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Sunday, May 27, 2018

Following Commands

Once I was using the ATM at my local bank. It’s set up like a lot of banks with a set of glass doors to the machine and then another set in to the bank. I always watch the people coming in while I’m making a withdrawal. I saw this man coming in the door at a pretty good clip. He comes in the first set of doors and turns right behind me and runs right in to the glass wall!



He falls to the ground hard, and his file and papers going flying. I turned and helped him to his feet. As I picked up his papers I asked if he was okay. He replied, “What happened?” I told him he ran in to a wall. He said, “That’s impossible, the man from the bank told me to come through the doors and turn right and I’d be at his desk.”  



Well, he was okay and went on through the second set of doors to his appointment. I thought now there is someone who takes instruction literally!



Even though it was kind of funny I can appreciate someone taking and following directions. Jesus said, “If you love me then obey my commands”. Makes you think. If God spoke literally to us and told us to go and do this or that, would we?



Wait a minute, I think He did.



Be wise and faithful – obey God's Word.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Joy in the Lord


Today joy is so often thought to be the very opposite of faith, but joy is something much deeper and much more lasting. Look at Isaiah 9:1-4: Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future, he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan— The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder. For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor.



Isaiah gives us three significant things about God in which we can rejoice.



1. Rejoice That God Lives

2. Rejoice That God Cares

3. Rejoice That God's Plan Is Invincible



To be sensitive to the Holy Spirit must mean that we will be more sensitive to people and their pain; to be more sensitive to people ought to make us more open to God and his purposes.



Know and live the Lord’s joy. Amen?

Friday, May 25, 2018

Way to Go

The world has asked since the beginning, What is truth? God has answered that question, but we sometimes have a "hearing problem". Consider Proverbs 12:15, The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.



The world tells you that, If it feels good do it

The Bible teaches Morality there is a right and wrong 

                   

The world gives you an evolving Definition of “Family”

God Created the Family A man then a woman and He said It was good!   

    

The world engages in Cover –ups (It’s only a lie if you get caught)

Jesus Christ uncovered our sin and died on a cross offering Forgiveness and Salvation to the world.

              

The world says Life leads to Death (You live then you die)

Jesus said Death leads to Life (Victory over death) 

  

The world will tell you that there are, Many ways, No truth, and life is short.

Jesus said, “I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life       

His Way is well defined. His Truth never changes, His Life is eternal!



Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart— they do no wrong but follow his ways. Psalm 119:1-3



Know and follow the Truth. Amen?

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Time to Stop

A number of years ago I was at a bookstore trying to find my next reading “treasure”. As I was looking at a book I heard an employee next to me talking to a woman who had “borrowed” one of the stores carts. She had loaded it with items. The employee told her she wasn't suppose to use it, and would take her books to the front where she could pay for them later. The woman strongly resisted saying, ‘You can’t have them. Somebody will steal them.”



That person left and shortly another employee came to relieve her of her cart but met the same resistance. It was getting a little weird, so I went to the other side of the store where the music is displayed. After laying down a cd I was looking at, a hand quickly reached in front of me grabbing the music disc, and putting it on her cart. Yes, the woman had followed me! I went down further and she reached in front of me again grabbing the item I was looking at. I quickly went down the row over to the next aisle, and within seconds she was standing at my side.



I asked, “Can I help you?” She replied, “I ran out of ideas of things to put on my cart so I will take things you are interested in.” I prayed quickly and looked her in the eye, “You need to stop this behavior.” She looked down and said, “I will, I promise, I am sorry.” She left her cart and walked away. I guess that was a hobby of hers to go around picking up all sorts of things, and then leaving without buying. The employees certainly were glad she was gone.



I thought about this later and came to the conclusion that this is like our relationship with God sometimes. We get busy doing all sorts of things that really don’t help others, but we don’t know how to stop. If we are in the Word and listen to the Holy Spirit we will be convicted to end this “sinful” behavior. It’s freeing when we’re told to stop! We can promise God that we will stop, say we are sorry, and then change our behavior. That’s cool. I think they call it repentance and forgiveness.



Do you need to “stop” certain behavior, thoughts, or words today?



Confess bad behavior (your sin) and ask forgiveness. Amen?

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

True Faith


Why is faith in the one true God so important to our daily walk? God makes great restoration promises to His people, but in Jeremiah 29:5-7.  5 “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. 6 Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. 7 Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”
He lets them know they will not be returning to their homeland. Many times we want things to be “just the way they were”. But God has other plans which are better for us. We need to have faith in that.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. - Hebrews 11:6
Are you seeking God?
Seek the truth with all your heart and you’ll find God.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

True Hope


Once the people understood that Jeremiah had been telling the truth they realized there was as much hope as doom and gloom in it. Jeremiah 29:10-14 gives us a foundation of hope for the future.

God’s Word – (We have the Bible to guide us)

This is what the LORD says:

Completion of exile (God forgives but there are always consequences from sin)

When seventy years are completed for Babylon,

God’s promise (Future hope = Present hope)

I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place.

God’s plan (God is in control)

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,

God has our future in mind (He wants good things for His children)

Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Our response to God’s goodness (We must react to His goodness and love)

Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

Cause and Effect (We must seek God with all we have)

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Godly outcome (He holds the future)

I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

Apply God’s promises to your life.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Turn with Hope

In the midst of our trials and struggles it is good to hear someone say, “It’s going to be okay.” The problem is that we think that “being okay” is the way it used to be. So many times when we come out of trials in life normal isn’t normal any more. Being all right doesn’t look like it used too.

This “false hope” is as old as time itself and can cause a lot of damage. This happened in Jerusalem after the Babylonians had taken over and removed people and valuables to Babylon. A false prophet named Hannaniah told the people left what they wanted to hear. “In less than two years everything will return to normal”.  Meanwhile God had the true prophet, Jeremiah wearing a wooden animal yoke to show the bondage.

Look what happens in Jeremiah 28:12-17, 12 After the prophet Hananiah had broken the yoke off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 13 “Go and tell Hananiah, ‘This is what the Lord says: You have broken a wooden yoke, but in its place you will get a yoke of iron. 14 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: I will put an iron yoke on the necks of all these nations to make them serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and they will serve him. I will even give him control over the wild animals.’” 15 Then the prophet Jeremiah said to Hananiah the prophet, “Listen, Hananiah! The Lord has not sent you, yet you have persuaded this nation to trust in lies. 16 Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘I am about to remove you from the face of the earth. This very year you are going to die, because you have preached rebellion against the Lord.’” 17 In the seventh month of that same year, Hananiah the prophet died.



What false prophets do we hear from today, and how can you recognize them?



Always live by the truth – even when it’s hard and not popular. Amen or Oh-me?