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11/30/16 - Your “new” LIFE

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”   Ephesians 4:22-23

These verses talk about the changes that occur in a Believer’s life.  The “old self” is what you would call your selfish ways (why does everything happen to me; what can I get out of it; no one knows or even cares what I am going through; I need this; I need that; what’s in it for me).  Practically everything that has to do with self has to be “put off” – removed; eliminated; broken off; not thought about; denied; not to be given into. 

11//16/16 - Wrong thinking!

But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.

My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long,
       though I know not its measure.

I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, O Sovereign LORD;
I will proclaim your righteousness, yours alone.
  Psalm 71:14-16

What about you? Are you a person who thinks about all the things that could go wrong in your life?  When you do this, your attitude will become cynical.  Even when everything goes right, you can find something wrong, because you have been practicing, in your mind, all the things that could go wrong. 

For you to be justified in your negative thinking, you have to find something wrong.  I do not know about you, but it is hard to be around negative-thinking and cynical people. They can eventually take all the joy and happiness away from you. At the same time, I hope that I never become one of those negative thinkers. They are “takers” rather than “givers” of life and life more abundantly.

11/9/16 - Time for a revival?

Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? Show us your unfailing love, O LORD, and grant us your salvation.  Psalm 85:6-7

I am old enough to have participated in many old time revivals. You do not hear and see as many of these types of revival meetings in today’s churches. I guess you can say that man has progressed past the need for revival. I strongly disagree. There is a real need for true revival to occur, but I do not think the method should be the same as the old time revivals. 

Modern man has moved to a more individualistic philosophy of living. This is where I think Satan has played a major role in damaging man’s relationship with God and other people. We believe the lie that, “I’ll do my thing, and you do your thing; just don’t bother me.” It’s a shame but that’s where the world is today. Social networking is stronger than ever, but it is predominantly through electronic devices. There is very little interaction face to face. 

11/2/16 – A verse from the Bible about America

Therefore say to them, ‘This is the nation that has not obeyed the Lord its God or responded to correction. Truth has perished; it has vanished from their lips.’ Jeremiah 7:28

Many people ask, “Where is America in the Bible?” This is a verse that could easily be used to describe life in today’s America.

The verse was said during a very low point in the lives of many Jews. The background for Jeremiah 7:28 was the prophet’s desperate appeal to Judah to return to God. About 140 years before Jeremiah, the Northern Kingdom consisting of 10 tribes of the original 12 had been totally destroyed by the world empire of Assyria. At the time, the Northern Kingdom was called Israel while the Southern Kingdom consisting of 1½ tribes was called Judah. Judah miraculously survived an onslaught by Assyria, but God protected Judah because of its positive attempts to live a life for God.

11/25/15 – God has amazing plans for all of His Believers

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.Ephesians 2:4-10

This is a power packed set of Bible verses that hold so many deep spiritual truths as well as some mystery thrown in that will entice Believers to expand their understanding of God beyond their current comprehension.  I suggest you make this a Bible reading for a week to see all that is in these verses.

The passage starts with “His great love for us” and that He is rich in mercy, He has made us alive with Christ.  Many Believers desperately need this “aliveness” today.  When we allow this world, or other people, or our own sins to bring us down, we are useless to God to do His will.  Compared to the “aliveness” this “deadness” is demonstrated when we are tired and worn out.  We feel that all the power in us has been drained.  The “aliveness” comes from our focus on God and what He has done for us.  Believers need to reverse the powerlessness by reading His Word, thinking about the needs of others, and trying to help others.  It’s amazing the power that the Holy Spirit can infuse into our lives when we make our focus Him and not us. We get a glimpse of His great mercy for us when we can transfer our preoccupation with ourselves to Him.

11/18/15 – Salvation and glory and power belong to our God

“Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!”  Revelation 19:6-7

What an uplifting verse to start every day of your life!  A little verse like the one above has so much for us as children of the Most High and True Living God.  The background of the verse occurs during the End Times when God defeats all of the worldly philosophies of wealth, luxury, and selfishness.   Bible verses like this one encourage you to proclaim that your God Almighty reigns.  This means that God is sovereign over everything that you can or cannot imagine. 

11/11/15: Do not trust in people – only in God

This is what the Lord says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord.  That person will be like a bush in the wastelands; they will not see prosperity when it comes.  They will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. 

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.  They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.  It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.  It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”  Jeremiah 17:5-8

This is a very difficult Bible passage, because it teaches something that is the exact opposite of what we learn in this world.  Sometime during our life we believe that placing our trust in other people is necessary for a well-adjusted life.  We trust our parents, we trust our spouse, we trust our banks, and we trust our governments (maybe I am stretching it a wee bit with the government!)  When you hear God’s Word says NOT to trust in any man or woman, something in you rises up and says, “No! We are suppose to trust others.” 

11/4/15 – Your life as a Believer

Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 2 Corinthians 9:13

This verse summarizes a Believer’s life as God intends.  It begins by describing the service that a Believer performs for others proving that Jesus Christ is the Lord of their life.  Obviously, this verse should encourage all Believers to ask God to show them the services that they have performed for others in the name of Christ.  After a person becomes a Christian, God expects total dedication and commitment to Him.  Although this is a one-time decision, it takes a lifetime to make this a purpose in a Believer’s life.  It begins and ends with recognizing that humility is a necessary characteristic of a Christ-follower.

The second thing the verse mentions is that through the service a Believer renders to another results in the praise of God by others.  Think of the tremendous impact of your services as a Believer on others.  A random act of kindness given to another opens the doors of heaven for God to be praised for who He is. 

11/19/24: You MUST Reach the Spiritual Fullness of Christ As the Body of Christ

When you ascended on high, you took many captives; you received gifts from people, even from the rebellious—that you, Lord God, might dwell there.

Psalm 68:18

But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.”(What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) So Christ himself created the Body of Christ (you and me) to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Ephesians 4:7-16

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11/12/14: Living Life to Its Fullest

I will sing of your love and justice; to you, Lord, I will sing praise.

I will be careful to lead a blameless life—when will you come to me?

I will conduct the affairs of my house with a blameless heart.

I will not look with approval on anything that is vile.

I hate what faithless people do; I will have no part in it.

The perverse of heart shall be far from me; I will have nothing to do with what is evil.  Psalm 101:1-4

Although these verses come from Book of Psalms, I hope you will find them encouraging and full of hope regarding living life in today’s world.  So many people tell me that they wish their children or grandchildren would not have to live the life that they see all around them.  The world truly looks like it is getting worse and worse.  Guess what?  It is!  God said it would in the last days.  But, the part for our Christian children is tied up in the verses above and many, many other verses that basically say to look at the relationship between God and you, and not between you and this world.

11/5/14: Who or What has created everything?

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Genesis 1:1

If you read any science magazines or keep up with the latest in science, you could easily conclude that every scientist has their own theory (“belief”) on what we know about the universes and, especially, the evolution of life. From what I have read there are many of these theories (“beliefs”) that have been debunked by modern scientists who develop other theories (“beliefs”) that contradict the previous theories (“beliefs”).  As an example, there is a significant lack of the scientific theory about when and how water appeared on the earth.  Most scientists have no theory (“belief”) about this obvious FACT that ¾ of the earth is covered with water.  A suggestion I have for you is to read any science article and highlight all of the uncertain words (maybe, probably, could have, etc.).  You will be amazed at how much a scientific sounding fact that is really only a theory (“belief”).