?  They killed His Son.  While these two stories describe the Jews in Bible times, what do they say about us?  We have been given God's very best and have the opportunity to produce in the Lord's vineyard today.  Are we giving Him a worthless return?   Let's do better with the Lord's blessings.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Grace for your spirit 5-12-17

Grace for your spirit
Show me a sign for good, that those who hate me may see it and be ashamed, because You, O Lord, have helped me and comforted me.  Psalm 86:7

When we have been helped and comforted by God, but still find ourselves persecuted and hated,  what will be our sign that the goodness of God has rescued us?  When we can return blessings for anger, when we can speak well of those who speak evil, when our concern is for them,, and our behavior changes, that is our sign of His goodness.  Let's wear it and wear it proudly.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Grace for your spirit 5-10-17

Grace for your spirit
So Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.    Hebrews 9:28

Before Jesus came, religion consisted of yearly animal sacrifices that covered their sins without any forgiveness.  The lamb, the blood, the mercy seat, the scapegoat, and the priest, were merely shadows of the true sacrifice to come.  Jesus made all those things real with His one sacrifice for all times.  Now we know there is judgment coming, but we can also know our Savior will be there for us.  That makes the good news great news.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Grace for your spirit 5-9-17

Grace for your spirit
Just as you do not know the path of the wind and how bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman, so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things.   Ecclesiastes 11:5

The Apostle Paul told the Corinthians, "If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know;"    Job thought he had learned alot through his sufferings until he compared his knowledge to the insight of God.  Let's never get "too big for our britches."  We may know a little about certain things, but God is the true sources of all wisdom and knowledge.  When we fear Him, that is the beginning of our true learning.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Grace for your spirit 5-8-17

Grace for your spirit
If then you regard me a partner, accept him as you would me. Philemon 17

The Apostle Paul had written this letter to Philemon with regard to his runaway slave, Onesimus.  Onesimus, now a Christian, was going back for reconciliation with his former master.  Paul appealed to Philemon to respond as a Christian brother, not an angry boss.  Paul appealed to him as fellow partners with Jesus, as fellow workers in the church, and as fellow recipients of God's grace.  Those are the kind of partnerships we should and must develop with others.  We will all be better off when we do.  

Friday, May 5, 2017

Grace for your spirit 5-5-17

Grace for your spirit
He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.  Proverbs 13:20

Our lives are a journey among the wise and the foolish.  The associations we select, and the paths we walk will shape our lives whether we think they will or not.  Companionship with fools may seem like fun, but in the long run they are harmful.  A walk with the wise may take more energy, however the reward and benefits are great.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Grace for your spirit 5-4-17

Grace for your spirit
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all the things will be added to you.   Matthew 6:33

What are we worrying about today?  Is it, what will we eat, what will we drink, what will we wear, and where will I shop to get those things?  Is seeking God's kingdom, and the righteousness that comes from Him anywhere on our lists?  Our lists certainly should be different from those who don't God.  Is it?  We need to know that when we put God first, all the things others worry about will come our way too.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Grace for your spirit 5-3-17

Grace for your spirit
O Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to  Your name;  For You have worked wonders, plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.  Isaiah 25:1

We give thanks and exalt God when we walk by faith and not by sight. When we look at our circumstances, when they seem overwhelming, when there is no help in sight, and we give thanks for what He is going to do,  that is faith.  It is our faith that lets us know, He can change us and our circumstances, and make us whole again.  Can we start thanking Him before our answers come?  Yes we can.  Yes we must.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Grace for your spirit 5-2-17

Grace for your spirit
The Lord's bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged.  II Timothy 2:24

In this world full of hard heads, how can we overcome the obstacles, helping people find repentance, come to the knowledge of the truth, and escape the snare of the devil ? Is the key to unlocking those doors having a harder head that theirs ?  No, but rather it is with our preparation and our attitude.  When we trade our quarrels for kindness, and our "knee jerk" attitudes for patience, we will be able to teach and lead with joy

Monday, May 1, 2017

Grace for your spirit 5-1-17

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 11:27

Jesus immediately told them they would receive many times more than they ever left behind.  Authority, lands, family, and best of all, eternal life. They would be lifted from last to first.  The blessings of being a follower of Christ seemed be coming slowly.  Could there have been doubt in their minds?  Is there some doubt in our minds as we struggle through life as a disciple?   Let's review God's record of keeping His promises.  He always comes through and let's be assured He will be there for us as well.