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, December 31, 2011

OUT WITH THE OLD. LET GO OF THE PAST!

The final day of 2011 is finally here. It is time to think about what things you want to do differently or set new goals for yourself. It is always a time to do things differently if you have messed up or just want to set a new goal in life. Perhaps it is a time of new exciting beginnings if you are getting married or have a newborn baby. Maybe a new job is on the horizon. Whatever the reason, it is nice that God allows us to have this fresh start once every 365 days. God does give us new beginnings, which is nice. He does not hold mistakes over our heads. He is a loving and forgiving God and a God of second chances.

What does the Bible have to say about looking back and forgetting the past? Philippians 3:13 says "Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead." Luke 9:62 says "Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God." Deuteronomy 4:29 says "But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul." Run your race to win and keep your eyes on Jesus. Do not look back. It is over and can not be changed. Think on new happy things ahead on the horizon.

We can look forward to new things in 2012 with great anticipation. For our family, it is a upcoming wedding date. For all of us I am sure there are milestones and things on the horizon for you that are exciting. What do you plan to do with the days ahead?  Live one day at a time, of course, as we are never promised tomorrow. But look forward to each day as a gift from God.

PRAYER: Lord I thank you for another day of life. I thank you for new starts in life. I thank you for a brand new year. I thank you for friends and family and the gift of Love. I ask you to make me a light in someones life who could use a little cheer in 2012. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Friday, December 30, 2011

GIVING CAUSE YOU WANT TO( NOT JUST FOR THE YEAR END TAX BREAK)

 
The end of the  year is fast approaching as are the final few  days to mail a year end donation to a  favorite charity, ministry  or religious organization. Usually at this time of year your mailbox is filled with last minute pleas to get that valuable year end tax deduction. Of course this is the wise thing to do to help out at tax time on April 15th but we should be giving out of the generosity of our hearts to something we have a passion for and not simply because we can write it off at the end of the year.
 
Where is your heart today? Do you have a love of giving and sharing what God has blessed you with? It is His money anyway you know and we simply are to be good stewards of it (think of that when you gamble or play the lottery). He gave you the talents and skills you need in life to be able to earn an income. All we have is His so why keep it all for yourself? You should want to give. There is talk circulating now in the US about the government wanting to 'redistribute' the wealth of those who are fortunate to those who are less fortunate. This is a sort of Robin Hood mentality or class warfare. That is the wrong thing to do as people deserve to keep the money they work hard for and they should be able to choose who to give that money to. Our country currently allows us that precious freedom. The government does not own our money although they would certainly like to. But it is up to you to decide where you want to give your donations to and no one is forcing you, which is good. That is the way it should be. No one is telling you that you even have to if you want to be stingy it is your right. Welcome to America.
 
As a believer you should 'want' to give and share with others though. Tithing is mentioned in the Bible but also it speaks of being a cheerful giver and not out of compulsion. 2 Corinthians 9:7 says "Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." Do you desire to give or do you hoard your wealth?
 
Luke 6:38 says "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Proverbs 19:17 says "He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done". Deuteronomy 15:10 says "Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to." Proverbs 3:27 says "Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it." Deuteronomy 8:18 says "But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today." Proverbs 11:24-25 says "There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more, and there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want. The generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters will himself be watered." So it is the principle of sowing and reaping in a way. You give and it is given back to you in your time of need. Proverbs 22:9 says "He who is generous will be blessed, for he gives some of his food to the poor."
 
This is a time of year more folks think of giving probably because of the year end campaign for donations by many groups. But before you give, pray and see what God would show you on how to give. Perhaps you have a worthy ministry such as Gideons for instance that could use your year end donation to help supply more Bibles in hospitals, military bases, or hotel rooms. Pray and ask God to make you a cheerful giver or as one version puts it , a 'hilarious' giver. Remember to take care of your local church first then to give above and beyond to Christian groups who may be ministering to you in a special way.
 
Malachi 3:10 says "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows."
 
PRAYER: Lord I realize what I have is really yours. I know there are many ministries who could use a donation this time of year to stay afloat. There are many missionary families who could use an added bonus for the end of the year.  You have blessed me beyond compare so help me to reach out and share what you have given me with those groups or people needing a helping hand at this time of year. Put on my heart a group that needs a donation. I know there are many worthy ministries so guide me to one or several who could use a helping hand. Help me though be faithful with my giving throughout the year and not wait til the end of the year when people are pleading for donations. In Jesus Name. Amen.
 
I have included links to several worthy ministries in case you need an idea who to give a donation to. There are many more than this but these are some that come to mind.
www.momsintouch.org
www.gideons.org
www.uso.org (not a Christian ministry but worthy service member organization)
www.samaritanspurse.org
www.ecfa.org is a group that monitors Christian ministries for the ethical use of their monies .
www.focusonthefamily.com
www.salvationarmy.org
www.nationaldayofprayer.org
www.cmf.com which ministers to those those in the Armed Forces
I am simply providing you a list of ideas. There are many, many more fine ministries which I am sure you know of as well. Be blessed to be a blessing .
Disclaimer: These are not necessarily the best but only ideas for those who need an idea.



 
 
 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

THE GRIEVING SPIRIT

Today I changed my original topic I had planned in order to honor one of my dear college friends and sorority sister Jill whose husband died unexpectedly Christmas Eve at the age of 58. This is a memorial to him, Billy, and hopefully will help others grieving a recent loss of a loved one or a continuing grief or wound that will not heal. Billy's earthly pain is gone and any suffering he had on Earth and in heaven he is promised 'no more tears, no more pain, and a heavenly body.' His children and wife hurt right now in a big way. Words will not really help them now, but the love,prayers and support of friends will ease their pain somewhat.

 Death is going to come for all of us. We can not escape it, but we never know when or what age. My younger son lost about 8 friends, 3 of which I knew, between the ages of 17 and his 26th birthday. The death of a child, baby, or young person is especially difficult. Death of anyone at any age is sad and leaves a gaping unexplained hole even though as people get up in years you expect it more. An aunt of mine also died on Christmas Eve this year and she was in her 90's and my husbands' mom died several years ago on Christmas Eve as well and she was well up in years. Still she is missed. My husband said she went home to celebrate Jesus birthday with him. Parents should never have to bury children, but it happens. By the way, God is not the one to blame although many grieving people sure get angry at Him.

In the big scheme of things nothing else is important in the world when death knocks on your door. You realize your priorities and they may change. Funerals even bring people together at times as strange as that sounds. God can use all things bad or good in life for His ultimate purposes.

Hebrews 9:27 says " it is appointed unto men once to die and after that the judgment." Ecclesiastes 3:2 tells us " there is a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot." 1 Corinthians 15:55 says "where oh death is your victory and where oh death is your sting?"

 I have known of cases where people go to doctor for something routine and something goes wrong. Do not blame the doctors. People always want someone to pin blame on a person to 'get back' at someone, be it God or a human. Sometimes things just happen and there is no explanation. Our time here on this earth is relatively short.James 4:14 says "For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away." Be sure to not let a day go by where you do not tell your spouse you love them  and stop the quarrels and learn to forgive. Try to forgive those who hurt you as you may not get another chance. Life is indeed short. Too short to stay mad and hopeless. No one is promised tomorrow. We all will die be it from cancer, accidents, old age, natural causes, illness, or however. It is unavoidable. Do not sit and worry about it but live life to the fullest and make sure you know Jesus as your savior so you can spend eternity with Him.

One of my favorite Bible verses concerning death does not come from the traditional Psalm 23 you hear read at funerals but it is found in Psalm 116:15 and it says "Precious in the site of the Lord is the death of his saints". Maybe someone deeply grieving is not ready to give up their loved one but God calls it precious. Give God your grief and pain. Jesus suffered the ultimate death on the cross but rose again. Those who die in Christ we will see again in God's heavenly kingdom. Death is not the end.

We will all go to a final resting place. If you know Jesus it is heaven. Isaiah 14:3 says "When the LORD has given you rest from your pain and turmoil and the hard service with which you were made to serve". It is time for rest from the work on earth. Do not dread it but embrace it as your reward for a life well served. Death is not fun for those left behind grieving so we need to stay close to God and believe in the promise of seeing our loved ones again in glory. John 3:16 says "For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have EVERLASTING life."

Pray for this family today as they lay Billy to rest. One day we will be reunited in heaven.

PRAYER: Do you know if the Lord called you home today you are ready to meet Him? I did not say " are you baptized or are you a church member" but have you asked Jesus to be Lord of your life? We do not know the day nor hour He will return to take us home. Do not be mad at Him. He uses all things for ultimate good. Do not use that verse in Romans 8:28 to comfort any one with a loss, at least not now. Lord help me reach out to those who grieve and just be their friend and pray for them. Give me a heart of compassion for those hurting. Give me the right words to say. In Jesus name. Amen.

Click on the link below to listen to a comforting song.
http://youtu.be/MN59zfhAjnI

 NOTE:May I heartily  recommend a  book by my friend Kathe Wunnenburg who has experienced the death of children. It is called 'Grieving the Loss of a Loved One'. Check Amazon to order it.

Also the book entitled 'A Twentieth Century Miracle' by Jerry Parrick which is now out of print is a true account about a man who died and came back to life only to serve the Lord. My grandma had me read it years ago.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

STAY JOYFUL ALL THROUGH THE YEAR

One of tendencies we have after the Christmas hoopla is behind us, is to start feeling let down and sad. All the merriment is over and presents unwrapped and in many cases family who had come from out of town for this special day are going back home if they are not already there. So back to normal we go. Back to reality as the saying goes. You must keep a positive attitude and keep focusing on good. Anytime there has been fun and family around sometimes it takes time to regroup. Just last week I had this experience after returning from visiting my son and his fiancee and it is back to normal after saying our goodbyes. You must make an effort to keep Jesus joy alive in your heart year round. Stay focused on positive things and keep looking up.

Joy does not have to be dependent upon circumstances. Joy does not have to be dependent upon another individual. Do not allow another person to rob your joy and get you to feel gloomy. Stay above that. Stay focused on God. Nehemiah 8:10 says " The joy of the Lord is your strength". In Psalm 32:11 it says "Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous, and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart." Do not let the devil try to drag you down into a pit of gloom, self pity and despair. The enemy is a master of getting you to feel down in the dumps. Resist the urge to do that and say out loud "The Joy of The Lord is My Strength".

PRAYER: Father in heaven I want the kind of joy only you can give. Nothing the world gives provides everlasting eternal joy. Only through you can we experience joy unspeakable and full of glory. Thank you for the joy only you can bring. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Click on link below to enjoy a modern rendition of Joy To the World sung by artist Chris Tomlin. Be blessed.
http://youtu.be/NLhb3qUA3uc

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

IMPACT YOUR CORNER OF THE WORLD

When you see injustice in the world or culture caving in to immorality do you just sit idly by thinking it is someone else's job to 'fix' things? You may say well "God has a plan" or "God is in control" which is true but we still have a job to speak out against evil. Or maybe you do not see any harm with the downhill slide we are on now due to being 're-educated' (brain washed) by the culture and you have become desensitized. This can happen when you do not feed your mind and heart with a steady diet of the truth which is God's word. If we as believers do not do things to impact our culture for Christ what good are we doing? We are told to be salt and light it says in Matthew 5:13-16. If we just sit there and see the government enacting laws against God's word but do nothing at all, that is wrong. We all need to speak up in love. We need to be in prayer for our leaders who are supposed to be our servants.

There is plenty wrong in the United States right now. Our Founding Fathers would probably not recognize the America they loved so dearly. But brothers and sisters in Christ, we have a responsibility to not let Satan take control of America. Sure we are told to obey our leaders but what about when they are going against God's word and tyrannizing the people they are to serve?  Let's say your man or woman in office is definitely not following God's word. You know it is not right, hopefully, if you have not be caught in Satan's deceptive trap too. But, you are of a 'particular party' so you are faithful to this party because that is way your family always voted. But you know in your heart immorality is occurring and the country is on a slippery slope. Shame on you for supporting things that go against God's word. Today people are trying to rewrite the Bible to justify certain sins. Perhaps they will get by with this behavior here on earth but God will have final say.
James 4:17 says "If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them." Do you know in your heart certain things are wrong but do not speak up? There is a saying that 'evil triumphs when good men do nothing' and how true that is. Do not always think it is someone else's job to call out sin. Sure we all have sinned and fallen short of God's glory it says in Romans 3:23 but if we sit idly by and watch our Christian nation be destroyed we will have no one to blame but ourselves.

Psalm 33:12 says "Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance." You have to stay in tune with God's word to know the truth. Colossians 2:8 says "
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ." Are you allowing the world and the news media to shape your thinking or are you studying and getting into the word so you can combat the lies and deception of the enemy? Satan does not like this great nation founded on Christian principles. He does not like a nation that is prosperous and can help other people in other countries who are in need. No, indeed the enemy wants this great land of ours to fail and crumble. This is why you have to stay alert to what is happening and speak up in love when necessary. Do not always think someone else will make the phone call or write the letter. One person even told me once it was not 'their gift' to do politics. Each of us has to do our part. This includes not just the government but if you see bad television shows, commercials, billboards, and on the list goes you need to speak up. Don't allow sin to run rampant.

Deuteronomy 7:6 also says "For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession." So if you are holy, act holy and think holy. If you know in your heart certain things are against God's word do not be fooled and support leaders who are doing things to take this nation away from God and morality.

 Perhaps in the new year, coming up in 6 days from now, you can purpose in your heart to start speaking up against the wrong things that tear our great land apart. Above all stay on your knees in prayer. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says "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."

PRAYER: Lord Jesus I pray for this great nation which you have continually blessed. I know you will not continue to bless us if we continue to ignore you and not pay heed to what it says in the Bible. Help those whose eyes are blinded be opened to the truth. Help those leaders who do not know you to come to know you as their saviour. Help us to speak up when we see wrong around us. Give us a gracious spirit when doing so. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Click on link below to enjoy Lee Greenwoods' 'God Bless The USA'.
http://youtu.be/sWC8liHX_G8

Monday, December 26, 2011

DO NOT WRAP JESUS BACK IN A BOX UNTIL NEXT DECEMBER

Christmas is over for 2011. Some breathe a sigh of relief after having gone overboard with it all and will just be glad to have everything put away and have life go back to normal. But when you put away your decorations to include for some, the nativity scene, that has been setting out on a coffee table, do not put Jesus away for the next 364 days. The little figurines may be put away but why not make it a point to have Jesus alive and walking with you all the days of the year?

Christmas can leave us with many emotions so why not attempt to make Christmas something to look forward to and the task of putting away things not a drudgery. For some expectations may not have been met as you were striving for the perfect 'Hallmark Christmas'. Families have traditions and this is a fun family time probably for most, but for some Christmas can mean taking a vacation somewhere or doing something different which is all fine and good. There is no 'cookie cutter' formula for Christmas.

For those newlyweds starting out it is fun to start new traditions. For families with adult children give them the opportunity to do their own thing and not force them into your mold. The important thing to remember in all the celebration is to keep Jesus out and with you all the time. Christmas ends but not life with the savior. Make Him part of your everyday life. Start the day with prayer and devotion time and make sure that decisions you make in life are made as if Christ were sitting there with you deciding. Make him a vital part of your everyday life not just on December 25th.

Isaiah 53:5-6 says about Jesus "But he was pierced for our transgressions,he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray,each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all." For all that Jesus does for us many of us ignore him til Christmas time. Why not let Him have first place in your life every day of the week?

PRAYER: Lord forgive me for times I have not given you the time of day. Forgive me when I know what to do and yet do otherwise. Forgive me for when I have means to help someone but ignore them. Forgive me Lord for spending more time reading the newspaper than I do reading your word. I want to live for you and let it be Christmas each day. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

IT'S CHRISTMAS!!! ENJOY YOUR DAY!

Happy Birthday Jesus! The day is here at last. All the shopping, wrapping gifts, decorating, cooking, and visiting is coming to an end as gifts are opened and goodbyes are said to those who came to visit. Just think of what this day means. It is not Santa Claus and reindeer or snowmen, although if you drove around most neighborhoods you would think so. It is not about watching your favorite Christmas movie even though that is fun. It is not about eating Christmas cookies or hanging up stockings. It is about a baby in a manger who came so that we might have life and have it more abundantly. In John 10:10 it says "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." God came as a baby in a manger and born to a virgin. He was and is pure and spotless. He was and is perfect. He was and is the saviour of the world .So today enjoy your day with family and friends but let us not forget the 'real reason for the season'. His name is Jesus!

PRAYER: Happy Birthday to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We praise your name Father. You are almighty, holy, perfect in every way. Help me each day to try to be more like you in what I say and do. In Jesus Name. Amen.


Click on link and enjoy the song 'Mary Did You Know'.
http://youtu.be/_U2G8wsbXBo
 
 
 
Happy Birthday Jesus! The day is here at last. All the shopping, wrapping gifts, decorating, cooking, and visiting is coming to an end as gifts are opened and goodbyes are said to those who came to visit. Just think of what this day means. It is not Santa Claus and reindeer or snowmen, although if you drove around most neighborhoods you would think so. It is not about watching your favorite Christmas movie even though that is fun. It is not about eating Christmas cookies or hanging up stockings. It is about a baby in a manger who came so that we might have life and have it more abundantly. In John 10:10 it says "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." God came as a baby in a manger and born to a virgin. He was and is pure and spotless. He was and is perfect. He was and is the saviour of the world .So today enjoy your day with family and friends but let us not forget the 'real reason for the season'. His name is Jesus!
 
PRAYER: Happy Birthday to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We praise your name Father. You are almighty, holy, perfect in every way. Help me each day to try to be more like you in what I say and do. In Jesus Name. Amen.
 
 
Click on link and enjoy the song 'Mary Did You Know'.
 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

FINALLY HERE

The big day is finally almost here. The birthday of Jesus!  Every year merchants seem to push this day earlier and earlier to get people to buy, buy , buy. Some of you reading this may still be out running up credit card bills. Stop for a moment and ask yourself what the true meaning is and if you really are going to need some of the things you just bought with money you did not really have. This is the season of giving true but more importantly it is the season to remember a baby in a manger and to try with God's help to have 'peace on earth and goodwill to men'.

Like the familiar song 'Away in a Manger' , do you feel you have this sort of joy and peace that was present the night Jesus was born? Jesus represents perfect peace. Is something bothering you today and you can not get it off your mind or stop worrying? Allowing worry will not achieve anything but ulcers and arguments. So it is time to rethink what is bothering you? What better time than at the Christmas season. It is good time to say 'Happy Birthday Jesus' but to also regroup and rethink issues that may be pressing on you.  Release your lack of peace to the God of all peace. Give your cares to God.

John 14:27 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". Isaiah 9:6 is familiar to most and read a good deal around the Christmas season and it says "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Let the baby in the manger take residence in your heart today and bring you that perfect peace.

PRAYER: Lord as I get ready to celebrate Silent Night Holy Night I want to have that silence and peace only you can give in my life.Help me trust you today and every day. In Jesus name. Amen.
 Click on link for a wonderful Christmas song
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijm1K9Pfkww&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Friday, December 23, 2011

WORDS THAT HEAL

As we approach Christmas and the time of year everyone seems to get nicer, why not stop and think about the things you say and how they affect the hearer. Do your words bring joy or sorrow? Do they bring love or hatred? Do they build up or tear down? Are they mean or kind? Are they truthful or a bunch of lies? Do they show respect or sarcasm? Do you say curse words and speak ugly about people? That mouth of ours is worthy of at least a devotion per week. As mentioned previously, it says in James chapter 3 that "no man can tame the tongue".

Would you rather be known as a complainer and gossip or a person who encourages and helps bring hope and joy? I believe most of us know the correct answer to that question. Here we are in the 'nice happy season' where people go overboard to show kindness so maybe practice taming the tongue during the Christmas season and have it carry over on into 2012.

Proverbs 13:3 says "He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin." Are you careful what you say? James 3:2 says "We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check." Everyone has messed up with their mouth at one time or another. We just need to try to get better with God's help. Psalm 141:3 says "Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips. " That is one powerful prayer we maybe should all repeat every day. Proverbs 16:24 speaking of healing words says "Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." Proverbs 10:14 says "Wise men store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin". Proverbs 18:21 says "The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit".

Are your words producing good fruit? If not why not start today to be careful what you say and how you say it. Ask God to deliver you from bad speech if you are having trouble in this area. Matthew 12:37 says "For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned." Proverbs 21:23 says "He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity." A good verse to end on is Ephesians 4:29 and perhaps it should be committed to memory and put into practice. It says "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".

PRAYER: This Christmas season and all throughout the year I want to say pleasant things. The saying "if you can not say anything good do not say anything at all" is so true. Father if I have hurt anyone with my words forgive me and I pray the people have forgiven me. I want to glorify you and bring healing with my words. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

CHRISTMAS CAN BE SAD FOR SOME

 
Christmas seems to be focused on merriment but for many this season brings great pain and sorrow. There are those who had a terrible childhood and no gifts due to being poor and this holiday opens fresh wounds . For many who have lost loved ones it can be painful. For the spouse who has been hurt and taken to divorce court thus breaking family unity it is painful. Somehow for those suffering there has to be a way to go beyond your pair and live again in the fullness of God's love and glory. The lord does not want you to stay down and in a pit. Many blame the Lord for their losses. God is not a destroyer. Things happen in life. We learn and grow through our pain and loss.God can heal so let Him comfort you and let Him back into your heart and life.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says " Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

God can heal your wounded heart. Let Him. Cry out to Him. He cares.

PRAYER: Loving father I pray today for those who are suffering and hurting at this time of year. Christmas can be happy and joyful, but for many it is a day of sadness. Help those with pain. Through this time Lord and draw them to you in a special way. In Jesus name. Amen.

Note: let the the song I have included bless you today. Turn up speakers and click link. 
http://youtu.be/cIvDCV4e318

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

SHINE YOUR LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS

Silent night, Holy Night, All is Calm, All is bright. It is that time of year where the 'true light' of Jesus is shining in the world like never before for all to see. Governments may try to say you can't do Christmas but it is not going away. This is the one time of year that many people seem to get 'religion'. As one military chaplain used to call them these one time attenders of church, ''Holly Christians'. Now I am not faulting those people who only come out once or twice a year to hear God's word for at least they came. But there is more to loving the Lord and following than seemingly doing your religious duty by attending church on this 'holiday'.

Our world is full of darkness and it is nice that this one day we can shine God's light for all to see. Why not shine Jesus light brightly into the world you are in every day of the year? You can be an example to those around you who may not really know the saviour and love him with their whole heart.

John 8:12 says " I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life."

PRAYER: Lord I want my life to be an example for those who may know know you that they may see you through me. Help me shine my light into the darkness around me. This Christmas help people who only go to church once a year and think about you on a year be touched by your Holy Spirit and come to know you in a personal way. In Jesus name. Amen.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

BETTER TO GIVE THAN RECEIVE

It is Christmas time!! This time of year is happy and joyful usually and the time of giving gifts. If you get a gift receive it graciously as a blessing from the giver and do not feel obligated or compelled to reciprocate. Receive the gift with graciousness and consider it a blessing. If you are blessed to get and give gifts be thankful as many families struggle financially and can not put presents under the tree or give them to friends.

Luke 6:38 is often thought of as referring to being for an offering to God but it can be used for people giving other gifts as well and it says "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Sort of a reaping and sowing thing. My motive for giving gifts is not to reap something but I do it because I love and appreciate my friends and it is my 'love language' so to speak. Acts 20:35 says ". . .it is more blessed to give than receive." Another verse on giving says "God loves a cheerful giver who gives from the heart" which is found in 2 Corinthians 9:7. It reads "Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." The person who likely gave you your Christmas present did not give it so they would get something back. Keep that in mind. You do not have to feel bad that you did not have something for them.

As a former colleague and friend of mine said one day during a group noontime lunch Bible study at Fort Knox, Kentucky when I commented on the beautiful red apple in his lunch box he says "Here take it". I said "I can not take it. I was just saying how nice it looked." He said "If you do not take this apple you are denying me a blessing."  I have never forgotten that. So in this season of remembering Jesus and giving just remember to accept the gifts graciously and perhaps drop the person a thank you note which is becoming a lost art,sad to say. But the Christmas season is about giving. You can also give in other ways besides actual presents under a tree. Just be thinking of the greatest gift of all. Jesus!

PRAYER: Lord I thank you for this season of giving. Help me to meet a need or bring cheer to someone who needs a small gift or a word of encouragement. Help me not hoard your blessings. In Jesus Name. Amen!

Monday, December 19, 2011

TOO NOISY FOR GOD

 
Do you constantly have to have the radio on or be on the computer doing social networking or some other busy activity? Sometimes we can have so much 'noise clutter' and 'activity' in our day we do not have the time to 'tune in' to God. By this I mean perhaps instead of talking on the phone on the way to work or wherever, or even listening to Christian radio, just try to be still and maybe have a chat with the Lord. Yes you heard me right. Talk to God. He wants to hear from you. This is an excellent time to also pray. Your mind can not be constantly on the go and expect to have a space left in there for God. You have to commit to getting still and alone with Him and what better place than in your vehicle driving. Of course be safe and pay attention to your driving but this is a great time for prayers and praise. Try it you might like it.
 
Psalm 46:10 says "He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;  I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” In Isaiah 30:15 it says "This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: "Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you would have none of it." Being still and quiet is a discipline. How can we hear from God if we always are on the go and have noise in our head? Psalm 116:7 says "Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you." In Isaiah 32:17 it says "The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever." Are you able to sit still and be quiet and have a quiet time with the Lord with no other distractions? Exodus 14:14 says "The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still."
 
It is approaching the time of year people routinely make New Years resolutions. Perhaps a good one would be learning to sit at Jesus feet and learning to be still to hear His voice.
 
PRAYER: Lord I thank you for being able to sit and talk with you and share my prayers. Forgive me for days I have gotten so crazy busy I have let you be squeezed out of my day. Help me prioritize my life to include my quiet time with you on a daily basis in 2012. In Jesus name. Amen.
 
Worship song attached: Yes I asked you to be still but when you do have time listen to this as it talks about being still.
http://youtu.be/FCT9V9nHcAk

Sunday, December 18, 2011

IS JESUS YOUR REASON FOR THIS SEASON?

 
Ho, ho, ho Merry Christmas! What is it all about anyway? Santa Claus or baby Jesus? Which is first place in your Christmas celebration? Look around you and most of this celebration seems to appear like a big end of year party. How many people realize the importance of this special day? Sure we give gifts because it is symbolic of the wise men bringing gifts to the baby Jesus but what about all the other stuff? The houses lined in lights, the inflatable snowmen, the candy canes lining drive ways, the Santa Clauses everywhere you look. Do people really get it? 

One of my favorite family Christmas ornaments is one of Santa Claus kneeling at the manger with his red velvet cap off paying honor to the newborn king of Kings baby Jesus. It to me symbolizes this wonderful day in the most special of ways.  Tis the season to be jolly and tis the season to be with family if you live close enough but it is also the season to not forget why we have this special day in the first place. It is not just about ham and pumpkin pie.

Do you have the real joy of this season in your heart are you too stressed out from shopping, baking, and decorating to really even care? 

1 Thessalonians 5:16 says to "rejoice always!" Can you do this? Is your heart set apart for Jesus and full of his joy the other days of the year. 1 Peter 1:8 says "whom not having seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory."

Let Jesus be your true joy every single day of the year and not just one day when you frantically open gifts and say "oh yeah, it is Jesus birthday too." Jesus truly is the reason for this season! Let Him be Lord of your life today and every day. 

PRAYER: I am excited about Christmas because it is a happy time but it is a time to really remember the reason for living in the first place. Thanks Lord for all you have done and for giving us hope each and every day to live. In Jesus name. Amen. 

Click on the link for a new twist on a familiar Christmas carol, Joy to the World, sung by Chris Tomlin. Be blessed.
http://youtu.be/tC3SwhJsLqU

Saturday, December 17, 2011

GOING BEYOND JUST CHURCH

Do you realize you are supposed to go out and seek the 'lost' in the world? But how can you do this if you only sit in your 'Holy Huddle' or just go to church one day a week? Needs are all around us.  Hurting people who need a touch from Jesus are everywhere. Some may even be within Christian circles. In the Great Commission of Matthew 28:16-20, we are told to go into 'all' the world. This means the grocery store, the gas station, the coffee shop,the movie theater,the home improvement store, the gym, the walking trail, the dog park and all the other places your life may take you. You do not have to go to Africa to be 'his hands and feet' as there are needs right here in our own back yard. We are to be like Him and look for needs to be met and try to meet them if we can.

As a believer we are called salt, light, an ambassador, his hands and feet and are to leave 'godly footprints' , so to speak, in  the places we go each and every day. Too many people may feel they have done their duty on Sunday, when in fact Sunday should be a training session for the week ahead of you. Sure we want to get a message ourselves and leave feeling good, but what good is it if you hoard the message and do not go out and try to bless those who God puts in your path? You never know what people may be going through and how a kind word can help them. Just this past week at the dentist I found out the hygienists' dad had died right after Thanksgiving. Their Christmas will be hard. Right there is an opportunity to pray and share God's love.

What good is your 'religion' if you are not spreading seeds of God's love where you go? James 1:26 says "
If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.

Further in James 4:17 it says "Anyone then who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it,sins."  Ouch that stings!  Further in the book of James chapter 5 verse 20 it says "remember this, whoever turns a sinner from the error of his ways will save him from death and cover a multitude of sins." This does not mean we are perfect and have no problems ourselves.  It can be amazing therapy getting your mind off yourself and helping others.

Daniel 12:3 says "those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever."

Be willing to let God use you to do His work I the world around you.

PRAYER: Lord I want to be your witness out in the world around me. Show me who needs a kind word or help in some other way. Direct my steps to do your will. In Jesus name. Amen!

Note: enjoy and lift up Jesus higher as you listen to the worship song below by clicking on the link. Be blessed.
http://youtu.be/DUJRZY2seCw

Friday, December 16, 2011

WANT A FRIEND? BE FRIENDLY!

 Who does not like to have a friend? During this Christmas season it is always special as friends meet and eat and exchange gifts. But you do not have to get or give a gift to be a friend. The best gift is one of time,not something material you have to buy. The best gift is being appreciated for who you are and loved, warts and all. A friend is there when the world runs out on you. Friends defend you and speak up for you. Friends will be honest even if it hurts, but they do not want to, or like to hurt you. Friends share and laugh.
As a Christian you have  a different special bond as a friend and that is the Lord. Friends are brought together by many 'God thing' ways. I can look back over the year and think of the neat ways God brought me together with many of my friends. Some day I would like to put it in a book called 'God Things'. If you want to be a friend, the saying goes, you have to show yourself friendly.

 At Thanksgiving we often think of things we are thankful for and right up there on my list are my trusted, loyal, loving friends. I do not take one of them for granted. For anyone who has ever been hurt by a friend or even told "I do not want to be your friend anymore" in a round about way, it hurts. So for the friends you have in your life make sure they know that they are special. Do something special for them. You do not have to spend lots of money to prove your friendship. Just a phone call or  a card in the mail. Even a hug.

Remember that Jesus is your ultimate best friend. If earthly friends hurt you Jesus never does. He is there through thick and thin. John 15:15 says "I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you."

When I lived in Arizona about twelve years ago my living room was called my 'friends room'. I would look around and see things hanging on the walls or sitting on tables or shelves that were gifts from friends. No interior decorator could come in and tell me these had to go because these were my 'ties' with my friends .These moved with me to the two places I have lived since leaving Arizona. One of my favorites was a little statue of two friends hugging given to me by dear friends in Iowa. It is by my fireplace and when I look at it I think of them. But all the gifts are reminders of very special dear people in my life.

Proverbs 18:24 says "A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother." Are you that kind of friend to someone?

 At Christmas we remember friends far and near. Being a military member then a military wife and traveling all over the place God truly blessed us with our friends who were like family. Christmas is a terrific time to stay in touch with them and catch up on what has been going on. Some you may not hear from but this one time a year but it is still as if you had just left their side in many cases. Take the time to thank the Lord today for the true friends He has blessed you with.

PRAYER:  Thanks Lord for the gift of friendship. It is the one of the most priceless gifts I can think of this Christmas season. In Jesus name. Amen.

Click on link below for the song "Friends" by Michael W Smith.
http://youtu.be/Ped1jYLFtkA

Thursday, December 15, 2011

ICANTW8

Puzzled  by what this title means? This was a personalized car tag I recently saw that gave me an idea for a devotion. In case you can not make it out it says "I CAN NOT WAIT". How many of us can say that is true in our lives? We just can not be patient enough  to wait for whatever it is? We are hasty and rush into things and often blurt out things we are sorry for later. Patience is a virtue we should all try to have in our lives. It would sure make life easier for us and the people around us.  We get nervous waiting on news to come in or hearing the results of tests and can not seem to relax.God wants us to try and He can help. God wants us to have peace. Kind of hard to be peaceful when we are fretting over something or impatient.

What does the Bible have to say about patience and waiting? In Isaiah 40:31 it says "but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." In 1 Corinthians 13 in referring to love it says in verse 4 that "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud." Good things are worth waiting for. A farmer can not rush the growth process of his crops or animals. Parents awaiting the arrival of a newborn baby can not speed up that process. Things take time and we have to get busy with other activities so we are not constantly concerned over 'the wait'.

Patience is also one of the fruits of the spirit in Galatians 5:22 when it says "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness". This is a 'fruit' God needs for us to develop in our lives so we do not cause trouble by our lack of patience. A person who is impatient may rush into things and cause accidents or turmoil. For instance a person who can not be patient on the highway may cause a motor vehicle wreck. A person who can not wait in line at a recent Black Friday sale may end up hurting people and getting arrested. Impatience really is not good for much of anything.

Ecclesiastes 5:2 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." We also have to be patient until the coming of the Lord for no more knows the day nor hour. Psalm 37:7-9 says "Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes. Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper—it only leads to harm. For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land." Proverbs 15:18 tells us "A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel." Patience equals peace and tranquility.

So get your mind off things that are making you be impatient whatever it is. The discipline of focusing on something else is very important. Things happen when they happen and nothing we can do is going to change that.

PRAYER:Lord I need to learn to wait and not be rushing into things I do or say. Help me Lord to wait on you and to be patient. Tests and trials may come along the way but I know Lord you will see me through things if I only trust in you. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

FOOLS MOCK SIN

Bad movies won't hurt me, alcohol won't hurt me, porn won't hurt me, gossip won't hurt me,sleeping around won't hurt me. Are you sure about this? Where did you get your information? You can not continue to dabble in certain things and not suffer consequences. Things go in your mind that can never be erased. Only deliverance from a mighty God will cure you. You can not call yourself a Christian and lead a double life.

The world puts many stumbling blocks in a believers path. Just because you say you are a Christian does not mean you are not going to be tempted to do what displeases God. We continually need to be asking God to give us strength to turn away from sin.

 There are Christians caught up in pornography and I have heard a couple give testimonies about their struggle with this. There are believers caught up in the sin of homosexuality some of which want free, but others who have believed a lie of the enemy that they were born that way. Exodus International is the ministry helping these who are in this struggle. There are Christians who lie and cheat and can not seem to stop. There are believers who gamble their families money away in the lottery or in casino's thinking it is just a recreational activity when it is poor use of God's money as there is no way to get rich quick.There are many who think nothing is wrong with speeding when there are traffic laws they are to obey.  There are believers who go to strip bars with the boys thinking it is harmless. Others cheat on their spouse thinking they will never be found out. The list could go on.

This is making a mockery of sin and it is foolish. Are you a fool? Proverbs 4:19 says "But the way of the wicked is like total darkness. They have no idea what they are stumbling over." If you are a believer who clearly knows the word of God then you know the truth and you know the lies of Satan. Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy it says in John 10:10. Do not allow this to happen. Say "Get thee behind me Satan!" (See Luke 4:8).

Child of God are you straying from the Lord? Are you walking a path with Satan and enjoying the pleasures he deceives you with and tells you won't hurt you? Remember the serpent how he lied to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden? He continues to lie to believers today and to get them off course. We who know the word of God should not be a fool and get sucked into Satan's schemes to tear us down. 

Hosea 7:13 says "What sorrow awaits those who have deserted me! Let them die, for they have rebelled against me. I wanted to redeem them, but they have told lies about me."  Are you rebelling against God? Do you know what is right but continue to do what is wrong?  Psalm 14:1 says "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that does good." Don't be a fool! Psalm 10:4 says "In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God." Is there room for God in your heart?

Your minds can be deceived if you do not stay connected to Jesus and the truth by reading His word, the Bible daily.  2 Corinthians 11:3 says "But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ." Satan is a great deceiver who will convince you your sin is perfectly okay. But you know better. In John 8:44 it says "You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies." Do you choose God or do you choose the kingdom of darkness and Satan? You can not have it both ways.

Do not be a fool. Turn back to God. If you are caught up in something you know is wrong God can help you and set you free. Do not give up on yourself or on God. Psalm 53:1 says "Only the fool says there is no God." God is alive and he can and will help you through your struggles. You can resist the enemy and he has to flee. Run to God today and stop your foolishness before it is too late.

PRAYER: Lord I want to be like you and be set free from struggles in my life. Help me to recognize sin and run from it. Help me to resist Satan and his tricks to take me down the wrong path of life and consequently to destroy me. I am a child of God and I want to live for you so give me your strength. I pray for those in my family or friends who may be deceived and not realize it. Set them free as well and help them recognize the error of their ways and the way Satan has lied to them. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

SAYING YES TO GOD AND NO TO UNGODLINESS

Do you love the things in the world? It is okay to do fun things but we have to ask ourselves if the fun things we are doing would bring glory to God or shame to Him? Ask yourself, will it help me be closer to God or further away from Him? Would what you are doing hurt your witness if someone saw you? These are just a few thoughts to ponder. Each person has to be convicted by the Holy Spirit. No one is judging anyone or trying to say they are better. To do so would to be self -righteous. None of us are perfect. We have all sinned and fallen short of God's glory it says in Romans 3:23.

Titus 2:11-12 says "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age." There are things that will definitely hurt you as a believer and are against His word. These are the things we should avoid if we expect to have a closer walk with Him.

You can not lead a double agent or 'secret service' for Christ life. Do not be one way on Sunday and then do as you please the other 6 days. What good did the word you heard on Sunday do if you go out into the world and forget it all?

1 John 3:10 says " This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother." Think on that verse for a while.

If someone were to see you would they know you belonged to Christ?

Philippians 3:14 says "I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Are you pressing on for that goal? Do you want to be more like Jesus?

PRAYER: Lord help me to turn away from things that will take me away from you. I want to reach higher for the goal of being more conformed to your image. Give me the ability to walk away from things I know are wrong and I know will hurt me. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Click on link and worship the Lord!
http://youtu.be/-rkFsIKRgMU

Monday, December 12, 2011

DO GOOD TO ENEMIES...SATAN HATES THAT!!

Have there been people in your life that just seem to rub you the wrong way? We are to be nice to all people according to what the Bible says. I always say to try to 'love people with the love of Jesus'. Jesus would not be hating and saying ugly things about people and we are His children so we should not be acting like that either.

When someone is mean to you or has hurt you try to 'turn the other cheek' and blow it off. To get angry and upset and continue til you reach your boiling point will only make matters worse. Romans 12:21 says "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Proverbs 25:21 says "If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink." This is a way to overcome evil with good. There are some people who are so hard hearted they may never be won over and for those few you need to just turn them over to the Lord and let Him work on their hearts. Matthew 5:44 says "But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you". Perhaps a co worker has done something behind your back or someone else has been mean and hurtful to you. You can not dwell on the hurt and let things fester. You have to move on in life or you can almost become a 'nut case' over it. Release the hurt to God and ask Him to help you 'get on with life'.

Let's take the scenario that is a bit more drastic. What if you are in court and someone is suing you? Would you hate them? That is the natural instinct but I feel God wants us to literally take that verse to heart and attempt with His help to love your enemies. Love those who are taking you to court. Pray for them. Pray for their hearts to be softened. This could be a divorce situation as well where a faithful spouse has been hurt. Perhaps you want to hate the person. Rightfully so on human level but God wants you to do it His way and to pray for them. This is hard to do and can not be done in human strength.

So what is your battle? Who do you need to pray for and forgive? Release the person to God. Let Him do a work in their heart. Your job is to just practice being nice and showing God's love.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus sometimes it is hard to be nice to those who are not nice to me. I know Lord we are to show your love to all people. Transform my heart to be able to do this as in my own power I can not. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

BE A LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS

We live in a world of evil and darkness where what is good is being called bad and what is bad is being called good. Isaiah 5:20 says "What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter." Satan does not like truth and righteousness and he does not like us trying to share God's love with others. He uses men to try to destroy the kingdom of God. These men have been blinded to the truth. Our real enemy is not the man but Satan who is bringing a spirit of deception on evil rulers.

We are in spiritual warfare and need a revival. Satan is trying to eradicate all forms of being a Christian from one of the few remaining Christian nations standing, the United States of America. We are under attack in many  ways to include, I am sad to say,  from within our own government which is supposed to be a democracy and for 'we the people'. I saw a church sign recently that said "Do not despair over evil in the world, God has the final say". That is so true! We can continue to pray and trust Him and do our part to live a Godly life speaking up for injustice when it occurs, but doing it 'in love' and not with hatred. Satan gets men who are not actively in the word of God to believe his lies. He is tricky. That is why it is so important to know the truth in God's word and apply it to your life. You use the word of God to fight off the devil and his lies. The word of God shows us how to be that light in this dark world.

In order to be that light here are a list of GO'S to do:

Go be a missionary where God has placed you.
Go help someone out of a 'pit'.
Go be an encourager.
Go show love even to the unlovable.
Go bring a smile to the downcast.
Go be a giver if you have the resources to do so.
Go share Jesus love with those around you.
Go pray.
Go read your Bible.
Go show grace and mercy, not condemnation.
Go lend a  helping hand.
Go put the other person first.
Go be a servant.
Go trust God.
Go get your mind off yourself and your problems.
Go out of your comfort zone.
Go forgive.
Go let God's light shine through you in your little corner of the world or wherever life takes you.

Isaiah 61:1 says "The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners". Further in Luke 4:18 it says ""The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed."

As for evil rulers trying to take away God given freedoms and dominate us, it says in 2 Corinthians 3:17  "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."  Men may try to take away our freedoms by making man made laws, but we know our real freedom is in Jesus! We know who our liberty is from.

PRAYER: Lord I know my real enemy is Satan. He does not want me to show God's love with the people in my path. Help me to get up daily and pick up the Bible and let its' words change my heart and life. Father we lift up to you this nation Father and ask that men turn back to you according to 2 Chronicles 7:14. Lord Jesus we thank you for being 'one nation under God'. Help me recognize lies when they are in my path and speak up for the truth. I want to be your light Lord where you have placed me. Forgive me for any sin in my life. In Jesus Name. Amen.


Note: Once again click on link I have included to enjoy a worship song.
http://youtu.be/P7a2yOoaIz0

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A HEART TO GIVE

Would you eat lunch at McDonalds but go across the street and pay at Kentucky Fried Chicken? No of course not. But that is what many folks do when it comes to giving. You like what a certain ministry does for instance but never bother supporting them. You are being 'fed' but you are not feeding them so to speak. Maybe during this Christmas season is a good time to take stock of that.

This time of year it seems everyone is in a giving mode. Charities abound to collect toys, canned goods, meals, and just plain ordinary cash to help those less fortunate. The Angel Tree ministry supports children of those incarcerated in prison so their children can try to have a nice Christmas. But you see the point is to give with a heart that wants to give. Many ministries take money in honor of or in memory of someone as well which is an awesome way to 'sow a seed' and remember a loved one in the process. I think of Mercy Flight or Angel Flight which some dear friends of mine had to use when their son was being flown for chemo treatments in Houston. Then there is Make A Wish Foundation as well. There are many worthy causes to give to. USO takes care of the soldiers and once someone actually gave me a card and an ornament at Christmas and said a donation had been made in my honor to the USO since I was a veteran and military family member. This made me cry. Donate Bibles in someones' name to Gideons. These are just some ideas.

There are those who may give only to get tax write off but the Bible says God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7 says "Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." This verse  says to not give under compulsion or perhaps meaning not out of a guilty spirit. When you do give you are not supposed to go announce it to everyone and prove how wonderful you are.  Matthew 6:2 says "so when you give to the needy do not announce it with trumpets".

Deuteronomy 15:10 says "Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to." Proverbs 11:25 says "A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed". You help others and you will be helped someday when you have a need. The law of reaping what you sow.

 Luke 6:38 says "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."  We should not just give a tithe to church because we have to but because  we want to!! Churches are often criticized for always asking for money. Perhaps they would not if people were cheerful givers and did what scriptures told them to do.

 Proverbs 3:9-10 says "Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine." Also in Proverbs 11:24 it says "One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty."So you hang on to your stuff and what blessing is that?

So where is your heart this Christmas season? Are you ready to be a giver all year round?

PRAYER: Lord I want to share and bless others because you have blessed me. Help me to not hang on to my wallet so tight that I am not able to share. Give me a heart to give. In Jesus name. Amen!

Friday, December 9, 2011

HOLDING ON TO PEACE

We are in the time of year where many people lose their peace. Ironically this 'peace on Earth good will to men' doesn't seem to go too far in our modern world, especially during Christmas. Odd, we are supposed to be joyful celebrating our Lord's birth but little by little we let the worldly definition of the 'holiday' start to pressure us and define us. Try as we might we get caught up in the busyness resulting in frazzled nerves and depleted bank accounts? I am pretty sure Jesus would like us happy and calm on His special day. Guess what! It is possible to achieve this.

First, do not think you have to do everything because it is the 'thing to do' or others are doing it. Romans 12:2 tells us to "not be confirmed to this world, but be  transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." Next,when spending money ask yourself "can I afford it and do I really need it"? Simple is sometimes way better. If you find yourself out of work, underemployed, or on a tight budget it is especially critical to be good stewards of the money God has blessed you with. This is the time of year we think of others so maybe find a worthy charity or that familiar 'red kettle' and put your money there if you really do not need anything.

Don't forget to put Jesus first by having your daily quiet time. You can get so busy celebrating his birthday you totally ignore your time alone with Him. You can run all over the place, go to all the Christmas programs trying to create special memories, but have some balance in your activity list. Do not feel compelled to buy a gift if someone got you one and you feel bad. That is not the point. People give gifts not to get patted on the back but to bless you. A return gift is not an obligation. Accept any gift you get graciously as the giver wanted to bless you. Don't knock yourself out making cookies and candy unless you really have time. Most folks do not need to eat the extra calories anyway. New Years resolutions abound in weight loss commitments many of which fall by way side, no pun intended.

So there briefly are just a few ways to try to stay peaceful the remainder of December. John 14:27 says "Peace I leave you my peace I give to you, not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid."

I am not telling you not to enjoy Christmas. It is Jesus birthday, not Santa's by the way, and we are supposed to celebrate! But all things in moderation so you can be able to worship the Lord and maintain peace.

PRAYER: I am thankful for Jesus and this time of year to celebrate but Lord help me to not compare myself to others or feel obligated to rush into many things, many which are manmade traditions, that will only cause stress. Give me wisdom on my activities for this special time of year. In Jesus name. Amen

Note: please click on link and enjoy a wonderful worship song. Thank goodness for talented gifted musicians.
http://youtu.be/A1oHJR2g7Tw

Thursday, December 8, 2011

IS CHURCH THE CENTER OF YOUR LIFE OR IS CHRIST?

What is more important to you, going to church or loving the Lord? Sad to say, to many, neither matters much. They live life and give Christ little, if any, thoughts throughout their day or their week. Many people talk about their church but hardly ever talk about the Lord. It is like they are embarrassed. Mark  8:38 says "whoever is ashamed of me in this adulterous and sinful generation, of Him the son of man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his father and his holy angels". Why is it so easy to cheer at a sporting event but not get excited at all about worshipping the Lord? There are those who claim the name of Jesus but deny his power. Titus 1:16 says "They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good."

Church becomes like a social club of sorts or Holy Huddle club. That is one reason so many people who love the Lord and choose to not go, as they reason there are too many hypocrites there. Go figure. For many we go there and feel comfortable and punch the 'Sunday go to meeting ticket' so to speak but then when the clock strikes 12, just like in Cinderella, all things go back to normal. This is really not what loving Jesus and being a Christian is all about. We need to be living for the Lord throughout the week where life's journey takes us. As I sit here writing this at a local car dealer while I get my oil changed, I recognize I may be the only Bible some folks here in the waiting room ever 'read' or in other words we are to be good examples for Christ. A good place to start would be to smile.

Do you think someday,for those making it to heaven, that it will be a place where no one raises their arms and voices in praise to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords? Believers will be excited to bow to the Almighty Saviour and be in awe in his presence. You could start practicing doing it here on earth maybe?

Do you suppose in heaven  there will be a Baptist section, a Presbyterian section, a Methodist section, a Catholic section, an Episcopalian section, a Jewish section, and so forth? The answer is no. We will be in unity with our Lord and Saviour worshipping Him.  Acts 2:46 says "Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts". Further Ephesians 4:5 says "There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism." How all the different denominations started I can not explain. I just know that we are to be one in the name of Jesus Christ. Philippians 2:10 says "that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth." There is only one name and that name is JESUS. We are not to be ashamed to say the name or proclaim His name. Are you?

Why not start getting excited now about loving Jesus more that loving your church or your denomination? We need a place to worship but we need to realize Jesus is the reason for our worship. Psalm 95:6 says "Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker". It does not say to do that when you die and go to heaven. It means NOW! Revelation 5:13 says "Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!" Love Jesus more!

PRAYER: I love you Lord and I lift my hands in praise to you King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Help me to represent you well out in the world and never hide the light of Jesus. Help me not put church before loving and worshipping you in spirit and in truth. In Jesus name. Amen.

Click on following link and worship the Lord:
http://youtu.be/Aq8P5i9U7-g

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

GOD IS BIGGER THAN YOUR PROBLEM

Storms of life will come and problems will arise but God is way bigger than any situation you find yourself in. Maybe at the time when you are going through something you feel in despair but God uses all these things to grow you up in Him. God is your best friend. When your earthly friends have run out on you or betrayed you God is still God and He has gone no where. He loves, He listens, He cares. God forgives when man can not. God redeems and restores. God wraps you in His loving arms and says "Child I am here. Come to me." Matthew 11:28 says "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."  Jeremiah 31:25 says "I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint." Psalm 145:14 says "The LORD upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down".

Isaiah 43:2 says "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze." You will have to control what comes into your mind. The enemy Satan is there to try to take you out and get you down in the dumps and hopeless. There is always hope with God. But you have to purpose to not think bad thought and dwell on problems of life. You have to think on what God has in store for you and the Hope that is in Him.  Deuteronomy 31:6 says "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."

Satan will put negative thoughts in your mind and get you to feel like giving up. God does not want you to give up. He is mighty to save and can get you out of the pit you are in. He has a plan for your life and will lift you up and out of your pit. Some bad things happen due to wrong choices but others you have no control over. regardless God cares for you and He will lift you up and make you victorious in Him.

In Genesis 28:15 it says " I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you." Keep your mind on Jesus. He does not want you to try to get out of your pit alone. He is there to help you and be your friend when all your other friends have run out on you. Jeremiah 29:11 says "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Psalm 147:3 reminds us "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." Do not let the enemy lie to you and make you feel there is no hope for you.

When the storms of life are pressing in on you look to Jesus. Do not look to drugs or alcohol or run away and feel like this is it.  There is always a way out and up with God. Satan will be the one trying to get you to feel hopeless but God is the author of hope. Run to Him. He is mighty to save.

John 14:27 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." Believe God and not the enemy. You are worthy and God is good and He has a plan for you.


PRAYER: Lord I know you care for me no matter what is going on in my life. I know Lord that your hand is on me and you are watching over me.Father help me as I struggle to get out of my pit to hang on to you. I reject the lies of the enemy. I am covered by the blood of Jesus. Thank you Lord for your promises to never leave me nor forsake me. I will put my hope in you and from this day forth reject the lies of the enemy who is out to take me down. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Note: I always like to include an appropriate worship and praise song to help lift your spirits. I hope you take the time to grab a cup of coffee and sit and worship God.Click on link.I have included two today.

http://youtu.be/sR8rlTIU8_Y  (Mighty to Save)


http://youtu.be/LF4dLOTQNqk (My Glorious)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

LETTING GO OF YOUR RIGHT TO GET BACK

Has someone hurt you and you feel you have every right in the world to get back at them or be angry? Number one, getting back and getting even is never a characteristic of  a Christlike person. No matter how ugly the other person was to you or what they did you have to choose to love, choose to forgive and choose to move on and let it go. To continually dwell on a wrong  done to you will only cause division and it only brings glory to one individual only and that is Satan! Is that what you want? Or do you want to give up your 'right' for hurting someone cause they hurt you?

Matthew 5:44 says " Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." This is a hard thing to do on the human level but it is what God tells us we have to do. Proverbs 19:11 says "a man's wisdom gives him patience. It is to his glory to overlook an offense." When someone does us wrong our human nature just really wants to snub them and let them have it. To continually fuel the fire,so to speak, will not bring an end to the conflict. It is the 'bigger person' who is able to walk away and let it go. The agitator will maybe be bothered that you are not lowering yourself to their level and continuing to get upset. But it does not show the love God wants us to show. It does not matter who is wrong and who is right.

When people get mad at each other if they could only stop and realize who their real enemy is maybe things would be patched up much sooner. John 10:10 says " the thief (Satan) comes to kill, steal and destroy. I came that they might have life and have it more abundantly." Luke 6:28 says to "bless those who curse you and pray for those who mistreat you."  Satan is the great divider. He divides friendships, marriages and even co workers.  If you name the name of Christ you need to be getting the power to overcome junk like this from God. Even if the person you are in conflict with claims to know the Lord but is not acting like it, it is not your place to be the 'Holy Spirit' and try to correct them. That job, in fact, is for the Holy Spirit to bring conviction and it may take time. You need to keep on keeping on being kind and be patient. Above all keep praying(See Luke 18:1).

1 Thessalonians 5:15 says "make sure nobody pays back wrong for wrong but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else." Romans 12:20 says "if your enemy is hungry, feed him, if he is thirsty, give him a drink. In doing this you will heap burning coals on his head."

So no matter what conflict, you have to choose to love, forget, and forgive no matter how hard it is and you need to learn to be silent to squelch anymore little arguments rising up. Just remember what it says in Proverbs 15:1 and that is "a gentle answer turns away wrath but harsh word stirs up anger."

PRAYER: Lord your desire is for spouses and friends to live in peace with one another and also for us to be lights out in the world for your kingdom. Should any conflicts arise Lord help me to be calm and gentle and look to you for my source of strength. In Jesus name. Amen.

Monday, December 5, 2011

THE BIBLE ON THE TABLE

Do you have a Bible? Most of us do but where is your Bible? Is it hidden under a stack of books or magazines? Is it on the table next to your bed but with dust all over it? For a Bible to be effective to its' owners it has to be picked up regularly, such as in every day, and read and studied. Too many people, to include Christians rush off into their busy day not ever giving much thought to taking the time to use this valuable tool to fight off the enemy. They go out into their world and are not equipped to handle the struggles that may face them that day. There is little or no desire on the part of many who name the name of Jesus to study God's word. I am not talking about just listening to the preacher,priest or rabbi on Sunday but about as an individual desiring the Bible.

If you fall into this category what is preventing you from wanting to read God's word? Do you feel it is too hard or too complicated? Think again. It is for everyone of an educational level. Satan does not want you to read it so he will think of lies to put in your head to keep you from picking it up for within it's pages is great power to overcome life's problems.

In 2 Timothy 2:15 it 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." In my devotions I mention reading the Bible a great deal because it is of the utmost importance to ward off attacks of Satan. You can talk out loud and say "Get thee behind me Satan." Some may find that a bit strange if you have never done it but try it!(See Luke 4:8).

Psalm 119:24 says "Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors." The word has the power to uplift, heal and transform and is the best counseling tool ever! Psalm 119:16 says "I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word." Do you delight and take pleasure in God's word? If you find the Bible boring maybe it is time to ask yourself if you sincerely ever have asked Jesus to come and live inside of you and occupy your heart. Matthew 5:6 says "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled."

When a baby is born it is hungry and most the times needs it's mothers milk. The word of God should be like that for you when you ask Jesus into your life. You should crave it.1 Peter 2:2 says "Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation." It makes no sense that if you loved the Lord you would not want to know more about Him. When you love your girlfriend or boyfriend you want to know as much about them as possible. Likewise when you say you love Jesus how do you get to know Him except to spend time in prayer and opening up the Bible.
1 Corinthians 3:2 says "I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready." Do you want to continually be fed like a little baby? Think about that. What if you never grew up and had to eat baby food the rest of your life? You would never grow and mature like you were supposed to.
Hebrews 4:12 reminds us  "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." It has power to transform you so let it.



In 2 Corinthians 5:17 it says "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" Have you asked Jesus to be Lord of your life? I did not say, "Have you joined a church" but have you said "Jesus come into my heart and transform me and I want to live for you and serve you. I want to know that when I die I will be in heaven with you."  I did not say "Have you been baptized"  but have you asked Jesus to come into your heart? When you ask the Lord into your heart you will desire to get into the word. But the enemy will try all in his power to come take away your new found joy and during your life will try to get you off track and back in his court.

Right now why not ask the Jesus to be Lord of your life then this Christmas season you can truly say "Happy Birthday Jesus". I am your new child.

PRAYER: Lord I want to know you better. Forgive me when I have neglected reading your word and have given other things such as the newspaper or a magazine a higher priority. Help me to organize my day so I make sure there is plenty of time in it to read my Bible. In Jesus Name. Amen.
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Note: Begin today by reading the book of John in the New testament. Start with Chapter 1 and try to read a chapter a day.
I just love sharing good praise music. Click on link and worship the Lord.
http://youtu.be/6MahLRJFkC8

Sunday, December 4, 2011

MAINTENANCE

As I was running on a favorite trail recently on nearby Redstone Arsenal I noted some pieces of outdoor exercise 'stations' were in need of some repair and it made me think of how important maintenance is to all parts of life. If you do not maintain your car by regular checkups and watching for warning lights to come on then your car may break down. If you do not exercise, eat right, and go for regular doctor visits then you are in danger of having a body that is useless ,tired, sick and sluggish.  In your home if you do not fix broken things, dust, do laundry and clean your house you may qualify for an episode of 'Hoarders'.

Similarly our spiritual life needs regular maintenance to keep it functioning and in tune. Many well meaning people who call themselves Christians forget this important aspect of saying they believe in Jesus. You can not expect to be a doctor if you just lay on top of your medical school books but you need diligent study to get you through a grueling course of study to earn and proudly wear the title of Medical Doctor.

 In your walk as a believer do you say you love Jesus but then hardly even crack open your Bible to get to know him? Be honest. You have to make this a spiritual discipline or spiritual maintenance of sorts. Just entering the door of church on Saturday or Sunday for one hour is not enough likewise is it enough to just drive around in your car and listen to your favorite Christian radio station. Although that is good for feeding your spirit it will not get you to know the Lord better. The Bible says in 2 Timothy 2:15   "study to show thyself approved..".   Likewise we as believers are His ambassadors to non believers and  how can you be a good ambassador without study? If I were to work at the Tennessee or Alabama Welcome Center on nearby I-65 and a passing tourist asked me a question about the state and I did not know the answer, that would show I did not care to study and be a good ambassador for the state and I would represent them poorly. (See 2 Corinthians 5:20).

Does your spiritual life need a tune up? Maybe it is time to make it a priority to put God on your daily schedule just like you would put brushing your teeth or working out. Do not neglect Him. The way you get strong in the Lord and combat the attacks of the enemy is to regularly study and mediate on God's word. Is it time to get your spiritual life into the heavenly body shop?

 PRAYER: Lord I am tired of being a wimpy uniformed ho hum believer. I know the enemy will attempt to get me distracted and wants me to not read the a Bible, but help me stop making excuses and start regularly spending quality time with  you. Satan will try to put obstacles in my path. Help me recognize those and charge on to get to know you better. In Jesus name. Amen

Click on link for a wonderful worship song
http://youtu.be/IdJBYyNsQd0

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A MOUTH LIKE CHRIST

The Bible speaks tons on the dangers of what we say. That little 'hole in our face' can sure get us into a lot of trouble. Blah,blah, blah. If we are not careful we can really be misunderstood or hurt someone. Words can make us or break us.This is  one of the areas in the Bible that is written about over and over again. How many of us have said something then right after it popped out of your mouth you wish you could take it back? Or what you say is misunderstood? With the invention of email and texting it is easy to just jibber jabber away and not really think what we are saying. Basically it is important to really try to think before you speak.

James 3:1-12 is about the dangers of the tongue. I will copy it here for you to read. "Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.  We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.  When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.  Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.  Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water."

As in previous devotions with this topic it is important to remember that words can hurt or they can heal. They can build up or they can tear down. They can encourage or discourage. They can be kind and loving or like daggers shooting at an enemy camp. What kind of words flow out of your mouth on a daily basis? Also we need to deal with the issue of cursing or taking the Lords name in vain. Deep down in your heart you know it is not right to cuss. I always say if Jesus were in the room would you talk the way you do? Well guess what? He is in the room because he is with you always. Matthew 28:20 says "and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Gossip is another danger of the tongue. Even prayer chains can turn into gossip if you are not careful. We need to learn to not repeat things and to keep a confidence shared with us.

Husbands and wives should speak to each other the same as if they were still courting each other. If they did then there were be alot less divorces in the world. The tongue needs to show love, kindness, respect and favor to the spouse. Make sure if you do slip and are hurtful or rude you say you are sorry. Make it a habit to pray together as a couple even if engaged or boyfriend and girlfriend. It sets the stage for putting Christ in the center and keeping things focused on 'things above'. Matthew 18:20 says "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." It is a good habit to develop. If Christ is part of your life He should be part of all your life. If you are truly living for Him and getting into His word on a daily basis, the less and less the tongue may be a problem. At least you will be convicted when you say something you know was not right and can ask for forgiveness.

One of my favorite verses is Proverbs 10:19 which says "Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut." One version says to 'turn off the flow'. Think of that word picture!

Why not start today to use your mouth for prayer, praise, compliments, encouragement, and just speaking something nice to someone. Maybe even use it to say you are sorry to someone you have hurt. You will feel better and so will the recipient.

PRAYER: Lord I know it is so easy to just talk without thinking at times. I want to do better. I want to be known for being kind and loving to friends and family and not meddling, hurtful, gossipy, complaining and rude. Help me to be loving and kind with the words I say to everyone I come into contact with. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Note: Enjoy a worship song I have included on link below.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JK_6osCH74

Friday, December 2, 2011

BORN A SINNER

 We are all born with a sin nature. Ever since Adam and Eve were deceived by the serpent in the Garden of Eden man has struggled with sin. The world we live in lately has ridiculed many  who speak out against sin. But sin is sin is sin. There are not degrees of sin. Adultery and divorce are just as wrong as murder according to God. Lying is a sin.(See Revelation 21:8). Today seemingly political figures get by with lying as it nothing is wrong with it. But God says it is wrong. Adultery is wrong and even looking on a woman lustfully is wrong the same as actually committing adultery. (See Matthew 5:28). Homosexuality is condemned in scripture(See Leviticus 18:22) but psychology has tried to attribute this to a 'gay gene' which never has been proven. Sex outside of marriage is wrong.(See Hebrews 13:4). It is intended for the special bond only a man and woman should share after they say "I do". The good news is if you have messed up, and we all have, that God can forgive and he does forget. Just like the woman caught in the act of adultery he says "go and sin no more".(See John 8:11). Psalm 103:12 says "as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us."

People can leave the sin of homosexual lifestyle just like they can decide to not look at pornography or lie anymore. You still will maybe struggle but with God's help you can be victorious.1 Corinthians  6:11  says "And such were some of you". Also remember like it says in John 8:7 "let he who is without sin cast the first stone" because we all have sin and your sin, no matter what it is, is not less than someone else's. Certain sins have greater consequences like emotional toll, pregnancy, jail time, sexually  transmitted diseases but they are no worse in God's eyes.  "All have sinned and fallen short of God's glory" it says in Romans 3:23. Luke 18:11 is an account of the self righteous Pharisee and it says "the Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself and said, "God I thank you that I am not like other men-robbers, evil doers, adulterers-or even like this tax collector." Wow he was pretty 'holier than thou' huh?

The world excuses sin. We have become desensitized and even some churches will not say things are wrong for fear of 'stepping on toes' so to speak. For instance, it is definitely wrong to kill an unborn baby in the womb but in the name of a 'women's right to choose' or 'life of the mother', millions of babies have died since 1973. Even the woman who originally started this movement which went to Supreme Court and was declared a 'right', has since asked forgiveness and is one of the many trying to get the law overturned. Her name is Norma McCorvey, aka Jane Roe, and in 1995 she became pro life.  Why do people think it is okay to murder a defenseless baby yet jail people for harming a pet? We indeed are in a messed up world where Satan is trying to gain control. And to think today our own President feels it is okay to kill babies in the womb because of choice. This is a baby with a heartbeat who deserves to live!

In 1 Peter  5:8 it says "The enemy Satan prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may destroy." Satanic forces have been successful in removing the Ten Commandments and abolishing prayer in schools and have tried to eradicate Christian influence in many other places. The way people know what is right and wrong is clearly in scripture and if the Bible is not read or made illegal then how will people know? Satan would win. Christians have to keep being 'salt and light' in a world of darkness.

Trouble  is that too many of us have listened to the world and started believing the worlds lies being sucked into the modern humanistic culture. We have become desensitized. What is evil is being called good and good evil. (See Isaiah 5:20). Romans 12:1-2 says to "not be conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your  mind. "But wait this is the 21st century! How on earth could we be expected to go by the old fashioned rules in the Bible?"  First of all Gods' commandments are made to protect us just like a parents rules are made to protect their children from harm. If we go outside the boundaries God has set then pain and agony and mental torment result.

 Yes we are all born with a sin nature but the good news is God is here to redeem us and set us free if only we ask Him.

PRAYER: Lord I want to live for you and serve you. I want to stay on the path you have for me and resist the attempts of the enemy to get me to cave in to my sin nature. I want to be Christlike in what I say and do. Give me a Christian worldview and help me resist the enemy so he has to flee. Protect those in my family who may be believing the enemies lies and help them see the truth. In Jesus name. Amen.

Note: Do you need to be set free today? Listen to the following praise and worship song and be blessed. Click on link.
http://youtu.be/38EVco7eba0
Included below is a link to Norma McCorveys pro life web site.
 http://www.leaderu.com/norma/