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Friday, May 31, 2013

All Roads?

What a great question - Do all Roads Lead to Heaven?

Here are some observations after studying the top religions in the world:
  1. Every religion claims to be the only way to God.
  2. Every religion has a different road.
  3. Almost all the roads seem to lead to different places.
Christianity is the only religion that says that God did the work, not us. It is not about what we do to get save - it is about accepting what has been done for all to go to heaven.
 
It is a free gift from God. Here’s what Jesus says: To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – John 1:12
 
The gift is available to everyone, it’s free, because it’s been paid for. But God won’t force it on you, you have to receive it.
 
Be wise today and always - Believe and Receive

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Christianity

This week the message from God Questions was, Do all roads lead to heaven? This is what was reported about Christianity.

#1 = Christianity 30% of the world's population

 Followers = 2 billion
Founder = Jesus Christ Who made a claim that no other major religious figure has ever made before or since: He claimed to be God in the flesh. (And did some amazingly convincing things to substantiate that claim.)

Jesus taught that God was One essence, expressing itself in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. So that God was one, but three, which Christians called “The Tri-Unity,” or “The Trinity.” God is in community with Himself and loved that community so much that He expanded the community to include angels and humans who could experience community with him and with each other. So their View of God = Monotheism and Means to God = Atonement/Substitution
 
For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. - 1 Peter 3:18

   View of Afterlife = Heaven A place in the presence of God Himself, where we will have meaningful responsibilities, full knowledge of ourselves and God, and unspeakable joy. The Bible says that when those who have trusted in Christ get to heaven: He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning  or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. – Revelation 21:4

Be wise today and always - know and accept the truth and love of God.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Don't Look Back

From time to time we are guilty of looking back in time and getting nostalgic for the "good old days". The older we get the more we do it. In our minds it may have been a happier, more simple, or fulfilling time. I'm pretty sure that even though we need to look in the rear-view mirror of life from time to time we cannot operate in the present or future looking backwards. Look at what the Bible has to say about looking back.

Genesis 19:17 - As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!”

Genesis 19:26 - But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

Jeremiah 46:5 - What do I see? They are terrified, they are retreating, their warriors are defeated. They flee in haste without looking back, and there is terror on every side,” declares the LORD.

Luke 9:62 - Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

Acts 1:11 - Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

Be wise today and always - keep your focus ahead to what Christ wants you to do today.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Prophecy Fulfilled

Today we will take a look at the last point of answering the God Question - Is the Bible True? by  examining - How prophecy compares with the Bible:

There are 332 prophesies in the Old testament that were all  fulfilled in Jesus’ first coming. These prophesies were written 400 to 1400 years before the birth of Christ. The probability that even 8 of these would be fulfilled in one person is 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000.
here is a great illustration of these odds. Imagine you covered the whole state of Texas 2 foot deep with silver dollars. You then paint one silver dollar and put it in any of the stacks anywhere in the state. The odds that just 8 of Jesus' prophesies are true are the same as putting a blindfolded man in the center of Texas and him picking the painted silver dollar on his first try!
The probability that 48 of these would be fulfilled is 1 in 10x157.  - There are 10x66 atoms in the universe. The fact 332 prophesies were true is proof enough, but the only way for anyone to come to an honest conclusion about whether or not the Bible is really true is to read it.

You know what you’ll find when you read the Bible?

It reads you.
 
Be wise today and always - always trust in the Word of God.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Back to School

Have you ever taken a look at - How science and history compare to the Bible?

“Through the wealth of data uncovered by historical and archaeological research, we are able to measure the Bible’s historical accuracy. In every case where its claim can be thus tested, the Bible proves to be accurate and reliable.”  - Jack Cottrell, The Authority of the Bible
The following can all be found originally in the book of Genesis.

What the Bible says:               What people thought:             What we now know:

Earth is a sphere.                   Earth is a flat disk.                 Earth is a sphere.

Number of stars =                 Number of stars =                   Number of stars =
             more than a billion.                1,100.                                     more than a billion.

Every star is different.            All stars are the same.              Every star is different.

Light is in motion.                  Light is fixed in place.                 Light is in motion.

Air has weight.                           Air is weightless.                     Air has weight.

    Winds blow in cyclones.              Winds blow straight.                 Winds blow in cyclones.
                                                                                    
           Blood is a source of               Sick people must be                Blood is a source of
           life and healing.                      bled.                                        life and healing.

Be wise today and always - know the truths of the Bible.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Translation


 Today we'll continue in the God Questions series answering the question, Is the Bible true? Consider: How the Bible has been copied and translated:

The Bible was written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. 99% of the OT is in Hebrew. The second half of the book of Daniel is in Aramaic, because Daniel was living in Babylon, and that was the trade language used there. The NT is all in Koine Greek.

The Talmudim (Hebrew for, “students,”) shepherded the transmission of the Torah [Old Testament] from A.D. 100 – 500.

Synagogue scrolls had to be written on specially prepared skins of clean animals and fastened with strings taken from clean animals. Each skin had to contain a certain number of columns. Each column had to have between 48 and 60 lines and be 30 letters wide. The spacing between consonants, sections and books was precise, measured by hairs or threads. The ink had to be black and prepared with a specific recipe. The transcriber could not deviate from the original in any manner. No words could be written from memory. The person making the copy had to wash his whole body before beginning and had to be in full Jewish dress. The scribe had to reverently wipe his pen each time he wrote the word “God” (“Elohim”), and wash his whole body before writing God’s covenant name “Yahweh.”  The Talmudim were meticulous.

The Massoretes

The Massoretes, who oversaw the Torah from A.D. 500-900, adopted an even more elaborate means of insuring transcriptional accuracy. They numbered the verses, words and letters of each book and calculated the midpoint of each one. When a scroll was complete, independent sources counted the number of words and syllables forward, then backward, then from the middle of the text each direction, to make sure that the exact number had been preserved. Proof reading and revision had to be done within 30 days of a completed manuscript. Up to two mistakes on a page could be corrected. Three mistakes on a page condemned the whole manuscript.

These scribes treated the text so reverently that older manuscripts were destroyed to keep them from being misread. Prior to 1947, the oldest extant Hebrew manuscript was from the 9th century. The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls enabled us to check the accuracy of our current manuscripts against ones from 100 B.C.  When we compare the 100 B.C. Qumran scrolls to our 9th century manuscripts (a 1000 year gap), we find that an amazing 95% of the texts are identical, with only minor variations and a few discrepancies.

If the Talmudim were meticulous, The Massoretes were MORE meticulous.

The New Testament has 24,000 manuscripts to compare, and The English Bible is translated directly from the original languages.
 
Be wise today and always - know what God's Word says.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Effects You

Today let us consider the Bible's uniqueness and - Its Effect on People.

 1. They never get through with it. - I've always said you can never get to the bottom of God's Word - It's too deep. We can keep learning and growing from it.
2. It alters their view of the world. - Once you have been exposed to the truth you will never look at things the same. You now have God's eyes and heart for humanity.

3. It changes their relating patterns. - It changes relationships because you relationship has been renewed with God.
4. It changes their values and ethics. - There is a right, wrong, and ultimate truth found in God's Word regardless if we accept it or not.

5. It changes their vocabulary. It's all about God and not about you! Words of kindness, caring, and love replaces evil, selfish, and hate.
6. It changes their view of eternity. You are promised eternity with God through belief in Jesus Christ. How awesome is that?

Be wise today and always - let the Bible change you forever.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Uniqueness

There are five things to consider on how the Bible could be flawless. We'll look at a different one over the next few days as we continue our study of God Questions, Is the Bible True?

The second thing to consider is: How the Bible is unique:

In Its Composition - It was written over 1600 years, by 40+ authors, with different backgrounds, n 3 different languages, from 3 continents, yet with unmistakable continuity and agreement from cover to cover.
In Its Circulation - It’s the single most published book in the history of the world. (in the billions)
In Its Translation - It’s the single most translated book in the world.

In Its Durability - It has survived bans, burnings, ridicule, and criticism.

Be wise today and always - marvel at God's Word.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Flawless


There are five things to consider on how the Bible could be flawless. We'll look at a different one over the next few days as we continue our study of God Questions, Is the Bible True?

The first thing to consider is - Where the Bible came from. Take a moment and open your Bible to the Table of Contents. Consider how it is put together: 66 Books – 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament. Written over a long period of time with many different authors. Moses wrote the first five. From Genesis to Esther is history. From Job to Song of Songs is poetry. Isaiah to Malachi is full of prophecy. Then there was a 400 year span where God was silent called the Intertestamental Period. Matthew through Acts is history. Romans to Jude are letters, and Revelation is prophecy. You may be thinking:
So What?
Ephesians 2:20 says that the Christian church is “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets….” Every book of the Bible was written by a prophet (God’s spokesperson), an apostle (one who had been an eyewitness of the risen Christ), or someone with a direct link to one. A good creditable witness to the story of God and us.
Be wise today and always - remember where you came from! 
 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Is the Bible True?

At my church we have been studying the sermon series,The God Questions. This week we looked at the question, Is the Bible True?

Let's start by taking a look at Proverbs 30:5-6 Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar. The Bible claims to be flawless.
Flawless is defined as  “Without imperfection, blemish, or defect.”. This means God's Word in it's original form is flawless not necessarily the version you have.
 Can it be possible?
Over the next few days we will examine consider how the Bible can be flawless.
Be wise today and always - allow the truth to set you free. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Believing the Truth

Two key questions that everyone must come to grips with are: Is God Real? and Is the Bible true? The reality of God lies in the existance and  nature of all matter, and everyone's sense of right and wrong (or morals).

If you believe there is a God Creator then He must have made you, and cares about you. This is called relationship and God wants to have one with all of us. He tells us how in the Bible. 

There is so much evidence about the credibility of God's Word, but the best way is prove it is to read it yourself. It will change you and answer your disbelief. God's story is one of redemption and love for all mankind, but it come down to a decision. We must believe and have faith in God, His Word, and in Jesus who makes it all possible.

Be wise today and always - believe in God and His Word.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Good and Bad

We all have wondered about why God's people seem to suffer when evil people prosper. I am sure the prophet Jeremiah wondered this as well. Many people were taken away as slaves while others seemed to have escaped.

 One day God gave him a vision we can all relate to.  Look in Jeremiah 24 - Then the Lord asked me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?” “Figs,” I answered. “The good ones are very good, but the bad ones are so bad they cannot be eaten.” Then the word of the Lord came to me: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Like these good figs, I regard as good the exiles from Judah, whom I sent away from this place to the land of the Babylonians. My eyes will watch over them for their good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up and not tear them down; I will plant them and not uproot them. I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.“‘But like the bad figs, which are so bad they cannot be eaten,’ says the Lord, ‘so will I deal with Zedekiah king of Judah, his officials and the survivors from Jerusalem, whether they remain in this land or live in Egypt. I will make them abhorrent and an offense to all the kingdoms of the earth, a reproach and a byword, a curse and an object of ridicule, wherever I banish them. 10 I will send the sword, famine and plague against them until they are destroyed from the land I gave to them and their ancestors.’”

The captives would survive, and continue in relationship with God. The evil ones would die horrible deaths and be cut off from God eternally. Good is still good and useful. Bad is not useful for anything accept to be destroyed.

Be wise today and always - choose doing good it always pays off.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Choices

People know when we do wrong or bad things. It's inherent and part of how God created humanity. I can prove this by my 18 month old Granddaughter! She has not had time learned a set of rules or do and don'ts but when something goes wrong she is the first to say Uh-oh!

God created us with morals and the ability to choose. It's up to us to choose to do good things and not bad. It proves God's existence. We find morals in all cultures and it proves that God is real. He created and loves us. His desire is to make our relationship the very best.

Why? Because He loves us. Have you made the choice to love Him?

Be wise today and always - choose the best - choose God.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Answered Prayers

Have you ever felt like the Lord has ignored your life and hardships? King David felt that way.

 How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
    How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
    and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
    How long will my enemy triumph over me?

Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
    Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,
    and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
But I trust in your unfailing love;
    my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise,
    for he has been good to me. - Psalm 13
 
Be wise today and always - trust and lean on God.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Pity Party

I had a friend tell the story about what a rotten day she had recently. Her husband walked in during her "lamenting" but wanted no part of it. She said, "I invited him to participate in my pity party, but he declined!"

Funny how bad we think things are sometimes, but from another's viewpoint maybe it's really not as bad as we make it out to be. Look at what David wrote in Psalm 46:1-7:

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. 4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The Lord Almighty is with us, the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Be wise today and always - turn to God in your trials don't throw a pity party.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

On Our Side

One of the best things to remember when times are tough is from the Bible, "But the Lord is with me". King David must of felt the same thing when he wrote Psalm 124

 

If the Lord had not been on our side—
    let Israel say
if the Lord had not been on our side
    when people attacked us,
they would have swallowed us alive
    when their anger flared against us;
the flood would have engulfed us,
    the torrent would have swept over us,
the raging waters
    would have swept us away.
 
The Lord is on your side. Remember that today and everyday - when you feel: attacked, overwhelmed, angered, afraid, out of control, or lonely.
 
Be wise today and always - the Lord is on your side.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Turn Back

Recently a friend asked if I thought that God had removed His hand of protection from our country because of our sins. I responded that God has blessed America, but has America blessed God? We show our love through our obedience to His Word which we fall way short. When I see "In God we trust" I ask myself. do we? Change needs to happen - we need revival.

Let us be reminded of what the Lord said to Solomon in 2 Chronicles 7:14, 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 I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Be wise today and always - turn back to God and pray for your country.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Invitation

There is a great way to introduce people to Christ. Use the invitation, Come and See! It has worked for thousands of years. Jesus used it in calling His disciples - come follow me and see all the wonders and plans of God. He used it when John the Baptist disciples asked Jesus if He was the Christ - Tell what you have seen.

The Samaritan woman at the well used it to tell the people of her town about the encounter she had with Christ. Come and see all the things He told me about myself. Many were saved because of this simple invitation.

It will work for you as well. Allow your friends and family to see what Jesus has done for you. They will be changed forever - Praise the Lord!

Be wise today and always - invite someone to come and see Christ.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Losing the Game

Anyone who has played sports knows that it is preparation and execution is what wins games. The team that prepares the best and uses that preparation on the field will know they have given their best. The Bible says we are to be prepared to share our faith at any time. So why does it seem like we're losing?

I believe it's because we don't prepare or even get in the game of life. We're to busy to allow God to change our heart or outlook on eternity. We find a hundred reasons why we don't want to share what faith we have.

One thing I appreciate about God's plan for humanity is that it is straight forward, and not complicated. “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him. - John 3:16-18 The Message

Be wise today and always - get in the game.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

God Real?

Our first question in our God Questions study: Is God Real? We find part of the answer to that in Psalm 19:1.

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.

Everyone wonders about God from time to time. It’s the nature of faith.

What is faith?...It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see.  Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)

Pointers to God’s existence:

1. The existence of “stuff.”

…the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Psalm 19:1

2. The nature of “stuff.”

From the time the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky and all that God made. They can clearly see his invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature. Romans 1:20 (NLT)

3. My sense of right and wrong.

Even when Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, instinctively follow what the law says, they show that in their hearts they know right from wrong. They demonstrate that God’s law is written within them, for their own consciences either accuse them or tell them they are doing what it right. Romans 2:14-15 (NLT)

How do I relate to God?

Be wise today and always - communicate with the only real God.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Using Your HEART

“I didn’t think I could do it. But I found out I could. It’s not as hard as you think You just have to have a willing heart.” – Anonymous

When you think of sharing your life mission in the world does it conjure up images of far away places and remote people groups?  Most of us the mission field begins right here where we live.  Church is an outreach ministry to all who live in the community next door.

Using the acrostic HEART (from Saddleback Church) to explain what we think might be the essence of a person who could really care for a few others.

Hands that are open before God.  If your hands are open saying, Father, these are ordinary hands but I want You to use these hands in this life to be able to touch the life of another. Are your hands open before God? 

Experienced in connecting with others.  Not forever but at least for a while.  But it is not just about being in community and experiencing community…

Available to be used by the Father.  That’s ultimately the purpose and the path of life.  Would you be available?  Are you?

Reluctant to be used can be a good thing!  As you look at the character of David, Jonah, or look at the character of Moses who had five good reasons why he didn’t think he would be God’s man for the moment.  God said you are. 

Teachable spirit.  Are you willing to listen? We need people who are willing to be teachable and responsive to God.  Like the clay that is on the potters wheel being willing to be brought into something magnificent beyond what they can do on their own. 

Be wise today and always - ultimately it’s all about the heart.
 
How does God want to use yours?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Stepping Through the Door

Yesterday we looked at Spiritual Doors and how to open them. Today we'll look at suggestions from 1 Peter 3:15-16 on what we need to do once they are opened. There are three things we need to do:

1. Preparation:  Study so you can answer people’s questions. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. 1 Peter 3:15

2. Presentation: Respond gently, so they can hear your answers. But do this with gentleness and respect, 1 Peter 3:15

3. Reputation: Be righteous so people will believe you. …keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 1 Peter 3:16

 When considering your preparation, presentation, and reputation what areas do you need to work on?

“We pray that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work.” Colossians 1:10
 
Be wise today and always - be ready to share your hope always.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Opening Doors

Spiritual Doors are God's divine appointments and opportunities for believers to share their faith with others. There are four things we need to know on how to do to open any Spiritual Doors that God puts before us. They can be found in Colossians 4:2-6:

1. Pray for an opportunity. Devote yourselves to prayerColossians 4:2

2. Watch for the opportunity! …being watchful and thankfulColossians 4:2

3. Make the most of the opportunity.  Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity… Colossians 4:4-5

4. Create a thirst for more. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:6

Be wise today and always - open the door to Christ.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

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 He says:  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?

Be wise today and always – seek the truth with all your heart and you’ll find God.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

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.”

Be wise today and always – apply God’s promises to your life.

Monday, May 6, 2013

False 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?

Be wise today and always – live by the truth.

 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Answers

Today we are starting a new series at my church called "God Questions". I believe that we'll learn a lot from God's Word about tough questions that we all have. The Bible has always been a wonderful source of answers, and we're promised if we seek God we will find Him. I think that goes the same for finding answers.

David gives great advise to his son, Solomon in 1 Chronicles 28:9, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.

All wisdom and hope comes from him. We just need to be listening.

Be wise today and always - seek God and you will find Him.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Come to Your Senses

There comes a time in all of our lives when we need to "come to our senses" in Christ. It usually happens after some sort of rebellion or doubting. We see this in the story of the Prodigal Son.

“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! - Luke 15:17 He knew that he must return to his Father and ask for forgiveness.

Our story is much the same. We must return to Father God and ask His forgiveness as well.
 
Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame. - 1Corinthians 15:34

and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will. - 1 Timothy 2:26

What do you need to "come to your senses" about today?

Father God is waiting.

Be wise today and always - return to where your help comes from.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Pray and Believe

Do you ever pray for something, but deep inside you are skeptical about it coming true? Let's be honest - we've all been there. We be the outcome on our prayer based on our intellect, traditions, or experiences. But God is so much bigger than that.

Peter was in prison and more likely he was going to be beheaded the next day. The church didn't know what else to do, so they prayed for him in Acts 12.

So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.
The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.
Then the angel said to him, “Put on your clothes and sandals.” And Peter did so. “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,” the angel told him. Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision. 10 They passed the first and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him.
11 Then Peter came to himself and said, “Now I know without a doubt that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from Herod’s clutches and from everything the Jewish people were hoping would happen.”
12 When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying. 13 Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer the door. 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, “Peter is at the door!”
15 “You’re out of your mind,” they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, “It must be his angel.”
16 But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished.

When in doubt always pray, but believe God does have the power to do things that you never thought possible!

Be wise today and always - pray and believe.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Hope for the Hopeless

I love this story from Luke 4. Jesus shares what His ministry is all about, and who it is for: me and you (the whole world). See if you find yourself in His words.

16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
 
Life is hard, but hope springs anew. Jesus came for the brokenhearted, poor, afflicted, hurting, in bondage, prisoners, blind, and the oppressed. He came to give us freedom, forgiveness, and hope.
 
Have you accepted it?
 
Be wise today and always - praise God for giving us hope and a future.