Welcome to God's Lemonade Stand

It is my hope that by reading this daily you will grow in your walk with Christ and be set free from any struggles in your life that are weighing you down. Be blessed to be a blessing.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

JOY COMES IN THE MORNING

Bad stuff happens. It is part of life. The good news is things always get better. There is a rainbow ahead. Tragedy strikes, jobs are lost, sickness occurs, but there is also happiness and good news ahead too.
 Psalm 46:1 says "God is our refuge and strength,an ever-present help in trouble."
Words sometimes can not console someone in shock or in deep grief. Prayer is the answer. A new day is dawning and things will be brighter.

My last three devotions have focused on helping people here in the Southeast, particularly Alabama who have experienced utter devastation on this past Wednesday. One moment you can be fine and then all of a sudden disaster strikes and life changes. The good news is God is still God and life will go on. Time heals wounds.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 says "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."   Reach out and help and give a word of kindness to those who are hurting.

You may not live where an F4 tornado just destroyed hundreds of homes but wherever you are there are people hurting for various reasons. Be willing to be a source of joy to those God puts in your path.

Psalm 30:5 says " For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning."

PRAYER : Lord I thank you for having the joy of the Lord in my heart. When I feel overwhelmed help me trust in you and know you Lord are with us and care what we are going through. Help me Lord look for ways to reach out to the hurting. In Jesus name. Amen.

Friday, April 29, 2011

SUNSHINE TOMORROW


Two days after one of the most deadly outbreaks of killer tornado's in history people here in my area of Northern Alabama are reeling from the shock of loss of property and life. As in most tragedy's, others step up to the plate to help those devastated by tragedy. I was blessed to escape any damage although it was all around me. Yesterday I picked up small bits of trash in my yard that were, in fact, debris from a tornado about an hour East of here. Shingle pieces, insulation, bits of lumber, partial pieces of bills or checks, piece of a drapery,  siding, and some wallpaper. People not hurt want to help but right now damages are overwhelming. Power is out in most of northern Alabama but only one mile across state line I have power. 

Through all this patience is required, courage is needed, and a shoulder to cry on is a good thing. In the worst of situations things rise from the ruins and eventually things get back to some sort of normalcy. It is hard and takes a tremendous emotional toll. All of a sudden complaining that I can not get a latte as there is no power at the coffee shop, pales in comparison to what the thousands who suffer loss are experiencing. In a tragedy you find out what is really important. Our  society in America is so blessed to have all the modern conveniences we can think of and when you can not send texts, or use the computer you find out it is not all that important. 

We the American 'helpers to the world' sometimes need helped. The sun will still shine and life will continue. Grief consumes those who lost a loved one and it will take lots of time to cope with this. 

Psalm 46 brings much comfort in troubled times. It says " God is our refuge and strength,   an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way   and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,though its waters roar and foam   and the mountains quake with their surging.There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,   the holy place where the Most High dwells.  God is within her, she will not fall;   God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.Come and see what the LORD has done,   the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shield with fire. He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;   I will be exalted among the nations,   I will be exalted in the earth.”The LORD Almighty is with us".

PRAYER: Thank you Lord for sunshine and new beginnings. Praise you for life. Thank you for friends. Thank you for having new fresh starts and for helping us through rough times as well. In Jesus name, Amen! 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

GOD OF COMFORT

I had planned a different topic for today but after the horrendous outbreak and tragedy that occurred all around me all day  yesterday and into the night in the form of killer tornado's I decided to change my topic. Thankfully my home was spared as was my life and I never personally witnessed a funnel cloud touching down nor did I have to enter my storm shelter. I thought when I was driving back from Huntsville yesterday that a tree might fall on me so I keep praising God as I drove and asked for protection. But hey it is not about me. There are many who have lost their homes, their livelihoods and two nearby good sized communities are totally without power and water for possibly up to five days but we are fine. So I was thinking about God being a God of comfort. I feel like I wish I could get my Hefty bags and hop in my car and go to this subdivision about 10 miles from here that was literally blown to pieces when a twister touched down. I would love to go hug some of the home owners and offer them help and help pick up the debris from their property. That is how you feel. You see these people crying on the news but in the same breath they were thanking God for sparing their life.

So how do you comfort in a time like this? What about those who lost family members as about 126 people died in these storms in the state of Alabama yesterday. Several deaths were in nearby communities. There are no words to really try to console someone who in one moment had their family member next to them and one moment later in the blink of an eye they are crushed by debris and killed. All you can do is pray and hold them.

Suffering happens in life. It is not possible to go through life without some suffering. Suffering builds character but you certainly do not go up to someone when they have lost a loved one or their house has exploded in an F4 tornado and say "Buck up little soldier. Things will be okay." No, you simply are there for them and just pray. That is all you can do. You can offer help in taking care of things for them but it is best to not say too much. Just pray and give comfort.

2 Corinthians 4:18 says "So we do not look at what we can not see right now, the troubles all around us, but we look forward to the joys in heaven which we have not yet seen." God is with us in good times and bad. I can not explain suffering and trials. I just know suffering does ultimately strengthen us. All of our 'stuff' does not matter anyway in the big scheme of things. What matters are people and our relationship with Jesus. He faced the ultimate suffering by dying a horrible death on the cross.

Praise God even in the storms of life. Do not curse him.

James 1:2-4 says " Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." Psalm 23 is often recited at a funeral but it is so much more. In verse four it says "Even though I walk
through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me."

An F4 tornado may not have struck your community but there are other needs where people need comforted. Friends may be in danger of losing a home, someone you know may have lost a job, a person may have a life threatening disease, a young couple may have lost a baby, and many more scenarios. We will all 'go through' things in life. Each of us is there to help others and not be a kingdom unto ourselves. Look around you today for a need you can fill. Even a simple smile may bring tremendous joy to someone who is suffering.

PRAYER: Lord thank  you for seeing us through the 'storms' of life. We know there is always a new tomorrow and things will get better. You comfort as only you can Lord. Work through me to show your comfort to others in a hurting world. In Jesus Name. Amen.

http://youtu.be/KuGRaCrg9hE

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

FERMEZ LA BOUCHE

For those who are not French scholars this means close your mouth or be quiet or a harsher 'shut up".I detest the phrase 'shut up' and never used it with my children when I was raising them. It just seems so harsh and uncalled for. But all of us probably have times when it would do us good to shut the little hole in our face and not always have to comment on everything. We do not need always need to give our 'two cents'  or have an opinion on everything.  Waiting and pondering is better than rushing into a conversation and later wishing you had kept your mouth closed.

That little mouth can sure get us into a lot of trouble. Not thinking before we speak or speaking when emotions run high can have disastrous effects. Sometimes I feel a good roll of duct tape is in order in not to say something we will regret later. The talking these days can also be in the form of emails or texts that are misunderstood or taken out of context and adding fuel to a fire. I have been there I know.

Once careless words are 'out there' they can not be taken back that is why it is wise to not fly off the handle and speak when you are emotional. Try your hardest to have self control in the area of speech. It is easy to just blurt something out but much better to hold your tongue and wait.

In the Bible it says in Matthew 12:36-37 that "But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned." Now if that does not make you be careful saying ugly cruel things to friends, family or strangers then nothing will. Proverbs 12:18 says " The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." Do you choose to build people up or tear them down? What would God have you do?

Ephesians 4:29 tells us " Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Criticizing, meddling, gossiping, swearing, complaining and lying surely are not beneficial to anyone.

Why not start today to try to make it a point to only let good,pure, and kind words come from your mouth.  If you are mad and feel like getting even what good will it do? Be the bigger person and let it go and walk away. There is a Bible verse that says "Do not let the sun go down on your anger' (Ephesians 4:26).

I have heard it said for every negative ugly comment you made seven had to be made to make up for the one. So in a relationship if you have hurt someone with careless words you need to find seven really kind nice things to say to redeem yourself.

James 1:19 is a verse I feel newlyweds should make a verse to live by and it says" Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry."  Ecclesiastes 5:2 is a great verse to conclude on. It says "Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few."

PRAYER: Lord it sames in James 3 that no man can tame the tongue. Lord help me because I want to be careful what I say. Give me the self control to not always open my mouth. Help me think before I speak. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

GLORY TO GOD

What does it mean to give glory to God? Glory is praise and thanksgiving offered as an act of worship. Something that brings honor.Do things you say and do in your daily life bring glory to the Lord? Remember back when the WWJD acronym was popular which stood for "What Would Jesus Do?" It was a good way to remind ourselves if what we did lifted up the name of Jesus or shamed him. Did we represent him or drag his name in the mud?

If you call yourself a Christian it means more than simply being an American. It means you have surrendered your life to Jesus and have asked him to be Lord of your life and have given your heart to Him. It means when you do something and achieve greatness that you give the praise and glory to the Lord and not take credit yourself. It is the Lord who helps you achieve greatness and success and directs your path. We owe him the honor, praise and glory.

Do your actions to your family and friends bring glory to God? If not what do you need to do about it? Try to do all things as if God is right there looking over your shoulder because he is ever present. He can help you get through difficult times and he can lift you up when  you are bowed down. Just call on him. 1 Corinthians 6:20 says "you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies."

Psalm 3:3 says "But you, O LORD, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high."

Romans 8:18 says "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us."

Romans 11:33-36 says " Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!  “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?”  “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?” For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen."

We should try to be examples and light up the world around us and seek to be more and more like Jesus. 2 Corinthians 3:18 tells us "But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord."

Someone who is glorifying the Lord is not constantly ridiculing others, complaining, bickering, bitter and unforgiving but they are filled with the spirit of God to overflowing and truly want to please him in their actions.

So does the glory of the Lord shine through you to others? If not ask Him to change you right now to conform to his image and light your world around you for the kingdom of God.

When I was attaching the song below to this devotion there was a comment by a  young lady who said her soon to be fiancee had died at age 24  three months ago and this was played at his funeral. She was in much pain which is understandable. I can not imagine her grief but she said he walked with the Lord and this song spoke of his life. How many of us could sing "glory to God' in a situation  like that? I am not sure I could.

Psalm 34:3 says "Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together." If you are feeling less than glory filled right now try praising God and giving him thanks for everything good or bad. He has a plan and he loves you.

PRAYER: Father I want to bring glory to you in every area of my life. Guide my steps and help me keep my thoughts pure and heart turned towards you. Forgive me when I have had wrong thinking and have doubted your love for me. Today I will seek to glorify you as I go about my day. In Jesus Name, Amen.


http://youtu.be/h64opCwLZCw

Monday, April 25, 2011

YOU ARE NOT TOO OLD, TOO LITTLE

Is there anyone in your life that brings discouragement upon you when you want to try something new and the comment is made "you are  too old to try that" or "you are too little?" In 1 Samuel 17 David was tiny compared to Goliath and people may have said "he is way too little to take on that big giant. He surely will die." Zacchaeus was a tiny man who wanted to see Jesus when he passed by but Jesus looked on him as a big man. He was up in a tree and Jesus said, "Zacchaeus, you come down from there for I am going to your house today." (Luke 19:3).

Don't let others bring a spirit of discouragement on you or a defeatist attitude. If you want to go to college and you are 70 or older, so what. As Nike says 'just do it!'   Do you want to try to skydive but you feel foolish or too old? Well if you are in good health and possess courage, no matter what your age go for it!!' Do you love roller coasters but people say 'you are too old for those'? Go ride on one anyway.

Philippians 4:13 says "I can do all things through him who gives me strength."  1 Thessalonians 5:11 says "So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing."  Ecclesiastes 9:10 says "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom."   Serve the Lord with gladness and enjoy the life he has given you.  Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 says "I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God."

Do you have a dream or a passion but you feel life has passed you by and it is too late to try it? Do not give up and do not let others stand in the way. I love this billboard from 'The Foundation For A Better Life' with a 90 year old woman with the caption, 'Oldest College Graduate' then it says 'Live Life ,pass it on'.(www.values.com/inspirational-sayings-billboards/28-Live-Life)

What is your dream? Write a book, take art class, learn to play musical instrument, take dancing lessons, learn to scuba dive, run for public office, join a rowing club?? What is stopping you?

1 Corinthians 10:31 tells us" So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."  The 'Life is Good' company motto is 'do what you like and like what you do'. A great motto for all of life.
Isaiah 40:31 says "but those who hope in the Lord  will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles;they will run and not grow weary they will walk and not be faint." Put Christ first, try new things, help others and share with others. Philippians 4:4 says " always be full of joy in the Lord; I say it again, rejoice !"
PRAYER: Father I know you have wonderful plans for my life. I am special in your eyes and not 'little' in any way. I know you want me to bloom and blossom in your kingdom. Help me not shy away from trying new things and help me be an encouragement for others. In Jesus name, amen!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

THE CROSS

Two nights ago I came across a family taking care of two crosses on the highway that had been placed there after the death of a loved one in a car accident. This has to be horrible. Here in this part of Alabama I see crosses regularly. Between my home and Huntsville depending on which route you take there are a total of approximately ten roadside crosses erected in memory of a loved one who lost their life in a tragic car accident. Sometimes they are adorned with ribbons and teddy bears as well. But two days ago was the first time I had actually witnessed some one tending to their family or friends cross to keep them updated or fresh. It got me to thinking not just about how special that loved one was and how much they were missed here on Earth but also the meaning of the cross.

The cross is a symbol in this Christian nation and is often used in of memory of loved one who dies. But the cross is much more than that. To many it is an offense. There are places where governments have made crosses come down as they offend people. There are some pending lawsuits now in our country from groups offended by the cross and what it represents.

Here on Easter Sunday we think of Jesus not being on the cross anymore. He is alive. He is risen indeed. We anticipate the time he will come back and we will be with him in eternity. Philippians 2:8 says "And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!"  In the Roman empire the cross was used to crucify criminals but in the case of Jesus this cross becomes a symbol of our Christian faith.Romans 5:6 says " You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly." Dying on a cross was excruciating and pure torture.

The cross is not just about crucifixion but is a symbol of Jesus taking our place and dying for our sins. When we wear the cross it is a way we identify with the Savior and what he did for us. Many do not understand what it means to walk with Jesus and live for him. They feel it is foolish. Many feel Sunday is all they need and that being born in America makes them a Christian. 1 Corinthians 1:18 says "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."

God was sinless but he took our sin to the cross and died so we might live. But we know he rose again and lives forever. We look forward to his glorious return!

The cross is not about religion but about a relationship with the true living God.

"God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16.

Happy Resurrection Day!

PRAYER: Thank you for your love for us Lord. Thank you for Easter! You are alive and live forever more. I thank you that I can be your hands and feet in this hurting world. I will resist the enemy and he must flee from me. Thank you for forgiving me for my sins. In Jesus Name. Amen.

http://youtu.be/tJIDS-ge8V8

Saturday, April 23, 2011

THANKS ARE ALWAYS IN ORDER

It is good to have a grateful heart. It makes you feel better and gives you a better outlook on life. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to give thanks in all things. Get in a habit of waking up and starting each day saying "thank you Jesus for another day of life you have given me to enjoy". After that say "Lord what it is you want me to do today to bring joy to someone else?" When you start thinking of your blessings and ways to help others you can put to rest those negative thoughts that may be creeping up wanting to take residence in your mind. The trials, worries, fears, doubts that are waiting at the doorstep of your life trying to come in can be put off by starting to praise Jesus.

Make a list of what you have to be thankful for. Start with something as simple as fresh clean running water. Many Third World countries do not have this blessing. Thank the Lord you are in a country where we are free to openly worship Jesus and read our Bible. Last night I was at "Secret Church" which was a simulcast from David Platt's church in Birmingham, Alabama (www.brookhills.org/secretchurch) and it was even broadcast into countries where the Bible is not allowed. We are so blessed to be able to openly worship the Lord. Do not take this for granted! Next thank the Lord for a home to live in. We may complain my house is not spacious enough or if only I had a rec room or if only I had a pool.I have friends being foreclosed upon right now so if you have shelter give thanks no matter how big or small it is. Next be thankful for your job or your spouses job. A couple days ago a friend shared with me how her husband had been laid off after 20 years of management. Ouch. You have to have a strong faith in the Lord to get through times like this. Be thankful for good health because we are only one phone call away from a scary medical diagnoses that could turn your world upside down. Do you have clothes to wear? Probably most of us have a closet full of things we do not even need when others in the world have nothing. So give thanks there too. Be thankful for ability to see, walk, touch, taste, feel, and hear. I had some spots in my eye one day that caused me to not focus. It freaked me out thinking, 'what if I lose my ability to see and can not write my devotions anymore?" I got scared. I took my eyes off Jesus and focused them on the problem. Kind of like when there was a storm at sea and disciples cried out "Lord save us'. (See Mark 4:35-40). Another huge thing I thank the Lord for are friends. A tremendous blessing to be able to have someone to go have coffee with, see a movie with or just talk. I do not take this for granted as I have had friends betray me or who did not want to be my friend anymore and it hurts.So keep being a good friend to those in your life.

Ephesians 5:18-20 says "Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Go have a wonderful day and stop to give thanks to Jesus for all he has done. The more you praise him the less you will complain.


PRAYER: Thank you Lord for another day to enjoy your blessings. Thank you for family and friends and for the gift of life. We praise your name forever and give you thankful for all things. In Jesus Name.Amen.


http://youtu.be/Y1WmzRxBGFY

Friday, April 22, 2011

CHRIST DIED SO WE MIGHT LIVE

You are special to God! You are chosen. He loves you. Never forget that. Ephesians 1:5 says "His unchangeable plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by sending Jesus Christ to die for us. And he did this because he wanted to."

Jesus went to the cross and died in our place. He arose from the dead and lives forever. Jesus was crucified on this day and rose again on Easter Sunday. "Greater love hath no man than a man lay down his life for his friends."(John 15:13).

The Lord's Supper is a way Christ's death is remembered. The bread and wine or juice are symbolic of his body and blood. 1 Corinthians 11:23-29 says "For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”  For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself."

Romans 5:8 says "but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." 1 Peter 3:18 says "For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit."

We are all familiar with John 3:16 which says "For God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whosoever believes in me should not perish but  have everlasting life." It is a verse almost everyone memorizes and if they can quote no other Bible verse know that one.

Isaiah 53:4-9 from the Message version of the Bible says "The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling,  a scrubby plant in a parched field.There was nothing attractive about him, nothing to cause us to take a second look.He was looked down on and passed over, a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.One look at him and people turned away.  We looked down on him, thought he was scum.But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—  our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us. We thought he brought it on himself, that God was punishing him for his own failures.But it was our sins that did that to him,  that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins! He took the punishment, and that made us whole.Through his bruises we get healed. We're all like sheep who've wandered off and gotten lost. We've all done our own thing, gone our own way. And God has piled all our sins, everything we've done wrong, on him, on him. He was beaten, he was tortured,but he didn't say a word.Like a lamb taken to be slaughtered  and like a sheep being sheared, he took it all in silence.Justice miscarried, and he was led off— and did anyone really know what was happening?
He died without a thought for his own welfare, beaten bloody for the sins of my people.They buried him with the wicked, threw him in a grave with a rich man,Even though he'd never hurt a soul or said one word that wasn't true."

This version really tells how bad it was what Jesus did for us. Beaten, tortured, spat upon. This was the Lord of Lords and King of Kings.Yet he said "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34). How many of us could do the same when we were mistreated? His was the ultimate mistreatment.

On Easter we think about this great love. He endured the cross so we might live.

PRAYER: Father thank you for your great love for me. I thank you for forgiving my sins. Help me Lord to bring your love to a hurting world. In Jesus Name, Amen.


http://youtu.be/Li8Ld8KWTbA

Thursday, April 21, 2011

UNLESS THAT IS GOD CALLING YOU, HAVE THEM CALL YOU BACK AFTER CHURCH

Being polite and courteous should be a Christian virtue. If you are a 'representative' or 'ambassador' for Christ you should do all you can to present the Lord in a favorable light.You do not want things you do to 'aggravate or alienate the masses' so to speak.

In todays' world there are these pesky little communication devices called cell phones which seem to rule our lives. Wherever we go it seems we see people that can not be separated from their precious little phone to the extent of being rude to those who are with them or others around them.These little devices may be convenient but they cause a great deal of rudeness that was not present, in say, the late 70's. Not everyone wants to hear your conversation. It is just common courtesy to not be talking on these when in line at the bank or cleaners, at the check out line at the grocery or say when the waitress is taking your order. Calls can wait and you can call back.

Character used to be taught in the public schools back when I was growing up. In addition to the school system, the parents were responsible to instill values and discipline in their children and also appreciated when strangers made corrections as well. My, have times changed! Now we can not pray in school nor can the Ten Commandments be posted. Parents become defensive if anyone dare to correct their sweet child. Not all children, but many today are unthankful and rude. Since we no longer have God's word as a guide in our schools parents need to 'step to the plate' or we will have a bunch of unruly citizens on our hands some day. If children are not taught the word of the Lord and respect for their fellow man and discipline it will be hard to establish good boundaries later in life.

The Bible says in Proverbs 22:6 to "train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it."  Also another verse says "The rod of correction imparts wisdom, but a child left to himself disgraces his mother." (Proverbs 29:15).

The title of today's devotion came from something my pastor at Word of Grace in Mesa, Arizona said back in the late 90's. During the service a woman on her cell phone took a call and got up and walked down the middle aisle of this mega church talking on her phone.The pastor says "unless that is God calling will you have them call you back after the service?"  Very tactful and it got the point across.

I use cellphones as a major example in this devotion, since we can not seem to be without them. Try it though sometime. It is nice to go somewhere and not think we have to be constantly connected. What did folks do 'back in the day' when they could not find you for 5 minutes? Oh my, life did go on. So how about you? Do you chat on your phone for all to hear?Do you cut drivers off on the highway? Do you treat waiters rude? Do you interrupt others? What we need to do is act as if God is watching at all times because in fact , he is.

"Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." (Ephesians 4:32)

"We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God." (2 Corinthians 5:20)


PRAYER: Dear Lord thank you for the blessing of having a cell phone and other modern conveniences. Help me to not be rude with my phone. Help me to learn to turn it off sometimes and enjoy peace. Father I thank you for how I was raised to respect others. I pray Lord you will help me wherever I go to think of others before myself. Help me be a excellent representative for you wherever I go today and every day. In Jesus name,Amen.




 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

SPEAK GOOD THINGS

I am restored, redeemed, set free,forgiven and  a child of God. It makes you feel better just saying these things out loud doesn't it? There is so much negative, complaining, scary talk out there these days that we need to say things to ourselves to stay upbeat, positive and encouraged. The news is never really happy and there seems to be an abundance of problems to go around. You may wake up and feel defeated some days and it is all you can do to get yourself going. Get up and proclaim out loud "This is the day the Lord has made I WILL rejoice and be glad in it!"(Psalm 118:24).

You may have been told you're no good, you won't amount to anything, you can't do that, you are stupid and on it goes. It is time to speak good things into your spirit. There may be people in your life who speak negativity into you and you feel as if you have to defend yourself. Stop the bad talk and replace it with 'God talk'. Refuse to allow others to get you down. Stay out of that self pity pit.

Philippians 4:8 says "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

If you are feeling defeated and beat down start your day waking up saying "I am a child of the king". " I am loved and special". "I will shine Jesus Love on someone in my little world today." " I am made in God's image and he loves me".

Satan is the accuser of the brethren(see Revelation 12:20)  and the father of lies(see John 8:44). It is him who puts bad thoughts in your mind. You say "In the name of Jesus I reject that lie Satan!"  The Bible says in Matthew 16:33 "Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”  Talk out loud to the enemy. Say "enemy in the mighty name of Jesus I refuse to believe your lies and I am strengthened by Jesus and I only believe the truth so leave me alone!"

There may be situations in your life that do get you down but you do not have to stay down. Make a mental discipline of trying to think good things.  1 Peter 5:10 tells us " And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast."

Rejoice and be glad because Jesus is Lord!!

PRAYER: Thank you Lord that you love me so much you gave your life for me. I am extremely special and valuable to you and you have a distinct plan and purpose for me being on this earth. Forgive me when I have let a negative spirit drag me down and make me gloomy. I choose this day to focus on the good news that you are Lord and you have all things under control. In Jesus Name. Amen!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

FREEDOM:A GIFT FROM GOD

For those of you reading this who live in the United States of America we in this country are blessed beyond compare to have lived in a free land for over 200 years now. There are always going to be evil forces out there who, for whatever sinister reason,attempt to take control and destroy what we have in this fine land. As the familiar saying goes 'Freedom is not free'. It was earned by the blood of many hard fought battles with many lives taken. We enjoy God given freedom. Many in this wonderful land of ours take our freedoms for granted. Lately many of our freedoms have been under assault from within our own government. Shocking but true.

Galatians 5:1 says"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." John 8:32 says "You will know the truth and the truth will set you free." When forces try to destroy all evidence of a Christian heritage they are trying to snuff out the fact that Jesus Christ is Lord over the United States of America. The Lord had a purpose for this great land but little by little when we took our eyes off him and did things are own way we see the result.

"Where the spirit of the Lord is there is freedom" (2 Corinthians 3:17). The trouble is today many forces are trying to remove the God of the Bible from society and act like he had nothing to do with this great nation. Just visit Washington DC and see the displays of Christian freedom within the Capitol and also on nearly ever monument. Christ had a definite purpose in the founding of the land we call the United States of America.

Satan is a deceiver and a liar and he will do what he can to take this great land of ours out. John 10:10 says "The thief(Satan) comes to kill, steal, and destroy. I have come that they might have life and have it more abundantly".It is evident that we are under tremendous spiritual warfare in our nation today. Satan does not like freedom. Freedom to worship, freedom of speech, freedom to peacefully assemble, and so many other freedoms. Freedom is truly God's gift to us. We are not under  total bondage now but if we do not wake up and speak up those precious freedoms may very well be lost. It is like a frog put in a pot of cold water and the heat is slowly increased til the frog is cooked and dies. This poor frog is unaware of the fact he is being cooked. We in America are in danger of 'being cooked' too if we do not take heed, pray and speak up for righteousness and truth.

The solution is simple if we would all just heed the advice in God's word, the Bible. In 2 Chronicles 7:14 it tells us "if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

Psalm 119:45 says to us " I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts."

PRAYER: Lord God I thank you for the precious gift of freedom. I pray for those men and women who for whatever reason are trying to 'lord' over us and take our freedoms away. People are trying to come in and remove freedom and control us in all areas of our life. I pray you will touch the hearts of these men and women who seem bent on destruction and take blinders off the eyes of those who can not see what is happening. Lord we thank you for the freedom each day to read our Bible yet many of us do not even pick it up. Help us to hide the word of God in our hearts and draw on it to get through each day. In Jesus Name. Amen.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nR7bBEBIC9g&feature=related

For help in praying for our nation check out http://www.presidentialprayerteam.com/

Monday, April 18, 2011

HEART BREAKER

For those of you who are blessed to be parents you know you would do anything for your children. When your child disobeys you or later in life takes a wrong path it breaks your heart and hurts you tremendously. You have poured your heart and soul into this little being, who is only on loan from God anyway for you to raise (See 1 Samuel 1:27). When they hurt you by disobeying, shunning you or just plain are rude it brings great heartache. Imagine Gods heartache for his children when we turn to our own ways and do not acknowledge him or give him the time of day.You wound God's heart by going against his word and not wanting to be more like him.

One of the prayers we often pray in Moms in Touch is "Lord help my childs' heart be broken by what breaks your heart." Disobedience does not cause God to not love you. He will always love you no matter what you do. 3 John 1:4 says "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth."

Remember the story of the Prodigal son where he had squandered what his father gave him and led a life full of sin? When he decided to come home his father welcomed him with opened arms and killed the fatted calf to celebrate. (See  Luke 15:11-32). We would do that for our children too. So would God. He loves us so much he gave up his only son Jesus so that we might have eternal life. We think of that as we get ready to celebrate Easter next Sunday.

God may discipline us just as any earthly parent disciplines their child. If you do not discipline your child he or she may grow up out of control and bratty. God does not want us to be little brats either so sometimes chastening happens for our own good. Hebrews 12:11 tells us "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."  The parent says to the child when having to render punishment, "This is going to hurt me more than you" and believe me it does. No one wants to spank a child but you do not want unruly citizen with no boundaries as an adult either. That is why the Lord disciplines us so we learn to live within God's boundaries, the Ten Commandments.

So today choose you this day who you will serve. You can not serve both God and man. Who is first in your life? Matthew 6:33 tells us to "seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you."

Job 5:17-18 says "Blessed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal."

Prov 1:28-31 "Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me. Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord, since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes."

PRAYER: Lord I am thankful to be your child. Forgive me when I do not act like I know you. I know that hurts you. Forgive me for not wanting to spend more than one hour a week with you too. Father I know you are there with open arms ready for me to come running back. Thank you that no matter how distant I get from you, you are always there ready to take me back and forgive. In Jesus Name, Amen!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

NO ARM? NO PROBLEM...

You think you have problems? Think again and then go see the new movie 'Soul Surfer' (www.soulsurferthemovie.com) It is easy to complain about something such as I do not like the shape of my nose, I wish I were taller,my big toe hurts, I wish I could have thicker hair, and on it goes. At least you have legs, toes, hair, and arms.
 
For Bethany Hamilton the real life young lady who was portrayed in the movie 'Soul Surfer' , she did not give up after losing her arm to a shark attack. Aron Ralston, the rock climber who was trapped between ' a rock and a hard place' in Utah and later saved his life by cutting off his arm with his pocket knife and whom the film '127 Hours' is  based on did not give up. Dave Roever whose face was burned beyond recognition in the Vietnam war but yet he moved on to a ministry (www.daveroever.com) did not complain but kept on. Craig DeMartino (www.afterthefallministry.com) lost his leg in a climbing accident but that did not stop him. Joni Eareckson Tada's diving accident left her a quadriplegic but she is ministering for the Lord today and reaching out to millions.(www.joniandfriends.org) . Nick Vujicic (www.lifewithoutlimbs.com) was born without arms or legs and still spreads the good news of Jesus throughout the world.

 These individuals and many more like them who have been disfigured in an accident or born with a birth defect chose to not let it ruin their lives. Humanly they had all the reason in the world to quit. Each of these individuals I am sure went through initial depression but the point is they did not stay down but rose to new heights and consequently inspired many thousands or millions of others through their drive to not quit.

What ails you? What is getting you down? Make a list of things you have to be thankful for. Do not let them enemy trap you in self pity. There is always someone else with a worse problem or situation. When you get your mind off yourself you may feel like helping others.

Instead of blaming God for all the apparent bad stuff in your life start praising him in the storms of life too. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says "In all things give thanks". Say what Lord? Are you serious? Sometimes those bad things open brand new doors of opportunity. For those born with a disfigurement he can turn your scars into stars the saying goes. When you leave this earth and go to meet Jesus in heaven we will  have new bodies anyway. 2 Corinthians 5:1-5 tells us "For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come." 1 Corinthians 15:42 says "It is the same way with the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever."

Use this day as an opportunity to really thank the Lord for making you just as he did. You may have some limitations but God has truly blessed us. If you are suffering do not let the enemy defeat you. Rise above your problems and start reaching out to others.
1 Corinthians 9:24 says "Don't you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win!"

PRAYER: I thank you Lord for this day and for where you have placed me in  my life. Forgive me for not being grateful at times or complaining about things. Help me develop a grateful heart and a compassionate spirit. In Jesus Name.Amen!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHdcyue0bSw

Saturday, April 16, 2011

CHILL OUT

Do you have things in your day that just cause you to lose your focus and your peace? Pretty much all of us do at one time or another. Big events coming up sometimes cause stress and lack of peace. Worry about the future is another biggie to take away peace. Maybe trying to live up to expectations of others can cause a tiny peace deficit. So how do you maintain peace in a chaotic world?

First it is important to stay focused on God. There is a verse in the Bible that says " in this world you will have much tribulation but be of good cheer I have overcome the world." (See John 16:33). Day to day living can pretty much cause us to lose peace at times. When we lose peace we need to remember to not let it effect our relationships with others. Sometimes stress can cause us to 'pop a cork' with our loved ones or friends. The enemy sure loves things like that. The key is to say 'this too shall pass' and move on in life.

John 14:27 tells us "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." Isaiah 26:3 says "You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you."  Life will throw you a curve ball every now and then. You want things to happen on your time table so you can get the stress of thinking about it behind you and get on with life. Know that God loves you and he knows what you are going through.

A spiritual discipline is learning to focus on God and not issues in your life. Pray about them and let them go. God has a plan for you and stressing over it will not help change things in the long run. 1 Peter 5:7 says for us to "Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you."

PRAYER: Lord I need you in to control every area of my life.Forgive me for not trusting you for every detail of my life. I know Lord pondering and mulling things over and over does no good and only causes me a lack of peace. I want to glorify you Lord with a peaceful spirit. Strengthen me to live for you and give you total control. In Jesus Name. Amen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SAtWjBDFeM

Friday, April 15, 2011

MD

'MD' above does not stand for 'Medical Doctor' but for 'mostly disciplined." In the military being 'mostly disciplined' would not cut it. You are either all the way disciplined and trained or perhaps you are not fit for military duty. The military has a unique way to instill discipline in its troops and leaders. It is unlike any other thing in the civilian world. I speak from experience.

In life discipline is required too. Discipline to get up in the morning. Discipline to work hard and not get fired. Discipline to control your tongue and not just say whatever you feel like. Discipline in exercising our physical bodies in order to stay in shape and healthy. Discipline to get to bed on time so we are not worn out the next day. Discipline to not look at pornography or bad television and movies that put ideas into your head that do not need to be there. Discipline to finish your tax filing by the deadline. Discipline to study to graduate from school. Discipline to complete chores. Discipline to break bad habits. You get the idea. It is a key thing. Those who have served our Armed Forces have a head start due to the excellent training they receive to mold them. Some things such as making a tight bed that a coin can bounce off of may seem silly but the military has a reason for it. Shining your boots til you can see yourself in them too has a purpose in the big scheme of things. Forced marches with heavy packs on your back is also a method of training. Also getting up in the wee hours of the morning at 'O dark thirty' is another discipline for the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines.

In order to be successful in life discipline is required. When it comes to our spiritual life it is essential in order to grow in Christ and be conformed to his image that we are disciplined not in 'doing good works' ,which are all fine and good, but do not get you into heaven simply by doing good. Ephesians 2:8-9 says "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast." You have to pick up the Bible and open it to learn how to be more Christlike. Serving the body of Christ is good but you have to also want to learn more about him and to do that is requires knowledge of his word.

Hebrews 12:11 says "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." Life is not always going to be easy. There will be ups and downs, hills and valleys in your spiritual walk. James 1:3 tells us "For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow." People who want to get in shape physically have to put in some effort to do it just as knowing about Christ is not just about going to church one hour each Sunday. That is a start but there is so much more.

Don't keep sucking on the spiritual 'baby bottle' but grow up and become mature in Christ. Desire 'meat' not just 'milk'. 1 Peter 2:2 says in relation to this "Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment." Do not expect to just go to church one hour and think that is all you need. Crave a relationship with the Lord and cry out to him to come in to your heart and change you and give you that desire if it is not there already.

PRAYER: I long to know you Lord and long to make Bible reading a daily priority. Help me to discipline myself so that I do not put you last in my day. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

AFFECT OTHERS FOR THE LORD

Bible teacher and best selling author Joyce Meyer speaks of people 'infecting' you instead of you 'affecting' them. It is our job to be in the world but not 'of the world". Each of us has to be God's 'saltshaker' spreading flavor throughout the world. But it is easy to get sucked in to wrong activities too if you do not have your guard up. We are the 'salt of the earth'. (See Matthew 5:13). Are you 'flavoring' the world for Christ or is the world tricking you in to a moral slide downhill?

The Bible tells us that 'bad company corrupts morals'(See 1 Corinthians 15:33). It further states that "a companion of fools comes to ruin." (See Proverbs 13:20). It only takes one bad friend to drag someone off course. We know basically what is right and wrong by following God's word so choose the friends in life who will do things to build you up and glorify the Lord and not those who try to get you into bad situations that lead you down the wrong path. Proverbs 22:24 tells us to "Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man." Now this does not mean to stay in a 'holy huddle' and never reach out to others but it simply says to be on guard lest you fall into the wrong activities. 2 Peter 3:17 says "Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position."

The word of God also warns us about hanging around tale bearers or gossips. Now if we are not careful it is easy to get caught up in this. There is a saying, " If you do not have anything good to say then do not say anything at all."  Pretty good advice. Proverbs 20:19 says "A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much."  Colossians 4:6 says "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." If you are around gossips too much you may be guilty of talking about others too.

It is important to not hate anyone and to be kind to people, but to be led astray and sucked into the wrong kind of activities can lead you away from the Lord. In other words I do not think it would be a good idea to say you are going to a strip club to 'witness' when in fact you may be caused to lust by being in there. You get the point. Watch, pray, and guard yourself lest you fall into temptation. (See  Matthew 26:41).  1 Corinthians 10:12 says "So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!" Finally I will end with Galatians 6:1 which is a warning and it says "Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted." So do not think it can not happen to you.

PRAYER: Father I do pray that you will keep me alert and help me to love others, but help me to discern good from evil and not get caught up in activities that will hurt the name of Christ or me.In Jesus Name. Amen.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

EFFORT, EFFORT, AND MORE EFFORT

Things that are worthwhile are not easy to get. To get a nice 'nest egg' it takes discipline and sacrifice, not the lottery. To become a medical doctor it takes years of study and practically nothing else while you are doing this. Building a successful business takes effort, determination and hard work. Writing a book is not an overnight thing either. Whatever is is you want to do you have to put in some effort and time if you want it to be successful. When it comes to getting in shape that takes effort too. You can not expect to look good in your clothes and perform like an athlete unless you take the time and effort, there's that word again, to go to the gym and work out or select some type of fitness routine such as running or walking. You will not just lose weight and get healthy by watching a lady exercise on TV. You have to get up off the couch and join in. Discipline and effort are what is required to compete in the Boston Marathon.

Proverbs 20:4, when speaking of work, says "Sluggards do not plow in season; so at harvest time they look but find nothing."
Colossians 3:23 says "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters." If you want to be a success then it takes some effort. This is not about getting rich as the Bible talks about not seeking after riches but this is about working hard at whatever it is you do. Nothing good is just handed to us on a silver platter. God does bless some with wealth but we are not to focus or set our heart on it.(See Psalm 62:10).  The 'Donald Trumps' of this world did not gain their wealth without some work. It did not 'just happen'.

Also as a believer you can not expect to sleep on top of your Bible and have its knowledge just sink into your brain. You have to take the time and effort to read it and study it to know what it says. The Bible is not boring at all. Maybe the parts of the old testament with all the tricky names or thees and thous scare folks away but really there is so much in there to guide your life. 2 Timothy 2:15 says "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth."

Make sure you work hard at what you do just as if you were working for the Lord. Are you honorable in what you do? Do you put forth time to read and study God's word? Do  you only do what is required at work and nothing more? Would people describe you as a go getter and faithful worker?

Be a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:9 says "So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it." Work at what you do with all your might to include getting to know God. To know your friends you have to invest time and effort. To know Jesus you need to make time in your day to pray and study his word. It will not just happen by going to church for one hour on Sunday. Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is  to read one book of Proverbs each day for 31 days. Try it for starters to get you into the word. Have fun getting to know God better.

PRAYER:Father it is my desire to set an example as a hard worker no matter if it is my job, at home, or getting into your word to know you better. Give me the discipline to stay on task and not be distracted by the pleasures of this world which draw me away from doing my best for you. Help me Lord to stay focused on getting to know you better. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

APRIL SHOWERS BRING MAY FLOWERS

I always like this cute little saying. It could be the same as 'without rain there are no rainbows'. In every life a little 'rain' must fall. Without a 'test' there is no 'testimony'. No 'messes' means no 'messages'. "Behind every dark cloud is a silver lining." These are good ways to show that just because something is bad, does not mean it will stay bad. God can use all situations in life for his glory.That is what it is all about anyway isn't it?

Now for someone who is dealing with cancer or some other terminal illness things can look bleak and these verses may even make them mad. I mean come on now, what good is cancer or some sickness? I can not answer that but all I do know is God is faithful and he has a plan. He does not bring on bad things but he can use them to mold our character and also to bring us closer to him.

In Joel 2:25 it says "I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten--the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm--my great army that I sent among you." I look at this verse and say to myself that all the bad things in the past God can use them and redeem them. Most of us are familiar with Romans 8:28 which says
 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

God can take awful things and make them good. Death is going to happen to all of us. So many  want to come down on God when someone dies and he gets all the blame. It's like "well hey God you are God and you could have stopped this." Our ultimate goal is to live with Him in heaven and we are to do all things to work towards that goal. No one ever said everything in life was going to go perfect. It is through trials that we grow and develop character.

In Genesis 50:20 there is a verse that says "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives". I look at this verse with hopeful expectation. Satan is the one who is out to kill, steal, and destroy(See John 10:10) and it is God who has a purpose for anything and can use it in our lives. This verse was from when Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers but as you know God knew the 'big picture' and he had a plan.

So whatever you are going through today trust that God has a plan and ask him to give you the strength to cling to him in the storms of life.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus we often do not understand why bad things have to happen. But help us hang on and just keep praying and believing. Forgive me if I have ever gotten mad at you Lord for not getting 'my way'. I want your way Lord. In Jesus Name. Amen.

http://youtu.be/xGPS8sa-bRQ

Monday, April 11, 2011

THIS IS THE DAY THE LORD HAS MADE

The day is nearly over here in Tennessee and Alabama. Storm warnings are posted and there is a brisk cool breeze blowing. It is a beautiful time of day about dusk whether stormy or pretty outside. The Lord has given us each day as a gift to enjoy. Every day we should get up and be thankful for all the blessings he has bestowed upon us. Just being able to walk,talk, breathe and laugh is a gift in itself. I for one thank the Lord for the United States of America. I am thankful for friendships and was blessed to spend time with a dear friend today who I had not seen in a while.

So even though the 'day is done' in the Central time zone still you need to say "This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it." (Psalm 118:24).

PRAYER: Thanks for the beauty of your creation Lord and thank you for giving us another day to enjoy it. In Jesus Name. Amen.

TIME FOR GOD

Sent Late Due to being out of town and also no internet service yesterday


Do you call yourself a Christian? Are you excited to go to church on Sunday? Do you love his word? Do you love Bible study? Do you love Christian music? If you do not perhaps you need to reexamine your life and maybe find a church 'on fire' for the Lord where his word is alive and people are real and not just religious. Do not let tradition keep you from a closer walk with God. Just because Grandma went to such and such church does not mean you are being 'fed' there. Go where you can 'grow in Christ' . Following Christ is not about being a 'church member' or punching in on Sunday but it is about desiring Him more than gold. You may have been hurt in church or saw it as phony. It is time to let go of the past experiences and reach out and try again.

God never withholds any good thing from us but yet many of us only find time for one little hour each week and we think that is enough. That is not true intimacy with God. You can not know him by only going to church one hour and not picking up a Bible all week. Many communities have awesome contemporary Christian radio stations with awesome praise music which can lift your spirit. Some of these even have great Bible teaching as well.

Just like you want to know your friends better the only way to do that is to make time for them. Likewise you have to make time for God to know Him.

The things of this world will never satisfy Lord only you will. You will find much wisdom in the Bible. Proverbs 3:13-15 tells us " Blessed are those who find wisdom,  those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.  She is more precious than rubies;  nothing you desire can compare with her." Matthew 5:6 says "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled."

What do you spend time doing? How much time do you watch television or read magazines? Next time you feel like reading "People' maybe read about 'real people' in God's word. If you do not know where to begin may I suggest start in the book of John or Psalms. Have fun on your journey to know the Lord better and give him more time in your day.

PRAYER: Create in me a clean heart oh God and renew a right spirit within me.(Psalm 51:10). I want to know you better and have a personal relationship with you Lord. Forgive me for ignoring you and not taking time to spend time in your word. Help me Lord as I seek to discipline myself to spend more time getting to know you.Create in me today a hunger for you and your word.  In Jesus Name, amen!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-oZbBS_OhM

Friday, April 8, 2011

ARE YOUR EYES PURE?

(This is post for 9 April 11)
 
What is it you spend time looking at? Perhaps you read books, look at magazines, like to watch movies, love television, or play video games.
 
Psalm 101:3 is a good verse to maybe tape to your television set. It says "I will set before my eyes no vile thing. The deeds of faithless men I hate; they will not cling to me." What is a vile thing? It is something disgusting, repulsive, unpleasant, objectionable. We see so much garbage these days it is easy to be desensitized by bad things to the point you are not bothered by them. We should always pray that we will disgusted by evil and impure things. TV and Hollywood movies today have really got some 'doozys' out there. Things are done in the name of 'art', tolerance, political correctness, or so to not offend. What has happened is anything goes anymore. Even a simple TV commercial can make a person blush. Unfortunately today many young people have lost the ability to blush as they see so many things that are  bad and they could care less. There is a sports magazine that touts their annual "swimsuit issue" which  borders on pornography. Mainstream stores, to include grocery stores, carry it each year and innocent young men buy it and lust over the girls who are scantily clad. Not much about sports in this sports magazine is there? Obviously pornography on the Internet or in magazines is something that will not make you pure but will wreak havoc in your life.
 
Matthew 18:9 warns us "And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell." This is a real 'word picture' of how serious God is about keeping your eyes pure. Psalm 119:37 also tells us to "turn your eyes away from worthless things.Preserve my life according to your word."
The word of God says  in 1 Peter 1:16 to "Be ye holy as I am holy." Pursue holiness without which no man shall see God. 2 Timothy 2:22  says "Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts."
 
Are you living a godly life? Is what you are doing bringing glory to God? Do you help win people to the Lord by your actions? If Jesus were at your house today would you have to turn off a certain TV show or hide some magazines or books? It is something to think about. He knows it all anyway because he is always with you.
 
PRAYER: My desire Lord is to pursue holiness and purity in the things I put into my heart and mind. I know the eyes need to look on good things. Help me Lord be able to turn away from things I should not be looking at. Give me discernment to know right from wrong.  Thank for your guidance which I receive in the Bible. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

ARE YOU HUMBLE...REALLY??

(Friday 8 April 11 devotion sent out early)

What does it mean to be humble? Do not be puffed up because of a position you hold. Do not start to perceive you are better than people because of where you live, who you know or the talents you possess. Everything you have is from God anyway. He gives you your gifts, talents and ability to gain wealth. Give him the praise and glory and ask him to help you stay humble.

No one likes to be around someone who brags or boasts. Matthew 23:12 tells us" For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted." Proverbs 27:2 says "Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips."

You can see license plates that are personalized otherwise known as 'vanity tags' because many of them  are 'braggy' and 'vain'. I have seen 'IMCUTE', 'SEXY1', 'HOTSTFF', 'CUTYPIE' and many more who are letting people know who drive by that they are cute in their own opinion.

If you need humility make an effort to praise others for the things they have accomplished. Put others before yourself and get your mind off yourself. If you are complimented take it graciously and never start to feel superior.

Romans 12:3 tells us to "For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you."

Don't be arrogant thinking you have it made. 1 Corinthians 10:12 says "So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!" When you start to brag and get overly confident watch out.

PRAYER: Thank you Lord for all the wonderful things in my life. I know you have given me all the blessings and it is because of you that I live where I live and do what I do. Help me remember I am not better than anyone else. Everyone is special to you and each person is unique to you and serves a different purpose in your kingdom. Forgive me if I have ever started to brag about anything and give me the ability to give you the praise and glory for everything. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

WORRY 101

It does not take much effort to worry. We probably all do it but should we and how do you stop worrying? We worry about dying, loss of jobs, our children, our future,our adult children's future, having enough money, bad weather, airplane or car crashes, terrorism, fires, stock market crash, saying the wrong things that we can not take back, getting old, getting robbed, going blind or deaf, not being successful, getting hired, messing up on something that someone is counting on you for, tests in school, people not liking us, health issues and a myriad of other things.

In John 14:27 it says " Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." It takes discipline to not worry. You need to consciously focus on other things and realize  you are not going to change a situation by fretting over it. There is not one thing you can do by sitting and stewing over something that is out of your control. You only make the enemy happy as he has disabled you and made you an ineffective witness and he has gotten you sick at heart over things that you should be turning over to God.

Matthew 6:27 says "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" It is just not going to happen. You can make yourself mentally sick trying to reason, ponder and do the 'what if" game. It does no good so you need to attempt to practice the discipline of right thinking and trusting God to overcome this area. Believe me, if we are honest there is no one out there who is not somewhat of a worrywart. In the Bible in Mark 4:19 it says that "but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful." Picture that. A huge vine or weedy vine choking out other plants. That is what worry is like. Imagine worry is a cancer or a weed and is out to tear you apart. Try your best to resist the urge to let it control you.

Worry will cause you to be tormented. Just realize you can not change things. You have to turn your problems over to the Lord. Get your mind on something else. Realize your anxious spirit can not do one thing.

"Cast  your care on him for he cares for you."(See 1 Peter 5:7) To cast means to throw. So throw your worries on God. He wants to bear your burdens for you.

There will always will be something to make you concerned and give you justification for thinking your worry can change the course of things. That is impossible. God wants to set you free from this if only you will call on him and let him.

You are disabled for the Lord if you are drug into a worry pit. You can not have victory. Make up your mind now to trust God and give him your cares. Psalm 68:19 says "Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens."

PRAYER: Lord I thank you for being there and listening to us when we cry out to you. I know you love me and I need to trust you to work out things in my life without starting to get concerned over every little detail. Forgive me for not trusting you more and for trying to take matters into my own hands. In Jesus Name, Amen!

WORRY 101

It does not take much effort to worry. We probably all do it but should we and how do you stop worrying? We worry about dying, loss of jobs, our children, our future,our adult children's future, having enough money, bad weather, airplane or car crashes, terrorism, fires, stock market crash, saying the wrong things that we can not take back, getting old, getting robbed, going blind or deaf, not being successful, getting hired, messing up on something that someone is counting on you for, tests in school, people not liking us, health issues and a myriad of other things.

In John 14:27 it says " Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." It takes discipline to not worry. You need to consciously focus on other things and realize  you are not going to change a situation by fretting over it. There is not one thing you can do by sitting and stewing over something that is out of your control. You only make the enemy happy as he has disabled you and made you an ineffective witness and he has gotten you sick at heart over things that you should be turning over to God.

Matthew 6:27 says "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" It is just not going to happen. You can make yourself mentally sick trying to reason, ponder and do the 'what if" game. It does no good so you need to attempt to practice the discipline of right thinking and trusting God to overcome this area. Believe me, if we are honest there is no one out there who is not somewhat of a worrywart. In the Bible in Mark 4:19 it says that "but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful." Picture that. A huge vine or weedy vine choking out other plants. That is what worry is like. Imagine worry is a cancer or a weed and is out to tear you apart. Try your best to resist the urge to let it control you.

Worry will cause you to be tormented. Just realize you can not change things. You have to turn your problems over to the Lord. Get your mind on something else. Realize your anxious spirit can not do one thing.

"Cast  your care on him for he cares for you."(See 1 Peter 5:7) To cast means to throw. So throw your worries on God. He wants to bear your burdens for you.

There will always will be something to make you concerned and give you justification for thinking your worry can change the course of things. That is impossible. God wants to set you free from this if only you will call on him and let him.

You are disabled for the Lord if you are drug into a worry pit. You can not have victory. Make up your mind now to trust God and give him your cares. Psalm 68:19 says "Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens."

PRAYER: Lord I thank you for being there and listening to us when we cry out to you. I know you love me and I need to trust you to work out things in my life without starting to get concerned over every little detail. Forgive me for not trusting you more and for trying to take matters into my own hands. In Jesus Name, Amen!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

IT"S NOT ABOUT HOW HARD YOU FALL ...

....It is about how you pick yourself up. I actually heard this on a  TV show two nights ago and thought it would make a good devotion title to build upon. We can fall down literally or figuratively but it is not just falling or failing that is the issue at hand but how we deal with it. Do you have a good attitude no matter what? If not why not? Do you enjoy staying down in the dumps and forlorn or do you want to 'rise again' and have victory and move on in life? It is your choice.

When you stumble and fall you need to get up, pick yourself up, shake it off and move on. Do not stay in a heap on the ground or you will go nowhere. Do not feel sorry for yourself but see failures as a way to build up courage for the future and learn from your mistakes.

Philippians 4:13 is one of my favorite verses and it says "I can do all things through him who gives me strength."  Another motivational verse for chugging on ahead is Isaiah 40:31 which says "Those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength. They will mount up with wings as eagles, They will run and not be weary they will walk on not faint." So get up and get going. Do not let a little stumble here or there throw you off course. Keep your eyes on Jesus.

PRAYER: Thanks Lord for helping me through things when I get tripped up in life. I know my hope is in you and when things cause me to get off course I know you are there to help me get things right again. In Jesus Name, Amen!

Monday, April 4, 2011

A SUN BEAM FOR GOD

How many of you reading this remember the children's song 'A Sun beam a sun beam. Jesus wants me for a Sun beam. A sun beam a sun beam I'll be a sun beam for him?' I may have 'dated' myself but still this cute little song has a real meaning when it comes to our life as a follower of Jesus. We are to let our light shine as it says in Matthew 5:16.

Across the Southern US yesterday there were pretty bad storms as well as tornado watches similar to what occurred during the 1974 Super Outbreak. Thankfully it did not turn out like in the past which I remember well from my days in college in Kentucky. In the midst of that yesterday a couple times the sun shone brightly and for a brief moment gave hope the bad stuff was behind us. These momentary sunbeams helped brighten our day for a few brief moments.

Jesus is our hope in the storms of life. Jesus is our light and shines his love into a dark world. John 1:5 says "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it." Jesus is the light of the world. In John 8:12 it says "When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

Light always dispels the darkness. When you enter a room at night and turn on the light if there are any cockroaches they hate the light so they run and hide. Sin is like that. It hides in the darkness. John 3:19 tells us "This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil."

Let Jesus be your sun beam to light your path and show you the way. Follow him to be wise and let your light shine for Him.

PRAYER: Thank you Lord for lighting my path daily and brightening up the dark places in my life. In Jesus Name. Amen.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUJRZY2seCw

Sunday, April 3, 2011

PLACED BY GOD

God has the best job placement plan ever. He knows where he wants his servants and has us strategically placed throughout the world to serve him. God has his servants all over the earth in different jobs to "plant seeds" for him and to be his ambassadors. Look at where you are in life as an opportunity to serve Jesus right where he has you. You are not just doing earthly work but ultimately working for the heavenly kingdom to come. This earth is only our temporary home.

God has his servants doing all sorts of jobs. Everything from ditch diggers, garbage men, stay home moms, secretary's, accountants, actors, school teachers, doctors, pilots, military members to members of Congress and Senate to name a few. When he places you where you are you are to be salt and light. Matthew 5:13-16 says "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.  “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."

Instead of complaining about where you are look at it as an opportunity to serve Jesus. Say "Father today help me show Jesus love to those around me in my little corner of the world." And we are never to act better than people just because we feel like where we are is better than others. It would be easy to get puffed up thinking where you live, what your job is, who you know and all the rest is more important than the next guy. God has a plan and a purpose for all his children and each one is important to him whether you are a company president or the barista at the local coffee house.

I have heard it said that some may be the only Christian in their office and say "Lord can't you put me in an office with other Christians to fellowship with?" First you pray you want to be a witness so he answers your prayer and there you are the only believer living for the Lord in your company then you whine because you are 'all alone' as a believer and want to have your 'holy huddle' to comfort you. Sometimes God wants us to leave our comfort zone to serve him. Today in church it was mentioned that to those who serve in prison ministry often times it is scary and uncomfortable to go behind locked bars but then you see the Lord has placed you there to show his love to those incarcerated and not to judge them. Once again you are his hands and feet in a lonely world.

Be sure to be a good witness for him where you are placed. Do not be lazy but be a hard worker, honest, eager to help, and full of joy. Colossians 3:23 says "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men." This includes the very important ministry of a stay home mom. I used to tell people I was "raising leaders for the future". Too many people devalue the stay home mom but she is many things rolled into one and should not be made to feel less for her choice to give her all to her children, which are in fact the future.

What do you do for the kingdom? Do you see your job as a ministry and outreach? A ministry is not just in church but it can be outside the walls as well. Psalm 100:2 says to "Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing." A minister is a servant. Be the type of servant that brings glory to the kingdom of God. Be grateful for where you are in life and look for opportunities to share the love of Jesus with those around you.

PRAYER: Thanks for just where you have me Lord. Forgive me if I have ever acted ungrateful for where you have placed me in life. I want to show your love to those in my circle of influence. I know you have a plan for me and help me to go out each day with a good attitude to share the love of Jesus with those I come in contact with. In Jesus Name. Amen.

CHAOS VS. ORDER

Being a former member of the US military  I am sort of used to discipline,orders and rules. But it is a good practice for anyone to be disciplined. Society has rules for us to follow that if and when we do, will keep us from going to jail. Things such as obeying traffic laws, not running red lights, not littering the highways, no robbing stores or homes. You get the idea. Rules are made for our good and if we follow them then we will be better off. Now this is not saying everything we do in society needs a rule since self government is the best but this is to say we need certain restraints just for things to run more smoothly. If cars just drove right through red lights it would be pretty chaotic don't you think? And if people just robbed a store anytime they felt like it that is not good either.

God has rules for us to follow too called The Ten Commandments. These are found in the Old Testament in Exodus Chapter 20. If we follow the rules set forth in these commandments life would sure be a lot better and the ability to know the truth and obey right and wrong would be restored.

Exodus 20:13-17 says " “You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.  You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,  but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name,“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.  Six days you shall labor and do all your work,  but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns.  For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.  “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. “You shall not murder. “You shall not commit adultery. “You shall not steal. “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.  “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

Pretty clear even if in Kings James English. No killing, no stealing, no lying, no desiring other peoples' stuff. No worshipping statues. No using God's name as a cuss word. Do not put other gods before him. Remember  Sunday is a special day to honor God. Honor and respect your mom and dad. Do not commit adultery or sleep around with someone you are not married to. Pretty straightforward stuff that will keep us out of trouble if only we would follow them. Today's world wants nothing to do with the Ten Commandments. I remember the big controversy over them in the state capitol of Alabama a few years ago when a law was passed to make Judge Roy Moore remove them. Today people say there is no right or wrong, everything is relative. That is not what God says. His word never changes. Follow it to be wise.

The Ten Commandments are moral standards on which we should base our life. Evil forces who want to change our world see them as a threat. Isaiah 5:20 warns us "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter." If a person does not follow God's word then 'anything goes'.

There is a right and wrong and it is found in God's word, the Bible. Read it to know the truth and the truth will set you free.(See John 8:32).Proverbs 2:20-22 says to us "Thus you will walk in the ways of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous.  For the upright will live in the land, and the blameless will remain in it;but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the unfaithful will be torn from it." In Proverbs 13:13 it says "The one who despises the word will be in debt to it, But the one who fears the commandment will be rewarded," Read it to be wise and it will guide your life.

PRAYER: Teach us Lord to number our days so we do not think there are not consequences to what we say and do. Each day is a gift from God. Help us not live with the attitude eat, drink and be merry. We know you are not saying do not have fun but help us Lord to learn to honor, respect and follow the Ten Commandments which are set forth to help guide our life and make our world a better place. In Jesus Name, Amen!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

NO DEAD ZONES WITH GOD

  Today in our face paced of these United States no matter whether you live in the big city, the suburbs or in the  country it seems like we can never be 'out of touch' with our friends and loved ones. Why is it we think we have to have a phone on our hip constantly? I mean back in the 60's, 70's and 80's and even into the 90's we did fine without everyone always being able to reach us at any moment. Medical doctors were the only ones who really needed to have a way to contact them and they wore pagers.  It can get down right annoying and rude to be on your cell phone in stores when you are checking out and supposed to be paying attention to the clerk. Or if you answer your phone in a movie theater or text it is very rude, annoying and disrespectful to those around you. I am concerned our younger generation is not going to know how to 'be still and know that he is God" as it says in Psalm 46:10. It is hard also to relax and take time for God and be at peace if we are constantly 'wired'.

When we do have our wonderful little cell phones to keep us constantly connected  lo and behold there are times when we enter a black hole or dead zone of sorts. Let's say you are up in the mountains, in a subway tunnel, way out in the country somewhere and various other places where there are just no signals for your device to operate. Then we panic because we can not get in touch with our friends and family. Well I have good news. There are no 'dead zones' with God. He is always there and will always listen to you when you call out to him. Jeremiah 33:3 which is affectionately called God's phone number in some Christian circles says "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know."

PRAYER: Thank you Lord that we have 24/7 access to you and you listen to us no matter what. Thank you that there are no dead zones with you. In Jesus Name. Amen.
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KODrd5KAsWk

Friday, April 1, 2011

NO FOOLING WITH SIN

For those who fly you know what it is like to look at the clouds, which appear so pretty and puffy to the naked eye but in actuality when the plane 'punches through' can shake your nerves a bit. You may rattle, rock, and roll a bit bouncing around in unstable air. So in reality the clouds look nice but are deceiving. Sometimes it is a bit unnerving.

Sin is a bit like that. It can look good then reach out and 'bite' you if you don't take heed. There is a saying that 'there is pleasure in sin for a season.' Self control is needed to run away from sin at times. The enemy is out there constantly trying to get you to fall into sin and enticing you. The world can lure us into sin too. Underwear ads on TV for instance may have to be turned off if they cause a male member of your home to lust. In Hebrews 12:1 it tells us to " Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." It is clear from this verse. Run away from it.

Many may not realize what they are doing is sinful. "We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" it says in Romans 3:23. We are supposed to confess our sins so we have an open line of communication with God. Psalm 66:18 says "If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened." We can not continually lead a lifestyle contrary to the scriptures knowingly and willfully sinning. The enemy may lie to you and help you justify what you are caught up in.

Some notable sins are lying, cheating, hating people, stealing, adultery, homosexuality, sex before marriage,divorce, drunkenness, gluttony, judging, lusting, coveting to name a few. There are no categories of sin saying that killing is worse in Gods' book than overeating or drunkenness. Sin is sin to God. Some churches like to 'shoot their wounded' so to speak when they need to open their arms with mercy and grace and show kindness and forgiveness. Don't get all self righteous and holier than thou thinking you are better than people since you have not committed some certain sin. 1 Corinthians 6:11 will get rid of that haughty spirit and it says "And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." 1 John 3:15 says"Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him."

So the Lord is pretty clear in his word, The Bible, what is right and what is wrong. God can forgive and God can heal the wounded heart. You have to come to him and admit you are a sinner. Ephesians 2:8 tells us "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God."

The Bible tells us you will reap what you sow. (See Galatians 6:7-9). Hang around the wrong kind of people and get the wrong kind of results. Evil company corrupts good morals the Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:33.

Today in our culture here in America some sins are called an 'alternate lifestyle." Even many Christians have bought into this. We are to 'tolerate' others. God's word is clear, There is a right standard and there is a wrong standard. Right and wrong used to be taught not only in the home but in schools. But if God is kicked out of our nations schools you can see the result in todays' society. Isaiah 5:20 says "Woe to those who call good evil and evil good." If you do not stay plugged into a Bible teaching church and spend time in the word you will not know what is right or wrong. There is no compromise of right and wrong in God's word or in God's kingdom.

Last night I spent night in Atlanta airport and noted all the shops are all locked up with gates they pull down and lock til the passengers return about 4 or 5 in the morning. I got to thinking that if sin had not entered the world with Adam and Eve then store owners could leave things unlocked and not worry about thieves. But man has a sinful nature. The Bible tells us to store up for ourselves treasure in heaven where thieves do not break in and steal. (See Matthew 6:20). Is your treasure stored up in heaven? Do you know God can forgive you of your sins if you only ask him? When the Son has set you free you can be free indeed.(See John 8:36).

James 5:16 says to "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." God can heal you and he wants you to be set free.

PRAYER: Dear Lord help me stay on the path in life that leads to eternal life. Forgive me when I have done something against your word to displease you. Help me treat me body like the temple of God it is. Help me run the race to win and keep the strongholds of temptations away and if they come help me to resist them. In Jesus Name. Amen.